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!

 

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Black Forest Breakfast Mousse

Happy Hump Day!  The best breakfast experiment happened this morning.

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I went for a nice 4-mile run this morning before it got too hot out.  My left bunion was bothering me, and I think it might be because I’ve been slacking on the rehab and maintenance since taking my break from running and leaving campus (and the training room).  I also used new shoes since my old ones are beyond dead.

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Took myself on a Starbucks date yesterday: overnight oats, almond milk cappuccino, and the Washington Post magazine

After my run, I decided to experiment a little for breakfast.  I had made dark chocolate banana overnight oats (oats, almond milk, chia seeds, mashed banana, and dark cocoa powder) the night before, but I had chocolate mousse on the brain and wanted to see what would happen if I whipped egg whites into stiff peaks and folded them into the overnight oats.  So I did!

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Two whipped egg whites

After whipping the egg whites, I folded them into the oats.  It worked like a dream.  They turned unbelievablyfluffy and delicious, almost exactly like mousse, but with a slight chewy factor from the soaked oats!

IMG_5811.jpgThe bowl was enormous, and I topped the mousse with cherries and strawberries to make it “Black Forest”-y.  I also had plain nonfat Greek yogurt and peanut butter.

I would highly recommend whipping egg whites and adding them to overnight oats.  I think this is going to become a staple in the breakfast lineup!

The rest of my day will be pretty chill.  I found a bunch of gift cards while cleaning out my room, so I’m going to hit up Barnes & Noble for some summer reading, as well as do some yoga and run some errands.  Later today, I’m going to go cheer on my high school team at their conference meet!  My remote internship doesn’t start until the end of May, so I’m trying to relax before that starts and before training picks up.  I’m notoriously bad at relaxing…

I hope everyone has a great Wednesday!

Overtraining? + Grocery therapy

Good morning.  On this September morning, we should all take a moment to remember and honor those who died 15 years ago today. ❤

My Sunday morning:

Training 9/5-9/11:

Monday: AM: 3 miles trails + abs.  PM: form drills, speed ladder/hurdles, 7 miles trails, 8 x strides, upper body circuit, rope stretch.
Tuesday: AM: warm-up, drills, hill workout (3 x mile circuit, 4 x 400, 4 x 175m), 2 mile c/d = 10 miles.  Lift in weight room. PM: 2 mile shakeout, ice bath.
Wednesday:  5 miles trails.  PM: massage (quads and calves)
Thursday: 3 mile w/u, drills, dreadful track workout that I didn’t make it through.  2 mile c/d.  Lift.  Not a good day.
Friday: Form drills, speed ladder/hurdles, 6 miles trails, 6 x strides, upper body circuit.
Saturday: Long run (11) miles
Sunday: OFF

Total: 52 miles

Training this past week was a veritable rollercoaster.  Tuesday’s hill workout was the same one I died on ten days prior, and so I was a bit mental throughout the entire workout.  I finished it- yay!- but I had myself so worked up that I was almost in tears.  Whoops.

Thursday was a disaster.  Yikes.  I don’t really feel like reliving it.  I had a meeting with my coach on Friday to discuss my training, and one of the things we talked about was that maybe we got a bit too ambitious and excited about my fitness and kept ramping up the training and throwing me into that top group.

While my mileage hasn’t gone up recently, the intensity has.  Additionally, we’ve had to get used to an intense new lifting schedule, lots of walking, the heat, etc.  I think this week my body was just like “no more!” and shut down.  I haven’t been sleeping (a symptom of overtraining) and my moods and body image and all that jazz have been all screwy.

I think I also got into the mindset of “must do everything.”  This season, my coach has been sending out more flexible training schedules where we have a bunch of different options.  For example, Tuesday will say: “AM: workout- intervals.  Lift in weight room.  PM: 2-3 mile shakeout for top group, optional cross train shakeout for everyone else.”  Seeing that I had the option, I’d think, “well, I have to do a 3 mile shakeout!” even if I felt exhausted.  This week, I overloaded my mileage on Tuesday and dreamed of hitting like 65 miles, but when my body shut down around Thursday, I reevaluated and realized how crazy I was being.

So, lesson learned.  Listen to your body.  I am taking today completely off.  Looking at my running log, I realized I hadn’t taken an off day in a month- which had never happened before.  Hmm, maybe the whole overtraining thing makes sense!

On a more light-hearted note, yesterday my roommate and I did some retail therapy- grocery shopping retail therapy 😉

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We went to the local farmer’s market, Trader Joe’s, and also ventured to The Fresh Market for the first time.  It’s possible that we went a bit crazy with our yogurt purchases and impulse buys.  They had pumpkin spice almonds.  *Dies*

My haul: Skinny Pop, 4 jars of nut butter, coconut oil, almonds, chocolate-covered almonds, pumpkin spice peanuts, green tea infused mints, frozen raspberries, lots of yogurt, avocado, chicken noodle soup, vegetarian chili, and farmer’s market apples.  And I’m on a meal plan, oops.

Another essential part of our post-long-run Saturday morning routine is a stop at the Peanut Shop for the free samples.  Chocolate-covered almonds, cashews, peanuts, espresso beans, and everything under the sun.  Bless.

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Well, considering it’s almost noon and I’m still in bed (not sleeping because apparently I don’t know how to do that anymore), I should probably continue to tackle my weekend to-do list.  I’m looking forward to hitting “reset” this coming week and focusing on trying to take care of myself and listening to my body more ❤

One of my top 5 hardest workouts

(OK, I actually did write this post this morning; I just forgot to publish it.)

Good morning!  It’s a beautiful spring day, I just finished my 3-mile double, and I thought I’d talk about Tuesday’s track workout while I eat a lovely breakfast of Greek yogurt, Wawa coffee, oatmeal with apple/chia seeds/almond butter/cinnamon, and of course my daily multivitamin.  No class until 12:30. 🙂

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Oatmeal is THE ugliest food ever but still so good

All right!  Tuesday’s workout…Let’s just say I have no trouble recalling the experience because my body still despises me two days later.

The (good? bad?) thing about getting fitter and faster is that your coaches will adjust your workout paces accordingly.  On Tuesday, I was put in sort of a new workout group.  We went out for our 3 mile warm-up and then did drills and strides before our coach told us the workout.

5 x 400 at 77-75 seconds, 4 x 800 at 2:38, 4-5 x 400 at 77-75 seconds

*Dies*

What actually happened: 5 x 400 at 76-75 seconds, 3 x 800 at 2:43, 2:47, 2:48, 1 x 600 at 2:04, 4 x 400 at 78, 77, 76, 76

By the time the first 5 x 400 was over, it felt like I’d already done an entire workout, and we were less than 1/3 done.  Our coach told us to hit 79 for each lap of the 800s (um, what), but I’m pretty sure the only time I ran 79 was the first lap of the first 800.  Each one after that got slower and slower.  And they were still fairly faster than I’m used to!  By the third 800, my legs were immovable logs and I was pretending the 800s were 600s because the last 200 doesn’t matter amirite 😉  So I’d get to 600m and then just death-march the last 200.  My coach modified my 4th 800 to a 600 (bless).

Am I being dramatic?

For the last set of 400s, she had us do the first two backwards on the track, which was pretty weird.  I led the last three 400s and at that point I was just riding the pain train home.  We hit 78, 77, 76, and 76.

After a 3 mile cool down in which we were so destroyed that we were babbling nonsensically, we completed a leg lift and then stretched, rolled, and ice bathed.

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Choosing my post-workout treat was hard (I chose a truffle)

The next morning, my roommate and I both woke up to cross train, fairly hobbled to the rec, and I sat at the edge of the pool for a little bit because I just could. not. get. in. Everything hurt.  I felt like a zombie.  But this is the work that will give us an edge in future races!

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In my meeting with my coach yesterday, she brought up a really good point (see above).  I’m at an entirely new fitness level for myself right now.  While the paces she gives me may sound scary, she gives them to me because she thinks/knows I can hit them.  Just because I’ve never run that fast before doesn’t mean I can’t do them now.  I need to work on believing in myself in races and in workouts when I get to the point where I can either make a move or stay where I am.  In this new fitness territory, it’s all about confidence!

19th Birthday

On Valentine’s Day, I turned 19!  First birthday at college 🙂

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We realized at 10 pm after studying for 3 hours that we hadn’t taken any birthday pictures.

I received a cute birthday card from my eleven-year-old brother:

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And a less cute, hashtag-filled birthday card from my sixteen-year-old brother:

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Do they think my life is a mess or something??

I also received (among other things, like my college tuition) a miniature food processor, a Trader Joe’s gift card, almonds, a Quest bar, and dark chocolate from my mother.  She knows me so well.

Overall, the whole weekend was fun but exhausting.  We got back from the meet at 1 am on Saturday morning, and I woke up naturally at 7.  After going to the farmer’s market, I did a little bit of homework and then ran with my high school teammate who was here for a tour!  We did four miles on the trails.  Afterwards, I watched the Olympic Marathon Trials and did a little more work before my recruit arrived.

On Sunday (my birthday!), we had practice at 9 am.   We traveled for our long run for the first time in awhile, and I did 10 miles with two of my teammates.  It was so cold!  We couldn’t feel our toes for the first half of the run since it was about 6 degrees.

After the long run and recovery, we went for a team/birthday pancake breakfast!  We didn’t end up eating until 2 though… so it was more of a pancake lunch.

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I ate a ridiculous amount of blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon.IMG_8424

Afterwards, we did some birthday shopping and also stopped for the best cupcakes in the world.

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I ate the entire “wicked chocolate” cupcake as a study snack.  Hey, it was my birthday!

On Monday, I had a super busy day of classes, recruit activities, a recruit lunch, and then practice.  Today we had a workout, but after 20 minutes warm-up, drills, strides, and 10 minutes “brisk”, my legs decided to act up again.  The burning was horrible.  So I stopped the workout after completing a third of it and jogged for ten minutes back to the track.  I ran maybe six miles today.

I’m honestly so fed up.  This has been going on for almost three months, and every time I think it’s getting better, it doesn’t.  I feel like I’m stuck in a workout rut; I haven’t had a week where I haven’t had to skip or modify a workout.  I also haven’t worked out on the track in four weeks!  Yes, I’m in good shape and PR-ing, but at what cost?  I’m just really frustrated with this situation, and hopefully the orthotics help, and I’m missing the track, and I’m in pain.

OK, rant over.  I had a great birthday and have such great friends and teammates!

Weekend Roundup

Get ready for better quality photos– I finally have my own iPhone! Now my own photos won’t be taken with a dinky iPod 4, but with an iPhone 5c.  Whoop whoop!

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Selfies on the new phone…I enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather and riding with the windows down!

This weekend was fun.   We had a fast workout on Friday afternoon; I won’t explain all the confusing logistics but basically we did a never-ending relay and everyone ended up running 3×800 with about 1:20 rest.  It was kind of a competition between three 3-person teams. My splits were: 2:35 (what!), 2:48, 2:45.  Afterwards, we did 4×150 meter strides.  The temperature reached the high 50s or low 60s, which was ridiculously warm after two months of 20 and below.  We optimistically ran in just sports bras during the strides– it was a little chilly but a great respite from the cold.

Saturday was spent going to the gym and getting my phone.   One last lifting session before states!

I was really excited for breakfast on Sunday because we had a new flavor of oatmeal!

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It was so good! I think I have a new favorite breakfast…maybe?  It’s definitely up there, but maybe not quite toast-with-almond-butter level.

Nutrition facts (one serving):

  • 160 calories
  • Fat calories: 20
  • 12 grams sugar
  • 4 grams protein
  • Ingredients: whole grain rolled oats, sugar, dehydrated apples (treated with sodium sulfite to promote color retention), cranberries, salt, natural flavor.

I was impressed with the ingredients list.  Even though sugar is numero dos (the first three ingredients listed generally make up 97% of that food), every ingredient on the list is familiar, simple, and pronounceable! Unlike some of the other Quaker flavors…

For an early lunch, I made a delicious omelet.

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One egg, two egg whites, a handful of spinach leaves, and two tablespoons of Boursin cheese later, I was fueled up for three hours of running errands.  I got two pairs of new shoes! What girl doesn’t love new shoes?

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photo 1-4We also bought lots of food, including a big (like, family-size) bag of sugar snap peas.  I think I have a problem…I’ve eaten a third of the bag already.

For dinner, I decided to experiment and make chicken breasts stuffed with spinach, goat cheese, lemon, and garlic.  Considering that my cooking was kind of a disaster (the chicken would not cook! I had to extend the cooking time and redo the oil and cut up the chicken), it tasted really good.  I learned some tricks for a successful stuffed chicken breast next time.

All in all, it was a satisfying weekend.  I ran in spandex yesterday!  It was great.

First day of school/Silver Diner/welcome-back-workout

Today was the first day of my junior year!! Upperclassmen didn’t have to go to school until 11 because there were 3 hours of freshmen orientating in the morning. It included super fun activities like group jump rope and a scavenger hunt around the school!!!! (note the sarcasm) Thank god we didn’t have to do stuff like that my freshman year. Our school implemented this new “happy-joy-let’s-orientate-freshmen-by-having-them-take-part-in-kindergartener-activities” program during my sophomore year. Phew. (Dodged a bullet there)

Anyway, because we had time in the morning, my friend and I decided to go to Silver Diner (a local 50’s-style diner complete with juke boxes and all-day breakfast!) for breakfast. I’ve been eating pretty healthy for the past few days, so I thought, “Hey, why not go all out to celebrate the first day of school?” I ordered a Chunky Monkey milkshake, two huge blueberry pancakes with butter, scrambled eggs, and a stack of bacon. It was so delicious. My friend, who once ate an entire bag of Hershey’s Kisses in one day and still ate normally for the rest of the day, ordered french fries, bacon, and a chocolate milkshake. (Then she had her normal stack of 5 cookies for lunch). Our breakfasts were delicious, and we had fun putting quarters into the juke box and choosing songs like “You’re the one that I want” and “Hello, I love you.”

We got to school and had probably an hour to kill, so we wandered the halls and said hello to some people that we knew. Because school started so late, classes were only about 20 minutes today, and so far I love all of my classes…except for one of them. Out of the seven classes I’m taking, six of them are IB (I’m in the International Baccalaureate program). One of them is a normal level psychology class. Now, there’s a reason I don’t take normal level classes. I walked into class and it was full of lazy seniors that are only taking psych to fill their schedule and don’t actually care about the class. Needless to say, I’m choosing another elective and getting out of there as soon as possible!

We had a delightful Crime and Punishment test in English (first day back- they certainly don’t waste any time). I hardly remembered anything that had actually happened in the book. Oh well. After school, it was probably 90 degrees and we had a lovely hill workout! There were 3 of our top 7 and then our 8, 9, and 10 girls. It was really hot and I could feel the effects of my pig-out feast from this morning. We did 4 long hills and one short one, and on the short one I basically staggered to the finish and collapsed on the grass. Not fun

Tomorrow we’re waking up early to go to our 6 am Pilates class before school! Sooo fun!! (not) It’s a good way to start the morning, though, and I hear we’re doing a Starbucks run afterwards. Hopefully it’ll be fun; peaceful exercise and a Java Chip Frappucino make for a nice start to the day.

Because of my pig-out today, I definitely have to eat healthy tomorrow (except for the Frappucino). I already made my breakfast and lunch and they will be delicious:

Breakfast: smoothie with banana, frozen raspberries, dinosaur plum, non-fat yogurt, wheat germ, almond butter, and honey. I tasted it and it is sooooo good! I can barely restrain myself from drinking it right now. (I thought the dinosaur plums were nectarines until my mom looked at me like I was an idiot)

Lunch: “salad-in-a-wrap” (lettuce, spinach, cucumber, tomato, and lite Italian dressing in a tortilla), carrots and hummus, banana, and sugar snap peas

My mom is forcing me to finally grow up this year and make my own lunch. (I know, I’m a junior in high school, I should have been making my lunches for years, right? But my mother is awesome in that respect) I’m thinking this will last maybe a week or two, and then she’ll just end up making my lunches again. Hehe 🙂

All in all, a pretty good first day back! Hopefully the rest of the week will be good, too. Our first invitational is on Saturday!

Power smoothie!!

I found a recipe for the “perfect recovery smoothie” on Runner’s World and decided to try it out. I made slight changes to it and it works really well for me. It’s the perfect nutritious breakfast for after a run (or any time!)

I make the power smoothie using:

1/2 banana

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup strawberries

1 tbsp wheat germ

1 tsp almond butter

3/4 cup non-fat plain yogurt

Just throw everything into a blender/food processor and enjoy! This smoothie has protein from the almond butter and yogurt, antioxidants and many other nutrients from the berries, and protein and fiber from the wheat germ.

I usually make this smoothie after a run, but sometimes I make it for breakfast when I’m not in the mood for scrambled eggs or toast. I love it! It’s so flavorful and healthy. Also, you can substitute frozen berries instead of fresh to make it cold if it’s really hot out!