Backpacking Trip

My family loves hiking, backpacking, camping, and anything related to the outdoors.  We usually go out to California and Mount Whitney  during the summer, but unfortunately we won’t be able to do that that this summer.  Also, with everyone’s packed schedules, it’s difficult to find a period of time where more than one person is free!  So last Wednesday, when we discovered that I had two off days from work in a row at the same time that my brother had finished his junior year of high school and didn’t have any pressing commitments for a whopping 48 hours, we decided to take a quick backpacking trip!

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We made a quick grocery run to get snacks and packed up our packs.  I packed a backpacking tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, food and water, and all the necessary miscellaneous items.  My brother opted for a hammock and tarp cover.  The forecast called for rain, so we sort of prepared.

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I ran 6 miles on Thursday morning before we headed out on our adventure.  An hour into the drive, my brother went, “I forgot my hiking boots!”

Genius.

So…our two-hour drive took four hours.  But we got there eventually.  We parked the car at the base of the trail and started the hike.  Since there was no water source where we were going to camp, we had to carry all the water we would need.  Our packs were just a little heavy!

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The hike we decided to do was 10 miles total, with a campsite and beautiful mountainous overlook located close to the summit.  It was 3.5 hard, hard miles one way, and 6.5 on the other side.  We chose to do the 3.5 on the first day.  5 minutes after we started, I sank into a giant muddy swamp.  Off to a great start 😉

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The hike up brought all sorts of terrain, ranging from flowery meadows to rock scrambles to wooded greenery.

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We had to work on the steep rocky inclines, but nothing compares to attacking a particularly hard incline and victoriously reaching the top, soaked in sweat, breathing hard, but triumphant.

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We reached the campsite after about an hour and a half, and trekked out to the overlook to take in the views before setting up camp and (just me) wolfing down like three Clif bars.

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Happy to be at the top!

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The set-up:

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That night, we built a campfire and roasted sun-dried tomato chicken sausages over the fire.  I had mac and cheese, and my brother made ramen and instant mashed potatoes, which he promptly spilled all over his Birkenstocks.

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We kept the fire going as it got dark and did dorky things like listen to our old marching band showcase music and sing along to some oldies.

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Eventually, the fire burned down to embers, and we went to bed.  It was incredibly windy, and heavy rain hit the mountain around 4 am.  I don’t think I got much, if any, sleep, but it was an otherworldly experience.

In the morning, we woke to find that we were essentially in the middle of a cloud.  It was humid, hazy, and the rain had left all the plant life glowing vibrantly green.  We made breakfast, broke camp, and went back out to the overlook to appreciate the astonishing feeling of being in the middle of a cloud!

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Breakfast: instant oats, maple almond butter, and unpictured dried fruit

The views were even better than the day before.

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We started that day’s portion of the hike around 9:30 am.  The first part of the hike was a short, moderately steep incline to the top of the mountain, and then we began the descent.  It was amazing to see the changes in terrain as we descended in elevation!  Rocky dirt paths changed to vibrant wooded forests, swampy bogs, fern-covered woods with streams, flowery meadows, and more muddy forests.  It was incredible.

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It took us about two and a half hours to complete the hike.  Afterwards, we were so hungry that we stopped on the way home and inhaled an enormous pizza in less than ten minutes.

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All in all, this spontaneous backpacking trip was hard, sweaty, smelly, and loads of fun.  There’s nothing like carrying everything you need to survive on your person.  Hard hiking is cathartic.  I encourage everyone who is able to get outside and away from the city for at least a little while.  I wish I could do it more often!  That’s one of the things I think I will do frequently once I finish my collegiate running career 🙂

Summer Training Week 5 (40 miles + 10 mile hike + 60 min bike)

Drinking coffee, listening to “Acoustic Sunrise” on the radio, farmers’ market ventures, and dog-sitting…sounds like Sunday 🙂

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This week’s training was a little different.  My brother and I spontaneously decided to go backpacking on Thursday and Friday, so I skipped my planned run doubles but did complete a very technical 10-mile loop!  So running mileage was a little lower, but overall mileage still increased.  My legs/glutes are sore, and today will definitely be a rest day!  I’ll recap our backpacking trip in more detail in the next post.

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Week 5 (6/19-6/25):

Monday: AM: 7 miles on sidewalks + bike path.  Core circuit.  Some toe pain.  Heat/STIM/ice.  PM: 30 min bike.  1 hour slow flow yoga…spent lots of time upside down so almost passed out a couple times haha
Tuesday: AM: glutes, drills, 8 miles bike path, strides.  Toe pain.  Heat/ice/stim.  PM: 2 miles + lower body lift.  Tired!
Wednesday: 3 miles into 30 min bike.  Pretty hot out!  Tired, took it easy, went ok.
Thursday: AM: 6 miles bike path.  PM: Strenuous technical 3.5 mile hike.  Camped overnight. Didn’t sleep that well but it was awesome.
Friday: AM: Technical 6.5 mile hike.  Foot hanging in there.  PM: 3 miles.  STIM/ice on feet.
Saturday: 11 miles on bike path, partially soft surface.  15 min ice bath, easy core circuit, STIM on calves.
Sunday: off

Total: 40 miles running + 10 miles hiking + 60 min bike

Overall, this week went well!  No soft surface runs until yesterday’s long run, but I did hike 10 miles through swamps and rocks and dirt and pine needles, so that counts, right?

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Soft surface?

Nutrition this week was a little weird.   I ate a ton.  While backpacking, we fueled up with beef jerky, bars, dried fruit, etc.  We carted all of our food and water up the mountain and ate instant mac and cheese, campfire-blackened sausages, ramen, and the like for dinner on Thursday.  I also had quite a few treat meals, and for some reason gorged myself on ice cream last night at work, which made my stomach feel less than stellar 😉  But it seemed like my body just burned through everything due to the constant strenuous activity!  So I’m not too concerned.  I think I’ll try to reduce the amount of ice cream I’m consuming at work, though…

(Nutritious and delicious…)

Sleep was okay.  Some nights were fine, but I hardly slept some other nights.  I’m a little groggy right now.  It’s hard to implement my normal bedtime routine because I’ve been working until 11 pm and now have to take care of three dogs after work.  But I’m trying to relax about it!

I recently switched to custom orthotics instead of SuperFeet, and they’ve honestly been helping a ton!  I was having significant toe pain last week, but I’ve been able to get through all of my runs with little-to-moderate pain.  It’s still there, but it’s bearable!

Saturday’s 11-miler was the longest run I’d done since April!  And I only ran 11 miles about 3 times from January through May because of all the foot issues.  I ran four miles by myself before meeting up with a teammate for 7 more.  I’m excited to try to increase my long run again and get back to the 12 I was running last year, and maybe even see how 13 feels.  But for now, I’m happy to be able to run 11 🙂

Throughout the coming week, I’ll really have to plan things out as mileage increases, dog-sitting takes up more time, and work continues to be crazy.  I don’t know what I’ll hit, mileage-wise, but I’m going to work on listening to my body, fueling properly, and taking care of my foot.  Mileage is lower at this point than it was last year, but that is okay!  Consistent training is more important than reaching high mileage for a week or two and having to take time off because you broke yourself.

 

Summer Training Week 4 (42 miles + 120 min XT)

#dead

#dead

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#beenlisteningtomilkychancefor3hours

#revived to write this post 😉

Heck yeah, it’s time for another weekly summer training recap!  This week, I pushed my mileage a wee bit more (getting ready for that jump next week) and worked a lotttt of difficult shifts.  Definitely crashed and burned a bit by Saturday.  Got on a lot more soft surfaces, though!

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Long run views from this morning!

Week 4 (6/12-6/18):

Monday:  AM: 6 miles bike path.  Some soft(er) surface…for like a mile!  Core circuit.  Some foot pain but not too bad.  PM: 30 min swim.  Felt good.  Foot soak, roll, Tiger Balm.
Tuesday:  AM: 7 miles with Noah with one mile on the trails.  Significant foot pain during the second half of the run.  Drills and strides.  EXCELLENT lower body lift.  Pushed the weight and did the most unassisted parallel grip pull-ups I’ve ever done.  PM: 2 miles.  Crazy work shift until 10 pm per usual.
Wednesday:  60 min pool (50 swim, 10 aqua jog).  Was very pleasant.  1 hour slow flow yoga class.
Thursday:  AM: 7 miles @ 7:39 average on the C&O canal.  TBH felt pretty darn shitty.  PM: 30 min bike, felt good, upper body lift.  Busy work shift until 10 pm.
Friday:  AM: 7 miles on sidewalks/bike path.  Glute activation, drills, strides, core.  PM: 3 miles.  Tired from morning.  Long, crazy work shift until 11 pm.
Saturday: OFF.  Very glad for this rest day.  SO tired from the past couple days.  I felt like a zombie until like 6 pm.
Sunday:  10 miles @ 7:40 average at Manassas Battlefield.  All soft surface!  (Long grass/gravel/trails)  I had never run there before.  It was hot, humid, and hilly, but the views were unbeatable!

Total: 42 miles + 120 min XT.  
Dang…work this week kicked my ass.  Our ice cream store is getting more popular by the minute, and during today’s shift, we did not stop moving one time for five hours straight.  Also, the A/C in the store is broken, the freezers pump out hot air, and it never gets lower than 85 degrees.  After a hot, dehydrating ten-miler…I almost passed out into the dip case a couple times 😉  It’s just heat training, right??
I managed to get two soft-surface runs in this week, along with some sporadic dirt paths during a couple other runs!  So definitely an improvement from last week.
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Sleep this week wasn’t the greatest, unfortunately.  I worked a lot of late shifts, which riled me up at bedtime.  But I suppose it’s worth it for the paycheck!  #brokecollegestudentprobs
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And my nutrition has been okay, but not stellar- I’m just eating a lot of breads/baked goods and sugar, which is not prime fueling.  My post-run recovery foods are good (oatmeal, yogurt, eggs, nut butter, fruits, veggies…protein, complex carbs, healthy fats), but as the day progresses, I’ve been getting lazy!  And it’s hard at work when you’re just tryna stay alive, ya feel?  I get home after a long, hard shift and can’t tell if I’m physically ravenous or just mentally need some junk food.  Oh, well.  You live and learn (and lose a six-pack in the process, hehe).
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Homemade pumpkin bread

This morning’s long run was 80 degrees, 85% humidity, and very hilly with long grass, but the views were awesome!  I had originally planned to meet my friend out at the battlefields, but her foot has been bothering her, so I ran by myself.  Ran in silence over the hills and through the woods (literally) for the first half and then listened to a Runner’s World podcast during the second half.  It was kind of hard.IMG_6605.jpg
The new training week starts tomorrow, so gotta go rest up!  Running bright and early with one of my favorite running buddies.

Running is hard sometimes

Aloha!  Our A/C is on the fritz again, so I’m hibernating in the basement while I write this, since it’s not 100 degrees down here.  I think ice cream at work tonight will be a necessity.

Anyway.

You know those runs that just knock the life out of you?  I had one of those this morning.  After an off day from running yesterday (I did put in an hour in the pool and an hour-long yoga class), I woke up early today and drove out to the canal for a change of scenery.  I was so excited for a nice 7-mile maintenance run!  Alas…it was not to be.  My legs felt off from the beginning, and running just felt hard.   It felt like I was hammering, but apparently I was running my easy/maintenance pace (around 7:30 per mile).   I did a terrible job of listening to my body when I should have taken it easy, no matter what the “pace” said.

Afterwards, I just felt completely discombobulated.  Which resulted in me drinking coffee for the first time in eight days…on top of a white duvet…live life on the edge, you know? 😉  (PS: this summer has unexpectedly resulted in my coffee consumption diving down to almost zero!  Weird.)

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I’m not even really sure why this run felt so difficult- it was humid, yes, but not extremely hot, and I wasn’t that sleep-deprived.  I rarely use a GPS (actually broke my GPS watch), but I downloaded Strava for this run and was very surprised at the end when my average pace was like 7:35.  It had honestly felt like I was hammering the crap out of some sub-7-minute miles.

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Oh, well.  The good news is, I had a good swim yesterday!  50 minutes of laps followed by 10 minutes of easy aqua jogging.  Afterwards, I went to a yoga class.  Swimming has never been the most enjoyable thing for me, although I became a believer in the power of cross training this past semester.  But this week, I’ve actually looked forward to getting in the pool, and as such have done two cross training sessions in the water!  Some days, the laps just click by rhythmically.  I would love to do my swims in a lake or similar beautiful, natural setting, but the same old 25-meter stretch of warm chlorinated water will have to do for now 😉

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I have to go cross train and lift soon, so that’s about it for now.  Working tonight after my gym session, running twice tomorrow, working again tomorrow night…it’s the summertime grind 🙂  Craving a nice, cold peach!

Summer Training Week 3

It’s Monday!  After a hot run and some core this morning, I’m spending most of today relaxing and doing chores before swimming later.  Monday is always my day off from work 🙂
Last week brought 36 miles, 140 minutes of cross training, busy work shifts, fun times with good friends, a delightful Train/OAR/Natasha Bedingfield concert, and a wine tasting for my mom’s “bachelorette” party (I love being 20!!, she said sarcastically).  And NCAAs, of course!  It was awe-inspiring and motivational to watch.  I may be crazy and have delusions of grandeur, but this middle-of-the-pack D1 runner now wants to qualify for NCAAs!!  Or at least track regionals…
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Concert with friends

Week 3: (6/5-6/11)
Monday: AM: 6 miles on bike path + core circuit.  PM: 30 min swim.
Tuesday: 7 miles @ 7:40ish pace on sidewalks/asphalt.  Felt stiff and out of rhythm.  Glute activation, drills, strides.  Lift day 1.  PM: crazy work shift!
Wednesday: 60 min bike…felt sick midday but it passed so I biked in the evening and felt really good, actually.
Thursday: AM: 6 miles bike path + core.  Foot pain.  Drills + strides.  PM: 3 miles.
Friday:  5 miles on asphalt/sidewalks into 20 min bike.  Lift day 2.
Saturday: 9 miles on bike path.  7:30ish average.  Very hot and sunny.
Sunday: 30 min aqua jog.  I think I burned my face off.  Not a cloud in the sky.
Total: 36 miles + 140 min XT
This week…hmm.  Similar to last week, my foot hurt on almost every run, but on the plus side, I’m still feeling strong in the weight room.  I did a terrible job of getting on soft surfaces 😉  Almost every run was on an asphalt bike path or sidewalks.  Having running buddies on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday made the runs more fun, though!
Friday’s run was somewhat crappy at the beginning but got progressively better once my legs warmed up.  I was definitely mentally distracted during the lift session that followed, but thankfully both the bike and lift went better than the run anyway!
The bearable-yet-constant foot pain is starting to wear on me mentally again, and I find myself dreading runs a little bit because I want to run but don’t want to be in pain.   To be honest, I am not doing as much as I should to stay on top of it.  I’m rolling with my shiny new lacrosse ball, acquired for the express purpose of wrecking my feet 😉 …doing warm Epsom salt soaks, and sporadically doing mobility, but I can do more.  It’s this cycle of: foot hurts on runs, I get sad thinking about it, I avoid rehab because it makes me think about the fact that my foot hurts.  Ya feel?
But on the plus side, I can feel my body responding to the strength sessions.  The core circuits that left me sore for days three weeks ago are easier.  I’m planning on adding weight to my squats, deadlifts, and farmer’s holds in the weight room this week.  Already bracing myself for the DOMS 😉
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Mom and me!

After identifying the factors that brought me down a little bit last week but taking solace in the fact that I still had a decent training week and got to do a lot of other fun things, I’m re-motivated for the coming week, which should bring about 42 miles in addition to cross training sessions.
Runs are getting longer, temperatures are getting hotter, and the grind is coming back.  My goals for the next week are to train purposefully and to not skimp on the little things.  Every run is one step closer to my goals, both as an individual and as a member of a team that aspires to achieve greatness.  My teammate just ran extremely well at NCAAs, which was so emotional and motivational.  All of the competitors at NCAAs work extremely hard, day in and day out, to get to the national level.  Some of them have more natural talent than others, but none of them skip out on what they need to do to achieve their goals.  That’s how you get to that next level.
Other highlights from my week before I sign off for now:
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A 14-year-old made this lemon lavender cake!

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I nearly cried when they sang “Bruises” and “Drops of Jupiter”

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Another concert picture!

Summer is a great time to put in the work for the upcoming season(s).  This week, I WILL remember to take fish oil every day, re-dedicate myself to foot rehab, switch to orthotics for shorter runs, wear sunscreen, and keep track of sleep and practice good bedtime habits such as putting away technology.  I will be mindful of the foods I choose to nourish my body with– remembering that anti-inflammatory is the way to go and that I am willing to do anything to help my foot feel as good as it can possibly feel!  I will also put in more shifts at work, try to be as frugal as possible and go on free/cheap summer adventures…hiking, exploring DC, playing piano, going to yoga, cooking, reading, playing badminton, soaking up the sun, picnics, crafting…there’s so much to do!

Summer Training Week 2

Happy Sunday!  I hope everyone had a great week.  It’s a beautiful June morning here, and I’m suffering from a mild case of wanderlust 😉 so I’m listening to a road trip playlist while writing this post and pretending I’m cruising down the open road.  Today was a typical Sunday- took the day off from running, went to the farmer’s market, did some wedding planning with my mom’s best friend, and went to a yoga class.  My family is going out to dinner in a little while 🙂

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Farmers’ market haul!

Week 2: (5/30-6/4)

Monday: AM: 5 miles + core circuit. Some bunion pain.  PM: 3 miles.
Tuesday: glute activation, drills, 4 miles into 20 min bike + lower body lift
Wednesday: AM: 60 min bike.  PM: 30 min yoga
Thursday: AM: 5 miles with friend @ 7:15 avg.  PM: 30 min bike + upper body lift.
Friday: 6 miles with friend, glute activation, drills, strides
Saturday: 7 miles + core, started easier and felt progressively better
Sunday: off, yoga class

Total: 30 miles + 110 min XT + 2 yoga sessions

Overall, this week went pretty well.  Mileage is still low.  My foot is still hurting on every run- it seems like once I hit the 30 minute mark during a run, the bunion pretty much decides that it doesn’t want to do it anymore.  Ow.  Still feeling strong during strength sessions, though!

I had a few runs this week that were faster than they should have been, so I made an effort to go easier on Saturday, and it felt a lot better.  It’s important to keep most of the mileage at maintenance effort right now in order to keep feeling good, getting strong, and building mileage!

In non-running-related news, I decided to go back to work at the ice cream and coffee place I worked last summer!  Had my first shift back on Friday night: 5-10:30 pm.  It was super busy, but I was reunited with the best ice cream ever (cinnamon, and coconut chocolate crunch.  Heck yes).

Also, we spent all day at my brothers’ tae kwon do black belt exam, and after five hours of testing, they both passed!  My youngest brother earned his first degree black belt, and my middle brother earned his second degree!

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Goons

Also made macarons with two good friends earlier this week.  I’m not a huge macaron fan, but they turned out well!  Turns out my family isn’t a huge macaron family, either…three days later, all of the macarons I kept are still sitting on the plate.

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Mileage will continue to increase in the coming weeks, albeit slower than last year’s progression.  I think I’ll hit somewhere in the mid-30s this week.  Additionally, I’m going to try to get in the pool at least once instead of just cross training on the bike every time.   The weather is supposed to stay mild (and rainy), which is encouraging.  I’ll also be working more and writing for the remote writing intensive!

Summer Training Week 1

It’s that time of year again- summer training recap time!  I’ve done this for the past two years, and it’s fun to be able to look back at training from past years.

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Nutrition is an important part of summer training, so here is a pretty parfait 🙂

The 16-mile week doesn’t really count, so I’m going to say that last week was my first week of summer training 🙂

Week 1: (5/22-5/28)

Monday: 4 miles on bike path + some yoga
Tuesday: 4 miles into 30 min bike + lower body lift
Wednesday: 60 min bike
Thursday: 5 miles on bike path + drills and strides + core.  First run in new shoes.
Friday: 4 miles into 30 min bike + upper body lift
Saturday: 6 miles on bike path
Sunday: off

Total: 23 miles + 120 min XT

This first week was okay.  The runs and cross trains felt fine, but unfortunately my bunion really hurt on almost every run.  At home, I don’t have access to the laser and stim/compex and other resources that the training room provides, so I’m going to have to get creative with treatment to keep this pain under control.

What I can do: warm Epsom salt foot soaks, ice baths, rolling, stretching/mobility, topical anti-inflammatory treatment.

On a more positive note, both lifts went really well.  We jumped right back into the full lift routine, so I was so sore after Tuesday!  My hamstring felt like it might rip off my body.  But the soreness has subsided, and I have a nice baseline for my fitness.  I’m excited to get stronger this summer!

Non-training highlights from this week:

A couple of my teammates came up to visit, and we explored Georgetown on an overcast day:

Jazz in the Garden on the Mall with a friend:

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I made cha siu baos from scratch for the first time (it was a two-day process, but so worthwhile):

…and my mom and I went shopping (*groan*) and explored our favorite farmer’s market (*cheers*)!

My goals for this coming week include:

  • Spend less time on my phone, especially before bed
  • Be proactive about bunion pain
  • Two yoga sessions and glute activation
  • Try to get more quality sleep!  I wake up naturally at or before 6 am, so I need to go to bed early to account for this
  • Continue quality nutrition
  • Start my remote writing internship!
  • Focus on non-cooking hobbies as well, such as playing piano, knitting, reading, and writing

 

First week of summer

This time of the year is always strange.  My brothers are still in school for another month, summer training hasn’t really picked up yet, and my internship doesn’t start until the end of the month.  Every year, I have trouble with the transition to summer mode because I’m the type that gets anxious if I have “nothing to do” on a given day.  I tend to feel guilty and unproductive even though the ability to relax is just as important for overall health as things like sleep and exercise!  So the beginning of this past week was hard, but I’ve been able to enjoy the leisure time more each day!

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Highlights of this week:

Miles run: 16
Minutes cross trained: 70
Number of times I went out to eat: ZERO! (I’m really proud of that- trying really hard to be more frugal.)*

*Okay, I did go to Starbucks twice, but only because I had a gift card!

The few miles that I did run felt good.  There was some bunion pain, but the rest of my body didn’t feel as lethargic as I’d thought it would!

One day, a friend and I went on a picnic and enjoyed the beautiful weather.  Another day, I went hiking with another friend.  I read a cliché summer book (The Vacationers) in one three-hour sitting.  We ate dinner outside as a family and tried fruitlessly to keep the mosquitos away with Citronella candles (didn’t work).  I spent hours and hours outside, soaking up the Vitamin D and beautiful weather.  One night brought a counterintuitively peaceful summer thunderstorm.

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I’m trying to cook even more (and be more creative in the kitchen), and my brother has been helping with the food photography because he has a nice camera 😉  This week, I made the pancakes mentioned in the last post…

Lentil stew stuffed sweet potatoes from The Cutting Veg

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Topped with yogurt and fresh basil (sounds weird, tastes incredible)

…and I also sauteed turnip greens for the first time, so as to not waste them.  Yum!

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Roasted turnips and sweet potatoes, fresh tomato, sauteed turnip greens, mushrooms, green onions, and garlic with chicken

I also made copycat Levain Bakery cookies!  I’ve never actually been to Levain Bakery, but these cookies turned out incredible.

Last but not least, I cooked my first live crabs yesterday.  I love crabs and hadn’t eaten them in years!  They were delicious.  What a cool experience.

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Now that I’m at home, I have access to a plethora of foods that were much more difficult to access at school.  We have the seasonal vegetables from our CSA.  Turnips, radishes, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce…all local and much fresher and more flavorful than anything you’d find at the grocery store!  Amazing farmer’s markets.  A semi-stocked pantry (although with two teenage boys and a college runner, nothing lasts long in this house).

This is allowing me to continue to develop my passion for cooking, for which I am so grateful!  It’s also been easier to avoid going out to eat and be more innovative and think of what I can make with the ingredients that we already have in the house.  Three cheers for saving money and eating cheaply, but healthily!

I’m itching to start training for real, but reminding myself to be patient!

Glute Glory

Good morning!  Yesterday started bright and early because I had to retrieve my dog at 7 am so that my mom could finish up her long run without having to drag along a tired canine.  After we got home, I whipped up a delicious stack of healthy pancakes with fruit, maple syrup, and peanut butter.  Perfect Saturday breakfast 🙂

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Since I didn’t have a run yesterday, I was itching to do something endorphin-y after a morning of chauffeuring my brothers through typical Northern Virginia traffic to their various activities.  So I brainstormed, browsed Pinterest, and came up with a new strength workout to do after a quick 30-minute bike session.

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Yes, I did include stick figure drawings to remind me what some of the exercises were 😉

This workout works the whole core, but especially the glutes.  Sometimes, I feel like runners can get stuck in the 10-minute-ab-circuit trap and forget to work the other parts of their core.  The glutes are especially neglected, even though they are one of the most important muscle groups for efficient form and power in running!  They help stabilize the body, extend the hip, and propel you forward as you run.  Additionally, females have wider hips than males and are therefore more prone to instability and knee and hip problems because we are farther away from that “straight-line” ideal.

See why it’s important to strengthen the glutes?  I promise that this workout will leave your glutes burning.  In the best way.  By the time I got to the side plank leg raises, my body was shaking.

Next post will recap the first week of “summer”!

 

Black Forest Breakfast Mousse

Happy Hump Day!  The best breakfast experiment happened this morning.

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I went for a nice 4-mile run this morning before it got too hot out.  My left bunion was bothering me, and I think it might be because I’ve been slacking on the rehab and maintenance since taking my break from running and leaving campus (and the training room).  I also used new shoes since my old ones are beyond dead.

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Took myself on a Starbucks date yesterday: overnight oats, almond milk cappuccino, and the Washington Post magazine

After my run, I decided to experiment a little for breakfast.  I had made dark chocolate banana overnight oats (oats, almond milk, chia seeds, mashed banana, and dark cocoa powder) the night before, but I had chocolate mousse on the brain and wanted to see what would happen if I whipped egg whites into stiff peaks and folded them into the overnight oats.  So I did!

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Two whipped egg whites

After whipping the egg whites, I folded them into the oats.  It worked like a dream.  They turned unbelievablyfluffy and delicious, almost exactly like mousse, but with a slight chewy factor from the soaked oats!

IMG_5811.jpgThe bowl was enormous, and I topped the mousse with cherries and strawberries to make it “Black Forest”-y.  I also had plain nonfat Greek yogurt and peanut butter.

I would highly recommend whipping egg whites and adding them to overnight oats.  I think this is going to become a staple in the breakfast lineup!

The rest of my day will be pretty chill.  I found a bunch of gift cards while cleaning out my room, so I’m going to hit up Barnes & Noble for some summer reading, as well as do some yoga and run some errands.  Later today, I’m going to go cheer on my high school team at their conference meet!  My remote internship doesn’t start until the end of May, so I’m trying to relax before that starts and before training picks up.  I’m notoriously bad at relaxing…

I hope everyone has a great Wednesday!