MarathonMaiden's Blog

April 12, 2009

Make ’em say UGGGGH

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 09:29

Da Na Na Na. Oh Master P in the 90s.  Believe it or not but there was a period (middle school) where I shunned my beloved country music to be in the “popular” crowd.  Blech. Stupid middle school.

Anyways, the song doesn’t really have anything to do with my running, except that I am saying “UGH” this morning after my long run yesterday.  Twenty-Two miles.  Los doces.  It was one of the hardest long runs to get through actually, no I don’t think it was.  It was difficult yes, but when I finished time really did not have seemed to pass.

The weather was icky.  I started the run in between the two rain storms that were passing through the area but it started raining around mile 12.  This cold rain lead to my fingers going numb around this point too.  I have Raynaud’s syndrome, which is a fancy way of saying bad circulation.  Not life threatening in any way, and truth be told kind of cool that in 50* weather I can show people my freakishly blue/purple fingers haha.  But all these factors lead to be getting agitated and I even started getting really discouraged around mile 18!  I had to remind myself that I am a strong person who CAN finish this run. At this moment I made the decision to commit to 22 miles rather than the planned 20.  One mile for every year of life on Earth.

Those last 4 miles weren’t fantastic but they went by really quickly (maybe because I had just completed an 18 mile loop haha).  Finishing that run made me appreciate the amazingness that is running.  I was a little disappointed with the “slowness” of it, but I ran 22 freaking miles.  My pace was only 15 seconds slower than what I wanted it to be, but it was just with so many miles covered those 15 seconds add up pretty quickly to multiple minutes.  And seeing how much time really had passed, it didn’t feel like I had been out there for all that long despite all I wrote above.

I had fully intended to do work yesterday but all my body wanted to do was eat and watch Lost.  Ok so maybe my *body* didn’t want Lost per se, but my mind sure as heck did! I had to periodically get up and move about because I could feel my legs tightening.  It got better as the day went on but right after my run when I sat down for lunch I didn’t think my legs knew how to work when I tried to get up!

I really wish I had access to an ice bath, but since I’m not an athlete for my school that was out of the question.  Unfortunately that meant trying to use cold water in the shower and I am not disciplined enough to make that worthwhile; thus I ended up with a hot shower to warm up from the rain.   That prolly was a bad idea in hindsight, as my legs are just a bit sore now.

I’m currently sitting on 67.5 miles.  I may try to get out there and shake-out my legs and hit 70 for the week.  Seems hard to believe that exactly 4 weeks ago I was hitting 60+ miles for the first time and I thought that I wouldn’t be able to repeat that effort this training cycle! I may, or may not, hit the pool later today depending on when it’s open.  My legs need some shaking out.  Luckily it’s taper time, and it could not have come at a more needed time.

April 10, 2009

Going to be a long one…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:10

And no, I’m not talking about the weekend.  Even though technically it is, my school does not reconize anything.  Or even that a long run is doing to be done at some point.  What I mean is that I am swamped with school work.  There is so much that needs to be done! Normally I don’t really mind these kinds of weekends (I mean I don’t enjoy them but they’re do-able) but it coincides with a 20 miler weekend.  So an entire day gets shot because, let’s face it, I’m not going to have any motivation to write a genetics or Orgo lab after running for ~3hrs.

So here I am, in my room, trying to get a start on *something* (and so far I’ve been successful).  And the stupid ppl above me have their bass so loud it’s *shaking* my room.  Normally I wouldn’t have a problem going up there and speaking my mind (and trust me, I have before) but I’m 99.99% sure that shady shady business goes down up there. Stuff that I really don’t want to know about.  So I’m frustrated.  I could be outside in the 65* (!) weather but I’m not.  And I’m bitter.  But what’s their excuse for being inside? Oh, wait, it’s *illegal* to drink and smoke outside in public and by hiding in their suite they can get away with it.  One would also think that with this weekend being Easter weekend they would go home.  Apparently not.  And with everything I need to get done from now until Monday morning, I am absolutely not in the mood to deal with it.

Well, now that I got that off my chest let’s move into running, shall we?  I had a less-than-stellar 7 miles this morning.  It was 30* out (why can’t the mornings be warm? You would think that with a high of 60* yesterday that the low of last night would be relatively warm as well) so my hands got numb.  But it was worth it.  There’s something soothing about running when there’s no one else up, no people talking and screaming.  Just me and the road.  And the sounds of nature.  Even though my quads were sore it was ok.  Even though I was running (literally) on 5 hours of sleep per night this week it was ok.   That peaceful feeling just isn’t present in my running when it’s the afternoon.  Sure, I can often go faster and push harder in the afternoon (circadian rhythms for you) or even in the late morning after breakfast.  But there’s just something about rolling out of bed, half-asleep and throwing yourself out to the streets (granted I’m sure some people do this at noon ) that just makes everything ok.

I need to channel that zen feeling I had at 7am getting back from my run.  Stat.

April 9, 2009

I <3 Spring

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:19

Yes I do.  Sometimes I think that I really only like it because its right after winter, and I HATE winter.  With the heat of a thousand suns.  Spring weather is so random though (maybe because it’s New England, where the weather changes when the wind blows, or something like that) with a high today of 60* but this time last week we struggled to break 40*.  And I’m not going to discount the fact that we could get a blizzard, like, tmrw or something crazy but the general trend of weather is that it seems to be warming up.  And I enjoy that.  A lot. That said, it was 31* when I got up.  So despite Spring being here right now, my running is not benefiting from it.

Such is life I guess.  Well, I still was able to get a nice recovery run in.  The pace was prolly ridiculously slow but I didn’t worry about it / time myself.  I have a general idea of how long I was out there but hey, sometimes I just need to check my type A personality at the door right? Absolutely. After two days of double digit runs I needed to tone it down, so I planned to run my 6.2 mile route.  Apparently I have problems just stopping when I say I’m going to and I tacked on an extra mile at the end.  No bigs, except that I went to Spanish without having showered.  Hey, it was either no shower or no food.  And there was no way on earth I was skipping breakfast. Favorite meal of the day, hands down.  Anyone else feel me on that?

Back to running.  And recovery from tough stuff.  I find it really hard to incorporate it.  Ok, before y’all (is it obvious that I need to head South?) start reacting let me say that I *do* recovery stuff.   Over time pushing so hard makes me feel very run down both physically and mentally and I start to get cranky all the time beyond my typical complainer lifestyle. But after feeling spectacular from yesterday my first thought is that I want that again.  Give me another hit of this running stuff!  Plus if I want to rock my last 20 miler this weekend, I need to let my muscles get strong!

Tying running and weather together again, it’s supposed to rain on Saturday when I have my long run planned.  Bummed out because I really enjoy going long on Saturday but running in the rain (well anything other than Summer rain) is not enjoyable to me.  So I might have to move it to Sunday.  I’m such a creature of habit that it’s freaking me out.  No rational reason for it,  I just want to keep routine.  Kind of funny because there was a time when I would never have dreamed of running long stuff on Saturday.  In fact I started out this training cycle running ’em on Sundays.  C’est la vie.  Hopefully Mother Nature will take the hint and no rain on me.

So I’m not sure if I just wrote a cohesive post or not.  I tend to just write, then go back and cut things out, expand on other stuff.  Sorry if it was hard to follow! Even if you didn’t follow / understand / like it, please send some good weather vibes for Saturday? 🙂

April 8, 2009

Temp-oh!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:46

Oh man,  I always think I’m going to die on a tempo run (or any speed for that matter) before I start.  Especially when the distance I need to cover is long.  I get that “oh &*!#” mentality and butterflies start fluttering around in my stomach.  Of course I never remember the good that goes with tempo; that awesome feeling when you’re done and it feels amazing and that you can do anything in the world

This morning I set my alarm a little earlier than usual so I could get to the gym by 6 and I’m proud to say that it happened (although with my type A personality there really wasnt any doubt I suppose).  I like to do my speed stuff on the treadmill so that I can ensure the paces I want / need are hit.  I’m sure it’s not the greatest, I’m not going to run my marathon on a treadmill you know! Tempos have happened outside in the past but they’re usually 10-15 seconds per mile slower that I want.  Not bad, but being type A, dissapointing.

Anyway, on to my run this morning:

  • 15 min warmup
  • 7 miles tempo
  • 20 min warm down

I hit reset after each “segment” and as a consequence I don’t know exactly how far I went, somewhere around 11.5 miles I would guess.  I hit reset for a couple reasons:

  1. The treadmills have a 60 minute max before they automatically stop.  You can start up again without losing your data but the break of pace mid-tempo wasn’t something I fancied.
  2. I could cheat the 30-min time limit when others are waiting.  Yes, I know.  I *am* a terrible person.  But hey, if I bust my butt to get out of bed and start my run at 6, I don’t care that I’m hogging the TM for such a long time.
  3. Having a total of 11 or so miles is really long time to be on the mill of dread.  And looking at mile 1, 2, 3 (ie the early miles) is really discouraging! Granted, if you can stick out the whole lot, looking at 11 miles on the screen is something to feel accomplished and definitely a source of pride.  But getting there is a pain and a half.

I guess I’ll wrap this up by saying that it’s been about 9 or so hours after I finished my run and I still feel like a million bucks.  Hopefully I’ll be able to remember that I *can* do a successful tempo.  Heck, I’ve even done successful tempos outside (gasp!).  But for whatever reason, I never think that I’ll finish them.  I need to get better at reassuring myself that I know how to run, and run well on top of that.  Any tips? I suppose, though, that it won’t really matter until after the marathon.  I haven’t looked at what my “speedwork” is for the next three weeks but the distance can only get shorter as I go into taper mode after this weekend.  Eeeeek! So scary to think that “the hay is in the barn” (ha I was about to write that backwards).   Well almost, I still get to bask in the hardcore-ness that is this week 🙂

April 7, 2009

Only Tuesday?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:04

I guess when Monday feels like a week unto itself, when Tueday rolls around and you realize that you still have 4. more . days. until the weekend, its not too nice.  But it’s already the afternoon and I’m done with classes for the day with no *real* obligations for the rest of the day.  Sure it would be nice to get some work done, but I’d rather watch LOST 🙂

But let’s talk about running (or rather let me write about it).  I’ll start by saying I was in a deeeeeep sleep last night.  Like hard-core, vivid dream sleep.  Unfortunately it wasn’t too pleasant of a dream and woke me up.  Why I can never remember nice dreams is beyond me, only the scary ones stick.  The point I’m trying to make is that I was sound asleep until my dream woke me up around 530 or so.  With an alarm set for 630 (I know, sleep in woot! Heh) I did, in fact, fall back asleep and during the next hour I had another vivid scary dream.  Boo! Hmmm, I love how I haven’t even thought about mentioning running yet.  Oops! New paragraph time.

So scary dreams leave me groggy, which is *not* what I wanted on a “easy” 12 miler.  I guess the easy is supposed to refer to the pace, anything over 6 is not easy in my book, no matter how far I have run in the past.  The sun was up, but hiding behind the overcast sky.  The low last night was 43* (I slept with my window open!) so I was really comfortable and able to beast this run.  Definitely by far one of the best morning runs ever.  And I know I said that yesterday’s was the best, today might have been better.  I felt like I could’ve gone on forever and man, I was *fast*.  My toe did start hurting about a mile in, but no pain, just kind of a funny feeling. After the first 3 miles or so, I had to remind myself that I have a hard tempo tmrw and a 20 to do this weekend.  But with this week being my last hard week before the taper, I want to make sure that I give it my all and, to use a bball expression, leave it all on the court.

I also feel like my school life is going really well too.  Yes, I am worried about some of my classes and I really need to find a way to word hard to boost the GPA but yesterday was course registration for next semester and I always get excited for that.  Prolly something to do with the classes I’m taking now feeling a little stale and the newness of the next semester.  I’m also taking a not so tough courseload (jazz dance anyone?).  I figure I’ve busted my butt taking extra courses and an expanded class schedule for the past 3 years and I deserve a semseter to recharge.  Prolly the best thing too as I’ll likely be applying to med school in the fall too. Also, I get to sign into housing for next year tonight and I’m looking forward to that as I got a good housing lottery number and think I’ll get a nice room!

Hmmmm, looks like I should have been an english major or something! Hopefully I haven’t bored you with my posts (although I guess if I did you wouldn’t be reading this now) but if there’s anything you want me to expand on or tackle / explain in a future post, leave a comment! Even if you don’t care what I write about, leave me a comment anyway so I can feel the love 🙂

April 6, 2009

Update: Running=effective

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:59

Normally I really don’t like to brag.  BUT I got a ninety-freaking-seven on my genetics test that I took this morning.  I could attribute it to many things, effective studying, possessing a brilliant mind.  Umm, yeah, no. I’m going to say that my run this morning was able to clear my thoughts of everything and I could go into the exam calm with no lingering nerves. Yay running! 🙂

6am stress relief

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:23

Where did the sun go? This morning it was absolutely beautiful out and now its raining and dark.  Boo! Although I am very happy that I got a clear crisp morning to run in.  Maybe it was the weather that played a large role in the quick 7.5 miles I did this morning.  Maybe the best 6 am run I’ve ever done.

Man, did I feel like I was going at a really good clip; I surprised myself when I looked at my watch and saw how “little” time had passed.  I guess  I should have expected it as I had to keep telling myself to slow down.  I have my last hard week before the taper and I don’t want to get too worn out at the beginning of the week!

So my run was good.  Wicked good in fact.  Knees weren’t bothering me, a sign that I did my cutback week properly.  BUT the spot where my big toe hits my actual foot (I guess its the metatarsal) is super tender, but not in a bad way.  Just kind of achy.  It’s also red and a little inflamed.  BOO! And, me being the hypochondriac I am, immediately think *stress fracture* dun dun dun.  (How great of a doctor am I going to be? “Hello Doc, I have a headache” “OMG you have brain cancer!” heh). Intellectually I know its prolly nothing that ice and ibuprofen can’t cure, but I’m a complainer by nature, and the best things to complain about are dramatic.  And to me, and most runners (?) stress fractures are dramatic.

Aside from the toe pain, I think my run was just about the only good thing about my Monday.  Monday’s typically suck.  A lot.  I’m in class 9-6 every Monday (what a way to start off the week right?).  But today was a doozy, with a genetics test this morning,  not getting back an Orgo test that I *really* wanted to see how I did and having a 4 hour lab for said Orgo class.  (I’m noticing I capitalize Orgo.  Heh, that’s how much it rules my life).  Additionally I talked to my classical mechanics professor and basically the only way for me to get an A in the class is to ace everything for the rest of the semester. Uh, really? Greattttt.   So needless to say, running is keeping me sane and most likely will until May when the semester ends.  Coincidentally when my marathon is.  I see some kind of symmetry with that.  Not sure if it’s good or not but hey, at least I know that I can keep chugging along with a non-school goal for the rest of the semester.

April 5, 2009

Changing Definitions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — marathonmaiden @ 08:47

Yesterday was a “long run” day.  The quotes are there because I remember when 5 miles was a very long way to go.  Now it’s more like 18+, so the fact that yesterday was “only” 13.1 miles makes me feel awkward writing it down as such in my training journal (although I am a very awkward person so it shouldnt surprise me heh).

The weather was pretty decent, but the sun kept popping in and out behind the clouds and those clouds wanted to spit rain on me everyone and a while.  It was  a very mixed weather run, I’m glad I took gloves though, because when the sun went away it was pretty chilly and the temp *dropped* about 5 degrees over the course of the run.

At first I was going to simulate a race, as someone suggested to me, but I decided against it.   The main thing is that this is a cutback week, and to me that means not just mileage but intensity too.  Additionally, and I guess this could fall under cutback too, I suck at taking it easy.  I just want to go go go, which is good but there is a time and place for easy stuff.  I don’t like it, but I have to live with it.  And thirdly (if I am counting my reasons) this upcoming week is the last really hard intense push before the taper (which I already know I’m going to suck at) and I want to go into this week as fresh as possible to I can ran hard and fast!

As for today, I’m not quite sure what’s in store for me, at least running-wise.  The weather feels too darn nice to pass up. What am I going to do when Spring *really* gets here and its nice all the time? Heh.  Yesterday’s run wasn’t quite long enough for me to justify a shake-out run, so today might just be a rest day by default (I hate XT-ing wicked badly!) unless a friend wants to go running with me; in which case it prolly would be 5 miles or so, which not so long ago was a long run in and of itself  🙂

On a different note (yet still running related) I’m debating running a 10k.  The caveat is that its exactly one week before the marathon.  I really want to run it because I won my age group (and was 5th woman overall) which was / is excited.  So if I run it I was to race it.  But I don’t know if that’s going to really screw up my marathon the following week.  Something for me to must over I suppose.  If I do want to do it, I need to sign up by next weekend so I prolly should start making a pros and cons list.

Alright, since this is a blog, I *wont* apologize for the length of this novel haha.  Off to finish up some laundry and study for a genetics test I have tmrw (aka try to NOT do what I did yesterday and watch LOST)

April 3, 2009

I’m a *Runner*, en espanol

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — marathonmaiden @ 14:23

Ok so I got that awkward first post done last night.  It reads pretty lame to me, but that’s ok.  This morning, I realized that a “measly 6” run is not a small feat to other people.

Naturally I get picked in Spanish to model dialogue what we’re doing.  Nevermind the fact that the profesora frequently messes up my name.  But there I am, being interrogated and she’s trying to ask questions so that I can use all the tenses. Fun Stuff.  So she asks me what I did this morning and I answer that I ran 6 miles.  She KNOWS I run because I always use the verb “correr” for anything I’m talking about, what I will do, have done, am going to do, doing now etc.  Apparently, though, 6 miles blows her mind and she stops peppering me questions momentarily.  And the rest of the class too appears amazed that I would want to do that, because to make it to a 930 class, all showered, well-dressed and fed, I had to get up at an early time.

Hmmmm, I guess that story sounded better in my head. Heh. Oh well, time to move into my run this morning? It was pretty good.  6 miles in ~50* weather.  Very foggy and actually started to sprinkle / drizzle a bit by the end at which point it was pretty nice.  Since my school is pretty small I decided to do a 1 lap of my campus + 4 mile route + 1 lap of campus.  (Yes my school is that small).  I’ve been struggling to keep pushing my mileage up up up (…and away) so by running  my route in this order I was not tempted to expand it.  Well I was, but it didn’t make sense to me.  And I wanted to do some core-work before my aforementioned 930 Spanish class.

Guess that’s it for now.  I should get some work done now, but I recently became addicted to LOST.  As shameful as this should be to admit, I finished season 1 in a week and will probably be half done with season 2 this weekend.  But I suppose there are worse things to be addicted to.  And trust me, this falls under addiction.  A bientot! (I really try to be all hip and cool with my multi-languages 🙂 )

Hello?

Filed under: Uncategorized — marathonmaiden @ 00:53

Ok. So I obviously decided to write a blog. Which surprised me, as I don’t really like to “overshare” or share in general.  But I remember my english teacher in high school used to tell us (every class) that if we wrote for 15 minutes a day then our writing would improve drastically. And seeing as how my journal hasn’t been touched in forever, this might work?

I don’t know who / how many people (if any) will read this, and as much as I’d like to jump into telling a story or something cool, maybe, just maybe, I should say something about myself?

Well in any case, I’m KK (clearly a nickname), which is weird as my initals are not KK.  Regardless I am a student at a small liberal arts college in the Northeast, where I (attempt) to study physics and pre-med stuff.  Science (and math by proxy) is my thing.  I ❤ country music. For real.  As in, pretty much the only thing I listen to except when I’m at a party and have no control over the music played.

I guess I should segway into running? I mean , this blog is called marathonmaiden.  Funny, as I haven’t actually yet run one.  I will be, on May 3rd, and I’m really excited.  Can’t believe it’s a little over 4 weeks away! And I can’t believe that I will propel myself  26.2 miles, especially since  I used to dread running.  I viewed running as something to be done with a ball (basket or volley) in hand.  And because in track I was a sprinter for a year, distance for a year then quit.  Oops! But the here and now are the most important thing.  And that is, I’m running.

So I think I’m rambling. Sorry.  Not sure of the direction that this blog will take.  Again, its called marathonmaiden but I doubt it’ll stay strictly to running.  Anyhoo, I think I’ll wrap this up and hope (?) that someone will read this?  I’ll keep writing here because it’s been drilled into my head that if I don’t practice any type of writing then my writing will suffer. And as a science person, I’m already at risk. Heh

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