Weekly Update - Long Overdue!

There has been a lot happening lately!

The finished product! 2 years worth of car rides :)
Closer up! Yes, every inch is stitched!!

Sierra wanted to help me as I finished Violet's stocking. Her help lowered my "productivity" by about 90% :). Note the saying on her shirt? "Dream Big"!
Training Updates:

I’ve started PT for my right glute and hamstring which is really helping. My right glute hasn’t been firing, causing the hamstring to do most of the work when running. My pelvis is also tilted because of the imbalance, which was causing the tender spot at the top of the hip. 

When you’ve logged a lot of miles, I’ve found that you’re generally “strong” and when something stops working right, other things are strong enough to compensate (at least in the short term). I feel like the right hamstring and quad were on the verge of a true injury, though, so I’m glad I went in and am on top of it!

I’ve been running for ~2 weeks now.
Week 1: The first week didn’t go very well. Chris gave me just 3 runs to do: a 3 miler, a 5 miler, and a 7 miler. The “off” days I was to do a strength circuit or gym lifting. The 3 miler was glorious (blog here). 2 days later I attempted to motivate myself to get out for my 5 miler after getting home from a couple of appointments during the day. I absolutely didn’t want to head out. I argued with myself: it always feels better once you’re out there and done, so let’s just start! But, 5 miles is a really long way.  Remember the last 5 miler you did pre-NYC? Bad memories flooded back of just struggling to finish those “easy” 4-5 mile runs... oh, this is not going to be fun… But you don’t want to tell Chris that you skipped the 2nd workout he gave you!

What do you think I did?

I didn’t go out. I made a wonderful dinner and did the dishes and laundry instead and didn’t regret my decision at all – cooking and cleaning was a lot of fun! I’m such a housewife now – when did this happen??

I have nothing immediately on my plate, so pushing myself to start training sooner than my brain wants to just isn’t necessary. I have to say I am surprised at how long I’ve taken to recover from this training/racing block – it’s never taken me longer than a week! I wrote Chris in complete honestly – I’m a firm believer in open communication, and the more info I give him the better he can adjust things to help me be successful.

I did the 5 miler the next day, and after another day off I made it through the 7 miler. I ran with Nate, and he asked me a couple times if I was okay to keep going after my right leg hit my left fairly hard during the run. The hamstring also gave out a couple of times. Sigh. BUT, the legs didn’t “come undone” like they have in the past, so there was at least one success!

Week 2: This week included another 7 miler, but this time followed by a 5 miler the next day. My first 2 days in a row! Yikes! I am proud to say that both runs went really, really well!!! The longer run was slow, as I’m trying to keep my HR at 165 bpm (I think that has been easier for me than straining for a certain pace). I expected my legs to struggle through the 5 miler the next day, but they didn’t. In fact, for the first time, I felt a little bit of that “Nichole spring” in the legs. I wasn’t worrying about staying upright or my right leg crashing into the left! The pace was quicker as well (8:00 miles, wa-hoo!) with the same HR effort. I am still smiling about these two runs :) !!!

After a day off today, I get to try 8 or 9 tomorrow. I am SO excited! Wish me luck!

Life Updates:
I went home this week to spend time with my sister and nieces visiting from Denver.

The first stop: the Marshall Lyon-County Library! I worked there in high-school. It was fun to bring the girls there to hang out!
I was able to go to the Brookings SD Children's Museum with my mom, sister, and nieces (Sierra, 4, Violet, 11 months). It’s a great place to go! There are a lot of different rooms with “themes” and each one captured their attention. 

Sierra as waitress at the Children's Museum. I was lucky enough to receive pretend ice cream with ketchup and mustard.
In the story corner at the museum!
At the grocery store together! I obviously liked this section of the museum :).
There were numerous “laughter attacks” again, per usual. I figured out what the chunks in the oven were from earlier this summer (blog post here). My sister apparently brought up 6 mozzarella sticks one afternoon, “but only 4 came out! I thought I had just miscounted!”. Only my sister! You probably had to be there, but I’m still chuckling about this! More laughter came at the expense of my uncle and the girl at the Mattress Barn and my grandmother’s Apples to Apples playing ability (oh, did I play that card? Oh, my!). My grandma won that game, though! What does that say about our playing ability?

Me + Sis!
Then it was a family Thanksgiving celebration, complete with the typical holiday meal. I absolutely love Thanksgiving; it's my favorite holiday meal by far! 
Big girl Violet!
Friday evening we went out to celebrate my grandma's 80th birthday. It was a lot of fun. I was most impressed by Leighton's appetite:

Leighton's meal. He ate it all, plus dessert. WOW. Can I please be a collegiate male distance runner?
Yep, gone. Impressive.
We celebrated Sierra and Violet’s combined birthdays today. It is so fun to see the absolute joy on a 4 year old’s face when they open a present. Scooby Doo stickers! Look at this, Grandma – puzzles! Ohhh, a Jessie doll (from Toy Story)! Violet was content with watching her sister and trying to put all of the gifts into her mouth.
Oh, 4 year old expressions!

Her attempt at a smile!

I’m now back at home and excited to get back to my normal routine! Keep running happy!


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. I'm so happy things are going well, Nichole! That family visit was just what you needed! Heidi M.

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  2. Yea…on the happy running…looks like a fun trip back..

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  3. What a beautiful stocking! Your niece is sure to treasure that as she gets older. :) That must have taken a lot of time!! Glad to hear that the running is going better and that you are taking into account the mental recovery piece as well - it's a hard thing for runners to do! When you are used to running daily, it's tough to honor that mental state when your mind just doesn't want to go for a run. We are so used to reading articles or hearing encouragement such as "even if you don't feel like running, just get out there and go run!" and "you'll never regret a workout - you'll only regret if you didn't go" - it's tricky to remember that sometimes runners (especially highly competitive ones) NEED to honor those mental thoughts and let the body take some downtime. I try to remind myself that it's not as if by taking extra rest days (or even weeks) that I'll automatically turn into a couch potato and never run again - I'll still have my "runner" mentality when I get back on the roads, but it doesn't do any good to rush it. :) Sounds like your coach is supportive as well - that's great!!

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