Unexpected Company

I know that I would not be where I am today if not for the help and support of SO many along the way. Last Saturday's run was no exception.

Brenden made the trek up from St. Peter to do a 20 miler with two 3 mile tempo segments. We headed out the door shortly after he arrived. Nate strapped on his rollerskis and our group started off. It helps SO much to have someone running side-by-side with me during these long tempo workouts, so I’m always excited when I can sync up with Brenden.

About a mile ahead, we see a tall, lanky runner ahead. Wait – it looks like he’s now running toward us? I’m not wearing my contacts, so it’s very possible I’m just not seeing things correctly. Except I was. It was Craig from here in town, and HE happened to be starting his 20 miler as well. Ha! What are the chances? Brenden told me the chances of this happening were 1 of 2: either it happens or it doesn’t. Ha. Sure.

We’ll be doing two three mile pick-ups in a couple of miles, I tell him. He thinks about that for a second and then says that sounds fun. Brenden joked that at least this way Craig could get his 20 miler done quicker. Good way to look at it, I guess :). I almost laughed out loud at the craziness of the situation. To be doing one of my hardest/longest runs of the week, already armed with Brenden and Nate to help, and to have picked up another willing body along the way? That’s pretty awesome, not going to lie :).

The tempo segments went really well, and for the first time I exceeded Jerry’s pace goals for the workout. 17:47 for the 1st 3 miles, 17:46 for the 2nd. Crazy consistent, guess that is one of my strengths :). It really helped to have people right next to me the entire time – after all, I couldn’t slow if I was tired, since the whole reason they were putting themselves through this crazy workout was for me. I even TRIED to pick it up the last 200m of the last one, pretending I was neck and neck with Linda (going to be running the 5k at GAC) or bumping up against that stadium record – and I swear there was as least a little bit of a change :). Better than I’ve been able to do in a while, anyway.

The last 4 miles was sort of a death march for me – legs drained and hamstrings and glutes telling me they were done. Ahhhh – gotta love that feeling; means I’ve done a hard marathon workout. I’ve been missing that sort of feeling.

I’m beyond humbled by the help I get daily – either by being helped through workouts with great people like Saturday, the support of my awesome sponsors like CW-X (I got the most AMAZING package in the mail this week with my new spring training gear, and I LOVE IT!! The capris are just awesome! I ran in them for the first time today and am in LOVE!), Carb Boom!, Stunt Puppy, Run N Fun, Fit to Be Tri’d, Just Food – just to name a few! - and the support from co-workers, family members, and friends. Without all of you, I KNOW I wouldn’t be where I am today. So THANK YOU!!!!!!



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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