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 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.

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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 😉  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!

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!!

Home!! + Belated Conference 5k Recap

I’m home!! After finishing my last final on Monday, I arrived home yesterday and have spent the past day setting up my (new) room!  I’ll post an update about that later.

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Empty dorm room

Anyway, I realized I never published a conference recap.  Here it is.

I did it.  I ran (and finished) the 5k at conferences.  It was nowhere near as fast as I wanted, it felt pretty darn horrible, but I finished 12.5 laps in 18:29.

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Race day twilight sky

We left campus last Thursday and drove four hours to the hosting school on a super cool double-decker bus!  We ate dinner at an Italian restaurant and went to the hotel, and I went to bed around 10:45.

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Top floor of the bus

Woke up on Friday (race day) around 7:30 and ate oatmeal, yogurt, peanut butter, banana, and a hard-boiled egg for breakfast.  We went to lunch at Panera, and I got the turkey cranberry flatbread and fuji apple chicken salad.  I was still very full for our shakeout two hours later, so that didn’t feel so great. 😅

I was having a hard time getting in the zone.  I was still distracted and didn’t have that “race day” feeling.  The negativity that had been with me for weeks hadn’t cleared up yet.

We got to the track, ,checked in and then went for our warm-up around 5:45.  I finally started feeling like it was race day during the warm-up!  My stomach didn’t feel good, but anything was better than two weeks ago, so I didn’t mind.  We did drills, strides, put on our race stickers and spikes, took off our pants, and went to the line.

The gun went off, and I immediately found myself in the second pack with my fellow freshman teammate.  I don’t know many of the splits, but our first 1000 was a 3:27 and our first mile was approximately 5:32.  Ideally, I would’ve been able to hold that, but the past few weeks have not been great for my body and I knew that was a little…ambitious.

From 5 laps on, I was obsessively counting laps and simultaneously trying not to.  I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t help it!  We passed 3k (time ??), and I started falling off the pack of four that I was in.  My cadence slowed, my arms got heavy…it was that infamous point in the 5,000 that I had yet to experience.

The last mile was a freaking disaster, but I eventually finished… (as I mentioned before, 18:29).

Afterwards, my head coach was so extremely supportive and encouraging that I almost started bawling.  I’m blessed to be on such a supportive team.

After the race, I promptly began stuffing my face with everything in sight.

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Team cookout on the way home!!

Saturday marked the beginning of the break between seasons 😉

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Track cookies

I’m proud that I qualified for conferences.  Overall, aside from some bumps in the road, freshman year running was really, really good.  I would have wanted to run 17:45, but that will come.  The past four or so days have been a little wild as I’ve started my break, hopped off the nutrition train, and moved home.  I’ll start cross country base training in a week or two, but right now I’m giving my body a break and doing nothing more than some yoga and core.  My posterior tibialis and calf have been bothering me for about four days, so I also have some ankle stability to complete.  But hopefully that will clear up during this break from running.

Freshman year of college: Check!