Hot, Hilly 5k Race (18:18)

Time for another race report!  If you don’t want to read the whole post, I ran 18:18 on a hot, hilly 5k course, was the third runner for the team, and felt pretty good but there were spots I could have been tougher.

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Anyway.  Two consecutive weekends of hot, hard races make for some tired runners, but our next race is not for three weeks, so we get a bit of a break.  And a nice hard training block 😉

This weekend, we traveled to UVA for the Panorama Farms Invitational.  Panorama Farms is beautiful, with rolling hills, mountains in the distance, hot air balloons in the sky, and a live bluegrass band…but the course is notoriously hellish and hot.  I ran there twice last year- the first time was the worst race experience I have ever had, and the second was regionals.  Not the greatest #mems.

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We left campus yesterday afternoon.  Our van had to stop for a desperate emergency bathroom break 4 miles from the course…we almost made it!  We ran the course (and added on to get to 5 miles), did drills and strides, rope stretched, and had our team meeting.  After that, we went to our hotel, had dinner, went to the grocery store, and prepared for the morning by setting up our flash tats, ribbons, spikes and uniforms, etc.

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This morning, we woke up at 6 am and went for a quick pre-dawn shakeout run before rope stretching and eating breakfast.  My pre-race breakfast: oatmeal, banana, almond butter, chia seeds, plain Greek yogurt, and coffee.

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We headed to the course a little later.  Had a Picky bar and Gatorade.  The men’s race was pushed back before ours to avoid the heat (how is that fair!?), so we watched them start before rope stretching and warming up.

(Our team does a lot of rope stretching.)

After an 18-minute warm-up, drills, and strides, we were soaked in sweat.  It wasn’t actually that hot, but the sun was blazing.  But that was to be expected!  Luckily, throughout the past week, our coach and ourselves put a lot of emphasis on hydration in preparation for this race, so we were all full of water and Gatorade and electrolytes.  Which resulted in 47 bathroom breaks, but at least no one passed out!!

Our goal today was to pack up well.  We were running without our #1, but we had two great workout groups.  The gun went off and we got out well, rocking the new uniforms.  I found myself leading the team for the first 2k in about 20th place, running with women that I had never been near before.  That was pretty cool!

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We started hitting the hills at 2.5k, and two of my teammates passed me on the massive hill at 2 miles.  I lost a few places but kept reminding myself how much better this race was going than last year, which was actually very helpful.  I definitely could have fought better from 3k to 4.5k.  On the last steep hill before the finishing stretch, someone screamed, “YOU EAT HILLS FOR BREAKFAST!” at me.  I looked up and saw our teammate that graduated last year, with whom I spent all summer running.  Seeing her was the best.  I laughed.  (For a millisecond.)

The last 400 meters is one continuous uphill straightaway, and I kicked and caught the girl in front of me.  I soon discovered I had kicked a little too aggressively when I tied up 50 meters from the line and the girl passed me back.  Oh, well.  Crossed the line 18:18 for 25th place overall and third on my team.

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Thanks Mom

After the race, we cooled down for 40 minutes to get to long run mileage (a little under 12 for the day) and then ate pumpkin muffins with upset stomachs.  We’ve done more intelligent things.  I got to briefly see my mom and brother, who had driven the hour and a half down to watch me race, and they brought me fresh vegetables from our CSA along with freshly baked cookies!  It was great to see them for the first time in a month.  My mom also ran a race last weekend- a 20-miler to prep for her upcoming marathon!  She crushed it, finishing second in her age group on a pace that converts to a marathon some 25 minutes faster than she ran last year!

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Takeaways from the race: 1) I am finally starting to believe that I can run “up there” with women that I couldn’t before.  2) Adequate hydration and preparation help to avoid bad heat exhaustion situations 😉 3) I need to work on not getting complacent or mentally giving up on the hardest parts of the course. 4) Our team has depth, yo!  We had the smallest time spread from 1-5 and 1-7 out of all the teams at the invitational.  We had eight runners across the line before any other team had seven.  Even without our #1, and with a girl from our top 5 DNFing due to an asthma attack, we still got fourth overall.  Not. bad.

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Two of our freshmen had amazing in-uniform debuts

I’m either going to get in the pool tomorrow or do a short recovery run.  Looking forward to a solid training block before Penn State, focusing on school (oh yeah, forgot about the fact that it’s #midtermszn), and “not getting too high or too low,” as my coach says.

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Summer Training Week 9 (57 miles + 30 min swim)

The sun is going down a tiny bit earlier each night, sudden thunderstorms crop up briefly and intensely throughout the afternoons, my brother is packing for sleepaway camp, somehow we are on week NINE of summer training!…summer goes on.

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Too hot even for me to eat hot oatmeal- but this (cold) bowl was dang good

I took today completely off from running but drove for over six hours, so I’m just as tired 😉  Also SO full.  But today was lots of fun!

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Week 9 (7/17-7/23):

Monday:  AM: drills, 7 miles on sidewalks, strides.  Very humid.  Didn’t feel super fresh, but other than that, went well.  Core circuit.  PM: 3 miles.  Sore/tired calves and feet.

Tuesday:  3 mile warm-up, drills, fartlek (15 min on- 3 off- 10 on- 3 off- 5 on), 2.5 miles cool down on canal.  90% humidity, sweated a lot.  Legs didn’t feel very fresh but rallied at the end.  Ice bath.  VERY tired later in the day.  Some unplanned food choices (read: ice cream binge) but I know that’s because I was so tired.

Wednesday:  AM: 5 miles sidewalks.  Very hot/humid.  Legs were tired but decent run.  Lift day 1- PRed on squats and had a good deadlift!  Last day of dog-sitting.  PM: 30 min swim, felt good to get off feet, very relaxing, but tired afterwards.

Thursday:  AM: 7 miles, drills, strides, 10 min core.  Hot/humid.  Felt okay.  PM: 3 miles treadmill @ 8:10 pace.  Cranky, tired at work afterwards.

Friday: 2 mile warm-up, drills, 4 x [6:00 on, 2:00 off], 2 mile cool down on bike path.  Hot/humid.  Ice bath.  Didn’t feel fresh but it went pretty well.  PM: skipped lift and took two naps instead.  #Yolo.

Saturday: 12 miles on sidewalks + bike path.  Best way to describe this run: boring?

Sunday: off

Total: 57 miles + 30 min swim

Highest volume week in awhile!  This week can be adequately summarized with the phrase, “Didn’t feel fresh but it went pretty well.”  At no point during the week did I feel fresh (not even on Monday- oops), but I think I rode the line between hard training and overstressing my body well!  (Although maybe the amount of power naps I took says otherwise.)

Slacked off on yoga this week and my mind was generally not relaxed.   Oh, well.  Will work on being more mindful this coming week.

It continued to be extremely hot and humid all week.  I am very diligent about getting out the door by 7 am at the latest, yet the temperature never dipped below 75 and the humidity never dipped below about 90%.  Lovely.  Just reminding myself over and over that these sauna-like conditions will pay off in the future!  My body is getting more efficient.

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Post-Friday workout sweatiness

Honesty moment of the week!  I’ve identified that I tend to be extremely cranky and binge-eat ice cream on the days where I work while tired from that day’s training session.  For some reason, this has been causing a lot of anxiety.  Yesterday, after twelve miles, I ate ice cream at work and honestly struggled a lot, mentally.  HOWEVER, today I road-tripped to see friends and indulged in delicious eats and was back to normal and didn’t give a crud.  It was awesome (and a relief!). I’m weird.  I don’t really understand.

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Hawaiian BBQ quesadilla with chicken, melted jack cheese, pineapple, onion, and BBQ sauce…HEAVEN

This morning, I picked up my friend who lives about 40 minutes from me, and then we drove 2.5 hours south to visit some other friends.  It was sweltering outside, but we still had a good time!  We got to meet one of our new teammates, and she was incredibly nice.  We ate lunch at a cute smoothie/sandwich place (I got the Hawaiian BBQ chicken quesadilla and a soy cappuccino), checked out consignment stores and boutiques, explored a spice store, and perused a used-books bookstore (my favorite).  I got 5 books for $3, and an adorable cat snoozed in the window of the bookstore.

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We took the scenic route home, and after winding through rural highway roads for a couple hours, we spontaneously stopped at a roadside ice cream barn that sources their dairy from local cows.  While I was still stuffed from lunch, I did taste the dark chocolate ice cream, and it was incredibly creamy and high-quality.  I will be back.

IMG_7271.jpgPhew!  After seven hours in the car, I’m pretty tired, a little bloated, and craving my bed. This next week is a bit of a down week- I’ll probably hit around 48-50 miles.  I am going to shoot for a 13-mile long run, though!  Hopefully, my legs will feel more refreshed from the low(er) mileage and I will #crushit 😉

Teeth! LDOC workout! Eats!

But first: GUESS WHAT– I GOT MY PERMANENT TEETH YESTERDAY!!  RIP to the denture life!!

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After crushing a stressful formal business presentation that our group had been working on for two months, I headed to my dentist to get the teeth.  Then it was back to school to prepare for a Spanish presentation.  And no, I haven’t eaten an apple yet 😉

Anyway, happy last day of classes!  I actually did not have class today, but I spent the morning finishing a final paper for one of my Spanish classes before getting ready for the last Friday afternoon workout of the year.  (Meanwhile, it seemed as though everyone else at school was partaking in the last day of classes tradition of day-drinking…)

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It was a hot one- 88 degrees and very sunny- so I wasn’t sure how the workout was going to go.  But we prepared well and were very vigilant about hydrating and icing throughout, so it ended up going well!

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Oats, almond milk, shredded zucchini, egg whites, spices, blueberries, strawberries, and banana

Pre-workout breakfast: probably the biggest bowl of (z)oats I’ve ever made, plus a fried egg.  I kind of forgot to shake out this morning, but oh well.  Yesterday’s practice was a scavenger hunt that was more like a 7-mile fartlek, so my legs were trashed and probably benefited from the extra recovery!

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The best way to use all the peanut butter in the jar

The workout: 2.5 mile warm-up, drills, strides, 3 x 600 (400 @ 80 and kick the last 200, I ran 36-37) with 2:30 recovery, 6 x 400 at cruise pace (~83) with 1 minute recovery, 4 x 400 with 2 min recovery (77, 77, 77, 75), 2 mile cool down, rope stretch, ice bath.  I stayed hydrated before and after with coconut water, Nuun, and a variation of the “Can’t Beet Me” smoothie from Run Fast Eat Slow.

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1/2 frozen banana, frozen raspberries, steamed beets, fresh ginger, almond milk, vanilla protein powder, and a splash of coconut water

After the workout, our team went out for dinner before having fun with our annual paper plate awards and senior celebration.  My friend and I split a roasted beet salad and prosciutto garlic tomato pizza.

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And my paper plate award was pretty accurate- I will admit that sometimes I get a little competitive/aggressive…

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I’m going to be training through the conference championships with the rest of the team, mostly to give me something to do over finals.  My finals schedule includes two small projects due next week, but no actual exams until May 10!  I’m hoping to be able to travel to watch the team compete at conferences next weekend 🙂

Transparency time: Lately, there have been a couple instances where I’ve struggled mentally with eating a lot of rich food and not having my stomach/digestion behave perfectly.  I don’t count calories or macros or whatever (I’ve experimented with MyFitnessPal in the past, but our bodies know what they’re doing.  It’s our brains that screw everything up 😉 but I know that I perform better when I eat a lot.  For goodness’ sake, I just ran a 5k 90 seconds faster than I was running two years ago!  It’s just mentally hard sometimes to eat twice as much as everyone around you.

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IDK why I’m including this picture- I just like it

I’m just trying to remind myself of how much fuel we need to fuel the work that we’re doing.  It is ALWAYS better to overfuel than to under-fuel.  There are myriad examples that show how underfueling doesn’t work, ever.  And skillet cookies and mac and cheese will really just help this body handle mileage, intensity, and hot weather even better, right??  I’ll take that over miserably munching on raw vegetables and ignoring hunger cues any day.  The other day, we did clearances for next year, and I found out my weight for the first time in like two years.  And guess what?   It hasn’t changed at all since the first day of my freshman year of college.  Not that weight means anything at all- I’m way more efficient and can run a sub-18 minute 5k and do 20 chin-ups and handle 60 miles per week now- but I’m just saying our bodies are so smart and everyone has a go-to natural body weight and we need to eat a lot!

(Did that make any sense?  No?  It’s fine.)

Anyway, just a few finals, projects, and induction into the collegiate Spanish national honor society to get through before I am halfway done with undergrad!  I’ll be a junior in college before I know it.  Isn’t that crazy??  Sometimes it feels like I just got here!!

3k PR: 10:15

Happy day-before-Easter!  And day-before-the-day-before-the-Boston-Marathon!

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Yesterday’s “Easter” theme- it was more just “bright colors”

Shakeout + warm-up + rope stretch + drills + strides + race + cool down to long run mileage + blazing sun + ice bath = one tired college student.  And yet I’m writing this outside 😉  Sitting on the terrace after dinner, listening to a woodpecker, and enjoying the twilight weather.

The past few weeks have been shockingly good.  Under other circumstances, there would be nothing noteworthy about them, but considering I couldn’t walk after the race two weeks ago, putting together two consecutive weeks of good training has been unbelievable.

Last week: 41.5 miles + 145 min XT + yoga.  I had two really good off-track workouts and ran six days in a row, including a 10-mile soft surface run on Saturday.  Took Sunday completely off.

This week was the most intense running week I’ve had in months.  I ran 46 miles, 3 workouts, and have only cross trained one time!  What!?  I’ll do a more thorough training recap tomorrow, but today is for the race 🙂

Today was a low-key meet about half an hour from our campus.  Since I’m redshirting this season, my coach let me race the 3k again even though everyone else raced their “off” events.  The past few days have not felt great; 3 workouts in 4 days make for a tired body, and I ran on Wednesday instead of cross training.  I was hoping to run close to 10:00 today, but when I woke up this morning and still felt crappy, I just accepted whatever was going to happen.

Post-shakeout breakfast, 3.5 hours before the race: oatmeal with almond milk, egg whites, cinnamon, ginger, banana, berries, and peanut butter, along with plain Greek yogurt and coffee.

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This picture is actually from yesterday

My teammate drove me to the meet since I can’t take the vans, and it didn’t feel like race day at all.  We rope stretched, warmed up for 20 minutes, and did drills and strides.  The meet was so small that they ended up scratching the men’s steeplechase and men’s 3k, and there were only 10 people in the women’s 3k (including 5 from my school).

The 3k was at 11:30 am, at which point it was about 75 degrees and the sun was directly overhead.  I rarely do well in the heat, so I was kind of worried.  I was also not nearly as excited for this race as I was for the last one

One of our teammates was supposed to pace the rest of us through the mile, but she went out a little too fast and we never closed the gap (she won by a lot).  I think our first two laps were 77 and 82, and then I took over pacing duties through the mile (80 and 81ish).  I did not feel good, but I was really proud of that third lap.

After the 1600, one of my teammates and one girl from another school gapped me, and I should’ve rallied harder but didn’t.  I felt pretty crappy from 1600 to 2600, but the clock read 8:55 with a lap to go, and I knew that a stronger last lap would get me a PR, no matter how small.  I really hit the hurt locker on that last lap but closed in an 80 (which is not impressive, but better than an 82) for a 2-second PR of 10:15.

  • The good: I did not run poorly in the heat; strong third lap; strong(er) last lap; remembering how to race rather than just run; my teammates ran really well!
  • The “bad”: Falling off in the second half; generally felt beaten down; didn’t run as fast as I know I can (I will be a sub-10 3k runner, dang it!).

After the race, we had a long cool down in order to get to long run mileage.  After the last race, I couldn’t even walk, so I brought my phone along today just in case I had to call my coach to come pick me up.  Luckily, that didn’t happen!  Instead, we ran 5 miles on some beautiful local trails for total daily mileage of 11.5ish.

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Post-race refuel: a coffee chocolate Rx bar, lots of water, strawberry lime Tropical Smoothie, and turkey/apple/cheddar sandwich from Panera.  Looking forward to movies and ice cream tonight 🙂

Overall, today’s race was okay- can’t be upset with a PR (or can I?) but I want more!!  I’m racing a road 5k next Saturday, but I think that’s it for this season since I can’t race at conferences or ECACs.  Dang it.  Oh well.

Summer Training Week 12

Oof.  It’s interesting how two consecutive weeks can differ so drastically.  The 60-mile high from last week came crashing down a bit this past week, and I am not feeling too hot.  There were a few decent runs, but this was overall a difficult week.

Summer 2016 week 12 (8/8-8/14):

Monday:  AM: 8 miles, drills, strides, upper body circuit.  PM: walked 5 miles in DC.
Tuesday: long hilly warm-up, hilly fartlek (6:00-5-5-4-3-2-1 with half-time recovery), 20 min c/d.  Total = 11+ miles.
Wednesday: 5 miles, abs
Thursday: AM: drills, 7 miles, strides.  PM: 30 min swim because peroneal hurt.
Friday: AM: 2 mile w/u, 24 min solo tempo, 2 mile c/d.  PM: 2 miles treadmill.
Saturday: off, 10 min yoga
Sunday: 11 miles pretty fast.

Total: 53ish miles, 30 min XT

OK, gotta release some negativity for a second…then we can move on 😉

So many things about this week sucked.  I was tired for both of my workouts (got through them though!), had peroneal pain later in the week, worked horrible 5-10 pm shifts on the weekend, and the weather did not cooperate.  My body feels like I got run over by a truck, and I think I’m fighting off an illness.  I’m stupidly stressed/worrying that I’m overtraining since I can’t even function right now.  Since I work at an ice cream and coffee place, I have to bend into the ice cream dip cases every 5 seconds, and every time I did that for the past two nights, I felt like I was going to pass out.  I am so over summer weather at the moment.  The entire week had a heat index of over 100 degrees, inching into the 110s with bajillion percent humidity.  I hate it.  It never got below 80 degrees even at 6 am.  The A/C in the store is broken, so it was almost 90 degrees inside the store.  The ridiculous weather makes every run feel shitty.

To summarize, this week knocked me flat on the ground.

But now to focus on the positives!  Monday’s run felt good, Wednesday’s run felt good, completed both my workouts, and I had a biking buddy for my entire long run on Sunday, which was amazing.

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Snapchat video quality…

I got to try out a cute local cafe and catch up with a friend over brunch!

And, of course, the concert was amazing.

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Made some delicious black bean brownies and a really good stir-fry lunch the other day.

The stir-fry: garlic, onions, red hot peppers, and rainbow carrots sauteed in olive oil, along with grilled chicken, basil, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, corn, and avocado on the side.

Even though there were a lot of negatives, I’ve completed the last full solo training week of the summer, as I return to school this Saturday!  And I worked my last dreaded closing shift last night- no more super late nights- bless.

I texted my coach yesterday and told her I was feeling terrible, and she told me I could take today off, light, or anything, depending on how I was feeling.  I couldn’t sleep this morning, so I got up and ran 3 miles, and it didn’t feel great.  I’m still really tired and bleary-eyed. Therefore, later today, I will either run 4-7 miles, bike for like half an hour, or just do a light strength workout.  We’ll see.

In other news, Emma Coburn won the bronze medal in the 3k steeple at the Olympics!! She’s incredible!  In less-than-favorable conditions, she ran 9:07 to break her own American record!!  And how about the 19-year-old gold medalist, Ruth Jebet?  Amazing.

Almost school time ❤

Summer Training Week 10: HUMIDITY

Hello!  I just wrapped up my tenth week of summer training with 12 miles on the bike path.

Summer 2016 week 10 (7/25-7/31):

Monday: AM: 7 miles, SUPER humid so took it easy and felt good, drills, strides, core.  PM: 3 miles easy treadmill, felt good.
Tuesday: 20 min w/u, drills, 4 x 6:00 w/ 1:30 recovery, 20ish min c/d.  So humid again!  Legs were tired/heavy in the second half but overall pretty good workout.
Wednesday: 60 min stationary bike, felt nauseous/crappy.  Light strength circuit afterwards.
Thursday: AM: 7 miles, felt eh.  PM: 3 miles treadmill, short upper body circuit.
Friday: 2 mi w/u, drills, 24 min tempo on canal, 4 x [:30, :30], 2 mi c/d.  Felt tired but decent during the workout…for some reason, the rest of the day I was a zombie! 2+ hours of naps.
Saturday: 3 miles, abs/yoga
Sunday: 12 miles, felt strong in the second half, big negative split.

Total: 53 miles + 60 min bike
This week was kind of weird…Monday and Tuesday were normal but on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, I felt really out of it on my runs/XT.  Saturday was normal recovery and Sunday’s long run was surprisingly good, especially the second half…got into a groove thanks to a great playlist. 😉  Just felt run-down this week…I think part of it is the extreme heat/humidity and part of it is body imbalances.
Memorable moment: on Monday morning, I walked out of my house at 6:45 am to run and wasn’t sure if I had walked outdoors or into a sauna.  It felt like a hot tub.  This pretty much sums up the whole week weather-wise…
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I bought a box of the new nut-butter-filled Clif bars (coconut almond butter), and they’re so good!

Additionally, I spent three days dog-sitting for my friend, and her house is really close to both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s…if I lived there, I would have zero money.  But I found the seasonal Siggi’s flavor- strawberry and basil!  It was pretty good, but the basil could be more prevalent.

Also played her piano for awhile…

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During the month of July alone, I ran over 230 miles (not counting cross training and hiking).  I worked over 100 hours.  I ate approximately 30 bowls of oatmeal and 30 bowls of ice cream 😉  Took too many power naps to count.  “Officially” started dating someone.  Read books and played the piano and watched the Olympic Trials.  It’s been a pretty good month.  And the best part is…five days until I see all my teammates, and just THREE WEEKS until I move back to school!!

 

 

Summer Training Week 4

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Summer 2016 week 4 (6/13-6/19):

Monday: AM: 6 miles, pull-ups/push-ups/dips.  PM: 30 min swim
Tuesday: (almost) 9 miles @ 7:18 average, 10 min abs
Wednesday: 60 min stationary bike, squats/lunges
Thursday: AM: 3 miles, pull-ups/push-ups/dips, 10 min abs. PM: 6 miles
Friday: 9 miles.  Hilly
Saturday:  3 miles, 20 min yoga
Sunday: 11 miles (DC tour run!)

Total: 47 miles, 90 min XT

Holy. Crap.  This week was spent discovering the true meaning of tiredness.  I worked every single day, mostly the evening shift, which meant I had zero time for dinner or sleep.  After being on my feet for 6 hours straight, I’d get home at 11, eat dinner, and go to bed at midnight, only to wake up at 5:45 am to run.  Surprisingly, most of my runs were fine.  I consciously backed off the pace on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, which was a really good choice.  Today still didn’t feel good, though.  Grr.

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This week’s long run was incredibly picturesque.  We didn’t go until 10 am, so it was fairly hot and sunny.  We started at Roosevelt Island and pretty much did a tour of the National Mall.  The blazing sun forced us to stop several times for water, and we were fairly dehydrated.  I was covered in salty sweat by the end…good looks!  I didn’t feel good during the run, but it was so beautiful that it almost made up for it.  Afterwards, we went for brunch, and I had crepes benedict and a cannoli and a fancy iced coffee!  It was lovely.

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I actually feel really happy with my nutrition this week, which is a little weird because it’s not like I followed some stringent plan or anything.  Working in an ice cream store, I had a ton of ice cream and smoothie samples, and my “dinner” during all the evening shifts I worked was a bagel and cream cheese, or a random chicken salad sandwich from Chick-Fil-A, followed by more bread/English muffins whenever I got home (11 pm or later).  Not exactly prime fueling.  But I’m actually completely fine with that!  How strange.  I think as mileage increases, the body craves any and all calories for energy and recovery.

But I made the butternut squash/kale/Gruyere casserole and also had grilled tuna steaks last night for the first real dinner at dinner time in four days.  So good!!

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My coach just sent out training plans for the rest of the summer.  Needless to say, my heart skipped a couple beats when I saw “60 miles” consistently on my schedule.

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This upcoming week, I will hit 50 miles for the first time in my life (52), and I’ll be at 60 in three weeks!! Holy crap.  I’m actually a little sad that my Wednesday hour-long cross train is going away (to be replaced with a 5-mile run)… I’ve been doing that for a year, and it’s a nice little routine!

Since I leave for California on Thursday and will be in the mountains, I’ll have to get creative with fitting in the mileage.  I most likely won’t be able to do any doubles, and I’ll have to switch around some Wednesdays/Thursdays based on travel plans.  But I’m willing to be flexible to play it safe.  One thing I do not want to do is overtrain/burn out.  The “little things” (stretching, icing, core work, sleep) are going to become more important as well.

I’m literally running twice the mileage I ran in high school.  But high school was awhile ago, and my coaches know what they’re doing.  So excited 🙂 🙂

 

Summer Training Week 3

Summer 2016 week 3 (6/6-6/12):

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Monday 6/6: AM: 30 min aqua jog, abs.  PM: 6 miles @ 7:27 average, upper body strength, 20 min yoga
Tuesday: 8 hilly miles
Wednesday: 60 min stationary bike.  Walked around DC for like 5 miles
Thursday: AM: 6.5 miles @ 7:42 average, upper body strength, abs.  PM: 30 min swim
Friday: 8 miles.  Extremely hilly!
Saturday: off
Sunday: 10 miles on canal.

Total: 38.5 miles, 120 min XT

This week, I had running buddies for every run!  It was a really nice change.  I was surprised to look at my watch on Monday to see a 7:27 average pace, so we made a conscious effort to go very easy on Thursday and still ran 7:42…what a change from last year!  Thursday was a really long day- run in the morning, 5 hours of working the summer afternoon rush at the ice cream store, and a cross train in the afternoon.

On Wednesday, I biked for an hour in the morning and then went on a DC date at night and walked 5ish miles around all the monuments.  It was worth it!

Friday’s run was insanely hilly, but I felt good!  Rachel has to run at 6:30 am every day, so I woke up at 5:55 and was home by 8.  My legs were trashed afterwards, and I took a nap before 10 am 😉

Sunday’s long run was not great.  My legs, especially the quads, felt heavy right from the beginning, and that, combined with the heat and humidity, made for a 10-mile struggle.  Oh, well.

Overall, it was a solid week of training.  My body needs to get used to an additional 20-30 hours of standing/working on top of training, though.  I also need to sleep more!  And possibly add in some easier runs since going 7:15-7:30 pace on every run is probably unnecessary.

Nutrition: Not bad.  Could be better.  But life is short 😉  Loving avocados, eggs, and Ezekiel sprouted grain bread right now, and forcing myself to love cottage cheese.

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And strawberry shortcake.  And slutty brownies. Whoops 😉

The upcoming week brings 47 miles and *only* 90 minutes of cross training!  We’re getting back up to what was my peak mileage during track season, except right now it’s all in the form of maintenance runs.

PS: My friend got first-team All-American at NCAAs!!!!!!!!!!

How do we handle bad days?

Damn, my last post was so optimistic and positive!  Sorry in advance for the negativity today, but I hope I can come to some good conclusions.

On Monday, I ran six miles with my friend, and we hammered.  We were hitting 7:00 flat.  I was not recovering from my long run.  I skipped the strides just because they didn’t fit in to where I had run, and I did upper body circuits and abs when I got home.  I’ve recently been really into Siggi’s yogurt, and I tried the orange and ginger flavor for post-run fuel.  It was incredible.IMG_8687.JPG

Yesterday started out mediocre and turned horrible, both running and otherwise.  After some emotionally traumatizing family issues last night, I went to bed emotionally and physically exhausted, slept badly and wasn’t particularly in the mood to work out.  The temperature rocketed up to a sunny 80 degrees (what happened to last Friday’s ice storm??), I sat in the car for two hours while taking my mom to the airport, and I was annoyed at having to bear more responsibility for my brothers and the house this week.  Not an ideal way to get ready for a workout.

The workout was simple: 4 x 1600m at 6:00-6:10 with 1 minute recovery.  I warmed up for 20 minutes, did drills and strides, and started the workout.  My first 1600 was a 6:06 and felt fine, although once I stopped, my heart was pounding really hard.  I took 90 seconds and started the second 1600.  This one was immediately bad; my legs wouldn’t move, I was nauseous due to the heat and got even more upset because of that, and it escalated.  I think I hit like a 6:35 or 6:40.

I called my coach, and she told me to get off the track and do a fartlek of 4-3-2-2-1-1 minutes with half-time recovery.  I ran 5 minutes to the bike path and did the fartlek, but I could tell early on that the heat was really getting to me.  (Remember how much trouble I had once it started getting warmer last year?)  After barely completing the second 2-minute interval, I cut off the 1 minute intervals and jogged back to the track.  Guzzled water and jogged a 1.5 mile cool down for a total of 9ish miles today.

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I only had time for 5 minutes of lunges and squats and no stretching before I had to get in the car and go pick up my brother.  I wolfed down a cookies and cream Quest bar, hopped on the highway, and sat in front of his school for 20 minutes with no one answering their phones before I learned that he was at home the whole time!  So I was sedentary for 50 minutes right after a horrible workout for no reason.  My mood worsened.  I sped out of the middle school and stretched and took an ice bath the second I got home.

Anyway, yesterday was definitely not the best day.  But it’s important to stay positive.  I’ve already recognized the factors contributing to the shitty day: heat, hammering my maintenance run yesterday, sitting in the car, emotional trouble, etc.  But hey, at least I got some work in!  Even if it wasn’t quality work.  And I’ve been doing really well with balancing mostly quality foods with rare indulgences recently, and I’ll continue to drink lots of water, and try to get some sleep and recover well so that the next workout is better.

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We can’t control everything, and sometimes things just don’t go our way.  But we can make sure to do well at the things we can control: fueling properly, going to bed at a reasonable time, staying off of social media (I need to work on this!), and working through our emotions (I need to work on this, too!)  I’m a little bitter that this spring break isn’t going to be as “spring break”-y because I’m essentially stuck babysitting my brothers all week, but I need to get over that and focus on everything I’m lucky to have.

Last night’s dinner of leftover butternut squash/kale/Gruyere casserole, roasted pork, roasted sweet potatoes with cinnamon and coconut oil, and (unpictured) mini heirloom tomatoes cheered me up slightly 🙂

First college race! and dead legs

Hey guys!  I’m currently lying in my bed eating popcorn, dark chocolate, and microwaved cinnamon apples.  I’m a little too tired to go out tonight, so it’s just a quiet night with my sick roommate, food, and a sushi documentary on Netflix.  I thought I’d spend this time talking about some recent running things!

On Tuesday, I had my first college race!  We didn’t really treat it like a race- more like a hard workout effort.  The meet was a strange format where we divided up into two-person relay teams and each leg raced a 3k, then a 2k.  So the race was 3k-3k-2k-2k for a total of 10k.

We ran two miles in the morning to prep for the evening race.   It was 95 degrees and very humid when we arrived at the race venue, which was an extremely hilly park used for religious retreats, I think. I didn’t feel very good on the warm-up.

The first of my two relay legs (3k) wasn’t great.  I was caught completely off guard by the most monstrous hill I’ve ever seen/run on!  First time I’ve ever walked in a race. 😉  I recovered while my relay partner was running her 3k leg.

Freshmen ran unattached, so I did not wear a uniform

Living that unattached life

I started my second leg a bit behind the rest of my workout group, so the first part of my 2k leg was spent catching up to them.  I passed some of them right before I hit the monstrous hill for the second time, and I’m proud to say I successfully ran strong up the entire hill!  My second leg felt much better than the first.

After that, we did 5 x 1:00 hard, :30 easy, with the hard minute around 5k race pace.  Followed that up with about a 1.5 mile cool down, so in total I ran about 10 miles on Tuesday.


Today, we had another pace run!  We warmed up for a little less than 3 miles (7:30 pace) until we got to the park/rec area where we were doing our workout.  After drills and strides, we got started!  My workout group was supposed to do 4 miles at 6:30 pace with a slightly faster finish, but we started out conservatively because it was 88 degrees and humid.  Our splits ended up being 6:35, 6:35, 6:38, 6:18.  The last mile was really hard, but I’m happy with the time!  My legs have been dead all week (trying not to dwell on it), and I thought about quitting multiple times throughout this pace run, but I finished strong with my group.  We cooled down for a little less than 3 miles at about 8:55 pace, and some of us went to Wawa for chocolate milkshakes before stretching, ice bathing, and doing core.

After a workout like that, I’m always ravenous, so I’ve been eating nonstop for about four hours.  I had the post-workout milkshake, multiple plates of chicken, rice, baked potato, chili, and carrots at dinner, a berry smoothie, and of course all the popcorn, dark chocolate, and cinnamon apples.  Living the good life.

I have three miles and yoga tomorrow and ten miles on Sunday.  My weekly mileage will end up being around 45 (plus 90-100 minutes of cross training)!  As I mentioned before, I’ve been feeling pretty dead this week, but I’m trying not to worry about it since it’s kind of expected with a complete routine upheaval, much more walking, a lot more “little things” like activation drills and hurdle drills, a new diet, a new sleep schedule, and a new workload.  Phew!  My workout buddy (who’s a junior) said it takes most people at least a few weeks to adjust.

I’ll try really hard to not let this tiredness get to my head.  And now…sleep!