Clumsy legs in route to a 19:37, and a trip home!

Happenings lately:

Indoor 5k:

I was so excited to race! St. Olaf held an indoor invitational at the end of January. I was pumped to be able to see my progress since my 19:05 at the Jingle Bell Run in December.

I was the slowest seed time in the race, (wow!) which meant great competition. I tucked in behind women that were on pace for ~18:40. That's what I thought I was capable of.

I felt great! I was hardly breathing hard through half way. But, shortly after 1/2 way, I stumbled a little when my quad didn't fire right. Later on in that lap my feet started slapping against my calves. I lost my contact with my train and just focused on staying upright.

Greta and Nathan cheering from the stands. I'm the middle woman in pink.
I lost almost a minute in the final 1.25 miles. Yikes. I finished in 19:37. I was a little disappointed, but I had to remind myself that a month or two ago I would have been pumped with that finish time! 

Plus, it's hard to be disappointed when you're greeted by a grinning little girl, screeching with delight!

*love*
Wish we could have captured a better picture.
I'm not sure what causes my legs to do this every so often. My two best guesses are 1) mileage is too high (which might be likely, I've been piling on the miles lately!), or 2) something is off with me physically/with medications, since this happened at the end of the week where I experienced a bipolar swing.

Since that race, I haven't struggled with my legs much - if at all - and mileage has been as high, if not higher. So - I really wonder if it isn't an imbalance in me that brings that clumsiness back? Not sure, I'll continue to monitor and track things.

The best finish hug :)
One more thing to note: I was proud of myself for lining up at the start line and not judging my body against the other women there. That's big for me, since I had dreaded showing my "mom body" a little bit the weeks before hand. Been there?

I love that she is growing up watching mom and dad be active, participate in events, and race! I hope that she takes to racing herself one day (although will try my absolute hardest not to push it on her)!!

Did you grow up in an active/racing oriented family? I'm curious what your experience was like.
Eating out at Hogan Brothers after the race. They used Hogan Brothers for the location of the Hallmark movie they filmed in town! How cool is that?
A weekend at my parent's house:

Greta and I headed to the farm last weekend while Nate raced at the City of Lakes Loppet (he raced Friday night, Saturday and Sunday).

We had a blast! Friday night was pizza and bingo.

It's become a tradition to go to bingo on Friday nights when I visit. My dad babysits and I get to spend time with my mom & grandma. It's a really great way to spend an evening talking, catching up, etc - which is why I go. If I win, it's just an added bonus.

And win, I did! This is my THIRD time in a row winning. I am oddly very lucky with things like this. I'll take it!
Saturday morning Greta and I went to the Children's Wing grand opening event at the Marshall-Lyon County Library. Mr. Carr recently passed away, gifting money to have this built. What an awesome legacy to leave!

The wing is amazing, and the staff are doing so much with story hours, educational events, reading programs, I could go on and on. We went for story hour, ate popcorn, and then participated in a few guessing games (Greta won the "guess the number of books" contest. What?!? I am so lucky!!). She played with the toys & other kids and read a few books, but it was hard to read when there was so much going on! 

She was sad to leave. I was too! We will definitely be back.

But, it was time for lunch and for her to nap - and me to run while she napped! I only had 6 miles to do that day, a major recovery day for me!

Running and screeching in delight - she couldn't wait to enter. I don't blame her, I wouldn't either!
Who wants to play with the doll house when there's a tool box? Grandpa Pete (my dad) would be so proud :).

She also learned the word "tractor" while down at the farm. Hahaha, thanks dad! 
Baking me some chocolate chip cookies
Saturday and Sunday we hung out with Grandpa & Grandma at the farm. We left around noon on Sunday, right before a crazy blizzard rolled into SW MN. Winds later that day were gusting to 40+ MPH!
Love this picture :)
We will have to get down to the farm more often; it was a lot of fun!

Training in general:

Things have been going really well! I've sustained 80+ mile weeks for the last 3 weeks, and although I'm running a little tired, I've still been able to put in some great efforts.

Two workouts come to mind:

1) Yesterday's 19 miler with 2x3 miles hard. Not only was it my longest long run in 2+ years, but Jerry put 6 hard miles in it! AH!

Needless to say, I was a little scared of this workout, especially since it was COLD and WINDY. I didn't look at the windchill (best to be ignorant), but it had to have been -20 or more. The wind was 19 MPH, and we ran into it for the majority of the second half of the run. I stopped once to unthaw my skin. It hurt. Uf.

I was able to average 6:30 for the first segment and 6:50 for the second segment! I am still very surprised by that. It shows that I've developed long-run strength, which isn't easy to do! I still have a lot more room for improvement in "long run strength", but I at least am starting at a good spot! 

SO COLD. Everything was frozen stiff. Even my shoes had a layer of ice over them, which I've never seen before. Thank you Feetures! socks for keeping my feet warm & wicking away the sweat!

I will say that I would much prefer this than hot and humid, though, so I'm not complaining!
2) The second "long run strength" run was a 16.5 miler with 8 miles at MP (really, "however fast you can hold for 8 continuous miles).

Jerry knows I HATE these types of workouts! They hurt and take such mental energy. I know that's why he wrote this in as my first long run/hard workout. Evil.

Before I started I said, "This one is for you, Jerry!". I wanted to perform for him - he believes in me, was willing to take me back on... I can't tell you how much I love this man!

And... I did perform! I didn't stop, which I am so proud of! I have a very bad habit of doing that on these long hard workouts. I think too far ahead: it's going to hurt so much! I'm already hurting too much, I'm going to die. I'm working on quieting those voices.

I averaged around 7:00-7:05. Not too shabby! I don't know if I could hold it for 26.2 miles, but if I could, that would be about a 3:05.

This next week is an 88 mile week, on SIX DAYS. Jerry is trying to kill me, clearly.

If he succeeds, well, it's been nice sharing this little blog with y'all! :)

Your turn:
What "long-run strength" workouts have you done lately? How did they go?

Are you generally lucky? What have you won lately?

Did you grow up in an active/racing oriented family? What was your experience 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!

1 comment:

  1. My mom had to teach Cullen about tractors when she was here too. I am so not lucky--my mom did not pass that gene onto me.

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