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!!

Sweet Potato Waffle

A few weeks ago, I purchased a new waffle maker to take back to school (and for future apartments), mostly thanks to Christmas sales and gift cards.  A few days ago, delayed-onset post-workout hunger resulted in the inauguration of the waffle maker via sweet potatoes 🙂

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The workout was 3 mile warm-up, 3 x [9 minute progression (pick up the pace every 3 minutes), 5 minutes “off”], 2 mile cool down.  I was lucky enough to be able to work out with two teammates!

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After the coldest week of winter, the weather decided to be beautiful!  It was 40 degrees and partly cloudy.  We went to the canal, warmed up for 3 miles (verryyy fast) and did drills.  The first 9-minute segment started a little faster than I wanted to, and I’m not sure if I actually progressed or just maintained! Oops.  Overall, I was feeling pretty stiff and mentally not in it.

I struggled throughout the second segment because I wasn’t feeling too great physically and just got in my own head, but my lovely teammates helped me through it.  Once the last set was halfway over, I finally realized “I can do this!” and had a great last 5 minutes.  Better late than never, right?

The post-workout fatigue hit hours later, and after lunch, a dentist appointment, and a quick power nap, I woke up starving.  Scrolling through the #wafflewednesdays on Instagram for five seconds secured my decision– sweet potato waffle!!

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I completely eyeballed ingredient measurements, but here’s a rough estimate:

  • 3/4 cup baked sweet potato, mashed
  • 2 egg whites
  • splash of vanilla
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Mix everything together and pour into a preheated waffle maker.  Difficult, right? 😉

(Adding regular wheat flour probably would’ve helped it firm up a bit, but I didn’t want to.)

As you can see, I topped mine with plain nonfat Greek yogurt, Wild Friends sugar cookie peanut butter, and semisweet chocolate chips.  Delicious.  And a good mixture of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats- a perfect, indulgent post-workout snack!

 

 

Workout Wednesday: Long tempo and pick-ups

I can finally write a snazzy-titled “Workout Wednesday” post!  My workouts are always on Tuesdays and Fridays, but I shifted my schedule to accommodate work. 🙂

Anyway, today marked the first workout back; it’s been almost two months since our last workout, so this was a great shock to the body.

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The workout: 3 mile warm-up, drills, 30 minute progressive tempo, 3 minute recovery, 4 x [60 seconds hard, 60 seconds easy], and 2-3 mile cool down.  I asked my friend to keep me company, which he did– major props because not many people would voluntarily run an 11 mile workout without having to!

We warmed up for three miles on the canal towpath and then did dynamic drills.  Due to completing my leg lift yesterday, it took awhile for my glutes and hamstrings to quit complaining!

The goal for the tempo was to keep it kind of conversational for the first half (~6:40s) and progress through the second half and hit the low 6:00s.  However…we started a little fast (around 6:15 pace).  We ran the entire tempo into the wind.  He struggled a little in the first half, and I struggled a little in the second half, but we were able to work together and finish 4.6-4.7 miles in 30 minutes for an average pace of 6:22.  Afterwards, we did 4 x [60, 60], and my legs couldn’t quite remember how to turn over quickly. 😉  We then cooled down for 2 miles for a total of 11ish for the day.

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Post-workout lunch: homemade kale pesto penne, steamed green beans, broiled fish, tomatoes, freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I also grated my hand while grating the cheese, so that was pleasant), tomatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots, and unpictured 2% lingonberry & strawberry Siggi’s, as well as orange Nuun.

Overall, the first workout back went really well!  The weather was windy but otherwise beautiful, the canal was scenic, and I’m happy to have had a great workout partner.

 

Travel adventures

(This was written yesterday evening)

Happy hump day! My team is currently en route to Penn State, where ten men and ten women will be racing on Friday. The WiFi on the bus isn’t working, so I can’t do homework…what a shame, right 😉

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Fall break was fun! (I do have a ridiculous travel story.) I took another complete off day on Sunday, so most of the day was spent doing some of my favorite activities. My mom was doing her longest long run of marathon training (23 miles!!), so I met her about 5 miles in to pick up my dog and deliver her water belt and sunglasses.

fullsizerenderAfterwards, I made pumpkin waffles for breakfast and then went to my favorite farmer’s market! I also had brunch at a favorite hipster coffee place with one of my good friends. Afterwards, I went to Trader Joe’s and Victoria’s Secret (hey, gotta take advantage of the 7/$27.50 sale while it lasts!).

Lunch: lemon blueberry scone, almond milk cappuccino, and a spinach, cheddar, and poached egg breakfast sandwich on a honey IPA roll. Not exactly the most balanced meal, but it was amazing.

Anyway, travel story: I was supposed to be back on campus by Sunday night, since we had morning practice on Monday and Tuesday. So I made plans to take the train back on Sunday night. Unfortunately, I ended up getting on the wrong train (I got to the station right as the train was loading, and it matched my ticket so I got on). The conductor didn’t check tickets for a while, and at some point I noticed that we were going too far west. When he did check tickets, he said I was on the wrong train and that he would sort it out. I’m not the type of person to freak out over travel disruptions, and I figured I’d get to my destination eventually, so I just stayed calm.

The conductor came back and said I should get off at the next stop and he had rerouted my ticket for a bus that would take me halfway to my destination, and then there would be another bus that would take me the rest of the way. At this point, we were about two hours into the journey. I got off the train at the next stop, and sure enough, there was a bus that took me to the next point. However, when I got to the station and asked the clerk about the next bus, she looked at me funny and said, “I don’t know why they told you that. There’s a train tomorrow morning, but no bus tonight.”

Great.

 At this point, it was 9 pm, and I was stranded two-thirds of the way to campus. Still wasn’t freaking out, though, because luckily my roommate lives close to where I was.   She was already on campus, but I called her parents and spent the night at their house. Took the train the next morning, so I missed practice, but at least I eventually got to campus!

So, yeah. While fall break was relaxing schoolwork-wise, it was a tiny bit stressful travel-wise 😉 Oh, well! It was great to be home for a little bit.

Tuesday’s workout- the last before Penn State- went pretty well. We warmed up for 3 miles and then did 2×400, 5×800, 4×400 on an 800m grass field. With the grass, we were a little slower than on a track. We were a few seconds off the range that the coaches gave us, but we stayed consistent, and I thought we did well.

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Splits: 82, 82, 2:53, 2:53, 2:53, 2:57, 2:54, 81, 80, 79, 79. Personally, the fourth 800 was a struggle, but I pulled it together for the fifth one. We had 60 seconds of rest between the first set of 400s and 90 seconds between everything else (except for 2 minutes before the last 400).

This morning, I ran 5 miles on the trails, and I was definitely tired from the workout. That’s okay, though.

Side note: guess who’s gone 5 straight days without Wawa (me)! I’ve stuck to my 8 oz coffee limit for almost a week. Yesterday, I didn’t even have any. #killingit

Season opener//sophomore year!

Greetings!  Sorry I haven’t blogged in a few weeks.  I’ll quickly recap the last 3 weeks of training, followed by a race report!IMG_2735.PNG


8/15-8/21:

M: AM: 3 miles. PM: 40 min stationary bike and upper body strength.
T: 20 min w/u, drills, fartlek (1-1-2-4-8-4-2-1-1 w/ 1/2 recovery), 2 mile cool down.  Felt pretty good!  Very humid.
W: 50 min easy run (maybe 6 miles?) with high school team + core.
Th: AM: drills, 7 miles, strides, felt nauseated/kind of gross, upper body strength.  PM: 3 mile loop.
F: AM: 2 mile warm-up, drills, 4 mile pace run (6:30, 6:28, 6:17 which includes a 7ish second stop to retrieve a dropped headband, 6:03), 2 mile cool down.  Slight uphill on the way out, slight downhill on the way back. PM: 2 miles.
Sat: Moved back to campus!  3 miles + core
Sun: 11-12 pretty relaxed miles back on campus

Total: 54 miles + 40 min bike


8/22-8/28:

M: AM: drills, 7 miles trails, strides, core.  PM: local 5k
T: 3 mi w/u, drills, 2 mile-1 mile-1 mile with 2-3 min recovery, 4 x strides.  Splits: 6:19/6:02, 5:48, 5:44.  20 min c/d.  Jump squat series, rope stretch, ice bath.  Really pleased with my splits!
W: 5 miles trails + core
Th: AM: drills, 7 miles, UBC 1.  PM: 3 miles trails.
F: 3 mi w/u, drills, 3 x 800-400-400 hill thing (the 800 times were 2:52, 2:51, 3:04), 2 x 400 hill, 2 x 175 hill.  Wow. I died.  Thought I was acclimated to the heat but that was something else.  15 min c/d. PWL 2.
Sat: 11 miles trails, slow-ish, we were all tired.  Core + ice bath.
Sun: 30 min aqua jog

Total: 54ish miles, 30 min aqua jog


8/29-9/4:

M: AM: 3 miles.  PM: 7 miles trails, drills, strides, upper body circuit, rope stretch
T: AM: 20 min w/u, drills, 6 x 1000m on the roads (3:27, 3:23, 3:28, 3:28, 3:31, 3:30) with 1:30-2:00 rec, 22 min c/d.  Weight room assessment.  PM: 12 min shakeout, ice bath, abs.
W: 5 miles trails.  Felt like crap.
Th: AM: 5 miles, felt like crap but gradually better, 8 x 200m at 34-36 with walk recovery, 2 lap c/d, lift.  PM: 3 miles + core.
F: 7 miles trails, drills, strides, abs, rope stretch
Sat: 3 mi w/u, drills, 2 mile xc race (11:17), a few min recovery, 5 min jog, 2 x 1 mile on the course (6:05, 6:05) with 3:00 recovery, 30 min c/d.  Total = 12 miles.
Sun: 3 miles

Total: 58 miles + so much walking

Not going to sugarcoat it- It’s been a hard three weeks- adjusting back to campus food/classes/walking SIX MILES PER DAY, increase in training intensity, etc.  But it has been great to be back with the team, the locker room, and all the lovely spots on campus I missed dearly 🙂


Anyway!  We opened the cross country season on Saturday with a two-mile race on a cross country course, followed by 2 x 1 mile on the same course and cool down until we reached long run mileage.

I woke up at 6 (after not sleeping most of the night) and had plain Greek yogurt and oatmeal with banana, almond butter, chia seeds, and cinnamon.  No coffee or multivitamin since it was so early and we were in a rush!  We drove to the race venue, sat around for a bit enjoying the cool temperatures brought on by Hurricane Hermine, and warmed up for 3 miles and did drills.  Put on the singlet, buns, and hair ribbon for the first time since May 🙂 Since I redshirted last year, this was actually my first cross country race representing my college!

There wasn’t much pressure for this short little rust-buster, so I just tried to have fun.  The gun went off, I got boxed in, and I gradually tried to make my way up through the pack.  I felt pretty good at the mile (5:36) and caught up with two of my teammates, and we worked together the last mile and tried to catch people.  I kicked with what I had left and crossed the finish line in 11:17 as the fifth scorer for our team!  (I was our sixth runner, though- one of the freshmen finished ahead of me, but they all ran unattached.)

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After taking a few minutes to recover, we jogged for five minutes and did 2 x 1 mile with 3 minutes of recovery in between… I did not crush this part of the day as my splits were 6:05 and 6:05.  Felt quite dead 😉 but that’s okay.  I then cooled down for about 4 miles, so I got a total of 12 in for the day.

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We trained right through this race- didn’t even pre-meet the day before, instead doing a regular 7-mile maintenance run and 6x100m strides- so nobody’s legs were fresh.  But it was a good fitness gauge!  Our next race is two weeks away!

Summer training week 11: SIXTY MILES + team trip

Happy Sunday!  I hope the past week has been fabulous.  The past three days have been spent with the team during our annual women’s team trip.  I officially hit 60 miles for the first time, got to see almost my entire team,  didn’t have to work too much, and the Olympics began.  It was a pretty good week 🙂

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Summer 2016 week 11 (8/1-8/7):

Monday: AM: 3 miles, sleep deprived but felt good, upper body strength.  PM: 7 miles, drills, strides.  Total = 10
Tuesday: 20 min w/u, fartlek (1:00-1-2-4-8-4-2-1-1 with half-time recovery) around the Mall/Tidal Basin, 15 min c/d.  Felt pretty tired but got through it and the views were AMAZING.  Total = 10
Wednesday:  5 miles easy
Thursday: AM: 7 miles, drills, strides, upper body strength.  New shoes.  PM: 3 miles.  Total = 10
Friday:  20 min w/u, drills, 24 min pace run/tempo on canal with team, 20 min c/d, core.  Felt really strong and controlled, no idea about pace but mentally one of my best tempos.  LOVE being with the team!!  Total = 9
Saturday:  12 miles canal, felt good, pretty relaxed.  Hike later.
Sunday:  AM: yoga class with team.  PM: 4 miles neighborhoods at home.  Legs felt surprisingly good!

Total:  60 miles + hike

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For the most part, this week was awesome!!  The only run that was “eh” was Tuesday’s workout, but the national Mall was beautiful at 6:45 am, so that made up for it.  Switched to new shoes on Thursday.
Friday’s tempo was great- I started out feeling strong and finished feeling strong, staying mentally in it the whole time.  The team looked great and I’m so excited 🙂 Saturday’s long run felt surprisingly good the day after a workout.  Sunday’s yoga class was very rejuvenating and helpful, and my recovery run was good.  And I have officially hit 60 miles for the first time!!
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It was so much fun being with these ladies after not being together all summer!  We worked out together Friday morning, long ran Saturday, each class was in charge of a brunch/dinner/dessert each day (sophomores totally rocked Saturday brunch!), we went hiking, found cute ice cream shops and farmer’s markets, ate insane quantities of peanut butter (just me?), watched the Olympics and 27 Dresses, and had a campfire with lots of s’mores.

There were a few bumps in the road- what else do you expect when you throw together twenty 18-to-22-year-olds that haven’t seen each other all summer- but for the most part, the trip was incredible.  Also needless to say, the house we were staying in did not smell great towards the end.  I don’t think I’ve ever sweat more in my life.  Less than two weeks until we’re back for good!

 

BALANCE during summer training

SHOUTOUT TO BRENDA MARTINEZ FOR MAKING THE OLYMPIC TEAM IN THE 1500!  I LOVE YOU!!

(Sorry.  Continuing.)

Today is my baby brother’s twelfth birthday!  I remember the day he was born at home; my other brother and I watched Blues Clues and tried to ignore what was going on upstairs.  I can’t believe he’ll be a teenager in one year!

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I made him a special birthday smoothie (complete with whipped cream) and received a giant hug when his Pokemon birthday present turned out to have a rare card of some sort…clearly I’m a Pokemon expert 😉

Aside from that, this off day from work has included a hilly workout (20 min w/u, drills, fartlek of 7 minutes-5-7-5 with 2 min jog in between, 20 min c/d), rereading The Thief Lord (a childhood favorite) and sorting out some financial and academic stuff for the fall semester.  Which is in a little over a month! YAY!!


A couple weeks ago, one of my teammates shared this post by Sports Bras and Coffee, and she had some really good points.  It got me thinking, and I thought I’d share some of my own thoughts and some of my teammates’ tips (mostly learned from making the mistakes ourselves) on finding the balance between building a good, sustainable base and overtraining during the summer.

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As you know, since I’ve complained/exulted about it in every training post this summer 😉 , my mileage has gone up a lot in recent weeks.  After a low-mileage high school career (pls ignore the horrible eyeliner in that post- I went through a phase), I built up from 30 to 40 miles last summer, then 45ish during freshman year of college.  At each mileage level, I couldn’t imagine running more than I was running at that time!

This summer, when our coaches sent out the training plans and mine listed “60 miles” consistently, I knew it was going to be unlike anything I had done before.  There have been some days lately where the last thing I have wanted to do was go on yet another run. While obviously you’re not going to feel great on every run, it’s definitely not good to feel like that all the time!  It’s all about pushing your body to the limit while still finding balance.

So without further ado, here are some summer training tips.

  1. Listen to your body.  I know, so cliche.  Obviously, you want to be following the training plan given by your coaches, but if one day you have a double and your body feels horrible during the first run, it is okay to skip the second one and take a nap or do some yoga instead.
  2. Fuel properly.  Especially pre-run and breakfast.  I don’t know about you, but I do most of my summer runs in the early morning to (try to) avoid the heat and humidity.  Going out for a 7-to-12-miler first thing in the morning with nothing in your system is a bad idea, no matter who you are.  Try to eat/drink something high in carbs and non-acidic before your run, such as a banana, toast with jelly, or half a bar.  Additionally, if you’re training in the morning, eat a good breakfast afterwards!  Aim for something high in protein and complex carbohydrates to recover optimally and take advantage of metabolic gains.  My go-to breakfast is oatmeal with egg whites, yogurt, fruit, and nut butter. IMG_1194
  3. Sleep.  It might not be easy to go to bed at 10:30, or earlier, when a lot of people are staying up all night partying, but if you’re training 20 hours a week on top of maybe having a job or an internship or something, you need all the sleep you can get.  If you find yourself unable to get enough sleep at night (like if you get home from work at 11 and wake up at 5:30…hmm sounds familiar), power naps are the shit.  Seriously.  If you have a spare 23 minutes during the day, take a power nap.  They are awesome.  I slept for an hour before my double yesterday afternoon.
  4. Do not hammer your runs.  It’s May/June/July.  You have big goals for the cross country season, and you’re super motivated right now.  BUT the goal is to peak in November!  If you don’t take it easy on some of your runs, your body will not recover, and your base will not be sustainable.

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    This was a day when I should have gone slower

  5. Honestly, eat whatever you want.  As a serious athlete, most of the time you’ll crave wholesome, healthy food, so “whatever you want” will usually be a healthy balanced diet anyway.  But do indulge to an extent over the summer because a) it’s not racing season and b) it’s not healthy or helpful to be stringent about what you can or cannot eat.  This is the time to find a relaxed balance with nutrition. It’s mentally unhealthy to try and sustain unnecessary, rigid eating rules from June until November with no deviations.
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    Part of lunch: AMAZING focaccia from the farmers’ market

    6. Drink water.  All the time.  If you live in an insanely humid area like I do, make sure you are hydrating, especially in the morning!  I try to drink 2-3 cups of water before I go out for my morning run and then keep a 32 oz Nalgene with me throughout the day.  (Don’t overhydrate, though, which can drain sodium levels.  Make sure you are replenishing your electrolytes, as well.)

If anyone else has any other tips, feel free to chime in!

Summer Training Week 5 + California Travels

(This post was written on the plane yesterday)

Hello from the skies! I’m currently on my way back to the East Coast after a full week of family activities in California. I never wrote my training summary from last week, so here is an update!

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Last week was the first week of my life where I officially ran over 50 miles. It was exhausting, exciting, and…normal.

Summer training week 5: 6/20-6/26

Monday: AM: 6 miles, drills, strides, pull-ups/push-ups/dips. PM: 3 miles, 10 min core
Tuesday: AM: 8 miles. PM: 2 miles treadmill
Wednesday: AM: 6 miles, drills, strides, pull-ups/push-ups/dips. PM: 3 miles
Thursday: flew to CA. 30 min pool + 10 min abs.
Friday: AM: 8 miles. PM: 2 miles treadmill, leg strength
Saturday: 3 miles, 10 min abs
Sunday: 11 miles

Total: 52 miles, 30 min XT

Three cheers for 50+ miles! I switched Wednesday and Thursday so I would be able to get all my mileage in even with the traveling, and three doubles in a row had me fairly exhausted by Thursday.

Thursday ended up being a really long day of wedding rehearsal activities for my aunt’s wedding, and I cut my cross train in half because I was crabby and tired.  We were awake for 21 hours!

I had a workout on my schedule on Friday, but I texted my coach about the tiredness and jet lag and sleep deprivation, and she told me not to worry about it. Friday morning’s 8 miles actually ended up feeling great, so I suppose I could’ve done the workout 😉 Oh, well.

The wedding was on Saturday was fun.  Everyone got to catch up with family and friends they hadn’t seen in years.

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The first half of Sunday’s long run was bad, but once I reached the halfway point, things improved.  It took awhile to warm up mentally.

On Sunday afternoon, we headed up to Mount Whitney for three days of altitude, camping, hiking, relaxing, and (for me) running. I’ll recap the running in this week’s training post, but for now- my brother and I woke up at 4:45 am every day to head down the mountain so I could run while he drove behind me.

On Monday, I went for a solo hike up to Lone Pine Lake and back, and the solitude and views were amazing.

The adventure day snacks:

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Trader Joe’s teriyaki beef jerky, almond coconut KIND bar (new favorite!), apple slices, almonds, animal crackers, dried mango, and dried apricots

I made it up to the lake in 74 minutes (in years past, it’s taken us as long as 3 hours) and down in 68, and you know I bragged about it to my family when I got back to the campground 😉 We’re nothing if not competitive.

On Tuesday, I took a break from hiking after my morning run and just hung out in the hammock, napped, ate snacks, and enjoyed an easy summer read. The same on Wednesday- we got back up to the campground after the run by 6:30 am, and after breakfast, I crawled back into the tent and slept from 8-10 am!

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As far as nutrition goes these past two weeks, it’s been up and down. The first few days in California were full of wedding festivities that involved going out to eat for every freakin’ meal, which was inevitably unenjoyable. (Is that a word?) Sausage and cheese pasta and oily chicken and capers for the rehearsal dinner, barbecue at the wedding, Chipotle, In’n’out Burger, lots of wedding cake 😉 and breakfast at restaurants every day does not a happy runner make. Or at least this runner. I do enjoy indulgences to some extent, but at some point you just get sick of it!

On the other hand, while we were at Mount Whitney, I ate a lot, but that was necessary to fuel the high amount of physical activity. The whole day was shifted back: wake up at 4:45, post-run breakfast at 6:30, snacks throughout the day, early lunch, dinner at 5:30, bed at 8:30 or 9 pm…the food was good, though. My step grandmother cooked the most amazing dinners at the campsite.

I definitely enjoyed the luxury of a shower and being able to cook a giant bowl of vanilla/cinnamon egg white oats this morning.

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So that brings us up to now. This week has 53 miles on the schedule, but I’ve had to change around my training a bit to accommodate the traveling and being in the mountains, so I think I’m going to be a little short, which is fine. Tomorrow is my first workout, which will be interesting with the jet lag and the fact that we’re not getting back till midnight! Sunday will be my first 12-miler ever.

 

My first DNF

This morning, I started my first 5k on the track (if you don’t count a random one I ran sophomore year of high school in a solid time of over 20 minutes).

I also failed to finish my first 5k on the track.

It took 19 years, but I’ve officially DNFed a race.

Honestly, I knew two days ago that I wasn’t going to finish (or maybe even start) this race. Since scratching the 1500 last weekend because I had been sick for a week and a half, I struggled through another week of training while feeling less than stellar.   I wasn’t sleeping and was up half the night coughing up a lung. I finally went back to the student health center on Thursday morning and was pretty much diagnosed with bronchitis. I started taking prednisone and an inhaler on Thursday, and my cough got better relatively quickly, but unfortunately I started experiencing myriad other pleasant side effects: nausea, really bad bloating, some bathroom issues…the works.

On Thursday, we did our traditional light pre-meet workout of a warm-up, 8 x 200 in spikes with 200m jog, and a cool down. It felt like shit. I was running 35-37 for the 200s which should’ve felt like easy pick-ups, but I couldn’t go any faster for the life of me. I started crying to my coach later because I was so frustrated. We had a conversation Friday morning that was pretty therapeutic (there’s been other stuff going on in my life in addition to running going poorly/being sick). She suggested that maybe we just take the opportunity this weekend to travel and race the first 3k of the 5k, depending on how I was feeling.

The side effects of the drugs continued to affect me throughout Friday. We left on Friday morning and did a shakeout run once we got there, and it felt okay. Not great. We ate a late dinner on Friday night and woke up early on Saturday for the 9:15 am race.

I felt terrible. Hopefully this isn’t TMI, but I couldn’t go to the bathroom. Still felt abnormally crappy- I literally almost started walking on our warm-up. Unfortunately, I didn’t see my coach between warm-up and race time, so I wasn’t able to communicate how I was feeling. At this point I knew it wouldn’t be pretty. We did skips, strides, took our sweats off, and lined up on the line.

The gun went off, and our assigned pace of 83 seconds per lap (5:32 mile pace) felt deadly right away. By lap 2 or 3, I was probably in last, and I made angry/sad eye contact with my coach on every lap. When we came through 1000m with the sign that said “10 laps to go”, I almost laughed. There was no way I was doing 10 more laps. Physically, I was not in it. Mentally, I was absolutely not in it. After a little over a mile, my coach said, “Do you want to go through 3k?” and I said yes.

So I went through 3k. I probably came through in like 11 minutes or something before jogging off the track. First time I’ve ever experienced the pity-filled “good job” as I plodded off the track while the race kept going…

Depressing.

Oh, well.

I cheered on my teammates until they finished and then went off on my own for the cool down per my coach’s instructions. There were tears. There was a phone call to my mom. It wasn’t pretty.

The medicine I’m on has me feeling like a bloated, gravity-loving elephant, so that’s unfortunate. I am spending the rest of today eating my feelings (so far, a burger, sweet potato fries, and a jam-filled cookie have happened) before hopping back on the dedication train tomorrow. Once I finish the medication (I’ll probably stop on Monday), I am hoping that all of this will clear up and I will feel like myself again. I would love for running to feel normal again ASAP!

I’m feeling a little guilty because I’m racing the 5k at conferences in two weeks and, as of now, I have not finished a 5k. I’m feeling undeserving and embarrassed and frustrated.

So that’s where I’m at right now.