Earth Day 1/2, GAC Alumni 5k

I've raced the last two weekends: at the Earth Day 1/2 Marathon and at the Gustavus Drake Alternative (Alumni) Track meet.

Both have gone... okay.

Earth Day 1/2 Marathon

This is one of my favorite Spring races. Two of my athletes came up to race with me, which made the event even more fun!

Heather and Jen. Heather is trying to not make me look ridiculously short.
Last year I finished 6th in 1:35:46, stopping to walk at several water stops to make sure I didn't overheat. It was so hot! I had just learned that I was pregnant.

My race times haven't come around as fast as I was hoping after Anna. I have a few theories, the best of which is that I'm still nursing (and still carrying 5-7lbs of baby weight). This year I thought a 1:32 was possible. Nate guessed 1:31. Anything faster than my 1:35 would be great.

As early as 2 miles into the race I started struggling to control my legs. I've been struggling with them more as of late and I'm not exactly sure why. If you've followed this blog, you'll remember my clumsiness struggle back in 2013. I chalked it up to over-training at the time (so many 100+ mile weeks can do that to you, apparently). From miles 2-6, my right foot kept nicking my left calf and I could tell I was leaning heavily on my left leg. I wondered if the men I was racing alongside thought I was crazy for racing. Ever run alongside someone in a race who had just terrible form? Or perhaps they were limping badly and you wondered why in the world they were racing? Yep, that was me. Sigh.

I muscled my way to the finish, coming in 2nd in 1:32:04. Although I can't complain about a 2nd place finish, I know it was sheer strength (and stupidity?) that allowed me to finish. My fitness wasn't challenged; I couldn't run smoothly enough to push my lungs and legs to their limits.

The race gives out a print to the top 3 Half Marathoners! What an awesome prize!
Fast forward a week... an easier week in order to give my legs a chance to recover. Maybe a lower mileage week would help the legs come around.

Gustavus Drake Alternative Track Meet

Decked out in our Gustie gear!
First, the Alumni Mile. Each year this event grows; this year over 50 men and women participated!

I was happy to be able to pace Heather, a fellow 2005 GAC grad, to a new post-collegiate mile PR! We ran each of our 800s within a second of each other (negative splitting, of course!). Yay, internal metronome.

Then, the 5k. It wasn't as ugly as Earth Day, but it was still really ugly (Nate said that I just made running look painful)... I finished in 19:53, so a post-Anna PR, but again, I am so much more fit than this!

Greta walking in the Future Gustie Dash. Using the actual starting pistol to start this race was a bad idea.
So - I need to get this figured out ASAP. I don't think it's an over-training thing; I think it's something structural. The good news is that I'm not injured - nothing hurts - but I know that if I continue without addressing this that I'll end up sidelined.

I go in to see a PT this Wednesday. There is only one PT in Northfield that is in-network, so I'm hoping she will be thorough. I'm excited to find answers!

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!

5 comments:

  1. Congrats on two really solid races!! I definitely understand the frustration of not racing to your potential. Hope you can identify if there is anything going on. I also found it took closer to 2 years post baby for me to be hitting my old times again so be patient with yourself... you'll continue to improve with each month!

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    1. The improvements are so fun this early on - when else can you take off 10, 30, 3 minutes off of races?!? :)

      But it would be nice to feel like I am truly able to push for those improvements. Here's to figuring things out!

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  2. Ugh, here's hoping you can find an answer! I love seeing the gustavus gear! Gusts will shine!

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  3. Umm, yes, not the brightest idea to use the actual starting pistol to start a kids race. (oops!) Do you think your struggle to control your legs is in any way due to a vitamin/mineral/nutrient deficiency? I have no idea, but I do think it is something other than overtraining. I hope you can get it figured out soon!

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