TCM Race report

2:51.26, chip time

1st Minnesota Woman, 20th Woman overall

Gee... where do I even start with this?

Guess I'll start with the new diet plan, which started the Monday. Per Jerry, I decided to try the 3 day no-carb, 3 day all-carb diet. I've tried the 3 day all-carb diet before, and felt like that made a big differnce.

So, for M-Wed, I ate only salad, chix breast, egg whites, peanuts and celery w/ peanut butter. Yuck. I watched my weight and didn't lose anything (on purpose -- not easy to get all of the calories you need through protein/fat alone). By Tuesday, I felt sort of sick after my easy run. I wondered if it was because I had eaten a hot dog (no bun) and celery for supper. Not anything I typically eat, and not remotely healthy, but I was in a hurry & didn't have anything else quick to eat. By Wed, though, on a healthier diet day, I felt TERRIBLE. It was a 3x1200 m at tempo pace (6:05-6:15) workout. I think I wrote a blog after that... I felt awful. My head was fuzzy, my breathing was heavy, and my legs felt like they had run a marathon.

Day Thur-Sat: All carbs. LOVED this stage. I looked forward to the next time I could eat a bagel with either jam or cinamon and sugar or fruit or oatmeal. I didn't miss the protein or fat at all.

Fast forward to race day. Nate drops me off around 7 am for an 8:00 finish. I head to the elite staging area (a church), and proceed with all of the normal stuff: bathroom, stretching, little bit of warm up.

The gun goes off. I look at my watch at .5 miles. 6:15 pace. Really? This feels absolutely effortless. I know that's the way MP is supposed to feel on race day, but I have a few doubts. I find out 1/3 mile later that those doubts are real... I pass the mile course mile in 6:5x. "WHAT?!?!?", I exclaimed to the guy next to me. This can't be right. It's probably off & they'll correct the mile markers by mile 2.

So, I paced myself (per the watch) to a 6:40 next mile. My rationale: 6:15 1st mile, 6:40 next = an average less than 6:30, which was the goal.

Problem is that the first mile market WAS right.

After I realized this 2 miles in, I had a really hard time feeling 6:30 pace. The 3rd mile I really struggled.

After 3, though, I was set. I owned 6:28s-6:29s. I know I've said it before, but I am SO blessed to be such a good pacer. Seriously, without effort, I'd look down. 6:29? Cool!

Problem is, when you're a minute behind the 8-ball from the start... when should you start to make it up? I decided not to worry about it for now, and to try to make up the difference in the last 10k or so.

So I cruised. 6:30s or below for the next 18-20 miles. I took gels at exactly the right time (5 during the race, 1 before), and drank more water than I usually do. The combination kept the dizziness away, and kept me feeling sharp and strong. Note for next time: take gels earlier, and more often than you think necessary.

Then came the 10k to go mark. At this point I honestly was looking forward to a nap. Is this normal? Honestly, I get sleepy at this point in a marathon, and I have no idea why (or if this is anything anyone else feels?). Has the caffeine in my gels worn off? I shake if off, and charge ahead. This is the part of the race I OWN. I'm usally a really, really strong finisher.

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!

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