Redshirting indoors + high volume week recap

Happy Sunday!  This weekend has been pretty low-key, but still fun: dinner get-together at a friend’s apartment, long run, homework, laundry, coffee shops, lunch with my roommate’s family, business school application…I could discuss the recent bullshit developments in American foreign policy, but as this is a running blog, I will spare you most of my opinions.  I just have to say that no human being should be considered illegal.

Anyway- back to the running!  Or cross training, or what have you.  My coach apparently decided that this week would be the “week of all the volume”, and I am definitely feeling the effects.  In a good way, for now 😉


What did people do before planners were invented?

Week of 1/23-1/29:

Monday: AM: 60 min pool (40 aqua jog, 20 swim), trainer for stim/ice.  PM: 4.5 mile run on turf, track, and roads + 15 min stationary bike + 10 min core.
Tuesday: AM: 6 mile run + lower body lift + heat/stim at trainer.  Later AM: 40 min aqua jog
Wednesday: 70 minute pool workout, heat/stim at the trainer.
Thursday: AM: 2 lap w/u, form drills, hurdle drills, speed ladder, 7 mile run, upper body lift.  Heat/stim at trainer.  PM: 30 min stationary bike.
Friday: AM: 60 min pool workout, heat/stim at trainer.  PM: 5 mile run.
Saturday: 10 mile run on trails and roads (7:15ish pace, I think) + 20 min stationary bike.  Used NormaTec boots afterwards.
Sunday: 3 miles, very tired.

Total: 35.5 miles + 295 minutes of cross training

Um wow!  Highest volume week ever.  If 10 minute XT counts as the equivalent of one mile of running, then this week was the equivalent of 65 miles!!  My feet and toes felt pretty good overall, except for some pain and soreness in the toes and bunions at the end of the longer runs from the prolonged impact.

Since the pool hours are a bit weird, I ended up getting up very early every day this week.  This necessitated lots of overnight oats for breakfast and goggle marks look in class 😉  I shall share my favorite overnight oats recipe in another post!

My teammate and I were lucky enough to be able to try out the NormaTec boots for the first time after yesterday’s long run, and they were so cool!  They provide gradual, increasingly intense compression up and down your legs, like an undulating massage.  Great for recovery, especially when your long run volume isn’t quite where it usually is and you have to supplement with cross training afterwards!


This week was definitely very tiring, and I am planning on dropping the overall volume throughout this coming week, even while increasing running mileage.  I did stim and heat at the training room all week for pain maintenance.  My sleep patterns were whack this week- waking up 5-10 times every night, unable to sleep past 6 am…the usual, I suppose! Over the past few months, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I sleep very poorly at night when training is most intense. Thankfully, this semester’s class schedule has enough time in the afternoon for almost-daily naps!

In a meeting with my coach earlier this week, one of the things we discussed was my short-term and long-term running plans.  Our program treats indoors as kind of preparation for outdoors, with the overall team focus on the outdoor conference championships.  As she was telling me that she wants me to focus on building a huge base and getting the feet 100% again before worrying about racing, I asked, “Can I redshirt?”

 The idea had been floating around in my head for awhile; I would only race a couple times this season, and I do want to take a fifth year to earn a master’s degree or go to law school as well as maximize running potential.  Turns out, she was on the exact same page!  So we decided that I would redshirt this indoor season and maybe race unattached or in a road race at the end of February.
Anyway, that’s it for the major updates!  I hope everyone has had a great weekend.

Pool workout: benefits of cross training!

When you have no Friday classes but still wake up naturally at 6 am and do a 70 minute pool workout…

The workout:

12 lap warm-up (lap = down and back)
4 x [6 laps hard/steady, 2 laps easy]
6 x [sprint down, easy back]
2 laps easy
5 x [submarine* down, easy back]
13 lap cool down

Total: 70 laps (3500 meters)

*submarine means swim under the water for as long as you can without taking a breath.  If you can make it all the way down, congrats– you are my idol!  This part of the workout made me breathe so hard, I thought my heart was going to come out of my chest.

The workout took about 70 minutes, and then I sat in the sauna and stretched for a bit.  Afterwards, I ate my pre-packed breakfast (chocolate banana overnight oats with plain nonfat Greek yogurt and peanut butter) before heading to the training room to do STIM and ice.  My feet are feeling a lot better while walking around, but it’s important not to push the impact too much too soon! Now I’m chilling in my favorite campus coffee shop, drinking coffee with almond milk and blogging instead of reading my accounting textbook 😉


Cross training picture from the summer

Anyway, I thought I’d talk about some benefits of cross training!  When you’re injured, or fighting off little setbacks, there’s no excuse to not put in the work even if you can’t run.  (On the other hand, if you’re sick or have a serious injury, it’s absolutely okay to take some time off and give your body the rest it needs).

My go-to forms of cross training include the stationary bike, aqua jogging (don’t use the belt!), and swimming.  Our coach doesn’t love the elliptical, so we tend not to use it.

A few benefits of cross training:

  1. Reduces impact on your feet/joints.  If you’re in the middle of a high-intensity training block and your feet are screaming at you to quit pounding out 10 miles on the sidewalks every day (hey, relatable!), getting in the pool or on the bike can help you get in some volume in without risking injury.  It puts less stress on the weaker or more vulnerable parts of your body that are worn down by the constant pounding from running.
  2. Increases endurance, efficiency, and power.  As I said, some parts of this morning’s pool workout made me breathe harder than track workouts!  Good cross training form in the pool and on the bike also leads to greater efficiency by strengthening knee drive, arm swing, etc.
  3. Prevents burnout.  I’ll be the first to admit it– there are some days where I wake up and dread the day’s run.  “I don’t want to, I don’t want to, I hate running.”  Even if you are the world’s biggest lover of running, you’re not going to have a positive attitude every day.  However, throwing in a few cross training sessions can refresh your mind and body and keep your love for running going strong.  You look forward to something different, and you also end up looking forward to the next run because you had a day away from it!

Those are the biggest benefits for me.  There are myriad others, but I don’t want to make this post into a novel, so I hope the few that I mentioned will be helpful!

Spring semester! + a setback

Hello from campus!  I moved back into the dorm on Sunday afternoon, and spring semester classes started yesterday.

This semester, I’m taking three business classes and two Spanish classes.  I just declared a Hispanic Studies major yesterday, and I’m currently a marketing minor with the hopes of becoming a double major!  This semester’s class schedule is a little funky, and I’m going to have to miss the lifting sessions with the team 😦 but on the plus side, I have no class on Fridays!  I also have 4 and a half hours between classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which is why I have time to write this post!

I’m a little apprehensive about the intensity of my courses, but I’m also looking forward to them.


Last week’s training (1/9-1/15):

M: 3 miles after work + core/yoga
T: AM: drills, 7 early miles, strides.  Went well!  PM: 2 miles to gym + lift day 1.  Felt a little burnt out from the day.  Total: 9 miles.
W: workout with teammates on canal.  3 miles warm-up (too fast…), drills 3 x [9 min progression, 5 min maintenance].  First two sets were rough but I pulled my head out of my butt for the third set and it went really well.  2 mile cool down.  Total = 11 miles.
Th: AM: 5 early miles.  Legs were very heavy/feet sore from the day before.  Not a great run overall, but some good moments.  Core afterwards.
F: AM: drills, 7 early miles, strides.  Felt awesome! Last work day!  PM: 4 miles, felt awesome again! + upper body lift stuff.  Total: 11.
Sat: 3 mile warm-up, drills, 2 x 200 (37, 36), 3 x [1000, 600] with 2 min btwn intervals and a lap btwn sets.  3:37, 2:04, 3:36, 2:01, 3:35, 2:01.  2+ mile cool down.  Feet hurt on cool down.  TBH just wanted to be done the whole time… Total = 9ish.
Sun: 8 miles– feet were in absolutely horrible pain and I ran so slowly and was limping and wincing the whole time.  Finished up with 40 min bike and they were not in any more pain, so it’s definitely the impact.

Total: 56 miles + 40 min bike.
I unexpectedly had two awesome runs on Friday, but that was where it ended.  For Saturday’s workout, I kind of wanted to be done the whole time and chose all the shortest options.  My toes started to hurt a lot on the cool down, and Sunday’s long run only made it epically worse.  Three miles in, I was wincing and limping, but I was on an 8-mile loop and couldn’t go any shorter.  I finally got back to campus and limped to the bike, where I finished the “long run” with a pain-free 40 minutes.
So for the past few days, I’ve been putting in hours on the bike and in the pool, and yesterday I got to use the Alter-G (anti-gravity treadmill) for the first time!  I ran 4 miles at 75% bodyweight.  Unfortunately, it didn’t help much.

My toes feel inflamed and stretched out, if that makes any sense, and I’m continuing to experience a lot of bunion pain.  The athletic trainers haven’t really been able to pinpoint a cause, either, but I seem to be experiencing a lot of symptoms of metatarsal bursitis, so maybe I’ll ask about that.

I also need to remember not to go too hard with the cross training.  This morning, the last thing I wanted to do was get on the infernal spin bike in the windowless room.  I was miserable and exhausted for an hour.  Mentality is key!  This is just a minor setback 🙂


Sweet Potato Waffle

A few weeks ago, I purchased a new waffle maker to take back to school (and for future apartments), mostly thanks to Christmas sales and gift cards.  A few days ago, delayed-onset post-workout hunger resulted in the inauguration of the waffle maker via sweet potatoes 🙂


The workout was 3 mile warm-up, 3 x [9 minute progression (pick up the pace every 3 minutes), 5 minutes “off”], 2 mile cool down.  I was lucky enough to be able to work out with two teammates!


After the coldest week of winter, the weather decided to be beautiful!  It was 40 degrees and partly cloudy.  We went to the canal, warmed up for 3 miles (verryyy fast) and did drills.  The first 9-minute segment started a little faster than I wanted to, and I’m not sure if I actually progressed or just maintained! Oops.  Overall, I was feeling pretty stiff and mentally not in it.

I struggled throughout the second segment because I wasn’t feeling too great physically and just got in my own head, but my lovely teammates helped me through it.  Once the last set was halfway over, I finally realized “I can do this!” and had a great last 5 minutes.  Better late than never, right?

The post-workout fatigue hit hours later, and after lunch, a dentist appointment, and a quick power nap, I woke up starving.  Scrolling through the #wafflewednesdays on Instagram for five seconds secured my decision– sweet potato waffle!!


I completely eyeballed ingredient measurements, but here’s a rough estimate:

  • 3/4 cup baked sweet potato, mashed
  • 2 egg whites
  • splash of vanilla
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Mix everything together and pour into a preheated waffle maker.  Difficult, right? 😉

(Adding regular wheat flour probably would’ve helped it firm up a bit, but I didn’t want to.)

As you can see, I topped mine with plain nonfat Greek yogurt, Wild Friends sugar cookie peanut butter, and semisweet chocolate chips.  Delicious.  And a good mixture of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats- a perfect, indulgent post-workout snack!




Winter training and life

(Written earlier this week)

Good morning!  I hope everyone’s weeks got off to a stellar start.  Mumford & Sons, coffee, and a beautiful sunrise on the way to work have made being stuck in a cubicle seem slightly more bearable 🙂  Less than a week until spring semester!!

I realized I haven’t really done a training/life update in awhile, so this will be rather long!  Over the past couple weeks, I’ve built back the mileage back up and started workouts, and except for some recent treadmill-induced piriformis and bunion pain, it’s been 80% smooth sailing.  I ran a 12 mile workout on the treadmill on Sunday!!

Week of 12/5-12/11: 39 miles, 60ish min XT

Week of 12/12-12/18: 44 miles + 40 min bike

Week of 12/19-12/25: 49 miles, 30 min bike

Week of 12/26-1/1: 53 miles

Week of 1/2-1/8: 54 miles + 25 min bike

Week of 12/26-1/1:

M: 3 miles recovery + core and yoga.  Sore hamstrings.

T: AM: 7 early morning miles, drills, strides.  PM: lift day 1 (lower body)

W: 3 mile warm-up, drills, 30 minute tempo (averaged 6:22ish), 3 min recovery, 4 x [:60, :60], 2 mile cool-down.  Total: 11 miles.

Th: 5 miles + core after work.  Mentally not great.

F: AM: drills, 6 early morning miles, strides.  PM: lift day 2, felt sick.

Sat: 3 mile warm-up, drills, 4 x 800 with 200m jog recovery (2:53, 2:53, 2:53, 2:52), lap, 6 x 400 with 60-75 seconds recovery (78, 78, 80, 78, 78, 77), 3 mile cool down. Total: 11 miles.

Sun: 11 miles on bike path.  My feet/bunions were killing me the whole time!  Limping by the end :/

Total: 53 miles

Both workouts that week went pretty well; I was on the canal for the first one and the track for the second one.  I was a little mental going into the track workout because I was alone and kept thinking I wouldn’t be able to hit the paces, but it ended up being fine!  Total: 10 miles. Most of the runs were decent as well, although I think randomly switching shoes made my feet really hurt towards the end of the week.  

Week of 1/2-1/8:

M: off; core + yoga

T: AM: 7 miles treadmill.  PM: drills, 2 miles to gym, strides, lift day 1.  22 total chin-ups!

W: 3 mile warm-up, drills, strides, 2 x 200 (37, 36), 3 x [4×400] w/ 1 min rest and 1 lap between sets (82, 82, 82, 82, 84, 80, 81, 81, 83, 81, 81, 81), 2k w/ 200 @ 5k pace and 200 around 48-50 seconds. (Total was 7:39).  Total = 11 miles.  Felt ok, not great, not bad.

TH: 5 miles early morning run, a little stiff but progressively better + core

F:  AM: 7 miles treadmill. Had to convince myself to actually stay on the treadmill. Piriformis pain.  PM: 25 min bike + lift day 2.  Felt a little weak today.

Sat: Snowy track workout! 3 mile warm-up, drills, 4 x mile with 2 min rec (6:09, 6:02, 6:00, 5:57), 3 mile cool down.  Total = 10 miles.

Sun: Treadmill long run workout.  3 mile warm-up, 4 x [7 min on at about 6:50 pace, 8 min off at about 7:50 pace], finished to mileage.  Total = 12 miles.

Total: 54 miles + 25 min bike

This week was solid!  The first half was uneventful.  Friday sucked, honestly– I had to talk myself through the treadmill run and was miserable and had a bunch of piriformis pain so I biked in the afternoon instead of running again.  I actually fell asleep at 7:30 pm for two hours and felt weirdly exhausted/disoriented for the next like 16 hours.  On Saturday, my teammate and I worked out together, and it went surprisingly really well considering the weather.  Sunday’s long run/workout went surprisingly well, too.  Changing the pace every mile actually made it a lot more bearable.  I didn’t push it too much, either.

Lifts have been going well; my pull-up ability isn’t progressing as quickly as I want it to 😉 but I’m getting there!  I’m better at chin-ups than parallel grip pull-ups, but I’ve been working hard on parallel pull-ups with the ultimate goal of being able to do all 3 sets of 10 unassisted.  At this point, I’m about halfway there!

Sleep is okay- I wish I could get nine hours every night, but I’ve probably been getting 7-8 as usual.  It’s better than nothing, I guess!  I’m working on getting off my phone before bed and writing a few things in a gratitude/reflection journal.

Work is work.

Surprisingly, I’ve been doing yoga at least once a week, which has been good.  I’ve never been into yoga- my mind doesn’t turn off and I rush through the exercises and I’m inflexible as heck- but I have to admit I always feel better after doing it, even if it’s just stretching.  Honestly, one of the more challenging parts is the “corpse pose” at the end– put on a peaceful song, turn off the lights, and lie motionless/relaxed for the duration of the song.  It’s a great way to clear your mind and forget about everything else that happens during the day.  Although it usually takes me most of the song to wind down my brain and truly relax!

Go-to corpse pose songs:

  • “I See Fire”- Ed Sheeran
  • “Only Time” – Enya
  • “Corazon Sin Cara”- Prince Royce (this was the jam in eighth grade)
  • “Atlas Hands”- Benjamin Francis Leftwich

Tangentially, I watched the documentary “Minimalism” a few nights ago, and it was enlightening.  My dad is a hoarder, so I developed minimalist tendencies as a coping mechanism around the age of 14, but those have all but disappeared.  However, I’ve made it a goal to somewhat de-clutter (my dorm room, my life, etc).  We’ll see how that goes 🙂  I really appreciated their analysis of how minimizing your lifestyle can help with relaxation of the mind and enable you to step away from the chaotic, constant stimulation of modern society.  It’s good for the brain.

I finished this blog post and my coffee at exactly the same time.  How convenient.


Snowy mile repeats (6:09, 6:02, 6:00, 5:57)

Today marked the first snow of the year!  We had a workout on the schedule, but I’ve learned that the weather doesn’t care what your running plans are. 😉  The first flurries began to fall around 7 am and got progressively heavier as the day progressed.

My friend and I met up around 10:30 for our workout and ran three miles to the track to warm up.  It was 20 degrees outside with a “real feel” of eight.  To these Virginians, that was like the arctic tundra! (I’m sure all the Midwesterners/Northerners out there are laughing at us, but so be it.)


Sorry, my phone’s in Spanish, but I wasn’t lying about the eight degrees thing

I layered up in tights, a long-sleeve tech shirt, an ear warmer, a sweatshirt, and light gloves.  My tightly tied sweatshirt hood did not leave my head the entire time, and my extremities quickly lost all feeling…

Keeping it real— honestly, neither my running buddy nor I were in the mood to do this workout.  The weather didn’t help.  I had a long day yesterday and actually fell asleep at 7:30 pm last night and woke up terribly disoriented two hours later.  I was groggy and exhausted this morning and my piriformis was hurting a lot and I almost called my coach and asked if I could please not do today’s workout.  We’ve both been working pretty much full-time throughout this entire break, and we sometimes feel burnt out.  5 am solo runs get old real quick.

But!!  Knowing that I had a running buddy counting on me forced me to get out the door.  And it’s not like this workout was optional.  We got to the track, and there were only a few other crazy souls out there braving the elements.  We did drills, and then it was time for the workout: 4-5 x mile with 2 minutes of recovery.  We agreed to start conservatively, get through 4 miles, and only do the fifth one if we were feeling amazing and if the weather cooperated.

The track got treacherous quickly as we went through the workout.  The first two miles flew by with relative ease (6:09 and 6:02).  My partner struggled to stay positive; the snow had picked up to the point where we couldn’t see anything, and the track was getting more and more slippery.  My eyebrows and clothes froze.

We hit 6:00 flat for the third mile, and I was feeling great!  Compared to the very short recovery in the past few workouts, two minutes was a luxury.  The last mile was a 5:57, and we called it a day because of the conditions on the track.  I finished the workout feeling counterintuitively cheerful.  It was eight degrees, blizzarding, and by all accounts miserable outside, but I had just crushed a workout that I really hadn’t wanted to do!  The effort had been comparatively conservative, too!


The cool down was probably harder than the workout as the sidewalks had become un-runable over the past hour.  It took us awhile to get back.  But warming up inside afterwards was that much better. 🙂  I literally had icicles hanging from my eyelashes!!

Of course there will be some days where running just sucks.  It’s the nature of the beast.  But most of the time, you feel drastically better after a run or workout than before!  Getting out there is honestly the hardest part.  I’m so thankful that I had a running buddy to brave the snow and crush the track workout with me today– without each other, we probably would’ve either laid in bed or cried through some repeats on the treadmill.

And afterwards, I got together with two of my best friends from high school before one of them leaves to go back to school tomorrow.  We intended to play Scrabble and Bananagrams and do yoga, but we ended up just sitting and talking for two and a half hours!  Why does that always happen?? 😉


Ode to running

Spontaneous 10-minute poetry?  Why not? I hope you enjoy 🙂

An ode to running (at 5 am) (before work)

The dark crisp air stings your cheeks as you gently close the door behind you
Making sure not to wake the sleeping humans
The dog is a lost cause, awake, and wondering why you are outside before him
The streetlamps glow faintly above your head
The faraway stars pinprick an otherwise pitch-black sky
With an occasional airplane adding to the eeriness with its blinking red light

You wonder if the passengers can see you
From up in the sky
A tiny, blinking red speck- thanks to the armband that protects you from getting hit
by the other crazy humans
that are awake in the wee hours of the morning

It’s 23 degrees
The street looms in front of you
You take a step
and another
Slowly ease into your stride until you find that familiar cadence
180 steps per minute
(when your run is many miles,
that’s a lot of steps)

The darkness alters your perception of distance and depth
Miles to milliseconds
Mountains to molehills
it’s so cold and so dark and so silent
The cacophony of commuter life is nonexistent in the predawn hours
You relish having the streets to yourself

Your heart rate stays steady
Your breathing is almost inaudible
It’s one of those runs
Where you forget that you’re running
And instead you’re just

The treadmill roars to life
You pound away, staring at nothing
dreaming of glory days yet to come
Until it’s finally time to get off the belt that leads nowhere

All too soon
Your first run of the day is over
And real life begins:
look presentable
join the army of commuters crawling steadily on 395
sit at a desk for eight hours
contributing little to nothing to the world
Dreaming of your next otherworldly predawn excursion
Until it’s time to do it all over again.



Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!! I’m already starting 2017 off strong by belatedly publishing a Year in Review post…

After not having plans as late as Friday, I actually ended up having an amazing time with friends from school!  On my way home from work on Friday afternoon, my friend invited me to randomly road trip with him and some other teammates back to campus.  We left around midday on New Year’s Eve and ended up with quite an eclectic assortment of individuals for this last-minute rendezvous.  But it was a blast.  We all woke up this morning a little worse for the wear and went on a coffee run and a fun walk before driving back.  After which I promptly had to do my long run… (did 11 miles, bunions killed me, it’s ok)


Anyway!!  Time for some self-centered running-related reflection– don’t mind me. 2016 was probably the most life-changing year of my not-quite-20 years so far.  Starting in…


  • Moved back to school for freshman year spring semester.  Started running longer workouts.  We had a few snow days, and I ran my first long run on the treadmill!   Raced my first ever mile.



  • PRed in the 3k.  I turned 19!  My peroneals continued to act up.


  • Came home for spring break.  My family moved to a new house while I was at school, which was very weird.  PRed in the 3k again!  I also started to drink coffee, which would turn into a minor addiction that would continue for several months…


  • Oof, April.  It started strong with a 3k and a 4×1500 and really strong workouts…then I got bronchitis for a month, had to take prednisone, DNFed for the first time, and started struggling a lot with mental confidence and body image.  To top it all off, I went through some crazy drama with my closest college friends.  BUT I got to see the Chainsmokers in concert!  Ate lots of nut butter.  Attended my first athletic awards ceremony at college.



  • Had the opportunity to race the 5000 at the outdoor conference championships!  Finished spring semester and moved home for the summer.   Made the Dean’s List!  Started my first summer job.  Developed an obsession with avocado egg toast 🙂



  • Started ramping up the mileage and working many hours.  Traveled to California to visit family and climb mountains.  My aunt got married!  Spent a lot of time outside going on fun dates and hanging out with my friends.



  • Ran and worked a lot.  Ate more ice cream than I’ve ever eaten in my life…and developed an intolerance. My roommate came to visit!  Got a little crazy/intense about training and eating…yikes.



  • Ran 60 miles per week for the first time!  Body started really complaining about the higher training workload, and I experienced tiredness/moods that I never had before.  Went on a fun training trip with my teammates.  I got to see Phillip Phillips and Matt Nathanson in concert, and I moved back to school for sophomore year!!



  • Started my first college cross country season in uniform with a strong two-mile and followed it up with a dreadful, scary, heat exhaustion-filled 5k.  Realized I was overtraining and chilled out a bit.



  • Lots of fall activities.  Hard work started to show– huge PR in the 6k, made the travel squad for every meet, and made the top 7 for regionals!  I went through my first break-up…not fun.



  • Southeast Regional Championships went okay individually and terribly for the team.  End of cross country.  Spontaneously cut my hair off!  Came home for Thanksgiving Break!  Broke my dentures.  The second half of the month was very weird mentally– I did not feel like myself.



  • Continued to not feel like myself, but took steps to try to rectify it after a few scary instances.  Finished fall semester and came home for winter break.  Started an internship in DC.  Started training for track!

So that’s my year.  There are tons of important things that I am forgetting, but oh well.  I haven’t made any concrete resolutions for this coming year, but these are some things that have been floating around this head of mine:

  • Practice being a better listener, as well as being more direct and saying what you mean to say.
  • Focus on developing real, meaningful relationships, as opposed to maintaining virtual connections via Snapchat/other forms of social media.
  • Gratitude journal before bed every night
  • Try to contribute positively to at least one person’s day, every day, even through a small action such as holding the door or smiling at them

Happy New Year 🙂