Mooove over Chicago, I have dreams to achieve!

Time for an update!

Nate's poster! Very encouraging, right?
Let's start with the beginning of the week. It wasn't very pretty. Monday's 6 mile run felt good to start but by mile 5, my legs became clumsy and I was really straining to keep moving. What?!? I thought ahead to the marathon... gosh, there's NO way! I can hardly make my legs turn over now, much less at mile 24!

Tuesday's 6 miles in the morning felt almost the same way. Not quite as ugly, but not nearly what 6 miles should be. So, I opted out of the PM's optional 4 mile run. I would never do this... so you know the last two days weren't good.

Wednesday I had company for my 2 mile @ GMP. Pat came, even though I wasn't dire for a pacer (vs. those 6-8 mile tempo workouts of the past!) - mostly just to have that one last "huh-rah!" workout with me :). So awesome. Craig and Anders were also there. What did I finish my 2 miles in 12:26 (Per Pat, I didn't run with a watch so I could internalize the pace). I told him he pressed stop a few tenths of a second too slow - that really we came in at 12:25.8 (6:12.9 is the standard's mile pace). :). Although perfectly paced (I can not BELIEVE how my internal clock has somehow learned this pace, despite doing so little training at it!)

Pat and I talked about my legs and we agreed that it didn't matter. All it takes is one day.

I decided to take Thursday completely off. It wasn't scheduled (although, I usually take the Thur or Fri off before a marathon - so the fact that there wasn't one scheduled was a new change anyway.

I went in to see Jim for one last adjustment and for him to work on that hip muscle that is oh-so-bugging me. I also went in for one last massage at Willow Creek to try to loosen the hips and increase blood flow to the legs.

So - fast forward to Friday, 2 days before the race. Nate and I made it to Chicago thanks to a ride to the airport from a friend and a quick Spirit Airlines flight. I was actually impressed with the airline (haven't flown them before), although Nate lamented the lack of leg room :). Obviously, not something that is even on my radar. Ha.

Rocking the CW-X compression on the flight! Oh, and a few other Brooks things as well :)
Friday was a short 30 min run with 4 striders. I felt like flying. YES! Hip was actually as good as it's been.  Still some pain with each stride, but I was actually able to forget about it for most of the run.  THANK YOU, GENIUS JIM! Hopefully the leg clumsiness (which I know comes on after 30 minutes...) has left the legs! I can tell they have an enormous amount of energy built up in them. I had a hard time falling asleep last night because of them!

Friday afternoon was filled with the Expo and catching up with the mother- and sister-in-law who are both out here cheering for me (awesome).

On the Chicago bus down to the expo. Yes, this is the same outfit I flew in. Don't judge :)
The expo. I got goosebumps when entering!
Nate, his mom,and sister. Planning their attack for Friday. So studious looking!
I'm bib #186 in case you want to sign up for runner tracking!

Now, the rest of my cheer crew herd is about to arrive at the apartment. How fun :). They're trecking from Northfield and Red Wing, complete with 6 BIKES and more than a few awesome cow costumes for cheering.

I've been asked the significance of the cow costumes. Here's the (not-so-short) story.

Jessica, my sister-in-law has cheered for the last 5 Birkiebiners (ski marathon) in the suit. There are a ton of cow-bells on the course, but no cows! Obviously, the course needs some cow cheerleaders.

THEN, the in-laws found a cow suit for Mesa. So I decided to cheer with Mesa at the Birkie Trail Marathon. We were a hit.

And THEN, since I was a little stressed about the whole Chicago-thing, when friends proposed cheering for Chicago, on bikes, in COW costumes, I immediately knew that's what I needed to lighten the mood.

And, so - the rest will be history. Because  honestly, even if I'm hurting REALLY bad at mile 24, I can't slow down. After all, I made all of these people drive to, and bike all around Chicago. And in cow suits, nonetheless! Plus, I love that it just brings more laughs and embodies everything non-pressure and fun that I could possibly ask for :).

I trust that my legs are ready, and my heart is ready to push through any of that pain that might get in my way of a OTQ time. I'm ready to lay it all out there on the line. If it's there, I intend to grab it :). Mooove over Chicago, I have dreams to achieve :).

Nate's Friday night meal from Five Guys. Wow, that looks so great... I meanwhile, had oatmeal, bagels, and strawberry jam. Yummmm, carbs!

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!


  1. My husband would so be eating the burger and I the healthy foods.

    I'm glad you clarified the cow costume thing; I was a little confused by that.

    Wishing you all the best for a speedy race on Sunday!! Go get 'em!!

  2. hahahaa, oh my, I LOVE the cow costumes. It is so awesome to have such a great cheer squad with you on the course. That will give you the extra oomph when you go through those rough patches. You are going to be awesome and I can't wait to see your results of all of your hard work. I am all signed up for runner tracking so know that you have fans here in AZ cheering you on! Go get it girl!!! XO

  3. You got it girl! Show that pavement who's Boss! The body achieves what the mind believes and I KNOW you believe in yourself, as do so many others :) Super good luck... even though you don't need it!

  4. Passed Chick Fil A in Coon Rapids. They had a person in a cow suit outside! Immediately thought of you and running Chicago witth your herd! Good Luck!