Miles in the heat

Today was my first mile since indoor conferences!  I had planned on running the mile at indoor regionals, but obviously I was injured and that didn’t happen.  Sad, really, because I had been in shape to PR.  Oh, well.

The past few weeks have been decent; my paces in workouts aren’t really where I’d like them to be (especially the 800 meter repeats I’ve done multiple times), but I’ve already seen improvements since mid-March, which is when I started running again.  I decided to run the mile today, and I ended up being the only distance runner from my school at the meet today because everyone else either ran yesterday or was visiting colleges!

We got to the meet at 9:30 am, and I warmed up at 10:35.  It was much hotter than I was accustomed to; 75 degrees and blazing sun had me sweating profusely after my 10 minute warm-up (pathetic, I know).  I’ve run a couple workouts in 75+ degree weather, but I haven’t yet raced when it’s been this hot out.

Honestly, I was more nervous than usual for this race.  I was afraid that it would hurt a lot, and I was apprehensive to find out what kind of shape I’m really in after my injury, illness, and a few weeks of solid-but-not-too-fast workouts (the mile tends to give me a jolt of reality more than the 800, so last week didn’t really tell me anything).

The seed times of the fast section ranged between 4:50 and 5:25, so I knew I would have girls to run with.  Luckily, most of my weird nerves went away right before the race as I made small talk with some of the other girls in the heat.  We did a stride and got on the line.  No coach, no teammates, very little pep talk, nothing like my usual pre-race routine.  And you know what?  It didn’t stress me out!


my traditional “I’m confused as to what I’m doing here” starting line face


The gun went off, and I settled in towards the back of the pack.  Because of the two really fast seeds, the race went out fast, and I came through the 400 in 75 high.  Back at indoor conferences, this same first lap split freaked me out and pretty much ruined my race, but today it had little to no impact on my mentality! Woooo!

I latched onto a girl immediately in front of me and let her pull me through the second and third laps (81 and 83) which were slow, yes, but they didn’t hurt as badly as I thought they would!

being photogenic isn't my thing

being photogenic isn’t my strong suit

We came through 1200 in 4:00 or 4:01, and I held on for 200 more meters.  The girl in front of me really started to kick with 200 to go, and she actually ended up running the last 200 3 seconds faster than me.  Oops.  I ended up finishing 5th in 5:21, which was about where I was hoping to be today, so that was good!  Obviously, I would’ve been closer to my PR with a faster third lap and/or a stronger kick, but that 5:18 is going down.  I haven’t PRed in anything in eleven months, so a few more weeks (I hope) won’t damage my pride any more. 😉


At the end of the race, it took awhile for me to be able to stand and walk around; I never feel well running in the heat (like, above 65 degrees…), and for some reason, it’s become quite common for me to take an abnormally long time to recover!! Grr.  I need to work on that.  Collapsing is obnoxious.

Thanks to the girl that helped me back to the bench!

Thanks to the girl that helped me back to the bench!


Season opener: 4×8 and 800

Last Saturday was the first meet of the season for me.  After a long, tough workout on Wednesday [4x(1200, 400)], my legs were pretty dead, so I wasn’t really expecting anything from these races.  Our goal for the 4×8 was to qualify for states (9:43) and maybe make the Penn Relays qualifier if we had a good day (9:40).

I woke up on Saturday and ate oatmeal with apples, cinnamon, and almond butter for breakfast.  The 4×800 was at 10 am, and we got to the meet at 8:30.  The temperature was perfect (about 60 degrees), but the wind was blowing pretty hard, which would make for challenging turns.

Even though I’m no longer the fastest leg of the 4×8, I still like anchoring, so I was the fourth leg.  Our first leg led off with a 2:25 to put us in the top 4.  Our second leg (a sophomore) ran a great 2:21 to give us a solid lead!  Our third leg ran 2:24-2:25 to increase our lead to about 9 seconds.  I got the baton and ran a decent leg (2:25ish) to solidify the win, a state auto, and a Penn Relays qualifying time of 9:36!  I felt fine when I crossed the line, so clearly I didn’t run hard enough 😉


Even though my split was the same, our 4×8 time was 12 seconds faster than last year at this meet (with the same four girls).  Yay for progress!

The girls running the 800 had a few hours until the open 800, so we hung out on the very sunny bleachers, ate applesauce, and watched two of our teammates run the mile.  For the open 800, two of us were in the first heat (I was seeded 7th).  My goal was to have a stronger second lap and run faster than a 2:25.


The race went out really fast (33), which some girls can keep up but I certainly cannot!  I was at the back of the pack as we entered the second lap (first lap was a 71).

IMG_5246My second lap felt faster than the 4×8 leg had, but I still only ran a 75 to finish in 2:26.  Missed my goal of 2:24 but I’m not too broken up about it.  I passed two girls and no one passed me on the last lap, so overall I finished eighth.

Last night, we found out that both our girls’ and boy’s 4x800s made the cut for Penn Relays!


[First things first: my latest running news.

Friday: 6×800 between 2:57 and 3:01.  Saturday: 60 minutes (didn’t use my watch GPS so I have no idea what pace/how far I went).  Monday: 2×200 at 35, 36; 2×400 at 82, 77; 2×800 at 2:53, 2:52; 2×400 at 77, 81; 2×200 at strides pace.]

The majority of my spring break was pretty boring.  I make a to-do list every night for the next day, and my lists over spring break looked pretty much the same every day.  Example: “Make bed.  Fold laundry.  Breakfast: oatmeal.  6×800 and 8 minute abs.  Clean bathroom/kitchen/whatever.  Read anthro book.  Start math homework (that never happened).  Target: conditioner and mouthwash.  Make dinner/wash dishes.”


Yesterday was different.  Sundays are generally my rest days, so I didn’t have to run.  I woke up around 7:30, packed some food, printed out directions… and headed off with my friend to go skydiving!!!

As soon as my friend turned eighteen (three weeks ago), we wasted no time in planning this trip.  Skydiving is one of those things that goes on a bucket list and never gets checked off, but we were determined to check it off.

We got to the skydiving facility at 10:45 am; it consisted of a warehouse-like building, a small runway, several small planes, and a landing field.  We filled out the paperwork (“don’t sue us if you die”, basically), received some training…and then waited for 4 and a half hours.  Strong winds were responsible for one hour of that delay, but finally we tightened our jumpsuits, put on our helmet hats, and boarded the small plane.  There were two benches inside the plane, and the two of us (plus our instructors) were the only tandem jumpers in the group.


The jumpsuits aren’t exactly flattering 😉

We flew up to 14,000 feet, and the individual jumpers jumped first.  Finally, the only people left in the plane were our instructors, the camera/video guy, and us.


During the flight

Pretty much the only time I was a little apprehensive was at the end of the flight before we jumped.  Personally, it was more overwhelming to watch other people jump than to jump yourself!

My friend jumped before me, so my instructor and I were the last ones in the plane.  We crouched at the door, and then all of a sudden we jumped!


The first few seconds were exhilarating, but as we leveled out from vertical, I realized I couldn’t breathe.  Oops!  I didn’t enjoy the free fall as much as I should’ve because I was focused on the lack of oxygen in my lungs, but it was still a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  For some reason, falling through the air at 125 miles per hour didn’t scare me at all!

Side note: it is impossible to smile when your cheeks are being pressed up to your forehead.  The below picture is the only one where my face is not contorted into ridiculous positions 😉

IMG_5908After about a minute of free falling (which is a LONNNGGG time!), my instructor pulled the parachute and we swung up back to vertical and slowed down dramatically.


The scenic 5 minute parachute flight was much more…relaxing…than the free fall.  I could breathe!!  We floated about 4,000 feet down, complete with turns and spirals which were amazing.  The winds got pretty strong as we entered the last 500 feet or so, but my instructor managed to land us perfectly without any difficulty.

We hadn’t eaten lunch, so we stopped at Noodles and Company and then gorged ourselves on hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts! (Is there anything better than a hot Krispy Kreme doughnut…no)  My amazing friend did all the driving, and we got home around 8, when I promptly gorged myself on the lamb and potatoes and apple crisp that my mom had made for Easter dinner.

All in all, skydiving was pretty much the craziest thing I’ve ever done, and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again! (if I could afford to do it that often…)  I definitely need to work on my photogenic skydiving face, though!




Spring break: rough running

It’s spring break week!  Unfortunately, I’m staying at home for the duration of this break.  Mostly everyone else is on vacation in exotic locations, so I’ve run alone all week.

Monday was supposed to be 5×1000, but I felt pretty awful and only did 3×1000 and 2×500 (with double the rest time).  I tried to put that workout behind me and had a pretty decent run on Tuesday (40 minutes/5.1 miles).  Wednesday brought 8-10 x 400, and I recruited my friend to do the workout at the same time as me!  She’s slower than me, but it was definitely a plus to have her working out at the same time.  We kept each other honest. 😉  I ended up doing 8×400 and 2×200 with 200 rest (and 400 after the fourth 400); my body still didn’t feel very good, but I went 81, 81, 81, 80, 81, 80, 79, 78 and 37, 36.  It could’ve been worse considering I was running by myself (agaaaainnnn).

Today was an easy 35-40 minutes, but it was by far the worst run of the week so far.  I stopped at least 6 times (stoplights, general fatigue, etc.) and even though I was running easy (8:20ish pace), any pace that I ran felt impossible.  It was just one of those days, I guess.

I haven’t decided what I’m going to do tomorrow; I’m thinking either a tempo run, long intervals (1000-1600), or aqua jogging.  Depends on how I feel.

I currently have cinnamon apple bread in the oven, and hopefully it will be delicious!  It’s a beautiful day (70 degrees and sunny), so I took my dog to the dog park and he was very happy.  I think I need to reset mentally because the past few days have been pretty negative towards running.  Miss my running buddies 😦