Huge PR: Potentially the best race I’ve ever had??

I hope I didn’t just jinx my future races by saying that, but yesterday, as you can tell from the title, I had potentially the best race of my high school career so far.

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I was slated to run the 4×8 and the 3200, but my coach decided to pull me out of the 4×8 so that I could focus on the 3200.  He replaced me with my teammate who hadn’t qualified in an open event, and they won and state auto-ed, so I’d say they did very well!

The downside to the schedule was that we left school at 1, got there at 2, and I didn’t run until 7.  Basically, I was bored for five hours.  To pass the time, I listened to music, went to the bathroom six times, and ate.  I actually ate nonstop between 11 am and 4 pm.  (Don’t worry, it wasn’t like I was eating full meals- I nibbled on stuff constantly.)

Race day food of choice: PB&J, 1/2 almond butter sandwich, Dove dark chocolate, banana, Gatorade, whole wheat English muffin with raisins.

The meet officials wouldn’t let us warm up outside because it was dark and cold, so we ran back and forth in a little 100 meter zone.  Unfortunately, we had to cut our warm-up short because they final-called us 4 minutes in.  Oops.  We then had to wait for fifteen minutes while the slower heat ran.  I could have finished my warm-up!

Before the race, my coach had told me to focus more on place than time (top six move on to regionals).   My place goal was in the top five, preferably third.  My time goal was 11:49, which would be a PR by ten seconds and a season best by 13.

The gun went off, and I latched on to the girl I was supposed to within 300 meters and didn’t really think about pace.  I was conscious of passing the 800 in 2:47 and the mile in 5:44, which seemed unreasonably fast at the time because I still thought I was trying for 11:49.  I passed the girl after the mile and just tried my best not to die, ignoring the annoying pain that had started in my right shin shortly before the mile mark.  I hit 15 laps in third place and starting really kicking with 150 to go, faintly hearing the announcement that my teammate had just won!  Powering down the home stretch, I saw “11:31, 11:32…” I crossed the line in third place in 11:36!!!!  That was a PR by 23 seconds and a season best by 26 seconds! I promptly tripped over my feet and fell right into my coach and teammate.

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My teammate and I were in shock- a mix of elation, exhaustion, and disbelief.  Get ready for what I think is the cutest picture ever, although I look toothless. (I suppose that’s fitting since I technically am, right?)

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Many people congratulated us (okay, many people congratulated her for winning, while I faked an indignant glare until they congratulated me, too) and I grabbed some ice for my shin.  We then cooled down and I ate my requisite post-race dark chocolate and banana.

I got a massage today and it felt so painfully good.  Also, I only ran for 20 minutes and I’m not running tomorrow.  Instead, I made pumpkin chocolate brownies and I’m about to make double pumpkin muffins with the leftover pumpkin.  Why would you exercise when you can just stuff your face? 😉

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First day of my fourteenth season of skiing, followed by a workout…

Ouch.  Yesterday was the longest day ever.  I woke up at six to go skiing with friends even though I had a workout scheduled.  I figured I would just restrain myself while skiing and then do the workout after we got back.

I forgot how much I like to ski.

It was my first day skiing this season because I’ve had meets, etc., every weekend and don’t like to exercise on Sundays, the day my dad goes up to teach skiing.  Because we didn’t have school yesterday, I decided to ski with my friends.

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I’ve been skiing for thirteen years because everyone in my family is a skier.  My dad is an instructor, and I was an instructor for one year before quitting, so everyone in my family skies aggressively, fast, and well.  I went with three friends yesterday- one of them skies almost as fast as I do, which is great, but the other two are very slow (actually, maybe they’re only slow by my standards.  By societal recreational-skier-standards, their speed is probably normal).

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Anyway, the second I got off the chair lift and my skis touched the snow, my love for skiing came back full blast.  I spent the rest of the day rocketing around the mountain at top speed (and waiting for my friends at the bottom, haha).  Needless to say, by 2:30, my legs were dead.  My calves/shins/ankles/feet hurt so badly that I had no idea how I was going to complete my workout later.  Stupid ski boots.

They started feeling better on the ride home.  I used The Stick (while my friends teased me mercilessly for bringing it skiing) and tried to stretch my legs out every once in a while.  Except then we stopped for frozen custard.  I ordered a small vanilla (no picture) but it was huge.  I felt bad not finishing it because my friend’s mom generously treated everyone, so I ended up eating almost the whole thing.

We got home and I spent five seconds changing my shoes before heading back out to do my workout.  I ran to school for my warm-up, had a mini stretching session because my mom was picking me up in half an hour, and started my workout, which was 6x800m.  Nothing special.

I forgot water.

Around the third repeat, I felt really thirsty and dehydrated.  I asked a random woman there for water, but she didn’t have any, either.  Why does the county have to turn off the water fountains during winter?? Aghhh. I’d never completed a workout without water before for as long as I could remember.  The fourth repeat hurt.  I modified the fifth repeat (two 400s at the 800 repeat pace but with a small break in between) because I felt so crappy.  Finally, I spotted some soccer player’s water, quickly gulped down a mouthful without even asking, and completed the sixth repeat three seconds faster than goal pace.

I got home, recovered for awhile by practically drowning myself in water, and then did abs and arm work.  At this point I was completely exhausted and my legs were killing me, so I decided to ice bath.

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Hearing my screaming, my family rushed into the bathroom in order to save me from whatever agony I was suffering from, only to discover that I was choosing to freeze myself.  They then walked away muttering, “Runners…”

(Okay, I made that last part up.)

After I was done turning my legs into ice cubes, I took a hot shower (did that defeat the purpose of icing?) and amused myself for awhile by discovering ridiculously photogenic running pictures of myself 😉

Snapshot 2014-01-21 08-43-12Snapshot 2014-01-21 08-43-41(Don’t mind my arms or posture- I had just handed off the baton)

I ended up falling asleep at 10 with the towel still on my head, the lights and space heater still on, and a book in my hand.  I woke up completely disoriented at 11:30 pm and had to actually get ready for bed while still mostly asleep.

I was tired.

Semi-spontaneous meets where we all freeze

Sorry for the distinct lack of posts last week.  It was hell midterms week at school, and this being junior year- well, let’s just say it ranks in the top three of my hardest weeks of school ever.

You know how I said that the mile last Saturday was my last race until conferences?

I lied.

Conference rules state that each team can enter up to three people in an event unless more than three people have qualified time-wise for that event.  We have eight varsity distance girls, and some of them hadn’t gotten qualifying times in events that they wanted to run but that three people had already qualified for. With the registration deadline for conferences fast approaching, out of desperation, my coach entered some people in a polar bear meet* that was yesterday.

*polar bear meets mean that it’s an indoor meet run outside.

I already had my qualifying times for both the mile and the two mile, but only a few of my teammates could make it to the meet and we wanted to get a good 4×8 time, so I entered in the 4×8 and the mile (again).

It was so cold that we showed up to the meet wearing multiple pairs of pants, ear warmers, a ski jacket in my case, thick mittens, etc.

We ended up only running the mile; we had to scratch the 4×8 because our fourth girl didn’t show up! Apparently, she knew that she was running the mile, but somehow the 4×8 slipped her mind.

So much for our chance to state auto before championship season begins.

Anyway, it was 30 degrees and windy at race time, so we all ended up wearing black tights, bright-colored long-sleeve shirts, and ear warmers along with our uniform tops.  We looked a bit ridiculous, but we were having more fun than anyone else there, so who cares?

I'm the only one not wearing Nike spikes...Saucony all the way

I’m the only one not wearing Nike spikes…Saucony all the way

The meet was technically an invitational, but it was super low-key and there was no pressure.  My goal was 5:24, but it was cold and windy and there wasn’t really any competition from the other schools there.  We ended up sweeping the top 4 places!  I got 3rd with a time of 5:27.04, according to the results, but I am personally of the biased opinion that the timing was off and I ran in the 5:26 range 😉  Oh well, it was still a PR by a tenth of a second!  Also, I felt great afterwards…only about 95% spent instead of 100%!  This is exciting!  Hopefully without wind and extra clothes I can run a 5:24.

Splits: 78, 83, 83, 82

Now the next race is officially the two mile at conferences.  Between now and then, I will relax, focus on the start of the third quarter at school, listen to Daughtry and Death Cab for Cutie, stretch, and eat yummy, healthy food. I’ll post something non-race-related between now and then.

Rain + panic + disorganization = PR (5:27.16)

(First things first: do I have to change my blog theme now that the holiday season is over? Ha. No. I like it.  Looks like you’re stuck with Christmas for awhile.)

So before I actually tell you about the race, I’m going to share with you the moral of the story (aka the meet): Things don’t always go the way you plan, and you know what? That’s okay.  It mostly just proves all of your race superstitions wrong.

It was pouring rain and miserable when I woke up yesterday, and I was not in the mood to run.  Also, I ended up forgetting to bring my race socks to the meet, so I was freaking out and throwing the contents of my bag everywhere like five minutes before I thought the race started.  I flew over to the check-in pen in a panic, only to realize that the boys were running before the girls (who does that?) and I actually had over half an hour until the race started.  I also lost my phone (but I don’t really care).  I also ended up begging a random high jumper for water because we had to stand by the starting line in our heats for 20 minutes, and we weren’t allowed to have water bottles with us.

Me: “Is that your water?”
High jumper: “Um. Yeah.”
Me: “Could I please waterfall? I’m so thirsty.”
HJ: “Uh…sure, I guess…”
Me: “Thanks so much.” *Gulps down water*
HJ:
Me: “Well, bye!”
HJ:
Me: *turns around and walks away*
HJ: *whispers to his friend*

Yeah, that went well.

Anyway, we finally got to the starting line!  Of course, I ended up going to the wrong line when they said “On your mark” and had to awkwardly stutter-step up to the right line. (How long have I been doing this again?) Can’t wait to watch that race video…

(I lied.  There isn’t a race video because apparently the photographer cancelled last-minute.)

I’ve learned over the past few races that everyone tends to go out really fast (as in, a 37-second first 200 even though they run a 5:45 or 6:00 mile) so I just figured that I’d hang back and let everyone else do the work for the first 400, then start passing people.  I was in 12th at the 200, 5th at the 400, and somewhere in the third lap I realized I felt incredible and just passed everyone.  I led for about 900 meters before ending up 2nd in my heat with a PR of 5:27.16! What’s more, the first-place girl and I ran faster than everyone in the first heat, so I finished second overall and got a medal! Yay for medals!

A lack of meet photo coverage means that the only media comes from me screenshotting videos taken by my mom

A lack of meet photo coverage means that the only media comes from me screenshotting videos taken by my mom

Approximate splits: 79, 81, 82, 84
Things to work on: the last 400… and my kick.

...and another one.  My 800-meter-long moment of glory.  Can you say blurry?

…and another one. My 800-meter-long moment of glory. The girl in white eventually won. Can you say blurry?

I’ll post a picture of my medal when I get it; my coach is handing them out before conferences.

Oh, by the way: I’ve recently developed a back injury. 😦 I started feeling a twinge in my back a few days ago, but I didn’t think it was a big deal because it didn’t hurt when I ran.  On Friday morning, I woke up in so much pain that I could barely move.  I hobbled through school all day, finally going to the trainer.  She told me to heat it and take ibuprofen, and I was allowed to race yesterday but I have to go get it checked out on Monday.  I hope it’s nothing serious!  It didn’t hurt during the race, but the entire evening I was yelping in pain whenever I bent over or turned around or sat down or walked.

Anyway, I’m happy about my race and sad about my back!  I’m looking forward to postseason (which starts in less than two weeks!) It’s so weird that I’ve only raced two or three times this season and my next race is already conferences…

Wacky Workout Wednesday (+ Food)

Last workout before Saturday’s invitational! Today was cold and windy, so instead of doing 4-5 mile repeats like normal, we did 3…extra fast.  My normal pace for mile repeats is between 6:10 and 6:20.  Today I ran:

mile warm-up
drills & strides
1st mile: 6:06
2nd mile: 6:00
3rd mile: 5:52
1200 cool down

 

I’d never gone sub-6 in a mile repeats workout before: yay me!  To celebrate, my mom let me buy 10 Greek yogurt cups. (actually, we were at the grocery store and I just threw yogurt after yogurt into the basket…)

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love me some Chobani

Yesterday it was like four degrees and much too cold to run outside, so I went aqua jogging again rather than run on the treadmill, because no one likes the treadmill. We had a two-hour delay so I got 45 minutes in the pool done before school started.

T-3 days until the invitational! After that, we have two weeks until postseason championships begin!

I guess this post is sort of a mishmash because I didn’t really plan it.  Did you know that a shrimp’s heart is in its head? Also, it is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.

Happy cold-weather running! The top of my right pinky finger froze and I couldn’t feel it during the workout today.  There is literally nothing weirder than trying to put your gloves on and not knowing if your finger is in the right spot because you can’t feel it.

New obsession and lazy days

I had one of those weekends.

Those weekends being the kind where you don’t leave the house and just eat a lot and watch YouTube videos and pretend you’ve gotten something done by vacuuming your bedroom and watering the plants.

Yesterday started out productive- I woke up at 7:30 and had a nice weight-lifting session with my dad at the gym.  Hell yeah, I’ll be a bodybuilder with my ten-pound dumbbells 😉 There was a kiddie basketball camp going on at the same time which was one of the most adorable things I’ve seen.

I ate a lot of peanut butter and banana toast.

It was really icy outside all day- although the temperatures reached all the way up to 24!!!- but I had to get my weekly long run in somehow.  Finally, around 3, I sucked it up and headed out the door.  I didn’t use the GPS on my watch because who cares about distance and pace for a slippery slow snow run?  At the end, I felt great, so I started singing along (loudly) to my iPod.  Nothing like Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne to help you fly down icy neighborhood hills.  I couldn’t hear myself singing, but I’m pretty sure I sounded like: “Make a wish, *gasp* take a chance, *wheeze* make a change, *gasp* and BREAAAKKKKAAAWAAYYYYY!”

On the bright side, I had fun not being color-coordinated.

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Don’t mind the awkward camera angle. And the shoes are pink, I swear.

Today was the laziest of all lazy days.  I really took the whole “rest day” very seriously.  No physical activity has happened unless you count eating (which happened a lot).  I didn’t get out of bed until close to NINE, then made waffles and had a feast just for me.

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Waffle tower, OJ, nonfat plain yogurt with wheat germ, fresh strawberries, and banana….yum. Oh, and the Meg Cabot book, of course. I’m such a girl.

I spent the morning on the computer and with my Econ textbook, then spent the afternoon having fun with my new obsession: “made-in-a-mug” desserts! I’ve made tons of brownies all week (I had two yesterday, and they’re not exactly small).

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I used dark chocolate cocoa powder which is why it’s so dark

Today, I made a miniature coffee cake that was delicious (kind of spongy, though, and I forgot to take a picture) and a chocolate cake that was not.  After dinner, I made a blueberry muffin.  I could’ve baked it, but the microwave only took two minutes and it tasted really good.

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It looks kind of goopy on the outside, but the inside was crumbly and soft.

I discovered that “Chocolate Covered Katie” has tons of amazing recipes that I definitely want to try.  Maybe not all this week, though, because of my mile on Saturday.  But definitely soon.

It’s back to almond butter and healthy food for me for the next six days! I can’t wait until my mile!

Snow Day!

Snow-day roulette worked in my favor! I woke up at 5 this morning and looked out the window to see the world gloriously coated in powdered sugar  snow.

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Don’t comment on the amount (or lack thereof) of snow- school was once cancelled because of rain.  I’m not complaining.

The school website proclaimed, “All county schools are closed Friday, Jan. 3.” In my foggy sleep state, I just stared at it for a few seconds, then processed that Friday, Jan. 3 was today and I did not have to go to school.

So of course after that I couldn’t go back to sleep at all.

On my morning walk with my dog, I completely miscalculated how cold it was. “Oh, it’s probably about 30 degrees. I’ll just wear some light gloves.”

Wrong.  I checked the temperature after I got back: 16 degrees plus wind chill.

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frozen fingers

You have no idea how cold I was in this picture.  I could not even feel my fingers, or my nose, or my toes.

I holed up in my room with my space heater going full blast, drinking Earl Grey tea and watching Parenthood and Silver Linings Playbook.  (Yay for Jennifer Lawrence) Unfortunately, the 18-degree temperatures meant that the snow did not go anywhere today.  I saw a woman trying to jog on the icy sidewalks this morning and the way she was struggling I decided:

Toddlers and Tiaras…ohhh goodness.

With running and biking out of the question (and my lack of access to a treadmill), I started feeling crabby.  If there’s anything I hate more than Chinese food, it’s missing a run.  Luckily, the high school pools were open today even though the schools themselves were closed. I changed into a bathing suit, thinking, “What the hell am I wearing a bathing suit for when it’s sixteen degrees and icy outside?”  45 minutes of aqua jogging was a better decision than running because a) my legs still hurt and I figured low-impact exercise would take the strain off and help them recover, and b) I was not about to fight my way through the ice and snow and freeze to death.  I haven’t cross trained in forever, so I also needed this aqua jog.

I get so bored when I aqua jog.  There’s literally nowhere to look except the clock, which of course seems to move extra slowly when you’re constantly looking at it.  My aqua jogging goes something like this: Get in pool. Look at clock. Jog one lap. Look at clock. Force myself to not look at clock for three laps. Look at clock. Two minutes have passed. Repeat.  Does anyone have suggestions on how to pass the time/not be bored while aqua jogging?  I usually go with friends (except for that awful week in September when I was injured and had to aqua jog every day by myself).

Happy snow day! What do you do when your run is disrupted by inclement weather? (Rain doesn’t count because anyone can run through rain, just suck it up and don’t wear mascara.)

Welcome back workout

The first day back after winter break is always interesting.  It becomes clear in about five seconds who ran and who didn’t.  Especially when Coach asks, “So, who did every single run on the schedule over break?” and I’m the only one who raises my hand.

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This is kind of how I felt.

Today was a welcome back workout (which is not as fun as it sounds. “Welcome back! Here’s your workout.”) for the seven of us (five girls and two boys) who qualified for the invitational next Saturday.  I’m flippin’ excited about it because I wasn’t fast enough to qualify for the invite mile, so I’m running the 1600 with  the other fast-but-not-elite runners. Hopefully I’ll place high. 🙂

Our workout was a descending ladder at consistently faster intervals.  2000, 1600, 1200, 800.  I felt cardiovascularly (which is not a word, apparently) good during the workout, but unfortunately I just switched to new shoes and my lower legs were killing me.  But I was happy with my times- I don’t think I lost much (if any) fitness during break.

Saucony-Mirage-3-Pair
Love you girlies but you kill me
Source: http://www.runningshoesguru.com/2013/03/saucony-mirage-3-review/

Comparison of the same workout before and after break

12/4/13: 2000m- 8:06; 1600m- 6:08; 1200m- 4:30; 800m- 2:45

1/2/14: 2000m- 8:01; 1600m- 6:03; 1200m- 4:26; 800m- 2:46

I was pleasantly surprised when I consulted my running log to see the improvement in my times! (pesky 800…) I’m feeling good at this point in the season! We only have one more race until conferences. Whaaat? I’ve raced once/twice this season!

I didn’t do any abs or arm work or anything besides running today because I was cold and lazy and in pain, so I just took a shower.  I’ll do abs tomorrow, and I’m scheduled to lift at the gym with my dad on Saturday morning.  I’m currently RCEing my legs (RICE without icing because I’m cold and lazy, as stated before) and if they still hurt tomorrow, I might aqua jog instead of running.

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Suuuper cute fashion statement- striped fuzzy socks, white calf sleeves, and boy’s sweatpants.

I can feel my heartbeat in my calves right now…what is happening?

My next post will have something to do with food for this upcoming week and my attempt to eat healthy in preparation for my mile.

I have done no homework; as somebody on Twitter ingeniously put it, “I’m playing snow-day roulette with my homework.” It’s snowing, but it’ll probably melt. Then I’m screwed for tomorrow 😉

New Year’s Resolutions…one day late

Happy New Year! Just for fun, let’s make fun of my second-grade self.

freakin' intellectual genius as a seven-year-old

freakin’ intellectual genius as a seven-year-old

Oh, New Year’s Day.  The trails are filled with people vowing to get their lives back on track. Couples run up and down the streets together in brand-new running shoes.  We resolutely throw away boxes of cookies and bags of chips because really, all that processed junk food is awful and I’m going to eat healthy this year.

Which lasts about three days.

(Less in my case because I was just forced to eat dim sum with my family even though I hate Chinese food with a passion and it makes me feel like shit.  I was planning on eating poached eggs and sugar snap peas for lunch, but instead was forced to eat slippery, jiggly shrimp dumplings, slimy duck, and over-adulterated green beans. UGHHHH. Poached eggs and toast on the menu for dinner.)

This year, my resolutions are not going to be the “Eat healthy and run six days a week” type of thing that they usually are because hey, I achieved that in 2013!  Mine are going to be smaller, but more specific.  More like a checklist. I’m posting them in order to hold myself accountable.   I’ll check in four times this year to see how I’m doing.

New Year’s Resolutions (To-do list?) 2014

1.  Be able to touch my hands to the floor and my nose to my knees (flexibility!). Stretch every day.

2. Do 51 push-ups without a break.  (I have this weird thing where I set a goal for myself but always have to do one more than the goal to prove, I guess, that I’ve actually achieved it. Like when I have “30 push-ups” written on my schedule, I always have to do 31 or else I feel like a failure.)

3. Get my license! (I could’ve gotten it already but I’ve been…procrastinating…)

4.  Get as close to breaking 18 minutes for 3 miles as I can.  (I know this is setting the bar high, considering how I’m 45 seconds away. But it’s okay if I don’t. I just realllllllllllllly want to.)

5. Become a better listener/more considerate.  Use my blog for snarky comments instead of saying them to people’s faces 😉

6.  Get a defined six-pack. I have one now if I flex…

7. Learn how to cook ten new things by heart.

8. Get MVP for the 2014 cross country season.  That will be a challenge because you never know what can happen in a season, and there are two other girls that are just as fast as me.  But if I train my hardest and want it the most, I can get it.

9. Get better at speaking Spanish out loud.

10. Do something (positive) I’ve never done before!

So those are my resolutions for 2014.  I hope I achieve them!  Hope everyone has a great year.