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!

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!!

Sweet Potato Waffle

A few weeks ago, I purchased a new waffle maker to take back to school (and for future apartments), mostly thanks to Christmas sales and gift cards.  A few days ago, delayed-onset post-workout hunger resulted in the inauguration of the waffle maker via sweet potatoes 🙂

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The workout was 3 mile warm-up, 3 x [9 minute progression (pick up the pace every 3 minutes), 5 minutes “off”], 2 mile cool down.  I was lucky enough to be able to work out with two teammates!

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After the coldest week of winter, the weather decided to be beautiful!  It was 40 degrees and partly cloudy.  We went to the canal, warmed up for 3 miles (verryyy fast) and did drills.  The first 9-minute segment started a little faster than I wanted to, and I’m not sure if I actually progressed or just maintained! Oops.  Overall, I was feeling pretty stiff and mentally not in it.

I struggled throughout the second segment because I wasn’t feeling too great physically and just got in my own head, but my lovely teammates helped me through it.  Once the last set was halfway over, I finally realized “I can do this!” and had a great last 5 minutes.  Better late than never, right?

The post-workout fatigue hit hours later, and after lunch, a dentist appointment, and a quick power nap, I woke up starving.  Scrolling through the #wafflewednesdays on Instagram for five seconds secured my decision– sweet potato waffle!!

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I completely eyeballed ingredient measurements, but here’s a rough estimate:

  • 3/4 cup baked sweet potato, mashed
  • 2 egg whites
  • splash of vanilla
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Mix everything together and pour into a preheated waffle maker.  Difficult, right? 😉

(Adding regular wheat flour probably would’ve helped it firm up a bit, but I didn’t want to.)

As you can see, I topped mine with plain nonfat Greek yogurt, Wild Friends sugar cookie peanut butter, and semisweet chocolate chips.  Delicious.  And a good mixture of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats- a perfect, indulgent post-workout snack!

 

 

Workout Wednesday: Long tempo and pick-ups

I can finally write a snazzy-titled “Workout Wednesday” post!  My workouts are always on Tuesdays and Fridays, but I shifted my schedule to accommodate work. 🙂

Anyway, today marked the first workout back; it’s been almost two months since our last workout, so this was a great shock to the body.

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The workout: 3 mile warm-up, drills, 30 minute progressive tempo, 3 minute recovery, 4 x [60 seconds hard, 60 seconds easy], and 2-3 mile cool down.  I asked my friend to keep me company, which he did– major props because not many people would voluntarily run an 11 mile workout without having to!

We warmed up for three miles on the canal towpath and then did dynamic drills.  Due to completing my leg lift yesterday, it took awhile for my glutes and hamstrings to quit complaining!

The goal for the tempo was to keep it kind of conversational for the first half (~6:40s) and progress through the second half and hit the low 6:00s.  However…we started a little fast (around 6:15 pace).  We ran the entire tempo into the wind.  He struggled a little in the first half, and I struggled a little in the second half, but we were able to work together and finish 4.6-4.7 miles in 30 minutes for an average pace of 6:22.  Afterwards, we did 4 x [60, 60], and my legs couldn’t quite remember how to turn over quickly. 😉  We then cooled down for 2 miles for a total of 11ish for the day.

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Post-workout lunch: homemade kale pesto penne, steamed green beans, broiled fish, tomatoes, freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I also grated my hand while grating the cheese, so that was pleasant), tomatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots, and unpictured 2% lingonberry & strawberry Siggi’s, as well as orange Nuun.

Overall, the first workout back went really well!  The weather was windy but otherwise beautiful, the canal was scenic, and I’m happy to have had a great workout partner.

 

Summer Training Week 6: long run gets longer

Summer 2016 week 6:

Monday: 7 miles Horseshoe Meadows Road at Mount Whitney, drills, strides
Tuesday: 8 miles Movie Road at Mount Whitney.  Slow + tired.  Push-ups + 10 min abs
Wednesday: 6 miles Horseshoe Meadows Road at Mount Whitney
Thursday: 7 miles Santa Clara river trail, drills, strides, 10 min abs
Friday: 3+ mile warm-up, 22 min tempo (6:20-6:30 pace, I think), 3 mile cool down = approx. 10 miles
Saturday: off.  Upper body strength + 10 min abs
Sunday: 12 miles @ 7:35 average

Total: 50 miles, 7 mile hike

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The first three days of this week were spent at Mount Whitney, and my brother and I woke up at 4:45 am every day to drive down the mountain so I could run!  (You rock, bro.)  I was definitely very tired while I was there and spent most of the time that I was not training/hiking/eating taking naps.  I was still tired on Thursday but expected that.

Flew home on Thursday night so I missed that day’s double (I was supposed to hit 53 miles this week).  On Friday, I woke up early for the workout, which surprisingly went okay considering jet lag and travel tiredness.  I had a buddy for the warm-up, cool-down, and 16 minutes of the tempo.  It was definitely a workout rust-buster and a shock to the body, but we got through it!

On Sunday, I met up with a teammate for the first time since school ended, and we had so much to talk about that the first 9-10 miles flew by!  The weather was awesome, too- 65 degrees and cloudy/rainy.  Officially hit 12 miles for my long run for the first time!

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I stopped at the farmers’ market on the way home and picked up some tomatoes, peaches, arugula, garlic and herb goat cheese, and a fresh baguette.  Made crostini for part of my lunch, but while I was at work, my idiot dog ate the rest of the baguette 😦

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French bread, goat cheese, tomato, arugula, and balsamic vinegar

The upcoming week has 56 miles on the schedule, so another increase in mileage.  We’ll see how it goes!  I’m truly enjoying summer training since the weather is behaving, but I know that at some point I need to get used to the heat again…

Anniversary + pace run

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tempo-runnin’ it

Merry Day-After-Christmas! I hope everyone has had a fantabulous holiday and got a good run in 😉

Today I had a tempo run scheduled, so I decided to take advantage of my new GPS watch (!!!!) and my $30 in iTunes money (not that exciting for some people, but I had literally two songs on my iPod before Christmas so !!!!!).  I bought like 20 songs and unfortunately have over-listened to them for the past day.  Also, I learned the intro to Hall of Fame on piano so I’ve overplayed that song for two days. I need to stop. Make me stopppp.

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but I love it

Anyway, tempo run. Get back on track.  I made a new running playlist, in the process discovering I like to listen to explicit rap while running, got the “GPS GO!” approval from my watch, whom I think I will name Herbert, and off we went, Herbert and I. and my iPod. who doesn’t have a name.

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(one of Herbert’s siblings. Source: Google)

The run was great (except my shoe came untied), and it was awesome to be able to listen to music of my choosing.  I rarely (by rarely I mean never) listen to music on runs because I’m either with my teammates or…um…don’t have iTunes money, and using Pandora means you don’t have control over what songs play, so I definitely enjoyed it today.  Here is my tempo run playlist! (the rap thing…I don’t even know)

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According to Herbert, I ran 3.15 miles in 20 minutes today! 6:27 pace…I’d say that’s pretty solid.  My Christmas run yesterday was 5.49 miles in 40 minutes- can you tell I’m really liking/using the GPS feature? 😉

“GPS…GO!”

I enjoy that.

Well, I’ve got something close to twelve pounds of Christmas leftovers to polish off so I’ll get down to that.  I’ve eaten more turkey and stuffing  and apple crisp in the past day than any human has the right to.

The effect of fried fair food on a workout

I went to the county fair yesterday with some friends and ate myself sick on funnel cake, french fries, and a gigantic ice cream cone, among other things.  I didn’t remember that I had a workout the next morning until I had already eaten. Then, of course, I had to go on all the rides that whip you around and upside down and make you feel like vomiting and passing out and dying all at the same time. Needless to say, I had a great time 😉

Anyway, sometime around 9 pm I realized, “Crap. I have a workout in ten hours that will probably be mind-bogglingly difficult (since our coaches are trying to whip us into shape before Milestat comes). And I just ate 3,000 calories of fried overpriced disgusting deliciousness!” I hadn’t even had a real dinner, so when I got home around 9:45 I ate this spicy chicken kabob thing- not exactly the best pre-workout food either. Then I had to have some fresh berry cobbler. Who could resist that? I ended up finishing my dinner around 10:30, going to bed at 11, and waking up at 6:30.

I felt like crap immediately after waking up (that funnel cake had not digested smoothly). I dragged myself to school and discovered that- lucky me- varsity was doing a long workout today! We had a two mile warm-up to the park where we did three repeats of about ten minutes of tempo on part of the 5k course there. Then we had to jog two miles back to school.

And guess what!? I didn’t even feel gross during the workout! I’m serious! The ten million calories of fried crap I’d ingested earlier really didn’t have an effect on my workout performance! Of course, I don’t know how I would’ve performed if I hadn’t eaten that stuff, but I felt relatively fine during the workout and managed to complete all three repeats with relatively okay splits of 9:27, 9:35, and 9:50. Out of the five of us girls, I finished fifth in the first repeat (but right behind everyone else), second along with my friend in the second, and third in the third repeat. One of the girls didn’t finish the third one, which bugs me because if one of us had pulled that, Coach would’ve been so pissed off. But that girl is kind of her pet, so she can get away with way more than the rest of us.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for the upcoming cross country season. My PRs from last year are 19:33 (6:34/mile) for 3 miles and 20:28 (6:36/mile) for the 5k. Not great, I know. We have a time trial coming up in about two weeks and I think I ran around 21 minutes on it last year. The course is relatively easy, so I think I can probably run around 20:25 or something on it this year, since I’m in much better shape both mentally and physically. At least, I hope! It’s only a time trial, though, so I’m not setting my hopes too high. I remember last year I had to run with the boys because I had to make it to marching band on time. This year, I don’t have to do that! I quit band!! YES. And band camp started today, so my Twitter/Facebook feed has been filled with posts about that. I’m just thinking, “Hehee. I get to be spared of that daily six-hour, three-week-long torture.” Seriously, it’s ridiculous! 3:30-9:30 EVERY DAY. Ew. And the band teacher is of the opinion that if band isn’t your life, it should be. Which is basically why I quit.

Enough of my ramblings. I’m pretty sure I made no sense since the whole time I’ve been writing, I’ve been simultaneously cooking delicious salmon, arguing with my mom about my curfew (it was mostly one-sided since I wasn’t really listening; for all I know she could have said that my curfew was 6 pm and I just said yes), and eating cookie dough.