Week of 1/1-1/7 (51)

Happy Monday- the start of the last week at home before spring semester begins!  I’m currently wearing cozy fleece pajama pants and settling into a Thai chicken curry coma while writing this post.  I’m working tomorrow so planning to do my workout and lift pretty early.  In typical Monday fashion, I am battling a severe cold, and my car battery died.  But on the bright side, the AAA guy was really nice, and I got in two really nice outdoor runs today after the Treadmill Horror Week!
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Color coordination is not my strong suit

Since last week was so cold, I decided to play it safe by doing the majority of my training indoors.  However, by the end of the week, I was beyond done with the monotony of the dreadmill.
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Yikes…

Week of 1/1-1/7:
  • Monday: AM: active warm-up, 7 miles @ 7:45 pace on treadmill, GS1.  PM: active warm-up, 2 miles @ 7:39 pace outside, strides, circuits.
  • Tuesday: active warm-up, 2 miles @ 7:45 pace, treadmill fartlek (2 x :90h, :90float, 4x:60,:60, 6x:30,:30), 2 miles @ 7:50.  PM: ice skating.
  • Wednesday: 7 miles @ 7:02
  • Thursday: AM: active warm-up, easy 7 miles @ 8:00 on treadmill, upper body lift at home.  PM: 2 miles @ 7:55 on treadmill, 2xhill stride simulation, circuits.
  • Friday: AM: workout at “indoor track”.  Active warm-up, 2 miles @ 7:30, drills, 2×200, 2 x [1000, 400, 800] with 200-400 recovery, 2 mile cool down.  Splits: 36, 37, 3:32, 77, 2:52, 3:40 (ouch), 81, 2:50.  Honestly, this track is awful, so the effort was much harder and I’m not too worried about the splits.  PM: 23 min aqua jog.
  • Saturday: 30 min bike + core
  • Sunday: 11 miles on the treadmill (7:20s-7:30s, finished a bit faster). I reeeeally didn’t want to do this on the treadmill, but I only had time in the morning and it was -3 degrees.  Almost put a baseball bat through the treadmill if I’m honest.

Total: 51 miles + 55 min XT

Physically, I got in some good work this week.  My runs and lifts all went pretty well, I didn’t hammer too many maintenance runs, and I got in some quality strength.    Surprisingly, I am not stressing too much about the fact that my mileage buildup has been a little lower throughout winter break.  It’s hard to train alone, the higher-quality work is done back on campus, and we have a long season(s) ahead of us.  I’ve been taking care of myself and getting in good work, and that’s what matters 🙂

However, I was definitely going stir-crazy (and dreadmill-crazy) by the end of the week.  The lack of sunlight didn’t help, either…

While it wasn’t fun to train primarily indoors, there were a bunch of highlights this week!

  1. I ran with a friend on the canal on Wednesday, and the run flew by because we talked nonstop.
  2. Homemade pizza night!IMG_0810.jpg
  3. Convinced the aforementioned friend to join me for an indoor track workout on Friday!  I would not have been able to do the workout without a buddy.
  4. Made some delicious homemade bars (with walnuts, dates, oats, chia and flax seeds, and chai spices.)IMG_0860.jpg
  5. Went out for pho with friends and talked for three straight hours.  It was a blast.
  6. Started working again, and my out-of-town friend showed up unexpectedly, which was so much fun.
  7. Due to a massive, random craving, I picked up some salteñas after cross training on Saturday.  They were just as incredible as I remembered.IMG_0869.jpg
  8. Got through Sunday’s long run without killing anyone!  Even though I bailed out a mile earlier than planned.
  9. A networking brunch with the people I will be working for/with!  It was a lot of fun, and I’m really excited.

So yes, lots of positives this week.  This coming week is my last week at home before I go back to school for the spring semester, and I want to make it a good one!  My friend joined me for 7 early miles this morning.  This early riser hadn’t actually risen early in awhile, so my alarm was quite the shock!  It was fun to catch up with her (and run outside…blessed).  I had another quality run in the afternoon, followed by strides and a general strength session that felt awesome.  I am definitely not taking today for granted; it was really, really nice 🙂

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Tried to film my afternoon strides but it didn’t work too well…

My goals this week are to enjoy training, work more hours, remain positive and continue to remind myself why we are doing this training, get ready to move back to school, cook some new foods, and prioritize sleep and foam rolling (been slacking a little…).  And don’t feel bad about spending a few hours not doing anything at all! (I’m terrible at this.)  Classes begin next Wednesday, and our first race is in less than two weeks!  I know I’m not in the best shape ever, but I’m excited to get through a few more workouts at home before rejoining my teammates.  That always makes workouts more fun and effective 🙂 I’m truly excited to race on an indoor track (and race a track race in uniform!) for the first time since freshman year!!  Here’s a throwback to my first race in uniform:

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Baby Kathryn!

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Today :)

Okay, okay, I know I said I would write a Year in Review and 2018 goals post…and I am, I swear!  But today has been such a nice day that I just wanted to write about it.

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To be perfectly honest, I’ve lacked motivation towards training over the past couple weeks.  I’ve still gotten out and done it, but my mentality has been seriously lacking.  Being away from my team, my coaches, and being so far removed from what we’re working for (racing) makes it really hard to stay motivated!  It doesn’t help that it’s been zero degrees outside.

Anyway, today I woke up to real-feel temperatures of -1.  To the treadmill I went!  I had a short fartlek on tap, so I headed to the community center gym because my treadmill tops out at 10 mph (not fast enough for speedwork).  When I got there, the gym was packed.  Somehow, counterintuitively, this boosted my lackluster mood!  I was excited to see everyone busting their butts to achieve their goals.  In my opinion, having a lot of people at the gym makes you more motivated to kick butt in your workout because you don’t want to look slow.  (Just me?  Probably.)  My high school teammate, who is a kickass D1 runner herself, was bearing down on the treadmill in the middle of an eight-mile cutdown run to 5:30 pace.  Freakin’ inspiration.

After completing an active warm-up routine, I hopped on the treadmill next to her and ran a two-mile warm-up before starting my fartlek.  [2x:90 hard, :90 float, 4x:60h, :60f, 6x:30h, :30f] with a two-mile cool down.  Because it’s scary to run at high speed on a treadmill, and the effort always feels comparatively harder, I didn’t go “all out.”  I started the hard intervals at 5:40 pace and cut down to 5:10 pace.  Even though it wasn’t as hard as I could have gone on land, I hadn’t run that fast in awhile, and I felt like I had gotten in a good effort at the end!  And now that I’ve done some fast stuff, I feel much more inclined to do speedwork in the near future.  Funny how that works 😉

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Fueled up with a Picky bar before completing the day’s lift.  I went home, showered, ate lunch, power napped, and headed out to ice skate on the frozen canal with some friends that I don’t get to see a lot!  It ended up being such a good time- I hadn’t talked to them at length in awhile- and it was so cool to skate on the canal.  And we managed to avoid getting beaned in the head by the more aggressive hockey players out there.

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Afterwards, we warmed up our frozen bodies with the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had.  We used heavy cream, melted semisweet chocolate, and cinnamon sticks, so what’s not to love?

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It was just a really good day.  I sometimes get miserable in the cold, especially chronic extreme cold like this!  But now I’m bundled up and toasty warm, and it’s been a day to appreciate the small things like laughing with friends, reading interesting newspaper articles, feeling a little more motivated towards running, and resting under a string of pretty lights.  Also, I accidentally left clothes at the gym and went back to get them hours later and they were still there!  Heck yeah.  Happy New Year 🙂

 

Week of 12/25-12/31 (45)

Happy New Year!  Started 2018 off strong with 7 morning treadmill miles, 2 miles outside in the afternoon, two strength sessions, and the first of many intentional Meatless Mondays!

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Ancient, but functional, treadmill set-up

I will do a New Year’s post recapping 2017 and discussing my goals and intentions for 2018, but for now, gotta wrap up the last week of 2017!

Week of 12/25-12/31:

  • Monday: active warm-up, 7 miles, circuits
  • Tuesday: AM: 30 min bike + lower body lift.  Pushed weight and did 21/24 chin-ups!  PM: 7 miles, 4 x strides, 5 min core (got bored).
  • Wednesday: 4 miles @ 8:00 pace + 30 min swim.  SORE.  Felt pretty shitty.
  • Thursday: Travel ALL DAY.  Active warm-up to keep warm… 8 miles @ 7:30 pace on treadmill at night after getting home.
  • Friday: AM: active warm-up, 2 miles, drills, 4 mile pace run (watchless), 2 miles.  Upper body lift.  PM: 20 minute aqua jog…didn’t stretch afterwards, oops.
  • Saturday: 11 miles in the snow @ 7:35 avg (felt harder because slippery).
  • Sunday: OFF.  Aches and pains from snowy long run.  45 min yoga/stretching.

Total: 45 miles + 80 min XT

After essentially taking five days off from running the previous week, I ran six days in a row this week and hit semi-normal mileage.  Maybe not the smartest thing to do, but it was convenient!

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Tried this protein shake after Tuesday’s lift and it wasn’t bad! (and I hate protein powders)

I pushed Tuesday’s lift and woke up sore on Wednesday!  Wednesday’s run-XT combination was kind of dreadful, and I had to talk myself through every minute of it.  “Come on, just swim one more lap.  You can do it.”  Along with the perennial lie: “There’s nothing you’d rather be doing right now!”

We woke up at 4 am to travel home from California.  We were supposed to be home by 4:30 pm Eastern time, so I was planning on doing a maintenance run and then going to the gym to lift.  Unfortunately, we got a little stranded and didn’t get home until close to 7 pm.  It was 80 degrees in California and 15 in the DMV and we did not have coats.  I ended up doing some active warm-up routines to keep myself warm while we waited outside for the train for half an hour.  It worked, and the release of endorphins made me less crabby after traveling all day!  When we finally got home, I ran eight miles on the treadmill and did not lift because it was like 8 pm at that point.

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I didn’t do a workout until Friday’s pace run, and my watch died 3 minutes into the warm-up, so I went off of effort.  It went significantly better than the pace run I’d done the previous Monday!  My right leg locked up per usual, but otherwise I felt strong and confident.  No idea how fast it was.  I spent the afternoon making homemade bagels with my friend, and we went to the pool afterwards for a quick shakeout.

Overnight snow and ice made Saturday’s long run a little treacherous.  It wasn’t the most stellar run ever, but I got through it…However, the gait changes I made to compensate for the slippery bike path caused me to wake up sore and hurting on Sunday.  I was planning to cross train, but I took the day off, did some yoga, and hibernated inside after attempting to go to the farmers’ market in zero degree weather.

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I had New Year’s Eve plans, but after visiting a friend and eating a lot of mac and cheese, I got minor food poisoning.  So I ended up staying home and celebrating with my family. (and by celebrating, I mean eating brownie sundaes, drinking champagne, watching The Holiday, and falling asleep before midnight.  Party animals!)

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Even the dog was a party animal.

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I’ll write more about the year transition in the next post!  I’ve felt a bit…stale…towards life and training recently, although a rejuvenating double outside in the cooold helped reinvigorate me today 🙂

Week of 12/4-12/10 (35)

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

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

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

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

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

Week of 12/4-12/10:

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

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

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 4 (42 miles + 120 min XT)

#dead

#dead

#dead

#beenlisteningtomilkychancefor3hours

#revived to write this post 😉

Heck yeah, it’s time for another weekly summer training recap!  This week, I pushed my mileage a wee bit more (getting ready for that jump next week) and worked a lotttt of difficult shifts.  Definitely crashed and burned a bit by Saturday.  Got on a lot more soft surfaces, though!

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Long run views from this morning!

Week 4 (6/12-6/18):

Monday:  AM: 6 miles bike path.  Some soft(er) surface…for like a mile!  Core circuit.  Some foot pain but not too bad.  PM: 30 min swim.  Felt good.  Foot soak, roll, Tiger Balm.
Tuesday:  AM: 7 miles with Noah with one mile on the trails.  Significant foot pain during the second half of the run.  Drills and strides.  EXCELLENT lower body lift.  Pushed the weight and did the most unassisted parallel grip pull-ups I’ve ever done.  PM: 2 miles.  Crazy work shift until 10 pm per usual.
Wednesday:  60 min pool (50 swim, 10 aqua jog).  Was very pleasant.  1 hour slow flow yoga class.
Thursday:  AM: 7 miles @ 7:39 average on the C&O canal.  TBH felt pretty darn shitty.  PM: 30 min bike, felt good, upper body lift.  Busy work shift until 10 pm.
Friday:  AM: 7 miles on sidewalks/bike path.  Glute activation, drills, strides, core.  PM: 3 miles.  Tired from morning.  Long, crazy work shift until 11 pm.
Saturday: OFF.  Very glad for this rest day.  SO tired from the past couple days.  I felt like a zombie until like 6 pm.
Sunday:  10 miles @ 7:40 average at Manassas Battlefield.  All soft surface!  (Long grass/gravel/trails)  I had never run there before.  It was hot, humid, and hilly, but the views were unbeatable!

Total: 42 miles + 120 min XT.  
Dang…work this week kicked my ass.  Our ice cream store is getting more popular by the minute, and during today’s shift, we did not stop moving one time for five hours straight.  Also, the A/C in the store is broken, the freezers pump out hot air, and it never gets lower than 85 degrees.  After a hot, dehydrating ten-miler…I almost passed out into the dip case a couple times 😉  It’s just heat training, right??
I managed to get two soft-surface runs in this week, along with some sporadic dirt paths during a couple other runs!  So definitely an improvement from last week.
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Sleep this week wasn’t the greatest, unfortunately.  I worked a lot of late shifts, which riled me up at bedtime.  But I suppose it’s worth it for the paycheck!  #brokecollegestudentprobs
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And my nutrition has been okay, but not stellar- I’m just eating a lot of breads/baked goods and sugar, which is not prime fueling.  My post-run recovery foods are good (oatmeal, yogurt, eggs, nut butter, fruits, veggies…protein, complex carbs, healthy fats), but as the day progresses, I’ve been getting lazy!  And it’s hard at work when you’re just tryna stay alive, ya feel?  I get home after a long, hard shift and can’t tell if I’m physically ravenous or just mentally need some junk food.  Oh, well.  You live and learn (and lose a six-pack in the process, hehe).
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Homemade pumpkin bread

This morning’s long run was 80 degrees, 85% humidity, and very hilly with long grass, but the views were awesome!  I had originally planned to meet my friend out at the battlefields, but her foot has been bothering her, so I ran by myself.  Ran in silence over the hills and through the woods (literally) for the first half and then listened to a Runner’s World podcast during the second half.  It was kind of hard.IMG_6605.jpg
The new training week starts tomorrow, so gotta go rest up!  Running bright and early with one of my favorite running buddies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Workout Wednesday: Long tempo and pick-ups

I can finally write a snazzy-titled “Workout Wednesday” post!  My workouts are always on Tuesdays and Fridays, but I shifted my schedule to accommodate work. 🙂

Anyway, today marked the first workout back; it’s been almost two months since our last workout, so this was a great shock to the body.

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The workout: 3 mile warm-up, drills, 30 minute progressive tempo, 3 minute recovery, 4 x [60 seconds hard, 60 seconds easy], and 2-3 mile cool down.  I asked my friend to keep me company, which he did– major props because not many people would voluntarily run an 11 mile workout without having to!

We warmed up for three miles on the canal towpath and then did dynamic drills.  Due to completing my leg lift yesterday, it took awhile for my glutes and hamstrings to quit complaining!

The goal for the tempo was to keep it kind of conversational for the first half (~6:40s) and progress through the second half and hit the low 6:00s.  However…we started a little fast (around 6:15 pace).  We ran the entire tempo into the wind.  He struggled a little in the first half, and I struggled a little in the second half, but we were able to work together and finish 4.6-4.7 miles in 30 minutes for an average pace of 6:22.  Afterwards, we did 4 x [60, 60], and my legs couldn’t quite remember how to turn over quickly. 😉  We then cooled down for 2 miles for a total of 11ish for the day.

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Post-workout lunch: homemade kale pesto penne, steamed green beans, broiled fish, tomatoes, freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I also grated my hand while grating the cheese, so that was pleasant), tomatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots, and unpictured 2% lingonberry & strawberry Siggi’s, as well as orange Nuun.

Overall, the first workout back went really well!  The weather was windy but otherwise beautiful, the canal was scenic, and I’m happy to have had a great workout partner.

 

Intervals and Fall Festivities

Good morning!  I hope everyone is having a great Sunday.  After a few weeks of nice, cool weather, the temperatures rocketed back up to the 80s throughout the past week, which was less than ideal.  Luckily, they’re trending back down, and it is currently 56 degrees and sunny in the ‘burg.  I’m currently hanging in my favorite coffee shop, and I thought I’d take a break from reviewing for my Gender in Society midterm to catch up on what I’ve been up to.

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On Friday afternoon, we worked out on the track…but it was probably the worst workout day we have had as a team this season.  Almost everyone struggled- some had breathing issues, some didn’t feel well, etc.

The workout: 7 x 1000 with the first two close to threshold pace, the next two a bit faster, the fifth one “controlled all-out”, and the last two a bit slower.  We also ran 2 very controlled 200s (38-40 seconds) before starting the 1000s.

I hit 3:31, 3:36, 3:36, and my peroneals were burning up a storm.  So I ran the fourth one clockwise in lane 3 alone…didn’t help.  It was my slowest.  I think I ran above 3:40.  No good.  I was pissed off that the workout wasn’t going to plan, so I reset mentally and got ready for the “controlled all-out” portion.  Focused on quick turnover and ran 3:26- hey, at least it was faster than the others!  I hit 3:36 and 3:33 for my last two to at least finish off the workout strong.

The positive news- I’d never done 7 x 1000 in my life, so even though the first half of the workout sucked, I was proud that I rallied in the second half, even if the paces weren’t quite there!

The past 36 hours have been jam-packed with amazingly cliché fall activities 🙂  To decompress after the workout, I cooked an amazing dinner alone in the dorm kitchen.  Pan-seared steak, sauteed spinach, brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes, all with olive oil, pepper, and garlic salt.  Afterwards, I went to my friends’ apartment and made some gigantic homemade chocolate peanut butter cups while we watched “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days.”

Saturday’s long run was quite rough, as I felt nauseous and cut it short at 10 miles.  Afterwards, though, one of my friends and I had a spontaneously lovely morning of brunch, the farmer’s market, and peanut shop samples 🙂

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The afternoon was spent on the ferry and at the pumpkin patch, and some of us went out to dinner to celebrate my friend’s 21st birthday!

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I should probably continue to study for my midterm, so that’s all for now.  I’m taking a complete off day today as I already hit about 55 miles for the week and should probably not go higher than that.  The conference race is this coming Saturday already!  Yesterday was chock-full of indulgences (pumpkin pie, cappuccinos, bacon, molten chocolate lava cake!), so it’s back on the healthy train until Saturday at least 😉

It’s been a great weekend with lovely friends, a bit of drama, beautiful weather, sweaters, and fall fun.