Summer Training Week 8 (54 miles)

Happy National Ice Cream Day!  After an easy 4 miles and core this morning, I dog sat, perused the farmer’s market, and have been checking various chores off my to-do list.  It’s been a busy week; I’ve worked every single day, and one more shift stands in the way of me and a day off 😉

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Week 7 (7/10-7/16):

Monday:  AM: drills, glutes, 7 miles,  strides.  I felt pretty crappy and was cranky on this run.  Core circuit.  PM: 3 miles neighborhood trail.  1 hour slow flow yoga class.  Got sick afterwards and puked/laid in bed all evening.

Tuesday:  AM: nothing: still sick.  Felt very achey/tired/lethargic, hibernated all day.  PM: 7 miles at 8:00 pace on treadmill.  Feet hurt by the end but body felt surprisingly okay.

Wednesday:  5 miles at Roosevelt Island.  Probably one of the top 5 worst runs I’ve ever had.  Heavy legs, felt off balance and achey, and it was super warm and humid.  But at least I did it!  Lift day 1: felt okay.

Thursday:  AM: fartlek on canal: 2 mile warm-up, 1-1-1-2-2-2-3-3-2-2-2-1-1-1 min on with 1 min recovery between everything, 2 mile cool down.  Very humid/muggy.  Didn’t feel amazing, but much better than Wednesday.  Ice bath.  PM: 2 miles at 8:10 pace on treadmill.  Very tired, and sore feet/legs!  Total = 11 miles

Friday: AM: 5 miles sidewalks.  Tired but progressively better.  Very humid/hot.  Lift day 2, unfortunately disrupted by some really horrible interactions.  The lift went pretty well, but I was not in a good mindset and therefore it didn’t feel as quality as it could have.  PM: was going to swim, but thunderstorms closed the pool, so I reluctantly took the afternoon off (which I definitely needed!!)

Saturday:  4 mile warm-up, 4 mile tempo (6:30, 6:33, 6:19, 6:12), 4 mile cool down all on bike path.  95% humidity.  Tempo was hard but got progressively mentally stronger throughout.  I knew I would need something extra, so I ate a citrus Clif energy gel after the tempo (so after 8 miles), and I don’t know if it was a placebo effect, but the last 4 miles felt surprisingly good!  Sore toes.  Ice bath. (Total: 12 miles)

Sunday: 4 miles + core

Total: 54 miles

This week was just weird.  I got sick on Monday and really didn’t feel well for about 5 days total.  Running wasn’t super fun, and I was annoyed that my mileage was lower than I wanted it to be.  Also, I managed to do 3 runs on soft-ish surfaces (yay!) but my legs were still super heavy and the constant, miserable heat and humidity didn’t help…

But I tried to listen to my body, and I’m proud of myself for taking Friday afternoon off (haha I’m aware how ridiculous that sounds).  I finally started to feel not-dead on Friday night.  Saturday’s long run took awhile to get into, and the tempo really did not feel great. So I was going to do 2×2 miles, and then “get to 3 miles and reevaluate”, but I got to 3 miles and felt progressively stronger so ended up doing 4 🙂  And I’m now an energy gel believer haha.

I’ve turned into a hermit that only runs and works.  I know my mindset was kinda crazy this week, so one of the things I’ll work on this coming week is not treating every run/mileage like the be-all, end-all of cross country success.  I have a tendency to micro-analyze every week and compare it to last year, etc. etc. etc.  I do really want to hit higher mileage, but I’m trying to remind myself that consistency is key!  There’s no need to rush things, especially after the spring semester…

One of the things I will try to incorporate this coming week is positive mantras.  Even a short phrase can re-center yourself and remind you of what’s important.  I go to a slow flow yoga class every week, and the instructor’s end-of-class mantra is “You are strong.  You are awesome.  You are inspiring.”  Heck yes, we all are!  Power poses can also play a big role in re-establishing yourself and getting out of a short-term funk.  I sound like such a hippie 😉 but I will incorporate these techniques.

Other random happenings:

  • My baby brother turned 13!
  • I finished reading A Walk Across America and re-read Born to Run and Eat and Run.  I’m a fan of all three books.  Now I’m reading Reconstructing Amelia.

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  • I poached eggs in a muffin tin for the first time.  They were delicious!  Just pop em in the oven for like 10 minutes.
  • Made Spicy Peanut Pad Thai for dinner one night (recipe from runonveg.com).  It was really good!  I used shrimp instead of tofu.  Also didn’t have aminos so used soy sauce, but that made it way too soy-sauce-y, so I had to add a bunch of honey to the sauce, haha.
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National Ice Cream Day concoction in the works.  Hint: involves three types of dough

  • Decompressed every night by eating lots of dessert and binge-watching The Great British Baking Show (until 10 pm because #earlyriserprobs)

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  • My coach shared with us the article, “Mindsets: Developing Talent Through a Growth Mindset” by Carol Dweck.  It was a really good read- I would recommend it to any athletes (or anyone!).  She also had us think about our beliefs about natural talent and effort.
  • I tend to align more with a fixed mindset in terms of “concealing deficiencies” and sometimes have trouble accepting criticism.  However, I have a growth mindset when it comes to Rule #2: “Work with passion and dedication- effort is key.”  Just some personal food for thought.

My goals (running and non-running) this week are to: have fun outside of training because I kind of failed at that this week; be less rigid with training and don’t stress about workouts; do something nice for someone every day; practice listening rather than just waiting until someone is done talking and then jumping in with whatever I have to say; plan more fall semester stuff; read a lot; stay off my phone!

“Garbage mileage”

This is kind of a mid-week weekly round-up because the past few days have been…interesting.

There’s always that point in training where the work you’ve done so far suddenly accumulates and your body feels like it’s been hit by a train.  If you’re doing it right and not overtraining, this feeling can last one day, a couple days…a week at most.  Then your body adjusts and you go back to feeling semi-normal.  However, if you’re overtraining, all of a sudden every run/lift/training session feels horrible for weeks on end.  Not good.

I had forgotten this feeling.  I think a lot of people can relate to this, but every time my training volume goes back up, I get complacent and think I’m invincible for a little while.  Until the accumulation of training volume happens, and then it’s a struggle to get out the door for a maintenance run 😉  Especially once the weather decides to never dip below 80 degrees or 80% humidity.  Ever.

After taking Sunday completely off, I felt surprisingly bad on Monday morning.  Two weeks ago, I joyfully bounded out the door the day after a complete rest day.  This week…nope.  My running buddy had to deal with my bitchiness for the first half of the run.  Eventually, I kinda warmed up, but no part of the 7 miles felt joyful.  That afternoon’s 3-miler was also “just another run.”

To make matters worse, I got sick on Monday night and spent the evening throwing up and lying curled up in the fetal position drinking ginger ale.  On Tuesday, I laid in bed for about 7 hours feeling weak and stressing about not doing the scheduled workout and being 11 miles under this week’s mileage.  Yeah.  I know, I’m insane and delusional.  Luckily, I felt progressively better throughout the day,before having a spurt of energy and jumping on the treadmill for 7 maintenance miles in the evening.  Again, I know.  I’m insane.  The run felt okay.  Nothing special.

Wednesday- hoo boy.  “You can go up to 6 miles as long as you feel fine,” I told myself. I drove to Roosevelt Island, and it was 80 degrees and 90% humidity at 7 am.  Right from the start, running felt impossible.  I struggled through every second of that miserable 5-miler.  My legs felt dead, my body felt heavy, my brain felt foggy.  That’s what you want!! 😉 I followed this nightmare up with a mediocre lifting session at the gym.

After four days of feeling like straight garbage, I was a walking pain in the ass.  Not a happy camper.  And the garbage-ness made me quite nervous to work out today.  Luckily, my friend volunteered to join me for the fartlek, and we did nine miles on the canal this morning.  It was already a sauna outside at 6:30 am, but we got it done.  While I didn’t feel great, it was significantly better than yesterday.  Did two miles on the treadmill after work, and my legs are, without a doubt, shot.

Runners are crazy!  It’s true.  When you’re in the thick of training, it’s easy to forget that what you’re doing is incredibly impressive, regardless of how fast you are/how many miles you’re running/what you’re training for.  It’s also easy to forget the importance of recovery and listening to your body and get caught up in the numbers/mileage/etc.  That is exactly where I’ve gone wrong this week, being the stubborn hypocritical collegian that I am, hehe.  I’ve been forcing myself to try to hit the mileage listed on my schedule rather than listening to my body because in the back (well, front) of my mind, I’m thinking, “Well, I ran X miles last year and I won’t be faster this year if I don’t run more miles than last year!”  I haven’t even wanted to cross train because my mileage would technically be lower (even if the workload is the same and it would be better for my joints, feet, body in general if I got in the freakin’ pool!).

Wow, writing that has made me realize that, um, Kathryn…you’re an idiot.

Soooo assuming I survive this week and make good decisions and my body doesn’t completely rebel, I’m going to take next week as somewhat of a recovery week, probs.  I’m writing this to keep myself accountable.  I do not need to be doing 7-3 doubles on maintenance days and 9-2 doubles on workout days if my body doesn’t want to.  The pool might be better on any given day!

Okay, sorry for all that…I think I’m done now…

Summer Training Week 7 (55 miles)

Just wrapped up four work days in a row- WOO!  The turnaround between a 5-10pm shift and a 12-5 pm shift always feels like, “Wasn’t I just here?”  But after two summers, I actually really like my workplace and know my coworkers better than last summer, so most of the time I don’t mind.

Anyway, this past week brought 55 miles!  And since I did last week’s long run on Sunday and this week’s on Saturday, I actually ran 66 miles in one week.  Ouch.

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Post-long run with the best ladies

Week 7 (7/3-7/9):

Monday:  AM: drills, 7 miles on sidewalks, strides, core circuit.  Tired from Sunday’s long run so ran watchless/relaxed and it turned out to be very pleasant.  PM: 2 miles on dirt trails, nice and slow.  1 hour slow flow yoga class.  Sunny, warm, humid.  Total = 9 miles.

Tuesday:  AM: 20 min w/u, drills, 4 mile tempo on bike path (6:27, 6:15, 6:18, 6:14), 20 min c/d, ice bath.  Pretty warm and humid.  PM: 2 miles on treadmill at 8:10 pace, felt surprisingly good and super happy!  Light lift.  Holy hunger!  Total = 11 miles.

Wednesday:  5 miles sidewalks (1 on turf).  Legs were tired but decent run.  Walked a fair amount around the Mall with out-of-town relatives  Very humid.

Thursday:  AM: 7 miles with friend on sidewalks/bike path.  Pouring rain.  Strides + light upper body lift.  Felt ok.  PM: 2 miles on treadmill at 8:15ish pace, didn’t enjoy it very much.  Total = 9 miles.

Friday:  2 mile warm-up, drills, fartlek on bike path (6-5-4-3-2-4×1 min with 1/2 recovery), 2 mile cool down.  Had to pump myself up for this.  Felt decent during the workout, but DIED on the cool down and got back to my house and felt like I was going to die for about 1.5 hours. Ice bath.  Total = 9 miles.

Saturday: 12 miles on the Mall, Mount Vernon bike path, Georgetown, etc. with teammates!! Ice bath. It was SO fun to run with them. Very humid.  My fuel tank was definitely empty the last 15 minutes of the run.  Longest run since October!!

Sunday: off

Total: 55 miles
Started workouts this week, and they didn’t go too badly!  The tempo was hard, and I mentally enjoyed the fartlek more, even though I felt like crap afterwards.  It was very humid and pretty hot all week, although it did rain a lot in the middle of the week.  I had running buddies on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday!
This week, our lifting coach gave us a down week, so we hardly did any strength.  Two light sessions and one core circuit- and I’m actually completely fine with that.  Looking forward to getting back into the weight room and doing more core this week, though.  It’s interesting to think back to last year when I was obsessed with doing core- like I’d lose my six-pack or not be “good enough” if I didn’t work abs every dang day.  News flash, old me- you can do core as infrequently as once a week and your weight room sessions will keep you fit and functionally stronger!  Revolutionary 😉
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We are terrible at actually taking pictures

My teammates actually came up to visit on Friday and Saturday, which was awesome.  We went to Jazz in the Garden on the Mall, went out to dinner, caught up with another friend, and long ran together on Saturday morning.  It was very scenic, and I tried to fit in as many monuments and historical sites as I could into the long run route.  Afterwards, we ice bathed and I made brunch for us- oatmeal with a toppings bar, scrambled eggs, yogurt, coffee, the works.
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Watched over by the Rolling Stones haha

There were a couple days this week that were very rollercoaster-y emotionally, as well as a few binge-like sessions that I’m not too proud of.  But if I remember correctly, that tends to happen as mileage increases and training intensifies.  There were also outside factors that contributed to a shaky emotional state.  I’m looking forward to leaving it behind, not continuing to guilt-trip myself, and learning to recognize the triggers that cause me to have trouble differentiating between physical hunger and mental tumult.
I wasn’t going to take today off even though I had an off day on schedule.  But I woke up this morning and my legs were screaming at me, so I listened to them and took the day off 😉  Used the extra time in the morning that I wasn’t running to make a killer breakfast. It is SO important to let the body recover to avoid overtraining!
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Heck yes

Since I completely failed at finding soft surfaces this week (3 miles out of 55 #nice), my goal this week is to get on some dirt or gravel trails.  It’s tricky because I have to dog sit, but I am determined to make it work.

The coming week has 58 miles on schedule, and I’m trying to hit 58-60.  The increased volume makes soft surface runs even more important- I know my body can’t handle 60 miles on sidewalks and asphalt.  Let’s goooo.

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!!

Summer Training Week 6 (52-55 miles + 30 min bike)

Greetings!  Today is a big day- the whole family’s in town, my mom and her husband are having a “wedding” party to celebrate their marriage, and also I hit the highest mileage in months and hammered the shit out of my long run 😉

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Who am I??

Week 6 (6/26-7/2):

Monday:  AM: 7 miles + core.  Legs felt pretty fresh after yesterday’s rest day!  PM: 2 miles + 1 hour slow flow yoga class at Mind the Mat
Tuesday:  AM: 8 miles on sidewalks/bike path. Drills + strides.  Lift day 1- felt strong, going to be sore.  PM: 2 miles, tired but gradually better.  Some negative personal thoughts.  Boo.
Wednesday:  5 miles W&OD bike path.  Sore, tired, but decent run.  Didn’t do 30 XT double because felt like body needed a break.
Thursday:  AM: 7 miles on sidewalks/bike path.  Felt good!  10 min core.  PM: 30 min bike, some random intervals thrown in.   Lift day 2- went well!  I did 26 out of 36 chin-ups unassisted…the most ever!
Friday:  AM: drills, 8 miles on bike path, strides.  Didn’t feel great for most of it.  PM: 2 miles @ 8:00 pace on treadmill.  Started crappy, finished better.
Saturday:  “Carry the Flag” 5k in Georgetown with my 9-year-old neighbor.  He sprinted the first 100m and then wanted to stop.  We ran/walked a stellar 29:35.
Sunday: 11 miles on the bike path…hammered the whole run and hit 6:40s on the way back…and it was 80 degrees and 80% humidity.

Total: 52-55 miles + 30 min bike
 
I LOVE this mileage right now.  I love it love it love it.  My feet felt (comparatively) fantastic even though I completely slacked off on rehab stuff…hehe.  There’s something magical about orthotics.  This week’s running routes were quite boring and hard surface-y because I stuck to the bike path/sidewalks…didn’t get a chance to drive to soft surfaces because I don’t have time (have to hurry over to dog-sitting right after morning runs).
I didn’t sleep super well this week and actually felt really out of it on Friday and Saturday.  Got home really late some nights due to evening work shifts and dog sitting.  Also, my body image and attitude towards food has been in the toilet (for me).  Just keeping it real.  It’s been weird.  But today’s long run was a kick in the pants and helped me remember to focus on getting stronger and training properly rather than stupid negative body/self-talk.  I’m HELLA STRONG, man!  Gotta remember that!
This week’s weather was humid as heck and some days were really hot.  Classic.
My neighbors convinced me to run a 5k with their son yesterday, and it was definitely an experience…I’m not sure if I should actually count it towards mileage because we walked at least half of it.  But it was a learning experience for me because I had to figure out things to say and do to motivate a 9-year-old to not quit/die.  Learned a lot!
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Not sure what’s going on in this photo but we’ll roll with it

Today’s long run…ooh.  The rest of the week’s runs were really boring, honestly, and I wanted to spice it up, so I actually used a GPS for once and hammered the run from the beginning (which was definitely not boring!).  I ran on the bike path again because I’m too lazy to come up with new routes….was wondering why it felt so hard and looked at my splits at the end and literally came to a dead stop in the middle of the street and said “What the heck?”  The last 5 miles were in the 6:40s.  I never do that.  It all makes sense now.
So happy to be back at this mileage/training…excited and apprehensive for workouts to start…and I’m gonna take tomorrow’s runs eeeeasy.
Other highlights from this week:
My friend turned 20 and had a “Roaring 20s” themed birthday party.  It was awesome.  She is a walking Pinterest board.
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I made some homemade vanilla espresso raw almond butter…yessss.  Much better than paying $14 for one jar of Wild Friends…sorry Wild Friends, I love your nut butter but not that much.
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Oats eaten out of not-really-empty peanut butter jars are the best way to go.
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Excited for the weeks to come!  Workouts will start on Tuesday, and I hope that I will find people crazy enough to run them with me!

Summer Training Week 5 (40 miles + 10 mile hike + 60 min bike)

Drinking coffee, listening to “Acoustic Sunrise” on the radio, farmers’ market ventures, and dog-sitting…sounds like Sunday 🙂

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This week’s training was a little different.  My brother and I spontaneously decided to go backpacking on Thursday and Friday, so I skipped my planned run doubles but did complete a very technical 10-mile loop!  So running mileage was a little lower, but overall mileage still increased.  My legs/glutes are sore, and today will definitely be a rest day!  I’ll recap our backpacking trip in more detail in the next post.

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Week 5 (6/19-6/25):

Monday: AM: 7 miles on sidewalks + bike path.  Core circuit.  Some toe pain.  Heat/STIM/ice.  PM: 30 min bike.  1 hour slow flow yoga…spent lots of time upside down so almost passed out a couple times haha
Tuesday: AM: glutes, drills, 8 miles bike path, strides.  Toe pain.  Heat/ice/stim.  PM: 2 miles + lower body lift.  Tired!
Wednesday: 3 miles into 30 min bike.  Pretty hot out!  Tired, took it easy, went ok.
Thursday: AM: 6 miles bike path.  PM: Strenuous technical 3.5 mile hike.  Camped overnight. Didn’t sleep that well but it was awesome.
Friday: AM: Technical 6.5 mile hike.  Foot hanging in there.  PM: 3 miles.  STIM/ice on feet.
Saturday: 11 miles on bike path, partially soft surface.  15 min ice bath, easy core circuit, STIM on calves.
Sunday: off

Total: 40 miles running + 10 miles hiking + 60 min bike

Overall, this week went well!  No soft surface runs until yesterday’s long run, but I did hike 10 miles through swamps and rocks and dirt and pine needles, so that counts, right?

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Soft surface?

Nutrition this week was a little weird.   I ate a ton.  While backpacking, we fueled up with beef jerky, bars, dried fruit, etc.  We carted all of our food and water up the mountain and ate instant mac and cheese, campfire-blackened sausages, ramen, and the like for dinner on Thursday.  I also had quite a few treat meals, and for some reason gorged myself on ice cream last night at work, which made my stomach feel less than stellar 😉  But it seemed like my body just burned through everything due to the constant strenuous activity!  So I’m not too concerned.  I think I’ll try to reduce the amount of ice cream I’m consuming at work, though…

(Nutritious and delicious…)

Sleep was okay.  Some nights were fine, but I hardly slept some other nights.  I’m a little groggy right now.  It’s hard to implement my normal bedtime routine because I’ve been working until 11 pm and now have to take care of three dogs after work.  But I’m trying to relax about it!

I recently switched to custom orthotics instead of SuperFeet, and they’ve honestly been helping a ton!  I was having significant toe pain last week, but I’ve been able to get through all of my runs with little-to-moderate pain.  It’s still there, but it’s bearable!

Saturday’s 11-miler was the longest run I’d done since April!  And I only ran 11 miles about 3 times from January through May because of all the foot issues.  I ran four miles by myself before meeting up with a teammate for 7 more.  I’m excited to try to increase my long run again and get back to the 12 I was running last year, and maybe even see how 13 feels.  But for now, I’m happy to be able to run 11 🙂

Throughout the coming week, I’ll really have to plan things out as mileage increases, dog-sitting takes up more time, and work continues to be crazy.  I don’t know what I’ll hit, mileage-wise, but I’m going to work on listening to my body, fueling properly, and taking care of my foot.  Mileage is lower at this point than it was last year, but that is okay!  Consistent training is more important than reaching high mileage for a week or two and having to take time off because you broke yourself.

 

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

#dead

#dead

#dead

#beenlisteningtomilkychancefor3hours

#revived to write this post 😉

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 😉  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.

Running is hard sometimes

Aloha!  Our A/C is on the fritz again, so I’m hibernating in the basement while I write this, since it’s not 100 degrees down here.  I think ice cream at work tonight will be a necessity.

Anyway.

You know those runs that just knock the life out of you?  I had one of those this morning.  After an off day from running yesterday (I did put in an hour in the pool and an hour-long yoga class), I woke up early today and drove out to the canal for a change of scenery.  I was so excited for a nice 7-mile maintenance run!  Alas…it was not to be.  My legs felt off from the beginning, and running just felt hard.   It felt like I was hammering, but apparently I was running my easy/maintenance pace (around 7:30 per mile).   I did a terrible job of listening to my body when I should have taken it easy, no matter what the “pace” said.

Afterwards, I just felt completely discombobulated.  Which resulted in me drinking coffee for the first time in eight days…on top of a white duvet…live life on the edge, you know? 😉  (PS: this summer has unexpectedly resulted in my coffee consumption diving down to almost zero!  Weird.)

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I’m not even really sure why this run felt so difficult- it was humid, yes, but not extremely hot, and I wasn’t that sleep-deprived.  I rarely use a GPS (actually broke my GPS watch), but I downloaded Strava for this run and was very surprised at the end when my average pace was like 7:35.  It had honestly felt like I was hammering the crap out of some sub-7-minute miles.

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Oh, well.  The good news is, I had a good swim yesterday!  50 minutes of laps followed by 10 minutes of easy aqua jogging.  Afterwards, I went to a yoga class.  Swimming has never been the most enjoyable thing for me, although I became a believer in the power of cross training this past semester.  But this week, I’ve actually looked forward to getting in the pool, and as such have done two cross training sessions in the water!  Some days, the laps just click by rhythmically.  I would love to do my swims in a lake or similar beautiful, natural setting, but the same old 25-meter stretch of warm chlorinated water will have to do for now 😉

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I have to go cross train and lift soon, so that’s about it for now.  Working tonight after my gym session, running twice tomorrow, working again tomorrow night…it’s the summertime grind 🙂  Craving a nice, cold peach!

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 🙂
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 😉  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 😉 …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 😉
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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 😉 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 🙂

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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!