Summer Training Week 3

It’s Monday!  After a hot run and some core this morning, I’m spending most of today relaxing and doing chores before swimming later.  Monday is always my day off from work 🙂
Last week brought 36 miles, 140 minutes of cross training, busy work shifts, fun times with good friends, a delightful Train/OAR/Natasha Bedingfield concert, and a wine tasting for my mom’s “bachelorette” party (I love being 20!!, she said sarcastically).  And NCAAs, of course!  It was awe-inspiring and motivational to watch.  I may be crazy and have delusions of grandeur, but this middle-of-the-pack D1 runner now wants to qualify for NCAAs!!  Or at least track regionals…
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Concert with friends

Week 3: (6/5-6/11)
Monday: AM: 6 miles on bike path + core circuit.  PM: 30 min swim.
Tuesday: 7 miles @ 7:40ish pace on sidewalks/asphalt.  Felt stiff and out of rhythm.  Glute activation, drills, strides.  Lift day 1.  PM: crazy work shift!
Wednesday: 60 min bike…felt sick midday but it passed so I biked in the evening and felt really good, actually.
Thursday: AM: 6 miles bike path + core.  Foot pain.  Drills + strides.  PM: 3 miles.
Friday:  5 miles on asphalt/sidewalks into 20 min bike.  Lift day 2.
Saturday: 9 miles on bike path.  7:30ish average.  Very hot and sunny.
Sunday: 30 min aqua jog.  I think I burned my face off.  Not a cloud in the sky.
Total: 36 miles + 140 min XT
This week…hmm.  Similar to last week, my foot hurt on almost every run, but on the plus side, I’m still feeling strong in the weight room.  I did a terrible job of getting on soft surfaces 😉  Almost every run was on an asphalt bike path or sidewalks.  Having running buddies on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday made the runs more fun, though!
Friday’s run was somewhat crappy at the beginning but got progressively better once my legs warmed up.  I was definitely mentally distracted during the lift session that followed, but thankfully both the bike and lift went better than the run anyway!
The bearable-yet-constant foot pain is starting to wear on me mentally again, and I find myself dreading runs a little bit because I want to run but don’t want to be in pain.   To be honest, I am not doing as much as I should to stay on top of it.  I’m rolling with my shiny new lacrosse ball, acquired for the express purpose of wrecking my feet 😉 …doing warm Epsom salt soaks, and sporadically doing mobility, but I can do more.  It’s this cycle of: foot hurts on runs, I get sad thinking about it, I avoid rehab because it makes me think about the fact that my foot hurts.  Ya feel?
But on the plus side, I can feel my body responding to the strength sessions.  The core circuits that left me sore for days three weeks ago are easier.  I’m planning on adding weight to my squats, deadlifts, and farmer’s holds in the weight room this week.  Already bracing myself for the DOMS 😉
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Mom and me!

After identifying the factors that brought me down a little bit last week but taking solace in the fact that I still had a decent training week and got to do a lot of other fun things, I’m re-motivated for the coming week, which should bring about 42 miles in addition to cross training sessions.
Runs are getting longer, temperatures are getting hotter, and the grind is coming back.  My goals for the next week are to train purposefully and to not skimp on the little things.  Every run is one step closer to my goals, both as an individual and as a member of a team that aspires to achieve greatness.  My teammate just ran extremely well at NCAAs, which was so emotional and motivational.  All of the competitors at NCAAs work extremely hard, day in and day out, to get to the national level.  Some of them have more natural talent than others, but none of them skip out on what they need to do to achieve their goals.  That’s how you get to that next level.
Other highlights from my week before I sign off for now:
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A 14-year-old made this lemon lavender cake!

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I nearly cried when they sang “Bruises” and “Drops of Jupiter”

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Another concert picture!

Summer is a great time to put in the work for the upcoming season(s).  This week, I WILL remember to take fish oil every day, re-dedicate myself to foot rehab, switch to orthotics for shorter runs, wear sunscreen, and keep track of sleep and practice good bedtime habits such as putting away technology.  I will be mindful of the foods I choose to nourish my body with– remembering that anti-inflammatory is the way to go and that I am willing to do anything to help my foot feel as good as it can possibly feel!  I will also put in more shifts at work, try to be as frugal as possible and go on free/cheap summer adventures…hiking, exploring DC, playing piano, going to yoga, cooking, reading, playing badminton, soaking up the sun, picnics, crafting…there’s so much to do!

Can’t stop won’t stop

Holy moly, there is so much to catch up on.  First off, Happy Mother’s Day!

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The past two weeks have been crazy.  I trained through to the conference championships with my team, and since I didn’t have any finals until last Wednesday, I actually drove ten hours round-trip to Delaware to watch them compete last weekend!  It was rainy and cold, but there were some great performances, as well as some not-so-great ones.  My last run of the year was with my friend on some local trails, and it was great!

I took a week off from running and gave myself the freedom to eat whatever the heck I pleased and not feel the need to do core/strength/whatever.  It has been very freeing.  Break weeks are the time to let the body and mind recover.

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Chocolate chip cheesecake Cookout milkshake at 3:30 am pretty much sums up the whole break

Another awesome adventure included staying up all night and watching the sunrise at the beach with some other sleep-deprived friends.

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The two final exams that I took were both very difficult.  The accounting final murdered everyone in the class.  But we made it through!

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On Thursday, I packed up my entire room, loaded the car by myself, and drove home.  It was very tiring.  I already miss school!!

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this was depressing

I actually got into a little fender bender on the way home due to an unfortunate combination of torrential rain, drowsiness, and a loaded-up slowly-stopping car.  It was completely my fault but still shook me up a lot.

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Made some nice oatmeal at home

 

After spending all of Thursday packing, driving, and unpacking, I decided to go on another road trip with my roommate, and we drove up to New Jersey on Friday to watch our team compete at ECACs.  Princeton was super fun, even though it rained most of the time!

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We got back this evening.  It’s been a whirlwind three days, but I’m finally home and don’t foresee any more road trips for at least a couple days!  I have an incredible amount of unpacking, organizing, and planning to do…

This week, I’ll be running a few miles every other day and cross training if I feel like it.  Real summer training will start up next week.  So far, I don’t have a job lined up for the whole summer, but I’ll be doing a remote writing internship for most of the summer, as well as more short-term jobs.  I would like to travel a lot and train hard, but I also need to save money for next year…

I’ll talk more about running once I start running more!  For now, I am going to continue to eat all the foods, recover from three road trips in a week, and try to relax for a little while at least!  It’s unbelievable that I’m a junior in college!!!

 

Teeth! LDOC workout! Eats!

But first: GUESS WHAT– I GOT MY PERMANENT TEETH YESTERDAY!!  RIP to the denture life!!

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After crushing a stressful formal business presentation that our group had been working on for two months, I headed to my dentist to get the teeth.  Then it was back to school to prepare for a Spanish presentation.  And no, I haven’t eaten an apple yet 😉

Anyway, happy last day of classes!  I actually did not have class today, but I spent the morning finishing a final paper for one of my Spanish classes before getting ready for the last Friday afternoon workout of the year.  (Meanwhile, it seemed as though everyone else at school was partaking in the last day of classes tradition of day-drinking…)

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It was a hot one- 88 degrees and very sunny- so I wasn’t sure how the workout was going to go.  But we prepared well and were very vigilant about hydrating and icing throughout, so it ended up going well!

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Oats, almond milk, shredded zucchini, egg whites, spices, blueberries, strawberries, and banana

Pre-workout breakfast: probably the biggest bowl of (z)oats I’ve ever made, plus a fried egg.  I kind of forgot to shake out this morning, but oh well.  Yesterday’s practice was a scavenger hunt that was more like a 7-mile fartlek, so my legs were trashed and probably benefited from the extra recovery!

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The best way to use all the peanut butter in the jar

The workout: 2.5 mile warm-up, drills, strides, 3 x 600 (400 @ 80 and kick the last 200, I ran 36-37) with 2:30 recovery, 6 x 400 at cruise pace (~83) with 1 minute recovery, 4 x 400 with 2 min recovery (77, 77, 77, 75), 2 mile cool down, rope stretch, ice bath.  I stayed hydrated before and after with coconut water, Nuun, and a variation of the “Can’t Beet Me” smoothie from Run Fast Eat Slow.

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1/2 frozen banana, frozen raspberries, steamed beets, fresh ginger, almond milk, vanilla protein powder, and a splash of coconut water

After the workout, our team went out for dinner before having fun with our annual paper plate awards and senior celebration.  My friend and I split a roasted beet salad and prosciutto garlic tomato pizza.

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And my paper plate award was pretty accurate- I will admit that sometimes I get a little competitive/aggressive…

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I’m going to be training through the conference championships with the rest of the team, mostly to give me something to do over finals.  My finals schedule includes two small projects due next week, but no actual exams until May 10!  I’m hoping to be able to travel to watch the team compete at conferences next weekend 🙂

Transparency time: Lately, there have been a couple instances where I’ve struggled mentally with eating a lot of rich food and not having my stomach/digestion behave perfectly.  I don’t count calories or macros or whatever (I’ve experimented with MyFitnessPal in the past, but our bodies know what they’re doing.  It’s our brains that screw everything up 😉 but I know that I perform better when I eat a lot.  For goodness’ sake, I just ran a 5k 90 seconds faster than I was running two years ago!  It’s just mentally hard sometimes to eat twice as much as everyone around you.

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IDK why I’m including this picture- I just like it

I’m just trying to remind myself of how much fuel we need to fuel the work that we’re doing.  It is ALWAYS better to overfuel than to under-fuel.  There are myriad examples that show how underfueling doesn’t work, ever.  And skillet cookies and mac and cheese will really just help this body handle mileage, intensity, and hot weather even better, right??  I’ll take that over miserably munching on raw vegetables and ignoring hunger cues any day.  The other day, we did clearances for next year, and I found out my weight for the first time in like two years.  And guess what?   It hasn’t changed at all since the first day of my freshman year of college.  Not that weight means anything at all- I’m way more efficient and can run a sub-18 minute 5k and do 20 chin-ups and handle 60 miles per week now- but I’m just saying our bodies are so smart and everyone has a go-to natural body weight and we need to eat a lot!

(Did that make any sense?  No?  It’s fine.)

Anyway, just a few finals, projects, and induction into the collegiate Spanish national honor society to get through before I am halfway done with undergrad!  I’ll be a junior in college before I know it.  Isn’t that crazy??  Sometimes it feels like I just got here!!

“Spring” break

Hello from home!  I’m currently on spring break (can somebody inform the weather?), and the respite from schoolwork is working wonders.  I’ve been reading a great book (Room by Emma Donoghue, upon which the 2015 movie is based), wearing groutfits all day, running/cross training, cooking, and watching more TV than I have in what seems like years.  I just ate four black bean brownies for dessert because they’re delicious and I can.  They’re small; it’s fine 😉

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Black bean brownies from Chocolate Covered Katie!  I added a bit of ground coffee and topped them with melted chocolate 🙂

Three cheers for helpful Apple tech people and a functional computer!   Yet again, apologies for the prolonged blogging absence.  Morning pool workouts, daily training room appointments, and a non-functional computer have added to this semester’s increased schoolwork demands.  I feel like I’m years behind in updating you all about what’s been going on!

Training

Two weeks ago, I ran 32 miles and cross trained for 250 minutes, which included three swim workouts and zero running workouts.  I felt progressively stronger in the pool and in the weight room.  Foot pain persisted.  I was up at the crack of dawn every day for practice and wonky pool hours.

Last week, I ran 43 miles and cross trained for 120 minutes (a mixture of stationary bike and pool), which included two running workouts and one mini pool workout.  I was in the training room every day both weeks- heating, rolling, and doing foot exercises, joint mobility, laser, and ice.

The first track workout back (2/28) went surprisingly well!  3 mile warm-up, drills, strides, 3×800 with 200 jog (2:52, 2:52, 2:50), lap on turf, 4×400 with 60-90s recovery (80, 78, 78, 77), lap on turf, 4×400 with 90-2:00 recovery, (76, 74, 73, 73), 3 mile cool down.  It was exciting and gratifying to hit those splits; pool workouts really do work to keep your aerobic fitness up!  But I was sore for two days afterwards.

My team wrapped up the indoor season in Boston this past weekend with lots of stellar performances!  We kind of fell apart as a team throughout indoor season due to injury and illness, but I’m hoping to regain some of that cohesiveness as outdoor begins.

On Saturday, I drove out to a park that we used to race at all the time in high school to do my long run.  It was beautiful!  Very windy and cold, but the views and trails couldn’t be beat.IMG_4565.jpg

I think I’ve done a good job listening to my body over the past few weeks and not cramming in too much volume (cross training or running).  My goal is to be more careful than last time while increasing the mileage, and I’m going to try like hell to keep the foot pain and inflammation under control.

Other life stuff

For some reason, last week I had the most intense dessert cravings I’ve had in awhile.  All I wanted at night was ice cream, brownies, and chocolate cake.  So I have been indulging those cravings!  My teammate and I went to go watch the high school state meet and cheer on our respective high schools, and we stopped at Whole Foods afterwards because of course we did 😉  This “Mississippi Mud Bar” was incredible.

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On Thursday, I received my acceptance into the business school!!  What a great way to start spring break 🙂  I was feeling very burned out from school- intermediate accounting is kicking my ass- but this served as justification for the grind.  I didn’t mention it in this post , but I applied last semester and was rejected from both the majors and the minors program.  The same weekend I went through a break-up, the business school sent me not one, but two rejection letters.  What a great time 😉  Also, yes, the below picture features the ugly screws I’ve been rocking for the last several weeks.  I cannot wait to get the implants.  Until then, I’m trying to avoid pictures of myself.IMG_4535.jpg

 

I’ve been hanging out with this guy:IMG_4566.jpg

Made balsamic honey glazed salmon, quinoa, and steamed asparagus with lemon for my family tonight:

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The rest of spring break will include a full body massage (so excited!) and a trip to New York before heading back to school.  Then it’s just one short week until (hopefully) my first race since November!  I just want to get a baseline, and as I said before, keep my feet under control 🙂

Time to go finish reading Room!  I will definitely try to post more- now that my computer is working again, hopefully life will be a little easier!  #firstworldproblems…

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!! I’m already starting 2017 off strong by belatedly publishing a Year in Review post…

After not having plans as late as Friday, I actually ended up having an amazing time with friends from school!  On my way home from work on Friday afternoon, my friend invited me to randomly road trip with him and some other teammates back to campus.  We left around midday on New Year’s Eve and ended up with quite an eclectic assortment of individuals for this last-minute rendezvous.  But it was a blast.  We all woke up this morning a little worse for the wear and went on a coffee run and a fun walk before driving back.  After which I promptly had to do my long run… (did 11 miles, bunions killed me, it’s ok)

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Anyway!!  Time for some self-centered running-related reflection– don’t mind me. 2016 was probably the most life-changing year of my not-quite-20 years so far.  Starting in…

January: 

  • Moved back to school for freshman year spring semester.  Started running longer workouts.  We had a few snow days, and I ran my first long run on the treadmill!   Raced my first ever mile.

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February:

  • PRed in the 3k.  I turned 19!  My peroneals continued to act up.

March:

  • Came home for spring break.  My family moved to a new house while I was at school, which was very weird.  PRed in the 3k again!  I also started to drink coffee, which would turn into a minor addiction that would continue for several months…

April:

  • Oof, April.  It started strong with a 3k and a 4×1500 and really strong workouts…then I got bronchitis for a month, had to take prednisone, DNFed for the first time, and started struggling a lot with mental confidence and body image.  To top it all off, I went through some crazy drama with my closest college friends.  BUT I got to see the Chainsmokers in concert!  Ate lots of nut butter.  Attended my first athletic awards ceremony at college.

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May:

  • Had the opportunity to race the 5000 at the outdoor conference championships!  Finished spring semester and moved home for the summer.   Made the Dean’s List!  Started my first summer job.  Developed an obsession with avocado egg toast 🙂

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June:

  • Started ramping up the mileage and working many hours.  Traveled to California to visit family and climb mountains.  My aunt got married!  Spent a lot of time outside going on fun dates and hanging out with my friends.

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July:

  • Ran and worked a lot.  Ate more ice cream than I’ve ever eaten in my life…and developed an intolerance. My roommate came to visit!  Got a little crazy/intense about training and eating…yikes.

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August:

  • Ran 60 miles per week for the first time!  Body started really complaining about the higher training workload, and I experienced tiredness/moods that I never had before.  Went on a fun training trip with my teammates.  I got to see Phillip Phillips and Matt Nathanson in concert, and I moved back to school for sophomore year!!

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September:

  • Started my first college cross country season in uniform with a strong two-mile and followed it up with a dreadful, scary, heat exhaustion-filled 5k.  Realized I was overtraining and chilled out a bit.

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October:

  • Lots of fall activities.  Hard work started to show– huge PR in the 6k, made the travel squad for every meet, and made the top 7 for regionals!  I went through my first break-up…not fun.

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November:

  • Southeast Regional Championships went okay individually and terribly for the team.  End of cross country.  Spontaneously cut my hair off!  Came home for Thanksgiving Break!  Broke my dentures.  The second half of the month was very weird mentally– I did not feel like myself.

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December:

  • Continued to not feel like myself, but took steps to try to rectify it after a few scary instances.  Finished fall semester and came home for winter break.  Started an internship in DC.  Started training for track!

So that’s my year.  There are tons of important things that I am forgetting, but oh well.  I haven’t made any concrete resolutions for this coming year, but these are some things that have been floating around this head of mine:

  • Practice being a better listener, as well as being more direct and saying what you mean to say.
  • Focus on developing real, meaningful relationships, as opposed to maintaining virtual connections via Snapchat/other forms of social media.
  • Gratitude journal before bed every night
  • Try to contribute positively to at least one person’s day, every day, even through a small action such as holding the door or smiling at them

Happy New Year 🙂

Musings: The Sophomore Slump?

Guess who just turned in her Gender final papers and is now officially done with fall semester??

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I’m done with exams- accidentally finished my 61-question psychology final in fifteen minutes yesterday, but it happens…still got an A (minus) so it’s okay.  Currently, I’m hanging out in the library coffee shop for no other reason than I have $22 in dining dollars to spend by Thursday morning, and they have really good overpriced sandwiches.  One club sandwich, fruit cup, and an Americano later…I’ve burned through a good portion of those dollars 🙂

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I’ll be here for a few more days because I’m finally starting the dental procedures to eventually get permanent teeth implants!  In a couple months, I will no longer have to pop my front teeth out at every meal.  Unfortunately, this week’s surgery means that I will a) not be able to run for a few days and b) be on a soft-foods diet for a little while.

I’d like to share some musings in this post.  Everyone always talks about the myriad adjustments that come throughout freshman year of college, but there are far fewer discussions about the “sophomore slump.”

What is the sophomore slump, you may ask?  I think this New York Times article explains it well.

“Pity the sophomore. You are feted as a freshman, but no one seems to care that you’re back on campus. Quirky first-year seminars have been replaced by large foundation classes, making you doubt that major in econ or bio. You’re not high enough up the totem pole to do fun stuff like join a research team or lead student organizations. With the newness of college gone, malaise sets in.”

Okay, I just realized that makes it sound extremely self-centered.  But for the most part, I’ve found that sophomore year has personally included a mixture of anxiety over the future, questioning relationships, second-guessing academic and extracurricular endeavors…on par with the above article.

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favorite spot on campus

Don’t get me wrong; I love this school.  I love the team.  I enjoy going to class and working hard and finishing assignments.  My running hasn’t suffered, nor have my grades or my work ethic.  I’ve never been particularly Type A, stress-wise, and have generally been good at balancing school and leisure.  I’m the type that would rather live my life, study kind of hard, and earn a B+ than neglect mental and physical health to earn an A.   However, my mental state this semester has been different from the rest of my 19 years of living, which is normal (I think) but unsettling.

And some more musings because this is a very tangential post:

Something that I think is important is remembering to be who you are rather than who other people want/expect you to be.  Don’t conform to other people’s expectations.  It’s important to be respectful, friendly, hard-working, and empathic, but don’t feel as though you have to change who you are to please others.  In the same vein, don’t expect other people to be someone they’re not.  I’m slowly learning this. 🙂

Non-career personality traits: I love to run, I’m competitive as hell to the point of being a little showboat-y, and I enjoy classical and alternative music, outdoor adventures, and extra dark chocolate.  Making food and gifts to give to other people makes me happy.  I don’t always love going out and actually kind of hate staying out late.  I think I believe in God, but I’m not sure.  I love grapefruit.  Sometimes I have trouble vocalizing sympathy or comfort, even though I try.   Sometimes I think about food a little too much.  Sometimes I’m sometimes so eager to try to offer support that I interrupt people.  I won’t study past 10 pm, and I will probably never pull an all-nighter, even at the expense of grades.  We all have strengths and weaknesses that make us individuals.

Since my brain is all over the place, here are a random assortment of activities that I have found help, or that I’d like to try:

  • Music!  Playing and listening to classical piano help me recenter and calm down a lot.  Anything by Ludovico Einaudi automatically lowers my blood pressure.  Nuvole Bianche, Fly, Una Mattina, and Elegy for the Arctic are some of my favorites.

  • Run (duh).  Endorphins + serotonin = clarity
  • Cry if you need to
  • Be honest
  • Take a break from social media//don’t engage in therapeutic mind-clearing activities with the purpose of sharing them on social media, because that’s counterintuitive
  • Knit a scarf
  • Drink tea
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Talk to someone- roommate, mom/dad, coach, teammates, friends, or if you need to, a professional
  • Do an intense strength workout- just me?
  • Remember what you like to do, rather than what you think other people would like you to do.  You can do things alone.  It’s awesome.
  • Stick to a routine if it makes you feel better, but don’t spend too much time in one place, and practice breaking out of your routine eventually so that your comfort zone isn’t too small.

I should probably start packing to go home, so that’s all for now 🙂  Going to knock out some miles later with my roommate- we’ve only been able to run together a couple times over the past few months, so I’m looking forward to it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6k race (22:16)

Friday was my second 6k ever! And it went really well.

(First 6k ever– a year ago)

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I woke up early, like always, and laid in bed until it was time to shake out at 7:30 am. It was 35 degrees outside- definitely a change from back home!- but it felt really nice. After the shakeout, we rope stretched and ate breakfast before packing up and heading to the course around 9:45. Pre-race breakfast: plain nonfat Fage, oatmeal with a banana and Justin’s almond butter, and a bit of coffee. I also had half of another banana and lemon-lime Nuun closer to race time.

We got to the course, which is on a picturesque golf course, and we rope stretched, warmed up, and did drills and strides. At this point, the temperatures had reached the mid-40s, which actually felt pretty good!

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After a team huddle and stride back, we took off the last of our outer layers and got ready to roll. Honestly, I had a feeling this would be a good day. We had previewed the course multiple times, and while pretty much the entire last mile was uphill, we knew we could do it. After my last race, I had no expectations, and I was feeling a little nervous but also ready to “just run to your fitness level”, as my coach put it.

The gun went off, and I settled in pretty much right away. The plan was to go out relatively conservatively (compared to everyone else) because we knew that it would naturally be fast and we wanted to be able to rally in the second half. The first straightaway was kind of overwhelming, though, with hundreds of women stampeding down the golf course incline into a tight pass. On the first turn, we went from a sprint to almost a dead stop! I kept reminding myself to relax, relax, relax.

The first mile flew by, and it was so downhill that my 5:30something split felt like a 5:50 effort. Even going out in 5:30, I was still in like 150th place. I bunched up with two of my teammates during the second mile, and we came through two miles right over 11:30. Really started trying to pass people as the real hills began.

From 2.5 miles to the finish (6k, or 3.75 miles), there were three pretty intense hills. I dug deep and powered up the first one and told myself I’d be able to recover on the upcoming downhill. That didn’t work too well because I still felt very lactic when I hit the next hill, which was significantly longer, albeit less steep, than the previous one.

The last hill was half a mile long, and it hurt. A lot. Finally made it to the top and rounded the final turn, and we had a quarter mile to go. I kicked with what I had left, and with about 25 meters to go, my teammate (who has a notoriously lethal kick) flew by me. I went with her as much as I could, and we ended up passing a couple other girls before the finish. We finished together in 22:16, which was a 36-second PR for me, a minute PR for her, 5:58 average pace, and converts to an 18:21 5k!

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Happy after big PRs 🙂

Afterwards, we cooled down for about 3 miles, did 4 strides, and cheered on our men’s team, who had a 19-second spread between runners 1-5 over the 5.2 mile race! I downed a vanilla Siggi’s yogurt, rope stretched for a bit, took some pictures, and finally we headed to get food. Stopped at Wegmans for the third time in two days 😉 I treated myself to a pretty amazing post-race meal of a chicken pot pie, sautéed garlic kale, mac and cheese, a cranberry Kombucha, and a Wegmans pumpkin muffin. On point.

Overall, this race was a giant step in the right direction. It was the biggest cross country race I’ve ever participated in (I finished 136th). I’m happy with a PR and know that there’s more in the tank. I’m also thrilled that my teammate and I, who were the two slowest walk-ons entering our freshman year, finished as the seventh and eighth runners for our team!! I think my coach’s philosophy of “we don’t need anyone to run out of their minds. Just run what you are physically capable of” really helped me stay calm and focus on race day.

Now for the not so good news- ended a relationship on Friday night, and the past 1.5 days have been pretty rough.  A veritable rollercoaster of emotion.  Doesn’t help that I’m 100% sleep-deprived.

Autumnal

It’s fall break!!  After an incredibly stressful week, I am now home for a quick 24 hours and plan on soaking in autumn and decompressing as much as possible 🙂  Currently lying in bed drinking lemon ginger tea following an amazing Irish dinner- corned beef, cabbage, and roasted potatoes and vegetables, followed by freshly baked apple crisp.

It’s good to be home 🙂

As I mentioned previously, the past week has been hard.  Everything seemed to happen all at once.  School round-up: Hispanic Studies paper due, followed by a Gender in Society paper, followed by an accounting midterm, an unnecessarily vicious problem set, a Spanish midterm, and a presentation.  I am generally pretty good about balancing schoolwork and stress levels, but this week was something else.  I just tried to take it day by day, and I ended up surviving and getting decent grades on both midterms!  Not sure about the other grades yet.

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Studying and lunching

Running-wise, with three weeks between races, we’ve been in the midst of a particularly meaty training block.  Workouts have been hard.  Thankfully, our lifting instructor has started to taper our weight room routines in preparation for our upcoming races.  This has been sort of fun!  We’ve been focusing on the quality, not quantity, of our lifts, and on Thursday, after completing the requisite 2 sets of 5 chin-ups unassisted, our lifts instructor had me do an extra set with chains!

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I felt pretty darn badass afterwards

The past two weeks have been interesting in that I’ve hit higher mileage within 6 days and therefore have gotten two weeks in a row with a complete off day!  Last week, I hit 59 miles by Saturday, so I took Sunday off.  Same thing happened this week:

10/3-10/9:

Monday: AM: 3 miles + core. PM: 2 lap w/u, form and hurdle drills, speed ladder, 7 miles, 6 x 100m strides, upper body circuit.  Total = 10 miles.
Tuesday: 3 mile w/u, drills/strides, 3 x [1000, 800, 400] on the track with 2-3 min rec and a lap on the turf between sets, 3ish c/d.  Struggled with some dizziness in the second half, so my 3rd 800 was a 600.  Overall a weird workout.  Lower body lift + stretch/roll in weight room.  Ice bath.  Splits below.  Total = 10 miles.

  • Set 1: 3:33, 2:43, 78
  • Set 2: 3:28, 2:45, 80
  • Set 3: 3:33, idk, 76

Wednesday: 6 solo miles trails.  A bit tired.
Thursday: AM: 2 lap w/u, drills, 7.5ish miles, 4 x 150m strides, upper body lift in WR (with chainz).  PM: 3 miles + core.  Total = 11ish miles.
Friday:  3.5 mile w/u, drills, 4 mile tempo on wooded gravel trails (very twisty/hilly so ran about 26 minutes but thought I rallied well on the hills), 6 x :60h with :60-2:00 rec, 20 min c/d.  Ice bath. Total = 11 miles.
Saturday: 11 miles on trails and battlefield loop.  Ice bath.
Sunday (planned): off day with a bit of yoga/stretching

Total: 59 miles

I think I’m just kind of in a rhythm with training/doubles now.  Haven’t really felt the need to go above 60 mpw, so I’m content with taking another complete rest day 🙂 In fact, I didn’t even bring my running shoes home!

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Other thoughts:

  • Our next invitational is in six days!  I’m going to focus on recovery until then.  I’m thankful that this last week of school was the hard one, and hopefully I can stay on top of schoolwork while also relaxing in the coming days/weeks 🙂
  • Goals for the next race:  Go out conservatively.  I want to be able to rally and have a strong second half.
  • I’d like to decrease my coffee consumption- not that 16 ounces per day is nearly as bad as some people, but ideally I’ll get down to 8 ounces.  One cup and no more.  Although Wawa’s $1 any size coffee month is making that difficult 😉 But I’ve done it for 3 days in a row now!
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  • Along the same vein, I haven’t been super frugal recently…but I’ll try my hardest to rein in the grocery spending.  Or so I say…
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I adore fall.  And good friends and food.

That’s all for now!  I hope to write more soon 🙂

Season opener//sophomore year!

Greetings!  Sorry I haven’t blogged in a few weeks.  I’ll quickly recap the last 3 weeks of training, followed by a race report!IMG_2735.PNG


8/15-8/21:

M: AM: 3 miles. PM: 40 min stationary bike and upper body strength.
T: 20 min w/u, drills, fartlek (1-1-2-4-8-4-2-1-1 w/ 1/2 recovery), 2 mile cool down.  Felt pretty good!  Very humid.
W: 50 min easy run (maybe 6 miles?) with high school team + core.
Th: AM: drills, 7 miles, strides, felt nauseated/kind of gross, upper body strength.  PM: 3 mile loop.
F: AM: 2 mile warm-up, drills, 4 mile pace run (6:30, 6:28, 6:17 which includes a 7ish second stop to retrieve a dropped headband, 6:03), 2 mile cool down.  Slight uphill on the way out, slight downhill on the way back. PM: 2 miles.
Sat: Moved back to campus!  3 miles + core
Sun: 11-12 pretty relaxed miles back on campus

Total: 54 miles + 40 min bike


8/22-8/28:

M: AM: drills, 7 miles trails, strides, core.  PM: local 5k
T: 3 mi w/u, drills, 2 mile-1 mile-1 mile with 2-3 min recovery, 4 x strides.  Splits: 6:19/6:02, 5:48, 5:44.  20 min c/d.  Jump squat series, rope stretch, ice bath.  Really pleased with my splits!
W: 5 miles trails + core
Th: AM: drills, 7 miles, UBC 1.  PM: 3 miles trails.
F: 3 mi w/u, drills, 3 x 800-400-400 hill thing (the 800 times were 2:52, 2:51, 3:04), 2 x 400 hill, 2 x 175 hill.  Wow. I died.  Thought I was acclimated to the heat but that was something else.  15 min c/d. PWL 2.
Sat: 11 miles trails, slow-ish, we were all tired.  Core + ice bath.
Sun: 30 min aqua jog

Total: 54ish miles, 30 min aqua jog


8/29-9/4:

M: AM: 3 miles.  PM: 7 miles trails, drills, strides, upper body circuit, rope stretch
T: AM: 20 min w/u, drills, 6 x 1000m on the roads (3:27, 3:23, 3:28, 3:28, 3:31, 3:30) with 1:30-2:00 rec, 22 min c/d.  Weight room assessment.  PM: 12 min shakeout, ice bath, abs.
W: 5 miles trails.  Felt like crap.
Th: AM: 5 miles, felt like crap but gradually better, 8 x 200m at 34-36 with walk recovery, 2 lap c/d, lift.  PM: 3 miles + core.
F: 7 miles trails, drills, strides, abs, rope stretch
Sat: 3 mi w/u, drills, 2 mile xc race (11:17), a few min recovery, 5 min jog, 2 x 1 mile on the course (6:05, 6:05) with 3:00 recovery, 30 min c/d.  Total = 12 miles.
Sun: 3 miles

Total: 58 miles + so much walking

Not going to sugarcoat it- It’s been a hard three weeks- adjusting back to campus food/classes/walking SIX MILES PER DAY, increase in training intensity, etc.  But it has been great to be back with the team, the locker room, and all the lovely spots on campus I missed dearly 🙂


Anyway!  We opened the cross country season on Saturday with a two-mile race on a cross country course, followed by 2 x 1 mile on the same course and cool down until we reached long run mileage.

I woke up at 6 (after not sleeping most of the night) and had plain Greek yogurt and oatmeal with banana, almond butter, chia seeds, and cinnamon.  No coffee or multivitamin since it was so early and we were in a rush!  We drove to the race venue, sat around for a bit enjoying the cool temperatures brought on by Hurricane Hermine, and warmed up for 3 miles and did drills.  Put on the singlet, buns, and hair ribbon for the first time since May 🙂 Since I redshirted last year, this was actually my first cross country race representing my college!

There wasn’t much pressure for this short little rust-buster, so I just tried to have fun.  The gun went off, I got boxed in, and I gradually tried to make my way up through the pack.  I felt pretty good at the mile (5:36) and caught up with two of my teammates, and we worked together the last mile and tried to catch people.  I kicked with what I had left and crossed the finish line in 11:17 as the fifth scorer for our team!  (I was our sixth runner, though- one of the freshmen finished ahead of me, but they all ran unattached.)

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After taking a few minutes to recover, we jogged for five minutes and did 2 x 1 mile with 3 minutes of recovery in between… I did not crush this part of the day as my splits were 6:05 and 6:05.  Felt quite dead 😉 but that’s okay.  I then cooled down for about 4 miles, so I got a total of 12 in for the day.

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We trained right through this race- didn’t even pre-meet the day before, instead doing a regular 7-mile maintenance run and 6x100m strides- so nobody’s legs were fresh.  But it was a good fitness gauge!  Our next race is two weeks away!

Summer training week 11: SIXTY MILES + team trip

Happy Sunday!  I hope the past week has been fabulous.  The past three days have been spent with the team during our annual women’s team trip.  I officially hit 60 miles for the first time, got to see almost my entire team,  didn’t have to work too much, and the Olympics began.  It was a pretty good week 🙂

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Summer 2016 week 11 (8/1-8/7):

Monday: AM: 3 miles, sleep deprived but felt good, upper body strength.  PM: 7 miles, drills, strides.  Total = 10
Tuesday: 20 min w/u, fartlek (1:00-1-2-4-8-4-2-1-1 with half-time recovery) around the Mall/Tidal Basin, 15 min c/d.  Felt pretty tired but got through it and the views were AMAZING.  Total = 10
Wednesday:  5 miles easy
Thursday: AM: 7 miles, drills, strides, upper body strength.  New shoes.  PM: 3 miles.  Total = 10
Friday:  20 min w/u, drills, 24 min pace run/tempo on canal with team, 20 min c/d, core.  Felt really strong and controlled, no idea about pace but mentally one of my best tempos.  LOVE being with the team!!  Total = 9
Saturday:  12 miles canal, felt good, pretty relaxed.  Hike later.
Sunday:  AM: yoga class with team.  PM: 4 miles neighborhoods at home.  Legs felt surprisingly good!

Total:  60 miles + hike

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For the most part, this week was awesome!!  The only run that was “eh” was Tuesday’s workout, but the national Mall was beautiful at 6:45 am, so that made up for it.  Switched to new shoes on Thursday.
Friday’s tempo was great- I started out feeling strong and finished feeling strong, staying mentally in it the whole time.  The team looked great and I’m so excited 🙂 Saturday’s long run felt surprisingly good the day after a workout.  Sunday’s yoga class was very rejuvenating and helpful, and my recovery run was good.  And I have officially hit 60 miles for the first time!!
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It was so much fun being with these ladies after not being together all summer!  We worked out together Friday morning, long ran Saturday, each class was in charge of a brunch/dinner/dessert each day (sophomores totally rocked Saturday brunch!), we went hiking, found cute ice cream shops and farmer’s markets, ate insane quantities of peanut butter (just me?), watched the Olympics and 27 Dresses, and had a campfire with lots of s’mores.

There were a few bumps in the road- what else do you expect when you throw together twenty 18-to-22-year-olds that haven’t seen each other all summer- but for the most part, the trip was incredible.  Also needless to say, the house we were staying in did not smell great towards the end.  I don’t think I’ve ever sweat more in my life.  Less than two weeks until we’re back for good!