Workout Wednesday: Long tempo and pick-ups

I can finally write a snazzy-titled “Workout Wednesday” post! ¬†My workouts are always on Tuesdays and Fridays, but I shifted my schedule to accommodate work. ūüôā

Anyway, today marked the first workout back; it’s been almost two months since our last workout, so this¬†was a great shock to the body.

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The workout: 3 mile warm-up, drills, 30 minute progressive tempo, 3 minute recovery, 4 x [60 seconds hard, 60 seconds easy], and 2-3 mile cool down.  I asked my friend to keep me company, which he didРmajor props because not many people would voluntarily run an 11 mile workout without having to!

We warmed up for three miles on the canal towpath and then did dynamic drills.  Due to completing my leg lift yesterday, it took awhile for my glutes and hamstrings to quit complaining!

The goal for the tempo was to keep it kind of conversational for the first half (~6:40s) and progress through the second half and hit the low 6:00s. ¬†However…we started a little fast (around 6:15 pace). ¬†We ran the entire tempo into the wind. ¬†He struggled a little in the first half, and I struggled a little in the second half, but we were able to work together and finish 4.6-4.7 miles in 30 minutes for an average pace of 6:22. ¬†Afterwards, we did 4 x [60, 60], and my legs couldn’t quite remember how to turn over quickly. ūüėČ ¬†We then cooled down for 2 miles for a total of 11ish for the day.

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Post-workout lunch:¬†homemade kale pesto penne, steamed green beans, broiled fish, tomatoes, freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I also grated my hand while grating the cheese, so that was pleasant), tomatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots, and unpictured 2% lingonberry &¬†strawberry Siggi’s, as well as orange Nuun.

Overall, the first workout back went really well! ¬†The weather was windy but otherwise beautiful, the canal was scenic, and I’m happy to have had a great workout partner.

 

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Feliz Navidad

Good morning!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, religious or secular or whatever your lifestyle preferences entail.  My family hosted our extended step-family, complete with four babies under the age of two.  The house was loud.  My dog was confused.

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Christmas Eve brought foggy, rainy, miserable conditions– perfect for an 8 mile run with my friend from high school! ¬†The normally packed bike path¬†was completely deserted and a bit spooky. ¬†Later on, we partook in our normal tradition of making homemade pizza, then attended the night church service. ¬†We also exchanged ornaments that represented something meaningful that happened to each person over the past year. ¬†I got a running wings ornament (shocking!), my brother received a driver’s license ornament, etc.

On Christmas morning, my family managed to sleep in until 7 am!  Unheard of.

After opening stockings, we cooked a huge breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit salad, and coffee and tea. ¬†We finished opening gifts- among mine were¬†Run Fast Eat Slow, a Trader Joe’s gift card, and a Wawa gift card! ¬†Then, I went out for my long run. ¬†It was supposed to be 11 miles, but I forgot to look at my watch until I was way past the turnaround point.

I stopped before I got back to my house so as to not go over mileage too much,¬†but I still ran 11.29 miles at 7:06 pace. ¬†Whoa. ¬†The run went pretty well- I didn’t realize I was going 7 minute pace until I looked down at the halfway point. ¬†The last three miles were pretty hard, and my feet, calves, and hamstrings really hurt from the sidewalk pounding. I also ran in a Santa hat the entire time ūüėČ

The rest of the day was spent preparing for the Christmas dinner! (and maybe reading Run Fast Eat Slow cover to cover.)

The 100% homemade feast: turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, two kinds of stuffing, crescent rolls, beef wellington, vegan eggplant/mushroom roast, apple crisp, pumpkin pie, and vegan almond butter brownies.

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Overall, Christmas was¬†lovely and hectic ūüôā

Anyway, here’s a¬†recap of the¬†past week of training: (12/19-12/25)

  • Monday: AM: 4 early morning treadmill miles.¬† PM: 5 miles + core.¬† Felt good on both runs. Probably should’ve gone slower during the afternoon one.
  • Tuesday: AM: lift day 1.¬† PM: 9 miles sidewalks…middle 4 miles with former teammates/high school team which was fun!
  • Wednesday: ¬†4 early morning treadmill miles, took it pretty easy, sore legs.
  • Thursday: AM: 6 early morning miles outside in the dark with a snazzy flashing arm band, felt good.¬† PM: 30 min bike + lift day 2. I did 20 total unassisted chin-ups.
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: AM: 8 miles with my friend Noah, rainy, cold, but fun. PM: 2 miles, mentally I didn’t really want to, but I got it done.
  • Sunday:¬†11.29 miles at 7:06 pace
Total: 49 miles, 30 min bike
Last¬†week, I started working an¬†internship four days per week from 8-4 pm. ¬†The commute takes about an hour when traffic is bad (which it usually is…shoutout to DC) ¬†This means that on the days I work and run, I have to wake up early to get my run in, then commute/work from 7 am to 5 pm, then do whatever double or other training I have.
On Thursday, I had to bike and lift after work, and I got stuck in DC traffic until past 5.  I was starving, angry, and changed my mind 37 times on the way home about whether I would actually go bike and lift.  I ended up making a pit stop at the grocery store, devouring a bar, hammering out my cross train and lift, and getting home at 7 pm, at which point I crashed really, really hard.  I have a new respect for all the dedicated athletes who work full-time and have terrible commutes.  This shit is hard!
Back to the grind tomorrow. ¬†Happy Holidays ūüôā

Holidays and Killer Core

Happy Monday!  My face has finally unfrozen all the way from the numbing and surgery, so here is a shameless selfie from the Christmas party we hosted last night:

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My internship starts for real¬†on Wednesday, so today involved some paperwork and drug testing. ¬†I woke up at 5:45 am, ran 4 miles on the treadmill at 7:45ish pace, and drove out to the office. ¬†I don’t love the treadmill, but I’ll have to get used to it over these next few weeks…

After getting home around mid-morning, I¬†made a delicious, but aesthetically displeasing lunch (sweet potato, rotisserie chicken, roasted brussels sprouts, boiled carrots, and unpictured apple and peanut butter), and found seasonal Wild Friends peanut butter at TJ Maxx! ¬†I went there in search of¬†a blazer and gray pants and came out with crew socks and seasonal peanut butter, but…it happens.

For my second run of the day, I ran 5 miles through city streets and my high school track. ¬†I stopped a million times at stoplights and to talk to former teammates and coaches, but it was a good run, and I went pretty fast. ¬†Afterwards, I did core! ¬†My new favorite core routine takes about 12 minutes and really works ūüôā

Killer Core

  • 1 minute straight arm plank on swiss ball
  • 1 minute of bird-dogs (switch sides halfway through)
  • 10-15 rolls on the ab¬†wheel
  • 30 seconds of toe touches + 30 seconds of penguins
  • 1 minute side plank¬†each side, with movements or weights

Repeat x 2

The first time I did this routine, after getting stuck in a rut with the same 10-minute routine, I was sore for four days! ¬†It even hurt to do things like close a window ūüėČ

As I mentioned previously, we hosted our first holiday party in the new house last night!  But first I ran ten miles.  My friend from high school joined me for five of them, and I did five more on my own.  The party was fun and filled with good food- chili, cornbread, ham, apple cider, cranberry chevre, camembert, gingerbread, sugar, and chocolate chip cookies, etc.  However, one long run + four hours of intensive socializing (and having the same conversation about college with 30 different adults) caused me to crash real hard around 8 pm, so I took a quick power nap/rest before bouncing back!

I’m going to savor my last day before the work grind truly starts by spending tomorrow at the gym and with friends. ¬†Then, it’s time to enter the land of meal prep, 5 am (and 6 pm) treadmill runs, and trying to dress like a real adult ūüėČ

Dental “flap surgery”

I’m home!! and covered in dog hair to prove it ūüėČ

Today was an interesting day for sure.  I woke up early, ran six miles on the trails around campus for the last time this year, and packed and cleaned until the dorms closed at 10.  Then it was off to spend midday with my mom until it was time for my dental surgery at 2.  We headed home around 4, hit major traffic, and here we are!

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This was inside

We explored some over-the-top Christmas stores before having lunch at my all-time favorite restaurant ūüôā

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My lunch: hickory salmon, the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had with a homemade honey mustard dressing, and roasted brussels sprouts. ¬†Hers: an incredibly decadent grilled cheese with crab, asparagus, tomato, bacon, Gruyere, and Old Bay mayo, as well as a cup of shrimp bisque. This restaurant also provides the fluffiest rolls and sweet potato biscuits.

Then it was time for surgery!

Just for some context, I passed out and knocked my two front teeth out in 2012, started wearing a denture appliance in 2013, have recently had some problems with it, have had to take it out for every single meal, and am finally beginning the permanent implant process after four years.

img_3878This process requires three major steps: 1) inserting anchor screws into the jawbone area¬†to act as the roots, 2) reopening the gums once the bone and screws meld, and 3) attaching¬†the permanent fake teeth. ¬†The first step, called “flap surgery”, happened today.

They shot me up with a local anesthetic, cut open my gums to access the jawbone, inserted the anchor screws, screwed them into place with a wrench, and sutured my gums back together. ¬†In two months, once the bone and anchor screws fused (a process called osseointegration), they’ll reopen the gums, take impressions, and fit me for permanent teeth.

Anyhoo, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to run for a few days, but the dentist gave me the all-clear to resume training as soon as tomorrow! ¬†The first few hours after the surgery hurt like hell, but after some Aleve, Tylenol, and ice, everything feels a lot better now. ¬†I was even able to eat shrimp alfredo pasta for dinner, and my lovely friend brought me Tropical Smoothie!

I’m going to spend the next couple¬†days running, relaxing, organizing, and engaging in Christmas festivities. ¬†The “break” part of my break really only lasts until Sunday because after that I will be working and running full-time until I return to school in mid-January. ¬†I’ll be interning in DC with a less-than-ideal commute, so training twice a day will be really tricky and lots of planning and meal prep will be necessary. ¬†But I’m looking forward to learning how to truly “adult” ūüėČ ¬†Honestly, after a rough last month, I think the best thing for me to do is stay busy and grow up!

 

 

 

 

Musings: The Sophomore Slump?

Guess who just turned in her Gender final papers and is now officially done with fall semester??

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I’m done with exams- accidentally finished my 61-question psychology final in fifteen minutes yesterday, but it happens…still got an A (minus) so it’s okay. ¬†Currently, I’m hanging out¬†in the library coffee shop for no other reason than I have $22 in¬†dining dollars to spend by Thursday morning, and they have really good overpriced sandwiches. ¬†One club sandwich, fruit cup, and an Americano later…I’ve burned through a good portion of those dollars¬†ūüôā

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I’ll be here for a few more days because I’m finally starting the dental procedures to eventually get permanent teeth implants! ¬†In a couple months, I will no longer have to¬†pop my front teeth out at every meal. ¬†Unfortunately, this week’s surgery means that I will a) not be able to run for a few days and b) be on a soft-foods diet for a little while.

I’d like to share some musings in this post. ¬†Everyone always talks about the myriad adjustments that come throughout¬†freshman year of college, but there are far fewer discussions about the “sophomore slump.”

What is the sophomore slump, you may ask?  I think this New York Times article explains it well.

“Pity the sophomore. You are feted as a freshman, but no one seems to care that you‚Äôre back on campus. Quirky first-year seminars have been replaced by large foundation classes, making you doubt that major in econ or bio. You‚Äôre not high enough up the totem pole to do fun stuff like join a research team or lead student organizations. With the newness of college gone, malaise sets in.”

Okay, I just realized that makes it sound extremely self-centered. ¬†But for the most part, I’ve found that sophomore year has personally included¬†a mixture of anxiety over the future, questioning relationships, second-guessing academic and extracurricular endeavors…on par with the above article.

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favorite spot on campus

Don’t get me wrong; I love this¬†school. ¬†I love the team. ¬†I enjoy going to class and working hard and finishing assignments. ¬†My running hasn’t suffered, nor have my grades or my work ethic. ¬†I’ve¬†never been particularly Type A, stress-wise, and have generally been good at balancing school and leisure. ¬†I’m the type that would rather live my life, study kind of hard, and earn a B+ than neglect mental and physical health to earn an A. ¬† However, my mental state this semester has been¬†different¬†from the rest of my 19 years of living, which is normal (I think) but unsettling.

And some more musings because this is a very tangential post:

Something that I think is important is remembering to be who¬†you¬†are rather than who other people want/expect you to be. ¬†Don’t conform to other people’s expectations. ¬†It’s important to be respectful, friendly, hard-working, and empathic, but don’t feel as though you have to change who you are to please others. ¬†In the same vein, don’t expect other people to be someone they’re not. ¬†I’m slowly learning this. ūüôā

Non-career personality traits: I love to run, I’m competitive as hell to the point of being a little showboat-y, and I enjoy classical and alternative music, outdoor adventures, and extra dark chocolate. ¬†Making food and gifts to give to other people makes me happy. ¬†I don’t always love going out and actually kind of hate staying out late. ¬†I think I believe in God, but I’m not sure. ¬†I love grapefruit. ¬†Sometimes I have trouble vocalizing¬†sympathy or comfort, even though I try. ¬† Sometimes I think about food a little too much. ¬†Sometimes I’m sometimes so eager to try to offer support¬†that I interrupt people. ¬†I won’t study past 10 pm, and I will probably¬†never¬†pull an all-nighter, even at the expense of grades. ¬†We all have strengths and weaknesses that make us individuals.

Since my brain is all over the place, here are a random assortment of activities¬†that I have found help, or that I’d like to try:

  • Music! ¬†Playing and¬†listening to classical piano help me recenter and calm down a lot. ¬†Anything by Ludovico Einaudi automatically lowers my blood pressure. ¬†Nuvole Bianche, Fly, Una Mattina, and Elegy for the Arctic are some of my favorites.

  • Run (duh). ¬†Endorphins + serotonin = clarity
  • Cry if you need to
  • Be honest
  • Take a break from social media//don’t engage in¬†therapeutic mind-clearing activities with the purpose of sharing them on social media, because that’s counterintuitive
  • Knit a scarf
  • Drink tea
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Talk to someone- roommate, mom/dad, coach, teammates, friends, or if you need to,¬†a professional
  • Do an intense strength workout- just me?
  • Remember what you like to do, rather than what you think other people would like you to do. ¬†You can do things alone. ¬†It’s awesome.
  • Stick to a routine if it makes you feel better, but don’t spend too much time in one place, and practice breaking out of your routine eventually so that your comfort zone isn’t too small.

I should probably start packing to go home, so that’s all for now ūüôā ¬†Going to¬†knock out some miles later with my roommate- we’ve only been able to run together a couple¬†times over the past few months, so I’m looking forward to it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Track goals

It’s indoor track season, sort of!

We’re currently smack in the middle of finals, and so far I’ve completed my Accounting and Hispanic Studies finals. ¬†My brain hurts. ¬†I still have psych and gender but not until next week, so I’m giving myself a break tonight ūüôā

We’re continuing the mileage build-up; I ran 29 miles last week (plus some cross training) and will probably run around 38 or so this week (plus some cross training). ¬†Running is hard…

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After some big fitness jumps during the past six months, I’m excited to see where the indoor and outdoor track seasons take me. ¬†Track is much more of an individual sport than cross country, but we are all still working together to achieve our goals. ¬†Our coach uses the indoor season as preparation for outdoor, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still make goals for both ūüôā ¬†These goals are all-encompassing: time-related, strength-related, and mentality-related.

Speaking of which, I went to the weight room for the first time in a month yesterday, and I am unspeakably sore today. ¬†Can’t wait to get strong again ūüėČ

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Goals for 2017 track:

  • Qualify for ECACs in the 3k and/or 5k.
    • I’ll update this once this year’s standards are released, but last year’s qualifying times were 9:56 and 17:16. ¬†(My 3k PR from last year is 10:22).
  • Be able to do all sets of pull-ups/chin-ups unassisted in the weight room.
  • Increase hamstring flexibility and hip and glute strength.
  • Don’t mentally limit or doubt myself. ¬†Believe in a high ceiling.
  • Support my¬†teammates as much as I¬†possibly can!

What I will do to do my best to achieve these goals:

  • Give my best in the weight room and focus on form, effort, and function.
  • Don’t half-ass rope stretching, rolling, etc. ¬†Spend the extra 5 minutes being¬†thorough to avoid injury.
  • As always, “Give 100% of whatever you have on any given day.”
    • This is my favorite thing my coach has ever said. ¬†Some days are harder than others. ¬†A lot of days truly suck. ¬†That’s just the reality of being a Division 1 cross country and track athlete. ¬†The bad days, the good days- they’re¬†all¬†part of the process.
    • As long as you try your best, you shouldn’t worry if some days you can’t hit the paces or some days you have to crawl your maintenance runs. ¬†And appreciate the days where you hit paces you never have before!
  • Control the things you can control, and don’t worry about the things you can’t.
    • Sleep- go to bed at 10 pm as much as possible.
    • Nutrition- eat well most of the time, indulge sometimes,¬†balance
    • Listen to your body
    • Yoga ūüėČ

 

I’ll probably update these goals or expand upon them as my season progresses and once I find out qualifying times and race plans. ¬†But this is where they stand for now!