Summer Training Week 1: Study abroad version

Happy Sunday, friends!¬† I know in years past I’ve started the weekly summer training recaps a little earlier in the summer, but our new coach and my injury comeback have resulted in this past week marking “Week 1” of summer 2018 cross country training ūüôā¬† My recaps will obviously look a little different than the past 3 years because I am not just building mileage and starting workouts; I’m starting to just be able to¬†run¬†again!¬† Also, I’m limited in the quantity of what I can do on the weekends by our travel plans and the fact that the gym is closed on Sundays (“Long run” day).

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Our hike in M√°laga

Week 1 (6/4-6/10)

  • Monday:¬†AM: Walk-to-run (5 min walk, 6 x [2 min walk, 2:30 run], 5 min walk) + 30 min stationary bike.¬† PM: Circuits + 30 min bike.
  • Tuesday:¬†55 min bike with pick-ups.
  • Wednesday:¬†AM: Walk-to-run (5 min walk, 6 x [2 min walk, 3 min run], 5 min walk) + 30 min bike.¬† PM: 30 min XT (20 bike, 10 erg) + full body lift.
  • Thursday:¬†AM: 60 min bike.¬† PM: lots of walking in M√°laga.
  • Friday: AM: Walk-to-run (5 min walk, 7 x [3 min run, 2 min walk], 5 min walk).¬† Later: 8 miles of hiking/walking in M√°laga.
  • Saturday:¬†off but walked almost 6 miles around M√°laga
  • Sunday:¬†70 minute aqua jog in the ocean

Total: 7 running miles + 305 min XT + 8 walk/hike miles I’m counting

I’m not really sure how much to count the “walking miles” (like the “walk” portion of walk-to-run, and the hike) so I’ll just count a portion of them, haha ūüôā

This was the second week of my walk-to-run program.¬† My athletic trainer sent me a plan at the beginning of the semester that I have been adjusting a little bit because it was made for people that have been out for 8+ weeks.¬† I don’t want to be too aggressive, but I think I can build up to “real” runs a little quicker than the plan entails.

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The beach in M√°laga at “golden hour”

I was planning on doing a full-on bike workout on Tuesday, but my body felt pretty terrible, so I struggled through a regular bike session with some pick-ups.  I felt a lot better on Wednesday, and I even tried out the erg machine for the first time!

On Thursday, I used the elliptical for the first time in forever (during my injury, my doctor told me I was not allowed to use the elliptical), and it was noticeably harder on my foot than the bike but I enjoyed standing nonetheless.  After a viciously difficult exam on Thursday, three of my friends and I jetted off to Málaga for the weekend.

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Friday brought another walk-to-run and then a long day of hiking and exploring.  I crashed in the afternoon but revived for a trip to the beach and a late dinner.  It was nice to cook in our Airbnb!  We made a classic appetizer of toast with tomato and olive oil, followed by the main dish of pesto pasta with sautéed zucchini, carrots, spinach, and tofu.

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I took Saturday off from training, but we still walked almost 6 miles.¬† The day’s adventures included a sunset catamaran cruise, dolphin sightings,¬†The Parent Trap,¬†and midnight ice cream and birthday cake.

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Unfortunately, due to a sleep-mate issue, I hardly slept this weekend.  Also, we had a little bit of a fiasco this morning before we left to catch our train.  We got back around 1 pm, I hightailed it to the ocean and aqua jogged for 70 minutes, and as a result of all of the above, I feel sick and have completely slacked on the stretching.

Overall, this was a decent “first week” of training!¬† While I lacked workout efforts, I had a good lift and increased my running and made it through a long-ish aqua jog alone today ūüôā

However, I reaffirmed for myself that I strongly prefer sleep and stretching over late nights and too much alcohol.¬† M√°laga was super fun and I have no regrets, but I’m excited to¬†rest and fuel my body well!

Things I did well:

  • Sticking to my walk-to-run schedule
  • Self-motivation during the week
  • Listening to my body and resting when it didn’t want to double or lift

Things I would like to do this coming week:

  • Be kinder to myself about my body
  • Don’t overindulge based on peer pressure
  • Spend less time perusing Instagram.¬† Do yoga/meditation instead ūüôā
  • Sleep, stretch, and roll more!
  • Increase running but stay patient.¬† And actually do your rehab exercises.

Until next week, folks!

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Backpacking Trip

My family¬†loves¬†hiking, backpacking, camping, and anything related to the outdoors. ¬†We usually go out to California and Mount Whitney¬†¬†during the summer, but unfortunately we won’t be able to do that that this summer. ¬†Also, with everyone’s packed schedules, it’s difficult to find a period of time where more than one person is free! ¬†So last Wednesday, when we discovered that I had two off days from work in a row at the same time that my brother had finished his junior year of high school and didn’t have any pressing commitments for a whopping 48 hours, we decided to take a quick backpacking trip!

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We made a quick grocery run to get snacks and packed up our packs.  I packed a backpacking tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, food and water, and all the necessary miscellaneous items.  My brother opted for a hammock and tarp cover.  The forecast called for rain, so we sort of prepared.

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I ran 6 miles on Thursday morning before we headed out on our adventure. ¬†An hour into the drive, my brother went, “I forgot my hiking boots!”

Genius.

So…our two-hour drive took four hours. ¬†But we got there eventually. ¬†We parked the car at the base of the trail and started the hike. ¬†Since there was no water source where we were going to camp, we had to carry all the water we would need. ¬†Our packs were just a little heavy!

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The hike we decided to do was 10 miles total, with a campsite and beautiful mountainous overlook located close to the summit. ¬†It was 3.5 hard, hard miles one way, and 6.5 on the other side. ¬†We chose to do the 3.5 on the first day. ¬†5 minutes after we started, I sank into a giant muddy swamp. ¬†Off to a great start ūüėČ

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The hike up brought all sorts of terrain, ranging from flowery meadows to rock scrambles to wooded greenery.

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We had to work on the steep rocky inclines, but nothing compares to attacking a particularly hard incline and victoriously reaching the top, soaked in sweat, breathing hard, but triumphant.

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We reached the campsite after about an hour and a half, and trekked out to the overlook to take in the views before setting up camp and (just me) wolfing down like three Clif bars.

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Happy to be at the top!

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The set-up:

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That night, we built a campfire and roasted sun-dried tomato chicken sausages over the fire.  I had mac and cheese, and my brother made ramen and instant mashed potatoes, which he promptly spilled all over his Birkenstocks.

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We kept the fire going as it got dark and did dorky things like listen to our old marching band showcase music and sing along to some oldies.

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Eventually, the fire burned down to embers, and we went to bed. ¬†It was incredibly windy, and heavy rain hit the mountain around 4 am. ¬†I don’t think I got much, if any, sleep, but it was an otherworldly experience.

In the morning, we woke to find that we were essentially in the middle of a cloud.  It was humid, hazy, and the rain had left all the plant life glowing vibrantly green.  We made breakfast, broke camp, and went back out to the overlook to appreciate the astonishing feeling of being in the middle of a cloud!

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Breakfast: instant oats, maple almond butter, and unpictured dried fruit

The views were even better than the day before.

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We started that day’s portion of the hike around 9:30 am. ¬†The first part of the hike was a short, moderately steep incline to the top of the mountain, and then we began the descent. ¬†It was amazing to see the changes in terrain as we descended in elevation! ¬†Rocky dirt paths changed to vibrant wooded forests, swampy bogs, fern-covered woods with streams, flowery meadows, and more muddy forests. ¬†It was incredible.

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It took us about two and a half hours to complete the hike.  Afterwards, we were so hungry that we stopped on the way home and inhaled an enormous pizza in less than ten minutes.

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All in all, this spontaneous backpacking trip was hard, sweaty, smelly, and loads of fun. ¬†There’s nothing like carrying everything you need to survive on your person. ¬†Hard hiking is cathartic. ¬†I encourage everyone who is able to get outside and away from the city for at least a little while. ¬†I wish I could do it more often! ¬†That’s one of the things I think I will do frequently once I finish my collegiate running career ūüôā

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!

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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 clich√© 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.

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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 ūüėČ ¬†This week, I made the pancakes mentioned in the last post…

Lentil stew stuffed sweet potatoes from The Cutting Veg

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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!

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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.

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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!

Sunday Long Run + Food

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

Ouch. ¬†I’m feeling a 9 pm bedtime…

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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

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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 ūüėČ ¬†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.

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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.

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

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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. 

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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.

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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 ūüėČ , 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”

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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!