In-season training week 4 (43 miles)

Sorry this post is six days late!

Week 4:

Monday 9/14: 6 miles @ 7:45 pace, drills, strides, strength circuit
Tuesday: 9 miles warm-up, workout, and cool-down.  Workout: 4 x [3:00 hard, 2:00 easy], 3 x [2:00 hard, 1:00 easy, 1:00 hard, 1:00 easy], 5 x [:30 hard, :30 easy]
Wednesday: 60 minutes cross training
Thursday: 3 miles, drills, strides, strength circuit
Friday: AM: 2 miles, PM: 20 minutes warm-up, drills, strides, 5k “race” (19:18), 5 x hill repeats, 20 minutes cool down.  Total: 11 miles
Saturday: 3 miles
Sunday: 11 miles @ 7:30 pace

Total: 43 miles running, 60 minutes cross training

Comments:  The majority of last week was really good!  My runs and workouts felt strong, and I surprised myself in the race.  On Sunday, I did my long run with a really big group of teammates.  We thought we were doing a loop, but we realized when we were six miles from the vans that there was no loop and we were on an out and back.  Six miles back.  Oops.  Four miles later, I felt a stretching, popping feeling behind my right knee, along with immediate pain.  I stopped and stretched and ran one more mile before the pain got too bad and I ended up walking the rest of the way back to the vans.  On the plus side, I set a personal distance record of over eleven miles! (I was only supposed to run ten.)  Of course, our recruit was also running in my group, so I had to clarify that we don’t usually get lost and run way more than we’re supposed to 😉

I have a ton of studying to do since I have three exams next week, so I’m going to get down to that and hopefully recap this past week tomorrow!

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Home invitational = first real college race = PR!

Last night (and this morning) was my school’s annual home invitational.  Our home course is really hard thanks to uneven footing and the fact that we run up the same extremely steep hill three times throughout the race.  Our coaches told us to treat it more like a race than we treated the first race (the weird relay one), but this was still supposed to be more of a hard workout effort than a full-out race.  The plan was to take the first 2-3k conservatively, start pushing the fourth kilometer, and finish the last one with a hard effort.

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I did two shakeout miles in the morning with my friend.  Our race was at 6:30 pm.  We warmed up for 20 minutes, and I felt pretty good!  After drills and a few stretches, we headed to the line.  I ran unattached again, so I sported a bright orange and blue tank top instead of my school’s singlet.  I also tied a bow around my headband.  🙂

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The gun (jk, the air horn) went off, and we started out with an uneven downhill stretch before hitting the big hill for the first time.  I’m used to flying and dying in races, so the prescribed conservative effort felt like a jog at first, but I knew it’d make the rest of the race feel so much better.  I tried to stay with my workout group, but it was hard with a lot of people around, and I ended up losing almost all of them pretty quickly.

I spent much of the next 3k looking backwards for my group and talking to the one teammate I was actually near.  At two miles, my coach told me to start picking things up, so I notched the pace up a bit.  Things started hurting around 2.5 miles.  I kicked the last 400 or so and came around the last turn to see that the clock was at 19:05!  13 seconds later, I was in.

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As a result of sucking at cross country during high school, 19:18 was actually a PR for me!  It was such a weird situation since I wasn’t planning on PR-ing, the course was hard, I didn’t “race” the race, and I talked and looked backwards and was very chill about it the whole time!  I don’t know if I’m even racing the rest of the season (I might redshirt), but I’m super excited about my fitness right now!  If I can PR in a casual workout-race and feel pretty recovered seconds later, what can I do in a real race??

We did 5 x hill repeats after the race and cooled down in the dark for 20 minutes.  Afterwards, I went out to eat with my mom, who had driven down for the race!

Today, I woke up at 7 am because I was working the course for the high school meet from 8-10 am.  Afterwards, I did a quick 3-mile recovery run and came back to my dorm, and the rest of the day has been pretty chill.  I studied for bio, cleaned up a bit because my roommate and I are hosting a recruit for the next two nights, and baked some sweet potatoes. 🙂

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Yes, this plate is on my bed. Judge me, I don’t care.

Tonight, my dad (who also drove down for my race) is cooking me a steak dinner!  I’m so excited because I haven’t had home-cooked Montreal steak (one of my favorite meals) since I came to college!!

I’ll recap the whole week tomorrow as usual.

In-season training week 3 (40 miles)

Hello friends!  Fall weather has finally arrived in this college town… almost.  It was 66 degrees this morning and didn’t get hotter than 75 the entire day.  I wore jeans!!

In-season week 3 brought lower mileage, and it seems that my body has finally adjusted to college training! (Knock on wood.)  I’ve felt great on the past few runs, and I’ve really looked forward to each workout.

Week 3:

Monday 9/7: 6 miles @ 7:48 average, drills, strides, strength circuit
Tuesday: 2.5 miles warm-up, 4 x [5:00 hard, 3:00 easy], 5 x [1:00 hard, 1:00 easy] on home course.  8 minutes cool down.
Wednesday: 60 minutes cross training (50 minutes aqua jog + biking to all my classes)
Thursday: 6 miles @ 7:50 average, drills, strides, strength circuit, 30 minutes biking
Friday: 3 miles warm-up, 4 miles pace run @ 6:28 average, 2 miles cool down, leg lift
Saturday: off
Sunday: 10 miles @ 8:05 average

Total: 40 miles running, 90 minutes cross training

Comments:  Guess who skipped her Saturday yoga session this week…this girl.  Sorry coaches!  I did stretch and roll, I just didn’t do any downward dogs or pigeons or trees.

The beginning of this week was rough.  My legs were really heavy on Monday, and I got sick that night, so I had a sore throat and general nausea during Tuesday’s workout.  But I got through it!  All I did was shorten my cool down.  I recovered mostly in the pool on Wednesday, and Thursday’s run was pretty good.

I found myself positively anticipating Friday’s workout as early as Thursday night!  After receiving our gear on Wednesday, the entire team decided to match with our new spandex and neon sports bras.

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I’m third from right

I felt good on the warm-up, although there was a worrisome crackly feeling in my left ankle and arch that I just kind of ignored until it went away.  We started the pace run, and for two miles I felt really good and light on my feet.  My right leg locked up during the second half, but I still finished okay.  We started out faster than we’ve started the past few pace runs (we were right at 6:30 instead of 6:35), and we just maintained that and even sped up a bit.  Overall, it was the fastest average pace my group has run on our pace run, and it was less than 15 seconds off my 5k PR pace…for four miles!

Workout group strong

Chasing the sun- (look up that song by Sara Bareilles, it’s great)

I took Saturday completely off.  This morning, we went to the same place we went for last week’s long run, and I did ten miles again.  We did a slightly different route and took it slower, and I felt amazing!  My legs weren’t even fatigued at the end of the run; it was like I hadn’t even done a long run.  Recovery long runs are my favorite ❤

I love my workout group

I love my workout group (and my dorky happy face)

Nutrition this week has been so-so.  Last night, our recruit arrived around 8, so naturally we went out to eat.  After eating my regular dinner around 6:30, I ate an entire pizza and an entire skillet cookie by myself.  Yes.  The skillet cookies are absolutely amazing: a huge fresh-baked gooey cookie topped with vanilla ice cream.

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I’ve also been eating mishmash lunches in my dorm room for the past few days because I’ve either been a) studying b) the timing has been weird or c) bad weather/laziness meant I didn’t want to walk all the way to the caf.

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PB&J, carrots, snap peas, string cheese, and plain Greek yogurt with blueberries and hemp seeds

I biked to Trader Joe’s in an intense thunderstorm the other day, which was a little bit terrifying and very exhilarating.  I got all the necessities! (And definitely exceeded the weight capacity of eleven pounds for my bike basket.)

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Fridge goals

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My team had a make-your-own pizza party on Friday night, and it was amazing.  Also, random: my butternut squash from last week! Heaven.

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Additionally, our dorm now has an extra resident.

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The little dude has been hanging out outside for a week now.

One last thing before I turn in for the night: I nearly died in my three-hour outdoor biology lab last week.  Skinny jeans, long socks, rubber rain boots, and 96 degree weather.  And when I took off my shoes/pants, I had myriad huge bug bites all around my ankles!  How does that happen!?  That’s exactly why I wore the pants- to prevent that!

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Enough of my complaining.  Off to bed!

 

 

In-season training week 2 (45 miles)

Yo.  I’ve decided to start titling my training recaps “in-season training.”  So Training Week 10 was actually In-Season Week 1, and this past week was In-Season Week 2.

I hope that makes sense!

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When your long run route is a maze

Anyway, I just wrapped up my second week of in-season training with 10 miles on the same campground trails that I did my pace run at nine days ago.  This long run felt a lot better than last Sunday; I didn’t feel 100%, but my legs weren’t logs, either!

Week 2:

Monday 8/31: 6 miles, drills, strides, strength circuit
Tuesday: AM: 2 miles shakeout run.  PM: 2 miles warm-up, 5k total “race”, 5 x [1:00 hard, :30 easy], 1.5 miles cool down.  Total: 10 miles
Wednesday: 40 minutes biking
Thursday: 6 miles, drills, strides, strength circuit, 30ish minutes cross training
Friday: 2.8 miles warm-up, drills and strides, 4 miles pace run @ 6:30ish average, 2.8 cool down.  Total: 10 miles
Saturday: 3 miles @ 8:02 pace, 45 minutes yoga
Sunday: 10 miles @ 7:49 average pace

Total: 45 miles running, 70ish minutes cross training, 45 minutes yoga

Comments:  Phew!  I am exhausted.  This was the highest mileage week I’ve ever done in my life, along with about two hours of cross training and/or yoga.  It seemed like half of my runs felt like crap, but listing it out now makes me realize that- duh- it wasn’t as bad as it seemed in the moment.

Monday felt normal, Tuesday was hot and exhausting, Wednesday was recovery, Thursday felt bad at the beginning but continuously improved, Friday was hot and exhausting, Saturday felt surprisingly good, and Sunday (today) was pretty good.  So over half my week was positive!  Silly me.

Today’s long run started out a tiny bit slower because we were in the woods, and it was dangerous to go fast what with all the roots and tight turns and uneven footing.  Once we transitioned onto the wider dirt/gravel bike path in the woods, our pace increased, and our last two miles averaged around 7:20.  The last 20 or so minutes of the run were tough, not gonna lie, but my workout group is amazing (I know, I keep saying this, but it’s true!) and we all worked together and toughed it out.

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Yoga yesterday was the weirdest experience ever.  Instead of one of the upperclassmen leading yoga like usual, we went to a school-organized ashtanga yoga session, but there were only like three non-xc people there and the instructor was clearly annoyed by our presence.  “I’m not used to groups this big,” he complained.  Also, since it was ashtanga yoga, he clarified that they “do the same poses every single time so that we’re not slaves to our imagination.”  What?  That life is not for me.  He also used the word “anus” way too many times for a 30-minute yoga session!

We had a team ice cream social yesterday, and I ate more ice cream than I’ve ever eaten in my life.  I also spontaneously had a black bean burger because free food is the best, amirite?  Not feeling too great about my nutrition right now, but I’m excited to hop back on that train with loads of complex carbs, fruits and veggies, and protein!  It’s hard to get great food at my college, but I’m trying.

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I made my first non-breakfast meal of college yesterday!  Stopped at the grocery store a couple days ago and stocked up on cooking essentials, like rosemary, olive oil, cooking spray, a baking pan, minced garlic because #lazy, etc.  I made garlic rosemary chicken and threw some spinach and apples into the pan as well!  I also made sweet potatoes and topped them with cinnamon.  Sooo good.  I miss real homemade food.

Some other random tidbits:

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When you take up the whole drying rack…

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Post-pace run ice bath

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My post- long run oatmeal was too big for the bowl…

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Sneak peak of my room! It was actually tidy yesterday.

I had a huge post-long run breakfast at 11 am, so I’m not too hungry right now.  I picked up a butternut squash at the farmer’s market yesterday morning after yoga, so I think I’ll roast that later and just kind of snack all afternoon.  Roasted squash, apples and peanut butter, and scrambled eggs sounds like a balanced late lunch to me. 😉

If I have time, I’ll nap, but I have a lot of work to do this afternoon!  It’s quite dreary outside (fall, please come soon, I love you), so we’ll probably just hang out indoors for the rest of the day.

First college race! and dead legs

Hey guys!  I’m currently lying in my bed eating popcorn, dark chocolate, and microwaved cinnamon apples.  I’m a little too tired to go out tonight, so it’s just a quiet night with my sick roommate, food, and a sushi documentary on Netflix.  I thought I’d spend this time talking about some recent running things!

On Tuesday, I had my first college race!  We didn’t really treat it like a race- more like a hard workout effort.  The meet was a strange format where we divided up into two-person relay teams and each leg raced a 3k, then a 2k.  So the race was 3k-3k-2k-2k for a total of 10k.

We ran two miles in the morning to prep for the evening race.   It was 95 degrees and very humid when we arrived at the race venue, which was an extremely hilly park used for religious retreats, I think. I didn’t feel very good on the warm-up.

The first of my two relay legs (3k) wasn’t great.  I was caught completely off guard by the most monstrous hill I’ve ever seen/run on!  First time I’ve ever walked in a race. 😉  I recovered while my relay partner was running her 3k leg.

Freshmen ran unattached, so I did not wear a uniform

Living that unattached life

I started my second leg a bit behind the rest of my workout group, so the first part of my 2k leg was spent catching up to them.  I passed some of them right before I hit the monstrous hill for the second time, and I’m proud to say I successfully ran strong up the entire hill!  My second leg felt much better than the first.

After that, we did 5 x 1:00 hard, :30 easy, with the hard minute around 5k race pace.  Followed that up with about a 1.5 mile cool down, so in total I ran about 10 miles on Tuesday.


Today, we had another pace run!  We warmed up for a little less than 3 miles (7:30 pace) until we got to the park/rec area where we were doing our workout.  After drills and strides, we got started!  My workout group was supposed to do 4 miles at 6:30 pace with a slightly faster finish, but we started out conservatively because it was 88 degrees and humid.  Our splits ended up being 6:35, 6:35, 6:38, 6:18.  The last mile was really hard, but I’m happy with the time!  My legs have been dead all week (trying not to dwell on it), and I thought about quitting multiple times throughout this pace run, but I finished strong with my group.  We cooled down for a little less than 3 miles at about 8:55 pace, and some of us went to Wawa for chocolate milkshakes before stretching, ice bathing, and doing core.

After a workout like that, I’m always ravenous, so I’ve been eating nonstop for about four hours.  I had the post-workout milkshake, multiple plates of chicken, rice, baked potato, chili, and carrots at dinner, a berry smoothie, and of course all the popcorn, dark chocolate, and cinnamon apples.  Living the good life.

I have three miles and yoga tomorrow and ten miles on Sunday.  My weekly mileage will end up being around 45 (plus 90-100 minutes of cross training)!  As I mentioned before, I’ve been feeling pretty dead this week, but I’m trying not to worry about it since it’s kind of expected with a complete routine upheaval, much more walking, a lot more “little things” like activation drills and hurdle drills, a new diet, a new sleep schedule, and a new workload.  Phew!  My workout buddy (who’s a junior) said it takes most people at least a few weeks to adjust.

I’ll try really hard to not let this tiredness get to my head.  And now…sleep!