Getting it done - and seeing progress!

I don't think I could make this up if I tried.

After my last post, I was determined to get all of my miles in. On Tuesday, while home with Greta, I pushed the stroller for my 10 mile run with 10x100m strides. The wind was CRAZY, especially with the stroller. We stopped at the track for the 100s.

Stroller ride to the track. Nice and sunny - just 30-40 mph winds.
I thought Greta would find it fun. I pictured myself sprinting around the track while she found dandelions to blow in the infield. (dandelions aren't remotely in season. But it's a pretty mental image) I also pictured her running along side me during my recoveries, happier than ever to be running with mom.
Let's do this!
You can imagine what happened. She hated it. I came back to her after my first 100 to find her in tears. "You were really far away!", she cried.

I felt terrible. I finished up the other nine strides, finding creative ways to occupy her while I ran (Wait here, okay? I'm then going to sprint to get you! You better watch out!).

*Another workout complete. Yay parenthood.*

That evening I head to work for my committee meeting. It went well; I really do love finance at Bethel! As I left the meeting I checked my phone.

Anna was being driven up to Children's Hospital.

WHAT?!? My heart sank.

Long story short, Anna still struggles with respiratory issues after her RSV experience. I headed to Children's to be there with her. We were discharged on Friday after 3.5 days.

Chunk!
A mobile. She thinks it is pretty darn neat.
I had thought that Greta's loose diapers/staying home was a big wrench thrown into my workout plans! Children's Hospital added an entire different challenge. See, told you I don't think I could make up more twists to a week even if I had tried.

But, I'm proud to say I got it done! I logged all but a 4.5 mile PM run one evening, which I'll cut some slack for myself given the circumstances. Obviously, I know life happens, and especially now with two littles. But I'm too motivated to chase down big goals to allow too many of these wrenches to stop me - and I also know how important running/training/racing is for my mental health. I think I made about a zillion different weekly plans at one point or the other during the week (Example: I think I can get the double done today! Oh, wait... I need to be here to meet with pulmonology in the afternoon... I'll get a longer workout done in the morning instead...).

Now home, enjoying a neb treatment.

Happiest. baby. ever.
I was also really happy to see significant improvements within those workouts. Specifically:

Workout #1: 5x1000 with 400m recovery. I averaged 3:49.8 for all of them, which was 4.4 seconds faster than when I did the exact same workout 3 weeks ago. YAYYY! Sub 3:50! I was stoked.

To which Jerry said: Ok, good. later this summer I want you doing 10x1k in sub 3:45.

To which I thought : Um, okay? Wait, TEN repeats at that pace?? This man is insane. Seriously. 10x 1k in sub 3:45?!?

I am a really big fan of repeat workouts, as my athletes know. Athletes seems to respond better to the same stimulus when repeated 2, and sometimes 3 times. The first time a workout is performed or a system is worked, an athlete will likely feel as if they were not able to push as hard as they wanted, did not feel smooth, took longer to recover, etc. The second time, that same workout goes much more smoothly: paces improve slightly (generally, all other variables held constant), recovery HR is lower or quicker to lower, and the athlete feels like they were able to dig a little deeper. The third time it seems like the athlete can perform the workout smoothly; all cylinders and components are working well.

Of course, I want to balance exposure to different stimulus (workouts) with repeat stimulus. If we just did the same workouts each week we would plateau fairly quickly so there is a need to work on different things all in combination. It's good to repeat workouts, but only to an extent.

Workout #2: 18 miles easy. This went SO much better than my first 18 miler! I felt pretty strong throughout. I felt fatigued at mile 12-13 during my first long run. This time I didn't start looking at my watch until close to 16. Hu-rah for getting stronger!

I'm writing this recap almost 2 weeks after-the-fact so I have a lot to catch y'all up with! Lots happening with life, running goals (I know I'm totally biased, but I'm on to some really exciting stuff!), vacation, trail race... LOTS! Stay tuned!

In the meantime, comment below with progress you've seen in your training over the last month. Improvements in pace, strength, or recovery? What do you attribute those gains to? Fitness gains? Strength gains? Getting used to mileage?

Seriously!

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!

4 comments:

  1. Lynnette EricksonMarch 22, 2017 at 9:25 PM

    Where do you run with your stroller around the Northfield area? Or do you just run sidewalks?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On the shoulder of the road or on bike paths. Sometimes sidewalks, but it's much more comfortable on the roads or paths (bumps, curbs, etc).

      Delete
  2. And to know you went back to the Children's Hospital AGAIN!! :( I'm in the opposite boat of you: a healthy baby but not running at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, I think I'd take my craziness over your 9+ months of injury. I seriously don't think I could keep it together - and keep hope alive - for that long! Our lives are CRAZY, but at least I can run!!

      And yep, you're right, we are back AGAIN! It's a sad day when the doctors and nurses here recognize you and know you by name :( :(

      Delete