“Summer” Training

It’s 55 degrees, I’m wearing slippers, and it has rained for fourteen days straight… must be summer ūüėČ

I’m waiting to hear back about an internship, so I’m currently in that weird limbo stage between the end of the school year, the respite before summer training starts up for real, and before I get a real job where I pretty much have nothing to do. ¬†So for the past few days, I’ve been trying to make really good meals in the¬†new, pretty kitchen!

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I tried pinole for the first time for breakfast the other day, and it was pretty good!  I cooked it with 1% milk and topped it with banana, cinnamon, and a drizzle of maple syrup.  The serving size was actually a bit too much for me.

Today was my first day back running! ¬†After conferences, I took nine days completely off, and this week I’m limited to 3-5 miles every other day for a total of 16ish miles this week. ¬† But I just received my training schedule for the next five weeks or so. ¬†As my mileage builds back up, there’s a¬†lot more cross training. ¬†I’d forgotten that at one point last summer, I was cross training four days a week in addition to running. ¬†Now it’s back! ¬†Time to get excited about lots and lots of time in the pool.

I just ran for 30 minutes today, and as expected, it sucked.  The first ten minutes were great, but after that I felt sick.  Oh, well, this is supposed to happen!  Afterwards, I did upper body strength, ankle stability, rolling, and yoga, then refueled with a bomb lunch.

(2 pieces of Ezekiel bread, raspberry jelly, avocado, a fried egg, Siggi’s whole-milk mixed-berry yogurt, and a salad with avocado, edamame, spinach, cucumber, red bell pepper, tomato, and poppyseed dressing.)

As far as mileage goes, my coaches and I agreed during our¬†end-of-season meeting to increase my mileage this summer. ¬†I’m pretty pumped. ¬†Over the next six weeks, my weekly mileage will go from zero¬†to¬†52, and I will slowly replace my cross training doubles with running doubles. ¬†While I’m excited, I also need to not obsess over the training that won’t happen for another month and a half, and focus on safely building my mileage back up to that point.

I also need to find a job. ¬†But, you know, we can worry about that later ūüėČ

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One of my top 5 hardest workouts

(OK, I actually did write this post this morning; I just forgot to publish it.)

Good morning! ¬†It’s a beautiful spring day, I just finished my 3-mile double, and I thought I’d talk about Tuesday’s track workout¬†while I eat a lovely breakfast of Greek yogurt, Wawa coffee, oatmeal with apple/chia seeds/almond butter/cinnamon, and of course my daily multivitamin. ¬†No class until 12:30. ūüôā

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Oatmeal is THE ugliest food ever but still so good

All right! ¬†Tuesday’s workout…Let’s just say I have no trouble recalling the experience because my body still despises¬†me two days later.

The (good? bad?) thing about getting fitter and faster is that your coaches will adjust your workout paces accordingly.  On Tuesday, I was put in sort of a new workout group.  We went out for our 3 mile warm-up and then did drills and strides before our coach told us the workout.

5 x 400 at 77-75 seconds, 4 x 800 at 2:38, 4-5 x 400 at 77-75 seconds

*Dies*

What actually happened: 5 x 400 at 76-75 seconds, 3 x 800 at 2:43, 2:47, 2:48, 1 x 600 at 2:04, 4 x 400 at 78, 77, 76, 76

By the time the first 5 x 400¬†was over, it felt like I’d already done an entire workout, and we were less than 1/3 done. ¬†Our coach told us to hit 79 for each lap of the 800s (um, what), but I’m pretty sure the only time I ran 79 was the first lap of the first 800. ¬†Each one after that got slower and slower.¬† And they were still¬†fairly faster than I’m used to! ¬†By the third 800, my legs were¬†immovable¬†logs and I was pretending the 800s were 600s because the last 200 doesn’t matter amirite ūüėČ ¬†So I’d get to 600m and then just death-march the last 200. ¬†My¬†coach modified my 4th 800 to a 600 (bless).

Am I being dramatic?

For the last set of 400s, she had us do the first two backwards on the track, which was pretty weird.  I led the last three 400s and at that point I was just riding the pain train home.  We hit 78, 77, 76, and 76.

After a 3 mile cool down in which we were so destroyed that we were babbling nonsensically, we completed a leg lift and then stretched, rolled, and ice bathed.

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Choosing my post-workout treat was hard (I chose a truffle)

The next morning, my roommate and I both woke up to cross train, fairly hobbled to the rec, and I sat at the edge of the pool for a little bit because I just could. not. get. in. Everything hurt.  I felt like a zombie.  But this is the work that will give us an edge in future races!

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In my meeting with my coach yesterday,¬†she brought up a really good point (see above). ¬†I’m at an entirely new fitness level for myself right now. ¬†While the paces she gives me may sound scary, she gives them to me because she thinks/knows I can hit them. ¬†Just because I’ve never run that fast¬†before doesn’t mean I can’t do them now. ¬†I need to work on believing in myself in races and in workouts when I get to the point where I can either make a move or stay where I am. ¬†In this new fitness territory, it’s all about confidence!

How do we handle bad days?

Damn, my last post was so optimistic and positive!  Sorry in advance for the negativity today, but I hope I can come to some good conclusions.

On Monday, I ran six miles with my friend, and we hammered. ¬†We were hitting 7:00 flat. ¬†I was not¬†recovering from my long run. ¬†I skipped the strides just because they didn’t fit in to where I had run, and I did upper body circuits and abs when I got home. ¬†I’ve recently been really into Siggi’s yogurt, and I tried the orange and ginger flavor for post-run fuel. ¬†It was incredible.IMG_8687.JPG

Yesterday¬†started out mediocre and turned horrible,¬†both running and otherwise. ¬†After some emotionally traumatizing family issues last night, I went to bed emotionally and physically exhausted, slept badly and wasn’t particularly in the mood to work out. ¬†The temperature rocketed up to a sunny 80 degrees (what happened to last Friday’s ice storm??), I sat in the car for two hours while taking my mom to the airport, and I was annoyed at having to bear more responsibility for my brothers and the house this week. ¬†Not an ideal way to get ready for a workout.

The workout was simple: 4 x 1600m at 6:00-6:10 with 1 minute recovery. ¬†I warmed up for 20 minutes, did drills and strides, and started the workout. ¬†My first 1600¬†was a 6:06 and felt fine, although once I stopped, my heart was pounding really hard. ¬†I took 90 seconds and started the second 1600. ¬†This one was immediately bad; my legs wouldn’t move, I was nauseous due to the heat and got even more upset because of that, and it escalated. ¬†I think I hit like a 6:35 or 6:40.

I called my coach, and she told me to get off the track and do a fartlek of 4-3-2-2-1-1 minutes with half-time recovery.  I ran 5 minutes to the bike path and did the fartlek, but I could tell early on that the heat was really getting to me.  (Remember how much trouble I had once it started getting warmer last year?)  After barely completing the second 2-minute interval, I cut off the 1 minute intervals and jogged back to the track.  Guzzled water and jogged a 1.5 mile cool down for a total of 9ish miles today.

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I only had time for 5 minutes of lunges and squats and no stretching before I had to get in the car and go pick up my brother.  I wolfed down a cookies and cream Quest bar, hopped on the highway, and sat in front of his school for 20 minutes with no one answering their phones before I learned that he was at home the whole time!  So I was sedentary for 50 minutes right after a horrible workout for no reason.  My mood worsened.  I sped out of the middle school and stretched and took an ice bath the second I got home.

Anyway, yesterday¬†was definitely not the best day. ¬†But it’s important to stay positive. ¬†I’ve already recognized the factors contributing to the shitty day: heat, hammering my maintenance run yesterday, sitting in the car, emotional trouble, etc. ¬†But hey, at least I got some work in! ¬†Even if it wasn’t quality work. ¬†And I’ve been doing really well with balancing mostly quality foods with rare¬†indulgences recently,¬†and I’ll continue to drink lots of water, and try to get some sleep and recover well so that the next workout is better.

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We can’t control everything, and sometimes things just don’t go our way. ¬†But¬†we can make sure to do well at the things we can control: fueling properly, going to bed at a reasonable time, staying off of social media (I need to work on this!), and working through our emotions (I need to work on this, too!) ¬†I’m a little bitter that this spring break isn’t going to be as “spring break”-y because¬†I’m essentially stuck babysitting my brothers all week, but I need to get over that and focus on everything I’m lucky to have.

Last night’s¬†dinner of leftover butternut squash/kale/Gruyere casserole, roasted pork, roasted sweet potatoes with cinnamon and coconut oil, and (unpictured) mini heirloom tomatoes cheered me up slightly ūüôā

April Fool’s and the ultimate comfort food

Happy Day After April Fool’s Day! ¬†Did you prank anyone?

Our girls’ team pranked one of the boys by writing “PROM?” across our stomachs and “APRIL FOOLS” across our backs. ¬†I don’t have a picture of the entire¬†spectacle, but it was pretty great. ¬†Especially when our old, ridiculous sprinter coach had a fit of convulsive laughter.

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My role in the debacle… I had an “I” and an “L” on my back

Rockin’ the¬†shorts-under-sweats look. ¬†Nothing like post-run fashion…

Yesterday was just a run, but¬†I was starving (as usual) from the time I got home until dinner. ¬†I spend much of the hour between 6 and 7 o’clock trying to distract myself¬†from the fact that dinner is not ready yet. ¬†Even my post-workout snack of two pieces of toast with peanut butter and banana seemed to make me hungrier! ¬†But last night, dinner was worth the wait.

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My wonderful mother made a gigantic lasagna!! ¬†Layers upon layers of noodles, cheese, sausage (I don’t even like sausage), ground beef, more cheese, sauce, tomatoes… ’twas delicious. ¬†I ate three huge pieces,¬†and I am not sorry in the slightest.

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b4d39b2962f7e7ac23159684cd651356After dinner, my dessert consisted of a cup of Chobani blueberry…but I’m the weird person who scoops out half the¬†sugar syrup¬†fruit¬†at the bottom because it’s way too sweet. ¬†I added a heaping spoonful of plain Greek yogurt and some bananas. ¬†Yum. ¬†Healthy!

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feat. tiger tail

Today was our only home meet/Senior Night. ¬†Unfortunately, I was doing some driver’s ed stuff¬†that fell smack in the middle of the meet. ¬†So I did a solo track workout right after school…and didn’t realize until after I started that I had remnants of the M, I, and L from our prank still written on my stomach and back. ¬†Whoops! ¬†On the other hand, I had a very good workout considering I was alone; I did a descending ladder, nothing long or fancy, 1600, 1200, 800, 400. ¬†5:57, 4:20, 2:48, 1:15. ¬†Everything except the 12 was faster than the paces my coach had given me. ¬†Is that good…or bad?

Our next meet is on Saturday, and I’m running the 4×8 and the open 800. ¬†What has happened to my “I don’t run 800s” mindset? ¬†The state autos came out yesterday and they are so slow (relatively speaking) that my times from indoor almost qualify me! My coach wants me to aim for maybe the state auto in the 800 this Saturday, so I’ll see what I can do. ¬†My calf is feeling quite a bit better ūüôā

Hints ‘n’ changes ‘n’ yummy (healthy) food

Today I’ll be writing about some healthy changes that I’ve made since I started running, and some super easy changes or activities to integrate into your daily routine in order to live a healthier life. (See!? I¬†can make sense in my posts).

#1: No more fast food restaurants

I realized that since I started running for real (middle school track does not count), I haven’t eaten at a McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Chick-Fil-A, Popeye’s, KFC, Taco Bell, Burger King, Arby’s, Panda Express or anything like that. I’ve had Five Guys twice (because who can resist those Cajun fries), Elevation Burger maybe once, In-n-out twice (I was dragged there by my grandma when I was in California; I didn’t enjoy it), and Chipotle maybe six times. The only “fast food” that I truly enjoy is Subway, because you know¬†exactly what you’re eating. Also, I avoid the bags of potato chips or other unhealthy sides that come with the meal. I’ve cut back drastically on my soda intake without even realizing it; the other day, I ordered Coke at a restaurant and realized that I hadn’t had soda in over a month. I’m guessing I drink soda maybe twice or three times per month, which is a huge, awesome change from before my running career!

Because of the decrease in fast food consumption, I’ve felt healthier, less sluggish, and I haven’t been sick (more than a cold) for almost three years. Fast food isn’t worth it!! Sure, it’s convenient and usually cheap, but is it really worth all those saturated fats and mystery meats and unholy amounts of sodium? NO! So instead of running out to McDonald’s for lunch, make a quick and easy salad or grilled chicken sandwich. Yum ūüôā

#2: Dessert!!??!

Everyone who knows me knows that I am a major chocoholic. Actually, I’m a major I’m-going-to-eat-everything-in-sight-that’s-delicious-oholic. Doughnuts, brownies, cake, cupcakes, muffins, Nutella, ice cream, bags and bags of chocolate chips- I’ll eat all that and more if it’s in front of me. I. Love. Dessert. It does taste great while you’re eating it, but tons and tons of sweets make me feel like changing into sloppy clothes and taking a nap. Then, of course, I feel even guiltier that I just ate all that, so I take my feelings out on a pint of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and watch some dumb show on Hulu. This actually happened to me today after I ate three doughnuts that I shouldn’t have. My point is, there are so many healthier, more delicious options than simply vegetating in front of the TV with an entire pie. For example, you can have a real fruit popsicle! They are delicious and contain maybe 50 calories along with no added sugar. Or you can pour orange juice (or any fruit juice) into a popsicle maker and make your own popsicles. Another healthy alternative is swapping out ice cream or frozen yogurt for homemade frozen Greek yogurt. Just mix melted chocolate chips or raspberries or something in with some plain non fat Greek yogurt and stick it in the freezer. Delicious! (I actually read this on another blog and decided to try it out; it was definitely a win.)

Okay, this is starting to get kind of long and I’m in a lazy mood so I’ll just continue this another time.