Christmas with family always alternates between hysterically funny and infuriating.¬† I’m sure most people can relate ūüėȬ† We hit the road early on the 22nd to fly out to Southern California for a week.¬† We used to fly out almost every year to spend Christmas with my mom’s side of the family, but it’s been a few years!¬† I think the last time we were here for Christmas was my sophomore year of high school.


Christmas morning, 6 am

This year was a little different from past years because the youngest member of the family is now 13 and two of us are adults and therefore¬†all¬†of us got to be Santa instead of just¬†my mother the traditional Santa!¬† In other words, we all got to stuff stockings and give gifts to everyone and go broke, instead of just my mother.¬† This new responsibility made us realize how we’ve made out like bandits for twenty years.¬† Sorry, ma ūüėČ

The six-hour plane ride on the 22nd (there were headwinds) was relatively uneventful, although my youngest brother consumed 7 servings of hot Cheetos and asked for ginger ale every time the flight attendants rolled up.¬† What a nutritious lunch…


The rest of the day was spent in a tired traveler’s stupor, getting settled in and picking fights with each other.¬† Classic ūüėČ

On Saturday, my gramma took my mom and me to her gym so we could complete our respective training.  (My mother is a marathoner.)  After cross training for one hundred minutes!!, I refueled before heading out to do some last-minute Christmas shopping with my middle brother.  He is now a senior in high school and has recently turned into an actual real person (in my eyes), so it was actually really fun to face the harried Christmas crowds and terrible traffic since we just cracked sardonic, somewhat inappropriate jokes the whole time.  If you had told my ten-year-old self that my brother and I would be good friends a decade later, I would have probably passed out from laughing so hard.

That night, we feasted on the quintessential Irish dinner of corned beef and cabbage and potatoes for no particular reason.¬† Maybe we were celebrating the fact that we hadn’t all killed each other yet?


And then the older ladies drank wine and recounted shady family history and I discovered that I had almost died when I was born and caused my parents a lot of trauma and honestly the neonatal oxygen deprivation probably explains my screwiness ūüėČ


On Christmas Eve, I cross trained (shocking!) and then baked a lot of cookies. (The best chocolate chip cookies, and the best molasses cookies).

My family is sometimes really extra when it comes to cooking, and I horrified my brother by using Trader Joe’s pre-made garlic and herb pizza dough instead of his homemade from-scratch dough for our Christmas Eve tradition of homemade pizza night.¬† Sorry, bro…


Goat cheese, mozzarella, caramelized onions, pineapple, sun-dried tomatoes, bacon, and oregano

After pizza night, we went to the Christmas Eve church service, which was lovely even though I was in a pizza-and-cookies-and-jet-lag-induced coma.

Due to a combination of jet lag and naturally being awfully early risers, we were up and ready to go at 6 am on Christmas morning.¬† While my middle brother’s and my own crack-of-dawn Christmas enthusiasm has dimmed over the years, my youngest brother continues to resemble the offspring of the Energizer Bunny and a puppy hopped up on treats.¬† At least we got to witness a beautiful sunrise…


We opened stockings and then I went for a run!  7 miles along the Santa Clara river trail.  It was glorious.  My hip flexor tightened up a bit buuuut still glorious.  Afterwards, we gorged ourselves on breakfast and finished opening gifts.


Eggs, bacon, corn pancakes, fruit, French toast bake, whipped cream…all the goods

We hit the road at 11 am (after what had already been a very long day) to go visit my grandfather and his wife at their home.  My grandpa is an interesting individual, to put it lightly.  We spent the afternoon reminiscing, almost peeing our pants laughing at various family members, going through old pictures, gorging ourselves on too-rich food, and finding gems like this:


Me!, 1997

After a veeeerrrryyy long day, we arrived back at 8 pm and I died.  I was fast asleep by 9, fat, happy, content, exhausted, and suffering from mild food poisoning.  Woke up at 5 (again) and crushed a cross train and lift with my mom and grandma.


3 generations at the gym (lol)

All in all, Christmas with the family was (mostly) awesome, and I know I have so much to be thankful for.¬† Even if the youngest generation always tends to regress in age in the eyes of the older generation…but I feel like that always happens.¬† Good food, pie comas, sore abs from laughing so hard, giving and receiving gifts, and everything else always makes for a memorable experience.¬† It doesn’t hurt that it’s almost 80 degrees and sunny, and I’ve been lounging around reading a book and waiting to run!


Week of 12/18-12/24 (22 miles + 290 min XT)

Merry Day-After-Christmas!¬† I’ll post a recap of my family’s Christmas later, but here’s last week’s training.¬† TL;DR: training interrupted by a niggling foot.


I ran normally on Monday and Tuesday (although it felt pretty shitty), but then the mild discomfort in my foot increased to where I decided to cross train the rest of the week.¬† While my brain kept trying to convince me that a) “you’re going to lose all your fitness!” b) “you’re slacking!” and c) “you’re exaggerating the pain in your mind!”, I’ve seen firsthand what happens when you don’t listen to your body.¬† Hell, I’ve become pretty terrible at listening to my body.¬† But I’d rather take a few days off now than be out with tendonitis or a stress fracture for a¬†long time.

Week of 12/18-12/24: 

  • Monday: AM: active w/u, 2 miles, 4 mile tempo on towpath (6:23, 6:22, 6:29, 6:22), 2 mile cool down.¬† Felt tired and not at all in it but toughed out the 4th mile after feeling like quitting at 2 miles.¬† GS1.¬† PM: 2 miles + circuits.¬† Getting stronger on burpees!
  • Tuesday:¬†AM: 8 miles @ 7:42 avg, felt tired, lift day 1 (felt strong!).¬† PM: 2 miles.
  • Wednesday:¬†60 min (3200m) swim.¬† Sore from lift!¬† Pain on top of foot- took Aleve and iced it.
  • Thursday:¬†AM: 70 min bike (with a fartlek during), upper body lift, felt pretty strong.¬† PM: 2 miles, foot still hurts.
  • Friday:¬†Woke up at 4:40 am and spent all day traveling…very tired!¬† Pool was closed to off day today-¬† did active warm-up, some circuits, general band strength, and yoga.¬† Still have foot pain, especially when I point my foot.
  • Saturday:¬†100 min XT (70 min bike + 30 min aqua jog).¬† Set a bike distance PR!
  • Sunday:¬†60 min pool (35 swim, 25 aqua jog) + some yoga
Total: 22 miles + 290 min XT
Monday’s tempo was traaaash, and I made the mistake of programming Strava to call out splits every half mile because I thought it would motivate me. NOPE.¬† Instead, I found myself demoralized and hurting 2 miles in, but I’m proud of myself for toughing it out for 4 miles.¬† Of course, I spent far too long stressing about the splits and telling myself I was slow and how the heck am I ever going to run sub-17 if I can hardly handle 6:20s?¬† #chill.

Glaring at my legs post-tempo

I ran with a friend on Tuesday, and we were both feeling a little banged up, so we took it easy.¬† I noticed that the top of my left foot was moving from sore to painful, so I cross trained on Wednesday.¬† On Thursday morning, I forced myself not to run and instead did a bike workout.¬† Tested the foot out with 2 miles in the afternoon, and while it didn’t¬†hurt, there was some discomfort.
On Friday, my family woke up at 4:30 am to travel to California.  We hit mad traffic on the way there and even worse traffic in the airport (naturally- it was December 22!), and we hardly made our 7:50 am flight.  But we made it! Wooo.  Meals were really weird, and we were all cranky and tired.  After a marathon travel day, I was looking forward to decompressing with a swim, but the pool was closed for repairs so I took the day off and did a bunch of general strength instead.
Saturday brought a lovely 100 minute cross train that I split between the bike and the pool.

Set a distance PR on the bike #nice

Sunday was just maintenance.¬† After icing the foot and sporadically taking Aleve and ibuprofen, it felt passable enough to run on Christmas!¬† And I’m going to go for another run later.¬† ūüôā

At least I’ve been able to swim in a cool half-in-half-out pool!

It’s a little strange making up my own training as I go along, and I’m trying not to feel guilty about not doing the workouts that are on schedule.¬† But the schedule was sent out weeks ago, and I’ve been cross training my butt off, so I know my fitness isn’t really suffering.¬† I’m just itching to get back up to regular mileage and actually have some good running workouts!¬† I recognize that I jumped the gun a little over the previous 2-3 weeks with maintenance and long run intensity, so lesson learned, and I’m going to practice approaching training with a more balanced, relaxed mindset.¬† ¬†Except I suck at relaxing, and sleeping, and all that jazz.¬† Guess I gotta do more yoga ūüėČ
Christmas recap coming next!¬† We’ll be in California for another couple days before heading home.

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 ūüôā

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!!



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 ūüėČ

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.


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 ūüėČ 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.


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.


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.


Feliz Navidad

Good morning!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, religious or secular or whatever your lifestyle preferences entail.  My family hosted our extended step-family, complete with four babies under the age of two.  The house was loud.  My dog was confused.


Christmas Eve brought foggy, rainy, miserable conditions– perfect for an 8 mile run with my friend from high school! ¬†The normally packed bike path¬†was completely deserted and a bit spooky. ¬†Later on, we partook in our normal tradition of making homemade pizza, then attended the night church service. ¬†We also exchanged ornaments that represented something meaningful that happened to each person over the past year. ¬†I got a running wings ornament (shocking!), my brother received a driver’s license ornament, etc.

On Christmas morning, my family managed to sleep in until 7 am!  Unheard of.

After opening stockings, we cooked a huge breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit salad, and coffee and tea. ¬†We finished opening gifts- among mine were¬†Run Fast Eat Slow, a Trader Joe’s gift card, and a Wawa gift card! ¬†Then, I went out for my long run. ¬†It was supposed to be 11 miles, but I forgot to look at my watch until I was way past the turnaround point.

I stopped before I got back to my house so as to not go over mileage too much,¬†but I still ran 11.29 miles at 7:06 pace. ¬†Whoa. ¬†The run went pretty well- I didn’t realize I was going 7 minute pace until I looked down at the halfway point. ¬†The last three miles were pretty hard, and my feet, calves, and hamstrings really hurt from the sidewalk pounding. I also ran in a Santa hat the entire time ūüėČ

The rest of the day was spent preparing for the Christmas dinner! (and maybe reading Run Fast Eat Slow cover to cover.)

The 100% homemade feast: turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, two kinds of stuffing, crescent rolls, beef wellington, vegan eggplant/mushroom roast, apple crisp, pumpkin pie, and vegan almond butter brownies.


Overall, Christmas was¬†lovely and hectic ūüôā

Anyway, here’s a¬†recap of the¬†past week of training: (12/19-12/25)

  • Monday: AM: 4 early morning treadmill miles.¬† PM: 5 miles + core.¬† Felt good on both runs. Probably should’ve gone slower during the afternoon one.
  • Tuesday: AM: lift day 1.¬† PM: 9 miles sidewalks…middle 4 miles with former teammates/high school team which was fun!
  • Wednesday: ¬†4 early morning treadmill miles, took it pretty easy, sore legs.
  • Thursday: AM: 6 early morning miles outside in the dark with a snazzy flashing arm band, felt good.¬† PM: 30 min bike + lift day 2. I did 20 total unassisted chin-ups.
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: AM: 8 miles with my friend Noah, rainy, cold, but fun. PM: 2 miles, mentally I didn’t really want to, but I got it done.
  • Sunday:¬†11.29 miles at 7:06 pace
Total: 49 miles, 30 min bike
Last¬†week, I started working an¬†internship four days per week from 8-4 pm. ¬†The commute takes about an hour when traffic is bad (which it usually is…shoutout to DC) ¬†This means that on the days I work and run, I have to wake up early to get my run in, then commute/work from 7 am to 5 pm, then do whatever double or other training I have.
On Thursday, I had to bike and lift after work, and I got stuck in DC traffic until past 5.  I was starving, angry, and changed my mind 37 times on the way home about whether I would actually go bike and lift.  I ended up making a pit stop at the grocery store, devouring a bar, hammering out my cross train and lift, and getting home at 7 pm, at which point I crashed really, really hard.  I have a new respect for all the dedicated athletes who work full-time and have terrible commutes.  This shit is hard!
Back to the grind tomorrow. ¬†Happy Holidays ūüôā

Holidays and Killer Core

Happy Monday!  My face has finally unfrozen all the way from the numbing and surgery, so here is a shameless selfie from the Christmas party we hosted last night:


My internship starts for real¬†on Wednesday, so today involved some paperwork and drug testing. ¬†I woke up at 5:45 am, ran 4 miles on the treadmill at 7:45ish pace, and drove out to the office. ¬†I don’t love the treadmill, but I’ll have to get used to it over these next few weeks…

After getting home around mid-morning, I¬†made a delicious, but aesthetically displeasing lunch (sweet potato, rotisserie chicken, roasted brussels sprouts, boiled carrots, and unpictured apple and peanut butter), and found seasonal Wild Friends peanut butter at TJ Maxx! ¬†I went there in search of¬†a blazer and gray pants and came out with crew socks and seasonal peanut butter, but…it happens.

For my second run of the day, I ran 5 miles through city streets and my high school track. ¬†I stopped a million times at stoplights and to talk to former teammates and coaches, but it was a good run, and I went pretty fast. ¬†Afterwards, I did core! ¬†My new favorite core routine takes about 12 minutes and really works ūüôā

Killer Core

  • 1 minute straight arm plank on swiss ball
  • 1 minute of bird-dogs (switch sides halfway through)
  • 10-15 rolls on the ab¬†wheel
  • 30 seconds of toe touches + 30 seconds of penguins
  • 1 minute side plank¬†each side, with movements or weights

Repeat x 2

The first time I did this routine, after getting stuck in a rut with the same 10-minute routine, I was sore for four days! ¬†It even hurt to do things like close a window ūüėČ

As I mentioned previously, we hosted our first holiday party in the new house last night!  But first I ran ten miles.  My friend from high school joined me for five of them, and I did five more on my own.  The party was fun and filled with good food- chili, cornbread, ham, apple cider, cranberry chevre, camembert, gingerbread, sugar, and chocolate chip cookies, etc.  However, one long run + four hours of intensive socializing (and having the same conversation about college with 30 different adults) caused me to crash real hard around 8 pm, so I took a quick power nap/rest before bouncing back!

I’m going to savor my last day before the work grind truly starts by spending tomorrow at the gym and with friends. ¬†Then, it’s time to enter the land of meal prep, 5 am (and 6 pm) treadmill runs, and trying to dress like a real adult ūüėČ


Dental “flap surgery”

I’m home!! and covered in dog hair to prove it ūüėČ

Today was an interesting day for sure.  I woke up early, ran six miles on the trails around campus for the last time this year, and packed and cleaned until the dorms closed at 10.  Then it was off to spend midday with my mom until it was time for my dental surgery at 2.  We headed home around 4, hit major traffic, and here we are!


This was inside

We explored some over-the-top Christmas stores before having lunch at my all-time favorite restaurant ūüôā


My lunch: hickory salmon, the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had with a homemade honey mustard dressing, and roasted brussels sprouts. ¬†Hers: an incredibly decadent grilled cheese with crab, asparagus, tomato, bacon, Gruyere, and Old Bay mayo, as well as a cup of shrimp bisque. This restaurant also provides the fluffiest rolls and sweet potato biscuits.

Then it was time for surgery!

Just for some context, I passed out and knocked my two front teeth out in 2012, started wearing a denture appliance in 2013, have recently had some problems with it, have had to take it out for every single meal, and am finally beginning the permanent implant process after four years.

img_3878This process requires three major steps: 1) inserting anchor screws into the jawbone area¬†to act as the roots, 2) reopening the gums once the bone and screws meld, and 3) attaching¬†the permanent fake teeth. ¬†The first step, called “flap surgery”, happened today.

They shot me up with a local anesthetic, cut open my gums to access the jawbone, inserted the anchor screws, screwed them into place with a wrench, and sutured my gums back together. ¬†In two months, once the bone and anchor screws fused (a process called osseointegration), they’ll reopen the gums, take impressions, and fit me for permanent teeth.

Anyhoo, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to run for a few days, but the dentist gave me the all-clear to resume training as soon as tomorrow! ¬†The first few hours after the surgery hurt like hell, but after some Aleve, Tylenol, and ice, everything feels a lot better now. ¬†I was even able to eat shrimp alfredo pasta for dinner, and my lovely friend brought me Tropical Smoothie!

I’m going to spend the next couple¬†days running, relaxing, organizing, and engaging in Christmas festivities. ¬†The “break” part of my break really only lasts until Sunday because after that I will be working and running full-time until I return to school in mid-January. ¬†I’ll be interning in DC with a less-than-ideal commute, so training twice a day will be really tricky and lots of planning and meal prep will be necessary. ¬†But I’m looking forward to learning how to truly “adult” ūüėČ ¬†Honestly, after a rough last month, I think the best thing for me to do is stay busy and grow up!






Winter Break

Happy Festivus!

After finishing up my first set of finals, I arrived¬†home a week ago, and it’s crazy how different home life is from college life. ¬†I’m a¬†lot¬†less social at home because a) I don’t have a car or a bike here and b) I love my college friends a lot more and everything is closer! ¬†Right now, the major things happening during¬†my days include dog sitting and running.

Bio 220 was the death of me

Late night finals studying (By “late night”, I mean 10 pm)

I took nine days completely off from exercise, pretty much destroyed my early bird sleep schedule, and then ran 30 minutes every other day last week (so a whopping 16 miles). ¬†Last Monday was my very first run back, and it probably couldn’t’ve come at a worse time. ¬†I was stressed out, emotionally unstable, and my legs didn’t feel great yet. ¬†It ended up being one of the worst runs of my life; halfway through, I actually sat down on a bench and almost started crying. ¬†Luckily, I have some amazing friends and also access to pints of Ben and Jerry’s at the student exchange.


my favorite therapy (Chocolate Therapy)

This week is back to a more normal training schedule even though my training volume is still really low (5 days running, 1 day cross training, 1 day off for a total of 28 miles). ¬†The past few days have felt good. ¬†I’m building back up to 45 or so miles over the next few weeks, and I don’t race again until the end of January.

Reunited with some of my high school teammates!

Reunited with some of my high school teammates!

Something I’ve noticed is that it’s a hell of a lot harder for me to do¬†strength stuff at home than at college! ¬†At college, all the facilities and everything we need are convenient and easily accessible. ¬†Here, I don’t have anyone who has to do all the same training I do, and I don’t have all the strength equipment and cross training facilities two minutes away from me. ¬†The lack of a car makes it even harder…#firstworldproblems. ¬†Luckily, my “real” training with all the drills and strides and lifts doesn’t start till next week, so I have five days to rediscover my motivation to complete these things ūüėČ

Ever since Thanksgiving, my nutrition has been eh. ¬†I think I actually under-ate during finals week and then made up for it in unhealthy ways. ¬†While I’ve been eating awesome foods at home, there’s also been a crazy quantity of desserts, etc. ¬†I think that once I’m fully in the midst of training and have more of a set schedule after Christmas, everything will kind of even out. ¬†But right now, when I only have 4-6 miles and no strength training on any given day, I have way more time to, you know…stuff my face with Christmas cookies!


This meal was a throwback to last year: Annie’s Mac and Cheese and edamame

Although tonight for dinner I had amazing roasted sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, parsnips, and carrots.

Well, I’m going to try to go to bed early tonight; lately I’ve been staying up late for no good reason. ¬†Can’t wait to be in the midst of real training! ¬†I would like to concentrate on the big picture- like, years-long picture. ¬†In a meeting with my coaches a couple weeks ago, they were talking about the progression they see for me, and it was kind of scary where they think I could be. ¬†“If you stay consistent with training and figure out the nutrition, sleep, and balance of schoolwork of an elite athlete, I see you running 9:20 in four years,” my head coach said. ¬† Holy shit. ¬†When he said that, I had simultaneous thoughts of “Um, do you know who you’re talking to? ¬†I only ran¬†the equivalent of 10:37ish¬†in high school, for god’s sake!” ¬†and “Wow, this is so cool that he thinks I can run this and I’m so motivated to do all the little things.” ¬†Even though it seems INSANE now, would I have imagined running 11:19 for 3200 back in January 2012 when I ran a 13:32? ¬†Absolutely not. ¬†Even this fall- I didn’t think I was going to PR at all, let alone run a 22:52 for my first 6k, meaning I probably could’ve dropped even more time!

Anyway, it’s not like this kind of stuff happens in the blink of an eye. ¬†Especially on the college circuit, it happens after YEARS of intense, yet consistent and smart, training. ¬†I’m technically currently a 10:47 3k runner, but I fully believe I am capable of so much more. ¬†It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride, no doubt about it…

Sorry for the wall of text.


First race in uniform! + Thanksgiving, finals, and other things

I am currently smack in the middle of my first set of college finals, along with my running break. ¬†So far, I’ve taken my microeconomics final (fine), bio 220 final (HORRIBLE), and I just turned in my final paper for my freshman seminar. ¬†Next Wednesday, I have my Spanish final exam and final paper due.¬† After that, I head home for a month of running, sleeping, holiday cookie baking, dog sitting, and friends!

Thanksgiving break was pretty fun.  Although I did not repeat the Thanksgiving debacle of 2013, I did gorge myself pretty heartily over the five days.


My brother and I after a solid hour of eating

Every lunch and dinner that I ate from Thursday to Sunday was leftovers.  Whoops.

IMG_7761 IMG_7764 IMG_7775

I also met up with my three best friends from high school for some holiday cookie baking on our last night home.  It was a lot of fun!



After a nightmarish journey back to school due to post-Thanksgiving traffic, my roommate and I decorated our room for Christmas!


Last Saturday was my first race in uniform- the 3k! ¬†In the two weeks leading up to the race, I started experiencing pain in my lower right leg and foot, which I think was due to a combination of dead shoes, transitioning to the track, and just overall accumulation of training since June. ¬†Also, I hammered easy runs and training in general over Thanksgiving break…oops. ¬†There was one maintenance run especially where I ran with my (ALL-AMERICAN! YES, SHE GOT IT!) teammate and other speedy teammates, and I was dying. ¬†Not fun. ¬†I forced my legs to survive until the race, so they were less than 100%. ¬†Oh, well!

We got to the venue around 3:15 and warmed up around 5:45 for 20 minutes.  It made me so happy to be back in the indoor track environment; I love indoor so much!  Even though it was a different venue with college teams instead of high school, it still made me really nostalgic for those hours spent sitting on the nasty yellow bleachers at the PG County Sportsplex in high school.

My coaches seeded everyone really fast so that we would be in the faster heat.  The first heat went off, and we did strides while we waited.  It was my first time wearing buns!


We lined up and the gun went off. ¬†I knew I was going way faster than I’d be able to keep up, but I just settled in and decided to enjoy it even though I knew I was going to die. ¬†By lap 5, the bothersome pain that had been bugging one of my legs decided to flare up exponentially worse. ¬†Both¬†of my legs were on fire. ¬†It felt like my shins were being ripped apart, and the feeling was getting worse every lap. ¬†I tried to ignore it and focused on working¬†with one of my teammates, and we came through the mile in 5:33. ¬†The next seven laps were a struggle, and I didn’t realize it at the time, but yes, I ended up running¬†in last. ¬†Oh, well!


The burning in my shins was horrid by the end of the race, but I finished in 10:47. ¬†Not a terrible time for my first race in uniform! ¬†I know I’m in much better shape than that, though. ¬†After the race, I cooled down, then iced my shins for awhile, then gorged myself on Panera and chocolate chip cookies.

This break from running has been good to my legs so far, and I’m looking forward to getting back into training and doing¬†all¬†the little things that I’ve slightly neglected recently. ¬†I love running. ¬†I love indoor track. ¬†I am so excited to race again. ūüôā



Christmas, food poisoning, and races

Happy day-after-day-after-day-after-Christmas!  I have two races and a weird, challenging week to report on.

Our county was the only county in the state to have school on Monday and Tuesday, so that was fun.  My former teammate, home from college, hosted her annual holiday cookie party on Tuesday night, and I went home stuffed with sugar and glee.  (That was super cheesy.)

On Christmas Eve day, I woke up feeling extremely weak and terrible. ¬†It felt like I’d scaled Mount Whitney with the flu; my joints felt achy, I was close to collapsing, and all I wanted to do was sleep. ¬†We realized it was probably food poisoning, so¬†I skipped that day’s workout and mostly stayed in bed. ¬†I did drag myself¬†to church for the first time in forever, and we also took part in our yearly tradition of make-your-own pizza for Christmas Eve dinner.

Christmas Day was a bit better, and it was fun opening presents and eating a great breakfast.  We gorged ourselves on the typical Christmas/Thanksgiving spread: turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato and apple casserole, broccoli, apple crisp, whipped cream, and flourless chocolate torte.

The indoor track gods decreed we had a race (in my case, the 4×800 and the 1600) on the 27th. ¬†We woke up at 6:30 a.m. and got to the race venue around 8:15. ¬†The 4×800 was weird; our coach wasn’t there, so the jumps/hurdles coach was in charge of getting us our baton and bibs. ¬†HE DIDN’T DO THAT UNTIL LITERALLY TWO MINUTES BEFORE THE RACE. ¬†We were all very stressed and anxious, which wasn’t the best race situation.

Our first leg didn’t run very fast for some reason, and our second leg ran about the same. ¬†We were supposed to be winning, but at that point we were probably in eighth¬†in a not-very-great field. ¬†Our third leg ran solidly to put us in second, and I ran the anchor to keep us in second. ¬†I hadn’t done anything more than light jogging in several days, so the 800 made my legs feel absolutely awful. ¬†Our time was terrible, but that’s okay; at least we got a medal. ūüėČ

Super attractive relay finish

Super attractive finish

My race buddy and I had about three hours until the¬†mile, so we walked around, listened to music, ate applesauce and bananas, and talked to the jumps coach until they called us. ¬†We were both in the fastest¬†heat; I was seeded fourth so I was in the alley. ¬†The race official boomed, “Runners: take your mark!” and then there was such a long pause in between that and the gun that I actually fell over. ¬†The race video is hilarious.

Smiling because I'm a klutz

I’m smiling because I’d just fallen over (I’m #4)

The race went out aggressively, so I started out around 10th. ¬†It was very much a bloodbath; girls were tripping over each other and spiking each other. ¬†I held my ground and gradually moved up until I was in fourth, which is where I stayed for the rest of the race. ¬†I finished in 5:26, which I am happy with. ¬†That’s a conference qualifying time and a great starting place. ¬†Considering¬†my recent lack of conditioning, the times I ran¬†were¬†satisfying.

k-4Takeaways from the race:

  • I can hold my ground when I haven’t done any hard work in a couple weeks.
  • Lack of speedwork = lack of a kick. ¬†I need to work on my turnover and power at the end.

I spent all morning cleaning out my closet, dresser, drawers, etc. ¬†I like to do a vigorous New Year’s cleaning to start the New Year off on the right off (so cliche, I know). ¬†My room isn’t finished, but it’s time to finish¬†some college apps!



Tempo-runnin’ it

Merry Day-After-Christmas! I hope everyone has had a fantabulous holiday and got a good run in ūüėČ

Today I had a tempo run scheduled, so I decided to take advantage of my new GPS watch (!!!!) and my $30 in iTunes money (not that exciting for some people, but I had literally two songs on my iPod before Christmas so !!!!!). ¬†I bought like 20 songs and unfortunately have over-listened to them for the past day. ¬†Also, I learned the intro to Hall of Fame on piano so I’ve overplayed that song for two days. I need to stop. Make me stopppp.

but I love it

Anyway, tempo run. Get back on track. ¬†I made a new running playlist, in the process discovering I like to listen to explicit rap while running, got the “GPS GO!” approval from my watch, whom I think I will name Herbert, and off we went, Herbert and I. and my iPod. who doesn’t have a name.


(one of Herbert’s siblings. Source: Google)

The run was great (except my shoe came untied), and it was awesome to be able to listen to music of my choosing. ¬†I rarely (by rarely I mean never) listen to music on runs because I’m either with my teammates or…um…don’t have iTunes money, and using Pandora means you don’t have control over what songs play, so I definitely enjoyed it today. ¬†Here is my tempo run playlist! (the rap thing…I don’t even know)


According to Herbert, I ran 3.15 miles in 20 minutes today! 6:27 pace…I’d say that’s pretty solid. ¬†My Christmas run yesterday was 5.49 miles in 40 minutes- can you tell I’m really liking/using the GPS feature? ūüėČ


I enjoy that.

Well, I’ve got something close to twelve pounds of Christmas leftovers to polish off so I’ll get down to that. ¬†I’ve eaten more turkey and stuffing ¬†and apple crisp in the past day than any human has the right to.