My Inbox Lately


Email #1, To: Jerry

Nichole, after receiving January's plan that averaged 60-65 mpw: I was thinking ahead to the Grandma's Marathon training cycle, where I'd like to be at or around 100+ mpw. Should (can?!?) I then be closer to 80s right now?

Jerry: I was thinking along those same lines but was concerned about your recent cold/flu and the weather. Definitely increase your mileage if you are feeling OK, BUT keep it under 80 for the next 4 weeks. Then we can increase it.

Nichole's reaction: YEEESSSSSS!

I ran my first double the next day and loved it! Since then I've logged a 70 mile week (on 6 days), an 85 mile week (I SWEAR I meant to hit 80! Argh, Jerry will have my HEAD), and this week is planned to be 80. I'm loving the mileage, and so far my body is holding up well and recovering quickly.

Some of those miles done on the snowy roads at the cabin in WI. Gorgeous!
The sun makes a huge difference. Notice the unzipped jacket and midlayer.
Email #2, To: Grandma's Marathon

Nichole: Could I be considered for a comp entry? Instead of training or racing the last 2 years, I had a kid and then decided to spend an entire summer in detox, psych wards, or in-patient treatment. So - in sum, I used to be fast, I hope to be fast this year, but am quite slow & weak right now. Please take a chance on me & offer a comp entry.

Grandma's Marathon: Of course! We would love to have you back at Grandma's this year!

Nichole's reaction: YEEESSSSSS!

Family stroll. Mesa is in desperate need of miles these days. Since I run from work during the day, and get in my doubles in from work as well, she only gets out on Friday or the weekend with me. She's starting to twitch because she has a little too much pent up energy...
And although she would love to run with me, she also HATES it with a passion. Vizslas are not fond of winter, and that's putting it lightly.
Email #3, To: Faribault Nature Center

Nichole: I heard from a friend that you might be adding a 50k to this year's Maple Syrup Run. Can you confirm or deny this rumor?

Maple Syrup Run: Yep! We are not 100% sure, but have put out feelers and have had a good response. We need to meet with another race contributor before it's certain, but in the meantime mark April 30th down on your calendar. Once we are certain of the race, we'll post it on our website!

Nichole's reaction: YEEESSSSSS!

Then, Nichole's text to Craig: Want to pace at the Maple Syrup 50k? :)

It had been foggy, then dipped below freezing. It left the entire city blanketed in white, which made for gorgeous running that day! It looked so nice, I got out and ran twice!
Email #4, To: Jeff Lanners

Nichole: This year the winner of ZYY finished in 2:56, the top female in 3:17. Soo... I'm going to need to work on finding someone to help pace for a new world record (2:53).

How about it?

Jeff's response: As far as Zoom-bye-yah-my-Lord sounds like a good time to me. I would be honored to pace you to a 2:50 indoor marathon. I know some slightly slower time will do but what's the point of beating a world record if you can't smash it!

Nichole's commentary: So, it's settled. If Grandma's goes well this year, I'm going to set my huge target this year to go for the indoor record! If Grandma's doesn't, then, well, maybe... babies?!? Should be exciting to see how things unfold!!

My pile of "stuff" to put on for a sub-zero run over the lunch hour. Guess I was going for a blue & black theme.... just hopefully not my extremities too!
Email #5, To: Jerry

I'm proud of myself today. I could have easily have given myself the day off or decided to run easy/push the hard workout out a day or two.

Greta was sent home around 11am with a rash, so I left work to pick her up. She's not allowed back in school/daycare until I have a doctor's note saying it isn't contagious. I was able to get an appointment at 7pm... so my thoughts around noon were:
1) huge bummer that I'm not at the Olaf indoor track over my lunch hour right now
2) hmmm, how can I still get this done? Should I wait until after the appointment when Nathan could watch her while I got out? [too risky]
3) should I push the workout to tomorrow and just run easy/push the stroller today [might be a good idea]
4) Can I run down to the Sechler trail, which is closed to traffic, and park the stroller 1/2 way along the repeat path? [I'd like to think this would be safe, but I don't think I really want to do it...]
5) Could I find someone to run with me who could push the stroller during my repeats? We could trade off "on" times? [tried one partner, it was a no because of bowling league. Yeah, riiight :). tried Craig, no answer. Tried Teresa, she wanted to ride her horse.]
6) I could put off the workout, but what if the rash is contagious? Then I'll have to be home tomorrow with her as well, with the same dilemma...

I waited until 4:45 and decided to give Craig one more call. He answered! He hadn't checked his phone all day, so hadn't received my messages. He said, "Sure, I guess I could join you for that workout!"

So we both got out and hammered out 800s and 400s. Times were not pretty, but hey - it was dark and icy/snowy. I was just proud of myself for getting out there!

Love the little one, even if she make planning difficult sometimes!
Email #6, From: Brooks

Brooks: A huge congratulations for being selected for the Brooks I.D. Coaching Program!

Me, via FB (and a longer email to my athletes): I was selected for Brooks' Coaching program! I can't believe it! I am SO excited! 2016 should be a great year! #runhappy #tncendurance

Nichole commentary: I was not expecting to be selected - at all. I filled out the application earlier this year, which involved talking about my involvement in the running community (volunteer coaching, speaking engagements, racing competitively myself), what I do for my athletes (coaching style, newsletter, arranging workouts, virtual competitions, simulator workouts before big races when applicable), what else sets me apart (social media presence, race directing, athlete success).

What does this mean for me and the athletes I coach? For me: a trip to Seattle in June to watch the Brooks PR Invitational (by-invitation-only elite HS track meet) and to meet up with the other Brooks coaches, free gear, huge discount on any additional clothing/shoes, networking with other top coaches in the country, Brooks swag for my athletes, F&F discount for my athletes twice a year. Score!

They don't select many coaches, so I am floored to be able to join their team!

Speaking of coaching, if you've considered joining the TNC team in the past but haven't contacted me about it, send me an email! nichole (dot) porath (at) gmail.com. It's a very exciting time to be a TNC'er!

Email #7, To: Amy Olson, one of my Master's TNC athletes

Nichole: Way to absolutely crush that workout Monday! I've attached a revised version of your plan (goal times revised). Lucky you!

Like Jerry has told me: the reward for running fast is running FASTER!

Now more than ever before I think you have so much in store for you this year (and beyond). I have another race scheduled the same day as Fargo, otherwise I would seriously consider making the trek to ND to watch you break 3.

Keep it up champ - and remember to take those easy days EASY!

Nichole commentary: Amy, Craig and I did a track workout together on Monday, where she absolutely crushed her 200m repeat goal times. Watch out for her this year, world! She is a newer-to-running competitor, just turned masters runner, who has a very legitimate goal of breaking 3 hours in the marathon. She is just plain hard core. WOW.

How did I do on the workout? Meh. My goal was to hit 80s on ten 400s. I only did that once. The rest were right around 82. Go little legs, go!

Amy (L) on a different workout - our long run. Brian (R) tried his first long run in the cold, but stopped talking after mile 2. At mile 4 he said that he needed to take a shortcut back to the start. We headed back as quickly as we could...
Hopefully he'll give it a second chance. Once you're used to it, it really isn't that bad! Seriously!
Email #8, To: Jerry

Dearest Coach, I made it through today's tempo, although times were dismal at best. Hope this picture makes you appreciate your Maui weather a little more :)

Workout: 2x2 miles hard inside of 10 miles

Craig joined me, pulling me to 6:50s-7 pace. I had no time goal because Jerry knows it's hard to hit paces outside in the winter, but knew with good footing I would probably be gunning for 6:00. Hopefully footing accounted for that big of a pace difference.
Post 2x2. Happy to be done!
So, as you can see, things have been busy- in such an awesome, happy way :). As my goal is to write 100 blogs in 2016, I will be back here soon!

Last randomly inserted picture: Greta reading with Godfather Leighton. She LOVES him!
Your turn:
What a fun email or text you've received or written lately?

Any fun winter running adventures, either recent or a fun memory?

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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