Another week bites the dust

Last week was not my greatest week.

I'm not sure why. Ellie, perhaps? Fatigue in general?

I'll recap:
The day after Ellie's accident I was supposed to do 7x6 minutes at tempo. Nate got me out the door. He's so great about that. The first two reps were awful. We were going into the wind, which was atrocious, and my times were awful. I wanted to quit. Nate kept me at it, reminding me that my times didn't matter. Just put in the effort. The third rep, my brain kicked back in. Yes, Ellie was gone & this was my first workout without her, but let's forget about that for now. The last 5 reps I was at a 5:57-5:58/mile pace, bringing the last one down to 5:48 without too much effort.

That was the last workout that felt "easy". The long run that weekend took a lot out of me. It was hot, and I was not properly hydrated. I averaged 7:15s for 21 miles, which is quick for me. The first 15 felt GREAT - so effortless! But the last few were torturous. I remember thinking, "this is good for me. I'll be praying for these last few miles to be done during the marathon as well". I couldn't let myself slow down, though, and ended up picking up the last mile to marathon pace. Later that day, I knew I had tapped too far into my "reserves". Note to self: even if feeling good, I should probably limit my long runs to no faster than 7:30s.

The following Wednesday I ran w/ the college team. I did 20 minutes w/ Simone (I kept up, but just barely -- I wasn't pushing the pace like the week before), then 3 minutes easy. Here's where I fell apart. Instead of 15 minutes at tempo next, I stopped after 8 minutes when I saw my pace was in the 6:10s. ARGH. I started up again and did the remaining 7 minutes. Another 3 minutes of rest, and my last rep was supposed to be 10-12 minutes. My legs were completely drained, and I really struggled to get them to move. I can't remember what my pace was, but for the first mile it was something like 6:20, and I stopped after a minute or two of the next mile, pace in the mid 6:20s. I was beat, and not because I had just nailed a workout. Hate that feeling.

Fast forward to the weekend (past Saturday). I'm supposed to do 13 miles at marathon pace. It snowed in the morning, which cancelled workout group #1. Back-up group #2 (aka high school senior, cousin) also sent me a text backing out. Hmm. Knowing the winds were 20-25 mph, I opted to attempt the workout on a treadmill. I started up & quickly realized my head wasn't in this at ALL. I didn't want this workout, and my performance reflected that. I stopped 3 times within the first 4 miles. I fought myself -- just DO this. At 4 miles, I realized that it wasn't going to happen on the treadmill. Should I try the remaining 9 outside? As I grabbed my outside gear, I passed the indoor track. I wondered if it was better for me to try to do the 9, knowing I'd probably stop several more times, limp along through it, or try to make it a hard track day. I decided that the track sounded fun: a chance to go fast, hard.

So, we did 5x1000m together (or, rather, Nate did the last 800 or 600 of each rep) :). It felt great! Times were 3:31 (legs a bit tired from the 4 miles at MP), 3:23, 3:32, 3:19, 3:19. I gave myself the option of just doing 4, but found myself wanting to push for a 5th.

Another thing I've noticed: extreme sleepiness. Luckily, I've been able to use the weekend to get 12+ hours/night, and have been good about getting to bed earlier than usual this week -- hopefully it's just because I wasn't getting enough sleep the last few weeks.

I'm hoping the fact I just realized there are ONLY 8 weeks to go puts that fire back in me. I CAN do this, I DO want it. Just need to re-light the fire. I'm on track to be the strongest, most fit, and likely fastest I have EVER been, so just need to get after each workout like I was before this last week. I can, and I will! :)

Hard tempo workout on the schedule for this evening... :)

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!

1 comment:

  1. Nichole - hang in there, what you're feeling can leave as fast as it hits you. You are listening to your body at the same time of keeping the commitment to your program. Losing Ellie takes more out of you than you know. She was your family. Think of her and use her love to keep you going and also its good to have Nate there to give you extra support all the way. Reflect on last year's injuries and how much you thought you lost. And then fast forward to TCM...Your possibilities are undefined! Keep it positive and 8 weeks is plenty of time ; )

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