Would love to be running, but I am enjoying my downtime :)

I'll be taking at least two weeks complete off. That's the longest I've taken off since starting with Jerry. Now I realize I should have taken breaks like this more often... but you live and learn :). 

I'm so glad for the break. Physically, I know I need it.I've also been surprised at how much of a mental break I've needed. I haven't wanted to go out for a run this entire week, so I'm glad Chris told me to take at least two weeks completely off. Otherwise, I'd feel guilty about not wanting to train and probably force myself out there. He's also written that I allow myself to take the rest of November completely off. If I feel like running, great. If not, then I simply don't. I thought I'd already be going crazy with the break, but I think I needed this more than anything...

So, what am I pouring myself into? Good question!

My to-do list is actually quite long! All with fun stuff, though :)

The house! I feel like our house is in order! Dishes are generally done, laundry is put away, and there aren't piles everywhere. The counters were actually all sparkly earlier this week. Does that mean I have too much time on my hands and don't have kids? Perhaps :). I am spoiled and I know that.

Not my house, but I swear ours was close to this mid-week! Ahh, *love* a clean house.
Or... Nate is spoiled :). Or both!

Coaching - This is a busy time because I have athletes finishing their training cycles and starting their upcoming cycles. I spend a lot of time reviewing their previous months, what went well, digging through their data, what didn't go well, etc. I also take the time to sketch out an entire outline of their cycle, the meso-cycles, up and down weeks, focus systems, etc. Ahh, just writing about it makes me excited - I have a great group of super fast women (seriously, not kidding) and I am more than excited to pour myself into them and to help them be as fast as possible! I'm also proud of myself, I created a common training log for all of them that I built in Excel, making my life a little easier. (Thank you all for being okay switching to it!)
I still have 2 spots available, and if you've been considering a coach but are on the fence, send me a note. If you're wanting to get the most out of your 2014, it might be the right move.

Errands - you know the crap that piles up in your house when you're in the middle of a training cycle? Yeah, I've been tackling that hard-core this past week. My goal is to have a lot of it done before I start training again. Oil change and new tires on our Saturn, check (220k miles - wonder how long it will last?)! Mailing all of the random stuff that had been laying around (bills, rebates, notes), check!

Random fun stuff -

All stitched! Just need to iron it, cut it and sew it to a felt backing. That's always scary... There are a lot of hours put into this stocking front!
I finished my niece's Christmas stocking so I can give it to her for her 2nd Xmas (to be fair, she was only 2 weeks old for her first Christmas, and I wasn't ready). I am a nerd and love counted cross-stitch Xmas stockings. Perhaps because growing up we all had one my mom poured years into :)? I've started on another as well.

Gravel Championships! This weekend Northfield hosted the MN Gravel Championships.

Clearly, too happy to be in her cow costume :)
Nate, Claire, Craig and I did the 17k time trial on Saturday morning. I think that's the longest I've ever ridden a bike before? (Is that the proper verb tense?) It was a lot of fun.I took it easy, braking on all of the downhills because I didn't want to fly over my handle bars :). I finished last. I kept wondering why the car behind me wouldn't pass me... I kept moving over to the right to give them more room, but they continued to follow me. It dawned on me: OH! It's because you're in last place!! Hahahaha!

Biker me. Gosh, I look short. I blame the helmet.
Nate and I after the race. Thanks for the borrowed bike, Tom!!

Sunday Craig, Jeff, and Jake headed out for the long gravel segment - 88 miles. Wow. We cheered in our cow suits at the beginning and the end of their ride. After all, Northfield's motto is "Cows, colleges and contentment". The race sort of adopted a cow as it's mascot - so our Chicago uniforms (long story on how I found mine...) were of use again!

Coolest town, ever.
Craig in route to cheer for Saturday afternoon's segment.  Note the choice of baseball cap - fitting for a cow costume?
The leaders, leading the riders out to the start of the race.

Food! I've had a lot of fun trying to cook more often for Nate and myself. I am still a mess in the kitchen, but it makes for a good laugh :). Craig joins us fairly regularly as well, so it makes for a fun evening. I need to post some of the recipes here, they've been great!

In short, I am so incredibly happy with where I'm at in life. I love what I do, Nate loves what he does, and we have time for each other and to spend with each other. We are blessed. I'd be even more  happy if my legs would magically come around by the end of November and I could begin chasing goals again, but in the meantime, I'll be content busying myself with house stuff, my athletes, volunteering, and just enjoying life.

Runningly yours!
Nichole


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!

10 comments:

  1. I often wonder if I had so much success this past summer because I took a few months off--due to an injury. I focused on cross training and strength-training.

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    1. Yeah - could be! I'm hoping some forced downtime will be really good for me overall, both physically and mentally. I'm actually really looking forward to getting back to a strength routine. Not excited yet about running (mental break from that is much needed), so I'm surprised at my reaction to thinking about lifting.

      Not running yet might mean I won't be back up & running by this weekend when you'll be in MN... hmm... :(

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  2. Thank you for writing about your time off! I have a hard time being ok with time off...even as I'm pregnant! I've signed up for one more 10k this year but think I will start to switch it up to elliptical and weights Monday, a fitness class weds, and swimming Friday...all "if I feel like it" for the rest of the pregnancy. (3 more months). I just feel like time off will set me back...but perhaps it's the very thing I need to leap forward. I'll be following your journey to see how this goes for you :). Michelle, I appreciate your comment above in taking time off to heal and recover...thank you. I think this is the hardest thing for any athlete....rest.

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    1. Just 3 more months! Crazy!! Wow, that is going fast :). How are you feeling? Is running uncomfortable yet? It'll be nice to have the next months be "if you feel like it" - especially as the weather turns :).

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  3. If you want to add any more bike riding to your time off let me know. With your general fitness being so high a bit more confidence and bike handling skills would help you move up a few places at next years Gravel State Champs :)

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    1. Ha, yeah, got your note. Perhaps late this week? I'm a little scared to try to ride with the Multek group - I seriously don't know if I can keep up! But I need to put some miles on that bike to test it out. Rollerskiing could also be interesting this week - skate or classic? I haven't been on rollerskis in years...

      Appreciate the nudge to try to get me out the door :)

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  4. I recently found your blog…don't remember how? ;-)

    You are so young and so good/fast …I am excited to learn more and watch you progress. (After your break of course) We live in Lakeville~another close connection weird?~our daughter runs CC and she just finished 8th grade. She talks about wanting to get better one moment and the next wants to sit heavy on the couch while playing PS3 with her brother. ;-)

    Any suggestions?

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    1. Lakeville! South or North? Your XC teams had a good year, if I'm thinking correctly?

      8th graders are sometimes difficult... what motivated her during the season? Being around others & competing? Success in races? Did she run JH, JV, or V? If she's a "plan" type of kid, sometimes working together on sketching out a training plan for the winter helps - and then having motivation to keep her on track (i.e. going out with mom once a week, meeting with a friend to run another day, etc). Part of it is just creating that "training habit" - once someone starts thinking about running/training every day, it's easier to get out the door. Until then, PS3s might sound more appealing :).

      If you ever wanted to make a trip down to Northfield, I would actually love to go for a short run with her & just talk running, training, motivation, etc! Might sound dorky, but I really do love working with young athletes (esp. young women) to help them reach their potential. Well, guess I just love talking about running/motivating athletes in general, no matter the age... :). Seriously, let me know!

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  5. Thats a really motivating article. Its so good that you still exercise and build up strength for when you start running again. Positive mind :)

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  6. Nichole I feel your pain! I was passed by a race walker in her 70's during my first half. OUCH!!! Talk about a blow to your ego!

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