400 meter repeats

Greetings from my bed, where I will be spending the rest of this #lit Friday night.  I don’t have class on Fridays, so after completing a quick two-mile shakeout and savoring the luxury of having time to make my favorite oatmeal breakfast, I spent a quality day with my accounting textbook, legal textbook, and Spanish paper before heading to practice.

We had a track workout today (my first full one back!), and afterwards a group of us went out to dinner! Dinner was delicious, and not what I usually eat!– I had a gyro on pita with lots of tzatziki sauce, a mountain of french fries with ketchup, and a cannoli– but I think I went a little overboard with the dairy today.  That, coupled with a hard track effort and first ice bath in awhile, has made my stomach feel less than stellar.  So I’m just going to drink some tea and watch Chicago Fire and get ready for the long run bright and early tomorrow morning 🙂


(Stole this photo from my friend’s Facebook)

Anyway!  Today’s track workout marked the first full workout I’ve done in three weeks!  On Tuesday, one of my teammates and I did 5 x 800 (2:55, 2:52, 2:51, 2:51, 2:50) and felt good about the paces but was sore for days afterwards.  But that was not quite a full workout 😉  Today, most of the team was either doing their pre-meet run and strides in preparation for their races tomorrow, but five of us were on the track.

The workout was straightforward: 20 minute warm-up; drills; strides; 3 sets of [4×400] with a lap on the turf in between sets; 3 mile cool down.  The first set was at 5k pace (82) with 60 seconds recovery, second set was at 3k pace (78) with 90 seconds recovery, and last set was around mile pace or faster (76) with 2 minutes recovery.

Set 1: 81, 82, 81, 81
Set 2: 78, 76, 76, 77
Set 3: 76, 76, 76, 72

It was very gray and gloomy the whole time, but we had a blast.  I was very pleased with the workout.  It was definitely hard and a bit of a shock to these legs that have gotten complacent with being slow-twitch over the past three weeks, but I felt comfortable hitting the times!  Our group of three worked very well together, and the longer rest really helped us continue to feel good as the intervals got faster.

On the last interval, our coach had all five of us start together in a kind of “free for all”, and they took it out hard.  The last 150 was one of the longest 150 meter stretches I’ve ever run in my life.  The lactic acid was brutal… But I split a 72, so that was a nice rust-buster!  If only I could hold that for 7.5 laps to run a 9:00 3k 😉 (or even just one 4:48 mile would be nice.)


Also stolen from friend’s Facebook

Total mileage for the day was around 11, counting the morning shakeout.  Working out with teammates is awesome.  I love it.  I missed it so much.  Today was a surprise confidence booster and showed me that my fitness is still in a good place.  See- pool workouts really do work!!


Last week before REGIONALS

Happy Sunday!  I spent the morning at a new cafe across from my dorm reading about devalorized femininity in the military and studying for an accounting midterm.  The coffee shop’s aesthetic was amazing; the prices and products, not so much.  This afternoon will be spent checking more things off the to-do list but also relaxing 🙂

The past week has been interesting.  Physically, both my workouts were good and my runs felt fine.  I belatedly switched to new trainers and SuperFeet inserts, so my legs and feet have been sore.  Emotionally, I was a little bit rollercoaster-y.  Gotta love feelings :/

Week of 10/31-11/6:

  • M: AM: 3 miles + core.  Started using new shoes.  PM: 2 lap w/u, speed ladder, hurdle drills, 7 miles, 4 x 150 strides, pull-ups/push-ups/dips, 10 min yoga.
  • T: 20 min w/u, drills, strides, 2 miles controlled up-tempo (~12 min?), 6 min run back to track, 2 x [1000, 600] with 2 min rec.  3:30, 2:00, 3:29, 2:00.  Felt pretty controlled.  3 mile c/d, lower body lift in weight room.
  • W: 5 miles trails + core.  PM: massage on tight quads and calves.
  • Th: AM: 2 lap w/u, speed ladder, hurdle drills, 7 miles, 6 x 100 strides, upper body lift in weight room.  PRed in amount of unassisted chin-ups (17 out of 24) and underhand cable row!  (The next day I was very sore.)  PM: 3 miles
  • F: 20 min w/u, drills, strides, 2 x 800 w/ 200 recovery run (2:48, 2:49), 3 x [4 x 400] w/ 60s rest first set, 90s second set, and 2:00 last set.  [80, 78, 77, 77], [76, 75, 75, 76], [75, 75, 75, 75]. Very windy!  Focused on cycling/turning over quickly.  3 mile c/d
  • Sat: shorter long run 9-10 miles.  Not great.
  • Sun: off
Total: 54ish miles.
Both my workouts were good; it’s fun being able to hit paces you couldn’t hit even a few weeks ago!  On the other hand, Saturday’s (shorter) long run was pretty bad.  But afterwards, my teammate’s parents hosted a delicious brunch at their cute house.  Bagels, banana bread, fruit, yogurt, spreads, French toast bake, coffee, amazing apple cider melded with orange zest…  And their house was straight out of a Pottery Barn catalogue.

PSA: My mom finished her first marathon!  She is officially a marathoner 🙂


The finish of the 2016 Marine Corps Marathon

Another highlight from the past week includes the best oats of my life:


The secrets to the best oats ever:  Use almond milk, and cook shredded apple directly into the oatmeal.  I microwaved 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and a splash of vanilla extract halfway, added the shredded apple, and finished cooking the oats.  I then added cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and the rest of the apple.  They were unbelievably creamy and amazing.

Last night, my roommate and I cooked dinner in the dorm before going to see “The Girl on the Train.”  I read the book so I knew what was coming, but the ending…damn.  It was cringe-worthy in the best way.

Dinner: pan-seared steak, spaghetti squash with basil/onion marinara, sauteed zucchini, and roasted Brussels sprouts.

We leave for NCAA D1 Regionals in just a few days, and I couldn’t be more excited!  I can’t believe it’s almost here!

Intervals and Fall Festivities

Good morning!  I hope everyone is having a great Sunday.  After a few weeks of nice, cool weather, the temperatures rocketed back up to the 80s throughout the past week, which was less than ideal.  Luckily, they’re trending back down, and it is currently 56 degrees and sunny in the ‘burg.  I’m currently hanging in my favorite coffee shop, and I thought I’d take a break from reviewing for my Gender in Society midterm to catch up on what I’ve been up to.


On Friday afternoon, we worked out on the track…but it was probably the worst workout day we have had as a team this season.  Almost everyone struggled- some had breathing issues, some didn’t feel well, etc.

The workout: 7 x 1000 with the first two close to threshold pace, the next two a bit faster, the fifth one “controlled all-out”, and the last two a bit slower.  We also ran 2 very controlled 200s (38-40 seconds) before starting the 1000s.

I hit 3:31, 3:36, 3:36, and my peroneals were burning up a storm.  So I ran the fourth one clockwise in lane 3 alone…didn’t help.  It was my slowest.  I think I ran above 3:40.  No good.  I was pissed off that the workout wasn’t going to plan, so I reset mentally and got ready for the “controlled all-out” portion.  Focused on quick turnover and ran 3:26- hey, at least it was faster than the others!  I hit 3:36 and 3:33 for my last two to at least finish off the workout strong.

The positive news- I’d never done 7 x 1000 in my life, so even though the first half of the workout sucked, I was proud that I rallied in the second half, even if the paces weren’t quite there!

The past 36 hours have been jam-packed with amazingly cliché fall activities 🙂  To decompress after the workout, I cooked an amazing dinner alone in the dorm kitchen.  Pan-seared steak, sauteed spinach, brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes, all with olive oil, pepper, and garlic salt.  Afterwards, I went to my friends’ apartment and made some gigantic homemade chocolate peanut butter cups while we watched “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days.”

Saturday’s long run was quite rough, as I felt nauseous and cut it short at 10 miles.  Afterwards, though, one of my friends and I had a spontaneously lovely morning of brunch, the farmer’s market, and peanut shop samples 🙂


The afternoon was spent on the ferry and at the pumpkin patch, and some of us went out to dinner to celebrate my friend’s 21st birthday!


I should probably continue to study for my midterm, so that’s all for now.  I’m taking a complete off day today as I already hit about 55 miles for the week and should probably not go higher than that.  The conference race is this coming Saturday already!  Yesterday was chock-full of indulgences (pumpkin pie, cappuccinos, bacon, molten chocolate lava cake!), so it’s back on the healthy train until Saturday at least 😉

It’s been a great weekend with lovely friends, a bit of drama, beautiful weather, sweaters, and fall fun.

Travel adventures

(This was written yesterday evening)

Happy hump day! My team is currently en route to Penn State, where ten men and ten women will be racing on Friday. The WiFi on the bus isn’t working, so I can’t do homework…what a shame, right 😉


Fall break was fun! (I do have a ridiculous travel story.) I took another complete off day on Sunday, so most of the day was spent doing some of my favorite activities. My mom was doing her longest long run of marathon training (23 miles!!), so I met her about 5 miles in to pick up my dog and deliver her water belt and sunglasses.

fullsizerenderAfterwards, I made pumpkin waffles for breakfast and then went to my favorite farmer’s market! I also had brunch at a favorite hipster coffee place with one of my good friends. Afterwards, I went to Trader Joe’s and Victoria’s Secret (hey, gotta take advantage of the 7/$27.50 sale while it lasts!).

Lunch: lemon blueberry scone, almond milk cappuccino, and a spinach, cheddar, and poached egg breakfast sandwich on a honey IPA roll. Not exactly the most balanced meal, but it was amazing.

Anyway, travel story: I was supposed to be back on campus by Sunday night, since we had morning practice on Monday and Tuesday. So I made plans to take the train back on Sunday night. Unfortunately, I ended up getting on the wrong train (I got to the station right as the train was loading, and it matched my ticket so I got on). The conductor didn’t check tickets for a while, and at some point I noticed that we were going too far west. When he did check tickets, he said I was on the wrong train and that he would sort it out. I’m not the type of person to freak out over travel disruptions, and I figured I’d get to my destination eventually, so I just stayed calm.

The conductor came back and said I should get off at the next stop and he had rerouted my ticket for a bus that would take me halfway to my destination, and then there would be another bus that would take me the rest of the way. At this point, we were about two hours into the journey. I got off the train at the next stop, and sure enough, there was a bus that took me to the next point. However, when I got to the station and asked the clerk about the next bus, she looked at me funny and said, “I don’t know why they told you that. There’s a train tomorrow morning, but no bus tonight.”


 At this point, it was 9 pm, and I was stranded two-thirds of the way to campus. Still wasn’t freaking out, though, because luckily my roommate lives close to where I was.   She was already on campus, but I called her parents and spent the night at their house. Took the train the next morning, so I missed practice, but at least I eventually got to campus!

So, yeah. While fall break was relaxing schoolwork-wise, it was a tiny bit stressful travel-wise 😉 Oh, well! It was great to be home for a little bit.

Tuesday’s workout- the last before Penn State- went pretty well. We warmed up for 3 miles and then did 2×400, 5×800, 4×400 on an 800m grass field. With the grass, we were a little slower than on a track. We were a few seconds off the range that the coaches gave us, but we stayed consistent, and I thought we did well.


Splits: 82, 82, 2:53, 2:53, 2:53, 2:57, 2:54, 81, 80, 79, 79. Personally, the fourth 800 was a struggle, but I pulled it together for the fifth one. We had 60 seconds of rest between the first set of 400s and 90 seconds between everything else (except for 2 minutes before the last 400).

This morning, I ran 5 miles on the trails, and I was definitely tired from the workout. That’s okay, though.

Side note: guess who’s gone 5 straight days without Wawa (me)! I’ve stuck to my 8 oz coffee limit for almost a week. Yesterday, I didn’t even have any. #killingit

One of my top 5 hardest workouts

(OK, I actually did write this post this morning; I just forgot to publish it.)

Good morning!  It’s a beautiful spring day, I just finished my 3-mile double, and I thought I’d talk about Tuesday’s track workout while I eat a lovely breakfast of Greek yogurt, Wawa coffee, oatmeal with apple/chia seeds/almond butter/cinnamon, and of course my daily multivitamin.  No class until 12:30. 🙂


Oatmeal is THE ugliest food ever but still so good

All right!  Tuesday’s workout…Let’s just say I have no trouble recalling the experience because my body still despises me two days later.

The (good? bad?) thing about getting fitter and faster is that your coaches will adjust your workout paces accordingly.  On Tuesday, I was put in sort of a new workout group.  We went out for our 3 mile warm-up and then did drills and strides before our coach told us the workout.

5 x 400 at 77-75 seconds, 4 x 800 at 2:38, 4-5 x 400 at 77-75 seconds


What actually happened: 5 x 400 at 76-75 seconds, 3 x 800 at 2:43, 2:47, 2:48, 1 x 600 at 2:04, 4 x 400 at 78, 77, 76, 76

By the time the first 5 x 400 was over, it felt like I’d already done an entire workout, and we were less than 1/3 done.  Our coach told us to hit 79 for each lap of the 800s (um, what), but I’m pretty sure the only time I ran 79 was the first lap of the first 800.  Each one after that got slower and slower.  And they were still fairly faster than I’m used to!  By the third 800, my legs were immovable logs and I was pretending the 800s were 600s because the last 200 doesn’t matter amirite 😉  So I’d get to 600m and then just death-march the last 200.  My coach modified my 4th 800 to a 600 (bless).

Am I being dramatic?

For the last set of 400s, she had us do the first two backwards on the track, which was pretty weird.  I led the last three 400s and at that point I was just riding the pain train home.  We hit 78, 77, 76, and 76.

After a 3 mile cool down in which we were so destroyed that we were babbling nonsensically, we completed a leg lift and then stretched, rolled, and ice bathed.


Choosing my post-workout treat was hard (I chose a truffle)

The next morning, my roommate and I both woke up to cross train, fairly hobbled to the rec, and I sat at the edge of the pool for a little bit because I just could. not. get. in. Everything hurt.  I felt like a zombie.  But this is the work that will give us an edge in future races!

natalie email.png

In my meeting with my coach yesterday, she brought up a really good point (see above).  I’m at an entirely new fitness level for myself right now.  While the paces she gives me may sound scary, she gives them to me because she thinks/knows I can hit them.  Just because I’ve never run that fast before doesn’t mean I can’t do them now.  I need to work on believing in myself in races and in workouts when I get to the point where I can either make a move or stay where I am.  In this new fitness territory, it’s all about confidence!

Kickass track workout (+ macronutrient update)

GuEsS wHaT!  I had an amazing track workout today.

The workout:

  • 3 mile warm-up, dynamic drills, strides
  • 5 x 1000m, 5 x 400m progressively faster with 2 minutes rest
  • 3 mile cool down
  • leg lift

I hit 3:40, 3:39, 3:39, 3:38, 3:37 for the 1000s and then ran 81, 79, 77, 75, 73.9 for the 400s.  It. Was. Awesome!  The weather was pretty much perfect, and I felt really good throughout the whole workout, and my roommate and I twinned.IMG_4156.jpg

I think being back on campus with the whole team really helped everybody out today.  Running last week was sub-par, and my workouts were trash.  I arrived back on campus on Sunday morning and did eleven miles by myself on some of the sidewalks and trails in the area.  It was a decent solo run, even though I cheated and brought my iPod for some jams.

Just being in a workout group today, with the coaches on the track and the whole team working so hard, made it so much easier and more fun to get through the whole workout.  Everyone was super supportive of each other, it was 70 degrees and sunny, and we finally have most of the team working out and/or getting healthy after an indoor season plagued by injury and illness.  Our first outdoor meet is this Saturday, and we’re all working toward a common goal.

Days like today don’t come around that often, but it was a great first workout back on campus.  I adore being on campus and being in a routine with the whole team here.  I don’t want to go home for the summer! 😉

Tangentially, we’re going to take a minute to admire my new nut butter acquisitions.  I went a little bit crazy over spring break.  Some of it was on sale, okay…


Tragically, I left the maple almond butter and vanilla almond butter at home.  But the chocolate coconut peanut butter, which I’d never had before either, is holy-crap-amazing.  I am partial to just plain creamy unsalted almond butter and peanut butter, though.  Why mess with a good thing?

Also, since I like to be relatively transparent, here’s my nutrition update:  I have been roughly tracking my macronutrients recently.  Our coach had a talk with us last month about the “right” carbohydrate-fat-protein ratio and how we should be consuming 40% carbs, 30% fat, and 30% protein.  Well, I tried that- or at least, I tried 45% carbs, 30% fat, and 25% protein because I couldn’t quite make myself hit 40-30-30- and yeah, I don’t think it’s for me.  My energy levels were in the toilet (which was also probably due to upping my training intensity at the same time I decreased carbs and increased protein).


Some kick-ass steak and chicken kebabs from last week

Macronutrient percentages are not a one-size-fits-all type of deal.  Not all athletes thrive on 40-30-30.   I changed mine to about 50% carbs, 30% fat, and 20% protein, and that’s been working a lot better for me.  Remember, this is just a rough estimate.  Some days, I do end up with a 40-30-30 balance.  Other days I eat 35% fats because #peanutbutter.  Some days (like today!) close to 60% of my calories come from carbohydrates because a) all the food in the caf sucked so I had pasta and salad all day and b) uh, all I craved after today’s workout were fruits and vegetables (aka carbs!!)


Anyway, that’s my nutrition update!  Lesson- don’t stress about hitting macronutrient goals because your body needs will fluctuate to go along with your physical activity.

As I mentioned before, our first outdoor meet is this weekend!  I’m running the 3k on Saturday, and today’s workout was a nice confidence booster for the race.  Towards the end of last week, I was feeling very negative and not “race ready”, but there’s not too much pressure for this race since it’s an outdoor rust-buster.

The Great Treadmill Adventure

Happy National Peanut Butter Day!!  I celebrated by eating peanut butter multiple times today, but my favorite was homemade pumpkin cinnamon peanut butter on a bagel (I just mixed peanut butter, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon).  So good.


Well, I can’t say my second semester of college got off to a great start, but it was decent enough.

Especially when the blizzard hit!

Okay, so we only got 5 or 6 inches, unlike the DC area that got clobbered with multiple feet.  My mom sent me this picture of my dog on the front walk:


This week was filled with ice skating (and practically getting frostbite) with my wonderful friends…


…staying at the caf way too long talking…


…pumpkin pie oatmeal at 11:30 pm…


…shin pain, snow, catching up with teammates, etc!

Anyway, running was okay this week.  We did a track workout on Tuesday, and after no!! shin!! pain!! all of break, including track workouts, the burning/aching came back halfway through the workout.  I finished it, but it hurt a lot.  I’ve been going to the trainer and doing hip strengthening and stability in case the problem is stemming from my hips, and I will look into orthotics.  Not sure why my legs are complaining now after four years of indoor and outdoor track– you’d think they’d be used to the, uh, track by now!

We did a spirit day for the track workout: Crazy socks!


20 minutes warm-up, 4 x 400 @ 81-82 w/ 1 minute rest, 3 x 800 @ 2:44-2:47 w/ 2 minutes rest, 4 x 400 @ 80-82 w/ 1 minute rest, 20 minutes cool down.  We also got a lap between sets.  Total = 9 miles.

The coaches stressed, “Get into a rhythm” for this workout.  The 800s were supposed to be the same pace as the 400s, which is definitely faster than the 800s I did over break!  We were supposed to start at a 400 pace we could hold for the whole workout and just keep it consistent and strong.  The first 800 was on pace (2:44), but the next two were about a second slow per lap (2:46 and 2:47) and pretty tiring.  During the last set of 400s, my shin was really bothering me, but I held it together through the end with only one “eh” 400 (#3 was an 83).  Also, my workout group started at five and dwindled to only two survivors by the end!  Oh, well.  It was still satisfying, and I felt like I was in a good place in-shape-wise.

The ice bath in the arctic tundra afterwards was less than fun, but we stayed warm with $.79 any size coffee/hot chocolate from Wawa 😉


This week:

Monday: 6 miles, drills, strides, upper body strength circuit
Tuesday: workout listed above, legs strength circuit
Wednesday: 60 minutes cross training (bike), abs
Thursday: 6 miles trails, drills, strides, upper body strength circuit
Friday: off, abs
Saturday: 45-50 minute pool workout (intervals)
Sunday: 11 miles @ 7:30-7:15 on the treadmill

Total: 32 miles running, 110 minutes XT

I was supposed to race the mile this weekend, so I was supposed to have 4 miles pre-meet on Friday and 9 miles total on Saturday.  However, my coaches changed my schedule to accommodate my shin pain and future family travel issues, and snow day closings led to an unprecedented off day on Friday, so my mileage was unfortunately pretty low.  I did a pool workout on Saturday.

It snowed pretty hard all day Saturday, so this morning I did an 11-mile long run on the treadmill.  Started at 8 mph, ended at 8.3 mph for an average pace in the 7:20s.  I’d never done more than 5 or 6 on the treadmill before, and I did twice that distance this morning!  Honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  Plugged in some great tunes, mostly zoned out, and got it done.  My shin aches a little bit now, but hopefully it will feel better in the coming days.


When cross country takes over the treadmills all day…

Sorry, gotta get our long runs in!

We have a delay tomorrow, so I only have one class.  Maybe tonight/tomorrow morning I’ll actually do some homework…maybe…



Running reunion

Two running reunions happened over the past few days!


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…


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.


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.


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

Tomorrow I have cross training!


In-season training week 4 (43 miles)

Sorry this post is six days late!

Week 4:

Monday 9/14: 6 miles @ 7:45 pace, drills, strides, strength circuit
Tuesday: 9 miles warm-up, workout, and cool-down.  Workout: 4 x [3:00 hard, 2:00 easy], 3 x [2:00 hard, 1:00 easy, 1:00 hard, 1:00 easy], 5 x [:30 hard, :30 easy]
Wednesday: 60 minutes cross training
Thursday: 3 miles, drills, strides, strength circuit
Friday: AM: 2 miles, PM: 20 minutes warm-up, drills, strides, 5k “race” (19:18), 5 x hill repeats, 20 minutes cool down.  Total: 11 miles
Saturday: 3 miles
Sunday: 11 miles @ 7:30 pace

Total: 43 miles running, 60 minutes cross training

Comments:  The majority of last week was really good!  My runs and workouts felt strong, and I surprised myself in the race.  On Sunday, I did my long run with a really big group of teammates.  We thought we were doing a loop, but we realized when we were six miles from the vans that there was no loop and we were on an out and back.  Six miles back.  Oops.  Four miles later, I felt a stretching, popping feeling behind my right knee, along with immediate pain.  I stopped and stretched and ran one more mile before the pain got too bad and I ended up walking the rest of the way back to the vans.  On the plus side, I set a personal distance record of over eleven miles! (I was only supposed to run ten.)  Of course, our recruit was also running in my group, so I had to clarify that we don’t usually get lost and run way more than we’re supposed to 😉

I have a ton of studying to do since I have three exams next week, so I’m going to get down to that and hopefully recap this past week tomorrow!


[First things first: my latest running news.

Friday: 6×800 between 2:57 and 3:01.  Saturday: 60 minutes (didn’t use my watch GPS so I have no idea what pace/how far I went).  Monday: 2×200 at 35, 36; 2×400 at 82, 77; 2×800 at 2:53, 2:52; 2×400 at 77, 81; 2×200 at strides pace.]

The majority of my spring break was pretty boring.  I make a to-do list every night for the next day, and my lists over spring break looked pretty much the same every day.  Example: “Make bed.  Fold laundry.  Breakfast: oatmeal.  6×800 and 8 minute abs.  Clean bathroom/kitchen/whatever.  Read anthro book.  Start math homework (that never happened).  Target: conditioner and mouthwash.  Make dinner/wash dishes.”


Yesterday was different.  Sundays are generally my rest days, so I didn’t have to run.  I woke up around 7:30, packed some food, printed out directions… and headed off with my friend to go skydiving!!!

As soon as my friend turned eighteen (three weeks ago), we wasted no time in planning this trip.  Skydiving is one of those things that goes on a bucket list and never gets checked off, but we were determined to check it off.

We got to the skydiving facility at 10:45 am; it consisted of a warehouse-like building, a small runway, several small planes, and a landing field.  We filled out the paperwork (“don’t sue us if you die”, basically), received some training…and then waited for 4 and a half hours.  Strong winds were responsible for one hour of that delay, but finally we tightened our jumpsuits, put on our helmet hats, and boarded the small plane.  There were two benches inside the plane, and the two of us (plus our instructors) were the only tandem jumpers in the group.


The jumpsuits aren’t exactly flattering 😉

We flew up to 14,000 feet, and the individual jumpers jumped first.  Finally, the only people left in the plane were our instructors, the camera/video guy, and us.


During the flight

Pretty much the only time I was a little apprehensive was at the end of the flight before we jumped.  Personally, it was more overwhelming to watch other people jump than to jump yourself!

My friend jumped before me, so my instructor and I were the last ones in the plane.  We crouched at the door, and then all of a sudden we jumped!


The first few seconds were exhilarating, but as we leveled out from vertical, I realized I couldn’t breathe.  Oops!  I didn’t enjoy the free fall as much as I should’ve because I was focused on the lack of oxygen in my lungs, but it was still a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  For some reason, falling through the air at 125 miles per hour didn’t scare me at all!

Side note: it is impossible to smile when your cheeks are being pressed up to your forehead.  The below picture is the only one where my face is not contorted into ridiculous positions 😉

IMG_5908After about a minute of free falling (which is a LONNNGGG time!), my instructor pulled the parachute and we swung up back to vertical and slowed down dramatically.


The scenic 5 minute parachute flight was much more…relaxing…than the free fall.  I could breathe!!  We floated about 4,000 feet down, complete with turns and spirals which were amazing.  The winds got pretty strong as we entered the last 500 feet or so, but my instructor managed to land us perfectly without any difficulty.

We hadn’t eaten lunch, so we stopped at Noodles and Company and then gorged ourselves on hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts! (Is there anything better than a hot Krispy Kreme doughnut…no)  My amazing friend did all the driving, and we got home around 8, when I promptly gorged myself on the lamb and potatoes and apple crisp that my mom had made for Easter dinner.

All in all, skydiving was pretty much the craziest thing I’ve ever done, and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again! (if I could afford to do it that often…)  I definitely need to work on my photogenic skydiving face, though!