Courtney & Juli Win 5ks

11 Sep

Congrats to Courtney and Juli on winning a few 5ks this past weekend.  Courtney McDermott won the Patriot 5k, in O”Fallon, MO in 21:01 even though not feeling the best in the race.

Meanwhile, Juli Koenegstein Stults ran her first race in several years, as she is getting back to training.  She won the Chester, IL 5k race in just under 20 minutes, in 19:59 placing first overall including men!41330064_10155762774647876_7835976048377331712_n


Courtney Wins 5k

3 Sep

Congrats to Courtney McDermott for winning a Labor Day 5k run out at Creve Coure Lake yesterday, placing first including men in a time of 20:30!  Happy Labor Day !



Mental Strength aka Badgering

24 Aug

By: Lisa Cary

I believe mental strength is something that has to be worked on just as much or more as putting in the daily workouts.  Mental strength isn’t easy in developing, it develops through adversity the best.  The more adversity a person goes through, the more their mental strength can develop or falter.  The key is not to let the adversity crush you in the process.

According to Wikipedida… “Mental toughness is a measure of individual resilience and confidence that may predict success in sport, education and the workplace. As a broad concept, it emerged in the context of sports training, in the context of a set of attributes that allow a person to become a better athlete and able to cope difficult training and difficult competitive situations and emerge without losing confidence. In recent decades, the term has been commonly used by coaches, sport psychologistssports commentators, and business leaders.  There are several factors as to why a positive mentality or mental toughness is a huge benefactor to success. An elite athlete must be able to handle pressure, have self-belief and avoid any lifestyle distractions. They must have that urge to win and know that they have all the capabilities to do anything they desire. This separate’s the good athletes from the elite athletes”

To be great at anything, a person has to push through unbearable things in life, and training to improve.  If we only ran when it was nice out, then you can’t expect a PR to come easy.  If we only did what we wanted at work, we probably would be fired.  We have to work on our weaknesses, and do the things we do not really want to do.  When you push through the sludge once, it’s easier to push and persevere the next time, and the next.  Sometimes you think you might be at your breaking point, turn your mind back to a  positive focus, and push one more time just when you think you can’t take much more, then somehow you come out of  the hard time or problem.  But, at that time you are now stronger.  Pushing through mental pain, and at the right times physical pain, makes you stronger mentally and physcially and less likely to be shaken off your game when the next hard time strikes in life, or hard part in a race.  If you aren’t willing to push at difficult times, then you can’t expect to make progress to hit your ultimate goals, at work, races, and or life.

At some point in a race it’s going to hurt, and if you have trained your mind to push or badger, rather than give in and fold, that is the difference between a PR or just finishing short of your goal. At some point in life adversity will hit, if you haven’t trained your mind how to process difficulties it could wreck you.  But, if you have practiced training your mind to be positive, and persevere I believe it can be handled a little easier.  Focus on breaking down the amount of time to being positive one day at a time, then if that’s too long, one hour at a time, or even one minute at a time.  Building up and training your mind one minute at a time, adds up and develops pathways in your brain to better handle and become more natural over time.

Badgering is in my terms a meaning of I’m going to bear down, and take the pain.  I’m going to push through to the other side, and I’m not going to deal with anyone’s nonsense.  Or it could mean, I’m about to unleash the badger from it’s cage aka it’s go time.  I am feeling the pain in the race, or life and focus even more.  Badgering produces results eventually.

Mental strength can be hard, that’s the whole point.  Take one day at a time, and push yourself once out of your comfort zone, then try again, and again, and again until the pain isn’t as painful anymore, that is when you become stronger mentally and physically.  That is when you have created yourself into a strong badger.  By description the badger nature is fierce, “They have been known to savagely and fearlessly attack almost any kind of animal when escape is impossible, reportedly even repelling much larger predators such as lions”  and “They are virtually tireless in combat and can wear out much larger animals in physical confrontations.”  Badgers are virtually tireless, much like a badger we can train our minds to become like a badger tireless.


If you push when life gets hard  or the race gets hard, rather than give in  and fold, you come out a stronger person, and come out with a better result.  There will always be bad days, but you have to push through them to have the best days.  In the end it makes the best days  or best races even more special and worth all the pain.  AS one of my saying goes always, “BADGER UP!”




July Race Update

15 Aug

The month of July included Courtney McDermott running in for the win of the O”fallon Firecracker 5k!  She ran the 5k in 20:39, on the hot humid day. Stay tuned as the Runnababez get ready to race more and train for fall!



Jackie PR’s at IL Marathon!

30 Apr

Congrats to Jackie Pirtle-Hall again on another great marathon race!  She this past weekend, placed 2nd woman overall at the Christi Clinic Illinois Marathon in Champaign, IL.  This was her 2nd marathon within a 3 week window…and she ran away with a new marathon PR!  Jackie ran 2:41  to shave a minute off her previous best time ever which was run back in 2012.

Fun. Fast. Fabulous!



Jackie Pirtle-Hall Marathon Winner Q&A

10 Apr

Jackie just recently ran an amazing race at the Go! St. Louis Marathon last weekend, winning, and qualifying for her second Olympic Marathon Trials.  She qualified in 2012, narrowly missed the time in 2016, by a few seconds, and now has punched her ticket to the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.  We ask her a few questions about marathoning and her recent race.

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Amazing race and time at the Go! Marathon, tell us how the race broke or went down for you? I just tried to stay as calm, and  in a rhythm for as long as I could. When I realized 2nd woman was coming up on me at mile 10, I realized I needed to start pressing each mile and not look back. I had to stay confident and focused and not let my emotions take over. I felt great until mile 22, when my IT bands started to hurt.  I just kept trying to not get emotional and take it one mile at a time. When I got to mile 25 I  realized I was going to get the OTQ (Olympic Trials Qualifying) time.  So, I ran a 5:46 pace into the finish. I was so happy!

Did you know you were going to attempt the Olympic Trials Qualifier time headed into the race? Before I got sick I secretly knew I could do it but that wasn’t the goal. I went into the race just wanting to finish and go for the win.

How was qualifying for this Olympic trials different than last time for you? So, it was way different, since I was surprised.  I got to keep some of the emotion out of it and just press and run… The surprise made the emotional high that much more amazing!

This was win #3 for you at the Go! Marathon, what draws you back to the Go!? And how was this win different? I like not having to travel and also running in my hometown.  I feel proud running with and for our strong St. Louis running community. When I run in front of people who expect performances, it makes it emotionally hard.  But, I like stepping up to a challenge that scares me. It’s so much easier to go and compete at a race no one can see or hear about the results…I can take the emotion and expectations out of it… But, when I put myself out there and follow through, to me that’s courageous.  Show up- face your fears- don’t be afraid to fail… and when you succeed, the result is so much more satisfying.

How was your final training preparation leading into the Go!? Anything different than past marathons?  I had to do some 10k sessions to get some of my foot speed lost during all my trail running I did for Pikes Peak Marathon (last year). It was hard but fun!

What is your favorite marathon dinner? Pancakes the day before, protein after the race.

What is your favorite training fuel? Gu is just so easy, but also Gu Roctane fluid for hard long sessions.

Why do you love the marathon? It really tests character and strength; it’s hard.

What is your favorite training area or trail in St. Louis? Forest Park and Katy trail.

The Runnababez look forward to Jackie competing in the Olympic Marathon Trials in 2020!  Will you be next to step up to your goals and challenges? Whether trying to qualify for the Olympic Trials, Boston, PR? Jackie and the Runnababez love a challenge. Embrace the pain and get to work!  Go for your goals!


“We must embrace the pain, and burn it as fuel for our journey.” – Kenji Miyazawa

Fun. Fast. Fabulous!


Courtney Wins 5k!

5 Apr

Congrats to Courtney McDermott for continuing on her string of great spring races~!  She recently placed first overall, men included in the Easter Escapades 5k in O’fallon.  She brought home the  win in a time of 20:09, which is a new 5k PR!  Jackie’s daughter Samantha participated in the 5k as well placing first in the 10 and under division!