Racing woes and pumpkin EVERYTHING

Happy hump day!  I may or may not have spent 5 hours in the library today.  Never thought I would be that person…but a Trader Joe’s pumpkin bagel with maple almond butter made it better.

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Gotta love interpretive Spanish essays about the political power of 16th-century historians

The last two and a half weeks have included some little twinges here and there, some rough workouts, some strong workouts, lots of pumpkin things 😉 and one heck of a race.  Not exactly in a good way.

Last Friday, we raced at a pretty stacked invitational a few hours away from campus.  We left on Thursday evening; before leaving, I had lots of chicken parmigiana left over from a date night, along with some veggies.

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Sunset on the way to the meet!

Arrived at the hotel, made a quick Whole Foods run, had a team meeting, ate some fruit, and went to bed.  During the team meeting, our coach told us each what the general game plan was; personally, she thought I could be around 40th.  While the meet was stacked, the field was pretty small- only about 125 women.

We woke up at 5:45 for a shakeout, ate breakfast (oatmeal with almond butter and a banana, vanilla Siggi’s, and coffee), put on the flash tats and uniform, and headed to the meet!

It was almost-chilly when we arrived at the race venue, but all of a sudden the sun got really intense.  The temperature didn’t rise too much, but I didn’t feel great in the blazing sun.   Should’ve known…

Warm-up: ✓ Drills: ✓ Strides: ✓

Lined up at the start, pre-race butterflies, gun went off.  We rocketed out of the starting boxes like bats out of hell, relishing the downhill start.  I tried to rein it in a bit after the initial adrenaline-induced sprint, felt fine through 2k, and came through around 55th place, just over 7 minutes, which is 5:40/mile pace.  (I just calculated that’s a 17:36 5k.  LOL.  Maybe slightly ambitious.)  While I have been tired, I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, so I was hoping for mid-18s on this difficult, hilly course.

Around 2.5k, I guess the sun got to me or something happened, because I felt like shit.  I felt like someone had sucked the life out of me with a vacuum cleaner.

  • Me: “Legs, pls move.” Legs: “No.”
  • Me: “Eyes, pls open.” Eyes: “No.”
  • Me: “Body, pls run in straight line.”  Body: “nope.”

I weaved my way up the hill that notoriously breaks everyone, somehow managing to get to the top without walking.  I came through 2 miles in 11:45ish, I think.  Not horrible, but clearly I’d slowed down.  Hit 4k.  At this point, I was weaving into the flags lining the course.  My eyes would not stay open.  I was racing literally blind.

Hit another hill.  Weaved my way up it, doubled over.  Hit the finishing straight, and with 300 meters to go, I tunnel-visioned on the blue finish line mat, struggled down the home straight, and collapsed the second I reached the line.

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Me, hobby-jogging my way to the finish line.

I finished around 100th place in 19:43, which means it took me almost 8 minutes to crawl from 2 miles to the finish.  Awkward.

I felt okay, just weak and nauseous, for about 45 minutes after finishing, and my coach instructed me to walk around in the shade for a bit instead of going on the cool-down.  Tried to take in Gatorade and water, but the nausea just got worse.  Things took a turn for the worse about 45 minutes after finishing, and I could barely keep standing.  Felt extremely nauseous, generally weak, and like I was going to pass out.  Food was not happening.  Half a banana made me dry heave into the trash can for 10 minutes.  I spent some time in the medical tent with an ice-cold towel draped over my shoulders, dazedly watching all the passed-out, vomiting men being unloaded onto the cots.

Finally, after my mom forced a hat onto my head and force-fed me Nuun, the electrolytes kicked in, and I was able to actually walk around, pack up my stuff, and partake in Chipotle on the way home.  Still felt “eh” for the majority of the day.  Since I hadn’t done a cool-down, my legs felt pretty bad, so I stopped at the trainer when we arrived back to campus, and then headed to the rec and did a light bike shakeout for 30 minutes.  Took the long run extremely easy on Saturday morning, and it felt decent.

The good news is, yesterday we had a tough hill workout, and I actually felt very strong!  This was our third time this season doing this particular hill workout, and I hit my fastest splits and felt particularly strong on the longer circuits.  Afterwards, we had a lower body lift in the weight room that has left my legs very dead today 😉

And for a random end note to this long post, here’s Rob Thomas’s “Hold On Forever”!

 

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Overtraining? + Grocery therapy

Good morning.  On this September morning, we should all take a moment to remember and honor those who died 15 years ago today. ❤

My Sunday morning:

Training 9/5-9/11:

Monday: AM: 3 miles trails + abs.  PM: form drills, speed ladder/hurdles, 7 miles trails, 8 x strides, upper body circuit, rope stretch.
Tuesday: AM: warm-up, drills, hill workout (3 x mile circuit, 4 x 400, 4 x 175m), 2 mile c/d = 10 miles.  Lift in weight room. PM: 2 mile shakeout, ice bath.
Wednesday:  5 miles trails.  PM: massage (quads and calves)
Thursday: 3 mile w/u, drills, dreadful track workout that I didn’t make it through.  2 mile c/d.  Lift.  Not a good day.
Friday: Form drills, speed ladder/hurdles, 6 miles trails, 6 x strides, upper body circuit.
Saturday: Long run (11) miles
Sunday: OFF

Total: 52 miles

Training this past week was a veritable rollercoaster.  Tuesday’s hill workout was the same one I died on ten days prior, and so I was a bit mental throughout the entire workout.  I finished it- yay!- but I had myself so worked up that I was almost in tears.  Whoops.

Thursday was a disaster.  Yikes.  I don’t really feel like reliving it.  I had a meeting with my coach on Friday to discuss my training, and one of the things we talked about was that maybe we got a bit too ambitious and excited about my fitness and kept ramping up the training and throwing me into that top group.

While my mileage hasn’t gone up recently, the intensity has.  Additionally, we’ve had to get used to an intense new lifting schedule, lots of walking, the heat, etc.  I think this week my body was just like “no more!” and shut down.  I haven’t been sleeping (a symptom of overtraining) and my moods and body image and all that jazz have been all screwy.

I think I also got into the mindset of “must do everything.”  This season, my coach has been sending out more flexible training schedules where we have a bunch of different options.  For example, Tuesday will say: “AM: workout- intervals.  Lift in weight room.  PM: 2-3 mile shakeout for top group, optional cross train shakeout for everyone else.”  Seeing that I had the option, I’d think, “well, I have to do a 3 mile shakeout!” even if I felt exhausted.  This week, I overloaded my mileage on Tuesday and dreamed of hitting like 65 miles, but when my body shut down around Thursday, I reevaluated and realized how crazy I was being.

So, lesson learned.  Listen to your body.  I am taking today completely off.  Looking at my running log, I realized I hadn’t taken an off day in a month- which had never happened before.  Hmm, maybe the whole overtraining thing makes sense!

On a more light-hearted note, yesterday my roommate and I did some retail therapy- grocery shopping retail therapy 😉

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We went to the local farmer’s market, Trader Joe’s, and also ventured to The Fresh Market for the first time.  It’s possible that we went a bit crazy with our yogurt purchases and impulse buys.  They had pumpkin spice almonds.  *Dies*

My haul: Skinny Pop, 4 jars of nut butter, coconut oil, almonds, chocolate-covered almonds, pumpkin spice peanuts, green tea infused mints, frozen raspberries, lots of yogurt, avocado, chicken noodle soup, vegetarian chili, and farmer’s market apples.  And I’m on a meal plan, oops.

Another essential part of our post-long-run Saturday morning routine is a stop at the Peanut Shop for the free samples.  Chocolate-covered almonds, cashews, peanuts, espresso beans, and everything under the sun.  Bless.

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Well, considering it’s almost noon and I’m still in bed (not sleeping because apparently I don’t know how to do that anymore), I should probably continue to tackle my weekend to-do list.  I’m looking forward to hitting “reset” this coming week and focusing on trying to take care of myself and listening to my body more ❤

Season opener//sophomore year!

Greetings!  Sorry I haven’t blogged in a few weeks.  I’ll quickly recap the last 3 weeks of training, followed by a race report!IMG_2735.PNG


8/15-8/21:

M: AM: 3 miles. PM: 40 min stationary bike and upper body strength.
T: 20 min w/u, drills, fartlek (1-1-2-4-8-4-2-1-1 w/ 1/2 recovery), 2 mile cool down.  Felt pretty good!  Very humid.
W: 50 min easy run (maybe 6 miles?) with high school team + core.
Th: AM: drills, 7 miles, strides, felt nauseated/kind of gross, upper body strength.  PM: 3 mile loop.
F: AM: 2 mile warm-up, drills, 4 mile pace run (6:30, 6:28, 6:17 which includes a 7ish second stop to retrieve a dropped headband, 6:03), 2 mile cool down.  Slight uphill on the way out, slight downhill on the way back. PM: 2 miles.
Sat: Moved back to campus!  3 miles + core
Sun: 11-12 pretty relaxed miles back on campus

Total: 54 miles + 40 min bike


8/22-8/28:

M: AM: drills, 7 miles trails, strides, core.  PM: local 5k
T: 3 mi w/u, drills, 2 mile-1 mile-1 mile with 2-3 min recovery, 4 x strides.  Splits: 6:19/6:02, 5:48, 5:44.  20 min c/d.  Jump squat series, rope stretch, ice bath.  Really pleased with my splits!
W: 5 miles trails + core
Th: AM: drills, 7 miles, UBC 1.  PM: 3 miles trails.
F: 3 mi w/u, drills, 3 x 800-400-400 hill thing (the 800 times were 2:52, 2:51, 3:04), 2 x 400 hill, 2 x 175 hill.  Wow. I died.  Thought I was acclimated to the heat but that was something else.  15 min c/d. PWL 2.
Sat: 11 miles trails, slow-ish, we were all tired.  Core + ice bath.
Sun: 30 min aqua jog

Total: 54ish miles, 30 min aqua jog


8/29-9/4:

M: AM: 3 miles.  PM: 7 miles trails, drills, strides, upper body circuit, rope stretch
T: AM: 20 min w/u, drills, 6 x 1000m on the roads (3:27, 3:23, 3:28, 3:28, 3:31, 3:30) with 1:30-2:00 rec, 22 min c/d.  Weight room assessment.  PM: 12 min shakeout, ice bath, abs.
W: 5 miles trails.  Felt like crap.
Th: AM: 5 miles, felt like crap but gradually better, 8 x 200m at 34-36 with walk recovery, 2 lap c/d, lift.  PM: 3 miles + core.
F: 7 miles trails, drills, strides, abs, rope stretch
Sat: 3 mi w/u, drills, 2 mile xc race (11:17), a few min recovery, 5 min jog, 2 x 1 mile on the course (6:05, 6:05) with 3:00 recovery, 30 min c/d.  Total = 12 miles.
Sun: 3 miles

Total: 58 miles + so much walking

Not going to sugarcoat it- It’s been a hard three weeks- adjusting back to campus food/classes/walking SIX MILES PER DAY, increase in training intensity, etc.  But it has been great to be back with the team, the locker room, and all the lovely spots on campus I missed dearly 🙂


Anyway!  We opened the cross country season on Saturday with a two-mile race on a cross country course, followed by 2 x 1 mile on the same course and cool down until we reached long run mileage.

I woke up at 6 (after not sleeping most of the night) and had plain Greek yogurt and oatmeal with banana, almond butter, chia seeds, and cinnamon.  No coffee or multivitamin since it was so early and we were in a rush!  We drove to the race venue, sat around for a bit enjoying the cool temperatures brought on by Hurricane Hermine, and warmed up for 3 miles and did drills.  Put on the singlet, buns, and hair ribbon for the first time since May 🙂 Since I redshirted last year, this was actually my first cross country race representing my college!

There wasn’t much pressure for this short little rust-buster, so I just tried to have fun.  The gun went off, I got boxed in, and I gradually tried to make my way up through the pack.  I felt pretty good at the mile (5:36) and caught up with two of my teammates, and we worked together the last mile and tried to catch people.  I kicked with what I had left and crossed the finish line in 11:17 as the fifth scorer for our team!  (I was our sixth runner, though- one of the freshmen finished ahead of me, but they all ran unattached.)

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After taking a few minutes to recover, we jogged for five minutes and did 2 x 1 mile with 3 minutes of recovery in between… I did not crush this part of the day as my splits were 6:05 and 6:05.  Felt quite dead 😉 but that’s okay.  I then cooled down for about 4 miles, so I got a total of 12 in for the day.

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We trained right through this race- didn’t even pre-meet the day before, instead doing a regular 7-mile maintenance run and 6x100m strides- so nobody’s legs were fresh.  But it was a good fitness gauge!  Our next race is two weeks away!