Thanksgiving and season wrap-up

Happy Monday! aka the time of year when it is finally socially acceptable to listen to Christmas music.  Due to a fire on campus, the power is out as I’m typing this, so there’s a bit of an eerie vibe.  I also realized how woefully unprepared I am for winter when I had to scrape frost off my car this morning using an old Sweet Frog gift card and a wooden spatula.  #nice.

After five days at home, I woke up at the crack of dawn on Sunday to avoid hitting the post-Thanksgiving traffic on the drive back to school.  I didn’t want to leave that early, but I made a pit stop at Starbucks to motivate myself 😉  It ended up being a good choice because the traffic report on the interstate turned completely red later in the day.

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Thanksgiving break was pretty great.  I drove home last Monday after class and got home in time for dinner!  I hadn’t been home since August and was feeling extremely homesick and burnt out on campus.  After a crazy couple years, my family is feeling a little more “settled”, so even though I’ve been out of the house for longer, it felt more like coming home.  On Tuesday, I ran for the first time since regionals- 30 minutes felt decent, but new strength circuits afterwards killed me off and I could hardly walk on Wednesday!  I ran with a friend on the canal on Wednesday, and it was beautiful outside.

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My family went to a local family friend’s house for Thanksgiving like we do almost every year.  This year, there was quite an eclectic gathering of 20 people.  But it somehow all worked! IMG_9789.jpgThere was an incredible amount of food- two turkeys, three kinds of stuffing, two types of mac and cheese, an addictive sweet potato/brown sugar/pecan casserole, cranberry sauce, roasted vegetables, rice, gravy, salad, mashed potatoes, butternut squash and kale casserole, rolls…the works.  And for dessert: chocolate mousse made by yours truly, pumpkin pie made by my pie-connoisseur-brother (he bruleed the top with a blowtorch), homemade whipped cream, apple crisp, and lemon bites.  Additionally, approximately 15 bottles of red wine were consumed.

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Making homemade whipped cream!

Overall, it was a great Thanksgiving.  So much to be thankful for. 🙂  My brother, dad, and I went hiking and rock scrambling on the Billy Goat Trail on Friday and then went out for pho to warm up.

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Part adrenaline junkie, part monkey

On Saturday, I ran six miles with a high school teammate, went to brunch with some friends from high school, took a bath and finally used my jacuzzi jets after a year and a half, and then we had a dinner party with my stepsister and her family.  I made vegan chocolate chip cookies to accommodate all parties, and even the anti-vegan family members thought they were delicious!  (Pretty much just sub a flax egg for regular eggs and coconut oil for butter.)

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Last Sunday, my team had our Team Thanksgiving.  We made food, dressed up, and played ridiculous games per usual…it was a blast 🙂  And the food was delicious!  I made cranberry sauce, chocolate mousse, and a crockpot dish with butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, pecans, and a spiced apple cider glaze.

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I think that about sums up Thanksgiving break!  Honestly, I did not want to come back yesterday, and I felt pretty depressed about the prospect of being back for a few weeks.  I’m not sure why this is happening my junior year (rather than freshman year), but my roommate mentioned that she felt the same way, which was somewhat reassuring.  Even though we’re still homesick and disenchanted (and in my case, 110% broke), we are excited to get back into training, crush finals, and get ready for Christmas!


On another note, I want to briefly recap my break week and plans for transitioning back into training, as well as some goals for the upcoming track season.

Cross country 2017 recap:

  • Ran approximately 1,300 miles (from May 22 to November 10). So I beat last year’s season total by 9 miles!
  • 5 races
  • After a great summer of training (and not doing much else honestly), I arrived on campus feeling fit and ready to go.  I started working out with the top group, and my team felt cohesive and excited for a strong season.  Unfortunately, team-wise, we never got it together and were plagued with injuries, illness, weird circumstances, etc.  It was very demoralizing.
  • Individually, I felt like I really hit my stride in mid-October, right as my team was starting to fall apart.  My race at Penn State pumped me up for CAAs, and I wanted to try to contend for the win!  However, my body started rebelling, and I had a terrible race at CAAs, finishing 19th.  This persisted through regionals (fatigue, nausea, headaches, every run was bad), and by the end of the season, nothing was going well.
  • Interestingly, weight room did not go well this year.  I adore the weight room; lifting has always been fun for me, and I love to push myself (like chin-ups with chains!) and notice my form stay intact when I get tired during a race.  But this season, it just didn’t click.  I felt weak, tired, and did not progress in the weight room.

SO.  Not the way we wanted to end things, and I’m hungry for so much more.  In retrospect, there were some systematic issues that didn’t work for anyone on the team, and we have had discussions and brainstormed on how to be smarter going forward.


Looking forward to the 2018 track seasons:

After taking ten days off from running, I ran 19 miles and cross trained for 30 minutes last week.  I also completed some new strength circuits that will be incorporated into our training going forward.  20ish minutes of burpees, push-ups, jump squats, etc. left me hobbling around!

I’ve gotten bloodwork done and gone to the doctor to figure out what is wrong with my body.  In addition to the fatigue, my hair has become brittle and thin.  Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten any conclusive answers yet.  Tests for mono, thyroid issues, Lyme disease, anemia, etc. all came back negative.  So we shall see.

Going into track, I’m determined to be smart, listen to my body, and strive for the highest but quietly and humbly put in the work.  This will include:

  • More cross training!  As cross country progressed, I pretty much stopped cross training completely.  Last spring, I couldn’t put together consistent mileage, but cross training left me feeling strong as hell.  While I hope to maintain consistent mileage this season, I want to swim and/or bike at least twice a week.  My mileage might be a little lower, but it’s all about quality and sustainability.
  • Build more explosive power!  I naturally have pretty good speed for a distance runner.  However, my speed has not really developed since coming to college!  I want to incorporate more dynamic explosive exercises into my track training so that the last 400 meters of the 5k are actually impressive. Jumping squats and lunges, burpees, box jumps, and speedwork.  Embrace the pain!
  • Mentality: focus when you need to, relax when you need to, remember that you adore running, and don’t take life too seriously 🙂
  • Yoga!! I did a good job incorporating yoga into my training throughout the summer but definitely slacked in season.  Last spring, some of us would meet for relaxing yoga sessions every Wednesday and Saturday, and I want to restart this!

Already this week, I’m feeling much better than I had been at the end of cross country.  My body seems to have somewhat recovered, and I’ve been running happy.  I have no desire to do anything except easy, maintenance mileage for now, and I’m trying to appreciate every run.  But I still skipped out on doing yoga yesterday.  One step at a time…

 

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Training 10/16-10/22 (55 miles + 20 min bike)

It’s Homecoming Weekend! I’m currently drinking coffee and stalking the Marine Corps Marathon splits instead of doing work because my mom is running for the second year in a row.  I’m going to do some grocery shopping and do chores and potentially do work if the inspiration strikes.  Haven’t done homework in like two weeks, so I should eventually get on that, but for now…#yolo.

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Anyway, the past week of training has been relatively uninteresting.  Classes restarted on Wednesday after fall break, and since I don’t have Friday classes, I had another two-day school week.  Nice!

I ran 55 miles and got my butt on the bike for a bit on Wednesday because of some foot pain.  Didn’t feel particularly incredible, but also didn’t feel like I was dying (for the most part haha).

Week of 10/16-10/22:

  • Monday: AM: “fun” practice!  7 miles with some of the underclassman guys and jumped in the river afterwards (even though it was like 50 degrees outside).  Lower body lift in weight room.  PM: team meeting, drills, speed ladder, hurdles, 3+ miles, 4 x 150 strides, planks/push-ups, rope stretch, foam roll.
  • Tuesday: workout @ sports complex: 18 min w/u, drills, strides, 2 x [4:00h, 2:00e], 3 x [3:00h, 1:00e], 4 x [2:00h, 1:00e], 4 x [1:00h, :30e], 15 min c/d.  Definitely felt the lower body lift from yesterday!  NormaTec.  Evening: pain on top of foot.
  • Wednesday:  4 miles + 20 min bike.  Gorgeous weather! 10 min core.  PM: massage…she murdered my quads and calves.
  • Thursday: AM: form drills, speed ladder, hurdle drills, 7 miles, 3 x “x” strides with the conference commissioner!  Upper body lift in weight room- felt hard.  PM: 3 miles + NormaTec.
  • Friday: 18 min w/u, drills, strides, 4 x mile on a hilly gravel road with 3 min recovery (5:51, 6:04, 5:42, 5:56).  15 min c/d.  Mile 1 and 3 were downhill, 2 and 4 were uphill…ouch!  Didn’t feel great today (heavy + not in rhythm) but got through!  Ice bath.
  • Saturday: 12 miles on soft surface.  Did not feel fresh.  NormaTec.
  • Sunday: off. Light core/stretching.

Total: 55 miles + 20 min bike

We got a ton of soft surface this week, which was great, except my calves are #wrecked.  But it’ll pay off!  And the massage therapist on Wednesday really helped to get all the knots out.

Her, destroying my calves: “Is this pressure okay?”
Me, sweating and breathing hard: “Oh yeah totally fine I’m fine this is fine!”

But I digress.

On Tuesday, we went to my coach’s house to carve pumpkins, which was lots of fun, although my pumpkin promptly rotted by Friday.

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Classes started again on Wednesday, and I discovered that I had done fairly well on my finance midterm but bombed the heck out of our computer skills assessment.  You win some, you lose some 😉  Applied to some internships, baked some treats for our bake sale, and still didn’t really do homework.

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Pumpkin steel-cut oats with delicious toppings 🙂

On Friday, I did some work in the morning before meeting with my coach.  We talked about the upcoming conference championships, and it was exciting and a little bit nerve-wracking because we’ve got some big goals that were previously unthinkable.  Hoo boy…

That afternoon, we drove out to a hilly soft surface road to do some mile repeats.  We went out and back twice, so the first and third miles were downhill while the second and fourth were uphill.  Ouch.  Our splits of 5:51, 6:04, 5:42, 5:56 definitely reflected that.  I didn’t feel well during the workout, but I worked through it with two of my teammates. 🙂  We didn’t get back from the workout until like 6:30 and made the mistake of going out to dinner on Homecoming weekend.  After waiting in line for over an hour at Blaze, we almost cried tears of joy when we finally devoured our pizzas.

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Saturday was another busy day- we long ran in the morning (again, not incredible, but made it through) and then I volunteered at our bake sale for a couple hours before going to the Homecoming football game for the rest of the afternoon.  We got slaughtered…as expected 😉

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After almost falling asleep in the dining hall in front of our recruits, I realized I should probably nap in order to become a functional human again, so I went home and snoozed before heading to our annual Oyster Roast.

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Got that sweater at Goodwill for $4 and am really happy about it

After a couple hours of eating fresh oysters and chili out of a giant cauldron and dancing hysterically to the Virginia Reel, we listened to Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” album (the best…new Taylor Swift is weird…) on the drive home.  ‘Twas a loooong day.

We’re heading into the conference championships this week, and I’m excited and a bit nervous but trying to keep a very level head.  As I’ve mentioned before, our team has not had the best luck this year, but I know we can put on a good showing at conferences.

Time to actually go be productive, maybe…

In-season training week 1: 55 miles

Happy Sunday!  This week has been quite tiring.   All the first week of school activities, hard workouts, not-stellar sleep, getting used to traveling back and forth from my apartment, lots of rain, spontaneous concerts, lots of driving…etc.  But overall, it was quite fun!

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The OG 3 at Convocation

After a minor glute strain, my coach decided it wasn’t worth it for me to race the 2-mile opener, so I drove the unattached freshmen up yesterday and did a slightly short long run in the rain at the venue.  Today, I ran 3 miles in the morning, made breakfast, studied and had lunch on campus, did some meal prep and laundry, took a nap, and hit up Aldi for a miniature grocery haul (because I already have most of the food I need).

Week of 8/28-9/3:

Monday: AM: compliance meeting, 5 slow miles in which I managed not to puke!  PM: pose drills, speed ladder + hurdle drills, 4 miles, strides, rope stretch, plank circuit.

Tuesday: AM: 2 mile warm-up, drills, strides, 5 mile tempo (6:08, 5:54, 6:11, 6:21, 6:13), 2 mile cool down.  Rope stretch, foam roll, pull-ups/core, ice bath.  PM: 2 miles @ 8:00 on treadmill

Wednesday: PM: 6 miles. Didn’t feel amazing.  Right hamstring is really tight.

Thursday:  18 min w/u, drills, strides, 6 x [4:00h, 2:00e], 18 min c/d.  Went well- really pushed myself, but hamstring is still tight/sore.  NormaTec + ice bath.  Walked a lot today :/

Friday: Felt destroyed so took AM off. 6 miles in PM.  Tweaked my glute/hip so no strides.

Saturday:  Coach decided not to race me.  11 miles at race location.

Sunday: 3 miles + core

Total: 55-56 miles

This week was hard!  Both workouts felt significantly more intense than what I had been doing throughout the summer.  My coach has thrown me into the longest, fastest workout group (we’ve got some super speedy freshmen, but they can’t yet handle the distance/intensity yet, which is fine!) and that shit is hard.  So my runs on Wednesday and Friday were both kinda awful…

Wednesday was the first day of classes!  This semester, I’m taking five business classes for my business major and one Spanish class for my Hispanic Studies major.  After three business classes on Wednesday, I ran with some teammates and went to Convocation, then we had an ice cream social.  It was lots of fun 🙂  I’ve still been freaking out about the fact that I have no idea what I want to do with my life, career-wise.

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I have no Friday classes for the second semester in a row- three day weekend, heck yes!  We’ve also switched workouts to Thursday morning, so I don’t have to spend all day Friday thinking about the afternoon workout.  #Blessed.

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So far, the classes that seem really cool are Entrepreneurial Ventures and Business Perspective and Application.  Mostly because they’ve introduced topics and ideas that I had never considered before!  My Spanish class is essentially the study of Spanish feminist pornography, sooo that will be interesting and uncomfortable 😉

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On Thursday night, I found out about a concert that was happening at our amphitheater, so a couple of my friends and I spent the evening enjoying patriotic orchestral tunes along with the entire elderly population of Williamsburg!  It was #lit.

Unfortunately, I woke up on Friday with pretty severe hip flexor/glute pain.  I skipped my double and went to the training room to get it checked out, and the trainer said I had a minor glute med strain.  I think it was from Thursday’s workout because we ran around in circles on a wet, slightly uneven grass field.  My coach decided I shouldn’t risk making it worse in a race that wasn’t that important, so my return to in-uniform racing has been pushed back a couple more weeks 😦 That’s okay!  Better to be safe than sorry.

On Saturday morning, I got up early to drive some of the freshmen to the race venue.  They all raced unattached, so they weren’t allowed to ride in the team vans.  It took about an hour to get there, and it was raining and a bit miserable…perfect race weather 😉 A couple other non-racers and I did a long run (I just ran 11 miles), and my glute felt passable, but not pain-free.

After watching the races (they crushed it!) and a team cookout, we made a pit stop at Wawa for gas and coffee before hitting the road again.  I was dangerously drowsy while driving, but we screamed along to some Enrique Iglesias and Nicky Jam in order to stay awake.  By the time I got back to my apartment (around 3 pm), I crashed hella hard.  Revived later in the day to make the best chicken dinner ever (will post recipe later) and a cookie skillet, which is already gone 😉

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Overall, this week had its ups and downs! I know I’m fit, and I’m itching to race (in uniform! It’s been 10 months!).  I just need to be patient.  There were also some days where my body felt really out of whack, so gotta stay diligent about the balance between recovery and hard work.

Welcome to junior year!!

 

Summer Training Week 14: 58 miles + yoga + new apartment!

Greetings!  I’m back in my college town after a crazy, eventful week.  School doesn’t start until Wednesday, but practice starts on Monday.  I’ll recap this week’s training and then catch you guys up on what else has happened!

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Week 14 (8/21-8/27):

Monday: AM: drills, 8 miles on bike path/sidewalks, strides, core circuit.  PM: 2 miles.

Tuesday: workout at Burke Lake Park with teammate.  20 min warm-up, drills, 32 min tempo on trails, 20 min cool down.  Most of the tempo was mentally hard for me, but we encouraged each other and pushed it at the end.  Total: 10 miles.  Also- got my period back!

Wednesday: AM: glute activation, 6 miles on bike path, 10 min core.  PM: 1 hour slow flow yoga class.

Thursday: AM: 3 miles.  Packed car/moved into apartment!  PM: 7 miles on trails around campus- awful bathroom issues, yikes!

Friday:  2 mile warm-up, drills, fartlek with teammates (2×5 minutes, 2×4, 2×3, 2×2, 2×1 with half recovery), 2 mile cool down.  Ice bath.  Felt a little tight/tired because I had slept poorly and was sore from moving, but overall went well! Mentally strong. Total: 10 miles.

Saturday:  12 miles with teammates.  Pushed the first 8 miles (close to 7:00 pace) and then got on some trails.  Felt tired but not bad.  Ice bath.

Sunday: off + light core.

Total: 58 miles + yoga class

This week was kind of crazy!  It’s amazing how the miles add up when you’re distracted by major life events and don’t overanalyze every little running-related thing.  That being said- I definitely slacked on strength this week.  Aside from some half-hearted core, I did nothing

On Monday, I semi-spontaneously bought a car!  After looking on and off all summer, I had resigned myself to the fact that I was going to spend the year taking the bus, riding my bike, and/or begging my roommate for rides to and from our apartment 1.5 miles off campus.  However, I found a used car that was in my limited price range, went out and test-drove it, got more specs, and ended up buying it two days before I went back to school!  Can you say last-minute??  

Also got a haircut, but that’s not that exciting 😉

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Couldn’t keep a straight face

This week has also included a lot of treats, but it’s the last hurrah before we buckle down into racing season, so it’s okay, right!?  My family went to The Cheesecake Factory for a farewell dinner on Wednesday night; while the food wasn’t great (my chicken pot pie was less than stellar), the cheesecake was amazing.  We waddled out of the restaurant 😉

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Strawberry cheesecake, and cheesecake with fudge cake and chocolate truffle cream

On Thursday morning, I got in three miles before my mom and I tandem-drove down to my college town.  This year, my roommate and I are sharing an off-campus apartment.  We each have our own rooms and closets, along with a shared bathroom and kitchen/living/main room.  It’s not the most upscale apartment ever, but we’ll make do!  I’ll do an apartment tour post once we finish setting it up!

I’ve spent the past few days setting up the apartment, driving all over town to every single discount store ever, going to the farmer’s market and grocery stores, spending FAR too much money, running and hanging out with my teammates, not sleeping enough, and generally existing in a perpetual state of distraction and exhaustion.  Good times 😉  Practice starts tomorrow, classes start on Wednesday, and it’s off into another year of college!  I’m VERY excited and a little nervous about this year!

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Summer Training Week 3

It’s Monday!  After a hot run and some core this morning, I’m spending most of today relaxing and doing chores before swimming later.  Monday is always my day off from work 🙂
Last week brought 36 miles, 140 minutes of cross training, busy work shifts, fun times with good friends, a delightful Train/OAR/Natasha Bedingfield concert, and a wine tasting for my mom’s “bachelorette” party (I love being 20!!, she said sarcastically).  And NCAAs, of course!  It was awe-inspiring and motivational to watch.  I may be crazy and have delusions of grandeur, but this middle-of-the-pack D1 runner now wants to qualify for NCAAs!!  Or at least track regionals…
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Concert with friends

Week 3: (6/5-6/11)
Monday: AM: 6 miles on bike path + core circuit.  PM: 30 min swim.
Tuesday: 7 miles @ 7:40ish pace on sidewalks/asphalt.  Felt stiff and out of rhythm.  Glute activation, drills, strides.  Lift day 1.  PM: crazy work shift!
Wednesday: 60 min bike…felt sick midday but it passed so I biked in the evening and felt really good, actually.
Thursday: AM: 6 miles bike path + core.  Foot pain.  Drills + strides.  PM: 3 miles.
Friday:  5 miles on asphalt/sidewalks into 20 min bike.  Lift day 2.
Saturday: 9 miles on bike path.  7:30ish average.  Very hot and sunny.
Sunday: 30 min aqua jog.  I think I burned my face off.  Not a cloud in the sky.
Total: 36 miles + 140 min XT
This week…hmm.  Similar to last week, my foot hurt on almost every run, but on the plus side, I’m still feeling strong in the weight room.  I did a terrible job of getting on soft surfaces 😉  Almost every run was on an asphalt bike path or sidewalks.  Having running buddies on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday made the runs more fun, though!
Friday’s run was somewhat crappy at the beginning but got progressively better once my legs warmed up.  I was definitely mentally distracted during the lift session that followed, but thankfully both the bike and lift went better than the run anyway!
The bearable-yet-constant foot pain is starting to wear on me mentally again, and I find myself dreading runs a little bit because I want to run but don’t want to be in pain.   To be honest, I am not doing as much as I should to stay on top of it.  I’m rolling with my shiny new lacrosse ball, acquired for the express purpose of wrecking my feet 😉 …doing warm Epsom salt soaks, and sporadically doing mobility, but I can do more.  It’s this cycle of: foot hurts on runs, I get sad thinking about it, I avoid rehab because it makes me think about the fact that my foot hurts.  Ya feel?
But on the plus side, I can feel my body responding to the strength sessions.  The core circuits that left me sore for days three weeks ago are easier.  I’m planning on adding weight to my squats, deadlifts, and farmer’s holds in the weight room this week.  Already bracing myself for the DOMS 😉
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Mom and me!

After identifying the factors that brought me down a little bit last week but taking solace in the fact that I still had a decent training week and got to do a lot of other fun things, I’m re-motivated for the coming week, which should bring about 42 miles in addition to cross training sessions.
Runs are getting longer, temperatures are getting hotter, and the grind is coming back.  My goals for the next week are to train purposefully and to not skimp on the little things.  Every run is one step closer to my goals, both as an individual and as a member of a team that aspires to achieve greatness.  My teammate just ran extremely well at NCAAs, which was so emotional and motivational.  All of the competitors at NCAAs work extremely hard, day in and day out, to get to the national level.  Some of them have more natural talent than others, but none of them skip out on what they need to do to achieve their goals.  That’s how you get to that next level.
Other highlights from my week before I sign off for now:
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A 14-year-old made this lemon lavender cake!

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I nearly cried when they sang “Bruises” and “Drops of Jupiter”

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Another concert picture!

Summer is a great time to put in the work for the upcoming season(s).  This week, I WILL remember to take fish oil every day, re-dedicate myself to foot rehab, switch to orthotics for shorter runs, wear sunscreen, and keep track of sleep and practice good bedtime habits such as putting away technology.  I will be mindful of the foods I choose to nourish my body with– remembering that anti-inflammatory is the way to go and that I am willing to do anything to help my foot feel as good as it can possibly feel!  I will also put in more shifts at work, try to be as frugal as possible and go on free/cheap summer adventures…hiking, exploring DC, playing piano, going to yoga, cooking, reading, playing badminton, soaking up the sun, picnics, crafting…there’s so much to do!

Can’t stop won’t stop

Holy moly, there is so much to catch up on.  First off, Happy Mother’s Day!

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The past two weeks have been crazy.  I trained through to the conference championships with my team, and since I didn’t have any finals until last Wednesday, I actually drove ten hours round-trip to Delaware to watch them compete last weekend!  It was rainy and cold, but there were some great performances, as well as some not-so-great ones.  My last run of the year was with my friend on some local trails, and it was great!

I took a week off from running and gave myself the freedom to eat whatever the heck I pleased and not feel the need to do core/strength/whatever.  It has been very freeing.  Break weeks are the time to let the body and mind recover.

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Chocolate chip cheesecake Cookout milkshake at 3:30 am pretty much sums up the whole break

Another awesome adventure included staying up all night and watching the sunrise at the beach with some other sleep-deprived friends.

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The two final exams that I took were both very difficult.  The accounting final murdered everyone in the class.  But we made it through!

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On Thursday, I packed up my entire room, loaded the car by myself, and drove home.  It was very tiring.  I already miss school!!

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this was depressing

I actually got into a little fender bender on the way home due to an unfortunate combination of torrential rain, drowsiness, and a loaded-up slowly-stopping car.  It was completely my fault but still shook me up a lot.

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Made some nice oatmeal at home

 

After spending all of Thursday packing, driving, and unpacking, I decided to go on another road trip with my roommate, and we drove up to New Jersey on Friday to watch our team compete at ECACs.  Princeton was super fun, even though it rained most of the time!

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We got back this evening.  It’s been a whirlwind three days, but I’m finally home and don’t foresee any more road trips for at least a couple days!  I have an incredible amount of unpacking, organizing, and planning to do…

This week, I’ll be running a few miles every other day and cross training if I feel like it.  Real summer training will start up next week.  So far, I don’t have a job lined up for the whole summer, but I’ll be doing a remote writing internship for most of the summer, as well as more short-term jobs.  I would like to travel a lot and train hard, but I also need to save money for next year…

I’ll talk more about running once I start running more!  For now, I am going to continue to eat all the foods, recover from three road trips in a week, and try to relax for a little while at least!  It’s unbelievable that I’m a junior in college!!!

 

Being touristy

In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothin’ you can’t do

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Okay, sorry for the insane cheesiness, but I just got back from three days in New York City!  Two of my friends and I took the bus up on Wednesday and came back a little sooner than we had planned in order to avoid the worst of the snow.  While we didn’t get to do everything we wanted to, it was mostly a blast!  We stayed in the heart of Koreatown, which was definitely interesting.  I woke up earlier than my friends in order to get my training in; unfortunately, I had to do run-bike combinations because of foot pain.  Yikes.  I’m a little frustrated, but at least I can do something!

Highlights of the trip:

We saw the Paramour musical version of Cirque du Soleil on Broadway!  The performance was absolutely mesmerizing.  The acrobatics were intricately dangerous, the singing was phenomenal…oh man.  I’m in love.

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We toured Jacques Torres’ new chocolate museum on Hudson Street and even met Jacques Torres himself!  The exhibits included a detailed history of chocolate, chocolate sculpture masterpieces, authentic Mexican hot chocolate (pure cocoa + hot water + spices), and unlimited free samples.  A master chocolatier made dark chocolate ganache-filled truffles right in front of us.  This chocoholic claims that they were the best chocolate I have ever had.

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We took the subway to Battery Park and took the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and tour Ellis Island.  You can sense the legacies of the immigrants that passed through the immigration system.

We went to Molly’s Cupcakes!  I fell in love with the cupcakes and the atmosphere; when we walked into the cheerful yellow shop, Phillip Phillips was playing on the radio. I got the flourless chocolate cupcake with a dulce de leche ganache filling, vanilla bean buttercream frosting, and cocoa powder dusting.  Amazing.

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Other highlights included Black Iron Burger for dinner, an eclectic, socialist bookstore, and aggressive street vendors.  This morning, we kind of just hibernated until our bus arrived because it was snowing very hard.

My body is definitely craving routine, and I don’t even want to think about the schoolwork I’ve been avoiding over break.  I’m having a little anxiety.  But it’s all good.

 

Life update: turning 20!

Sorry for the lack of posts!  This time of the semester is when the schoolwork really starts to pick up.  But it’s Saturday night, and I think everyone deserves a break from the grind 🙂

Anyway, I turned 20 on Valentine’s Day!  The day started off with a solid workout (3 mile warm-up, 2k-1k-2k-1k cruise intervals on the track between 5:40-5:55 pace, 3 mile cool down).  I went to class, lifted, went to the training room…not too special of a birthday 😉  But I did get to go out to dinner with friends and feasted on my favorite Caribbean blackened salmon, followed by (free) chocolate cheesecake!

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The various birthday gifts I received from my college friends coincidentally had a theme: nut butter!  It was pretty funny.  Also, my roommate got me the cutest poster (my all-time favorite movie is Up):

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In other news, the dental implant process is progressing!  If you recall, the dentist placed the anchor screws in December, and he placed the abutments this past Thursday. Unlike the screws, the abutments stick out of my gums, and they are not fully covered by the dentures.  So right now, the metal screws kind of make it look like my gums are rotting.  I’ll spare you a picture of my current gremlin self 😉  Three weeks from now, they’ll take impressions, and just a couple weeks after that, I’ll finally have permanent implants!

Unfortunately, the foot issues have persisted throughout the last two weeks.  I actually ran normal mileage last week (54 miles + 60 min XT) but had to switch to cross training halfway through this week.  A lot of cross training.  There’s not much the training room can do since the problem is stemming from my bunions, and surgery is the only real long-term solution.  So we’re just focusing on pain maintenance for now.

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I’m frustrated because I feel like I’m in good shape but am not progressing due to the limited running I can do right now.  On a more positive note, I’ve been taking melatonin every night and getting almost enough sleep, and I feel like a human being again!  I’ll do a training recap tomorrow!

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Great view…right?

Anyway, my family came down this morning after my long effort (I split it up into 30 minute bike, 6 mile run, 30 minute bike).  We went out to brunch, and everyone ate an astronomical amount of food!

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Yes, this was just my meal

Afterwards, we did a bit of shopping and headed to a family birthday party, and I’ve spent the rest of the day doing some more schoolwork.  Some friends and I are having a joint birthday party tonight, so I’m looking forward to that.

I’ll try to carve out time to write a true training recap tomorrow, but no guarantees!  So far, I think I’m doing a good job of staying on top of the coming week’s stupid workload, but time will tell…

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)

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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…

January: 

  • 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.

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February:

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

March:

  • 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…

April:

  • 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.

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May:

  • 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 🙂

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June:

  • 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.

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July:

  • 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.

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August:

  • 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!!

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September:

  • 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.

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October:

  • 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.

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November:

  • 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.

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December:

  • 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 🙂

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 🙂

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 😉

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 😉