First workout back: 4-mile tempo run (in which I remember how hard tempo runs are)

(If you don’t want to read the whole thing: 6:27, 6:15, 6:18, 6:14)

Happy 4th of July!  I can’t say I’m always proud to be an American, but I’m grateful to live in a country with freedom and opportunity.  I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and gets to spend time with family and friends.

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Speaking of family and friends, here’s a photo of all the cousins (and my gramma) from the wedding!

Today started off with an early morning workout.  I was up and ready to go at 6 am, so I ate some Ezekiel toast with peanut butter and banana before heading out to complete the first workout of summer/cross country season!

The workout was 2.5 mile warm-up, 4 mile tempo, 2.5 mile cool down for a total of 9 miles.  It was 75 degrees and about 85% humidity when I headed out the door, which wasn’t unbearable.  My legs were still pretty tired from Sunday’s long run, so I told myself that 6:20 pace sounded reasonable.

Warmed up for 20ish minutes and did drills on the asphalt bike path.  Didn’t feel stellar.  Contemplated studying the plants lining the side of the bike path instead of doing the tempo.  Just kidding.

Started the tempo…It felt a wee bit harder than it should have, and I hit the first mile in 6:27.  Reassured myself that it was fine and that I wasn’t a slow hobby-jogger 😉 Entering the second mile where two bike paths converged, some guy came tearing along of the adjacent bike path at the same time and pace that I was tearing along the other one.  So I latched onto him without asking, mostly because I couldn’t spare the breath to speak.  Hehe.  He pulled me through the second mile in 6:15, at which point I turned around.  Thanks, runner dude- hope you didn’t mind a random girl tailgating you for a mile!

I hit the third mile in 6:18 and contemplated quitting.  But not actually.  Well, kind of.  You know those moments where you dream of stopping but know it’ll never happen because a) you would kick yourself and b) pain is a mental construct and it isn’t real!! ?  Yeah.  It had been months since my last tempo, and I forgot how hard they are!  That last mile is always a grind.  I just tried to relax and told myself that I had done harder things and to stop being a baby.  Clearly I’m very nice to myself.  Fourth mile was a 6:14.  Total time for the tempo was 25:14.

The cool down was more of a shuffle because my legs kept deciding without my permission that they didn’t want to run anymore.  I finally got home after 87 years (20 minutes).  But after stretching, rolling, an ice bath, and a short walk with one of the dogs I’m dog-sitting, they’re feeling a bit better.  I’m drinking coffee for the second day in a row- crazy!  The rest of the day will include lunch (wedding leftovers for YEARS), a nap, spending time with family, another run for a total of 11 miles today, potentially a light leg lift, and 4th of July fireworks and dinner tonight.  I’m lucky enough to have today off from work, so I may binge-watch The Great British Baking Show 😉

Anyway, Cliff’s Notes version because I managed to write an essay about 25 minutes of my life: the first workout back was hard, now I remember what a grind tempos are, excited to get faster this summer, and I would love to find workout buddies.  The end!!

Training recap (2/22-3/6)

I may have given myself mild hypothermia from my post-long run ice bath today.

Oops.

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Anyway, as I sit here drinking hot tea huddled in blankets with the heater going full blast, I’ll recap the past two weeks 😉

Finally, finally, finally after a rollercoaster month of inconsistent training, I’ve been able to complete two weeks of “normal” training.  My body is feeling it…but that’s a good thing.

Week of 2/22-2/28:

Monday: 6 miles, drills, strides, upper body lift
Tuesday: 20 minute warm-up, drills, strides, fartlek (8 x [2:00h, 1:00e, 1:00h, :30e]), 15 min cool down, lower body lift (Total = 10 miles)
Wednesday: 60 min stationary bike
Thursday: AM: 40 min elliptical.  PM: 6 miles, drills, strides, upper body lift, yoga
Friday: drills, 10 min run, 33 min progression run, 10 min run, 4 x 400m w/ 200m jog, 15 min cool down (Total = 11 miles)
Saturday: 3 miles
Sunday: 11 miles

Total: 47 miles, 100 min XT

Week of 2/29-3/6:

Monday: 6 miles, drills, strides, upper body lift
Tuesday: 20 min warm-up, drills, strides, [2 x 1200m 4:42, 4:38, 2 x 800m 2:53, 2:54, 6 x 400m 80, 80, 78, 77, 76, 74], 23 min cool down, lower body lift (Total = 10 miles)
Wednesday: 60 min XT pool (30 swim, 30 aqua jog)
Thursday: AM: 40 min stationary bike.  PM: 6 miles, drills, strides, upper body lift, yoga
Friday: 21 min warm-up, 4 mile pace run (6:35, 6:33, 6:22, 6:23), 24 min cool down, lower body lift (Total = 10 miles)
Saturday: 25 min stationary bike, core, push-ups
Sunday: 11 miles

Total: 43 miles, 125 min XT


Three cheers for real training!  Putting in the work makes me satiated like nothing else.  I was exhausted at the end of last week but less exhausted this week (although this morning’s long run is starting to hit me…)

Last week’s long run was actually horrible; I felt shitty right from the get-go but struggled through by myself while progressively feeling worse the whole run.  This week’s long run was a lot better: I ran a somewhat erratically paced 5 miles with a friend from high school and then 6 miles by myself.  My iPod died after 6 minutes by myself, though!

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I sped up once I was on my own…miles 7 and 8 were uber hilly

This week’s workouts were really solid.  Tuesday was my first full track workout in seven weeks, and even though I didn’t feel amazing, it was thrilling to be completely back on the track.  Friday’s workout was “on your own”, so my friend and I headed out at 7 am in the middle of a freezing rain storm.  Ice pellets were literally stinging our faces to the point where we couldn’t open our eyes during the warm-up, but the workout itself was not bad.  For the conditions, it was a strong effort.

Knock on wood, I’m feeling good about my fitness level.  My first outdoor race (the 3k) is in a little less than two weeks, and I want to be ready.  I’m still not sure if I’ll be focusing on the 1500-3k or 3k-5k this spring, but I am open to whatever my coaches want me to do.

One of the perks of being home is the farmer’s market right down the street, so of course I stopped by before the long run.  Stocked up on butternut squash, spaghetti squash, pink lady and goldrush apples, and kale!

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And for my post-long run lunch, I had Siggi’s blueberry yogurt, a piece of 80% dark chocolate, an apple with peanut butter, and the same quinoa and chili I had for lunch yesterday!

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The afternoon has been filled with more house moving related activities, and now it’s time for a nap.  In addition to training this week, I’ll hopefully be doing fun DC activities and road trip adventures!

In-season training week 3 (40 miles)

Hello friends!  Fall weather has finally arrived in this college town… almost.  It was 66 degrees this morning and didn’t get hotter than 75 the entire day.  I wore jeans!!

In-season week 3 brought lower mileage, and it seems that my body has finally adjusted to college training! (Knock on wood.)  I’ve felt great on the past few runs, and I’ve really looked forward to each workout.

Week 3:

Monday 9/7: 6 miles @ 7:48 average, drills, strides, strength circuit
Tuesday: 2.5 miles warm-up, 4 x [5:00 hard, 3:00 easy], 5 x [1:00 hard, 1:00 easy] on home course.  8 minutes cool down.
Wednesday: 60 minutes cross training (50 minutes aqua jog + biking to all my classes)
Thursday: 6 miles @ 7:50 average, drills, strides, strength circuit, 30 minutes biking
Friday: 3 miles warm-up, 4 miles pace run @ 6:28 average, 2 miles cool down, leg lift
Saturday: off
Sunday: 10 miles @ 8:05 average

Total: 40 miles running, 90 minutes cross training

Comments:  Guess who skipped her Saturday yoga session this week…this girl.  Sorry coaches!  I did stretch and roll, I just didn’t do any downward dogs or pigeons or trees.

The beginning of this week was rough.  My legs were really heavy on Monday, and I got sick that night, so I had a sore throat and general nausea during Tuesday’s workout.  But I got through it!  All I did was shorten my cool down.  I recovered mostly in the pool on Wednesday, and Thursday’s run was pretty good.

I found myself positively anticipating Friday’s workout as early as Thursday night!  After receiving our gear on Wednesday, the entire team decided to match with our new spandex and neon sports bras.

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I’m third from right

I felt good on the warm-up, although there was a worrisome crackly feeling in my left ankle and arch that I just kind of ignored until it went away.  We started the pace run, and for two miles I felt really good and light on my feet.  My right leg locked up during the second half, but I still finished okay.  We started out faster than we’ve started the past few pace runs (we were right at 6:30 instead of 6:35), and we just maintained that and even sped up a bit.  Overall, it was the fastest average pace my group has run on our pace run, and it was less than 15 seconds off my 5k PR pace…for four miles!

Workout group strong

Chasing the sun- (look up that song by Sara Bareilles, it’s great)

I took Saturday completely off.  This morning, we went to the same place we went for last week’s long run, and I did ten miles again.  We did a slightly different route and took it slower, and I felt amazing!  My legs weren’t even fatigued at the end of the run; it was like I hadn’t even done a long run.  Recovery long runs are my favorite ❤

I love my workout group

I love my workout group (and my dorky happy face)

Nutrition this week has been so-so.  Last night, our recruit arrived around 8, so naturally we went out to eat.  After eating my regular dinner around 6:30, I ate an entire pizza and an entire skillet cookie by myself.  Yes.  The skillet cookies are absolutely amazing: a huge fresh-baked gooey cookie topped with vanilla ice cream.

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I’ve also been eating mishmash lunches in my dorm room for the past few days because I’ve either been a) studying b) the timing has been weird or c) bad weather/laziness meant I didn’t want to walk all the way to the caf.

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PB&J, carrots, snap peas, string cheese, and plain Greek yogurt with blueberries and hemp seeds

I biked to Trader Joe’s in an intense thunderstorm the other day, which was a little bit terrifying and very exhilarating.  I got all the necessities! (And definitely exceeded the weight capacity of eleven pounds for my bike basket.)

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Fridge goals

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My team had a make-your-own pizza party on Friday night, and it was amazing.  Also, random: my butternut squash from last week! Heaven.

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Additionally, our dorm now has an extra resident.

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The little dude has been hanging out outside for a week now.

One last thing before I turn in for the night: I nearly died in my three-hour outdoor biology lab last week.  Skinny jeans, long socks, rubber rain boots, and 96 degree weather.  And when I took off my shoes/pants, I had myriad huge bug bites all around my ankles!  How does that happen!?  That’s exactly why I wore the pants- to prevent that!

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Enough of my complaining.  Off to bed!

 

 

First college race! and dead legs

Hey guys!  I’m currently lying in my bed eating popcorn, dark chocolate, and microwaved cinnamon apples.  I’m a little too tired to go out tonight, so it’s just a quiet night with my sick roommate, food, and a sushi documentary on Netflix.  I thought I’d spend this time talking about some recent running things!

On Tuesday, I had my first college race!  We didn’t really treat it like a race- more like a hard workout effort.  The meet was a strange format where we divided up into two-person relay teams and each leg raced a 3k, then a 2k.  So the race was 3k-3k-2k-2k for a total of 10k.

We ran two miles in the morning to prep for the evening race.   It was 95 degrees and very humid when we arrived at the race venue, which was an extremely hilly park used for religious retreats, I think. I didn’t feel very good on the warm-up.

The first of my two relay legs (3k) wasn’t great.  I was caught completely off guard by the most monstrous hill I’ve ever seen/run on!  First time I’ve ever walked in a race. 😉  I recovered while my relay partner was running her 3k leg.

Freshmen ran unattached, so I did not wear a uniform

Living that unattached life

I started my second leg a bit behind the rest of my workout group, so the first part of my 2k leg was spent catching up to them.  I passed some of them right before I hit the monstrous hill for the second time, and I’m proud to say I successfully ran strong up the entire hill!  My second leg felt much better than the first.

After that, we did 5 x 1:00 hard, :30 easy, with the hard minute around 5k race pace.  Followed that up with about a 1.5 mile cool down, so in total I ran about 10 miles on Tuesday.


Today, we had another pace run!  We warmed up for a little less than 3 miles (7:30 pace) until we got to the park/rec area where we were doing our workout.  After drills and strides, we got started!  My workout group was supposed to do 4 miles at 6:30 pace with a slightly faster finish, but we started out conservatively because it was 88 degrees and humid.  Our splits ended up being 6:35, 6:35, 6:38, 6:18.  The last mile was really hard, but I’m happy with the time!  My legs have been dead all week (trying not to dwell on it), and I thought about quitting multiple times throughout this pace run, but I finished strong with my group.  We cooled down for a little less than 3 miles at about 8:55 pace, and some of us went to Wawa for chocolate milkshakes before stretching, ice bathing, and doing core.

After a workout like that, I’m always ravenous, so I’ve been eating nonstop for about four hours.  I had the post-workout milkshake, multiple plates of chicken, rice, baked potato, chili, and carrots at dinner, a berry smoothie, and of course all the popcorn, dark chocolate, and cinnamon apples.  Living the good life.

I have three miles and yoga tomorrow and ten miles on Sunday.  My weekly mileage will end up being around 45 (plus 90-100 minutes of cross training)!  As I mentioned before, I’ve been feeling pretty dead this week, but I’m trying not to worry about it since it’s kind of expected with a complete routine upheaval, much more walking, a lot more “little things” like activation drills and hurdle drills, a new diet, a new sleep schedule, and a new workload.  Phew!  My workout buddy (who’s a junior) said it takes most people at least a few weeks to adjust.

I’ll try really hard to not let this tiredness get to my head.  And now…sleep!

Anniversary + pace run

Happy two-year anniversary!  I can’t believe I’ve had this little corner of the Internet for two years now.

In my one-year anniversary post, I said something like “I’ve come a long way.”  That was a lie.  I had no idea that my senior year would be such a struggle.  Now I know better than to make pronouncements about coming a long way, since I have no idea what’s going to happen.  So I’ll satisfy myself with the knowledge that I’ve come a tiny way since I started the blog. 🙂

At this time last year, I had just finished my highest mileage week and was so tired of running.  I also had an allergic reaction or some shit to a mosquito bite and my ankle swelled up disgustingly.  Should’ve known that I would grow to hate running for a little period of my life…

Enough with that!   I’m currently sitting in LAX with nothing to do for another half hour until my plane boards, so I thought I’d type up a quick blog post.  Yesterday’s run was not fun at all; I slept in until 8 am and didn’t eat before the run, and the entire time I was running I just wanted to be done because my legs felt like they had bricks tied to them and I seemed to have forgotten how to use my arms.  I felt marginally better by the end (woo, endorphins) and did barefoot strides in the park in the canyon behind my grandma’s house.  5 “recovery” miles at 8:15 pace.  I managed to keep in mind that it made sense for me to feel so gross since I’d done 10 miles in 78 minutes the day before.

I woke up at 5 am this morning so that I could get my workout in before we left for the airport.

pace run

I had seven miles for the day, so I did two miles warm-up, three miles pace run, and two miles cool down.  It was 55 degrees (!!) and pitch black outside when I started running, so I got to watch the sunrise during my warm-up.  At 5 am, there was hardly anyone on the bike trail.

Warm-up: 2 miles at 8:48 pace
Pace run: 3 miles at 6:35 average (6:56, 6:41, 6:11)
Cool down: 2 miles at 8:15 pace

pace run splitsI was surprised that my last mile was so fast (faster than my 5k PR pace, actually!).  I was aiming for a 6:25 or so, but I think it was flatter/more downhill than the other two miles.  This workout felt a lot better than my tempo run last Friday.

Tomorrow is an off day from running (60 minutes of cross training), and I’m happy about that because we’re getting home at like 11 pm Eastern time.  Can’t wait to sleep in my own bed!

TEN DAYS UNTIL COLLEGE!  I still have so much dorm shopping to do.