Christmas

Christmas with family always alternates between hysterically funny and infuriating.¬† I’m sure most people can relate ūüėȬ† We hit the road early on the 22nd to fly out to Southern California for a week.¬† We used to fly out almost every year to spend Christmas with my mom’s side of the family, but it’s been a few years!¬† I think the last time we were here for Christmas was my sophomore year of high school.

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Christmas morning, 6 am

This year was a little different from past years because the youngest member of the family is now 13 and two of us are adults and therefore¬†all¬†of us got to be Santa instead of just¬†my mother the traditional Santa!¬† In other words, we all got to stuff stockings and give gifts to everyone and go broke, instead of just my mother.¬† This new responsibility made us realize how we’ve made out like bandits for twenty years.¬† Sorry, ma ūüėČ


The six-hour plane ride on the 22nd (there were headwinds) was relatively uneventful, although my youngest brother consumed 7 servings of hot Cheetos and asked for ginger ale every time the flight attendants rolled up.¬† What a nutritious lunch…

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The rest of the day was spent in a tired traveler’s stupor, getting settled in and picking fights with each other.¬† Classic ūüėČ

On Saturday, my gramma took my mom and me to her gym so we could complete our respective training.  (My mother is a marathoner.)  After cross training for one hundred minutes!!, I refueled before heading out to do some last-minute Christmas shopping with my middle brother.  He is now a senior in high school and has recently turned into an actual real person (in my eyes), so it was actually really fun to face the harried Christmas crowds and terrible traffic since we just cracked sardonic, somewhat inappropriate jokes the whole time.  If you had told my ten-year-old self that my brother and I would be good friends a decade later, I would have probably passed out from laughing so hard.

That night, we feasted on the quintessential Irish dinner of corned beef and cabbage and potatoes for no particular reason.¬† Maybe we were celebrating the fact that we hadn’t all killed each other yet?

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And then the older ladies drank wine and recounted shady family history and I discovered that I had almost died when I was born and caused my parents a lot of trauma and honestly the neonatal oxygen deprivation probably explains my screwiness ūüėČ

 

On Christmas Eve, I cross trained (shocking!) and then baked a lot of cookies. (The best chocolate chip cookies, and the best molasses cookies).

My family is sometimes really extra when it comes to cooking, and I horrified my brother by using Trader Joe’s pre-made garlic and herb pizza dough instead of his homemade from-scratch dough for our Christmas Eve tradition of homemade pizza night.¬† Sorry, bro…

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Goat cheese, mozzarella, caramelized onions, pineapple, sun-dried tomatoes, bacon, and oregano

After pizza night, we went to the Christmas Eve church service, which was lovely even though I was in a pizza-and-cookies-and-jet-lag-induced coma.

Due to a combination of jet lag and naturally being awfully early risers, we were up and ready to go at 6 am on Christmas morning.¬† While my middle brother’s and my own crack-of-dawn Christmas enthusiasm has dimmed over the years, my youngest brother continues to resemble the offspring of the Energizer Bunny and a puppy hopped up on treats.¬† At least we got to witness a beautiful sunrise…

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We opened stockings and then I went for a run!  7 miles along the Santa Clara river trail.  It was glorious.  My hip flexor tightened up a bit buuuut still glorious.  Afterwards, we gorged ourselves on breakfast and finished opening gifts.

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Eggs, bacon, corn pancakes, fruit, French toast bake, whipped cream…all the goods

We hit the road at 11 am (after what had already been a very long day) to go visit my grandfather and his wife at their home.  My grandpa is an interesting individual, to put it lightly.  We spent the afternoon reminiscing, almost peeing our pants laughing at various family members, going through old pictures, gorging ourselves on too-rich food, and finding gems like this:

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Me!, 1997

After a veeeerrrryyy long day, we arrived back at 8 pm and I died.  I was fast asleep by 9, fat, happy, content, exhausted, and suffering from mild food poisoning.  Woke up at 5 (again) and crushed a cross train and lift with my mom and grandma.

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3 generations at the gym (lol)

All in all, Christmas with the family was (mostly) awesome, and I know I have so much to be thankful for.¬† Even if the youngest generation always tends to regress in age in the eyes of the older generation…but I feel like that always happens.¬† Good food, pie comas, sore abs from laughing so hard, giving and receiving gifts, and everything else always makes for a memorable experience.¬† It doesn’t hurt that it’s almost 80 degrees and sunny, and I’ve been lounging around reading a book and waiting to run!

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Week of 12/18-12/24 (22 miles + 290 min XT)

Merry Day-After-Christmas!¬† I’ll post a recap of my family’s Christmas later, but here’s last week’s training.¬† TL;DR: training interrupted by a niggling foot.

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I ran normally on Monday and Tuesday (although it felt pretty shitty), but then the mild discomfort in my foot increased to where I decided to cross train the rest of the week.¬† While my brain kept trying to convince me that a) “you’re going to lose all your fitness!” b) “you’re slacking!” and c) “you’re exaggerating the pain in your mind!”, I’ve seen firsthand what happens when you don’t listen to your body.¬† Hell, I’ve become pretty terrible at listening to my body.¬† But I’d rather take a few days off now than be out with tendonitis or a stress fracture for a¬†long time.

Week of 12/18-12/24: 

  • Monday: AM: active w/u, 2 miles, 4 mile tempo on towpath (6:23, 6:22, 6:29, 6:22), 2 mile cool down.¬† Felt tired and not at all in it but toughed out the 4th mile after feeling like quitting at 2 miles.¬† GS1.¬† PM: 2 miles + circuits.¬† Getting stronger on burpees!
  • Tuesday:¬†AM: 8 miles @ 7:42 avg, felt tired, lift day 1 (felt strong!).¬† PM: 2 miles.
  • Wednesday:¬†60 min (3200m) swim.¬† Sore from lift!¬† Pain on top of foot- took Aleve and iced it.
  • Thursday:¬†AM: 70 min bike (with a fartlek during), upper body lift, felt pretty strong.¬† PM: 2 miles, foot still hurts.
  • Friday:¬†Woke up at 4:40 am and spent all day traveling…very tired!¬† Pool was closed to off day today-¬† did active warm-up, some circuits, general band strength, and yoga.¬† Still have foot pain, especially when I point my foot.
  • Saturday:¬†100 min XT (70 min bike + 30 min aqua jog).¬† Set a bike distance PR!
  • Sunday:¬†60 min pool (35 swim, 25 aqua jog) + some yoga
Total: 22 miles + 290 min XT
Monday’s tempo was traaaash, and I made the mistake of programming Strava to call out splits every half mile because I thought it would motivate me. NOPE.¬† Instead, I found myself demoralized and hurting 2 miles in, but I’m proud of myself for toughing it out for 4 miles.¬† Of course, I spent far too long stressing about the splits and telling myself I was slow and how the heck am I ever going to run sub-17 if I can hardly handle 6:20s?¬† #chill.
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Glaring at my legs post-tempo

I ran with a friend on Tuesday, and we were both feeling a little banged up, so we took it easy.¬† I noticed that the top of my left foot was moving from sore to painful, so I cross trained on Wednesday.¬† On Thursday morning, I forced myself not to run and instead did a bike workout.¬† Tested the foot out with 2 miles in the afternoon, and while it didn’t¬†hurt, there was some discomfort.
On Friday, my family woke up at 4:30 am to travel to California.  We hit mad traffic on the way there and even worse traffic in the airport (naturally- it was December 22!), and we hardly made our 7:50 am flight.  But we made it! Wooo.  Meals were really weird, and we were all cranky and tired.  After a marathon travel day, I was looking forward to decompressing with a swim, but the pool was closed for repairs so I took the day off and did a bunch of general strength instead.
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Saturday brought a lovely 100 minute cross train that I split between the bike and the pool.
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Set a distance PR on the bike #nice

Sunday was just maintenance.¬† After icing the foot and sporadically taking Aleve and ibuprofen, it felt passable enough to run on Christmas!¬† And I’m going to go for another run later.¬† ūüôā
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At least I’ve been able to swim in a cool half-in-half-out pool!

It’s a little strange making up my own training as I go along, and I’m trying not to feel guilty about not doing the workouts that are on schedule.¬† But the schedule was sent out weeks ago, and I’ve been cross training my butt off, so I know my fitness isn’t really suffering.¬† I’m just itching to get back up to regular mileage and actually have some good running workouts!¬† I recognize that I jumped the gun a little over the previous 2-3 weeks with maintenance and long run intensity, so lesson learned, and I’m going to practice approaching training with a more balanced, relaxed mindset.¬† ¬†Except I suck at relaxing, and sleeping, and all that jazz.¬† Guess I gotta do more yoga ūüėČ
Christmas recap coming next!¬† We’ll be in California for another couple days before heading home.

Week of 12/11-12/17 (47.5)

Hi, happy Sunday!¬† Today was extremely chill- all I did was lounge around, eat lots of food, go to the farmers’ market, read¬†Julie and Julia, spend too much time on my phone, and do some yoga.¬† My family had homemade pizza night, and all the pizzas were delicious.¬† My brothers and I then had a spontaneous jam session with a wide range of tunes.¬† It was pretty hysterical…this type of stuff doesn’t happen at school.

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PIZZA from scratch

Sometimes rest days are hard to get through, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one and am winding down for the night listening to the Nutcracker Suite and feeling fat and happy ūüôā

 

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Hit up the farmer’s market with the bro for some fruit (and samples) (and donuts!)

Throughout this past week, my mileage increased significantly and we continued to get back in the swing of workouts and lifting.¬† Some runs sucked, others were okay, and still others were pretty awesome!¬† I’m happy to be home but already miss my teammates.

Week of 12/11-12/17:

  • Monday: AM: circuits + 2 miles fast-ish.¬† Nap + Spanish final.¬† PM: lap, active w/u, lap, speed ladder, hurdles, 6 miles, 4×150 strides, GS1. Business analytics final. Total: 8.5
  • Tuesday: AM: lap, active w/u, 2 miles, basic drills, 2×200 with 30s rest (38, 37), 5×1000 with 200 jog (3:37, 3:38, 3:40, 3:41, 3:40) (goal was 3:36-3:32).¬† Felt pretty crappy but¬†very¬†proud of mental toughness and calmness.¬† Just took it one interval at a time.¬† 2 mile cool down.¬† Lift day 1.¬† PM: NormaTec.¬† Total: 8.5
  • Wednesday: AM: 4 miles + circuits. Very cold!¬† Later: 30 min aqua jog. Finance final.
  • Thursday: AM: active w/u, 8 miles, 6x100m strides.¬† Lift day 2 in weight room- felt a little weak today.¬† PM: cleaned all afternoon so that was my double haha.¬† I was exhausted.
  • Friday: Active w/u, 2 miles, basic drills, strides, 3x [200, 300, 400, 600 @ 80 pace with 60s rest] + lap between sets, 2 mile cool-down, GS2.¬† NormaTec.¬† Total: 7.5
    • Set 1: 38, 61, 79, 2:03
      Set 2: 39, 60, 79, 2:02
      Set 3: 39, 59, 79, 2:00
  • Saturday: 11 miles bike path at home.¬† Very icy!¬† First half was 7:10s, second half was 6:50s, last mile 6:40…probably didn’t¬†need¬†to go that fast but felt like it was okay to hammer a bit with a planned off day.
  • Sunday: Off. 30 min yoga.
Total: 47.5 miles + 30 min XT + lots of strength and I actually did yoga this week!
 
This week was solid, except for setting my apartment on fire on Sunday and subsequently being exhausted from lack of sleep, cleaning all the time, and final exams.
On Tuesday, I don’t think anyone felt good, but I was really proud of the way I stayed tough and positive mentally.¬† On Thursday, I took two naps and skipped the afternoon double, which was definitely the right move.¬† Friday’s workout went about as well as could be expected; two of my teammates and I worked together well and it¬†hurt¬†but we’re excited for 80s to feel progressively more normal as we get into better shape!¬† I have no idea how I’m going to run that pace for 5000 meters when 600 was hard…
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Long run splits (ish…I forgot to pause Strava for a water break)

Saturday’s long run was pretty good…I definitely pushed it and felt¬†beat afterwards.¬† While that’s good sometimes, I’m also reminding myself that getting back into shape/increasing fitness is a process and I have to be patient!¬† Can’t shortcut my way to a sub-17 5k.¬† Happy to be done with the semester, worried about keeping my foot happy, excited to be home for a little while, and brainstorming how I’ll get my training in while in California because the fires have grown to 200,000+ acres and I’m not sure how the air quality will be.
It can be hard to stay motivated throughout winter break because you’re so far removed from racing, and there’s a¬†long¬†gap until the next race.¬† However, this is the work that matters!¬† Similar to summer training for cross country, it’s imperative to build a strong foundation, get some quality miles in, be consistent, and make smart choices regarding sleep, recovery, and fueling.¬† And this year, I am lucky enough to¬†not¬†be working full-time like last year!¬† Therefore, I have ample time to foam roll, stretch, get in quality strength workouts, and generally do everything I need to do.¬† YESSSS.
On the not-as-fun runs (of which there are always quite a few), I am just going to keep reminding myself of my goals.¬† 9:50 3k and 16:XX 5k…I am coming for you!!
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Here’s a random picture of my dog in a Santa hat

(Also, side note, my period is back in full force, which is annoying as hell but a strong reminder to be grateful that my body is healthy and functioning properly, especially after how I felt at the end of the cross country season!)
Goals for the next week:
  • Be¬†smart¬†with training.¬† Go hard when you need to; rest when you need to.
  • Mental toughness
  • Continue¬†deliberate practice as it applies to all drills, strength routines, etc.¬† Remember that each element of practice will get you closer to sub-17!
  • Foam roll, stretch, and drain legs every day
  • Smile a lot!¬† Compliment people as much as possible.¬† Don’t pick fights.
  • Focus on nutrient timing and high-quality foods
  • Focus on the things you can control with travel, and don’t stress about the things you can’t.
  • Read lots of books and try to stay off social media
  • Reestablish bedtime routine

Fire and Finals

Happy Saturday!¬† After a long, long week, I drove home yesterday evening.¬† One doughnut stop, gas stop, and two hours of awful traffic between Fredericksburg and Alexandria later, I reunited with my dog and then promptly stress-ate everything in sight ūüėȬ† I’m planning on being home for most of break, with a week-long trip to California for Christmas!

This post is not going to be super running-related, just because I have¬†other things¬†to recount…

Unlike past years, I was lucky enough to finish final exams really early this semester.¬† My school allocates two weeks for finals (M-F this week and M-W next week), so some people won’t be done until December 20th!¬† My poor roommate is one of them.¬† My last final was finance on Wednesday night, but that meant I had three exams within the first three days.¬† I studied proactively and was prepared for them, which meant when a catastrophe happened on Sunday night (soon after completing last week’s blog post), it wasn’t the end of the world…

SO.  Sunday night.  I was (not really) studying in my kitchen and decided to move to the desk in my bedroom.  Candles were lit, Jim Croce was playing on Spotify, and I was about to shut it down for the night in order to gear up for a solid week of training and final exams.  This was around 9 pm.

Moved my computer to my desk, paused for a moment, and then saw an orange glow reflecting in the hall closet door and my¬†heart absolutely dropped out of my chest.¬†¬† I raced back into the kitchen to see my backpack¬†completely engulfed in flames.¬†¬†It had fallen into one of the lit candles on the table and went up like a firebomb.¬† I screamed “Fire”, threw the burning backpack into the kitchen sink, and for some reason thought I could put it out with the 1 cup of water in my water bottle.¬† Didn’t work.¬† It just caused a lot of smoke.¬† Nice!

My roommate raced down the hallway and returned with the fire extinguisher while I dialed 911.  Watching her unclip the extinguisher and fumble with the sprayer was the longest 5 seconds of my life.  She finally got it to work and attacked the place while I repeated my address to the emergency dispatcher.  We left the apartment with smoke alarms blaring, the fire department showed up and did what they had to do, and we spent about 30 minutes outside while I shivered and cried a bit because I had forgotten to put on shoes or a jacket and it was 30 degrees outside.  And I was hella freaked out.

We reentered the building and talked with the firefighters before going back into the apartment.¬† They were so, so nice.¬† They reassured me that it wasn’t a big deal, things like this happen all the time, and that our apartment was impressively neat for college students…or at least, it had been…Unfortunately, the type of fire extinguisher we’d used causes the biggest mess of all.¬† They suggested we hire a professional cleaning company.¬† When we entered the apartment, we saw why.

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In addition to the fire damage (which was actually minimal, but all my study materials were destroyed haha), there was a thick layer of dust covering every single blessed surface and thing in the room.

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It looked like it had snowed.¬† Highly ironically, the pine-scented candle by our fake Christmas tree was still burning.¬† And my freakin’ computer was still merrily playing Jim Croce in my bedroom (thank¬†goodness nothing happened to it!! I am so thankful for that).

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The contents of the burned backpack

At this point, it was 10 pm on Sunday night, and I had two final exams in addition to our two training sessions the next day.  My roommate, bless her heart, went out and got some cleaning supplies while I tried to decide where to begin.  We were two determined college girls and we were going to do this ourselves.

We cleaned for about 3 hours and eventually decided it was habitable and we could deal with the rest later.  We fell into bed and I may or may not have cried myself to sleep out of sheer exhaustion, regret, sorriness, and leftover panic.

The next day (Monday 12/11), we decided to just stay out of the apartment for the time being and focus on our other priorities.¬† I left around 8 am, did our morning training session, studied for awhile, took a nap on the couch in the locker room, took my first exam (Mujeres detr√°s de la c√°mara), did the second training session in the afternoon, and completed the Business Analytics pressure cooker and exam before heading home at 9:45 pm.¬† When I got home, I discovered that my roommate’s incredible mother had come down (they only live an hour away) and made a huge dent in the remaining cleaning process.¬† It looked so good.¬† ‚̧

Tuesday brought a track workout, more studying, and then I spent about two hours cleaning in the afternoon.¬† Wednesday was the same, and I finished my finance final at 9 pm and had a late, fun night to celebrate the end of the semester.¬† Finally, after running in the morning on Thursday, I cleaned all day and fell asleep twice out of exhaustion.¬† But¬†look¬†how much progress was made!¬† I’m really proud.

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There’s still a lot to do, but we’ve made excellent progress. I scrubbed every dang thing inside the cabinets and the refrigerator, washed every single shelf, cleaned the floor and every surface multiple times with baking soda and Swiffer wet wipes, etc. etc. etc.

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Pro tip: never set your apartment on fire!!

Anyway, it was quite the eventful end to the semester.  After a workout yesterday morning, we went out for lunch at my favorite restaurant and then I packed up and hit the road.

I’m exhausted from finals, increasingly hard training, not sleeping, a few too many cookies and alcoholic indulgences, and cleaning.¬† I’m grateful to all the amazing people and resources in my life.¬†¬†And¬†so far I’ve received A’s in half my classes from fall semester!! The other grades haven’t come out yet, but I’m extremely proud.

Will update on training, goals, life, plans, winter break, etc. in the next post!

Week of 12/4-12/10 (35)

Last Sunday of the semester! Classes are over, 3 finals loom over my head, and by this Wednesday night I will be halfway done with junior year of undergrad.  What!?

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This weekend was full of studying, holiday parties, lunch dates, and watching “Suits” on Amazon Prime.¬† And it snowed!¬† I’m currently jamming to Jim Croce while I take a break from studying and wait for my laundry to dry.

Over the past two days, I’ve probably consumed about 300 grams of sugar, so I’m kind of crashing from sugar jitters into a sugar coma that isn’t conducive to productive studying.¬† Sorry, Spanish final grade… #Ididthistomyself

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Annual cookie party! The shortbread jam and molasses cookies were the BOMB

Anyway.  I had a really good last week of training and life.  Sorting stuff out with my coaches, starting to feel normal again while running, and looking forward to building the strength and the booty in the weight room.

Week of 12/4-12/10:

  • Monday: AM: 30 min bike.¬† Trainer for stim/heat + stretch.¬† PM: lap, active warm-up, lap, speed ladder, hurdles, 5 miles, general strength, foam roll, rope stretch.
  • Tuesday: lap, active warm-up, 2 miles, 3 mile tempo (6:27, 6:17, 6:22), 2 miles.¬† I am out of shape!¬† Lift in weight room- felt strong but weak (as in, I felt good but know I¬†will¬†be much stronger.)¬† Stim + NormaTec.
  • Wednesday: AM: 60 min pool (30 swim, 30 aqua jog).¬† My swim pace is getting faster!¬† PM: circuits, rope stretch, foam roll.
  • Thursday:¬† AM: lap, active warm-up, 8 miles, upper body lift in weight room, NormaTec + stim/heat.¬† Run felt stiff and tiring but good meeting!¬† PM: 20 min bike.
  • Friday:¬† AM: 6 miles kinda fast, felt good! 4 x strides, speed ladder, hurdle drills, general strength 2.¬† PM: circuits (4 min elliptical w/u and c/d)
  • Saturday: 9 miles (started at 7:20s, cut down to 6:40s, and my last mile was like 6:25).¬† It was rainy and cold but I felt awesome!¬† The group was great.
  • Sunday: 30 min bike.¬† Planning on doing yoga tonight, but we’ll see if that happens ūüėČ
Total: 35 miles + 140 min XT + lots of strength
Had some really good runs and cross trains throughout this week.¬† Tuesday and Thursday weren’t fun; I definitely could not have gone much faster or longer than Tuesday’s measly 3-mile tempo, and my legs felt tight and unpleasant throughout Thursday’s run.
But Monday and Friday went really well, and we¬†crushed¬†Saturday’s long run!¬† 6:40 miles felt almost easy, and I really pushed the last mile since the run was shorter than usual.¬† After spending over an hour in the freezing rain and wind, it took us awhile to warm up afterwards.¬† My roommate and I hibernated in our apartment eating oatmeal, drinking coffee, and listening to Christmas music while a fake fireplace crackled on the TV (lol).
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A wee bit chilly!

Shoutout to strength- the guns are¬†unreal¬†right now!¬† When we first realized we’d be doing strength routines every day, we were a little apprehensive and overwhelmed, but the circuits have turned out to be more like cross trains, and each routine works different muscles, so it’s not like we’re hitting the same thing every day.
I’m excited to increase the mileage and continue to focus on¬†deliberate practice.¬† Everything we do is incorporated into our training for a reason!¬† I should hit low-to-mid-40s throughout this coming week.¬† Haven’t decided when I’m going home, but I’m looking forward to finishing out the semester strong (hopefully)!¬† Tomorrow brings a Spanish exam from 2-5 pm and a business analytics exam and pressure cooker from 7-10 pm.¬† The grind is #tooreal.
Have a great week and get after it!

A long road ahead

Good morning! (By the time I finish writing this, it probably won’t be morning anymore, but whatever.)¬† We’re in the middle of the last week of classes, and I’ve got three final exams, two final presentations, and a paper on tap.¬† In eight days, I will be halfway done with junior year!¬† After practice and lift this morning, I worked on a group project and then went to the training room for STIM and NormaTec.¬† I don’t feel like doing work before lunch, so I’m going to blog instead ūüôā

We ran what was supposed to be a steady state workout this morning, but it definitely felt more like a tempo.¬† This was essentially my first workout back, and I 100% felt the time off, crappier diet, and general out-of-shape-ness.¬† I only ran 3 miles of the steady state due to my hamstring, but those 3 miles were enough!¬† We hit 6:27, 6:17, 6:22, and now I can see how much work is ahead.¬† It was so hard.¬† I don’t think I could have gone much farther.¬† Crazy to think that I was doing 5+ miles at low 6 minute pace during cross country…¬† But I’m excited to buckle down, make incremental improvements, and get better each day.¬† This is a good starting place…but¬†not¬†where I will be in a few months!!

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Me

The second week of winter training was a little weird because I tweaked my hamstring at the beginning of the week and therefore spent the majority of the rest of the week in the pool and on the bike.  Pool workouts coupled with quality strength sessions every day left me sore.

Week of 11/27-12/3: 

  • Monday: warm-up, dynamic exercises, 5 miles @ 7:20 pace, strength circuits
  • Tuesday:¬†warm-up, dynamic drills and exercises, 6 miles “progressive” (first 3 7:30-7:10 pace, second 3 6:40s?), lift in weight room, foam roll session
  • Wednesday: AM:¬†60 min pool (30 swim, 30 aqua jog).¬† PM: jog on turf, circuits
  • Thursday:¬†¬†Stim and stretch at training room for hamstring.¬† 20 min bike, very light lift, foam roll, 30 min swim (about a mile)
  • Friday:¬†AM: 60 min pool workout (600m warm-up; 4 x 250m hard; 100m easy; 5 x sprint down, easy back; 100m easy; 5 x submarine down, easy back, 400m cool down = 3000m).¬† PM: 30 min bike, general strength
  • Saturday:¬†6 miles @ 7:30 (on trails) down to 7:05 (on roads) + 30 min bike
  • Sunday: 40 min bike

Total: 17 miles + 270 min XT

Last week involved some drama and¬†major¬†negative mentality.¬† I’m not going to go into inappropriate detail, but I’ll just say we have a lot to sort out with training plans, communication, and mindset.


On a happier note, outside of running and cross training, lots of fun things happened last week!¬† After practice on Friday, the majority of the team went out for sushi.¬† I’d never ordered sushi before (I’ve had it, but I prefer Thai and Chinese food), and it was delicious.¬† Except I’m kind of broke, so not sure if it was worth the bill ūüėČ

We drove to a local sports complex to run on Saturday morning because there’s a hilly, soft surface 3.5 mile trail loop in the woods.¬† The chilly air left our hands stiff and red, but we eventually warmed up, and it was a nice run!¬† Throughout the cross country season, our maintenance runs a) stopped being maintenance runs #ugh and b) got really slow, so getting back into that 7:00-7:30 pace is a bit of a shock but really fun.

After the run, I drove up to Richmond to meet my mom for lunch.¬† She had important things to deliver to me…like 50 citrus fruits, my credit card statement, Advent calendar, and ice scraper.¬† We went to The Daily Kitchen and Bar in Carytown, and I ordered the Fig and Pig pizza while she got the Barbecue Duck pizza.¬† HOLY SHIT.¬† Life-changing.¬† We also ordered their highly rated Brussels sprouts; paired with balsamic dressing, freshly shaved cheese, pomegranate seeds, and pistachios, they were gone in seconds.

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Two late nights in a row and myriad late-night #treatyoself happenstances left me feeling pretty darn gross by Sunday.¬† I’ve been back on that healthy grind for three days, and I’m reminding myself to fuel my training and treat my body like a temple ūüėČ or something like that.

Sunday night was Grand Illumination!  Thousands of people crowded the streets of Colonial Williamsburg to watch the fireworks under the light of the SuperMoon.  The Christmas decorations in the square made me so happy, and everyone enjoyed the holiday spirit.

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Last night was the annual Vermonster that all the sports teams participate in.¬† I was not on the team, but I cheered my heart out!¬† Women’s cross country¬†almost¬†made the final round but missed it by one spot because one girl got stuck with the gross cookies and almost choked…¬† Men’s cross country placed second to the unstoppable men’s swim team!¬† Vermonster is such a spectacle, it’s hilarious.

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This week, I plan to increase my mileage, continue to cross train, and practice¬†deliberately.¬†I’ll probably hit low 30s for mileage, along with a few hours of cross training.¬†By deliberate practice, I mean focus during all drills, active warm-up sessions, and strength circuits.¬† Additionally, I’m going to slow down and take the time to stretch and foam roll effectively.¬† This is somewhat of a weak point because I tend to get complacent and get stuck in the same ineffectual routine.¬† But these are the little things that, when incorporated day in and day out, make the difference in training and racing.