U of MN Race
17:55, 1st place (lapped the field). Not much to say about it other than I absolutely need to learn how to "hurt" in a short distance race! Yes, I was uncomfortable, but I can hurt so much more. I also need to find some speed. I tried to pick it up those last 6 laps, which was my goal, but I'm embarrassed to say there was no change in pace :(. Grr. Guess you have to just keep trying, working on those weaknesses, right?
The good that came out of the race: I can run a sub 18 5k without too much trouble. I was solo from the gun, so to run that without anyone (17:52 indoors in 2011 was with a few people the entire time - which obviously helps a ton) is great. I also just felt strong & fit. It's also good to know I have more in me & that 17:55 is my starting point!
Next race won't be for another month, so plenty of time to work on things, get stronger, and get faster!
Training in General
Since leaving Red Wing, I have realized just how much work I need to do in order to get back to my 2:44 days, much less my upcoming 2:42 days! While working I was still putting in the miles, but many were just junk miles, just getting them in and getting the workout done. I was often skipping strength, stretching, etc.
I am surprised at the things I notice now - I'm not strong like I should be, my balance strength is non-existent, and I really need to focus on my VO2 max, speed, and pace changes. I'm glad now to know all of this, and have the time to actively work on all of those weaknesses! I honestly think that if I would have stayed at Red Wing that I would have just run myself even more ragged and not been able to get into that low-2:40 marathon range. Either that, or ended up injured because I was trying to do too much with too little.
But, now I have every opportunity in the world to reverse that! I've had to work on my schedule (seems silly, but I need to schedule my day every day in order to maximize my workouts, strength sessions, flexibility, massage, making meals, etc) since now that I'm not running from place to place without a second to spare the tendency is to waste a little too much time. Plus, I need to schedule time in between workouts to maximize recovery.
The nicest thing has been doing my runs 1. not rushed, and 2. not half-asleep! The other day I went for a 10 miler in the morning and marveled at the snow on the rooftops coming into Northfield from a country run. It was beautiful! Previously, I would just have run those 10 miles with a mission - to finish quickly & get back to my desk/meeting as quickly as possible. I don't think I've taken the time to see the beauty around me, appreciate how I feel running in a LONG time. Secondly, I am not incredibly sleep deprived every single run. My head is clear and I can concentrate on the workout SOO much better. Amazing. Ohhh, how I remember some of those lunch-time runs when I tried to do repeats with a head that just wanted to lie down for a nap. I'd struggle to start repeats (you know that feeling, when your brain isn't working properly?). Gosh, it's SO nice to actually be sleeping enough.
The other thing is that I have time to spend with Nathan and family. Seriously. It is amazing, and I am so thankful for the opportunity and time to actually enjoy a movie, date night, or general family stuff now!!
So, as you can tell, this move has been so much for the better. Running happy, that's for sure!
Oh - also tried this Protein Apple Bake recipe today and really liked it! Great warm post-workout recipe (and very quick, too), but also great as a healthy dessert! Need to find more filling, sastisfying, and warm post-workout or snacks. I've been using Sunwarrior protein powder and really like it - making things like protein pancakes (see recipe tab), Kristi's protein shake (need to work on it a bit, I think), but I'm sure there are a lot of great ideas out there!
It has been super fun to start this process! I took an online "Running for Women" webinar the other day, which was super informative. I've signed up for a physiology online course that starts this upcoming Monday and a few other coaching courses throughout the year (check out MOOC!).
I also met with Donna at Carleton and will start to become more involved with the teams there. She is SO great & I am very excited to learn under her (and Dave, the men's head coach).
Also, I have to gush about Claire - I started coaching her in January and she is honestly kicking some serious booty, improving quicker than should be humanly possible. It is so rewarding to get fun emails on progress and improvements!! (Now just have to keep her and the other athletes I'm working with HEALTHY!) Again, I haven't gotten around to setting up a coaching tab here on this blog, and not sure if I want to right away since I only want to work with a handful of athletes, coaching more hands-on/quality vs. quantity, but if you have considered working with a coach and think I might be a good fit, send me a note at nichole (dot) porath (at) gmail.com.
All for now! Run happy, friends!
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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