Sunday, December 11, 2011

2011 Cross Country Season Recap

Well I was really pleased in how I finished my senior cross country season! My district meet was on October 28, and I came in 3rd place overall and completed the 3 mile course in 16:57 which was a Personal Record! My team also came in 2nd place overall which I was very happy about. Last year I came in 10th place at district and our team came in last place, so good improvements! Then we had our regional meet on November 5th in San Antonio. I didn't have as good as a performance, but I ran the 5k course in 17:35 and came in 79th place out of about 180 runners.

After my regional meet, I took a well needed off week from running and just did some cross training with P90X. The next week, I began training for Indoor track with my personal coach. She had me on a very rigorous schedule. Her plan for me that week was to run about 60 miles in 6 days with running twice on 3 of them. However, it did not turn out well. Mentally, I was prepared to push my body, but my body and muscles were not. The most I have ran in the past was 50 miles a week, so trying to run 60 with no running the past week took its toll on me. After 4 days of training, I developed a super tight left calf and an inflamed Achilles tendon. So much for staying injury free! So, it has almost been 4 weeks since that has occurred and I am still recovering. My calf is all better, but my Achilles is still bothering me a bit. I should be able to start running again within the next week or so, but I am probably not going to end up running indoor track since I have lost 4 weeks of training. I might end up running a meet or two in February, but I rather build up a strong foundation for outdoor track. I still have been using P90X and the One on Ones to stay in shape though. I know my upper body and core have gotten stronger, but I have probably lost some endurance and leg strength since I haven't been running.

I also have ordered the P90X2 Deluxe Package!!! I should be receiving it in a week or two, and I am super excited! I love the fact that it is going to be based more on athletic performance, so it should be a great supplement along with my running.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

2011 Cross Country Season

I have not posted in a while, so figured I should do one today! I have almost finished up my last high school Cross Country season. I have been religiously training since June, and I got up to running 50 miles a week in August which is a huge improvement from only running 35 at most last year. I have by far improved the most this year due to an increase in training. A typical training week for me right now will look like this:

Sunday- Long Run (10-13 miles)
Monday- Easy run or Tempo run, depending how I feel (8 miles)
Tuesday- Speed workout (Alternates every week, but usually will either be: 10x400, 8x800, 4x1600, or a ladder of 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400 meters. Usually around 6-7 miles total)
Wednesday- Easy run or Tempo run (will do opposite of Monday) (6-8 miles)
Thursday- Easy run if I did Tempo run yesterday, or Hill repeats (6-8 miles, or rest day if racing on Friday
Friday- Rest Day if racing on Saturday, or easy 8 miles
Saturday- Usually will be race day

In addition to running, right now I also do cross training/supplement workouts twice a week, which consist of P90X and One on One workouts. I believe it is very important to have a strong core, which will help prevent injury and give you good form. I also like doing pushups and pullups which will be my other workout for the week. Right now I don't really care about working arms because they aren't really necessary for running, and pushups and pullups work the arms some too. When I'm not racing I will do supplement workouts 3-4 times a week.

My races for Cross Country are usually either 3 miles or 5K. Often times it is somewhere in between, which is one reason why I love my new Garmin Forerunner 210! It tells me my mile pace, mile splits, and average pace for my runs. Here are my race results so far this season:

AISD Invitational on August 26: 3 miles in 17:29
Lockhart Invitational on September 3: 3K in 11:24
St. Andrews Invitational on September 10: 5K in 18:14
Pflurgerville Invitational on September 16: 3 miles in 17:14
Cedar Park Invitational on September 24: 5K in 17:59
IBM Uptown Classic on October 2: 10K in 37:11 (No Cross Country race this week so I ran a local road race)
Westlake Invitational on October 8: 3 miles in 17:16

Sadly, I am missing the Vista Ridge Invitational this Saturday because I am going to visit Texas A&M University, so my next meet will be the AISD District meet on October 28. I am hoping to compete for 1st place, but I will see how it goes. My team is also looking really strong this year so I think we will be able to get 1st place in District as a team. Then I will have Regionals on November 5, which will most likely be my last high school cross country meet. After the season is over, I will take a well deserved recovery week, then I will start training because this year I am also running indoor track which I am really excited about. My mileage will probably go up to 70-80 miles a week, so I should see really good improvements. The key is to stay healthy and injury free, which I have pretty much done a good job of. I typically get sick once a year, and I have never had an injury.

I will keep yal posted on how my season ends!

Fitness and Cancer

Guest post by Liz Davies:

Doctors and medical experts are finding, more and more, the benefits that exercise provides. This is true with cancer patients as well. People who are being treated for cancer are being encouraged to start an exercise plan. Doctors believe that there is a positive correlation between exercise and people going through cancer treatment. This belief is based primarily on the numerous studies conducted on this subject; which show that exercise actually increases the survival rates in people with cancer.

Many cancer treatments cause patients to feel fatigued, nauseous, and extremely weak. Along with these physical problems, cancer patients also often suffer from depression and other psychological problems. Exercise is often recommended to people suffering from these things; whether they have cancer or not. Studies are finding that exercise is one of the best activities that people can do to help with all types of problems. Studies have been conducted through major, credible organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the American College of Sports Medicine.

According to several studies, women, suffering from breast cancer, can often extend their lives through exercise. One common type of exercise for breast cancer patients is water exercises. Studies are now being done on other types of cancers such as liver, kidney and even rare types like testicular mesothelioma.

One main benefit of exercise is weight control. People that are overweight are often more prone to illnesses, including cancer. There are numerous other benefits for cancer patients as well, including increasing muscle strength, reducing fatigue, improving mood and boosting self-confidence.

Doctors often suggest that cancer patients begin an exercise routine as soon as they are diagnosed with cancer, if they do not have a regular exercise plan already. A doctor can help a person create a plan that works and is ideal for that person on an individual basis. Some exercises that are often recommended are stretching exercises. These are simple enough for almost anyone to do. Aerobic exercises, including swimming, walking and jogging, are also ideal for heart health. Finally, a doctor might recommend resistance training exercises, which include lifting weights, for many people. This helps people lose weight in fat, but gain muscle weight at the same time.

Many cancer patients may be reluctant to begin an exercise routine. Once they begin; however, they may naturally feel motivated to continue. They often begin to see positive signs, such as feeling better and a better frame of mind. This is often encouragement enough for the person to continue. It is also important for the families, of cancer patients, to be supportive by encouraging the person to continue the exercise routine they are on.

Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She became particularly interested in ways cancer patients can cope with the side-effects of their treatment after her mother became an oncology nurse for lung cancer.