Race Recap In Pictures

Meet Matt.  2:43 marathoner at Chicago this fall.  I can't imagine how long the race would have felt without him for the first 1:45.
Matt and I taking a turn together early in the race.  My mistake early on was trying to take these corners tight and fast (vs. not caring and running out in lane 2 - and I also tried not to lose speed coming out of them).  This would cost me!  
The best part of this marathon is the bond you form with the other racers.  In no other race do you get to know each other so well! (helped in part by the name you put on your back so everyone learns names as you come up behind or pass someone)  I was so thankful for all of the cheering and encouragement.  Suzy, pictured here, was the best - there were so many excited "You have this, girlfriend!" and "You're my inspiration!" cheers!
2:15 hours into the race.  Not in the greatest of places.  Ever run hard just for the sake of running hard?  Without a clear finish line (well, there obviously is one, but I really had no idea how far or close I was from it)?  It's an entirely different mental challenge.  [I can't help but make two unrelated comments: 1. This really shows how much stronger I've become in the last two years. Cool! 2. It does beg the question, though... did I miss my true calling as a gymnast?]
I try to analyze form, and two things stick out at me in this and the above photo: 1. arm swing isn't terrible but can be better, and 2. I don't have hip drop on either side when I land, which is good.  I've had to really work on this, since my right side isn't as strong (old hamstring injury) and that glute used to give in when I landed.  Means I need to keep it up with the glute/hamstring exercises!  Any other observations?  Hard to pick anything out from stills, I realize...

David - my pacer late in the race.  It made me realize how much easier it is to work with/off of someone late in a race when your brain isn't fully working.  Need to take that into consideration for my fall race/OTQ attempt plans...
1 lap to go!  See the hint of a smile and a "I have this!" look?!?  Note that I ran most of the race out in lane 2 - and a bit in lane 3 as well.  Wonder how far my 26.2 actually was?  Any math guru's out there?
And done!!  There's a guy in the far background with his fist in the air for me.  That's how AWESOME the crowd was for this!  As brutal as an indoor marathon is, I will say, you will NEVER become as close to the people you're competing with as in an indoor race.  It almost makes me want to consider doing it again... wait, no... that would not be a good idea...
That great pulsating feeling post-marathon. Know what I'm talking about?
Now, on to a blister update, since this has been the highlight of most news stories.  Here was the initial look.  I'll have to clean up those racing flats before Fargo :). Or Nate said that I didn't have to and would just look hard core at any future races :).  I also think the flats cut me up more than I would have expected because I'm heavier now than for a typical focus race.  This pair fits me so well when I'm at peak shape race weight - when I'm heavier, my feet widen and lengthen a bit.  So, I think I'll get another pair, 1/2 size bigger, and use them at different times of the year.

Day 1.  More red and weeping a lot. So gross. Sorry to have made you lose your lunch again (that'll teach you to continue to follow this blog!).

Day 2.  Better!  You can see that there are still some "fingerprints" on a lot of it, so that's good (or are they "foot prints?"). Also not as wet as yesterday.  It's relatively dry until I start to get up and move, and then it starts dripping junk. The feet swell then, too.  So - all the more incentive to stay off of it (so it can heal from the outside in) and keep it clean.  Uncovered during the day, covered anytime I need to be up and walking, and covered at night.  If ANYONE has any tips on how to make sure this heals asap, seriously, PLEASE comment here.  (things like - make sure to flex the foot to stretch out the skin that's healing over it so when I go back to normal movement it won't crack). I told Nate last night that if I needed to bathe it in hydrogen peroxide for hours, do anything else that would prove to be ridiculously painful but help it heal faster that I didn't care.  I just want to get over this quickly and not have it affect my training/stride/etc!
One other random comment:  As I was reflecting on this race, thinking about what went well, what didn't, etc, I scolded myself for giving in to the pain coming from that blister.  I allowed that sensation (pain) to consume the majority of my thoughts for a large portion of time (oh, another turn... this is going to hurt!).  I work a lot on my ability to manage pain while racing, and know that I simply can't allow myself to dwell on things like that.  Pain is simply a sensation telling you something.  Recognize it and then put it out of your mind.

Plus, how bad did it really hurt? It was just a blister after all (the right foot is also blistered, but about 1/4 the size and didn't open, so didn't bother me).  So I started scolding myself for not being as hard core as I know I can be - but then looked down and gave myself a break.  Because I think it did really hurt, and maybe I'm actually lucky that I didn't start favoring that leg and doing funny things with my stride (limp).

So - there you have it!  I hope to be at the next ZYY marathon - as a spectator :).  Thanks for the fun comments here and through email - each one has made my day!  And I'm not kidding about blister advice - please share!

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!

9 comments:

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  2. Nichole you did awesome! The blister is awful-but I wonder if it's related to the extra pressure from all the turns, not excess weight or shoes-related....food for thought. Enjoy your record!

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  3. Lots of fun watching you win this race from 6 (?) miles back!! Good luck with your future training and continued strong results.

    Rob (#27 on Sunday)

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  4. Yay for your foot slowly starting to heal! Keep it super clean, and time should do the rest. This break is not a bad thing :)

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  5. Hey Nichole!
    My name is Krista Nelson and I'm a podiatrist and a runner and I'm from Northfield. My parents mentioned the indoor marathon at Olaf the other weekend and I want to first congratulate you on the record! You're an inspiration to me, a former collegiate runner at Luther. I had a mediocre career in college but have gotten faster since my college days... Anyways, enough about running. Here is my advice for your foot: first and foremost keep it covered with a big bandage or gauze and antibiotic ointment. A moist wound heals faster (ignore the old notion to "dry it out". Secondly, do NOT apply peroxide. It's way to harsh on the fragile new skin. Of course, you know the obvious to try to stay off of it but I know that's hard when you're an avid runner. So try to follow the first two. :) Let me know if you have any other questions! Good luck!

    Krista Nelson

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    1. Krista! I'm so glad you found me here!! It's actually healed really well - quicker than I ever thought, I think because I did keep it covered/clean, etc. Interesting you mention the "dry it out" philosophy because there was one time I was near a space heater that I decided to do just that... 10 minutes later I got up and realized that was not a good idea :)

      Anyway - curious your thoughts on today's post/pic -- although it looks good, I'm assuming the tissue that has just healed won't like the pounding of running? What are your thoughts on a safe return-to-running time frame? I was thinking that I could elliptical tomorrow (using the foot as a "club", basically, not really using it at all other than to keep the machine moving). Running - maybe early next week? Oh, I would be SO excited!

      When did you run for Luther? Do you still run around town now? Perhaps we could meet for an easy run? I'd seriously love to do that!!!

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  6. To keep it covered with a large bandage or gauze and antibiotic ointment

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  7. Nichole,
    Glad it has healed up well!! I think once it stops looking red and raw, you're good to go. A blister is actually separation of the epidermis from the dermis and tissue that you see now is dermis and is somewhat fragile and tender.
    I graduated from Luther in 2005. I loved running there but I never was very happy with my performances during my collegiate career.
    I don't live in Northfield anymore (in St. Louis, MO now) but I come back to visit my folks a lot and would love to run with you on your easy days. My race distance of choice is the half marathon now and my P.R. is 1:22 which I ran last fall in the Rock n Roll half marathon in STL. My goal time is sub 1:20. So I'm hoping I can maybe keep up with your easy pace? :)

    Again, so glad to connect with another runner! You're awesome!

    Krista

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    1. Shoot me an email (nichole (dot) porath (at) gmail (dot) com whenever you're in town. My easy days are really relaxed (usually 8:00/mile) & I would love the company (seriously!!).

      We probably competed against each other in college - I was a 2005 GAC grad! Small world :)

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