First week of summer

This time of the year is always strange.  My brothers are still in school for another month, summer training hasn’t really picked up yet, and my internship doesn’t start until the end of the month.  Every year, I have trouble with the transition to summer mode because I’m the type that gets anxious if I have “nothing to do” on a given day.  I tend to feel guilty and unproductive even though the ability to relax is just as important for overall health as things like sleep and exercise!  So the beginning of this past week was hard, but I’ve been able to enjoy the leisure time more each day!


Highlights of this week:

Miles run: 16
Minutes cross trained: 70
Number of times I went out to eat: ZERO! (I’m really proud of that- trying really hard to be more frugal.)*

*Okay, I did go to Starbucks twice, but only because I had a gift card!

The few miles that I did run felt good.  There was some bunion pain, but the rest of my body didn’t feel as lethargic as I’d thought it would!

One day, a friend and I went on a picnic and enjoyed the beautiful weather.  Another day, I went hiking with another friend.  I read a cliché summer book (The Vacationers) in one three-hour sitting.  We ate dinner outside as a family and tried fruitlessly to keep the mosquitos away with Citronella candles (didn’t work).  I spent hours and hours outside, soaking up the Vitamin D and beautiful weather.  One night brought a counterintuitively peaceful summer thunderstorm.


I’m trying to cook even more (and be more creative in the kitchen), and my brother has been helping with the food photography because he has a nice camera 😉  This week, I made the pancakes mentioned in the last post…

Lentil stew stuffed sweet potatoes from The Cutting Veg


Topped with yogurt and fresh basil (sounds weird, tastes incredible)

…and I also sauteed turnip greens for the first time, so as to not waste them.  Yum!


Roasted turnips and sweet potatoes, fresh tomato, sauteed turnip greens, mushrooms, green onions, and garlic with chicken

I also made copycat Levain Bakery cookies!  I’ve never actually been to Levain Bakery, but these cookies turned out incredible.

Last but not least, I cooked my first live crabs yesterday.  I love crabs and hadn’t eaten them in years!  They were delicious.  What a cool experience.


Now that I’m at home, I have access to a plethora of foods that were much more difficult to access at school.  We have the seasonal vegetables from our CSA.  Turnips, radishes, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce…all local and much fresher and more flavorful than anything you’d find at the grocery store!  Amazing farmer’s markets.  A semi-stocked pantry (although with two teenage boys and a college runner, nothing lasts long in this house).

This is allowing me to continue to develop my passion for cooking, for which I am so grateful!  It’s also been easier to avoid going out to eat and be more innovative and think of what I can make with the ingredients that we already have in the house.  Three cheers for saving money and eating cheaply, but healthily!

I’m itching to start training for real, but reminding myself to be patient!


Dear 14-year-old me, what were you thinking?

It’s been a long day.  I woke up naturally at 5:30 am (for some reason I’ve been doing that every day this week) and couldn’t fall back asleep.  So I got out of bed, finished packing to leave campus, ate breakfast, and did various chores until we left at 7:45.  Arrived home around 10:30, immediately started packing up boxes of my belongings because we’re moving houses, went to the carpet store and other various errands, and went to the community center to cross train and got kicked out for skate night.  Luckily, Saturdays are my recovery days, and I only had 30 minutes of cross training OR 3 miles on my schedule.  I managed to do 25 minutes on the bike before I got kicked out, so I did some push-ups and 10 minutes of core when I got home.


Perks of being home: Homemade chili and quinoa for lunch

Aaaanyway, I’m happy to be home for spring break, even though it’s kind of weird because we’re in the midst of packing the house up to move in a week and a half.

Speaking of which, as I was packing my entire life collection of books and old schoolwork into boxes this afternoon, I came across a gem; in the summer of 2011, 14-year-old me kept a food journal.


I was appalled.  Reading the log actually made me nauseous.  And I’m not saying that from some superiority/runner/health point of view.  I had ginger ale five times in one day on August 8th!  Anyone would think that is disgusting.

It wasn’t like that was a one-day thing, either.  Every single day, I recorded multiple decadent treats: “Afternoon snack: chili, pasta salad, lemonade, brownie, cookie, truffle, Popsicle.”  I am not making this up.  Every breakfast was Nutella something, three sugary drinks a day, multiple desserts.  Little to no fruits or vegetables.  My sugar consumption must have been through the roof.  How I was not obese or diabetic, god only knows.

Can we take a moment to also thank puberty?

Transforming my diet was a multi-year learning process that definitely took a lot of willpower and mistakes.  And I absolutely still have a long way to go.  But just for comparison to my 2011 self, today I ate:

  • Breakfast (7 am): oatmeal with almond butter, apple, chia seeds, and cinnamon; plain Greek yogurt with banana
  • Morning snack (10:30 am): celery and banana with peanut butter, plain Greek yogurt with blueberries
  • Lunch (12:30 pm): homemade chili (with ground beef, corn, beans, tomato, etc.) with quinoa
  • Afternoon/evening snack (3 and 5 pm): 1/2 grapefruit, banana, Siggi’s raspberry yogurt
  • Dinner (7 pm): chicken pasta primavera with asparagus, spinach, pesto, and tomatoesIMG_8656.JPG

Today’s eating wasn’t even that great, but it was exponentially better than five years ago (except oops, I eat a ton of yogurt…#addiction).  And when I’m at school, I naturally make a spinach salad with almost every lunch and dinner.  Without even thinking about it anymore, I naturally gravitate away from processed foods (except for, like, bread).


Yesterday’s lunch: salad + flatbread with turkey, provolone, avocado, tomato, and lettuce

When I was fourteen, I probably couldn’t have ever imagined not eating Nutella 3 times a day.  Klondike bars and sugary drinks were also staples.  Vegetables were a punishment.  Now, I can’t imagine eating anything I was eating back then on a regular basis.  This didn’t happen overnight.  But it did happen, and that’s what matters.

I’ll recap the past couple weeks of training tomorrow!











Dorm Room Food

PSA: I’m not a nutritionist!  Or an expert in anything.  (Duh)  This post is just based on my personal experiences as a D1 athlete/freshman in college.

When I first got to college back in August, I assumed I would have no problem evading the freshman fifteen and all the food temptations that come with being a college student with an all-you-care-to-eat dining hall.  “I’m a super healthy runner!” I thought.  “I have great self-control when it comes to food.  The freshman fifteen is probably a melodramatic myth, anyway.”


For the first couple weeks, I was overwhelmed every time I went to the dining hall.  Pasta!  Sandwich bar!  Salad bar!  Cereal, fruit, ice cream, waffles, omelets, homestyle dishes, a “simple servings” bar, the grill… it was so much.  I loaded multiple plates because I wanted to be getting my “money’s worth.”

Eventually, I realized that even with running 45 miles a week, walking/biking to class, and cross training, I was still going somewhat overboard with the food.  I didn’t need to get a bagel with “whipped spread” after every meal just because they were there.  I didn’t need to use up four plates at every meal even when I was full after two.  I didn’t need to have ice cream every night just because it was there (and delicious).

Before college, at home, I was pretty independent with my eating.  I would eat whatever my mom made for dinner most days, but breakfasts, lunches, and snacks were on me.  But even though no one was regulating my eating at home before I came to college, it was still hard to adjust at college because you are 100% in charge of everything you choose to eat.

(Is this what adulthood is like??)

Anyway.  It took me a couple months to get into a routine with my meals and snacks, especially when I would get bored and just eat the night away.

I thought I’d show you what’s in my dorm room “kitchen” area to show how two typical college runners snack every day.  We both have a meal plan with 14 meals a week, but we usually eat breakfast and snacks and late-night dessert in our room 😉

IMG_8542In our little kitchen area, my roommate and I have a mini fridge, microwave, electric tea kettle, slightly illegal toaster, and a Keurig.  The plastic drawers on the right are mine; hers are under her desk.

On any given day, this is about what our fridge looks like inside:


We almost always have yogurt, apples, oranges, string cheese, peanut butter, almond butter and jelly.  Carrots and sugar snap peas are usually in the rotation as well.  Right now, we also have hummus, pumpkin, blueberries, and a frappuccino that a friend gave me that I’m not sure why I’m keeping because I’m not going to drink…

There’s a small freezer compartment inside the fridge that doesn’t work too well, but we usually keep frozen fruit in there.  It currently has a bag of edamame for meee.


Besides the fridge, I have a set of three plastic drawers that are home to my favorite snacks and random foods.

The top drawer has the oatmeal and chia seeds that I eat every day, as well as cocoa powder.  The second drawer has Quest bars, almonds, chocolate, random stuff like sugar and my last bag of NatureBox snacks, and the third drawer has unopened peanut butter, almond butter, and jelly, as well as soup, pumpkin pancake mix, canola oil, and cooking spray!

On top of the fridge, we have more random stuff that we use every day like tea, coffee, salt and pepper, cinnamon, and packets of honey (not sure why we have that last one).


As you can see, we don’t really keep many unhealthy snacks in our room.  We tend to snack on fruit, peanut butter/almond butter, dark chocolate, oatmeal, string cheese…that sort of thing.  We’re not exactly typical college girls (#runnerprobs), but I think the best way to avoid junk at college is to just not buy it/have it in your room!

Sunday Long Run + Food

Over two days of running, I’ve run 22 miles.

Ouch.  I’m feeling a 9 pm bedtime…


Anyway, a recap of this past week of training:

Monday: 6 miles, drills, strides, upper body strength
Tuesday: 20 minutes warm-up, 6 x 800m with 80-90s rest (2:53, 2:51, 2:52, 2:52, 2:54, 2:51), 20 minutes cool down, abs, ice bath
Wednesday: 60 minutes stationary bike, abs
Thursday: 6 miles with my friend Noah, drills, strides, upper body, balance/glutes circuit
Friday: AM: 20 min warm-up, drills, strides, fartlek (10-2-8-2-5), 20 minutes cool down.  PM: 2 miles on treadmill, 10 minute ab drill.  Total: 11 miles.
Saturday: off
Sunday: 11 miles, ice bath

Total: 42 miles, 60 min XT


Mileage went up from last week (37) and will continue to go up next week (45).  My legs are definitely feeling the increase in both mileage and intensity!

On Thursday, I ran with my friend from high school who’s training for a marathon.  Although it was just a maintenance run, he and I both pushed the pace because I guess we didn’t want the other person to think we were slow 😉  Anyway, it was faster than it probably should’ve been, especially on a hilly route.

I couldn’t find a running buddy for today’s long run, so I psyched myself up, plugged in the headphones, and headed to the C&O canal.


I don’t think I’ve ever run more than 8.5 miles on the canal, so by the time I got to 42 minutes and it was time to turn around, I was in completely unfamiliar territory and there was no one else around.  Creepy!  The one water fountain on the way back wasn’t on, so dehydration hit during the last two miles, which was fun.  No idea what my pace was since I couldn’t find my GPS watch, so I did 84 minutes, which should be somewhere around 11 miles.

I will force myself to crawl tomorrow’s maintenance run.  Besides cool downs, I don’t think I’ve hit even 8 minute pace in far too long.

Outside of training, this past week was pretty fun.  On Thursday, my three best friends from high school and I went for a leisurely hike and walked and talked for a long time.


It was overcast and windy and all the trees were bare, but it was still pretty.


Last night, I took my brothers to see Mockingjay: Part II because I am a big Hunger Games fan even though Mockingjay was by far the worst book of the trilogy.  Afterwards, I got to see a bunch of other people from high school!

This week was the week of the sweet potato.  More specifically, sweet potato roasted in coconut oil and topped with cinnamon.  Incredible. 


I also made a stir fry (chicken, broccoli, garlic, onion, salt and pepper, garlic powder, soy sauce, and Soyaki sauce) with quinoa and brown rice.  And ate two huge bowls of it.


Vanilla ice cream and frozen berries ❤IMG_8104

I actually feel pretty good about my nutrition over the past week.  While I did eat exorbitant quantities as usual 😉 , I was able to avoid the post-dinner boredom binge sessions that had become a regular part of my day.  It’s all about balance.

Turkey avocado tartine from Le Pain Quotidien

Turkey avocado tartine from Le Pain Quotidien

Today’s food:

  • Breakfast, pre-long run: Oatmeal with vanilla espresso almond butter, cinnamon, apples, frozen raspberries, and chia seeds
  • Post-long run eating session (lunch on steroids): 1.5 cups blueberry Chobani with chia seeds; clementines; toast with peanut butter and banana; big bowl of leftover stir fry with brown rice; Pink Lady apple with peanut butter; milk chocolate (which I don’t like nearly as much as dark chocolate, but…oh well!)
  • Snack: a clementine and toast with vanilla espresso almond butter and banana
  • Dinner: roasted sweet potato; omelet (1 egg, 2 egg whites) with spinach and goat cheese
  • Dessert: a clementine and chocolate banana “ice cream”


We didn’t have any ice cream or chocolate at home!  So I blended 1.5 frozen bananas, a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, some vanilla, and milk to create chocolate banana ice cream.  It was actually pretty good!  It was more the consistency of frozen yogurt or a really thick milkshake.  But it’s healthy and I’d make it again!

Now for as many hours of sleep as I can get (thank you body clock for not letting me sleep past 7:30) and back to the dog sitting and running grind.  One week until I go back to school!



In-season training week 3 (40 miles)

Hello friends!  Fall weather has finally arrived in this college town… almost.  It was 66 degrees this morning and didn’t get hotter than 75 the entire day.  I wore jeans!!

In-season week 3 brought lower mileage, and it seems that my body has finally adjusted to college training! (Knock on wood.)  I’ve felt great on the past few runs, and I’ve really looked forward to each workout.

Week 3:

Monday 9/7: 6 miles @ 7:48 average, drills, strides, strength circuit
Tuesday: 2.5 miles warm-up, 4 x [5:00 hard, 3:00 easy], 5 x [1:00 hard, 1:00 easy] on home course.  8 minutes cool down.
Wednesday: 60 minutes cross training (50 minutes aqua jog + biking to all my classes)
Thursday: 6 miles @ 7:50 average, drills, strides, strength circuit, 30 minutes biking
Friday: 3 miles warm-up, 4 miles pace run @ 6:28 average, 2 miles cool down, leg lift
Saturday: off
Sunday: 10 miles @ 8:05 average

Total: 40 miles running, 90 minutes cross training

Comments:  Guess who skipped her Saturday yoga session this week…this girl.  Sorry coaches!  I did stretch and roll, I just didn’t do any downward dogs or pigeons or trees.

The beginning of this week was rough.  My legs were really heavy on Monday, and I got sick that night, so I had a sore throat and general nausea during Tuesday’s workout.  But I got through it!  All I did was shorten my cool down.  I recovered mostly in the pool on Wednesday, and Thursday’s run was pretty good.

I found myself positively anticipating Friday’s workout as early as Thursday night!  After receiving our gear on Wednesday, the entire team decided to match with our new spandex and neon sports bras.


I’m third from right

I felt good on the warm-up, although there was a worrisome crackly feeling in my left ankle and arch that I just kind of ignored until it went away.  We started the pace run, and for two miles I felt really good and light on my feet.  My right leg locked up during the second half, but I still finished okay.  We started out faster than we’ve started the past few pace runs (we were right at 6:30 instead of 6:35), and we just maintained that and even sped up a bit.  Overall, it was the fastest average pace my group has run on our pace run, and it was less than 15 seconds off my 5k PR pace…for four miles!

Workout group strong

Chasing the sun- (look up that song by Sara Bareilles, it’s great)

I took Saturday completely off.  This morning, we went to the same place we went for last week’s long run, and I did ten miles again.  We did a slightly different route and took it slower, and I felt amazing!  My legs weren’t even fatigued at the end of the run; it was like I hadn’t even done a long run.  Recovery long runs are my favorite ❤

I love my workout group

I love my workout group (and my dorky happy face)

Nutrition this week has been so-so.  Last night, our recruit arrived around 8, so naturally we went out to eat.  After eating my regular dinner around 6:30, I ate an entire pizza and an entire skillet cookie by myself.  Yes.  The skillet cookies are absolutely amazing: a huge fresh-baked gooey cookie topped with vanilla ice cream.


I’ve also been eating mishmash lunches in my dorm room for the past few days because I’ve either been a) studying b) the timing has been weird or c) bad weather/laziness meant I didn’t want to walk all the way to the caf.


PB&J, carrots, snap peas, string cheese, and plain Greek yogurt with blueberries and hemp seeds

I biked to Trader Joe’s in an intense thunderstorm the other day, which was a little bit terrifying and very exhilarating.  I got all the necessities! (And definitely exceeded the weight capacity of eleven pounds for my bike basket.)


Fridge goals


My team had a make-your-own pizza party on Friday night, and it was amazing.  Also, random: my butternut squash from last week! Heaven.


Additionally, our dorm now has an extra resident.


The little dude has been hanging out outside for a week now.

One last thing before I turn in for the night: I nearly died in my three-hour outdoor biology lab last week.  Skinny jeans, long socks, rubber rain boots, and 96 degree weather.  And when I took off my shoes/pants, I had myriad huge bug bites all around my ankles!  How does that happen!?  That’s exactly why I wore the pants- to prevent that!


Enough of my complaining.  Off to bed!