Summer Training Week 10 (51 miles + 60 min swim)

It was 60 degrees when I woke up this morning!

Crazy.

Anyway, happy Sunday!  I was planning on sleeping in, but my body always has other plans…so a 5:45 am wake-up it was.  After writing for awhile, I made some waffles and went to the farmer’s market.

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Week 10 (7/24-7/30):

Monday:  AM: drills, 7 miles with friends on sidewalks/bike path, strides, difficult core circuit!  Legs felt fresh thanks to off day yesterday.  PM: Kayaked on the Potomac with some friends.  Ultimately decided not to double.  Definitely thought about that decision way too much! Ugh.

Tuesday:  AM: pre-early-workout ate toast with almond butter and banana. 2 mile warm-up, drills, 30 minute tempo, 26 minute cool down (that was an accident- I ran too far down the canal during the tempo haha).  Tempo felt strong- it was long, but I was not dead at the end!  Nuun and Picky bar between workout and lift.  Lift day 1.  Ice bath.  Worked 12-5 pm.  Quite tired after, but solid morning!  Abs are sore

Wednesday:  AM: 3 miles.  Sore from lift!  Nice weather.  Worked 12-5.  PM: 30 min swim.  Was very enjoyable 🙂

Thursday: AM: drills, 7 miles, strides on turf (finally did strides somewhere besides the asphalt!!), ate an energy bite between run and lift, lift day 2.  Lift went well!  PRed on farmer’s holds.  PM: 2 miles, humid/hot but felt good.  Worked 5-10 pm.

Friday: pre-workout ate toast with almond butter and banana. 2 mile warm-up on bike path, drills, 6 x [4:00h, 2:00e], 2 mile cool down.  Went well!  I was mentally strong.  Ice bath.  Solo road trip.

Saturday: 13ish miles (100 minutes) on trails/bike path.  Personal distance record!  This was a pretty awesome run!  I felt like I could have gone faster and farther.  Ice bath.

Sunday: 30 min swim

Total: 51 miles + 60 minutes swimming

This was a good week!  I didn’t have any “bad” runs and had two lovely swims.  For the most part, I slept pretty well and felt good about my nutrition this week.  It’s hard for me to be comfortable all the time with the sheer amount of food we have to eat with the level of training that we’re doing, but I’m just trying not to overthink it and listen to my body 🙂
I went kayaking with friends on Monday afternoon and am a little embarrassed to admit that I spent way too long thinking about whether or not I should double.  In the end, I did not double, had a lot of fun kayaking, and felt better on all my runs because I did not double.  Sheesh, Kathryn.
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Both workouts were super strong mentally…I have no idea what pace I was going (except for the one 1/2-mile split that I actually checked on Friday was 2:55).  I didn’t check my watch until 28 minutes into Tuesday’s 30 minute tempo, which was great!
Lifts went well.  I went hard on Tuesday and was noticeably sore for two days.
#Transparency: My period has not appeared for three months (no, I’m not pregnant).  I’m fueling properly and don’t think I’m overtraining, so that’s a little concerning and annoying.  Making a note of it here so I keep it in mind.
Didn’t do any yoga…again…
Well, that’s that!  Another week of training in the books.  A few more weeks until our training trip and less than a month until fall semester!

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

#dead

#dead

#dead

#beenlisteningtomilkychancefor3hours

#revived to write this post 😉

Heck yeah, it’s time for another weekly summer training recap!  This week, I pushed my mileage a wee bit more (getting ready for that jump next week) and worked a lotttt of difficult shifts.  Definitely crashed and burned a bit by Saturday.  Got on a lot more soft surfaces, though!

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Long run views from this morning!

Week 4 (6/12-6/18):

Monday:  AM: 6 miles bike path.  Some soft(er) surface…for like a mile!  Core circuit.  Some foot pain but not too bad.  PM: 30 min swim.  Felt good.  Foot soak, roll, Tiger Balm.
Tuesday:  AM: 7 miles with Noah with one mile on the trails.  Significant foot pain during the second half of the run.  Drills and strides.  EXCELLENT lower body lift.  Pushed the weight and did the most unassisted parallel grip pull-ups I’ve ever done.  PM: 2 miles.  Crazy work shift until 10 pm per usual.
Wednesday:  60 min pool (50 swim, 10 aqua jog).  Was very pleasant.  1 hour slow flow yoga class.
Thursday:  AM: 7 miles @ 7:39 average on the C&O canal.  TBH felt pretty darn shitty.  PM: 30 min bike, felt good, upper body lift.  Busy work shift until 10 pm.
Friday:  AM: 7 miles on sidewalks/bike path.  Glute activation, drills, strides, core.  PM: 3 miles.  Tired from morning.  Long, crazy work shift until 11 pm.
Saturday: OFF.  Very glad for this rest day.  SO tired from the past couple days.  I felt like a zombie until like 6 pm.
Sunday:  10 miles @ 7:40 average at Manassas Battlefield.  All soft surface!  (Long grass/gravel/trails)  I had never run there before.  It was hot, humid, and hilly, but the views were unbeatable!

Total: 42 miles + 120 min XT.  
Dang…work this week kicked my ass.  Our ice cream store is getting more popular by the minute, and during today’s shift, we did not stop moving one time for five hours straight.  Also, the A/C in the store is broken, the freezers pump out hot air, and it never gets lower than 85 degrees.  After a hot, dehydrating ten-miler…I almost passed out into the dip case a couple times 😉  It’s just heat training, right??
I managed to get two soft-surface runs in this week, along with some sporadic dirt paths during a couple other runs!  So definitely an improvement from last week.
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Sleep this week wasn’t the greatest, unfortunately.  I worked a lot of late shifts, which riled me up at bedtime.  But I suppose it’s worth it for the paycheck!  #brokecollegestudentprobs
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And my nutrition has been okay, but not stellar- I’m just eating a lot of breads/baked goods and sugar, which is not prime fueling.  My post-run recovery foods are good (oatmeal, yogurt, eggs, nut butter, fruits, veggies…protein, complex carbs, healthy fats), but as the day progresses, I’ve been getting lazy!  And it’s hard at work when you’re just tryna stay alive, ya feel?  I get home after a long, hard shift and can’t tell if I’m physically ravenous or just mentally need some junk food.  Oh, well.  You live and learn (and lose a six-pack in the process, hehe).
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Homemade pumpkin bread

This morning’s long run was 80 degrees, 85% humidity, and very hilly with long grass, but the views were awesome!  I had originally planned to meet my friend out at the battlefields, but her foot has been bothering her, so I ran by myself.  Ran in silence over the hills and through the woods (literally) for the first half and then listened to a Runner’s World podcast during the second half.  It was kind of hard.IMG_6605.jpg
The new training week starts tomorrow, so gotta go rest up!  Running bright and early with one of my favorite running buddies.

Summer Training Week 2

Happy Sunday!  I hope everyone had a great week.  It’s a beautiful June morning here, and I’m suffering from a mild case of wanderlust 😉 so I’m listening to a road trip playlist while writing this post and pretending I’m cruising down the open road.  Today was a typical Sunday- took the day off from running, went to the farmer’s market, did some wedding planning with my mom’s best friend, and went to a yoga class.  My family is going out to dinner in a little while 🙂

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Farmers’ market haul!

Week 2: (5/30-6/4)

Monday: AM: 5 miles + core circuit. Some bunion pain.  PM: 3 miles.
Tuesday: glute activation, drills, 4 miles into 20 min bike + lower body lift
Wednesday: AM: 60 min bike.  PM: 30 min yoga
Thursday: AM: 5 miles with friend @ 7:15 avg.  PM: 30 min bike + upper body lift.
Friday: 6 miles with friend, glute activation, drills, strides
Saturday: 7 miles + core, started easier and felt progressively better
Sunday: off, yoga class

Total: 30 miles + 110 min XT + 2 yoga sessions

Overall, this week went pretty well.  Mileage is still low.  My foot is still hurting on every run- it seems like once I hit the 30 minute mark during a run, the bunion pretty much decides that it doesn’t want to do it anymore.  Ow.  Still feeling strong during strength sessions, though!

I had a few runs this week that were faster than they should have been, so I made an effort to go easier on Saturday, and it felt a lot better.  It’s important to keep most of the mileage at maintenance effort right now in order to keep feeling good, getting strong, and building mileage!

In non-running-related news, I decided to go back to work at the ice cream and coffee place I worked last summer!  Had my first shift back on Friday night: 5-10:30 pm.  It was super busy, but I was reunited with the best ice cream ever (cinnamon, and coconut chocolate crunch.  Heck yes).

Also, we spent all day at my brothers’ tae kwon do black belt exam, and after five hours of testing, they both passed!  My youngest brother earned his first degree black belt, and my middle brother earned his second degree!

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Goons

Also made macarons with two good friends earlier this week.  I’m not a huge macaron fan, but they turned out well!  Turns out my family isn’t a huge macaron family, either…three days later, all of the macarons I kept are still sitting on the plate.

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Mileage will continue to increase in the coming weeks, albeit slower than last year’s progression.  I think I’ll hit somewhere in the mid-30s this week.  Additionally, I’m going to try to get in the pool at least once instead of just cross training on the bike every time.   The weather is supposed to stay mild (and rainy), which is encouraging.  I’ll also be working more and writing for the remote writing intensive!

Summer Training Week 1

It’s that time of year again- summer training recap time!  I’ve done this for the past two years, and it’s fun to be able to look back at training from past years.

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Nutrition is an important part of summer training, so here is a pretty parfait 🙂

The 16-mile week doesn’t really count, so I’m going to say that last week was my first week of summer training 🙂

Week 1: (5/22-5/28)

Monday: 4 miles on bike path + some yoga
Tuesday: 4 miles into 30 min bike + lower body lift
Wednesday: 60 min bike
Thursday: 5 miles on bike path + drills and strides + core.  First run in new shoes.
Friday: 4 miles into 30 min bike + upper body lift
Saturday: 6 miles on bike path
Sunday: off

Total: 23 miles + 120 min XT

This first week was okay.  The runs and cross trains felt fine, but unfortunately my bunion really hurt on almost every run.  At home, I don’t have access to the laser and stim/compex and other resources that the training room provides, so I’m going to have to get creative with treatment to keep this pain under control.

What I can do: warm Epsom salt foot soaks, ice baths, rolling, stretching/mobility, topical anti-inflammatory treatment.

On a more positive note, both lifts went really well.  We jumped right back into the full lift routine, so I was so sore after Tuesday!  My hamstring felt like it might rip off my body.  But the soreness has subsided, and I have a nice baseline for my fitness.  I’m excited to get stronger this summer!

Non-training highlights from this week:

A couple of my teammates came up to visit, and we explored Georgetown on an overcast day:

Jazz in the Garden on the Mall with a friend:

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I made cha siu baos from scratch for the first time (it was a two-day process, but so worthwhile):

…and my mom and I went shopping (*groan*) and explored our favorite farmer’s market (*cheers*)!

My goals for this coming week include:

  • Spend less time on my phone, especially before bed
  • Be proactive about bunion pain
  • Two yoga sessions and glute activation
  • Try to get more quality sleep!  I wake up naturally at or before 6 am, so I need to go to bed early to account for this
  • Continue quality nutrition
  • Start my remote writing internship!
  • Focus on non-cooking hobbies as well, such as playing piano, knitting, reading, and writing

 

3k PR: 10:15

Happy day-before-Easter!  And day-before-the-day-before-the-Boston-Marathon!

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Yesterday’s “Easter” theme- it was more just “bright colors”

Shakeout + warm-up + rope stretch + drills + strides + race + cool down to long run mileage + blazing sun + ice bath = one tired college student.  And yet I’m writing this outside 😉  Sitting on the terrace after dinner, listening to a woodpecker, and enjoying the twilight weather.

The past few weeks have been shockingly good.  Under other circumstances, there would be nothing noteworthy about them, but considering I couldn’t walk after the race two weeks ago, putting together two consecutive weeks of good training has been unbelievable.

Last week: 41.5 miles + 145 min XT + yoga.  I had two really good off-track workouts and ran six days in a row, including a 10-mile soft surface run on Saturday.  Took Sunday completely off.

This week was the most intense running week I’ve had in months.  I ran 46 miles, 3 workouts, and have only cross trained one time!  What!?  I’ll do a more thorough training recap tomorrow, but today is for the race 🙂

Today was a low-key meet about half an hour from our campus.  Since I’m redshirting this season, my coach let me race the 3k again even though everyone else raced their “off” events.  The past few days have not felt great; 3 workouts in 4 days make for a tired body, and I ran on Wednesday instead of cross training.  I was hoping to run close to 10:00 today, but when I woke up this morning and still felt crappy, I just accepted whatever was going to happen.

Post-shakeout breakfast, 3.5 hours before the race: oatmeal with almond milk, egg whites, cinnamon, ginger, banana, berries, and peanut butter, along with plain Greek yogurt and coffee.

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This picture is actually from yesterday

My teammate drove me to the meet since I can’t take the vans, and it didn’t feel like race day at all.  We rope stretched, warmed up for 20 minutes, and did drills and strides.  The meet was so small that they ended up scratching the men’s steeplechase and men’s 3k, and there were only 10 people in the women’s 3k (including 5 from my school).

The 3k was at 11:30 am, at which point it was about 75 degrees and the sun was directly overhead.  I rarely do well in the heat, so I was kind of worried.  I was also not nearly as excited for this race as I was for the last one

One of our teammates was supposed to pace the rest of us through the mile, but she went out a little too fast and we never closed the gap (she won by a lot).  I think our first two laps were 77 and 82, and then I took over pacing duties through the mile (80 and 81ish).  I did not feel good, but I was really proud of that third lap.

After the 1600, one of my teammates and one girl from another school gapped me, and I should’ve rallied harder but didn’t.  I felt pretty crappy from 1600 to 2600, but the clock read 8:55 with a lap to go, and I knew that a stronger last lap would get me a PR, no matter how small.  I really hit the hurt locker on that last lap but closed in an 80 (which is not impressive, but better than an 82) for a 2-second PR of 10:15.

  • The good: I did not run poorly in the heat; strong third lap; strong(er) last lap; remembering how to race rather than just run; my teammates ran really well!
  • The “bad”: Falling off in the second half; generally felt beaten down; didn’t run as fast as I know I can (I will be a sub-10 3k runner, dang it!).

After the race, we had a long cool down in order to get to long run mileage.  After the last race, I couldn’t even walk, so I brought my phone along today just in case I had to call my coach to come pick me up.  Luckily, that didn’t happen!  Instead, we ran 5 miles on some beautiful local trails for total daily mileage of 11.5ish.

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Post-race refuel: a coffee chocolate Rx bar, lots of water, strawberry lime Tropical Smoothie, and turkey/apple/cheddar sandwich from Panera.  Looking forward to movies and ice cream tonight 🙂

Overall, today’s race was okay- can’t be upset with a PR (or can I?) but I want more!!  I’m racing a road 5k next Saturday, but I think that’s it for this season since I can’t race at conferences or ECACs.  Dang it.  Oh well.

Weekly Recap + brownie batter oatmeal

Good morning!  After a restless night’s sleep, I woke up way too early this morning (as usual) and went to the locker room to do some yoga and core before sitting down to an incredible breakfast.  I’m taking a much-needed off day from running because my body is complaining loudly.

Today’s agenda includes the usual Sunday laundry, chores, homework, errands, and a Super Bowl party at a friend’s apartment.  My goal for today (and this week in general) is to get ahead on schoolwork so I have more time to focus on doing all the little things, contributing to extracurriculars, and starting to prepare for midterms!

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Brownie batter oatmeal: 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 mashed banana, 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, and 3 tbsp egg whites.  I added a heaping spoonful of Trader Joe’s chia/flax peanut butter.

Anyway, here is a recap of the past week of training:

Week of 1/30-2/5:

Monday: AM: 7 miles trails, tired so took it kind of relaxed, core routine.  PM: 2 lap warm-up, hurdle drills, 1.5 mile run, hurdle/stride work after and tweaked my right glute.  Total: 9 miles.
Tuesday: 2 mile w/u, 5 x 800 with 1:30-2:30 recovery (2:55, 2:52, 2:51, 2:51, 2:50) last one retro, 20 min c/d.  10 parallel pull-ups.  Stim/ice on glute, NormaTec boots 20 minutes.  Total: 7 miles.
Wednesday: 60 min pool (30 aqua jog, 30 swim).  Sleep-deprived but progressively better.
Thursday: AM: 2 lap w/u, drills/speed ladder, 8 miles fast-ish, 4 x 100m strides, upper body lift in weight room.  PM: 2 miles + foam rolling.  Started using new shoes.
Friday: AM: 2 mile shakeout.  Tight/tired but progressively better.  PM: 20 min w/u, drills/strides, 3 x [4×400] with 60/90/2min rec and a lap between sets (81, 82, 81, 81, 78, 76, 76, 77, 76, 76, 76, 72), 3 mile cool down, ice bath
Saturday: 10 miles on trails.  Terrible.
Sunday: no running; 40 min yoga/stretching/core

Total: 47 miles + 60 min XT + yoga

Honesty time!! I definitely increased the mileage and intensity too fast.  Running-wise, I went from normal mileage (around 55) to 9 miles to 35 miles to 47 miles and workouts.  This is partly my fault, partly my coach’s fault.  Anyway, my body hurts.  Like, everywhere.  Legs are heavy, bunions are killing me, hip flexor is complaining a lot, and everything is tight.  Which is why I’m taking an unplanned off day today!

Sleep was terrible.  Ugh.  I don’t know what else I can do.  I just…don’t sleep.  I journal every night, try to unwind, and go to bed at 10, but I still end up not sleeping.  I feel like I’m wasting time and it’s completely avoidable and hampering recovery and it makes me ANGRY.

On a positive note, both of this week’s workouts were solid!  Also, my roommate ran her first indoor race in two years last night and absolutely crushed it.  She’s had a rough couple months and was so nervous and didn’t believe in herself, even though there were no expectations for this race.  But in the second half, she really came alive and dropped the hammer.  It was awesome to see.  I’m so proud and excited for her.

Throughout the past week, I reapplied to the business school, joined Women’s Initiative in Leadership, and applied (and got accepted) to Spoon University!  I will be researching, writing, and publishing articles about food- and college-related topics, and I’m so excited.

Gotta go get my laundry so that’s all for now!  I hope everyone has a great Super Bowl Sunday!

Redshirting indoors + high volume week recap

Happy Sunday!  This weekend has been pretty low-key, but still fun: dinner get-together at a friend’s apartment, long run, homework, laundry, coffee shops, lunch with my roommate’s family, business school application…I could discuss the recent bullshit developments in American foreign policy, but as this is a running blog, I will spare you most of my opinions.  I just have to say that no human being should be considered illegal.

Anyway- back to the running!  Or cross training, or what have you.  My coach apparently decided that this week would be the “week of all the volume”, and I am definitely feeling the effects.  In a good way, for now 😉

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What did people do before planners were invented?

Week of 1/23-1/29:

Monday: AM: 60 min pool (40 aqua jog, 20 swim), trainer for stim/ice.  PM: 4.5 mile run on turf, track, and roads + 15 min stationary bike + 10 min core.
Tuesday: AM: 6 mile run + lower body lift + heat/stim at trainer.  Later AM: 40 min aqua jog
Wednesday: 70 minute pool workout, heat/stim at the trainer.
Thursday: AM: 2 lap w/u, form drills, hurdle drills, speed ladder, 7 mile run, upper body lift.  Heat/stim at trainer.  PM: 30 min stationary bike.
Friday: AM: 60 min pool workout, heat/stim at trainer.  PM: 5 mile run.
Saturday: 10 mile run on trails and roads (7:15ish pace, I think) + 20 min stationary bike.  Used NormaTec boots afterwards.
Sunday: 3 miles, very tired.

Total: 35.5 miles + 295 minutes of cross training

Um wow!  Highest volume week ever.  If 10 minute XT counts as the equivalent of one mile of running, then this week was the equivalent of 65 miles!!  My feet and toes felt pretty good overall, except for some pain and soreness in the toes and bunions at the end of the longer runs from the prolonged impact.

Since the pool hours are a bit weird, I ended up getting up very early every day this week.  This necessitated lots of overnight oats for breakfast and goggle marks look in class 😉  I shall share my favorite overnight oats recipe in another post!

My teammate and I were lucky enough to be able to try out the NormaTec boots for the first time after yesterday’s long run, and they were so cool!  They provide gradual, increasingly intense compression up and down your legs, like an undulating massage.  Great for recovery, especially when your long run volume isn’t quite where it usually is and you have to supplement with cross training afterwards!

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This week was definitely very tiring, and I am planning on dropping the overall volume throughout this coming week, even while increasing running mileage.  I did stim and heat at the training room all week for pain maintenance.  My sleep patterns were whack this week- waking up 5-10 times every night, unable to sleep past 6 am…the usual, I suppose! Over the past few months, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I sleep very poorly at night when training is most intense. Thankfully, this semester’s class schedule has enough time in the afternoon for almost-daily naps!

In a meeting with my coach earlier this week, one of the things we discussed was my short-term and long-term running plans.  Our program treats indoors as kind of preparation for outdoors, with the overall team focus on the outdoor conference championships.  As she was telling me that she wants me to focus on building a huge base and getting the feet 100% again before worrying about racing, I asked, “Can I redshirt?”

 The idea had been floating around in my head for awhile; I would only race a couple times this season, and I do want to take a fifth year to earn a master’s degree or go to law school as well as maximize running potential.  Turns out, she was on the exact same page!  So we decided that I would redshirt this indoor season and maybe race unattached or in a road race at the end of February.
Anyway, that’s it for the major updates!  I hope everyone has had a great weekend.

Winter training and life

(Written earlier this week)

Good morning!  I hope everyone’s weeks got off to a stellar start.  Mumford & Sons, coffee, and a beautiful sunrise on the way to work have made being stuck in a cubicle seem slightly more bearable 🙂  Less than a week until spring semester!!

I realized I haven’t really done a training/life update in awhile, so this will be rather long!  Over the past couple weeks, I’ve built back the mileage back up and started workouts, and except for some recent treadmill-induced piriformis and bunion pain, it’s been 80% smooth sailing.  I ran a 12 mile workout on the treadmill on Sunday!!

Week of 12/5-12/11: 39 miles, 60ish min XT

Week of 12/12-12/18: 44 miles + 40 min bike

Week of 12/19-12/25: 49 miles, 30 min bike

Week of 12/26-1/1: 53 miles

Week of 1/2-1/8: 54 miles + 25 min bike

Week of 12/26-1/1:

M: 3 miles recovery + core and yoga.  Sore hamstrings.

T: AM: 7 early morning miles, drills, strides.  PM: lift day 1 (lower body)

W: 3 mile warm-up, drills, 30 minute tempo (averaged 6:22ish), 3 min recovery, 4 x [:60, :60], 2 mile cool-down.  Total: 11 miles.

Th: 5 miles + core after work.  Mentally not great.

F: AM: drills, 6 early morning miles, strides.  PM: lift day 2, felt sick.

Sat: 3 mile warm-up, drills, 4 x 800 with 200m jog recovery (2:53, 2:53, 2:53, 2:52), lap, 6 x 400 with 60-75 seconds recovery (78, 78, 80, 78, 78, 77), 3 mile cool down. Total: 11 miles.

Sun: 11 miles on bike path.  My feet/bunions were killing me the whole time!  Limping by the end :/

Total: 53 miles

Both workouts that week went pretty well; I was on the canal for the first one and the track for the second one.  I was a little mental going into the track workout because I was alone and kept thinking I wouldn’t be able to hit the paces, but it ended up being fine!  Total: 10 miles. Most of the runs were decent as well, although I think randomly switching shoes made my feet really hurt towards the end of the week.  

Week of 1/2-1/8:

M: off; core + yoga

T: AM: 7 miles treadmill.  PM: drills, 2 miles to gym, strides, lift day 1.  22 total chin-ups!

W: 3 mile warm-up, drills, strides, 2 x 200 (37, 36), 3 x [4×400] w/ 1 min rest and 1 lap between sets (82, 82, 82, 82, 84, 80, 81, 81, 83, 81, 81, 81), 2k w/ 200 @ 5k pace and 200 around 48-50 seconds. (Total was 7:39).  Total = 11 miles.  Felt ok, not great, not bad.

TH: 5 miles early morning run, a little stiff but progressively better + core

F:  AM: 7 miles treadmill. Had to convince myself to actually stay on the treadmill. Piriformis pain.  PM: 25 min bike + lift day 2.  Felt a little weak today.

Sat: Snowy track workout! 3 mile warm-up, drills, 4 x mile with 2 min rec (6:09, 6:02, 6:00, 5:57), 3 mile cool down.  Total = 10 miles.

Sun: Treadmill long run workout.  3 mile warm-up, 4 x [7 min on at about 6:50 pace, 8 min off at about 7:50 pace], finished to mileage.  Total = 12 miles.

Total: 54 miles + 25 min bike

This week was solid!  The first half was uneventful.  Friday sucked, honestly– I had to talk myself through the treadmill run and was miserable and had a bunch of piriformis pain so I biked in the afternoon instead of running again.  I actually fell asleep at 7:30 pm for two hours and felt weirdly exhausted/disoriented for the next like 16 hours.  On Saturday, my teammate and I worked out together, and it went surprisingly really well considering the weather.  Sunday’s long run/workout went surprisingly well, too.  Changing the pace every mile actually made it a lot more bearable.  I didn’t push it too much, either.

Lifts have been going well; my pull-up ability isn’t progressing as quickly as I want it to 😉 but I’m getting there!  I’m better at chin-ups than parallel grip pull-ups, but I’ve been working hard on parallel pull-ups with the ultimate goal of being able to do all 3 sets of 10 unassisted.  At this point, I’m about halfway there!

Sleep is okay- I wish I could get nine hours every night, but I’ve probably been getting 7-8 as usual.  It’s better than nothing, I guess!  I’m working on getting off my phone before bed and writing a few things in a gratitude/reflection journal.

Work is work.

Surprisingly, I’ve been doing yoga at least once a week, which has been good.  I’ve never been into yoga- my mind doesn’t turn off and I rush through the exercises and I’m inflexible as heck- but I have to admit I always feel better after doing it, even if it’s just stretching.  Honestly, one of the more challenging parts is the “corpse pose” at the end– put on a peaceful song, turn off the lights, and lie motionless/relaxed for the duration of the song.  It’s a great way to clear your mind and forget about everything else that happens during the day.  Although it usually takes me most of the song to wind down my brain and truly relax!

Go-to corpse pose songs:

  • “I See Fire”- Ed Sheeran
  • “Only Time” – Enya
  • “Corazon Sin Cara”- Prince Royce (this was the jam in eighth grade)
  • “Atlas Hands”- Benjamin Francis Leftwich

Tangentially, I watched the documentary “Minimalism” a few nights ago, and it was enlightening.  My dad is a hoarder, so I developed minimalist tendencies as a coping mechanism around the age of 14, but those have all but disappeared.  However, I’ve made it a goal to somewhat de-clutter (my dorm room, my life, etc).  We’ll see how that goes 🙂  I really appreciated their analysis of how minimizing your lifestyle can help with relaxation of the mind and enable you to step away from the chaotic, constant stimulation of modern society.  It’s good for the brain.

I finished this blog post and my coffee at exactly the same time.  How convenient.

Feliz Navidad

Good morning!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, religious or secular or whatever your lifestyle preferences entail.  My family hosted our extended step-family, complete with four babies under the age of two.  The house was loud.  My dog was confused.

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Christmas Eve brought foggy, rainy, miserable conditions– perfect for an 8 mile run with my friend from high school!  The normally packed bike path was completely deserted and a bit spooky.  Later on, we partook in our normal tradition of making homemade pizza, then attended the night church service.  We also exchanged ornaments that represented something meaningful that happened to each person over the past year.  I got a running wings ornament (shocking!), my brother received a driver’s license ornament, etc.

On Christmas morning, my family managed to sleep in until 7 am!  Unheard of.

After opening stockings, we cooked a huge breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit salad, and coffee and tea.  We finished opening gifts- among mine were Run Fast Eat Slow, a Trader Joe’s gift card, and a Wawa gift card!  Then, I went out for my long run.  It was supposed to be 11 miles, but I forgot to look at my watch until I was way past the turnaround point.

I stopped before I got back to my house so as to not go over mileage too much, but I still ran 11.29 miles at 7:06 pace.  Whoa.  The run went pretty well- I didn’t realize I was going 7 minute pace until I looked down at the halfway point.  The last three miles were pretty hard, and my feet, calves, and hamstrings really hurt from the sidewalk pounding. I also ran in a Santa hat the entire time 😉

The rest of the day was spent preparing for the Christmas dinner! (and maybe reading Run Fast Eat Slow cover to cover.)

The 100% homemade feast: turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, two kinds of stuffing, crescent rolls, beef wellington, vegan eggplant/mushroom roast, apple crisp, pumpkin pie, and vegan almond butter brownies.

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Overall, Christmas was lovely and hectic 🙂

Anyway, here’s a recap of the past week of training: (12/19-12/25)

  • Monday: AM: 4 early morning treadmill miles.  PM: 5 miles + core.  Felt good on both runs. Probably should’ve gone slower during the afternoon one.
  • Tuesday: AM: lift day 1.  PM: 9 miles sidewalks…middle 4 miles with former teammates/high school team which was fun!
  • Wednesday:  4 early morning treadmill miles, took it pretty easy, sore legs.
  • Thursday: AM: 6 early morning miles outside in the dark with a snazzy flashing arm band, felt good.  PM: 30 min bike + lift day 2. I did 20 total unassisted chin-ups.
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: AM: 8 miles with my friend Noah, rainy, cold, but fun. PM: 2 miles, mentally I didn’t really want to, but I got it done.
  • Sunday: 11.29 miles at 7:06 pace
Total: 49 miles, 30 min bike
Last week, I started working an internship four days per week from 8-4 pm.  The commute takes about an hour when traffic is bad (which it usually is…shoutout to DC)  This means that on the days I work and run, I have to wake up early to get my run in, then commute/work from 7 am to 5 pm, then do whatever double or other training I have.
On Thursday, I had to bike and lift after work, and I got stuck in DC traffic until past 5.  I was starving, angry, and changed my mind 37 times on the way home about whether I would actually go bike and lift.  I ended up making a pit stop at the grocery store, devouring a bar, hammering out my cross train and lift, and getting home at 7 pm, at which point I crashed really, really hard.  I have a new respect for all the dedicated athletes who work full-time and have terrible commutes.  This shit is hard!
Back to the grind tomorrow.  Happy Holidays 🙂

1,291 miles: Reflections

But first: this happened yesterday!

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I used to donate my hair all the time, but I took a break for about five years.  Figured it was about time again 🙂

We met for practice this afternoon as usual, but going for a run was optional.  After our two-lap warm-up, hurdle drills, and speed ladder, I figured, “Why not?” and went for a lovely three miles to end the season.

Oh my gosh.  Time to reflect on the best season of my life.

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The numbers: May 16th to November 14th

  • I ran 1,291 miles (approximately).
  • Cross trained for 12 hours and 40 minutes.
  • Ran more than 50 miles per week for 20 straight weeks.
  • 14 complete rest days.

The details: 

  • 5 races
  • Did not get injured.  Or sick.  Which is freaking amazing.
  • I did more pull-ups, chin-ups, and harder workouts than ever before.
  • Matured more mentally than I anticipated
  • Ate even more oatmeal than ever before.
  • Made it into the varsity seven 🙂

This season was a rollercoaster.  I trained extremely diligently over the summer and came into school with an attitude towards training that was, in retrospect, a little too intense.  I was logging higher and faster mileage than I ever had, but I wasn’t listening to my body enough.  My schoolwork, mental, and physical health were suffering.  I reevaluated and got over the urge to “do everything.”

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One of my favorite things from this season was the transition from bodyweight circuits in the locker room to real lifting routines in the weight room with a very knowledgeable lifting instructor.  I love lifting, and I could truly myself getting stronger as the season progressed.  I was conquering hills, and my form wasn’t breaking down during the latter portions of races.

The next two weeks will be spent in hardcore recovery mode– aka indulging in all the foods I limited throughout the season.  At the tailgate after the race on Friday, I ate an exorbitant quantity of baked goods and sandwiches and pasta.  My roommate gave me a pumpkin-stuffed vanilla cupcake with cream cheese frosting.  The weekend brought many Reese’s cups.

Last night was our team thanksgiving, which is always an incredibly fun spectacle!  The seniors cook the turkeys, there are ridiculous games, and everyone brings delicious food.  I made cranberry sauce and sweet potato biscuits and gorged myself on everything from pumpkin cinnamon rolls to stuffing to bacon brussels sprouts to sweet potatoes with marshmallows and brown sugar.  I’ll get back on the grind eventually, but for now– it’s about enjoyment 🙂

Next up: goals for track!