Some much needed rest

Last Wednesday's tempo workout was not good. It wasn't mental. If anything, I was as strong mentally during that workout as I've been. I knew I needed to hit it and was excited to do it.

About 15 minutes into the tempo (averaging about 6:07 until this point), we turned a sharp corner & all of a sudden I felt my legs losing ground. They turned over at a much slower rate, and I felt like I couldn't make them go any faster. My pace slowed. I know this is not a good feeling... haven't had it very often, but it's not a good type of fatigue. Quads all of a sudden very heavy, slow, and unable to respond. It feels like the muscle cells are coated in a sticky, slow substance that doesn't allow them to work. I felt it last week as well, but this week was worse. I stopped at about 16 minutes, and ended up packing it in early that night. Sort of felt like I was failing, actually.

Jerry and I had a good conversation that evening. We decided to take a few days easy/off (I actually took 2 days off after scaling the stairs at work on Thursday morning and feeling like I was trying to move bricks up the stairway). I started up again on Saturday with a long easy run, and 10 more easy miles on Sunday.

I'm going to go get my iron/ferritin checked, per Jerry's suggestion. Maybe that's part of it. I think it's mostly due to mileage in general -- just a little too much for too long. The rest week this month was 75 miles, and was also right before Ellie was hit. I think the combination of the stress of her accident & the fact that I'm not quite strong enough to have 75 miles/week be a recovery week definitely contributed.

I'm glad I listened to my body. The runs the last couple of days have been better. Not 100% yet, but I can at least think about picking it up a little now (previously, even the THOUGHT of changing paces made my brain cringe... odd feeling, anyone else experience that?). I'll attempt another tempo run mid-week this week, and I'm praying that I've allowed enough recovery to be able to nail it. At this point, that's my goal: recover enough so I can start hitting all of the hard workouts again. After all, mileage is good, but only if you can hit the hard stuff :).

P.S. As we were cleaning our office late in the week, I came across a friend's training log who made the trials a few years ago. When I copied her logs, I remember being in awe: 80+ mile weeks were typical, some in the upper 90s. I was in awe of that and the harder workouts she was doing & the times she was hitting. I realized re-glancing through her logs how far I've come -- my mileage isn't too different from hers, and many of our reps are done at the same pace now! It made me realize how far I've come in this last year, and how strong I've become. You don't realize it when you're sludging through a workout plan with target paces, target mileage/etc (at least, I didn't). Glad I have those as a reference point -- a huge confidence booster!

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!

3 comments:

  1. Hey Nichole. Its been so long since I ran mileage as you are now, but its got to take time for the body to acclimate to it right? have you been ascending towards your highest mileage or are you maintaining it? I know after so many weeks its good to have a week of cutback mileage so you can get in some much earned rest. I also recently read from another world class runner that he only races minimally because the grueling training takes so much out of him. That's why there's the taper. Looks like you're feeling better and since you're listening to your body which is integral you'll be feeling zippy in no time. remember how you felt on the starting line at Human Race? And look how great you ran...If you're running GIG regardless of how you felt last week or today has nothing to do with how you can perform on Saturday.

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  2. We've been ascending towards the max (95) and then descending -- a good progression, I think, just not enough rest during the last "descent". At first, I felt bad about taking a couple of days off, but then realized it didn't matter. I'm so much stronger than I EVER have been before, have put in more quality and more base -- 2 days doesn't matter. Just need to rest a little now to be able to get back to training hard again. It'll come. I'm in a better spot mentally than I was (and will especially be there once I am able to nail a few workouts/races! :).

    And yes -- I completely agree with the racing thing. I won't do much during this cycle, and wouldn't want to (even thought I LOVE to race!!). You need to train too hard to allow yourself to rest for races often. I'll do my college alumni 5k this weekend (so sad! I'll miss GIG!), but other than that, I don't know that Jerry will have me racing again before the marathon (maybe a tune-up a few weeks out).

    Willie, I am SO excited to see what you'll at GIG! I can't even imagine how speedy you'll be :) How has the switch to marathon training been for you?

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  3. you're headed in the right direction and its nice to have Jerry on your training side. I'm excited to see how the maraton goes for you.

    GIG - it was a rough two weeks after the bodybuilding competition. I sacrificed key workouts and my mileage was minimal but today is the best I've felt in a month. I'm not expecting a PR but watn to be able to compete as best I can and finish knowing I left it out on the course.

    Let us know how your alumni race goes!

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