Snowy mile repeats (6:09, 6:02, 6:00, 5:57)

Today marked the first snow of the year! ¬†We had a workout on the schedule, but I’ve learned that the weather doesn’t care what your running plans are. ūüėČ ¬†The first flurries began to fall around 7 am and got progressively heavier as the day progressed.

My friend and I met up around 10:30 for our workout and ran three miles to the track to warm up. ¬†It was 20 degrees outside with a “real feel” of¬†eight. ¬†To these Virginians, that was like the arctic tundra! (I’m sure all the Midwesterners/Northerners out there are laughing at us, but so be it.)

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Sorry, my phone’s in Spanish, but I wasn’t lying about the eight degrees thing

I layered up in tights, a long-sleeve tech shirt, an ear warmer, a sweatshirt, and light gloves. ¬†My tightly tied sweatshirt hood did not leave my head the entire time, and my extremities quickly lost all feeling…

Keeping it real— honestly,¬†neither my running buddy nor I were¬†in the mood to do this workout. ¬†The weather didn’t help. ¬†I had a long day yesterday and actually fell asleep at 7:30 pm last night and woke up terribly disoriented two hours later. ¬†I was groggy and exhausted this morning and my piriformis was hurting a lot and I almost called my coach and asked if I could please not do today’s workout. ¬†We’ve both been working pretty much full-time throughout this entire break, and we sometimes feel burnt out. ¬†5 am solo runs get old¬†real quick.

But!! ¬†Knowing that I had a running buddy counting on me forced me to get out the door. ¬†And it’s not like this workout was optional. ¬†We got to the track, and there were only a few other crazy souls out there braving the elements. ¬†We did drills, and then it was time for the workout: 4-5 x mile with 2 minutes of recovery. ¬†We agreed to start conservatively, get through 4 miles, and only do the fifth one if we were feeling¬†amazing and if the weather cooperated.

The track got treacherous quickly as we went through the workout. ¬†The first two miles flew by with relative ease (6:09 and 6:02). ¬†My partner struggled to stay positive; the snow had picked up to the point where we couldn’t see anything, and the track was getting more and more slippery. ¬†My eyebrows and clothes¬†froze.

We hit 6:00 flat for the third mile, and I was feeling great! ¬†Compared to the very short recovery in the past few workouts, two minutes was a luxury. ¬†The last mile was a 5:57, and we called it a day because of the conditions on the track. ¬†I finished the workout feeling counterintuitively cheerful. ¬†It was eight degrees, blizzarding,¬†and by all accounts miserable outside, but I had just crushed a workout that I really hadn’t wanted to do! ¬†The effort had been comparatively conservative, too!

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The cool down was probably harder than the workout as the sidewalks had become un-runable over the past hour. ¬†It took us awhile to get back. ¬†But warming up inside afterwards was that much better. ūüôā ¬†I literally had icicles hanging from my eyelashes!!

Of course there will be some days where running just¬†sucks. ¬†It’s the nature of the beast. ¬†But most of the time, you feel drastically better after a run or workout than before! ¬†Getting out there is honestly the hardest part. ¬†I’m so thankful that I had a running buddy to brave the snow and crush the track workout with me today– without each other, we probably would’ve either laid in bed or cried through some repeats on the treadmill.

And afterwards, I got together with two of my best friends from high school before one of them leaves to go back to school tomorrow. ¬†We intended to play Scrabble and Bananagrams and do yoga, but we ended up just sitting and talking for two and a half hours! ¬†Why does that always happen?? ūüėČ

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The past month

Hi everyone! ¬†Sorry I haven’t blogged in a month! ¬†Training and life have both¬†been a little bit hectic due to various factors, but I have some spare time on this lovely Friday night, so I thought I’d catch up on life.

After the 6k in the middle of October, my coach told me that I had a choice. ¬†I was technically one of the¬†top 12¬†on the team and could therefore race at conferences, but I wouldn’t race at regionals because I wasn’t top seven. ¬†Therefore, I could either use a whole season of eligibility on one race, or I could redshirt. ¬†Since wasting an entire season of eligibility on one race where I wouldn’t even score didn’t make any sense at all, I chose to redshirt this cross country season.

The week or two following was filled with tons of amazing food, a visit from my best friend from home for homecoming, a trip across the river to the pumpkin patch, schoolwork, and low-key nights with the team as they prepared for conferences and regionals.  Good times.

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I love dogs (this dog lives at my friend’s house)

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Our new horse friend

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Pumpkin patch! The pumpkin ice cream there was AMAZING

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Halloween! Snow White and one of her dwarves, Sneezy (yes, there were seven dwarves)

The week after the 6k, I had a great mile repeats workout where I went 5:58, 5:50, 5:50, 5:50 on a not-completely-flat bike path.  It was hard but a great confidence booster!  I was in the best shape of my life.

Then, I got sick. ¬†I had a hacking cough, sore throat, fatigue,¬†and¬†I got my period at the same time, so it was one of the most miserable weeks of my life. ¬†I felt so poorly that my schoolwork/grades suffered. ¬†Guess it was a good decision not to¬†race at conferences! ūüėČ

After about a week, I was just getting worse, so I graduated from going to the athletic trainer to an actual doctor. ¬†He told me I had a sinus infection that had gravitated downwards and caused my awful cough, and he prescribed me antibiotics. ¬†My head coach is pretty conservative about the whole illness thing, so even though I had the doctor’s permission to run while taking the antibiotics, he limited me to an hour of cross training for several more days. ¬†I completed my first 80-minute cross train on Saturday, November 7th, and it was one of the worst things I’ve ever done. ¬†My friend brought me the best cupcake of my life as a reward!

My team rocked conferences, with both teams destroying the (not very good) competition.

After a week completely off and a week of cross training, I finally started running again last week!

Monday 11/10: 6 miles, lift
Tuesday: 6 miles
Wednesday: 5 miles, lift
Thursday: 6 miles, lift
Friday: 6 miles
Saturday: off
Sunday: 8 miles.

Total: 37 miles

I just did maintenance runs all week, no workouts, so that was fun.

The low point of the entire season occurred at regionals last¬†Friday; one of our¬†top runners found out she had two fractures and therefore couldn’t race, and our team didn’t make NCAAs¬†for the first time in four years.

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NCAA D1 Southeast Regional Championships

It was really sad, especially for the seniors, and the weekend following was¬†insane-¬†physically, emotionally, and otherwise. ¬†It was pretty intense. ¬†Weird things happened. ¬†Weird decisions were made. ¬†I won’t go into¬†detail, but you can imagine.

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Mood-boosting trip to an apple orchard after regionals

But on the plus side, our top runner (not the one with fractures) made NCAAs¬†individually! She got one of¬†two¬†at-large bids given out across the¬†entire country. ¬†She’s amazing, both as a runner and a person. ¬†She will be racing in Louisville tomorrow and vying for her first All-American honors.

Core Four takes Team Thanksgiving <3

Core Four takes Team Thanksgiving ‚̧

I started workouts again this week; my first one back was Tuesday with 10 x 400 with avg 75 seconds rest. ¬†It actually felt pretty good! ¬†I think I averaged 79 or so- nothing crazy. ¬†Didn’t want to push too hard after three weeks without workouts.

Today, I¬†did 3 x 1000 at 3:37 followed by 5 x 400 starting at 80 and dropping down to 74-75. ¬†2 minutes’ rest between everything, although I took a little extra time after the first 400 because the area near my anterior tibial and peroneal was acting up on my right leg. ¬†Not fun. ¬†After that workout, we had a leg lift, and now my legs are very tired! ¬†I went out to dinner with a few of my teammates, and I had a margherita pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, and a skillet cookie. ¬†Post-workout fuel at its finest. ūüėČ

We are so close to Thanksgiving break, it’s ridiculous. ¬†I have a lot of work to get through over the next few days, but after Tuesday, I get to go home and gorge myself and run on the bike trails I’ve missed for three months and see my dog!

My first race in uniform is two weeks and one day from today. ¬†Excited to get back on the track, and a little apprehensive to see what kind of shape I’m in after my illness and many months away from the track.

 

Thresholds

Oh, thresholds. ¬†My favorite type of workout. ¬†There’s nothing like good ol’ mile repeats on the track on a dreary Wednesday afternoon.

For my second workout back, we completed 4 x 1 mile with 90 seconds of rest in between.  Nothing fancy, but a nice challenge.  I know most of my teammates dread mile repeats, but I happen to enjoy them.  I love the feeling of pounding out lap after lap after lap until you can barely hold your form and your legs feel like logs.  Then you just have to hold on!

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Since we are all coming back from down time, our paces were slower than they normally are, which is fine by me since I don’t wish to push too hard too soon. ¬†On Monday, thanks to some uncontrolled, overzealous teammates, our 400s were much too fast. ¬†That resulted in a not-too-pretty end of the workout. ¬†This time, our teammate, who is pretty much the worst pacer in the history of pacing,¬†was not at practice. ¬†Our coach prescribed me and two other girls a range of 6:31 – 6:44, with the goal of progressively getting faster¬†with the last one being the fastest.

I did get faster each time, but not in the range. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†My¬†first mile was a 6:37, and then I went 6:32, 6:29, and 6:20. ¬†I just felt so stinkin’ good! ¬†I don’t feel like I pushed extremely hard or anything, which is great. ¬†I ended the workout with an 800m cool down and some core, and I am now looking forward to the upcoming days. ¬†This season is important for my mental outlook; you need a strong, positive mentality in order to succeed in a healthy manner, and I think I’ve lacked that for months. ¬†Taking my time and being smart in workouts is definitely helping so far, although it’s still early.

We drove six hours roundtrip for a college tour yesterday, but it was worth it because it is definitely my favorite so far. ¬†¬†Unfortunately, I didn’t get much homework done and had to run on the treadmill at 8:30 pm last night when I got home! ¬†After some speed strength, I tried to get as much work done as I could in the short hour that I had before starting to get ready for bed.

Nighttime treadmilling

Nighttime treadmilling

I have a Topics essay tomorrow (and I had one today, oh joy) as well as an enormous physics project due, so I will leave it at that.  I hope to write soon!

Life

I finally have about 2.3 seconds of breathing room (not really, I still have so much work to do). ¬†I thought I did a pretty good job of not waiting until the last minute to complete my summer assignments, but alas, that was not to be. ¬†But I’m taking a break from Topics reading, EE research, and Physics to compile a miscellaneous post of my recent adventures.

I gave up my one and only chance this summer to go to the beach!! ¬†My mom left yesterday morning and came back today, but I didn’t¬†go with her because I had so much work to do. ¬†I am so mad about that. ¬†I don’t think I’ve ever had a summer without the beach. ¬†Not that I go a lot, but I manage to make it out there at least one time every year. ¬†Not this year! ¬†Grrrr.

My friends and I had a fancy tea party last week!   We dressed up in sundresses, ate macarons and tea cakes and cucumber sandwiches and drank tea.  For a few hours, we were electronics-free.  Bliss.

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photo 2-6Smoothie game too strong.  Banana, frozen cranberries, spinach, yogurt, OJ, and almond butter.

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Below is my trademark “I am not really sure what facial expression to make right now because I just finished a really hard workout and on the one hand, I’m so happy it’s over, but on the other hand, I am in a ton of pain” face.

We did the same 5×1 mile workout as a couple weeks ago, and I was expecting a shitty workout, but it turned out to be not as bad as last time!! ¬†I took off time on almost every single repeat: two weeks ago was 6:16, 6:25, 6:22, 6:22, 6:22, while this week was 6:22, 6:16, 6:21, 6:17, 6:09!! ¬†And¬†it felt better. ūüėÄ

 

PS: I have given up on my eyebrow game. ¬†I will never have nice eyebrows.photo 4-4Refueled with oatmeal and chocolate milk. ¬†Nothin’ like sugar, sugar, sugar.

photo 5-3Last but not least, my to-do list.  I have to get all of this done before Tuesday.  It might not look like much, but I have to do all of my extended essay research. (The suggested time is 40 hours.)  Please murder me.  What is a social life?

imageThere are two days of summer left. ¬†Too bad I feel as though I’ve already been in school for weeks! ¬†Between practice, freshman orientation, mentor training, and first day prep for freshmen, I spent over eight hours there on Thursday. ¬†Not counting driving my freshman brother to marching band. ¬†He only talks to me when he wants a ride… ¬†I spent three hours alone curling ribbon around lollipops tied to freshman survival guides. ¬†These freshmen are ridiculously spoiled. ¬†I have a callus on my thumb!!

Long run Sunday tomorrow morning!  #carbs

 

Miscellaneous Monday

Some Monday Funday things:

I ate three bananas today.   Can you say obsession?

behold banana beauty

behold banana beauty

They just go with everything! On oatmeal, for snack, for dessert, with chocolate… ūüėČ

I weight lifted before school today, adamantly refusing to do any sort of leg work. ¬†In terms of strength work, last week was kind of lacking… I did one strength session like a week and a half ago and then a few half-hearted push-ups during the week. ¬†Oh well.

I had a great workout today, actually! ¬†Short and sweet: three mile repeats at a fast pace with extended rest (4 minutes of jogging). ¬†Our coach instructed us to run the first two at the pace he prescribed for us, then run the last one at¬†goal two mile pace. ¬†What!? ¬†I ran the first two at 6:00 and 6:01, right on pace. ¬†Everyone was dreading the last one, but I managed to finish (with terrible form) in 5:37! ¬†(11:14 two mile pace) After a mile cool down, we felt¬†entitled to skip¬†our post-workout ab routine. ¬†Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow.

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how I feel about core tomorrow

I’m happy with today’s workout, especially considering Saturday’s disaster.

Anyway, aside from a good workout,¬†I have a rant about my psychology teacher. ¬†For some background, I’m in IB, so six of my classes are intense high level courses. ¬†My seventh class is a general psychology class full of idiots that I signed up for just to fill my schedule requirements of seven classes. ¬†(IB Psych was full) ¬†The teacher is the biggest idiot of them all. ¬†And he thinks all the things he says are¬†right when they’re all just plain wrong.¬† I honestly wanted to punch him in the face today. ¬†We started the “Adolescent Development” unit and here are just three of the dozens of ridiculously aggravating “facts” he spewed:

1) “Girls who develop later have higher self-esteem and are less self-conscious because they don’t get unwanted attention from boys and people call them ‘cute’ and it makes them feel better about themselves.”

Yeah.  Actually, every single girl in my class protested this little factoid, but obviously he knows better than the PEOPLE WHO ARE ACTUALLY GIRLS AND HAVE ACTUALLY GONE THROUGH MIDDLE SCHOOL AND PUBERTY AS A GIRL because he watched some movie where this was the case.

2) “Anorexics have to be at least 25% underweight.”

I personally¬†challenged him (relatively politely, I think) on this one because IT IS SO FREAKIN’ WRONG. ¬†I said, “There are plenty of anorexic people who aren’t underweight at all. ¬†It’s a mental disorder with physical side effects, not a physical disorder.” He responded, “Well, sometimes they aren’t exactly 25% underweight, but they’re on their way there.” NO NO NO YOU ARE SO STUPID OH MY GOD.

3) “The only males who are bulimic are athletes who have to lose weight for sports competitions, like wrestlers.”

Whoa whoa whoa. ¬†So many things wrong with this statement. ¬†Good lord. ¬†To make matters worse, some insensitive moron commented, “Hah huh heh bulimia, that sounds like a Harry Potter spell.”

4) here’s an extra one! “Anorexia only manifests around age 17 and later.”

And then some brilliant Einstein in my class chimed in, “Oh yeah, I saw a documentary about a 12-year-old anorexic and it was like the youngest case ever.” Do you know how stupid you are? ¬†Anorexia can manifest at literally any point in someone’s life. ¬†Hell, there are five-year-olds who think they are fat, as sad as that is.

Soooo, yeah, this has been an extremely biased, opinionated, rude rant but I hope nobody minds. ¬†If you do, you can leave me a nasty comment ūüėČ ¬†Or just don’t read it; that’s fine too.

Happy Monday!

 

Wacky Workout Wednesday (+ Food)

Last workout before Saturday’s invitational! Today was cold and windy, so instead of doing 4-5 mile repeats like normal, we did 3…extra fast. ¬†My normal pace for mile repeats is between 6:10 and 6:20. ¬†Today I ran:

mile warm-up
drills & strides
1st mile: 6:06
2nd mile: 6:00
3rd mile: 5:52
1200 cool down

 

I’d never gone sub-6 in a mile repeats workout before: yay me! ¬†To celebrate, my mom let me buy 10 Greek yogurt cups. (actually, we were at the grocery store and I just threw yogurt after yogurt into the basket…)

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love me some Chobani

Yesterday it was like four degrees and much too cold to run outside, so I went aqua jogging again rather than run on the treadmill, because no one likes the treadmill. We had a two-hour delay so I got 45 minutes in the pool done before school started.

T-3 days until the invitational! After that, we have two weeks until postseason championships begin!

I guess this post is sort of a mishmash because I didn’t really plan it. ¬†Did you know that a shrimp’s heart is in its head? Also, it is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.

Happy cold-weather running! The top of my right pinky finger froze and I couldn’t feel it during the workout today. ¬†There is literally nothing weirder than trying to put your gloves on and not knowing if your finger is in the right spot because you can’t feel it.