“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…

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1,291 miles: Reflections

But first: this happened yesterday!

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I used to donate my hair all the time, but I took a break for about five years.  Figured it was about time again 🙂

We met for practice this afternoon as usual, but going for a run was optional.  After our two-lap warm-up, hurdle drills, and speed ladder, I figured, “Why not?” and went for a lovely three miles to end the season.

Oh my gosh.  Time to reflect on the best season of my life.

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The numbers: May 16th to November 14th

  • I ran 1,291 miles (approximately).
  • Cross trained for 12 hours and 40 minutes.
  • Ran more than 50 miles per week for 20 straight weeks.
  • 14 complete rest days.

The details: 

  • 5 races
  • Did not get injured.  Or sick.  Which is freaking amazing.
  • I did more pull-ups, chin-ups, and harder workouts than ever before.
  • Matured more mentally than I anticipated
  • Ate even more oatmeal than ever before.
  • Made it into the varsity seven 🙂

This season was a rollercoaster.  I trained extremely diligently over the summer and came into school with an attitude towards training that was, in retrospect, a little too intense.  I was logging higher and faster mileage than I ever had, but I wasn’t listening to my body enough.  My schoolwork, mental, and physical health were suffering.  I reevaluated and got over the urge to “do everything.”

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One of my favorite things from this season was the transition from bodyweight circuits in the locker room to real lifting routines in the weight room with a very knowledgeable lifting instructor.  I love lifting, and I could truly myself getting stronger as the season progressed.  I was conquering hills, and my form wasn’t breaking down during the latter portions of races.

The next two weeks will be spent in hardcore recovery mode– aka indulging in all the foods I limited throughout the season.  At the tailgate after the race on Friday, I ate an exorbitant quantity of baked goods and sandwiches and pasta.  My roommate gave me a pumpkin-stuffed vanilla cupcake with cream cheese frosting.  The weekend brought many Reese’s cups.

Last night was our team thanksgiving, which is always an incredibly fun spectacle!  The seniors cook the turkeys, there are ridiculous games, and everyone brings delicious food.  I made cranberry sauce and sweet potato biscuits and gorged myself on everything from pumpkin cinnamon rolls to stuffing to bacon brussels sprouts to sweet potatoes with marshmallows and brown sugar.  I’ll get back on the grind eventually, but for now– it’s about enjoyment 🙂

Next up: goals for track!

Belated Beach Week

Finally, some non-running-related stuff!  Sort of.  I’ll throw in some random running tangents here and there.

I spent last week with two friends in Cape Cod!  One of my friends has a house there, so my other friend and I flew/drove up on Monday.  We were there for six days, and we drove back on the seventh (Sunday).  Two girls driving + four or five breaks to switch drivers and eat lunch and use the bathroom and get gas = 10.5 hours in the car.  Needless to say, I can never listen to “Bad Blood”, “Shut Up and Dance”, or “Honey I’m Good” ever again.  Those three songs played approximately 52 times each throughout the course of the drive back.

Theme songs for the trip: “Cheerleader” by OMI, “Forever” by Chris Brown, and “Often” by The Weeknd.

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Being at the airport at 6:30 am is not her favorite thing

Our friend picked us up at the airport

Our friend picked us up at the airport

We pretty much headed for the beach the second we got there…

IMG_6041 IMG_6043And I promptly ripped open my knee and foot while boogie boarding.

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Being the basic eighteen-year-olds that we are, we took a lot of pictures!  Here are some not-so-good ones for your amusement:

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Along with some better ones!

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Proud bc no makeup

Proud bc no makeup

While I did stick to my running schedule (and actually managed to cross train 3 times that week!), I also indulged in a lot of treats such as ice cream, cheesecake, a brownie sundae, and fudge.

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really good cheesecake!

We didn’t go completely crazy, though; roasted carrots were a staple almost every night because they were so so delicious, and I also ate a tub of kale the day before we left.  Sweet potatoes and oranges were rampant as well 😉  It’s all about that moderation.  Although I did gain a couple pounds.

There weren’t any bowls at the house that were big enough to hold my breakfast, so I ate oatmeal off of a plate because I’m really cool.

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Oatmeal, almond butter, strawberries, blueberries, and cinnamon

We spent hours and hours at the beach (one of my friends could tan for the rest of her life if she felt like it; meanwhile, I’m bored after twenty minutes) and the pond/lake.  While us half-Asians just got tan, our other poor friend resembled a tomato after a particularly long day on the sand.

We went shopping in this preppy rich-people area, but all we bought were books and coffee and really soft Cape Cod sweats because they were on sale.  Oops.  Not about to pay $300 for a cashmere sweater, sorry.  Or $4,752 for a lamp.  I am not even kidding.

I ran to the beach one day (sort of- it was only 4.87 miles there, so I ran back and forth until I got to eight) and then had to walk 2 more miles on the side of the road because I’d gone to a different beach than the one my friends were at.

I could probably write a lot more, but it’d be pretty boring, so that’s all for now!  I’ll try to catch up on my blog posts (I’m at least two behind), so the next one will be training-related.

 

 

 

New obsession and lazy days

I had one of those weekends.

Those weekends being the kind where you don’t leave the house and just eat a lot and watch YouTube videos and pretend you’ve gotten something done by vacuuming your bedroom and watering the plants.

Yesterday started out productive- I woke up at 7:30 and had a nice weight-lifting session with my dad at the gym.  Hell yeah, I’ll be a bodybuilder with my ten-pound dumbbells 😉 There was a kiddie basketball camp going on at the same time which was one of the most adorable things I’ve seen.

I ate a lot of peanut butter and banana toast.

It was really icy outside all day- although the temperatures reached all the way up to 24!!!- but I had to get my weekly long run in somehow.  Finally, around 3, I sucked it up and headed out the door.  I didn’t use the GPS on my watch because who cares about distance and pace for a slippery slow snow run?  At the end, I felt great, so I started singing along (loudly) to my iPod.  Nothing like Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne to help you fly down icy neighborhood hills.  I couldn’t hear myself singing, but I’m pretty sure I sounded like: “Make a wish, *gasp* take a chance, *wheeze* make a change, *gasp* and BREAAAKKKKAAAWAAYYYYY!”

On the bright side, I had fun not being color-coordinated.

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Don’t mind the awkward camera angle. And the shoes are pink, I swear.

Today was the laziest of all lazy days.  I really took the whole “rest day” very seriously.  No physical activity has happened unless you count eating (which happened a lot).  I didn’t get out of bed until close to NINE, then made waffles and had a feast just for me.

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Waffle tower, OJ, nonfat plain yogurt with wheat germ, fresh strawberries, and banana….yum. Oh, and the Meg Cabot book, of course. I’m such a girl.

I spent the morning on the computer and with my Econ textbook, then spent the afternoon having fun with my new obsession: “made-in-a-mug” desserts! I’ve made tons of brownies all week (I had two yesterday, and they’re not exactly small).

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I used dark chocolate cocoa powder which is why it’s so dark

Today, I made a miniature coffee cake that was delicious (kind of spongy, though, and I forgot to take a picture) and a chocolate cake that was not.  After dinner, I made a blueberry muffin.  I could’ve baked it, but the microwave only took two minutes and it tasted really good.

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It looks kind of goopy on the outside, but the inside was crumbly and soft.

I discovered that “Chocolate Covered Katie” has tons of amazing recipes that I definitely want to try.  Maybe not all this week, though, because of my mile on Saturday.  But definitely soon.

It’s back to almond butter and healthy food for me for the next six days! I can’t wait until my mile!

Hints ‘n’ changes ‘n’ yummy (healthy) food

Today I’ll be writing about some healthy changes that I’ve made since I started running, and some super easy changes or activities to integrate into your daily routine in order to live a healthier life. (See!? I can make sense in my posts).

#1: No more fast food restaurants

I realized that since I started running for real (middle school track does not count), I haven’t eaten at a McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Chick-Fil-A, Popeye’s, KFC, Taco Bell, Burger King, Arby’s, Panda Express or anything like that. I’ve had Five Guys twice (because who can resist those Cajun fries), Elevation Burger maybe once, In-n-out twice (I was dragged there by my grandma when I was in California; I didn’t enjoy it), and Chipotle maybe six times. The only “fast food” that I truly enjoy is Subway, because you know exactly what you’re eating. Also, I avoid the bags of potato chips or other unhealthy sides that come with the meal. I’ve cut back drastically on my soda intake without even realizing it; the other day, I ordered Coke at a restaurant and realized that I hadn’t had soda in over a month. I’m guessing I drink soda maybe twice or three times per month, which is a huge, awesome change from before my running career!

Because of the decrease in fast food consumption, I’ve felt healthier, less sluggish, and I haven’t been sick (more than a cold) for almost three years. Fast food isn’t worth it!! Sure, it’s convenient and usually cheap, but is it really worth all those saturated fats and mystery meats and unholy amounts of sodium? NO! So instead of running out to McDonald’s for lunch, make a quick and easy salad or grilled chicken sandwich. Yum 🙂

#2: Dessert!!??!

Everyone who knows me knows that I am a major chocoholic. Actually, I’m a major I’m-going-to-eat-everything-in-sight-that’s-delicious-oholic. Doughnuts, brownies, cake, cupcakes, muffins, Nutella, ice cream, bags and bags of chocolate chips- I’ll eat all that and more if it’s in front of me. I. Love. Dessert. It does taste great while you’re eating it, but tons and tons of sweets make me feel like changing into sloppy clothes and taking a nap. Then, of course, I feel even guiltier that I just ate all that, so I take my feelings out on a pint of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and watch some dumb show on Hulu. This actually happened to me today after I ate three doughnuts that I shouldn’t have. My point is, there are so many healthier, more delicious options than simply vegetating in front of the TV with an entire pie. For example, you can have a real fruit popsicle! They are delicious and contain maybe 50 calories along with no added sugar. Or you can pour orange juice (or any fruit juice) into a popsicle maker and make your own popsicles. Another healthy alternative is swapping out ice cream or frozen yogurt for homemade frozen Greek yogurt. Just mix melted chocolate chips or raspberries or something in with some plain non fat Greek yogurt and stick it in the freezer. Delicious! (I actually read this on another blog and decided to try it out; it was definitely a win.)

Okay, this is starting to get kind of long and I’m in a lazy mood so I’ll just continue this another time.