Running is hard sometimes

Aloha!  Our A/C is on the fritz again, so I’m hibernating in the basement while I write this, since it’s not 100 degrees down here.  I think ice cream at work tonight will be a necessity.

Anyway.

You know those runs that just knock the life out of you?  I had one of those this morning.  After an off day from running yesterday (I did put in an hour in the pool and an hour-long yoga class), I woke up early today and drove out to the canal for a change of scenery.  I was so excited for a nice 7-mile maintenance run!  Alas…it was not to be.  My legs felt off from the beginning, and running just felt hard.   It felt like I was hammering, but apparently I was running my easy/maintenance pace (around 7:30 per mile).   I did a terrible job of listening to my body when I should have taken it easy, no matter what the “pace” said.

Afterwards, I just felt completely discombobulated.  Which resulted in me drinking coffee for the first time in eight days…on top of a white duvet…live life on the edge, you know? 😉  (PS: this summer has unexpectedly resulted in my coffee consumption diving down to almost zero!  Weird.)

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I’m not even really sure why this run felt so difficult- it was humid, yes, but not extremely hot, and I wasn’t that sleep-deprived.  I rarely use a GPS (actually broke my GPS watch), but I downloaded Strava for this run and was very surprised at the end when my average pace was like 7:35.  It had honestly felt like I was hammering the crap out of some sub-7-minute miles.

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Oh, well.  The good news is, I had a good swim yesterday!  50 minutes of laps followed by 10 minutes of easy aqua jogging.  Afterwards, I went to a yoga class.  Swimming has never been the most enjoyable thing for me, although I became a believer in the power of cross training this past semester.  But this week, I’ve actually looked forward to getting in the pool, and as such have done two cross training sessions in the water!  Some days, the laps just click by rhythmically.  I would love to do my swims in a lake or similar beautiful, natural setting, but the same old 25-meter stretch of warm chlorinated water will have to do for now 😉

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I have to go cross train and lift soon, so that’s about it for now.  Working tonight after my gym session, running twice tomorrow, working again tomorrow night…it’s the summertime grind 🙂  Craving a nice, cold peach!

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Summer Training Week 1

It’s that time of year again- summer training recap time!  I’ve done this for the past two years, and it’s fun to be able to look back at training from past years.

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Nutrition is an important part of summer training, so here is a pretty parfait 🙂

The 16-mile week doesn’t really count, so I’m going to say that last week was my first week of summer training 🙂

Week 1: (5/22-5/28)

Monday: 4 miles on bike path + some yoga
Tuesday: 4 miles into 30 min bike + lower body lift
Wednesday: 60 min bike
Thursday: 5 miles on bike path + drills and strides + core.  First run in new shoes.
Friday: 4 miles into 30 min bike + upper body lift
Saturday: 6 miles on bike path
Sunday: off

Total: 23 miles + 120 min XT

This first week was okay.  The runs and cross trains felt fine, but unfortunately my bunion really hurt on almost every run.  At home, I don’t have access to the laser and stim/compex and other resources that the training room provides, so I’m going to have to get creative with treatment to keep this pain under control.

What I can do: warm Epsom salt foot soaks, ice baths, rolling, stretching/mobility, topical anti-inflammatory treatment.

On a more positive note, both lifts went really well.  We jumped right back into the full lift routine, so I was so sore after Tuesday!  My hamstring felt like it might rip off my body.  But the soreness has subsided, and I have a nice baseline for my fitness.  I’m excited to get stronger this summer!

Non-training highlights from this week:

A couple of my teammates came up to visit, and we explored Georgetown on an overcast day:

Jazz in the Garden on the Mall with a friend:

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I made cha siu baos from scratch for the first time (it was a two-day process, but so worthwhile):

…and my mom and I went shopping (*groan*) and explored our favorite farmer’s market (*cheers*)!

My goals for this coming week include:

  • Spend less time on my phone, especially before bed
  • Be proactive about bunion pain
  • Two yoga sessions and glute activation
  • Try to get more quality sleep!  I wake up naturally at or before 6 am, so I need to go to bed early to account for this
  • Continue quality nutrition
  • Start my remote writing internship!
  • Focus on non-cooking hobbies as well, such as playing piano, knitting, reading, and writing

 

Update: good weather, writing, bunion surgery?, cross training

Happy Friday Eve!  No Friday classes mean it’s the weekend for me 🙂  Although I still have to shake out, meet with a professor, work on a group project, go to the training room, and do a workout in the afternoon.  But still- no classes!

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Today’s veggie-packed, dorm-cooked lunch while I hibernated from the non-existent thunderstorm

We were supposed to get hit with a massive thunderstorm this morning, so our coach cancelled 7 am practice.  However, some of us don’t know how to sleep in…

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Running update: I ended up taking three days off from running after the 3k race.  I aqua jogged for an hour on Friday, cross trained for ONE HUNDRED AND TEN MINUTES on Saturday (RIP), and recovered with a 30 minute bike on Sunday.  Total training last week included 26 miles and 245 minutes of cross training.

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The past four days have been a mix of running and cross training, but I have managed to run every day this week so far!

The weekend was really fun, and I had a great time celebrating our seniors and the conclusion of our home invitational weekend with the team!

On Monday, I met with a podiatrist to discuss my options.  At this point, I’m seriously considering the possibility of bunion surgery.  Unfortunately, my bunions have formed in a way that requires the most intensive bunionectomy procedure, which would involve roughly six weeks completely off and then months and months of cross training.  I have some hard decisions ahead of me, but for now, I’m just trying to fully enjoy running and not take any workouts for granted.  After a long talk with my coach,  we’ve decided to redshirt this outdoor season so that I will have an entire fifth year of eligibility.  I’m also going home in a couple weeks to get a second/third opinion from an orthopedic foot specialist closer to my house.IMG_5022.jpg

As I said before, I’m just trying to enjoy running and life in general at the moment.  Some highlights from the past few days have included Ben and Jerry’s free cone day, getting my first article published on Spoon University, and receiving the news that our beloved family camp has had funds allocated to its rebuilding!!

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Additionally, I walked into the locker room yesterday to find the sweetest care package waiting for me.  My teammates are amazing human beings, and I actually started crying.  They even baked healthy cookies featuring oats, honey, peanut butter, and raisins!  This was followed by a fun yoga session outside in beautiful spring weather– what a great afternoon ❤

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Even though I’m redshirting this season and the running future is a little uncertain, I’m realizing that there’s so much more to me (and to every runner) than running.  Nobody is one-dimensional.  It sucks that my options are a) take a long time away from my biggest passion, b) probably be in pain and limit my training for the next 3+ years, or c) quit the sport.  But you know what?  There are myriad more important things in the world.  There are bigger problems.  And if yesterday is any sign of how awesome life can be, I’ll freaking take it.

Life and sadness and frustration and positivity…

Happy Saturday night!  I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve stopped and started versions of this post.  Isn’t it funny how it’s easier to write about running when running is going well?

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Overnight oats in the training room for the millionth day in a row

So: the foot pain.  It’s hard to believe that this has been going on for almost three months.  It seems like I haven’t trained consistently since January.  The past two weeks have been exponentially worse; I even developed extensor tendonitis because I was compensating for the toe/bunion pain in my stride and foot strike.  After about 43 miles and some cross training the week before last, last week’s training included 7 normal miles, 15 miles on the Alter-G, and 290 minutes of cross training.  This week included 37.5 miles and about 205 minutes of cross training.  Today’s run/bike combination was horrible.  Can you see the continuation of the mileage rollercoaster?

Every single day involves at least one trip to the training room for warm whirlpool, rolling, laser, mobility, ultrasound, ice, etc.  I’ve been biking and swimming ridiculous distances.  Each training session is played by ear; my coach will text me saying, “How much pain are you in?  Do you want to work out today?”

I met with an orthopedist on Thursday, but unfortunately we didn’t come up with any other solutions.  “Yep, according to the x-rays, your bunions are pretty severe.  You can live in the training room for the rest of your athletic career, or if the pain is getting too bad to the point where you think it’s limiting your ability to train, you might want to consider bunion surgery.”
I’m also in the middle of the dental implant process, feeling hideous, and there are insurance issues and family medical/emotional problems.
As you can imagine, last week was filled with some breakdowns…
The combination of training uncertainty and constant pain is really taking its toll mentally and physically.  Also, getting up at the crack of dawn every day makes me feel really isolated from the “normal college student” lifestyle of sleeping in past 6 am, staying up later than 10 pm, and having some semblance of fun.  Not that I want the normal college student lifestyle, but it’s really hard when you can’t relate to anyone.  Most of my teammates don’t have to be in the training room twice a day and wake up at the ass crack of dawn every single day.  My NARP (non-athletic-regular-people) friends stare at me like I have three heads if I mention my daily routine.  I’m sorry for the negativity- I’m just being honest that months of this nonsense is getting to me 😦
I also really do not want to have to go the surgery route.  Bunion surgery takes months to recover from, more months to get back into training, and there’s no guarantee that it’ll even be successful.  As I would have to get the surgery on both feet, I would literally be in a wheelchair, unable to walk, for a month.
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Stationary-biking my life away

Okay, now that my emotional rant is (mostly) over, I’m going to try to focus on the positives!  Even though it really sucks not being able to fully do what I love and contribute to my team, it’s so important to keep in mind that life is about more than just running.  Obviously as a collegiate athlete, the majority of your lifestyle revolves around your sport and school.  But there are so many aspects to life that it’s easy to find things that are important outside running!
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SO, without further ado, here are some positive things that are happening in life:
  • Recent weather has been absolutely gorgeous.  I went to a nearby creek today to watch the sunset with my roommate, her brother, his roommate, and their dog.  We saw a goldendoodle puppy while we were there!
  • My mom and her husband came down last week, and I went out to brunch with them and we always have the best conversations.
  • We took the recruits to see Beauty and the Beast last week, and even though you know I’m a cynical human being, I’m also addicted to Disney movies and songs.
  • I sat down to the piano for the first time in months and have my heart set on playing Go the Distance 
  • I’m currently writing multiple articles for Spoon University and loving it!
  • The business school is the most beautiful building on campus, and I’m lucky enough to have access to it.
  • The weight room is making me #toostrong 😉
  • Scandal, joggers, and hot lemon water to end the night

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Wow, there are so many aspects of life to be grateful for!  School is hard, running is hard, and this crazy schedule of mine is hard.  We shall see if I’m able to race this coming weekend at our big home invitational.  But mindfulness is important.  Here is a cheesy motivational quote, complete with a pug:

“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…

Life update: turning 20!

Sorry for the lack of posts!  This time of the semester is when the schoolwork really starts to pick up.  But it’s Saturday night, and I think everyone deserves a break from the grind 🙂

Anyway, I turned 20 on Valentine’s Day!  The day started off with a solid workout (3 mile warm-up, 2k-1k-2k-1k cruise intervals on the track between 5:40-5:55 pace, 3 mile cool down).  I went to class, lifted, went to the training room…not too special of a birthday 😉  But I did get to go out to dinner with friends and feasted on my favorite Caribbean blackened salmon, followed by (free) chocolate cheesecake!

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The various birthday gifts I received from my college friends coincidentally had a theme: nut butter!  It was pretty funny.  Also, my roommate got me the cutest poster (my all-time favorite movie is Up):

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In other news, the dental implant process is progressing!  If you recall, the dentist placed the anchor screws in December, and he placed the abutments this past Thursday. Unlike the screws, the abutments stick out of my gums, and they are not fully covered by the dentures.  So right now, the metal screws kind of make it look like my gums are rotting.  I’ll spare you a picture of my current gremlin self 😉  Three weeks from now, they’ll take impressions, and just a couple weeks after that, I’ll finally have permanent implants!

Unfortunately, the foot issues have persisted throughout the last two weeks.  I actually ran normal mileage last week (54 miles + 60 min XT) but had to switch to cross training halfway through this week.  A lot of cross training.  There’s not much the training room can do since the problem is stemming from my bunions, and surgery is the only real long-term solution.  So we’re just focusing on pain maintenance for now.

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I’m frustrated because I feel like I’m in good shape but am not progressing due to the limited running I can do right now.  On a more positive note, I’ve been taking melatonin every night and getting almost enough sleep, and I feel like a human being again!  I’ll do a training recap tomorrow!

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Great view…right?

Anyway, my family came down this morning after my long effort (I split it up into 30 minute bike, 6 mile run, 30 minute bike).  We went out to brunch, and everyone ate an astronomical amount of food!

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Yes, this was just my meal

Afterwards, we did a bit of shopping and headed to a family birthday party, and I’ve spent the rest of the day doing some more schoolwork.  Some friends and I are having a joint birthday party tonight, so I’m looking forward to that.

I’ll try to carve out time to write a true training recap tomorrow, but no guarantees!  So far, I think I’m doing a good job of staying on top of the coming week’s stupid workload, but time will tell…

Redshirting indoors + high volume week recap

Happy Sunday!  This weekend has been pretty low-key, but still fun: dinner get-together at a friend’s apartment, long run, homework, laundry, coffee shops, lunch with my roommate’s family, business school application…I could discuss the recent bullshit developments in American foreign policy, but as this is a running blog, I will spare you most of my opinions.  I just have to say that no human being should be considered illegal.

Anyway- back to the running!  Or cross training, or what have you.  My coach apparently decided that this week would be the “week of all the volume”, and I am definitely feeling the effects.  In a good way, for now 😉

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What did people do before planners were invented?

Week of 1/23-1/29:

Monday: AM: 60 min pool (40 aqua jog, 20 swim), trainer for stim/ice.  PM: 4.5 mile run on turf, track, and roads + 15 min stationary bike + 10 min core.
Tuesday: AM: 6 mile run + lower body lift + heat/stim at trainer.  Later AM: 40 min aqua jog
Wednesday: 70 minute pool workout, heat/stim at the trainer.
Thursday: AM: 2 lap w/u, form drills, hurdle drills, speed ladder, 7 mile run, upper body lift.  Heat/stim at trainer.  PM: 30 min stationary bike.
Friday: AM: 60 min pool workout, heat/stim at trainer.  PM: 5 mile run.
Saturday: 10 mile run on trails and roads (7:15ish pace, I think) + 20 min stationary bike.  Used NormaTec boots afterwards.
Sunday: 3 miles, very tired.

Total: 35.5 miles + 295 minutes of cross training

Um wow!  Highest volume week ever.  If 10 minute XT counts as the equivalent of one mile of running, then this week was the equivalent of 65 miles!!  My feet and toes felt pretty good overall, except for some pain and soreness in the toes and bunions at the end of the longer runs from the prolonged impact.

Since the pool hours are a bit weird, I ended up getting up very early every day this week.  This necessitated lots of overnight oats for breakfast and goggle marks look in class 😉  I shall share my favorite overnight oats recipe in another post!

My teammate and I were lucky enough to be able to try out the NormaTec boots for the first time after yesterday’s long run, and they were so cool!  They provide gradual, increasingly intense compression up and down your legs, like an undulating massage.  Great for recovery, especially when your long run volume isn’t quite where it usually is and you have to supplement with cross training afterwards!

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This week was definitely very tiring, and I am planning on dropping the overall volume throughout this coming week, even while increasing running mileage.  I did stim and heat at the training room all week for pain maintenance.  My sleep patterns were whack this week- waking up 5-10 times every night, unable to sleep past 6 am…the usual, I suppose! Over the past few months, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I sleep very poorly at night when training is most intense. Thankfully, this semester’s class schedule has enough time in the afternoon for almost-daily naps!

In a meeting with my coach earlier this week, one of the things we discussed was my short-term and long-term running plans.  Our program treats indoors as kind of preparation for outdoors, with the overall team focus on the outdoor conference championships.  As she was telling me that she wants me to focus on building a huge base and getting the feet 100% again before worrying about racing, I asked, “Can I redshirt?”

 The idea had been floating around in my head for awhile; I would only race a couple times this season, and I do want to take a fifth year to earn a master’s degree or go to law school as well as maximize running potential.  Turns out, she was on the exact same page!  So we decided that I would redshirt this indoor season and maybe race unattached or in a road race at the end of February.
Anyway, that’s it for the major updates!  I hope everyone has had a great weekend.

Pool workout: benefits of cross training!

When you have no Friday classes but still wake up naturally at 6 am and do a 70 minute pool workout…

The workout:

12 lap warm-up (lap = down and back)
4 x [6 laps hard/steady, 2 laps easy]
6 x [sprint down, easy back]
2 laps easy
5 x [submarine* down, easy back]
13 lap cool down

Total: 70 laps (3500 meters)

*submarine means swim under the water for as long as you can without taking a breath.  If you can make it all the way down, congrats– you are my idol!  This part of the workout made me breathe so hard, I thought my heart was going to come out of my chest.

The workout took about 70 minutes, and then I sat in the sauna and stretched for a bit.  Afterwards, I ate my pre-packed breakfast (chocolate banana overnight oats with plain nonfat Greek yogurt and peanut butter) before heading to the training room to do STIM and ice.  My feet are feeling a lot better while walking around, but it’s important not to push the impact too much too soon! Now I’m chilling in my favorite campus coffee shop, drinking coffee with almond milk and blogging instead of reading my accounting textbook 😉

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Cross training picture from the summer

Anyway, I thought I’d talk about some benefits of cross training!  When you’re injured, or fighting off little setbacks, there’s no excuse to not put in the work even if you can’t run.  (On the other hand, if you’re sick or have a serious injury, it’s absolutely okay to take some time off and give your body the rest it needs).

My go-to forms of cross training include the stationary bike, aqua jogging (don’t use the belt!), and swimming.  Our coach doesn’t love the elliptical, so we tend not to use it.

A few benefits of cross training:

  1. Reduces impact on your feet/joints.  If you’re in the middle of a high-intensity training block and your feet are screaming at you to quit pounding out 10 miles on the sidewalks every day (hey, relatable!), getting in the pool or on the bike can help you get in some volume in without risking injury.  It puts less stress on the weaker or more vulnerable parts of your body that are worn down by the constant pounding from running.
  2. Increases endurance, efficiency, and power.  As I said, some parts of this morning’s pool workout made me breathe harder than track workouts!  Good cross training form in the pool and on the bike also leads to greater efficiency by strengthening knee drive, arm swing, etc.
  3. Prevents burnout.  I’ll be the first to admit it– there are some days where I wake up and dread the day’s run.  “I don’t want to, I don’t want to, I hate running.”  Even if you are the world’s biggest lover of running, you’re not going to have a positive attitude every day.  However, throwing in a few cross training sessions can refresh your mind and body and keep your love for running going strong.  You look forward to something different, and you also end up looking forward to the next run because you had a day away from it!

Those are the biggest benefits for me.  There are myriad others, but I don’t want to make this post into a novel, so I hope the few that I mentioned will be helpful!

Spring semester! + a setback

Hello from campus!  I moved back into the dorm on Sunday afternoon, and spring semester classes started yesterday.

This semester, I’m taking three business classes and two Spanish classes.  I just declared a Hispanic Studies major yesterday, and I’m currently a marketing minor with the hopes of becoming a double major!  This semester’s class schedule is a little funky, and I’m going to have to miss the lifting sessions with the team 😦 but on the plus side, I have no class on Fridays!  I also have 4 and a half hours between classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which is why I have time to write this post!

I’m a little apprehensive about the intensity of my courses, but I’m also looking forward to them.

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Last week’s training (1/9-1/15):

M: 3 miles after work + core/yoga
T: AM: drills, 7 early miles, strides.  Went well!  PM: 2 miles to gym + lift day 1.  Felt a little burnt out from the day.  Total: 9 miles.
W: workout with teammates on canal.  3 miles warm-up (too fast…), drills 3 x [9 min progression, 5 min maintenance].  First two sets were rough but I pulled my head out of my butt for the third set and it went really well.  2 mile cool down.  Total = 11 miles.
Th: AM: 5 early miles.  Legs were very heavy/feet sore from the day before.  Not a great run overall, but some good moments.  Core afterwards.
F: AM: drills, 7 early miles, strides.  Felt awesome! Last work day!  PM: 4 miles, felt awesome again! + upper body lift stuff.  Total: 11.
Sat: 3 mile warm-up, drills, 2 x 200 (37, 36), 3 x [1000, 600] with 2 min btwn intervals and a lap btwn sets.  3:37, 2:04, 3:36, 2:01, 3:35, 2:01.  2+ mile cool down.  Feet hurt on cool down.  TBH just wanted to be done the whole time… Total = 9ish.
Sun: 8 miles– feet were in absolutely horrible pain and I ran so slowly and was limping and wincing the whole time.  Finished up with 40 min bike and they were not in any more pain, so it’s definitely the impact.

Total: 56 miles + 40 min bike.
I unexpectedly had two awesome runs on Friday, but that was where it ended.  For Saturday’s workout, I kind of wanted to be done the whole time and chose all the shortest options.  My toes started to hurt a lot on the cool down, and Sunday’s long run only made it epically worse.  Three miles in, I was wincing and limping, but I was on an 8-mile loop and couldn’t go any shorter.  I finally got back to campus and limped to the bike, where I finished the “long run” with a pain-free 40 minutes.
So for the past few days, I’ve been putting in hours on the bike and in the pool, and yesterday I got to use the Alter-G (anti-gravity treadmill) for the first time!  I ran 4 miles at 75% bodyweight.  Unfortunately, it didn’t help much.

My toes feel inflamed and stretched out, if that makes any sense, and I’m continuing to experience a lot of bunion pain.  The athletic trainers haven’t really been able to pinpoint a cause, either, but I seem to be experiencing a lot of symptoms of metatarsal bursitis, so maybe I’ll ask about that.

I also need to remember not to go too hard with the cross training.  This morning, the last thing I wanted to do was get on the infernal spin bike in the windowless room.  I was miserable and exhausted for an hour.  Mentality is key!  This is just a minor setback 🙂

Winter training and life

(Written earlier this week)

Good morning!  I hope everyone’s weeks got off to a stellar start.  Mumford & Sons, coffee, and a beautiful sunrise on the way to work have made being stuck in a cubicle seem slightly more bearable 🙂  Less than a week until spring semester!!

I realized I haven’t really done a training/life update in awhile, so this will be rather long!  Over the past couple weeks, I’ve built back the mileage back up and started workouts, and except for some recent treadmill-induced piriformis and bunion pain, it’s been 80% smooth sailing.  I ran a 12 mile workout on the treadmill on Sunday!!

Week of 12/5-12/11: 39 miles, 60ish min XT

Week of 12/12-12/18: 44 miles + 40 min bike

Week of 12/19-12/25: 49 miles, 30 min bike

Week of 12/26-1/1: 53 miles

Week of 1/2-1/8: 54 miles + 25 min bike

Week of 12/26-1/1:

M: 3 miles recovery + core and yoga.  Sore hamstrings.

T: AM: 7 early morning miles, drills, strides.  PM: lift day 1 (lower body)

W: 3 mile warm-up, drills, 30 minute tempo (averaged 6:22ish), 3 min recovery, 4 x [:60, :60], 2 mile cool-down.  Total: 11 miles.

Th: 5 miles + core after work.  Mentally not great.

F: AM: drills, 6 early morning miles, strides.  PM: lift day 2, felt sick.

Sat: 3 mile warm-up, drills, 4 x 800 with 200m jog recovery (2:53, 2:53, 2:53, 2:52), lap, 6 x 400 with 60-75 seconds recovery (78, 78, 80, 78, 78, 77), 3 mile cool down. Total: 11 miles.

Sun: 11 miles on bike path.  My feet/bunions were killing me the whole time!  Limping by the end :/

Total: 53 miles

Both workouts that week went pretty well; I was on the canal for the first one and the track for the second one.  I was a little mental going into the track workout because I was alone and kept thinking I wouldn’t be able to hit the paces, but it ended up being fine!  Total: 10 miles. Most of the runs were decent as well, although I think randomly switching shoes made my feet really hurt towards the end of the week.  

Week of 1/2-1/8:

M: off; core + yoga

T: AM: 7 miles treadmill.  PM: drills, 2 miles to gym, strides, lift day 1.  22 total chin-ups!

W: 3 mile warm-up, drills, strides, 2 x 200 (37, 36), 3 x [4×400] w/ 1 min rest and 1 lap between sets (82, 82, 82, 82, 84, 80, 81, 81, 83, 81, 81, 81), 2k w/ 200 @ 5k pace and 200 around 48-50 seconds. (Total was 7:39).  Total = 11 miles.  Felt ok, not great, not bad.

TH: 5 miles early morning run, a little stiff but progressively better + core

F:  AM: 7 miles treadmill. Had to convince myself to actually stay on the treadmill. Piriformis pain.  PM: 25 min bike + lift day 2.  Felt a little weak today.

Sat: Snowy track workout! 3 mile warm-up, drills, 4 x mile with 2 min rec (6:09, 6:02, 6:00, 5:57), 3 mile cool down.  Total = 10 miles.

Sun: Treadmill long run workout.  3 mile warm-up, 4 x [7 min on at about 6:50 pace, 8 min off at about 7:50 pace], finished to mileage.  Total = 12 miles.

Total: 54 miles + 25 min bike

This week was solid!  The first half was uneventful.  Friday sucked, honestly– I had to talk myself through the treadmill run and was miserable and had a bunch of piriformis pain so I biked in the afternoon instead of running again.  I actually fell asleep at 7:30 pm for two hours and felt weirdly exhausted/disoriented for the next like 16 hours.  On Saturday, my teammate and I worked out together, and it went surprisingly really well considering the weather.  Sunday’s long run/workout went surprisingly well, too.  Changing the pace every mile actually made it a lot more bearable.  I didn’t push it too much, either.

Lifts have been going well; my pull-up ability isn’t progressing as quickly as I want it to 😉 but I’m getting there!  I’m better at chin-ups than parallel grip pull-ups, but I’ve been working hard on parallel pull-ups with the ultimate goal of being able to do all 3 sets of 10 unassisted.  At this point, I’m about halfway there!

Sleep is okay- I wish I could get nine hours every night, but I’ve probably been getting 7-8 as usual.  It’s better than nothing, I guess!  I’m working on getting off my phone before bed and writing a few things in a gratitude/reflection journal.

Work is work.

Surprisingly, I’ve been doing yoga at least once a week, which has been good.  I’ve never been into yoga- my mind doesn’t turn off and I rush through the exercises and I’m inflexible as heck- but I have to admit I always feel better after doing it, even if it’s just stretching.  Honestly, one of the more challenging parts is the “corpse pose” at the end– put on a peaceful song, turn off the lights, and lie motionless/relaxed for the duration of the song.  It’s a great way to clear your mind and forget about everything else that happens during the day.  Although it usually takes me most of the song to wind down my brain and truly relax!

Go-to corpse pose songs:

  • “I See Fire”- Ed Sheeran
  • “Only Time” – Enya
  • “Corazon Sin Cara”- Prince Royce (this was the jam in eighth grade)
  • “Atlas Hands”- Benjamin Francis Leftwich

Tangentially, I watched the documentary “Minimalism” a few nights ago, and it was enlightening.  My dad is a hoarder, so I developed minimalist tendencies as a coping mechanism around the age of 14, but those have all but disappeared.  However, I’ve made it a goal to somewhat de-clutter (my dorm room, my life, etc).  We’ll see how that goes 🙂  I really appreciated their analysis of how minimizing your lifestyle can help with relaxation of the mind and enable you to step away from the chaotic, constant stimulation of modern society.  It’s good for the brain.

I finished this blog post and my coffee at exactly the same time.  How convenient.