Training Log 11/12-11/18 (27.75 miles + grad school!)

Happy Sunday!  Tonight is our annual Team Thanksgiving.  As seniors, we are in charge of the turkeys, but most of the seniors are not going to make that effort.  So my friend and I cooked a turkey (from frozen) yesterday, and it was a smashing success.  I made cranberry sauce and chocolate mousse, and we are cooking a second turkey (with stuffing) today.  I have never felt so adult in my entire life.

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Week of 11/12-11/18

  • Monday: (4.5) 2 laps, Eldoa, activation, 4 easy miles, 20 min bike, hurdle drills + lower leg exercises, band exercises, core, barefoot cool down.  PM: 30 min bike.

  • Tuesday: (8) 2 laps, Eldoa, activation, 7.5ish mile hilly workout, (15 min progressive warm-up, 2x (3×2’[1’])[4’], 15 min cool down, lift, death by Eldoa at lift.  PM: 30 min NormaTec.

  • Wednesday: bonus day: 10 min bike + 0.5 mile “sprint” to my car lol. I would’ve cross trained for an hour if my car hadn’t broken down.

  • Thursday: (7.5) AM: 2 laps, Eldoa, activation, 40 min run; 4 x rhythm 200s (38-39); 1 mile cool down.  Lift. PM: 30 min bike

  • Friday: (7.25) warm-up, Eldoa, activation, 10 min easy run, Mona fartlek in CW, 18 min cool down back to my apartment.

  • Saturday: 55 min swim (35 free, 20 medley)

  • Sunday: Eldoa, activation, 100 min XT (75 min bike, 25 min aqua jog

Total: 27.75 miles + XT

This week went well until Friday- after a workout involving lots of sidewalk pounding, my foot started hurting in the stress fracture area and got worse throughout the afternoon.  I’ve cross trained the last two days and will continue until it feels better, which is mildly annoying but I want to be smart!

Tuesday’s workout was pretty hard!  We did it on a hilly road, and my legs hadn’t moved that fast in awhile.  On Wednesday, my car broke down, and AAA showed up 10 minutes into my bike, so I ended up taking a bonus day.  My car was on the third floor of the parking garage, and the tow truck couldn’t fit through, so it was quite an adventure getting the car down to the bottom.  The guy ended up putting it in neutral and pushing it/coasting all the way to the bottom with no power steering.  Amazing.

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Thursday’s rhythm 200s felt surprisingly good.  I woke up on Friday feeling like I’d gotten hit by a train, so I’m proud of how I got out there and got a good effort in.  The Mona fartlek (aka Moneghetti fartlek) is a great effort because, while not that long, you don’t get a lot of recovery.  All I wanted to do during the shorter intervals was extend the rest, but I didn’t!

I was hoping to hit in the mid-30s for mileage this week, but that’s okay.  Hopefully my foot flare-up clears up soon!  I’m SO excited for Thanksgiving.

In other news, I applied and was accepted into the Master of Accounting program!!! So I will be staying a fifth year (because I haven’t done enough beating up my body, apparently…)

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One of my future roommates!

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Training Log 11/5-11/11 (33.5 miles + first workout + travel)

Happy Sunday! After a hectic last few days (which I’ll talk about later), I completed my longest run of the comeback this morning and am now sitting in a coffee shop on campus while procrastinating some school work.  I have 5 school-related tabs open in order to pretend that I’m being productive 😉

This past week, I ran my first workout and ran 9 miles this morning, breaking 30 mpw for the first time since, like, January!  I also drove 700 miles in a 28-hour time period with the 3 girls below.  We are crazy.

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Week of 11/5-11/11:

  • Monday: AM: 50 min pool (40 swim, 10 aqua jog).  PM: warm-up, Eldoa, activation, 3 miles, pedestal exercises, band exercises, core. Ice cup on foot.
  • Tuesday: Warm-up, Eldoa, activation, 48 min run, strides. Lift- new PR of 105 (I know, my legs are currently noodles) on squats!  NormaTec.
  • Wednesday: Bonus day off: light core + foam rolling
  • Thursday: Warm-up, Eldoa, activation.  Foot was achey so I used the Alter-G for 5 miles @ 80% bodyweight + 20 min bike.  DB reverse lunges, chin-ups, push-ups, and dips in locker room.  Iced foot.  Drove to SC.
  • Friday: 2π workout in Rock Hill! 10 min warm-up, 2 x [3h14h1e5h4e], 10 min cool down = 7 miles, but then we also pretty much did a fartlek while spectating, so I’m counting it as 2 more miles of work haha.
  • Saturday: off
  • Sunday: 9 mile long run. First 7.5 miles around 7:35 average and then last 10 minutes faster with last mile at 6:12.

Total: 33.5 miles + some XT

I only cross trained twice this week! What?? I ended up running 5 days with two complete days off because my team was tapering for regionals, and I was traveling.

Monday’s and Tuesday’s runs were both pretty awful; my body didn’t want to move.  On Thursday, my foot was pretty sore, so I used the Alter-G instead of running on land.  I skipped lift to go to a grad school interview.  After class on Thursday, I drove to Rock Hill, South Carolina with 3 of my teammates so that we could cheer at the NCAA Southeast Regional meet on Friday!  We left after class and got there at 9 pm.  Woke up on Friday to do a workout in the pouring, freezing rain before heading to the course to cheer!

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The workout went surprisingly well considering that I’d driven for 7 hours the night before!  We ran around the sidewalks in Rock Hill for 7 miles, warmed up at our friend’s favorite coffee shop, and then pretty much did another fartlek-workout sprinting around the course cheering on our teammates.

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Our men’s and women’s teams ran okay but did not place highly.  I’m hopeful that we will keep progressing throughout track and make huge progress next year.  I think we just ran out of time this semester.

Us spectators revived our hungry, tired, soaking wet selves at Earth Fare before hitting the road for another 7 hours.  My friend and I ate dozens of chocolate-covered espresso beans to stay awake, and by the time we reached the scary pitch-black last 40 miles of highway, we were delirious, over-caffeinated, under-rested, and ready to get out of the car.  I have never gripped the steering wheel so hard in my life; every time a car came around in the opposite direction, their headlights blinded me and I couldn’t see anything for 5 seconds.  I was starting to feel highly ill and wanted nothing more than to never drive again.  But I revived for a night of festivities.

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Can you tell I had just driven 12 hours and spent the entire day with freezing wet socks?

I slept like 4 hours on Friday night (more like Saturday morning), enjoyed brunch (and lots of coffee) with friends, and hibernated until it was time to work on a group project for 4 hours in the afternoon.   RIP.

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After recovering all day Saturday and spending an evening watching the Great British Baking Show and eating an entire loaf of chocolate banana bread right before bed, I was ready to go for this morning’s run!

Overall, this week was fun and exhausting.  I’m happy with how my training is going, even though some of my runs felt terrible!  While my team is on their break, I’m going to take the next couple weeks pretty low volume while increasing overall mileage.  So excited for Thanksgiving 🙂

Training Log 10/22-10/28 (24.5 miles!)

Hi friends! I’m home for the weekend to cheer on my mom because she’s running the Marine Corps Marathon tomorrow morning.  We went to the expo today, and it was crazy.  Also, Kathrine Switzer was there!! (Someone was fangirling, and it wasn’t me.)  Unfortunately, they closed the picture-taking line before we got there, but we did our best to get a picture “with” her.  See the best attempt below…

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Anyway, I know it’s only Saturday, but I thought I’d write up a training report since 1) this was the first week of this comeback where I ran over 20 miles!! and 2) I’m planning on taking tomorrow off and just walking like a billion miles around the marathon course.

Week of 10/22-10/28:

  • Monday: AM: 2 lap warm-up, Eldoa, activation, 40 min easy (8:30 pace) on trails, sashays, band exercises, pedestal core, barefoot cool down. PM: 40 min bike + Compex on hamstring
  • Tuesday: AM: 2 lap warm-up, Eldoa, activation, 42 min starting easy and then BAT (felt like 6:45-7:00 pace but I have no idea), 2-legged hops, barefoot cool down, lift.  PM: 30 min bike + 30 min NormaTec.
  • Wednesday: 60 min swim
  • Thursday: 10 min bike warm-up, 2 laps, Eldoa, activation, 5 mile cut down (kind of hammered the second half: rough splits 7:30, 7:00, 6:55, 6:38, 6:38), 0.5 miles easy, 10 min bike cool down.  Lift + NormaTec.
  • Friday: AM: 60 min pool (45 swim, 15 aqua jog).  PM: Eldoa, activation, 35 min bike, pedestal exercises.
  • Saturday: Eldoa, activation, 7 miles on the W&OD at 7:40ish average pace, 30 min elliptical, rope stretch.  Conditions were MISERABLE but I survived!
  • Sunday: (planned) Bonus day: Spectate MCM

Total: 24.5 miles

This was a solid week! I had two faster runs and two easier runs.  Today was my longest run yet- seven miles felt great aerobically, but it was pouring rain and windy and cold and slightly miserable.  Oh, well!  Looking forward to continuing to build a bit of a base before starting workouts (even though some of my runs have gotten down close to workout pace…#impatience)

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In other news, MY TEAM RECLAIMED THEIR CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP YESTERDAY. By two points.  Every single one of them ran their hearts out to get that title.  I pretty much happy-cried all day.  I am SO proud of them, and I can’t wait to be back racing with them.

In order to fulfill the “basic fall activities” quota for the year, my friend and I headed across the ferry to the pumpkin patch last week.  Too bad there were no pumpkins left!!

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S’mores and bonfires and fun to support my friend’s sorority philanthropy- I look possessed but that is okay!

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Ok, everyone wish my mom good luck in the marathon tomorrow! She’s gonna crush it.

Fall Frenzy

Happy Sunday afternoon!  Yes, I’m still alive!  It’s a beautiful day in the ‘Burg, and I’m gearing up for another week of classes and training.  I realized that I had gone yet another month and a half without writing a blog post, so I am using this time to procrastinate slightly on a Spanish paper.

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In my last post, I still hadn’t been cleared to run.  I’m happy to report that the MRI follow-up appointment went very well; the imaging showed no remaining fractures, just some edema around the second and third metatarsals, as well as a “mild hallux valgus.” Which was their nice way of saying I have a massive, ugly bunion 😉

So with that, I started running again.  I walk-jogged for three weeks, starting with 2-minute jogging intervals and working up to 5-minute jogs.  Aside from nerve pain, my foot stayed together.  So on September 27, I went for my first run! It was a glorious 20 minutes with my teammates.

Since then, I’ve been running about three times a week.  I’m still cross training almost every day.  I’m up to six-mile runs, although I actually tweaked my hamstring doing strides the other day so took today off to let things calm down.  I am trying to be extremely smart about this whole comeback thing.  Since there’s literally a 0% chance of coming back for this cross country season, I have all the time in the world enough time to get race-ready.  No sense trying to rush anything, especially with how long I was out!  In this sport, it is absolutely crucial to love the process.

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This is still frequently my view.

In other life news:

Classes were cancelled and campus was evacuated in mid-September because of Hurricane Florence, so I went home for five days!  And thanks to recruiting season, I’ve been home twice more this semester for job interviews in the Northern Virginia area.  It’s very strange.  I’ve never gone home this much (or done this much driving) during a semester.

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Lots of job interviews, career fairs, etc. etc. etc.  I’m sort of figuring out this whole “life” thing, although I’m not ready to leave yet 😉 More on that in a month or so!

Some friends went to Guatemala for a class trip, so we made them Guatemala-themed cupcakes.  Because of course we did.

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My roommate got a kitten!

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Shocking literally everyone on the planet, we actually WON our homecoming game.  It was great to see some of my favorite recent alumni.

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The annual Oyster Roast is always a good time- hot apple cider, a vat of chili, oysters, the Virginia Reel, flannels, a bonfire…amazing 🙂  This was our last one of undergrad!

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I tried Korean BBQ for the first time!  My brother, dad, and I went to Kogiya in Annandale, and it was pretty awesome.

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As part of Homecoming weekend, the school treated the senior class to dinner and drinks.  We are old!  I also apparently only wear a sweater/vest/running tights/boots when it gets cold out.

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Senior year is quite a time.  Classes are hard, I am really happy to be running again, and I am also really excited about the future.  Friendships are changing, priorities are changing, and all this just makes me more thankful for a loving family, caring friends, a strong undergraduate program of study, and the opportunities that are out there.

My coach says that I can start workouts around Thanksgiving, which is not too far away!  For now, I’ll just keep building mileage and enjoying the process (well, first rehab the hammy), getting #toostrong in the weight room and via cross training, and not lose sight of the long-term goal.

 

Week of 7/30-8/5

Good morning!  I’m sitting outside while typing this because it’s nice and sunny and not too hot (yet), and I need the vitamin D.  An Animal Control van just drove by…hmm.  I’m heading to work in a little while but figured I should probably type up a weekly training recap (on time for once!) before I go.

Week of 7/30-8/5:

  • Monday: AM: active warm-up, 60 min XT (30 elliptical, 20 bike, 10 elliptical) + 5 min core + Airex pad stability.  Legs and brain felt awful.  PM: circuits.
  • Tuesday: AM: 60 min swim (3500 yards).  PM: glute activation, 30 min bike, lift.  Felt much better today.
  • Wednesday: 60 min elliptical
  • Thursday: AM: 60 min pool (35 swim, 25 aqua jog).  PM: 30 min elliptical + core.
  • Friday: 30 min bike, 40 min lift, 30 min bike with some progressive/pick-ups
  • Saturday: 60 min swim + 75 min vinyasa flow yoga
  • Sunday: off

Overall, physically this week went pretty well.  I was able to do 60-90 minutes of cross training every day, along with solid lifts, circuits, and yoga.  I didn’t sleep quite as well as I wanted to, but I never got less than 7 hours of sleep per night.  I got in some quality efforts even though I didn’t feel like doing full-on “workouts”.  The workout efforts consisted of some pick-ups whenever I felt like doing them 😉

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Mentally, it’s a bit of a different story.  I’ve been struggling with body image this week in particular- not sure why it’s been worse than before, but I was extremely harsh towards myself.  Keeping it real!

On Tuesday, I didn’t really want to go to the pool, but I got there and saw my swim buddy!  (She’s in high school.)  This motivated me a lot more, and we were able to swim together for about 25 minutes.  Turns out she was having a (relatively) awful swim, so it was beneficial for both of us that we fought through our lack of motivation and got our butts in the water.

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Friday was a really weird day because I had to get up at the crack of dawn to go to work but was home by 6:45 and after eating breakfast, I intermittently slept until like 11 am.  I was exhausted and discombobulated.  In the early afternoon, I had like 3 breakdowns and ended up going on a walk and talking to my friend for an hour.  She was great, and I felt a lot better, and later in the afternoon I went to the gym and had a great bike and lift.  I incorporated split squats, weighted RDLs, and weighted back squats for the first time in forever, and my foot felt good!  However, it was just a weird, concerning day in general– and these days are becoming more frequent than before.

On Saturday, I woke up early to go to the pool before heading to a 75-minute vinyasa flow yoga class.  After swimming for an hour, my arms were DEAD during yoga!  But it was still really great.  After working all afternoon, my foot started hurting, but it’s a different kind of pain.  I think I tweaked the bunion during all that vinyasa flow.  Chaturanga!  Upward dog!  Downward dog!  Repeat!  AHH!  (Hopefully it’ll feel better asap.)

Also, my arms have never been this ripped.  Perks of injury!

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Another vegan dinner: sweet potato, broccoli, baked curried tahini tofu, corn on the cob, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast

I didn’t really take any interesting pictures this week, so here is a photo of Eat and Run (which I am re-reading) taken in portrait mode because I was messing around with my new, actually functional phone 😉

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On Thursday, I doubled on the elliptical in my basement and watched the Breaking2 documentary on YouTube to pass the time.  Eliud Kipchoge really struck a chord with me when he said “100% of me is nothing compared to 1% of the whole team. That’s teamwork.”  Throughout these many months of cross training, it’s important to keep in mind that I’m doing this for myself, yes, but more importantly for my amazing team!

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Throwback to Penn State last year

Other than cross training, I just worked a lot and watched Scandal.  Almost all my friends are out of town, so I didn’t really have much social interaction this week (may have contributed to my solitary self-criticism, oops).  I didn’t “go out” this week because I think I’ve needed a break from all of that.  Alcohol makes me feel shittyyyyy.

I’m getting closer and closer to being able to run again.  Just gotta tough it out for another week! I know that being able to run won’t “solve” all the things I’ve been feeling, and I need to hash it out with myself, but it will hopefully improve my quality of life.  I realized the other day while walking that I haven’t been on any of the trails, bike paths, etc. that I used to frequent every single day.  I’ve also been cross training inside all summer!  Ahh! No wonder I’m going insane 😉

My intentions for the next week:

  1. Continue lower leg strength and stability (single-leg squats, you will be the death of me!)
  2. Stay off Instagram.  It’s not good for my mental health, and I waste way too much time on there.
  3. Speak more Spanish- listen to podcasts, music, and watch documentaries.
  4. Bike outside!  And go for walks outside!  Soak up the sun 🙂
  5. Compliment someone every day.
  6. Play the piano.
  7. Read two new books!  I’m currently reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte.

A little over a week until the training trips begin, and then it’s back to school for the start of senior year!

 

A Day in the Life: Study Abroad

Hi friends!  I’m currently sitting at a coffee shop working on my research investigation.  I just finished an ethnographic observation of the Mercado Central in Cádiz and submitted my midterm report, so I thought I’d take a little break and talk about some recent happenings because there might be one or two people out there that care about my non-training-summary musings 😉  Speaking of which, I’m going to finish this café americano in a few minutes and head over to the gym for my weekly long cross train session because the smell of fish from the Mercado Central is getting to me, but first…A Day in the Life: Cádiz Edition!

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Yesterday (Friday) was a surprisingly fun day.  We don’t have classes on Fridays (theoretically we’re supposed to use the day to work on our research investigations, which I actually kind of did, but usually we just jet off to random parts of Spain or go to wine tastings in ancient castles.  You know how it is.)  I woke up at 7:30 and didn’t feel like running right then because the Valley of Fatigue is real and my body is/was #destroyed.  So I stayed in bed until 9, ate the classic breakfast of pan tostada with my roommate, and then sat on the terrace upstairs in the sunshine working on my paper.

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After finishing my paper in a pleasingly short amount of time, I walked over to the university (a 4 minute walk, #blessup) to meet with my professor about my investigation.  The meeting went well, but what stands out in my mind is that it was one of those moments where speaking Spanish was just as easy and natural and grammatically correct as English!  Even though I’ve been studying Spanish for 15 years now and can write just as well in either language, speaking has always been a bit trickier.  I feel like that’s the case in any second/third/not-first language.  Anyway, I left the meeting feeling pleased and bilingual and worldly and eloquent.  It was nice 🙂

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PS, look how pretty the University of Cádiz is 🙂

I ran into my friend on the way out, and we ended up walking to a plaza about fifteen minutes away to get coffee and just talk for awhile before my run.  It was refreshing not to be rushing around from the gym to school or wherever (why do I tend to do this even in a foreign country??).  We ended up in an intellectually stimulating discussion about the importance of breaking the dominant historical narrative of colonizer/colonized.  You know.  Casual.

After awhile, I felt like I should do my run, so I met up with my teammate and completed the longest walk-to-run thus far! 6 x 5 minute run, 1 minute walk.  ‘Twas lovely.  My foot hurts a little now, but I’m not running again until Monday.  Also, running in a sports bra is kind of weird in Spain, but it was 80 degrees and we were dying, okay…

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We ran by the beach and had a nice deep talk and it was great.  Unprecedented deep talks seem to be the theme of the day…

I went home, ate lunch, took a siesta, and then headed to the beach to hang out for awhile and eventually aqua jog in the water.  We were baking in the sun for two and a half hours before aqua jogging, which I realized later in the evening was not the smartest plan.  But the aqua jog session was super fun and flew by because we talked nonstop!

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I arrived home dehydrated and sun-poisoned just in time for dinner of chicken nuggets, veggies, and a salty noodle soup.  A freezing cold shower made my sun-poisoned body feel even worse, and I had to cancel my night plans and lie in bed watching Portugal versus España (damn it, Cristiano Ronaldo) before falling asleep before I planned/waking up hella disoriented/and having a restless night feeling crappy.

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Even with that end to the day, I still felt like it had been a great day overall.  Today, I feel like crap, so I’m looking forward to a full-on rest day tomorrow.  It’s finally getting hot in Cádiz, which is pleasant but can also get to be overwhelming!

First Days in Spain

Good morning!  I’m currently  in Cádiz, Spain, where it’s 10:30 am (six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time).  This is our first morning in Cádiz- we arrived yesterday around 6 pm, met our host mom, explored the beach and saw an awesome sunset, and then kind of got trapped in the house.

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Not wearing the boot #badidea

The past few days have been full of travel and new experiences and lots of Spanish!  We left the US around 6 pm on Thursday 5/17 and arrived in Madrid Friday morning, so we essentially lost an entire night’s sleep.  I dozed on the airport floor and during the bus ride to the hotel, and then we all crashed for several hours throughout the afternoon in the hotel.  My friend and I walked around Madrid for awhile after that.  We then went to el Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, where I got lost from the group and couldn’t contact them #nice, and then our guide took us on a long walk where we got to be stampeded by the soccer fans celebrating the Club Atlético de Madrid.  After walking like 5 miles, it was finally time for dinner!  We had paella and croquetas and sangria at 10 pm.

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I ended up walking 7 miles in the boot on Friday.  My foot was throbbing by the end.  Ouch!

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On Saturday, we left Madrid in the morning and took the bus to Cádiz all day.  After getting settled in our host family’s house and eating a surprisingly early dinner (7:30), my roommate and I went for a walk, saw an incredible sunset on the beach (which is a 3 minute walk from the house!), and met up with some of our other study abroad people.

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This morning, I woke up around 8:20 and did some core.  While I’m having a good time, I’m torn between feeling like a slacker for not doing any training in like 3 days and feeling depressed because my foot is killing me and I was going to start the walk-to-run program this week.  ARGH!  But my host mom is taking me to join a gym tomorrow after our orientation at the university, so that will be good 🙂

After doing core, we ate our first breakfast prepared by our host mother.  Talk about culture shock!  As you know, my usual breakfast at home involves some combination of oatmeal, fruit, nut butter, eggs, protein powder, cinnamon, etc.  Breakfast is like my favorite meal of the day!

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Case in point: my last breakfast at home

In Andalucía, the typical breakfast involves bread and sugar.  This morning, our host mom gave us chocolate-filled pastries, sweet milk that tasted like drinking butter (I couldn’t do it haha), orange juice, hot cocoa, and toast with our choice of butter or jam.  I ate the pastry and toast with strawberry preserves and for the most part passed on the drinks because I rarely drink anything except water and coffee.  I’m happy to try anything and am willing to fully immerse myself in Andalusian culture, but we’ve had some funny culture-clash moments so far.  When she asked what I like to eat for breakfast and I responded “oatmeal and eggs”, she looked at me like I had seven heads and said, “We don’t do that here.  Eggs are not for breakfast.  They sometimes do that in Barcelona, but not here.”

Welp…so much for that!

The next 5 weeks are definitely going to be a learning experience!  I’m really excited to start classes, continue to explore Cádiz, take day trips to other southern Spanish cities, and immerse myself in Andalusian culture.  I’m apprehensive about training (or lack thereof) and sad that my foot pain hasn’t gone away yet (seriously- I’ve run like 100 miles in the past 4 months…)

But this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I’m so grateful I get to do it!  Cádiz is beautiful, and the weather is unparalleled.  And we have a cute roof/garden right outside our bedroom!

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 🙂

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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 😉

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 Cádiz, soak up all the experiences, conduct my independent research project about the markets, and learn millions of new things.

Have a wonderful day 🙂

 

Training 1/8-1/14 and beginning of semester!

Happy first day of school!  The second semester of junior year started bright and early this morning with an hour-long pool workout, training room visit, and 9:30 am marketing research class.  And it’s snowing!  I have an hour and a half break between classes, so I’m going to drink coffee too quickly and catch you all up on what’s been going on in my life 🙂

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First of all, I spontaneously got a haircut!  Chopped off about six inches of gross, dead hair left over from when my body was falling apart at the end of the cross country season.  #newyearnewme?  But that has next to nothing to do with training, sooo moving on.

So unfortunately, right as I was beginning to feel in shape and enjoy training again, I injured myself.  Last Tuesday, I did a tempo run on the icy bike path and completely fucked up my left foot and ankle.  Since then, I’ve been experiencing pain in my arch, plantar, and ankle bone, and it isn’t getting any better.

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Post-pool-workout overnight oats and warm whirlpool

Ironically, I’m in the same position I was in at the start of last semester: cross training, foot/ankle pain, daily training room visits…hoo boy.  I’m trying to take it in stride, though- be patient, smart, don’t rush things.  Unlike past injuries, I want this to completely heal up before I try to train on it.  And I’ve been killing it on the bike, in the pool, and in the weight room, so those are all positives!  Might get an x-ray if the pain doesn’t improve soon.

Week of 1/8-1/14:

  • Monday: AM: 7 easy miles + circuits. PM: active warm-up, 3 miles, strides, GS1, foam roll.
  • Tuesday: 20 min warm-up, drills, 4 mile tempo on bike path (SUPER icy).  Splits: 6:18, 6:26, 6:07, 6:03.  20 min cool down.  Lower body lift at home, and did 24 chin-ups!  Foot/ankle started hurting a lot later in the day.  Iced it.
  • Wednesday:  AM: tried to run- too much pain.  30 min elliptical with ankle brace.  PM: 30 min bike + core.  Foam roll.
  • Thursday: AM: 8 miles + strides + upper body lift.  PM: 2 miles.  Foot/ankle feel better than Tuesday and Wednesday, but not pain-free…in retrospect, I’m just a stubborn idiot 😉
  • Friday: active warm-up, 4 miles- planned to do workout but after I warmed up for 2 miles, it was too painful, so I ran 2 miles home and then did a 50 minute pool workout (10 lap warm-up, 5 x 4 laps hard, 1 lap easy, 5 x 1 lap hard, 1 length easy, 10 lap cool down).  Rolled, Epsom salt soak, electrical stim and ice, mobs, massage.
  • Saturday: 100 min XT (80 min bike + 20 elliptical). Rolled, Epsom salt soak, electrical stim and ice, mobs, massage.
  • Sunday: off. 40 min yoga/core.
Total: 33 miles + 210 min XT
I wrote a melodramatic post on Saturday that I might post later, but essentially I was really frustrated about having to cross train and dealt with some “If I can’t run, it’s a waste” thoughts.  Luckily, I’ve remembered that cross training is highly effective at keeping us in shape, so I’m going to take advantage of the bike and the pool to get some quality work in!  Also, so many women on my team are injured right now that cross training has been kind of a party…haha.
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This semester, I have no 8 am classes.  Thank goodness!  On Mondays and Wednesdays, I’ll be taking three marketing classes from 9:30 to 3:30, with morning and afternoon practice.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I will have morning practice from 7:30-10:30, followed by two Hispanic Studies classes from 11-2.  And for the third semester in a row…no Friday classes!  I’m well on my way to completing my two majors (BBA in Marketing and BA in Hispanic Studies), and it’s crazy to think that we’re already in the second half of junior year.
I spent the majority of yesterday meal prepping even though I didn’t really need to, mostly because I wanted an excuse to break in my new food processor!  It’s super fancy, with 4 different blades and about 10 different parts…quite a change from the old mini one that stopped working last semester 🙂  Also, I realized that all the food I prepped was some shade of brown.  Nice!
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Carrot muffins, curried lentils, black bean brownies, homemade larabars, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and beets

I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday, and I’ll update again soon about my injury, semester, and life in general!

Week of 1/1-1/7 (51)

Happy Monday- the start of the last week at home before spring semester begins!  I’m currently wearing cozy fleece pajama pants and settling into a Thai chicken curry coma while writing this post.  I’m working tomorrow so planning to do my workout and lift pretty early.  In typical Monday fashion, I am battling a severe cold, and my car battery died.  But on the bright side, the AAA guy was really nice, and I got in two really nice outdoor runs today after the Treadmill Horror Week!
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Color coordination is not my strong suit

Since last week was so cold, I decided to play it safe by doing the majority of my training indoors.  However, by the end of the week, I was beyond done with the monotony of the dreadmill.
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Yikes…

Week of 1/1-1/7:
  • Monday: AM: active warm-up, 7 miles @ 7:45 pace on treadmill, GS1.  PM: active warm-up, 2 miles @ 7:39 pace outside, strides, circuits.
  • Tuesday: active warm-up, 2 miles @ 7:45 pace, treadmill fartlek (2 x :90h, :90float, 4x:60,:60, 6x:30,:30), 2 miles @ 7:50.  PM: ice skating.
  • Wednesday: 7 miles @ 7:02
  • Thursday: AM: active warm-up, easy 7 miles @ 8:00 on treadmill, upper body lift at home.  PM: 2 miles @ 7:55 on treadmill, 2xhill stride simulation, circuits.
  • Friday: AM: workout at “indoor track”.  Active warm-up, 2 miles @ 7:30, drills, 2×200, 2 x [1000, 400, 800] with 200-400 recovery, 2 mile cool down.  Splits: 36, 37, 3:32, 77, 2:52, 3:40 (ouch), 81, 2:50.  Honestly, this track is awful, so the effort was much harder and I’m not too worried about the splits.  PM: 23 min aqua jog.
  • Saturday: 30 min bike + core
  • Sunday: 11 miles on the treadmill (7:20s-7:30s, finished a bit faster). I reeeeally didn’t want to do this on the treadmill, but I only had time in the morning and it was -3 degrees.  Almost put a baseball bat through the treadmill if I’m honest.

Total: 51 miles + 55 min XT

Physically, I got in some good work this week.  My runs and lifts all went pretty well, I didn’t hammer too many maintenance runs, and I got in some quality strength.    Surprisingly, I am not stressing too much about the fact that my mileage buildup has been a little lower throughout winter break.  It’s hard to train alone, the higher-quality work is done back on campus, and we have a long season(s) ahead of us.  I’ve been taking care of myself and getting in good work, and that’s what matters 🙂

However, I was definitely going stir-crazy (and dreadmill-crazy) by the end of the week.  The lack of sunlight didn’t help, either…

While it wasn’t fun to train primarily indoors, there were a bunch of highlights this week!

  1. I ran with a friend on the canal on Wednesday, and the run flew by because we talked nonstop.
  2. Homemade pizza night!IMG_0810.jpg
  3. Convinced the aforementioned friend to join me for an indoor track workout on Friday!  I would not have been able to do the workout without a buddy.
  4. Made some delicious homemade bars (with walnuts, dates, oats, chia and flax seeds, and chai spices.)IMG_0860.jpg
  5. Went out for pho with friends and talked for three straight hours.  It was a blast.
  6. Started working again, and my out-of-town friend showed up unexpectedly, which was so much fun.
  7. Due to a massive, random craving, I picked up some salteñas after cross training on Saturday.  They were just as incredible as I remembered.IMG_0869.jpg
  8. Got through Sunday’s long run without killing anyone!  Even though I bailed out a mile earlier than planned.
  9. A networking brunch with the people I will be working for/with!  It was a lot of fun, and I’m really excited.

So yes, lots of positives this week.  This coming week is my last week at home before I go back to school for the spring semester, and I want to make it a good one!  My friend joined me for 7 early miles this morning.  This early riser hadn’t actually risen early in awhile, so my alarm was quite the shock!  It was fun to catch up with her (and run outside…blessed).  I had another quality run in the afternoon, followed by strides and a general strength session that felt awesome.  I am definitely not taking today for granted; it was really, really nice 🙂

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Tried to film my afternoon strides but it didn’t work too well…

My goals this week are to enjoy training, work more hours, remain positive and continue to remind myself why we are doing this training, get ready to move back to school, cook some new foods, and prioritize sleep and foam rolling (been slacking a little…).  And don’t feel bad about spending a few hours not doing anything at all! (I’m terrible at this.)  Classes begin next Wednesday, and our first race is in less than two weeks!  I know I’m not in the best shape ever, but I’m excited to get through a few more workouts at home before rejoining my teammates.  That always makes workouts more fun and effective 🙂 I’m truly excited to race on an indoor track (and race a track race in uniform!) for the first time since freshman year!!  Here’s a throwback to my first race in uniform:

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Baby Kathryn!