Training week 5 (35 miles)

Week 5 of cross country base-building brought a slight decrease in mileage and intensity.  I didn’t do too many hilly runs, although I did have a couple faster runs.

Week 5 recap:

Monday 7/21: 5 miles @ 8:32 average pace
Tuesday: 7 miles @ 8:13 average pace, 40 min biking, upper body strength
Wednesday: 50 minutes of stationary biking, 10 minutes of lateral elliptical
Thursday: 6 miles @ 7:30 average pace, 50 minutes of biking and swimming, 1 hour Krav Maga self-defense class
Friday: 8 miles @ 8:08 average pace, 25 minutes of biking, lower body strength
Saturday: off
Sunday: 9 miles @ 7:59 average pace (last mile was 7:30)

Total: 35 miles of running, 175 minutes cross training, 60 minutes Krav Maga

Comments: I did a lot more cross training this week than last week, which was partially unintentional and partially because I was running less mileage.  Monday and Tuesday weren’t very good runs (as usual), but Thursday was really great.  Friday’s run felt good until about mile 6, when I started getting really dehydrated.  Because I had already done a lot of cross training, I took Saturday completely off (instead of cross training), which made my long run on Sunday feel pretty nice.

long run sundayy

We went to brunch at a place that was 8.16 miles away from my house, and it was really straightforward to get there via running, so I just ran there!  I made up the last 0.84 miles when I got there.  Kind of sprinted the last 0.15 or so because I just wanted to eat. 😉 Refueled with eggs, orange juice, and buttery blueberry pancakes.

I’m actually going back to that exact same restaurant for breakfast tomorrow morning because I’m having brunch with some of my new teammates that live in my area!  I’m excited 🙂

Three days until California!!

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Busy summer days and trying Krav Maga

Goodness, the last two days have been busy!

I woke up on Thursday at 6:50 am, and it was 68 degrees and only about 50 percent humidity.

A miracle!!

I had already decided that I would be going faster on this run than I had run in about two weeks, and the brilliant weather just made me even more excited.

Obviously, this wasn’t going to be a tempo run, since I’m not allowed to do workouts yet.  It definitely felt like I was going fast right from the get-go, but the first mile was only an 8:10!  How strange.  The rest of the run was quite a bit faster, though.

6miiiiIt felt easy/moderate until about mile 4, and then it felt moderately hard, mostly because it was completely uphill all the way back…

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All in all, it was a nice run, a little bit quicker than I’ve been doing, but my legs still felt good at the end.  I did 4 strides on an uneven field after I finished the six miles, but I kept slipping and sliding because the grass was wet.

After I picked my brother up from Tae Kwon Do camp, we biked to the pool, and I swam for 30 minutes while he dove and played Categories.  We then biked home, where I had a quick dinner and then went to a Krav Maga class!

It was unlike anything I’d ever tried- not typical martial arts at all.  We practiced “on top” defense, and “on the bottom” defense.  Definitely a great anger outlet!  I was pummeling my partner with kicks.

After myriad physical activities on Thursday, I woke up Friday feeling fairly tired.  After discovering that Mother Nature had given me an extra-special gift this month (ow-cramps), I walked my dog, walked my brother to TKD camp, and then biked to my old high school to meet up with my friend Craig.  I had to do eight miles, so he biked while I ran.  I tragically, accidentally deleted the data from that run, but it was an 8:08 average pace.  The first mile was an 8:42 and the others were between 7:50 and 8:10.  Why is my first mile always so slow compared to the rest of the run?

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Just ignore the caption

We went to Tropical Smoothie and Panera afterwards, and I got a raspberry/strawberry/banana smoothie, mac and cheese, French bread, and a tomato mozzarella flatbread.  It was amazing. Gotta replenish those carbs 😉

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We had a very heated discussion about utensil usage in the consumption of macaroni and cheese because Panera gives you a spoon.  After polling our friends, my side (spoons) lost dismally to forks.  But…why would you not use a spoon?  A spoon makes so much more sense than a fork!  That way, you don’t lose any of the sauce or drop any pasta!  I don’t understand the fork argument.  Maybe if you’re eating Kraft mac and cheese (blech) and spearing the noodles on the fork prongs…  Someone convince me.

I was very exhausted when I got home, so I tried to take a nap but was unable to fall asleep.  Finally, I gave up and went to the gym to do my lower body strength routine, which resulted in a very sore lower body.  I’ll do another post about my upper and lower body strength routines.

I took an ice bath and was too tired/lazy to make anything legitimate for dinner, so I had two toasted sandwiches made from French rolls, heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and balsamic vinegar.  I also had milk, blackberries, and carrots, and then Ugandan dark chocolate (it was on sale at Harris Teeter, okay) and a peach for dessert.

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Not the prettiest sandwiches in the world

Yay for busy summer days!  Five days until California!

Tuesday runs and “favorites”

I kind of dread Tuesday runs.

Since starting college training a month ago, my long run day has switched from Saturday to Sunday.  Therefore, I have a long run on Sunday and another run plus cross training on Monday, so by the time Tuesday rolls around, my legs are not happy campers.  I’m used to having a day off after my long run, not before.  So while my long run feels great because of fresh legs, Tuesday is not such a good time!

I took yesterday’s 5-miler pretty slowly (8:32 average pace), so I thought my legs might feel a bit better today.

Nope.

It was already 82 degrees and 77% humidity at 7:15 in the morning, and I was drenched by the time I reached mile 1.  My legs were logs, I couldn’t get my arm swing into rhythm, and my stomach didn’t feel good.  The hilly asphalt bike trail made my legs ache even more.  It was just one of those days.

But I got through it, and that’s the important thing.  Last week, I had to curtail the run and finish later, which I did not have to do today, so I say that’s an improvement!

7milerI actually felt almost normal during mile 6, but that was the only one. 😉

Tomorrow is a cross-training day, thank goodness.  I’m hoping that my body will eventually get used to the new long run schedule and stop complaining so much on Tuesdays!


This summer, I’ve been trying some new things in order to better my running and reduce risk of injury.  As I mentioned before, I don’t get nearly enough sodium and eat too much sugar and not enough protein post-run.

#1: Lately, I’ve been using Nuun tablets to get more sodium and vitamins.  I’m not a fan of artificial sweeteners, chemicals, artificial flavors, and non-natural ways of getting your vitamins and nutrients in, but then again I’m lacking an essential micronutrient and sodium is especially important in the summer because I sweat so much.  And Gatorade is much too sugary!

My favorite is probably the lemon-lime tablet.   I’ve also tried the tri-berry one (disgusting) and the strawberry lemonade (okay).   I use 24 ounces of water instead of 16 since personally the flavor is too strong with 16.  I think I’ll also try the citrus fruit tablet.

#2:  I’ve also making scrambled egg whites with a lot of salt and pepper for protein and sodium.  My go-to breakfast is oatmeal with almond butter and fruit, which does not contain a lot of protein, so egg whites are a great solution to getting your 13 grams in after a run. 🙂

#3: Hip strengthening.  Okay, I lied.  I’ve only done it like once.  But I will be doing it more.  I promise.  Here’s a pretty good routine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7AqGu1j1_8

That’s it for now!  I went to a pond and kayaked with some friends yesterday, so that was pretty fun.  Also, my friend gave me the best graduation gift ever:  Peruvian alpaca slippers!  I went to Peru in eighth grade and bought a pair of these slippers in a remote mountain village, and they were legitimately like walking on clouds.  Unfortunately, I wore them so much that they completely ripped by junior year, and I resigned myself to the fact that I would never have another pair unless I went back to Peru.  You can get a similar pair on Amazon, but they’re not quite the same.  But my friend’s little brother went on the same eighth grade trip this year, and she told him to get a pair of the slippers for my grad gift! 🙂

Training week 4 (39 miles)

Maybe the fact that my last (non-running-related) post got so many likes compared to my running posts is a sign that I should do more non-running things in my life.

Alas, this post is running-related.

I’m so sorry.

Anyway, I just wrapped up my fourth week of college training with 10 miles on the C&O Canal!  Actually, it was two solo miles on the roads and 8 miles on the canal with my friend Sarah.  This was my first real double-digit run (two years ago, Sarah and I ran/hiked about 12 miles, failing to bring water on the 2.25 hour excursion.  We nearly died.  Brilliance personified), and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, although my calves and feet are definitely aching!

10 miles with sarah

The first four miles were pretty slow; I ran the first two on really hilly roads, and then met up with Sarah, and we started off slow for the next eight.  The canal is completely flat, which is why our pace increased and then didn’t vary much during the last six miles.  The weather was not ideal (80 degrees and 85% humidity), and we were both completely drenched by the end!

Week 4 recap:

Monday 7/13: 6 miles @ 8:13 average pace, 36 minutes stationary bike
Tuesday: 8 miles total (5 miles @ 8:13 average pace AM, 3 slow miles on hilly hiking trails PM)
Wednesday: 45 minutes stationary bike
Thursday: 6 hilly miles @ 8:06 average pace, 32 minutes stationary bike
Friday: 9 miles @ 8:14 average pace
Saturday: off
Sunday: 10 miles @ 8:15 average pace

Total: 39 miles of running, about 115 minutes of cross training

Comments: This was one of the highest mileage weeks I’ve ever done, and I did it in five days!  (#lowmileageinHSprobs) I transitioned back from the flat bike trail at the beach to hills and higher temperatures, which didn’t trash my legs, but…yeah.  Close enough.  While my average pace was practically the same for every single run this week, each run was different.  Monday was pretty hard after my long run on Sunday, but I got through the 6 miles okay.  Tuesday, though, felt absolutely awful from the get-go, so I curtailed my 8 miles in the morning and made it up later in the afternoon.  I recovered on Wednesday on the bike and had a good (but really hilly) run on Thursday with my friend Noah.

military road elevation

Navy blue = Thursday’s elevation

I didn’t feel great for the first few miles of Friday’s 9-miler, but I was in the zone by mile 4.  Then, the greatest thing happened.  In the middle of mile 7, I got a huge runner’s high while listening to “I Lived” by OneRepublic!  I was grinning like a goon and laughing by myself on the bike trail and just felt amazing for about seven minutes, garnering some strange looks from passersby.  That was probably my third true runner’s high in my life.  The other two happened after really good races, so it was so weird to just randomly get it in the middle of a weekday run.

Consistency like shiii

Can you say consistency? (For the first 6 miles anyway)

I didn’t do as much cross training this week (pretty much the minimum I was supposed to do) because I’m kind of starting to loathe the stationary bike.  Guess it’s time to brave the pool again…praying for no hives this time.

So yeah.  That’s my fourth week of college training!  I have no idea what my next few weeks look like since my coach sends me my training every four weeks, and I just finished the first block of training and haven’t received the second.

Time to take a nap with my feet up the wall!

PS: I started dorm shopping a couple days ago!  The day after I bought my sheets and hangers and hamper and a chair pillow, it all went on sale.  Because that is my life.  🙂 🙂 🙂

Belated Beach Week

Finally, some non-running-related stuff!  Sort of.  I’ll throw in some random running tangents here and there.

I spent last week with two friends in Cape Cod!  One of my friends has a house there, so my other friend and I flew/drove up on Monday.  We were there for six days, and we drove back on the seventh (Sunday).  Two girls driving + four or five breaks to switch drivers and eat lunch and use the bathroom and get gas = 10.5 hours in the car.  Needless to say, I can never listen to “Bad Blood”, “Shut Up and Dance”, or “Honey I’m Good” ever again.  Those three songs played approximately 52 times each throughout the course of the drive back.

Theme songs for the trip: “Cheerleader” by OMI, “Forever” by Chris Brown, and “Often” by The Weeknd.

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Being at the airport at 6:30 am is not her favorite thing

Our friend picked us up at the airport

Our friend picked us up at the airport

We pretty much headed for the beach the second we got there…

IMG_6041 IMG_6043And I promptly ripped open my knee and foot while boogie boarding.

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Being the basic eighteen-year-olds that we are, we took a lot of pictures!  Here are some not-so-good ones for your amusement:

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Along with some better ones!

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Proud bc no makeup

Proud bc no makeup

While I did stick to my running schedule (and actually managed to cross train 3 times that week!), I also indulged in a lot of treats such as ice cream, cheesecake, a brownie sundae, and fudge.

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really good cheesecake!

We didn’t go completely crazy, though; roasted carrots were a staple almost every night because they were so so delicious, and I also ate a tub of kale the day before we left.  Sweet potatoes and oranges were rampant as well 😉  It’s all about that moderation.  Although I did gain a couple pounds.

There weren’t any bowls at the house that were big enough to hold my breakfast, so I ate oatmeal off of a plate because I’m really cool.

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Oatmeal, almond butter, strawberries, blueberries, and cinnamon

We spent hours and hours at the beach (one of my friends could tan for the rest of her life if she felt like it; meanwhile, I’m bored after twenty minutes) and the pond/lake.  While us half-Asians just got tan, our other poor friend resembled a tomato after a particularly long day on the sand.

We went shopping in this preppy rich-people area, but all we bought were books and coffee and really soft Cape Cod sweats because they were on sale.  Oops.  Not about to pay $300 for a cashmere sweater, sorry.  Or $4,752 for a lamp.  I am not even kidding.

I ran to the beach one day (sort of- it was only 4.87 miles there, so I ran back and forth until I got to eight) and then had to walk 2 more miles on the side of the road because I’d gone to a different beach than the one my friends were at.

I could probably write a lot more, but it’d be pretty boring, so that’s all for now!  I’ll try to catch up on my blog posts (I’m at least two behind), so the next one will be training-related.

 

 

 

Training weeks 2 and 3 and BEACH!

What a tragedy!  I originally typed up my entire week 2 training recap eight days ago, but I left for the beach before I published it, and somehow it was deleted.  My last post already recapped half of that week, so this will be much more concise.

Week 2 recap:

Monday 6/29: 5 miles @ 8:25 avg pace
Tuesday: 6 miles @ 8:13 avg pace, 35 min stationary bike
Wednesday: 50 minutes cross training
Thursday: 5 miles @ 7:40 avg pace (This run felt really good!)
Friday: 7 miles with former teammates @ 8:24 avg pace, 10 miles biking
Saturday: off from running/x-training.
Sunday: 8 miles @ 7:35 avg pace

long run

Long run

Total: 31 miles running, 120ish minutes cross training

Comments: I had a nice mix of easy and faster runs this week.  Thursday’s run was faster than usual, but it felt surprisingly good.  I definitely did not intend to run my long run that fast, but my youngest brother (on a bike) and I were on the super flat canal trying to pass people 😉  My seventh mile was a 7:09 because there was this one guy we absolutely had to pass.  My right foot and ankle started hurting at the end of this long run.


Week 3 recap:

Monday 7/6: 7 miles @ 8:03 avg pace
Tuesday: roughly 6 miles (50 minutes), 45 minutes biking to and from the beach
Wednesday: 40 min aqua jog in a lake
Thursday: 6 miles @ 8:08 avg pace
Friday: 8 miles @8:09 avg pace
Saturday: 60 min aqua jog/swim in a lake
Sunday: 9 miles @ 7:59 avg pace.  Progression run.

Total: 36 miles running, 150 minutes cross training.

Comments:  I was up at the beach with friends this week (I’ll blog about this next!), which had both positive and negative effects on my running.  Negatives- even more humidity, got lost on Monday’s run, no soft surfaces, and basically running alone every day.  Flat surfaces.  Positives- new bike trail and scenery!  Flat surfaces. 😉  And the freakin’ beach.

Even though the pace of my runs was pretty much the same the entire week, each run varied in effort and attitude.  Thursday’s and Sunday’s runs were probably the best.

For my long run on Sunday, my watch decided to not cooperate, so I quickly downloaded the Nike+ app right before I started running.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t have mile splits, but my average pace got faster and faster as I completed each mile.  My first mile, which is almost always my slowest, was an 8:39, and my last two miles were about 7:05 each.  I was flying the last two miles!

Understandably, after my highest mileage week in many many moons, (like, 22 moons) my legs and mind are both pretty exhausted.  I’m actually really appreciating the two “rest” days per week (although I still have to cross train on those days) because they allow me to recharge mentally and physically!

Up next- 39 miles over 5 days for week 4.  I’m…apprehensively excited.  My 6-miler this morning was not fun because I spent eleven hours in the car yesterday and am sleep-deprived and tired from my 9-miler yesterday!

Sorry for the giant blocks of words and few pictures in this post!  My next one will be much more aesthetically pleasing, I promise.

Biking

Greetings from my desk, where I’m currently using two computers at once since I’m writing this while watching Mockingjay (my computer doesn’t have a CD slot).  Just made a Harris Teeter run for the express purpose of stocking up on Greek yogurt.  I have an obsession.

My chlorine hives are fading nicely; I’m still covered in itchy dots, but they’ve gotten a lot smaller, and hopefully they’ll be gone by the end of the week!

I’m proud of myself because I’ve managed to take the last two runs pretty easy (or at least not hard).  On Monday’s run, I coincidentally ran into my high school’s captain’s practice on the trail in the middle of the run and just ran with them for awhile.  Running with people is so much more fun than running by yourself!  I need to find a training partner…

6:29 run

On Tuesday, I was going to meet up with them again, but they failed to tell me that they changed meeting locations, so I couldn’t find them and eventually just left and ran on my own. 😉  It was sort of a progression run since I started slow and felt kind of crappy but finished much faster.

6:30 run

As I’ve mentioned in the last few posts, I have to do a lot more cross training than I’m used to this summer.  During previous summers, I’d go to the pool and swim like 20 laps a couple times a week, max, and that would be the extent of my cross training.  But college training is different; it’s typically much higher mileage, and since my mileage right now is much lower than almost everyone else on the team (hitting a little over 30 running miles this week), I’m supposed to supplement it with lots of biking and/or swimming.

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A few days from my training schedule

The pool isn’t an option for me right now, so swimming and aqua jogging are out of the question.  That leaves the lovely bicycle.  I’ve never been much of a biker, and even less so since my accident (scroll to the bottom), but those 30-60 minutes aren’t going to complete themselves.  So in comes the stationary bike!

I biked for 35 minutes yesterday afternoon, and this morning I did 40 minutes on the bike and 10 on the elliptical before having to head home.  Played around with the resistance.  The quads were burning!

Any tips for avoiding boredom on the stationary bike?  I watched Scandal on Netflix the whole time, but I kept glancing at the clock every 10 seconds.  Maybe I’ll bring a towel to cover up the clock.