The best support crew!

I needed to do a 8x800m workout during the middle of the week. I mentioned it to the YMCA runners on Monday to see if anyone would be interested... they all were either "travelling", "not able to make it Tuesday" or "going to be sick". :) Ha.

But I came Tuesday just to ask again if anyone wanted to join (figuring no one would, but it was worth a try). No one said "no", and we headed out towards their 800 "course" (which is back and forth between two electric poles). Immediately, 2 of the guys started on their own repeats. Two faster guys started shortly after, and I shortly after that. Gotta love a good reverse pursuit workout!

Long story short, the group did 4 repeats with me. I am SO thankful -- to think that a group of men would do a repeat workout just to help me!! Seriously, amazing. I knew I needed the help (it's so much easier to chase someone!), and it would have been nearly impossible to have done all 8 well alone. I am in awe of the YMCA group - the fact that they would come out and run any random, crazy workout that I may have planned for the day - and be so upbeat and supportive of what I'm doing. They are such good sports, and I love that I've started to run more with them.

Times weren't great, but not bad either: 2:41, 2:40, 2:41, 2:42, 2:47 (had to run around a car that pulled out without looking - ug!), 2:43, 2:44, 2:44.

I considered not doing the 8th repeat. My legs were TOAST. But, I told myself that there was no way that the top 50 women in the US were skipping out of their last repeat -- so I just gave myself a little more rest & started out.

One other change in my running (and came out on that last repeat): God. Before Grandma's, I prayed fairly regularly asking for help. During Grandma's, I thought about him a lot: "I hope I'm running with everything you've given me", "Please help me through this". There was a preacher about 1/2 way that asked the runners as we passed whether we were running away from sin, or towards God. I answered that I was running towards God, and I fully BELIEVED what I told myself (as with everything else I told myself that day). This is new for me... I don't consider myself a super religous person.

But during the last repeat on Tuesday, I thanked God for the opportunity to be outside, running hard, and pushing myself. This is really weird for me to say... again, I've never been super religous or had these thoughts often before. Towards the end of the repeat my thoughts went again to Him, asking him to get me through in a good time. He got me through, in another 2:44 (would have liked faster, but my legs were completely fried, so I guess a 2:44 isn't bad :) )

So in addition, I feel I need to acknowledge the latest person to have joined my team: "God". I don't want that to sound cheesy, but I do feel like that's a big part of the mental strength I've gained during this journey. Thank you to EVERYONE that has helped along the way. I am blessed.

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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