8 minute mile

LOST: 95 lbs, 10 pant sizes, 8 minutes off my mile, 12 percent of body fat, breathlessness doing everyday activities, patience with bros who lift more than me but can’t re-rack their weights when they’re done

GAINED: 355 lbs in my big three lifts, at least 15 lbs of muscle, and the knowledge I can do anything I set my mind to

“When you walk, one foot is always on the ground. When you run, most of the time you are actually airborne. For example: a 6-foot-tall runner with feet about 1 foot long was found to take 1,250 steps while running 8-minute miles. Thus, while covering 1 mile—5,280 feet—he was in touch with the ground for 1,250 feet and airborne for 4,030 feet.

Put another way, he was in the air for 76% of the time. So don’t think of it as a 10-mile run. Think of it as 7 miles of flying.”

- “Running is Flying”
by Paul E. Richardson


The Last Shadow Puppets
I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
Webster Hall, NYC

Actually ran during daylight today!

About a mile and a half out to a local track at Buckman Field, two miles on the track at a faster pace (just under 8-minute miles) then then 4 miles home on a different route.  It’s sunny and cool and super pretty today.  Lots of traffic though.

“When you walk, one foot is always on the ground. When you run, most of the time you are actually airborne. For example: a 6-foot-tall runner with feet about 1 foot long was found to take 1,250 steps while running 8-minute miles. Thus, while covering 1 mile—5,280 feet—he was in touch with the ground for 1,250 feet and airborne for 4,030 feet. Put another way, he was in the air for 76% of the time. So don’t think of it as a 10-mile run. Think of it as 7 miles of flying.” - “Running is Flying” by Paul E. Richardson

I did it!!!

This mile was one continuous run, unlike the 7:24 mile from last month, so there’s no doubt that it’s legit. I ran pain-free without any knee braces or patella straps, so another victory there. Finally, I can cross off “run a sub-7:30 mile” from my fitness goals! 😁

My next fitness goal is to run a 5k with an 8 minute mile average pace, so it’s time to start lengthening my runs to get my stamina where it needs to be to achieve that. Next weekend, I’m running my April 5k, so I’m super excited to see how my times turn out there.

Getting in shape for selection

After having a nice conversation with a speedskater preparing to train with us, I thought it would be good to make a post here for others to reference when preparing for selection. Selection is a 2-week course designed to weed out the weak, uncommitted, and unprepared and keep only the strongest skaters who are then paid to play with the National Roller Derby League.

You should be in shape and be able to meet these minimums before ever attempting to train with us.

Swim: You should be able to swim a minimum of 1-mile (1650 Meters) in less than 40-minutes

Run: You should be able to run a minimum of 6 miles (9.65km) with at least an 8 minute mile pace.

Skate: You should be able to skate 26 miles (42km) in less than 85 minutes.

Push-Ups: You should be able to do a bare minimum of 50 push-ups in 2 minutes

Pull-Ups: You should be able to do a bare minimum of 15 strict dead hang pull ups

Flutter Kicks: You should be able to do a minimum of 65 4-count flutter kicks.

We will be releasing a video program shortly to guide you through exercises to build yourself up to reach these numbers for each event. They are all easily achievable with hard work & commitment. Our program is designed to be tough & uncomfortable but with a positive mindset and never quit attitude, you will complete the course and be stronger than ever and ready to begin a professional career as a roller derby skater.

Throne of Glass Cross Country and Track Team AU (Pt. 1)

In which everyone runs incredibly fast.

  • It all starts when Rowan joins the cross country team and tells Aelin that he can run faster than her.
  • Obviously, Aelin is having none of that and she has to join too, and Lysandra, Nehemia, and Elide join with her for support.
  • The coach, Mr. Hamel, is also the biology and forensic science teacher, and aside from being a harsh grader, he’s a total dick about letting people join the team.
  • Like, 10-minute-mile-minimum-by-the-first-day-of-preseason-in-August dick.
  • But the captains of the boy’s and girl’s teams, Ren Allsbrook and Sam Cortland and Manon and Asterin Blackbeak organize summer practices so that anyone who’s really serious about running can join the team.
  • Ren is always pretty quiet, especially for someone who got promoted to captain.
  • His sisters were both big soccer and lacrosse stars before they went off to college on sports scholarships, and unfortunately for Ren, he got very little of their coordination.
  • So he started cross country to appease his parents and everyone else who thought he should be sporting like his sisters, and he ended up loving it.
  • Sam has always loved running, but during middle school, he got into a life-threatening car crash that broke both of his legs in three places a piece.
  • He and Aelin were dating before the crash, but he thought that it would be too emotionally taxing on Aelin to have to deal with him (which was a completely wrong assumption because it shouldn’t matter and Aelin would have done anything for him) and broke up with her, leaving both of them heartbroken.
  • It took him until his sophomore year to be able to get back to the place he was at before the crash.
  • He’s not always the fastest runner, but he’s the most dedicated, which is why Mr. Hamel lets the occasional 8-minute mile slide.
  • Manon and Asterin were entered into a kid’s running league when they were three by Manon’s grandmother.
  • They loved it, and Manon never really saw a reason to stop running, consistently ranking in the top 10 in the country until Asterin explained what else was going on when she got shin splints and couldn’t run the indoor and outdoor track seasons of their freshman year.
  • Asterin thought that she had fallen in love with a junior guy on diving team, so when he started showing interest in her, she believed him right up until he heard ‘yes’ when she said ‘no’.
  • He got her pregnant, and she got it aborted, and Manon’s grandmother is super evangelical and told Asterin that she was going to hell every day, and the entire ordeal threw her into a deep depression for a while.
  • When Asterin finally tells Manon, she gets super angry at her grandmother and wants to have some act of rebellion against her grandmother, but it’s her senior year and she has to be consistent for a college to want her.
  • Asterin is better now, though, and whenever one of the underclassmen on the team starts showing an interest in an upperclassmen, she talks to the underclassmen and makes sure they know what they could be risking.
  • Manon, Asterin, and the other 11 members of their group are the best female runners in the school, though none of them are ever in one sport at the same time.
  • For cross country, it’s Manon, Asterin, Vesta, and Ghislaine.
  • They’ve formed the top four since their freshman year, but now, as seniors, Aelin and her crew of juniors are threatening that.
  • In the girls’ first race, Aelin ties with Manon, Asterin comes in second, Elide ties with Vesta, Lysandra is just barely edged out by Ghislaine, with Ansel Briarcliff and Nesryn Faliq behind her, and Nehemia in last.
  • Manon and her friends are having none of that, and they train super-hard for the next meet, but Nehemia is mystified as to how she came in last, so she and her friends train hard as well.
  • In the boy’s first race, Rowan comes in first for the team, usurping Ren, who comes in second. Chaol Westfall comes in third, Sam in fourth, Nox Owens hard on his heels, with two new students, Mikhail and Ilias, right behind him, and Dorian Havilliard comes in last, because despite his natural athleticism, he didn’t run as much as he should’ve, preferring to read.
  • The two main reasons that Dorian is on the team are that his parents expect him to participate in at least one sport, and at least this way, he gets to hang out with Chaol.
  • Chaol does cross country to keep him in shape for tae kwon do, where he’s training for his second-degree black belt.
  • Aelin’s cousin Aedion watched both of the races, and while he’s proud of Aelin for doing so well in her first race, the person that really caught his eye was Ren.
  • The next time he sees his coolie cool bro football teammates bullying Ren for running instead of playing a more ‘manly’ sport, he puts a stop to it real quick, and since he’s the quarterback, they listen.
  • Ren is super grateful to Aedion for saving him, and he begins noticing him more and more at school.
  • Meanwhile, the competition on the girls’ team is heating up.
  • Aelin and Manon are running sub-6 minute miles at every meet, and no one can keep up with them, which is generating a genuine respect between the girls.
  • The team bonding is pretty on point because of the rivalry, and the boys’ and girls’ teams become close because of Aelin and Rowan, who always. Make out. After. Meets.
  • Seriously, everyone gets sick of it real quick, especially when they start to dirty talk about who ran faster and came in first.
  • Tensions run high at championships.
  • For starters, theres the final Aelin-Manon showdown for the 5k/3.1mi distance, and despite the overall speed of the entire team, they’re not assured first place in the conference.
  • The boys’ team also isn’t racing that day, so they’re not there to cheer on the girls.
  • The race starts, and Manon, Aelin, and Feyre Archeron from the rival Prythian high are the first off the line.
  • The three girls keep pace for the first two and a half miles before it seems like Aelin is tiring out.
  • She starts falling behind, but when Manon glances back with a smug expression on her face, she speeds back up because no way in hell is Manon Blackbeak going to beat her.
  • Once Aelin speeds back up, Manon does as well, and they leave Feyre in the dust.
  • They’re neck and neck for the last tenth of a mile until Manon leaps across the finish line, beating Feyre by a second.
  • Once they get their breath back, Manon approaches Aelin and claps her on the shoulder because this was her first year on the team and her personal best was a 16:40 and Manon knows that she’ll do well leading the team next year.
  • After Aelin came Asterin, then Elide, Vesta, Nehemia (which is her best place all season), Nesryn, Lysandra, Ansel, and Ghislaine (she got caught up in applying for colleges and her times only dropped a minute all season).
  • Erilea High comes in first in the conference after a stand-out year, and Manon manages to convince Aelin and her friends to sign up for indoor track in the winter.
  • The boys race, however, is nowhere near as tense as the girls.
  • Their places were decided a long time ago, and all they really hope to do is get in the top three in the conference. Since their championship is on a Friday, more spectators are able to come, most notably Aedion.
  • When Ren sees that Aedion is there, he gets semi-nervous, but he goes out and has the best run of his life.
  • Rowan still beats him with a time of 16:50, though.
  • After the boys’ championship, there’s a big party for the cross country runners at Manon’s house.
  • Aedion gets in, though, because he’s been defending them against football players all season and he’s Aelin’s cousin.
  • Aelin and Rowan are seen making out about 5 minutes after the party starts, and they disappear pretty quickly, to the gratitude of everyone’s eyes and ears.
  • This leaves Aedion alone, and he starts a conversation with Ren, whom he’s been becoming closer to over the past few months.
  • Neither of them can hear the other, so they go off to a quiet room to talk.
  • Aedion ends up confessing his feelings to Ren and Ren to Aedion, and they decide to go on a date.
  • Before Ren leaves, Aedion pulls him in for a long kiss, and they’re both blown away.
  • They end up making out for quite a while.
  • Meanwhile, Manon is asking Elide how she’s so fast for a sophomore, and Elide is blushing and saying that she doesn’t know.
  • Manon offers to run with her whenever she wants if Elide ever wants to talk about how to prevent injury when running long-term, and Elide agrees.
  • Asterin, Vesta, Nox, and Sam are smirking while watching the staring match between Nesryn and Chaol.
  • At one point he growls in frustration, and they almost pee themselves laughing.
  • Lysandra and Ansel have been talking the entire time and getting a little tipsy, and they end up making out.
  • Ilias and Mikhail just look at each other, because they know that Lys is pansexual and Ansel is bisexual, but they never expected their girlfriends to fall for each other.
  • Meanwhile, Dorian and Ghislaine have been having an intellectual conversation the entire time and have noticed literally nothing that’s happened.
  • After the party ends, Manon starts to get ready for the indoor track season.
Samus and the Hunters

- Samus’s Chozo DNA grants her a much higher aerobic capacity: Assuming she remains hydrated and fed, she can run a 7-8 minute mile pace indefinitely.

- Although Samus is often a loner, she has conducted many missions with other Hunters. They all agree that while she is very capable, she is hard to work with.

- Samus has a centuries-old archive of music from various species, and will play music to herself often through her helmet.

- Rundas, like other Phrygisians, is a mesotherm. His body temperature adjusts based on his surroundings, to keep his internal temperature at -25° Centigrade. This is so the gases in Rundas’s blood remain a liquid instead of boiling out. How ge can maintain his high level of activity with such a low temperature is still being studied.

- Rundas often tries to be funny, but his jokes are usually obtuse or simply not funny. He thinks he’s hilarious.

- Gandrayda and other Jovians are unusual life-forms, with a conductive metal skeleton that generates a powerful inverted magnetic field to hold their body plasma together. Galactic Federation scientists are still studying the mechanics of these organisms.

- Gandrayda is notorious for practical jokes involving electricity and magnetism, such as blacking out computer terminals, or using static to stick various objects to colleague’s armor.

- Ghor’s affinity for technology makes him a valuable computer scientist as well as a Hunter; Many of the Galactic Federation’s weapons and vehicles are based on his designs.

- Ghor, when not in armor, often works with Samus to store archived music, video, literature, and artwork. Together, they’ve indexed almost all the complete work of many species.

My Resolution

Okay, so 2016 sucked. 2017 will be better though, because I’m going to make it better. I’m going to go to the gym at least 5x a week, I’m going to go for a run/walk/hike/whatever everyday. I’m going to have more fun and be more careful with my money. I’m going to kiss a boy, I’m going to put myself out there and finally tell the guy I’ve like for 6 months now that I like him (at some point this year lol, let’s not rush that one), I’m going to be able to run 3 miles straight and keep up with my Marine corps. roommate (or at least keep up with her when she’s got her weighted pack on), and most importantly, I’m going vegan. I understand that it’s the healthiest lifestyle and is best for mother earth, and as a future veterinarian, I want to set an example people can follow, so I’m going to be fully vegan by this time next year. My goals are roughly as follows: 175 lbs by May, 135 lbs by August (I’m gonna work it this summer lol), maybe 120 by December if I want to lose more after I get to 135. I’m going to get that 8 minute mile. I’m going to squat 200 lbs. I’m going to bench press 100 lbs. I will do a pull up at some point in 2017. I’m going to post every single day, write what I eat and why I ate it, no matter what it was I was actually craving. I’m going to get body confident enough to get an Instagram page, and I’m going to inspire others to make the decision I’m making today. I can do anything I set my mind to and this time I’m not going to quit on myself. 2017 is going to be my year.


Easy 4 miles at 8 minute mile pace!

It’s taken me a while to learn that not all fast runs are good runs and not all good runs are fast runs. I’ve learned to appreciate running at slower paces and letting my legs carry me however they feel like, rather than hammering out each run at tempo or race pace.  For a while I felt trapped and frustrated each time I ran because I just felt so terrible early on into my run, so one day I just decided to just go on a nice, easy, v v v slow run and suddenly felt much better. My legs weren’t tired, I was a lot happier during and after my run, and my mind was much clearer as well.

It turns out that I was doing my 8 mile long runs at 6:45-7:00 mile pace which is only a tad slower than my xc 5k race pace. It was also why I felt so tired early on and so crappy after my runs.  All in all, I learned that just because you slow down the pace doesn’t mean it’s going to be a bad run.  Sometimes your body needs a good ‘ol tempo to spice things up and sometimes you need a nice, easy, long run to shake out the sillies (as rachaeldee​ would say).  Learn to appreciate your body and your legs for all they do for you.  Getting your miles in is important to becoming a stronger runner, but it’s up to you to determine what quality those miles are.

22 Lessons

To channel my inner basic white girl… I’m feeling 22 today

I’m really not all that into my birthday, and it’s finals so everyone is busy and broke, but I will continue my trend about birthday posts and give you all 22 pieces of advice:

On Admissions

99% of the time you’ll end up where you need to be, even if you don’t see it at first.

Do not apply to a school you’re not at all qualified for. You’re doing the school a favor with your admissions fee, easy-reject application, and lowering of their acceptance rate.

Do not form a college list until you have board scores

Go with your gut. Not your parent’s gut, your gut

Unless there’s a clearly “better for your wallet” choice, then go with your wallet.  

On College

No one cares how much you drink. I didn’t drink at non-major events all semester and I went out the same amount I always do. Literally nobody noticed.

Find a time to wake up in the morning and wake up that early every morning. Sleeping in is fine once in a while, but you’d be shocked how much time you have being a morning person.

Ask for help. It’s out there.

Join things, it’s really the only way to meet people at college.

How to drink and still have a fun time: Drink until you’re drunk. Then stop.

Don’t play the “who is more stressed” game, instead let your friends vent about being stressed and try to make it better for them.

On Dating

If the choice is date long distance or break up, and break up is even kind of an option, break up. It will save you some heartache

You should be happy with the person you’re dating.

Don’t be in a relationship where one person clearly likes their SO more than the SO likes the person. The person will always be nervous, and the SO will always be looking for a reason to break up.

On Fashion

Dress like nobody’s judging, this is the last time in your life this will be true. If it makes you happy, wear it.

I wholeheartedly believe in the above, but also, first impressions matter a lot. If the choice is between making a good impression vs. expressing yourself- choose the good impression.

On Health

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Take care of both.

College is a good time to get into  mental and physical shape. Do it now while you have time and free/cheap resources.  

Have goals outside a number on a scale. If weight loss is your goal, and you have a healthy number set in mind, go for it. But also have goals like running an 8 minute mile, getting your heels on the floor in downward dog, or getting through a whole Zumba class.  

On Life

Do not be upset or resentful of having to take your plan B. Every time in life I’ve gone with plan B it’s ended up leading to amazing things.

Make happiness your ultimate goal.  

Tell people that you love and appreciate them. We don’t do it nearly enough, it costs nothing in time or money, and it makes a huge difference.

I wonder if there’s a measurable spike in race registrations following the Boston Marathon. I was definitely inspired after watching all of our amazing tumblrs run! 

On that note, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and thinking about marathons the past week (thanks Meb!). Mostly about my own less than stellar performances in the distance last year. And I’ve come up with some ideas about why I haven’t managed to run a successful marathon since the Shamrock Marathon in 2013 (rambles ahead!):

Hubris: This is actually the big one. Okay, I am not the most humble of people, I’ll admit. I would actually say that vanity is one of my bigger sins in general. And I got cocky after running 3:33 in my very first marathon. I thought I had this marathon thing down and look at what an awesome runner I am and that wasn’t so hard. Looking back on my training for Boston and Marine Corps, I see now that I thought  “I’ve done it once, I can do it again while also not really trying.” Sure, I trained but I also totally ignored parts of the plan when I felt “that doesn’t apply to me.” Notably, the difference between easy runs, tempo runs, pace runs, and recovery runs. Bringing me to…

Racing my training runs: I have had this idea FOREVER that in order to race a certain pace, you should be able to run it all the time. Despite being told my multiple people and reading everywhere that you should train slow to run fast (see above about hubris). But I’ve started running all of my training runs at around the same pace: 7:40-8 minute miles (average). Part of that is because I have genuinely become a faster runner. Part of it is because I can.  Mostly because I feel like I should. And then I expect to race at that same pace or faster. Sure, I can pull that off for a 10k or half marathon but the marathon is different and trickier. It requires a lot more balance of energy and pacing. 

I went back to my training runs for the Shamrock Marathon and guess what my average pacing looked like? Anywhere between 8:25 to 9:10 per run. Most were around 8:45. And my average for the marathon? 8:07. And I’ve never even gotten close to that since. And that wasn’t even with any sort of speed training. So…duh, Mallory. Train slow and race fast!

Racing Stupid: When I ran the Shamrock Marathon I genuinely was just aiming to run the whole thing. I didn’t care how fast I went, I just didn’t want to end up walking. So I started slow and just let my body go on feel. I never tried to maintain a certain pace (until I got passed by a group that I had passed earlier and then I realized I had to pick my feet up a little). I did the absolute opposite for Boston and Marine Corps. I was obsessed with staying at 8:00 pace or below and pushed myself to “bank time.” Again, THE OPPOSITE of what everyone says you should do. And guess what happened? I crashed both times. Sure, I can also say that there were hills and it was warmer, etc etc but I don’t think I helped myself a whole lot. 

Underestimating the Distance: 26.2 miles is a long distance. I don’t care who you are. It’s a long time to stay on your feet and stress your body. As I became more comfortable with long distance running (post-Shamrock), I subconsciously assumed that I can run every distance the same way: go as fast as possible because it’ll be done soon. I can get away with that for a 5k or a 10k but not a marathon. Not to mention the added challenge of managing my water and food intake. The approach has to be different and I have to pay more attention to how to handle it. Even during the long training runs, I rarely note what factors lead to a better run than others.

So what’s the point? My ‘A’ goal is 3:30 and I am going to do it right this time. It might not be this year in Chicago but I want to get closer than I did in Boston and Marine Corps. It’s time to commit and take every run as a cog in the training machine. I don’t want to end the race feeling like I fell apart again. I want to end it thinking that I put together the best performance I could. 

The next couple of months are going to be focused on unlearning my bad habits and working on my strength and routine. After that, I’ll start the real work of endurance and speed. Hopefully, I’ll start posting more work out posts here to help keep me on track (instead of my usual round ups).

Seven Days to the Boston Marathon

70 Minutes 

Taper week…it’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times. My goal for this run was to stay above 8 minutes per mile. It’s crazy, when I run with @butterfliesandairplanes on Sundays, I’m so distracted by our conversation that I don’t notice when we’re running 8:30 miles. When I run that pace by myself I feel like I’m walking. I felt so slow today. I have a feeling this is going to be a long week of taper runs. 

As you guys might have seen I got my Honey Stinger Tri top today. 

I wore on today’s run to try it out. Honestly, this is a really great top. It’s a little more form fitting than I usually wear but the material is so nice that I didn’t notice how it fit during the run. This top also has two pockets on the back so I tried running with a gel in each pocket, they didn’t budge. This might be my new favorite top. 

So now I have a tri watch (Garmin 920XT) and a tri top. Maybe next year I’ll start doing triathlons…

Run Streak Day 102

Hey, here’s my face again! I just ran ½ a mile in 3:55 (and then walked another ½ mile). HOLY balls I feel like death and have runners cough now. I am determined to run a sub-8 minute mile by the end of summer June though. It has been far too long since I’ve had a 1 mile PR. I also really pushed myself through Lower Fix tonight and my quads are dyyying. Operation lose 15 pounds is ON because running sucks at 185+ pounds. Okay, I need to make dinner, but I’m lazy and not that hungry yet. Homemade pizza didn’t happen so I’m just going to make a taco salad.