Update: Blasting through the negativity

I feel as though an update on running/life is sorely needed, so here goes!  It might be fairly intense.  Oops.

After I DNFed nine days ago, my coach decided to keep me in the conference lineup for the 5k anyway.  Woo!  I gave myself a couple days to eat my feelings and deal with the medicine wreaking havoc on my body.  I felt like an elephant.  Running had been horrible for a couple weeks.

Last week, my coach forced me to take an off day on Monday- “Would you rather run today, or would you rather run at conferences?”- and I did a 9-mile MR+ on Tuesday.  That was a bad run; it was a million degrees and I felt heavy/dead right from the start.  On a positive note, we had our annual athletic awards ceremony that night, so we got to dress up for once!


I cross trained for 40 minutes on Wednesday, which felt fine, and then I did a workout on Thursday.  3 x [1000m, 600m] w/ 2-3 min rest, 5 x 200m with 90s rest.  This was probably the most normal I’d felt in weeks!  I still didn’t feel like I had any pep in my step or that little extra *something* in my legs, but I hit 3:28, 1:59, 3:30, 2:00, 3:31, 1:58 and did not time the 200s (but apparently my last one was a 33).  I ran 3 miles on Friday, 10 on Saturday, and 6 on Sunday.  Total mileage for the week was around 37- a little low, but whatever.

The thing is, if I’m being completely honest, I’ve been struggling a lot mentally.  There’s been some issues outside of running in my life recently, and it’s made it hard to focus completely, especially on top of being sick and not feeling 100%.  The negative thoughts have been creeping in way too often.

Even though last Thursday’s workout was okay, I kept thinking, “These thousands feel so hard.  How am I going to run a 5k around this pace?  I can’t do it.  I can’t do it.  I wish I were a 1500 runner.  I can’t run the 5k.  This is too hard.”  These thoughts have been popping into my head on almost every single run.

Our last day of classes was April 29th, and today marked the beginning of finals period.  I had my stats final in the morning.


Today’s workout was supposed to be 10 x 400 a tiny bit faster than race pace (so we were supposed to do 82s).  Not a bad workout at all, right?  Well, it turned out to be another negative day for me.  It was 83 degrees and the sun was blazing and I felt like throwing up.  Maybe it was due to eating lunch at 11:30-12 and working out at 2, maybe it was due to the heat, maybe a lot of things.

But struggling to do 400s at 5k goal pace and having to quit after 8 x 400 (2 miles worth of work, aka only 2/3 of the distance I have to race on Friday, with breaks) just sucked.  I had to go take a quick cold shower before doing a 15 minute cool down.  I was supposed to get 9 miles in today; I got 7.  This has been happening constantly for the past three weeks.  It’s annoying not to hit mileage every damn day.

And here’s the thing: unless I magically pull a 17:16 out of my butt at conferences, my season ends Friday, so today was my last real workout of freshman year, and I fucked it up yet again.


How ironic that as I type this, I’m listening to the playlist “100 Most Uplifting Songs Ever” on Spotify.

Anyway, I recognize my negativity and distraction, and here are some things I need to keep in mind:

  1. I don’t have a stressful finals schedule.  I only have two exams and a presentation, and I’ve gotten one exam out of the way with the presentation coming tomorrow.  I can relax if I want to!
  2. Boy drama, roommate drama, friend drama, any drama- I need to put it aside and realize that it’s not important right now.  Or realize that it needs to be blasted through.  One of those things.  I’m just spitballing right now, honestly.
  3. I love to run.  I love my team.  A 5k is long, yes, and mentally difficult.  But a few bad workouts are not a reflection of my ability to run 12.5 laps around the track as fast as I can.  I’ve put in the work for months and months, and even a couple weeks won’t destroy that.
  4. Stop thinking that I can’t run 3.1 miles!  (Sounds ridiculous, but yes, this thought has been popping into my head quite regularly.  Runners are weird.)  I ran 10 on Saturday.  Just because today was only two miles of work on the track does not mean anything.  Just because I was very glad when the 20-minute warm-up was over does not mean I cannot run 3.1 miles.
  5. Run for the team.  Yeah, I haven’t been feeling so hot, but everything we do is for the betterment of the team.  There are 5 other women suffering experiencing the 5k along with me.  GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME.  FOR THE TEAM.
  6. Stop being negative about nutrition.  This is a whole ‘nother can of worms, but to sum it up quickly, I don’t think my attitude right now is very good.
  7. STOP THINKING THINGS SUCH AS “X more days and I can be done!”  Cherish the next few days.  Memories will be made, the team will work toward a common goal (winning conferences!), and I need to keep this in mind!  I do this for a reason!

Ok, I should probably stop now.  I’m going to watch “Forrest Gump” and not study for finals 😉  It’s very weird to think that I’ll be done with freshman year and moving out in one week!!


My first DNF

This morning, I started my first 5k on the track (if you don’t count a random one I ran sophomore year of high school in a solid time of over 20 minutes).

I also failed to finish my first 5k on the track.

It took 19 years, but I’ve officially DNFed a race.

Honestly, I knew two days ago that I wasn’t going to finish (or maybe even start) this race. Since scratching the 1500 last weekend because I had been sick for a week and a half, I struggled through another week of training while feeling less than stellar.   I wasn’t sleeping and was up half the night coughing up a lung. I finally went back to the student health center on Thursday morning and was pretty much diagnosed with bronchitis. I started taking prednisone and an inhaler on Thursday, and my cough got better relatively quickly, but unfortunately I started experiencing myriad other pleasant side effects: nausea, really bad bloating, some bathroom issues…the works.

On Thursday, we did our traditional light pre-meet workout of a warm-up, 8 x 200 in spikes with 200m jog, and a cool down. It felt like shit. I was running 35-37 for the 200s which should’ve felt like easy pick-ups, but I couldn’t go any faster for the life of me. I started crying to my coach later because I was so frustrated. We had a conversation Friday morning that was pretty therapeutic (there’s been other stuff going on in my life in addition to running going poorly/being sick). She suggested that maybe we just take the opportunity this weekend to travel and race the first 3k of the 5k, depending on how I was feeling.

The side effects of the drugs continued to affect me throughout Friday. We left on Friday morning and did a shakeout run once we got there, and it felt okay. Not great. We ate a late dinner on Friday night and woke up early on Saturday for the 9:15 am race.

I felt terrible. Hopefully this isn’t TMI, but I couldn’t go to the bathroom. Still felt abnormally crappy- I literally almost started walking on our warm-up. Unfortunately, I didn’t see my coach between warm-up and race time, so I wasn’t able to communicate how I was feeling. At this point I knew it wouldn’t be pretty. We did skips, strides, took our sweats off, and lined up on the line.

The gun went off, and our assigned pace of 83 seconds per lap (5:32 mile pace) felt deadly right away. By lap 2 or 3, I was probably in last, and I made angry/sad eye contact with my coach on every lap. When we came through 1000m with the sign that said “10 laps to go”, I almost laughed. There was no way I was doing 10 more laps. Physically, I was not in it. Mentally, I was absolutely not in it. After a little over a mile, my coach said, “Do you want to go through 3k?” and I said yes.

So I went through 3k. I probably came through in like 11 minutes or something before jogging off the track. First time I’ve ever experienced the pity-filled “good job” as I plodded off the track while the race kept going…


Oh, well.

I cheered on my teammates until they finished and then went off on my own for the cool down per my coach’s instructions. There were tears. There was a phone call to my mom. It wasn’t pretty.

The medicine I’m on has me feeling like a bloated, gravity-loving elephant, so that’s unfortunate. I am spending the rest of today eating my feelings (so far, a burger, sweet potato fries, and a jam-filled cookie have happened) before hopping back on the dedication train tomorrow. Once I finish the medication (I’ll probably stop on Monday), I am hoping that all of this will clear up and I will feel like myself again. I would love for running to feel normal again ASAP!

I’m feeling a little guilty because I’m racing the 5k at conferences in two weeks and, as of now, I have not finished a 5k. I’m feeling undeserving and embarrassed and frustrated.

So that’s where I’m at right now.

Outdoor season opener: 3k PR (10:22.00)

Yesterday was my first collegiate outdoor meet!  It was a home invitational, which was super convenient because my dorm is a 5-minute walk from the track and our locker room was literally 20 seconds away.  Everything was right where we needed it to be!

The night before the race, I fueled up with grilled chicken, whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce, a giant salad, and pineapple-glazed carrots.

My race day breakfast of choice was oatmeal with almond butter/cinnamon/chia seeds/raspberries/bananas, plain Greek yogurt, Wawa coffee, and a multivitamin.


I ran the 3k along with like 15 other teammates.  The race was at 2:50, so I did my shakeout run at 7:30, ate breakfast (and drank too much Wawa coffee…) at 8:30, lunch at 11:30, watched my friends race the 1500 at 11:45, and headed over to the track for good around 1:15.

We warmed up for 20 minutes and did drills and strides on the infield.  A lot of people scratched, so they combined the 2 heats into one.  We lined up on the starting line, the gun went off, and we were off!

I didn’t feel great from the beginning, but I didn’t feel horrible either.  Honestly, I think it took me awhile to get mentally into the race because on lap 3 I could’ve sworn we were on lap 4, and I was not happy when I realized we still had over a mile to go.


There wasn’t a clock so I have no idea what any of my splits were.  (Actually, I know my second lap was an 80.  That’s it.)  Oh, well.  Three of my teammates and I worked together for about a mile, and then with 600 to go we really started kicking it in.  I entered the last lap a little ahead of one of my teammates who has a great kick and we battled it out for 300 meters… she ended up outkicking me, but I was happy that I stayed with her and had a pretty strong kick!


My finishing time was 10:22.00, which was a PR by over ten seconds!  I’m so excited.  That’s 25 seconds down since December and 10 seconds faster than last month.  It converts to roughly 11:04 for 3200, which is over 15 seconds faster than what I ran in high school!IMG_0827.PNG

After the race, we did a workout and a leg lift before stretching, rolling, and ice bathing.  Afterwards, I went out to dinner with my mom and grandma, who had come down to watch me race!

Amazing post-race dinner: steak with Merlot butter, sweet potato fries, and grilled zucchini.IMG_0829.JPG

Followed by the most decadent flourless chocolate cake I’ve ever had.  Paired with vanilla ice cream, strawberries, and cream, this cake was literally a truffle in cake form. IMG_0831.JPG

After not getting very much sleep last night, I woke up this morning, ate a bagel and a clementine, and ran 9 miles to shake out my legs from the race.

My mileage this week was about 49 miles, one mile short of 50 but still the highest mileage I’ve ever run in my life!  And I feel great!!

My mom brought down leftover corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes from their Saint Patrick’s Day dinner, so I devoured all of it after my MR+ today.


Not the prettiest but SO GOOD (I had two plates…)

The past day after the race has been filled with extremely good food and a distinct lack of sleep, but it’s completely fine to indulge for a day after a race.  Once this weekend ends, it’s back to the grind of healthy food, sleep, midterms, etc. #balance

I’m so excited for the rest of the outdoor season.  I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, and all the hard work we’ve been doing day in and day out is paying off.  Hopefully, injury and illness don’t butt in.  While bad races await me just as good races do, I’ll take it all as long as it pays off in the long run.  All I want to do is contribute to my team.


Outdoor track goals

As a quick recap, here’s a general summary of what my indoor season looked like, along with my previous PRs:

Mile: PR before indoor- 5:32

Two mile: PR before indoor- 11:59

800: PR before indoor- 2:29

Outdoor track goals 2014

On my “Goals” page, the goals I made for this season back in August are sub-2:25, 5:18, and 11:30.  I clearly did not expect the time drops that have occurred over the past few months, and I’m really, really happy with my times right now.  Time to edit those goals!

New goals: sub- 2:20 800.  I actually don’t care if I achieve this one or not because I’ve always considered myself to be more of a mile/two mile girl.  Who knows if I’ll even run 800s this spring?  Although I think I’m running a 4×8 in two weeks; obviously I won’t be in sub-2:20 shape by then considering that we haven’t even started doing workouts yet.  But if I run the 800 later in the season, that’s the time goal.

sub-5:15 mile: I really want to see what I can do in the mile this spring.  My 5:19 back in January was completely unprecedented, but it psyched me up for outdoor!  However, I don’t know how much more time I can drop, so I’m hoping five seconds is the way to go.

sub-11:20 two mile: Again, I don’t know how much more time I can drop, since 31 seconds came off in the span of one season.  But it would be so nice to be in the teens!