Training 10/9-10/15 (54 miles)

Happy Sunday!  Today was a semi-productive day…I avoided schoolwork by updating my resume, running errands, and cleaning my apartment (our toilet has never sparkled so brightly).  I even applied for an internship because I decided it was probably a good idea to stop being in denial that the real world exists!!

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This evening, some of the team parents hosted a cookout, and I ate so much that I feel like I’m going to explode…so I’m currently lying on the couch in a pulled-pork-and-chili-induced food coma while writing this post 😉

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Plate 1 of…many…

 

Week of 10/9-10/15:

  • Monday: AM: 6 miles pre-dawn, very humid/hot, didn’t feel as fresh as expected.  NAP.  PM: form drills, speed ladder, hurdle drills, 4 miles trails, 6 x strides, planks/push-ups, yoga
  • Tuesday: AM: 18 min w/u, drills, strides, 2×500 (1:40, 1:40), 2k (7:16), 1k (3:30), 500 (1:38), stopped w/o early and cooled down for 3 miles.  Legs felt trashed.  Very humid! Lift in weight room + ice bath.  PM: NormaTecs.
  • Wednesday:  AM: 4 miles + core, very humid.  Bus ride to PSU.  PM: 10 min shakeout.
  • Thursday: pre-meet at PSU: 5 miles, drills, strides, rope stretch.  In a funk.
  • Friday: AM: 10 min shakeout, rope stretch.  20 min w/u, drills, strides, 6k @ PSU (21:20), 20 min c/d, rope stretch.  PM: NormaTec on the bus.
  • Saturday: 12 miles, felt tired but pretty good.
  • Sunday: 4 miles, light core/stretching

Total: 54 miles

Hmmm…a weird week, culminating in a great race!  I knew that last week’s training would hit me hard at the beginning of this week, so I was okay with the fact that Tuesday was rough.  As I mentioned in my race recap, my mental game was not on point throughout the trip.  I’ve felt sad, annoyed, discontent, and lonely over the past few weeks, and it was exacerbated on the trip.  However, the race went great (individually)!

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Sleep was pretty good this week.  As far as nutrition goes, I’m not sure what’s going on with my body, but my appetite has never been as large as it’s been the past few weeks!  I literally can’t get through the night without a snack, even if I eat at 9 pm right before going to bed.  I’ve incorporated extra snacks in the morning and the afternoon, but for real…body WYD??  It was freaking me out a little because logically, normal people do not eat nine meals a day.  But the race (and 56-second PR…) reassured me that collegiate athletes are not normal 😉

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Took the freshmen to Blaze Pizza and we all finished our very loaded pizzas 

Also, as Quentin Cassidy states in Once a Runner, “if the furnace is hot enough, anything will burn.”  #true.  I might just be saying that to justify the large amount of treats consumed throughout the past week 😉  But I’m feeling good.

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Peanut butter chocolate chip chickpea cookie dough bites!

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This freshly baked pumpkin cinnamon roll was life

Anyway, I’m losing focus, soooo gonna sign off for now.  We’re going to the river tomorrow morning for a fun practice!  It’s crazy to think there are just a few weeks left of the season (because honestly at this point, our chances of qualifying for NCAAs are…dismal).

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6k PR: 21:20

Greetings from the bus, which we’ll be on for another 5-6 hours- team bonding at its best! We’re driving through farm country right now, so at least the views are beautiful 🙂

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This morning, my team raced at the Penn State National Invitational at Penn State (go figure).  It was our first 6k this year and probably the most competitive meet of our season.   Last year, I got a little overwhelmed but still PRed.  This year, I was in a funk for the majority of the trip but knew that my training would carry me to a good time.

TL;DR: 21:20 (56-second PR!) and PRed in the 3-mile and 5k en route!

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Personality pic with my biggest supporter ❤

We left campus on Wednesday and stopped on the way to State College for dinner at our head coach’s family’s house.  I did some work and listened to music, but to be honest, the bus ride was not fun.  I think I was a thundercloud by the time we arrived in State College at 9:30 pm.  After getting there, we did a quick nighttime shakeout run while still extremely full of pasta and brownies…nope, just me?  Okay, well, I’ve personally never come so close to puking on a run in my life 😅

On Thursday, we ate breakfast in the hotel and headed to the course for our pre-meet.  It was windy and cold, but the course was just as beautiful as last year…a golf course with rolling hills, fast, flat grass, and a super-duper fun uphill second half.  The leaves on the trees were fiery shades of red and gold.

After the pre-meet (5 miles, drills, strides, and rope stretch), we went to Wegmans for lunch and had our team meeting back at the hotel.  Honestly, this season has been rough for our team.  3 of last year’s top 7 runners are down for the count, which is not ideal.  Some other people have been working really hard but haven’t been able to put together performances comparable to last year (yet).  But we have a lot of depth and positive energy, so we’re chugging along!  Our goal was to get out well, pack up, and use our hill strength to pass women in the second half.  My personal goal was definitely sub-22, but I wasn’t sure how far sub-22.

We spent the rest of the afternoon napping and relaxing before going to dinner at Olive Garden.  Our party of 30 kind of scared the wait staff a little bit…but they were super accommodating and kept giving us breadsticks.

This morning, we went for a 10-minute shakeout at 7 am and then ate breakfast at the hotel.  Of course, I had oatmeal with almond butter, a banana, chia seeds, cinnamon, and a plain Siggi’s, as well as a bit of coffee.  While I was still feeling a bit thundercloud-y, I was trying hard to convert the negative energy into positive energy for the race.  We arrived at the course, warmed up, did drills, freaked out about the long port-a-potty lines, and went to the line to do strides.  After a team huddle and some frog jumps, it was go time.


The gun went off, and we all shot down the green.  The Penn State start is fast.  With 200 women in the field, it was tricky to get out well, especially as the course narrowed at the half mile mark.  I came through the mile in 5:24 in about 50th place, with one teammate ahead of me and no idea where the rest of the team was.

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The second and third mile were kind of uneventful…they dragged on but also flew by, if that makes any sense.  I recognized some of the women around me and just tried to stay mentally tough and alert.  I caught up to my teammate right before two miles, which we came through in 11:06.  After that, I thought, “Damn, that’s close to my 2-mile PR.  I can run really fast today.

We hit the hills at 2.5 miles, and I got a little boost from my mom screaming on the sidelines.  As I passed 3 miles, a coach yelled, “16:55”, and my jaw actually dropped.  That sounded really fast to me!  I was excited and nervous and felt strong but also like I was about to hit the wall.  I think I came through the 5k in about 17:35, which is a PR!

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I felt surprisingly strong during the last long hill, but once we got to the top with 500 to go, the wall was hit.   HardMy last 400 meters were not pretty, but I tried as hard as I could and crossed the finish line in 21:20, first for my team, 40th overall, and 56 seconds faster than my PR from last year on the same course.

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While some people on the team ran strong individually, most of my teammates were either mildly dissatisfied or strongly displeased with their personal performances.  Additionally, our lack of front-runners really hurt us, and we ended up finishing far back in the team standings.  Which just lights the fire under us for the rest of the season!

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We cooled down during the men’s race, and our men ran pretty well!  Afterwards, we rope stretched, spent time with family, enjoyed muffins and other treats made by the wonderful parents, showered, and went to Wegmans to fuel up for the bus ride. I had some dank pumpkin cheesecake because #perdiem.  And now we are trapped on the bus for a long time!  #sendwater #sendfood #sendhelp

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My roommate’s first 6k!

Overall, I’m pleased with my performance today.  Usually, I can think of a point in the race where I could have been stronger, or where I gave up mentally or got complacent or scared.  I can’t think of a point in today’s race that I’m particularly disappointed with.  Of course, I would have loved to finish stronger, both for myself and for my team, but I never really doubted myself today.  Or if I did, I was quick to yell at myself, “What are you thinking?? Don’t give up now!”

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I think the biggest takeaway for improvement from this trip was my mental state leading up to the race.  I let external factors influence my mood, self-perception, and perception and treatment of others.  Not horribly so, but enough to be disappointed in myself.  Luckily, I was able to compartmentalize because I truly love racing and competing, for myself and for my team.  However, running fast is not the only qualification for being a happy person!  It’s not even a relevant qualification!  So that’s what I’m going to work on for next time 🙂

Our next race is the conference championships in two weeks.  Time to rest up, stay on top of schoolwork (that’s kind of taken a backseat…oops), have fun, practice positive self-talk and positive interpersonal talk, and get ready to kick some Colonial booty!

(Also, I just wrote 1,200 words in like 40 minutes…why can’t I get this motivated for schoolwork??)

 

 

Training Week of 10/2-8 (58 miles)

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start.  I got up early this morning, per usual, and ran 6 miles before dawn.  My friend joined me for 4 of them.  The weather was unseasonably warm, humid, and somewhat oppressive today…lovely.

Somehow, I got to my 8 am business analytics much earlier than I normally do.  Miracles do happen!  Of course, I was ready for lunch by 9:30 am and spent the day being a bottomless pit.  After afternoon practice, I made a really good vegetarian dinner with a bucketload of homemade Thai peanut sauce 😀

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Anyway, last week’s training was meaty but went well!  I took an off day yesterday and am excited to travel up north with the team for our first 6k of the season later this week.

Week of 10/2-10/8:

  • Monday: AM: 6 miles, felt pretty fresh!  PM: form drills, speed ladder, hurdle drills, 4 miles, 3 x “X” strides, planks/push-ups, rope stretch, foam roll.  Total: 10 miles.
  • Tuesday: AM: 18 min w/u, drills, strides, 2 x 1000 retro w/ 90s rec (3:37, 3:36), 2 x 1000 w/ 2 min rec (3:29, 3:26), 2 x 800 retro w/ 3 min rec (2:39, 2:37), 2 x 1000 w/ 90s rec (3:36, 3:37), 13 min c/d.  Lower body lift + ice bath.  Went hard on the front squats!  PM: 2 miles + NormaTecs.  Total: 11 miles.
  • Wednesday: early AM: 6 miles.  Very sore from lift; some bunion/foot pain but probably because shoes are old.  PM: core + foam roll.
  • Thursday: 18 min w/u, drills, strides, 3ish mile tempo with first 90s hard (17:30), run back to track, 4×400 w/ 90s rec (75, 75, 74, 71), 20 min c/d.  Upper body lift in weight room.  Ice bath.  Total: 10 miles.
  • Friday: AM: 6 miles.  PM: form drills, speed/hurdle drills, 4 miles easy, 6 strides, planks/push-ups.  Total: 10 miles of running…many miles of walking. #Ouch.  Started wearing new shoes and what do you know- like 75% of my bunion pain disappeared!
  • Saturday: Long run workout.  2 mile w/u, 5 x 6:00h, 3:00e, 4 x :30h, :30e, 20 min c/d.  Total = 11 miles.  Started off feeling “eh” but felt progressively stronger throughout the workout!
  • Sunday: Off. Some core/yoga.
Total: 58 miles.
This week was another off week from racing, so our coach piled on the quality.  With three workouts this week, the majority of the team was feeling pretty beat up by Saturday.  Surprisingly, all three workouts went pretty well for me!  I was very pleased with Tuesday’s splits, especially the 800s (which hurt a lot).  The cruise 1000s were nothing crazy, and it was weird but nice to go back to cruise pace at the end of the workout, after killing our legs with some speedy 8s.  Thursday’s tempo and 400s were all quite fast!  Some of us went to Kilwins on Thursday  night to treat ourselves 🙂
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I was pretty tired on Friday but took the afternoon run easy, which was nice.  We went to Busch Gardens after practice, and we ended up walking and running over six miles, after a full day of training and right before our long run workout the next morning.  NOT the brightest decision 😉 But it was a blast!  We rode the rollercoasters, ate churros, and experienced the creepy Howl’O’Scream corn mazes and haunted houses.
We also attempted to dab for one of the rollercoaster photos…I hate us 😉
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 The first half or so of Saturday’s long run workout felt terrible, but I felt progressively stronger (both mentally and physically) as it continued!  We returned to campus and got ready for team pictures!  After that, I spent the afternoon catching up with one of my good friends and going on a ferry/pumpkin patch adventure.
 My friend and I attempted to work on our database assignment for business analytics on Saturday night, but we were both exhausted and confused, so it did not go well.  On Sunday, I reset, worked on the assignment, grocery shopped and meal prepped, watched a movie for my Spanish class, and did some more work after dinner.  And now it’s a new week!
To be honest, our team hasn’t had the smoothest season so far.  Our lineup looks completely different than it was expected to look, but that is okay!  The different group dynamics have been really positive, and it’s exciting to see people progress and step up when others are having a hard time.  I’m excited to see how everyone does this weekend at Penn State.  Going to bed now to prepare for our workout tomorrow morning!

Last two training weeks (57 miles, 53 miles + 60 min swim)

Happy first day of October!  It finally feels like fall here, although I wouldn’t know because I’ve been in the library most of the day.  Our first finance midterm tomorrow is supposed to be a killer.  However, the past hour has been spent on FloTrack and tfrrs rather than Blackboard, so I think my productivity is shot.  Guess I should write a blog post 😉  Sorry I skipped last week’s training recap!

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Throwback to last week’s race

Week of 9/18-9/24:

  • Monday: AM: 5 miles.  PM: form drills, speed ladder, hurdles, 5 miles, felt tired, 4 x strides, planks/push-ups, rope stretch.  Leg still hurts.  Very hot!  Total: 10 miles.
  • Tuesday: AM: 18 min warm-up, drills, strides, 4 x 2k on the track with 1:30-2:00 recovery (7:30, 7:25, 7:22, 7:18). 21 min cool down.  Lift in weight room. Ice bath.  PM: NormaTec.  Total: 10 miles.
    Wednesday: 6 miles
  • Thursday: AM: 30 min run, drills, 800 @ 2:57, 2×400-200-200 with 200 jog recovery (79, 39, 37, 78, 38, 36), 15 min cool down.  Upper body lift in weight room.  Cold ice bath!  PM: 2 miles + NormaTec.  Total: 10 miles.
  • Friday: 5 mile pre-meet @ Panorama Farms, drills, strides, rope stretch.  Very hot.
  • Saturday: early AM: 10 min shakeout, rope stretch.  Later: rope stretch, 18 min warm-up, drills, strides, hilly 5k race (18:18), 40 min cool down.  Total: 12 miles.
  • Sunday: 4 miles + 10 min core.  First part was rough.

Total: 57 miles.

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Week of 9/25-10/1:

  • Monday: AM: 6 miles, in the zone!  Bunion pain. PM: form drills, hurdle drills, speed ladder, 4 miles trails, 4 x 150m strides, planks/push-ups, rope stretch.  Total: 10 miles.
  • Tuesday: AM: 2 mile warm-up, drills, 10 min tempo, 4 x 4:00h, 2:00e, 2 x 2:00h, 1:00e, 2 x “X” strides, 2 mile cool down.  Light lift in weight room.  Ice bath. Light core.  PM: 2 miles + NormaTec.  Bunion pain.
  • Wednesday: 60 min swim.  PM: Massage (calves and hamstrings)
  • Thursday: 2 mile warm-up, drills, 3 x 1.5 mile hill circuit, 1 x 400 hill, 2 x short grass hill, 2 mile cool down.  Light lift in weight room + NormaTec.  Ok at beginning, dead/nauseous at end.  Ugh.  Total: 9 miles.  PM: off.
  • Friday: AM: 6 miles.  Felt pretty good.  PM: form drills, 4 miles, 6 x strides, core/push-ups, yoga.  Felt crappy, progressively worse throughout night.
  • Saturday: 12 miles.  Felt awful before, ok during, and awful after.
  • Sunday: off

Total: 53 miles + 60 min swim

The week before last was a solid week of training; this week, not so much!  Monday and Tuesday went well.  We packed up well during Tuesday’s workout, even with some tension and trouble with one-stepping…

On Wednesday, my coach recommended (aka ordered) that I get my butt in the pool because of recent bunion pain.  So I did.  60 minutes of swimming for the first time in months!  Unfortunately, I started to feel sick on Wednesday night after massage, which has persisted throughout the rest of this week.  I felt nauseous and weak during the latter half of Thursday’s hill workout, Friday’s afternoon practice, and Saturday’s long run.  This did not prevent me from consuming a pint of ice cream and jabbering with some of my freshman teammates on Thursday night.

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AMAZING (and EXPENSIVE)

Also, I’m hella stubborn and ran 12 miles yesterday because coach said “give yourself a range of 8-12 miles since you don’t feel well.”  She was a little annoyed at me for running 12…

After the long run, my roommate and I went to the farmers’ market and saw the cutest dogs.

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I then went to Trader Joe’s to do some grocery shopping for the week.  The beginning of the month always makes me feel falsely richer than I am (I am a very broke college student) because my parents help me out with rent.  So yesterday I was a little less thrifty than I usually am.  Which means I splurged on $3 butternut squash soup and bought pre-cooked chicken instead of raw.

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Later that evening, we threw a birthday party for one of my teammates!  Another friend made the most amazing ice cream cake: a cookie layer, vanilla ice cream, a brownie layer, fudge and peanut butter ice cream, and peanut butter swirled on top.  After hours of laughter and dancing, I died out at 10 pm but hit a second wind once everyone else left and spent the next hour and a half dancing with my closest friends.  It was a blast.

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Anyway, today is a mandatory off day for me 😅  I managed to stay in bed until 8 am (that never happens!) and then made breakfast, meal prepped, and jetted off to the library, where I’ve been studying for finance since 11 am.  Jk.  I’ve been in the library since 11 am, but I took numerous breaks.  Took an hour-long break at 3 to go get gas and Siggi’s yogurt at Harris Teeter (yes, I’m laughing at myself, too).  But thanks to a sale and coupon, I got TEN SIGGI’S FOR $7.50.  UNHEARD OF.

This past week of training wasn’t ideal, but I’m hoping that things will turn around in the coming week.  In addition to feeling physically ill, I’ve had some crazy thoughts and emotions throughout the past week, which has been annoying.  My team is experiencing the classic mid-season “everyone is falling apart” syndrome right now, so we’ve just got to keep ourselves together (literally and figuratively).

My goals for the coming week:

  • Be a supportive teammate.  Practice active listening (which we’re talking about in my business perspectives class, and it’s SO USEFUL).
  • Take the crappy days in stride (if they occur).  Pick something positive out of every workout/lift/day, even if you don’t feel incredible.
  • Live in the present.  I get really anal about classes and timing and the past and the future forget to enjoy the moment.  The present is a great place to be!
  • Do not mindlessly check Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook when you’re bored or uncomfortable.
  • Remember how much form drills, strides, and strength help running!  
  • Listen to your body and don’t overload training on Tuesday because it never ends well (you would think I would have learned that by now…)

Talk to you all later!

Week 2 (61), Week 3 (52), and RACE

Sorry for the belated weekly recaps!  I’ll recap the last two weeks of training, and then I’ll recap my season opener 5k race!

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Week of 9/4-9/10:

Monday: AM: 4 miles trails.  Went to trainer for glute.  PM: form drills, 5 miles, speed ladder/hurdles, plank/push-up circuit.  Run wasn’t great and stomach was off :/

Tuesday: AM: 2 mile warm-up, 4 mile tempo (6:22, 6:13, 6:08, 6:12), 2 mile cool down.  Felt okay.  Weight room warm-up and assessment.  Stim and ice in training room.  PM: 2 miles + NormaTec boots.

Wednesday: AM: 6 miles at sunrise.  Felt dead.

Thursday: AM: 2 mile warm-up, drills, hilly MR while everyone else did a hill workout, light lift at weight room, ice bath.  PM: 2 miles on campus.  Beautiful weather!

Friday: AM: 5 miles + strides before all-day field trip.  PM: hurdle drills, 4 miles, planks/push-ups, rope stretch.  Pretty tired.

Saturday: 13 miles with 42 minute progression in the middle (6:57, 6:44, 6:27, 6:13, 6:18, 6:10, 0.5 at 6:00 pace).  Felt good! Ice bath.

Sunday: 3 miles + core

Total: 61 miles

Was really tired at the beginning of the week but felt good on the long run!  Nice high volume week.  Adjusting to lots of walking + different style of maintenance runs (more equal doubles).


Week of 9/11-9/17:

Monday: AM: 4 unspectacular miles.  PM: form drills, speed ladder, hurdle drills, 5 miles, strides (pushed it!), planks/push-ups, rope stretch.

Tuesday: 18 min warm-up, drills, strides, 1000-1500-1000-1500-1000 (3:27, 5:23, 3:32, 5:21, 3:30) with 1:15-2:00 recovery.  6 x :20h, :30e.  Felt bad.  Legs wouldn’t move.  20 min c/d.  Light lift.  Ice bath.  PM: NormaTecs.

Wednesday: AM: 7 early miles.  Felt decent.  Sore glutes!  PM: NAP.

Thursday: AM: speed ladder, hurdle drills, 5-6 miles trails, basic drills, strides.  Felt terrible at first: nauseous, heavy legs/body, but gradually a little better.  First real lift in weight room.  My chin-up ability has atrophied!  PM: NormaTecs.

Friday: AM: 2 mile shakeout.  PM: rope stretch, 18 min warm-up, drills, strides, 5k race on home course (18:24), 3 mile cool down.  Total: 10.5 miles.

Saturday: Relaxed long run on trails. 92 minutes (but probably only 10-11 miles)

Sunday: off

Total: 52ish miles

Felt pretty bad all week but put together a decent race!  Lower volume, increased lifts.


Onto the race!

Our home invitational was on Friday night.  I raced unattached my freshman year, and I did not race last year due to…I actually don’t remember why.

To be honest, I felt pretty bad this whole week.  My runs ranged from okay to terrible.  Tuesday’s workout was rough, and I just couldn’t get my legs moving.  We also started lifting for real (it’s been like six weeks), and most of us were unspeakably sore after Tuesday and Thursday.  Yikes!  Luckily, our coach usually uses this race as a glorified workout, so there’s less pressure.

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Classic carb-loading dinner 😉

Tell that to my brain, though!  This was to be my first time putting on the uniform in ten months On Friday, I woke up with my stomach in knots.  I did my shakeout run, made breakfast, picked up some pumpkin spice Wawa coffee because I am basic af, and headed to campus to work on an essay for the rest of the morning.  I had to force myself to eat lunch (chicken with honey mustard, sweet potatoes, some veggies, and half a bagel)  because the nerves were suppressing my appetite!

We drove out to the course around 4 pm, and I ate a Picky bar on the way over.  The race was at 6 pm, so we rope stretched, warmed up, and did drills before changing into our uniforms, tying on the bows, and heading out to the starting line to do strides.  I still didn’t feel stellar during the warm-up routine, and we were all sweating buckets because it was 80 degrees and sunny.  What happened to the lovely autumnal weather of last week??

It felt surreal to put on the uniform for the first time since regionals last November.

Anyway, we did strides and had a quick pre-race huddle with our coach.  She told me that I could go with the top workout group if I felt good, but I had the option to hang back with the next group.  No pressure.  Sounded good to me.

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Enjoy these high-quality video screenshots!

The gun went off, and a few women from other schools rocketed down the uneven first straightaway into the lead.  Our course is pretty difficult- It’s three hilly loops, with a particularly steep hill that you have to run up three times, and extremely uneven footing.  It generally feels like the course is trying to throw you off of it 😉 It’s impossible to get into a rhythm, and nobody runs that fast.  Anyway, we got up the first hill, and I grouped up with my teammates in about seventh place.  All of our freshmen are still running unattached, so I was with three senior teammates in uniform and one unattached freshman.  The first mile was like 5:29.  Sheesh!  I was really tired after that…wasn’t sure how I was going to handle the rest of the race.

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The second loop was a bit slower, and our group started to fall apart a little bit.  We passed the two mile mark around 11:30, and I stared longingly at the finish line as we ran past it 😉

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The third time up the hill was unpleasant.  At this point, two of my senior teammates had dropped back, and the third one was starting to fade.  The freshman was crushing it.  As we passed 1k to go, the freshman gapped everyone, and the senior passed out.

Yikes!

I tried to encourage her as I ran by but had no idea if it was a medical issue or what.  Refocused on the last 1k, which hurt like heck, but I realized I was the first in-uniform runner from my school.  What on earth!?  I entered the last 200m of the course and tried to turn over as fast as I could.  I crossed the finish line in 18:24: good for fifth overall, second runner from my school, and first in uniform!

The course really beat the team up, so our coach just had us cool down and do strides instead of running the planned post-race hill workout.   My calves were absolute rocks at that point.  Ow.  I was surprised, but pleased, with my performance, and it just made me hungrier to run faster and strive for better things!

After the race, some of us went to Blaze Pizza and then I needed to stop at Rita’s for frozen custard with hot fudge.  The craving was insatiable.  I was thrilled.

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Couldn’t sleep a wink the night after the race.  I spent the majority of the night tossing and turning, getting progressively sorer, eating weird midnight snacks like sweet potatoes and hard-boiled eggs, and reading a book.  We ran a relaxed long run on the trails (I’m not kidding about the relaxed bit- one of our mile splits was like 13 minutes) before going back out to the course to help with the high school portion of the invitational.  Then, I headed out to my friend’s party and didn’t get very much sleep for the second night in a row.  I am exhausted, and an off day is very much needed!  Going to spend Sunday doing schoolwork, chores, and meal prep.

I’m pleased with the race after a crappy week, and I’m excited to be back in the uniform!

Summer Training Week 13: 55 miles + yoga

The past week has been very eventful!  After an exhausting last week of work and running, I went to see Lifehouse, Switchfoot, and Brynn Elliott last Sunday with one of my best friends.  The concert was amazing…but we didn’t get home until midnight, and I’ve never felt less recovered after a recovery day. 😅 So I struggled through a morning run on Monday, skipped my double, and prayed that I’d feel better for our team training trip!  This week was sort of a down week- I still ran 54 miles… Isn’t it funny how our perspectives change based on where we’re at in training?

This morning, I went to a yoga class before heading to my favorite farmer’s market for the last time before I go back to school.  I swear, the people at this farmer’s market are the nicest, most compassionate people in the world.  Every time I go there, it restores my faith in humanity 🙂

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Lifehouse and Switchfoot concert!

Week 13 (8/14-8/20):

Monday: AM: 7 miles on bike path.  STRUGGLE- body is so tired.  Glute activation + push-ups.  PM: skipped my double, light core.

Tuesday:  Mosquito-infested workout with teammates on island soft surface: 20 min w/u, drills, 12-7-7 with 3 min recovery, 3 mile c/d.  Total = 11 miles.  Went really well!  I felt very strong mentally and physically.

Wednesday:  5 miles with teammates easy + core.  New shoes.  PM: eventful ocean swim with my freshman teammates in which we got caught in the riptide/current for awhile…

Thursday:  AM: 7 miles with teammates, drills, strides, strength (push-ups, lunges, roller abs, etc.) Lighthouse climb!  PM: 3 miles with teammates.

Friday:  Early workout with freshman teammate.  20 min w/u, drills, 7 x [3:00h, 1:00e], 20 min c/d.  Felt ok, not amazing.  Fewer mosquitoes!  Total: 9 miles.

Saturday: 13 miles on bike path.  Listened to podcast about accents.  Pretty humid/hot.  Took an energy gel at mile 9 and hammered the last 20 minutes.  Overall good run!  Trail was very crowded.

Sunday: off.  Vinyasa yoga class.

Total: 54 miles + 1 hour yoga class

Not the most interesting training week, but the concert and training trip were an absolute blast.  When Lifehouse played “You and Me” and “Hanging by a Moment” one right after the other, my friend and I almost cried.  We also got to meet Brynn Elliott after the show- she was incredibly affable and enthusiastic, and she’s only a year older than us!

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The training trip got off to an interesting start with a mosquito-infested workout on Tuesday morning.  Apparently, it was the worst mosquito day some of the locals could remember! A few of the girls looked like they had contracted a bad case of chickenpox.  Throughout the trip, we worked out together, went to the beach, climbed a lighthouse, ate immense amounts of ice cream every night, explored the island, saw wild ponies, had dance parties and ridiculous late-night talks, drank lots of coffee and took lots of pictures.  I am so happy this trip turned out as well as it did 🙂

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None of our seniors or fifth years came on the training trip, so the junior class (read: my class!) was unexpectedly thrust into leadership roles that we didn’t expect to have until next year.  One of my classmates organized the majority of the trip, and some of us took on the task of talking to the freshmen about team rules, team dynamic, goals, expectations, how each practice works, and college in general.  Everyone worked together really well with the cleaning, cooking, and carpooling.

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One of the freshmen and I ended up swimming far out into the ocean- farther than I had ever swum- which was exhilarating!  Until we got caught in a riptide/current that pulled us farther and farther out into the water.  There’s nothing like the feeling of being pulled backwards as you attempt to swim forwards.  This particular freshman and I are both pretty fearless, but even so, I felt a bit of apprehension as we made ZERO progress getting back to shore!  We eventually made it back by swimming with the waves and letting the current pull us around in a giant circle.  Phew!

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This trip was really good for my mental health and balance as well.  Reuniting with my teammates reminded me that all the hard work throughout the summer is done for a reason and reinvigorated me for the upcoming cross country season.  Also, a lot of last year’s top seven is in our senior/fifth year class, which meant that I was one of the faster and higher mileage runners on this trip.  Along with my fellow juniors and high mileage runners, I ended up leading workouts, runs, and conversations about college running for the freshmen.  It was surreal!

Since the juniors were the leaders on this trip, I really wanted to be a good role model for the underclassmen.  So this trip had the awesome effect of breaking unofficial routines and rules that I had gotten stuck in throughout the summer.  I just went with the flow.  Ice cream every night?  Absolutely yes.  Meals at weird times?  Waiting until 8 am to run- something that I hadn’t done all summer?  Staying up later than I had been comfortable with?  Relaxing in the afternoon?  I tried to say yes to everything.  Also tried to lead by example- post-workout recovery snack, rope stretching, foam rolling, treating myself, not hammering maintenance runs, and striking that tricky balance of relaxation and dedication to training.  I hope we (the juniors) did a good job.  The underclassmen reassured us that we did great, which was so gratifying 🙂

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One of the highlights from this morning was at the farmer’s market.  As I mentioned before, the people there are the nicest ever.  I stopped at one of the bread stands and made small talk with the woman who works there- we sort of know each other because the store where I work is very close with the farmers and small businesspeople from the market.  We talked about me going back to school, and when I tried to buy a lemon bite from her, she gave it to me for free and said, “save it for college”!  This happens all the time.  Do you see why I love it there??

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It was also really delicious.  The tangy glaze paired perfectly with the soft, sweet-yet-sour lemon pastry.

I also just adore the farmer’s market because you can find the most unique food items there.  Moroccan spiced carrot hummus?  Okra?  Dirt-cheap apples, peaches, and tomatoes?  Agave lime gazpacho??  I’ll probably miss it more than my home, to be honest…(mostly kidding).

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I’m going back to school and moving into my apartment later this week, so the next few days will be filled with planning, packing, (running) and convincing myself that I’ll be okay living 1.5 miles from campus without a car. 😉  I can’t believe summer is almost over!

Summer Training Week 12: 62 miles

Happy Sunday!  I wrapped up the highest mileage week of my life so far (62 miles) with 3.5 miles this morning.  I am TIRED.  In just 7 hours, I will be done with work for the summer and headed to a concert with my friend! 🙌

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Post-run breakfast: apple pie egg white oats with strawberries and chia/flax PB, along with plain Greek yogurt

Week 12 (8/7-8/13):

Monday: AM: 7 miles, felt good! Drills, strides, core, short nap.  PM: 3 miles, felt good but distracted.  Total: 10 miles.

Tuesday:  20 min warm-up, drills, 4 mile tempo on W&OD bike path (6:32, 6:29, 6:17, 6:05), 2 min recovery, 4 x [60,60], 20 min c/d.  Ice bath.  Felt completely out of whack.  Not a stellar workout.  Mentally unfocused, ugh.  Total = 10 miles.  Worked 12-5 pm.

Wednesday:  6 miles with my friend on canal.  It was almost chilly outside!  Core.  Worked 5-10 pm.

Thursday:  AM: drills, 7 miles, strides on turf (2 strides barefoot).  Legs felt exhausted but bearable throughout the run.  Push-ups, dips, pull-ups, and squats.  Worked 12-5 pm.  PM: 3 miles home from work.  Tired but decent.

Friday: Workout at park/lake with teammate!! 20 min warm-up, drills, 7-5-7-5 with 2 min recovery on trail loop, 2 mile cool down.  Didn’t feel fresh but it was SO FUN and we talked the entire time (including during the workout…we just had a lot to catch up on)!   Total: 9 miles.  Ice bath.  Worked 5-11 pm RIP.  Also, OMG EMMA COBURN AND COURTNEY FRERICHS.

Saturday: 13.5ish miles (mostly downhill to Roosevelt Island, back uphill on Custis trail and W&OD).  Listened to podcasts and it was actually pretty enjoyable!  A tiny bit longer than I meant to go because I did a loop from my house.

Sunday: 3.5 miles

Total: 62 miles

Monday was good, Tuesday through Thursday were not great- I just felt really tired and run-down.  Luckily, I had running buddies for a lot of this week’s runs.  Friday was AWESOME just being with my teammate, and Saturday’s long run went pretty smoothly!  Worked six days in a row this week while trying to hit high mileage, which was kind of unpleasant…I definitely have a tendency to get stuck in an intense, over-the-top rut with summer training, but I had a couple good conversations with teammates that reminded me to relax.
It was nice and cool in the mornings this week, which was a pleasant change that made it a little easier to get out the door.
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Long run views!

Yesterday was the longest run I’ve done so far!  I went out for 100 minutes, since that’s what we did the last time I ran 13 miles, but my phone’s Health app said I had gone almost 14 miles at the end.  I don’t know how accurate it was, but my body sure felt like I’d gone that long!
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I didn’t sleep that well this week.  Tried to fit in naps wherever possible, which usually happened to be like 10:30 am and made me feel completely discombobulated for the rest of the day…oh well 😉 Nutrition was pretty strong!  Since I worked so many shifts, most of my lunches and dinners were “clean-out-the-fridge” meals eaten out of aesthetic Tupperwares at work.  We had the week off from lift, so I’m feeling a bit like a noodle.
In non-running news, I finished A Walk West (the second installment of A Walk Across America) and started What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day.  So far, I really like it.  Finally making a crack at the 5-for-$3 books from the used bookstore!
Tomorrow is our training trip!!  I CAN’T WAIT.  I went to Harris Teeter and Trader Joe’s this morning to stock up for the trip and managed to get 10 Siggi’s yogurts for $10 thanks to coupons and sales!  It was #lit.  It was only when I left the store that I realized I’m moving out in nine days.  There is a lot of yogurt in my immediate future.  Why am I like this…
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Generally stick to store-brand, but this was 10 for $10!!

Planning on dropping it down this coming week unless I feel shockingly good.  Overall, I’m sore, achey, and wish I could sleep instead of going to work today.  But just gotta get through one more shift!  #doitforthecarfund
Almost work time!  LAST SHIFT LEGGOOO.  Listening to Ed Sheeran’s older music while I get ready 🙂

Summer Training Week 10 (51 miles + 60 min swim)

It was 60 degrees when I woke up this morning!

Crazy.

Anyway, happy Sunday!  I was planning on sleeping in, but my body always has other plans…so a 5:45 am wake-up it was.  After writing for awhile, I made some waffles and went to the farmer’s market.

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Week 10 (7/24-7/30):

Monday:  AM: drills, 7 miles with friends on sidewalks/bike path, strides, difficult core circuit!  Legs felt fresh thanks to off day yesterday.  PM: Kayaked on the Potomac with some friends.  Ultimately decided not to double.  Definitely thought about that decision way too much! Ugh.

Tuesday:  AM: pre-early-workout ate toast with almond butter and banana. 2 mile warm-up, drills, 30 minute tempo, 26 minute cool down (that was an accident- I ran too far down the canal during the tempo haha).  Tempo felt strong- it was long, but I was not dead at the end!  Nuun and Picky bar between workout and lift.  Lift day 1.  Ice bath.  Worked 12-5 pm.  Quite tired after, but solid morning!  Abs are sore

Wednesday:  AM: 3 miles.  Sore from lift!  Nice weather.  Worked 12-5.  PM: 30 min swim.  Was very enjoyable 🙂

Thursday: AM: drills, 7 miles, strides on turf (finally did strides somewhere besides the asphalt!!), ate an energy bite between run and lift, lift day 2.  Lift went well!  PRed on farmer’s holds.  PM: 2 miles, humid/hot but felt good.  Worked 5-10 pm.

Friday: pre-workout ate toast with almond butter and banana. 2 mile warm-up on bike path, drills, 6 x [4:00h, 2:00e], 2 mile cool down.  Went well!  I was mentally strong.  Ice bath.  Solo road trip.

Saturday: 13ish miles (100 minutes) on trails/bike path.  Personal distance record!  This was a pretty awesome run!  I felt like I could have gone faster and farther.  Ice bath.

Sunday: 30 min swim

Total: 51 miles + 60 minutes swimming

This was a good week!  I didn’t have any “bad” runs and had two lovely swims.  For the most part, I slept pretty well and felt good about my nutrition this week.  It’s hard for me to be comfortable all the time with the sheer amount of food we have to eat with the level of training that we’re doing, but I’m just trying not to overthink it and listen to my body 🙂
I went kayaking with friends on Monday afternoon and am a little embarrassed to admit that I spent way too long thinking about whether or not I should double.  In the end, I did not double, had a lot of fun kayaking, and felt better on all my runs because I did not double.  Sheesh, Kathryn.
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Both workouts were super strong mentally…I have no idea what pace I was going (except for the one 1/2-mile split that I actually checked on Friday was 2:55).  I didn’t check my watch until 28 minutes into Tuesday’s 30 minute tempo, which was great!
Lifts went well.  I went hard on Tuesday and was noticeably sore for two days.
#Transparency: My period has not appeared for three months (no, I’m not pregnant).  I’m fueling properly and don’t think I’m overtraining, so that’s a little concerning and annoying.  Making a note of it here so I keep it in mind.
Didn’t do any yoga…again…
Well, that’s that!  Another week of training in the books.  A few more weeks until our training trip and less than a month until fall semester!

Summer Training Week 8 (54 miles)

Happy National Ice Cream Day!  After an easy 4 miles and core this morning, I dog sat, perused the farmer’s market, and have been checking various chores off my to-do list.  It’s been a busy week; I’ve worked every single day, and one more shift stands in the way of me and a day off 😉

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Week 7 (7/10-7/16):

Monday:  AM: drills, glutes, 7 miles,  strides.  I felt pretty crappy and was cranky on this run.  Core circuit.  PM: 3 miles neighborhood trail.  1 hour slow flow yoga class.  Got sick afterwards and puked/laid in bed all evening.

Tuesday:  AM: nothing: still sick.  Felt very achey/tired/lethargic, hibernated all day.  PM: 7 miles at 8:00 pace on treadmill.  Feet hurt by the end but body felt surprisingly okay.

Wednesday:  5 miles at Roosevelt Island.  Probably one of the top 5 worst runs I’ve ever had.  Heavy legs, felt off balance and achey, and it was super warm and humid.  But at least I did it!  Lift day 1: felt okay.

Thursday:  AM: fartlek on canal: 2 mile warm-up, 1-1-1-2-2-2-3-3-2-2-2-1-1-1 min on with 1 min recovery between everything, 2 mile cool down.  Very humid/muggy.  Didn’t feel amazing, but much better than Wednesday.  Ice bath.  PM: 2 miles at 8:10 pace on treadmill.  Very tired, and sore feet/legs!  Total = 11 miles

Friday: AM: 5 miles sidewalks.  Tired but progressively better.  Very humid/hot.  Lift day 2, unfortunately disrupted by some really horrible interactions.  The lift went pretty well, but I was not in a good mindset and therefore it didn’t feel as quality as it could have.  PM: was going to swim, but thunderstorms closed the pool, so I reluctantly took the afternoon off (which I definitely needed!!)

Saturday:  4 mile warm-up, 4 mile tempo (6:30, 6:33, 6:19, 6:12), 4 mile cool down all on bike path.  95% humidity.  Tempo was hard but got progressively mentally stronger throughout.  I knew I would need something extra, so I ate a citrus Clif energy gel after the tempo (so after 8 miles), and I don’t know if it was a placebo effect, but the last 4 miles felt surprisingly good!  Sore toes.  Ice bath. (Total: 12 miles)

Sunday: 4 miles + core

Total: 54 miles

This week was just weird.  I got sick on Monday and really didn’t feel well for about 5 days total.  Running wasn’t super fun, and I was annoyed that my mileage was lower than I wanted it to be.  Also, I managed to do 3 runs on soft-ish surfaces (yay!) but my legs were still super heavy and the constant, miserable heat and humidity didn’t help…

But I tried to listen to my body, and I’m proud of myself for taking Friday afternoon off (haha I’m aware how ridiculous that sounds).  I finally started to feel not-dead on Friday night.  Saturday’s long run took awhile to get into, and the tempo really did not feel great. So I was going to do 2×2 miles, and then “get to 3 miles and reevaluate”, but I got to 3 miles and felt progressively stronger so ended up doing 4 🙂  And I’m now an energy gel believer haha.

I’ve turned into a hermit that only runs and works.  I know my mindset was kinda crazy this week, so one of the things I’ll work on this coming week is not treating every run/mileage like the be-all, end-all of cross country success.  I have a tendency to micro-analyze every week and compare it to last year, etc. etc. etc.  I do really want to hit higher mileage, but I’m trying to remind myself that consistency is key!  There’s no need to rush things, especially after the spring semester…

One of the things I will try to incorporate this coming week is positive mantras.  Even a short phrase can re-center yourself and remind you of what’s important.  I go to a slow flow yoga class every week, and the instructor’s end-of-class mantra is “You are strong.  You are awesome.  You are inspiring.”  Heck yes, we all are!  Power poses can also play a big role in re-establishing yourself and getting out of a short-term funk.  I sound like such a hippie 😉 but I will incorporate these techniques.

Other random happenings:

  • My baby brother turned 13!
  • I finished reading A Walk Across America and re-read Born to Run and Eat and Run.  I’m a fan of all three books.  Now I’m reading Reconstructing Amelia.

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  • I poached eggs in a muffin tin for the first time.  They were delicious!  Just pop em in the oven for like 10 minutes.
  • Made Spicy Peanut Pad Thai for dinner one night (recipe from runonveg.com).  It was really good!  I used shrimp instead of tofu.  Also didn’t have aminos so used soy sauce, but that made it way too soy-sauce-y, so I had to add a bunch of honey to the sauce, haha.
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National Ice Cream Day concoction in the works.  Hint: involves three types of dough

  • Decompressed every night by eating lots of dessert and binge-watching The Great British Baking Show (until 10 pm because #earlyriserprobs)

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  • My coach shared with us the article, “Mindsets: Developing Talent Through a Growth Mindset” by Carol Dweck.  It was a really good read- I would recommend it to any athletes (or anyone!).  She also had us think about our beliefs about natural talent and effort.
  • I tend to align more with a fixed mindset in terms of “concealing deficiencies” and sometimes have trouble accepting criticism.  However, I have a growth mindset when it comes to Rule #2: “Work with passion and dedication- effort is key.”  Just some personal food for thought.

My goals (running and non-running) this week are to: have fun outside of training because I kind of failed at that this week; be less rigid with training and don’t stress about workouts; do something nice for someone every day; practice listening rather than just waiting until someone is done talking and then jumping in with whatever I have to say; plan more fall semester stuff; read a lot; stay off my phone!

Summer Training Week 6 (52-55 miles + 30 min bike)

Greetings!  Today is a big day- the whole family’s in town, my mom and her husband are having a “wedding” party to celebrate their marriage, and also I hit the highest mileage in months and hammered the shit out of my long run 😉

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Who am I??

Week 6 (6/26-7/2):

Monday:  AM: 7 miles + core.  Legs felt pretty fresh after yesterday’s rest day!  PM: 2 miles + 1 hour slow flow yoga class at Mind the Mat
Tuesday:  AM: 8 miles on sidewalks/bike path. Drills + strides.  Lift day 1- felt strong, going to be sore.  PM: 2 miles, tired but gradually better.  Some negative personal thoughts.  Boo.
Wednesday:  5 miles W&OD bike path.  Sore, tired, but decent run.  Didn’t do 30 XT double because felt like body needed a break.
Thursday:  AM: 7 miles on sidewalks/bike path.  Felt good!  10 min core.  PM: 30 min bike, some random intervals thrown in.   Lift day 2- went well!  I did 26 out of 36 chin-ups unassisted…the most ever!
Friday:  AM: drills, 8 miles on bike path, strides.  Didn’t feel great for most of it.  PM: 2 miles @ 8:00 pace on treadmill.  Started crappy, finished better.
Saturday:  “Carry the Flag” 5k in Georgetown with my 9-year-old neighbor.  He sprinted the first 100m and then wanted to stop.  We ran/walked a stellar 29:35.
Sunday: 11 miles on the bike path…hammered the whole run and hit 6:40s on the way back…and it was 80 degrees and 80% humidity.

Total: 52-55 miles + 30 min bike
 
I LOVE this mileage right now.  I love it love it love it.  My feet felt (comparatively) fantastic even though I completely slacked off on rehab stuff…hehe.  There’s something magical about orthotics.  This week’s running routes were quite boring and hard surface-y because I stuck to the bike path/sidewalks…didn’t get a chance to drive to soft surfaces because I don’t have time (have to hurry over to dog-sitting right after morning runs).
I didn’t sleep super well this week and actually felt really out of it on Friday and Saturday.  Got home really late some nights due to evening work shifts and dog sitting.  Also, my body image and attitude towards food has been in the toilet (for me).  Just keeping it real.  It’s been weird.  But today’s long run was a kick in the pants and helped me remember to focus on getting stronger and training properly rather than stupid negative body/self-talk.  I’m HELLA STRONG, man!  Gotta remember that!
This week’s weather was humid as heck and some days were really hot.  Classic.
My neighbors convinced me to run a 5k with their son yesterday, and it was definitely an experience…I’m not sure if I should actually count it towards mileage because we walked at least half of it.  But it was a learning experience for me because I had to figure out things to say and do to motivate a 9-year-old to not quit/die.  Learned a lot!
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Not sure what’s going on in this photo but we’ll roll with it

Today’s long run…ooh.  The rest of the week’s runs were really boring, honestly, and I wanted to spice it up, so I actually used a GPS for once and hammered the run from the beginning (which was definitely not boring!).  I ran on the bike path again because I’m too lazy to come up with new routes….was wondering why it felt so hard and looked at my splits at the end and literally came to a dead stop in the middle of the street and said “What the heck?”  The last 5 miles were in the 6:40s.  I never do that.  It all makes sense now.
So happy to be back at this mileage/training…excited and apprehensive for workouts to start…and I’m gonna take tomorrow’s runs eeeeasy.
Other highlights from this week:
My friend turned 20 and had a “Roaring 20s” themed birthday party.  It was awesome.  She is a walking Pinterest board.
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I made some homemade vanilla espresso raw almond butter…yessss.  Much better than paying $14 for one jar of Wild Friends…sorry Wild Friends, I love your nut butter but not that much.
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Oats eaten out of not-really-empty peanut butter jars are the best way to go.
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Excited for the weeks to come!  Workouts will start on Tuesday, and I hope that I will find people crazy enough to run them with me!