A long road ahead

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

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

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Me

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

Week of 11/27-12/3: 

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

Total: 17 miles + 270 min XT

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Week of 10/16-10/22:

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

Total: 55 miles + 20 min bike

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

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

But I digress.

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

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

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Pumpkin steel-cut oats with delicious toppings 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time to actually go be productive, maybe…

Hump Day/Tempo Tuesday Recap

Happy Hump Day!  It’s been a long day.  This morning, my body once again decided that it didn’t need sleep.  I woke up at 4 am, again at 5 am, and then dozed until 6:20 when I decided to get my run in before my 8 am.

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I had class from 8 to 2, so I ate breakfast during our 8 am Business Analytics pressure cooker.  I’m sure my group members appreciated the weird beet-pink Picky Oats 😉  After class, I cancelled my training room appointment (lol) and spent four hours outside in the glorious weather, napping and getting some work done.  Went to the dining hall for dinner, hung out with the guy’s team while they did stupid reckless things as college guys tend to do, finished tomorrow’s Spanish presentation, and am now eating chocolate peanut butter ice cream before bed ❤

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Anyway, I wanted to recap yesterday morning’s workout!  It went much better than last Tuesday’s fiasco.  We warmed up for a little over two miles, did drills and strides, and then got instructions from our coach.  Our workout was 4 x 2000m on the track with 1:30 recovery between the first 3 and 2:00 before the last one.  My group (of about six) was supposed to start at 90 seconds per lap (6:00 mile pace).

We ran the first 2k retro (backwards on the track), the second one the right way, the 3rd retro, and the 4th the right way.  Our 2k splits ended up being 7:30, 7:25, 7:22, 7:18.  (For reference, the mile splits within the 2ks were 6:00, 5:57, 5:54, 5:51.)  The first 2k was perfectly paced, thanks to my teammate who is actually a metronome.  We split 1:30, 3:00, 4:30, 6:00, 7:30. IMG_8685.jpg

A 2k is a long interval, and 20 laps of work on the track was a little daunting!  But we got halfway through, our group was packed up and working together well, and it became more doable.  Everything felt controlled until the last 600ish of the last 2k.  That’s when I thought, “All right, this is definitely ‘balls to the wall’.”

Afterwards, we cooled down for about 20 minutes, refueled and rope stretched and headed to lift in the weight room.  My soleus had been bothering me, so I went to the training room after lift to get it worked on.  The scraping and active release hurt so badly, but it also helped so much!  I had to laugh afterwards when the trainer who bludgeoned my soleus said, “I hope we can still be friends.”

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Post-workout steak dinner…heck yes

Overall, the track workout went really well.  I’m excited to recover, rehydrate, fuel up (with ice cream, oops), and get ready for the race this weekend.  I don’t want to jinx anything, but I think I can have a strong performance, and it would be great to redeem myself from last year!

 

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 🙂

Fun Friday Fartlek with Friend

(I’m such a dork.  I can’t.)

Before I get started with this post, which will be fueled by a jittery I-drank-more-caffeine-than-I-can-handle frenzy, it’s my four-year blogiversary!  WOW.  I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for four years!  Maybe some of the positive things that happened this morning count as a celebration. 🙂

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Some things have changed (like my eyebrows, and my 5k PR)…my coworker still thinks I’m in high school, though

So the past couple days have not been the most fun.  My runs have gone pretty well, but to some extent, the rest of the day has been spent feeling like a train hit my body.  Yikes.  It’s been extremely helpful to have a running buddy for most of this week’s runs so far.  I’m not sure how I’d be getting through without them 😅

I wasn’t looking forward to another workout, but a couple days ago, one of my teammates texted me to say that she would be in town, and did I want to workout together?

Um, heck yes!

I hadn’t seen her all summer, so we had a lot to catch up on.  We met up this morning at a park with a 5-mile trail loop, and from the start of the warm-up to the end of the cool-down, we did not stop talking.  Both of us had been feeling a little burnt out and lonely, so we didn’t stress at all about the workout and just had a blast running with each other.  It was a 7-5-7-5 fartlek with 2 minutes’ recovery, and we didn’t even shut up during the workout, gasping for breath as we sprinted along the wooded trails.  I’m sure we looked and sounded ridiculous 😉

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Here’s another 2013 throwback (at the same park from this morning!) for the blogiversary 😉

Working out together made us both super excited for when the whole team is back together!  Just a few more weeks.  Workouts (and the general grind of training) is so much easier when there are 20 other women working just as hard ❤

It’s also been almost chilly in the mornings for the past few days, which has made running more bearable.  This morning was 70 degrees and overcast- nothing like 85 and unbearable!

After the workout, I was stretching, rolling out, and refueling in the parking lot while watching local high schools compete in a cross country scrimmage.  Two of the most outgoing, hilarious young kids I’ve ever met came over and started asking 300 questions about my roller, stretch rope, car keys…even the lunch box that housed my post-workout breakfast.

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Their older sister was running in the scrimmage, but they had gotten bored and were on an “adventure.”  The younger girl (4 or 5) proceeded to take over the foam roller and stretch rope while she showed off her moves.  Her brother was shocked when I didn’t know who their sister was, and that I didn’t go to her school- apparently all runners know each other 😉 While not noteworthy, this interaction with two extremely extroverted kids made my morning all over again.

I drove home and stopped to get ice and splurge on illy coffee, since it’s my favorite.  The most convenient place to get illy coffee happened to be my workplace’s biggest competitor (oops).  When I ordered my coffee from the manager, he asked who had better coffee.  I defended my workplace’s ice cream but reluctantly admitted that illy coffee tops all else…and the guy shook my hand and comped my coffee!  I felt like a traitor, but this was yet another positive happenstance that made my morning!

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Ice bathing with my free caffeine 😉

After an eventful morning full of positive happenings not directly related to running (a refreshing change!), I took an ice bath, showered, and caught up with some friends.  The rest of the afternoon will be filled with lunch, a nap, and some chores before heading to work until 11 pm tonight.

I feel really content right now.   Also hopped up on (free) caffeine, so that might have something to do with it!  Something annoying or catastrophic will probably happen later to make up for this good morning 😉 but right now…all good.  I’m also going to a concert on Sunday with my friend to see some groups that I LOVE, so I’m so excited.  Happy Friday!  I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tempo Tuesday (LOL)

Hoo boy.  Today’s workout was not amazing.  This week, I’m trying to hit high mileage (60+) while working six days in a row…rip Kathryn.  So far I’m 2 days and 20 miles in.  Currently chilling in my bed with my nightcap (fresh peach, homemade cookie dough bites, and Kombucha) after a long day of working out, working, and picking up furniture for my apartment off of Craigslist (lol), so I thought I’d recap the day’s workout before turning in for the night.

The workout: 2.5 mile warm-up, 4-5 mile tempo, 4 x [:60h, :60e], 2.5 cool down.

What actually happened: 2.5 mile warm-up, 4 miles (6:32, 6:29, 6:17, 6:05), 4 x [:60h, 60e], 2.5 cool down.

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Ugh.  Honestly, it wasn’t great.  My body felt out of whack during the warm-up, during the drills, during the workout, and during the cool down.  The first two miles of the tempo were slowwww. The third mile was hilly, and I was not having any fun.  While I would have preferred to do a 5 mile tempo (and at a faster pace), I gave myself an out at 4 miles.  Really struggled the last 1/2 mile or so, so it was probably good that I stopped.

During the 4 x [:60, :60], I saw some runners from my high school’s team.  Seeing them working hard early in the morning motivated me to crush the little fartlek, so that portion of the workout actually went pretty well.  Hobby jogged the cool down and took an ice bath after stretching and rolling out.  I was freezing!  Refueled with a truly massive bowl of oatmeal.  This is getting ridiculous…

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The mileage total for the day was 10 miles.  I had a double on schedule, but I had zero desire to double after this morning and after working all day, so I elected to lie in my bed the second I got home instead 🙂

I’m not sure why I felt so poorly this morning.  Maybe it’s because I did a Meatless Monday yesterday and possibly lacked in protein?  Who knows.  Some days are just tougher than others!

Tomorrow is an easy recovery run with my friend that runs for another university.  I’m excited!  This week is going to be hard.  But it’s the last week of work before our training trip and move in!  Just gotta power through.  We can do hard things 🙂

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 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.

First workout back: 4-mile tempo run (in which I remember how hard tempo runs are)

(If you don’t want to read the whole thing: 6:27, 6:15, 6:18, 6:14)

Happy 4th of July!  I can’t say I’m always proud to be an American, but I’m grateful to live in a country with freedom and opportunity.  I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and gets to spend time with family and friends.

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Speaking of family and friends, here’s a photo of all the cousins (and my gramma) from the wedding!

Today started off with an early morning workout.  I was up and ready to go at 6 am, so I ate some Ezekiel toast with peanut butter and banana before heading out to complete the first workout of summer/cross country season!

The workout was 2.5 mile warm-up, 4 mile tempo, 2.5 mile cool down for a total of 9 miles.  It was 75 degrees and about 85% humidity when I headed out the door, which wasn’t unbearable.  My legs were still pretty tired from Sunday’s long run, so I told myself that 6:20 pace sounded reasonable.

Warmed up for 20ish minutes and did drills on the asphalt bike path.  Didn’t feel stellar.  Contemplated studying the plants lining the side of the bike path instead of doing the tempo.  Just kidding.

Started the tempo…It felt a wee bit harder than it should have, and I hit the first mile in 6:27.  Reassured myself that it was fine and that I wasn’t a slow hobby-jogger 😉 Entering the second mile where two bike paths converged, some guy came tearing along of the adjacent bike path at the same time and pace that I was tearing along the other one.  So I latched onto him without asking, mostly because I couldn’t spare the breath to speak.  Hehe.  He pulled me through the second mile in 6:15, at which point I turned around.  Thanks, runner dude- hope you didn’t mind a random girl tailgating you for a mile!

I hit the third mile in 6:18 and contemplated quitting.  But not actually.  Well, kind of.  You know those moments where you dream of stopping but know it’ll never happen because a) you would kick yourself and b) pain is a mental construct and it isn’t real!! ?  Yeah.  It had been months since my last tempo, and I forgot how hard they are!  That last mile is always a grind.  I just tried to relax and told myself that I had done harder things and to stop being a baby.  Clearly I’m very nice to myself.  Fourth mile was a 6:14.  Total time for the tempo was 25:14.

The cool down was more of a shuffle because my legs kept deciding without my permission that they didn’t want to run anymore.  I finally got home after 87 years (20 minutes).  But after stretching, rolling, an ice bath, and a short walk with one of the dogs I’m dog-sitting, they’re feeling a bit better.  I’m drinking coffee for the second day in a row- crazy!  The rest of the day will include lunch (wedding leftovers for YEARS), a nap, spending time with family, another run for a total of 11 miles today, potentially a light leg lift, and 4th of July fireworks and dinner tonight.  I’m lucky enough to have today off from work, so I may binge-watch The Great British Baking Show 😉

Anyway, Cliff’s Notes version because I managed to write an essay about 25 minutes of my life: the first workout back was hard, now I remember what a grind tempos are, excited to get faster this summer, and I would love to find workout buddies.  The end!!

Glute Glory

Good morning!  Yesterday started bright and early because I had to retrieve my dog at 7 am so that my mom could finish up her long run without having to drag along a tired canine.  After we got home, I whipped up a delicious stack of healthy pancakes with fruit, maple syrup, and peanut butter.  Perfect Saturday breakfast 🙂

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Since I didn’t have a run yesterday, I was itching to do something endorphin-y after a morning of chauffeuring my brothers through typical Northern Virginia traffic to their various activities.  So I brainstormed, browsed Pinterest, and came up with a new strength workout to do after a quick 30-minute bike session.

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Yes, I did include stick figure drawings to remind me what some of the exercises were 😉

This workout works the whole core, but especially the glutes.  Sometimes, I feel like runners can get stuck in the 10-minute-ab-circuit trap and forget to work the other parts of their core.  The glutes are especially neglected, even though they are one of the most important muscle groups for efficient form and power in running!  They help stabilize the body, extend the hip, and propel you forward as you run.  Additionally, females have wider hips than males and are therefore more prone to instability and knee and hip problems because we are farther away from that “straight-line” ideal.

See why it’s important to strengthen the glutes?  I promise that this workout will leave your glutes burning.  In the best way.  By the time I got to the side plank leg raises, my body was shaking.

Next post will recap the first week of “summer”!