Yikes! Great last workout!!

Oh, man - that was downright fun!

I wasn't really looking forward to this workout, even though it's my last and I know it isn't that taxing.  (I can tell I'm at the end of a very long training cycle... this is NOT like me at all)  I didn't have a training partner due to the timing of things (early conference call meant I couldn't meet my NF group) - not a big deal since it's a short tempo workout - but also cause for me to not look forward to it.  Plus, I couldn't get out until after work, so that leads me to think/stew/dwell on the workout all day. 

I put on my new CW-X revolution tights (shipped to me specifically for the race, LOVE CW-X!), race socks, and Brooks racing flats.  This could very well be what I'm wearing on race day - fun to visualize that.  I made my way out the door and started on the warm-up.

I immediately knew it'd be a fun day.  The legs are really coming around!  They feel quick (no extra time on the ground), strong, and efficient.  I know I complained in my earlier post about the metabolism slow-down that comes with a taper - which is not fun at all - but legs that feel like this make it totally worth it.

Workout goal: 5x1000m at tempo effort, 2 min rest.  My personal goal was 5:50 pace for the first one and then bringing it down a second or so each repeat - practicing bringing down the pace.

Actual: 5x1000m in 3:34 (5:46 pace), 3:31 (5:40 pace), 3:30 (5:38 pace), 3:30 (5:39 pace), 3:25 (5:31 pace).

The first one I found myself checking my watch every 30 seconds or so.  Am I under 5:50?  I finished in 5:46 pace - perfect - but then decided to ditch the watch.  It's dumb to be a slave to the watch like that, I should be running on feel not on what the watch says.  It helped that it was getting dark so if I wanted to check pace/distance I'd have to hit the back-light.

I then focused on running quick, up tempo, and smooth.  I concentrated on bringing air into my lungs, feeling the coolness of the night, and swinging my arms ahead of me (I've become a little sloppy lately).  Low and behold - 5:40 and below pace came to me!

Obviously, I know the reason these paces were do-able tonight was that I had less than 20 minutes of tempo work, with plenty of rest.  My marathon pace goals won't change.  BUT what this workout did give me was the reassurance that my legs ARE there, I am fit and fast, and I should truly be able to race on Sunday (if you've ever "forced" a race on fatigued legs before, you can imagine my fear of running the streets of NY trying to get the legs to MOVE!).  I am SOOOOO excited.

Just 100 minutes of running between now and Sunday.  Wow... 

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!

4 comments:

  1. Congrats on a confidence-building and speedy workout! In a previous post, you mentioned mentally breaking down the race into smaller segments. Can you please write a little more about that? It makes sense but I am not sure how exactly it works!! Best of luck at NYC!!

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  2. Hi! Are you running NYC as well? Mentally, I try to segment the marathon into 4 different pieces, each with a different goal and each with different "coping thoughts" (phrase from Dr. Asp). Obviously, the goals and phrases will be different for everyone depending on your strengths/weaknesses/what you've used in workouts, etc. Plus, it depends on the nature of the race... for NYC my main goal is to zone out for the first segment, stick to the back of a pack (so I'm not running alone), focusing on efficiency and smoothness. Dr. Asp records a CD that walks me through the marathon with these goals/thoughts - I listen to it a ton and they become ingrained. It's pretty cool, actually. The nice thing about segmenting the race is that toward the end of the race I'm just thinking in smaller increments - so instead of thinking that there are 8 miles left, I just have to focus on something for 3 miles or so (or whatever the length of the segment). Does this make sense? Let me know, I'm happy to help! My mental prep has helped a ton in my ability to race.

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  3. Good luck in New York. I definitely have that race on my bucket list. Would love if you posted about how the city looks and feels after the race. I have seen a few segments on the news about all the potential post-sandy problems the race could have. I hope it is a great one for you! Stay safe!

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  4. nice workout and good luck! i'll be in nyc cheering!

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