Learnin' to Fly

There was a dead bird on the side of the track today.  A very pretty bird, really.  Black and white patterned.  Smaller in size.  A couple of feathers were strewn a few inches from his (or her) body.

I wondered how he died.  I mean, really, that's a pretty odd place to find your end.  Think about it.  Did he just die mid-air and fall to the inside of the metal lane barrier?  Perhaps he choked on something or had a heart attack mid-flight.  Oddly, I pictured him running into a tennis racket and crumbling down onto the track.  How the tennis racket would get onto the track, who would be holding it, and why the bird would run into the racket, I'm not sure.

But, I digress.  I was at the track this afternoon, attempting my first speed session.  Alive and well, healthy and able-bodied. 

Craig was nice enough to accompany me for all TWENTY of my repeats.  I am so thankful for him and the fact that he's always up for these crazy workouts. He also really knows me, my tendencies, my form, etc - so can do a wonderful job of coaching me through tough sessions like this.  Exactly what I need, as I need to be digging every second of ability out of me!!

I'm happy to report that even though I didn't hit my goal times, not even once, that I gave a complete, full effort.  Every repeat I'd reset my brain, telling myself  that "I have this!  This is your repeat!".  Craig and I would talk about different ways to try to move faster - driving with the legs both forward and back, pumping with the elbows (I was straining a lot this workout, trying to get myself to MOVE! So my form was not as relaxed and efficient as it should have been). 

At about 8 repeats in, I had one where the legs came completely off.  I could tell I was recruiting muscle fibers that I wasn't used to using, and they were already really fatigued!  Weird feeling when you can't get your legs to move any faster, despite constant messaging from your brain.  I felt clumsy and well - slow :).

All in all, a great first day back!  I'm excited to do a longer VO2 max session on Friday. 

And as for the bird, I think it was great symbolism.  Learn to fly, or die trying :)

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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