Summer Training Week 8 (54 miles)

Happy National Ice Cream Day!  After an easy 4 miles and core this morning, I dog sat, perused the farmer’s market, and have been checking various chores off my to-do list.  It’s been a busy week; I’ve worked every single day, and one more shift stands in the way of me and a day off 😉

IMG_6113.jpg

Week 7 (7/10-7/16):

Monday:  AM: drills, glutes, 7 miles,  strides.  I felt pretty crappy and was cranky on this run.  Core circuit.  PM: 3 miles neighborhood trail.  1 hour slow flow yoga class.  Got sick afterwards and puked/laid in bed all evening.

Tuesday:  AM: nothing: still sick.  Felt very achey/tired/lethargic, hibernated all day.  PM: 7 miles at 8:00 pace on treadmill.  Feet hurt by the end but body felt surprisingly okay.

Wednesday:  5 miles at Roosevelt Island.  Probably one of the top 5 worst runs I’ve ever had.  Heavy legs, felt off balance and achey, and it was super warm and humid.  But at least I did it!  Lift day 1: felt okay.

Thursday:  AM: fartlek on canal: 2 mile warm-up, 1-1-1-2-2-2-3-3-2-2-2-1-1-1 min on with 1 min recovery between everything, 2 mile cool down.  Very humid/muggy.  Didn’t feel amazing, but much better than Wednesday.  Ice bath.  PM: 2 miles at 8:10 pace on treadmill.  Very tired, and sore feet/legs!  Total = 11 miles

Friday: AM: 5 miles sidewalks.  Tired but progressively better.  Very humid/hot.  Lift day 2, unfortunately disrupted by some really horrible interactions.  The lift went pretty well, but I was not in a good mindset and therefore it didn’t feel as quality as it could have.  PM: was going to swim, but thunderstorms closed the pool, so I reluctantly took the afternoon off (which I definitely needed!!)

Saturday:  4 mile warm-up, 4 mile tempo (6:30, 6:33, 6:19, 6:12), 4 mile cool down all on bike path.  95% humidity.  Tempo was hard but got progressively mentally stronger throughout.  I knew I would need something extra, so I ate a citrus Clif energy gel after the tempo (so after 8 miles), and I don’t know if it was a placebo effect, but the last 4 miles felt surprisingly good!  Sore toes.  Ice bath. (Total: 12 miles)

Sunday: 4 miles + core

Total: 54 miles

This week was just weird.  I got sick on Monday and really didn’t feel well for about 5 days total.  Running wasn’t super fun, and I was annoyed that my mileage was lower than I wanted it to be.  Also, I managed to do 3 runs on soft-ish surfaces (yay!) but my legs were still super heavy and the constant, miserable heat and humidity didn’t help…

But I tried to listen to my body, and I’m proud of myself for taking Friday afternoon off (haha I’m aware how ridiculous that sounds).  I finally started to feel not-dead on Friday night.  Saturday’s long run took awhile to get into, and the tempo really did not feel great. So I was going to do 2×2 miles, and then “get to 3 miles and reevaluate”, but I got to 3 miles and felt progressively stronger so ended up doing 4 🙂  And I’m now an energy gel believer haha.

I’ve turned into a hermit that only runs and works.  I know my mindset was kinda crazy this week, so one of the things I’ll work on this coming week is not treating every run/mileage like the be-all, end-all of cross country success.  I have a tendency to micro-analyze every week and compare it to last year, etc. etc. etc.  I do really want to hit higher mileage, but I’m trying to remind myself that consistency is key!  There’s no need to rush things, especially after the spring semester…

One of the things I will try to incorporate this coming week is positive mantras.  Even a short phrase can re-center yourself and remind you of what’s important.  I go to a slow flow yoga class every week, and the instructor’s end-of-class mantra is “You are strong.  You are awesome.  You are inspiring.”  Heck yes, we all are!  Power poses can also play a big role in re-establishing yourself and getting out of a short-term funk.  I sound like such a hippie 😉 but I will incorporate these techniques.

Other random happenings:

  • My baby brother turned 13!
  • I finished reading A Walk Across America and re-read Born to Run and Eat and Run.  I’m a fan of all three books.  Now I’m reading Reconstructing Amelia.

IMG_7058.jpg

  • I poached eggs in a muffin tin for the first time.  They were delicious!  Just pop em in the oven for like 10 minutes.
  • Made Spicy Peanut Pad Thai for dinner one night (recipe from runonveg.com).  It was really good!  I used shrimp instead of tofu.  Also didn’t have aminos so used soy sauce, but that made it way too soy-sauce-y, so I had to add a bunch of honey to the sauce, haha.
IMG_7119

National Ice Cream Day concoction in the works.  Hint: involves three types of dough

  • Decompressed every night by eating lots of dessert and binge-watching The Great British Baking Show (until 10 pm because #earlyriserprobs)

IMG_7079 (1).jpg

  • My coach shared with us the article, “Mindsets: Developing Talent Through a Growth Mindset” by Carol Dweck.  It was a really good read- I would recommend it to any athletes (or anyone!).  She also had us think about our beliefs about natural talent and effort.
  • I tend to align more with a fixed mindset in terms of “concealing deficiencies” and sometimes have trouble accepting criticism.  However, I have a growth mindset when it comes to Rule #2: “Work with passion and dedication- effort is key.”  Just some personal food for thought.

My goals (running and non-running) this week are to: have fun outside of training because I kind of failed at that this week; be less rigid with training and don’t stress about workouts; do something nice for someone every day; practice listening rather than just waiting until someone is done talking and then jumping in with whatever I have to say; plan more fall semester stuff; read a lot; stay off my phone!

Banana Zucchini Bread

Good morning!  After a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad run yesterday (7 miles and I took like 15 breaks) and the pool closing due to a thunderstorm after a whopping 10 minute swim, I took stock of our overripe bananas and abundance of zucchini from our CSA and perused Pinterest to cheer myself up.  Result: a delicious banana zucchini bread, mostly following this recipe.  It was incredibly easy to make, and 16 hours later, the loaf is gone.  I think it was a hit.

banana zucchini bread

Banana Zucchini Bread:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 mashed overripe bananas
  • 2.5 tsp vanilla
  • 1.5 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (325 if using convection).  Mix sugar and oil.  Add egg, bananas, and vanilla.  Mix together dry ingredients and pour into wet.  Add zucchini.  Pour into greased 9 x 5 loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes or until done.  Let cool at least 20 minutes.

The bread is dense, flavorful, and gets moister (is that a word? ew) as it sets due to the zucchini.  You can also add chopped nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, or dried berries!

It made for a delicious addition to my breakfast this morning after my running buddy and I had a pretty strong workout.  20 minute warm-up, drills, 6 x [4:00 hard, 1:30 easy], 20 minute cool-down for a total of 9-10 miles.  Even with high humidity and some hills thrown in there, we killed it. Maybe because we knew we had the bread to look forward to at the end 🙂

BALANCE during summer training

SHOUTOUT TO BRENDA MARTINEZ FOR MAKING THE OLYMPIC TEAM IN THE 1500!  I LOVE YOU!!

(Sorry.  Continuing.)

Today is my baby brother’s twelfth birthday!  I remember the day he was born at home; my other brother and I watched Blues Clues and tried to ignore what was going on upstairs.  I can’t believe he’ll be a teenager in one year!

evan bday.jpg

I made him a special birthday smoothie (complete with whipped cream) and received a giant hug when his Pokemon birthday present turned out to have a rare card of some sort…clearly I’m a Pokemon expert 😉

Aside from that, this off day from work has included a hilly workout (20 min w/u, drills, fartlek of 7 minutes-5-7-5 with 2 min jog in between, 20 min c/d), rereading The Thief Lord (a childhood favorite) and sorting out some financial and academic stuff for the fall semester.  Which is in a little over a month! YAY!!


A couple weeks ago, one of my teammates shared this post by Sports Bras and Coffee, and she had some really good points.  It got me thinking, and I thought I’d share some of my own thoughts and some of my teammates’ tips (mostly learned from making the mistakes ourselves) on finding the balance between building a good, sustainable base and overtraining during the summer.

IMG_1406

As you know, since I’ve complained/exulted about it in every training post this summer 😉 , my mileage has gone up a lot in recent weeks.  After a low-mileage high school career (pls ignore the horrible eyeliner in that post- I went through a phase), I built up from 30 to 40 miles last summer, then 45ish during freshman year of college.  At each mileage level, I couldn’t imagine running more than I was running at that time!

This summer, when our coaches sent out the training plans and mine listed “60 miles” consistently, I knew it was going to be unlike anything I had done before.  There have been some days lately where the last thing I have wanted to do was go on yet another run. While obviously you’re not going to feel great on every run, it’s definitely not good to feel like that all the time!  It’s all about pushing your body to the limit while still finding balance.

So without further ado, here are some summer training tips.

  1. Listen to your body.  I know, so cliche.  Obviously, you want to be following the training plan given by your coaches, but if one day you have a double and your body feels horrible during the first run, it is okay to skip the second one and take a nap or do some yoga instead.
  2. Fuel properly.  Especially pre-run and breakfast.  I don’t know about you, but I do most of my summer runs in the early morning to (try to) avoid the heat and humidity.  Going out for a 7-to-12-miler first thing in the morning with nothing in your system is a bad idea, no matter who you are.  Try to eat/drink something high in carbs and non-acidic before your run, such as a banana, toast with jelly, or half a bar.  Additionally, if you’re training in the morning, eat a good breakfast afterwards!  Aim for something high in protein and complex carbohydrates to recover optimally and take advantage of metabolic gains.  My go-to breakfast is oatmeal with egg whites, yogurt, fruit, and nut butter. IMG_1194
  3. Sleep.  It might not be easy to go to bed at 10:30, or earlier, when a lot of people are staying up all night partying, but if you’re training 20 hours a week on top of maybe having a job or an internship or something, you need all the sleep you can get.  If you find yourself unable to get enough sleep at night (like if you get home from work at 11 and wake up at 5:30…hmm sounds familiar), power naps are the shit.  Seriously.  If you have a spare 23 minutes during the day, take a power nap.  They are awesome.  I slept for an hour before my double yesterday afternoon.
  4. Do not hammer your runs.  It’s May/June/July.  You have big goals for the cross country season, and you’re super motivated right now.  BUT the goal is to peak in November!  If you don’t take it easy on some of your runs, your body will not recover, and your base will not be sustainable.

    IMG_1486

    This was a day when I should have gone slower

  5. Honestly, eat whatever you want.  As a serious athlete, most of the time you’ll crave wholesome, healthy food, so “whatever you want” will usually be a healthy balanced diet anyway.  But do indulge to an extent over the summer because a) it’s not racing season and b) it’s not healthy or helpful to be stringent about what you can or cannot eat.  This is the time to find a relaxed balance with nutrition. It’s mentally unhealthy to try and sustain unnecessary, rigid eating rules from June until November with no deviations.
    IMG_2161

    Part of lunch: AMAZING focaccia from the farmers’ market

    6. Drink water.  All the time.  If you live in an insanely humid area like I do, make sure you are hydrating, especially in the morning!  I try to drink 2-3 cups of water before I go out for my morning run and then keep a 32 oz Nalgene with me throughout the day.  (Don’t overhydrate, though, which can drain sodium levels.  Make sure you are replenishing your electrolytes, as well.)

If anyone else has any other tips, feel free to chime in!

Summer training week 7: 56 miles!

Summer 2016 week 7 (7/4-7/10):

this weekMonday 7/4: AM: 7 miles, drills, strides, pull-ups/push-ups/dips.  PM: 3 miles in the pouring rain.
Tuesday: 20 min warm-up, drills, fartlek (6 minutes-5-4-3-2-1 with half-time recovery), 20 min cool down.  Total = 10 miles.
Wednesday: AM: 5 miles Potomac Heritage Trail.  PM: abs/core
Thursday: AM: 7 miles, drills, strides, pull-ups/push-ups/dips.  PM: 3 miles treadmill, 20 min yoga
Friday: AM: 2 mile warm-up, drills, 24 min tempo, 2 mile cool down.  PM: 2 miles treadmill, light leg lift
Saturday: off, a bit of core/yoga
Sunday: 11 miles.

Total: 56 miles

First of all, who’s been watching the Olympic Trials??  Incredible.  Noah Lyles set the national high school record in the 200!  Kate Murphy and Christina Aragon qualified for the 1500 semis!  Crazy.

Anyway…

I kind of miss cross training?!  At this point, I hardly remember the struggle of four cross trains per week!  Highest mileage week ever (again)- we’re getting closer to that 60 mile mark.  My legs are definitely feeling the higher mileage; the treadmill doubles in the afternoon were no faster than 8:00-8:30 pace.  The temperature and humidity levels were a lot higher this week than previous weeks, so that was definitely an adjustment.

I ran with a teammate for my long run today, and we were both pretty tired, so we took it easy.  Refueled with some blueberry pancakes with butter and maple syrup, coffee, a fried egg, plain Greek yogurt with almonds, and Nuun. Yum 🙂

IMG_2164.jpg

My roommate came up to stay with me on Monday and Tuesday, so we got to work out together!  We were going to do more DC things to celebrate the 4th of July, but it was very rainy and miserable, so after a quick Metro adventure, we had a low-key night and watched A Capitol Fourth and the Olympic Trials on TV.

IMG_2128.jpg

For Wednesday’s run, my friend who loves trails convinced me to join him for a trail run on the Potomac Heritage Trail.  I do not love trail runs.  It took 50 minutes to go 5 miles.  I ended up first twisting my ankle, then getting poison ivy, then falling off the side of a rocky part of the trail and gashing my knee…Never again!!

IMG_2141.jpg

Thanks @PHT

Both of this week’s workouts (Tuesday and Friday) were pretty good.  My friend dropped me a little in the second half of Friday’s tempo, but it was a solid workout.

One thing I do need to work on is getting enough sleep.  As the mileage goes up, sleep gets more and more important!  Unfortunately, whenever I work the evening shift, I never get home earlier than 10:30 pm.  But I can stop procrastinating going to bed and get off my phone earlier.

 

Food of note: balsamic honey glazed salmon!  So good.  Also lots of ice cream 😉

IMG_2154.jpg

60 miles next week!