Sunday, April 26, 2015

(welcome back to USA) Week in Review

60 miles
16M long run in 6:52 pace
8M with 5 laps of curves easy / straights fast on the track

Coming back from international travel is always hard.  It's especially hard when you barely got any sleep.  Take my schedule for the last 10 days:  I attended class from 8AM - 6PM, then I had to meet with my teammates to start and complete assignments that were due the following morning, and then I had to wake up for a morning run before repeating the same process again.  You might say "well, Caitlin, you didn't have to run."  Well, that's true, I guess…But I don’t want to lose fitness.  After all, I have the Olympic Trials in February and every single mile I run is a small step the propels me closer to my dreams.  So that's why I still ran in India, even though some days sleep sounded like such a better idea.  And I've got to say, I have never appreciated fresh air and clear, blue skies as much as I did on my run on Tuesday morning.  Don't get me wrong - I am so grateful for every single moment I've spent abroad.  But in doing so it just makes me appreciate the little things here even more.

But back to my original point, it was extremely difficult to adjust to being back home.  Even though I slept a full 8-9 hours of sleep every night, for the first four days of the week, I was completely ready for bed around 6PM every single night and found myself crawling into bed around 8PM, which was the point at which I could not ignore my heavy eyelids.  My runs felt like total death and the legs were completely trashed.  I hopped on the track on Tuesday to do merely five laps of work and I felt like I may pass out.  I ran the shortest possible route back home and crawled immediately into bed.  This was the basic theme through the whole week.  I somehow managed to still squeak in 16 miles at a solid pace.  Although Coach T-Bone had etched in a progression tempo, I knew that wasn't in the cards and adjusted accordingly so that I could just at least hit the goal distance he had prescribed for me.  I'm looking forward to another week of coming back so that I can be ready to toe the line at Brooklyn half in just three weeks!

I was so happy to have dark, leafy greens again!

A little hike at Eno River State park 

Guillermo and Merry greeted me at home!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

(India) Week in Review

50 miles
9.3M long run with tempo workout on treadmill
0 days off
5 runs with Katie
2 runs with Nick

1 trip to the Taj Mahal

This week can best be summarized by photos and a few quick bullet points on what I learned
  • Indian weddings are beautiful celebrations.  I wish I could have had one!
  • The people in India are so inclusive, nice and accommodating.  I had pleasant experiences with every single person I encountered.  I loved the people and their attitude.  The chef every single day at the hotel came to check to make sure I was getting enough lential daal and steamed vegetables.  We became instant friends. :-)
  • The pollution is 100x worse than China, but running is totally possible.  The India gate and the presidential palace have some great stretches of land to get miles in.  
  • The food here is the best food I've had in any other country.  At Bukhara (my favorite restaurant), it was totally acceptable for me to do what I always do - eat with my hands!  It will be hard to go back to states because there is no way I will find this quality of Indian food and spices!  
  • The country is so colorful.  Even if some of the women are covered head to toe, they are doing it in such style and with such...happiness!  The colors made me happy.  
  • Indian men are much more open-minded about human touch than westerners.  Guys hold hands and cuddle and they are not gay - they're just loving! They are comfortable with who they are and showing their affections for friends, regardless of whether they are male or female.  

At the temple

Taj Mahal - photo by Nick Alcantarra

Taj Mahal entrance

quite a celebrity at the Taj Mahal

Bukhara - the best India food I've ever had in my life

A Punjabi India wedding - groom on a white mare

Camel Cab at Taj mahal

Running at the India Gate

Nick ran with me!

Jamie and I are the waterholics of the class

Kishor with his favorite ladies

Class Prez and Section leader!

Class leaders prepping for student town hall

Sunday, April 12, 2015

(Dubai) Week in Review

43 miles
24 hours of travel = 1 Day off from running
4 nights in Dubai
3 nights in New Delhi

So with the launch of every term, I always try to see one other country since I'm paying all of this money to fly all the way across the world for school.  This time around, I was fortunate enough to have a trip planned for me and 25 of my classmates to visit Dubai.  Sara and her husband were kind and gracious enough to put together a full itinerary of two days full of fun:  dune bashing and riding a yacht!  I kicked off the trip with a nice run in the morning with Katie and Claire around the marina, where tons of stay-at-home moms from an assortment of countries were walking their babies in really fancy strollers.  Dubai features a diverse mix of people, with some women wearing the traditional hijabs and others wearing European styles.  I was completely fine running in a sports bra and shorts and I don't believe I offended anyone.  Dubai is a place where the East meets the West, and where the Sheikh has made tremendous progress bringing wealth and prosperity to a tiny country.  It was eye-opening to be in a country in the middle east and see so much success.  All of my runs in Dubai were hot and I eventually got a sore throat and cold from the cigarette smoke.  Other than that, I really enjoyed my time there.

The fun eventually had to come to an end, so my classmates and I packed up our things (including our books and laptops) and hopped on another plane to Delhi.  For the first two days, we didn't have as many activities planned just in case some students had difficulty arriving from flight delays.  We participated in a rickshaw tour, attended a welcome party where we got to dance to traditional Indian music and  kicked off our fourth term with new professors.  Overall the food was absolutely amazing and the people were so nice and inclusive!  

Group in Dubai!

Claire, Katie and me after dune bashing in dubai desert

Burj Kalifa - tallest building in the world!

Dubai from the yacht

Pre-reading period on the yacht

jumping off a boat is always better holding hands

ready for the rickshaw tour 
walking through old delhi was the highlight of my trip in Delhi!

the welcome dinner to delhi

Before Kris and I decided to hop off and walk through Old Delhi

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Week in Review

80 Miles
14M with 4 miles tempo and 2 miles of 200m on/off
18M long run in Salem with Meagan
12.4M MLR in Durham

This was the first time I hit over 80 miles since September of last year.  Of course, this was planned purposefully since I departed for Dubai on Sunday night of this week.  I wanted to get in a solid week of training before travelling to Dubai and India for my fourth Duke MBA residency.  My classes this term are Marketing and Decision Models, along with the courses I have every term, Cultures, Civilizations and Leadership as well as Global Markets and Institutions. 

Leading up to my departure, it was a bit hectic, but I handled the stress with a calm confidence that it would all work out.  I flew up to Boston for a working session at offices downtown before taking the train to hang out with Meagan until Saturday.  I enjoyed a nice day at the Craft USA offices in Salem, MA and got a taste of what it's like to work for a small company.  On Saturday, I finally got to meet all of Meagan's wonderful running friends and even made them a solid brunch of sweet potato hash, pancakes with homemade whipped cream and eggs.  Meagan and I spent a lot of time in her bed reading, watching HBO, napping or cuddling with her cat Weezy. If you ask me, that sounds like a perfect weekend to me.  I finished up some of the remaining pre-assignments I had for class before heading back home on my flight.  

a nice day at the craft offices

happy to receive my skechers performance gear!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

14M with 4M Tempo + 2 Miles at 5:43 Pace

13-15 miles total with 4 miles progression at 610-615, 600-605, 550-555, 540-545, 800m jog rest, 1-2 miles of 200m on / off at 40s/50s

2.25M warmup
4 miles progression in 23:24 via 608, 555, 545, 536
.55M jog rest to Duke track in 4:25
2M of 200m on / off on track in 11:25 via
4.8 miles cool down in 39:00 for almost 14 miles total

I'm only updating my blog for my classmate Kishor.  My life is actually rather boring, but if he likes reading about workouts with strange words (like fartlek) and sayings (like 4x2), then I'll honor that.  I ran from my house at 635AM and met Billy halfway at the Duke East Campus loop. I had mapped out a 4 mile loop that ended right at the Duke Chapel so that we could run over to the Duke track within our half mile rest distance.  Since I did just PR in the 10K on Saturday by running 1.5 miles up a huge bridge and then 1.5 miles back down said huge bridge, I was a bit worried about my ability to hit the target times for the workout.  We did 1.5 loops of the Duke East Campus Loop before heading onto Campus Drive to take us to Main Campus.  I was surprised at my mental resolve to push the pace down as each mile passed.  We were a little ahead of the target paces, but I was huffing and puffing and my legs were tired.  Once we got to the Duke Track, I led the first 200m and we alternated leads for the next 8 repeats.  I felt much better on the track than I was expecting, so it was a pleasant surprise to run so well after a tough race weekend.  Not gonna lie though, I definitely stopped and put my hands on my knees for a solid minute after the workout was done.  I was spent!