Long workouts with speedy teammates

I’m happy to say that this week’s training has been going pretty well.   Last week, I cut Tuesday’s workout short and didn’t work out for the rest of the week.  I didn’t even do a long run on Sunday, just an 8 mile MR+.  My total mileage for last week was a whopping 31 miles…not good.

There’s been some ankle and arch pain for the past couple days as I adjust to my orthotics, but I’ve been able to train through it.  I also just received my training schedule for the next 4 week training cycle, and if I play my cards right, I might hit 50 mpw! I’ve never done that before.  This week will be between 44 and 47, along with increased cross training.

Anyway, I was able to work out on Tuesday (off the track) and Friday (partially on the track!!).

Friday’s workout was possibly the longest workout I’ve ever done.  My coach put me in a group of about six where I was the only freshman and every single other person was significantly faster than I was.  Running with the “big girls”, as she put it! (9:30-10:00 3ks, 16-17 minute 5ks.  5 minute miles are relatively commonplace among these ladies.)

Workout: 10 min run, 5ish mile progression run (took me about 33 minutes) on a very hilly road, 10 min run back to the track, relaxed 4 x 400m with 200m jog (78, 78, 79, 76), 15 min cool down.  Total = 11 miles.

I was able to stick with the group for the first half of the progression run, struggling right before the turnaround as we crested a steep hill.  That hill took a lot out of me, and I lost contact with the girls and therefore ran the entire second half alone in the woods.  I fell apart in the fourth mile but rallied during the last few minutes and finished okay.  Honestly, I hit the point where my legs just did their own thing during the last mile and I went along with them.  It was kind of cool, actually.

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After I regrouped with the rest of the girls, we ran for ten minutes back to the track and then did 400s.  It was my first bit of track work in six weeks!  My coach told me to just aim for 2 400s, but after 2 I was feeling good, so I got the okay to do the other two.  I was pumped to be running 76-78 for the 400s with little to no trouble at all!  After a progression run and no timed speed work in forever!

We cooled down for 15 minutes for a total of 11 miles, aka the longest workout day of my life!  After leg lift, stretching, rolling, ice bath, and core, some of my teammates and I made dinner: steak, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, followed by baked Quest bars (cookies and cream, double chocolate chunk, and s’mores) for dessert.  We did all of this in a dorm kitchen! So good.  Gotta replace that heme iron 😉

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This weekend is pretty busy since we’re hosting a half marathon/5k/fun run tomorrow.  Today, I’m doing homework, running 3 recovery miles, cleaning/doing laundry, and helping to prepare the arena for the race “expo” tomorrow.  I’m currently hanging out in a cute little coffee shop on campus while I work on macroeconomics.

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Tomorrow, I’ll run eleven miles early in the morning and then spend the rest of the day working the races and doing a group project in the evening.  Spring break is in a week!  Maybe I’ll get to go skiing!

 

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Dorm Room Food

PSA: I’m not a nutritionist!  Or an expert in anything.  (Duh)  This post is just based on my personal experiences as a D1 athlete/freshman in college.

When I first got to college back in August, I assumed I would have no problem evading the freshman fifteen and all the food temptations that come with being a college student with an all-you-care-to-eat dining hall.  “I’m a super healthy runner!” I thought.  “I have great self-control when it comes to food.  The freshman fifteen is probably a melodramatic myth, anyway.”

Wrong.

For the first couple weeks, I was overwhelmed every time I went to the dining hall.  Pasta!  Sandwich bar!  Salad bar!  Cereal, fruit, ice cream, waffles, omelets, homestyle dishes, a “simple servings” bar, the grill… it was so much.  I loaded multiple plates because I wanted to be getting my “money’s worth.”

Eventually, I realized that even with running 45 miles a week, walking/biking to class, and cross training, I was still going somewhat overboard with the food.  I didn’t need to get a bagel with “whipped spread” after every meal just because they were there.  I didn’t need to use up four plates at every meal even when I was full after two.  I didn’t need to have ice cream every night just because it was there (and delicious).

Before college, at home, I was pretty independent with my eating.  I would eat whatever my mom made for dinner most days, but breakfasts, lunches, and snacks were on me.  But even though no one was regulating my eating at home before I came to college, it was still hard to adjust at college because you are 100% in charge of everything you choose to eat.

(Is this what adulthood is like??)

Anyway.  It took me a couple months to get into a routine with my meals and snacks, especially when I would get bored and just eat the night away.

I thought I’d show you what’s in my dorm room “kitchen” area to show how two typical college runners snack every day.  We both have a meal plan with 14 meals a week, but we usually eat breakfast and snacks and late-night dessert in our room 😉

IMG_8542In our little kitchen area, my roommate and I have a mini fridge, microwave, electric tea kettle, slightly illegal toaster, and a Keurig.  The plastic drawers on the right are mine; hers are under her desk.

On any given day, this is about what our fridge looks like inside:

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We almost always have yogurt, apples, oranges, string cheese, peanut butter, almond butter and jelly.  Carrots and sugar snap peas are usually in the rotation as well.  Right now, we also have hummus, pumpkin, blueberries, and a frappuccino that a friend gave me that I’m not sure why I’m keeping because I’m not going to drink…

There’s a small freezer compartment inside the fridge that doesn’t work too well, but we usually keep frozen fruit in there.  It currently has a bag of edamame for meee.

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Besides the fridge, I have a set of three plastic drawers that are home to my favorite snacks and random foods.

The top drawer has the oatmeal and chia seeds that I eat every day, as well as cocoa powder.  The second drawer has Quest bars, almonds, chocolate, random stuff like sugar and my last bag of NatureBox snacks, and the third drawer has unopened peanut butter, almond butter, and jelly, as well as soup, pumpkin pancake mix, canola oil, and cooking spray!

On top of the fridge, we have more random stuff that we use every day like tea, coffee, salt and pepper, cinnamon, and packets of honey (not sure why we have that last one).

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As you can see, we don’t really keep many unhealthy snacks in our room.  We tend to snack on fruit, peanut butter/almond butter, dark chocolate, oatmeal, string cheese…that sort of thing.  We’re not exactly typical college girls (#runnerprobs), but I think the best way to avoid junk at college is to just not buy it/have it in your room!

19th Birthday

On Valentine’s Day, I turned 19!  First birthday at college 🙂

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We realized at 10 pm after studying for 3 hours that we hadn’t taken any birthday pictures.

I received a cute birthday card from my eleven-year-old brother:

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And a less cute, hashtag-filled birthday card from my sixteen-year-old brother:

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Do they think my life is a mess or something??

I also received (among other things, like my college tuition) a miniature food processor, a Trader Joe’s gift card, almonds, a Quest bar, and dark chocolate from my mother.  She knows me so well.

Overall, the whole weekend was fun but exhausting.  We got back from the meet at 1 am on Saturday morning, and I woke up naturally at 7.  After going to the farmer’s market, I did a little bit of homework and then ran with my high school teammate who was here for a tour!  We did four miles on the trails.  Afterwards, I watched the Olympic Marathon Trials and did a little more work before my recruit arrived.

On Sunday (my birthday!), we had practice at 9 am.   We traveled for our long run for the first time in awhile, and I did 10 miles with two of my teammates.  It was so cold!  We couldn’t feel our toes for the first half of the run since it was about 6 degrees.

After the long run and recovery, we went for a team/birthday pancake breakfast!  We didn’t end up eating until 2 though… so it was more of a pancake lunch.

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I ate a ridiculous amount of blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon.IMG_8424

Afterwards, we did some birthday shopping and also stopped for the best cupcakes in the world.

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I ate the entire “wicked chocolate” cupcake as a study snack.  Hey, it was my birthday!

On Monday, I had a super busy day of classes, recruit activities, a recruit lunch, and then practice.  Today we had a workout, but after 20 minutes warm-up, drills, strides, and 10 minutes “brisk”, my legs decided to act up again.  The burning was horrible.  So I stopped the workout after completing a third of it and jogged for ten minutes back to the track.  I ran maybe six miles today.

I’m honestly so fed up.  This has been going on for almost three months, and every time I think it’s getting better, it doesn’t.  I feel like I’m stuck in a workout rut; I haven’t had a week where I haven’t had to skip or modify a workout.  I also haven’t worked out on the track in four weeks!  Yes, I’m in good shape and PR-ing, but at what cost?  I’m just really frustrated with this situation, and hopefully the orthotics help, and I’m missing the track, and I’m in pain.

OK, rant over.  I had a great birthday and have such great friends and teammates!

3k PR: 10:32 on a flat track

10:47 in December – 10:32 in February = 15 seconds closer to my goals!

So I’m actually still at the track where I ran my race!  We got here at 2:30, I raced at 4:30, and we don’t leave until 9 pm.  We’ll get back after midnight.  Fun times.

I’ve been very fatigued for the past 4 or so days… After the really hard long run, I felt like I wasn’t recovering at all.  I had to work out alone on Tuesday since I am not yet allowed to do track workouts, and my body felt pretty heavy.  Guess it’s just that point in the season where accumulation of training starts to hit us!

I can always tell when I’m more exhausted than usual because my dreams get very vivid and random.  Over the past couple nights, I’ve dreamed about long jumping, decapitation, cheese, and a ton of other random topics.  Anyway, my body has been complaining, but I still wanted to do well in this 3k.

I did my shakeout around 10 this morning and failed to stretch before rushing to the bus and sitting without moving for three hours.  Not the greatest plan 😉  We warmed up an hour before the race, then did drills and went to the bathroom the requisite 400 times.


 

We didn’t really get a race plan for this race, but I wanted to PR and, best case, run in the 10:20s.  The gun went off, and I latched onto two girls in front before passing one of them.  I stuck with the first place girl for the next 13 laps, and I didn’t look at the clock but I’m pretty sure we passed the mile somewhere between 5:30 and 5:33.  My coach yelled at me to pass the girl on every single lap, but I didn’t.  I was scared to pass her and not aggressive and my left leg was still hurting.

I knew we were slowing down a bit.  Finally, as we were entering the last lap, I tried passing the girl.  I went by her on the homestretch and held the lead for a whopping 15 meters before she passed me right back.  I don’t blame her; I would not want to lead for 14 laps and not win.   Anyway, she closed 3 seconds faster than I did, and my teammate commented afterwards… “You looked strong!…except for that last lap.”

I got second place in 10:32.  15 seconds faster than what I ran in December and a faster conversion than my high school 3200 PR.  Converts to 10:26 on a banked track.  Yay!  I need to be more aggressive, though, and get better at dealing with the discomfort.  Then I will achieve my goals.

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After the race, I cooled down with my teammates, stretched, iced my leg, and ate a cookies and cream Quest bar, baked pasta with meatballs and cheese, and a Ghirardelli chocolate square.  I then had a “Popeye” smoothie with spinach, apple juice, banana, pineapple, and peaches!

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I’ll just sit here listening to G-Eazy and cheering on my teammates and pretending to do my macroeconomics homework until we leave.  I’m pleased with my race today.  Currently ranked around 3,000th in the NCAA 😉  Additionally, my teammates just ran amazingly at Iowa State!

Weird Weekends

Pienso que mi cuerpo está roto.

After a weird weekend in which everyone was on different schedules (some went up to Pennsylvania to race, some stayed here to race, I went home for a funeral), the coaches decided not to hold practice today.  My roommate and I wanted to get our long runs over with early, so we went to the track at 8 am.  The only other person there at that time was the fastest person on the team (she runs the 5k in 15:XX).

So… I steeled myself and went off for my long run with her and my roommate (who is known to hammer every single run).

I managed to run with them for 38 minutes on a hilly route.  I haven’t used my GPS in months so I don’t know the *exact* mileage, but that was roughly 5.5 miles (or 6:50 pace).  At that point, shortly after going up a long-ass hill, I died.  I didn’t stop running, but I hit a wall that took about 10 minutes to go away and they went off on their merry way.  I did the last 30 minutes by myself and stopped running at 71 minutes.

Afterwards, we went to Wawa to pick up post-long run goodies! (Of course.)  My friend convinced me to give Quest bars another chance, so I tried the cookies and cream one.  It was actually pretty good, as far as protein bars go.  It was also the last day of Wawa’s $.79 any size coffee deal, so I had the same 16 oz coffee/hot chocolate I got last week.

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Anyway.  Fastest/hardest long run of my life.  My body hates me now.  The ice bath felt amazing, and I’ve been eating nonstop since 10 am today.  Gotta refuel properly!

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+ carrots, sweet potatoes, yogurt, NatureBox snacks (more below), etc…

Last week’s mileage:

Monday: 6 miles, drills, strides, strength circuit
Tuesday: 20 min warm-up but sick so took rest of day off
Wednesday: 60 min XT (bike)
Thursday: 6 miles, drills, strides, strength circuit, yoga
Friday: 3 mi warm-up, fartlek (10-8-6 with 2 min recovery), 20 min cool-down.  Total = 10 miles
Saturday: 3 miles kind of fast, abs
Sunday: 10 miles (38 minutes super fast)

Total: 38 miles, 60 min XT

I got sick on Monday and Tuesday, so after running the warm-up on Tuesday and confessing to my coach that I felt like shit, she told me to take the rest of the day off.  Mentally, it sucked.  Physically, it was the right call.  I’m a tiny bit annoyed, though, because if I had hit 9-10 miles that day like my schedule called for, I would’ve run above 45 miles for the week- aka the highest mileage I’ve ever done!


 

Due to getting sick, missing Tuesday’s workout, and having to go home, I didn’t race this weekend.  I went home on the train Thursday evening for a funeral and woke up bright and early Saturday morning to return to school.

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I made sure to pack plenty of lovely snacks for the train.

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And I somehow did nothing for three hours before finally deciding to do some work…IMG_8381.jpg

A couple weeks ago, I decided to try out NatureBox because they had a 50% off first-time-subscriber deal.  The snacks arrived last week!

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I ordered white cheddar caramel popcorn, dark cocoa “nom noms”, blueberry almond quinoa bites, and they threw in the apple pie oat clusters as a surprise for free!

IMG_8354.JPGVerdict: the popcorn was amazing, the dark cocoa nom noms were disappointing (mealy/weird-tasting), the apple pie oat clusters were decent, and the blueberry almond quinoa bites were pretty good.  I’ve already finished the popcorn.  Darn.

The first-time deal was great (4 bags of snacks for $7!), but I cancelled my subscription because there is no way to justify spending $13.95 for 3 bags of snacks.  I’ll stick to the yogurt and oatmeal and bagels and fruits and vegetables that I can take from the caf.

The Mile

I raced my very first full mile on Saturday!  Because of my lower leg issues, my coaches and I didn’t decide if I was racing until a couple days before the meet.  I knew I was in decent shape, but I’ve been training more for the 3k and have only been doing one workout per week as a precautionary measure, so I wasn’t really sure what I could do in the mile.

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The meet was 2.5 hours away and the bus was leaving at 8 am, so after a low-key night of cooked cinnamon apples and Interstellar…

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I got up at 6:30 to do my shakeout, shower, and eat breakfast.  I ate oatmeal and blueberry acai yogurt for an early breakfast and packed a PB&J, banana, chocolate chip Clif bar, orange, Sabra hummus and pretzels, and another blueberry acai yogurt to bring to the meet.  I ate the banana and half the sandwich about 3 hours before the race.

Two and a half hours later, we rolled up to the meet.  Two of my teammates and I warmed up for about 20 minutes and did dynamic stretches, skips, and strides.  We lined up, the gun went off, and we were off.

I had never raced a full mile before, so it was weird lining up nine meters before the “normal” starting line.  The first lap was a bit of a madhouse, with twelve pairs of elbows flying and legs tripping each other up.  I found myself out in the third lane on the back stretch.  The clock said 40 or 41 as I passed it the first time, and I freaked out that we were going too slow for a second before realizing that-duh- that was for 209 meters.

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I have no idea what my splits were, but I think I passed halfway in 2:38, maybe?  I know my splits dropped off a little in the second half since I stuck behind two girls that were slowing down, but I eventually passed them.

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I waited until 200 meters out to kick even though my coach had wanted me to kick from much farther out, but I passed two more people and crossed the finish line in 5:17.07.

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I was hoping I’d crossed the line at 5:16.xx, but according to online conversions, a 5:17.07 full mile on a flat track converts to 5:15.23 for 1600 meters and 5:13.9 full mile on a banked track!  I’ll take it.  I haven’t even really been doing speedwork or many workouts at all.  It’s a solid point for the first race after break.

Afterwards, we jogged for a few minutes, did 8 minutes at an up-tempo pace (a little slower than pace run pace), and cooled down for about 12 minutes.  Total mileage for the day was about 8.5.

Last week’s training:

Monday: 6 miles, drills, strides, strength circuit
Tuesday: AM: hip stability, strength, ice cup at the trainer.  PM: 20 min w-u, 10 min tempo, 5 x [:60h, :30e], 5 min tempo, 5 x [:60h, :30e] w/ a couple min rest between each thing.  10ish min c-d.  Total: 9 miles
Wednesday: 60 minutes aqua jog, mini run (8 min) at the trainer
Thursday: 6 miles, drills, strides, strength circuit/abs, yoga
Friday: 4 miles pre-meet, strides
Saturday: 2 mile shakeout, 20 min w-u, mile (5:17.07), 22 min workout/c-d. Total: 8.5 miles
Sunday: 9 miles MR+

Total: 42.5 miles, 60 min XT, extra strength

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Post- 9 mile MR+ treats (the Wawa cup is half coffee, half hot chocolate)

I’ve been absolutely ravenous for the past few days and shoveling in all the fruits and vegetables and yogurt and potatoes and bagels and nut butter and chicken and ice cream I can possibly get my hands on.  I guess we’re hitting that point in training/racing!  The next couple weeks are probably going to hit me pretty hard what with travel, more intense schoolwork, increases in mileage and intensity, and more racing.  I’ll just try to take it as it comes, listen to my body, fuel properly, try to get in a solid sleep routine, and focus on my goals.  We had a team goal session today, and I shared one of my time goals; I’d really like to run 10:15 or faster in the 3k this year.  I shared it.  It’s real.  It’s on the table.  I might race a 3k on Saturday.  I’m feeling good about my fitness right now, so I’d just like to keep taking things as they come and see where that leads me.