Senior Year of College

Aaaand a month later, here’s another post.  This always happens.  Sorry, friends!!

I started the day off with a nice bowl of pumpkin chocolate oatmeal before going to do my long cross train of the week.  Yes, I’m still injured.  90 minutes of biking and aqua jogging later, I’m back in my apartment and ready for a nap.

To catch up briefly on the last month of my life, the end of summer was full of work, fun times with teammates on training trips, horrible travel days, and lots of reckless biking in the mountains!

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The OG 3 ❤

We had one training trip in the Poconos, followed by another training trip the day after the first one ended in Banner Elk, North Carolina.  What was already going to be a marathon travel day turned into a nightmare when my bike fell off the back of my car on the PA turnpike, then my car battery died, then the subsequent four-hour delay (and $200 new battery) caused my passenger to miss her train by four minutes, then I got locked out of my apartment for the night when I finally did make it to my college town 14 hours after the travel day began.  At least it makes for a good story!

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The training trips were fun and useful for team morale and building a championship culture, but it was nearly impossible for me to train on the second one since I couldn’t run.  I was frustrated and ready to have a little time away from constant stimulation by the end of the eight days 😉  On the plus side, it was nice and cool and picturesque everywhere we went!

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The road was awful for biking, but at least the views were amazing!

Most of us were in town for about a week before classes started, so we spent that time training, going out to eat, and getting ready for the year!

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Classes began a week and a half ago, and at that point I was mandated by the trainer to take time completely off to see if my foot would heal.  This made for way too much free time.  I had no idea what to do!  It was also really hard to have to go to practice, do nothing, listen to beginning-of-the-season hype from the coaches and watch everyone else learn the new hurdle routines and stuff.  I did have a giant breakdown in the locker room, but my selfless teammates helped me through it.  I also finally began talking to the sports psychologist, which was great.

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Convocation 2018

Luckily, after five days, I was able to start cross training again.  While not the same as running, a familiar, regimented cross training routine truly makes me feel like myself.

I am now a senior in college (didn’t we just get here??) and finishing up my Marketing and Hispanic Studies majors and Accounting concentration with a very hypothetical plan of getting my Master of Accounting next year.  To do that, I am taking 15 credits this semester: four upper-level business classes and one senior seminar Spanish class (the last one I have to take!).  I have two 80-minute classes on Monday/Wednesday and three on Tuesday/Thursday.  None on Friday (shocker, right?)

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My non-athletic goals for this semester include keeping my apartment clean, establishing good study habits, avoiding the comparison/social media/boredom trap, implementing meditation and mindfulness into my everyday life, and taking advantage of any opportunity that comes my way.  I am really excited for this year- academically, socially, and career-wise!

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In terms of running, my goal is to continue to approach every day, every training session, as an opportunity to get better.  Over the past many months of injury, I’ve learned how to back off and have a more balanced approach to training.  This is something I had trouble with in the peak of training when I was healthy, but I do think that is one silver lining of injury- being able to be more balanced and less rigid in all aspects of life!

Running will come back into my life on the timeline that it is meant to.  Everything happens for a reason, and I am happy to say that I am walk-jogging a little bit and my foot is hanging in there.  We’ll see how this trajectory continues!  I am hopeful and optimistic (at least, until my MRI follow-up on Tuesday…hehe).

In terms of this blog, I’d like to post more recipes, senior year updates and ruminations about future plans, college student/young adult budgeting tips, “Day-in-the-life” type stuff, and mindfulness discussions!

One last note- I made this cake for my friend’s birthday last week, and it was the best cake I’ve ever made/eaten.  It may have taken four tries to get the writing on top to turn out okay, but I was so proud. It was a homemade dark chocolate cake with homemade vanilla buttercream frosting, and everyone loved it!

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Ok that’s all for now- Gonna summarize my week of training in the next post!

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Spring 2018: The semester of injury

Long time no blog!  This morning, both my mom and one of my friends asked, “Do you still blog?”  My gut answer was, “Of course!” before I remembered that I actually haven’t blogged in four months…Sorry about that!

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I just wrapped up what was definitely the most challenging semester of my life, both academically and athletically.  I drove home from school this past Monday, and I have about a week and half to chill out (and work) before I leave to study abroad in Spain until the end of June!  Luckily, I didn’t have any final exams, but I wrote 59 pages of final papers and had several group projects.  Phew!  Time for a life update (as a means of procrastinating on the final paper due for the semester).  Settle in; this is going to be a long one.

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From my 21st bday party- had to wear sneakers due to injury haha

To start things off on a rather sour note, I have essentially been injured this entire semester.  Writing it out seems unbelievable.  As you know, I was fighting some mild injuries throughout December and January but had worked back up to normal-ish mileage (albeit on the treadmill) by the time I headed back to school for the spring semester.

Once I got back to school, I immediately started going to the training room every day because the foot and ankle pain was persisting.  I got an x-ray in mid-January, which didn’t show anything, so then I got an MRI, which showed posterior tibial tendonitis.  I cross trained hard until February 14th (my 21st birthday!), at which point I convinced the trainers and my coach to let me start running on the Alter-G, even though I was still having foot pain.IMG_1487.jpg

My 21st birthday was super fun even though I had to write a paper.  Since so many of my friends had birthdays in February, we had a 5-way birthday party!

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I started bringing the stationary bike outside because after a month of being shut up in the Alter-G room, I was in desperate need of some vitamin D (and social interaction, haha).  Most days, I would bike and/or swim 60-90 minutes, with two or three days being workout efforts with intervals, and the rest being steady maintenance cross trains.  I was getting stronger in the pool, on the bike, and in the weight room!  I started consistently doing chin-ups with chains and squatting heavier weights.

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I slowly transitioned back to running, running on land for the first time on February 22.  My mileage progression went something like this:

  • Week of 2/19-2/25: 4 miles + 10 Alter-G miles
  • Week of 2/26-3/4: 15 land miles + 3 Alter-G miles
  • Week of spring break: no idea
  • Week of 3/12-3/18: 22 miles
  • Week of 3/19-3/25: 32 miles

While the post tib was getting better, the bunion issues and related foot pain from last year came back full force the second I started running again.  So this whole time, running was a question mark every single day.  Mentally, this is a terrible way to train.  Each morning, I woke up with no idea how my foot would feel, how much I would be able to run, etc.  It was extremely frustrating and demoralizing, but it made the good days that much more gratifying.

At the end of February, my mom came down to run the hilly, hard half marathon hosted by my team, and she placed in her age group!

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Just after starting to run on land again, I drove down to Tybee Island, Georgia, with a random group of teammates for spring break.  That week was very freeing- I didn’t worry about training or mileage, did what I could, sunbathed on the beach in 58 degree weather (#nice) during the day, explored Savannah, and enjoyed being 21 at night 😉

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Finally, towards the end of March, I managed to put together “real” mileage of 32.  Too bad I got overzealous and did 4 comparatively hard efforts in that one week.  On March 25, I ran 9 miles cutting down to 6:30 pace, and subsequently strained my right hamstring.  The trainers aggravated it by scraping, which put me out of commission for another two weeks and ruined my plan to return to racing at the Colonial Relays (beginning of April).

  • Week of 3/26-4/1: 13 miles
  • Week of 4/2-4/8: 25 miles

After my hamstring pain cleared up, I emailed my coach asking if I could run the 5000 on the track at the Duke Invitational (4/21).  I hadn’t done any workouts, but I didn’t care.  I just wanted to race!  Shockingly, he responded that I could run the 5k at George Mason a week earlier (4/14).  Off of zero workouts and barely 20 miles per week.  I was 10% apprehensive and 90% jumping for joy!

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Beach with teammates the night before the race

Unfortunately, my body couldn’t hold it together.  The post tib pain came back literally the day before the race, and I also had pain on top of my foot that I just ignored because it had been 3 months of injury and I didn’t want another thing to be wrong (pro tip: don’t ignore pain).  I literally did my pre-meet on the bike, and my coach said I could travel and just take things one step at a time.  If I could do the shakeout with no pain, I could move on to the warm-up.  If I could do the warm-up with no pain, I could race.

I made it through the shakeout and warm-up and laced up in spikes for the first time since November.  I was not pain-free, but I pretended that I was.  The gun went off, and it was amazing to be back on the track again.  This was the first time I’d worn the uniform on the track since May 2016 (my freshman year).  Each lap, my teammates would scream-cheer, and I would burst into a smile.  Until about lap 8 and then I realized that it’s kind of difficult to run the 5k off of no workouts, haha.

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I ended up running an 18:38, not that it matters!  (For reference, I split a 17:35 5k during a cross country 6k in the fall, and my goal before I got injured was to run 16:XX on the track this season.)  It was incredibly fun, but I couldn’t walk the next day because I was so sore!

And then I seriously couldn’t walk by Monday.  By Tuesday (April 17), the nagging foot pain on top of my foot (metatarsal area) was sharp and throbbing.  I had clearance that day, so I saw our team orthopedist as well as the head athletic trainer, and both of them agreed that I should shut down my season right then and there because it wasn’t worth trying to get back into shape through another injury to maybe score points in the 5000 at the CAA championships on May 4-5.

So after over three months of trying to come back for CAAs, I did not run CAAs.  I got an MRI that showed I have a stress reaction in my second metatarsal on my left foot (aka the problem foot, apparently!). I took six days completely off, went home for the weekend to have a mental break before the end of the semester, started lightly cross training two weeks ago, and have essentially been doing whatever training I’ve felt like doing since then.  Some days, that’s a 40 minute swim.  Some days it’s a 70 minute bike workout.  Other days it’s yoga, or core, or nothing.  I’m going to be in the walking boot until I go to Spain and potentially longer, and I will start a return-to-running walk-jog program in a couple weeks, as long as there’s absolutely no pain for awhile before that.  As of now, I still have pain, and I really don’t want to come back to running before my foot is ready.  It’s going to be a longggg road back to fitness anyway.  So right now, I am doing what I can to maintain my aerobic fitness in the pool and on the bike, while not doing so much as to disrupt my love for training in general.

For someone who fully admits that the majority of her life revolves around running, this semester was incredibly confusing.  I had to rediscover who I was outside of running, which I honestly don’t think I succeeded at (yet).  I was a bitchy pill some days, but a great teammate/friend/sister/daughter other days.  The past four months have definitely been trying, but I have learned so much about myself, others, training, sanity, and balance!

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Featuring my snazzy Aircast

I don’t want to make it sound like my whole semester was miserable, because it truly wasn’t.  It sucked to be injured (and still sucks! I’m still injured!) but I had so many great life experiences outside of running.  I strengthened some friendships, took classes that were extremely difficult but helped me realize how much I actually do like my Hispanic Studies major, applied (and was accepted) to study abroad!, had fun, and made both irresponsible and responsible decisions.

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Irresponsibly wearing heels instead of the Boot 😉 

I expanded my food Instagram, made crazy memories, and feel more adult than I ever have.  I did gain weight (funny how that happens when you stop running 50-60 miles per week) and am trying to remember that my body is smarter than my brain and will eventually settle into the best possible state for itself.  I am really excited to study abroad in Spain this summer, as I think it’s going to be one of the best (and hardest) experiences of my life!

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More later– my post-swim brain is dead 🙂

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

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

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

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

Week of 10/16-10/22:

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

Total: 55 miles + 20 min bike

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

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

But I digress.

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

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

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Pumpkin steel-cut oats with delicious toppings 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time to actually go be productive, maybe…

Training Week of 10/2-8 (58 miles)

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start.  I got up early this morning, per usual, and ran 6 miles before dawn.  My friend joined me for 4 of them.  The weather was unseasonably warm, humid, and somewhat oppressive today…lovely.

Somehow, I got to my 8 am business analytics much earlier than I normally do.  Miracles do happen!  Of course, I was ready for lunch by 9:30 am and spent the day being a bottomless pit.  After afternoon practice, I made a really good vegetarian dinner with a bucketload of homemade Thai peanut sauce 😀

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Anyway, last week’s training was meaty but went well!  I took an off day yesterday and am excited to travel up north with the team for our first 6k of the season later this week.

Week of 10/2-10/8:

  • Monday: AM: 6 miles, felt pretty fresh!  PM: form drills, speed ladder, hurdle drills, 4 miles, 3 x “X” strides, planks/push-ups, rope stretch, foam roll.  Total: 10 miles.
  • Tuesday: AM: 18 min w/u, drills, strides, 2 x 1000 retro w/ 90s rec (3:37, 3:36), 2 x 1000 w/ 2 min rec (3:29, 3:26), 2 x 800 retro w/ 3 min rec (2:39, 2:37), 2 x 1000 w/ 90s rec (3:36, 3:37), 13 min c/d.  Lower body lift + ice bath.  Went hard on the front squats!  PM: 2 miles + NormaTecs.  Total: 11 miles.
  • Wednesday: early AM: 6 miles.  Very sore from lift; some bunion/foot pain but probably because shoes are old.  PM: core + foam roll.
  • Thursday: 18 min w/u, drills, strides, 3ish mile tempo with first 90s hard (17:30), run back to track, 4×400 w/ 90s rec (75, 75, 74, 71), 20 min c/d.  Upper body lift in weight room.  Ice bath.  Total: 10 miles.
  • Friday: AM: 6 miles.  PM: form drills, speed/hurdle drills, 4 miles easy, 6 strides, planks/push-ups.  Total: 10 miles of running…many miles of walking. #Ouch.  Started wearing new shoes and what do you know- like 75% of my bunion pain disappeared!
  • Saturday: Long run workout.  2 mile w/u, 5 x 6:00h, 3:00e, 4 x :30h, :30e, 20 min c/d.  Total = 11 miles.  Started off feeling “eh” but felt progressively stronger throughout the workout!
  • Sunday: Off. Some core/yoga.
Total: 58 miles.
This week was another off week from racing, so our coach piled on the quality.  With three workouts this week, the majority of the team was feeling pretty beat up by Saturday.  Surprisingly, all three workouts went pretty well for me!  I was very pleased with Tuesday’s splits, especially the 800s (which hurt a lot).  The cruise 1000s were nothing crazy, and it was weird but nice to go back to cruise pace at the end of the workout, after killing our legs with some speedy 8s.  Thursday’s tempo and 400s were all quite fast!  Some of us went to Kilwins on Thursday  night to treat ourselves 🙂
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I was pretty tired on Friday but took the afternoon run easy, which was nice.  We went to Busch Gardens after practice, and we ended up walking and running over six miles, after a full day of training and right before our long run workout the next morning.  NOT the brightest decision 😉 But it was a blast!  We rode the rollercoasters, ate churros, and experienced the creepy Howl’O’Scream corn mazes and haunted houses.
We also attempted to dab for one of the rollercoaster photos…I hate us 😉
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 The first half or so of Saturday’s long run workout felt terrible, but I felt progressively stronger (both mentally and physically) as it continued!  We returned to campus and got ready for team pictures!  After that, I spent the afternoon catching up with one of my good friends and going on a ferry/pumpkin patch adventure.
 My friend and I attempted to work on our database assignment for business analytics on Saturday night, but we were both exhausted and confused, so it did not go well.  On Sunday, I reset, worked on the assignment, grocery shopped and meal prepped, watched a movie for my Spanish class, and did some more work after dinner.  And now it’s a new week!
To be honest, our team hasn’t had the smoothest season so far.  Our lineup looks completely different than it was expected to look, but that is okay!  The different group dynamics have been really positive, and it’s exciting to see people progress and step up when others are having a hard time.  I’m excited to see how everyone does this weekend at Penn State.  Going to bed now to prepare for our workout tomorrow morning!

In-season training week 1: 55 miles

Happy Sunday!  This week has been quite tiring.   All the first week of school activities, hard workouts, not-stellar sleep, getting used to traveling back and forth from my apartment, lots of rain, spontaneous concerts, lots of driving…etc.  But overall, it was quite fun!

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The OG 3 at Convocation

After a minor glute strain, my coach decided it wasn’t worth it for me to race the 2-mile opener, so I drove the unattached freshmen up yesterday and did a slightly short long run in the rain at the venue.  Today, I ran 3 miles in the morning, made breakfast, studied and had lunch on campus, did some meal prep and laundry, took a nap, and hit up Aldi for a miniature grocery haul (because I already have most of the food I need).

Week of 8/28-9/3:

Monday: AM: compliance meeting, 5 slow miles in which I managed not to puke!  PM: pose drills, speed ladder + hurdle drills, 4 miles, strides, rope stretch, plank circuit.

Tuesday: AM: 2 mile warm-up, drills, strides, 5 mile tempo (6:08, 5:54, 6:11, 6:21, 6:13), 2 mile cool down.  Rope stretch, foam roll, pull-ups/core, ice bath.  PM: 2 miles @ 8:00 on treadmill

Wednesday: PM: 6 miles. Didn’t feel amazing.  Right hamstring is really tight.

Thursday:  18 min w/u, drills, strides, 6 x [4:00h, 2:00e], 18 min c/d.  Went well- really pushed myself, but hamstring is still tight/sore.  NormaTec + ice bath.  Walked a lot today :/

Friday: Felt destroyed so took AM off. 6 miles in PM.  Tweaked my glute/hip so no strides.

Saturday:  Coach decided not to race me.  11 miles at race location.

Sunday: 3 miles + core

Total: 55-56 miles

This week was hard!  Both workouts felt significantly more intense than what I had been doing throughout the summer.  My coach has thrown me into the longest, fastest workout group (we’ve got some super speedy freshmen, but they can’t yet handle the distance/intensity yet, which is fine!) and that shit is hard.  So my runs on Wednesday and Friday were both kinda awful…

Wednesday was the first day of classes!  This semester, I’m taking five business classes for my business major and one Spanish class for my Hispanic Studies major.  After three business classes on Wednesday, I ran with some teammates and went to Convocation, then we had an ice cream social.  It was lots of fun 🙂  I’ve still been freaking out about the fact that I have no idea what I want to do with my life, career-wise.

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I have no Friday classes for the second semester in a row- three day weekend, heck yes!  We’ve also switched workouts to Thursday morning, so I don’t have to spend all day Friday thinking about the afternoon workout.  #Blessed.

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So far, the classes that seem really cool are Entrepreneurial Ventures and Business Perspective and Application.  Mostly because they’ve introduced topics and ideas that I had never considered before!  My Spanish class is essentially the study of Spanish feminist pornography, sooo that will be interesting and uncomfortable 😉

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On Thursday night, I found out about a concert that was happening at our amphitheater, so a couple of my friends and I spent the evening enjoying patriotic orchestral tunes along with the entire elderly population of Williamsburg!  It was #lit.

Unfortunately, I woke up on Friday with pretty severe hip flexor/glute pain.  I skipped my double and went to the training room to get it checked out, and the trainer said I had a minor glute med strain.  I think it was from Thursday’s workout because we ran around in circles on a wet, slightly uneven grass field.  My coach decided I shouldn’t risk making it worse in a race that wasn’t that important, so my return to in-uniform racing has been pushed back a couple more weeks 😦 That’s okay!  Better to be safe than sorry.

On Saturday morning, I got up early to drive some of the freshmen to the race venue.  They all raced unattached, so they weren’t allowed to ride in the team vans.  It took about an hour to get there, and it was raining and a bit miserable…perfect race weather 😉 A couple other non-racers and I did a long run (I just ran 11 miles), and my glute felt passable, but not pain-free.

After watching the races (they crushed it!) and a team cookout, we made a pit stop at Wawa for gas and coffee before hitting the road again.  I was dangerously drowsy while driving, but we screamed along to some Enrique Iglesias and Nicky Jam in order to stay awake.  By the time I got back to my apartment (around 3 pm), I crashed hella hard.  Revived later in the day to make the best chicken dinner ever (will post recipe later) and a cookie skillet, which is already gone 😉

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Overall, this week had its ups and downs! I know I’m fit, and I’m itching to race (in uniform! It’s been 10 months!).  I just need to be patient.  There were also some days where my body felt really out of whack, so gotta stay diligent about the balance between recovery and hard work.

Welcome to junior year!!

 

What’s in my kitchen? Apartment edition!

Happy Tuesday!  Today is the last day of summer, and so far I’ve gone to 7 am practice, completed a rainy tempo workout, ice bathed, went to the grocery store, meal prepped, finally set up my bed, napped, did a shakeout run, and slowly started accepting the fact that classes start tomorrow 😉

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Can I just stay in bed instead of going to my 8 am?

The weather didn’t get the memo that it’s still summer, and the offshoot from Hurricane Harvey has resulted in bucketloads of rain all day, including during our workout.  We don’t have it too bad, though.  Praying for all the people in Texas who are being hit hard by this hurricane!

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For the tempo workout, our coach split us into groups and gave us a pace range but also told us to run more based on effort than anything.  My group was assigned a 5 mile tempo at 6:00-6:15 pace.  I fell off the group after two miles and had a particularly rough fourth mile during which my legs locked up pretty badly, but I rallied well in the fifth mile and caught back up!   I’m pleased with the splits as a starting point- pretty sure this was one of my fastest tempos, and definitely the fastest I’ve run five miles.  After the tempo, we rope stretched, foam rolled, did a bit of strength, and ice bathed.

Tempo splits: 6:08, 5:54, 6:11, 6:21, 6:13.


I had some typical beginning-of-the-school-year errands to run after practice, such as picking up textbooks, getting a parking pass, and going to the grocery store.  This semester, my roommate and I are in an off-campus apartment, and we both have commuter meal plans with 50 meals per semester.  This means that we will be cooking the majority of our meals on our own.  This will be significantly cheaper than being on a meal plan with 14-20 meals per week; seriously, the campus dining plans average out to like $15 per meal for crappy dining hall food!  However, living on our own also requires more planning. Over the past few days, we’ve stocked up on kitchen essentials and meal prepped a bit.  I thought I’d show you what our kitchen looks like right now, as well as my plan for this semester with classes, practice, other commitments, and meals.

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As collegiate athletes, a healthy, wholesome diet is essential to keep our bodies primed for hard training and recovery.  This is one aspect of life in which I will never skimp.  Our fridge, freezer, and pantry are stocked right now. We’ll be sharing some food and keeping some individual.  In the fridge, we’ve got fruits and vegetables, Greek yogurt, cheese, nut butter, condiments, almond milk, and I meal prepped some chicken, brown rice, quinoa, and black beans in order to throw together quick lunches and dinners.  The freezer has the rest of the chicken, frozen berries, my salmon, edamame, a loaf of sprouted bread, and some black bean brownies I made the other day.

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Hit up Walmart for the non-perishable essentials!  The 4-pack of black beans was 57 cents!

Our pantry is full of baking supplies, chia and hemp seeds, bars, cooking essentials such as olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pasta and pasta sauce, salsa, etc.  It’s a hard job stocking a kitchen with all the essentials without breaking the bank!  I think most of the major grocery hauls are done now, and my goal is to stick to a very low weekly budget from here on out.  Think $25-30 per week.  I am prepared with tons of brown rice, oats, potatoes, pasta, canned beans, and cheap bread 🙂

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This semester, my class schedule is pretty compatible with practice and meals.  I have an 8 am for the first time ever!  I also don’t really have time for lunch on Mondays and Wednesdays- haven’t figured out what I’m going to do about that yet.  My plan is to meal prep breakfast every day (except Friday- no classes again!) and pack my lunch most days.  For dinner, I’ll either go to the dining hall or just cook up a bunch of protein and complex carbs at the beginning of the week so that I can fix quick dinners and have more time to study (theoretically…).

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Meal prep on our doll-sized stove

A healthy, wholesome diet is an integral part of academic and athletic success!  All it takes is a little planning.  Also, my roommate is cooking her dinner right now and it smells delicious and I’m starving after a workout and a shakeout run, so I’m going to go eat.  The next post will hopefully be academic and athletic goals for the semester/year!

 

 

Summer Training Week 14: 58 miles + yoga + new apartment!

Greetings!  I’m back in my college town after a crazy, eventful week.  School doesn’t start until Wednesday, but practice starts on Monday.  I’ll recap this week’s training and then catch you guys up on what else has happened!

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Week 14 (8/21-8/27):

Monday: AM: drills, 8 miles on bike path/sidewalks, strides, core circuit.  PM: 2 miles.

Tuesday: workout at Burke Lake Park with teammate.  20 min warm-up, drills, 32 min tempo on trails, 20 min cool down.  Most of the tempo was mentally hard for me, but we encouraged each other and pushed it at the end.  Total: 10 miles.  Also- got my period back!

Wednesday: AM: glute activation, 6 miles on bike path, 10 min core.  PM: 1 hour slow flow yoga class.

Thursday: AM: 3 miles.  Packed car/moved into apartment!  PM: 7 miles on trails around campus- awful bathroom issues, yikes!

Friday:  2 mile warm-up, drills, fartlek with teammates (2×5 minutes, 2×4, 2×3, 2×2, 2×1 with half recovery), 2 mile cool down.  Ice bath.  Felt a little tight/tired because I had slept poorly and was sore from moving, but overall went well! Mentally strong. Total: 10 miles.

Saturday:  12 miles with teammates.  Pushed the first 8 miles (close to 7:00 pace) and then got on some trails.  Felt tired but not bad.  Ice bath.

Sunday: off + light core.

Total: 58 miles + yoga class

This week was kind of crazy!  It’s amazing how the miles add up when you’re distracted by major life events and don’t overanalyze every little running-related thing.  That being said- I definitely slacked on strength this week.  Aside from some half-hearted core, I did nothing

On Monday, I semi-spontaneously bought a car!  After looking on and off all summer, I had resigned myself to the fact that I was going to spend the year taking the bus, riding my bike, and/or begging my roommate for rides to and from our apartment 1.5 miles off campus.  However, I found a used car that was in my limited price range, went out and test-drove it, got more specs, and ended up buying it two days before I went back to school!  Can you say last-minute??  

Also got a haircut, but that’s not that exciting 😉

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Couldn’t keep a straight face

This week has also included a lot of treats, but it’s the last hurrah before we buckle down into racing season, so it’s okay, right!?  My family went to The Cheesecake Factory for a farewell dinner on Wednesday night; while the food wasn’t great (my chicken pot pie was less than stellar), the cheesecake was amazing.  We waddled out of the restaurant 😉

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Strawberry cheesecake, and cheesecake with fudge cake and chocolate truffle cream

On Thursday morning, I got in three miles before my mom and I tandem-drove down to my college town.  This year, my roommate and I are sharing an off-campus apartment.  We each have our own rooms and closets, along with a shared bathroom and kitchen/living/main room.  It’s not the most upscale apartment ever, but we’ll make do!  I’ll do an apartment tour post once we finish setting it up!

I’ve spent the past few days setting up the apartment, driving all over town to every single discount store ever, going to the farmer’s market and grocery stores, spending FAR too much money, running and hanging out with my teammates, not sleeping enough, and generally existing in a perpetual state of distraction and exhaustion.  Good times 😉  Practice starts tomorrow, classes start on Wednesday, and it’s off into another year of college!  I’m VERY excited and a little nervous about this year!

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An Adventure

This weekend, I had Friday and Saturday off from work, so I made plans with some of my teammates to meet up in our college town.  Yesterday, I ran a workout, took an ice bath, and headed down after breakfast. After thunderstorms and bad traffic, I finally arrived…and one by one, all of my friends cancelled.

AWESOME.  I almost turned around and drove 3 hours home.

However, it’s important to be comfortable spending quality time with yourself!  Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you expected for a  reason.  The trip turned out differently than I expected, but it was honestly still a good time!  The worst part was the traffic.

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Since I hadn’t been back in our college town since the end of spring semester, I spent a couple hours just enjoying being there.  It was pretty stormy and gray, which was perfect weather to do a bit of outlet shopping and then take myself on a date to my favorite coffee shop/restaurant.

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I enjoyed some Caribbean blackened salmon, grains and veggies, and a massive slice of “Chocolate Overload” cake while reading A Walk Across America, Part 2.

After awhile, I made plans to crash at a friends’ apartment.  I met her subletter, who was extremely nice, and we actually ended up talking for a long time that evening!

This morning, I made plans to long run with a new teammate and another acquaintance who were both in the area.  We met early at a local park and bike path, and I ran with them for 100 minutes (~13 miles) for a new personal distance record!  I hadn’t spent too much time with either of them, but the run flew by as we all shared stories.  At one point, one of them mentioned that we had already been running for almost an hour, and I was shocked!

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After 13 miles, I headed back to the locker room to stretch, roll out, and ice bath.  Talked to a couple track teammates that happened to be there at the same time.  Then, I headed into the historic area to wander around (read: get coffee and free fudge samples) at all the cute shops.

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I had never been in this Spice and Tea place before!  Their peach turmeric tea was amazing.

After running some errands, I went to tour the apartment complex that my roommate and I will be moving into this year!  We’re excited to start planning the set-up.

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The most important part 😉

Finally, I hit the road and drove home.  Traffic wasn’t great, and it took a pretty long time.  Stopped for a fruit-and-yogurt pit stop.  I’m done driving long distances for awhile 😉

Anyway, this solo trip was definitely out of routine for me.  I am not the world’s most extroverted person, and I generally don’t spend hours talking to new people.  But for the past 26 hours, I did!  I met some awesome people, made plans that I wouldn’t normally make, was generally productive, and was also comfortable spending time with myself.  I’m quite happy about this.  To top it all off, this morning’s long run was incredible!  I felt like I could have gone farther and faster. 🙂

Summer Training Week 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!!!