Instead of racing today...
It wasn't a regular training run. I was meeting 4 very fast women - Amy Hastings and Kim Smith (Olympians in the 10k and marathon, respectively), as well as Michelle Frey (Minneapolis!!) and Katie DiCamillo (10ker who was going to debut here in NY). I was nervous, not going to lie. My goal was to hang on as long as possible.
We started our first mile in 7:10 or so. I showed my watch to Nate and that point and raised my eyebrows. This pace is very foreign to me and take a lot of effort. My long stuff is typically 8 min/mile, and MP is 6:05 or so -- stuff in between feels awkward (and feels fast).
I warmed into the pace with them - down to 6:20s or faster. Ironically, paces like that feel more normal to me (perhaps because it's closer to race pace for me, so isn't in that weird "in between" world). They were out for an easy jog, I was definitely working.
At mile 4, I told myself to hang on until mile 10 or 12. As the miles clicked along (they go by fast when you're running 6:00 pace!), I kept telling myself, "Just a mile or two more!". I was able to hold on for 15 miles. I'm really proud of that. The last mile of the 15 miler was in 6:09 pace... not too shabby. Kim, Michelle, Katie, and Amy went 22 miles. I had to duck out after 15 with them, doing 20.5 mile total (the last 5.5 were very slow).
After the run I gobbled down a lot of great food (yeah, organics! the hospitality suite is first class) then got dressed for a dinner. That was also really cool. I met Janet Balcom (10k Olympian), who is also one of the nicest people I've met. That's been a fun theme of the weekend. I have met the NICEST, most humble people. I am so thankful for the opportunity.
Dinner was awesome - steak, dessert, drinks. I allowed myself to splurge, eating everything that was put in front of myself. I'm overly stuffed now (uncomfortable feeling!), but I know I needed that... just a little reprieve. Since I'll likely be racing in 4 weeks, I know I'll need to start watching things after this week. But it's nice to have a vacation :)
Have to ask again... if anyone has Sacramento contacts, let me know (or anyone nearby)! I'd love to stay with someone if I can!
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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