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

#dead

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#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.
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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.

Ode to running

Spontaneous 10-minute poetry?  Why not? I hope you enjoy 🙂

An ode to running (at 5 am) (before work)

The dark crisp air stings your cheeks as you gently close the door behind you
softly
Making sure not to wake the sleeping humans
The dog is a lost cause, awake, and wondering why you are outside before him
The streetlamps glow faintly above your head
The faraway stars pinprick an otherwise pitch-black sky
With an occasional airplane adding to the eeriness with its blinking red light

You wonder if the passengers can see you
From up in the sky
A tiny, blinking red speck- thanks to the armband that protects you from getting hit
by the other crazy humans
that are awake in the wee hours of the morning

It’s 23 degrees
The street looms in front of you
You take a step
and another
Slowly ease into your stride until you find that familiar cadence
180 steps per minute
(when your run is many miles,
that’s a lot of steps)

The darkness alters your perception of distance and depth
Miles to milliseconds
Mountains to molehills
it’s so cold and so dark and so silent
The cacophony of commuter life is nonexistent in the predawn hours
You relish having the streets to yourself

Your heart rate stays steady
Your breathing is almost inaudible
It’s one of those runs
Where you forget that you’re running
And instead you’re just
living

(alternatively
The treadmill roars to life
You pound away, staring at nothing
dreaming of glory days yet to come
Until it’s finally time to get off the belt that leads nowhere
except
everywhere)

All too soon
Your first run of the day is over
And real life begins:
shower
look presentable
join the army of commuters crawling steadily on 395
sit at a desk for eight hours
contributing little to nothing to the world
Dreaming of your next otherworldly predawn excursion
Until it’s time to do it all over again.

 

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 🙂

Holidays and Killer Core

Happy Monday!  My face has finally unfrozen all the way from the numbing and surgery, so here is a shameless selfie from the Christmas party we hosted last night:

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My internship starts for real on Wednesday, so today involved some paperwork and drug testing.  I woke up at 5:45 am, ran 4 miles on the treadmill at 7:45ish pace, and drove out to the office.  I don’t love the treadmill, but I’ll have to get used to it over these next few weeks…

After getting home around mid-morning, I made a delicious, but aesthetically displeasing lunch (sweet potato, rotisserie chicken, roasted brussels sprouts, boiled carrots, and unpictured apple and peanut butter), and found seasonal Wild Friends peanut butter at TJ Maxx!  I went there in search of a blazer and gray pants and came out with crew socks and seasonal peanut butter, but…it happens.

For my second run of the day, I ran 5 miles through city streets and my high school track.  I stopped a million times at stoplights and to talk to former teammates and coaches, but it was a good run, and I went pretty fast.  Afterwards, I did core!  My new favorite core routine takes about 12 minutes and really works 🙂

Killer Core

  • 1 minute straight arm plank on swiss ball
  • 1 minute of bird-dogs (switch sides halfway through)
  • 10-15 rolls on the ab wheel
  • 30 seconds of toe touches + 30 seconds of penguins
  • 1 minute side plank each side, with movements or weights

Repeat x 2

The first time I did this routine, after getting stuck in a rut with the same 10-minute routine, I was sore for four days!  It even hurt to do things like close a window 😉

As I mentioned previously, we hosted our first holiday party in the new house last night!  But first I ran ten miles.  My friend from high school joined me for five of them, and I did five more on my own.  The party was fun and filled with good food- chili, cornbread, ham, apple cider, cranberry chevre, camembert, gingerbread, sugar, and chocolate chip cookies, etc.  However, one long run + four hours of intensive socializing (and having the same conversation about college with 30 different adults) caused me to crash real hard around 8 pm, so I took a quick power nap/rest before bouncing back!

I’m going to savor my last day before the work grind truly starts by spending tomorrow at the gym and with friends.  Then, it’s time to enter the land of meal prep, 5 am (and 6 pm) treadmill runs, and trying to dress like a real adult 😉

Summer Training Week 4

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Summer 2016 week 4 (6/13-6/19):

Monday: AM: 6 miles, pull-ups/push-ups/dips.  PM: 30 min swim
Tuesday: (almost) 9 miles @ 7:18 average, 10 min abs
Wednesday: 60 min stationary bike, squats/lunges
Thursday: AM: 3 miles, pull-ups/push-ups/dips, 10 min abs. PM: 6 miles
Friday: 9 miles.  Hilly
Saturday:  3 miles, 20 min yoga
Sunday: 11 miles (DC tour run!)

Total: 47 miles, 90 min XT

Holy. Crap.  This week was spent discovering the true meaning of tiredness.  I worked every single day, mostly the evening shift, which meant I had zero time for dinner or sleep.  After being on my feet for 6 hours straight, I’d get home at 11, eat dinner, and go to bed at midnight, only to wake up at 5:45 am to run.  Surprisingly, most of my runs were fine.  I consciously backed off the pace on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, which was a really good choice.  Today still didn’t feel good, though.  Grr.

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This week’s long run was incredibly picturesque.  We didn’t go until 10 am, so it was fairly hot and sunny.  We started at Roosevelt Island and pretty much did a tour of the National Mall.  The blazing sun forced us to stop several times for water, and we were fairly dehydrated.  I was covered in salty sweat by the end…good looks!  I didn’t feel good during the run, but it was so beautiful that it almost made up for it.  Afterwards, we went for brunch, and I had crepes benedict and a cannoli and a fancy iced coffee!  It was lovely.

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I actually feel really happy with my nutrition this week, which is a little weird because it’s not like I followed some stringent plan or anything.  Working in an ice cream store, I had a ton of ice cream and smoothie samples, and my “dinner” during all the evening shifts I worked was a bagel and cream cheese, or a random chicken salad sandwich from Chick-Fil-A, followed by more bread/English muffins whenever I got home (11 pm or later).  Not exactly prime fueling.  But I’m actually completely fine with that!  How strange.  I think as mileage increases, the body craves any and all calories for energy and recovery.

But I made the butternut squash/kale/Gruyere casserole and also had grilled tuna steaks last night for the first real dinner at dinner time in four days.  So good!!

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My coach just sent out training plans for the rest of the summer.  Needless to say, my heart skipped a couple beats when I saw “60 miles” consistently on my schedule.

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This upcoming week, I will hit 50 miles for the first time in my life (52), and I’ll be at 60 in three weeks!! Holy crap.  I’m actually a little sad that my Wednesday hour-long cross train is going away (to be replaced with a 5-mile run)… I’ve been doing that for a year, and it’s a nice little routine!

Since I leave for California on Thursday and will be in the mountains, I’ll have to get creative with fitting in the mileage.  I most likely won’t be able to do any doubles, and I’ll have to switch around some Wednesdays/Thursdays based on travel plans.  But I’m willing to be flexible to play it safe.  One thing I do not want to do is overtrain/burn out.  The “little things” (stretching, icing, core work, sleep) are going to become more important as well.

I’m literally running twice the mileage I ran in high school.  But high school was awhile ago, and my coaches know what they’re doing.  So excited 🙂 🙂