First week of training

Well, I just wrapped up my first week of college cross country training with seven miles at an 8:06 average pace on my typical long-run route.  It was really tiring, so I probably should have taken it slower.  I had a pretty big negative split (that always happens…oops), which isn’t bad, but it’s not quite what I wanted to do, either.  Mentally, it wasn’t the greatest run, especially because my dad called and yelled at me in the middle of it, then hung up.  Twice.  Yay.

long run blog

Oh, well!

Training week recap:

  • Monday: 5 miles at 8:05 average pace, partially on the bike trail and partially on our cross country course
  • Tuesday: 4.65 miles at about an 8:30 pace with some former teammates at their captain’s practice
  • Wednesday: 5 miles at a 7:49 average pace
  • Thursday: 25 minutes swimming (I was supposed to do an hour, but I got kicked out because there was a dive meet)
  • Friday: 6 miles at a 7:57 average pace on the bike trail.  Was not an easy effort. 30 minutes swimming.  10 minutes of yoga.
  • Saturday: An hour of lifting at the gym in the morning, 32 minutes stationary biking in the afternoon.
  • Sunday: 7 miles at an 8:06 average pace (big negative split 28:53/27:56).  Very tiring…

Overall: 27.65 miles running and about 90 minutes of cross training.

Things I need to keep in mind:  Have more easy effort days!  Even if I’m going an “easy” pace, it does not mean that I’m exerting an “easy” effort.  Some days, easy pace is 7:45/mile, while on others, it could be 8:30 or even 9:00/mile.  I only had like one or two “easy” days this week, and I think I should have three so that my long run is less devastating.  Hard efforts every day are BAD.

My training plan started me out with low mileage this week, but I’m grateful for that because a) it’s the first week, so I should be running low mileage and b) there’s a lot more cross training built into the schedule than I’m used to.  I’m not very good at biking, but I had a bad reaction to the chlorine at our pool which resulted in me being covered in itchy welts all over my body, including my eyelids. (I’m still covered in them right now; I want to tear my skin off).  So I’m going to be spending a lot of time on the bike over the upcoming weeks, and I need to be running low mileage at the beginning in order to get used to that.  Cross training is tiring!

Well, it’s off to the farmer’s market for me!


Summer storms and micronutrients

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far, with the heat index exceeding 100 degrees.  The sun blazed for most of the day, so after 4.65 (sweaty) (gross) miles with some former teammates, I stayed inside for most of the day.  A 20-minute walk with the dog left me drenched and him panting like he’d just run 10 miles.


Around 6 pm, a huge storm hit.  I think the nearby airport recorded gusts of wind as high as 50 miles per hour!  The trees outside my window were swaying dangerously, and the rain battered the houses.

The lights flickered for a bit, then went out.

Our street is always the street that has power no matter what.  In the derecho.  During Hurricane Sandy.  Et cetera.  We’re the lucky ones.  So this was annoying 😉

As far as we could tell, it was just our four houses (my house, the one behind us, the one next to us, and the one behind the one next to us) that had lost power.  Then we heard that the transformer in our backyards had caught on fire!!  Our next-door neighbors called 911, but of course with all the crazy rain and wind blowing around, the fire went out before the fire department actually got there.

Here in metropolitan/suburban America, you don’t actually realize how much you rely on electricity until you don’t have it.  No Internet.  Can’t charge your phone/computer/watch.  No lights.  Our preparation as far as candles and flashlights goes was pretty dismal.  You can’t open your fridge or freezer.  Can’t do laundry.  Can’t run the dishwasher.  All this stuff is totally “first world problems,” but you never realize how many times per day you do all of these things!  I must have gone to the fridge at least seven times…

I read for awhile by candlelight before going to bed around 10:30.


(Yes, that is my fourth bowl of blueberries of the day in the back.)

It was pretty weird to realize how much of modern life is dependent on electricity.

So that’s my epiphany for this week. 😉  I read books for much of the evening and morning, and I went to the library this afternoon for an hour to charge my computer and use wifi, but they managed to restore our four houses’ power by the time I got back.

I finally got my training schedule yesterday, and it involves five days of running per week along with an entirely new amount of yoga and cross training.  Today was supposed to be my day “off” where I didn’t run and did an hour of either biking or swimming, but I woke up this morning to discover that the storm had one positive result; it left 70 degree temperatures in its wake!  Of course, I had to take advantage of it, so I did tomorrow’s run (5 miles) today.

splits 5 miles 6:24

It was glorious to not start the run overheated.  I did my long run route (obviously shortened), which contains a long, steep hill towards the end that I always absolutely positively must summit quickly, and I accidentally sprinted up the entire thing.  Oops.  At the top I was going 6:05 pace.  This was around 4.3 miles.

All in all, it was a pretty good run.  I’ll take tomorrow off from running and do an hour of cross training.  Nothing like staring at the bottom of the pool for an hour.  At least the scenery changes when you’re running…

In four weeks, I should be up to at least 40 miles per week over five days of running, so I’ll be doing an average of 8 miles per day!  Goodness.  We’ll see how this goes.  I wonder where I’m supposed to be at the end of the summer.  I foresee many naps in my future.

A couple days ago, I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app, not because I wanted to track my calories (I honestly do not care how many calories I eat) but because I had the sneaking suspicion that my micronutrients were not up to par.  So I tracked what I ate yesterday, and my suspicions were confirmed…

IMG_5917The leftmost number is the amount I actually consumed, and the one in the middle is what MyFitnessPal thinks I should be aiming for.

The lack of calcium was just because we were out of milk so I made my oatmeal with water, so that number’s generally better on a daily basis.  My sugar intake surprised me by being higher than I expected (I think 134 grams), but I know that’s because I eat so many fruits and vegetables.  My sodium intake kind of confirmed my worries; yesterday, I even consciously tried to consume sodium by adding lemon-lime Nuun to my water and eating pickles, but I still barely got to half the recommended amount.  If I hadn’t eaten the Nuun or pickles, my intake would’ve been maybe 500 milligrams!!  I just seldom eat salty things!

(PS: Can you get Vitamin A and Vitamin C poisoning?  Sheesh.)

Today I drank more Nuun (strawberry lemonade) and picked up some freakin’ delicious Thai food (beef basil and spring rolls) for lunch, and the beef basil absolutely had a ton of sodium.  So hopefully I’ll actually get close to the recommended amount of sodium today.

Just to reiterate, I am not doing this to track calories.  I’m tracking micronutrients for a couple days just to see where I can improve (more sodium, less sugary fruit, etc.), and then I’ll probably delete the app once I figure out which foods I should be eating more or less of to fill the “holes” in my diet.

Summertime tiredness

Happy day after Father’s Day!

(PS, I did end up running on Friday.  Watchless approximately 4 mile easy run with my friend.)

Saturday was a ridiculously long day.  We celebrated Father’s Day a day early by doing all sorts of activities that my dad enjoys.  We woke up at 6:30 am and he picked us up a little past 7 am, and then we were off to go pick blueberries an hour away.  After picking blueberries, we parked 2.6 miles away from Harper’s Ferry, and we were off on a family bike/run on the C&O canal.


Screenshotted a Snapchat video… terrible quality

They all biked while I ran, and the canal path was shady and cool since it’s near the water, so the run was nice.  Except we got to Harper’s Ferry and after visiting Jefferson’s Rock, my dad and brother decided to desert my other brother and me for 45 minutes, and I didn’t have my phone, so that was fun.  Turns out they decided to get ice cream and walk around a different way after leaving Jefferson’s Rock.


We then biked/ran back to the car (my run ended up being 2.6 miles to Harper’s Ferry at an 8:07 pace, a loooong walking/climbing/sitting break at Harper’s Ferry, and then 2.6 miles back to the car at a 7:35 pace) and went to lunch.

After that, we drove some more and visited my grandmother, then headed home.  Whereupon I hopped in the shower, threw my stuff together, and headed off to drive a bunch of friends and myself to the Hozier concert an hour away!


Yes, she did wear running clothes to a concert

The concert was pretty fun, although there were intense thunderstorms the whole time.  The picture above was taken at 7 pm, the concert was supposed to start at 8, but it didn’t start until 9:30.  We stayed in the car and walked around in the thunderstormy darkness while we waited.  It was insane.  The grassy hill turned into a mud pit, and we stood in a downpour the entire time Hozier was onstage.

IMG_5890It was worth it, though, because he was AMAZING.  He sounded exactly the same live as he does in his recorded songs, and he wasn’t too hard on the eyes either 😉

Very rough 11 pm picture in a torrential downpour

Very rough 11 pm picture in a torrential downpour

It took at least half an hour to get out of the parking lot, and by the time I dropped all my friends off and got back to my house, it was almost 1 am.  I fell dead asleep pretty much immediately.

I haven’t gotten my training schedule yet, so I just did 5 miles this morning, along with 45 push-ups.  The run was rough because it was really hot and sunny and humid, and I need to get back into my normal sleep schedule (the past few days I’ve gone to bed at 5:15 am, 10 pm, and 1:30 am).  I also need to get back into my normal food routine and keep myself accountable!  I’ve been eating a ridiculous amount of fruit (read: 12 fruits per day…) and unhealthful things such as a gyro and french fries and a chicken wing and pizza.

Today’s food so far:

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with peaches, banana, strawberries, almond butter, and cinnamon; homemade blueberry muffin
  • Lunch: leftover steak with Montreal seasoning, onions and mushrooms, swiss chard, peas, and a giant baked sweet potato; homemade chocolate brownie.

This week is pretty low-key; events on my schedule (besides running/strength of course) include babysitting, doing housework, catching up on sleep, going to the library, and going to the pool to both swim and relax.  A lot of my friends are at beach week or otherwise preoccupied, so I’m not going to be going out a lot this week.  Fine by me!  My beach week is in two weeks, and I am so excited.

Happy beginning of summer!

High school graduation, boat party, and sleeping in

Yesterday, I graduated high school.

I am officially no longer a student at my high school.  We drove by there on the way home from graduation, and it made me really sad!

But backing up…

We had to be at school at 8:15 am to board the buses that would take us to DAR Constitution Hall in DC, the location of our 10 am ceremony.  (As you might’ve guessed, I didn’t run yesterday.)  Constitution Hall was stifling hot because there were 430 seniors and dozens of faculty members crammed into the hallways, and we had to stand there for 45 minutes until our procession at 9:50.  That was probably the worst part!

The ceremony was nice, with the presentation of colors, the orchestra playing Pomp and Circumstance, the recognition of the valedictorians (hi!) and the IB diploma recipients (hi!), the commencement speeches by select faculty members and student speakers, and the procession across the stage to receive our diplomas (they weren’t the real diplomas, of course).  I did not trip on the stairs!

After the throwing of mortarboards and a disorganized exit from the Hall, we took a lot of pictures outside before heading to lunch in Georgetown.

Some of them were good…


My “twin”


One of my bros… the youngest had his elementary school awards assembly


My friend’s brother in the background is the best part of this photo

IMG_5786And many of them were terrible or hilarious…IMG_5797 IMG_5808 IMG_5812

For lunch, I chose a decadent roasted Brussel’s sprouts pizza.  It sounds questionable, but it was absolutely delicious.  It was drizzled with a balsamic dressing, and I think there was also some butternut squash going on.  The only thing that would’ve made it better was if there were more Brussel’s sprouts. (I love them so much)


We took some more pictures, both good and bad…


Kennedy Center in the background! (Excuse the sweaty, wrinkled dress)


I was talking :/

And then I went home and unsuccessfully tried to nap because the senior boat party was that night.  From 11 pm to 4 am.  Not ideal for this granny who goes to bed at 10:30 every night!

After dinner and some chill time at a friend’s house, we headed back to school at 10:30 pm and left for the boat at 11.  The boat pulled out of the dock around midnight and 200+ 18-year-olds spent the next three and a half hours in a small enclosed space doing various 18-year-old newly-graduated activities.

For me, the first and last half hours were the most fun, and everything in between was a bit boring.  I’m not a big dancer, so I didn’t dance that much, and the choices of entertainment were a lil limited.  I crashed around 2 am, but revived a bit around 3 and danced/talked/stayed awake.


Made it the entire night without falling asleep, though!  I was quite proud of myself.  We ate “breakfast” back at school, but it was egg mcmuffin-type ingredients (disgusting), so I just had fruit and half a bagel with cream cheese.  Rolled up to my house at 5 and was asleep by 5:15 am, just as it was starting to get light outside.IMG_5852I have never slept in as late as I did this morning!  I woke up for a minute three times throughout the morning but ended up sleeping past noon.  How do people do this every day??  I’m currently quite discombobulated.

Probably won’t run today, as it’s 3 in the afternoon, and I just ate, and it’s over 90 degrees outside.  I think I’ll go to the pool and swim for an hour or so.  Then maybe I’ll go back to sleep 😉  I get my official college summer training plan in a few days, so that’s really exciting!

I am officially a college student.  No longer in high school.  Will never be in high school again.  IB DONE.


Graduation (not mine) and 80 percent humidity

So I ended up taking nine or ten days off from running, and I did various core and strength routines over that break.  I don’t get my official training schedule until after I graduate, so this week is sort of in limbo as far as running goes (since I graduate on Thursday and am not really supposed to be running until the end of the week).

Even with that guideline, I still started running yesterday with a simple 35-minute run.  It was hot and humid, and I was drenched by the end!  I ran for 35 minutes again this morning, but it was even hotter and more humid, and it did not feel great at all.  Could’ve been worse, though.

My legs are tired and a little sore from all the sidewalk pounding, so I may just swim tomorrow.  I probably won’t run on Thursday or Friday because graduation is Thursday and our class has an all-night boat party, so running on Friday is not the best idea!  But I’m not too worried about running a lot this week because I don’t have to be running as summer training technically starts next week.

Anyway, the past few weeks have been relatively uneventful; we had our senior picnic last Tuesday, some friends and I had a small “middle school clique” reunion (we were definitely clique-y) over the weekend, I worked on my book some more (21,000 words!), took my dog to the dog park, went to the mall to find a graduation dress (I didn’t find one…I DESPISE shopping)… nothing too stressful, thank goodness.

Our friend just had ACL surgery, so we tried to push her around in a wheelbarrow (it did not work)

Our friend just had ACL surgery, so we tried to push her around in a wheelbarrow (it did not work)

Doofus dog was very excited to go to the dog park

Doofus dog was very excited to go to the dog park

Although he is the king of flopping around pathetically so that everyone in the vicinity knows just how pathetic he is.


I ate some good food.


PB&J, sauteed kale, plain Greek yogurt with blueberries


Smoothie: banana, frozen raspberries, frozen blueberries, a splash of orange juice, a spoonful of Greek yogurt


Strawberry shortcake with fresh-picked strawberries from an orchard!


Whole wheat toast with tomato, mozzarella cheese, and basil (toasted), with pineapple on the side

I need to get used to waking up at or before 7 am every day again!  The humidity and heat are unbearable at all times of the day, so the ideal time to run is like 3 am, but obviously that’s not going to happen.  I’m trying to get out the door by 7:40 every morning, with the goal of getting up a little bit earlier each day to try to beat the heat.  One can hope…

Tonight was my youngest brother’s elementary school graduation!  After twelve years at that elementary school, our family is done.  Crazy.



Nice photo with grandma…

...although this is more typical (they were pinching me and I fell down)

…although this is more typical (they were pinching me and I fell down)

Well, I need to be off to bed as I have a 6:50 am wake-up call.  Yay running?



Post-HS running (break)

Since I’m now finished with high school track (*sobs*), I’m planning on taking seven to ten days off from running while incorporating a few ab routines and strength routines, nothing too strenuous, to keep from becoming a complete marshmallow.  Today, I did seven minutes of abs followed by 45 push-ups.

Although graduation isn’t for another week and a half, seniors at my school participate in “Senior Experience” at the end of the school year where, for the last three weeks of school, we get jobs, internships, or do special projects, and therefore don’t go to school.  So I haven’t gone to school in two weeks.  Instead, I’ve been working on my special project: writing a novel!

I’ve always been interested in writing, and when I was in first grade, I would sit in front of a manual typewriter for hours a day and laboriously type out original plays.  I wrote a 150-page story in sixth grade, but it was heinously awful (I got bored in the middle and completely changed the plot to something running-related, of course).  Additionally, I published two excerpts from short stories in seventh and eighth grade.

When I entered high school and got even more serious about schoolwork and running, I stopped having a ton of free time for writing, and therefore haven’t written much over the past four years.  So I thought Senior Experience would be the perfect time to dust off the old habits and try my hand at story-writing…for real.

After a slow start figuring out the characters, I’ve written about 14,000 words so far, and I’m excited to see where this takes me.  As of now, it’s not very good, and I have no plans to share it on a wide scale, but it’s still fun to produce this myself.

On another note, I never mentioned anything about my post-high school running plans!  Therefore, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be running for a D1 program at an academically rigorous college! (I don’t like to post names or other identifying information, although pictures include logos.)  As of now, I’m one of the slower freshmen on the team, but I don’t mind; it’s pretty much my dream school, and I’m so grateful that I’m getting the chance to be on an amazing D1 team.

The Last Race

On Friday, I ran the last race of my high school career.

Four years.  Thousands of miles.  Embarrassing moments and collapses and victories and triumphs and PRs and first places and last places and places in the middle of the pack.

This wasn’t the most important race, the fastest race, or the most nerve-wracking race… but it was the last one, and that in itself made it pretty memorable.

We left for states on Thursday afternoon and drove in traffic for a long time before finally getting to the hotel.  After a quick shakeout run, we ate dinner at Olive Garden and got back to the hotel around 10.  We partook in our night-before-the-race tradition of weird YouTube videos (mostly funny cats) before going to bed around 11:30.

The 4×800 was at 3:30, and I ate oatmeal and toast for breakfast and leftover pasta for lunch.  We got to the stadium at 2:15 and warmed up at 2:45.

We kept the same order, so I led off again.  I wasn’t feeling great before the race (stomach didn’t feel right), but I chalked it up to nerves and repeatedly told myself, “It doesn’t matter if you don’t PR, this is your LAST RACE OF HIGH SCHOOL so treasure every second of it!!”


The gun went off, and I ended up switching between the back of the pack and the front of the pack all throughout the first lap, with a first lap split of about 68. (I think)

IMG_5586 IMG_5579IMG_5590

As we entered the second lap, I found myself thinking, “You have a little over one minute left of your entire high school running career.”

Three girls passed me on the second lap (oops), but I yelled at myself all the way down the home stretch to run through the line since I wanted a real split.  I saw my teammate lined up in the third lane and headed straight down the third lane towards her, but unfortunately as I was about five meters from her she stepped laterally all the way to the first lane!  Not sure why.  So I kind of lunged sideways at the end to get to her 😉


I handed off at 2:22, but I’m not sure if it was officially 2:22 or 2:23 since you can’t really see the clock when you cross the line.  In any case, it was the second fastest time I’ve run this year and a solid way to end high school running!  (Although I was hoping to run about the same time I ran last week, the conditions were different and it was still a good time.)

After a ten-minute cool down, we went to Outback Steakhouse for dinner and I went to town on a steak, shrimp, sweet potato, and broccoli, followed by “Chocolate Thunder from Down Under.”


I typically eat sweet potatoes and broccoli plain, but this sweet potato was cooked with brown sugar and butter, and it was the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten… maybe I’m missing out 😉
IMG_5582Today brought all the individual races, and they were all pretty amazing to witness.

After a 3-hour bus ride home, I got back about an hour ago to discover that my dog had destroyed my blinds and some race bibs.

I’ll decide later which emotions I should be feeling now that high school running is completely, 100% over for me.  But don’t worry, I’m nowhere near done–  I also have to talk about my college (running) plans!