A long road ahead

Good morning! (By the time I finish writing this, it probably won’t be morning anymore, but whatever.)  We’re in the middle of the last week of classes, and I’ve got three final exams, two final presentations, and a paper on tap.  In eight days, I will be halfway done with junior year!  After practice and lift this morning, I worked on a group project and then went to the training room for STIM and NormaTec.  I don’t feel like doing work before lunch, so I’m going to blog instead 🙂

We ran what was supposed to be a steady state workout this morning, but it definitely felt more like a tempo.  This was essentially my first workout back, and I 100% felt the time off, crappier diet, and general out-of-shape-ness.  I only ran 3 miles of the steady state due to my hamstring, but those 3 miles were enough!  We hit 6:27, 6:17, 6:22, and now I can see how much work is ahead.  It was so hard.  I don’t think I could have gone much farther.  Crazy to think that I was doing 5+ miles at low 6 minute pace during cross country…  But I’m excited to buckle down, make incremental improvements, and get better each day.  This is a good starting place…but not where I will be in a few months!!

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Me

The second week of winter training was a little weird because I tweaked my hamstring at the beginning of the week and therefore spent the majority of the rest of the week in the pool and on the bike.  Pool workouts coupled with quality strength sessions every day left me sore.

Week of 11/27-12/3: 

  • Monday: warm-up, dynamic exercises, 5 miles @ 7:20 pace, strength circuits
  • Tuesday: warm-up, dynamic drills and exercises, 6 miles “progressive” (first 3 7:30-7:10 pace, second 3 6:40s?), lift in weight room, foam roll session
  • Wednesday: AM: 60 min pool (30 swim, 30 aqua jog).  PM: jog on turf, circuits
  • Thursday:  Stim and stretch at training room for hamstring.  20 min bike, very light lift, foam roll, 30 min swim (about a mile)
  • Friday: AM: 60 min pool workout (600m warm-up; 4 x 250m hard; 100m easy; 5 x sprint down, easy back; 100m easy; 5 x submarine down, easy back, 400m cool down = 3000m).  PM: 30 min bike, general strength
  • Saturday: 6 miles @ 7:30 (on trails) down to 7:05 (on roads) + 30 min bike
  • Sunday: 40 min bike

Total: 17 miles + 270 min XT

Last week involved some drama and major negative mentality.  I’m not going to go into inappropriate detail, but I’ll just say we have a lot to sort out with training plans, communication, and mindset.


On a happier note, outside of running and cross training, lots of fun things happened last week!  After practice on Friday, the majority of the team went out for sushi.  I’d never ordered sushi before (I’ve had it, but I prefer Thai and Chinese food), and it was delicious.  Except I’m kind of broke, so not sure if it was worth the bill 😉

We drove to a local sports complex to run on Saturday morning because there’s a hilly, soft surface 3.5 mile trail loop in the woods.  The chilly air left our hands stiff and red, but we eventually warmed up, and it was a nice run!  Throughout the cross country season, our maintenance runs a) stopped being maintenance runs #ugh and b) got really slow, so getting back into that 7:00-7:30 pace is a bit of a shock but really fun.

After the run, I drove up to Richmond to meet my mom for lunch.  She had important things to deliver to me…like 50 citrus fruits, my credit card statement, Advent calendar, and ice scraper.  We went to The Daily Kitchen and Bar in Carytown, and I ordered the Fig and Pig pizza while she got the Barbecue Duck pizza.  HOLY SHIT.  Life-changing.  We also ordered their highly rated Brussels sprouts; paired with balsamic dressing, freshly shaved cheese, pomegranate seeds, and pistachios, they were gone in seconds.

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Two late nights in a row and myriad late-night #treatyoself happenstances left me feeling pretty darn gross by Sunday.  I’ve been back on that healthy grind for three days, and I’m reminding myself to fuel my training and treat my body like a temple 😉 or something like that.

Sunday night was Grand Illumination!  Thousands of people crowded the streets of Colonial Williamsburg to watch the fireworks under the light of the SuperMoon.  The Christmas decorations in the square made me so happy, and everyone enjoyed the holiday spirit.

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Last night was the annual Vermonster that all the sports teams participate in.  I was not on the team, but I cheered my heart out!  Women’s cross country almost made the final round but missed it by one spot because one girl got stuck with the gross cookies and almost choked…  Men’s cross country placed second to the unstoppable men’s swim team!  Vermonster is such a spectacle, it’s hilarious.

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This week, I plan to increase my mileage, continue to cross train, and practice deliberately. I’ll probably hit low 30s for mileage, along with a few hours of cross training. By deliberate practice, I mean focus during all drills, active warm-up sessions, and strength circuits.  Additionally, I’m going to slow down and take the time to stretch and foam roll effectively.  This is somewhat of a weak point because I tend to get complacent and get stuck in the same ineffectual routine.  But these are the little things that, when incorporated day in and day out, make the difference in training and racing.

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Last two training weeks (57 miles, 53 miles + 60 min swim)

Happy first day of October!  It finally feels like fall here, although I wouldn’t know because I’ve been in the library most of the day.  Our first finance midterm tomorrow is supposed to be a killer.  However, the past hour has been spent on FloTrack and tfrrs rather than Blackboard, so I think my productivity is shot.  Guess I should write a blog post 😉  Sorry I skipped last week’s training recap!

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Throwback to last week’s race

Week of 9/18-9/24:

  • Monday: AM: 5 miles.  PM: form drills, speed ladder, hurdles, 5 miles, felt tired, 4 x strides, planks/push-ups, rope stretch.  Leg still hurts.  Very hot!  Total: 10 miles.
  • Tuesday: AM: 18 min warm-up, drills, strides, 4 x 2k on the track with 1:30-2:00 recovery (7:30, 7:25, 7:22, 7:18). 21 min cool down.  Lift in weight room. Ice bath.  PM: NormaTec.  Total: 10 miles.
    Wednesday: 6 miles
  • Thursday: AM: 30 min run, drills, 800 @ 2:57, 2×400-200-200 with 200 jog recovery (79, 39, 37, 78, 38, 36), 15 min cool down.  Upper body lift in weight room.  Cold ice bath!  PM: 2 miles + NormaTec.  Total: 10 miles.
  • Friday: 5 mile pre-meet @ Panorama Farms, drills, strides, rope stretch.  Very hot.
  • Saturday: early AM: 10 min shakeout, rope stretch.  Later: rope stretch, 18 min warm-up, drills, strides, hilly 5k race (18:18), 40 min cool down.  Total: 12 miles.
  • Sunday: 4 miles + 10 min core.  First part was rough.

Total: 57 miles.

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Week of 9/25-10/1:

  • Monday: AM: 6 miles, in the zone!  Bunion pain. PM: form drills, hurdle drills, speed ladder, 4 miles trails, 4 x 150m strides, planks/push-ups, rope stretch.  Total: 10 miles.
  • Tuesday: AM: 2 mile warm-up, drills, 10 min tempo, 4 x 4:00h, 2:00e, 2 x 2:00h, 1:00e, 2 x “X” strides, 2 mile cool down.  Light lift in weight room.  Ice bath. Light core.  PM: 2 miles + NormaTec.  Bunion pain.
  • Wednesday: 60 min swim.  PM: Massage (calves and hamstrings)
  • Thursday: 2 mile warm-up, drills, 3 x 1.5 mile hill circuit, 1 x 400 hill, 2 x short grass hill, 2 mile cool down.  Light lift in weight room + NormaTec.  Ok at beginning, dead/nauseous at end.  Ugh.  Total: 9 miles.  PM: off.
  • Friday: AM: 6 miles.  Felt pretty good.  PM: form drills, 4 miles, 6 x strides, core/push-ups, yoga.  Felt crappy, progressively worse throughout night.
  • Saturday: 12 miles.  Felt awful before, ok during, and awful after.
  • Sunday: off

Total: 53 miles + 60 min swim

The week before last was a solid week of training; this week, not so much!  Monday and Tuesday went well.  We packed up well during Tuesday’s workout, even with some tension and trouble with one-stepping…

On Wednesday, my coach recommended (aka ordered) that I get my butt in the pool because of recent bunion pain.  So I did.  60 minutes of swimming for the first time in months!  Unfortunately, I started to feel sick on Wednesday night after massage, which has persisted throughout the rest of this week.  I felt nauseous and weak during the latter half of Thursday’s hill workout, Friday’s afternoon practice, and Saturday’s long run.  This did not prevent me from consuming a pint of ice cream and jabbering with some of my freshman teammates on Thursday night.

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AMAZING (and EXPENSIVE)

Also, I’m hella stubborn and ran 12 miles yesterday because coach said “give yourself a range of 8-12 miles since you don’t feel well.”  She was a little annoyed at me for running 12…

After the long run, my roommate and I went to the farmers’ market and saw the cutest dogs.

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I then went to Trader Joe’s to do some grocery shopping for the week.  The beginning of the month always makes me feel falsely richer than I am (I am a very broke college student) because my parents help me out with rent.  So yesterday I was a little less thrifty than I usually am.  Which means I splurged on $3 butternut squash soup and bought pre-cooked chicken instead of raw.

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Later that evening, we threw a birthday party for one of my teammates!  Another friend made the most amazing ice cream cake: a cookie layer, vanilla ice cream, a brownie layer, fudge and peanut butter ice cream, and peanut butter swirled on top.  After hours of laughter and dancing, I died out at 10 pm but hit a second wind once everyone else left and spent the next hour and a half dancing with my closest friends.  It was a blast.

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Anyway, today is a mandatory off day for me 😅  I managed to stay in bed until 8 am (that never happens!) and then made breakfast, meal prepped, and jetted off to the library, where I’ve been studying for finance since 11 am.  Jk.  I’ve been in the library since 11 am, but I took numerous breaks.  Took an hour-long break at 3 to go get gas and Siggi’s yogurt at Harris Teeter (yes, I’m laughing at myself, too).  But thanks to a sale and coupon, I got TEN SIGGI’S FOR $7.50.  UNHEARD OF.

This past week of training wasn’t ideal, but I’m hoping that things will turn around in the coming week.  In addition to feeling physically ill, I’ve had some crazy thoughts and emotions throughout the past week, which has been annoying.  My team is experiencing the classic mid-season “everyone is falling apart” syndrome right now, so we’ve just got to keep ourselves together (literally and figuratively).

My goals for the coming week:

  • Be a supportive teammate.  Practice active listening (which we’re talking about in my business perspectives class, and it’s SO USEFUL).
  • Take the crappy days in stride (if they occur).  Pick something positive out of every workout/lift/day, even if you don’t feel incredible.
  • Live in the present.  I get really anal about classes and timing and the past and the future forget to enjoy the moment.  The present is a great place to be!
  • Do not mindlessly check Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook when you’re bored or uncomfortable.
  • Remember how much form drills, strides, and strength help running!  
  • Listen to your body and don’t overload training on Tuesday because it never ends well (you would think I would have learned that by now…)

Talk to you all later!

Hump Day/Tempo Tuesday Recap

Happy Hump Day!  It’s been a long day.  This morning, my body once again decided that it didn’t need sleep.  I woke up at 4 am, again at 5 am, and then dozed until 6:20 when I decided to get my run in before my 8 am.

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I had class from 8 to 2, so I ate breakfast during our 8 am Business Analytics pressure cooker.  I’m sure my group members appreciated the weird beet-pink Picky Oats 😉  After class, I cancelled my training room appointment (lol) and spent four hours outside in the glorious weather, napping and getting some work done.  Went to the dining hall for dinner, hung out with the guy’s team while they did stupid reckless things as college guys tend to do, finished tomorrow’s Spanish presentation, and am now eating chocolate peanut butter ice cream before bed ❤

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Anyway, I wanted to recap yesterday morning’s workout!  It went much better than last Tuesday’s fiasco.  We warmed up for a little over two miles, did drills and strides, and then got instructions from our coach.  Our workout was 4 x 2000m on the track with 1:30 recovery between the first 3 and 2:00 before the last one.  My group (of about six) was supposed to start at 90 seconds per lap (6:00 mile pace).

We ran the first 2k retro (backwards on the track), the second one the right way, the 3rd retro, and the 4th the right way.  Our 2k splits ended up being 7:30, 7:25, 7:22, 7:18.  (For reference, the mile splits within the 2ks were 6:00, 5:57, 5:54, 5:51.)  The first 2k was perfectly paced, thanks to my teammate who is actually a metronome.  We split 1:30, 3:00, 4:30, 6:00, 7:30. IMG_8685.jpg

A 2k is a long interval, and 20 laps of work on the track was a little daunting!  But we got halfway through, our group was packed up and working together well, and it became more doable.  Everything felt controlled until the last 600ish of the last 2k.  That’s when I thought, “All right, this is definitely ‘balls to the wall’.”

Afterwards, we cooled down for about 20 minutes, refueled and rope stretched and headed to lift in the weight room.  My soleus had been bothering me, so I went to the training room after lift to get it worked on.  The scraping and active release hurt so badly, but it also helped so much!  I had to laugh afterwards when the trainer who bludgeoned my soleus said, “I hope we can still be friends.”

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Post-workout steak dinner…heck yes

Overall, the track workout went really well.  I’m excited to recover, rehydrate, fuel up (with ice cream, oops), and get ready for the race this weekend.  I don’t want to jinx anything, but I think I can have a strong performance, and it would be great to redeem myself from last year!

 

Week 2 (61), Week 3 (52), and RACE

Sorry for the belated weekly recaps!  I’ll recap the last two weeks of training, and then I’ll recap my season opener 5k race!

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Week of 9/4-9/10:

Monday: AM: 4 miles trails.  Went to trainer for glute.  PM: form drills, 5 miles, speed ladder/hurdles, plank/push-up circuit.  Run wasn’t great and stomach was off :/

Tuesday: AM: 2 mile warm-up, 4 mile tempo (6:22, 6:13, 6:08, 6:12), 2 mile cool down.  Felt okay.  Weight room warm-up and assessment.  Stim and ice in training room.  PM: 2 miles + NormaTec boots.

Wednesday: AM: 6 miles at sunrise.  Felt dead.

Thursday: AM: 2 mile warm-up, drills, hilly MR while everyone else did a hill workout, light lift at weight room, ice bath.  PM: 2 miles on campus.  Beautiful weather!

Friday: AM: 5 miles + strides before all-day field trip.  PM: hurdle drills, 4 miles, planks/push-ups, rope stretch.  Pretty tired.

Saturday: 13 miles with 42 minute progression in the middle (6:57, 6:44, 6:27, 6:13, 6:18, 6:10, 0.5 at 6:00 pace).  Felt good! Ice bath.

Sunday: 3 miles + core

Total: 61 miles

Was really tired at the beginning of the week but felt good on the long run!  Nice high volume week.  Adjusting to lots of walking + different style of maintenance runs (more equal doubles).


Week of 9/11-9/17:

Monday: AM: 4 unspectacular miles.  PM: form drills, speed ladder, hurdle drills, 5 miles, strides (pushed it!), planks/push-ups, rope stretch.

Tuesday: 18 min warm-up, drills, strides, 1000-1500-1000-1500-1000 (3:27, 5:23, 3:32, 5:21, 3:30) with 1:15-2:00 recovery.  6 x :20h, :30e.  Felt bad.  Legs wouldn’t move.  20 min c/d.  Light lift.  Ice bath.  PM: NormaTecs.

Wednesday: AM: 7 early miles.  Felt decent.  Sore glutes!  PM: NAP.

Thursday: AM: speed ladder, hurdle drills, 5-6 miles trails, basic drills, strides.  Felt terrible at first: nauseous, heavy legs/body, but gradually a little better.  First real lift in weight room.  My chin-up ability has atrophied!  PM: NormaTecs.

Friday: AM: 2 mile shakeout.  PM: rope stretch, 18 min warm-up, drills, strides, 5k race on home course (18:24), 3 mile cool down.  Total: 10.5 miles.

Saturday: Relaxed long run on trails. 92 minutes (but probably only 10-11 miles)

Sunday: off

Total: 52ish miles

Felt pretty bad all week but put together a decent race!  Lower volume, increased lifts.


Onto the race!

Our home invitational was on Friday night.  I raced unattached my freshman year, and I did not race last year due to…I actually don’t remember why.

To be honest, I felt pretty bad this whole week.  My runs ranged from okay to terrible.  Tuesday’s workout was rough, and I just couldn’t get my legs moving.  We also started lifting for real (it’s been like six weeks), and most of us were unspeakably sore after Tuesday and Thursday.  Yikes!  Luckily, our coach usually uses this race as a glorified workout, so there’s less pressure.

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Classic carb-loading dinner 😉

Tell that to my brain, though!  This was to be my first time putting on the uniform in ten months On Friday, I woke up with my stomach in knots.  I did my shakeout run, made breakfast, picked up some pumpkin spice Wawa coffee because I am basic af, and headed to campus to work on an essay for the rest of the morning.  I had to force myself to eat lunch (chicken with honey mustard, sweet potatoes, some veggies, and half a bagel)  because the nerves were suppressing my appetite!

We drove out to the course around 4 pm, and I ate a Picky bar on the way over.  The race was at 6 pm, so we rope stretched, warmed up, and did drills before changing into our uniforms, tying on the bows, and heading out to the starting line to do strides.  I still didn’t feel stellar during the warm-up routine, and we were all sweating buckets because it was 80 degrees and sunny.  What happened to the lovely autumnal weather of last week??

It felt surreal to put on the uniform for the first time since regionals last November.

Anyway, we did strides and had a quick pre-race huddle with our coach.  She told me that I could go with the top workout group if I felt good, but I had the option to hang back with the next group.  No pressure.  Sounded good to me.

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Enjoy these high-quality video screenshots!

The gun went off, and a few women from other schools rocketed down the uneven first straightaway into the lead.  Our course is pretty difficult- It’s three hilly loops, with a particularly steep hill that you have to run up three times, and extremely uneven footing.  It generally feels like the course is trying to throw you off of it 😉 It’s impossible to get into a rhythm, and nobody runs that fast.  Anyway, we got up the first hill, and I grouped up with my teammates in about seventh place.  All of our freshmen are still running unattached, so I was with three senior teammates in uniform and one unattached freshman.  The first mile was like 5:29.  Sheesh!  I was really tired after that…wasn’t sure how I was going to handle the rest of the race.

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The second loop was a bit slower, and our group started to fall apart a little bit.  We passed the two mile mark around 11:30, and I stared longingly at the finish line as we ran past it 😉

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The third time up the hill was unpleasant.  At this point, two of my senior teammates had dropped back, and the third one was starting to fade.  The freshman was crushing it.  As we passed 1k to go, the freshman gapped everyone, and the senior passed out.

Yikes!

I tried to encourage her as I ran by but had no idea if it was a medical issue or what.  Refocused on the last 1k, which hurt like heck, but I realized I was the first in-uniform runner from my school.  What on earth!?  I entered the last 200m of the course and tried to turn over as fast as I could.  I crossed the finish line in 18:24: good for fifth overall, second runner from my school, and first in uniform!

The course really beat the team up, so our coach just had us cool down and do strides instead of running the planned post-race hill workout.   My calves were absolute rocks at that point.  Ow.  I was surprised, but pleased, with my performance, and it just made me hungrier to run faster and strive for better things!

After the race, some of us went to Blaze Pizza and then I needed to stop at Rita’s for frozen custard with hot fudge.  The craving was insatiable.  I was thrilled.

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Couldn’t sleep a wink the night after the race.  I spent the majority of the night tossing and turning, getting progressively sorer, eating weird midnight snacks like sweet potatoes and hard-boiled eggs, and reading a book.  We ran a relaxed long run on the trails (I’m not kidding about the relaxed bit- one of our mile splits was like 13 minutes) before going back out to the course to help with the high school portion of the invitational.  Then, I headed out to my friend’s party and didn’t get very much sleep for the second night in a row.  I am exhausted, and an off day is very much needed!  Going to spend Sunday doing schoolwork, chores, and meal prep.

I’m pleased with the race after a crappy week, and I’m excited to be back in the uniform!

Fun Friday Fartlek with Friend

(I’m such a dork.  I can’t.)

Before I get started with this post, which will be fueled by a jittery I-drank-more-caffeine-than-I-can-handle frenzy, it’s my four-year blogiversary!  WOW.  I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for four years!  Maybe some of the positive things that happened this morning count as a celebration. 🙂

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Some things have changed (like my eyebrows, and my 5k PR)…my coworker still thinks I’m in high school, though

So the past couple days have not been the most fun.  My runs have gone pretty well, but to some extent, the rest of the day has been spent feeling like a train hit my body.  Yikes.  It’s been extremely helpful to have a running buddy for most of this week’s runs so far.  I’m not sure how I’d be getting through without them 😅

I wasn’t looking forward to another workout, but a couple days ago, one of my teammates texted me to say that she would be in town, and did I want to workout together?

Um, heck yes!

I hadn’t seen her all summer, so we had a lot to catch up on.  We met up this morning at a park with a 5-mile trail loop, and from the start of the warm-up to the end of the cool-down, we did not stop talking.  Both of us had been feeling a little burnt out and lonely, so we didn’t stress at all about the workout and just had a blast running with each other.  It was a 7-5-7-5 fartlek with 2 minutes’ recovery, and we didn’t even shut up during the workout, gasping for breath as we sprinted along the wooded trails.  I’m sure we looked and sounded ridiculous 😉

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Here’s another 2013 throwback (at the same park from this morning!) for the blogiversary 😉

Working out together made us both super excited for when the whole team is back together!  Just a few more weeks.  Workouts (and the general grind of training) is so much easier when there are 20 other women working just as hard ❤

It’s also been almost chilly in the mornings for the past few days, which has made running more bearable.  This morning was 70 degrees and overcast- nothing like 85 and unbearable!

After the workout, I was stretching, rolling out, and refueling in the parking lot while watching local high schools compete in a cross country scrimmage.  Two of the most outgoing, hilarious young kids I’ve ever met came over and started asking 300 questions about my roller, stretch rope, car keys…even the lunch box that housed my post-workout breakfast.

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Their older sister was running in the scrimmage, but they had gotten bored and were on an “adventure.”  The younger girl (4 or 5) proceeded to take over the foam roller and stretch rope while she showed off her moves.  Her brother was shocked when I didn’t know who their sister was, and that I didn’t go to her school- apparently all runners know each other 😉 While not noteworthy, this interaction with two extremely extroverted kids made my morning all over again.

I drove home and stopped to get ice and splurge on illy coffee, since it’s my favorite.  The most convenient place to get illy coffee happened to be my workplace’s biggest competitor (oops).  When I ordered my coffee from the manager, he asked who had better coffee.  I defended my workplace’s ice cream but reluctantly admitted that illy coffee tops all else…and the guy shook my hand and comped my coffee!  I felt like a traitor, but this was yet another positive happenstance that made my morning!

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Ice bathing with my free caffeine 😉

After an eventful morning full of positive happenings not directly related to running (a refreshing change!), I took an ice bath, showered, and caught up with some friends.  The rest of the afternoon will be filled with lunch, a nap, and some chores before heading to work until 11 pm tonight.

I feel really content right now.   Also hopped up on (free) caffeine, so that might have something to do with it!  Something annoying or catastrophic will probably happen later to make up for this good morning 😉 but right now…all good.  I’m also going to a concert on Sunday with my friend to see some groups that I LOVE, so I’m so excited.  Happy Friday!  I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tempo Tuesday (LOL)

Hoo boy.  Today’s workout was not amazing.  This week, I’m trying to hit high mileage (60+) while working six days in a row…rip Kathryn.  So far I’m 2 days and 20 miles in.  Currently chilling in my bed with my nightcap (fresh peach, homemade cookie dough bites, and Kombucha) after a long day of working out, working, and picking up furniture for my apartment off of Craigslist (lol), so I thought I’d recap the day’s workout before turning in for the night.

The workout: 2.5 mile warm-up, 4-5 mile tempo, 4 x [:60h, :60e], 2.5 cool down.

What actually happened: 2.5 mile warm-up, 4 miles (6:32, 6:29, 6:17, 6:05), 4 x [:60h, 60e], 2.5 cool down.

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Ugh.  Honestly, it wasn’t great.  My body felt out of whack during the warm-up, during the drills, during the workout, and during the cool down.  The first two miles of the tempo were slowwww. The third mile was hilly, and I was not having any fun.  While I would have preferred to do a 5 mile tempo (and at a faster pace), I gave myself an out at 4 miles.  Really struggled the last 1/2 mile or so, so it was probably good that I stopped.

During the 4 x [:60, :60], I saw some runners from my high school’s team.  Seeing them working hard early in the morning motivated me to crush the little fartlek, so that portion of the workout actually went pretty well.  Hobby jogged the cool down and took an ice bath after stretching and rolling out.  I was freezing!  Refueled with a truly massive bowl of oatmeal.  This is getting ridiculous…

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The mileage total for the day was 10 miles.  I had a double on schedule, but I had zero desire to double after this morning and after working all day, so I elected to lie in my bed the second I got home instead 🙂

I’m not sure why I felt so poorly this morning.  Maybe it’s because I did a Meatless Monday yesterday and possibly lacked in protein?  Who knows.  Some days are just tougher than others!

Tomorrow is an easy recovery run with my friend that runs for another university.  I’m excited!  This week is going to be hard.  But it’s the last week of work before our training trip and move in!  Just gotta power through.  We can do hard things 🙂

Summer Training Week 11 (57 miles)

Week 11?! What??

Happy Sunday!  It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood- 65 degrees this morning as I headed out the door to go to yoga (for the first time in a month.  Shhh).  After a long, tough week of hard workouts and work shifts every single day, my off day from running and my off day from work have fallen on the same day.  #blessed.  I went to yoga, the farmer’s market, a local bakery, and am spending the rest of the day trying to adult by looking at used cars.

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Week 11 7/31-8/6):

Monday:  AM: 7 miles on sidewalks, drills, strides, difficult core circuit.  Felt pretty flat- worked late last night.  PM: 2 miles.  Felt decent.  Total: 9.

Tuesday:  Got over 8 hours of sleep last night!!  Woke up at 6:40 which is quite late for me…AM: 2 mile warm-up, drills, 5 mile “steady state” on bike path, 2 mile cool down.  Splits: 6:27, 6:27, 6:24, 6:16, 6:03.  Mentally strong!  Light lift day 1.  Ice bath.  Worked 12-5.  PM: 2 miles home from work.  Total: 11 miles.

Wednesday: 5 miles on sidewalks + turf.  Tired but decent.  Worked 5-9:30 pm.

Thursday:  AM: drills, 7 miles, strides.  Light lift day 2.  Strides felt much better than Monday.  Worked 11-5.  PM: 3 miles home from work.  Felt heavy; sore feet.  Total: 10.

Friday:  12 min warm-up, drills, REALLY LONG FARTLEK on canal (3×1 minute, 2×2, 2×3, 2×4, 2×3, 2×2, 3×1 with 1 min recovery in between everything), 12 min cool down.  Total: 10 miles.  This workout was weird- I kept losing focus, didn’t feel engaged, but rallied well at the end once I convinced myself I was almost done 😉  Didn’t sleep great the night before.  Canal was very muddy.  Ice bath.  Worked 12-5.

Saturday:  12 miles sidewalks/bike path.  First 8ish by myself and then 4ish with my friend during which we stopped like every 2 minutes.  Oh well. Quite tired.  Ice bath.  Worked 12-5.

Sunday: 1 hour yoga class.  Off.  Off from work too- yessss.

Total: 57 miles + yoga class

This week was pretty dang tiring.  Worked every single day, some tough workouts, and the fatigue has definitely accumulated over the past two days.  Sleep could’ve been better- I drank a lot of coffee this week, which kept me up a bit at night!  I hit slightly higher mileage than planned, so I’m taking today completely off instead of doing the scheduled cross train.

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Yes, this is a blurry butt shot- but I had to document how MUDDY Friday’s workout was!

My mentality was very one-track-minded, and I feel a bit antisocial and isolated.  Definitely need this off day from running.  I’ve gotten very good at understanding when and why my body/mind feel certain ways, and right now, both are saying, “You almost overdid it this week.  You need a day off!”

On both Tuesday and Thursday, I doubled home from work.  However, Thursday’s route was a little too long…so I ended up having a nice little walk home after reaching my mileage.IMG_7458.jpg

Met up with a friend for acai bowls on Wednesday! Delicious, fun, and overpriced 😉

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I’m feeling the need for a nap, so I’m going to wrap this post up.  This week, I’m going to work on balance, reading more instead of spending so much time on Instagram, reaching out to friends, and continuing to prepare for the school year.  It’s almost time for fall semester!!

First workout back: 4-mile tempo run (in which I remember how hard tempo runs are)

(If you don’t want to read the whole thing: 6:27, 6:15, 6:18, 6:14)

Happy 4th of July!  I can’t say I’m always proud to be an American, but I’m grateful to live in a country with freedom and opportunity.  I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and gets to spend time with family and friends.

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Speaking of family and friends, here’s a photo of all the cousins (and my gramma) from the wedding!

Today started off with an early morning workout.  I was up and ready to go at 6 am, so I ate some Ezekiel toast with peanut butter and banana before heading out to complete the first workout of summer/cross country season!

The workout was 2.5 mile warm-up, 4 mile tempo, 2.5 mile cool down for a total of 9 miles.  It was 75 degrees and about 85% humidity when I headed out the door, which wasn’t unbearable.  My legs were still pretty tired from Sunday’s long run, so I told myself that 6:20 pace sounded reasonable.

Warmed up for 20ish minutes and did drills on the asphalt bike path.  Didn’t feel stellar.  Contemplated studying the plants lining the side of the bike path instead of doing the tempo.  Just kidding.

Started the tempo…It felt a wee bit harder than it should have, and I hit the first mile in 6:27.  Reassured myself that it was fine and that I wasn’t a slow hobby-jogger 😉 Entering the second mile where two bike paths converged, some guy came tearing along of the adjacent bike path at the same time and pace that I was tearing along the other one.  So I latched onto him without asking, mostly because I couldn’t spare the breath to speak.  Hehe.  He pulled me through the second mile in 6:15, at which point I turned around.  Thanks, runner dude- hope you didn’t mind a random girl tailgating you for a mile!

I hit the third mile in 6:18 and contemplated quitting.  But not actually.  Well, kind of.  You know those moments where you dream of stopping but know it’ll never happen because a) you would kick yourself and b) pain is a mental construct and it isn’t real!! ?  Yeah.  It had been months since my last tempo, and I forgot how hard they are!  That last mile is always a grind.  I just tried to relax and told myself that I had done harder things and to stop being a baby.  Clearly I’m very nice to myself.  Fourth mile was a 6:14.  Total time for the tempo was 25:14.

The cool down was more of a shuffle because my legs kept deciding without my permission that they didn’t want to run anymore.  I finally got home after 87 years (20 minutes).  But after stretching, rolling, an ice bath, and a short walk with one of the dogs I’m dog-sitting, they’re feeling a bit better.  I’m drinking coffee for the second day in a row- crazy!  The rest of the day will include lunch (wedding leftovers for YEARS), a nap, spending time with family, another run for a total of 11 miles today, potentially a light leg lift, and 4th of July fireworks and dinner tonight.  I’m lucky enough to have today off from work, so I may binge-watch The Great British Baking Show 😉

Anyway, Cliff’s Notes version because I managed to write an essay about 25 minutes of my life: the first workout back was hard, now I remember what a grind tempos are, excited to get faster this summer, and I would love to find workout buddies.  The end!!

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”!

 

Teeth! LDOC workout! Eats!

But first: GUESS WHAT– I GOT MY PERMANENT TEETH YESTERDAY!!  RIP to the denture life!!

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After crushing a stressful formal business presentation that our group had been working on for two months, I headed to my dentist to get the teeth.  Then it was back to school to prepare for a Spanish presentation.  And no, I haven’t eaten an apple yet 😉

Anyway, happy last day of classes!  I actually did not have class today, but I spent the morning finishing a final paper for one of my Spanish classes before getting ready for the last Friday afternoon workout of the year.  (Meanwhile, it seemed as though everyone else at school was partaking in the last day of classes tradition of day-drinking…)

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It was a hot one- 88 degrees and very sunny- so I wasn’t sure how the workout was going to go.  But we prepared well and were very vigilant about hydrating and icing throughout, so it ended up going well!

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Oats, almond milk, shredded zucchini, egg whites, spices, blueberries, strawberries, and banana

Pre-workout breakfast: probably the biggest bowl of (z)oats I’ve ever made, plus a fried egg.  I kind of forgot to shake out this morning, but oh well.  Yesterday’s practice was a scavenger hunt that was more like a 7-mile fartlek, so my legs were trashed and probably benefited from the extra recovery!

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The best way to use all the peanut butter in the jar

The workout: 2.5 mile warm-up, drills, strides, 3 x 600 (400 @ 80 and kick the last 200, I ran 36-37) with 2:30 recovery, 6 x 400 at cruise pace (~83) with 1 minute recovery, 4 x 400 with 2 min recovery (77, 77, 77, 75), 2 mile cool down, rope stretch, ice bath.  I stayed hydrated before and after with coconut water, Nuun, and a variation of the “Can’t Beet Me” smoothie from Run Fast Eat Slow.

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1/2 frozen banana, frozen raspberries, steamed beets, fresh ginger, almond milk, vanilla protein powder, and a splash of coconut water

After the workout, our team went out for dinner before having fun with our annual paper plate awards and senior celebration.  My friend and I split a roasted beet salad and prosciutto garlic tomato pizza.

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And my paper plate award was pretty accurate- I will admit that sometimes I get a little competitive/aggressive…

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I’m going to be training through the conference championships with the rest of the team, mostly to give me something to do over finals.  My finals schedule includes two small projects due next week, but no actual exams until May 10!  I’m hoping to be able to travel to watch the team compete at conferences next weekend 🙂

Transparency time: Lately, there have been a couple instances where I’ve struggled mentally with eating a lot of rich food and not having my stomach/digestion behave perfectly.  I don’t count calories or macros or whatever (I’ve experimented with MyFitnessPal in the past, but our bodies know what they’re doing.  It’s our brains that screw everything up 😉 but I know that I perform better when I eat a lot.  For goodness’ sake, I just ran a 5k 90 seconds faster than I was running two years ago!  It’s just mentally hard sometimes to eat twice as much as everyone around you.

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IDK why I’m including this picture- I just like it

I’m just trying to remind myself of how much fuel we need to fuel the work that we’re doing.  It is ALWAYS better to overfuel than to under-fuel.  There are myriad examples that show how underfueling doesn’t work, ever.  And skillet cookies and mac and cheese will really just help this body handle mileage, intensity, and hot weather even better, right??  I’ll take that over miserably munching on raw vegetables and ignoring hunger cues any day.  The other day, we did clearances for next year, and I found out my weight for the first time in like two years.  And guess what?   It hasn’t changed at all since the first day of my freshman year of college.  Not that weight means anything at all- I’m way more efficient and can run a sub-18 minute 5k and do 20 chin-ups and handle 60 miles per week now- but I’m just saying our bodies are so smart and everyone has a go-to natural body weight and we need to eat a lot!

(Did that make any sense?  No?  It’s fine.)

Anyway, just a few finals, projects, and induction into the collegiate Spanish national honor society to get through before I am halfway done with undergrad!  I’ll be a junior in college before I know it.  Isn’t that crazy??  Sometimes it feels like I just got here!!