Training weeks 9 and 10: COLLEGE

Apologies for failing to publish last week’s training recap!  I actually did type up the post, but I never quite finished it and before I knew it, it was Sunday of the next week and time for a new post.  Oops! (Scroll down if you want fun college stuff and not training recaps.)

The last week and half has been pretty crazy.  I moved into college on August 21st, had orientation and my first official team practices over the next five days, and then classes started on Wednesday.  With 18-20 hours of practice a week, a new course load, and of course the time it takes to walk and bike everywhere, I’ve been pretty busy!

Week 9 recap:

M 8/17: 5 miles @ 8:09 average, drills + strides, 35 min biking
T: AM 7 mile workout (2 miles warm-up, 3 miles pace run at 6:46, 6:34, 6:18, 2 miles cool down), PM 2 miles on the treadmill, 20 minutes of biking
W: 40 min biking and swimming
Th: 6 miles @ 8:21 average, drills + strides,
F: MOVE IN DAY! 40ish minutes running
Sat: 5.11 miles
Sun: 10 miles @ 7:25ish average

Total: 40ish miles of running, approx. 100 minutes of cross training

Comments: Friday was my first run with my fellow xc freshmen, Saturday was my first run with an upperclassman on the team, and Sunday…well, Sunday was rough.  The first four miles of our long run were at 7:00 or faster because we didn’t want to get dropped.  After that, our pace decreased to 7:50ish average as we fell off the top group.  The route was crazy confusing, and my stomach was not feeling prime, and the last two miles were kind of a death march, but we survived.

Week 10 recap:

Monday 8/24: 6 miles
Tuesday: 2.6 mile warm-up at 7:38 pace, 2×400, 2×800, mile, 2×800, 2×400 on a grass field with 2 min rest. 2 mile cool down.
Wednesday: 40 minutes biking to Target.
Thursday: 6 miles on roads, strength circuit
Friday: 2.8 miles warm-up at 7:38 pace, 4 mile pace run (6:35, 6:37, 6:39, 6:25) on a sandy wooded trail, 1.5 miles cool down.
Saturday: yoga, 25 minutes biking to Trader Joe’s.
Sunday: 9 or 10 crappy miles through the woods and on some sandy trails.

Total: around 40 miles, 100ish minutes of yoga and cross training

Comments: After a series of late (fun) nights because college, I miraculously felt fine on Monday and Tuesday.  Tuesday was our first official practice, and we did a workout at a park.  We kept the effort steady (6-6:15 mile pace) through the first half of the workout and then got faster through the second half with my last 400 a little under 80.  On Friday, we did a pace run in some woods.  After doing 3 mile pace runs all summer, I was a little apprehensive about 4, especially on trails with sand and rocks instead of smooth, flat roads, but I’ve been blessed with the best workout group!  The four of us stuck together the whole time with a pretty steady pace and finished in a little over 26 minutes.  Sunday’s long run pretty much sucked; hilly wooded trails at the beginning sucked the energy right out of my already tired legs, and I was mentally negative the whole time. :/

Now for the onslaught of snapchat pictures.  I don’t have any stereotypical pictures of my dorm room, so I’ll include those another time.


Said goodbye to my high school teammates on the 20th 😦


With the roommate ❤


Blurry 😦 but another teammate!

New shoes, courtesy of New Balance!

Thanks New Balance!

Insanely cold ice baths 3 times a team takes recovery very seriously

Insanely cold ice baths 3 times a week…my team takes recovery very seriously


Convocation with my best friend since fourth grade

Convocation with all the xc freshmen

XC takes convocation


When you're trying to gain weight

When you’re trying to gain weight


So you eat a monstrous slice of cake 😉

Our fridge is on point

Our fridge is on point

Yet another ice bath picture

Yet another ice bath picture

That about sums up my college experience so far.  I will never take vegetables and other favorites for granted again; the food here is pretty bad. 😦  Miss my roasted brussels sprouts and Montreal steak and just the ability to cook whatever whenever!  I’m trying to find a balance in all facets of life including spending money, my classes, practice, food, cleaning, going out, and everything else.  It’s certainly crazy transitioning to a more independent lifestyle, but I’m slowly getting used to it!



Training Week 8 (35 miles)

Sorry this post is a day late!

View from the airplane on Tuesday

Racing the sunset (Tuesday evening airplane ride)

Yesterday’s long run wrapped up my eighth week of college summer training.  Mileage dropped down last week to 35 miles.

Week 8 recap:

Monday 8/10: 5 miles @ 8:17 average, 40 minutes swimming
Tuesday: 7 mile workout (2 miles warm-up, 3 miles progressive pace run, 2 miles cool down)
Wednesday: off
Thursday: 6 miles @ 7:50 average, 30 minutes biking (not all at once)
Friday: AM 2 miles warm-up, 4 x 4:00 hard, 1:00 easy, 1.5 cool down, PM 1.5 miles @ 8:15 pace (total 8 miles)
Saturday: off
Sunday: 9 miles @ 8:11 average

Total: 35 miles running, 70 minutes cross training

Comments: I felt pretty good during this recovery week, except for my long run.

Classy sign from Tuesday's cool down

Classy sign from Tuesday’s cool down

On Wednesday, I was supposed to do 60 minutes of cross training, but I was jet-lagged and the gym was closed and I didn’t want to swim laps, so I took a complete rest day and dorm shopped at Target during my cross training time.  Oh well 😉  Thursday was a boringly good run.

CONSISTENT AFI went to my high school’s cross country practice on Friday, and they were doing almost the exact same workout that I had on my schedule, so I just hopped in with them!  It was great to see my old coaches.

intervalllll af copy

The intervals graph (pace = light blue) always amuses me.  Also, I don’t think my watch understood that I was on a flat track… (elevation= dark blue)

On Sunday, I did my long run with my favorite long run buddy Laura for the last time before I leave for college (*cries*).  But it was just one of those days where my legs were dead!


long run with laura

I’ve been packing like a madman since I leave for college at 5:30 am on Friday.  I’m sad to be leaving the place I’ve lived for eighteen years, but I am SO excited to see my teammates, coaches, dorm mates, and everyone else!


Necessity for my dorm room

Yes, I am bringing my shark footie pajamas to college

Yes, I am bringing my shark footie pajamas to college

Last night was my family farewell dinner since my brother has marching band from 3-9 pm every day this week.  I definitely don’t miss those days (I quit marching band after sophomore year since the marching band/cross country double is absolutely impossible to manage without dying at my high school).  Anyway, I had herb-pesto salmon, roasted zucchini, mushroom ravioli, and an exorbitant amount of bread and olive oil and calamari.

IMG_7004My youngest brother doesn’t have camp this week, so I’m in charge of coming up with activities (even though it’s my last week at home!!).  Today, we went to the library and the movies.  Fantastic Four failed to impress.

IMG_7008Other activities on tap this week include mini golf, swimming and diving, and the museums and monuments in DC.  He also wants to bake a cake.

This upcoming week is my highest mileage ever (which I was not expecting).  Excited/nervous/excited!

Anniversary + pace run

Happy two-year anniversary!  I can’t believe I’ve had this little corner of the Internet for two years now.

In my one-year anniversary post, I said something like “I’ve come a long way.”  That was a lie.  I had no idea that my senior year would be such a struggle.  Now I know better than to make pronouncements about coming a long way, since I have no idea what’s going to happen.  So I’ll satisfy myself with the knowledge that I’ve come a tiny way since I started the blog. 🙂

At this time last year, I had just finished my highest mileage week and was so tired of running.  I also had an allergic reaction or some shit to a mosquito bite and my ankle swelled up disgustingly.  Should’ve known that I would grow to hate running for a little period of my life…

Enough with that!   I’m currently sitting in LAX with nothing to do for another half hour until my plane boards, so I thought I’d type up a quick blog post.  Yesterday’s run was not fun at all; I slept in until 8 am and didn’t eat before the run, and the entire time I was running I just wanted to be done because my legs felt like they had bricks tied to them and I seemed to have forgotten how to use my arms.  I felt marginally better by the end (woo, endorphins) and did barefoot strides in the park in the canyon behind my grandma’s house.  5 “recovery” miles at 8:15 pace.  I managed to keep in mind that it made sense for me to feel so gross since I’d done 10 miles in 78 minutes the day before.

I woke up at 5 am this morning so that I could get my workout in before we left for the airport.

pace run

I had seven miles for the day, so I did two miles warm-up, three miles pace run, and two miles cool down.  It was 55 degrees (!!) and pitch black outside when I started running, so I got to watch the sunrise during my warm-up.  At 5 am, there was hardly anyone on the bike trail.

Warm-up: 2 miles at 8:48 pace
Pace run: 3 miles at 6:35 average (6:56, 6:41, 6:11)
Cool down: 2 miles at 8:15 pace

pace run splitsI was surprised that my last mile was so fast (faster than my 5k PR pace, actually!).  I was aiming for a 6:25 or so, but I think it was flatter/more downhill than the other two miles.  This workout felt a lot better than my tempo run last Friday.

Tomorrow is an off day from running (60 minutes of cross training), and I’m happy about that because we’re getting home at like 11 pm Eastern time.  Can’t wait to sleep in my own bed!

TEN DAYS UNTIL COLLEGE!  I still have so much dorm shopping to do.

Training week 7 (40 miles)

Welcome to the end of Week 7!  I officially hit 40 miles for the first time!!

Week 7 recap:

Monday 8/3: 5 miles @ 8:26 average pace
Tuesday: 7 mile workout (1.5 warm-up, 6 x 3:00 tempo, :90 easy/off, 2.12 cool down), 7 miles hiking from Mt. Whitney campground to Lone Pine Lake and back
Wednesday: off
Thursday: 6 miles @ 8:22 average pace, 40 minutes swimming
Friday: 9 mile workout (3 miles warm-up @ 8:30 pace, 3 miles tempo @ 6:48 pace, 3 miles cool down @ 9:18 pace)
Saturday: 3 miles @ 8:29 average pace
Sunday: 10 miles @ 7:48 average pace

Total: 40 miles running, 40 minutes swimming, 7 miles hiking

Comments:  This week was pretty tiring; I only had one complete rest day (Wednesday) because I had to run 3 recovery miles on Saturday to hit my mileage for the week. I didn’t do much cross training because we were at Whitney.  Tuesday was my first college workout!

workout tuesday

Tuesday’s interval workout. Light blue = pace. Dark blue = elevation.


On Thursday, my brother was supposed to bike next to me, but he didn’t actually end up really doing that.  Don’t tell my mother.  Long story short, he’s kind of an idiot.

Yeah, I did my strides here.  No big deal ;) source:

Yeah, I did striders here. No big deal 😉

On Friday, I had my first tempo run.  In high school, my tempo runs were 10 minutes warm-up, 20 minutes tempo, 10 minutes cool down for a total of about five miles.  This was my first time having six extra miles to run outside of the tempo (for a total of nine miles), and the last three miles were absolutely killer!  My legs would just not move- I was crawling along the sidewalk.  #lacticacidprobs.  Oh well, it was supposed to be a cool down anyway…

tempo run fridayThis week was my first time not having two non-running days because I ran three miles on Saturday.  I just ran recovery pace along the sidewalk, so it was not difficult at all, but it was one of those days where I just wanted the run to be over.

This morning was my ten-miler.  I wore a water belt for the first time ever because SoCal is dry and lacks water fountains (although I ran a new route that actually had a lot of water fountains…), and I felt like a marathon mom with my snazzy blue bottles.  The extra pound and a half or however much it weighed made me feel like I was going super slow and couldn’t lift my legs, so I was pretty surprised to see my average pace at the end! (I don’t look at my watch while I run, except to check for the turnaround point.)  My pace was like 25 seconds faster than last week!  I even had a random 7:24 mile thrown in the middle of this run.

fast ten miler

Exactly the last half mile of my long run was straight up a steep hill, and I almost chickened out and ran longer along the flat sidewalk on the main road so that I could be done before the hill.  However, I reached the bottom of the hill and thought, “no, I’m better than that.  I can conquer this.”  So I selected “Till I Collapse” by Eminem on my running playlist and pounded up the hill with the music blasting in my ears.  THE HILL WAS REALLY DIFFICULT.  I climbed 190 feet after already having run 9.5 miles.

My go-to hill song

My go-to hill music

I ate a lot of food this week, including some stuff I probably shouldn’t’ve eaten but did anyway.  Last night, I fueled up for my long run with spaghetti and meatballs, a ginger ale float, and strawberry shortcake.  That ginger ale was the first or second soda I’ve had in the past year!  I had Starbucks (mocha with extra whipped cream) and Panera (lentil quinoa broth bowl with chicken) and even a tiny bit of Chinese food (orange chicken and sweet shrimp) after my long run today, but it’s cool.  Moderation 😉

I also ate a lot of salad, fruit, and the rainbow trout that I caught.  My brother and I used to eat the fish eyeballs when we were little.  It’s hard to get much fresher than that!


transformation tuesday…


Sorry, all you ethical vegetarian/vegan types

Next week is more of a “recovery” week, so my mileage is decreasing to 35 miles.

TWELVE DAYS UNTIL I GO TO COLLEGE!  I’m ridiculously excited.


Mount Whitney

I just had my first shower in 3.5 days, and it was heavenly 😉

We returned from Mount Whitney (the tallest mountain in the continental United States, standing about 14,508 feet) this afternoon!  I ran an easy 5 miles on Monday before driving up to the mountains, and it felt pretty good, but my right foot/ankle still hurt.

We left around 11 and stopped for lunch at In-N-Out Burger.  When you’re in California, you have to get In-N-Out!

IMG_6538We picked up our permit in Lone Pine and headed up the Whitney Portal Road to the campsite.



Dinosaur Rock


Campsite with Grandpa’s motorhome

My grandpa adores fishing, so we went fishing pretty much as soon as we got there.  Don’t worry, I got a fishing license before I went (although the guy was like, “Are you even old enough to drive?” and didn’t believe me when I said I was eighteen and had had my license for over a year 😦 ).


The pond at Whitney Portal


Can we just appreciate my fish’s petrified face

On Tuesday, my brother and I woke up at 5 am and drove down the mountain so that I could do my first college workout.

purple mountains majesty

purple mountains majesty

I ran on Horseshoe Meadows Road, at about 4600 feet elevation, with my brother biking behind me.  My workout was 1.5 miles warm-up, 6 x 3:00 hard, :90 easy/rest, and a cool down until I reached seven miles.  My coach told me not to pay attention to pace or distance, so I just went off of effort.  It wasn’t too bad, I didn’t kill myself, although after 2.5 miles the road just went straight up a mountain!  I think I was between 6:20 to 6:40 mile pace for most of them and then the last one was mostly downhill, so it was around 6:00 pace.  The worst part of this workout was the fact that altitude = caked spit and bloody snot (sorry, TMI).

gotta get those insta pics ;)

gotta get those insta pics 😉 with Mount Whitney in the back!

I summited Mount Whitney when I was twelve years old and my brother was nine, back when its elevation was only 14,497 feet 😉 but unfortunately we didn’t get the permit this year, so we could only go up to Lone Pine Lake.  After my run, we drove back up to the campsite, ate breakfast, and then hiked 3.5 miles up from the campsite (about 8,000 feet) to Lone Pine Lake, which resides at a little over 9,000 feet.  The lake reflects a blue sky beautifully, but the sky was overcast the day we were up there.  My brothers and I decided to do a little polar bear plunge into the lake, which is comprised completely of snow run-off.  It was pretty cold!



40 degree water is cold!

IMG_6817IMG_6822 IMG_6824 I twisted my ankle on a switchback as we were making our way down the trail and bellowing John Mayer songs, and it really fucking hurt.  Once we got back to the campsite, I was so exhausted from 7 miles of altitude running and 7 miles of altitude hiking that I couldn’t keep my eyes open…it was 6 pm.

We took a break from hiking on Wednesday and just hung around the campsite and the portal.  I walked down the stream and meditated on some rocks, read two books, enjoyed the scenery, and ate some spaghetti and s’mores.

IMG_6865 IMG_6866

This morning, my brother and I got up at 5 again and drove down to run, this time on Movie Road.  Fun fact: the Alabama Hills (off of Movie Road) have been used as scenery in several movies!  I did 6 easy miles, partially on asphalt but mostly on the windy, hilly, rutted dirt part of the road.



We drove back up, bought the infamous enormous pancake at the portal store, and packed up and left after breakfast.


Chowed down on basil mozzarella pizza for dinner.  Tomorrow, I have a nine-mile run with a tempo in the middle!

Training week 6 (38 miles)

Greetings from Santa Clarita, California!  We arrived on Thursday night, and eleven hours later, I was running eight miles alongside the dry Santa Clara river.



Week 6 recap:

Monday 7/27: 5 miles @ 8:15 average pace, 40 minutes stationary bike
Tuesday: AM 7 miles @ 8:02 average pace, PM 2 miles on an indoor gym-floor track @ 7:20 average pace, upper body strength
Wednesday: 60 minutes cross training (biking and swimming)
Thursday: 6 miles @ 7:55-8:00 pace (watch malfunctioned)
Friday: 8 miles @ 7:51 average pace, squats and lunges, 40 minutes swimming
Saturday: off (a lot of time in the pool, though)
Sunday: 10 miles @ 8:14 average pace

Total: 38 miles running, about 160 minutes of cross training

Comments: For the first time this summer, Tuesday’s run(s) were not too bad!  I had my first double on Tuesday, and the seven miles in the morning felt pretty good.  I went to the gym in the afternoon to do my strength routine, so I was just going to run two miles on the treadmill, but they were all full, so I had to run around the “track” that’s actually a gym floor.  My right ankle/shin was not pleased.

On Thursday, I ran 6 miles with my friend Sarah before I left for California.  We got to California around 11 pm Eastern time, 8 pm Pacific time.  I did 8 miles on Friday morning.


Saturday was my off day, but I went to the pool for 2.5 hours with my brother and my cousins, and I actually did a lot of swimming/aqua jogging.  My cousin plays water polo, so she can tread water for hours! (Maybe not.  But definitely much longer than I can.)


Sunday’s run was my first solo 10-miler.  Obviously, I’ve done ten miles before (two weeks ago), but I ran eight of those miles with Sarah, so today was my first time doing it alone.  I’m guessing this is because of the drought, but southern California’s bike paths present a distinct lack of water fountains!  After 7.5 miles of blazing sun and the dry sandy river, I was very dehydrated.  Finally, I randomly stumbled upon the only water fountain that exists (just kidding).  Thank goodness.  I guzzled the water and finished up the last 2.5 miles without the fear of passing out from dehydration 🙂  I started the run pretty conservatively, and for the most part, each mile was faster than the last.  My legs and breathing felt good, but my right ankle/foot was still bothering me.  I’ll ice it and elevate it.


The run was very flat (until the end).  By the way, that’s a river on the right

long run 8:2

Real talk:  I haven’t been eating the healthiest, just because I’m on vacation and most of my family here (along with their friends) like to have parties and get-togethers and barbecues and breakfasts.  To be honest, I’m not 100 percent content with my body, etc., right now because I’ve never weighed this much, am not eating particularly well, and am no longer “skinny.”  I ate so much last night (hamburgers, potato salad, apple crisp, the whole nine yards) on my off day.  But I have to look at my awesome recent runs, the fact that I’m getting stronger and still looking forward to running (unlike last year), and then laugh in the face of my bad body image.  Really, four or five pounds and bigger quads are not a big deal. It’s all muscle anyway. 😉

We leave for Mount Whitney tomorrow, so I’m not really sure how I’ll fit all my runs in during this coming week.  I’m starting workouts, running six days instead of five, and hitting 40 miles for the first time, and I don’t think the bears and coyotes and snakes that frequent the area will be conducive to my training 😉 Also the fact that I’ll be on the tallest mountain in the continental United States… yeah.

There’s only a couple weeks until I move in to college and get to see all my teammates!  Breakfast last week was really fun, and I can’t wait to meet everyone else.

Until then, I’ll try not to get eaten by a bear or coyote.