Summer Training Week 4 (42 miles + 120 min XT)

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#beenlisteningtomilkychancefor3hours

#revived to write this post ūüėČ

Heck yeah, it’s time for another weekly summer training recap! ¬†This week, I pushed my mileage a wee bit more (getting ready for that jump next week) and worked a lotttt of difficult shifts. ¬†Definitely crashed and burned a bit by Saturday. ¬†Got on a lot more soft surfaces, though!

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Long run views from this morning!

Week 4 (6/12-6/18):

Monday: ¬†AM: 6 miles bike path.¬† Some soft(er) surface…for like a mile!¬† Core circuit.¬† Some foot pain but not too bad.¬† PM: 30 min swim.¬† Felt good.¬† Foot soak, roll, Tiger Balm.
Tuesday: ¬†AM: 7 miles with Noah with one mile on the trails. ¬†Significant foot pain during the second half of the run.¬† Drills and strides.¬† EXCELLENT lower body lift.¬† Pushed the weight and did the most unassisted parallel grip pull-ups I’ve ever done.¬† PM: 2 miles.¬† Crazy work shift until 10 pm per usual.
Wednesday:  60 min pool (50 swim, 10 aqua jog).  Was very pleasant.  1 hour slow flow yoga class.
Thursday:  AM: 7 miles @ 7:39 average on the C&O canal.  TBH felt pretty darn shitty.  PM: 30 min bike, felt good, upper body lift.  Busy work shift until 10 pm.
Friday:  AM: 7 miles on sidewalks/bike path.  Glute activation, drills, strides, core.  PM: 3 miles.  Tired from morning.  Long, crazy work shift until 11 pm.
Saturday: OFF.  Very glad for this rest day.  SO tired from the past couple days.  I felt like a zombie until like 6 pm.
Sunday:  10 miles @ 7:40 average at Manassas Battlefield.  All soft surface!  (Long grass/gravel/trails)  I had never run there before.  It was hot, humid, and hilly, but the views were unbeatable!

Total: 42 miles + 120 min XT.  
Dang…work this week kicked my ass. ¬†Our ice cream store is getting more popular by the minute, and during today’s shift, we did not stop moving¬†one time¬†for five hours straight. ¬†Also, the A/C in the store is broken, the freezers pump out hot air, and it never gets lower than 85 degrees. ¬†After a hot, dehydrating ten-miler…I almost passed out into the dip case a couple times ūüėČ ¬†It’s just heat training, right??
I managed to get two soft-surface runs in this week, along with some sporadic dirt paths during a couple other runs!  So definitely an improvement from last week.
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Sleep this week wasn’t the greatest, unfortunately. ¬†I worked a lot of late shifts, which riled me up at bedtime. ¬†But I suppose it’s worth it for the paycheck! ¬†#brokecollegestudentprobs
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And my nutrition has been okay, but not stellar- I’m just eating a lot of breads/baked goods and sugar, which is not prime fueling. ¬†My post-run recovery foods are good (oatmeal, yogurt, eggs, nut butter, fruits, veggies…protein, complex carbs, healthy fats), but as the day progresses, I’ve been getting lazy! ¬†And it’s hard at work when you’re just tryna stay alive, ya feel? ¬†I get home after a long, hard shift and can’t tell if I’m physically ravenous or just mentally need some junk food. ¬†Oh, well. ¬†You live and learn (and lose a six-pack in the process, hehe).
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Homemade pumpkin bread

This morning’s long run was 80 degrees, 85% humidity, and very hilly with long grass, but the views were awesome! ¬†I had originally planned to meet my friend out at the battlefields, but her foot has been bothering her, so I ran by myself. ¬†Ran in silence over the hills and through the woods (literally) for the first half and then listened to a¬†Runner’s World¬†podcast during the second half. ¬†It was kind of hard.IMG_6605.jpg
The new training week starts tomorrow, so gotta go rest up!  Running bright and early with one of my favorite running buddies.

Summer Training Week 3

It’s Monday! ¬†After a hot run and some core this morning, I’m spending most of today relaxing and doing chores before swimming later. ¬†Monday is always my day off from work ūüôā
Last week brought 36 miles, 140 minutes of cross training, busy work shifts, fun times with good friends, a delightful Train/OAR/Natasha Bedingfield concert, and a wine tasting for my mom’s “bachelorette” party (I love being 20!!, she said sarcastically). ¬†And NCAAs, of course! ¬†It was awe-inspiring and motivational to watch. ¬†I may be crazy and have delusions of grandeur, but this middle-of-the-pack D1 runner now wants to qualify for NCAAs!! ¬†Or at least track regionals…
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Concert with friends

Week 3: (6/5-6/11)
Monday: AM: 6 miles on bike path + core circuit.  PM: 30 min swim.
Tuesday: 7 miles @ 7:40ish pace on sidewalks/asphalt.  Felt stiff and out of rhythm.  Glute activation, drills, strides.  Lift day 1.  PM: crazy work shift!
Wednesday: 60 min bike…felt sick midday but it passed so I biked in the evening and felt really good, actually.
Thursday: AM: 6 miles bike path + core.  Foot pain.  Drills + strides.  PM: 3 miles.
Friday:  5 miles on asphalt/sidewalks into 20 min bike.  Lift day 2.
Saturday: 9 miles on bike path.  7:30ish average.  Very hot and sunny.
Sunday: 30 min aqua jog.  I think I burned my face off.  Not a cloud in the sky.
Total: 36 miles + 140 min XT
This week…hmm. ¬†Similar to last week, my foot hurt on almost every run, but on the plus side, I’m still feeling strong in the weight room. ¬†I did a terrible job of getting on soft surfaces ūüėČ ¬†Almost every run was on an asphalt bike path or sidewalks. ¬†Having running buddies on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday made the runs more fun, though!
Friday’s run was somewhat crappy at the beginning but got progressively better once my legs warmed up. ¬†I was definitely mentally distracted during the lift session that followed, but thankfully both the bike and lift went better than the run anyway!
The bearable-yet-constant foot pain is starting to wear on me mentally again, and I find myself dreading runs a little bit because I want to run but don’t want to be in pain. ¬† To be honest, I am not doing as much as I should to stay on top of it.¬† I’m rolling with my shiny new lacrosse ball, acquired for the express purpose of wrecking my feet ūüėČ …doing warm Epsom salt soaks, and sporadically doing mobility, but I can do more.¬† It’s this cycle of: foot hurts on runs, I get sad thinking about it, I avoid rehab because it makes me think about the fact that my foot hurts. ¬†Ya feel?
But on the plus side, I can feel my body responding to the strength sessions. ¬†The core circuits that left me sore for days three weeks ago are easier. ¬†I’m planning on adding weight to my squats, deadlifts, and farmer’s holds in the weight room this week. ¬†Already bracing myself for the DOMS ūüėČ
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Mom and me!

After identifying the factors that brought me down a little bit last week but taking solace in the fact that I still had a decent training week and got to do a lot of other fun things, I’m re-motivated for the coming week, which should bring about 42 miles in addition to cross training sessions.
Runs are getting longer, temperatures are getting hotter, and the grind is coming back. ¬†My goals for the next week are to train¬†purposefully and to not skimp on the little things. ¬†Every run is one step closer to my goals, both as an individual and as a member of a team that aspires to achieve greatness. ¬†My teammate just ran extremely well at NCAAs, which was so emotional and motivational. ¬†All of the competitors at NCAAs work extremely hard, day in and day out, to get to the national level. ¬†Some of them have more natural talent than others, but none of them skip out on what they need to do to achieve their goals. ¬†That’s how you get to that next level.
Other highlights from my week before I sign off for now:
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A 14-year-old made this lemon lavender cake!

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I nearly cried when they sang “Bruises” and “Drops of Jupiter”

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Another concert picture!

Summer is a great time to put in the work for the upcoming season(s). ¬†This week, I WILL remember to take fish oil every day, re-dedicate myself to foot rehab, switch to orthotics for shorter runs, wear sunscreen,¬†and keep track of sleep and practice good bedtime habits such as putting away technology. ¬†I will be mindful of the foods I choose to nourish my body with– remembering that anti-inflammatory is the way to go and that I am willing to do anything to help my foot feel as good as it can possibly feel! ¬†I will also put in more shifts at work, try to be as frugal as possible and go on free/cheap summer adventures…hiking, exploring DC, playing piano, going to yoga, cooking, reading, playing badminton, soaking up the sun, picnics, crafting…there’s so much to do!

Summer Training Week 2

Happy Sunday! ¬†I hope everyone had a great week. ¬†It’s a beautiful June morning here, and I’m suffering from a mild case of wanderlust ūüėČ so I’m listening to a road trip playlist while writing this post and pretending I’m cruising down the open road. ¬†Today was a typical Sunday- took the day off from running, went to the farmer’s market, did some wedding planning with my mom’s best friend, and went to a yoga class. ¬†My family is going out to dinner in a little while ūüôā

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Farmers’ market haul!

Week 2: (5/30-6/4)

Monday: AM: 5 miles + core circuit. Some bunion pain.  PM: 3 miles.
Tuesday: glute activation, drills, 4 miles into 20 min bike + lower body lift
Wednesday: AM: 60 min bike.  PM: 30 min yoga
Thursday: AM: 5 miles with friend @ 7:15 avg.  PM: 30 min bike + upper body lift.
Friday: 6 miles with friend, glute activation, drills, strides
Saturday: 7 miles + core, started easier and felt progressively better
Sunday: off, yoga class

Total: 30 miles + 110 min XT + 2 yoga sessions

Overall, this week went pretty well. ¬†Mileage is still low. ¬†My foot is still hurting on every run- it seems like once I hit the 30 minute mark during a run, the bunion pretty much decides that it doesn’t want to do it anymore. ¬†Ow. ¬†Still feeling strong during strength sessions, though!

I had a few runs this week that were faster than they should have been, so I made an effort to go easier on Saturday, and it felt a lot better. ¬†It’s important to keep most of the mileage at maintenance effort right now in order to keep feeling good, getting strong, and building mileage!

In non-running-related news, I decided to go back to work at the ice cream and coffee place I worked last summer!  Had my first shift back on Friday night: 5-10:30 pm.  It was super busy, but I was reunited with the best ice cream ever (cinnamon, and coconut chocolate crunch.  Heck yes).

Also, we spent all day at my brothers’ tae kwon do black belt exam, and after five hours of testing, they both passed! ¬†My youngest brother earned his first degree black belt, and my middle brother earned his second degree!

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Goons

Also made macarons with two good friends earlier this week. ¬†I’m not a huge macaron fan, but they turned out well! ¬†Turns out my family isn’t a huge macaron family, either…three days later, all of the macarons I kept are still sitting on the plate.

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Mileage will continue to increase in the coming weeks, albeit slower than last year’s progression. ¬†I think I’ll hit somewhere in the mid-30s this week. ¬†Additionally, I’m going to try to get in the pool at least once instead of just cross training on the bike every time. ¬† The weather is supposed to stay mild (and rainy), which is encouraging. ¬†I’ll also be working more and writing for the¬†remote writing intensive!

Life and sadness and frustration and positivity…

Happy Saturday night! ¬†I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve stopped and started versions of this post. ¬†Isn’t it funny¬†how it’s easier to write about running when running is going well?

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Overnight oats in the training room for the millionth day in a row

So: the foot pain. ¬†It’s hard to believe that this has been going on for almost three months. ¬†It seems like I haven’t trained consistently since January. ¬†The past two weeks have been exponentially worse; I even developed extensor tendonitis because I was compensating for the toe/bunion pain in my stride and foot strike. ¬†After about 43 miles and some cross training the week before last, last week’s training¬†included 7 normal miles, 15 miles on the Alter-G, and 290 minutes of cross training. ¬†This week included 37.5 miles and about 205 minutes of cross training. ¬†Today’s run/bike combination was horrible. ¬†Can you see the continuation of the mileage rollercoaster?

Every single day involves at least one trip to the training room for warm whirlpool, rolling, laser, mobility, ultrasound, ice, etc. ¬†I’ve been biking and swimming ridiculous distances. ¬†Each training session is played by ear; my coach will text me saying, “How much pain are you in? ¬†Do you want to work out today?”

I met with an orthopedist on Thursday, but unfortunately we didn’t come up with any other solutions. ¬†“Yep, according to the x-rays, your bunions are pretty severe. ¬†You can live in the training room for the rest of your athletic career, or if the pain is getting too bad to the point where you think it’s limiting your ability to train, you might want to consider bunion surgery.”
I’m also in the middle of the dental implant process, feeling hideous, and there are insurance issues and family medical/emotional¬†problems.
As you can imagine, last week was filled with some breakdowns…
The combination of training uncertainty and constant pain is really taking its toll mentally and physically. ¬†Also, getting up at the crack of dawn every day makes me feel really isolated from the “normal college student” lifestyle of sleeping in past 6 am, staying up later than 10 pm, and having some semblance of fun. ¬†Not that I¬†want¬†the normal college student lifestyle, but it’s really hard when you can’t relate to¬†anyone. ¬†Most of my teammates don’t have to be in the training room twice a day and wake up at the ass crack of dawn every single day. ¬†My NARP (non-athletic-regular-people) friends stare at me like I have three heads if I mention my daily routine. ¬†I’m sorry for the negativity- I’m just being honest that months of this nonsense is¬†getting to me ūüė¶
I also really do not want to have to go the surgery route. ¬†Bunion surgery takes months to recover from, more months to get back into training,¬†and¬†there’s no guarantee that it’ll even be successful. ¬†As I would have to get the surgery on both feet, I would literally be in a wheelchair, unable to walk, for a month.
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Stationary-biking my life away

Okay, now that my emotional rant is (mostly) over, I’m going to try to focus on the positives! ¬†Even¬†though it really sucks not being able to fully do what I love and contribute to my team, it’s so important to keep in mind that life is about more than just running. ¬†Obviously as a collegiate athlete, the majority of your lifestyle revolves around your sport and school. ¬†But there are so many aspects to life that it’s easy to find things that are important outside running!
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SO, without further ado, here are some positive things that are happening in life:
  • Recent¬†weather has been¬†absolutely gorgeous. ¬†I went to a nearby creek today to watch the sunset with my roommate, her brother, his roommate, and their dog. ¬†We saw a goldendoodle puppy while we were there!
  • My mom and her husband came down last week, and I went out to brunch with them and we always have the best conversations.
  • We took the recruits to see¬†Beauty and the Beast¬†last week, and even though you know I’m a cynical human being, I’m also addicted to Disney movies and songs.
  • I sat down to the piano for the first time in months and have my heart set on playing¬†Go the Distance¬†
  • I’m currently writing multiple articles for Spoon University¬†and loving it!
  • The business school is the most beautiful building on campus, and I’m lucky enough to have access to it.
  • The weight room is making me #toostrong ūüėČ
  • Scandal, joggers,¬†and hot lemon water to end the night

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Wow, there are so many aspects of life to be grateful for! ¬†School is hard, running is hard, and this crazy schedule of mine is hard. ¬†We shall see if I’m able to race this coming weekend at our big home invitational. ¬†But¬†mindfulness¬†is important. ¬†Here is a cheesy motivational quote, complete with a pug:

Weekly Recap + brownie batter oatmeal

Good morning! ¬†After a restless night’s sleep, I woke up way too early this morning (as usual) and went to the locker room to do some yoga and core before sitting down to an incredible breakfast. ¬†I’m taking a much-needed off day from running because my body is complaining¬†loudly.

Today’s agenda includes the usual Sunday laundry, chores, homework, errands, and a Super Bowl party at a friend’s apartment. ¬†My goal for today (and this week in general) is to get ahead on schoolwork¬†so I have more time to focus on doing all the little things, contributing to extracurriculars, and starting to prepare for midterms!

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Brownie batter oatmeal: 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 mashed banana, 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, and 3 tbsp egg whites. ¬†I added a heaping spoonful¬†of Trader Joe’s chia/flax peanut butter.

Anyway, here is a recap of the past week of training:

Week of 1/30-2/5:

Monday: AM: 7 miles trails, tired so took it kind of relaxed, core routine.  PM: 2 lap warm-up, hurdle drills, 1.5 mile run, hurdle/stride work after and tweaked my right glute.  Total: 9 miles.
Tuesday: 2 mile w/u, 5 x 800 with 1:30-2:30 recovery (2:55, 2:52, 2:51, 2:51, 2:50) last one retro, 20 min c/d.  10 parallel pull-ups.  Stim/ice on glute, NormaTec boots 20 minutes.  Total: 7 miles.
Wednesday: 60 min pool (30 aqua jog, 30 swim).  Sleep-deprived but progressively better.
Thursday: AM: 2 lap w/u, drills/speed ladder, 8 miles fast-ish, 4 x 100m strides, upper body lift in weight room.  PM: 2 miles + foam rolling.  Started using new shoes.
Friday: AM: 2 mile shakeout. ¬†Tight/tired but progressively better. ¬†PM: 20 min w/u, drills/strides, 3 x [4×400] with 60/90/2min rec and a lap between sets (81, 82, 81, 81, 78, 76, 76, 77, 76, 76, 76, 72), 3 mile cool down, ice bath
Saturday: 10 miles on trails.  Terrible.
Sunday: no running; 40 min yoga/stretching/core

Total: 47 miles + 60 min XT + yoga

Honesty time!! I¬†definitely¬†increased the mileage and intensity too fast. ¬†Running-wise, I went from normal mileage (around 55)¬†to 9 miles to 35 miles to 47 miles and workouts. ¬†This is partly my fault, partly my coach’s fault. ¬†Anyway, my body hurts. ¬†Like, everywhere. ¬†Legs are heavy, bunions are killing me, hip flexor is complaining a lot, and everything is tight. ¬†Which is why I’m taking an unplanned off day today!

Sleep was terrible. ¬†Ugh. ¬†I don’t know what else I can do. ¬†I just…don’t sleep. ¬†I journal every night, try to unwind, and go to bed at 10, but I still end up not sleeping. ¬†I feel like I’m wasting time and it’s completely avoidable and hampering recovery and it makes me ANGRY.

On a positive note, both of this week’s workouts were solid! ¬†Also, my roommate ran her first indoor race¬†in¬†two years¬†last night and absolutely crushed it. ¬†She’s had a rough couple months and was so nervous and didn’t believe in herself, even though there were no expectations for this race. ¬†But in the second half, she really came alive and dropped the hammer. ¬†It was awesome to see. ¬†I’m so proud and excited for her.

Throughout the past week, I reapplied to the business school, joined Women’s Initiative in Leadership, and applied (and got accepted) to Spoon University! ¬†I will be researching, writing, and publishing articles about food- and college-related topics, and I’m¬†so¬†excited.

Gotta go get my laundry so that’s all for now! ¬†I hope everyone has a great Super Bowl Sunday!

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 ūüôā

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(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 ūüėČ ¬†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 ūüėČ (or even just one 4:48 mile would be nice.)

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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!!

Redshirting indoors + high volume week recap

Happy Sunday! ¬†This weekend has been pretty low-key, but still fun: dinner get-together at a friend’s apartment, long run, homework, laundry, coffee shops, lunch with my roommate’s family, business school application…I could discuss the recent¬†bullshit developments in American foreign policy, but as this is a running blog, I will spare you most of my opinions. ¬†I just have to say that no human being should be considered illegal.

Anyway- back to the running! ¬†Or cross training, or what have you. ¬†My coach apparently decided that this week would be the “week of all the volume”, and I am¬†definitely¬†feeling the effects. ¬†In a good way, for now ūüėČ

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What did people do before planners were invented?

Week of 1/23-1/29:

Monday: AM: 60 min pool (40 aqua jog, 20 swim), trainer for stim/ice.  PM: 4.5 mile run on turf, track, and roads + 15 min stationary bike + 10 min core.
Tuesday: AM: 6 mile run + lower body lift + heat/stim at trainer.  Later AM: 40 min aqua jog
Wednesday: 70 minute pool workout, heat/stim at the trainer.
Thursday: AM: 2 lap w/u, form drills, hurdle drills, speed ladder, 7 mile run, upper body lift.  Heat/stim at trainer.  PM: 30 min stationary bike.
Friday: AM: 60 min pool workout, heat/stim at trainer.  PM: 5 mile run.
Saturday: 10 mile run on trails and roads (7:15ish pace, I think) + 20 min stationary bike.  Used NormaTec boots afterwards.
Sunday: 3 miles, very tired.

Total: 35.5 miles + 295 minutes of cross training

Um wow!  Highest volume week ever.  If 10 minute XT counts as the equivalent of one mile of running, then this week was the equivalent of 65 miles!!  My feet and toes felt pretty good overall, except for some pain and soreness in the toes and bunions at the end of the longer runs from the prolonged impact.

Since the pool hours are a bit weird, I ended up getting up very early every day this week. ¬†This necessitated lots of overnight oats for breakfast¬†and goggle marks look in class ūüėČ ¬†I shall share¬†my favorite overnight oats recipe in another post!

My teammate and I were lucky enough to be able to try out the NormaTec boots for the first time after yesterday’s long run, and they were so cool! ¬†They provide gradual, increasingly intense compression¬†up and down your legs, like an undulating massage. ¬†Great for recovery, especially when your long run volume isn’t quite where it usually¬†is and you have to supplement with cross training afterwards!

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This week was definitely very tiring, and I am planning on dropping the overall volume throughout this coming week, even while increasing running mileage. ¬†I did stim and heat at the training room all week for pain maintenance. ¬†My sleep patterns were whack¬†this week- waking up 5-10 times every night, unable to sleep past 6 am…the usual, I suppose! Over the past few months, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I sleep very poorly at night when training is most intense. Thankfully, this semester’s class schedule has enough time in the afternoon for almost-daily naps!

In a meeting with my coach earlier this week, one of the things we discussed was my short-term and long-term running plans. ¬†Our program treats indoors as kind of preparation for outdoors, with the overall team focus on the outdoor conference championships. ¬†As she was telling me that she wants me to focus on building a huge base and getting the feet 100% again before worrying about racing, I asked, “Can I redshirt?”

¬†The idea had been floating around in my head for awhile; I would only race a couple times this season, and I do want to take a fifth year to earn a master’s degree or go to law school as well as maximize running potential. ¬†Turns out, she was on the exact same page! ¬†So we decided that I would redshirt this indoor season and maybe race unattached or in a road race at the end of February.
Anyway, that’s it for the major updates! ¬†I hope everyone has had a great weekend.

Track goals

It’s indoor track season, sort of!

We’re currently smack in the middle of finals, and so far I’ve completed my Accounting and Hispanic Studies finals. ¬†My brain hurts. ¬†I still have psych and gender but not until next week, so I’m giving myself a break tonight ūüôā

We’re continuing the mileage build-up; I ran 29 miles last week (plus some cross training) and will probably run around 38 or so this week (plus some cross training). ¬†Running is hard…

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After some big fitness jumps during the past six months, I’m excited to see where the indoor and outdoor track seasons take me. ¬†Track is much more of an individual sport than cross country, but we are all still working together to achieve our goals. ¬†Our coach uses the indoor season as preparation for outdoor, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still make goals for both ūüôā ¬†These goals are all-encompassing: time-related, strength-related, and mentality-related.

Speaking of which, I went to the weight room for the first time in a month yesterday, and I am unspeakably sore today. ¬†Can’t wait to get strong again ūüėČ

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Goals for 2017 track:

  • Qualify for ECACs in the 3k and/or 5k.
    • I’ll update this once this year’s standards are released, but last year’s qualifying times were 9:56 and 17:16. ¬†(My 3k PR from last year is 10:22).
  • Be able to do all sets of pull-ups/chin-ups unassisted in the weight room.
  • Increase hamstring flexibility and hip and glute strength.
  • Don’t mentally limit or doubt myself. ¬†Believe in a high ceiling.
  • Support my¬†teammates as much as I¬†possibly can!

What I will do to do my best to achieve these goals:

  • Give my best in the weight room and focus on form, effort, and function.
  • Don’t half-ass rope stretching, rolling, etc. ¬†Spend the extra 5 minutes being¬†thorough to avoid injury.
  • As always, “Give 100% of whatever you have on any given day.”
    • This is my favorite thing my coach has ever said. ¬†Some days are harder than others. ¬†A lot of days truly suck. ¬†That’s just the reality of being a Division 1 cross country and track athlete. ¬†The bad days, the good days- they’re¬†all¬†part of the process.
    • As long as you try your best, you shouldn’t worry if some days you can’t hit the paces or some days you have to crawl your maintenance runs. ¬†And appreciate the days where you hit paces you never have before!
  • Control the things you can control, and don’t worry about the things you can’t.
    • Sleep- go to bed at 10 pm as much as possible.
    • Nutrition- eat well most of the time, indulge sometimes,¬†balance
    • Listen to your body
    • Yoga ūüėČ

 

I’ll probably update these goals or expand upon them as my season progresses and once I find out qualifying times and race plans. ¬†But this is where they stand for now!

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 ūüôā

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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 accountРbut 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 ūüôā

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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 ūüėČ ¬†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… ūüôā

PS: 26 days until Christmas!!

1,291 miles: Reflections

But first: this happened yesterday!

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I used to donate my hair all the time, but I took a break for about five years. ¬†Figured it was about time again ūüôā

We met for practice this afternoon as usual, but going for a run was optional. ¬†After our two-lap warm-up, hurdle drills, and speed ladder, I figured, “Why not?” and went for a lovely three miles to end¬†the season.

Oh my gosh.  Time to reflect on the best season of my life.

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The numbers: May 16th to November 14th

  • I ran 1,291 miles (approximately).
  • Cross trained for 12 hours and 40 minutes.
  • Ran more than 50 miles per week for 20 straight weeks.
  • 14 complete rest days.

The details: 

  • 5 races
  • Did not get injured. ¬†Or sick. ¬†Which is freaking amazing.
  • I did more pull-ups, chin-ups, and harder workouts than ever before.
  • Matured¬†more mentally than I anticipated
  • Ate even more oatmeal than ever before.
  • Made it into the varsity seven ūüôā

This season was a rollercoaster. ¬†I trained extremely¬†diligently over the summer and came into school with an attitude towards training that was, in retrospect, a little too intense. ¬†I was logging higher and faster mileage than I ever had, but I wasn’t listening to my body enough. ¬†My schoolwork, mental, and physical health were suffering. ¬†I reevaluated and got over the urge to “do everything.”

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One of my favorite things from this season was the transition from bodyweight circuits in the locker room to real lifting routines in the weight room with a very knowledgeable lifting instructor. ¬†I love lifting, and I could truly myself getting stronger as the season progressed. ¬†I was conquering hills, and my form wasn’t breaking down during the latter portions of races.

The next two weeks will be spent in hardcore recovery mode– aka indulging in all the foods I limited throughout the season. ¬†At the tailgate after the race on Friday, I ate an exorbitant quantity of baked goods and sandwiches and pasta. ¬†My roommate gave me a pumpkin-stuffed vanilla cupcake with cream cheese frosting. ¬†The weekend brought many Reese’s cups.

Last night was our team thanksgiving, which is always an incredibly fun spectacle! ¬†The seniors cook the turkeys, there are ridiculous games, and everyone brings delicious food. ¬†I made cranberry sauce and sweet potato biscuits and gorged myself on everything from pumpkin cinnamon rolls to stuffing to bacon brussels sprouts to sweet potatoes with marshmallows and brown sugar. ¬†I’ll get back on the grind eventually, but for now– it’s about enjoyment ūüôā

Next up: goals for track!