Black Forest Breakfast Mousse

Happy Hump Day!  The best breakfast experiment happened this morning.

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I went for a nice 4-mile run this morning before it got too hot out.  My left bunion was bothering me, and I think it might be because I’ve been slacking on the rehab and maintenance since taking my break from running and leaving campus (and the training room).  I also used new shoes since my old ones are beyond dead.

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Took myself on a Starbucks date yesterday: overnight oats, almond milk cappuccino, and the Washington Post magazine

After my run, I decided to experiment a little for breakfast.  I had made dark chocolate banana overnight oats (oats, almond milk, chia seeds, mashed banana, and dark cocoa powder) the night before, but I had chocolate mousse on the brain and wanted to see what would happen if I whipped egg whites into stiff peaks and folded them into the overnight oats.  So I did!

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Two whipped egg whites

After whipping the egg whites, I folded them into the oats.  It worked like a dream.  They turned unbelievablyfluffy and delicious, almost exactly like mousse, but with a slight chewy factor from the soaked oats!

IMG_5811.jpgThe bowl was enormous, and I topped the mousse with cherries and strawberries to make it “Black Forest”-y.  I also had plain nonfat Greek yogurt and peanut butter.

I would highly recommend whipping egg whites and adding them to overnight oats.  I think this is going to become a staple in the breakfast lineup!

The rest of my day will be pretty chill.  I found a bunch of gift cards while cleaning out my room, so I’m going to hit up Barnes & Noble for some summer reading, as well as do some yoga and run some errands.  Later today, I’m going to go cheer on my high school team at their conference meet!  My remote internship doesn’t start until the end of May, so I’m trying to relax before that starts and before training picks up.  I’m notoriously bad at relaxing…

I hope everyone has a great Wednesday!

Teeth! LDOC workout! Eats!

But first: GUESS WHAT– I GOT MY PERMANENT TEETH YESTERDAY!!  RIP to the denture life!!

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After crushing a stressful formal business presentation that our group had been working on for two months, I headed to my dentist to get the teeth.  Then it was back to school to prepare for a Spanish presentation.  And no, I haven’t eaten an apple yet 😉

Anyway, happy last day of classes!  I actually did not have class today, but I spent the morning finishing a final paper for one of my Spanish classes before getting ready for the last Friday afternoon workout of the year.  (Meanwhile, it seemed as though everyone else at school was partaking in the last day of classes tradition of day-drinking…)

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It was a hot one- 88 degrees and very sunny- so I wasn’t sure how the workout was going to go.  But we prepared well and were very vigilant about hydrating and icing throughout, so it ended up going well!

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Oats, almond milk, shredded zucchini, egg whites, spices, blueberries, strawberries, and banana

Pre-workout breakfast: probably the biggest bowl of (z)oats I’ve ever made, plus a fried egg.  I kind of forgot to shake out this morning, but oh well.  Yesterday’s practice was a scavenger hunt that was more like a 7-mile fartlek, so my legs were trashed and probably benefited from the extra recovery!

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The best way to use all the peanut butter in the jar

The workout: 2.5 mile warm-up, drills, strides, 3 x 600 (400 @ 80 and kick the last 200, I ran 36-37) with 2:30 recovery, 6 x 400 at cruise pace (~83) with 1 minute recovery, 4 x 400 with 2 min recovery (77, 77, 77, 75), 2 mile cool down, rope stretch, ice bath.  I stayed hydrated before and after with coconut water, Nuun, and a variation of the “Can’t Beet Me” smoothie from Run Fast Eat Slow.

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1/2 frozen banana, frozen raspberries, steamed beets, fresh ginger, almond milk, vanilla protein powder, and a splash of coconut water

After the workout, our team went out for dinner before having fun with our annual paper plate awards and senior celebration.  My friend and I split a roasted beet salad and prosciutto garlic tomato pizza.

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And my paper plate award was pretty accurate- I will admit that sometimes I get a little competitive/aggressive…

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I’m going to be training through the conference championships with the rest of the team, mostly to give me something to do over finals.  My finals schedule includes two small projects due next week, but no actual exams until May 10!  I’m hoping to be able to travel to watch the team compete at conferences next weekend 🙂

Transparency time: Lately, there have been a couple instances where I’ve struggled mentally with eating a lot of rich food and not having my stomach/digestion behave perfectly.  I don’t count calories or macros or whatever (I’ve experimented with MyFitnessPal in the past, but our bodies know what they’re doing.  It’s our brains that screw everything up 😉 but I know that I perform better when I eat a lot.  For goodness’ sake, I just ran a 5k 90 seconds faster than I was running two years ago!  It’s just mentally hard sometimes to eat twice as much as everyone around you.

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IDK why I’m including this picture- I just like it

I’m just trying to remind myself of how much fuel we need to fuel the work that we’re doing.  It is ALWAYS better to overfuel than to under-fuel.  There are myriad examples that show how underfueling doesn’t work, ever.  And skillet cookies and mac and cheese will really just help this body handle mileage, intensity, and hot weather even better, right??  I’ll take that over miserably munching on raw vegetables and ignoring hunger cues any day.  The other day, we did clearances for next year, and I found out my weight for the first time in like two years.  And guess what?   It hasn’t changed at all since the first day of my freshman year of college.  Not that weight means anything at all- I’m way more efficient and can run a sub-18 minute 5k and do 20 chin-ups and handle 60 miles per week now- but I’m just saying our bodies are so smart and everyone has a go-to natural body weight and we need to eat a lot!

(Did that make any sense?  No?  It’s fine.)

Anyway, just a few finals, projects, and induction into the collegiate Spanish national honor society to get through before I am halfway done with undergrad!  I’ll be a junior in college before I know it.  Isn’t that crazy??  Sometimes it feels like I just got here!!

3k PR: 10:15

Happy day-before-Easter!  And day-before-the-day-before-the-Boston-Marathon!

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Yesterday’s “Easter” theme- it was more just “bright colors”

Shakeout + warm-up + rope stretch + drills + strides + race + cool down to long run mileage + blazing sun + ice bath = one tired college student.  And yet I’m writing this outside 😉  Sitting on the terrace after dinner, listening to a woodpecker, and enjoying the twilight weather.

The past few weeks have been shockingly good.  Under other circumstances, there would be nothing noteworthy about them, but considering I couldn’t walk after the race two weeks ago, putting together two consecutive weeks of good training has been unbelievable.

Last week: 41.5 miles + 145 min XT + yoga.  I had two really good off-track workouts and ran six days in a row, including a 10-mile soft surface run on Saturday.  Took Sunday completely off.

This week was the most intense running week I’ve had in months.  I ran 46 miles, 3 workouts, and have only cross trained one time!  What!?  I’ll do a more thorough training recap tomorrow, but today is for the race 🙂

Today was a low-key meet about half an hour from our campus.  Since I’m redshirting this season, my coach let me race the 3k again even though everyone else raced their “off” events.  The past few days have not felt great; 3 workouts in 4 days make for a tired body, and I ran on Wednesday instead of cross training.  I was hoping to run close to 10:00 today, but when I woke up this morning and still felt crappy, I just accepted whatever was going to happen.

Post-shakeout breakfast, 3.5 hours before the race: oatmeal with almond milk, egg whites, cinnamon, ginger, banana, berries, and peanut butter, along with plain Greek yogurt and coffee.

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This picture is actually from yesterday

My teammate drove me to the meet since I can’t take the vans, and it didn’t feel like race day at all.  We rope stretched, warmed up for 20 minutes, and did drills and strides.  The meet was so small that they ended up scratching the men’s steeplechase and men’s 3k, and there were only 10 people in the women’s 3k (including 5 from my school).

The 3k was at 11:30 am, at which point it was about 75 degrees and the sun was directly overhead.  I rarely do well in the heat, so I was kind of worried.  I was also not nearly as excited for this race as I was for the last one

One of our teammates was supposed to pace the rest of us through the mile, but she went out a little too fast and we never closed the gap (she won by a lot).  I think our first two laps were 77 and 82, and then I took over pacing duties through the mile (80 and 81ish).  I did not feel good, but I was really proud of that third lap.

After the 1600, one of my teammates and one girl from another school gapped me, and I should’ve rallied harder but didn’t.  I felt pretty crappy from 1600 to 2600, but the clock read 8:55 with a lap to go, and I knew that a stronger last lap would get me a PR, no matter how small.  I really hit the hurt locker on that last lap but closed in an 80 (which is not impressive, but better than an 82) for a 2-second PR of 10:15.

  • The good: I did not run poorly in the heat; strong third lap; strong(er) last lap; remembering how to race rather than just run; my teammates ran really well!
  • The “bad”: Falling off in the second half; generally felt beaten down; didn’t run as fast as I know I can (I will be a sub-10 3k runner, dang it!).

After the race, we had a long cool down in order to get to long run mileage.  After the last race, I couldn’t even walk, so I brought my phone along today just in case I had to call my coach to come pick me up.  Luckily, that didn’t happen!  Instead, we ran 5 miles on some beautiful local trails for total daily mileage of 11.5ish.

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Post-race refuel: a coffee chocolate Rx bar, lots of water, strawberry lime Tropical Smoothie, and turkey/apple/cheddar sandwich from Panera.  Looking forward to movies and ice cream tonight 🙂

Overall, today’s race was okay- can’t be upset with a PR (or can I?) but I want more!!  I’m racing a road 5k next Saturday, but I think that’s it for this season since I can’t race at conferences or ECACs.  Dang it.  Oh well.

3k PR: 10:17

Last night, I ran a PR in the 3k race!  And I haven’t been able to walk since…

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Enjoy this Snapchat

Here’s the recap.

In the days leading up to the race, I slept like crap.  My runs felt like crap.  My body in general felt like crap.  Also, I had a vicious accounting midterm on Wednesday night.

Confidence booster, am I right? 😉

But I tried not to think about it.  On Tuesday and Wednesday, I focused on extra recovery and eating all of the carbs.

Breakfast (8 am): oatmeal with almond milk, egg whites, fruit, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric (which is why it’s yellow), peanut butter, and plain Greek yogurt.

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Looks like a hot mess but so dang delicious

Mid-morning (10 am): some coffee, mostly decaf

I did a light upper body lift in the weight room, went for a 2-mile shakeout, and went to the training room for my normal treatment before getting lunch.  On the shakeout run, I noticed that my body felt much improved from the previous two days! 🙂

Lunch (12:30 pm): grilled chicken with honey mustard, sweet potato, steamed carrots, tomatoes, olive oil
Mid-afternoon (3:30): cinnamon raisin bagel with almond butter and banana

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I watched Scandal, read “Obabakoak” for my Non-Castilian Spanish Literature class, and wasted time before making the very long 15-second journey to the locker room at 5 pm.

Pre-race (5:30): half a Picky bar

My teammate and I warmed up for 20 minutes, did drills and strides, and checked in to get our hip numbers.  We were both in the fast heat, towards the back.  It was a little chilly, but not too bad.

Both of us have been battling injuries recently, so this was both of our first races back.  Our coach told us to hang on to the back of the train for 800 meters and then start picking people off.  Quite a change from last year! (Throwback to telling this petrified freshman to “go through at your high school mile PR.”)

For this race, I honestly just wanted to go out there and race.  To not think about times or splits or paces at all.  I just wanted to compete.

Since I was racing unattached, I wore a purple tank top and buns.  Also, racing unattached means that the school sports photographer does not take pictures of you, so here is a horrible-quality Snapchat video screenshot.  I’m the purple and black blur with the yellow spikes.  You’re welcome 😉

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The gun went off, and we settled in right where we needed to be.  It was so exciting to finally be in a race again!  The first few laps went by pretty quickly (around 80 seconds per lap, or 5:20 mile pace).  While I tried to keep the pace up throughout the second half of the race, I fell off my teammate a bit.  I wasn’t completely in the “race mode” mindset during the last 800, and I did not have a good kick.  I didn’t have a kick at all, actually.  That also stems from not being able to do speedwork or strides for the past few months 😉

I looked at the scoreboard clock with 300 to go, and it read 9:15ish.  That’s where I got complacent and thought, “well, I’m going to PR no matter what!”  and didn’t really try to kick it into the finish.  Three women passed me in the last 200 meters, but I finished in 10:17, which was 5 seconds faster than last year’s best.  I definitely had a little more in the tank at the end!

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post-race gimp squad!

Unfortunately, right after the race ended, my left foot and bunion immediately tightened up so badly that I could not walk.  I tried to go for a cool down, but it was excruciating, and I ended up on the bike for a little while.  The pain was so horrible that I was in tears.  I iced forever, did Compex, elevated, took ibuprofen, and was still completely unable to sleep last night because of the discomfort.  It’s just as bad this morning 😦 and I’m sleep-deprived, so I’m cranky.

Post-race: plain Greek yogurt, Cosi pesto chicken sandwich, orange, and dark chocolate

So I really don’t know what I’m going to do for the rest of the season.  On the one hand, I just PR-ed off of no speedwork and minimal mileage and lots of cross training. (Proof that cross training works!!)  My aerobic capacity is there.  I feel like with a few more weeks under my belt, I can run a great 5k.  On the other hand, if this horrible pain is the consequence of a 3k, what happens when I race a 5k??

UGH.

We’ll see.  I’m about to go swim for an hour or so- no running for me today! again- and then help out at the meet.  My roommate is running her first track 5k tonight, and I’m so excited to cheer her on!  Also, two of my teammates raced their first 10k last night and absolutely crushed it.  They ran 33:36 and 34:35.  Holy crap.  When they finished, it was so amazing and surreal and unbelievable that I actually cried.

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!

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 🙂

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The finish of the 2016 Marine Corps Marathon

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

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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!

Overtraining? + Grocery therapy

Good morning.  On this September morning, we should all take a moment to remember and honor those who died 15 years ago today. ❤

My Sunday morning:

Training 9/5-9/11:

Monday: AM: 3 miles trails + abs.  PM: form drills, speed ladder/hurdles, 7 miles trails, 8 x strides, upper body circuit, rope stretch.
Tuesday: AM: warm-up, drills, hill workout (3 x mile circuit, 4 x 400, 4 x 175m), 2 mile c/d = 10 miles.  Lift in weight room. PM: 2 mile shakeout, ice bath.
Wednesday:  5 miles trails.  PM: massage (quads and calves)
Thursday: 3 mile w/u, drills, dreadful track workout that I didn’t make it through.  2 mile c/d.  Lift.  Not a good day.
Friday: Form drills, speed ladder/hurdles, 6 miles trails, 6 x strides, upper body circuit.
Saturday: Long run (11) miles
Sunday: OFF

Total: 52 miles

Training this past week was a veritable rollercoaster.  Tuesday’s hill workout was the same one I died on ten days prior, and so I was a bit mental throughout the entire workout.  I finished it- yay!- but I had myself so worked up that I was almost in tears.  Whoops.

Thursday was a disaster.  Yikes.  I don’t really feel like reliving it.  I had a meeting with my coach on Friday to discuss my training, and one of the things we talked about was that maybe we got a bit too ambitious and excited about my fitness and kept ramping up the training and throwing me into that top group.

While my mileage hasn’t gone up recently, the intensity has.  Additionally, we’ve had to get used to an intense new lifting schedule, lots of walking, the heat, etc.  I think this week my body was just like “no more!” and shut down.  I haven’t been sleeping (a symptom of overtraining) and my moods and body image and all that jazz have been all screwy.

I think I also got into the mindset of “must do everything.”  This season, my coach has been sending out more flexible training schedules where we have a bunch of different options.  For example, Tuesday will say: “AM: workout- intervals.  Lift in weight room.  PM: 2-3 mile shakeout for top group, optional cross train shakeout for everyone else.”  Seeing that I had the option, I’d think, “well, I have to do a 3 mile shakeout!” even if I felt exhausted.  This week, I overloaded my mileage on Tuesday and dreamed of hitting like 65 miles, but when my body shut down around Thursday, I reevaluated and realized how crazy I was being.

So, lesson learned.  Listen to your body.  I am taking today completely off.  Looking at my running log, I realized I hadn’t taken an off day in a month- which had never happened before.  Hmm, maybe the whole overtraining thing makes sense!

On a more light-hearted note, yesterday my roommate and I did some retail therapy- grocery shopping retail therapy 😉

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We went to the local farmer’s market, Trader Joe’s, and also ventured to The Fresh Market for the first time.  It’s possible that we went a bit crazy with our yogurt purchases and impulse buys.  They had pumpkin spice almonds.  *Dies*

My haul: Skinny Pop, 4 jars of nut butter, coconut oil, almonds, chocolate-covered almonds, pumpkin spice peanuts, green tea infused mints, frozen raspberries, lots of yogurt, avocado, chicken noodle soup, vegetarian chili, and farmer’s market apples.  And I’m on a meal plan, oops.

Another essential part of our post-long-run Saturday morning routine is a stop at the Peanut Shop for the free samples.  Chocolate-covered almonds, cashews, peanuts, espresso beans, and everything under the sun.  Bless.

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Well, considering it’s almost noon and I’m still in bed (not sleeping because apparently I don’t know how to do that anymore), I should probably continue to tackle my weekend to-do list.  I’m looking forward to hitting “reset” this coming week and focusing on trying to take care of myself and listening to my body more ❤

BALANCE during summer training

SHOUTOUT TO BRENDA MARTINEZ FOR MAKING THE OLYMPIC TEAM IN THE 1500!  I LOVE YOU!!

(Sorry.  Continuing.)

Today is my baby brother’s twelfth birthday!  I remember the day he was born at home; my other brother and I watched Blues Clues and tried to ignore what was going on upstairs.  I can’t believe he’ll be a teenager in one year!

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I made him a special birthday smoothie (complete with whipped cream) and received a giant hug when his Pokemon birthday present turned out to have a rare card of some sort…clearly I’m a Pokemon expert 😉

Aside from that, this off day from work has included a hilly workout (20 min w/u, drills, fartlek of 7 minutes-5-7-5 with 2 min jog in between, 20 min c/d), rereading The Thief Lord (a childhood favorite) and sorting out some financial and academic stuff for the fall semester.  Which is in a little over a month! YAY!!


A couple weeks ago, one of my teammates shared this post by Sports Bras and Coffee, and she had some really good points.  It got me thinking, and I thought I’d share some of my own thoughts and some of my teammates’ tips (mostly learned from making the mistakes ourselves) on finding the balance between building a good, sustainable base and overtraining during the summer.

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As you know, since I’ve complained/exulted about it in every training post this summer 😉 , my mileage has gone up a lot in recent weeks.  After a low-mileage high school career (pls ignore the horrible eyeliner in that post- I went through a phase), I built up from 30 to 40 miles last summer, then 45ish during freshman year of college.  At each mileage level, I couldn’t imagine running more than I was running at that time!

This summer, when our coaches sent out the training plans and mine listed “60 miles” consistently, I knew it was going to be unlike anything I had done before.  There have been some days lately where the last thing I have wanted to do was go on yet another run. While obviously you’re not going to feel great on every run, it’s definitely not good to feel like that all the time!  It’s all about pushing your body to the limit while still finding balance.

So without further ado, here are some summer training tips.

  1. Listen to your body.  I know, so cliche.  Obviously, you want to be following the training plan given by your coaches, but if one day you have a double and your body feels horrible during the first run, it is okay to skip the second one and take a nap or do some yoga instead.
  2. Fuel properly.  Especially pre-run and breakfast.  I don’t know about you, but I do most of my summer runs in the early morning to (try to) avoid the heat and humidity.  Going out for a 7-to-12-miler first thing in the morning with nothing in your system is a bad idea, no matter who you are.  Try to eat/drink something high in carbs and non-acidic before your run, such as a banana, toast with jelly, or half a bar.  Additionally, if you’re training in the morning, eat a good breakfast afterwards!  Aim for something high in protein and complex carbohydrates to recover optimally and take advantage of metabolic gains.  My go-to breakfast is oatmeal with egg whites, yogurt, fruit, and nut butter. IMG_1194
  3. Sleep.  It might not be easy to go to bed at 10:30, or earlier, when a lot of people are staying up all night partying, but if you’re training 20 hours a week on top of maybe having a job or an internship or something, you need all the sleep you can get.  If you find yourself unable to get enough sleep at night (like if you get home from work at 11 and wake up at 5:30…hmm sounds familiar), power naps are the shit.  Seriously.  If you have a spare 23 minutes during the day, take a power nap.  They are awesome.  I slept for an hour before my double yesterday afternoon.
  4. Do not hammer your runs.  It’s May/June/July.  You have big goals for the cross country season, and you’re super motivated right now.  BUT the goal is to peak in November!  If you don’t take it easy on some of your runs, your body will not recover, and your base will not be sustainable.

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    This was a day when I should have gone slower

  5. Honestly, eat whatever you want.  As a serious athlete, most of the time you’ll crave wholesome, healthy food, so “whatever you want” will usually be a healthy balanced diet anyway.  But do indulge to an extent over the summer because a) it’s not racing season and b) it’s not healthy or helpful to be stringent about what you can or cannot eat.  This is the time to find a relaxed balance with nutrition. It’s mentally unhealthy to try and sustain unnecessary, rigid eating rules from June until November with no deviations.
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    Part of lunch: AMAZING focaccia from the farmers’ market

    6. Drink water.  All the time.  If you live in an insanely humid area like I do, make sure you are hydrating, especially in the morning!  I try to drink 2-3 cups of water before I go out for my morning run and then keep a 32 oz Nalgene with me throughout the day.  (Don’t overhydrate, though, which can drain sodium levels.  Make sure you are replenishing your electrolytes, as well.)

If anyone else has any other tips, feel free to chime in!

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!

 

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. 🙂

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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

*Dies*

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.

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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!

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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!