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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sore Places

4800 yd swim workout. I am sore in places I didn't even know existed.
   I went to the Y to swim around 9:30, forgetting that all the water aerobics classes go on in the mornings. This means I had to share a lane with 2 other guys who were doing some sort of scuba diving-breast-stroke thing- all good, because hey, exercise is exercise, but I nearly got nailed in the face a couple of times by one of the guy's legs. Someone needs to teach the man some black line etiquette.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Brats and Breads


   A lovely picture of me, myself, and my sweat ring from a local 8k yesterday. The course was on a vineyard and we actually got to run through the grapevines- sounds cool, until you get smacked in the face by a vine. And then get stuck behind slower people because you have to go single-file for half the course. Still, it was an absolutely awesome race on a beautiful day with perfect weather. A couple of my running buddies did it as well, which always adds to the fun, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the cider and homemade breads at the end (Sweet potato bread..SO. GOOD.). And the best part of the whole day? Speeding up a hill at the end and having a guy come up next to me and say "You brat! I was drafting you!" Fuel for the fire, darlin'. I sped up, passed him, and then did the polite thing and congratulated him later while we were both getting cider. Because though I may sweat like a dude, there's a lady in here somewhere.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Oh Leaf Mold, How I Hate You...

 When everything else in your life is up in the air, it's nice to know that no matter what, you will still get sick 2 weeks out from your A race of the season. Wednesday greeted me with a sore throat and a headache, and
Thursday's run was coupled with chest pains, side stitches, and a general feeling of almost complete suckishness for the first 2 of 7 miles. Luckily, things went better after that, but it was touch and go for a while, with me contemplating laying down in the ground and taking a quick snoozer rather than tackling yet another monstrous neighborhood hill (seriously, it's like I live in freaking San Francisco).
   I am feeling on the mend at this point, but still sound like Snuffleofagous, which should bode well for the sick nasty 8k cross country race I signed up for tomorrow. The website describes the course as "extremely challenging with lots of hills"- just the way I like 'em! I bought some new trail shoes since my Asics Gel Trail Sensors have officially seen better days, so I am hoping my new Brooks Pure Grit will send me flying to a speedy, painless finish (joke).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Weekly Revelations

1. After nearly 7 months of hardcore swimming, I am finally coming to the realization that soreness, fatigue, and generally feeling like laying down on the kitchen floor and taking a nap every moment of the day just comes with the territory of intense swim workouts.
2. Most swimming sets will look like they totally suck when written on the whiteboard. You will react to almost all of them with a "WTF??! Um Coach I think you wrote the intervals wrong..." Hint hint: Those intervals ain't wrong, girl.
3. The best way to get through said swimming sets is to focus only on the portion of the set you are doing at the moment. For a gnarly set of 4x150 descending, just focus on the 150 you are doing. It makes the pain a lot easier to handle, and just like no one likes thinking "20 more miles to go!" during a marathon, who really wants to think "Oh hey only 450 more yards to go!!"?
4. If you only get an average of 30 hours of sleep per week, taking that Echinacea isn't going to stave off the cold forever. Yes, I have the sniffles, Yes I am still going to run. Haven't you heard of a Nedi Pot?!
5. Flavored almonds are the most fantastic invention of all time.
6. When in doubt, put butter on your bagel. PB&J on Chocolate chip... not the same.

Monday, October 31, 2011

So Not a PR

Besides eating not enough too much pizza and cookies and pancakes yesterday, I also did a 5k race with my parents. My Mom walked it (but she is in training for her first 5k on Thanksgiving- GO MOM!) and my Dad ran it with me. When we got to the start it was 36 degrees. This made for a very, very cold Emily. So cold I had on my double-layer running gloves, fleece running pullover, and longsleeve shirt. But not tights, because God  forbid I actually do laundry frequently enough to have running tights available when I need them.
   They had to delay the start by 10 minutes because the course was so icy and they figured allowing the sun a couple more minutes to melt the white stuff might help people not slip and fall and break things. Turns out they were right, sort of, because though the roads in the park were very very icy when my Dad and I were jogging to the pavilion to warm up beforehand, by the time we got to the same point during the race, there was hardly any slipping and sliding. There were 3 or 4 other spots, though, that just screamed "danger, Will Robinson," so I took it nice and slow on those parts, because I'd rather sacrifice seconds than twist something.. again (trail run on Friday... rolled my left ankle THREE times. Good thing I was wearing stiff shoes!).
   I ended up with a fairly respectable time considering the ice and the fact that I hate 5ks, but all during the race, I was thinking
-Running fast sucks
-I hate 5ks
- I wish this were a half
-or an ultra.
- Running fast makes my stomach go wack-o
-How in the world is it not over yet?!
- I want a bagel
    Apparently everyone else went pretty slowly too, because I somehow got 2nd woman overall with a time that normally wouldn't even put me in age group standings. Pretty awesome, especially since I got a glass mug as the award. Hello root beer floats!
    I am continuing to vacillate between wanting to do track and not wanting to do it, but I think I might just suck it up and try it. Worst comes to worst I stop if I don't like it, right? I mean, as long as I can still sneak in 17-23 milers on our days off I'm good. Plus, I did love my summer track workouts. But that was partly due to the fact that I had Lil' Wayne blasting in my ears through all my 400's...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cold Front What What?

It is supposed to get down to 32 degrees tonight. I could still see my breath at 11 o'clock this morning. It is supposed to snow on Saturday. WTF FALL YOU HAVE ANOTHER TWO MONTHS LEFT.

   In other news, running continues to be awesome, but I am having an insane moral dilemna going on because of it: Do I do outdoor track when I get to school and risk having to give up my weekly long runs in favor of someone else's training schedule that, according the coach, will include a possible decrease in mileage? I love love love my long runs, and am starting to realize that the points in my life when running has become less enjoyable have coincided with a focus on speed, PR's, and pace. When I just run by feel, doing tempos on the fly and taking slow days when needed, it when I have had my best PR's. Am I willing to give this ability to listen to my body up in favor of competing for a team and making friends?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Legs: WTF. Kick set AND another tempo run?! And box jumps last night? Are you trying to kill us?

I am currently ignoring all training plans and running by feel, for however long I want each day. I am totally ignoring the 10% rule, choosing instead to keep most of my runs, especially the long ones, slow and steady (except for today and yesterday, when I decided running out my stress in the form of tempo running coupled with Fall Out Boy blasted at top volume) but increasing or decreasing mileage in whatever quantities I see fit. I am absolutely love love loving it and, with all of the foliage we have goin' on here PLUS the upcoming snow storm, I cannot wait to lace up my shoes each day and pound the streets. I am, however, still cross-training like a madwoman and doing yoga 3x a week so my body doesn't continuous yell at me.
   And eating lots of *healthy* cookies (I promise a recipe soon!) because your body needs carbs, and my heart needs chocolate.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Crabs. The Shellfish, not the STD

So I could lie and say I have been super busy and that's why I haven't been posting, but I'm an honest girl, so I'll just be real and tell you that I've spent my weekend getting sweaty, reading Dean Karnaze's latest book, and eating crabs.
   Yesterday was supposed to be a long run but, despite having it for two months now, I still do not know how to properly work my iPhone alarm system and I woke up 30 minutes before I was supposed to be at the meeting place for my run (and the place was 45 minutes away). So instead I schlepped down to the trainer for my weekend long ride. 1.5 hours and 3 episodes of Man v. Food later, I got off and headed to the local rummage sale to buy some books and a pair of absolutely fantastic never-worn suede high heeled boots with 60's crochet on it. Best. Purchase. Ever. (Besides the Cole Haan boots I got last year...).
    After timing a swim meet and eating a Chipotle salad the size of a small infant, I went to bed at 6:45. I know, I know, I am a party animal. But, I had an excuse. Race for the Cure was this morning! And I was going to get in 4 miles beforehand to warm-up! Then the iPhone alarm system decided to fail me again (or maybe I accidentally set it for Saturday??) and I woke up 15 minutes before we were supposed to leave. It's all good, though, since WE DIDN'T EVEN GET TO RACE. That's right- got to the starting line 20 MINUTES after the race started. The buses were all backed up so we got to stand in line for 45 minutes with 400 other freezing racers dolled up in their finest pink. My Dad and I jumped into the race halfway through and ran 1.8 of the 5k course. Does standing+sprinting still count as racing for the cure? I think so.
    Possibly the best part of the weekend, other than the crabs? My two hour long run, the first one since April!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011


1. I sweat the most out of the THIRTY people in Bikram yoga last night.
2. I finally taught myself to can the negative thoughts when swimming hard sets.
3. Tribe 40 spices hummus is. the. greatest. hummus. ever.
4. I need to bake more chocolate chip cookies today.
5. Only a few more months before crab season is over! Gotta get my crustation fix in soon!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cloudy Days

Another day, another list of things to do.
-job interview
-grocery shopping
-laundry laundry laundry out the freakin' whazoo

 Good thing I get to run in my favorite kind of weather today: cloudy and cool. Everyone here is moaning and groaning about all the cloudy weather we have had (seriously people? Because folks in Seattle deal with this crap like 9 months a year...) but I happen to love it because
1. I don't get sunburned when I go outside (yes, even though it is fall this STILL happens)
2. The trees all look gorgeous against the cloudy sky
3. I can justify taking a 2 hour nap because it is a perfect "nap" day.
4. Cloudy weather makes for perfect baking weather! I am thinking of making some pumpkin cookies or scones tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

All I Need is a Cape

Two Posts in one day?! Who am I? Someone who has way too much time, 17.5 hours to be exact, on their hands. I already
-made lunch
-cleaned the kitchen
-made a monthly budget
-went to yoga
-went to Masters
  And now I am waiting for my whole-wheat pear cake to pop out of the oven so I can eat some dinner/desesrt before work/working-out. It's okay to call me SuperWoman. I won't be offended.
  Speaking of baked goods, I have been making a lot of them lately now that the dietician has given me the okay/nudge ("you are a very healthy eater..... you know you can eat sweets, right?" <--- Best. Advice. Of. My. Life.) to splurge again. I am still doing mostly low-sugar recipes, but now that gluten is no longer the enemy, I have made best friends again with my whole wheat products. Six months without them was far too long.

Full-Body Ouch

Ah, the residual soreness of running a race. I didn't expect to be too sore from Saturday and Sunday's efforts, but then I didn't take a day off of running and swam my butt off yesterday and today, so my body was not quite as limber in yoga this morning as it usually is. This resulted in some DEEP stretching going on during the class, which is good for my body, but bad for my energy level, as I am now pooped beyond beliefe. Good thing I still have to make lunch, clean the kitchen, lift and do the elliptical, and work! (and why am I blogging when I could be doing all those things!?!?)
   I actually might have definitely fell asleep during the ending portion of yoga, the "savastana" or however it is spelled, making it the second week in a row I have done this. I wonder if this means I need more than 6 hours of sleep per night...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Bitch is Back

And by bitch, I mean my bottomless appetite. Half-marathon+still running everyday= me eating like half of our food in 2 days. Good thing I do the grocery shopping in these here parts!

Monday, October 17, 2011

2 Days of Awesome

 A PR. On what is in most local runners' minds one of the harder road half-marathons. HOW THE HECK DID THAT HAPPEN?!
   Honestly, I have no idea how I pulled this one off. I didn't taper, didn't carboload, didn't do any weeks over 35 miles, hardly did any speedwork, and only had 2 long runs of any consequence. Still, my city knows how to pump a girl up, and with all those people cheering on every street and at every water stop, there was no way I was going to slow down my pace. I started off easy, deciding not to look at my watch until the 1st mile marker, and when I saw a pace that would, if held until the end, take me to a new PR, I thought "Hey, let's see how long I can hold on to this one without feeling like poop!"
   When I got to Mile 4, a thought occurred to me: Holy. Macaroni. Is this race hilly. I train on hills, but a lack of carbohydrate stores combined with a lack of sleep and a lack of taper had my legs going "Woman, slow down!" There was no chance of me dropping off my pace, though, so I did what any runner in my situation would do: Turn up the explicit rap music, swig some Perpetuem, and keep on keepin' on. After all, this was my favorite race of the year, and no way in heck was I coming out of it with anything over a 1:45 (Hi, I'm Emily. I am extremely competitive and if I tell you that I am going to just "run by feel" and take a race "easy," it is a blatant, absolute pile of bologna).
    What I love about half-marathons is that, in my opinion, once you get to mile 8, the race really does fly by, and on Saturday I knew if I could make it to mile 8 on pace, I would be able to sustain enough to get me across the finish in a respectable (for me) time. Mile 8 turned out to be windier than Chicago in January, with gusts so big I was basically being thrown from one side of the path to the other, but I knew there were free gummy bears and a dancing tiger on an old, 1980's wagon ahead, so I told myself to suck it the eff up and get the lead out.
   Sure enough, the tiger was there at mile 10, but as always, my stomach was saying no no no to free gummy bears, so instead I lived vicariously through the crazies in front of me that were shoving those things in their mouths like it was the first morsel of food they'd seen in years. I passed my old coach at mile 10 (personal victory, since the woman is actually a superhero), and prepared myself for the last bitch of a hill at mile 11. The wind was so bad at this point that people were literally hunched over trying to block it, and I started to feel really bad for the taller runners who were waving like planks in the wind.
   Thankfully after that last hill it's pretty much a straight downward slant to the finish, so I kicked it into high gear once I hit mile 12. Unfortunately, the wind was being a major biotch and was blowing me all over the place as I began my finishing kick, but I dealt. Less enjoyable was that feeling, a first-time for me, of ohmygosh- I will blow chucks- queasiness that happened about 200 yards out. I tried to remind myself that was just my body pushing it to the limit, and thankfully I passed through the finishing chute in 1:44:33, with my breakfast still intact.
   That race reaffirmed my love for 13.1's, and helped me set some BIG TIME goals for the next two halves I have coming up in November. Can you say sub 1:40?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Doc Says

Nutrionist: You should be eating about 8 servings of carbs a day. And breakfast cereals are fine as long as they have less than 4g of sugar and lots of fiber. And duh you have have fries and pie sometimes.

^^^ Best. Appointment. EVER.

Life Update

Good Ideas:
- Oats in a Jar. Peanut Butter in the AM makes my day.
- My favorite half-marathon tomorrow in my favorite city.
-Nutrionist appointment
-Sugar-cookie tea (um NO it is not too early for holiday flavored teas)

Bad Ideas:
-207 20lb. squats 2 days after my tri
-Not washing my sports bra from said tri for 4 days (who knew ocean water made stains?)
-not eating carbs. Sandwiches, please come back into my life.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Absent Note

So for the last few weeks I have been checking up on blogs, but taking some time off from posting. I am trying to enjoy what is most likely the last of my free time for the next 4 years or so, so I've been working out, baking, reading, and storing up some good stuff to write on here. I will be back in action today or tomorrow, and from then on will be writing some shorter but more frequent posts (hopefully) on the daily.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Taste of Awesome

Ever have one of those workouts where you just feel ON? Today in the pool I had that feeling. My form was good, my strokes were smooth, my times were steady, and even after the sweat-inducing, humid, hilly 6-miler I did yesterday followed by quad and bicep crushing weights, I still felt ON. THE. BALL.
   It's workouts like today's that remind me why I love swimming so much: gliding through the water, lost in your own thoughts, feeling the smoothness of each arm's stroke as you push the water down and prepare for the next one. Perfect peace interrupted only by the Aerosmith coming through the underwater speakers. Definitely worth waking up at 5:30.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Things Not to Do the Night after a Long Run:

1. Skip your ice bath. You will go to bed stiffer than the Tin Man.
2. Watch Ice Road Truckers until 11:30. You will not be able to fall asleep until midnight because you will be replaying the moment where Lisa and Ted seperately almost drive their trucks off the same of the Andes' mountains in your head.
3. Only drink half a bottle of gatorade. Hand-cramping due to a lack of salt will occur and you will look like an old Wiccan with spindly, crooked fingers when you try and grab your hairbrush to put in your bag.
4.  Leave your car key off its chain and convince yourself that, "Oh, duh, it's totally in my purse and I'll find it before Master's tomorrow!" It will not be in your purse. You will spend 10 minutes looking for it the next morning, get exasperated, give up, use the spare to drive to the practice you are now sort of late for, and then realize when you get home that the key in question is, in fact, hanging on the house key rack. Win.
5. Wear compression sleeves that come past your knees and onto your rather muscular thighs. Indents from your socks are not sexy, especially when you don them with your geeky 10k tech t-shirt and 90's throw-back gym shorts the next morning.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Knatty Boh

AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME Ten-mile run this evening. I had originally wanted to run this morning to beat the heat and start the day off on a good note, but I stayed up late watching Running the Sahara. What an inspiring movie. 4400 miles in the Sahara desert, 3 runners, a support crew, and a fantastic cause: H20Africa, an organization that helps provide clean water to the residents of African countries. My favorite part of the movie was at the end, when one of the runners talked about how the entire journey taught him that mileage goals are all mental; if you think you will only run 5k, you will only run 5k.
   I tried to apply this philosophy to my run tonight. I haven't done a run longer than 7 miles in a month, and I have a half-marathon in a mere three weeks. This has been causing me some major stress- I want to do well in the race and enjoy myself, but I have also been having trouble convincing myself that I can do the LSD runs. Today, though, I set out with an easy pace, a good set of tunes, and headed to one of my favorite places to run: my high school and its surrounding area. I love running through all the neighborhoods I grew up in and thinking back on all the memories of my childhood. It made for a very peaceful, relaxed run, probably the most relaxed run I have had in some time.
    I had told myself I would stop at mile 9, since this a. got me to 30 miles a week and b. it was the most I could do without running out of water. When I hit 9 miles, though, I was on a trail right behind my high school that lead to the soccer fields, and nothing seemed a more perfect end to a run than a mile more on the lush, green grass I used to jog around in my field hockey days. With 10 miles done, without fuel, in the humidity, I feel back in the running groove. And (until I showered), completely covered in knats.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Numbero Uno

Race last night?
  My shoes were sticking to the ground it was so muddy in some parts.
   Right up until the finish.
    First in my age group!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The First of Many

Since my running addiction is now in full swing again, I decided it was time to sign up for a few races. And by a few, I mean about 8. The first in the series is a 10k tonight at six. It's on a beautiful equestrian course out in the country, and though there is a MASSIVE hill at mile 5 that makes you want to toss your cookies, it's still poised to be an awesome time.
  What's not so awesome? It's raining. And I have to work until an hour and a half before the race. And I barely got any sleep last night or the night before.
    Plus side? MUDDY CALVES

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Epic Win:
7:37 500yd time!
Successfully wearing legging without looking like I am committing an act of pubic indecency!

Epic Fail:
PCOS levels are wack-o again.
During my last 500 of the set today, my swim cap fell off on lap 7. When I was ON PERFECT PACE. Do you know how hard it is to get a swim cap back on when your hair (and hands) are wet? Hard. Once I finished the rest of the 500 I told my coach how mad I was that I had to stop and re-adjust. He informed me that he had seen it coming and was just "waiting for the cap to fall off." I was tempted to pull him in and yell at him for not warning me, but he did left me off a 500yd early, so I guess I can't really complain...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Can You Get Paid to Nap?

It's no secret that lately all of my runs have been done to the sounds of club dance music and extremely explicit rap. Today's running music however, was ESPECIALLY awesome. The mix was a classic blend of Lil Wayne, Drake, Dev, and Blink 182, so of course my pace was outta-sight fast, and the weather could not have been more perfect.
   The one problem? I want to go farther faster sooner. I know I need to build my mileage up again slowly, but with all my cardiovascular endurance from the triathlon training, these 4 miles runs are just feeling too easy!
   I am considering making a bit more of a mileage jump- nothing major, but definitely more than the usual 10% that most running plans call for. Though I haven't been running as much in the last month, I have still been doing a lot of training, especially with intervals, and I feel like these 25-30 mile weeks aren't really on-par, intensity-wise, with what I have been doing.
   Plus, now that it is fall here and the weather has (finally!) cooled down, it is perfect weather for hitting the pavement. Normally, I am not a morning runner, but lately I have really been looking forward to getting up early and lacing up the Mizunos for a quick 4 mile jaunt. I just wish it were 5 miles. or 6. or 10.
   And swimming..? I skipped it this morning. I got the workout and  plan on doing it tomorrow, but when I woke up at 5:30 this morning after a mere 4 hours of restless sleep, I could barely peel my eyes open enough to turn the light on. Usually my lovely little reading lamp wakes me up enough to realize OH HEY GET READY, but today, not even a 60 watt bulb could wake me from my state. I texted my Coach to tell him I wouldn't be there, asked for the set, and hit the pillow again for another 3.5 hours. Which did absolutely nothing for my energy level and I still *had* to take a nap at 3:00. As much as I love napping, it'd be nice to once in a blue moon not have to take a mid-afternoon siesta to get me through my day. After all, that ain't gonna fly come January when this chick goes back to school.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tired Tootsies

No one ever tells you that 9.5 hours on your feet is going to be a little tiring. Actually, maybe they did but I didn't listen. Until now.
   Since I am taking a semester off and I tend to get antsy if I don't have 89 things going on at once, I got a job at the local running store that I have been a loyal customer of since my early years as a runner (read: 7th grade). I am totally loving it, but I didn't realize that working a ten-hour shift at the pool is not quite the same as working a shift of almost the same length at the store. I didn't bring NEARLY enough food, for one. I was really busy every day I was there, so there wasn't a whole lot of time to stop and eat, but almonds and dried fruit are not going to sustain my 14 year old pubescent boy-appetite from lunch time until 7:30. Ain't no way.
   I also didn't wear the right shoes. I bought Ryka minimalist shoes to wear during work, but my feet are killing me by the end of my shift. I really want to just go barefoot, but I know this is completely inappropriate during work hours, so I am saving my money up for some Vibrams.
   In other news, my runs lately have been AH-mazing. After a month of minimal mileage and lots of recovery, I am so excited to be back into daily runs and the upcoming fall racing season. The Pandora App on my iPhone has also been helping; it's hard not to get excited about running when I know that Dev and Lil' Wayne will be the music of choice.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Give me a couple days, or, How I Make Decisions

Me at 4am Sunday morning: No way am I ever doing this triathlon thing again! I have to remember to pack way too much stuff, there are too many transitions, too much gear, and running races are just an assboat load easier.

Me at 10:15 am Sunday morning, after the awards ceremony: Maybe I'll do it again next year, but I don't have time to get in all the bike rides necessary for that tri I (stupidly) signed up for in October.

My text to my Mom today at 9:45 after reading this Hey, so I am actually doing that sprint tri in October...

Yes, I caved. Or, more accurately, I sucked it up. Yes, my bike workouts may take a bit of a backseat to the swimming and running training I am doing for the college teams I want to walk onto (that is a whole other post...), but I have never just completely bagged a challenge without at least attempting it, and I am also craving that feeling of accomplishment that I had at Sunday's finishline. I paid the money, I have the endurance, so I might as well get my little tush into the big, blue-ish green Atlantic Ocean on October 9th and swim myself to victory (or the finish- whichever is more plausible mid-race).

Side note: Guess what? I have totally been slacking off in swimming and (running) the past two months and am now paying for it. I can see that is going to be a long journey on the road to being able to swim 6,000yds in one practice (what they do in D3), as in no more days of just "settling" for a 3200yd workout, but after today's set, I know I am at least mentally, if not almost physically,there. My coach had us doing 2x( 2x200 pull, 8x50 pace, 2x500) with the second set of 500's descend. When he said this, I wanted to punch him in the face a little, but after the first 500 I felt AWESOME. Descending the distance actually made it mentally easier to handle, and I was able to push through all my bodily fatigue and really go all out on the last 50. Afterwards, I was beat, and contemplated just cooling down and calling it a day, but I really wanted to 4300yds, and as my coach said, if I want to swim on the team I have to get used to sets like this, so I channeled the explicit mash-up music booming from the underwater speakers and got in the zone for the last 500. It totally paid off, and while my triceps are so sore that sleeping on my arms is a wee-bit more than uncomfortable (because yes, I took a mid-morning nap. Don't judge), I can say with confidence that this crazy Ginger athlete is back, and she ain't goin' nowhere.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Crankin' the Base

 That's right, with my triathlon done and only a few key races left in the season, it's time to bunker down and build up my base again. No more 24-mile wees without a long run. Yeah, speed workouts are fun, but so is being able to go out for a 7 mile run and not feel like my legs are about to fall off (granted, that was in 84 degree heat at 12 o'clock...).
      My goal is to be at about 53 miles per week by Thanksgiving with almost no doubles. Though I have tried higher mileage before and experienced almost insurmountable fatigue and an eventual near-injury, I think I now know how to do it a little more safely than before. My first bout with it last winter had me doing tempo runs and 2 track workouts a week along with a long run, which was too much intensity for my body to handle. This time around, it is going to be all about easy miles with just a little fartlek throw in to shake things up if I get bored.That is actually how I started getting back into running- going every day at a moderate pace, with only a little speed thrown in. I used to be able to run for an hour and a half almost every day, and while they were slow, relaxed miles, it was still such a great feeling to be able to just go out and have 9 miles be an *easy* run. Looking back at that time, I remember just really enjoying running, not worrying about pace or time or distance. I am really looking forward to getting back to that place, where running was simply an escape from the everyday and not just another workout on the training schedule.
  .   This evening's run was just like one of those runs I used to have- though my pace is about a minute faster than it was back then! I went for a nice, easy 3 mile run around the neighborhood, jamming to my iPhone and admiring the beginning signs of fall in the neighborhood: a hint of orange in the trees, some piles of dead leaves on the road (which I happily made a point of pouncing onto), the slant of the setting sun. I was enjoying myself so much I extended the run another mile 1.75. My legs are still a little tight from yesterday's race, but overall the run was one of the most perfect I have had in weeks.
    The explicit club music from the iPhone may have helped..

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Diamond Girl

Good news: I am officially a triathlete!
Better news: I placed 2nd in my age group!
Best news: My run pace was 6:50!

So why am I not happy? Well, I am absolutely ecstatic about my overall performance, especially on the run, but my feelings on my swim time are not to quite the same tune. I trained for MONTHS to better my stroke, my form, my speed, everything, and while this race wasn't the end goal, it sure was supposed to be a milestone. My coach told me to aim for 16 minutes.. and I was more than a few minutes off. I felt like I was really pushing the whole time, and I know that there was a current, but I am still disappointed. Stupid, I know, since I threw down some sick times on the run and managed to not die on the bike (I even passed two people!), but still, this stinks. I am trying my best to look at the overall win and the fact that hey, I finished my first triathlon, which is really more important. That, and the fact that I won some more hardware. Because let's face it, people, I can tell myself and everyone else all about how I am "just doing it to finish," "out there for the experience," but when I saw those girls with numbers corresponding to U19 on their calves? You bet I wanted to podium the H-E-Double hockey sticks outta this race. CHECK.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Feelin' Hot Hot Hot

     Sometimes I forget that the Mid-Atlantic likes to pretend it is Florida and experiences endless summers that make walking outside feel like scuba-diving. This morning was one of those times that I forgot, and paid for it dearly as I began what was supposed to be a 9-mile jaunt around town. Alas, it was not meant to be. The first two miles felt terrible, but as Quenton Cassidy states in "Again to Carthage" (read it if you haven't already), you should never judge how a run is going until two miles in. Sure enough, after 2 miles I settled in to a nice pace and managed to forget for about a mile and a half just how similar the outside temperature was to the average furnace.
    However, at mile 3.5 I realized a few things.
1. I really wanted that Chipotle burrito I was thinking of buying for lunch.
2. I was almost out of water
3. The old track and field route I was running was way less hilly than I remember (aka I used to be a wimp) 4. This whole 9-miler thing was not going to happen if I wanted any chance at placing in my age group at my triathlon tomorrow.
           So, I settled for 6 miles, and kept the pace easy since with each step the mercury was rising by a degree or two. The run conveniently ended right at my car, so I got to hop right in and speed go the speed limit all the way to Chipotle and its delicious burrito salad bowls. Then it was off to a day of minimalist-shoe shopping, running-capri and yoga-pant buying, and a nice, long, afternoon nap followed by a short freakout of "OHMAHGOD I AM DOING MY FIRST TRIATHLON TOMORROW WHAT IF I FALLOFFMYBIKE THESWIMCOURSEISCLOSED ITTHUNDERS ICANTFUELPROPERLY."
    The freakout was quickly followed by a mad dash to make a packing list... which I haven't actually looked at yet. And I have to leave at 4:15 tomorrow. So I should probably get my a into g.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Have You Had Your Quickie Today?

 So, for the record, helping a friend move totally counts as a workout. Yesterday I helped my friend move out of his apartment, and HOLY HELL were his dressers heavy. I started sweating the moment we picked up the first piece of furniture, and I can't even blame the ridiculously humid weather outside, because his AC was on full-blast.
    What's the title about? Well, we had to drive to Goodwill 3 times to drop off all of his furniture since his new place is fully furnished, and each time we drove to the drop-off center, we passed a Brick Bodies with a sign outside that read "Have you had your quickie today?" We both giggled and I thought to myself that technically yes, I had, since I went to the gym yesterday morning and had the sweatiest elliptical + strength training session in the history of the YMCA. My sneakers were squeaking by the end from conatact with puddles of my sweat...TMI?
     In other news, I feel like I totally fell off the workout wagon. The last two weeks have been so hectic, with me geting ready for school, going to school, leaving school, moving back in at home, etc. My training hours totalled have been less than 14 lately for the whole week, and while I had a GREAT 6-mile tempo run the other night, I am afraid I am losing running shape. Each morning I wake up craving a run, but something always gets in the way- today it was an interview, yesterday it was the moving, Monday it was work... I know the next few weeks will be a lot more free, but it's frustrating knowing that my mileage is the lowest it has been since my sophomore year of high school...yikes!

Monday, September 5, 2011

One O' Those Days (Weeks)

  I am a dichotomy. I am mature in some aspects, and still a kid in others. I can handle all the physical pain you throw at me, but give me mental stress and I fall apart. Given the choice between going through this week again and run a marathon each day, I would have picked the repeat 26.2's.
    School has not turned out has planned. There is the initial strangeness when your parents leave you and it doesn't hit you until your noggin touches the pillow that "Holy hell, I don't live at home anymore." This, I can deal with. There is the point where your phone breaks. This was harder. There is the momet when your Microsoft Office won't install because they didn't give you the product number and you realize you can't do your homewrk. At this, I started to get a little unnerved. There is the time when your WiFi goes out, your roommate is gone, and your dorm has left for dinner so you have no way of calling home to tell them that you now have no internet connection to check email to figure out when your Dad is driving up with a new phone. This is when my blood started to boil. There is the time you have to drive home to do said homework and get said phone. On the way home, I counted down exit signs. There is the time you get lost going to class. I tried to enjoy the extra time I had to sit and enjoy the weather, but then I looked down and saw the blister on my ankle from walking in shoes I hadn't yet broken in. There is the time you skip multiple meals because you can't find anyone to go to the dining hall with you. My stomach eventually just stopped growling, allowing me one less thing to worry about.There is the time when you want to crawl in bed and read and everyone else is going out to party and gives you a look. I tried to ignore those looks.There is the time when you wake up and realize, "I am not suppose to be here."I couldn't ignore this.
     If there is one talent I have besides running, it is the ability to ignore my inner self. I can shut up my concsience quite well; I tell myself what I am doing is right when it isn't, and wrong when it is. Back when I applied to colleges, I had no idea what I was looking for; I didn't know what size I wanted, what majors I was interested in, or even what part of the states I wanted to be a resident of. The entire process I felt so lost- my mind craved time, but as is often the case in life, time was in short supply. Before I knew it, my applications were in the mail and I was playing the waiting game, half-hoping that the admissions committees would make it easy for me and give me only one option. That is not quite what happened- I passed up a great institution with a scholarship for a bigger school because I thought that is what I need. A big school with lots of spirit, athletics, and a variety of people. Then I got to that school. And felt overwhelmed. I wished and begged to be somewhere else almost every second I was there. The only enjoyable part of the week? Walks around the town in the morning and night, where I was alone with the sidewalk and my thoughts. Running was hardly possible this week; I barely had time to eat, much less workout. I got in 2 runs the entire time, but I knew I was in a low place because I was craving those 60 mile weeks again. When things get rough, I grab my Mizunos, and I have never wanted to lace up those babies more in my entire life.
    So what to do now? Well, there is a lot to figure out, but I am trying to be optimistic. As my Dad put it,"It isn't about how you start the race, it's about how you finish it." So whether I stay there or take a semester off, I know that in the end, I will still be crossing that proverbial finishline with my hands up and a smile (and hopefully my racing Stunna shades).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Lady with the One Eye

That lady would be Hurrican Irene, who is currently heading right towards my tidy lil' zipcode and its surrounding areas. No one is out right now, but earlier in the day when my Mom and I went shoe shopping, everyone was out and about doing their normal weekend routines as if the worst tropical storm to hit the Mid-Atlantic was simply a little bit of drizzle. People were out running,walking their dogs, and generally making me feel like a slacking sloth for getting up at 8 and reading the paper instead of immediately jumping into my spandex and onto my bike. 
   Since I started coaching myself, I have tried to really make sure that I am enjoying every single workout, and that I am planning them around my life, not the other way around. I've realized that life is too short to workout for 3 or 4 hours every day- sure, maybe on ONE day of the week, a really hard workout like that is okay, but for normal weekdays? I'd rather have a shorter, high intensity workout and have time left over to read, write, and watch Real Housewives of New Jersey. I also am trying to give my body some rest, because when I get to school I will have swim practice 4x a week, triathlon practice 3x a week, plus my own workouts, so I am trying to give my body a chance to chill out before I start juggling all that plus 16 credits.
    So, though I felt a wee bit guilty seeing all of those people working out this morning, I knew that when I woke up, my body was craving breakfast, not a run. I have found that though I am a morning exerciser, I am generally not a morning runner. There are definitely days where I wake up craving the pavement, and I listen ot that craving when it comes, but most of the time, I would rather swim, bike, lift, or, like today, read. I also like waiting for workout inspiration to hit, and today it didn't hit until about 12 p.m., when I had the idea for a repeated brick like Sweaty Emily's at
The workout:
10 minute warmup on bike
4 minutes fast in big ring on bike
4 minutes @ 8:00 pace running
6 minutes fast in big ring
6 minutes @ 8:00
8 minutes fast in big ring
10 minutes @ 8:00
10 minutes fast on bike
10 minutes @ 8:00
4 minutes fast on bike
6 minutes @ 8:00
8 minutes fast on bike
6 minutes @ 8:00
6 minutes fast on bike
3 minutes @ 8:00
6 minutes fast on bike
3 minutes @ 8:00
10 minutes cooldown on bike.

Total time: 2 hours
Total running mileage: 6 miles in 48 minutes
Total biking time: 1:12

IT. WAS. AWESOME. I felt great the whole time, and I actually ended up running more than I had planned for each interval. The pace was comfortable, and it made me SO PUMPED for my triathlon in two weeks. I really feel like fast running is where my strength lies, and I can't wait to explore it even more in the coming weeks.

Friday, August 26, 2011


This one is short and sweet. To sum up the day:
Swimming. Ok. Hips sore. 3700. Lots of kicking.
Pancakes. Yum.
Nap. Interrupted by text from boss asking where I was. Apparently I was scheduled to work?
Go to work. Find out I am working a double. Kiss idea of afternoon run goodbye.
Come home at 8. Eat dinner. Contemplate bike trainer, decide not to be an idiot and give my body the "active rest day" I need each week. Watch Sex & the City.

I know, I know. My life is so exciting.

Hips Don't Lie

I did end up running last night. As my Mom reminded me, I always feel better after a run, and what better way to forget about the massive, impending Hurricane Irene and a delayed move-in day than 6x800 hills? Done while watching Sex & the City and Sweet Home Alabama, the workout was comfortably hard. I didn't include a whole lot of easy running in between each 800- I just did as much as I wanted, which for the first 3x800 was only about 35 seconds, give or take. With each 800, I increased the incline and speed until I was running the last 800 at 5.5% incline and a flat 8 minute pace. I was sweatin' hard by the end, but unfortunately finished at 9:15, so my legs didn't get a whole lot of recovery before practice this morning.
    So, since when all was said and done I only got about 6.5 hours of sleep, I guess it was no surprise when I felt some twinges during practice today. First my right shoulder, which has been tight the past couple of days due to sleeping strangely (darn fetal position sleeping!), then my right hip. Instead of toughing through the workout like I might have a few weeks ago, though, I played it smart and took off a 50 from each 5x200 pull so I could throw in some breastroke kick in there to loosen up my hips. It helped SO much, but I am still feeling a little tight there, so I predict some yoga later on before I go on my fun run of the week, then go to work what I had thought was my last shift at the pool... Oh well, more shifts means more money for Froyo!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ginger Says "ARG"

Today was a perfect day. I woke up early, got in a great first workout of jump roping, stairs, and weights, and then went off to breakfast with my mom at the local cafe that, while overpriced, makes a KILLER omelette.
   After breakfast it was off to the mall for some last-minute shopping for purses, a gym bag, makeup, and perfume. It was the perfect way to spend one of my last days at home, or so I thought.
    Around 5 o'clock I went to check my Facebook and noticed a comment from a friend who is also going to Delaware mentioning something about move-in being cancelled. HUH?!
     Yep, due to Irene, which is supposed to hit Newark, DE on Saturday night, they have cancelled opening weekend and the first day of classes. I am really bummed about this- I know it is a natural disaster and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it, but just like a cancelled race (which I might also have to deal with, since I signed up for a local swim-and-run on Sunday in Newark), there is nothing I can do to control it except keep a positive attitude and go for a de-stressing run.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stanky Leg

When I woke up this morning and went to get up out of bed and start getting dressed for practice, it felt like I was doing the stanky leg. My legs were sore, fatigued, and felt kind of like pudding. I was hoping this feeling would go away once I got in the pool, but alas, no dice. My entire body was exhausted all throughout practice, and though I kept trying to tell myself to give it my all since it's my second to last practice, and I was already getting out early today to get a head start on errands and laundry, I just couldn't get through the last set of 200's and 100's.
   I really hate having practices like these, but they always seem to follow a really awful night of sleep, and since I was too engrossed in a book last night to go to bed at a reasonable hour, I guess I really only have myself and this stupid "only 24-hours in a day" thing to blame. Luckily, my coach is really understanding, and gave me some drills and kicking to do so I could continue swimming but ditch the speed and intervals.
    I thought maybe the fatigued feeling would go away later in the day once I got moving, but again, it was not in the cards. I ended up taking a mid-morning nap, which admittedly was awesome, but then I also took another nap in the afternoon and slept until 5 and then realized I still had a ton of stuff to do and had to suddenly jump on the chair and into my spandex for a bike workout before I went to dinner, Target, and the mechanic's.
   I am really hoping that life gets less stressful when I get to school, but I know that is not going to happen since I am doing 2 club sports, taking 16 credits, and plan on working out every morning. And blogging every day. And somehow fitting in all the heinous amounts of laundry I have... Oh yeah, and having a social life. This is what calendar's are for...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


In the shower this afternoon I went to shave my legs. And proceeded to shave my entire shin with the razor pointed out... Yes, it was one of those days. Hectic, crazy, with barely any time for lunch (I ate it at 2:45. I never thought I would be one of those people who forgot to eat, but trying to pack 8 drawers plus a closet's worth of clothing into 2 boxes and a couple of trashbags will do that to you).
    Luckily, I had a bit of time left to work out,so I did another awesome jump rope-interval set. 50 jumps on the rope, then a weight, core, or sprint exercise, then repeat. I finished up but still craved a bit more sweat, so I did 3x5 sets of stairs with jump roping in between. Just as I was nearing the end of the 3rd set on the rope, my basement stairs started shaking. Now, keep in mind that these stairs are about 50 years old, and shake when anyone goes down them. I figured it was my dog running down the steps, but when I looked up, no puppy. Then I noticed that all the shelves were also shaking, as was the door to the music cabinet. I quickly realized that it was an earthquake, and me being the extremely intelligent person that I am, I ran up the stairs, out of the safe part of the house, into the kitchen, and grabbed the phone to call my mom and scream "HOLY CRAP THERE'S AN EARTHQUAKE!!!" while watching our kitchen chandelier shake.
     5.8 on the Richter scale! And apparently it was a pre-quake, which means that later this week we can expect something of a greater magnitude. Plus, Hurricane Irene is due to hit this weekend. The day that I move in to college. I sincerely hope it holds out long enough for me to get a chance to enjoy a jaunt around the campus. Because though I may be insane and enjoy painful sprints and grueling box jumps, even I won't run in a hurricane that is causing all of the North Carolina coast to evacuate and has forced FEMA to warn the entire Mid-Atlantic region about the impending doom weather.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Being Honest

Time to be honest. I am overtrained. Seriously overtrained. Like, I did 3 months of 21-hour weeks overtrained. 
The solution: As I did with my running a few weeks ago: Take a step back and re-evaluate why I do what I do.
What did I find? I love intervals I love swimming. I love sprints. I love going fast. I do not love:
-long rides
-runs longer than 13 miles
-3 hour bricks that leave me so sore the next day that swimming is basically not even worth attending

So what did I do? I manned up. I grew some cajones. I emailed the 70.3 race director and asked to switch to the sprint. Because guess what? I don't want to limp around my first 3 weeks of college. I don't want to miss out on competing for the Triathlon team on October 9th because I am still recovering. I don't want to do 6 hours of straight cardio.

  Was it a hard decision? YES. I felt like I was lying, backing down, being a wimp. My friends and training partners are all expecting to cheer me on for a half. But guess what? They haven't been in my body. They haven't seen the soreness, the fatigue, the lack-luster workouts of the past month. I am not doing this for them. I am doing it for me, an 18-year old who has HER ENTIRE LIFE to do marathons, 70.3s, 140.6s, etc.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Freshman Year Flashback

Today's workout, if you don't count me lifting the TV remote to flip the channel to Keeping Up With the Kardashians as exercise, involved a workout, from Crossfit, that was something like what I used to do my freshman year when I was on the track team. 8x200. All-out.
    I did a .75 mile warmup before hand, then hit the play button on the iShuffle and let 'er (me) rip. The first one was :38, the second :36, and from there they all hovered between :36 and :37 seconds. Not bad, but I can honestly say that this workout was harder than my last race. By a lot. The point of crossfit is that all your runs are at almost if not all-out effort to increase your aerobic capacity much more effectively than a Long Slow Distance Run. This is great, and I love those type of workouts much more than 16 miles of just slogging along, but BOY was I exhausted after those 200's.
     Luckily, I managed to muster up enough energy for 2 more laps of ins and outs, then a .75 slow jog back to the car, followed by an ab and jump rope circuit at home. It's nice to finally be able to wake up and just do the workout that I crave instead of abiding by a mundane schedule. I know I still need to get one more good, long, brick in, but I am definitely sticking with this interval stuff for a while.


  After a really relaxing Friday that included a massage, power yoga, and gluten-free pizza, I was ready(ish) to hit the pavement on Saturday. Just not at 6:45 in the morning... but, my Mom's boss had asked me if I would run with him at his local running group's weekly long run, and who am I to refuse an opportunity for chitchat, a view of the lake, and free water, even if it means getting up, yet again, at the crack o' dawn?
    8 FAST miles later, we were finished, and my legs were yelling for some pancakes and compression socks. My lovely, wonderful mother made me the pancakes, but alas, I seem to have misplaced all my socks in the laundry my drawer. Then it was off to a 5-hour shift at the pool, back home for an AWESOME circuit bike-ab workout, then off to babysitting. Where I played monopoly. For 1.5 hours.
  Luckily, the kids also owned a Wii, which meant I got to show off my mad skills at Wii mini golf before settling down to watch some gymnastics.
    Unfortunately, about 2 minutes in to watching the gymnastics, a girl who was running for the beam landed wrong and injured herself. This kind of freaked out the girls I was babysitting, so it was good that their bedtime was soon after, since they kept gasping and looking aghast. Babysitter of the year? Yes.

 Bike-ab workout:
4 minute warmup on bike in low gear
20 side lifts
30 bicycle crunches
10 push-ups
2 minutes of 30 second side plank, 30 second yoga plank x 2
15 jumping jacks
4 minutes tempo pace on bike in highest gear

I did this 6 times, then did 7minutes on the bike of 30 seconds Hard, 30 seconds Easy, followed by 2x 60 bicycle crunches, 20 pushups, another 2 minute plank, and 30 jumping jacks, ending with a 4 minute cooldown on the bike. I sweated up a STORM, which I always take to mean that the workout was effective. I am trying to keep up with the intervals, since they are interesting, speedy, and allow me to work up more of a sweat in a smaller amount of time. I no longer feel the need to always get 3 hours of exercise everyday, because with all the intervals I am doing, I know that the 2-2.5 hours I am getting is 2.5 hours of HARD effort.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Interval Week

Before getting off the phone last week with my Coach, she mentioned to me that speed is really my talent, and that I should really try focusing on shorter distances. I have been mulling this over and am starting to agree with her. I love the feeling of going all-out, and am really starting to miss track and field. What?!You say. Didn't you quit track for a reason?
   Well, yes, I did quite track for a reason. I had absolutely awful race anxiety, and before every one of my events I would get the worst stomach ache and begin to doubt my abilities. That was four years ago, though, and I like to think that after 25+ races, I am a little better at getting rid of the pre-race jitters. SO, I was thinking that it's time to try my hands at some 5ks.
     To get ready for some faster races while also keeping my endurance up for my upcoming 70.3, I have been doing a lot of interval workouts on the bike and on the run. On Monday, I did 5x5k on the bike at tempo pace. By the end, I was sweating HARD, which is always a sign that a workout is effective. On Tuesday, I did 8x400, 5x200, and 2x300 running and felt AWESOME on all of them. Yesterday was 7x1k on the bike, and when I woke up this morning, I could definitely feel some good ol' soreness in my limbs.
      I have also been working on some crossfit-inspired lifting routines that incorporate a lot of high intensity sets of burpees, box jumps, push ups, and lunges. I can already do more pushups than I could last week, and yesterday was able to do a total of 50 boxjumps, twice the amount I was able to compete 2 weeks ago!!
       Training myself is going so well- I wake up every day and workout based on how I feel. I get most of my intervals ideas on the bike from, and some of my runs are based around their workouts as well, but I usually add on some other intervals and plyos. On Tuesday, after each interval I did 10 pushups, 10 jumping jacks, and 50 crunches. I wasn't that sore yesterday, but thanks to Delayed Onset Muscle Fatigue, I am FEELIN' IT today.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Life Lists

Current Obsessions:
-Veggie Chips
-Wifebeater tank tops
-Interval workouts

Things I Am Not a Fan of:
-Getting the mail
-My New Directiosn water bottle that finally bit the dust the other day
-Delayed Onset Muscle Fatigue
-Thunderstorms that lead to cancelled shifts at the pool

Weekly Accomplishments Thus Far:
-Finally returning all of my libary books... only to realize that I left one at home..
-Outlining a long run plan to get me through mararthon training without 1. boredom or 2. burnout

Things I Still Have to Do:
-A 3 and a half hour ride and 40 minute brick run (get ready for major a$$ soreness!)
-Baking my brother the breakfast cake I promised him so he doesn't come home at Thanksgiving looking so string-bean like
-Laundry. Massive. Amounts. of. Laundry.
-New running shoes! And socks! And shirts (because at UDel you can't wear tank tops to the gym...)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

7 Year-Old

Today was another day of prancing in the woods, albeit at a slightly slower pace than yesterday's run. I headed up to a local trail near one of the nearby running stores. It's a beautiful trail, especially in the fall, and when I was little my Mom used to take me on walks there all the time. I thinks that's partly why I am such an active person now- my parents were always taking us on walks and bike rides, and were really supportive of all of our athetic ventures (hello stints with lacrosse and ice hockey).
     I ran for about an hour today, and while I was feeling old and creeky early this morning when I woke up, by mid-afternoon when I did the run, I was feeling fairly okay considering yesterday's effort. The trail was REALLY technical, but it flattened out about 2 miles in and made for a nice easy shakeout run. It had poured earlier today, so the trail was completely flooded in some parts which meant wet socks, shoes, and feet. Unforunately, I had thought it was a great idea to not wear a shirt while running, since it was quite humid out, but I forgot that wooded areas have these things called tree branches that often wack you unexpectedly, especially when you are going 7.0 mph. I wound up with some pretty nice scratches, but I am getting used to being scraped up, since every other time I mount my bike, some part of the chain, pedal, or wheel cuts me (why yes, I am an idiot when it comes to bikes! How did you know!?). I also managed to wack my right knee with my left while jumping over a fallen log, so I have a lovely grape-sized bruise that is slowing deepening to a nice mauve-brown color.
      Now, I am off to take a nap before doing some easy spinning, a lot of arm work, and some jump squats and burpees. Fun fun!

Saturday, August 13, 2011


  This morning was my first of two races today,and as with every race, I woke up with just enough time to walk out of the house, forget my trail shoes, go get them from my basement, (where they have rested since last March), and hop into the car and onto the Beltway. The race was in the middle of bumfrick nowhere religious campground, and since we had to park in an actual pasture, my running buddy Jon and I thought we would be economic, environmentally friendly, and, in my case, lazy, and drive together along with two of his HILARIOUS friends who were also doing the 10k with us. As much as I pride myself on being a mature 18-year old most of the time, it's nice to be around people who don't mind talking about one-hit wonder songs like "Detachable Penis" and discussing the merits and disadvantages of peeing standing up. It made the long car ride devoid of good music (because apparently radio satellites don't work in farmland?) quite enjoyable.
     The actual race itself was fantastic but BRUTAL. The first mile involves a hill so massive that people were walking, muttering expletives, and sweating like pigs about 4 feet in. And the thing was AT LEAST a quarter mile long. With that kind of a start, I knew I was in for it, so I settled in behind my friends Jon and Ari and tried to keep on their tails so I knew 1. where the heck to go and 2. what the heck to do, since we came up against some extremely technical trails. The ascents on grass weren't too bad, but on the trail, they were so steep that EVERYONE walked them. One of the race directors was kind enough to warn us of the worst ascent, dubbed "Dead Man's Hill". I felt like I was suspended in mud while walking up it- I was moving so slow, and the massive rocks and crevices that littered the path didn't help. Luckily, that was the last of the uphills, but the downhills were just as steep, though so much more fun. The great thing about trail running is that it takes you back to the roots of running, when you were a kid sprinting through the woods. That is exactly how I felt on those downhills- like I was a 7 year-old again, flying down a hill with all my friends chasing after me.
      By the end, I was totally spent, but one of the guys I ran with pushed me to the finish. I was starting to pick it up with .25 left, but then two of the other girls in my age group started to come up behind me. One yell of "GO EM! THEY'RE RIGHT BEHIND YOU!" had me kicking it into high gear, which eventually lead to, wait for it, an age group win!!!!!   
      A fantastic way to start the day, which will be filled with shopping, sleeping, and another race tonight. Ya heard.

Friday, August 12, 2011


So since I am getting back to the roots of why I run so much, I thought it woud be a spectacular idea to sign up for two races in 1 day. 12.2 miles. 2 trail runs. In 12 hours. But don't worry- I get free food and a tech t-shirt, so it's totally worth the fatigue and possible leg pain (because I haven't run that long in 3 weeks...).
    In other news, Coach SuperW called me today. She actually didn't move to Colorado, but she did get a new job, so we decided after a nice, long, coach-to-athlete conversation that it would be best for both of us if we took a couple months for me to refocus and for her to work on her new position as the Sales Tech Rep of a running shoe brand that I am not going to name drop. She was so understanding about the whole thing, and I feel so lucky to have had such a good Coach to guide me through my first few months as a semi-competitve runner. I learned so much from her, and I will be using her oddly brutal but ridiculously fun track workouts for the rest of my life!
     We even had a chat about the effects of LSD training vs. interval training, and realized that 1. I love intervals, 2. I hate LSD runs, 3. I like going fast (insert Ricky Bobby quote) and 4. Life is too short to being doing something you hate. So, I am going to race when I want to, and keep in mind that, as my high school track career showed me, I have some speed in these legs, so I best use it!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


So I have been a bit absent lately from my blog. Why, you ask? Well, apparently going to college actually involves, gasp, SHOPPING. And that, on top of working like a mad-woman, working out like a mad-woman, and falling asleep every time I sit down has led to me ignoring my blog in favor of rest/watching Sex In the City in my downtime.
   This summer has taught me more about time-management than 5 AP courses and 60 miles per week ever did, and want to know what I have learned? I. NEED. TO. STOP. Take a break, sleep in, eat pancakes, watch TV, read a book, see my friends, and remind myself I am a normal person for 5 seconds. Which I did last Wednesday when, get ready for it, I didn't go to swim practice. Straight up skipped. Was it good for my training? Probably not. Was it good for me mentally? OH YES. Though I consider swimming to be my least-stressful part of training, I needed a break from sets, times, intervals, and constant motion. I needed a day to re-evaluate why I do all the training I do. Is it for fitness, my figure, or because I love it?
   Want to know what I figured out? It's because I love it. I love running. I love swimming. I love strength training. I love intervals on my bike (notice I didn't say long rides. I said intervals. That's right, cyclists, you can shove your 5-hour rides where the sun don't shine; this chick ain't a fan). But I need to step away from the obession of it all. I need to run for fun, I need to bike because I genuinely want to, and I need to lift when my muscles are begging for my dumbbells.
    Luckily my Coach was way ahead of me on this, and decided to move to Colorado without mentioning it, which saves me having to find an excuse for telling her I need some space. Because I do. I need to learn to coach myself. Will I mess up sometimes? Probably. But will I be happier (and, since I won't be shelling out $50/month) and richer? HELL YEAH.
   So this week I threw out the schedule. I ran, biked, and swam when I wanted to, and had the best workouts of the summer. I had the best run of my life on Tuesday. After a summer of struggling to get my bum out the door and onto the pavement, I hit the streets at 8pm that night with hill repeats on the brain.  4 miles and 8x240m hill sprints later, I felt refreshed, renewed, and remembered why I love running so much. I am not one of those people that looks forward to the feelings after the run- no, I look forward to the feelings during the run. The feeling of speeding up, slowing down, pushing myself, enjoying the scenery, and getting this much closer to a goal(s). Wanna know what I did when I realized this? I went another .5 miles. And saw jet-blue lightening in the clouds near my house. I stood still watching for a few moments, and when I looked down at my "Baltimore Marathon In-training" shirt, I saw a glimpse of me a few months from now, crossing that finish line with a smile on my face, because I did something for me, that I loved, that I dreamed of, and that I allowed myself to do without obsession, without overtraining, and with a large dose of FUN.
   I am done with all this scheduling. Life happens while we are planning other things, and no way am I missing out on events because I am chained to some piece of paper that tells me "lift Tuesday, rest Friday." This week signified my journey to end my overtraining and my quest to once again love my running shoes, swimsuit, bike shorts, and dumbbells. Really love them. Look forward to dates with them. Dream about them. Part of this thinking came after my Open Water Swim on Saturday- it was a BLAST, and something I had been so afraid of. What if I couldn't finish? What if I was last? What if I got scared of the dark water and had to quit?
     I was able to conquer my fears in that race, and I know I will be able to conquer my other anxieties in life, too. I am done being afraid of getting out of shape, getting fat, getting slow, or not PR'ing. I am never going to be a professional athlete, but I might be coaching them someday, so I might as well enjoy what I do, no?

    So what's on the agenda now that I am on my way to being a less-obsessive SuperWoman? Well...
-Delaware Diamondman in September
-Charm City Run 20 miler in September
-Possibly a trail 13.1 in Charlottesville in September
-Baltimore Marathon in October
-Delaware Distance Race in October
-NCR marathon Relay in November
-Possibly pacing a friend in the JFK 50
-Club swimming

    I am experimenting with a Crossfit approach of working on intervals and strength more so that I have more power. So I can deck people blow it up on my next 5k.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Quick and Dirty

It's late, I have to go order my brother's birthday present, and I have 7 words for you:


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Get Ready for Some Mush

This weekend's brick went..well? I had to do my 2:30 ride inside because I got home from work at 3:30 and collapsed on the couch for 2 and a half hours. After my date with the trainer was over, I hit the treadmill for an awesome 30 minute run. The next morning, however? I. was. sore.
   Yes, I know that doing a 3 hour straight cardio workout that works all different muscle groups is going to leave me sore. But I didn't just feel sore- I felt crappy, too. So crappy that my swim times were off. Morning and evening.
   So crappy that I still didn't swim well today. THAT, to me, is a red flag. To re-evaluate, to stop exercising, to hold the phone and take stock of what the heck I am doing. Because I love running, swimming, and I am growing to love biking, and I don't want a training schedule to diminish those loves for me.
    I may have done most of this re-evaluating while lying immobile on the couch, so sure it could be skewed, but hey, most of my thinking is done during kinetic movement, and I think that is the opposite of what my body needed today.
   See, I have always been an energetic person. I've been active and bouncing off the walls since I was little, and I feel more productive, more inteligent, and more organized when I am healthy and in-shape. The negative side of this, of course, is a body that is used to constant movement. A body that hurts when it doesn't get to run, swim, bike, or lift. A body that knows it needs rest, but still craves pavement and water and dumbells even when all it really needs is a pillow and a nice, warm blanket.
     As I lay on the couch this evening, watching the clock tick from 4:45 to 5:15 to 5:45 to 6:00, and then finally the definitive 6:15 that means I missed my track workout, I found that I couldn't make myself move. As much as my legs yearned to get up and go run, and my self-image yearned to burn off those extra calories from peanut butter, pancakes, etc., my mind knew I needed a break. Because gues what I realized? I haven't had a day off of exercise since June.
    CRAZY, right? Sure, I've had "easy" days, but I haven't had a single day off to be non-moving, to sit and watch TV, to read, to go to the library... my whole summer has been:
5:30 am: wake up, get ready for swim.
6-7:30: swim
10-12: swim lessons
12-3: break
3-on: next workout, either teach a swim lesson or lifeguard
9:30: crash into bed.

Not. Fun. And that other night when I went to practice after getting only an hour of sleep? It was awesome. I felt like a normal teenager. Because that's what I am, a teenager. Not a professional athlete, not a coach (yet), just a normal kid who only has 2 years left before she is out of her teens and into those scary 20's.
   So what am I doing from now on, you ask? I am letting go of my coach. I am signing up for the Baltimore Marathon. I am waking up tomorrow and going to swim practice. And then grabbing my shoes and my iPod and hitting my favorite loop for a seriously overdue thought session on my feet. Life shouldn't be worked in and around a workout schedule; it should be the other way around.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Thank God I'm Eighteen. Otherwise, I definitely couldn't have made it through a 4150yd workout on Friday with about 3 hours of sleep the night before. Funny thing? Practice wasn't too bad, either. We did a really awesome set of 3x300 pull with paddles, 1x200 Fast, and kept doing it while increasing the second distance by 100 until we swam an all-out 300. Since this is an honest blog, I am going to come straight out and say that 300s SUCK. Give me 20 all-out 50s, 2x1000 pace, but do not make me go all out on anything over 200. I have no idea how to pace for those strange, not-quite-sprints. I am sure with time and practice, I will figure it out, but for now, whenever I see those on the board in the morning, I sort of want to scream.
     Today brought an easy, hour-long spin in the morning, shopping, and a 1:30 run. What, you don't consider shopping to be exercise? Because trying on piles of clothes and shoes and walking around the store definitely wears me out the same way a track workout does, and require the same amount of nappage, i.e. I slept from 4:30-6:30. This sort of ruined my plan of starting to run at 6, but I still managed to hop on the 'mill before 7. We are in the middle of another heat wave, so I have had to stick to inside workouts until the heat index drops below 116. I definitely find it harder to get my pace down on the treadmill- when I am outside, I can push myself no matter how awful I feel, but on the treadmill, having to constantly either run at the same speed or change it up sort of messes me up. Also, all I have wanted to do the last couple of days is grab my iPod and run long, so I was so disappointed when this morning my Dad informed me that when he ran, the air quality was soupy and awful, and that running over 3 miles would be 1. unenjoyable and 2. unwise.
    Tomorrow I have a 2:30 ride and :30 transition run on the schedule, but since I have to work until 3 and be there by 10, the brick is going to have to be done after work. Mentally, I just need a jam session though, so I am planning on waking up a little early and sneaking in a nice, easy 3 or 4 miles before work to pump me up for the day and get the juices flowing. I am not a pleasant person when I don't get my sweat on in the morning, hence why I still swam on Friday when I probably could have used the z's. Such is the life of an endurance athlete...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Yes, I just posted 2 minutes ago, but I wanted to keep that workout update short so I could have this post to rant and rave.

-I am working way too much and am starting to resent some of the unruly boogers I teach to swim at camp
-I am tired all. the. time.
-As much as I love the structure of my training schedule, sometimes I mentally and physically need a run, but I know that my body is already working hard, and that more weight-bearing exercise might send it over the edge
-I have an open water swim next weekend, and I haven't touched the open water yet...
-I am craving a race, and can't decided if I should do a 10 mile race or a moonlit 15k?

-I absolutely love swimming. I cannot wait to join the club team in college. Since I can't always get those "junk miles" in through running because of my body's limitations with mileage, I have taken to doing some easy night swims. I LOVE THEM
-My running is stronger than ever. I think this triathlon stuff might really be what I need to be successful and reach my goals
-I feel like I have finally found a training plan and as sport that works for me, and this makes me SO. HAPPY.

Mad Face

So yesterday I went to take a nap before gearing to teach a quick swim lesson and go to my track workout. Fell asleep around 1:15, woke up at 3 with THE WORST STOMACH ACHE. Sometimes this happens if I am really hungry, so I went and ate some PB&J toast and a few veggie chips. Bad. Idea.
    After calling off the swim lesson, texting my coach, and taking another long-ass nap, Coach SuperW told me to go on the bike for an hour *if* my stomach was feeling better. I lifted, went on the bike, and around 8:45, felt like I could choke down food, and choke down I did.
    My legs were feeling so fresh yesterday, and now they are literally BEGGING for a run, so I really hope one is on the schedule Coach sends me today. After some great IM sets in the pool that really worked my upper body, my legs are itching for some movement.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Things You Shouldn't Forget

Because I forgot to put on padded bike shorts during my 2 hour trainer ride on an incline and my butt totally suffered for the last hour and required large amounts of foam rolling and pillow-cushioning, I have compiled a list of everything you should NEVER forget during a triathlon-related workout... and yes, this list does include Peanut Butter:

for the swim:
-swim cap
-bathing suit (note: I have nearly walked out of the house without this. I have also had bad dreams about going to Masters and stepping out of my shorts in front of everyone, only to realize I am actually in my undies, not my bathing suit)
-change of clothes ESPECIALLY UNDIES (I once thought I forgot undies and had to put on my wet bathing suit under dry gym shorts. Then, I went to get my shoes from the pool deck, and saw my undies lying on the table where we all throw our stuff. They had fallen out of my bag. Wonder if my coach noticed...)
-shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash
-water bottle (had to go without this the day I got my wisdom teeth out. I was so thirsty by the end of practice that I actually considered drinking the disgusting pool water in which we regularly find strange, prehistoric-looking bugs)

for the run:
-gels (or PB toast, for those of you who have stomachs that do not rebel at the sight of solid food anywhere in the 2 hours before or after a run)
-water with nuun OR gatorade (really important not to forget this. During my first full, I only had 1 cup of water at each aid station, and never switched to gatorade. My sodium levels were so low that by the finish, my face had swollen up like a balloon..Exhibit A:
-socks (I have run without these before. After 3 miles, I had blisters the size of Idaho. And no bandaids. And I was insane and decided I would stay at the gym and lift weights afterwards, so I just stuffed papertowels in my shoes to soak up the blood. Committed? Yes. Sane? Debatable.)
-clothes (although I have recently read of actual "naked" chafetastic.)

for the bike:
-fuel such as gels, water with perpetuem, shot bloks, etc.
-clips & pedals (I know that not everyone uses these, and I myself just recently purchased them, but after one ride I can offically say that I. am. hooked.)
-sweet sunglasses (totally necessary, trust me. You wanna be the one nerd who isn't sporting sweet, standout shades?)
-a bike. including both wheels. (because yes, one time I was going to get my bike fixed and had taken the wheel off to put it in the car. And then locked the house and started the car without it....)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pain in my Rump

Speed workout on the treadmill last night. Luckily, "Definitely, Maybe" was on, and seeing as, unlike all The Hills episodes I watch, I have not seen that movie 5,000 times, (or ever, actually), I had a good distraction in cases the workout got dicey. Luckily, it didn't, and I was finished the 9-mile (with warm-up and cooldown) ladder of 1 mile, 2x1200, 3x800 and 4x400 in just under 75 minutes, and my shoes weren't even that squishy afterwards. However, there is a serious twinge in my left glute that I am blaming on doing a speed workout and then immediately parking my bum in the movie theatre chair for 2 hours and 10 minutes while I watched Harry Potter 7 for the 2nd time. In 3d. It is worth the butt cramp!!
    Other exercise I am now counting as legitamate: Giving 8-year olds piggy-back rides and helping them stand up on my thighs. These should totally count as squats and resistance training... right??

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sore Shoulders Like Woah

   Ever had one of those swimming sets where you finish your warm-up, look at the board where the set is written, and start laughing? Well, it happened to me today. Finished a 900yd warm-up, looked at a set full of IM and stroke, and started chuckling to myself. Because I had lifted 12 hours before. And my arms were threatening to fall off. And I went to bed at 11 because I was watching Degrassi (NEW EPISODE. SO GOOD). Luckily, my coaches know that a little motivational phrasing ("YOU CAN DO THIS!" "COME ON, EM!" " Just tryyy it") works almost as well as offering me pancakes at the end of practice, so of course I did the whole thing...
    I had to take off a bit of yardage to make the 200 IM intervals, but I managed to finish 2300yds of IM. In the process, I learned
-how to properly do backstroke (thanks, Coach! I had no idea I had been doing it wrong since the age of 10... glad we found out now, before Club Swimming starts and I look like a fool)
-today would have been a good day to run. My legs feel fresh and rearin' to go
-Eating only froyo for my afternoon snack on Tuesday and then not eating again until 9 o'clock does not bode well for my morning appetite, aka stomach growls from 5:30am-on
-Guns and Roses can be quite motivating for the last 400 IM

    All in all, not as bad as I thought. Pessimistic chuckles not needed. However, if club swimming makes me race anything but freestyle, screams will be heard.

Monday, July 18, 2011

BIG-A$$ Weekend

       This weekend was CRAZY busy. Friday night was my friend's birthday, which meant 3 am bed time. It was so much fun, until 5:30 am, when I suddenly woke up. Darn you, internal clock! I guess I am so used to waking up for swimming that I naturally get up at that time, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I made my best effort to go back to sleep after that. I got home around 8:15 am on Saturday, and had work at 10 and then had a play right after work to go to, so I knew that the 12 miles I had on the schedule had to be split up. A couple of months ago this would have totally thrown me for a loop; I was obsessive about my mileage and training to a T, but now, I know that time on my feet is time on my feet, and that though training is a major part of my life, it is not my entire life, and so it was that I set out for the first 4 of the 12 miles at the lovely time of 8:45. And that is not sarcasm, people- it was perfectly cool and breezy outside, and my legs felt better than they have in perhaps a week. My pace was 8 flat, and I felt fantastic despite little sleep and too many potato chips the night before.
    It did not stay cool, though, and by the time I got to work at 10, I was covered in sweat. Luckily I no longer care about the health of my hair, so I jumped right in the pool without even considering that I had just washed my hair an hour ago and was now subjecting it to chlorine that may/may not get washed out until Monday morning.
   The heat here can actually get a little oppressive at times, so by the time I got home at 3 I knew it was dreadmill time, because a run outside would most liekly result in decreased pace, increased crankyness, and me once again cursing how many inclines there are in my neighborhood (seriously, it's suburbia- I do not understand how there can be so many hills!!!). The pace was a little slower, but despite massive sun fatigue, I still kept it to an 8:20ish clip for the 4ish miles. I may have also been extra motivated by the extreme scandals on the Degrassi marathon on the TV- that show is SO dramatic.

Go see the movie. SO GOOD.

    Yesterday I somehow managed to wake up at 6:20 after getting home at 11 o'clock from a Midsummer Night's Dream. A brick was on the schedule, so I did a 20 mile ride in 1:30 and a 4 mile brick run in :30. Fastest. Brick. Run. Ever. Made even better by the fact that I had about 8 pancakes afterwards. After work I was supposed to do an open water swim clinic before going home and spinning for an hour and lifting for an hour and thirty minutes, but by 11 am I knew that nap>OWS. Plus, there's another clinic next weekend on the first Sunday I have had off since before I got my wisdom teeth out, so I can actually work out and keep my compression socks on instead of having to rip them off right when I go to work (apparently they aren't part of the lifeguard uniform.. then again, neither is the bike grease left on my legs during my shift yesterday. Yes, my boss noticed).


     See the link above? Click it, vote for the girl on the left, and continue to do so every day until August 15th. Why, you might ask? Well, if I get enough votes, I get a $250 grant that is either going towards my Goofy Challenge race fee, or my HAT 50k race fee.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


This week has been quite the frustrating one, training-wise, and it's only Wednesday. Monday was a good Master's workout, complete with my fastest 100 time to date (knocked 3 seconds off since 2 weeks ago- BOOYA!). However, the rest of the day I felt like death. Luckily, the country club closed early so I got to go enjoy froyo with two friends, and any time I get frozen yogurt, I am a happy camper.
   I was not, however, quite so chipper on Tuesday morning. Luckily, neither was anyone else at practice, since we all sat on the edge of the pool talking for a HALF HOUR before getting in, and ended up only doing about 2600yds. That's the shortest swim workout I have had since April...
   Last night called for a track workout. In 100 degree weather. And guess who *forgot* to hydrate yesterday? This chick. Which lead to so-so fartlek intervals and 4/6 quality 400s. I wasn't with the lead pack that I normally am during the fartleks, which really bothered me, but I managed my fastest 400 in a while, which would have made a normal person happy, but at that point, the horribly vulgar beats eminating from my iShuffle were the only things keeping me going. Well, that and the thought of consistent 7:45 miles during Diamondman...
    Today's swim practice? Um... HOLY CRAP IT HURT. It wasn't the hardest workout we have done, not by a long shot, but with only 10 hours since the track workout and less than 7 hours of sleep, it was challenging. 5x50, 5x100, 300 recovery swim, repeated 3 times with each consecutive set decreasing in time, so by the end I got about 1 second of rest,and had to shave off a 25 from 3 of the 100's. It was the worst I have swam in a while- I didn't feel smooth, my times, with the exception of the last set, sucked, and I just generally felt fatigued. I mentioned this to Coach SuperW last night, and she pointed out that I shouldn't beat myself up since it's 1. freakin' hot as balls outside (my words, not hers, although she does tend to use such phrases) 2. I had a huge weekend, training-wise and 3. On top of the huge amount of weekend training, I also worked 17 hours between Saturday and Sunday.
    Thank goodness I have a Coach. It's nice to have someone to remind me that I am not invincible and that contrary to my belief, I have human chromosomes and it's okay to feel like collapsing into bed with a bottle of powerade and the salt shaker (yes, in case you were wondering, my electrolytes are depleted to. Hooray for high sweat rates!). In honor of this, I am going to go nap. Then lift. Then shower. Then teach a swim lesson. Then bike for an hour. Then eat. BUT then I AM GOING TO BED.