I made myself better today

I haven’t written much lately… probably because I’ve logged 95 miles each of the last two weeks. Impressive, especially considering I handled them pretty well (all things considered)!

Before Grandma’s, I had one week of 95, but couldn’t do a second. That 95 mile week took everything out of me and I had a hard time recovering. Now, I’m finding myself strong enough to handle mileage like this – and back to back, even!

I still have my tired days, obviously. Friday last week was one of those days.

Because of the timing of the week, my hard days needed to fall on Wednesday and Friday. On Wednesday, I expected to feel terrible. I was in the middle of the 2nd 95 mile week, and was going to try to run 5x1500m repeats with Simone. But, much to my delight, they went really well!! I was faster than Simone on all of them, which REALLY surprised me (last winter/spring I could only keep up for about 85% of her workouts!). Repeats were as fast as 5:19, as slow as 5:24 (done in the Carleton arb, on very wet slick ground). Exhilarating to be able to run fast in the middle of mileage!

Then came Friday. I could tell I had only given my legs a day to recover (and that day was a double of 12 miles… so not exactly the lightest “recovery” day in the world). Workout was supposed to be: 19 miles total: 3 WU, 2x9:30 at tempo, hour easy, 14:15 at tempo, CD for the remainder. It was incredibly windy that day- for the first tempo segment I found myself running a 5:50 first mile and 6:30-6:40 pace for the last .67 or so. I believe the next 9:30 at tempo was around 5:48 and 6:20. My legs were trashed.

I slugged through 7.5 miles, very slowly. Time to start the last tempo segment. Ug. I told Nate that I could commit to doing 9:30 of tempo (workout called for 14:15). He nicely suggested committing to all of it, but I just couldn’t. My legs hurt, I was slow, and quite frankly I just wanted to be done.

BUT, I didn’t give stopping a second thought when I saw 9:30 on my watch. I instead thought: Just 4:45 left, that’s not that bad! I can do anything for 4… then 3… then 2… etc minutes. I imagined bring tough the last ½ mile at the Trials & powered up a hill for the last minute (just makes me stronger! I thought). I stopped at 14:15 and bent over, gasping for air. I looked up at Nate, smiled, and said, “I made myself better today”.

That’s all you can ask of yourself, right? Take each day and make yourself better/faster/stronger than the last :).

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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