Summer Training Week 13: 54 miles + yoga

The past week has been very eventful!  After an exhausting last week of work and running, I went to see Lifehouse, Switchfoot, and Brynn Elliott last Sunday with one of my best friends.  The concert was amazing…but we didn’t get home until midnight, and I’ve never felt less recovered after a recovery day. 😅 So I struggled through a morning run on Monday, skipped my double, and prayed that I’d feel better for our team training trip!  This week was sort of a down week- I still ran 54 miles… Isn’t it funny how our perspectives change based on where we’re at in training?

This morning, I went to a yoga class before heading to my favorite farmer’s market for the last time before I go back to school.  I swear, the people at this farmer’s market are the nicest, most compassionate people in the world.  Every time I go there, it restores my faith in humanity 🙂

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Lifehouse and Switchfoot concert!

Week 13 (8/14-8/20):

Monday: AM: 7 miles on bike path.  STRUGGLE- body is so tired.  Glute activation + push-ups.  PM: skipped my double, light core.

Tuesday:  Mosquito-infested workout with teammates on island soft surface: 20 min w/u, drills, 12-7-7 with 3 min recovery, 3 mile c/d.  Total = 11 miles.  Went really well!  I felt very strong mentally and physically.

Wednesday:  5 miles with teammates easy + core.  New shoes.  PM: eventful ocean swim with my freshman teammates in which we got caught in the riptide/current for awhile…

Thursday:  AM: 7 miles with teammates, drills, strides, strength (push-ups, lunges, roller abs, etc.) Lighthouse climb!  PM: 3 miles with teammates.

Friday:  Early workout with freshman teammate.  20 min w/u, drills, 7 x [3:00h, 1:00e], 20 min c/d.  Felt ok, not amazing.  Fewer mosquitoes!  Total: 9 miles.

Saturday: 13 miles on bike path.  Listened to podcast about accents.  Pretty humid/hot.  Took an energy gel at mile 9 and hammered the last 20 minutes.  Overall good run!  Trail was very crowded.

Sunday: off.  Vinyasa yoga class.

Total: 54 miles + 1 hour yoga class

Not the most interesting training week, but the concert and training trip were an absolute blast.  When Lifehouse played “You and Me” and “Hanging by a Moment” one right after the other, my friend and I almost cried.  We also got to meet Brynn Elliott after the show- she was incredibly affable and enthusiastic, and she’s only a year older than us!

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The training trip got off to an interesting start with a mosquito-infested workout on Tuesday morning.  Apparently, it was the worst mosquito day some of the locals could remember! A few of the girls looked like they had contracted a bad case of chickenpox.  Throughout the trip, we worked out together, went to the beach, climbed a lighthouse, ate immense amounts of ice cream every night, explored the island, saw wild ponies, had dance parties and ridiculous late-night talks, drank lots of coffee and took lots of pictures.  I am so happy this trip turned out as well as it did 🙂

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None of our seniors or fifth years came on the training trip, so the junior class (read: my class!) was unexpectedly thrust into leadership roles that we didn’t expect to have until next year.  One of my classmates organized the majority of the trip, and some of us took on the task of talking to the freshmen about team rules, team dynamic, goals, expectations, how each practice works, and college in general.  Everyone worked together really well with the cleaning, cooking, and carpooling.

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One of the freshmen and I ended up swimming far out into the ocean- farther than I had ever swum- which was exhilarating!  Until we got caught in a riptide/current that pulled us farther and farther out into the water.  There’s nothing like the feeling of being pulled backwards as you attempt to swim forwards.  This particular freshman and I are both pretty fearless, but even so, I felt a bit of apprehension as we made ZERO progress getting back to shore!  We eventually made it back by swimming with the waves and letting the current pull us around in a giant circle.  Phew!

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This trip was really good for my mental health and balance as well.  Reuniting with my teammates reminded me that all the hard work throughout the summer is done for a reason and reinvigorated me for the upcoming cross country season.  Also, a lot of last year’s top seven is in our senior/fifth year class, which meant that I was one of the faster and higher mileage runners on this trip.  Along with my fellow juniors and high mileage runners, I ended up leading workouts, runs, and conversations about college running for the freshmen.  It was surreal!

Since the juniors were the leaders on this trip, I really wanted to be a good role model for the underclassmen.  So this trip had the awesome effect of breaking unofficial routines and rules that I had gotten stuck in throughout the summer.  I just went with the flow.  Ice cream every night?  Absolutely yes.  Meals at weird times?  Waiting until 8 am to run- something that I hadn’t done all summer?  Staying up later than I had been comfortable with?  Relaxing in the afternoon?  I tried to say yes to everything.  Also tried to lead by example- post-workout recovery snack, rope stretching, foam rolling, treating myself, not hammering maintenance runs, and striking that tricky balance of relaxation and dedication to training.  I hope we (the juniors) did a good job.  The underclassmen reassured us that we did great, which was so gratifying 🙂

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One of the highlights from this morning was at the farmer’s market.  As I mentioned before, the people there are the nicest ever.  I stopped at one of the bread stands and made small talk with the woman who works there- we sort of know each other because the store where I work is very close with the farmers and small businesspeople from the market.  We talked about me going back to school, and when I tried to buy a lemon bite from her, she gave it to me for free and said, “save it for college”!  This happens all the time.  Do you see why I love it there??

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It was also really delicious.  The tangy glaze paired perfectly with the soft, sweet-yet-sour lemon pastry.

I also just adore the farmer’s market because you can find the most unique food items there.  Moroccan spiced carrot hummus?  Okra?  Dirt-cheap apples, peaches, and tomatoes?  Agave lime gazpacho??  I’ll probably miss it more than my home, to be honest…(mostly kidding).

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I’m going back to school and moving into my apartment later this week, so the next few days will be filled with planning, packing, (running) and convincing myself that I’ll be okay living 1.5 miles from campus without a car. 😉  I can’t believe summer is almost over!

Fun Friday Fartlek with Friend

(I’m such a dork.  I can’t.)

Before I get started with this post, which will be fueled by a jittery I-drank-more-caffeine-than-I-can-handle frenzy, it’s my four-year blogiversary!  WOW.  I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for four years!  Maybe some of the positive things that happened this morning count as a celebration. 🙂

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Some things have changed (like my eyebrows, and my 5k PR)…my coworker still thinks I’m in high school, though

So the past couple days have not been the most fun.  My runs have gone pretty well, but to some extent, the rest of the day has been spent feeling like a train hit my body.  Yikes.  It’s been extremely helpful to have a running buddy for most of this week’s runs so far.  I’m not sure how I’d be getting through without them 😅

I wasn’t looking forward to another workout, but a couple days ago, one of my teammates texted me to say that she would be in town, and did I want to workout together?

Um, heck yes!

I hadn’t seen her all summer, so we had a lot to catch up on.  We met up this morning at a park with a 5-mile trail loop, and from the start of the warm-up to the end of the cool-down, we did not stop talking.  Both of us had been feeling a little burnt out and lonely, so we didn’t stress at all about the workout and just had a blast running with each other.  It was a 7-5-7-5 fartlek with 2 minutes’ recovery, and we didn’t even shut up during the workout, gasping for breath as we sprinted along the wooded trails.  I’m sure we looked and sounded ridiculous 😉

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Here’s another 2013 throwback (at the same park from this morning!) for the blogiversary 😉

Working out together made us both super excited for when the whole team is back together!  Just a few more weeks.  Workouts (and the general grind of training) is so much easier when there are 20 other women working just as hard ❤

It’s also been almost chilly in the mornings for the past few days, which has made running more bearable.  This morning was 70 degrees and overcast- nothing like 85 and unbearable!

After the workout, I was stretching, rolling out, and refueling in the parking lot while watching local high schools compete in a cross country scrimmage.  Two of the most outgoing, hilarious young kids I’ve ever met came over and started asking 300 questions about my roller, stretch rope, car keys…even the lunch box that housed my post-workout breakfast.

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Their older sister was running in the scrimmage, but they had gotten bored and were on an “adventure.”  The younger girl (4 or 5) proceeded to take over the foam roller and stretch rope while she showed off her moves.  Her brother was shocked when I didn’t know who their sister was, and that I didn’t go to her school- apparently all runners know each other 😉 While not noteworthy, this interaction with two extremely extroverted kids made my morning all over again.

I drove home and stopped to get ice and splurge on illy coffee, since it’s my favorite.  The most convenient place to get illy coffee happened to be my workplace’s biggest competitor (oops).  When I ordered my coffee from the manager, he asked who had better coffee.  I defended my workplace’s ice cream but reluctantly admitted that illy coffee tops all else…and the guy shook my hand and comped my coffee!  I felt like a traitor, but this was yet another positive happenstance that made my morning!

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Ice bathing with my free caffeine 😉

After an eventful morning full of positive happenings not directly related to running (a refreshing change!), I took an ice bath, showered, and caught up with some friends.  The rest of the afternoon will be filled with lunch, a nap, and some chores before heading to work until 11 pm tonight.

I feel really content right now.   Also hopped up on (free) caffeine, so that might have something to do with it!  Something annoying or catastrophic will probably happen later to make up for this good morning 😉 but right now…all good.  I’m also going to a concert on Sunday with my friend to see some groups that I LOVE, so I’m so excited.  Happy Friday!  I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thanksgiving and last week of classes!

Merry Tuesday!  Sorry I haven’t written in a couple weeks.  I’m done with class for today and am spending the rest of this rainy afternoon in our library coffee shop enjoying peppermint tea and a cranberry scone.  I just finished my last accounting problem set and gender reading notes, and I got an A on a Spanish paper, so I’m going to take a break to write a post 🙂

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I took a week completely off from running and ran every other day last week for a grand total of seventeen miles, along with some intermittent core routines and a yoga session.  It was great to go home for Thanksgiving break; I got to see family and lots of friends and spend five whole days doing no work whatsoever!

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We spent Thanksgiving dinner at a family friends’ house.  Didn’t eat until 8 pm because we couldn’t interrupt the football game!! (I’m still salty the Redskins lost.)  But dinner was worth the wait.

We spent the meal saying what we were thankful for.  I’m thankful for a supportive, mildly crazy family;the ability to go to a wonderful school; my friends, teammates, coaches, professors, and dentists (haha); good food; and many other things.  Our family friends’ adorable 4-year-old son kept putting in his two cents throughout dinner: “I’m thankful for Mom and pizza and Dad and chicken!”

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My (yes, younger) brother also deigned to take a picture with me!  Will wonders never cease? He makes me look so short…

 

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I also got to see my three best friends from high school!  One of them goes to West Point, so I hadn’t seen her since June!

My friend convinced me to brave the Black Friday madness, so he and I spent 3 hours at the biggest mall in the area in the middle of the day.  RIP to my bank account– but at least I got lots of Christmas presents for friends and family!

Even with all the fun reunions and family gatherings, I experienced abnormal depression intermittently throughout the entire break.  It was strange and a little scary.  I think the combination of being home for a short vacation as a college student, not running, some family issues, and social issues made for a tenuous emotional situation.  I could physically feel myself getting happier on the train ride back to campus on Sunday night.  I do love being home, but I think at this point, I love being at school more 🙂

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Who wouldn’t love it here?

Speaking of school, this week marks the end of classes, followed by two weeks of finals!  I have a pretty solid finals schedule, and I’m going to try to maintain healthy (physical and emotional) study habits throughout.  I might expand upon this later!

We’re starting to gradually build our mileage back up this week but keeping all of our runs at maintenance pace.  You never realize how much running keeps you stable until you’re forced to go without it for a little while 😉  I’m keeping it low for a little while (around 28 this week) before increasing over the next few weeks until I’m back at 55-60ish.  We’ll start workouts after Christmas, and our first race will be after we get back from winter break in mid-January.  I was going to write my track goals, but this post is already pretty long, so I’ll do that for the next post!  For now, I’ll just keep enjoying shorter maintenance runs and the lovely aches and pains that come after time off… 🙂

PS: 26 days until Christmas!!

Running reunion

Two running reunions happened over the past few days!

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Our dream team from two years ago reunited 🙂  It was great to see all these girls.

The workout today: Winter finally decided to show its face, and it was 15 degrees this morning.  I waited until the afternoon to run, since it was a whopping 30 degrees at that point…

Anyway, 20 minute warm-up to my high school’s track, drills, strides, and then the same 6 x 800 as last week.  My goal was to run it faster, and I did.  2:53, 2:51, 2:52, 2:52, 2:54, 2:51 (compared to 2:55-2:56 last week).  I took 80-90 seconds rest again instead of a minute.  Gotta work down to shorter rest!  It worked for Quenton Cassidy in Once a Runner, amirite…

Too bad I’ll never be a 3:52 miler and also Cassidy doesn’t exist.

Second reunion:  My best friend showed up at the track during my workout, which I was running alone.  Did I ever mention what happened last April on this blog?  No?  Well, this can be my second reflection.  My best friend and I have been running together since 2008, but last April, she tripped over me, tore her ACL and meniscus, and had to defer a year because she was going to a service academy and that incident caused her to fail her medical exam.  So yeah.  I kind of ruined her life.  Luckily, I don’t think she hates me too much…

Anyway, she wasn’t able to run (or even walk) for a really long time but has slowly been building back up.  And today, she came on my cool down with me!! After not running with her for over eight months, those 20 minutes were pretty awesome…

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Total for today: 8 miles + 7 minutes of core.  I kind of forgot that as my mileage increases, the workout-day mileage also increases, so I actually had 9 on my schedule.  Oh, well.  I have 10 scheduled for Friday but only a 4 mile workout (+ 5 miles warm-up/cool down), so depending on how my legs feel, I think I’ll do a double of 8 miles in the morning and 3 in the afternoon to catch up on all my mileage and stay on track for 42.  Or something like that.

Afterwards, we cheered on our high school team during their workout and said hi to the coaches.

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seems counterintuitive…

I received a bunch of Amazon gift cards for Christmas and decided to be adventurous.  Therefore, I bought chia seeds and Wild Friends’ vanilla espresso almond butter.  Living life on the wild side, I know 😉  Anyway, my oatmeal this morning was excellent: 1/2 cup quick oats, 1 cup water, the Wild Friends almond butter, banana, frozen raspberries, chia seeds and cinnamon.  SO GOOD.  For lunch I had leftover roasted brussels sprouts and carrots, sweet potato, Progresso lentil soup, raspberry Fage yogurt, and 1/2 a PB&J.  Post-workout was a KIND bar, cherry Fage, and toasted French bread with olive oil.  And some chocolate chips 😉  Dinner was broiled citrus-garlic salmon, brown rice, and steamed spinach, and dessert was frozen berries.

Yesterday evening, I went to Georgetown with some friends.  We walked around by the river and the canal, and we watched a million police cars and fire trucks and ambulances make a huge scene.  No idea what was going on.  I also got a dark chocolate cupcake.

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So flattering. The cupcake was very good. (It was NOT Georgetown Cupcake)

Tomorrow I have cross training!