A Glorious Cabin Weekend & Start to the Week


After this week's earlier bombshell of a post, it's time for a more "normal" weekly blog post/update: training, racing, goals, daily life, adventures, house projects, etc.!

A Cabin Weekend!:

Last Friday we headed up to the cabin, stopping at Craig's parents house on the way to enjoy dinner and help celebrate Craig's 33rd birthday!

33 years young
Saturday morning it was time for the Birkie Trail and Trek. Rob was doing the 100k Ultra Marathon, and Nathan and I were able to run an 8 mile loop with him. At first, I lagged pretty far behind both of them. I am a terrible trail runner, and even though the Birkie Trail's single track trail isn't too technical, I still can't get myself to take my eyes off my feet.

Parking lot near the 21 mile aid station
I became more comfortable with my footing fairly quickly, and as I did, I found myself falling in love with the Birkie trail. I even began contemplating the idea of running the trail marathon next year -- and potentially running an ultra marathon at some point. I guess it helps that Rob makes it look so easy. He is always so calm and composed.

Anyone know anything about the Door County Road Ultra? Someone mentioned it and it peaked my interest.


We were able to get to the finish line in time to watch Craig finish 2nd in the marathon.

Way to go, Craig!
Cool podium, eh?
Small world! Dr. Asp ran the 1/2 marathon! We caught up - which included me telling him about my summer. He is now cancer free after having stage 4 cancer in his femur, liver, and numerous other places... so glad this man is still with us.
Just as cool as taking 2nd place in a marathon? Signing the tax form so you can take home a prize money!
Being around all of the racing excitement further ignited my desire to get back to running, training and racing! Big news as of a few days ago: I called Jerry, explained my crazy last 8 months, and asked him if he'd be willing to coach me again. He agreed! I could not be more excited! My official plan is coming by this Friday. YAY!

Right now I need to take it easy as I'm not sure about the status of baby #2, though... but I'm slowly filing training and racing ideas in the back of my mind. I'm sure Jerry is enjoying my Trying to win the Birkie Trail Marathon next year is on that list. It would be a lot of fun to train for, something totally different for me (aka not the roads!!), and I don't know... it just sounds like a fun, crazy challenge!

Later in the day we found out that Rob won his Ultra, over 50 MINUTES ahead of the second competitor. Wow.
Rob finished in just over 12 hours. Photo credits: American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation
Photo credits: American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation

For the rest of the weekend, we hung out at the cabin, ate a lot, and enjoyed the Fall Festival in Hayward.
Greta and Tia (Aunt) Jessica watching the Wiener Dog Races during Hayward's Fall Festival. Yes, Wiener Dog Races.

Ready, set, GO! Turn those little legs OVER!

Oh, the suspense!! I'm not sure what happened with the 3rd doggie racer... hmm...
She loves the cabin! And swings!
Quality cabin time with Karen, my mother in law, and Jessica, my sister in law

Job Update!:

On Friday Bethel Lutheran Church in Northfield offered me a Church Accountant position! I am so excited!


How perfect:

-It's Part-time: Greta will continue in 5-day/week day care, allowing me to work at the church part-time, continue to coach part-time, as well as still having time for outpatient treatment, personal to-dos, household stuff and errands, and running the TNC business in general!

-My schedule is extremely flexible. One week I could work longer days M-W, other weeks I could work 1/2 days M-F, other weeks I do something entirely different.

-It's a position at the church Nathan and I are members at.

-Located in Northfield = no commute! I'm hoping to get into the habit of biking to work.

-I get my own office. With a door!

-Microsoft Excel! Budgets! Forecasting! Automating day-to-day tasks with macros! *Love*

-Last, but certainly not least, take note of Bethel's associate pastor. then take a look at Gustavus' Outdoor Track and Field Records! Happenstance? Or is Bethel secretly trying to hire Gustavus' record holders? :)

Training this past week:

Thursday: 6 miles, 8:30 pace with Nathan, Craig, Teresa and Marco. Very thankful for a few intersection stops after about mile 4 or 5 to allow my heart rate to drop below 190. Yikes. My HR has been crazy high since my inpatient stay. Pregnancy related?

Friday: 5.5 miles easy, 8:30/mile average around Northfield with Mesa. It was wonderful to run just with her! It's beenTook it easy because it was a little warm - and because I received a phone call from the OBGYN right before the run to tell me that my HCG numbers from my morning blood draw looked a lot better! It reminded me that even though a miscarriage is likely, there's still a chance I won't - so I need to be careful about heat and my heart rate when training!

I let Mesa off leash to hop in a pond to cool down and she decided to take a swim to try to eat some Canadian Geese. She was not successful. She tried hard, though, and was pretty proud of herself for it.

Saturday: 8 miles, 11:50 mile pace with Rob (during his ultra) on the Birkie trails.

Sunday: 8.25 miles, 8:22 overall average. Mini progression starting at 10/mile, down to 6:50.
Started with the father in law and sister in law, then kept increasing my pace until I decided to take my last 3 miles as a progression workout (since the run had been an unplanned progression run up to that point!). Splits: 10:00, 9:30, 8:45, 8:35, 8:10, 7:52, 7:32, 6:50 (that last mile was HARD! Uf! I have a lot of work to do!)

Look at what we found being given away!

Go ahead, sing the Lonely Island "I'm on a Boat" song :)
Leave it to Nathan to decide the boat would make "the most epic cabin sandbox". See his idea sketch: 1/2 of the boat is sandbox, half "let's play boat".

We decided that we didn't need to add cannons or sails, ha.
Monday: 
6.1 miles, ~8:15/mile, 176 bpm average. Ran while Nathan, Craig and Teresa rollerskied. I pushed the stroller and ran with Mesa on my hip - and felt like a million bucks! For the first time in a long, long time my feet felt light and quick. My easy pace is starting to come down... still slower than 8 minute pace, but it's quicker than the 9 minute pace I was holding 3 weeks ago! YAY - gettting in shape!

A family affair
I finished up with a strength session.

My first strength session! I really need to work on my leg strength and power, as well as hamstring and glute strength.
She is intrigued by what mommy is doing.
Even more intrigued by how those Elite Credentials might taste. Yummm,

Set two. She's still just hanging out with me!
Tuesday: 
9.3 miles, 7:39/mile. I ran with Jeff at his house. I felt great! We clipped along together until he flew off ahead of me doing a few miles at marathon pace (his crazy coach, aka me, told him to). I was really, really surprised to see my average pace after the run. I haven't run sub 8 minute miles in a long time, much less held it for this long. Granted, I was breathing harder than normal, and talking while clipping along at this pace was difficult, but I'll take it!

Wednesday:
7.7 miles, 8:22/mile. Met up with Emma, a new training partner in town. Great conversation, beautiful day!

Thursday: 
Day off, dictated by Jerry after I filled him in on the week and he realized how many miles I had logged in the last week. I hadn't been counting. Good thing I have him, I know I need to ease into mileage slowly! I'm excited to see what my plan will have me doing tomorrow and next week!

= 50 miles on 6 days

Other life updates:

I am on a mission to clean and organize my house top to bottom. I must be pregnant.... :)

I am anxiously awaiting Friday's ultra sound (8:30 am) and OBGYN appointment (10:00) to read results. God is good, I look forward to knowing a little more of his plan for me and our little family.

My monkey! Nothing is more precious than her hysterical giggle! :)

Questions to end with:

  • Does anyone know of great not-too-technical trail races, other than the Birkie Trail & Trek? Have you run it?
  • Does anyone know of any road ultra marathons held in MN or WI?
  • What did your last training week look like?

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. How "not-too-technical" are we talking? Nerstrand Big Woods is a great race in mid October. The EU urban trail marathon races are not too technical. Surf the Murph only has a couple short technical sections. Trail Loppet isn't too bad either. Afton has some technical sections, but is mostly very runnable. There are tons of more options. Sechler park has some good twisty trails, but the footing is very good. Makes great practice for trails like the Birkie Singletrack.

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  2. You could always come run the Equinox with Erika and me next year!

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