Summer Training Week 3

It’s Monday!  After a hot run and some core this morning, I’m spending most of today relaxing and doing chores before swimming later.  Monday is always my day off from work 🙂
Last week brought 36 miles, 140 minutes of cross training, busy work shifts, fun times with good friends, a delightful Train/OAR/Natasha Bedingfield concert, and a wine tasting for my mom’s “bachelorette” party (I love being 20!!, she said sarcastically).  And NCAAs, of course!  It was awe-inspiring and motivational to watch.  I may be crazy and have delusions of grandeur, but this middle-of-the-pack D1 runner now wants to qualify for NCAAs!!  Or at least track regionals…
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Concert with friends

Week 3: (6/5-6/11)
Monday: AM: 6 miles on bike path + core circuit.  PM: 30 min swim.
Tuesday: 7 miles @ 7:40ish pace on sidewalks/asphalt.  Felt stiff and out of rhythm.  Glute activation, drills, strides.  Lift day 1.  PM: crazy work shift!
Wednesday: 60 min bike…felt sick midday but it passed so I biked in the evening and felt really good, actually.
Thursday: AM: 6 miles bike path + core.  Foot pain.  Drills + strides.  PM: 3 miles.
Friday:  5 miles on asphalt/sidewalks into 20 min bike.  Lift day 2.
Saturday: 9 miles on bike path.  7:30ish average.  Very hot and sunny.
Sunday: 30 min aqua jog.  I think I burned my face off.  Not a cloud in the sky.
Total: 36 miles + 140 min XT
This week…hmm.  Similar to last week, my foot hurt on almost every run, but on the plus side, I’m still feeling strong in the weight room.  I did a terrible job of getting on soft surfaces 😉  Almost every run was on an asphalt bike path or sidewalks.  Having running buddies on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday made the runs more fun, though!
Friday’s run was somewhat crappy at the beginning but got progressively better once my legs warmed up.  I was definitely mentally distracted during the lift session that followed, but thankfully both the bike and lift went better than the run anyway!
The bearable-yet-constant foot pain is starting to wear on me mentally again, and I find myself dreading runs a little bit because I want to run but don’t want to be in pain.   To be honest, I am not doing as much as I should to stay on top of it.  I’m rolling with my shiny new lacrosse ball, acquired for the express purpose of wrecking my feet 😉 …doing warm Epsom salt soaks, and sporadically doing mobility, but I can do more.  It’s this cycle of: foot hurts on runs, I get sad thinking about it, I avoid rehab because it makes me think about the fact that my foot hurts.  Ya feel?
But on the plus side, I can feel my body responding to the strength sessions.  The core circuits that left me sore for days three weeks ago are easier.  I’m planning on adding weight to my squats, deadlifts, and farmer’s holds in the weight room this week.  Already bracing myself for the DOMS 😉
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Mom and me!

After identifying the factors that brought me down a little bit last week but taking solace in the fact that I still had a decent training week and got to do a lot of other fun things, I’m re-motivated for the coming week, which should bring about 42 miles in addition to cross training sessions.
Runs are getting longer, temperatures are getting hotter, and the grind is coming back.  My goals for the next week are to train purposefully and to not skimp on the little things.  Every run is one step closer to my goals, both as an individual and as a member of a team that aspires to achieve greatness.  My teammate just ran extremely well at NCAAs, which was so emotional and motivational.  All of the competitors at NCAAs work extremely hard, day in and day out, to get to the national level.  Some of them have more natural talent than others, but none of them skip out on what they need to do to achieve their goals.  That’s how you get to that next level.
Other highlights from my week before I sign off for now:
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A 14-year-old made this lemon lavender cake!

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I nearly cried when they sang “Bruises” and “Drops of Jupiter”

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Another concert picture!

Summer is a great time to put in the work for the upcoming season(s).  This week, I WILL remember to take fish oil every day, re-dedicate myself to foot rehab, switch to orthotics for shorter runs, wear sunscreen, and keep track of sleep and practice good bedtime habits such as putting away technology.  I will be mindful of the foods I choose to nourish my body with– remembering that anti-inflammatory is the way to go and that I am willing to do anything to help my foot feel as good as it can possibly feel!  I will also put in more shifts at work, try to be as frugal as possible and go on free/cheap summer adventures…hiking, exploring DC, playing piano, going to yoga, cooking, reading, playing badminton, soaking up the sun, picnics, crafting…there’s so much to do!

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Glute Glory

Good morning!  Yesterday started bright and early because I had to retrieve my dog at 7 am so that my mom could finish up her long run without having to drag along a tired canine.  After we got home, I whipped up a delicious stack of healthy pancakes with fruit, maple syrup, and peanut butter.  Perfect Saturday breakfast 🙂

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Since I didn’t have a run yesterday, I was itching to do something endorphin-y after a morning of chauffeuring my brothers through typical Northern Virginia traffic to their various activities.  So I brainstormed, browsed Pinterest, and came up with a new strength workout to do after a quick 30-minute bike session.

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Yes, I did include stick figure drawings to remind me what some of the exercises were 😉

This workout works the whole core, but especially the glutes.  Sometimes, I feel like runners can get stuck in the 10-minute-ab-circuit trap and forget to work the other parts of their core.  The glutes are especially neglected, even though they are one of the most important muscle groups for efficient form and power in running!  They help stabilize the body, extend the hip, and propel you forward as you run.  Additionally, females have wider hips than males and are therefore more prone to instability and knee and hip problems because we are farther away from that “straight-line” ideal.

See why it’s important to strengthen the glutes?  I promise that this workout will leave your glutes burning.  In the best way.  By the time I got to the side plank leg raises, my body was shaking.

Next post will recap the first week of “summer”!

 

Weird Weekends

Pienso que mi cuerpo está roto.

After a weird weekend in which everyone was on different schedules (some went up to Pennsylvania to race, some stayed here to race, I went home for a funeral), the coaches decided not to hold practice today.  My roommate and I wanted to get our long runs over with early, so we went to the track at 8 am.  The only other person there at that time was the fastest person on the team (she runs the 5k in 15:XX).

So… I steeled myself and went off for my long run with her and my roommate (who is known to hammer every single run).

I managed to run with them for 38 minutes on a hilly route.  I haven’t used my GPS in months so I don’t know the *exact* mileage, but that was roughly 5.5 miles (or 6:50 pace).  At that point, shortly after going up a long-ass hill, I died.  I didn’t stop running, but I hit a wall that took about 10 minutes to go away and they went off on their merry way.  I did the last 30 minutes by myself and stopped running at 71 minutes.

Afterwards, we went to Wawa to pick up post-long run goodies! (Of course.)  My friend convinced me to give Quest bars another chance, so I tried the cookies and cream one.  It was actually pretty good, as far as protein bars go.  It was also the last day of Wawa’s $.79 any size coffee deal, so I had the same 16 oz coffee/hot chocolate I got last week.

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Anyway.  Fastest/hardest long run of my life.  My body hates me now.  The ice bath felt amazing, and I’ve been eating nonstop since 10 am today.  Gotta refuel properly!

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+ carrots, sweet potatoes, yogurt, NatureBox snacks (more below), etc…

Last week’s mileage:

Monday: 6 miles, drills, strides, strength circuit
Tuesday: 20 min warm-up but sick so took rest of day off
Wednesday: 60 min XT (bike)
Thursday: 6 miles, drills, strides, strength circuit, yoga
Friday: 3 mi warm-up, fartlek (10-8-6 with 2 min recovery), 20 min cool-down.  Total = 10 miles
Saturday: 3 miles kind of fast, abs
Sunday: 10 miles (38 minutes super fast)

Total: 38 miles, 60 min XT

I got sick on Monday and Tuesday, so after running the warm-up on Tuesday and confessing to my coach that I felt like shit, she told me to take the rest of the day off.  Mentally, it sucked.  Physically, it was the right call.  I’m a tiny bit annoyed, though, because if I had hit 9-10 miles that day like my schedule called for, I would’ve run above 45 miles for the week- aka the highest mileage I’ve ever done!


 

Due to getting sick, missing Tuesday’s workout, and having to go home, I didn’t race this weekend.  I went home on the train Thursday evening for a funeral and woke up bright and early Saturday morning to return to school.

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I made sure to pack plenty of lovely snacks for the train.

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And I somehow did nothing for three hours before finally deciding to do some work…IMG_8381.jpg

A couple weeks ago, I decided to try out NatureBox because they had a 50% off first-time-subscriber deal.  The snacks arrived last week!

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I ordered white cheddar caramel popcorn, dark cocoa “nom noms”, blueberry almond quinoa bites, and they threw in the apple pie oat clusters as a surprise for free!

IMG_8354.JPGVerdict: the popcorn was amazing, the dark cocoa nom noms were disappointing (mealy/weird-tasting), the apple pie oat clusters were decent, and the blueberry almond quinoa bites were pretty good.  I’ve already finished the popcorn.  Darn.

The first-time deal was great (4 bags of snacks for $7!), but I cancelled my subscription because there is no way to justify spending $13.95 for 3 bags of snacks.  I’ll stick to the yogurt and oatmeal and bagels and fruits and vegetables that I can take from the caf.