Planning Session with Jerry!

There are 20 week between now and Chicago.

As Jerry reminded me, 20 weeks of opportunity to try to craft myself into the best marathoner I can be.

He came prepared - as prepared as he has ever been.  The first thing he showed me was a pace chart.  I brought it closer.  What?!?

"Jerry, " I pleaded, "I haven't even run a 10 mile under 60 minutes... how is it possible to put two of them back to back in a marathon?"  I am all about shooting high, but this is downright crazy talk.  Especially since I've been "stuck" at this 6:00-5 tempo, 6:20ish marathon pace for a long time.  Oh, and not to mention a 2:50 finish this weekend.  There are, simply put, limits to what the human body can do.  And I know that.

But he refuses to acknowledge that.  He had an agenda this Wednesday, and it was to talk me into believing in the impossible.  The two of us, both I consider blue-collar, under the radar, true under-dog people, locking arms for a true battle these next 20 weeks.

I thought about it a lot after we met.  I thought over the things we were going to refine for this next cycle.  I don't know if there is a lot of low hanging fruit, but I'm working off of a great base from this Spring and am smarter about how to go about a lot of the little things.  Yeah, Fargo wasn't super speedy, but it wasn't terrible by any means, and it wasn't until the end of the cycle that I started to get stronger and faster. So I'm coming around. More to come about the details of our "plan" tomorrow :).

I thought about his pace chart, which is now taped up in our kitchen along with his email that says, "It isn't that you lack speed... it's that you think 5:30 miles are fast.  I've seen you run, you have great mechanics... you are faster than you think". Both prominently displayed.  I have the email memorized and think about it during my hard workouts. You have good mechanics.  You are faster than you think.

I emailed him the next day to say, "I'm in."  

I'm also going to print this picture to post alongside:

Lauren F breaking 15 minutes in a 5k.  See that look of utter happiness?  So awesome.

I'm in because I don't want to have regrets.  The only way to see what you're made of is to take a leap of faith.  I have the time to completely focus on the goal ahead.  I just have to want it more than anything.  I'll never forget the staring contest between Jerry and myself over this pace chart.  Me, looking for a sign of doubt in his eyes.  For him to fold.  Except his eyes were so powerful -- and full of belief.  I haven't seen anything like it, perhaps ever?

This will likely mean a lot of "failed" workouts in the coming months, but he is coaching me to just try to hold on to his paces as long as possible.  Let go of the watch and ask myself internally if I can handle more.


So... here it goes!  20 weeks.  You with me? :)  #teamnichole

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. I'm excited to follow along with you on this adventure! Good luck! I'm cheering for you from Alaska!!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle! You'll have to let me know if you're ever in MN!

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  2. *Breaking 15 minutes, I believe.

    More short and fast speed sessions I presume?

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    1. 15 minutes indeed! Yeah, a short block of easy mileage with striders, then a short speed block (much needed). Should be interesting... :)

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