Summer Training Week 1

I figured I’d write similar recaps as last year for this summer!  Can you believe it’s been a year since I first started college training?  I remember getting my schedule for the first time last year and feeling apprehensive out of my mind upon seeing “39 miles” for week 4.  And here I am, approximately 2,000 miles later!

Summer 2016 week 1 (5/22-5/29):

  • Monday: 4 miles, abs, push-ups/pull-ups/dips, 20 min yoga
  • Tuesday: 5 miles, leg lift
  • Wednesday: 60 minutes pool (40 swim, 20 aqua jog), abs
  • Thursday: AM: 4 miles, push-ups/pull-ups/dips. Very humid and didn’t feel great. PM: 6 mile hike with friends
  • Friday: 5 miles, abs.  Super humid and tired from hike/sun
  • Saturday: 60 minutes stationary bike
  • Sunday: 6 miles, abs.  Hot.

Total: 24 miles, 120 min XT, 6 mile hike

This week’s runs were all pretty short, but some of them felt loooong.  I’ve never done well in the heat or humidity, and I need to re-acclimate to both!  Trying to keep the “if 5 miles feels this hard, how am I going to do 12??” thoughts out of my mind 🙂

I’m also trying to spend time outdoors in the heat in order to acclimate further!  We went to Roosevelt Island the other day, and it made for a beautiful afternoon walk.  “The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value.”

Nutrition-wise: I ate fairly well for most of this week, but then we had a little dinner party on Saturday night.  My mom went crazy with the cooking and I went crazy with the eating 😉  So I’ve needed a few days to recover from that.  Also, now that I’ve entered the base-building phase, I’ve been playing around with my macronutrient goals and seeing how 45C/30F/25P works for me once again.  I’ll let you know!

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Can we take a minute to appreciate how photogenic this breakfast is?  I tried Kodiak cakes for the first time, and they were a delicious, protein-packed breakfast with some butter, maple syrup, and melted frozen raspberries.  Along with coffee and Greek yogurt, of course. 😉

I also made zucchini oatmeal for the first time (meh…at least it was pretty) and then a “waffle” made out of egg and shredded zucchini.  It was pretty much a waffle-shaped frittata!

I start working on Tuesday, so I’m not sure how much weekday free time I’ll have to check things off on my summer bucket list…which keeps getting longer as I spontaneously add whatever I see that looks interesting!  It’s like three pages long…oops.  This week, in addition to working, I have 32 miles and four cross training days on schedule.

 

 

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Life Update: Dean’s List, Country Music, Dates

I have amazing news for you!

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That is all.

Just kidding.  But seriously, today was beautiful: sunny and 82 degrees.  After literally three weeks of rain, my dog and I both made sure to get much more than our daily allotment of Vitamin D.

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Yes, I jumped on the Birks bandwagon…don’t judge me too much

This is my first “real” week of summer training, although the volume remains really low.  I have 24 miles and three days of cross training scheduled.  Yesterday, I ran four miles and did upper body strength and yoga, and this morning brought 5 miles and a leg lift.  I felt pretty good.

One of my many goals for this summer is to be self-motivated to do yoga at least once a week.  I am really bad at yoga but always feel better after I do it, even if it’s just twenty minutes!  (Sounds like bullshit, but it’s true.)

Other summery (and non-summery) things that have happened recently:

  • Pretty great date in Georgetown (the same place I went after high school graduation!)  This Brussel’s Sprout pizza has my heart.

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  • I made the Dean’s List!!  Hadn’t checked my grades yet since the end of spring semester, so the email was a nice surprise. 🙂

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  • Baked a triple berry crumble when we hosted some people over the other night.

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  • Scheduled a summer job interview…wish me luck!
  • Got a summer haircut…4 whole inches chopped off the mane!  Can you tell?

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  • Last but not least, I started listening to country music…I know.  Who am I? My whole life has been anti-country music.  But it’s not bad!

 

 

Coffee and Core

Happy Sunday!  I ventured out into the sixteenth consecutive day of gloomy weather and completed a nice little five-mile run to end a 17-mile week 😉  Afterwards, I enjoyed a lovely breakfast of oatmeal, yogurt, coffee, and bacon.  And Gone Girl.

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I thought I’d share my go-to core routine on this lovely, rainy Sunday.  (Seriously.  Enough with the rain.)

I didn’t start doing core exercises on a regular basis until the end of sophomore year of high school, and throughout high school my core routines were about five minutes long.  Which is better than nothing!  But I wasn’t really pushing myself to get stronger.  A strong core is vital for running efficiency and injury prevention.  When you’re at that point in a workout or race when your arms and legs get heavy, a strong core will prevent your form from breaking down, and you’ll waste less energy!

Once I got to college, we were doing some form of body-weight strengthening every single day, and improvements were noticeable.  The planks and bicycles and toe touches that I found impossible in high school have become just another thing to check off as I move through the routine.

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Feel free to make the routine longer by adding any exercises you wish to!  Don’t forget to incorporate back strengthening exercises such as bridges, Superman, donkey kicks, etc.  The back muscles are often neglected when they are a vital part of your core.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you do the same exercises in the same order every time, your muscles get used to it and you stop seeing as many benefits.  It’s important to mix it up and try new exercises, or a new order!  I’d suggest asking other people for their core routines; a few years ago, one of my good friends and I exchanged our “favorite” abs exercises.  As a dancer, she is physically one of the strongest people I know, and her “favorite routine” was killer.  It still is.

After completing this routine, if it’s still raining, I’d suggest foregoing all planned outdoor activities, curling up with a nice cup of coffee (or tea…I know I’m a traitor) and reading Gone Girl.  Or maybe that’s just what I’ll be doing…

Rain, rain, please go away.

 

“Summer” Training

It’s 55 degrees, I’m wearing slippers, and it has rained for fourteen days straight… must be summer 😉

I’m waiting to hear back about an internship, so I’m currently in that weird limbo stage between the end of the school year, the respite before summer training starts up for real, and before I get a real job where I pretty much have nothing to do.  So for the past few days, I’ve been trying to make really good meals in the new, pretty kitchen!

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I tried pinole for the first time for breakfast the other day, and it was pretty good!  I cooked it with 1% milk and topped it with banana, cinnamon, and a drizzle of maple syrup.  The serving size was actually a bit too much for me.

Today was my first day back running!  After conferences, I took nine days completely off, and this week I’m limited to 3-5 miles every other day for a total of 16ish miles this week.   But I just received my training schedule for the next five weeks or so.  As my mileage builds back up, there’s a lot more cross training.  I’d forgotten that at one point last summer, I was cross training four days a week in addition to running.  Now it’s back!  Time to get excited about lots and lots of time in the pool.

I just ran for 30 minutes today, and as expected, it sucked.  The first ten minutes were great, but after that I felt sick.  Oh, well, this is supposed to happen!  Afterwards, I did upper body strength, ankle stability, rolling, and yoga, then refueled with a bomb lunch.

(2 pieces of Ezekiel bread, raspberry jelly, avocado, a fried egg, Siggi’s whole-milk mixed-berry yogurt, and a salad with avocado, edamame, spinach, cucumber, red bell pepper, tomato, and poppyseed dressing.)

As far as mileage goes, my coaches and I agreed during our end-of-season meeting to increase my mileage this summer.  I’m pretty pumped.  Over the next six weeks, my weekly mileage will go from zero to 52, and I will slowly replace my cross training doubles with running doubles.  While I’m excited, I also need to not obsess over the training that won’t happen for another month and a half, and focus on safely building my mileage back up to that point.

I also need to find a job.  But, you know, we can worry about that later 😉

Home!! + Belated Conference 5k Recap

I’m home!! After finishing my last final on Monday, I arrived home yesterday and have spent the past day setting up my (new) room!  I’ll post an update about that later.

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Empty dorm room

Anyway, I realized I never published a conference recap.  Here it is.

I did it.  I ran (and finished) the 5k at conferences.  It was nowhere near as fast as I wanted, it felt pretty darn horrible, but I finished 12.5 laps in 18:29.

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Race day twilight sky

We left campus last Thursday and drove four hours to the hosting school on a super cool double-decker bus!  We ate dinner at an Italian restaurant and went to the hotel, and I went to bed around 10:45.

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Top floor of the bus

Woke up on Friday (race day) around 7:30 and ate oatmeal, yogurt, peanut butter, banana, and a hard-boiled egg for breakfast.  We went to lunch at Panera, and I got the turkey cranberry flatbread and fuji apple chicken salad.  I was still very full for our shakeout two hours later, so that didn’t feel so great. 😅

I was having a hard time getting in the zone.  I was still distracted and didn’t have that “race day” feeling.  The negativity that had been with me for weeks hadn’t cleared up yet.

We got to the track, ,checked in and then went for our warm-up around 5:45.  I finally started feeling like it was race day during the warm-up!  My stomach didn’t feel good, but anything was better than two weeks ago, so I didn’t mind.  We did drills, strides, put on our race stickers and spikes, took off our pants, and went to the line.

The gun went off, and I immediately found myself in the second pack with my fellow freshman teammate.  I don’t know many of the splits, but our first 1000 was a 3:27 and our first mile was approximately 5:32.  Ideally, I would’ve been able to hold that, but the past few weeks have not been great for my body and I knew that was a little…ambitious.

From 5 laps on, I was obsessively counting laps and simultaneously trying not to.  I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t help it!  We passed 3k (time ??), and I started falling off the pack of four that I was in.  My cadence slowed, my arms got heavy…it was that infamous point in the 5,000 that I had yet to experience.

The last mile was a freaking disaster, but I eventually finished… (as I mentioned before, 18:29).

Afterwards, my head coach was so extremely supportive and encouraging that I almost started bawling.  I’m blessed to be on such a supportive team.

After the race, I promptly began stuffing my face with everything in sight.

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Team cookout on the way home!!

Saturday marked the beginning of the break between seasons 😉

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Track cookies

I’m proud that I qualified for conferences.  Overall, aside from some bumps in the road, freshman year running was really, really good.  I would have wanted to run 17:45, but that will come.  The past four or so days have been a little wild as I’ve started my break, hopped off the nutrition train, and moved home.  I’ll start cross country base training in a week or two, but right now I’m giving my body a break and doing nothing more than some yoga and core.  My posterior tibialis and calf have been bothering me for about four days, so I also have some ankle stability to complete.  But hopefully that will clear up during this break from running.

Freshman year of college: Check!

 

Update: Blasting through the negativity

I feel as though an update on running/life is sorely needed, so here goes!  It might be fairly intense.  Oops.

After I DNFed nine days ago, my coach decided to keep me in the conference lineup for the 5k anyway.  Woo!  I gave myself a couple days to eat my feelings and deal with the medicine wreaking havoc on my body.  I felt like an elephant.  Running had been horrible for a couple weeks.

Last week, my coach forced me to take an off day on Monday- “Would you rather run today, or would you rather run at conferences?”- and I did a 9-mile MR+ on Tuesday.  That was a bad run; it was a million degrees and I felt heavy/dead right from the start.  On a positive note, we had our annual athletic awards ceremony that night, so we got to dress up for once!

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I cross trained for 40 minutes on Wednesday, which felt fine, and then I did a workout on Thursday.  3 x [1000m, 600m] w/ 2-3 min rest, 5 x 200m with 90s rest.  This was probably the most normal I’d felt in weeks!  I still didn’t feel like I had any pep in my step or that little extra *something* in my legs, but I hit 3:28, 1:59, 3:30, 2:00, 3:31, 1:58 and did not time the 200s (but apparently my last one was a 33).  I ran 3 miles on Friday, 10 on Saturday, and 6 on Sunday.  Total mileage for the week was around 37- a little low, but whatever.

The thing is, if I’m being completely honest, I’ve been struggling a lot mentally.  There’s been some issues outside of running in my life recently, and it’s made it hard to focus completely, especially on top of being sick and not feeling 100%.  The negative thoughts have been creeping in way too often.

Even though last Thursday’s workout was okay, I kept thinking, “These thousands feel so hard.  How am I going to run a 5k around this pace?  I can’t do it.  I can’t do it.  I wish I were a 1500 runner.  I can’t run the 5k.  This is too hard.”  These thoughts have been popping into my head on almost every single run.

Our last day of classes was April 29th, and today marked the beginning of finals period.  I had my stats final in the morning.

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Today’s workout was supposed to be 10 x 400 a tiny bit faster than race pace (so we were supposed to do 82s).  Not a bad workout at all, right?  Well, it turned out to be another negative day for me.  It was 83 degrees and the sun was blazing and I felt like throwing up.  Maybe it was due to eating lunch at 11:30-12 and working out at 2, maybe it was due to the heat, maybe a lot of things.

But struggling to do 400s at 5k goal pace and having to quit after 8 x 400 (2 miles worth of work, aka only 2/3 of the distance I have to race on Friday, with breaks) just sucked.  I had to go take a quick cold shower before doing a 15 minute cool down.  I was supposed to get 9 miles in today; I got 7.  This has been happening constantly for the past three weeks.  It’s annoying not to hit mileage every damn day.

And here’s the thing: unless I magically pull a 17:16 out of my butt at conferences, my season ends Friday, so today was my last real workout of freshman year, and I fucked it up yet again.

Arghhh!

How ironic that as I type this, I’m listening to the playlist “100 Most Uplifting Songs Ever” on Spotify.

Anyway, I recognize my negativity and distraction, and here are some things I need to keep in mind:

  1. I don’t have a stressful finals schedule.  I only have two exams and a presentation, and I’ve gotten one exam out of the way with the presentation coming tomorrow.  I can relax if I want to!
  2. Boy drama, roommate drama, friend drama, any drama- I need to put it aside and realize that it’s not important right now.  Or realize that it needs to be blasted through.  One of those things.  I’m just spitballing right now, honestly.
  3. I love to run.  I love my team.  A 5k is long, yes, and mentally difficult.  But a few bad workouts are not a reflection of my ability to run 12.5 laps around the track as fast as I can.  I’ve put in the work for months and months, and even a couple weeks won’t destroy that.
  4. Stop thinking that I can’t run 3.1 miles!  (Sounds ridiculous, but yes, this thought has been popping into my head quite regularly.  Runners are weird.)  I ran 10 on Saturday.  Just because today was only two miles of work on the track does not mean anything.  Just because I was very glad when the 20-minute warm-up was over does not mean I cannot run 3.1 miles.
  5. Run for the team.  Yeah, I haven’t been feeling so hot, but everything we do is for the betterment of the team.  There are 5 other women suffering experiencing the 5k along with me.  GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME.  FOR THE TEAM.
  6. Stop being negative about nutrition.  This is a whole ‘nother can of worms, but to sum it up quickly, I don’t think my attitude right now is very good.
  7. STOP THINKING THINGS SUCH AS “X more days and I can be done!”  Cherish the next few days.  Memories will be made, the team will work toward a common goal (winning conferences!), and I need to keep this in mind!  I do this for a reason!

Ok, I should probably stop now.  I’m going to watch “Forrest Gump” and not study for finals 😉  It’s very weird to think that I’ll be done with freshman year and moving out in one week!!