The Champion Next Door Show – Episode 26 with Julie Mercado

Julie Mercado – Dayton, Ohio

Julie ran 2:53:14 in Houston this year at age 46, which was only her third marathon and her first since running Boston at age 26. She also ran 1:22:01 in November at Indy during her buildup to attempt to qualify for the Olympic Trials Marathon. Julie was an All-American in cross-country, indoor and outdoor track at Hillsdale College and now runs for Runners Plus Elite. She recently finished as the 3rd female (1:25:26) in the Old Glory Invitational Half Marathon, a local elite race held in Dayton on November 1st.


 

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Recap: Already Loved Trick-or-Trot 5K

Saturday, October 10, 2020 – Lebanon, Ohio

Since my last race back in March, I have focused on training consistently while monitoring the status of many road races. At times I fell into periods of overtraining, using workouts instead of races to prove my fitness. Forced out of my comfort zone, I invested in technology such as my first GPS watch (Coros Apex) and the Stryd foot-pod, which have provided great insights into training load, stress, and recovery.

After aggravating an old achilles injury back in August, I took some down weeks to try to recover and I felt it was time to rip the band-aid off and test myself with a race. The Already Loved Trick-or-Trot 5K provided the perfect opportunity to do that. I figured I could go out and run an honest effort without the stress or pressure of a big race. My goal was to run conservatively and shoot for around 5:10/mile, and then let loose on the third mile if everything still felt okay.

I felt good for the first two miles, things were flowing and I felt relaxed. There was a downhill/uphill during the second mile, which I took conservatively and maintained a steady effort over the hill. On the third mile, a straight shot to the finish with all turns and hills behind me, I felt my right achilles tendon tighten up and the pain was severe. I’ve been managing this injury since 2018, and I really wanted to get a race in, so I made the instant decision to finish. It was a difficult third mile but I decided to hold the pace and consider the damage afterwards.

In hindsight, I probably made the wrong decision, but racing forces you to think and act swiftly. The damage to my achilles was obvious as I could not run, or even walk normally, after the race. I got out of there quickly in order to regroup, put some ice on the tendon to reduce the swelling, and ultimately to jump-start the process of healing. After limping along with this injury sustained back in August, I realized it was time to address the issue head-on and get back to a place where I can resume training injury-free.

I have since resumed Physical Therapy at Mobility Fit, where I spent a lot of time in 2019 overcoming this same injury. They’ve helped me heal, improve my running form, and to strengthen other lower-leg weaknesses. It’s a humbling place, but a place that has been a consistent starting-point for my success.

Next thing on the schedule will be getting healthy so that I can resume training this winter and racing in 2021. Let me know what you’re working towards – drop a note in the comments below or send me a message on Instagram¬†@ohloru. Stay safe, stay healthy, and smash that next race!

The Champion Next Door Show – Episode 25 with Jeff Coudron

Jeff Coudron – Dayton, Ohio

Jeff has raced over 40 marathons and runs Speedy Feet, a race timing and management company based in Dayton. He has run Boston in his 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s, and has completed multiple Ironman triathlons. He talks about timing the Minster Oktoberfest Classic 10K, one of the area’s premier races, and his approach to competing as a life-long athlete.


 

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