Back in business

Ahh, there is no better feeling than the way your legs feel after a long run. Sore, achy, just all around worn-out. I love it!

I couldn't have asked for a better weekend. On Saturday I ran the Trail Loppet 1/2 marathon. Emphasis on "ran". I knew that I had only run 13.6 mile before (since the injury) and didn't want to chance anything. Plus I wanted to get in a long run on Sunday to see if my legs could do a 20+ miler. So, I purposefully ran really relaxed -- at a "threshold"-type pace. It was a lot of fun! Great course (minus a few wrong turns, but that just adds to the fun) & great people.

I won for the women, which surprised me. Elaine Nelson was 2nd, and she's a very talented and fast woman. I passed her around 2 miles or so and could feel her breathing really hard already at that point. Were we going that fast? I didn't think so, but I can't really tell on trails. I ended up beating her by 5 minutes.

Sunday was just as great. I went out for my long run w/ the Vakava team (yeah, chasing after rollerskiers!). My only goal was to try to see how far my leg could take me. I told myself that if I couldn't do 20 miles today that Des Moines wasn't an option. I was a little nervous, just hoping it'd work today...

And it did! I felt really great!! Funny how my legs had a little "spring" in them even after having raced yesterday. I'll take it. I ran 17 miles pretty relaxed, maybe a little faster than I should have. That happens when you're chasing people on wheels :). At 17 miles, I picked it up to marathon pace. It actually felt pretty easy. 6:33, 6:37, then 5:48 (last 1/2 mile I decided to go all-out)(also, this mile was downhill). So, a little faster than my true marathon pace, but I think that's OK -- it's more about teaching your legs to run hard when tired than anything. I then did a cool down back to the car. I had only planned on 20 miles (which would have been to the end of the marathon pace miles), but the vehicle was a little farther away than expected... so, 22.4 miles on the day. WOW.

So, yeah!! I am SOOO excited that I'm back & able to run. I had a smile on my face for most of the run :). It's so fun to be able to cruise & go far. It's also fun for me to think that I'll still have a chance to pull off what I originally wanted to do -- a fast time at a fall marathon.

Now, just need to stay healthy/fit for the next month!

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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