Just Food on Tuesday, Fit to Be Tri'd on Thursday!

I'll be doing a talk at Just Food this Tuesday at 7pm - my favorite place to shop!! (Well, I guess any running store would rival for that "favorite" title :)) - stop by if you have the time/are in the area! Or make a trip! I'll be talking about my journey, with a special emphasis on goal setting, follow-through, and nutrition. All audiences welcome, particularly those that have made new year's resolutions and are struggling to maintain them, junior high/high school athletes that have aspirations to have a great season, running/marathoning fanatics... heck, hopefully this is pertinent to everyone!

Thursday's talk will be at Fit to be Tri'd, 6:30. Best part?!? I've been told there might be chocolate and wine there! :) (Ironic, since my talk at Just Food will talk about my much needed diet changes... but it's the off-season, right? And what could make a talk better than my two favorite foods?!?) This talk will center more on the specifics that I've learned about marathoning - focusing on training cycles, all of the "little things" that I've felt have (or have not) made a difference, and just running/training in general.

Hope to see you there!!!
(if you are planning to come & read this, comment here to let me know!)


Olympic Trials Race Recap

*This is part 3 of my recap of the Olympic Trials weekend:

As I scurried to the start line I looked around for and soon found Kristen Carter. We had met each other in the massage room the day before and found that we both wanted to start at 6:20 pace. We were lined up in the second to last row at the start line, which I was uncomfortable with... I probably should be farther up. Problem was, everyone was assembled and I didn't feel like I could charge to the middle of the pack, when everyone there is as fast, if not faster, than me. Kristen didn't look worried, so I tried not to be either.

Once the gun went off the nerves of the event left me. I'm generally a pretty patient and composed racer, and I think that showed. I stuck to my plan, which was 3 miles at 6:20 and then bringing it down to 6:05-6:10. My first mile was way too slow - 6:28 by my watch (started 6 seconds off the line), which meant the clock showed 6:34. But -- I told myself that was a good thing. Better to start too slow than too fast! I brought my pace to 6:20 for the 2nd mile (where I apparently was 4th from last! Glad no one told me that, I might have stressed a little at that), then a 6:23 for the 3rd. I knew at this point that my goal 6:05s were just not in the cards for the day... my legs didn't feel the best.

I find it impossible to "feel" the first mile of a marathon. Of course, my watch didn't work the first three miles because of all of the downtown buildings in Houston, so then I'm left more blind than usual. Perhaps it's something I'll get better at, perhaps I couldn't "find" a pace because I hadn't done a lot at MP in the last few weeks because of the achilles interruption... who knows. Something to work on for next time.

At 2.2 miles we looped through the finish line -- to start the first of 3 big 8 mile loops that we would do. What an absolutely AMAZING experience. I will never forget it. The street is lined with American flags, Marines down the middle in salute, and the deafining roar of the crowd (Go USA!). It made me INCREDIBLY proud to have made it here. I wish I could describe it more vividly, I will forever remember how that felt. I had goosebumps running down the finish line street. The woman next to me breathed, "Wow - nothing like that, eh?".

Catching a pack of women and moving up through them to lead for a while:

At mile three I tried to notch it down and struggled to swing into that rhythm (compared to Grandma's, where it came to me pretty easy). I could tell that it wasn't quite my day. With each passing mile, I willed myself to find 6:10s. My legs just simply wouldn't cooperate - much less allow me to find 6:05s (my real goal). The ensuing miles were 6:15, 6:14, 6:16, 6:16, 6:11, 6:15, 6:10. From mile 10-20 I averaged 6:12. So -- perhaps that was my "rhythm" for the day, I just know that I am faster/more fit than that. It was weird to have that slow feeling in my legs, to not be bouncing lightly down the course.

Despite knowing I was slower than I hoped, I kept an incredibly positive attitude. I am very proud that I left the watch behind and focused solely on passing the women ahead of me. I was so focused on making this a full effort, making this race hurt as much as possible, that I looked at the watch but didn't allow myself to process what it was saying. Instead, I focued internally. Can I pick it up? Can I hurt more? I know I've said it a lot here, but Dr. Asp's work is truly transformational and it has made a huge difference in my ability to "race".

I don't know my place from mile 2 until mile 20, but at 20 Nate yelled out that I was in 89th place. Really?!? I thought to myself. 89th is great! I had been hoping for top 100 (180+ started the race).

I also thought to myself that I felt TOO good at this point. I was a little uncomfortable, but not nearly enough (granted, I have coached myself to hurt A LOT during these... which is probably a little dangerous). For all of the miles that had clicked by that I had tried to make my legs move into that next gear, for all of the mental coaching I was giving myself, I knew I was leaving too much out there. 20 miles was also my cue to move into another gear, to truly race the last 10k. So... let's go!

At mile 20:

I had told my family/friends that this was an important point for me, and it was great to see them all there. I still remember Brenden's hoarse voice SCREAMING at me near that point, my immediate family shortly thereafter, and so many others. I had the absolute BEST cheer section on the course, all clad in bright yellow shirts with my picture on them :). I could not ask for better supporters (on the course and off! There were people dressed in "Team Nichole" yellow in Northfield, in Washington, at home!) ; I am really, really blessed.

See the yellow shirts? :)

I looked at my watch a couple of times that last 10k, but it didn't matter. This was about full effort. GO NICHOLE, I coached myself. I came up upon & passed women like never before, it even amazed me. I had a lot of cheers from others, "Wow - look at your stride!" and a lot of others commenting on how strong I looked. Cool, I guess? But that also probably means that I had too much at this point. But I couldn't physically do anything about it!!! Argh!!

I crossed the finish line, unbelievably proud. 2:44:12, a new personal best (2:44:06 chip time), and 69th place. (Seriously, 69th?) I am incredibly proud that a year and a half ago I set my goal to qualify for the Trials. I'm so proud to have made that goal, to have been in Houston racing amongst the country's best, to have held my own, and to have represented everyone that has supported me. THANK YOU to everyone that has supported me, cheered me on during junior high, high school, and collegiate races, paced me on crazy runs, and in general believing in me. It means SO much to me, and is the reason I am where I am today.

To those reading that may be thinking about their own goals -- dream it, live it, be it. Amazing things happen when you challenge yourself & aim to see what you can do. I'm living proof.

Now... a little more downtime to heal this bum achilles, but I'm fired up to race the 2:40 (or sub 2:40) I was dreaming of at the Trials. :) So there might be another marathon in my near future... :)


Race Day!!!

*This is part 2 of my recap of the Olympic Trials weekend:

Race day started, in earnest, at 2 in the morning. A group of intoxicated guys entered into the room next to me and were excitedly discussing what time they were waking up to watch the Trials (ironically). I knocked on their door about 15 minutes later asking them to be quiet.

I actually think I saw the guy that opened the door cheering on the course the next day. I think he recognized me as well. Funny.

Anyway, I was WIDE awake at 2, ready to race. I was so excited, smile on my face, ready to go. Nothing worse than having to tell yourself to go back to bed after that :). But, I did fall back asleep and slept pretty hard until the first wake up call at 6:15 (2 hours before race time).

Time for breakfast #1 - bagel with organic jam (I brought a lot of my own food, just in case -- and most was from Just Food, love that place!!!!). I then went back to bed until the second alarm at 6:45, which was accompanied by Nathan (now feeling better, and now I don't have to be paranoid about him making me sick!) and a big bowl of oatmeal. Maybe it's odd to have two breakfasts before a marathon, but it's what I've found I need (as well as a lot of gel out on the course, guess I'm a big eater).

I changed into my race uniform: CW-X shorts, Run N Fun jersey, long sleeve and jacket for the warm-up. Nate helped me pin my bib on, and I was set to go. Can this be real? Am I really about to head down to the warm up area for the Olympic Trials? I'm normally pretty smiley and excited for races, but found myself nervous, unsure of myself, and actually a little emotional about the entire event. I thought back to a book Dr. Asp had given me: You can be nervous, just don't act nervous.

We got to the warm-up area at 7:15 and the last call to the staging area was at 7:45. Perfect time to eat another 1/2 of a banana, hit up the bathroom 2 times and get my first 5 minutes of warm-up in. I noted that my legs felt okay, but definitely not springy like before Grandma's. I didn't let myself think about it.

7:45 - last call, women! I joined the line of women being ushered to the staging area. Here's where it became really real. The mood was solemn, quiet. Note to self, in the event I'm here 4 years from now: make sure you're smiling and light hearted throughout all of this! It's just another race!

Upon entering the staging area I realized that the 38 degrees they had forecasted at the start felt a lot warmer (could be that I'm from MN, or could be that it was warmer than 38). In any event, I decided to switch to racing in a singlet to just a sports bra. I also contemplated switching to shorter shorts, but knew the longer ones were tried and true. So -- Nate and I scrambled to unpin and repin the number. Why do they make these things so huge? He somehow made it fit onto my sports bra.

I warmed up another 5 minutes (my typical) with a few pick ups. We were confined to a small track-like circle, so it was a little different. I then headed back to my bag and Nate to take off warm-ups, take my before-race gel and a handful of Sport Beans. And then... they ushered us closer to the start race...

It's about to begin... oh, my... am I really ready? Is this really happening?

I line up, almost at the back of the pack. Too far back? I knew the men had taken out their first mile BLAZING fast, and didn't want to be caught up in that. I know I need to start conservatively and work into my pace. I turn around and find I'm staring right into a NBC camera. Sweet, maybe my back made it on TV :)

I'm trying to maintain my typical Nichole attitude, but I'm finding myself a little emotional about the entire event. I am so happy to be here, for the opportunity to race at this level, to be lining up amongst the country's best...

And then the gun goes off :)


Leading up to the race

*I will do my best to recap the whole amazing experience that was the Olympic Trials. Here is part one:

I flew out Thursday for the race. My family and coach Jerry met me at the Red Wing airport and we boarded the company's private jet. What an absolutely awesome experience :). We arrived in Houston right around 12:30 and quickly boarded a taxi to downtown.

Very cool to see this on the floor of the hotel:

I ran in to the hotel to quick check in, grab my credentials, and hit up the athlete lunch before it closed. The food was definitely a highlight - I was in heaven. They had every type of healthy grain, pasta, and other carb-only food option. I filled a plate with wheat pasta, brown rice, broccoli, a piece of bread with jam, and an Italian roll. YUM. I was too shy to sit with anyone, so instead just sat off to the side and watched every one else. It's really neat to see so many very fast runners! Nate and I checked into the hotel and changed into our running gear for a short shake-out run. Leighton and Ben (cousin and brother) came with us. We ran the first 2.2 mile loop of the course, which was a disaster because there was a red light literally every block or two (the time we made it three blocks without stopping we all cheered). Probably not the best choice of routes, but I wanted to be able to see the start, finish, and the first loop. After that we headed outside the downtown loop to finish our 30 minute run. I did three striders afterwards and noted that my legs were feeling pretty good. Yes :).

Took time to take a picture at the finish line after the run - they're still setting everything up.

Then I left for a massage, provided by the race. It was honestly the BEST massage I have ever had (granted, I haven't had many, but still...). They worked on my hamstring (not firing quite right) and around the achilles area. She also did a lighter massage on the rest of my legs. I made a mental note: massages like this will be really key in future cycles to break up muscle tissue and tight knots when you're training at peak volume.

I came back to the hotel room to find Nate lying on the bathroom floor, pale, and hardly able to get up. He was alternating between throwing up and well... you get the picture. What??? NOOOOOO..... He had just done the run with me and seemed fine! He told us to head out and you could tell he was trying hard not to throw up. I beelined out of there, careful not to touch anything. Ben and I gave each other a scared look as the door closed behind us.

Then a sinking feeling: right before the run he had drank from my water bottle and I had finished it off after him. Ohhh nooooo. Please, Lord, do not let me become sick the day before the race. All of the training, the goals, etc... Just don't think about it, I told myself. Your body knows what it needs to do and won't let itself get sick.

Luckily I had the best support team possible down there with me, and Leighton was happy (well, maybe not :)) to give up his side of the bed for me that evening. I slept the night with Kathy (aunt), with Brenden and Leighton on the floor. I actually slept for over 10+ hours - hard - which was much needed after a few restless evenings earlier in the week.

We woke up Friday and immediately did another shake out run - just 2 miles with 3 striders. My legs felt good, but not completely springy. I headed inside for one last massage to work the kinks out of my hamstring and flush the lactate out of the legs. Then it was "go" time with all of the pre-race check in stuff.

It was pretty weird to go through all of that without Nate. He was really sick, and didn't want to risk getting me infected, so put himself in quarantine and stayed away from me until race day. But since he's always the one helping me through race details, logistics, etc. I was really lucky that Brenden was in our same hotel (and Jerry was just down the road and I'm sure he would have been happy to have run over to help!). It was a stress-free transition to relying on Brenden to coordinate things and keep me on schedule. We checked in our uniform (which is crazy -- they photograph everything you'll wear and warm up in -- they also covered every possible logo with duct tape, including the word "dri-fit") and then headed over to the race's technical meeting. I got goosebumps during the meeting. The logistics behind something of this magnitude are impressive, and you realize just how important of a race it is. They went over race rules, schedule for the morning, how bottles would be put out on the course, more rules, and then let us pick up our race bibs and chips.

Then it was back to the elite suite to finish our bottles. Leighton had put them together while we were in the technical meeting, so we just needed to add some sort of identifier (I reused a bridesmaid bouquet's flowers and was proud of myself for the creativity), tape gel to the bottle, and put either water or a poweraid/water mixture in it. To note for next time: the frequency of gels was PERFECT, as was the mixture. We turned those in, figured out that mine would be on table 39, spot 5 (again, it's crazy how well organized they are!! Guess they sort of have to be...).

I then ran to the front desk to get a new hotel room (Nate had checked out of the infected one and moved in to stay with his parents who had already had the "Norwalk Virus", which is what they thought he probably had). I moved my stuff in, and then ran down for a 5:00 meal (earlier than normal so I could go to the Opening Ceremonies -- and didn't want to eat afterwards because I thought 6 or 6:30 would be too little time to digest it all).

The Opening Ceremonies were just awesome. They lead all of the athletes into the park, giving us flags to wave. Wish I could remember the stat... something like, when you consider the X thousand of high school distance runners that enter the sport, times that by the 15 year age range that we have competing here today, these 300 men and women before you truly represent the top of the top in the sport of long distance running. Guess I had never thought of it that way. They had a former gold medalist talk about the success and disappointment that the Trials can bring - she made the US team in the '80s by 1/100th of a second and went on to win the gold medal. The following Olympic year she placed forth in the Trials, missing the team (and the chance to defend her medal) by 1/100th of a second. Guess that's the beauty and the ugliness of such an event... it literally comes down to one day, one race. And potentially less than a second.

At the opening ceremonies, proudly representing my "shoe sponsor" :)

They encouraged athletes to leave part way through because the night air was pretty chilly, and I happily took them up on their offer. Now, on to set out all of my race stuff for the morning -- and wait for the morning to arrive!!


69th Place at the Olympic Trials!

Quick update: I had SUCH a fabulous experience in Houston this weekend. It was the experience of a lifetime, really -- from the Opening Ceremonies to the race itself (and evertything in between).

The race went really well. My legs didn't have their best day - I struggled to find a rhythm and to be able to move FAST enough (weird thing to say - but every mile I willed myself to bring down my pace a few seconds as I knew my lungs were feeling strong & my legs weren't tired enough -- but they just simply couldn't move any faster than they were). BUT, despite that, I was still able to finish with a new PR - 2:44:12 (2:44:06 chip).

I just KNOW that I was capable of a 2:40, or even sub-2:40, so I wish I could have had a great legs day where I had that unique-Nichole spring that makes for a "fun" and very fast race :). Oh well... maybe that means that I'll be scheming to continue this marathon journey in 2012 :). (But we'll let myself digest this race & most importantly, rest this achilles which is now three times the size of the healthy achilles... ug).

I am most proud of my finishing place & how I raced. I started out conservatively. I guess I didn't know how conservatively - I was in 4th to last at the 2 mile mark (glad no one told me that). But, I raced my own race & didn't allow the fast opening pace to get to me. From the 3 mile mark & on, I focused entirely on dropping my pace and picking people off. It was fun :)

With 10k to go, my husband told me I had moved up to 89th place (150+ raced/finished). Again, I willed my legs to move faster. I'm not hurting enough! But they just couldn't. Ug.

I was SO mentally tough during this race. Wow -- thank you, Dr. Asp :). I don't think there are too many women out there that can embrace pain & think as positively as I did on that course on Saturday.

I finished in 69th place. Pretty exciting to think that I'm one of the top 70 US women's marathoners :). I am very proud to have been here, to have raced my way to a fantastic place amongst the women competing -- and most impressed by the support that I had on the course and from people back home. THANK YOU to everyone who has sent me Good Luck messages, Congratulatory emails/texts, etc. I can't tell you how much your thoughts, support, and overall encouragement has helped me to get me where I am today -- and encouraged me to think bigger and set higher goals. Thank you especially to my family and friends down here (Team Nichole!), to Jerry for believing in me a year and a half ago when I came to him injured, unsure of myself, and slow, and RWSC for their support throughout the journey. I honestly never thought I could get to this level, and I KNOW that I couldn't have done it without everyone's support.

I'll write much more later :)


It's race time!

Wow, this week has flown by!

Thankfully I am on the carbo-loading portion of my pre-race diet (diet consists of 3 days of eating no carbs at all, followed by 3 days of eating almost nothing but carbs). The theory is that your body over compensates and stores even more carbs than carb loading alone. This is the third marathon that I have done this for, and the no-carb portion has been easier each time. I remember the first cycle feeling awful: http://nicholerunning.blogspot.com/2010/09/sierra-mist.html. For Grandma's cycle, I only noticed I was working harder on the 3rd day (easy 6 mile run with striders) and only the last mile and a half. I could just tell I didn't have a lot of energy available -- but it was very slight. Wonder why? Anyway, I do think going without any carbs does keep me from peaking too early - your legs just dont feel snappy without carbs, even though my milage has been cut way back. Once I add back carbs, I usually feel the energy building in them & that light, snappy, fast feeling come on just at the right time. So I know the verdict is out on which way to carbo-load, but this method is tried and true for me.

I am flying out tomorrow morning. One of the coolest things about working for Red Wing Shoe has been how suopportive they have been of my training for the trials. Most amazing thing yet: they are flying me, my coach Jerry, and some of my other family members down to Houston on the company's corporate jet! They have been really supportive of this journey (many longer lunch-hour workouts -- don't know how else I'd be able to double or run as many miles/week as I do without that flexibility!); I'm blessed to work for them. I'm also blessed that they understand running and marathoning. If I would have qualified while working at LM, no one would have even known what I was talking about. No lie.

Anyway, I'm done packing - Nate took a beautiful picture. I'm pretty exhausted. I have had the HARDEST time falling asleep this last week. I know it's because I cram too much into a day, so I'm literally working until the minute that I hop into bed, but there have been multiple nights that I've laid awake, mind reeling, for 1+ (last night TWO) hours. Wish I could just learn to shut off my brain.

Anyway, I'm rambling when I should be getting ready for bed :). I will try to update this as often as I can while I'm down there (but make no promises!). I will see how many pictures of fast runners I can post. ;)

Thank you to EVERYONE who has supported me on this journey, I wouldn't be here without all of you!! Special shout-out to Marice and John who sent me the nicest note in the mail today wishing me luck. I love mail :)

(No seriously, getting the mail is the highlight of my day!)


Wow, what a workout!

Today was my last "hard" workout (and not even that hard, or long! Eek!):
4x1000m at tempo pace

Before Grandma's I did this exact same workout in 6:07 pace (not sure what happened with that one), then 5:58-5:59 pace.

Today I was significantly faster. 5:45-7 into the wind, 5:32-5:37 with the wind. Yikes! Best part? They felt great! My legs aren't 100% springy, but I can tell they're stronger than they've been before and turn over really efficiently. What a fun feeling!! And if that "spring" can come just in time for Saturday's race... that could make for a very fun day :)

I had wonderful company for the workout portion of the run, which made it so much more enjoyable and made the time go by a lot faster. I love that I have people willing to accompany me (thanks a ton, Tom!), and know that it has made me a faster runner this cycle :). Plus, I got to do the reps in the sunshine (and was down to a short sleeve shirt the last repeat because I was so warm!!). Who could ask for anything better?

Weather looks ideal in Houston. Overnight low of 40, high of 60ish. My guess is that I'll be racing in 45-55 degree weather. Hopefully the cold front they're predicting comes through!! Ironic part is that those temps aren't too different from temps here in MN (who would have THOUGHT??? Esp. after last winter!). I don't want to count on anything yet... but it's looking really promising!

So, now just need to nail down my pacing plan, work on my mental game a little bit more, and rest up and hydrate for Saturday! Crazy how fast this has come up.

Steve -- I have to ask again for a time prediction, if you're willing. Last time you were within 20 seconds :).


Carb Depletion Phase = Yuck

It's only half way through Day 1 and I already feel gross. But it's completely my own doing.

This morning Nate made a beautiful omlet, complete with a chicken breast and bacon. I was so excited. I haven't eaten anything resembling this in a really long time!

As we changed into our running gear later in the day I commented on how I felt slightly sick. He said, "That's because you snacked on bacon this morning!" To which I replied, "That's because it tasted so good! But now it tastes so bad..."

True quote. I'm not used to eating any fat (well, very little), so it was probably too much of a shock for my system. But it was really good at the time (and fun to tell myself I could eat it!). Going forward I will only be eating HEALTHY no-carb options. Problem is, what is there to eat? Chicken breasts, egg whites, pork, peanut butter, fish? Ug.

Already looking forward to a heaping bowl of oatmeal Wednesday morning!


Less than a week to go!

I always look forward to tapering. Until it actually comes...

I looked at my training plan for the next week and realized just how little there is on it... 8 mile run tomorrow, 8 miles Monday with a tiny bit of uptempo work in it, and then practically nothing until race day.

It's sort of fun, since I have more free time to do things around the house (I think my house may actually be clean by the end of the weekend!), I don't feel the need to sleep ALL of the time, etc. Plus, your legs are feeling fast & fit, which is also really fun. But, I feel lost, like I'm missing a best friend! Where did my doubles go? Where'd my long run go? I love marathon training, I really do...

For the last 3 days, I have been dreaming of warm, soft, goey chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chip banana bread. Yuuummmmmm... Don't they sound heavenly? These cravings are happening before my 1 week marathon-diet, can't imagine what I'll be dreaming of by the end of this week. Just have to make it to next Saturday night... desserts, greasy food, and drinks then :). I can do this!!


I love tapering :)

My legs are coming around at the exact right time. I am SOO lucky!!

Today's workout was just downright fun :). I joined the Carleton women for some tempo on the track - their workout was tempo miles, mine was 3x2 miles at tempo, with the rough goal for tempo at 5:50 (but main goal to go on feel). So, it was nice to weave in and out of each other's repeats -- taking some of the monotony out of the workout.

Because I was on a track, I tried to focus on my form, the way the pace felt, etc. in hopes to settle into a consistent tempo pace. It didn't come easy. The first mile I cruised through, not breathing, in 5:41. Next mile was just below 5:50. The Carleton women I was running with quickly decided to drop off from me (didn't help that I brought them through their first mile in sub 5:45 when their goal paces were 6:00 and 6:05... oops!!!).

The next reps were about the same -- miles ranging right around 5:48 or so. Some were faster (5:45), some slower (5:50), but the range wasn't big.

The best part? I wasn't hardly working. My strides felt light, powerful and effortless. I could just feel that I was fast :). Oh, how I LOVE this feeling!!! It also makes me excited to think that I could pull off a big PR next week :). Let's hope!

Aside: At this point in my Grandma's training, I was fighting what I think was heat exhaustion. I came back from a Monday run and felt sick and had the chills. My tempo paces dropped to 6:10s and slower during this same week back in June. My calves cramped up the Monday and Wednesday before the race. SOOO - note to self: I am carrying around a water bottle with me at ALL times between now and next Saturday. I can obviously improve on that taper experience a bit :). Just need to stay healthy as well!!!



Nate decided to make T-shirts for the Trials -- and suggested I post here in case anyone in the blog world wanted one. They'll be $10, safety green (really a bright yellow, not green), 50/50 cotton/poly blend. If you do, let me know a size!


Confidence Booster

I was intimidated by the look of this one... 22 miles total with 2x (30 mins at marathon pace, 4:45 at tempo pace). Goal MP = 6:10s, goal tempo = 5:50. I haven't yet been able to hit a longer marathon pace workout at that pace.

Until yesterday!!

Workout was: 4.5 mile WU
1st MP: 6:12 average (6:10, 6:09, 6:08, 6:10, 6:22. Turned into wind last mile and legs lost it.) 6:12 average overall. (31 minutes -- had to finish out the mile!)
Tempo: 5:48 pace.
2nd rep: 6:12 average as well: 6:18, 6:09, 6:09, 6:15, 6:07 (5 full miles again)
Tempo at 5:40 pace.
Cool down for a total of 22

My legs are coming around. They don't feel springy and light yet, but at least they're not soaked in fatigue like they felt like they were a week ago. 2 weeks to go, and I know that they'll come around right at the perfect time :)

Another great thing coming from the workout: I am very mentally focused. It is AMAZING how Dr. Asp's work has helped me focus during these workouts. I still have 2 weeks to go working with his CD's (and memorizing the one he made specifically for the Trials), and I know that I will be as mentally tough and ready for anything at this race, probably even more so than Grandma's. How exciting, since Grandma's was such an extraordinary, almost perplexing (in the best way possible) mental race for me.

What a huge confidence boosting workout!!