Ups and Downs


This training cycle has been more up and down than I've ever experienced, I think.

The good news? I'm now faster than I was post-Beauterre/pre-Anna (see the December 2016 5k race blog post here), which is a point in my life that I remember as being "fast". So despite the seemingly frequent downs, I hang on to that thought - even though right now I definitely wouldn't describe myself as "fast".

Some of the ups:

1. Strength is definitely coming back! I am recovering from mileage fairly well. I've climbed to 92.5 (on 7 days) and as high as 106.5 on a rolling-7-day basis. That was probably too high, but Jerry and I were moving things around to accommodate a family visit.

Follow me on Strava!

Tried to take a picture to capture my 22 miler on my watch. Looks like I did an awesome job. You can see Mesa here - she ran the entire 22 miles with me! What a stud.

2. 18:45 5k on July 22! (9 months post-partum) SO hot and humid, though. The dew point was over 70 with a starting temp of 79, rising to 89 quickly. I do not perform well in the heat... see the list of "downs" below :(. 

Nate 3rd for men, I won for women (very small race in Tyler, MN). I won an Aebleskiver pan and $20. Score!
3. I have thoroughly enjoyed going to Captain's practices with the high school team each morning! I try to work my training around theirs so we both get what is best for us on any particular day. As of August 1st I can no longer coach until the season starts on August 14th. That means I lose an automatic training partner group for those two weeks, but gain a little bit of time (since there is definitely more "time" eaten up when instructing the group, talking afterwards, etc). I can not WAIT for the season to start!

It is still weird to me that coaches can coach almost all Summer now. Back in "my day" there was no contact allowed all Summer. I'd love to hear what other states allow - and how involved different high school head coaches are with their teams. Please comment below!

Mesa has been coming to some team practices with me :). She didn't appreciate one of the mornings where we ran through particularly heavy rain. There was a good week or more where it seemed like most workouts were done in the rain!

The down:

The headache and terrible workouts that followed the 18:45 5k. I knew that I had overdone it about two miles into the 5k. I felt a little out of it mentally. I broke out in goosebumps. I felt nauseated for a good portion of the day after the race.

I took Sunday off after the race, which was unplanned. I wanted to give myself a chance to recover a little more - plus, this headache! Ug.

The following 2 workouts that followed last week were - um - not good. 

The first was a medium long run with 2x (4 miles hard, easy recovery, 1 mile hard). The first 4 mile segment just felt weird, as if my legs were made of jello. Although my pace on that wasn't terrible (I was surprised to see sub 6:30s -- I could have sworn I was going much slower), I quickly fell off the wagon. 

I almost called it a day, but thought: I just need to muscle through this. It may not be doing anything for my fitness, but I just felt that if I folded the workout after the first set that I'd feel soft. If that even makes sense... sometimes there is that mental edge that comes out of workouts like this.

The second hard workout that week went about the same. 15 miles with 3 miles hard (6:14), 2 miles hard (), 1 mile hard (). The last mile was almost a full minute off of my goal time. My headache came back big time after that workout.

Yup, time for an intervention! I've asked Jerry to take my off day this week early. I'll just log easy miles, and maybe we will even cut those back a bit?, until this Saturday's 1/2 marathon. I'll be racing at the MN Half Marathon. I did it in 2012 and really liked it. Results here - sub 1:20! I remember it was a "workout", too. Dang. I'm excited to give it a second try, and even more excited to see what I can do in a 1/2. Just need to focus 100% of my efforts on recovery between now and then...


Your turn: 
What are some of your ups and downs this past week?

If you ran high school cross country, were there scheduled Summer practices? Was the head coach involved at all? What memories do you have of your Summer training? 

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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