It’s not a road trip if you don’t get dessert

Recently, it seems like all the typical “junior year” stress has been hitting me at once.  Along with the increased intensity and amounts of homework and classwork, there’s the SAT and subject tests, college tours, IB meetings, NCAA paperwork, financial aid and scholarship seminars, track practice, tutoring, doing in-car lessons to get my license, helping with a local elementary school’s Girls on the Run program, etc.  There aren’t enough hours in the day!

During times like these, it’s important to take a moment and reflect on the wonderful simple things.  I usually overlook this and end up crabby and stressed out.

Yesterday, my dad and I did some college touring and went to an engineering open house.  Afterwards, we stopped for frozen custard and pie and cheesecake…because my dad cannot go on a road trip without making multiple stops for treats!

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Other highlights from my weekend:

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This morning, my mom dropped me off at a spot on my favorite trail on her way to church so that I could run farther on it than I do when I have to start from my house.  I love those runs where you get to the turnaround point and think, “Man! I wanted to keep going!”

photo 3-2After a chilly morning run, some abs, and push-ups (I’m getting closer to my goal of 50 consecutive!!), I refueled with oatmeal and scrambled egg whites.  My new favorite breakfast is a big bowl of oatmeal made with milk, topped with banana, raspberries, almond butter, and cinnamon.   It’s deeeelicious and fills you right up!

Another week is upon us, and unfortunately, it’s quarter exam week.  Ahhhh!  Time to start studying…after I’ve finished watching Modern Family…




Outdoor track goals

As a quick recap, here’s a general summary of what my indoor season looked like, along with my previous PRs:

Mile: PR before indoor- 5:32

Two mile: PR before indoor- 11:59

800: PR before indoor- 2:29

Outdoor track goals 2014

On my “Goals” page, the goals I made for this season back in August are sub-2:25, 5:18, and 11:30.  I clearly did not expect the time drops that have occurred over the past few months, and I’m really, really happy with my times right now.  Time to edit those goals!

New goals: sub- 2:20 800.  I actually don’t care if I achieve this one or not because I’ve always considered myself to be more of a mile/two mile girl.  Who knows if I’ll even run 800s this spring?  Although I think I’m running a 4×8 in two weeks; obviously I won’t be in sub-2:20 shape by then considering that we haven’t even started doing workouts yet.  But if I run the 800 later in the season, that’s the time goal.

sub-5:15 mile: I really want to see what I can do in the mile this spring.  My 5:19 back in January was completely unprecedented, but it psyched me up for outdoor!  However, I don’t know how much more time I can drop, so I’m hoping five seconds is the way to go.

sub-11:20 two mile: Again, I don’t know how much more time I can drop, since 31 seconds came off in the span of one season.  But it would be so nice to be in the teens!

Food, Workouts and Weather Woes

Originally, my next post was going to be my outdoor track goals, but I have other stuff to write about, so maybe I’ll do that for the next one.

Every weekend, my mom plans out a few hours to hit up multiple grocery stores and replenish all the food that we’ve eaten throughout the week.  Trader Joe’s, Harris Teeter, Shopper’s, BJ’s– we get to them all.  When we get back, nine times out of ten we have way more food than we initially planned on getting.

My favorite part of our grocery shopping sprees is the fruit.

photo 1

Apples, plums, grapefruit, bananas, strawberries, oranges… we have them all!!

Anyway, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day a day early because of conflicting sports schedules.  On the menu was mashed potatoes, corned beef, cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, and sweet potatoes for yours truly.  Corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes– honestly, it’s one of my favorite meals, and we only have it once a year!  Maybe that’s the 12.5% Irish in me talking.  For dessert, we made an apple crisp, which is not Irish per se, but it is definitely delicious.

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I had a pretty interesting weekend, starting off with the first weight lifting session of the season with my dad yesterday morning!  After not lifting for three weeks, I am unspeakably sore today… Gotta get some strength and stability back into my muscles!  I’m upping my lifting sessions to two times a week instead of just one for the next few weeks because I feel that they are crucial to building a strong base and preventing injury.

After lifting, my plans for a hearty, nutritious breakfast were negated when we spontaneously stopped at a bakery and bought like five pounds of baked goods.  Lemon poppyseed cake, some kind of hazelnut heaven, coffee cake, and raspberry croissants were definitely a delicious indulgence and a well-deserved respite from my normal meals, but it’s time to get serious now. 😉

The rest of Saturday included going for a run in temperatures that didn’t quite warrant taking my shirt off but I did anyway, doing another in-car driving lesson (I’m in the process of getting my license- just a couple more weeks!!), getting a haircut after almost two years, and watching the New Balance indoor nationals live stream for hours.  If our team had run a 4 x mile, we would have been All-American!! Man!!

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How ’bout another apple crisp photo? Deeeelicious

I actually managed to get all of my immediate homework done with quite a few hours to spare today, although I still have to read 250 pages of Walden in the next three days.  Yeahhhhhhhno, that’s not happening.

Most of today was spent doing homework and obsessing over the NBNI live stream.  Alexa Efraimson, Elise Cranny, Tessa Barrett… can I just be a combination of all three of them? Please?  I’ll give up…um…all junk food.  Except I don’t eat very much junk in the first place, unlike my brother.  He came home from some sort of paintball event today, and when my mom asked him what he ate, the list sounded something like: “Uh, Twizzlers, Cherry Coke, pizza, candy…”  And you wonder why you are not in good shape.  We made him eat lots and lots of broccoli.

The weather is acting crazy!! Yesterday, it was (almost) hot enough to run without a shirt, but it is currently snowing with up to 6 inches expected by tomorrow.  What on earth??

Our first track workout of the season is scheduled for tomorrow, but watch it get snowed out! Ridiculous.  We had a trail workout the other day that was a tempo run/fartlek type thing.  It felt good, surprisingly.  I would describe my feelings about the upcoming season as “hopeful.”

“Clean” eats and running again!

My hiatus from running finally ended on Saturday!  It felt like so much longer than a week, and I woke up Saturday morning wayyy too eager to lace up my sneakers again.

It was 60 degrees and sunny out as I headed out the door.  60 degrees!!  Quite a change from the recent highs of 20 or 25.  The temperatures called for shorts, so I eagerly broke out the spandex.

It's been so long since they've seen the sun!

It’s been so long since they’ve seen the sun!

Am I being dramatic? Possibly.

Did I enjoy my first run of the outdoor season in shorts? Absolutely.

It was pretty hard not to go bounding through the streets for the first ten minutes; I definitely had to restrain my speed.  It was a good thing I did, though, because I started to feel the effects of not running for a week after about 25-30 minutes.  I returned from the run sweaty (sweaty!), tired, a little creeped out because some middle school boys tried to hit on me, but overall very satisfied.

I did try to stick to my food plan for the most part over the past week, but I still felt/feel kind of…mushy.  All the ab routines and arm workouts in the world really can’t make up for the joy and calorie-burning of plain, simple running.

Friday's abs'n'arms

Friday’s abs’n’arms

photo 1-10photo 2-14

My cheat foods for the week included pumpkin pancakes to celebrate National Pancake Day (this girl does not do IHOP) along with a giant vegan peanut butter cookie.  Also, I made chocolate chip cookies (unpictured) last night to appease some insatiable cookie dough cravings.

I forced myself not to run today because I didn’t want to jump back in with nine straight days of running and no break, which is what would’ve happened if I’d run today and continued running the whole week.  But I’m very excited to run every day this week.

On another note, excluding bread, I ate completely clean* today!  Success!

*clean meaning no processed foods or additives.  Each food has only one or two ingredients.

I don’t eat a lot of processed foods besides whole wheat bread anyway, but today I decided that I wouldn’t eat anything (except bread) that didn’t fit it with the whole eating clean concept.

I really must become a better blogger and actually take pictures of my food sometimes…

Breakfast: Toast with almond butter, yogurt with strawberries
Lunch: Egg/egg white omelet with spinach and tomatoes, toast with natural PB and banana, orange
Early Afternoon Snack: Toast with natural PB and banana
Late Afternoon Snack: Apples and celery with natural PB
Dinner: Roast chicken, sweet potato, asparagus, and broccoli
Dessert: Fruit bowl- strawberries, blueberries, banana, apple

Fruit bowls are the bomb dot com

Fruit bowls are the bomb dot com

My mom and I spent the afternoon going to like four grocery stores, and we loaded up with basically everything we could possibly need food-wise for the next week.  I think I’ll try to stick with the “clean eating plus bread” shindig- it makes me feel accomplished, and I can make adorable Rubbermaid meals from tonight’s leftovers, along with various vegetables, brown rice, etc.  I’m switching to whole grain bread tomorrow, so that’s exciting.

Is it depressing, amusing, or awesome that my classmates spend the weekend going to parties and getting high, while the highlight of my weekend is getting whole grain bread?  To each their own, I guess.  I just have no interest in drinking or doing drugs or staying up till 5 a.m.; I’d rather stay cozy in bed with a mug of tea and three episodes of Chicago Fire to watch and go to bed at 10.  I’m an 85-year-old trapped in a 17-year-old’s body who sometimes gets mistaken for a seventh grader. 😉

Sometime soon, I’ll write a post about my goals for the upcoming outdoor season.  (By the way, my friend-who-randomly-recently-became-really-good-at-running just ran a sub-5 minute 1600.  Life is so unfair :P)  I’m pretty psyched for this outdoor season; I hope good things will come of it.

Food + exercise = happiness. Food – exercise = :(

Now that indoor track season has ended, I have a mandatory week of no running, followed by a week of easy running, before we jump back into track workouts and all that good stuff.   Because of the complete lack of exercise and calorie burning, you  know what else is going to have to change?

My diet.


I’m the queen of food.  I love food.  If I challenge you to a “who can consume the most calories in one day” challenge, I will most likely win.  I’m hungry all the time.

Seriously, I can eat two of these.  Do not underestimate me. ;)

Seriously, I can eat two Olive Garden spaghettis (1400 calories) for one meal.  Do not underestimate me. 😉

Unfortunately, if I do that this week, there will be consequences.  You can’t keep the same diet as when you’re burning 500-1,000 calories a day when you’re burning ZERO.  I’m definitely feeling the effects of so many pasta binges during the trip last week; I’m feeling a little bloated, slightly tired, and definitely not as healthy as I’d like.  So I’m going to hold myself accountable to my food consumption this week by coming up with a daily plan/format for my food consumption and limited allowed exercise.

Daily Food Plan for a Run-less Week

Breakfast: 1.5 pieces toast with almond butter, 1 cup yogurt with fruit and wheat germ.
Lunch: two fruits, one vegetable, one carb-y type thing like a sandwich, and one photo (5)main staple like chicken or whole wheat pizza
Snack: toast with peanut butter and banana (or something similar)
Dinner: main dish, vegetable, side dish(es) such as rice or potatoes
Dessert: fruit and chocolate
Strength exercises: Abs every day, alternating days of foam rolling/stretching and arm workouts

It may seem like I’m still eating a lot, and I am.  I’m a growing (I think) teenager; I’m not going to restrict calories or anything like that.  I’m just trying to slightly lessen the amount that I’m consuming because I’m not going to end up burning it off.

This plan is going to be made harder because we just got hit by yet another big snowstorm, so I have two days of not leaving the house and being around food all day.  I am so tired of snow! Can it please just be 70 degrees so it’s not burning hot but we can still run in spandex and sports bras? (Oh, wait, I’m not even running anyway.)

EDIT:  I’m allowing a bend in the rules for Tuesday– it’s National Pancake Day!! My lunch will be replaced with pancakes; there’s no way I’m not celebrating this holiday.


This is going to be a long post, since I’m recapping three days.

Indoor season is officially over!  We arrived back from our fabulous states trip tired, stuffed, and satisfied.

Day 1:

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Hanging out at a rest stop in the middle of the drive

We left on around noon on Thursday and drove three hours to the meet facility, which was not as nice as the one where our invites, conference, and regional meets were held.  It didn’t have any windows and the air was stuffy and hot.  😦  We went for a 20-minute run down the road next to the facility and then drove to our hotel where we braved the freezing pool.

That night, we went to Olive Garden to carbo-load, even though none of us would be racing for more than two and a half minutes each the next day. (We were running girls’ and boys’ 4x800s.)  Being the typical pig that I am, I devoured a plate of spaghetti and meatballs that was four times as big as my head and probably about 1500 calories.  How do you eat slowly? I finished it in about ten minutes…

After dinner, we went back to the hotel and finished up the t-shirts we’d made.  Our team isn’t exactly well funded (even though we win more meets/championships than any other team at school!!! but let’s save that rant for another day), so our t-shirts were cheap white ones from the crafts store that we’d tie-dyed and Sharpied our names onto the back.  Still authentic, still a team-bonding activity.  We then watched 45 minutes of cat videos before going to bed.  We also took pictures like this:

photo 3-8

We’re the coolest people I know.

Day 2:

Friday was race day, but we weren’t racing until 8 pm (groan), so we had the entire day to waste.  We ate breakfast around 8:30, and I stole some food from the hotel breakfast bar because I have to have PB&J on race day.  It’s a thing.

photo 4-7I spent about an hour and a half working on vocab in order to feel semiproductive, then organized my food stash.  I had quite a collection of snacks.
photo 5-1 Pre-race bananas, post-race banana and Dove dark chocolate, orange, almond butter packets, trail mix, oatmeal, race-day English muffin, PB&J fixin’s, an apple…I also had cheese sticks, Greek yogurt, and Gatorade in the fridge below the counter.  I’m nothing if not prepared with food 😉

Two of my teammates and I went for a walk to the shopping center across the street in order to escape the hotel.  We went to Trader Joe’s, but I didn’t buy anything because I wasn’t so desperate for boysenberry jelly that I would buy a whole jar for one sandwich…

At 4:30, our coach called the four of us racing for a pre-race pep/strategy/let’s-get-serious talk, and I started to have serious nerves.  I’m really not an 800 runner (not because I’m bad at it– I just focus on the mile and two mile instead).  My coach had chosen me for the states relay over my friend who actually does run the 800 because I’d had a better season; I had absolutely no idea what I could run or how to even really race an 800.

We headed over to the track around 5:30 and got there around 6.  We warmed up and checked in, then had a team huddle.  The check-in/pre-race area was in the gym across from the track, so we all had to walk to the track barefoot in order to not scratch up the gym floor.

There were three heats before ours, so we had half an hour more to wait.  I looked around at the other team’s lineups and started internally freaking out when I saw who was running their third legs.  Our team’s lineup is always: 2nd fastest goes first, then 3rd fastest, then 4th fastest, then the fastest girl runs the anchor (meaning I was the third leg).  But some of the other teams had their fastest girl running the third leg, which was a tiny bit terrifying.

The gun went off and my teammate was immediately tripped and almost fell on her face.  Whoops!  After a shaky start, she ran a solid leg and put us in fourth or fifth place.  Our second leg ran phenomenally to put us in a tie for second/third.  I lined up to get the baton, and I realized I was going to get the baton in between two girls who run at the national level.  Eeek!

Snapshot 2014-03-02 17-27-53

In other news, look at my shoulder definition! 😉 Those lifting sessions are paying off.

Since I had no freakin’ clue what an 800 was supposed to feel like, I just tried to stick with the girl in front of me.


It was fast.

800s are faster than miles and twos.

(Well, duh.  How insightful.)

Anyway, I ran as hard as I could and handed off in fourth place.

Snapshot 2014-03-02 17-35-33

The hand-off wasn’t nearly as awkward as it looks–it’s just that I’m left-handed and she’s right-handed.

My teammate ran a great anchor leg, even though she wasn’t satisified, and we ended up finishing fourth, setting a school indoor record, and recording a US top 20 time!!

Satisfying?  I think yes.  (I also set a 6-second PR, which sounds impressive but remember, I don’t run 800s.)

After the race, we went to yet another pasta restaurant because my teammate (the one pictured above) was also running the next day.  I inhaled yet another giant plate of pasta in 1.56 seconds, and I challenged the boys on my team to an eating contest (but they wouldn’t take it).

Day 3:

One of my teammates and I went for a 15-minute early morning shakeout run to end our season, then came back to the hotel and ate breakfast.  We went back to the track to watch our other teammate race, and she ended up getting second place!!!!  We then hit the road and arrived back home in the evening.

All in all, it was a satisfying, busy weekend, but now I have a ton of homework to do.  I’m now on a ten-day running break, so along with going stir-crazy from exercise deprivation, I’ll try to post about my eating/homework plans for the upcoming week.