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Thursday, March 1, 2012

the 20 Mile run from Hell and my LAST Month of training before the taper....and looking back to last year....coming full circle:)

So today was the 20 miler from hell.
i don't skip out on runs due to crappy weather very often...I think i'm pretty darn tough, I may whine about it, but i'll still do it...but today was just ridiculous!
It made it sting a bit more knowing Monday was sunny and clear but I couldn't do it then b/c of sick kids...so it got moved today and what did I get today? Well...let me tell you!....

-Freezing rain
-HARD winds
-borderline frostbite on my fingers
-SIDEWAYS freezing rain
Yup....that about sums it up.
Nothing much more to say. I can stand alot of weather elements but freezing cold headwinds combined with sideways rain beating against me is NOT one of them.
Nevertheless,it got done. PRAISE GOD.

I'm not gonna lie, when My coach told me today that the Boston marathon can have anything from Snow to 95 degree weather, it freaked me out. i am a bit traumatized from the 80 degree heat that ruined my race last year so i'm literally BEGGING God for no extreme weather in Boston.

My 20 miler was super easy pace...I actually never even looked at my mile splits til mile 17 and then picked it up the last few....last 2 miles were 7:32 and 7;16. 
The 20 mile average pace was 8:08 which was way faster than how it felt. I was hoping for more like 8:30's which is what I thought I was running.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....today I picked up MY LAST training schedule before my 2wk taper:) it takes me to the end of march and I felt really emotional looking at it and realizing how close I am to running this HUGE Race. Not just b/c of the race itself but what it represents in my life and all the hard work I've put in. It feels like a everything is coming full circle.

I ran my first marathon last year and the results were very devastating. Everything that could go wrong, did: Heat, dehydration, getting super ill the week before, and a stress fracture in my fibula......I had to take 8wks off completely to heal and have been slowly but surely working my wy back:)
Looking back on my first marathon 10 months ago it is  a good reminder of how I am doing things SO MUCH differently this time and how I will yield much better results:)

Mile 22, right after Steve took this picture I felt a SHARP pain in my leg. you can see the tape I had on my lower right leg...that is where my stress fracture occurred. I had bad pain starting 5 days earlier but just thought it was somethign I could run through. wrong!

Mile 25, in SO much pain....could hardly run 9min pace at this point....

Mile 26....barely holding on.....

Crossing the finish line....more than 15 min over my goal time...devastated.

eventually I got over it (temporarily) and collected my cup for being 7th female and 3rd in my AG.
but not a really great day.

Boston will be MUCH different! b/c of the following reasons:

1. I am not overtrained. I am not doing my 20 mile runs at 7:30 pace this time.
 I am running higher mileage and yet doing easier less strenuous workouts
2. I will not put any EXPECTATIONS on myself. Regardless of the outcome, I will ENJOY the experience
3. I will arrive Healthy and UN-Injured:):)

So...a sneak peak at what I have in my last 4wks of training before my 2wk taper starts:

- two 22 milers:)
- a 15 easy and a 16 mile progression
- 16 x 200m
-20 x 200m
-16 x 400m
- two 10 x 800m
 -5 x 1mile repeats
-6 x 1 mile repeats
- two more 75 mile weeks:)
 and a 5K race:)

I am SOOOOOOOOOOO excited!!
I have loved this training so much. I love that John combines 5K track workouts with higher mileage and i'm super stoked to see what it produces on April 16th.
I am STILL nervous whenever I look at the elevation profiles from people's garmins on Boston...so hilly:/ but I'm trying not to think about it too much.
I realize that my 3:15 might not be at Boston and I'm totally okay with that!...I just want to enjoy the experience, the atmosphere...the RACE! I think it is more realistic to try for a 3:15 on  a flat fast course so I can always do that later this year:)

7 weeks til I get to run my GUTS out! I can't WAIT!!!!!!!!!!


  1. I know you will do so well Nicole, I admire your drive and determination, I loved the blog on being a mom first the other day and then a runner, you are one very special, mother, daughter, and loving and giving person. :)

    Hugs, Susan

    1. thanks Susan! you are so sweet..I'm trying! xx

  2. Oh my gosh Nicole, you are so hardcore!! I am so excited for you to totally rock Boston!! :D

    BTW, my hubby and I are planning on being in Oregon this fall and I'm hoping to find a race (either a half or 10K) to do... Maybe we could do one together! Not "together" together, because you are way too crazy fast for me, but it could be fun to hit up the expo and post-race stuff together! :)

    1. totally!!!! there are a few 10K's i'm interested in this fall so make sure you let me know when you're coming!!!

  3. Love the Riverfront Park pictures- I run through there a lot if I am in the downtown area. It sounds like your training plan and my new training plan are very similar. Great minds most think a like! I had 200 repeats last week, the week before was 400s and I have 400s tomorrow.

    Let me tell you about the weather when I ran Boston. The days leading up to the race it was freezing cold, mid to low 30s, and pouring down rain. It was awful. Especially sitting through not one, but THREE Red Sox games because my hubby is the world's biggest fan. LAME!!!! I felt unprepared for the weather so I bought NIKE arm sleeves at the expo since I didn't bring a long sleeve shirt. Race day was gorgeous, about mid 50s, with sun. I got an insane "farmer's tan" on my arm from the arm sleeves and sun burn on my face. It just so happened that my best friend came to Boston with us because race day was her birthday. All of our pictures from that night are of me in a cute black dress (wearing my finisher's jacket) with a farmer's tan. SWEET. :-)

    1. oh this made me laugh! are you gonna post some of those farmer tan pics? lol
      I hope we get mid 50's weather too! that would be amazing!!!!

  4. You survived!!!

    Reading through and seeing the photos of last year's race brings all sorts of thoughts to mind. You are Going to have a different race this year! A great one. :)

    Looking forward to your 5k!

    My only boston advice, for now anyway, if it isn't 85F, bring a few garbage bags and lots of extra clathes...and a cheap inflatable air mattress to sit on. I lost so much energy shaking from cold in the staging area- even though it ended up being a shorts race. It just gets windy there. And if you don't use them, you can probably sell them to someone else~ :)

    1. GREAT advice Raina! I started thinking about goodwill and getting throw away clothes today after reading this!!!! xxx

  5. Wow that 20 sounds miserable----- I had a super windy 18 miler this past weekend and it is just the pits.

    I am also terribly afraid of hills...and you will totally get your 3:15 soon!! I bet you'll do it at Boston, despite the elevation profile, I believe in you :)

    1. Love. thanks for believing in me. Those words are so powerful to hear from someone else. bless you. I will be thinking of this when i'm running it! xx

  6. You are going to be so strong this time Nicole. Your body is stronger...your mind...and your determination! All around you are a stronger person and this is exciting to see. Great job on your 20 miles. Dang, that is a fast average for just running easy and in those conditions. I think that 3:15 is easily yours. Or faster. But just get there healthy and see what happens. No pressure...just enjoy! Excited to see you Saturday.

    1. Thanks A! I feel like I have the 3:15 in me too...just not sure if it will be at Boston, only time will tell I guess huh? :) and you're right, I do look TOO skinny in those pics! yuck!
      that won't happen this time around...I am too busy stuffing my face these days!!

  7. ooo you have me in tears reliving that with you! Its going to ROCK Nic, you are in the best shape of your life and running through this crappy weather is making you so much stronger! That picture with Steve running by you is amazing ... look at his smile! I know I have said it before but I cant wait to track you! I am so incredibly proud of you and you help me much more than you even realize. XOXOXOX

    1. thanks Michelle!! your words always mean so much! hope you got my Voicemail today! xx

  8. Boston will be nothing like that first marathon. You have a great attitude, and you trained/are training so well! Don't focus on the weather, you can;t control that. Just do the daily grind; runs like today, in shitty weather, make you stronger!


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