Deliriously fun!

Half way through today's workout I literally used those words to describe the workout :). 

I'll recap the week, even though I still have two more days, 3 runs, 33 miles to log, and 1 strength session to log before I'm done with it.

Week 12 before NYC:
115 miles (highest EVER!)
4 doubles
2 hard workouts:
1. 15 miles total with 20 mins tempo, 4 min rest, 15 T, 3 min rest, 10 T, 2 rest, 5T
2. 22 miles total with 2x(4 miles at MP, 1 at T)

First, Tuesday's workout was a little rougher.  My legs were tight, a little "bound" feeling.  I could tell the spring in my stride had disappeared. Sigh.  I knew it was going to happen sometime, but it was still sad to realize that it had gone (and I probably wouldn't see it for a while).  We had a great group for the early morning workout (3 other guys!), which is absolutely phenomenal.  How lucky am I?!?  Only in Northfield :).  Love this town.

I did each segment to the best of my ability, wasn’t negative about my pace or how I felt.  I concentrated on trying to make my legs work better, since I wasn’t moving fast enough to use my lungs as much as I should have been.  Sort of a frustrating feeling.  Craig was much farther ahead of me than normal.  Darn him, getting into fast running shape.  Paces were 5:54 for the 20 minutes, 6:13 for the 15 minutes (rough one), 5:55 for the 10 minutes, and 5:40 for the 5 minutes (latched on to Craig and told myself to hang on as long as possible).  So, as far as workouts go, not great… but also not bad either considering what I’ve been putting myself through lately.  It was my first day where I had to set new expectations – this is likely going to be the way your legs feel from now until mid-October.  Just roll with it, do the best with what you have, I told myself.

But then fast forward to today (Friday) – the workout that inspired the blog post :).  I came into the day thinking that it’d be similar to Tuesday.  Luckily Craig was able to meet me for the hard stuff, which makes the workout that much easier from a mental standpoint.  Tom from the shop stopped by for the first 6 miles (seriously, love Northfield!) and then Craig and I started… oh, this is going to hurt, I thought as the watches started…

Except it didn’t!!  I was flying, effortlessly, not breathing much at all.  I watched the pavement under my feet curiously.  It was passing quicker than I’m used to for a MP effort.  Check the watch:  sub 6 minute pace?  What??  I checked myself.  Does it feel like you’re reaching?  Or is this a true MP effort?  The scary answer that came back was that this felt about as perfect of a MP effort as I’ve ever done (there have been multiple, multiple MP workouts where I’ve just forced the pace… maybe not the best).  The last mile was a little more effort, but not by much.  Glorious.  4 miles in 23:50, 5:57.5 pace.  

Next tempo mile: 5:40.  Yeah!  Now, repeat…

The next 4 miles of MP were a little more effort, but still went really well.  We finished in 24:04, 6:01 pace.  Not bad at all! :)  And then we capped it off with one last tempo mile, 5:38.  I found myself smiling half way through that last mile.  This is just downright FUN!!!! Deliriously fun, even :).

Now, the challenge is to keep myself at this spot, healthy and feeling fit/fast.  I’m carefully watching my Achilles, paying attention to my hamstring and hips (can’t wait until Jim Patterson is back from vacation!  Nate can’t wait either, ha!), and anything else that might creep up.  I know that I’m pushing limits with mileage being as high as it is – but hopefully being smart about it all!! J

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. Awesome! I love how a good workout makes me feel!! I just hope I get back to my high (for me) mileage next week, and I'm not feeling so beat up.