Helping Janice PB her 10k

sold-out-stamp-300x169Today, at the Jimmy Irvine 10k at Bellahouston, I was fortunate to be able to help another runner achieve a massive PB over over 3 minutes overall and a 6 minute PB on the course. 🙂

Results here / Janice’s Fundraising page


Janice Millar started running around January last year and runs with the Kilmarnock Harriers.  I have never met anyone who races and competes so much, and has so many events in her diary! She enjoys and does Park Run and Sunday Social runs and has a wide range of runner friends who know and love her.

This year Janice was fortunate enough to win the Women’s Championship at the Kilmarnock Harriers and the prize she was given was a place in the London Marathon 2014.  After just starting running a year or so ago, marathons weren’t on her radar yet, but this seemed too good an opportunity to pass up.  So she has grabbed the chance and is raising money for Cancer Research UK here.  You see, it is 10 years since Janice was diagnosed with cancer and it will be a huge celebration for her.

1463461_10201559029829919_1282798776_nIn the last 10 years, Janice has fought off Cancer and turned her life around.  She’s found a brilliant new passion in running, and is kind to and learns a little from everyone she meets.  She’s got the determination, the sense, the guts and the support to do the London Marathon, and today I was glad to be able to help her achieve her 10k PB of over 3 minutes overall and a 6 minute PB on the Jimmy Irvine 10k course.  She is awesome!

I met Janice in about May of this year and have run with her a few times.  I’ve got to know her and learned lots from her, as well as her learning about heart rate running and other things from me.  From her Garmin activities I know that she’s on the verge of going beyond comfortable when she runs with her heart rate at or above 150.  Today she wanted me to help her to run a 60 minute 10k so I said I’d run with and pace her and see what we could do.


So here’s how we did it:

Killie_0094– I left my heart rate monitor at home – and synced my Garmin to her heart rate.
– I was thinking 150 – 160 for her heart rate: 155 most of the way to have her push it to get her PB.
– I set my Garmin up to show average pace, average pace overall, time and distance.
– We were going to aim for 9:05 minutes miles (which would bring her in under 60 minutes).
– Janice is good at finishing strong, but it was my aim to push her to improve her pace over the whole route, and then have her finish strong – to get her PB.
– I knew Janice is a good strong runner and she finishes strongly – my aim was to keep her pace steady throughout, with a strong finish – push her just to where she could handle it.

Now this is where we have to remember what Janice is training for:

The big one – the London Marathon 2014.  

three rulesThis is where her mind perhaps needs to change from PB chasing, to distance and endurance.  And it’s happening.  She’s running comfortably up to 9 miles just now, at a very comfortable pace.  She’s experienced a bit of an injury in her hip, she’s sought and stuck to good physio help and advice and she’s doing everything right.  Her comfortable pace is about 11 minute miles and her 10k PB before today was 1:04 – or 10:19 minute miles  (1:07 for the course).

If I’m honest, I wasn’t sure if Janice would get her goal of 60 minutes for the 10k.  I know she’s come a long way, and I know how hard she can push herself, but I didn’t want to push her to meet the 9:05 pace all the way, and focussed more on her heart rate.  If her comfortable heart rate was 150, I was pushing her to run at 155 – 160 throughout (never mind the pace).  I know running to heart rate works, and I was hoping to help her run to her heart rate and run the best 10k of her life.

So we did it (and these are some of the tips I was sharing with her along the way):

> The first mile was a fast one – down hill mostly. This is where it’s good to know the course.  On the downhill – relax, and let gravity take you.  Lean forward, lengthen your stride, let your arms go wide and help you along.  Relax as you fly down the hill – don’t hold back.  Ahead of target – average pace 8:45 – brilliant Janice.  Keep it going.

> On the flat, I was letting her know what her heart rate was – 150, 152, nice and comfortable.  It’s flat, it’s easy.  Run strong. You can do it Janice.  Easy.  Now we’re going to push it a little – 155.  Get your body used to running at 155. You can do it.  Keep going.

> Up the hill.  It’s flat.  Look down, power on and remember it’s flat.  155, you’re still doing well.  Keep it going.  You’re strong, and you’re a brilliant runner. You can do it.  Pace is on target.  Great. 5k in… 29:20… that’s a PB Janice well done!

bella_10KThen just after that, Janice’s hip started to niggle.  That familiar but really annoying injury coming back – returning to stop her in her tracks.

She let me know and I said – ‘it’s just a niggle, you can run through it’ (sometimes that’s how I get through niggles – but not injuries!).  But she knew her body better and remembered what running through it did to her before (not good and kept her off running for weeks).

I offered that she might want to walk to help it – so she did.  60 minutes was probably out the window – but this amazing and determined woman knew that times weren’t all that mattered and that she is now training to be a marathon runner.  Being able to run and train for her marathon is much more important than an event, PB or time.  She’d already smashed her 5k PB, and if 60 minutes wasn’t to be, then it didn’t matter.

After a few moments, without me mentioning it, Janice started up her run again.  Gingerly at first… taking her time, knowing her body, settling into the run.  Her heart rate was 150 again… 155… and at the 7km marker she was back on pace.  She was running strongly again.  This is where I turned on the super powers chat.

996637_239605382864673_76178720_nInspirational and lovely Janice, who’s come so far and done so well.  Prize winner and school champ.  Super Human Janice who’s brought up some amazing kids, and has some lovely grandchildren too, and is doing so well.  You can do it Janice!

We’re going to turn that corner, and Super Champ is going to go into your body – like a soul into a body.  You have your cape on, in fact you’ve got two on because you’re wearing my cape too.  She was getting hot and I helped her take her jacket off.

9km marker.  1km to go.  You’re running strongly, you’re going well.  9:17 pace.  155 heart rate.  Running well.  Keep it going Janice.  400m to go… you’ve got this Janice.  You’re going to smash your PB.  Keep it going.  Run strong, you can do it!

1393138_239616369530241_533118973_nWith 200m to go, I let Janice go on and finish the run.  She ran off, power in every stride, power in every inch of her body, giving her all.  Running very fast over the finish line.  Janice finished in 1:01:22 seconds!

A massive course PB of 6 minutes and a PB for all time of 3 minutes – and that was EVEN with a wee rest and WALK / ouchy ouchy in the middle!  A 5k PB and a 10k PB!  Amazing stuff, and sensible strong running from an amazing woman who knows how to run and knows how to achieve.  🙂

10k : 1:01:22  PB!
Avg HR: 156 (94%), Max HR: 167 (100%).

londonmarathonThe truth is Janice could run 10k in 60 minutes – and I’m sure she will.  But just now she needs to work on building her endurance for the long runs, to take care of herself and her hip and rise to the challenge of the London Marathon, which I’m sure she will smash as well.

It was great to help her keep a steady pace and help her come back from the hard bit in the middle.  I’m looking forward to seeing what other amazing things she’ll bring out of the bag this next year.  Go Janice!

If you would like to sponsor Janice to train for and run the London Marathon 2014, please visit her Just Giving Page here:

Here’s a bit more about her inspiring story from her Just Giving page:

I had meningitis when I was 14, Gullian Barries Syndrome (paralysed from the waist down) when I was 32 and breast cancer when I was 47 (get your lucky white heather here lol) after the double mastectomy and the chemo – I put on four stone!! – so my family decided it was time for me to get fit – they dragged me to Parkrun so i started last year trundling my huge lumbering body 4 1/2 stone overweight – round the 5k course – 48 minutes – you would have thought I had actually ran a marathon – I was exhausted and stiff – but the seed was sown and I unfortunately or fortunately caught the bug!!

I now run 4 times a week, still do Parkrun on a Saturday and do my long run on a Sunday – not quite up to marathon standards yet but working on it lol. I am so grateful to have this chance to give something back to those less fortunate meanwhile having fun myself  – sometimes life gets in the way of your running, sometimes running is your life – I have never felt so in control as when I run – feeling of freedom and power is unreal – no other sphere of my life gives this feeling – please sponsor me in this endeavour Cancer Research is a worthy cause and most of us know someone whose life has been touched by cancer – lets help make it an illness of the past.  Thank you.

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