Chicago Marathon to Cheer on Mr. Jefferton!

Nathan, Craig, Jeff and I arrived in Chicago late Friday night. Jeff is racing the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, looking to notch another big PR. I couldn't pass up an opportunity to watch him race/PR in person. Plus, and equally exciting, Grandma and Grandpa were willing to watch Greta for the weekend, so it's a great weekend away for Nathan and me!

They ordered while I was in the bathroom. I came out to a 20 inch western pizza (covered in bacon) - and this scene.
Jeff waking up after a 20 minute Dr. Asp guided visualization. Note his "I'm READY for this" smirk :)
Jeff's last run before the marathon Saturday morning. 2 miles + strides
Continuing on with the best training partner/friend around to finish up my 10 miles for the day!
Yes, TNC athletes, coach also does her 26 sit-ups and push-ups after every run.

I still have Diastasis Recti. You can't see it in this picture because of the angle, but if you were to look at my stomach from my vantage point here, you'd see a 1.5 finger-width midline ridge bulge. I should have done more TvA (Transverse Abdominis) work before and during pregnancy.

What is Diastasis Recti, you're asking? It is the separation of the right and left abdominal muscles, which happened during pregnancy. The separation was more than 2 or 2.5 finger widths initially, so it's getting better.

Petite women are at greater risk of developing this. Is that because baby doesn't have as much room vertically so needs to grow outward? I vividly remember feeling like my abs muscles were "snapping" during random times during the last trimester, much like a too-taught violin string that eventually just snaps. That hurt a bit.

And... pushups.
I still can't do 26 all at once, but I'm getting there. Slowly but surely.
Then we went into the expo and listened to a Nike coach/athlete panel presentation. Coaches and athletes talked about racing in general and the Chicago marathon course logistics. One interesting marathon/ultra marathon racing tip from Alexi Pappas: Tell yourself the night before that you'll be able to gift yourself two new pairs of legs: the first when you first start noticing pain, and the second for whenever you need it.

The other interesting tip from one of the Nike coaches: holding in fear (of the race itself, of failing, etc) is like holding a beach ball underneath the water. At first it isn't hard, but after a while you have a harder time keeping it below the surface, and eventually it pops out of the water. Instead, acknowledge and work through your fear. Where is it originating? Why is it there?
I snagged Matt Tegencamp after the presentation for a couple personal training and coaching questions. Why not, right? :)

Nichole: Mr. Tegencamp, what are your favorite marathon specific workouts? Matt: long run progressions moving from 6:00/miles to 5:00/miles (goal MP), and 10k/MP mid-week workouts, alternating between the track (so many 10k workout options) and MP on the roads. 
With a 2x Olympian! He's in build mode for the '16 Olympic Trials right now. NBD.
I then found Greg McMillan and asked him about his favorite hard/long marathon workouts as well!
What is Jeff doing? That question is asked more often than not... like when I had him try to race a 5k without a defined pacing plan and he went out and led the race by 50 meters within the first 150 meters... now I make sure to have a specific pacing/overall plan for all of his races :)

I say that, but only because it's quite humorous now. He's one of my most coachable athletes, executing his pacing extraordinarily well.

I am SO excited to watch him tomorrow. 18 months ago he was a 3:15 marathoner. This June he ran a 2:40 at Grandma's. Tomorrow = breaking into the 2:3x realm. I don't think he thought he would ever be able to say that.

It makes me beam. Proud coach, to say the least!
And with the hubby!
Lunch at the Corner Bakery Cafe. Guess what Craig is doing...

If you guessed choking Jeff, you guessed correctly.
Then it was on to say "hi" to my friends at UCAN! Varun and Katie are the greatest! I am so very thankful to be able to work with them!
Jeff getting interviewed by the UCAN company! #celebritystatus

Jeff told his wife later, "Yeah! I was interviewed! And they're going to put it on their Facebook machine!"
Feetures! socks booth. Love their socks. He is tall, I am short. Can you tell by his stance?

Missing lil' G, big time, but she's enjoying being with Grandma and Grandpa. They made chocolate chip cookies (she's loving them here!), an apple orchard, and pizza samples and people watching at Costco.

It IS really nice to have a weekend alone with Nathan, though. We really should try to make a point of getting away more often.
Now, it's time to turn on Dr. Asp's CD for Jeff one more time, go over his racing plan/logistics again, and then bed. Wish him luck!!


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!

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