Sorry it's been a while!

Yeah for vacations. Ours was great -- very relaxing. We spent a lot of it at the cabin in northern Wisconsin. We were away from the internet, the TV didn't work well, and away from work, housework, and everything else I typically busy life with. It was exactly what I needed :).

It also revitalized my training. During the beginning of the trip we backpacked, which didn't lend itself to running (much less running 85-90 miles/week). I really, really missed being able to run! I realized how much I love pushing the envelope, following a training plan, tearing myself down and then allowing myself to rest (and how great you feel after you do that!). I told my husband during one of the hikes that I know I'm going to go through a major withdrawal period after this training is over with. Right now it's such a big part of my life, and I love that. After the marathon, I've told myself that I need to take two weeks COMPLETELY off (hold me to it!!). Can you imagine?

Anyway, the second half of the trip was full of fun training time, minus a slight twinge in my quad toward the end of the week. On Tuesday I did 800 meter repeats and was able to post them all under 2:44. That's encouraging. Many of them were 2:42 and the last one was in 2:39. That's a VERY encouraging workout. I can tell that I'm strong and really fit. Just 2-3 weeks ago I was running 800s between 2:45-2:52 (and working very hard to do so). Tuesday afternoon I did an easy 5 mile as a second workout and that's when I felt that twinge in my quad. It wasn't anything big, but I did make sure to massage that spot after the run.

Wednesday was my typical 15 mile run. My legs felt GREAT, actually. Weird! I had just done 15 miles total yesterday, with hard 800s in that. They were probably feeling the "rest" of not running during our backpacking. I averaged 7:27s (WOW!!!) for 14.2 miles, but had to stop about 3-4 times to stretch out that quad. At 14 miles I could feel that the leg was losing power -- if you've ever had this while running, you know what I'm trying to describe -- so I just called it a night. I'm a little concerned...

Fast forward to this weekend. I ran on Sunday for the first time, 6 miles nice and easy. My leg didn't flare up, great!! Monday I did a 5 mile threshold run, and my IT band is pretty tender now. Weird how it moved from the quad muscle to the IT band... but at least I know how to treat the IT band. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, I can't get injured at this point in my training!

Injuries are always a concern when training at this volume. You have to push the limit to find out what you can accomplish, but because of that, you're always riding the verge of injury.

P.S. During vacation I was changing my shirt at our car so I took off my Garmin, sunglasses, and hat and put them on top of the car while I switched. You can imagine what happened -- I totally forgot about them until we heard something on the roof and Nate looked back and said, "Hmmm.... there goes a Garmin!". Nothing was completely broken or run over, but now the lap button on my Garmin doesn't work. It's OK for normal training (just much more math), but it's not "raceable" anymore and I can't do repeats anymore with it. Noooooo!! It's my favorite thing (and not inexpensive!), so I'm very sad that I was careless and broke it :(. I think I'm going to break down and get another... but the question is: get the Forerunner again, or opt for the 310XT (the newest one)?? If anyone has any insights, I'd really appreciate it.

Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!

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