Grandma's marathon & training recap


Grandma's was not a good race for me.  I'm a little bummed by the result - although 2:47 is still very respectable, I know I'm capable of so much more.  So, this means I go back to the drawing board, consult with Jerry, and make changes going forward.  What went well?  What didn't?  I strongly believe that races like this make you stronger and smarter, helping you to re-analyze what you're doing, your training cycles, the "little things", etc.  

First, the race:
Things that went well (Race):
·        - Bottles/nutrition out on the course.  I have this DOWN.  No dizziness anymore, no side aches, was great!!   I absolutely love carb Boom - not sure what it is about their product, but I have had no issues since switching to them.  I feel like I metabolize their gel quicker?  I didn't have any stomach issues (unlike a couple of other women I knew in the top 10, bummer); I'm SO thankful.  It's a challenge to eat as much as I know I need, but not eat so much that your stomach has issues.  I don't have my gel/bottle detail with me now, but I'll post this later. I'll definitely repeat this in future marathons.
·        - I was able to bring the pace down the last portion of the race.  It's the first time I’ve been able to do that (granted, still wasn’t even able to come close to 6:05s, but at least it was a “move” of some sort)!!
·      -When Jerry let me know how far back from 10th place and I realized I was gaining/within striking distance, I shifted into attack mode mentally. 
·        -26.2 doesn’t seem long anymore, mentally or physically.  I think I'll be able to bounce back after this race faster than I have before.

 Things that went well (Training):
·         -Massage.  I went every other week, and I honestly think this is what kept me healthy through the high mileage weeks.  Jenny is AMAZING.  Seriously, if you are in the Northfield area, look her up - Pivotal Point Oriental Medicine.  She's a great listener and has a way of finding each and every knot and working all of them out.  I HONESTLY think she's the reason I was able to hit 105/week for the first time, without injury, and feeling great/fast.  Who knew??  I will definitely be looking to massage to keep me injury free during the next cycle (which I'm hoping to hit 115-120/week)

      -I felt SO good at higher mileage.  I hit 105/week for the first time and felt like I reached a new level of efficiency.  If you haven't read Camille's blog, check it out:  camilleherron.com.  Her training commentary is here: http://camilleherron.com/training-2/ I completely identify with her comments at 100/week, and look forward to challenging my mpw further.  I honestly think that will bring a huge breakthrough to my race times.

-Kept injuries at bay!  YEAH!!!  There were a couple times the Achilles was sore after a workout, but then I just did an ice bucket every night & it settled back down.

·        -I don’t feel the need to take much time off.  Previously the body was a little beat up after a marathon.  Also, mentally I needed a break.  That’s really not the case this time (also probably means that I wasn’t mentally “all-in” for this race like I was for Gmas ’11 or the Trials)

Things that didn’t go well (Race):
·         Race day legs = heavy and slow!  No spring, no get-up-and go.  Worse than at the Trials.  At the Trials I just didn’t have anything faster.  For Grandma’s, they were just BLA, flat, slow.  Why?

Things that didn’t go well (Race):
·         Obviously… vacation.  I think it was combination of vacation & big-time crossing “the line” with the group run in Las Vegas.  Hopefully neither one repeated this next cycle.  I'm smarter than this and know how to listen to my body.  I just need to keep a careful ear to what my body is telling me.
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Changes for next cycle:
·         -Increase mileage.  'nuff said :)

-  Being more diligent about strength days.  I was a little lax with this during this cycle.  I sometimes find myself "too tired" or find other excuses.  The reality is that I really enjoy strength training, and should just do it much like I "just do" the rest of my training Jerry lines up.  I've asked him to write in strength days, I'm much less apt to cheat (actually, not apt to cheat at all) if he tells me to do it :)

·         Weight: I didn’t try as hard here, either, and probably raced ~3 or 4 lbs heavier than Grandma’s last year.  They say each pound is a minute… which would be the 3 minutes I was slower this year vs. last.  No excuses, I just need to work harder here.  I'm excited to work with Just Food in Northfield for the next cycle, trying a lot of differnt things, recipes, trying to learn what snacks are best, etc - I'm going to make an attempt to make as much of my diet from there as possible (although, I'm very scared about that, just because it is so much more expensive...).  I'm also inspired by Scott Jurek's diet (still need to read his book!), and aim to try some vegan meals (or days?).  Guess that doesn't really count as vegan, then, I know... but I just don't know if I can give up meat and greek yogurt just yet! Much more to come!
·         Diet week of: this hasn’t had the same effect for me the last two times.  In fact, I feel like I almost come to the line race morning a little heavier?  Maybe because I’m over-compensating for the things I’m missing in my diet by eating more?  I think for NYC I might just do a 3 day “more carb” diet? I'll have to do more research on this.

·         HILLS, at least every so often.  NYC is a little hillier (not bad, but not flat).  I’ll do some of my long runs in Afton (Nate rollerskis there with a group) which I think will be good.  I’m not as good of a hill runner now – been away from “the hill” in St. Peter for a little too long :)

Also working a little on speed as well, since I'm not the strongest at this.
·         And since I asked Jerry his thoughts, I'll pose the questions for readers here:  anything you can see that I can work on/improve this cycle? :)  I'm game for pretty much anything.

Less than 20 weeks to NYC.  Let's do this!!              

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!

1 comment:

  1. Well, someone has to say it... after running the first 2:44, you switched to the Daniels elite plan and added mileage and you spent your time complaining about how hard it was and how you were feeling tired and dead - a lot of workouts with "whew! I did it." More mileage will probably just make things worse.

    Marathoners, and especially female ones, often feel a mental lift from coming down from 100 mile weeks, but once you've done it, you know you can do it and then it's time to focus on more than miles. It's very hard to convince runners that they should do less, rather than more. I say go back to the Daniels Plan A which worked for you, go back to the mileage that worked for you and work on overall training pace rather than quantity.

    But then... I'm not your coach.

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