Training and Life update!

Things have been a little crazy around here! I’ll try my best to catch up…

Knee trouble?
On Friday March 4th Nathan and I ran up to the Montessori School to pick up Greta. I needed a 6 mile run, and conveniently school is 3 miles away.

We got there, dressed Greta and put on her shoes, and headed back out. I remember briefly thinking about how I was sitting on the ground putting her shoes on. “You’re old now, Nichole, so you might want to watch how you bend down!”, I thought to myself. No pain or anything, just a random thought.

But, low and behold, the first step back home HURT. The top of my knee cap burned. I made it about a minute down the highway and stopped to stretch. I thought about running another minute to get to a sidewalk, but nope. I needed to stretch right there. Stretching didn’t really help, so I sucked it up and ran back home (with a stop to buy lettuce at the grocery store and at a friend’s house to buy a pull-up bar – ha, gotta love “running” errands).

The next day it just felt bruised. It wasn’t the sharp, burning pain of before, so I decided to try my 18 miler. It hurt on and off, but I made it through the long run. YAY, my longest run in over 2 years! I then took two days off, hesitantly. One was scheduled, and I decided to play it safe and give myself another day to heal.

Luckily I had Nathan do some deep tissue massage on the entire quad and I found my IT band was very tender close to its insertion point. He would rub it – hard – each night and each following morning my knee hurt less and less.

So… here’s hoping a crisis was averted! It reminded me to take care of the little things – stretching, rolling, massage, etc., as I haven’t been good about that.

Mileage has been averaging between 80 and 100/week, and I’ve been responding really well. I went through a phase where I became slower and required more sleep than usual, but that passed and I’m feeling stronger each week!

It’s amazing how perspective changes. Now I see a day where I just have a “single” of 10 miles and think, “Wow! Just 10!”. My norm is now a double of 14-16, or a single mid-week medium-long run of 15 or a long weekend run of 18-20. Yikes!

A run through St. Olaf arb. I did NOT want to get out for a run that day, so waited until 3:00 to start- and I was supposed to do 12 as a double :(. Thank you, Nathan, for motivating me to get out!!! Most days I’m super motivated, but other days I need a swift kick 🙂

I am trying to get to the YMCA once a week for their RIP class. It’s an all-body barbell lifting class that I really like. Then I just have to do one session at home. Since I haven’t been good about doing things at home, this has been great for me. I run there, lift, and then run home. It’s a great way to get my double AND a lift in before noon!

Class just ended
Nope, not a lopsided prego belly. Just running to the RIP class with breakfast in my pocket (apple and granola bar). I try to run there fasted, eat a little before class, and then eat a big lunch after I’m back home. Fasted runs are key for me to teach my body to burn fat. 
As is UCAN! I tried their Cocoa flavor before my 20 miler, and really liked it! One packet fueled the entire long run.

One high: a 4-mile tempo effort where I averaged 6:36. It’s always my goal to make my hard days as HARD as I possibly can (unless otherwise written) and tell myself to run HARD enough so I’ll have to throw up or beeline for a bathroom afterwards. Well, I did the latter, except couldn’t make it until the end and frantically found a bathroom at 3.25 miles. I then had even more fire in me to make that last .75 miles HURT! I was proud of my effort on this workout, and a special thanks to Craig for pacing the first loop and for Jeff for the last mile, bathroom crisis included :).

One low: 4×800, supposed to be in sub 2:50. I ran them all 3:05 or slower, most in 3:1x. I had been SUPER sick the last 3 days, and clearly was not over it. My HR was sky high from the beginning, and I just made the best of it. Maybe I shouldn’t have even tried running hard. Who knows. I only had this workout and a 20 miler on the schedule for the week, so wanted to get it in. At least I tried?!?

Speaking of being sick…
Our house has been one giant germ pit this entire winter. Nathan and I are generally very healthy people, but wow… we are no match for a 1 year old who wants to bring home every germ imaginable from daycare and who-knows-where-else.

I took Greta into the doctor yesterday after a 102.6 fever. She had been sick on and off for the last two weeks. Turns out, she has a double ear infection and pneumonia. I felt so bad! Interestingly, she has only been “off” a little, other than the doctor day when she was inconsolable. She is one tough kid, that’s for sure!

We went to McDonalds after her doctors appointment. I had told her we were getting a cone because it was free cone day at DQ. Apparently NF’s DQ wasn’t participating (boo), so we went to McDonalds instead. I swear, this was the first time she smiled that day! Poor sick little girl!
I like Sweet and Sour sauce! A lot! Feed me more on a spoon mom, and I’ll perk right up!
That’s okay to do, right?!?

Nathan is currently very sick: stuffy, aches, chills, throwing up. He’s sleeping in the spare bedroom and I am being diligent about washing my hands often and disinfecting our surfaces. I am registered to race the Hot Dash 10 miler on Saturday and really, really want to be healthy so I can see where I’m at!

Speaking of racing…
Like I said, I’m excited to see where I’m at! I’m putting my over/under at 6:45 pace, but really have no clue with a 10 miler.

Jeff, Marco, Amy, and Lindsey are also racing with me. TNC might have 3 women all working together at the same pace, isn’t that fun?!? Bart and Sara, also TNCers are racing Saturday as well. A big day!


-I eat at Bistro every Wednesday with Greta. Usually I’ll help Greta eat and then bring my food back to my office. As we were leaving, a finance committee member told me they really appreciated my contributions to our meeting on Tuesday night. As I was thanking him, Greta, in one hand, took my PB&J sandwich and threw it into my soup on the tray in my other hand and laughed.

-My new 2016 goal: to find $10 by the end of the year. I’m off to a good start with almost $2, but I’m afraid the street sweepers will be out soon to scoop up any coins I’ve missed.

Weird? Maybe. But when you’re running a lot of your miles solo, it’s a great way to occupy your mind – and to look for streets you haven’t run on yet! 🙂

-I like to “run” my errands. It gives my run purpose so they seem to go by faster, and it also saves time. Library runs are okay if I just have a movie, but recent book requests have come in… it makes for a very awkward arm swing. I wonder what passing motorists think.

I’m checking out cake decorating books so I can learn how to make/frost a cake for Greta’s future parties. We will see how that goes…

-One of my athletes also “runs” their errands. They just learned it was possible to run with a gallon of milk. Think about it. That can not be comfortable.

-I am trying to be mindful about what I eat and tracking my weight weekly. I don’t want to fall into Ed’s trap again, but I am not happy with my weight right now (~6-7 pounds up from my old training weight) and the only way for it to change is for me to make better decisions and to track things! I actually love tracking and thinking about really healthy, balanced meals, so I’m happy to have this mindset. I started tracking two weeks ago at 118.8 pounds (old training weight was 112, and that was likely much more muscle weight than I have now) and this morning was 117.4.

I’ll try to get in the habit of posting healthy recipes and snacks on here again!
Here is the Nutty Bird Sandwich recipe from The Nourished Peach (great healthy recipe blog!). I loved it so much I had it again the next day!

-I also started working on my Diastasis Recti by starting on the MuTu Core 12 week program, recommended by a former GAC track & field record-holder who went through the same thing. Since what I had been doing – which was my regular ab program and “just hoping” my abs would magically grow back together – wasn’t working, I figured it was worth trying something new. There is a money back guarantee, so I figured, “Why not?”.

Bearing all. This is Day 0 of watching weight and doing MuTu. Maybe I’ll always carry my weight in a little “mom pouch” belly now – but I will at least try to work it back to where it used to be.

-Nate WON the 35k Skate race at the Mora Vasalppet! Greta and I are super proud of him. Unfortunately, weather didn’t allow us to travel up to see him. Race temps were supposed to be -1, which neither of us felt was safe to have Greta out in.

Greta: Dad, can I have a horsey?
Dad: How about a big red one?

Other random picture updates:

The last time it snowed I took Mesa for a short run. She needs to exercise, badly, but HATES the cold. Good thing Spring is coming!
Greta loves reading, and is learning so much now! She knows a lot of her body parts (not sure she knows “Budha Belly” yet, ha), animal sounds, and how to name a lot of objects. This morning I heard her waking up on the baby monitor saying “two, tree (three)…”. We’re still working on one, apparently 🙂

A trip to the zoo! Greta was enthralled by the animals!
I received this card in the mail from a woman at church that I’ve never met.
Inside was the NICEST note & a gift card to Applebees! How absolutely sweet of her to have not only thought enough to send a card – but to ask me celebrate my success, on her?!? I think someone I am friends with shared my Break The Stigma ambassador post, as I’m not really sure how else she would have heard my story?
Greta’s report card. Clumsy. HAHAHA. Good thing you don’t need to be coordinated to run?!?

So, to sum up running: The next race on the horizon is the Hot Dash 10 miler, so I HOPE that I can stay healthy until then. I think my odds are… slim, at best :(. After that, it’s a return to MILEAGE! Just 13.5 weeks to Grandma’s! Yikes!
Your turn: 
What is the most $$ you’ve found on a run?

What is the most random thing you’ve carried on a run, or errand that you’ve “run”?

Anyone else racing this weekend? If so, where?

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  1. Coach, you look amazing! I wish I could say the same for my mama belly. Keep in mind they say that it takes about three years for the uterus to go back to normal size. Be patient with yourself. As for how much money on a run? I found a $20 bill one time! I continuously pick up all pennies nickels dimes quarters or anything that even looks like money or I have tried to do the good samaritan route as well and pick up any screws bolts nails or tire puncture items that I possibly can and throw them in the next garbage can i see. Fantastic update! I'm excited for all of your progress. I may be dealing with an IT issue as well and I need to continue to roll and get somebody who can do deep tissue on the nightly! You are a lucky gal! Keep it up coach!

  2. I found a $5 bill in a ditch two springs ago. This time of the year I'm always on a treasure hunt looking for interesting, random and sometimes disgusting things in the ditches along the county roads. Last year I spotted a small handgun a few miles from my house and decided to bring it home. I ran with it for a mile (pointed away from me!) until a car passed me and I began to worry that I looked like a deranged and paranoid runner lady. Took off my shirt and wrapped it around my hand with the gun to hide it. Turns out it was a very realistic-looking fake weapon, but for a while I thought I might have found a murder weapon. Added some excitement to the run….

    Can't wait to race with you tomorrow! Go TNC! Amy O

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