Week 16 in review

Week 16 before NYC:
81 miles (down week)
One hard workout: 6x1 mile at tempo
One long run: 20 miles
One day off
2 strength workouts

81 miles
One hard workout: completely fell apart
One 20 mile long run
One day off
One strength workout

What a week!  I traveled to Chicago for work Monday morning for a week long training program.  It was great, but it definitely tested my dedication, as we usually started the work day around 7:30-8 and ended our group dinner around 10.  BUT, I am very proud to say that I didn't miss a mile, even though that meant waking up at 4:45 on TWO different occasions.  That's unheard of for me.

Having to wake up so early meant that I was out before it was unbearable, but I still managed to completely fall apart during my one hard workout for the week.  I started around 6 (day didn't start until 9 that day, YEAH!), but it was already very humid.  Once the sun came out, it was absolutely miserable.  I tried the first mile repeat.  6:03.  Not bad, but not great, either (and I was driving so hard to try to get it under 6!)  1 minute shuffle jog.  Next mile: 6:30ish.  I couldn't do anything about my pace, I tried.  Another minute shuffle and I started my 3rd rep.  6:30 again.  I could feel my body shutting down a little so decided to take a longer rest and find water.  The minute I stopped running, my body poured sweat.  I furiously pumped water from a "pump your own" faucet (10 pumps = 4 slurps of water).  I squeegeed myself off and started a fourth.  My legs felt really funny, and I looked down at my watch part way through to see 7:40.  SEVEN FOURTY???? That can't be right.  I gave the watch a few seconds to catch a new GPS signal, but no avail.  I thought about it... keep going at this pace? Is this beneficial?  Then I thought to myself... this is TWO MINUTES slower than my goal tempo pace.  This cannot be beneficial.  I stopped.  Perhaps it was just that my legs had seized up after the brief break and water.  I started again.  7:40 pace AGAIN.  I stopped after a tenth of a mile.

I shuffled back to the hotel, finishing 3.5 miles early.  I was going 8:40 or slower pace, sometimes even 9 minute pace.

I have not fallen apart that badly during a workout in ages.  I thought about it for the rest of the day... hopefully this isn't indicative of my fitness?  It can't be - I just did a good 2x3 mile tempo workout last week at sub-6, so I know it's there.  It's either the heat (mostly), lack of sleep, or... just a bad day.

The rest of the week went well. I got up as early as I needed to to get the workout done (meant doing all of the mileage in the morning instead of doing doubles).  I was thankful that this week was my recovery week.

My 20 miler went great.  After 10 miles I did 1/10 of a mile as fast as I could every time my watch clicked off another mile.  I felt like it was good to get the legs moving a little faster.  My hamstring/glute were a little taxed after about 5 reps (need to see Jim!), so it was a good way to add a little intensity to mileage.  Plus, I just feel like my footspeed/VO2 max is a little lacking.  The funny thing?  I hardly noticed the 20 miles.  Later that night I found myself wondering if I had a second run.  Guess that's a good thing... since if I want to race a marathon, running 20 miles at an easy pace better feel like a walk in the park.

Now... time to rest up, enjoy the recovery week, because August is going to be a challenge.  I'll average 100 miles/week through the entire month (103, 103, 80, 115).  The amazing thing is that I look at these numbers and I know that I can handle them.  Such a cool feeling :)

P.S. This may have to do with my "I know I can handle them feeling", but I honestly feel like I'm recovering faster and better now that I'm following Camille's advice on post-run nutrition.  If you haven't seen it, check it out.  Very informational and gives great examples of recovery foods to seek out.  My go to recovery foods are Bob's 7 grain cereal (perfect ratio of carbs/protein, and no unnecessary fat), chocolate milk, or a bagel with 1 Tbsp PB and 1 Tbsp organic jam.  If I'm running on-the-go, I'll throw a bar in my bag.  If I can time the run to end around a meal time, that's even better.
I'm trying to adhere to her .5g carbohydrate/lb recommendation, as well as a 3:1-5:1 ratio of carbs to protein diet after every run.  I'll have to do a little more research to figure out if that's the correct ratio and if it needs to be adjusted if the run is shorter.  It took a little adjusting of my diet (i.e. this is ~300 calories, so if I'm running 2x/day, I need to plan my meals/these recovery meals appropriately!), but honestly, I have recovered SO much more quickly than in the past.  I didn't even notice my last mid 90's week, and there was a 7 day total of 103 in the midst of the last 2 weeks - which I handled without a problem.  I know I'm stronger than ever before, but I honestly think my nutrition post-workout is the biggest contributor to this breakthrough.  So - give Camille's blog a read & try it out.  Let me know if you see the same thing I'm seeing!

P.P.S.  I'm adding a "recipe tab" to my blog to capture the best recipes I come across.  I hope to categorize them by meals (post-run "meals" included).  I am admittedly not a great cook (I am learning!), and have no photography skills, so beware :).  If nothing else, it makes my life easier... I often think "remember that healthy bean quinoa recipe we tried 2 weeks ago?  where is that?" - and to have the calories and nutrient breakdown right there - I think it'll be really handy to have everything in online here. Feel free to link me to recipes to try!!

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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