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!

Medical tent adventures

For only the second time since December, I did not PR in an open race.

I knew this would happen eventually, but I’ve just been spoiled and lucky and got used to PR-ing.  I was a little upset with this race because I know I’m in better shape than a 5:20 mile.  But the circumstances that followed the race were so extremely strange that I’m not that focused on the race itself.

We miscalculated the time until our race so I ate my English muffin too close to the race and they were lining us up when we were still on our warm-up.   We didn’t really get to stretch or skip or anything.  To top it off, I forgot my spikes, so I had to race back up to the team tent, grab them, and race back.

Starting line non-excitement

Starting line non-excitement

I was going to try to go for the state auto, but I was a bit skeptical because it was hot, the sun was blazing, and I was tired.

The gun went off, and literally no one wanted to take the lead.  Unfortunately, I ended up in front with some other girl and we had to lead for three laps.  (81, 79, 80 high)

In front, not by choice ;)

In front, not by choice 😉

By the third lap, I was pretty exhausted, and my feet were on fire.  Stupid bunions :/ The bell rang signaling the last lap, and I was immediately passed by six people.  Awkward…  I kind of died mentally on the back stretch of the last lap, especially when I saw my teammate (who’s the same speed as me) shoot into first.  With 150 meters to go, I thought, “I’m in seventh place. This is not okay! I have to get a medal!” I passed my one of my teammates (not the one in first), kicked down the home stretch passing two other girls, and finished fourth in 5:20. I thought I’d gotten 5:19, but alas.  It doesn’t matter anyway.  I was well off my goal of 5:12.

Death

Yeeahhh, not the greatest race

Immediately after crossing the finish line, I physically felt awful.  The sun/heat/food/bad race prep had taken its toll, I guess, because both of my teammates and I looked and felt like death.  Our coach commanded us not to cool down, but to sit in the shade and pour ice over each other.  My teammate who had won started throwing up, but the other girl and I started feeling better.  We walked back to our tent and sat for a little while, then decided to try to cool down.  Unfortunately, we both suddenly felt like we were going to pass out/throw up/die, so we took a detour to the medical tent.

As I crossed the turf field on the way to the medical tent, all of a sudden I collapsed onto all fours.  It was so weird!  I was hyperventilating and crying and just couldn’t stand or function.  I somehow ended up lying on my back on the ground in the medical tent, but I don’t really remember clearly how I got there.  I had a bag of ice and people were talking at/around me, trying to locate my mom, etc.  It was awkward because they were saying stuff like, “You just pushed yourself a little too hard” when I hadn’t even run that well.  After awhile, I got my breathing under control and started to feel better.  I sat up on the medical tent bench and some lady gave me more ice and an energy chew.  My teammate was on the ground kind of sitting in a daze.  Eventually, we felt okay enough to leave the tent, and I jogged for about five minutes to get some sort of cool down in even though my race had been over for almost an hour.

Too bad no one got a picture of that!

To sum it all up, it was by far the weirdest race experience I’ve ever had.  A kind-of-crappy race followed by nausea, disorientation, delirium, lots of ice, and Gatorade chews.

I’m taking today off and hopefully this coming week brings solid workouts and lots of rest.  I’ll really focus on my diet and nutrition, along with trying to get enough sleep.  My body clock has been forcing me to wake up at 6 every day, so I’m in a little sleep deficit right now which is quite frustrating.

Let’s try to keep the scary race experiences at bay ands steer clear of the medical tent!