This week I had two hard tempo efforts planned. The first workout: 2x4 miles with 2 miles easy in between. Long WU and CD. Goal is 5:55-6:00.
Actual: workout as above with 30 sec "catch your breath" rest halfway into each segment, to help keep the pace higher. Even with that, my fastest miles were in 6:02, and a lot of them were in 6:10. Before Grandma's in '11 I was at 6:10s for a while, but think it was around 7 weeks to go that I dropped that to 6:00s consistently... so I'm hoping it's there! (For Grandma's '11 I then dropped to 5:50 tempo the last 3 weeks)
The second hard workout was with the GAC men's team on Friday. They have their annual 9 mile all-out effort scheduled and I was invited to come down to campus to speak at their early camp about training, goal setting, and nutrition - and also to do the workout with the men :). Since I'm in need of longer tempo workouts (and love opportunities to speak and help younger, motivated runners), I happily accepted the invitation!
Workout plan: 8 miles at 6-6:05. Actual: 9 miles (I wasn't going to cut it a mile short!) in 6:29 pace. Thank you to the men who helped push me through this! At 3.5 miles my brain was telling me there was no way I'd be able to make it to 9. But, I told myself to keep at it for another mile... and then another... and when you have just 2 to go, you have to just suck it up and gut it out :). Plus, I had my pride on the line. No one wants to be "that old woman" that jumps into a college guy's workout and stops part way through, doesn't finish, or doesn't finish fast!! :)
(BTW: the GAC men's team looks so much stronger this year than last. It will be really fun to watch! Kudos to both men's and women's teams for really putting in their homework this summer!)
Per Daniels, an effort of 60 minutes for my ability adds about 20 seconds/mile above typical tempo pace.
So, as you can see, I'm consistently at a 6:10 tempo pace... which I know corresponds to a 6:30 MP finish. Here's hoping the same Grandma's transformation happens to the legs in the next week or two (or just anytime before Chicago, I'm not picky on when... but it'd be nice to have a couple of weeks to start nailing workouts to help boost my confidence!)
I have until the end of this week to sign up for Chicago. I talked to Nate about that deadline... I don't feel ready. Chicago is a race I need to foot the bill for the entry fee for (the only one that I know of that doesn't offer comps... unless you're a 2:30s female). It's not a lot, but it's enough for me to not want to register without truly wanting to race/be ready. Nate and I already have plane tickets, as do my mother- and siter-in-laws... so I'm pretty sure I should just send in my registration. I'm just hesitant about it, I think because I know I'm not where I need to be. But, as my wonderful husband points out, I just need one good day. One cool, overcast, slightly-rainy day where my legs feel good and everything comes together. I still have 6ish weeks. If you wait to race until you feel ready, you'd certainly almost never race.
Has anyone raced Chicago before? I've been told the cheering is sparse from mile 21-25. That's nice to be mentally prepared for. Any other tips on the course, logistics, etc? Any tips for Nate (and others!) on getting around and cheering?
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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