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!

Update: good weather, writing, bunion surgery?, cross training

Happy Friday Eve!  No Friday classes mean it’s the weekend for me 🙂  Although I still have to shake out, meet with a professor, work on a group project, go to the training room, and do a workout in the afternoon.  But still- no classes!

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Today’s veggie-packed, dorm-cooked lunch while I hibernated from the non-existent thunderstorm

We were supposed to get hit with a massive thunderstorm this morning, so our coach cancelled 7 am practice.  However, some of us don’t know how to sleep in…

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Running update: I ended up taking three days off from running after the 3k race.  I aqua jogged for an hour on Friday, cross trained for ONE HUNDRED AND TEN MINUTES on Saturday (RIP), and recovered with a 30 minute bike on Sunday.  Total training last week included 26 miles and 245 minutes of cross training.

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The past four days have been a mix of running and cross training, but I have managed to run every day this week so far!

The weekend was really fun, and I had a great time celebrating our seniors and the conclusion of our home invitational weekend with the team!

On Monday, I met with a podiatrist to discuss my options.  At this point, I’m seriously considering the possibility of bunion surgery.  Unfortunately, my bunions have formed in a way that requires the most intensive bunionectomy procedure, which would involve roughly six weeks completely off and then months and months of cross training.  I have some hard decisions ahead of me, but for now, I’m just trying to fully enjoy running and not take any workouts for granted.  After a long talk with my coach,  we’ve decided to redshirt this outdoor season so that I will have an entire fifth year of eligibility.  I’m also going home in a couple weeks to get a second/third opinion from an orthopedic foot specialist closer to my house.IMG_5022.jpg

As I said before, I’m just trying to enjoy running and life in general at the moment.  Some highlights from the past few days have included Ben and Jerry’s free cone day, getting my first article published on Spoon University, and receiving the news that our beloved family camp has had funds allocated to its rebuilding!!

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Additionally, I walked into the locker room yesterday to find the sweetest care package waiting for me.  My teammates are amazing human beings, and I actually started crying.  They even baked healthy cookies featuring oats, honey, peanut butter, and raisins!  This was followed by a fun yoga session outside in beautiful spring weather– what a great afternoon ❤

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Even though I’m redshirting this season and the running future is a little uncertain, I’m realizing that there’s so much more to me (and to every runner) than running.  Nobody is one-dimensional.  It sucks that my options are a) take a long time away from my biggest passion, b) probably be in pain and limit my training for the next 3+ years, or c) quit the sport.  But you know what?  There are myriad more important things in the world.  There are bigger problems.  And if yesterday is any sign of how awesome life can be, I’ll freaking take it.

Life update: turning 20!

Sorry for the lack of posts!  This time of the semester is when the schoolwork really starts to pick up.  But it’s Saturday night, and I think everyone deserves a break from the grind 🙂

Anyway, I turned 20 on Valentine’s Day!  The day started off with a solid workout (3 mile warm-up, 2k-1k-2k-1k cruise intervals on the track between 5:40-5:55 pace, 3 mile cool down).  I went to class, lifted, went to the training room…not too special of a birthday 😉  But I did get to go out to dinner with friends and feasted on my favorite Caribbean blackened salmon, followed by (free) chocolate cheesecake!

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The various birthday gifts I received from my college friends coincidentally had a theme: nut butter!  It was pretty funny.  Also, my roommate got me the cutest poster (my all-time favorite movie is Up):

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In other news, the dental implant process is progressing!  If you recall, the dentist placed the anchor screws in December, and he placed the abutments this past Thursday. Unlike the screws, the abutments stick out of my gums, and they are not fully covered by the dentures.  So right now, the metal screws kind of make it look like my gums are rotting.  I’ll spare you a picture of my current gremlin self 😉  Three weeks from now, they’ll take impressions, and just a couple weeks after that, I’ll finally have permanent implants!

Unfortunately, the foot issues have persisted throughout the last two weeks.  I actually ran normal mileage last week (54 miles + 60 min XT) but had to switch to cross training halfway through this week.  A lot of cross training.  There’s not much the training room can do since the problem is stemming from my bunions, and surgery is the only real long-term solution.  So we’re just focusing on pain maintenance for now.

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I’m frustrated because I feel like I’m in good shape but am not progressing due to the limited running I can do right now.  On a more positive note, I’ve been taking melatonin every night and getting almost enough sleep, and I feel like a human being again!  I’ll do a training recap tomorrow!

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Great view…right?

Anyway, my family came down this morning after my long effort (I split it up into 30 minute bike, 6 mile run, 30 minute bike).  We went out to brunch, and everyone ate an astronomical amount of food!

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Yes, this was just my meal

Afterwards, we did a bit of shopping and headed to a family birthday party, and I’ve spent the rest of the day doing some more schoolwork.  Some friends and I are having a joint birthday party tonight, so I’m looking forward to that.

I’ll try to carve out time to write a true training recap tomorrow, but no guarantees!  So far, I think I’m doing a good job of staying on top of the coming week’s stupid workload, but time will tell…

Training week 5 (35 miles)

Week 5 of cross country base-building brought a slight decrease in mileage and intensity.  I didn’t do too many hilly runs, although I did have a couple faster runs.

Week 5 recap:

Monday 7/21: 5 miles @ 8:32 average pace
Tuesday: 7 miles @ 8:13 average pace, 40 min biking, upper body strength
Wednesday: 50 minutes of stationary biking, 10 minutes of lateral elliptical
Thursday: 6 miles @ 7:30 average pace, 50 minutes of biking and swimming, 1 hour Krav Maga self-defense class
Friday: 8 miles @ 8:08 average pace, 25 minutes of biking, lower body strength
Saturday: off
Sunday: 9 miles @ 7:59 average pace (last mile was 7:30)

Total: 35 miles of running, 175 minutes cross training, 60 minutes Krav Maga

Comments: I did a lot more cross training this week than last week, which was partially unintentional and partially because I was running less mileage.  Monday and Tuesday weren’t very good runs (as usual), but Thursday was really great.  Friday’s run felt good until about mile 6, when I started getting really dehydrated.  Because I had already done a lot of cross training, I took Saturday completely off (instead of cross training), which made my long run on Sunday feel pretty nice.

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We went to brunch at a place that was 8.16 miles away from my house, and it was really straightforward to get there via running, so I just ran there!  I made up the last 0.84 miles when I got there.  Kind of sprinted the last 0.15 or so because I just wanted to eat. 😉 Refueled with eggs, orange juice, and buttery blueberry pancakes.

I’m actually going back to that exact same restaurant for breakfast tomorrow morning because I’m having brunch with some of my new teammates that live in my area!  I’m excited 🙂

Three days until California!!

Busy summer days and trying Krav Maga

Goodness, the last two days have been busy!

I woke up on Thursday at 6:50 am, and it was 68 degrees and only about 50 percent humidity.

A miracle!!

I had already decided that I would be going faster on this run than I had run in about two weeks, and the brilliant weather just made me even more excited.

Obviously, this wasn’t going to be a tempo run, since I’m not allowed to do workouts yet.  It definitely felt like I was going fast right from the get-go, but the first mile was only an 8:10!  How strange.  The rest of the run was quite a bit faster, though.

6miiiiIt felt easy/moderate until about mile 4, and then it felt moderately hard, mostly because it was completely uphill all the way back…

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All in all, it was a nice run, a little bit quicker than I’ve been doing, but my legs still felt good at the end.  I did 4 strides on an uneven field after I finished the six miles, but I kept slipping and sliding because the grass was wet.

After I picked my brother up from Tae Kwon Do camp, we biked to the pool, and I swam for 30 minutes while he dove and played Categories.  We then biked home, where I had a quick dinner and then went to a Krav Maga class!

It was unlike anything I’d ever tried- not typical martial arts at all.  We practiced “on top” defense, and “on the bottom” defense.  Definitely a great anger outlet!  I was pummeling my partner with kicks.

After myriad physical activities on Thursday, I woke up Friday feeling fairly tired.  After discovering that Mother Nature had given me an extra-special gift this month (ow-cramps), I walked my dog, walked my brother to TKD camp, and then biked to my old high school to meet up with my friend Craig.  I had to do eight miles, so he biked while I ran.  I tragically, accidentally deleted the data from that run, but it was an 8:08 average pace.  The first mile was an 8:42 and the others were between 7:50 and 8:10.  Why is my first mile always so slow compared to the rest of the run?

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Just ignore the caption

We went to Tropical Smoothie and Panera afterwards, and I got a raspberry/strawberry/banana smoothie, mac and cheese, French bread, and a tomato mozzarella flatbread.  It was amazing. Gotta replenish those carbs 😉

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We had a very heated discussion about utensil usage in the consumption of macaroni and cheese because Panera gives you a spoon.  After polling our friends, my side (spoons) lost dismally to forks.  But…why would you not use a spoon?  A spoon makes so much more sense than a fork!  That way, you don’t lose any of the sauce or drop any pasta!  I don’t understand the fork argument.  Maybe if you’re eating Kraft mac and cheese (blech) and spearing the noodles on the fork prongs…  Someone convince me.

I was very exhausted when I got home, so I tried to take a nap but was unable to fall asleep.  Finally, I gave up and went to the gym to do my lower body strength routine, which resulted in a very sore lower body.  I’ll do another post about my upper and lower body strength routines.

I took an ice bath and was too tired/lazy to make anything legitimate for dinner, so I had two toasted sandwiches made from French rolls, heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and balsamic vinegar.  I also had milk, blackberries, and carrots, and then Ugandan dark chocolate (it was on sale at Harris Teeter, okay) and a peach for dessert.

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Not the prettiest sandwiches in the world

Yay for busy summer days!  Five days until California!