After finishing up my first set of finals, I arrived home a week ago, and it’s crazy how different home life is from college life. I’m a lot less social at home because a) I don’t have a car or a bike here and b) I love my college friends a lot more and everything is closer! Right now, the major things happening during my days include dog sitting and running.
I took nine days completely off from exercise, pretty much destroyed my early bird sleep schedule, and then ran 30 minutes every other day last week (so a whopping 16 miles). Last Monday was my very first run back, and it probably couldn’t’ve come at a worse time. I was stressed out, emotionally unstable, and my legs didn’t feel great yet. It ended up being one of the worst runs of my life; halfway through, I actually sat down on a bench and almost started crying. Luckily, I have some amazing friends and also access to pints of Ben and Jerry’s at the student exchange.
This week is back to a more normal training schedule even though my training volume is still really low (5 days running, 1 day cross training, 1 day off for a total of 28 miles). The past few days have felt good. I’m building back up to 45 or so miles over the next few weeks, and I don’t race again until the end of January.
Something I’ve noticed is that it’s a hell of a lot harder for me to do strength stuff at home than at college! At college, all the facilities and everything we need are convenient and easily accessible. Here, I don’t have anyone who has to do all the same training I do, and I don’t have all the strength equipment and cross training facilities two minutes away from me. The lack of a car makes it even harder…#firstworldproblems. Luckily, my “real” training with all the drills and strides and lifts doesn’t start till next week, so I have five days to rediscover my motivation to complete these things 😉
Ever since Thanksgiving, my nutrition has been eh. I think I actually under-ate during finals week and then made up for it in unhealthy ways. While I’ve been eating awesome foods at home, there’s also been a crazy quantity of desserts, etc. I think that once I’m fully in the midst of training and have more of a set schedule after Christmas, everything will kind of even out. But right now, when I only have 4-6 miles and no strength training on any given day, I have way more time to, you know…stuff my face with Christmas cookies!
Although tonight for dinner I had amazing roasted sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, parsnips, and carrots.
Well, I’m going to try to go to bed early tonight; lately I’ve been staying up late for no good reason. Can’t wait to be in the midst of real training! I would like to concentrate on the big picture- like, years-long picture. In a meeting with my coaches a couple weeks ago, they were talking about the progression they see for me, and it was kind of scary where they think I could be. “If you stay consistent with training and figure out the nutrition, sleep, and balance of schoolwork of an elite athlete, I see you running 9:20 in four years,” my head coach said. Holy shit. When he said that, I had simultaneous thoughts of “Um, do you know who you’re talking to? I only ran the equivalent of 10:37ish in high school, for god’s sake!” and “Wow, this is so cool that he thinks I can run this and I’m so motivated to do all the little things.” Even though it seems INSANE now, would I have imagined running 11:19 for 3200 back in January 2012 when I ran a 13:32? Absolutely not. Even this fall- I didn’t think I was going to PR at all, let alone run a 22:52 for my first 6k, meaning I probably could’ve dropped even more time!
Anyway, it’s not like this kind of stuff happens in the blink of an eye. Especially on the college circuit, it happens after YEARS of intense, yet consistent and smart, training. I’m technically currently a 10:47 3k runner, but I fully believe I am capable of so much more. It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride, no doubt about it…
Sorry for the wall of text.