Race Report: 2017 Panola Mountain 10k

I know this isn’t a particularly large or famous race, but I’m going to try to write about it. I really have nothing to complain about or rip people for here (see Ironman Maryland for that). For a small race it was well run; it’s a gun time if that bothers you.

I had tried mapping this course out a few weeks prior, but MapMyRun was a little deceptive on the elevation gain. To add to it I kept coming up with 5.7 miles, which is probably because I couldn’t pin down the turn-around locations precisely and the overlap of a segment. While I was running I couldn’t help wondering where this Panola Mountain was—I was already on it. It’s not some imposing rock that arises from nowhere like Stone Mountain. Everywhere around it is comparable to tiny foothills. What’s it mean? Jump and aim for the bushes like Cooper Bridge.

I thought if I averaged about 6:30 miles I’d finish around 40 minutes, but after the first mile I could tell that wouldn’t be happening today. Unlike Cooper Bridge, this course was like a roller coaster with all of the ups & downs. Some of them were short, others were longer. The turn-arounds always had a climb associated with it. The last big climb was one that was wrapped around a hair-pin turn. Overall on Strava the course looks like a hot mess, but it’s really not all that bad. If I come back for this race next year I think I may try the 5k in lieu of the 10k.

After I quickly came to the realization this race would not be a PR, I looked for take home lessons. The back half of the Ironman Chattanooga run course has a lot of elevation gain and will skyrocket my heart rate. It was a good thing I had the HR monitor for this race because I’ll be able to utilize the data down the road. I’ll need to have a more conservative race until I get through the first loop of the marathon to know what I’m up against. I’m also going to need to live on Woodland Brook & the Bob for the next four months. I will forego wearing my Kinvaras for Chattanooga and use the Pearls.

I still needed a reasonably long ride since it was a Saturday so I decided to ride home from the race. IM Chattanooga is 116 miles (yes, the hand of Billy Mays has reached down from the heavens to give me four extra miles for free), so I’ll need more rolling hill work on the bike as well. I made a route that went up to Stone Mountain to pile on the pain. It seems as if the pinched nerve shit that may be going on in my left leg gets more painful each week. I didn’t plan on Memorial Drive being nothing but rolling hills all the way back, but I’m rarely East of the downtown connector these days and missed the turn for Ponce. I would have loved to do 80, but had 47.5 plus a mile missing from when I stopped my watch. That’s enough riding to call it a solid workout, but I certainly paid for it on Sunday.


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