MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 13, 2011

It’s Looking Like I’m Training.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:11

I think I really should invest in internet soon.  Having to use the wireless in the Leasing Office at my apartment complex means having to use it between 09-1700 M-F and that’s prime time for interviews (fingers crossed!) and feeling safest taking the bus to do errands. I have been doing job searching at the library (YAY for getting a library card in my new city) but I feel like since I’m at the libs I need to be *focused*.  Not a bad thing at all.

The plus to all that is that I have a few workouts under my belt to talk about and can make this post decent with running.

Okay so not everything's running. I can be random too ;)

First: I’m sure everyone’s thinking of Boston this time of year with registration opening up yesterday for BQ-20. Not I.

I have the time to register at the moment (my WR time from last December is still good) but I just don’t feel it.  Of course, seeing people’s FB statuses and talking with people who are nervous the spaces will fill later this week makes me want to. Despite needing revenge I think it might be best to tackle it later at some point.  That and I just made some huge life changes in the past month so I’m just trying to get through things day by day.  Thinking ahead to April is unfathomable. Lots of other factors went into the decision and it was hard to put my ego aside. We’ll see if I feel the same way in April. Or even later this week.

Best of luck to all who are trying to get in!

Since my last post, last Wednesday, I’ve done 3 quality workouts.  Training time? Okey Dokey. The first was a hill workout on Wednesday with the CoOp group.  Yes, as I found out, there are hills in Dallas.  You really have to search for them though.  They weren’t hill repeats though: it was a ~1.3 mile loop where you ran up a hill, across a straightaway, down the hill, across another straightaway but in the other direction, up a hill, across a straightaway then down the hill and headed back to the start.

It really wasn’t as complicated as I just wrote it. The workout is called “Crazy 8s” because the loop is done as a figure 8.

thanks google

The plan was to do 4 of ‘em but due to major GI troubles (that had plagued me all day that day and I pigheadedly thought that I’d be able to work through it) I only did 3.  The first 2 were really strong and the third was when my intestines were like “ummmmmmmmmmm no”.  I ended up with slightly over 6 miles for the total and annoyed that I tried to push myself through that third one yet also annoyed that I didn’t get through the whole thing.  Silly me.  I mostly felt “bad” that I was “wasting” the cold front.  The temps were in the 80s and it felt awesome.

Which meant that this past weekend should have been a good LR with the group.  Well I evidently partied too hard on Friday night, although I was at the Rangers game so I didn’t think there’d be much room to party.  Obviously the party didn’t end with the game. And slept through the group LR on Saturday.

The alarm was set. I just slept through it.  And the two phone calls one of the group members made to me. Oops.

I woke up in a panic about a half hour into their run and was like “I SWORE I’d be able to make it”. Clearly I was wrong.  I stayed in bed all day that day and made up the run with a friend who wasn’t, for other reasons, able to make Saturday’s run on Sunday (and I hate running long on Sundays).  I think it ended up for the best: it was my fastest run, in general, since Boston at any distances, and it was 15 miles at 9:03 paceSo I’m not quite sure what that tells me.  I was never struggling during the run and was not 100% drained afterward.  Hopefully this run was the mental wake up I needed, I have a half to run this fall!

I also absolutely ADORE the girl (well woman I guess) that I was running with. She hasn’t been running long but she’s trying to learn all she can about running and we talked a lot about running (obviously) and she encouraged me to pick the brains of people that run in the CoOp. I always feel weird asking people for advice like that, mostly because I feel like I’m pumping them with information.  But I’ll try to make myself more annoying during group runs ;)

I’m sure the weather helped for that long run (it was still in the 60s when it started) and that was not the case today, as it was 80* at 0600. Greeeeeeeeeat. Today’s workout was a ladder workout and it was decent, aka better than last time, despite being alone for it.  It was supposed to be with the group but late last night kind of freaked out about having to get up to make a 430am rail. Which wouldn’t be so bad except I have to walk just over a mile to get there.  Even at a jog it wasn’t appealing.  Nor did it seem like a good idea to be in a confined car at 430am. In all honesty nothing probably would have happened but I don’t think I’ll get to do AM track sessions with the group ever. So I got an extra 2 hours of sleep instead. WIN.

So I headed to a local track and did the same ladder they did: 800-1200-1600-1200-800 with 400m recovery time (although I’m not sure if I cheated by doing an 800 recovery after the 1600.  I needed it so I think not).  Let’s just say that I wasn’t too thrilled with the added 1600 in there because last time we did a ladder, two weeks ago, it wasn’t.

I’m still not sure which paces I’m supposed to be hitting here according to the pace chart for the group (which can be seen in the link above from last time and does vary with the distance of the intervals), so I kind of put a range between the “goal marathon time” I ended up running paces for last time (the 4:00 marathon) and the one faster (3:50).  I was in there, on the slower side, but in there.  What was frustrating was, despite feeling like I worked hard, the marathon times I selected are still slower than marathons I’ve run.

  • 800: 3:49 (7:38)
  • 1200: 5:53 (7:50)
  • 1600: 8:02 (8:02)
  • 1200: 5:57 (7:56)
  • 800: 3:52 (7:44)

Looking back at my training log, I was pretty much at, or slightly faster, than my times the last time I did a ladder.  I’m happy with that, especially being able to be slightly faster than the last time (aka I didn’t flounder the way I did last time) on the “down” portion of the ladder after the 1600. Obviously not where I was last fall/winter but about where I was training for Boston this past winter.

All told my legs had that good burn at the end of it.  I feel like I couldv’e gone faster though? I mean, my legs hurt and my mind wanted to quite but I wasn’t satisfied with it.  I’m glad I did it today though as I was debating putting it off another day.

I’m at an impasse though because my long run was so stellar on Sunday and my intervals were meh today.  Intervals suck. I appreciate everyone who’s chimed in about me taking care of myself and I continue to do so.  Although I’m sure that some of you are shaking your heads at my running load. Other than my paces being slower than in the past, I feel fine physically.  Since I’m training now, I’m going to keep a closer eye on things but I don’t have access to affordable health care at the moment so I’ll just continue to do what’s worked for me when I’ve been I’ve feltlike this before.

Since adding in quality workouts, however, my weekly miles have dropped slightly, I’ve gotten back an appetite (aka can fuel better) and my weekly average pace has dropped slightly as well (at least the past two weeks since I’ve considered myself training for something). 

Anyway that’s what I’ve got. Hopefully I won’t go another week or so without posting/commenting/keeping in touch.  Although I am keeping my fingers crossed that I get a call back from a job and having to work makes it difficult to post ;)

September 6, 2011

The Race That Wasn’t Supposed to be a Race. And Wasn’t. Really.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:36

I’m really glad that the DRC Breakfast Bash 5M that I ran on Saturday morning wasn’t supposed to be taken as an actual race for me.

competetor . com

While the above picture isn’t exactly what happened to me during the race it was probably the longest 5 miles. Of. My. Life.

The plan was to get some miles in before the race and then take the race as MP, to get some pace work in, as it was the LR day for the group ( I still feel weird calling it “my group” despite having run with them 3 times in the 3 weeks I’ve been here and 2 weeks in Dallas). MP, of course, means nothing to me as I’m not signed up for a marathon and sooo am not in marathon *racing* shape or really any racing shape.

I met with up with two friends to do a 9 mile loop around White Rock Lake beforehand. My goal was to run the first 9 slow and then just push the race. We started out at 0600 (and it was PITCH BLACK) and we went…slowish. The first mile was nice and slow, right where we wanted it to be (we were shooting for 9:45 average) and then picked it up a bit too much for our liking given how early we were in the run, the first three miles were 9:30 average. Normally this wouldn’t matter too much but we had that race after.  We locked into 9:45 even for miles 3-7.5 and then slowly picked up the pace over the next mile and a half.

Grand total pre-race: 9 miles in 87 minutes even, which is a 9:39 pace. I’m pleased with it.

We finished up with about 20 minutes before the 8am start and I’m pretty sure it was hot out. As I mentioned above the goal for the race portion was to go at MP.  One of my friends who did the lake loop with me wanted to target 9:00-15 pace, and I wanted…well ideally I wanted to PR, but that would mean a sub-7 pace.  Did I ever mention I was delusional?! I set my sights, however, on a sub-9 pace.  Ideally just under since my speed session during the week indicated those were the paces I was training for (according to that chart). As I told my friends earlier in the run, I want a sub-9 pace, even if it’s one f#$%ing second sub-9.

Summary of the race: It hurt and tested me mentally. I gunned it from the get go and my first mile was a little fast, second mile a little slow but the last three were dead on even (8:50, 8:58, 8:55, 8:55, 8:54). According to my watch (and I had to stop and tie my shoe and stopped my watch.  If it’d been a training run, which essentially this was, I’d have done the same. Don’t judge) my time was 44:42, which about a 8:56 pace.  Officially I ran a 45:01.  Annoying 1 second.

I’m pleased.  It’s what I wanted, even and hard effort, and my pace, while definitely not my marathon paces in the past, felt hard and challenging and it was a good workout on tired legs. And  I’ll repeat: it was the longest damn 5 miles of my life.  Thank god for some guy that chatted with me during the second half who kept me going and not letting me quit (and called me silly for not taking any water at the water stop. HA)

That said, after talking with some peeps from the group post-race (see below picture), I’m still excited to get into a training mode for my half in early November. I also got a mini-massage on my achilles and hips because they’re acting up, no injury but just tightening.  Silly Dallas and all your concrete!

Oh yeah, in a race that I was not racing at all I got 4th AG. So maybe it was a race for me. Evidently my AG isn’t too competitive here.  Too bad I’m bumping up one this fall and it’ll get more competitive. Damn.

I went out to Ft. Worth that night with a friend (who ran the loop with me) and met up with a bunch of people, including a girl I went to college with.  We danced the night away! It was so much fun despite, out of all the people we hung out with I only knew two of the people. But I guess now I have more friends after that night.

The rest of the weekend was about recouping, both from the race and getting home from Saturday night at 0430 Sunday.

I got a little taste of home on Labor day, when I stepped out my door for a morning run: 67* and a nice crisp breeze. Yay for “cold fronts”

But after being here for close to 3 weeks now, with the lows in the 80s and the highs being 100+, it did almost felt chilly – guess I’m embracing the whole Texan thing.  I wanted to go for a mid-distance run (and I got it) but I also wanted to get some type of faster turnover and I figured that my legs should be adequately rested from the pace work on Saturday and would be ready for the group quality workout Wednesday if I did them today.

I settled for a minute-ladder: 1-2-3-3-2-1, with half recovery between them.  I toyed with the idea of doing it twice (because grand total my miles were around 10.7 and the above workout wouldn’t take that long) but after the last interval, I could take the second ladder or leave it.  So I left it. I’m second guessing my decision so if anyone has any input (*cough*FLO*cough) on what the “correct” thing to do was I’d love to hear it. I’m sure that if I took equal recovery for the intervals I’d have been able to do the second ladder but I’m never sure how much rest to take during speed sessions.

I figure that since I’m getting back into quality workouts, I think I’ve only done 4 or 5 speed ones including today, and that last week was my first “training week” with 92 miles. It might be good to ease back into it and work up to multiple ladders? On the other hand I ran over 10 total and maybe the long slow portion negated the faster minutes.

Who knows. I clearly overthink things. This morning was an even “chillier” one: 63*.  I was running and looking around expecting leaves to be changing and apples to be ripe for the pickin’.  No such luck.  This is Texas after all.  I got my 8+ in though.  I’m thinking of hitting up my standby neighborhood run (aka I can run on people’s grass and not concrete) later today when it’s *only* 80-something degrees out.

September 1, 2011

Of Ladders and Recovery and Racing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:18

First off I need to give a HUGE shoutout to my girl Lesley for hanging out/driving me to Super Target for groceries. She’s the BEST! I actually ran into her during our long runs this past Saturday (we ran by each other) and hopefully I can get together and run with her someday (and go to the zoo. Remember now, you promised ;) )

Thanks google

I swear I’m not 5 years old and/or her 4th kid.

Back to running because I guess moving and unemployment have been the best things to happen to it.  And to my blog posting abilities.

The group I’ve linked up with WRRC decided to make their speed session workout Tuesday morning. At 5am. Now in any “normal circumstance” (because trust me I realize that getting up at 4am to haul ass around a track is not in any way shape or form normal) I’d be all for it.  But with no car, I have to take the rail.  And catching a 0432 rail after walking a mile in the dark to the station is not ideal.  I don’t live in the worst neighborhood per se, but it made me uneasy.  So I figured I’d do it on my own.

Unfortunately some upsetting dreams (and I’ve been having VIVID dreams lately) had me oversleeping and I knew that trying to do speedwork once the sun comes up is not prudent.  As it stands in my log book I ended up getting a mid-distance run in, which might not have been prudent either given the lack of water stops on the “trail” I was on.  I did 11 but based on the time and my effort I feel like it should have been more.

I suppose it serves me right for starting a run at 8am although in my defense that’s the weather I’ve been running in all summer back home (86* and home has higher humidity which makes it feel worse) so I figured I’d be okay.  My stomach by the end was all upset in its “dehydration ouchie” state.  I think on the way home I stopped a couple times to stretch it out. Lesson learned: this is Texas. Bring water. (and drink more H2O in general. Adding lemonade powder to my water has been a lifesaver lately though because I can only take so much water!)

The only saving grace to the run was that it drizzled for the whole first half.  Actually I’m not sure if this made it better or not as I felt a little more humidity about.  At least there wasn’t any true lightning like there was on Monday morning when it poured (now that felt good).

The rest of the day (and really any day) was spent recovering (aka feet up and applying to jobs) for:

WEDNESDAY’S BIG DAY OF RUNNING

The track workout that I didn’t do Tuesday was on tap.  I had set my alarm for 0530 so I could easily be out the door before 0600. I ended up getting up at 0600.  Still well before the sunrise, so it’s okay.  The temp was 88*.  Ouch.

On tap was

  • Warmup
  • 800-1200-1200-800 (with 400m recovery between)
  • Warmdown

This was created, I think, by one of the guys in the Running Coop and he’s posted on the FB group page a “Ladder Pace Chart” for what you should try and hit depending on your marathon goal.  For me, I’m not signed up for a marathon so I really had no clue what I should do.  A few weeks back I did some 800s at 7:20-30 pace which according to the pace chart below was what the group aiming for a 3:40-3:50 marathon would target.

Because I’m delusional I decided I wanted to go faster and hit paces targeting a 3:20-40 marathon (and corresponding to a 1:34-44 half, see below). Don’t forget that out of all my marathons, I’ve run 75% of them slower than 3:30 and my half PR is 1:33:something.

Delusional.

Because here’s the pace chart (I figured it’d be easier for y’all to see it with your own eyes rather than me confuse you by trying to explain it)

Yes I am aware it’s an oddly shaped image with a lot of space at the bottom. Deal (although the whole point was so that you guys could read it. Hopefully you can get it to enlarge, maybe by clicking on the image to open it in a new tab/window?)

In order to do this workout I needed to find a track.  This shouldn’t have been a problem.  And wouldn’t have been if I had a car at the moment.  But I don’t.  So I needed something within an appropriate warm up distance.  I found it but the one I found definitely had a sign that said “stadium for school district use only”.  Oops. I had to even walk through the school to get to the track.  Luckily I was able to get in because it was unlocked for the football team.

Side note: I grew up in MA, my high school’s football team (and football in general in the league) was, and likely still is, a joke. In college I didn’t have a team. So this was fascinating in it’s own right.

I guess I can share my speeds/what I actually hit.  As I said above I was targeting the 320-3:40 pace on the chart, but in reality I ended up hitting more of a 3:50-4:00 goal. (rest was one lap, and typically took me ~3 minutes. The recovery according to the pace chart is above but is supposed to be marathon goal in minutes:seconds).  So here are the splits, for 800s it’s broken 400+400 time, for the 1200s it’s broken 800+400 times

  • 800:   1:55 + 1:50 = 3:45 (7:30 pace)
  • 1200: 3:55 + 1:57 = 5:52 (7:52)
  • 1200: 4:00 + 2:00 = 6:00 (8:00)
  • 800:    1:58 + 1:58 = 3:56 ( 7:52)

The workout itself ( again, done mostly in the dark. Ugh late sunrises but yay to seeing the sunrise) went meeeeeeeeeeeeeeh. I mean, I hauled assMajor ass. But it just wasn’t pace wise where I thought I should be.  I was wayyyy off of the goal for me, with the second half of the ladder being much slower than the first and despite me feeling like I was pushing HARD.  Next week I’m going to haul butt to do the speed session with the group because I know that during the intervals it wasn’t a constant “on”, it was a slow down/speed up routine that made me feel like crap.

Shouldn’t have been too surprising though given how slow I’ve been running all summer but I wanted something faster to make my decision whether to run a fall / winter marathon (or even half) clearer. Only good thing about the run (well I guess just getting out there and running fast is a good thing) was that the football coach  asked me “Marathoner?” and I said yes, and told him a potential goal race to which he said “you have an excellent footfall. Wish I could teach my kids that”. That made me smile and probably put a little pep in my step for that last 800.

But I guess it’s a good/decent barometer as to where I am at the moment.

Later that night I went for a group run with the Coop.  I met up with my friend beforehand for a little over 2 miles and the loop with the group was a little over 6 so I got ~8.4 on the night.  The pace felt easy (except for some rolling hills at the end and humidity when we hit White Rock lake) and it was faster than my usual runs.  Not sure what that means.  What I do know is that it left me with 16 for the day.

I didn’t get back to my apt until close to 2200, had to eat dinner and shower AND *register for the DRC half in November before the price increased today*. After the group run, sitting around at Fuzzys Tacos, I wasn’t really talked into it per se but it just made sense.  Something to train for.  Something relatively soon. Something not a marathon. I still have marathon *ideas* but that’s all there is to them.  We’ll see how the half goes first (and if I get a job to pay for it!)

I didn’t get into bed until late and, normally not a big deal but with the Texas heat I really can’t run mid-morning anymore.  So I’m skipped  my scheduled 7 for this morning.  Maybe I’ll get it in tonight (very likely) but we’ll see. I’m babying my Achilles at the moment because, as I mentioned yesterday, Dallas “trails” are really just concrete bike paths that they call multi-use paths. Guess this is a city built on concrete.  I’m not quite sure why but I suspect asphalt would melt in the summer but that’s my theory.

Anyway, it’s September 1st, meaning I should do a “Previously on MM” post for August. I’m going to wait a bit. Lots of stuff went down in August, but I feel like in my last two or three posts you’ve gotten it all.  I’ll have to put my creative juices to work and come up with something wicked pissah to put into words my monthly total.  Hmmmmmmmmmm.  As if applying to jobs wasn’t zapping all my mental capacity!

And since you’ve read this thus far (seriously, I mean what I wrote about unemployment being good for the blog above!):

thansk google

August 31, 2011

To Race or Not To Race

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:43

It’s probably a silly question.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love racing: going fast is awesome.  But on the other hand, I’ve let myself get way out of racing shape.  Mostly by running long and slow but also not taking care of myself terribly well this past summer. In retrospect maybe I could have done things differently but whatever, I did what I needed to do.

That said, once I moved here I jumped on the chance to run/train/race.  I met one of my friends in the Dallas area last December (actually I met in real life a lot of people that December) at White Rock.  We keep in touch via RW and now FB as well as, duh, real life.  She’s part of a running group (The White Rock Running Coop) that meets twice a week, very informally, to do a LR on Saturday and then a speed workout in the middle of the week.  This past week they actually met three times because the afternoon heat has made speedwork hard, so that was changed to an early am session and the night run is a recovery one.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that ever since I’ve known I was going to move here (as in once I had actual plans to do so) she invited me to the FB group for the group and I’ve been excited ever since.  Training with a group is awesome. Don’t get me wrong I love my solo runs. But I ran a long run with them last Saturday and their training mindset was infectious.  After Boston I had vowed to take off racing for the year; I was definitely overtrained, injured and just tired of push push pushing.  These guys are all training for fall races, ranging from Chicago to White Rock, and it got a little bit of the “hey I want to do that. Hey I want to follow a training schedule and have workouts with NAMES again.”

thanks google images

Now I haven’t gone off the deep end and registered for any races yet (I have registered to become a member of the Dallas Running Club and with that you get 8 free races.  I’m not counting those, especially since this one on Saturday is going to be after a 9-10 mile run as part of the long run) but I have some on my little “I want to do them” list.  A couple have price increases as of September 1st and I hate having pressure on me, especially since I still don’t know what I’ll do.

So the title of this post may be a tease because I clearly have no information as to my fall race schedule to give myself, much less you.  I am, however, training as though I’ve committed.

The first week that I was here (and for those of you who missed my last post I am not longer in Providence RI but now in Dallas, TX) I just ran easy.  No shock because that’s what I’ve been doing all summer. It was all about A) getting acclimated to the weather (it’s been 100+ every day with the lows being PVD’s highs!) B) exploring the area — both via bus/rail and running by getting out on the “trails” :

DallasCounty.org

While the trails can be pretty, there are the quote marks because it’s concrete. My legs are taking a beating due to it!

After being here in TX a week, I decided last Thursday (the 25th) to do a speed session. After actually making the move to Texas I felt that my life was less chaotic and during the exploratory run the previous night I felt the itch to do something structural with my running week. So on Thursday I set out.  In 85* @ 7am weather. Excellent.

I’d actually only been in Dallas for a day at that point due to the apartment fail but I had found a nice field on my previous run and thought it’d be good to use for speed work.  I was secretly hoping for a track there but it wasn’t too be.  I used a soccer field instead and did the following workout:

  • 4 X 3 laps of the field (~1000m) with 1.5 laps of recovery (~500m)

After some “extensive” google searching I took the average of all the measurements out there to be that 3 laps of a soccer pitch is ~1000m, and for my pace calculation I took it to be .6 miles. Good enough for me. How’d it go?

  1. 4:32 (7:33)
  2. 4:31 (7:32)
  3. 4:37 (7:43)
  4. 4:39 (7:45)

I guess I’ll take it? It’s slightly slower pace wise then when I did my 4 X 800m three week prior but slightly faster than when I did my 4X1 mile two weeks ago.  Since I really have no idea how long the entire field was, my paces ranged from 15 seconds faster (if you assume I ran further than the distance I used) to 30 seconds slower (if you assume I ran shorter). With all that guesswork involved I’ll just say that I’m happy with it because it felt hard and very taxing.

Just an interesting note that I saw lightning off in the distance during these early bird hours of running. Weird to me to have those t-storms so early; in MA/RI those storms crop up in the late afternoon. And there was a creepy kid doing soccer drills in the field.

No apologies for this one. Once I wrote lightning I had to watch it. And then share

This past Saturday was my first group LR.  I think I’ve run by myself for long runs with the exception of maybe 5 total.  This was the day that I started really feeling the itch of having a marathon on tap this fall.  The plan was to go for 15 miles, but a few wrong turns from the group leader got us to 15.6. NBD in my book.

We started at 0600 to try and get the bulk of the miles before the sun came out (sun rises around 7 in these parts) and the run was okay.  With my summer going how it went and the Texas heat I started out with the group that was running 9:45 pace and stuck with them.  At first I felt like I could have gone faster but I’m glad one of the guys told me not too.  I felt great until mile 11.  Miles 11-13 were eh.  After that I just wanted to be done.  I did finish: 15.6 miles @ 9:45 pace. As one of the guys told me at the end:

“Welcome to Texas”

Also just a note, because this is getting sooooooooooooooo freaking long!, I started a bare bones strengthening workout this week that I plan on doing 2-3 times a week (found it in a recent RW I think).  Nothing major but it makes me feel like I’m doing something.  At some point I’ll add to it or actually hit a gym but it’s good for a nice quick 10-minutes-and-I-feel-better-about-myself lift.

  • 20 walking lunges
  • 50 crunches
  • 10 pushups
  • 20 squats
  • 30-45 seconds of plank

I’m going to call this past week (August 22-28) my first week of training.  For what? Who knows. But after those two workouts above, re-starting a strength plan (hadn’t done anything like that for arms/core since May and legs was probably December) I’m beat and wearing compression socks to bed.  I’m sure adjusting to the heat has something to do with it too. No injuries although, as I mentioned above, my legs are feeling achy from the concrete. Regardless I finished up with 62.7 miles. Lower than I’d like but a solid place to start.

Wow I didn’t realize how much I had to say about my running lately. Sure makes up for my lack of exciting running this summer! I’ll post my track workout that I did this morning (it was the group workout that I had missed Tuesday morning because I wasn’t going to walk in the dark to get there!) tomorrow or Friday because it was a doozy and put some things in perspective in terms of races and this fall, as well as the group recovery run I’m going to tonight.

August 29, 2011

Howdy Y’all

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:09

Hi all! I had planned to do some comprehensive posts of all my life changes, because I’m finally ready to unveil them but I’ve been busier than I though lately and that coupled with lack of good internet time just meant that I couldn’t do anything with the blog.  I definitely can’t promise that I’ll update regularly even now because I still haven’t subscribed to an internet service yet.

If I ever though that last year was the year of changes for me, 2011 went out and proved it all wrong. I’d have to say that, while 2010 brought really good accomplishment changes, 2011 has tested me.  Especially this past summer I don’t really like to post lots of personal stuff here so I’m not going to go into detail BUT the major life changes that hit me were

  • Ending of my job.  It was only a year long position so I knew that it would end. In the late spring/early summer I started looking for a job.  Except no one in RI is hiring. No bueno.
  • The death of my grandfather on July 3rd.  I wasn’t ever going to mention it on the blog but it was very unexpected in the way that he died (he went into surgery which he had a 10% chance of surviving, made it through(!!) and then crashed 6 days later when they went to lower his BP meds) and it hit me wayyyyy harder than I thought it would. I know that it took up a lot of my mental energy from May (when I found out he needed surgery) until now.
  • Boy drama.  Definitely not going to post that stuff here but it definitely affected my mood / brain energy.
  • Moving.  To Texas.  Remember when I came here last August? Yeah, I fell in love with the state.  I knew when I came back last year that I’d be there in 12 month.  On August 17th, 2011 I hopped on a plane.  Here I am. Everything about the move was stressful: From saying good bye to friends (although I did through myself a kick ass goodbye party)  to how to pack up my stuff, to what I definitely needed to bring, and what I needed to get when here as my original (and fully furnished) apartment fell through and I ended up crashing on a couch for the first 7 nights I was here.

It's true. Especially the bugs. They're waaaaaaaaaaay bigger than at home.

There were good stuff too to the summer.  I went to the beach twice, learned how to salsa dance, took a VACATION, connected with people, got really into karaoke etc.   But the bad weighed me down.  But I’m here.  I made it through the summer alive.  Even though the above stresses aren’t gone (still looking for a job, still get teary eyed occasionally thinking of Papa, adjusting to moving to a place on a gut feeling) and new stresses have cropped up (how do I figure out the DART system because I don’t have a car?) I feel good.  As Ian Malcolm said

All major changes are like death. You can’t see what is on the other side until you get there.

I had no idea what to expect when I got here. I couldn’t even speculate what to expect. I kept thinking I didn’t have any friends or family or anyone here.  And that I was moving to a new state 100% on my own. But I discovered that Texans won’t hear of that and I have friends here that I didn’t know I could count on the way I can and actually have been counting on. I’m so not alone.

Yay fountains!

Now that I’m here, I LOVE it and feel silly for feeling so scared before I left (I was debating not hopping on my plane). Except for the AC.  I’ve NEVER lived with it before.  And I’m chilly.  Like, way chilly. My sister looked at me crazy when I packed sweaters to move to Texas, in August, but I’m sitting here in the apartment complex office freezing. I’ll go out in a few hours and sit by the pool (after getting another round of job applications going) so I guess it’s all good.  I almost feel like a menopausal woman…almost.

I feel like everyone could end this heat wave by opening the windows/doors and cooling down the state with their A/C

As you probably figured I have been running. And have been the entire time I’ve been here.  Typically I’ve done a mix of some runs around sunrise, where temps are in the upper 80s, and some around 1800, where temps are in the 100+* range.

At first the running was nothing major mileage wise, I just didn’t have the routes / feel comfy enough to really explore (even with my Mace). So my weekly miles have been taking a hit, because my runs ranged from 5-8 the first week and a half.  The paces were slightly faster than back home, which was surprising.  Not by much but there wasn’t the “holy moly it’s hot let’s walk” thing that I’d have expected from the get-go.  Now that my legs are getting used to ~40 miles less per week (the last 4 weeks have been 101, 85, 65, 62) I’d expect to go faster.

And who knows.  I certainly plan on ramping up my miles and racing, which means I do expect to get faster/back into racing shape.  I’ve signed up to join the Dallas Running Club, which as part of it you get to do 8 of their races (first one for me is Saturday!) and discounts on 3 others.  I think I’ll be in training sooner rather than later. Especially since I’ve joined an informal running group to train with that one of my friends from RW hooked me up with (they are / were part of the DRC training group but wanted something more relaxed for group runs) and did a LR with them this past weekend and plan on joining them to run twice this upcoming week.

And since this post is getting long and I have more to say, I’m going to break it off here. The next post will have the specific workouts I’ve done since getting here and why I think I’ll be training for something in the near-ish future despite my proclamations of not racing the rest of 2011 because 2011 can suck it (see above for why it hasn’t been good).

Again: LOVE IT.  Everything just feels right despite the heat  wearing me down at the end of the day; I’m typically asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. And the sun rises so late here! I guess I’m not in Kansas (or RI) anymore…

August 12, 2011

Another Week Goes By….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:22

…and no post.  I meant to post during the week but (and this is one of my transitions, I’ll try to give them all a separate post — unfortunately it might be late next week– because I want to talk about my workout today) this week was my last week at the clinic.  I can’t believe that my year with VISTA is over! And since last post I don’t have anything exciting on the workout front.

So needless to say, I’ve been swamped.  Not with work per se.  More so with the “let’s spend 8 hours applying to jobs” and “let’s go drinking with friends at night” swamped. Tough life, no?

Well yes.  Because tough = mile repeats = pain.

Granted I was out way to late last night and woke up still drunk this morning.  But, that said, I’ve had spectacular sessions before after such nights.  This was not the case and I think my liver is finally realizing that it’s not 21 anymore. I’m still in the process of convincing it otherwise.

Thanks google images.

Anyway I headed out to the track this afternoon to “bang out some mile repeats”. Step one of running fast is the outfit and I rocked my booty spandex and sports bra and sunglasses. (Step two is not chickening out — see below and my pre-1 repeat)

Last week I was excited about them (and by them I mean the 800s).  This week I knew I had to run twice the distance and about the same pace.  Last fall I was able to do 6 X 1 mile @ ~6:30.  Based on last week’s workout I wanted to do 4 X 1 mile @ 7:30.

Now, as I’m just getting back into speed work I have ZERO idea what I should be running these things in.  But 7:30 is what I’d ideally call a tempo pace, and did last fall  (and I just cheated and looked at McMillian based on my PW marathon time and mile repeats should be at 7:21-7:43 with tempo runs being 7:53-8:13 and tempo intervals being 7:46-8:03 for whatever that info is worth)

I’m very glad I didn’t know that information until just now though.  Just because.  I think that with the hiatus I’ve taken I should just go.

And go I did.

Workout: 4 X 1 mile with 800m recovery jog

  1. 4:10 + 4:01 = 8:11. F@#$. <– Thought in my head.  I debated nixing the whole workout but figured that anything faster than the 9:40 easy paces I’ve been doing should be beneficial.  Fact: I stopped this first repeat at the 200m line. Gave myself a HTFU pep talk, walked back to the start and then ran in
  2. 4:06 + 4:04 = 8:10 Seriously?!?
  3. 4:05 + 4:00 = 8:05 Better I guess.
  4. 4:05 + 4:00 = 8:05 Dayyyyyyyyyum

So clearly I’ve fallen from last fall.  Like last week, I never felt like I was going fast.  And yet I know I could not have gone faster.  It was upsetting to a degree. Funny how last week I wrote about being okay because I was getting back into it and, while I’d never have admitted it beforehand, I was hoping to really bounce back fast. I shouldn’t (and am not) be surprised just because after last Friday’s session my legs were wiped for days after.  I’m not sure if it’s even possible BUT I don’t think my legs were recovered today!

I was just complaining to a friend about how “out of shape I clearly am” and he disagreed.  Mostly because he know I run a lot and that equals being in shape.  At the time I didn’t have a retort.

Now I do: I am out of racing shape.  I can bang out 100+ mile weeks with the best of them but that doesn’t mean I’m going fast.  I really don’t think I could have run faster if Jack the Ripper was behind me today.

thanks google images

And since I love racing (I know I don’t race often but I do love it) that’s frustrating. I guess this means that if I want to start seriously contemplating a fall race (not a marathon but maybe a half or 10k or anything!) I need to cut back on the miles and let myself ride out this period of awkward “hey-what-the-hell-am-I-doing?!?” phase of getting into Fasty McFast shape.

Note: I’m not upset over this in an “I’m-going-to-agonize-over-it” way.  I’m just annoyed that I’m not in my Fall 2010 Racing Shape. The workout wasn’t a complete disaster because I fell in the “tempo interval” range as noted above. I’m sure I’ll reap some benefit from this, no? And, as I mentioned last week, there’s room for improvement. I need to focus on that excitement.

I also hope this post is coherent.  I’m running on little sleep.  Time for a quick nap and then time to go out and celebrate with my friends (they’re 2nd year med students and this week is the 1st year’s orientation.  I’m an honorary med student this week hahah!)

August 5, 2011

Well It’s a Start. The Story of Me (kind of) Finding Speed.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 20:06

I’ve been M.I.A. lately. Duh.  So much so that I’d forgotten my password to log into my blog. Suffice it to say that I’m in the midst of some HUGE changes in my life (exciting, scary, sad, partying, frustrating) and posting…well it just was something I didn’t have time for.

But I’m back.  For the day. Maybe longer.  But those changes are still on- going until September so bear with me.  And no, that’s not me apologizing.  If you don’t want to bear with me then don’t.  But I’d like it if you did :)

Also back into life is speed-work.  This entire summer I’ve only done LSD.  Seriously.  My weekly miles are huge and slow (I know I didn’t do a monthly recap for June or July but the miles were 451.9 and 433.7 respectively with the average paces being 9:45 for each month or thereabouts). I’m okay with that, running has been one aspect of my dealing with life (dancing and karaoke with friends is the other) and it feels good to just kind of plod along and let my thoughts wash over me.

That said, for whatever reason during my run this morning (which was supposed to be a long run) the idea popped into my head to run track work today.  Since I was already 7 miles into my run I stopped that run, headed back to my apartment, and rested up for the afternoon (I figured doing speed-work immediately after 7 miles was silly).  Because I decided that I had to do it THAT SAME DAY or else I was liable to chicken out. Who knew when my next urge to run at the track would be?

Because my last speed work session was March 5th.  Like 5 months ago.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (thanks google images)

I chose to run 800s; mostly because they are my favorite track session.  I decided to do 4 of them because 4 is my lucky number.  And I decided to shoot for 3:30 for each one because it was…well there was no rhyme or reason but I wanted to go at 7 pace. That whole 5 months thing be damned.

How’d I do? Well, considering during my warm up mile around the track was painfully slow and I wanted to bail on the whole stupid thing, fine.  Not quite on pace but there’s that five month thing.

  1. 1:54 + 1:52 = 3:46 (daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn I am slow. My first ones are usually the fastest! Wonder how the next three will go)
  2. 1:54 + 1:52 = 3:46 (Seriously?! The same f$#%ing time?)
  3. 1:53 + 1:51 = 3:44 (Better.  Kind of sort of)
  4. 1:52 + 1:49 = 3:41 (Okay.  That hurt.)

Overall I can’t say I’m too upset.  Of course I want to be faster.  And I think I held some stuff back because I wanted to hit all 4 of them around the same pace.  Which I was successful of. Just wish I had been consistent in a faster manner. I never felt as though I was…well I hate to use the word sprinting because that’s not the point of track work…but I never felt as though I was going fast.

But 7:22-7:32 pace as the range for all 4 of them isn’t too bad. That’s my typical threshold run, or at least it used to be. So I do have a long way to go before I can say I’m my typical speedy self but I’m not beating myself up over it. If I don’t improve from here then, sure, let the beating up commence.  But for now I’ll just sit back, let my legs feel the good ole feeling of tiredness from a job well done.

As well get ready to go drink beer and go dancing tonight.

Also: I picked the perfect day to do this.  The temp when I went out at 1600 was 75* and cloudy.  When the sun broke through it literally looked like this.  I guess that’s a sign I should make a date with the track every week?

thanks google images.

June 24, 2011

Friiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiday. Means Dance.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:42

Still busy.  Still planning. In the process of moving to my sublet this weekend. But two posts in one week? One work week in fact? I’m happy with that.

Sooooooooooooo what’s keeping me sane? Musica. I don’t really know if any of these ones are considered “current” but they are goodies in my eyes and if I can scream at the top of my lungs and bust a move then it’s all good.

And since I’m taking casual Friday to the extreme and listening to my iPhone as well as going out dancing tonight (holllllllllllllllerrrrrrr) I want to use this post as a vehicle to start getting pumped (trust me: I spent the past…well I’m not going to admit to how long I actually spent searching/researching songs. I had to limit myself to lucky #4 for the blog though). And by pumped I mean creating a pre-gaming mix.  Suggestions are welcome!

Also note: these songs go on running mixes too.  Thankfully I don’t run with music often because I’m 97.3453% sure that I’d end up with more cracked ribs that way!

  • Fist pumping song. Never. Gets. Old. “Yeah X3″ by Chris Brown
  • This one is just awesome to belt to. I’m toying with the idea of karaoke-ing it.  Angry. “You Lie” by The Band Perry
  •  “You Be Killing ‘Em” by Fabulous.  Mostly because it have the best line ever! (They say she a dime. I say she underrated)
  • “Evacuate the Dance Floor” by Cascada. Ummmmmmmmmm dancing. Need I say more?
  • One that I just rediscovered is by Shakira. Hot.

Okay so that was 5. Moving onto running related notes before I add 5 more…

I’m still running obviously.  Like the month of May I’ve been running a lot of miles and trading off for speed.  Lately (aka this week) my energy levels increased a bit — mostly from sleeping a combined 34 hours over last Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and partly from doing more afternoon running — and my pace has sped up a bit as a result.

I. Wish.

I’m just rolling with the running thing.  My muscles are starting to feel slightly sore and so are my feet so I’m going to take it as a sign to start listening to my body and ease up if it seems to be an ongoing/recurring/continuing thing.

But that whole going out and dancing thing tonight? If it’s going to cause muscle/feet soreness, well then, I think it’s a price I’ll have to pay. Have a great weekend y’all!

June 20, 2011

Another 10 Days…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 07:19

…or more (?)…and no post. I was originally typing it up Sunday night but then got drug to Pub Trivia.  And beer.  Tough life I know.

This one isn’t going to be a huge catch up on all things running though.  Mostly because I’ve been doing the same thing. Well not really the same thing, I’ve been varying the distance and routes that I go. But lots of miles and lots of slowness.  I’m loving it.  With no race on the calendar it’s nice to get out there (and in 70* weather! For the most part, there have been some cold damp days as well as some HHH days) and run.  And think.

I’m still holding close the real reason (s) I’m not posting much.  But suffice it to say that I’m making big plans, both happy and sad. I feel like such a teenage girl not sharing but I don’t want to jinx anything, for better or for worse.

But the following pictures kind of / sort of depict what I’ve been doing FUN wise over the past few weekends this month.  The first weekend was my sister’s graduation…in the middle of nowhere….but beautiful scenery for running.  Because I was literally in the mountains.  I had high hopes of running to the NY and VT borders but time constraints forced me to not. I had brought my phone with me in case I should encounter beastly wildlife and snapped a few pictures.  And by a few I think I mean 13.  The large majority of which I will share.

Mountains!

Florida,MA.Holler.

The hills…errrr mountains…are alive with the sound of music.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand again.

Path I was actually on.

The rivaaaaaaaaaaaah

And to actually prove that I was at a graduation I present to you la famille.

The following weekend (the 12th) I went to a wedding.  For a friend whom I’ve known since I was 10. And I’ve known the groom since I was 14 (when they started dating). YIKES! Most of the pics snapped aren’t mine, so my favs will follow; although anyone who is FB friends with me can see all of them.

Waiting for the event to start

The class of 2005 (minus the bride of course)

Let’s dance

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm let’s see….anything else exciting happen lately? Oh yeah. The B’s! And my hero. It’s been so nice to “have a reason” to go out on a weekday night.  Too often I find myself staying in because it’s a “work night”.  Psssss (did I mention I went to pub trivia last night? Sunday?)

thanks google images

So that’s been the highlights of my June so far.  I suppose that since I’m posting, oh say, never, this might just be the linked post when I type up my June “Previously” post hahah! I feel so terrible being such a bad blogging friend but I swear that the end is in sight. It might be another 2 weeks off (I’m moving into my sublet this upcoming weekend and the ongoing family / future plans drama type stuff) before I’m fully back but I haven’t forgotten about this blog. Or y’all.  Promise!

June 10, 2011

Previously on MM…May 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:02

I am soooooooooooooo totally aware that today is June 10th. AKA we are officially in mid-June.  And I never put up my May recap-y post.  In all fairness I didn’t put up any posts this month so far.  So in one sense I’m really not that late because this is my first post all month.

Needless to say I’ve been busy.  And once my computer got that virus 2+ weeks ago I haven’t turned it on once after getting it fixed. And then I went away last weekend for a graduation (in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful. But middle of nowhere.) So I’m popping in real quick before I head away for a wedding this weekend and I go even longer without posting. I have some awesome pictures from my weekend away that I want to share. (I totally rubbernecked on my runs) and I’ve had some strange/amusing encounters on my runs lately so I know I’ll be back.  I sure hope so because I’ve missed y’all!

Anyone remember when I posted daily? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.

thanks google

May 2011

  • 425.6 miles
  • 67 hours 16 minutes 3 seconds
  • 9:29 pace

May 2010

  • 286.6 miles
  • 42 hours 40 minutes 49 seconds
  • 8:56 average pace

The biggest, most obvious, difference is the increase in miles. WOW. I posted my miles with my Dailies crew and got a couple of questions/remarks of “how do you run so many miles?”.  Well I really don’t know.  It’s not like I’m sacrificing much here: I’m an early riser in general so getting up between 0530 and 0600 typically happens no matter what time I go to bed and I’m lucky that I don’ t have kids or a spouse or those obligations.  That frees up lots of time.  Plus I”m young so my social obligations don’t start until at least 2000.  Somehow it all works out.  I mean, I definitely skimp on the sleep and many runs have been a little dehydrated from the night before.

And obviously pace suffers.  That’s pretty obvious is the stats too. Which, at this current moment, is something I don’t really care about.  I have prospect races but nothing that I’ve laid down the cash for so I’m perfectly happy just going out there and running big.  Or twice in one day and with the weather getting to be SUMMERTIME is something I’m loving.

Overall: good month. Some other highlights? Well this was a really stressful month on the family front but I got some good stuff out of it too.

  • Some of my stress was relieved when I found a place to sublet for July and August (and a place for beyond that! I AM SO EXCITED!). Turns out I will not be living in a cardboard box on the side of the road for the remainder of my time in PVD nor beyond that. Holler.

thanks google

  • WARM WEATHER. Borderline hot. Holler again.  It’s so nice to be able to go out at night and not wear a jacket or sweater.  It’s definitely helped my social life.  Which, speaking of, going out with Lacey over Memorial Day weekend was fan-freaking-tastic. I love dancing.
  • Evidently not baking though as I only made one recipe. And if memory serves me correctly I stated such in my post.  They were cookies though.  Win?

Yum.

  • Cracked ribs.  Okay so maybe not a highlight per se.  But it makes a great story.  Luckily I’m almost at 100%.  I don’t need the painkillers to sleep anymore, which is nice, but I can still feel that my ribs are a little damaged when I take deep breaths.

Hopefully this post was coherent. When I started typing I felt like I forgot how to blog! It’s Friday so it’s a half day for me (don’t be tooooooooooo jealous. I had to work several 9-10 hour days to get it!) and I’ll be

  1. Catching up on your lovely blogs
  2. Enjoying the wonderous(ly hot) weather
  3. Cheering the Bruins on tonight

Ready? BREAK!

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