Track work and lovin’ life!

Oh, the track…

After last week’s 400s, I was feeling a little down. I know I need to move FASTER, but how to do that when your body just doesn’t know how? Turns out, as I’ve been reminded every single cycle, it’s just a matter of dusting off the legs and lungs. They know how to move faster, it just takes a while for them to remember.

Later last week, I did 800s on the road with Craig running and Pat Foley on bike.  They were just a few seconds off where I wanted to be (2:40 goal – actual was 2:41-2:44), which I consider a big success.  Each one was easier as well as I remembered how to run fast and efficient.  Then I had four 400s, supposed to be in 75.  The first one was in 81 (my 800m pace).  The second one I vowed to be faster.  We came through and Craig read off: 80!  I threw my hands in the air – are you sure?!?  This can’t be possible.  I can’t just have ONE gear.  Between Pat, myself and Craig, we decided that I needed to focus on that raw POWER and knee drive.  I was also going to change gears and hop right next to Pat’s wheel and not let go.

Next two were in 77 and 76!  The 76 felt so different.  I’m struggling to keep the legs underneath me (feels like I might tip over?) and keep them moving powerfully and fast.  AH-HA!  That’s what speed workouts are supposed to feel like!

Yes, shake your head at me, I know perfectly well that 76s are not even that fast… but I’m still pumped about it!

Today was another track session with 20x300s (long recovery).  Again, Craig ventured out to help with the workout (I love that guy!).  For the first time in a while, I actually hit my “speed paces”.  I’m happy!  I think I averaged around 57s for them, which was the goal – some were at 1:01 (oops), but I also had some at 55s.  I never am below Jerry’s goal times, so this is a confidence booster for me!!

Because you know you needed a random picture of Mesa and me 🙂  Yes, we are trying  to get her to gain weight – she’s running a bit more now and we’ve noticed she has lost a couple of pounds.  We have been trying to add hamburger or other fat onto her doggie food.  Wish I was like her and found it hard to keep weight on!

Note Mesa’s 1st place medal.  She’s pretty proud! 🙂

Also, I have to say that I am thoroughly enjoying coaching and think I have the best group of athletes I could hope for!  Hope they don’t mind me bragging about them.  Every single one of them is in a great place and I am really enjoying living through their workouts, PRs, and life in general.

A few highlights:  Angela is harnessing her speed and times are coming around really well. She has a 5k in early July and I am really excited for her to break the 18 minute mark!  Claire just hit a home run workout last week – one of those that both coach/athlete are left smiling about.  She’ll be at the Musky Fest 5k with me, so I’m really excited to be able to watch her cruise to a sub-21 there (why is it those minute barriers always elude us?).  Jim, my masters athlete, has been crushing his interval paces for the FIRST time, perhaps ever? Sharon is running Chicago with me and has put in a super 2 weeks of base and speed work – not to mention a fun personal update in the last week :). 

And last, but not least, I was contacted by a local family recently to coach them through the summer and a fall race goal.  I’ll be meeting with this family in person weekly, which I am really, really looking forward to.  I get pretty connected to the individuals I coach, and know my relationship with this family will be no different.

Keeping me busy!  I love it!

And, this sounds so cheesy, but I am beyond grateful for the opportunity I have to run, coach, be out in the community, volunteer, etc.  The opportunity to craft myself into the strongest, fastest, and most confident runner possible.  The chance to find where that potential “line” is for me – I might not be the fastest out there, but it is still dang fun to chase!  Not to mention having the time to cook healthy, enjoy spending time with Nathan and friends and family, and enjoy LIFE in general.  In the busyness of my previous life I didn’t have time – or was too tired all of the time – to enjoy or realize how much is out there and how awesome each day we are given is.

Our life is simple – we don’t need a lot – money isn’t important to me like it once was – and it’s amazing how much joy can come from a life like that.

Again, sorry for the cheese. Looking forward to my next training week!

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  1. Workout is very good for health. Before and after you workout, you should give your body a good massage. Before you workout, use your fists in a pummeling motion to stimulate body-fluid flow to your arms and legs. After you workout, rub your sinews with your fist or palm. Move along your heart's direction. This helps to pace up your recovery and aids in waste removal.

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  2. Nichole, you continue to be such an inspiration. I am beyond ecstatic that you are coaching my Claire. It has been one of the true joys of my life to watch her finally find running since it had been such an important sport in my life. Since I can no longer run or compete I live through her now as I watch her become an even better runner I think than I ever was. We should have all been so fortunate to have such a gifted friend and coach like you to take an interest. You are the best kind of coach. Giving, tough and knowing the potential in the average runner to make them the best they could ever possibly think of being. You have done more for Claire than I can say and I thank you for being the inspiration for her. It is finding the joy in the simple things and it sounds like your decision and also having the resources to devote to your sport right now has been the right choice. Run on….because once a runner always a runner and I can still feel it!

  3. Gosh, every time I read your posts it makes me want to run faster and faster! Congrats on nailing your workouts lately 🙂 I love seeing pics of Mesa, keep em coming. I bet you are an awesome coach and after reading Peggy's response, I can't help but smile. What a great validation for the choice you made about your job. And you're right, money isn't the means to happiness… living life to the fullest is 🙂

  4. Enjoyed the reading! Such posts are real motivation for beginners like me. I am also searching through internet for other interesting blogs for athletes, and one of my favourite ones is They write a lot about proper nutrition, workouts and exercising. They also share various researches in this sphere, which could be interesting and useful for all athletes.

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