Week 16 in review

67 miles (down week)
15 mile hard tempo workout
TC 10 mile, 1:02.40
1 day off (YEAH!)

I purposefully had a down week this week to accommodate the 10 mile. Last week had been such a great training week that I thought big things might be in store.

I started in the US championship wave for the first time, which was really fun. You were supposed to have a PR of 58 minutes or less to qualify – apparently they thought my marathon time equated to that (perhaps it does?). I was excited to be able to race alongside some really fast women. But my legs had other plans. The race was torturous – my legs wouldn’t move! My legs were heavy & it felt weird to try to get them to move. Ug. At mile 3, I knew there was no hope. I stayed positive throughout (nothing I can do now except try to push as hard as I can & enjoy the day), but it was a little tough… I was fighting to last place in my wave L. At mile 7, I thought to myself that I wasn’t hardly using my lungs. You have to be able to get your legs to move faster than this, Nichole – you have to at least TRY to tax your lungs! But, I couldn’t. I seriously could not turn my legs over any faster or drive forward with any power.

Pictures of the race show just look odd – I’m sort of driving with my knees, but it’s an awkward angle (something only I pick out, probably), not efficient & not a natural gait at all. So I’m not kidding when I say my legs just weren’t working properly.

I reflected on the race afterwards and came to some good conclusions:
Even though this week was a “down” week, it takes me much longer to feel recovered than it used to. I usually don’t feel a down week until a week and a half later. If I’m really going to “taper” for something, I think it needs to start the week before the race.

This down week had one day off and one day of 5 miles – meaning that the other 62 miles were in 5 days, without a long run – that’s still a bit.

Last, Wednesday’s run of 14.5 miles had 45 minutes of tempo in it, and I completely drained myself during the workout (I struggled to maintain 6:30s at the end of the last 10 minute session… completely dehydrated & legs not working). To set myself up for a weekend race, I should probably have done some short speed or a shorter, quicker tempo run. Not something that made me feel completely drained & sick afterwards.

So, ug. Guess you just chalk it up to experience & move on!!

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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