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Grandma’s Marathon = 3:07

Grandma’s didn’t go as I had hoped, at all. 3:07. My fourth slowest marathon.

My legs felt terrible from the beginning in a way they haven’t before. I’m pretty sure I was fighting off the bug that kept Anna home from school the Tuesday and Wednesday before the race. She had a fever of over 101 and although I tried to be so good about washing hands and not snuggling with her when she just wanted to burrow in my chest – I started to feel a little off the Friday evening before the race. NOOOO. I told myself it was nothing – just nerves and the taper itch.

But after the first two miles at 6:30 I knew the pace wasn’t sustainable. My hamstrings were super tight and even my hip muscles were burning (what the?!). I felt like I wasn’t covering any ground with my stride. Instead of lightly tapping the ground, I landed heavily and couldn’t get my legs to work efficiently. They felt just awful! I won’t recount the marathon; honestly, I’d like to forget about it! The days right after the marathon I was just angry. All of those miles! Some crazy hard workouts! All for a 3:07?!? Obviously some would be thrilled with a time like that, but I know my potential is much faster than what I raced, and hence my disappointment (it’s not about the time, it’s about racing to your ability/potential!).

Nate and I drove from Duluth to the Cabin on Saturday to meet his family and the girls. There was the Musky Festival 5k on Sunday morning that we always do. I did about a 3 min warm up, which was a good idea as my legs were so stiff! The gun went off and my legs felt better than they had the day before. Go figure. I cruised to a 20:22, gaining speed the entire race. I saw Nate just 15 seconds ahead of me and tried to chase him down, but that’s where I could feel the marathon the day before. My hamstrings did not have an extra gear. Ha! He can have the win this time. Results here. I won my age group so I get a free entry next year. Hopefully next year it’s a week and a day after Grandma’s, not just the day after!

I will say, though, my legs were way less sore after doing the 5k. I strongly recommend at least a 5 min shake out jog the day after a marathon. Probably not a 5k race, but a girl has to do what a girl has to do!

Greta and Anna both did the Minnow Run after the 5k ended. It’s a kids run around a block in Hayward. Greta booked it the entire time! Look at that face! Love it 🙂

Then came a period of about 2 weeks where I just didn’t want to do much of anything. I got out for my runs like Meghan wrote for me, and some days I’d wish I could do more, but most I was glad to call it quits after just 30 mins.

Now nearly a month later I’m in a better mental place. I don’t know if I’ve just moved on, called the race a fluke (or was it? There is a part of me that wonders if I just haven’t lost speed and endurance?) – or what. But I’m okay with it. I have the next cycle to work on my weaknesses, hone in my strengths, and log a lot of miles. I really do love the grind of marathon training!

TNC had a pretty amazing day. AP, pictured, ran over a 3 min PR and finished feeling GOOD!, SI went for her OTQ and came up under 3 minutes shy. Not bad for just 6 weeks of true marathon training off of a 2:57! HB also notched a huge PR, coming to me in tears because she couldnt believe it. Its hard to be too disappointed when Im surrounded by my TNC athletes all kicking butt!

I’m signed up for both Chicago, where they let me into their American Development Program, and TCM. I’ll travel to Chicago if I think I’m on the brink of an OTQ. My 3:07 at Grandma’s doesn’t exactly give me a lot of confidence, but then I remember I ran a 2:52 at TCM last fall with only two 20 mile runs (not recommended). I couldn’t have taken that many steps backwards, could I? So there is hope! All I can do is do what I know how to do each and every day!

To follow along on more of a day-to-day basis with workouts (and frequent family pictures too, can’t help it!), follow my Instagram account. You can also see workouts in Strava.

I also turned 36 at the start of this month! How did that happen? Sharing a cake with Jess, Nate’s youngest sister, who has a birthday two days after mine. Anna helped blow out our candles. But seriously… now I definitely round up to 40… dang…

Gotta run! ~Nichole


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One Comment

  1. I know your Grandma’s time doesn’t reflect your fitness, but I also know how it feels to have a race like that (every runner does!). Like Des says, just keep showing up. I want both of us to line up in Atlanta! Thanks for the shout out. 🙂

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