Summer Training Week 10: HUMIDITY

Hello!  I just wrapped up my tenth week of summer training with 12 miles on the bike path.

Summer 2016 week 10 (7/25-7/31):

Monday: AM: 7 miles, SUPER humid so took it easy and felt good, drills, strides, core.  PM: 3 miles easy treadmill, felt good.
Tuesday: 20 min w/u, drills, 4 x 6:00 w/ 1:30 recovery, 20ish min c/d.  So humid again!  Legs were tired/heavy in the second half but overall pretty good workout.
Wednesday: 60 min stationary bike, felt nauseous/crappy.  Light strength circuit afterwards.
Thursday: AM: 7 miles, felt eh.  PM: 3 miles treadmill, short upper body circuit.
Friday: 2 mi w/u, drills, 24 min tempo on canal, 4 x [:30, :30], 2 mi c/d.  Felt tired but decent during the workout…for some reason, the rest of the day I was a zombie! 2+ hours of naps.
Saturday: 3 miles, abs/yoga
Sunday: 12 miles, felt strong in the second half, big negative split.

Total: 53 miles + 60 min bike
This week was kind of weird…Monday and Tuesday were normal but on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, I felt really out of it on my runs/XT.  Saturday was normal recovery and Sunday’s long run was surprisingly good, especially the second half…got into a groove thanks to a great playlist. 😉  Just felt run-down this week…I think part of it is the extreme heat/humidity and part of it is body imbalances.
Memorable moment: on Monday morning, I walked out of my house at 6:45 am to run and wasn’t sure if I had walked outdoors or into a sauna.  It felt like a hot tub.  This pretty much sums up the whole week weather-wise…
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I bought a box of the new nut-butter-filled Clif bars (coconut almond butter), and they’re so good!

Additionally, I spent three days dog-sitting for my friend, and her house is really close to both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s…if I lived there, I would have zero money.  But I found the seasonal Siggi’s flavor- strawberry and basil!  It was pretty good, but the basil could be more prevalent.

Also played her piano for awhile…

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During the month of July alone, I ran over 230 miles (not counting cross training and hiking).  I worked over 100 hours.  I ate approximately 30 bowls of oatmeal and 30 bowls of ice cream 😉  Took too many power naps to count.  “Officially” started dating someone.  Read books and played the piano and watched the Olympic Trials.  It’s been a pretty good month.  And the best part is…five days until I see all my teammates, and just THREE WEEKS until I move back to school!!

 

 

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Summer Training Week 9: all about the food!

It’s that time of the week again!  (It’s also 100 degrees and the air conditioner is broken, so I’m hibernating in the basement while I write this.)

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Farmer’s market goodness (tomatoes, peaches, kale, arugula, basil, and cranberry walnut goat cheese)

Summer 2016 week 9 (7/18-7/24):

Monday: AM: 7 miles, drills, pull-ups/push-ups/dips, 10 min abs.  PM: 10 min swim when the pool closed because of a thunderstorm.
Tuesday: 20 min warm-up, drills, 6 x [4:00h, 1:30e], 20 min c/d.  Strong workout!  Total = 10 miles
Wednesday: 5 miles, 10 min abs
Thursday: AM: 7 miles, drills, strides, upper body circuit.  Did 8 pull-ups!  PM: 3 miles.
Friday: AM: 2 mile warm-up, drills, 24 min tempo on hilly bike path, 2 mile cool-down.  Strong workout, although downhill pounding on asphalt was unpleasant.  PM: 2 miles treadmill @ 8:15ish pace
Saturday: off, 15-20 min yoga/planks
Sunday: 11 miles.  Hammered the second half a little.

Total: 53 miles + 10 min swim

Overall, this was an excellent week of training.  Monday’s run was really bad, as mentioned in the previous post, but I told myself to get over it and that it wasn’t a big deal.  The rest of the week was pretty great.  My legs felt like they were recovering nicely.

During Sunday’s long run, I ran normally for the first half, but then some guy passed me and then slowed down, so naturally I passed him back!  He stuck on me, so I had to prove I was faster than he was 😉 so I ran fairly faster during the second half and definitely felt it in the last two miles.

For a little non-running victory, during my strength circuit on Thursday, I decided to see how many pull-ups I could do instead of just doing sets of 4 like normal.  I did 8 in a row!!  Last year at this time, I could do zero.  #thankscollegetraining

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Thanks for documenting the moment, bro

Nutrition this week was so good!  I ate intuitively, mostly delicious, wholesome, home-cooked foods, but I also treated myself with ice cream and milkshakes at work whenever I wanted to.  I made an incredible sandwich for part of lunch today:  marinated teriyaki chicken, avocado, cranberry walnut goat cheese, and arugula on a toasted sandwich thin.

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Other goodness: spicy coconut chicken curry one night, fresh homemade blueberry muffins the next day, aesthetically pleasing oatmeal, and really good homemade wraps with Trader Joe’s lavash bread, guacamole, homemade pesto, tomato, and grilled chicken, along with zucchini sauteed in olive oil 🙂

As far as a non-running adventure, we went paddle-boarding again!  It was lovely.

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This week was mostly positive, although I did make a huge mistake at work that I felt so bad about 😦 but overall, a good week of training.

 

 

Banana Zucchini Bread

Good morning!  After a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad run yesterday (7 miles and I took like 15 breaks) and the pool closing due to a thunderstorm after a whopping 10 minute swim, I took stock of our overripe bananas and abundance of zucchini from our CSA and perused Pinterest to cheer myself up.  Result: a delicious banana zucchini bread, mostly following this recipe.  It was incredibly easy to make, and 16 hours later, the loaf is gone.  I think it was a hit.

banana zucchini bread

Banana Zucchini Bread:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 mashed overripe bananas
  • 2.5 tsp vanilla
  • 1.5 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (325 if using convection).  Mix sugar and oil.  Add egg, bananas, and vanilla.  Mix together dry ingredients and pour into wet.  Add zucchini.  Pour into greased 9 x 5 loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes or until done.  Let cool at least 20 minutes.

The bread is dense, flavorful, and gets moister (is that a word? ew) as it sets due to the zucchini.  You can also add chopped nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, or dried berries!

It made for a delicious addition to my breakfast this morning after my running buddy and I had a pretty strong workout.  20 minute warm-up, drills, 6 x [4:00 hard, 1:30 easy], 20 minute cool-down for a total of 9-10 miles.  Even with high humidity and some hills thrown in there, we killed it. Maybe because we knew we had the bread to look forward to at the end 🙂

Summer Training Week 8: 58 miles

Happy National Ice Cream Day!  My shift tonight is going to be crazy.

Okay, I had no idea what summer training week we were on, so I wrote “6” in the title for this post…then I realized it was the end of week 8.  How has it already been 8 weeks of summer training??

Summer 2016 week 8 (7/11-7/17):

Monday: AM: 7 miles bike path, drills, strides, upper body strength.  PM: 3 miles bike path
Tuesday: 20 min hilly w/u, fartlek (7-5-7-5 with 2 min rec), 20 min c/d
Wednesday: 3 miles + small hike
Thursday: AM: 7 miles bike path, drills, strides, upper body strength.  PM: 3 miles treadmill, some planks
Friday: AM: 2 mi w/u, drills, 24 min tempo, 2 mi c/d, ice bath.  PM: 2 mi treadmill, leg lift.
Saturday: 3 miles (went too fast), 15 min yoga, 5 min planks
Sunday: 12 miles bike path

Total: 58 miles + small hike

So I didn’t quite hit 60 this week, but that’s okay!  It’ll come.  On Wednesday, I was really tired and had an 8 am dentist appointment to get cavities filled–I’ve never had cavities before :(( –so I only did 3 miles instead of 5.

Both my workouts started out eh and got progressively better.  Tuesday’s workout was straight downhill for the first half and straight uphill for the second half, but I felt really strong on the last 5-minute section!  And on Friday, I was mentally negative throughout the first half of the tempo, but I realized “I can kick butt on this workout” during the second half.

Saturday’s 3-mile recovery run with a friend was way too fast.  Afterwards, we did yoga and core and went for brunch, and I had my first acai bowl!  Sunday’s 12 miles were done all alone…but oh well.

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Acai bowl!  Source: Yelp 

My youngest brother’s birthday party was yesterday, and my mom and other brother made an amazing cake!  Three layers- chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, chocolate cake- with vanilla and chocolate buttercream frosting, chocolate shavings, and strawberries.

Not much else to report, went on some outdoorsy adventures and read How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz.  It was okay, but I didn’t love it; the characters were sometimes weak, and the ending felt like a rushed cop-out.

Probably going to drop the mileage down this next week!  I talked with my coach about throwing some more cross training in there.

BALANCE during summer training

SHOUTOUT TO BRENDA MARTINEZ FOR MAKING THE OLYMPIC TEAM IN THE 1500!  I LOVE YOU!!

(Sorry.  Continuing.)

Today is my baby brother’s twelfth birthday!  I remember the day he was born at home; my other brother and I watched Blues Clues and tried to ignore what was going on upstairs.  I can’t believe he’ll be a teenager in one year!

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I made him a special birthday smoothie (complete with whipped cream) and received a giant hug when his Pokemon birthday present turned out to have a rare card of some sort…clearly I’m a Pokemon expert 😉

Aside from that, this off day from work has included a hilly workout (20 min w/u, drills, fartlek of 7 minutes-5-7-5 with 2 min jog in between, 20 min c/d), rereading The Thief Lord (a childhood favorite) and sorting out some financial and academic stuff for the fall semester.  Which is in a little over a month! YAY!!


A couple weeks ago, one of my teammates shared this post by Sports Bras and Coffee, and she had some really good points.  It got me thinking, and I thought I’d share some of my own thoughts and some of my teammates’ tips (mostly learned from making the mistakes ourselves) on finding the balance between building a good, sustainable base and overtraining during the summer.

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As you know, since I’ve complained/exulted about it in every training post this summer 😉 , my mileage has gone up a lot in recent weeks.  After a low-mileage high school career (pls ignore the horrible eyeliner in that post- I went through a phase), I built up from 30 to 40 miles last summer, then 45ish during freshman year of college.  At each mileage level, I couldn’t imagine running more than I was running at that time!

This summer, when our coaches sent out the training plans and mine listed “60 miles” consistently, I knew it was going to be unlike anything I had done before.  There have been some days lately where the last thing I have wanted to do was go on yet another run. While obviously you’re not going to feel great on every run, it’s definitely not good to feel like that all the time!  It’s all about pushing your body to the limit while still finding balance.

So without further ado, here are some summer training tips.

  1. Listen to your body.  I know, so cliche.  Obviously, you want to be following the training plan given by your coaches, but if one day you have a double and your body feels horrible during the first run, it is okay to skip the second one and take a nap or do some yoga instead.
  2. Fuel properly.  Especially pre-run and breakfast.  I don’t know about you, but I do most of my summer runs in the early morning to (try to) avoid the heat and humidity.  Going out for a 7-to-12-miler first thing in the morning with nothing in your system is a bad idea, no matter who you are.  Try to eat/drink something high in carbs and non-acidic before your run, such as a banana, toast with jelly, or half a bar.  Additionally, if you’re training in the morning, eat a good breakfast afterwards!  Aim for something high in protein and complex carbohydrates to recover optimally and take advantage of metabolic gains.  My go-to breakfast is oatmeal with egg whites, yogurt, fruit, and nut butter. IMG_1194
  3. Sleep.  It might not be easy to go to bed at 10:30, or earlier, when a lot of people are staying up all night partying, but if you’re training 20 hours a week on top of maybe having a job or an internship or something, you need all the sleep you can get.  If you find yourself unable to get enough sleep at night (like if you get home from work at 11 and wake up at 5:30…hmm sounds familiar), power naps are the shit.  Seriously.  If you have a spare 23 minutes during the day, take a power nap.  They are awesome.  I slept for an hour before my double yesterday afternoon.
  4. Do not hammer your runs.  It’s May/June/July.  You have big goals for the cross country season, and you’re super motivated right now.  BUT the goal is to peak in November!  If you don’t take it easy on some of your runs, your body will not recover, and your base will not be sustainable.

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    This was a day when I should have gone slower

  5. Honestly, eat whatever you want.  As a serious athlete, most of the time you’ll crave wholesome, healthy food, so “whatever you want” will usually be a healthy balanced diet anyway.  But do indulge to an extent over the summer because a) it’s not racing season and b) it’s not healthy or helpful to be stringent about what you can or cannot eat.  This is the time to find a relaxed balance with nutrition. It’s mentally unhealthy to try and sustain unnecessary, rigid eating rules from June until November with no deviations.
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    Part of lunch: AMAZING focaccia from the farmers’ market

    6. Drink water.  All the time.  If you live in an insanely humid area like I do, make sure you are hydrating, especially in the morning!  I try to drink 2-3 cups of water before I go out for my morning run and then keep a 32 oz Nalgene with me throughout the day.  (Don’t overhydrate, though, which can drain sodium levels.  Make sure you are replenishing your electrolytes, as well.)

If anyone else has any other tips, feel free to chime in!

Summer training week 7: 56 miles!

Summer 2016 week 7 (7/4-7/10):

this weekMonday 7/4: AM: 7 miles, drills, strides, pull-ups/push-ups/dips.  PM: 3 miles in the pouring rain.
Tuesday: 20 min warm-up, drills, fartlek (6 minutes-5-4-3-2-1 with half-time recovery), 20 min cool down.  Total = 10 miles.
Wednesday: AM: 5 miles Potomac Heritage Trail.  PM: abs/core
Thursday: AM: 7 miles, drills, strides, pull-ups/push-ups/dips.  PM: 3 miles treadmill, 20 min yoga
Friday: AM: 2 mile warm-up, drills, 24 min tempo, 2 mile cool down.  PM: 2 miles treadmill, light leg lift
Saturday: off, a bit of core/yoga
Sunday: 11 miles.

Total: 56 miles

First of all, who’s been watching the Olympic Trials??  Incredible.  Noah Lyles set the national high school record in the 200!  Kate Murphy and Christina Aragon qualified for the 1500 semis!  Crazy.

Anyway…

I kind of miss cross training?!  At this point, I hardly remember the struggle of four cross trains per week!  Highest mileage week ever (again)- we’re getting closer to that 60 mile mark.  My legs are definitely feeling the higher mileage; the treadmill doubles in the afternoon were no faster than 8:00-8:30 pace.  The temperature and humidity levels were a lot higher this week than previous weeks, so that was definitely an adjustment.

I ran with a teammate for my long run today, and we were both pretty tired, so we took it easy.  Refueled with some blueberry pancakes with butter and maple syrup, coffee, a fried egg, plain Greek yogurt with almonds, and Nuun. Yum 🙂

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My roommate came up to stay with me on Monday and Tuesday, so we got to work out together!  We were going to do more DC things to celebrate the 4th of July, but it was very rainy and miserable, so after a quick Metro adventure, we had a low-key night and watched A Capitol Fourth and the Olympic Trials on TV.

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For Wednesday’s run, my friend who loves trails convinced me to join him for a trail run on the Potomac Heritage Trail.  I do not love trail runs.  It took 50 minutes to go 5 miles.  I ended up first twisting my ankle, then getting poison ivy, then falling off the side of a rocky part of the trail and gashing my knee…Never again!!

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Thanks @PHT

Both of this week’s workouts (Tuesday and Friday) were pretty good.  My friend dropped me a little in the second half of Friday’s tempo, but it was a solid workout.

One thing I do need to work on is getting enough sleep.  As the mileage goes up, sleep gets more and more important!  Unfortunately, whenever I work the evening shift, I never get home earlier than 10:30 pm.  But I can stop procrastinating going to bed and get off my phone earlier.

 

Food of note: balsamic honey glazed salmon!  So good.  Also lots of ice cream 😉

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60 miles next week!

 

Summer Training Week 6: long run gets longer

Summer 2016 week 6:

Monday: 7 miles Horseshoe Meadows Road at Mount Whitney, drills, strides
Tuesday: 8 miles Movie Road at Mount Whitney.  Slow + tired.  Push-ups + 10 min abs
Wednesday: 6 miles Horseshoe Meadows Road at Mount Whitney
Thursday: 7 miles Santa Clara river trail, drills, strides, 10 min abs
Friday: 3+ mile warm-up, 22 min tempo (6:20-6:30 pace, I think), 3 mile cool down = approx. 10 miles
Saturday: off.  Upper body strength + 10 min abs
Sunday: 12 miles @ 7:35 average

Total: 50 miles, 7 mile hike

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The first three days of this week were spent at Mount Whitney, and my brother and I woke up at 4:45 am every day to drive down the mountain so I could run!  (You rock, bro.)  I was definitely very tired while I was there and spent most of the time that I was not training/hiking/eating taking naps.  I was still tired on Thursday but expected that.

Flew home on Thursday night so I missed that day’s double (I was supposed to hit 53 miles this week).  On Friday, I woke up early for the workout, which surprisingly went okay considering jet lag and travel tiredness.  I had a buddy for the warm-up, cool-down, and 16 minutes of the tempo.  It was definitely a workout rust-buster and a shock to the body, but we got through it!

On Sunday, I met up with a teammate for the first time since school ended, and we had so much to talk about that the first 9-10 miles flew by!  The weather was awesome, too- 65 degrees and cloudy/rainy.  Officially hit 12 miles for my long run for the first time!

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I stopped at the farmers’ market on the way home and picked up some tomatoes, peaches, arugula, garlic and herb goat cheese, and a fresh baguette.  Made crostini for part of my lunch, but while I was at work, my idiot dog ate the rest of the baguette 😦

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French bread, goat cheese, tomato, arugula, and balsamic vinegar

The upcoming week has 56 miles on the schedule, so another increase in mileage.  We’ll see how it goes!  I’m truly enjoying summer training since the weather is behaving, but I know that at some point I need to get used to the heat again…

Summer Training Week 5 + California Travels

(This post was written on the plane yesterday)

Hello from the skies! I’m currently on my way back to the East Coast after a full week of family activities in California. I never wrote my training summary from last week, so here is an update!

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Last week was the first week of my life where I officially ran over 50 miles. It was exhausting, exciting, and…normal.

Summer training week 5: 6/20-6/26

Monday: AM: 6 miles, drills, strides, pull-ups/push-ups/dips. PM: 3 miles, 10 min core
Tuesday: AM: 8 miles. PM: 2 miles treadmill
Wednesday: AM: 6 miles, drills, strides, pull-ups/push-ups/dips. PM: 3 miles
Thursday: flew to CA. 30 min pool + 10 min abs.
Friday: AM: 8 miles. PM: 2 miles treadmill, leg strength
Saturday: 3 miles, 10 min abs
Sunday: 11 miles

Total: 52 miles, 30 min XT

Three cheers for 50+ miles! I switched Wednesday and Thursday so I would be able to get all my mileage in even with the traveling, and three doubles in a row had me fairly exhausted by Thursday.

Thursday ended up being a really long day of wedding rehearsal activities for my aunt’s wedding, and I cut my cross train in half because I was crabby and tired.  We were awake for 21 hours!

I had a workout on my schedule on Friday, but I texted my coach about the tiredness and jet lag and sleep deprivation, and she told me not to worry about it. Friday morning’s 8 miles actually ended up feeling great, so I suppose I could’ve done the workout 😉 Oh, well.

The wedding was on Saturday was fun.  Everyone got to catch up with family and friends they hadn’t seen in years.

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The first half of Sunday’s long run was bad, but once I reached the halfway point, things improved.  It took awhile to warm up mentally.

On Sunday afternoon, we headed up to Mount Whitney for three days of altitude, camping, hiking, relaxing, and (for me) running. I’ll recap the running in this week’s training post, but for now- my brother and I woke up at 4:45 am every day to head down the mountain so I could run while he drove behind me.

On Monday, I went for a solo hike up to Lone Pine Lake and back, and the solitude and views were amazing.

The adventure day snacks:

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Trader Joe’s teriyaki beef jerky, almond coconut KIND bar (new favorite!), apple slices, almonds, animal crackers, dried mango, and dried apricots

I made it up to the lake in 74 minutes (in years past, it’s taken us as long as 3 hours) and down in 68, and you know I bragged about it to my family when I got back to the campground 😉 We’re nothing if not competitive.

On Tuesday, I took a break from hiking after my morning run and just hung out in the hammock, napped, ate snacks, and enjoyed an easy summer read. The same on Wednesday- we got back up to the campground after the run by 6:30 am, and after breakfast, I crawled back into the tent and slept from 8-10 am!

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As far as nutrition goes these past two weeks, it’s been up and down. The first few days in California were full of wedding festivities that involved going out to eat for every freakin’ meal, which was inevitably unenjoyable. (Is that a word?) Sausage and cheese pasta and oily chicken and capers for the rehearsal dinner, barbecue at the wedding, Chipotle, In’n’out Burger, lots of wedding cake 😉 and breakfast at restaurants every day does not a happy runner make. Or at least this runner. I do enjoy indulgences to some extent, but at some point you just get sick of it!

On the other hand, while we were at Mount Whitney, I ate a lot, but that was necessary to fuel the high amount of physical activity. The whole day was shifted back: wake up at 4:45, post-run breakfast at 6:30, snacks throughout the day, early lunch, dinner at 5:30, bed at 8:30 or 9 pm…the food was good, though. My step grandmother cooked the most amazing dinners at the campsite.

I definitely enjoyed the luxury of a shower and being able to cook a giant bowl of vanilla/cinnamon egg white oats this morning.

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So that brings us up to now. This week has 53 miles on the schedule, but I’ve had to change around my training a bit to accommodate the traveling and being in the mountains, so I think I’m going to be a little short, which is fine. Tomorrow is my first workout, which will be interesting with the jet lag and the fact that we’re not getting back till midnight! Sunday will be my first 12-miler ever.