MarathonMaiden's Blog

June 30, 2009

Up and Down

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 22:33

Yeah, it was that kind of a day.  Again, I was in charge of the house which stresses me out slightly but I was able to run the household well and kept it running.  As a bonus (because my younger sibs who are 18 and 20 were supposed to help too) my mom is actually PAYING me for doing well.  I know I prolly shouldn’t take the money but I am poor.  So I will.

Jess asked me, in my last post, when I start applying to medical school.  Well, rolling admissions begin tmrw so I will send in my apps as soon as they’re done. Ugh, better get on that.  I prolly won’t actually send them in until early September simply because I want my pre-health adviser to give them the a-okay.

Onto the title of the post:

UP: my run today was spectacular.  The weather was cloudy and cool with 67% humidity! LOVE IT! I was only going to do 7.5-8 miles but the conditions were just too good to pass up so I did 9.  The weather also helped me feel good about my pace because it felt so so so much cooler than the past few days. It also made me want to race. Woot!

The down: I found a $50 gift card.  Well that, in theory, is an up.  But it expired (expires?) today.  So I go to shop and every store I go to says that the card is declined and the most likely reason is that the store doesn’t accept the card.  Which is bull but I figure why argue? I’ll just go to another store. (Mind you, this is AFTER shopping and picking out cute clothes).  So at the last store on my rounds, the woman tells me that she can’t run the card because it has already expired.  WTF? It’s June 30th today, so I can still use the card today. *Sigh*. Suffice it to say I’m going to on the phone with the card company fighting for a replacement because I should have been able to use it today, with no problems grrrrrr.

So rather than go to bed all angry at the world, I am going to sandwich the bad between some good running and recap the past 6 months aka the year is half over.  Yup, I am stealing this from all you bloggers who have already written this kind of post! And it’s definitely an UP because I’m very very proud of my dedication and perseverance in my running, and not necessarily just this 6 month period

Year-to-date mileage: ~1300 miles.  Okay so I’m lazy and really only have immediate access to my miles from 2/25 on (as that’s when I started computer tracking my shoe mileage) but adjustments were made for those previous 7 weeks and the 1300 is well within my margin of error. Wish I was as cool as Jess and was able to tell you how many hours that was.  And if I wasn’t so lazy, I could prolly break it down into monthly recaps.

Race mileage: 26.2. Lame, I wish I had raced more in preparation for my marathon BUT I finished this marathon and QUALIFYED FOR BOSTON. Sorry for the all caps but I think that achieving that is worth having the marathon be my only race (so far).

Also as a follow up to my racing future this year.  I think that I’m not ready for another marathon (wow news flash! I posted that the other day! haha). I am, however, to race the heck out of smaller races. Jess  suggested I look into half-marathons and I think it’s a smart idea I’ve been looking at one over labor day and another over columbus day. I think that doing both is feasible too as the time difference is about 6 weeks.  It’s actually made me excited about running and training. So much so that I’m 99.99% committed to the 5 mile race my town is having on the fourth of July plus there is a 10k that I want to do really really badly.  I just have to make sure that I will be around when it is.

Gosh, it feels like it’s wayyy past my bedtime! Sorry if this posting seems incoherent.  I’m in one of those mental states where everything I say and/or do seems like it’s perfect and amazing. I’ll prolly read this tmrw and ask myself what drug I was smoking haha 🙂

June 29, 2009

Can I get a Dimmer Switch, please?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:40

Lately my stress level is totally NOT a dimmer switch thing-y-ma-bob and rather an ON/OFF switch.  I wish it was though, because, well the on tends to be bright and blinding.  Like now.

Suddenly all the MCAT studying, article/research writing, med school applying seems to be mounting.  And when I feel this way all I want to do is plow through it.  I am very goal (vs process) oriented; I don’t tend to stop and enjoy what I’m doing as long as 1) I pass the MCAT 2) Write this damned article and 3) get into medical school, preferably a good one.

Factor in that I am in charge of the house (and all 5 younger sibs, who for the record listen to no one and have severe attitude problems) for the next 36 hours, and well, you’ve got one stressed out kid! I typically try not to be angry, mostly because I think it’s an unattractive quality and secondly running does wonders with exorcising it. Plus life’s too short to be angry, right? But when no one thinks they have to load their dinner plate in the dishwasher or throw away their trash, well stress leads to angry. And I’m totally not bitter about it or anything. *Inserteyerollhere*

Luckily I still have running.  And lifting.  Which is what I did this morning because I woke up on the wrong side of the bed due to my stress level. And, despite getting 10(!) hours of sleep last night I woke up exhausted so maybe that just exacerbated the bad mood.  I did have a creepy dream last night that also might have sontributed to the tiredness and while I won’t give y’all a play-by-play I will say that it involved ants oozing out of the pores of my skin. Ick, ick, ick. In fact, I still shudder when I think about it.

But anyway, on to the running.  This is supposed to be a running blog after all! I decided to take out my bitterness on some dumbbells and my muscles first so I did an intense lifting circuit: legs arms and abs.  It felt really challenging and hopefully I’m sore tmrw from it.  Part of it was the fourth week of the hundred pushup challenge and I love how my arms feel like jello when I’m done.

Apparently when I was doing all the lifting, the sun decided to come out and the rain to stop.  Ordinarily I would love this but it made the weather outside soooooo humid.  Not cool.  At. All.  I still went out for a 6-ish mile run to completely drain me of my anger.  The pace was semi-relaxed(?). I mean, I wasn’t *pushing* it but my mood fueled a faster-than-easier pace, which was nice and I enjoyed feeling tough. I do agree with Jess, who commented on my last post, that I looked like I just hopped out of a shower with the humidity (which is also wrecking havoc on my hair).

In the larger scheme of running-things, I’m at the point where I’m far enough away from my marathon that I should start thinking about my next big race.  But I’m not yet far enough away to want to run another one yet, heh.  The idea of simply training for 26.2 miles is daunting.  I am, however, toying with the idea of entering the local 5 on the 4th race (5 miles, not 5k).  Obviously the 4th of July is this upcoming Saturday (how is it July already?!) and it isn’t something that I’m spending time actually training for but maybe it will give me a kick in the [pants] to get excited about racing again and starting training for something.  Most fall races would have a start training cycles around now. Hmmmm, sounds like perfect timing.

Plus, maybe having a training plan, rather than a workout schedule, will help turn my on/off stress cycle into a nice dimmer switch, or at least give me a rock to shut the switch to off more than on.  (Haha ok so that was my lame attempt to wrap things up and come full circle. FAIL.)

P.S. Because my posts are always so darn long, if there’s something you find boring / interesting let me know!

June 27, 2009

And here I come out of the water…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — marathonmaiden @ 10:29

but trust me, I was on land the whole time! Yesterday was *so*bloody*humid*. The sun actually came out for the run and I thought that sun = good running.  Ummmmm not so much.  The fact that there was no rain meant that all that water vapor was trapped in the air surrounding me.  Making my run like swimming, on land.

But I’m proud to say that I finished my 11 and actually felt like I could have tacked on another couple of miles. Most excellent feeling given the conditions.  Even better was the fact that my pace was exactly where I want it to be for a long run. At least for right now.  I just tried to enjoy the run and stay mellow.  I think I did a pretty good job considering how anxious I get when things are *just*so* haha.

Now, I know a lot of you deal with humidity on a regular basis too, so rather than say “it was soooo bad” etc. I’ll just leave it at, there was NO evaporation.  Zero.  I had to stop and change my entire outfit half way (I was doing a 5.5 loops twice for that reason). Ugh. Nothing like oppressive heat to make me wish it was rainy season again.

I also did week 3 day 3 of the pushup challenge. I feel so bamf every time I complete one of these workouts and I can’t wait until I can bust out 100 and be all bamf!

Today I had to work at 9 (currently where I’m blogging from) so I hauled my butt out of bed at 6 and ran a pretty lethargic 7.  But it was an ok lethargic as it wasn’t painful or draining to keep going.  I think this could qualify as a true recovery run. The weather seemed to want to cooperate too, still humid but not as bad as yesterday and definitely about 15* cooler! Too bad enjoying this weather means 6am wakeup calls.  Which is funny because during the semester I would never had thought about running at any other time than 6.  Oh well, different schedule, different priorities.

I did some core work after and then had to high-tail it to work.  I don’t know what it was about this morning but nothing really seemed to go smoothly.  Nothing went truly wrong either but it was an unsettling feeling nonetheless. Like, I was running late, and I kept forgetting stuff I wanted to pack and then had to take two trips out to my car. And then I remembered I wanted to fill a water bottle.  Just little things that I typically can do without really thinking about it.  Hopefully I can shake that feeling because I need to get some work done sitting at this desk for the next 5 hours!

Speaking of work, I was able to complete another study guide for the MCAT.  Meaning, the only thing left in this test prep is taking practice tests! This is both exciting and scary because I really want to do well on this test, which requires experience and you truly only get experience by failing a couple times.  It’s just that at $35 a practice test, I want a really quick learning curve.  And with the $225 already paid for the test, I want the most bang for my buck.

Gotta go get crackin’ on that! Enjoy your Saturday!

June 25, 2009

R is for recovery…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — marathonmaiden @ 15:28

and my legs have been screaming for it.  I was going to do some leg exercises today but scrapped it as I’ve been running so much that doing any lifting on my legs prolly would do more harm than good.  It takes a lot for me to back off of anything once I’ve incorporated it into my plan so I’m happy with my decision.

That said, I prolly should have cut my run down too.  I ended up with 8.1 miles which were super slow.  The pace was alright for my legs but I couldn’t figure out if they were tired from A) all the miles I’ve been doing B) the humidity C) lack of sleep or D) all of the above. Oh well, I’m nothing if not stubborn.  We’ll see how I feel tmrw and I don’t have a problem cutting out a long run and making all my runs this week mid-distance in an effort to keep my mileage in check.  At least in theroy I don’t. In practice? Well I guess we’ll see tmrw.

This ties in nicely with what I wanted to write about: listening to your body.  There was a RWDaily posted on this (based on a NYTimes article).  Now without plagerizing either source,  or boring you with a recap of what they say, I’m just going to give you my personal experience with it as debate will go on about running through fatigue vs pain in other places I’m sure.

I’m sure y’all can guess that I’m a very cerebral runner.  Just look at today, pushing through 8 miles when my body prolly would have been happier with 5 — if that. I tend to not really trust my body to do what I want it to do.  Maybe it’s lack of self confidence or something but I always need to have a plan, an exact pace ect. and can’t stand the phrase “Well let’s just see how it goes”. Ummmm no, we won’t.  We will plan.  Maybe that’s part of why I do speedwork on the treadmill, I don’t want to see the pace my body wants to go: I want to run at the pace my *mind* wants me to go.

I guess, slowly but surely, I’m taking time outs when my body has lingering tiredness (this morning for example with the lifting) but more often than not I’m the kid who tries to overprepare for stuff.  Tests, meetings, applications, running.  There’s a quote ( and I have not idea who said it) that “it’s better to be undertrained at the start of a race then overtrained”.  Well I can see the point.  But I need to have my mind at ease, which lends itself to overpreparedness.

This strategy has always worked well for me so far.  My mind tells my body to do something and my body has (on the very large whole) done it.  Even during a run, my body may try to tell me stuff but I don’t hear it.  I suppose that it transcends nagging aches too, I’ve run through serious injuries too.  Which is bad. Very bad. I can’t help but wonder what my body can do if I tuned in a bit.  Even if I didn’t respond, just acknowledged that I am more than just my mind.

June 24, 2009

What a co-inki-dink

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

Yesterday on my run I was just thinking to myself how lucky I was that I’ve been able to get outside and avoid (for the most part) the horrendous rain that NewEngland has been swamped with this month.  Legit, it’s been sunny 4 days the entire month of June.

However, I also realized that a good heavy rain was also what keeps my speedwork in the cards.  I suppose that an extremely hot day would do this too but hey, it’s not like I’m anticipting that anytime soon.  Now some of you might know that I really only do speedwork on the treadmill — I typically run by myself and it’s hard to keep track of pace / motivated by myself outside, I’d rather enjoy myself and not have the I’m-going-to-vomit-because-I’m-going-hard feeling.

Since I hate “wasting” a nice day, I’ll go outside whenever possible, and it takes a lot to force me inside. Usually, though, I can count on a good rain or heat wave at least once every 10 days to push me on the treadmill and go fast.  Too bad I’ve been “lucky” this month.  I know, what a terrible problem to have.

So I was actually kind of happy to hear the pounding of rain when I woke up this morning.  What a coincidence that there was heavy rain the day after I was thinking about how I needed it to not feel bad about not being outside! I actually bounded out of my bed because that meant I could do some speedwork at the gym! I decided to focus on short sprints.

  • 1 mile warmup
  • 8 X 800 (each repeat was 3:20) with 400 m recovery
  • 1.37 mile warmdown

Man, those repeats were hard! After the first one I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it.  But, because I am stubborn as hell, I finished the workout.  And boy, I was glad to be done.  I felt pumped and energized but it was challenging to say the least.  I finished up my time in the gym with some core and arms.  Successful way to start the day.

I had a doctor appt to get my tb test read afterwards and I’m happy to say that I “passed”. So hopefully I’ll be hearing from the hospital I’m interning at and I’ll be cleared to interact with patients.  It would be really nice if I heard back from them today and could start tmrw, but I doubt that they’ll move that fast.  Bummer.

Now it’s time to do some more studying.  Actually, I’m on the sections of the systems of the human body.  I already know 99% of this stuff but it will never cease to fasicnate me.  When I’m writing out my notes I find myself looking up more detailed info that the test calls for, which means it’s taking me longer to work through it.  But I don’t really mind because the human body is an amazing thing and I could spend all day every day looking at this stuff.  Maybe I won’t find myself saying this at the end of medical school (my thoughts might just stray to getmewiththepatientsNOW)  but I’m enjoying every minute of this stuff!

June 23, 2009

Awesome Giveaway

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — marathonmaiden @ 09:03

…so I’m not giving stuff away. BUT Bobbi at NHherShoes has a great giveaway going which ends on Sunday  Check it out!

June 22, 2009

Way to start a Monday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — marathonmaiden @ 14:51

Gosh, I just hate mornings when you have to be very assertive and harassing, borderline bitch, to get when you need. On a Monday too.  For a simple request. Let me explain:

For my internship I need to get a TB test, which I started the process last Monday when I went  in to get medically cleared.  The TB test is two injections, one week apart.  Now I didn’t mind going into the city for the first one, as I had other things to do there that day, but today? Well let’s just say I wasn’t too keen to make a long trip for a 30 sec shot. I called the hospital and they told me that, yes my primary care doctor (aka my pediatrician, don’t judge) could administer it and I can fax the official results in a few days.

GREAT! Or so I thought.  Apparently the doctors office didn’t want to do that; they didn’t think that one week was sufficient time to pass before injection #2.  Plus, they didn’t want to finish what the hospital started, which technically wasn’t true.  Eventually, while remaining calm yet holding back frustrated tears, I told them to call the hospital because the hospital said what I was trying to do was okay.  Well they didn’t want to do that so they scheduled me in for this morning AND let me book my reading of the test immediately.  Just as a note: I was in the actual office for less than 10 minutes, thank the lord I didn’t trek all the way to Boston for that. So it all worked out but my blood pressure is prolly 3x what is was when I woke up this morning.

To add insult to injury, when I got there I got “the talk” with my doctor.  The one that goes, sorry but as of your bday in the fall we can no longer provide care for you.  Because youre too old”.  Ouch.  So I had to schedule a “counseling appt” (legit that’s what they called it) and I figured I better get my money’s worth so I set up a physical for the fall too (it’s been a looooooooooooooong time since my last one, oops)

Anyway to lower my blood pressure I figured a raising of the heart rate was in order.  So I threw on my running shoes and hit the road.  I did a nice mile or so loop around the ‘hood and then hit the mat to do some circuit stuff while watching The View (yes I will cop to watching it, I find it a hilarious show).  It was pretty much the same thing as the last time I did a circuit so I won’t bore you with the details except to point out that I skipped the leg exercises because my legs were feeling a little off and I figured that I’d rather beat up my legs running than lifting anyway.  Maybe I’ll hit the weights for my legs tmrw. I do want to point out that I’m on Week3Day1 of the pushup challenge and I’m feeling strong.  Can’t wait for it to be over though so I can be bamf and bang out 100 in a row!

My run was a little on the boring side.  About 5.5 miles, maybe 6 at a nice leisurely pace.  No sense in really hurting my legs. The rain was spritzing a bit so it didn’t anger me at all especially when it cut the humidity by maybe 50%.  Maybe, due to this fact, I might start liking the rain. One interesting thing that happened was that someones house alarm was going off full throttle both when I ran my warmup and when I finished my run, which was a total of maybe 1.5 hours.  I did call the police to inform them of this and the woman who answered the phone said (with an exasperated sigh I might add), that they knew about it and the alarm wasn’t resetting itself.  I don’t really care because I live two streets over and can’t hear it from my house, but I don’t know how the neighbors can stand it; it was that loud.  And let’s face it, I know everyone on that street was home because no one works in this town.

I’ve definitely went over my (personal) word limit for the day, but I figured that it might be interesting reading that beaurocracy lives everywhere.  Maybe it made someone smile because, they too, are having a bad case of the Mondays.  I pinkie swear that I was perfectly amenable to all the people I had to deal with on the phone and I will say that it was a little embarassing when I actually had to face them later that morning in the office.  But getting a simple test should not be so difficult.

I have no real good way to wrap this up except to say, have a great monday y’all!  Happy Running too.

June 21, 2009

Yet another weekend recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — marathonmaiden @ 08:49

The past few days have been pretty busy.  Not necessarily with fun exciting stuff, but stuff that is calming my life down.  Granted I’ve been working like crazy on the MCAT, research and $$-work but I’m slowly but surely checking things off my to-do list and that reduces any anxiety I feel.

Running recap:

Friday: 13.5 miles!  The longest post-marathon run to date.  My legs felt terrible the whole time even if my pace didn’t really reflect it.  I figured that my legs would loosen up and feel okay a few miles into the route, which is why I chose to go the 13.5 route instead of the 10 I had originally planned.  My hubris from Thursday, when I said that my legs were responding well to the high mile week, came back to haunt me.  Luckily the saving grace was that it didn’t rain, this made the humidity a little higher, but my legs were frustrating me enough so I didn’t need rain to push me over the edge!

Saturday:  I got up at 6am to do 7 miles before heading into the gym where I am the “receptionist” for the morning.  Well last week my pace was fine at 6 am but I guess I totally underestimated how tired I was becaues the 6am shuffle is was back! I had originally intended this to be a rest day but it was (supposedly) going to be the only nice (re: no rain) weather for a while so I wanted to take advantage.  It was also actually cool temp-wise although the humidity creeped up a bit by the end.

Sunday (today): well I’m taking my rest day. My body is le tired! I did, however, do my week 2 exhaustion pushup challenge test and I got 30! Woot! I am so proud of myself that I’ve gained such strength over the past 2 weeks.  Makes me feel like a bamf.  Today is also my sis’s grad party, which all my family is coming too, so I am successfully avoiding them my working all day. Hopefully everyone will be gone by the time I get home and if not I may have to scratch that rest day and head out for a few blow-off-steam miles!

Before I head off to work hard for the money I want to say HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

June 18, 2009

So What Marathon Are You Running?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:12

I had to jokingly ask myself this as I worked out today because I’ve been training like a mad-woman! My body is responding well to the increase in strength and running workouts but I’m on track to a pretty high mileage week and I’m not even signed up for a race!

Today I did another 2-a-day with a full body circuit in the am and a run later.  The circuit kicked my butt, it was a mix of 2 leg exercises, the pushup challenge (W2D2) and two other arm exercises, 3 ab exercises and 2 back ones.  Whew! I ran through the circuit 3x so each exercise (except for the challenge) was done thrice.  Plus there was ~3 miles of running in between exercises.  Man, I’m hoping to be sore tmrw because it was hard!

After that, I made sure to eat a hearty brekkie to refuel and get my muscles ready for the run I had coming up.  My legs were twitching during the lull and I debated taking a nap.  But that would have meant showering because I’m a clean freak and there was no way I was climbing into my bed or onto the couch all sweaty! So I decided to work more on the MCAT practice exam, but that only kind of happened as I got distracted by JAG. Oops.

Oh and tangent (well tangent only because I’m not going to talk about my run in this paragraph): I did an MCAT practice verbal reasoning and I got a 10! Okay, so I do have room for improvement but for a first time through I will take and 10 and run with it. Plus I did a physical science section (gen chem and physics) and I got a 10 on that too! I talked to a RWOL forumite who told me that I was doing great which made my day! Again, room for improvement but it took a lot of stress of me bc I’ve been thinking I’m going to fail.

Back to the run.  I wasn’t planning on going that far Lies, I was planning on 7 which prolly wasn’t the smartest thing given my body was (and still is) tired.  But I got out there and there was a slight drizzle and I took off.  The backs of my legs are still a little stiff, so I definitely need to stretch and The Stick later (must. do. this!) but the run went well.  And I may or may not have tacked an extra mile on at the end.  Again, to reiterate: I am not signed up for any races! I have a few in mind, but they aren’t until the fall and any serious training won’t happen ’til mid-late July.  I don’t know what I’m thinking not incorporating short runs like I normally do. Note to self: take a cut back week next week!

And just because I love to throw out questions (because I love reading it when ppl respond and answer!):  How do you effectively tell yourself to take it easy? I guess I’m asking basically because I’m not sure if I should do this or, since I’m feeling ok now, keep doing what I’m doing.  The expression that comes to mind is “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  I definitely don’t want to be injured or anything and I think I’m being good about playing it safe. Advice?

Off to go celebrate my brothers 13th (!) birthday with some homemade strawberry shortcake and some fresh picked strawberries! Yummy 🙂

June 17, 2009

Good Ole H2O

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — marathonmaiden @ 15:53

Since the weather is really starting to heat up on a consistent level I thought I’d take a(nother) post to talk about hydrating. I know that some of you have been dealing with the heat for awhile so I can’t *really* complain about the heat I’m facing (but since when has that stopped me before? Ha).

I’m a terrible person to emulate when it comes to hydrating.  I always fill up a water bottle to drink / sip on through out the morning but I never get around to it until noon at the earliest.  Considering I do all of my running pre-noon that’s not so good. Now don’t get me wrong, over the course of a day I drink ~100 oz of fluids and I know that I’ve already blogged about my awful hydrating habits and have vowed to change my ways.  Hasn’t happened yet but I think I’ve found a solution: flavored water.

Yes I’m sure that somewhere, someone is cursing me as flavored waters prolly contain chemicals that I shouldn’t be comsuming (especially with that nasty coke habit I have — namely diet coke with lime).  But I’ve noticed that I can down a bottle of flavored water so much quicker that regular water.  Two gulps and I’m done rather than the hours it takes me to drink regular water.

Even when I don’t like the flavor that I have it gets drank (drunk?) faster.  Case in point: today I had a bottle of lemon flavored water. I despise lemon flavored water as I think I’m being poisoned.  It’s really that bad in my mind.  But sure enough the entire bottle was gone within an hour of me opening it.  Yesterday I opened some regular plain water at 11 and it didn’t get finished until 6pm! Granted I did drink milk and coke between those times but I’m a runner.  Running in the summer.  I need my….damn couldn’t think of a rhyming word for water.

And maybe the fact that I enjoyed an entire bottle of water rather than a few mere sips was one of the reasons my run today was the best pace wise I’ve had in a while.  The backs of my legs were sore from yesterdays lifting but I was cruising, I even added some extra distance because I had some extra time! My mind wasn’t aching for the run to be over either like it sometimes can be.  I was allowed to enjoy the 7-ish miles and before I knew it I was back at my house.

Now I just need to remember that hydration = good running and flavored water = hydration.

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