Summer Training Weeks 3 and 4: Return from Spain and injury update

Happy Monday!¬† Sorry I forgot to publish last week’s summer training recap- 3 weeks in and I already slacked off ūüėČ Classic.¬† I have a ton of highlights for you, so settle in!

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The week of 6/18 to 6/24 was my last week in Spain.  I was planning on increasing the walk-to-runs and enjoying my last week, but unfortunately my foot got progressively worse.  After talking to my coach on that Wednesday, we ended up shutting down the walk-to-run progression and limiting me to an hour a day of cross training and no more than 3x/weekly strength exercises.  I took off on Saturday and Sunday because we spent those days traveling.

Week of 6/18-6/24

  • Monday:¬†AM: 5×6 min run, 1 min walk + 25 bike.¬† PM: 35 min easy recumbent bike + core + push-ups + foam roll/ice.
  • Tuesday:¬†AM: 70 min bike workout (15 w/u, 5 x hard song, easy song, 5 x 1h1e, 10 c/d) + strength.¬† Foot pain while walking.¬† Iced.
  • Wednesday:¬†Foot pain ūüė¶ Glute activation, 50 min easy recumbent bike, core.
  • Thursday:¬†AM: ~30 min yoga by the ocean.¬† PM: 60 min recumbent bike, glute activation, light lift/core.
  • Friday: 52 min bike + light core.
  • Saturday: off. Travel from C√°diz to Madrid.
  • Sunday: off. Travel from Madrid to US.

Rundown from my¬†running log: “Really sad about not being able to continue the walk-to-run & foot has almost constant pain- lots of breakdowns and bad body image BUT striving to see the positives <3”

After months and months of living in constant pain and trying with all my heart to come back to running, each time it gets taken away I feel a mixture of heartbreak, familiarity, and resignation.  This unfortunately made my last week in Spain less enjoyable.  Due to that and a month of sleep deprivation, I felt really non-functional on that Sunday and suffered from a depressive episode on that Monday that was scary and difficult.

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So I got dressed up and took a selfie to feel better

There were some highlights- awesome sunsets, finishing classes, watching the World Cup at a sports bar, retail therapy (shopping haha), touring the Catedral de C√°diz and enjoying world-famous empanadas, watching our professor get sangria-drunk at a program dinner, and meeting up with our teammate in Madrid!

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I’m not gonna lie- my body image SUCKED.¬† I felt extremely uncomfortable and wasted a lot of mental energy hating myself, especially the weekend that we were traveling back to Madrid and then the US.¬† With injury, especially injuries that won’t heal, there’s a tendency to feel like your body is betraying you and become angry/sad/body-dysmorphic.¬† Add in travel where you’re out of routine, and it’s a perfect storm for self-hatred.¬† That’s exactly what happened to me.¬† Luckily, returning to the US and getting back into a “normal” summer routine, with¬†enough sleep!¬†(albeit without running), has done wonders for my mental state and self-perception.

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Cute doggos help, too


Week of 6/25-7/1

  • Monday:¬†AM: early 60 min swim (3500 yds).¬† PM: 20 min glute activation/core/light dynamic strength.
  • Tuesday:¬†60 min bike with long pick-ups¬† Lift (Swiss ball core/hamstring curls, quad curl/cable row, hamstring machine/pull-ups, DB shoulder press, calf raises, lat pull-downs.)
  • Wednesday:¬†AM: 60 min swim.¬† PM: 1 hour slow flow yoga.
  • Thursday:¬†50 min pool with my friend (30 swim, 20 aqua jog).
  • Friday:¬†65 min bike (20 miles) with some intervals.¬† Lift (glute activation, planks, chin-ups, hamstring curls, RDLs, lat pull-downs, hip thrusts with plate, ab leg raise, monster walks, core/DB push-up rows).
  • Saturday:¬†Off. Light yoga.
  • Sunday:¬†60 min swim (3350 yds) with some harder intervals.

Rundown from my running log: “Nice week, great to get back in the pool & also find out what’s really wrong with my foot!¬† Work is tiring!¬† Did well on sleep this week but am staving off a cold.”

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20 miles later…

Last week, I got back in the pool with zest and zeal after 5 weeks of not swimming.¬† Jet lag made for some super early morning training sessions.¬† I also worked over 25 hours, and the store was 90+ degrees, so we were all dying…But gotta get that money!

I stuck to my coach’s instructions of an hour a day, and it has been¬†just¬†enough to keep me sane while not enough to make me feel like a walking zombie.¬† Excellent!

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Met up with some friends for dinner in Georgetown

On Thursday, I began wearing the AirCast again and met with an orthopedist at Georgetown Hospital to find out what the heck has been going on with my foot.¬† A few x-rays later, he told me that not only had I had a stress reaction in my second metatarsal, I had a (healing)¬†stress fracture¬†in my second metatarsal¬†and¬†a stress reaction in my third metatarsal!¬† Holy shit.¬† I felt crushingly relieved because this explained why a) my foot hadn’t healed, and b) why I was having what seemed like pain all over my foot, when it “should have” been localized to the stress reaction spot.¬† It all makes sense!

So to let this thing heal once and for all (jesus, it’s been almost 6 months of injury), I am wearing the boot until I feel zero pain, and then waiting another two full weeks before even attempting to run.¬† I’m sticking to my hour-a-day of cardio, and my goal is to get strong, sleep a lot, and be¬†happy.¬†¬†I’m motivated to increase my aerobic capacity and functional strength while letting my foot heal¬†for good this time.¬† Once I’m in the clear to run, I have a “prescription” for a local Alter-G (haha) and a follow-up appointment at the orthopedist at the end of July.

Did I¬†ever think I would be in this position right now? Never.¬† I distinctly remember back in January when I first got post tib, my teammate asked, “So you think this is going to be like a 3-week thing?” And I responded, “yeah, I think it’ll clear up pretty quick, I’m not too worried!” Little did we know…

But I have my whole life to run ūüôā There’s no law stating that I have to be as fast as I can ever be within these 4-5 years of NCAA eligibility.¬† And my current goal is to get¬†hella¬†fast in the pool (and #ripped in the weight room) because that is what I can do right now and there’s no point wiling the days away comparing myself to past summers and wishing I could be running 60+ miles per week.¬† Sustainable running careers are built off of¬†loving the process, and my process right now consists of biking, swimming, lifting, and trying not to die of heatstroke throughout these 100-degree weeks, haha.

 

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Summer Training Week 2 (11 miles + 345 min XT + other stuff)

Happy Sunday!¬† I started off today’s off day nice and slow by reading a book all morning, then walked to a plaza, savored an helado in the sunshine, and enjoyed an iced caf√© con leche at a caf√© with some friends while working on a paper.¬† Then, I got yelled at for being late to lunch, and I am now writing this post while listening to bachata music ūüôā

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Week of 6/11-6/17:

  • Monday: AM: 6×4 min run, 1 min walk + drills + 30 min bike.¬† PM: 30 min elliptical + ~20 min circuit I made up.¬† Lots of push-ups and dumbbell squats involved.¬† Iced foot and quads.
  • Tuesday: AM:¬†60 min bike workout.¬† Legs were dead again so I did what I could.¬† 15 warm-up, 4 x [2 min hard, 1 easy], 4 x [2 min hard, 2 easy], 3 x 1h1e, 10 cool down.¬† PM: 10 min core.
  • Wednesday:¬†4-8-4-8-4 min run with 1 min walk + active warm-up + 25 min bike.¬† Legs/body were tired.¬† ~12 min core circuit.¬† PM: ice, some foot exercises, bachata class!
  • Thursday:¬†AM: 70 min bike workout (15 warm-up, 45 min of hard/easy songs, 10 cool down).¬† Tired legs and foot hurt a bit.¬† PM: 20 min bike shakeout (legs felt great after!)¬†+ lift (glute and core activation, squats, OH/UH DB row, weighted RDLs, chin-ups, Swiss ball hamstring curls, TRX).
  • Friday:¬†6 x 5 min run, 1 min walk.¬† Later: 30 min aqua jog in the ocean.¬† Stayed in the sun too long and felt awful at night.
  • Saturday:¬†80 min XT (52 elliptical, 28 bike).¬† Very tired.
  • Sunday: off.¬† Yoga (planned).

Total: 11 miles + 345 min XT + strength/yoga/etc.

So my coach likes to refer to the first few weeks of a new training block as the “Valley of Fatigue”, where your body is adjusting to the increased workload and you generally feel like crap for awhile.¬† Looking back at this week, that’s exactly what happened ūüėȬ† Luckily, my teammates and I have been commiserating with each other and most of us have been feeling similarly, so we know it’s just this stage of training and (hopefully) it’ll pass/we’ll adjust.

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XT sweat overactivity??

Overall, I got some quality work in this week and increased the duration of my running intervals.¬† I had planned to do 7 x 4 min run, 1 min walk on Wednesday, but I impatiently and stubbornly skipped two of the 1-minute walk intervals, which resulted in two running intervals that were 8 minutes long (aka twice as long as I had been running).¬† This did not bode well for my foot.¬† It’s been hurting more than it had been for several days.¬† You live and you learn.¬† The concept of walk-to-run exists for a reason!

On Thursday, I didn’t feel like coming up with a structured bike workout, so I put on the Latin Dance Cardio playlist on Spotify and alternated hard/easy intervals depending on when the song switched.¬† It was a great way to switch things up!¬† However, I literally left a¬†pool¬†of sweat on/underneath the stationary bike.¬† Ew.

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Nice

I was getting kind of tired of the bike by the end of the week…

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On Friday, as I mentioned, I spent all afternoon in the blazing sun at the beach, which resulted in some mild sun poisoning ūüėČ OOPS.

This week, I also read¬†The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll.¬† I would recommend it as a summer beach read!¬† I thought the ending was the best part, so I would say it’s worth wading through the somewhat melodramatic plot/characters and exaggerated pseudofeminism at times.

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Image source

I still didn’t sleep very much this week, which was annoying and has had negative repercussions on my body’s ability to recover.¬† However, I’m getting¬†okay sleep, and I know it will all work out.

While so many aspects of study abroad have been absolutely amazing, by this point I am craving home and familiarity and starting to feel depressed and anxious (partially due to physical exhaustion).¬† At the risk of sounding like a spoiled princess, I am tired of not feeling comfortable in this house (due to a variety of factors).¬† I am tired of not having a name (my host mom can’t pronounce my name, so I’ve been nameless for a month, which is harder than you would think!).¬† I am tired of not sleeping well or having any privacy.¬† However, I am¬†not¬†tired of the beautiful Spanish language, friendliness of the people, cheap food, mercados, beach, university, or nice cool mornings!¬† There are some things I will miss so much when we leave in a week.

Last night, after an admittedly bad day, I dragged myself out of a depressive funk and went to watch the sunset on the beach with my close friends.¬† We ended up talking and laughing for over two hours, and by the end, I felt so much better.¬† It was unprecedentedly wonderful ‚̧

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Intentions for next week:

  • Continue icing (I did a pretty good job this week!)
  • Sleep as much as you can ūüôā
  • Crush the last week of classes!
  • Safely increase running
  • Listen to your body about cross training intensity ‚̧
  • Learn 1+ new thing about C√°diz (or Spain in general) every day

And to end this post, here is a picture of a shark that you can actually buy at the Mercado Central.  I love that place.

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Summer Training Week 1: Study abroad version

Happy Sunday, friends!¬† I know in years past I’ve started the weekly summer training recaps a little earlier in the summer, but our new coach and my injury comeback have resulted in this past week marking “Week 1” of summer 2018 cross country training ūüôā¬† My recaps will obviously look a little different than the past 3 years because I am not just building mileage and starting workouts; I’m starting to just be able to¬†run¬†again!¬† Also, I’m limited in the quantity of what I can do on the weekends by our travel plans and the fact that the gym is closed on Sundays (“Long run” day).

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Our hike in M√°laga

Week 1 (6/4-6/10)

  • Monday:¬†AM: Walk-to-run (5 min walk, 6 x [2 min walk, 2:30 run], 5 min walk) + 30 min stationary bike.¬† PM: Circuits + 30 min bike.
  • Tuesday:¬†55 min bike with pick-ups.
  • Wednesday:¬†AM: Walk-to-run (5 min walk, 6 x [2 min walk, 3 min run], 5 min walk) + 30 min bike.¬† PM: 30 min XT (20 bike, 10 erg) + full body lift.
  • Thursday:¬†AM: 60 min bike.¬† PM: lots of walking in M√°laga.
  • Friday: AM: Walk-to-run (5 min walk, 7 x [3 min run, 2 min walk], 5 min walk).¬† Later: 8 miles of hiking/walking in M√°laga.
  • Saturday:¬†off but walked almost 6 miles around M√°laga
  • Sunday:¬†70 minute aqua jog in the ocean

Total: 7 running miles + 305 min XT + 8 walk/hike miles I’m counting

I’m not really sure how much to count the “walking miles” (like the “walk” portion of walk-to-run, and the hike) so I’ll just count a portion of them, haha ūüôā

This was the second week of my walk-to-run program.¬† My athletic trainer sent me a plan at the beginning of the semester that I have been adjusting a little bit because it was made for people that have been out for 8+ weeks.¬† I don’t want to be too aggressive, but I think I can build up to “real” runs a little quicker than the plan entails.

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The beach in M√°laga at “golden hour”

I was planning on doing a full-on bike workout on Tuesday, but my body felt pretty terrible, so I struggled through a regular bike session with some pick-ups.  I felt a lot better on Wednesday, and I even tried out the erg machine for the first time!

On Thursday, I used the elliptical for the first time in forever (during my injury, my doctor told me I was not allowed to use the elliptical), and it was noticeably harder on my foot than the bike but I enjoyed standing nonetheless.  After a viciously difficult exam on Thursday, three of my friends and I jetted off to Málaga for the weekend.

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Friday brought another walk-to-run and then a long day of hiking and exploring.  I crashed in the afternoon but revived for a trip to the beach and a late dinner.  It was nice to cook in our Airbnb!  We made a classic appetizer of toast with tomato and olive oil, followed by the main dish of pesto pasta with sautéed zucchini, carrots, spinach, and tofu.

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I took Saturday off from training, but we still walked almost 6 miles.¬† The day’s adventures included a sunset catamaran cruise, dolphin sightings,¬†The Parent Trap,¬†and midnight ice cream and birthday cake.

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Unfortunately, due to a sleep-mate issue, I hardly slept this weekend.  Also, we had a little bit of a fiasco this morning before we left to catch our train.  We got back around 1 pm, I hightailed it to the ocean and aqua jogged for 70 minutes, and as a result of all of the above, I feel sick and have completely slacked on the stretching.

Overall, this was a decent “first week” of training!¬† While I lacked workout efforts, I had a good lift and increased my running and made it through a long-ish aqua jog alone today ūüôā

However, I reaffirmed for myself that I strongly prefer sleep and stretching over late nights and too much alcohol.¬† M√°laga was super fun and I have no regrets, but I’m excited to¬†rest and fuel my body well!

Things I did well:

  • Sticking to my walk-to-run schedule
  • Self-motivation during the week
  • Listening to my body and resting when it didn’t want to double or lift

Things I would like to do this coming week:

  • Be kinder to myself about my body
  • Don’t overindulge based on peer pressure
  • Spend less time perusing Instagram.¬† Do yoga/meditation instead ūüôā
  • Sleep, stretch, and roll more!
  • Increase running but stay patient.¬† And actually do your rehab exercises.

Until next week, folks!

Summer Training 2018

(I wrote this post a week ago but had to publish it before I could start posting recaps!  Sorry for the lack of pictures)

Things that are terrifying when you combine them together: year after year of consistent summer training; a taste of success last year; five months of injury with very little running; and kicking off 2018 summer training by starting a walk-to-run program.

Greetings!¬† It’s hard to believe that it’s already June.¬† This is the month where summer training for cross country kicks off in full swing.¬† For the past several years, my daily summer routine has revolved around the day’s training and work.¬† However, as you know, I’ve been injured since January, the latest being a stress reaction in my second metatarsal that put me out for five weeks.¬† I’m essentially starting summer training with a base of¬†zero.

This is honestly terrifying.¬† I’ve never been in this position before.¬† I was never really injured in high school, my mileage was low enough going into my freshman year of college that injury was essentially impossible, and I had¬†great build-ups going into sophomore and junior year that helped me to some massive PRs.¬† I thought I knew the frustration that came with injury due to my bunion struggles in the spring of 2017, but I had no idea.¬† I was still able to train well, and I PRed in the 3k on the track and the 5k on the¬†roads.¬†¬†Looking back, I was freakin’ blessed!

Anyway.  Over the past five months, my body has changed, my mentality has changed, and my running goals for this year have changed.  After running 21:20 in the 6k last fall, my goals before the semester of injury were to break 17 minutes in the 5k on the track this past spring and be both the individual and team conference champion during cross country this coming fall.  These goals have not changed in and of themselves, but I am not going to put pressure on myself to achieve them this year.  I know my body will break again if I push it too hard too soon.

SO instead of the normal mileage build-up where I would start at like 30 miles and work up to 60+ and maintain around 55 and hardly do any cross training, I am going to spend the majority of the summer transitioning through a walk-to-run program and doing cross-training workouts.¬† My mileage is going to remain incredibly low for a frustratingly long period of time, and my cross country season may or may not be as successful as (the first half of) last year’s.¬† I might not run as fast.¬† I might feel a lot worse.¬† But I am going to cherish every second that I get to run because I now know what it’s like to¬†not be able to run at all.¬† And then to ruin the little bit I did get to run this spring by ignoring the pain, racing a 5k on a stress reaction, and putting myself out of conference championship competition and endangering my cross country season.¬† Nice!

Tentative summer plan/goals for now:

  • Walk-to-run program until July
  • Build up mileage consistently and sustainably- if that means I’m only at 30 miles by the end of the summer, well, it’s better than zero.
  • Work hard on the bike and in the pool
  • Complete 2-3 long yoga sessions per week
  • Functional core and lifts
  • Foot rehab exercises
  • Sleep a lot!
  • Be¬†inspired, not jealous, by teammates’ training

I’ll update you as I progress through the walk-jog and transition back to “real” running (I’m trying not to use that phrase, but you know what I mean!).¬† I’m in Spain for another 3 weeks, and I’m 2 parts loving it, 1 part homesick/ready for routine.

Combating Training Rigidity

Good morning!¬† I hope everyone’s Tuesday is off to a wonderful start.¬† I just got back from the gym and am doing some last-minute study abroad prep before heading to work for the afternoon.¬† I’m currently icing my foot while typing this post ūüôā

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Got some weird looks with my post-workout breakfast, per usual

I’ve got a lot on my mind that I want to say after this morning’s gym session (both good and bad!).¬† Recently, I’ve felt like I’ve been in a mental and physical rut with training.¬† Because I took my break early and am not allowed to run yet in order to let my second metatarsal heal, I’m on a slightly different timeline than my teammates.¬† They’re wrapping up their rest week and starting “active rest” and light training, while I’ve been doing that for 3-4 weeks now.¬† At this point in the year, all of our training is pretty much up to us.¬† The whole idea is to keep our bodies moving but fresh, and keep our minds eager and motivated by letting us do what we want when we want to, and take rest when we want to.¬† It’s supposed to be pressure-free and help us gear up for when summer cross country training ramps up.

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I was rebellious and did not wear the boot to the bookstore the other day…

I’m a creature of routine, so while I¬†can¬†thrive off of this freedom, I am not currently thriving.¬† There’s a little voice in the back of my head that has been constantly telling me things like, “You¬†need to be doing this.¬† You¬†need¬†to be building up the cross training volume, you¬†need to be doing a certain amount every day even though your coach is telling you to keep it relaxed.”¬† This has been exacerbated by the fact that I’m alone- counterintuitively, it’s easier for me to keep an open mind towards training when I’m surrounded by my teammates and coaches.¬† Also when I’m not injured ūüėČ

Another unhealthy facet of what I’ve been doing is that I’ve been focusing on filling some sort of¬†quota every time I train, whether it be minutes, calories, or the like.¬† (“Am I going to reach 400 minutes of cross training this week?”)¬† Then I’ve been super anal about my post-workout snack, the timing of my food, and other things that are good as long as you¬†don’t overthink them.¬† Your body is not a goddamn robot, Kathryn.

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Biking and reading

The past few days, I’ve been a little sick, which has made me look forward to the cross training even less.¬† But I still biked on the recumbent bike for an hour yesterday.¬† I convinced myself that I felt awesome, which maybe I did¬†during the bike, but afterwards, I felt like crap.¬† I’m having a hard time keeping the long-term in mind– been focusing too much on the daily/hourly/minutely (is that a word), and it’s made me start to dread the stationary bike and the pool.¬† I’m a person that loves weight training because it makes me feel strong and unstoppable…so why have I been only doing boring cardio???

I texted my coach yesterday to essentially tell him I was being a stubborn moron (no surprises there!), and he had a really good response.

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“Take some time doing active rest, not structured workouts.”¬† Music to my stubborn ears!!

So this morning, I took his advice to heart.¬† I got to the gym with the intent of doing another 60+ minutes on the infernal stationary bike.¬† However, I got there and had zero interest in doing that, so I made up a dynamic core/strength session as I went along.¬† It felt amazing to get my body moving dynamically (one of the consequences of the boot is that I can’t do anything impactful on my foot, so jumping exercises and even walks are out of the question.¬† I’ve felt antsy and just want to¬†move some fast-twitch muscles!)¬† I continued to steer clear of jumps and too many weight-bearing exercises, but before I knew it, 45 minutes had flown by and my body was buzzing in that endorphin-fueled “I’m going to be incredibly sore tomorrow” state that I¬†love.

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Throughout the workout, I was literally dancing during my rest breaks.  This workout was the type that reminded me how much I crave the process of getting stronger.  Instead of sitting on the stationary bike or doing circles in the deep end of the pool looking at the clock every 15 seconds, I worked my entire body, was never bored, and only did things I wanted to do.  It was awesome.

My lesson of the day is to focus on doing the things you love.¬† This might change day to day, but listen to your body and don’t get caught up in the minutiae of training.¬† There are some days where I really do want to get on the bike for 90 minutes or swim a 70-minute workout.¬† Then there are days like today, and yesterday, and the day before…where I just¬†don’t.¬† While my number one love is running, I can’t do that right now, so it’s important to trust myself and figure out how to stay healthy and happy (physically¬†and¬†mentally).

I leave for Spain in two days, which I think will be¬†really¬†good for me in all issues mentioned above.¬† And I get to start the walk-to-run program while I’m there!¬† But perfect training and fueling won’t be my primary focus- my primary focus will be to enjoy C√°diz, soak up all the experiences, conduct my independent research project about the markets, and learn millions of new things.

Have a wonderful day ūüôā

 

Summer Training Week 14: 58 miles + yoga + new apartment!

Greetings! ¬†I’m back in my college town after a crazy, eventful week. ¬†School doesn’t start until Wednesday, but practice starts on Monday. ¬†I’ll recap this week’s training and then catch you guys up on what else has happened!

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Week 14 (8/21-8/27):

Monday: AM: drills, 8 miles on bike path/sidewalks, strides, core circuit.  PM: 2 miles.

Tuesday: workout at Burke Lake Park with teammate.  20 min warm-up, drills, 32 min tempo on trails, 20 min cool down.  Most of the tempo was mentally hard for me, but we encouraged each other and pushed it at the end.  Total: 10 miles.  Also- got my period back!

Wednesday: AM: glute activation, 6 miles on bike path, 10 min core.  PM: 1 hour slow flow yoga class.

Thursday: AM: 3 miles.  Packed car/moved into apartment!  PM: 7 miles on trails around campus- awful bathroom issues, yikes!

Friday: ¬†2 mile warm-up, drills, fartlek with teammates (2×5 minutes, 2×4, 2×3, 2×2, 2×1 with half recovery), 2 mile cool down. ¬†Ice bath. ¬†Felt a little tight/tired because I had slept poorly and was sore from moving, but overall went well! Mentally strong. Total: 10 miles.

Saturday:  12 miles with teammates.  Pushed the first 8 miles (close to 7:00 pace) and then got on some trails.  Felt tired but not bad.  Ice bath.

Sunday: off + light core.

Total: 58 miles + yoga class

This week was kind of crazy! ¬†It’s amazing how the miles add up when you’re distracted by major life events and don’t overanalyze every little running-related thing.¬† That being said- I definitely slacked on strength this week. ¬†Aside from some half-hearted core, I did¬†nothing

On Monday, I semi-spontaneously bought a car!  After looking on and off all summer, I had resigned myself to the fact that I was going to spend the year taking the bus, riding my bike, and/or begging my roommate for rides to and from our apartment 1.5 miles off campus.  However, I found a used car that was in my limited price range, went out and test-drove it, got more specs, and ended up buying it two days before I went back to school!  Can you say last-minute??  

Also got a haircut, but that’s not that exciting ūüėČ

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Couldn’t keep a straight face

This week has also included a lot of treats, but it’s the last hurrah before we buckle down into racing season, so it’s okay, right!? ¬†My family went to The Cheesecake Factory for a farewell dinner on Wednesday night; while the food wasn’t great (my chicken pot pie was less than stellar), the cheesecake was¬†amazing. ¬†We waddled out of the restaurant ūüėČ

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Strawberry cheesecake, and cheesecake with fudge cake and chocolate truffle cream

On Thursday morning, I got in three miles before my mom and I tandem-drove down to my college town. ¬†This year, my roommate and I are sharing an off-campus apartment. ¬†We each have our own rooms and closets, along with a shared bathroom and kitchen/living/main room. ¬†It’s not the most upscale apartment ever, but we’ll make do! ¬†I’ll do an apartment tour post once we finish setting it up!

I’ve spent the past few days setting up the apartment, driving all over town to every single discount store ever, going to the farmer’s market and grocery stores, spending FAR too much money, running and hanging out with my teammates, not sleeping enough, and generally existing in a perpetual state of distraction and exhaustion. ¬†Good times ūüėČ ¬†Practice starts tomorrow, classes start on Wednesday, and it’s off into another year of college! ¬†I’m VERY excited and a little nervous about this year!

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Summer Training Week 13: 55 miles + yoga

The past week has been very eventful! ¬†After an exhausting last week of work and running, I went to see Lifehouse, Switchfoot, and Brynn Elliott last Sunday with one of my best friends. ¬†The concert was¬†amazing…but we didn’t get home until midnight, and I’ve never felt less recovered after a recovery day.¬†ūüėÖ¬†So I struggled through a morning run on Monday, skipped my double, and prayed that I’d feel better for our team training trip! ¬†This week was¬†sort of¬†a down week- I still ran 54 miles… Isn’t it funny how our perspectives change based on where we’re at in training?

This morning, I went to a yoga class before heading to my favorite farmer’s market for the last time before I go back to school. ¬†I swear, the people at this farmer’s market are the¬†nicest, most compassionate people in the world. ¬†Every time I go there, it restores my faith in humanity ūüôā

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Lifehouse and Switchfoot concert!

Week 13 (8/14-8/20):

Monday: AM: 7 miles on bike path.  STRUGGLE- body is so tired.  Glute activation + push-ups.  PM: skipped my double, light core.

Tuesday:  Mosquito-infested workout with teammates on island soft surface: 20 min w/u, drills, 12-7-7 with 3 min recovery, 3 mile c/d.  Total = 11 miles.  Went really well!  I felt very strong mentally and physically.

Wednesday: ¬†5 miles with teammates easy + core. ¬†New shoes. ¬†PM: eventful ocean swim with my freshman teammates in which we got caught in the riptide/current for awhile…

Thursday:  AM: 7 miles with teammates, drills, strides, strength (push-ups, lunges, roller abs, etc.) Lighthouse climb!  PM: 3 miles with teammates.

Friday:  Early workout with freshman teammate.  20 min w/u, drills, 7 x [3:00h, 1:00e], 20 min c/d.  Felt ok, not amazing.  Fewer mosquitoes!  Total: 9 miles.

Saturday: 13 miles on bike path.  Listened to podcast about accents.  Pretty humid/hot.  Took an energy gel at mile 9 and hammered the last 20 minutes.  Overall good run!  Trail was very crowded.

Sunday: off.  Vinyasa yoga class.

Total: 54 miles + 1 hour yoga class

Not the most interesting training week, but the concert and training trip were an absolute blast. ¬†When Lifehouse played “You and Me” and “Hanging by a Moment” one right after the other, my friend and I almost cried. ¬†We also got to meet Brynn Elliott after the show- she was incredibly affable and enthusiastic, and she’s only a year older than us!

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The training trip got off to an interesting start with a mosquito-infested workout on Tuesday morning. ¬†Apparently, it was the worst mosquito day some of the locals could remember! A few of the girls looked like they had contracted a bad case of chickenpox. ¬†Throughout the trip, we worked out together, went to the beach, climbed a lighthouse, ate immense amounts of ice cream every night, explored the island, saw wild ponies, had dance parties and ridiculous late-night talks, drank lots of coffee and took lots of pictures. ¬†I am so happy this trip turned out as well as it did ūüôā

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None of our seniors or fifth years came on the training trip, so the junior class (read: my class!) was unexpectedly thrust into leadership roles that we didn’t expect to have until next year. ¬†One of my classmates organized the majority of the trip, and some of us took on the task of talking to the freshmen about team rules, team dynamic, goals, expectations, how each practice works, and college in general. ¬†Everyone worked together really well with the cleaning, cooking, and carpooling.

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One of the freshmen and I ended up swimming far out into the ocean- farther than I had ever swum- which was exhilarating! ¬†Until we got caught in a riptide/current that pulled us farther and farther out into the water. ¬†There’s nothing like the feeling of being pulled backwards as you attempt to swim forwards. ¬†This particular freshman and I are both pretty fearless, but even so, I felt a bit of apprehension as we made ZERO progress getting back to shore! ¬†We eventually made it back by swimming with the waves and letting the current pull us around in a giant circle. ¬†Phew!

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This trip was really good for my mental health and balance as well. ¬†Reuniting with my teammates reminded me that all the hard work throughout the summer is done for a¬†reason and reinvigorated me for the upcoming cross country season. ¬†Also, a lot of last year’s top seven is in our senior/fifth year class, which meant that I was one of the faster and higher mileage runners on this trip. ¬†Along with my fellow juniors and high mileage runners, I ended up leading workouts, runs, and conversations about college running for the freshmen. ¬†It was surreal!

Since the juniors were the leaders on this trip, I really wanted to be a good role model for the underclassmen. ¬†So this trip had the awesome¬†effect of breaking unofficial routines and rules that I had gotten stuck in throughout the summer. ¬†I just went with the flow. ¬†Ice cream every night? ¬†Absolutely yes. ¬†Meals at weird times? ¬†Waiting until 8 am to run- something that I hadn’t done all summer? ¬†Staying up later than I had been comfortable with? ¬†Relaxing in the afternoon? ¬†I tried to say yes to everything. ¬†Also tried to lead by example- post-workout recovery snack, rope stretching, foam rolling, treating myself, not hammering maintenance runs,¬†and striking that tricky balance of relaxation and dedication to training. ¬†I hope we (the juniors) did a good job. ¬†The underclassmen reassured us that we did great, which was so gratifying ūüôā

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One of the highlights from this morning was at the farmer’s market. ¬†As I mentioned before, the people there are the nicest ever. ¬†I stopped at one of the bread stands and made small talk with the woman who works there- we sort of know each other because the store where I work is very close with the farmers and small businesspeople from the market. ¬†We talked about me going back to school, and when I tried to buy a lemon bite from her, she gave it to me for free and said, “save it for college”! ¬†This happens all the time. ¬†Do you see why I love it there??

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It was also really delicious.  The tangy glaze paired perfectly with the soft, sweet-yet-sour lemon pastry.

I also just adore the farmer’s market because you can find the most unique food items there. ¬†Moroccan spiced carrot hummus? ¬†Okra? ¬†Dirt-cheap apples, peaches, and tomatoes? ¬†Agave lime gazpacho?? ¬†I’ll probably miss it more than my home, to be honest…(mostly kidding).

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I’m going back to school and moving into my apartment later this week, so the next few days will be filled with planning, packing, (running) and convincing myself that I’ll be okay living 1.5 miles from campus without a car. ūüėČ ¬†I can’t believe summer is almost over!

Summer Training Week 12: 62 miles

Happy Sunday! ¬†I wrapped up the highest mileage week of my life so far (62 miles) with 3.5 miles this morning. ¬†I am¬†TIRED. ¬†In just 7 hours, I will be done with work for the summer and headed to a concert with my friend!¬†ūüôĆ

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Post-run breakfast: apple pie egg white oats with strawberries and chia/flax PB, along with plain Greek yogurt

Week 12 (8/7-8/13):

Monday: AM: 7 miles, felt good! Drills, strides, core, short nap.  PM: 3 miles, felt good but distracted.  Total: 10 miles.

Tuesday:  20 min warm-up, drills, 4 mile tempo on W&OD bike path (6:32, 6:29, 6:17, 6:05), 2 min recovery, 4 x [60,60], 20 min c/d.  Ice bath.  Felt completely out of whack.  Not a stellar workout.  Mentally unfocused, ugh.  Total = 10 miles.  Worked 12-5 pm.

Wednesday:  6 miles with my friend on canal.  It was almost chilly outside!  Core.  Worked 5-10 pm.

Thursday:  AM: drills, 7 miles, strides on turf (2 strides barefoot).  Legs felt exhausted but bearable throughout the run.  Push-ups, dips, pull-ups, and squats.  Worked 12-5 pm.  PM: 3 miles home from work.  Tired but decent.

Friday: Workout at park/lake with teammate!! 20 min warm-up, drills, 7-5-7-5 with 2 min recovery on trail loop, 2 mile cool down. ¬†Didn’t feel fresh but it was SO FUN and we talked the entire time (including during the workout…we just had a lot to catch up on)! ¬† Total: 9 miles. ¬†Ice bath. ¬†Worked 5-11 pm RIP. ¬†Also, OMG EMMA COBURN AND COURTNEY FRERICHS.

Saturday: 13.5ish miles (mostly downhill to Roosevelt Island, back uphill on Custis trail and W&OD).  Listened to podcasts and it was actually pretty enjoyable!  A tiny bit longer than I meant to go because I did a loop from my house.

Sunday: 3.5 miles

Total: 62 miles

Monday was good, Tuesday through Thursday were not great- I just felt really tired and run-down.¬† Luckily, I had running buddies for a lot of this week’s runs.¬† Friday was AWESOME just being with my teammate, and Saturday’s long run went pretty smoothly!¬† Worked six days in a row this week while trying to hit high mileage, which was kind of unpleasant…I definitely have a tendency to get stuck in an intense, over-the-top rut with summer training, but I had a couple good conversations with teammates that reminded me to relax.
It was nice and cool in the mornings this week, which was a pleasant change that made it a little easier to get out the door.
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Long run views!

Yesterday was the longest run I’ve done so far! ¬†I went out for 100 minutes, since that’s what we did the last time I ran 13 miles, but my phone’s Health app said I had gone almost 14 miles at the end. ¬†I don’t know how accurate it was, but my body sure felt like I’d gone that long!
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I didn’t sleep that well this week. ¬†Tried to fit in naps wherever possible, which usually happened to be like 10:30 am and made me feel completely discombobulated for the rest of the day…oh well ūüėČ Nutrition was pretty strong! ¬†Since I worked so many shifts, most of my lunches and dinners were “clean-out-the-fridge” meals eaten out of aesthetic Tupperwares at work. ¬†We had the week off from lift, so I’m feeling a bit like a noodle.
In non-running news, I finished A Walk West (the second installment of A Walk Across America) and started What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day.  So far, I really like it.  Finally making a crack at the 5-for-$3 books from the used bookstore!
Tomorrow is our training trip!! ¬†I CAN’T WAIT. ¬†I went to Harris Teeter and Trader Joe’s this morning to stock up for the trip and managed to get 10 Siggi’s yogurts for $10 thanks to coupons and sales! ¬†It was #lit. ¬†It was only when I left the store that I realized I’m moving out in nine days. ¬†There is a lot of yogurt in my immediate future. ¬†Why am I like this…
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Generally stick to store-brand, but this was 10 for $10!!

Planning on dropping it down this coming week unless I feel shockingly good. ¬†Overall, I’m sore, achey, and wish I could sleep instead of going to work today. ¬†But just gotta get through one more shift! ¬†#doitforthecarfund
Almost work time! ¬†LAST SHIFT LEGGOOO. ¬†Listening to Ed Sheeran’s older music while I get ready ūüôā

Tempo Tuesday (LOL)

Hoo boy. ¬†Today’s workout was not amazing. ¬†This week, I’m trying to hit high mileage (60+) while working¬†six days in a row…rip Kathryn. ¬†So far I’m 2 days and 20 miles in. ¬†Currently chilling in my bed with my nightcap (fresh peach, homemade cookie dough bites, and Kombucha) after a long day of working out, working, and picking up furniture for my apartment off of Craigslist (lol), so I thought I’d recap the day’s workout before turning in for the night.

The workout: 2.5 mile warm-up, 4-5 mile tempo, 4 x [:60h, :60e], 2.5 cool down.

What actually happened: 2.5 mile warm-up, 4 miles (6:32, 6:29, 6:17, 6:05), 4 x [:60h, 60e], 2.5 cool down.

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Ugh. ¬†Honestly, it wasn’t great. ¬†My body felt out of whack during the warm-up, during the drills, during the workout, and during the cool down. ¬†The first two miles of the tempo were slowwww. The third mile was hilly, and I was not having any fun. ¬†While I would have preferred to do a 5 mile tempo (and at a faster pace), I gave myself an out at 4 miles. ¬†Really struggled the last 1/2 mile or so, so it was probably good that I stopped.

During the 4 x [:60, :60], I saw some runners from my high school’s team. ¬†Seeing them working hard early in the morning motivated me to crush the little fartlek, so that portion of the workout actually went pretty well. ¬†Hobby jogged the cool down and took an ice bath after stretching and rolling out. ¬†I was¬†freezing! ¬†Refueled with a truly massive bowl of oatmeal. ¬†This is getting ridiculous…

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The mileage total for the day was 10 miles. ¬†I had a double on schedule, but I had zero desire to double after this morning and after working all day, so I elected to lie in my bed the second I got home instead ūüôā

I’m not sure why I felt so poorly this morning. ¬†Maybe it’s because I did a¬†Meatless Monday¬†yesterday and possibly lacked in protein? ¬†Who knows. ¬†Some days are just tougher than others!

Tomorrow is an easy recovery run with my friend that runs for another university. ¬†I’m excited! ¬†This week is going to be¬†hard. ¬†But it’s the last week of work before our training trip and move in! ¬†Just gotta power through. ¬†We can do hard things ūüôā

Summer Training Week 11 (57 miles)

Week 11?! What??

Happy Sunday! ¬†It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood- 65 degrees this morning as I headed out the door to go to yoga (for the first time in a month. ¬†Shhh). ¬†After a long, tough week of hard workouts and work shifts every single day, my off day from running and my off day from work have fallen on the same day. ¬†#blessed. ¬†I went to yoga, the farmer’s market, a local bakery, and am spending the rest of the day trying to adult by looking at used cars.

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Week 11 7/31-8/6):

Monday:  AM: 7 miles on sidewalks, drills, strides, difficult core circuit.  Felt pretty flat- worked late last night.  PM: 2 miles.  Felt decent.  Total: 9.

Tuesday: ¬†Got over 8 hours of sleep last night!!¬† Woke up at 6:40 which is quite late for me…AM: 2 mile warm-up, drills, 5 mile “steady state” on bike path, 2 mile cool down.¬† Splits: 6:27, 6:27, 6:24, 6:16, 6:03.¬† Mentally strong!¬† Light lift day 1.¬† Ice bath.¬† Worked 12-5.¬† PM: 2 miles home from work.¬† Total: 11 miles.

Wednesday: 5 miles on sidewalks + turf.  Tired but decent.  Worked 5-9:30 pm.

Thursday:  AM: drills, 7 miles, strides.  Light lift day 2.  Strides felt much better than Monday.  Worked 11-5.  PM: 3 miles home from work.  Felt heavy; sore feet.  Total: 10.

Friday: ¬†12 min warm-up, drills, REALLY LONG FARTLEK on canal (3×1 minute, 2×2, 2×3, 2×4, 2×3, 2×2, 3×1 with 1 min recovery in between everything), 12 min cool down.¬† Total: 10 miles.¬† This workout was weird- I kept losing focus, didn’t feel engaged, but rallied well at the end once I convinced myself I was almost done ūüėČ ¬†Didn’t sleep great the night before.¬† Canal was very muddy.¬† Ice bath.¬† Worked 12-5.

Saturday:  12 miles sidewalks/bike path.  First 8ish by myself and then 4ish with my friend during which we stopped like every 2 minutes.  Oh well. Quite tired.  Ice bath.  Worked 12-5.

Sunday: 1 hour yoga class.  Off.  Off from work too- yessss.

Total: 57 miles + yoga class

This week was pretty dang tiring. ¬†Worked every single day, some tough workouts, and the fatigue has definitely accumulated over the past two days. ¬†Sleep could’ve been better- I drank a lot of coffee this week, which kept me up a bit at night! ¬†I hit slightly higher mileage than planned, so I’m taking today completely off instead of doing the scheduled cross train.

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Yes, this is a blurry butt shot- but I had to document how MUDDY Friday’s workout was!

My mentality was very one-track-minded, and I feel a bit antisocial and isolated. ¬†Definitely need this off day from running. ¬†I’ve gotten very good at understanding¬†when¬†and¬†why¬†my body/mind feel certain ways, and right now, both are saying, “You almost overdid it this week. ¬†You need a day off!”

On both Tuesday and Thursday, I doubled home from work. ¬†However, Thursday’s route was a little too long…so I ended up having a nice little walk home after reaching my mileage.IMG_7458.jpg

Met up with a friend for acai bowls on Wednesday! Delicious, fun, and overpriced ūüėČ

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I’m feeling the need for a nap, so I’m going to wrap this post up. ¬†This week, I’m going to work on¬†balance, reading more instead of spending so much time on Instagram, reaching out to friends, and continuing to prepare for the school year. ¬†It’s almost time for fall semester!!