Watchless! And a "No Freaking Way!" Exclamation!

My training partners don't let me wear a watch on my hard workouts anymore. Rightly so. Since I've been without it, I've slowly built more confidence and paces have been - dare I say it - getting darn close to goal :).

Today's workout: 3x1 mile at tempo, 10 miles easy, 3x1 mile at T. WU and CD for 20-ish miles.

I met Pat for the first three. It's so nice to have help with these workouts. Knowing I had him lined up to help with the first set allowed me to step out of the house and warm up to the starting location without a single thought about how long the workout was going to be, how much it was going to hurt, etc.

After a brief minute or two of stretching (or stalling...hahaha), we were off. Just stick on his tire, I thought. Concentrate on the quick patter of your feet.

1st rep: 5:48. YES!

2nd rep I could feel fatigue in my quads already. Rut-roh. This early? Oh gosh, it's going to be a long day. Keep your feet light and quick, Nichole. Elbows moving straight back, just keep on Pat's wheel.

2nd rep: 5:47!!!

Then the 3rd rep: 5:52! I asked if we could turn at half way for this one. Just needed something different mentally. May not have been the quickest thing to do, but it was nice mentally to split the last rep into two halves.

Pat and I then parted ways. I knew the worst was ahead of me.

So what does my brain do? Tells me that it would be WONDERFUL to run back home and NAP until I was supposed to meet Craig for the 2nd set.

What the heck?!? Where did my brain get that idea? And why is it saying these things out loud? Grr. Except I guess I do get sleepy-tired after any hard effort. Is that weird? (Comment here to let me know I'm not totally weird... or maybe I am)

Oh, so sleepy... :)
Anyway, I obviously didn't listen and instead ventured back to my house to instead grab a water bottle and log a few more easy miles. Then off to meet Craig for the second half of the workout.

Once I picked him up we did about a half hour easy run. I only looked at my watch once and saw 8:30 mile pace. Good thing Craig was okay with that, I'm not sure I could have gone much faster. What's worse is that about a mile and half from the start of our repeats I had a harder time controlling my legs. My right hip (my bad hamstring side) has been acting up lately and when it does, my right leg is all clumsy like. I was NOT at all optimistic about the upcoming hard miles.... to say the least.

Plus, I know, from having done multiple cycles, that I have a really hard time holding pace for the later tempo mile sets. Typically my paces always slow to MP and sometimes slower than MP (which has caused me to stop on some of them - a little discouraging when you see that slow of a pace on your watch).

But luckily, Craig doesn't let me run with a watch and we just went to work. Mike, another guy from his work, was there to join us for portions of the repeats, which was really nice. It provides that much more distraction :)

Anyway... I won't bore you with more details, other than I nailed those last three.

4th, 5th and 6th reps: 5:53, 5:48 (! That's when I had my hands over my head GASPING for breath and I excitedly uttered "No Freaking Way!" to Craig :)), 5:52.

I am pretty excited about hitting paces like these even when my legs were coming undone. Tempo pace is usually 20 seconds a mile faster than marathon pace, and 6:12.9 per mile in the marathon would give me a 2:42:59. :)

I survival jogged back home to finish up 21.5 miles for the morning. I am beyond pumped. Thank you Pat, Craig, and Mike for the help!! What a fun workout!

Now, on to four very SLOW shakeout miles this evening. And when I say slow, I mean SLOW :).

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!

3 comments:

  1. Nichole - you really are an inspiration. I run intervals at your marathon pace. Every time I feel like I'm about to face plant on the treadmill I tell myself that if Nichole can run for almost three hours at this pace, that surely I can do it for 30 seconds. I wish you all the best in Chicago!

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  2. Dang girl! You never cease to amaze me! You totally owned that workout! I can't even imagine how stoked you were :) How did the 4m shake out feel? That's so much running in one day! Hope you got a nap sometime. I'm attempting my first tempo in a while today, only 2x2, to test out my glute, but I'm pretty excited. I'll have to summon my inner Nichole and do work! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  3. Great workout yesterday! Almost makes me wish I could come along for the whole thing, ...almost. Great picture selection for this post by the way.

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