Summer Training Week 13: 54 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 11 (57 miles)

Week 11?! What??

Happy Sunday!  It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood- 65 degrees this morning as I headed out the door to go to yoga (for the first time in a month.  Shhh).  After a long, tough week of hard workouts and work shifts every single day, my off day from running and my off day from work have fallen on the same day.  #blessed.  I went to yoga, the farmer’s market, a local bakery, and am spending the rest of the day trying to adult by looking at used cars.

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Week 11 7/31-8/6):

Monday:  AM: 7 miles on sidewalks, drills, strides, difficult core circuit.  Felt pretty flat- worked late last night.  PM: 2 miles.  Felt decent.  Total: 9.

Tuesday:  Got over 8 hours of sleep last night!!  Woke up at 6:40 which is quite late for me…AM: 2 mile warm-up, drills, 5 mile “steady state” on bike path, 2 mile cool down.  Splits: 6:27, 6:27, 6:24, 6:16, 6:03.  Mentally strong!  Light lift day 1.  Ice bath.  Worked 12-5.  PM: 2 miles home from work.  Total: 11 miles.

Wednesday: 5 miles on sidewalks + turf.  Tired but decent.  Worked 5-9:30 pm.

Thursday:  AM: drills, 7 miles, strides.  Light lift day 2.  Strides felt much better than Monday.  Worked 11-5.  PM: 3 miles home from work.  Felt heavy; sore feet.  Total: 10.

Friday:  12 min warm-up, drills, REALLY LONG FARTLEK on canal (3×1 minute, 2×2, 2×3, 2×4, 2×3, 2×2, 3×1 with 1 min recovery in between everything), 12 min cool down.  Total: 10 miles.  This workout was weird- I kept losing focus, didn’t feel engaged, but rallied well at the end once I convinced myself I was almost done 😉  Didn’t sleep great the night before.  Canal was very muddy.  Ice bath.  Worked 12-5.

Saturday:  12 miles sidewalks/bike path.  First 8ish by myself and then 4ish with my friend during which we stopped like every 2 minutes.  Oh well. Quite tired.  Ice bath.  Worked 12-5.

Sunday: 1 hour yoga class.  Off.  Off from work too- yessss.

Total: 57 miles + yoga class

This week was pretty dang tiring.  Worked every single day, some tough workouts, and the fatigue has definitely accumulated over the past two days.  Sleep could’ve been better- I drank a lot of coffee this week, which kept me up a bit at night!  I hit slightly higher mileage than planned, so I’m taking today completely off instead of doing the scheduled cross train.

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Yes, this is a blurry butt shot- but I had to document how MUDDY Friday’s workout was!

My mentality was very one-track-minded, and I feel a bit antisocial and isolated.  Definitely need this off day from running.  I’ve gotten very good at understanding when and why my body/mind feel certain ways, and right now, both are saying, “You almost overdid it this week.  You need a day off!”

On both Tuesday and Thursday, I doubled home from work.  However, Thursday’s route was a little too long…so I ended up having a nice little walk home after reaching my mileage.IMG_7458.jpg

Met up with a friend for acai bowls on Wednesday! Delicious, fun, and overpriced 😉

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I’m feeling the need for a nap, so I’m going to wrap this post up.  This week, I’m going to work on balance, reading more instead of spending so much time on Instagram, reaching out to friends, and continuing to prepare for the school year.  It’s almost time for fall semester!!

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!

An Adventure

This weekend, I had Friday and Saturday off from work, so I made plans with some of my teammates to meet up in our college town.  Yesterday, I ran a workout, took an ice bath, and headed down after breakfast. After thunderstorms and bad traffic, I finally arrived…and one by one, all of my friends cancelled.

AWESOME.  I almost turned around and drove 3 hours home.

However, it’s important to be comfortable spending quality time with yourself!  Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you expected for a  reason.  The trip turned out differently than I expected, but it was honestly still a good time!  The worst part was the traffic.

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Since I hadn’t been back in our college town since the end of spring semester, I spent a couple hours just enjoying being there.  It was pretty stormy and gray, which was perfect weather to do a bit of outlet shopping and then take myself on a date to my favorite coffee shop/restaurant.

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I enjoyed some Caribbean blackened salmon, grains and veggies, and a massive slice of “Chocolate Overload” cake while reading A Walk Across America, Part 2.

After awhile, I made plans to crash at a friends’ apartment.  I met her subletter, who was extremely nice, and we actually ended up talking for a long time that evening!

This morning, I made plans to long run with a new teammate and another acquaintance who were both in the area.  We met early at a local park and bike path, and I ran with them for 100 minutes (~13 miles) for a new personal distance record!  I hadn’t spent too much time with either of them, but the run flew by as we all shared stories.  At one point, one of them mentioned that we had already been running for almost an hour, and I was shocked!

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After 13 miles, I headed back to the locker room to stretch, roll out, and ice bath.  Talked to a couple track teammates that happened to be there at the same time.  Then, I headed into the historic area to wander around (read: get coffee and free fudge samples) at all the cute shops.

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I had never been in this Spice and Tea place before!  Their peach turmeric tea was amazing.

After running some errands, I went to tour the apartment complex that my roommate and I will be moving into this year!  We’re excited to start planning the set-up.

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The most important part 😉

Finally, I hit the road and drove home.  Traffic wasn’t great, and it took a pretty long time.  Stopped for a fruit-and-yogurt pit stop.  I’m done driving long distances for awhile 😉

Anyway, this solo trip was definitely out of routine for me.  I am not the world’s most extroverted person, and I generally don’t spend hours talking to new people.  But for the past 26 hours, I did!  I met some awesome people, made plans that I wouldn’t normally make, was generally productive, and was also comfortable spending time with myself.  I’m quite happy about this.  To top it all off, this morning’s long run was incredible!  I felt like I could have gone farther and faster. 🙂

Summer Training Week 9 (57 miles + 30 min swim)

The sun is going down a tiny bit earlier each night, sudden thunderstorms crop up briefly and intensely throughout the afternoons, my brother is packing for sleepaway camp, somehow we are on week NINE of summer training!…summer goes on.

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Too hot even for me to eat hot oatmeal- but this (cold) bowl was dang good

I took today completely off from running but drove for over six hours, so I’m just as tired 😉  Also SO full.  But today was lots of fun!

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Week 9 (7/17-7/23):

Monday:  AM: drills, 7 miles on sidewalks, strides.  Very humid.  Didn’t feel super fresh, but other than that, went well.  Core circuit.  PM: 3 miles.  Sore/tired calves and feet.

Tuesday:  3 mile warm-up, drills, fartlek (15 min on- 3 off- 10 on- 3 off- 5 on), 2.5 miles cool down on canal.  90% humidity, sweated a lot.  Legs didn’t feel very fresh but rallied at the end.  Ice bath.  VERY tired later in the day.  Some unplanned food choices (read: ice cream binge) but I know that’s because I was so tired.

Wednesday:  AM: 5 miles sidewalks.  Very hot/humid.  Legs were tired but decent run.  Lift day 1- PRed on squats and had a good deadlift!  Last day of dog-sitting.  PM: 30 min swim, felt good to get off feet, very relaxing, but tired afterwards.

Thursday:  AM: 7 miles, drills, strides, 10 min core.  Hot/humid.  Felt okay.  PM: 3 miles treadmill @ 8:10 pace.  Cranky, tired at work afterwards.

Friday: 2 mile warm-up, drills, 4 x [6:00 on, 2:00 off], 2 mile cool down on bike path.  Hot/humid.  Ice bath.  Didn’t feel fresh but it went pretty well.  PM: skipped lift and took two naps instead.  #Yolo.

Saturday: 12 miles on sidewalks + bike path.  Best way to describe this run: boring?

Sunday: off

Total: 57 miles + 30 min swim

Highest volume week in awhile!  This week can be adequately summarized with the phrase, “Didn’t feel fresh but it went pretty well.”  At no point during the week did I feel fresh (not even on Monday- oops), but I think I rode the line between hard training and overstressing my body well!  (Although maybe the amount of power naps I took says otherwise.)

Slacked off on yoga this week and my mind was generally not relaxed.   Oh, well.  Will work on being more mindful this coming week.

It continued to be extremely hot and humid all week.  I am very diligent about getting out the door by 7 am at the latest, yet the temperature never dipped below 75 and the humidity never dipped below about 90%.  Lovely.  Just reminding myself over and over that these sauna-like conditions will pay off in the future!  My body is getting more efficient.

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Post-Friday workout sweatiness

Honesty moment of the week!  I’ve identified that I tend to be extremely cranky and binge-eat ice cream on the days where I work while tired from that day’s training session.  For some reason, this has been causing a lot of anxiety.  Yesterday, after twelve miles, I ate ice cream at work and honestly struggled a lot, mentally.  HOWEVER, today I road-tripped to see friends and indulged in delicious eats and was back to normal and didn’t give a crud.  It was awesome (and a relief!). I’m weird.  I don’t really understand.

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Hawaiian BBQ quesadilla with chicken, melted jack cheese, pineapple, onion, and BBQ sauce…HEAVEN

This morning, I picked up my friend who lives about 40 minutes from me, and then we drove 2.5 hours south to visit some other friends.  It was sweltering outside, but we still had a good time!  We got to meet one of our new teammates, and she was incredibly nice.  We ate lunch at a cute smoothie/sandwich place (I got the Hawaiian BBQ chicken quesadilla and a soy cappuccino), checked out consignment stores and boutiques, explored a spice store, and perused a used-books bookstore (my favorite).  I got 5 books for $3, and an adorable cat snoozed in the window of the bookstore.

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We took the scenic route home, and after winding through rural highway roads for a couple hours, we spontaneously stopped at a roadside ice cream barn that sources their dairy from local cows.  While I was still stuffed from lunch, I did taste the dark chocolate ice cream, and it was incredibly creamy and high-quality.  I will be back.

IMG_7271.jpgPhew!  After seven hours in the car, I’m pretty tired, a little bloated, and craving my bed. This next week is a bit of a down week- I’ll probably hit around 48-50 miles.  I am going to shoot for a 13-mile long run, though!  Hopefully, my legs will feel more refreshed from the low(er) mileage and I will #crushit 😉

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 7 (55 miles)

Just wrapped up four work days in a row- WOO!  The turnaround between a 5-10pm shift and a 12-5 pm shift always feels like, “Wasn’t I just here?”  But after two summers, I actually really like my workplace and know my coworkers better than last summer, so most of the time I don’t mind.

Anyway, this past week brought 55 miles!  And since I did last week’s long run on Sunday and this week’s on Saturday, I actually ran 66 miles in one week.  Ouch.

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Post-long run with the best ladies

Week 7 (7/3-7/9):

Monday:  AM: drills, 7 miles on sidewalks, strides, core circuit.  Tired from Sunday’s long run so ran watchless/relaxed and it turned out to be very pleasant.  PM: 2 miles on dirt trails, nice and slow.  1 hour slow flow yoga class.  Sunny, warm, humid.  Total = 9 miles.

Tuesday:  AM: 20 min w/u, drills, 4 mile tempo on bike path (6:27, 6:15, 6:18, 6:14), 20 min c/d, ice bath.  Pretty warm and humid.  PM: 2 miles on treadmill at 8:10 pace, felt surprisingly good and super happy!  Light lift.  Holy hunger!  Total = 11 miles.

Wednesday:  5 miles sidewalks (1 on turf).  Legs were tired but decent run.  Walked a fair amount around the Mall with out-of-town relatives  Very humid.

Thursday:  AM: 7 miles with friend on sidewalks/bike path.  Pouring rain.  Strides + light upper body lift.  Felt ok.  PM: 2 miles on treadmill at 8:15ish pace, didn’t enjoy it very much.  Total = 9 miles.

Friday:  2 mile warm-up, drills, fartlek on bike path (6-5-4-3-2-4×1 min with 1/2 recovery), 2 mile cool down.  Had to pump myself up for this.  Felt decent during the workout, but DIED on the cool down and got back to my house and felt like I was going to die for about 1.5 hours. Ice bath.  Total = 9 miles.

Saturday: 12 miles on the Mall, Mount Vernon bike path, Georgetown, etc. with teammates!! Ice bath. It was SO fun to run with them. Very humid.  My fuel tank was definitely empty the last 15 minutes of the run.  Longest run since October!!

Sunday: off

Total: 55 miles
Started workouts this week, and they didn’t go too badly!  The tempo was hard, and I mentally enjoyed the fartlek more, even though I felt like crap afterwards.  It was very humid and pretty hot all week, although it did rain a lot in the middle of the week.  I had running buddies on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday!
This week, our lifting coach gave us a down week, so we hardly did any strength.  Two light sessions and one core circuit- and I’m actually completely fine with that.  Looking forward to getting back into the weight room and doing more core this week, though.  It’s interesting to think back to last year when I was obsessed with doing core- like I’d lose my six-pack or not be “good enough” if I didn’t work abs every dang day.  News flash, old me- you can do core as infrequently as once a week and your weight room sessions will keep you fit and functionally stronger!  Revolutionary 😉
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We are terrible at actually taking pictures

My teammates actually came up to visit on Friday and Saturday, which was awesome.  We went to Jazz in the Garden on the Mall, went out to dinner, caught up with another friend, and long ran together on Saturday morning.  It was very scenic, and I tried to fit in as many monuments and historical sites as I could into the long run route.  Afterwards, we ice bathed and I made brunch for us- oatmeal with a toppings bar, scrambled eggs, yogurt, coffee, the works.
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Watched over by the Rolling Stones haha

There were a couple days this week that were very rollercoaster-y emotionally, as well as a few binge-like sessions that I’m not too proud of.  But if I remember correctly, that tends to happen as mileage increases and training intensifies.  There were also outside factors that contributed to a shaky emotional state.  I’m looking forward to leaving it behind, not continuing to guilt-trip myself, and learning to recognize the triggers that cause me to have trouble differentiating between physical hunger and mental tumult.
I wasn’t going to take today off even though I had an off day on schedule.  But I woke up this morning and my legs were screaming at me, so I listened to them and took the day off 😉  Used the extra time in the morning that I wasn’t running to make a killer breakfast. It is SO important to let the body recover to avoid overtraining!
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Heck yes

Since I completely failed at finding soft surfaces this week (3 miles out of 55 #nice), my goal this week is to get on some dirt or gravel trails.  It’s tricky because I have to dog sit, but I am determined to make it work.

The coming week has 58 miles on schedule, and I’m trying to hit 58-60.  The increased volume makes soft surface runs even more important- I know my body can’t handle 60 miles on sidewalks and asphalt.  Let’s goooo.

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!

Backpacking Trip

My family loves hiking, backpacking, camping, and anything related to the outdoors.  We usually go out to California and Mount Whitney  during the summer, but unfortunately we won’t be able to do that that this summer.  Also, with everyone’s packed schedules, it’s difficult to find a period of time where more than one person is free!  So last Wednesday, when we discovered that I had two off days from work in a row at the same time that my brother had finished his junior year of high school and didn’t have any pressing commitments for a whopping 48 hours, we decided to take a quick backpacking trip!

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We made a quick grocery run to get snacks and packed up our packs.  I packed a backpacking tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, food and water, and all the necessary miscellaneous items.  My brother opted for a hammock and tarp cover.  The forecast called for rain, so we sort of prepared.

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I ran 6 miles on Thursday morning before we headed out on our adventure.  An hour into the drive, my brother went, “I forgot my hiking boots!”

Genius.

So…our two-hour drive took four hours.  But we got there eventually.  We parked the car at the base of the trail and started the hike.  Since there was no water source where we were going to camp, we had to carry all the water we would need.  Our packs were just a little heavy!

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The hike we decided to do was 10 miles total, with a campsite and beautiful mountainous overlook located close to the summit.  It was 3.5 hard, hard miles one way, and 6.5 on the other side.  We chose to do the 3.5 on the first day.  5 minutes after we started, I sank into a giant muddy swamp.  Off to a great start 😉

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The hike up brought all sorts of terrain, ranging from flowery meadows to rock scrambles to wooded greenery.

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We had to work on the steep rocky inclines, but nothing compares to attacking a particularly hard incline and victoriously reaching the top, soaked in sweat, breathing hard, but triumphant.

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We reached the campsite after about an hour and a half, and trekked out to the overlook to take in the views before setting up camp and (just me) wolfing down like three Clif bars.

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Happy to be at the top!

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The set-up:

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That night, we built a campfire and roasted sun-dried tomato chicken sausages over the fire.  I had mac and cheese, and my brother made ramen and instant mashed potatoes, which he promptly spilled all over his Birkenstocks.

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We kept the fire going as it got dark and did dorky things like listen to our old marching band showcase music and sing along to some oldies.

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Eventually, the fire burned down to embers, and we went to bed.  It was incredibly windy, and heavy rain hit the mountain around 4 am.  I don’t think I got much, if any, sleep, but it was an otherworldly experience.

In the morning, we woke to find that we were essentially in the middle of a cloud.  It was humid, hazy, and the rain had left all the plant life glowing vibrantly green.  We made breakfast, broke camp, and went back out to the overlook to appreciate the astonishing feeling of being in the middle of a cloud!

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Breakfast: instant oats, maple almond butter, and unpictured dried fruit

The views were even better than the day before.

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We started that day’s portion of the hike around 9:30 am.  The first part of the hike was a short, moderately steep incline to the top of the mountain, and then we began the descent.  It was amazing to see the changes in terrain as we descended in elevation!  Rocky dirt paths changed to vibrant wooded forests, swampy bogs, fern-covered woods with streams, flowery meadows, and more muddy forests.  It was incredible.

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It took us about two and a half hours to complete the hike.  Afterwards, we were so hungry that we stopped on the way home and inhaled an enormous pizza in less than ten minutes.

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All in all, this spontaneous backpacking trip was hard, sweaty, smelly, and loads of fun.  There’s nothing like carrying everything you need to survive on your person.  Hard hiking is cathartic.  I encourage everyone who is able to get outside and away from the city for at least a little while.  I wish I could do it more often!  That’s one of the things I think I will do frequently once I finish my collegiate running career 🙂