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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.