MarathonMaiden's Blog

July 31, 2009

Arrrrgh.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:36

Going to try and make this short as I’m running late to head out to the Keith Urban and T.Swift concert tonight.

I got a semi-great 12.5 miler in. The time / pace was pretty quick, but impending severe t-storms will do that.  Luckily I didn’t get struck by lighting (just missed the beginning of the storm) but I got soaked.  And I don’t like precipitation.  I had to hold my arms out and pretend to like it waving my hands around to lighten my mood.  I’m sure ppl thought I was more crazy than usual. But once I was thoroughly soaked (and I mean my clothes were raining too) I kind of just gave in and the run became pleasant.  It’s the transition from 100% dry to 100% wet that sucks.

I also did week6day3 of the pushup challenge.  Technically that means I’m done with the program and ready to do the final test.  I think I might repeat this past week (as I’ve done with weeks 4 and 5) because I feel like I could use a little more strength before actually pounding out 100 in a row.

But my ARGH moment came just now, as I finished up a section on an MCAT practice test.  I just spent the last 2ish weeks really cramming hard.  But if you looked at my results from today I have not improved. ONE. FREAKING. POINT. This is the most frustrating thing of my life.  I’ve worked my butt off and I have nothing (at the moment) to show for it. I can’t even image what test day is going to bring if this is only a practice. Now I’m worried sick because I’m afraid I’m seriously going to fail it. If after 9 weeks of studying and the last 2 having studying being my job and I’m where I was 9 weeks ago, I see a problem.  A big problem.

I’m prolly putting too much pressure on myself. But the pressure is totally warranted as this test is a huge component for deciding my future, or at least when / what medical school I apply to. I know that maybe in the big grand scheme of things, this isn’t so bad.  And I know that it’s mostly a psychological thing at this point. But man, I just want some positive feedback from my brain.  And just as a note, I’d appreciate good vibes *hinthint* over words such as “you’ll do fine, you’re a smart kid” ect because too many ppl have been telling me that and it just adds to the frustration.

*LeSigh* I need to chill out. It’s just so damn hard to do with the test being so close. I do have some things to look forward to: A) concert tonight B) running tmrw morning with a friend C) Aug 5th at approx 13:10.

Now let’s hope I survive that long 🙂

July 30, 2009

It’s Getting Hot in Hurrrr

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:49

I was doing some catchup on google reader when I read this post by Jameson over at TheLifeofaLibrarianinTraining. I really liked this post as I totally thought I was the only one in the world who acted beyond my years. Those are my words, as my friends describe me as old woman. I kind of agreed with everything written in the post and it made me happy that there is someone else like me who prefers to write letters over emails and hand write drafts of papers rather than use a computer. And I will forever refuse to use technology to do stuff that paper and pens work fine for, like my planner.  Any other takers?

I totally think that I had a major sleep-hangover when I got up this morning.  Rising for multiple days on 4.5 hours of sleep isn’t fun but after a while my body got used to it.  I was down right chipper last night going out with my friends.  And yes, I did use the word “chipper” when talking to them. And yes, they laughed wicked hard. Throw in a 9 hour night last night and that is a recipe for a wicked huge amount of tiredness.

But due to my type-A-ness I wasn’t going to skip my run today.  But the sleep hangover was so great that I didn’t leave my house until noon. I know I live in the NorthEast and it doesn’t get as hot as some places but after a really rainy spring/early summer today was brutal.  I may or may not be sporting something resembling a sunburn and I think I lost half my body weight in sweat.  Gross. And my body temp must have risen a bunch because I was extremely nauseous after and I can’t remember the last time that happened.

Now I’m just recovering by drinking water and putting my feet up.  I do have an MCAT book in front of me (did you really think I’d go a post without mentioning that silly test?) but I’m not really looking at it.  I’m really starting to get nervous about it.  Not the material itself but the fact that I have to wait until Wednesday to take it.  It’s kind of like waiting for a really important race to begin and get here; you just want to go-go-go and start because the waiting and anticipation of it hurts almost more that the actual event. And I say almost.  Let’s just wait and see what August 5th brings and whether I make it to the 6th.

Oh and another thing that might kill me? My appetite.  I don’t think I’ve been eating enough/the right stuff for the amount of running I’m doing.  I think this is stemming from not being in actual training mode but still running a lot so I don’t think about nutrition impacting my running as much.  I’m pretty sure that I can think of myself as *in training* now as I’m 99.99% sure I’m doing that race over labor day.  I just need to bite the bullet and register.

July 29, 2009

Turning Point (?)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:29

Alright, so MCAT = happening in one week whether I like it or not.  So I’m going to stop complaining about it.  Complaining just makes my stress worse even though it feels really good to do so.

The rest of my life has been on hold this summer because of the (stupid) test.  I guess I mean my social life, as I’ve been running a lot, which has been nonexistent since June.  I’m heading out with some friends from college to hang out in a few hours.  Hopefully some laughing will reset me.

My running the past two mornings has been phenomenal! Last week (and last post I think) I had said I was worried about overtraining but my runs Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday seem to disprove that.

Yesterday (Tuesday) I got up at 530am to go for 7.5.  I figured my lethargy would return after such a good run Monday and the fact that it was so damned early.  I was completely wrong because I ended up being able to get in NINE miles.  In the time that I had planned for 7.5. Crazyness man.

I’m going to preface the description of my run this morning because the context of it makes it more impressive to me.  I was studying really really hard last night but stupidly tried to do some mock MCAT questions from a book I have.  Big mistake because my brain was fatigued so I didn’t do well; clearly this upset me because I am such a perfectionist.  So I took my study materials and stayed up wayyyyy too late for a 5 am wakeup call.  Additionally my original plans tonight fell through, and because this is how my life works, I was asked to make the executive decisions regarding how to replan.  So I am A) physically tired from getting up early and staying up too late B) mentally tired from studying and C) emotionally tired from the pressure of social planning.  Got all that?

I was thinking that if my alarm went off and I really really didn’t want to go, as in where the hell am I? what the hell is that noise? kind of thinking, I wouldn’t.  Unfortunately (well maybe not seeing how the story ends) I was really really keyed up and couldn’t sleep well at all, so when 430 rolled around I just layed in my nice comfy bed until 5 when I got up.

And I pounded out a stellar tempo.  It was:

  • 1 mile warmup
  • 5 mile tempo
  • 1.6 mile cool down

Hopefully no one cares when I say I rocked it.  It was one of those runs where I was soooo in the zone that I couldn’t tell you about it if you offered me money. The feeling was so euphoric that all the pushups I had to do today (and there were total: 248) felt like nothing. Seriously.  I followed the pushups with some core work and I was ready to shower and start my day.  All before 7 am.

Now, my amazingness did not transcend into my driving into Boston.  I decided to take a Rt. 2 way rather than my I-95 way (Rt 2 is wayyy faster).  However, I have never driven into the city via Rt. 2 and only driven out of the city once.  I have ridden shotgun before but shotgun =/= driving. Usually finding my way somewhere isn’t a problem but I was trying to reverse directions using a mental map of a route I had never driven before.  I am so thankful that my friend, who lives and goes to school in Boston, was up that early to give me directions! At one point she was like, “and now Fenway should be on your right”.  I went “no it’s not” to which she replied “turn your head right and look up” which got an “ooooooooooooooooooh, I know where I am.”

The only plus to me getting lost is that it will never happen again and I now know how to drive around the city.

July 27, 2009

Bad Mood Be Gone?

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

I’ve been in a perpetual bad mood lately.  Pretty obvi if you’ve been reading my posts lately.  And also pretty obvi that in order to change that I need A) sleep B) this test to be over C) my friends to force me to chill out. Well, A isn’t going to happen for a while as long as B still is hanging over my head.  So that leaves C but…

I’ve never been the type to be able to put away my work when times are getting tough.  My attitude has always been to put my nose to the grind stone.  Intellectually, though, I need to step back sometimes when I’m too close to my work in order to gain perspective. Very VERY hard for me to do.

First off, I’m going to complain that I had to organize the girls night out that is happening on Wednesday.  I am stressed silly so it is ridiculous for me to plan.  The silver lining is that I got to choose the time and place. So I chose to see HP6 in IMAX close to my house as a time that conveniences me (these are college friends who will have to drive anywhere from 40 mins to 1hr15).  Wednesday is going to be stressful because I have to come home from the city then turn right back around to catch the film.  As much as this is raising my blood pressure right now, I know deep in my heart that I need this night for my sanity.  Whatever anxiety I feel now will be worth it once I get to see ppl I care about.  This week is also going to be fun because I’m seeing T.Swift and Keith Urban on Friday with a high school friend.  I am pumped because I’ve been looking forward to this since February. Yay! Again, very very hard to do because I just want to hole up –> T-8 DAYS.

To talk about why I titled my post the way I did (because although I know the friend stuff will help, it just hasn’t happened yet) I had a tough workout that pushed me.  And hopefully all the gunk out of my life. The goal was to get out of the funk I’ve been in; just release it.  I pushed myself with squats, lunges, pushups etc ’til I didn’t think I could move.  Then I went out for a 7 miler.  The beginning of the run was awful because A) I had just done a circuit that left me breathless B) it was HOT (temp & humidity) C) the bad mood was lingering.

I am happy to say that once I told myself to quit bitchin’ because running is something I love doing; the running then got faster and happier.  I just needed that hour to clear my head and forget about my stress.  My body is so weird though, because yesterday I seriously thought I was overtrained because of how lethargic I was feeling, my irritability etc. but now I’m not so sure.  I should prolly *trytotakeiteasy* but I want to start cranking out tempos and actual training for the half I want to do over Labor Day. Any thoughts on the matter? The race is < 7 weeks away, so I’m not sure I want to lose any of that time. OTOH, if it is overtraining pushing through will likely make it worse…

And thanks for all the kind words about how I’m juggling everything.  Sometimes I lose sight of how much I really have on my plate.

Whatever anxiety I feel now will be worth it once I get to see ppl I care about.  This week is also going to be fun because I’m seeing T.Swift and Keith Urban on Friday with a high school friend.  I am pumped because I’ve been looking forward to this since February. Yay!

Weekly Recap: July 20-26 2009

Filed under: Weekly Recap — Tags: — marathonmaiden @ 14:39

Mileage: 49.8

Time: 7 hours 35 minutes

Strength Training: 1 full body, 1 upper body, 1 lower body

Core: 5x

XT: Elliptical (60 mins, ~7.5 miles)

I wish I had pushed myself an extra .2 somewhere along the line to make it an even 50.  But, that said, there is something nice about staying below that barrier, even if it is just .2, as I have the tendency to overdo it.  Overall this week felt slow (and prolly was if you compare miles vs time from last week),which I’m sure is related to the humidity and (as I’m sure you’re sick of hearing me write about) lack of sleep and stress I’m under. Regardless, a very solid week even though I wish I had my run-fast ability.  Hopefully I can incorporate a speed session in this week.

July 26, 2009

Feels Like Molasses

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:48

Ever have those moments where you feel like no matter what you do everything is in slow motion? Well that is how this weekend has been for me. For the most part.  (I just typed that sentence then made myself some oatmeal and blueberries, let it get cold (because its HHH out –hazy hot and humid — and ate it.  Oh the small pleasures in life)

Anyway, like I was saying yesterday I think a big part of my sluggishness is due to lack of sleep.  It’s not like I’ve been burning the candle at both ends, just one end (MCAT!) but incredibly fast.  Tack that on to high mileage and stress from *myfuture* (dun dun dun) and I’m facing some burnout.  But I’m going to stop that talk because I don’t want to rehash my post from yesterday.  Because that would be boring.

My day started with my alarm going off at 6am.  I literally BOUNDED out of bed.  Not so much from excitement to start my day but because my brain (in its sleep deprived state) has gone back to pure instinct.  Loud noise = move your ass.

The run that followed was soooo incredibly weird.  The weather could NOT make up its mind.  It went from sun to downpour to mist to sprinkle.  A change, literally, every 5 minutes.  To top it off, I don’t think I was *ever* under a rain cloud.  Sure I saw ’em but there was clear sky over me despite the rain I was feeling.

Needless to say, I was soaked because there was so much humidity in the air (despite the rain) that I never got a chance to dry off between showers.  I managed to still get in some core work though, which I was happy about.

The rest of the day has been working hard for the money. At my real paying, dead end job.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this but I work at a garden center / nursery in a affluent town so the people that come through are…interesting to say the least.  I’m thinking about including the job on my resume simply because it is very telling of my patience level. Continuing with the title of the post, I felt like I was in a daze and that I could have used a double shot of something. Anything to get me through my shift.

I did get my caffeine buzz, albeit in the afternoon, so I’m good to go for studying.  I’m close to being done with the first go-round of the material.  Hopefully by Tues/Wed I’ll have taken another prax exam so I can reevaluate where I stand and what I need to do with the remaining time.  T-9 days!! I’m not as nervous as I was a week ago, but there’s still lots to do.

P.S. I keep meaning to finalize posts about my fueling, during and post run. I also keep meaning to put together a page of my strength and circuit work.  I have stuff drafted and hopefully this week I’ll get around to perfecting ’em.  I haven’t forgotten / I’m not being flaky, I swear!

July 25, 2009

Exhaustion

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:39

I am wayyy sleep deprived.  To the point where I’m overtired and cranky.  I don’t like feeling this way at all, though I doubt anyone does.  All the early bird running sessions have taken a toll, so I decided to *gasp* skip my 6 am run and “sleep in”.  Now, A) sleeping in is 730/8 maybe 830 if I’m extremely lucky and B) when you can’t fall asleep until 1 or 2 am, this sleeping in doesn’t even cover the basic 8 hours of sleep that is recommended. And my body functions best on 9.

So I’m not really feeling much more rested this morning after 6.5 hours but it’s better than 4.5-5 hours. The annoying thing is that I’m actually *trying* to sleep (as opposed to burning the candle at both ends, or just staying up for the hell of it and doing nothing).  I mean, it’s crunch time for the MCAT so a little less sleep is to be expected, but I go to bed with 7 full hours of sleep ahead of me (including factoring in 20-30 minutes of “falling asleep time”).  I shut down the MCAT part of my brain by reading or watching NCIS.  But sleep never comes.  Well it does, but much much later that I want it to.  And I’m not exactly against using tylenolPM or even prescription stuff to help, I don’t gravitate towards it.  I will say this, after about 3-4 weeks of insomnia I do go to the doctor, get 3 ambien pills prescribed to me and I’m all reset.  Until the next round of stress hits.  I think I just need a less stressful life 😛

As I said above, I skipped the run before work and just stayed after my shift at the gym was over to elliptical.  Work wasn’t so bad.  I got 6 solid hours of MCAT studying in.  I’ve discovered that I am terrible at the biology portion but am rather good at Orgo, I haven’t even had to take notes on the orgo stuff. The bio annoys me though, because it’s pure memorization.  No real rhyme or reason to any of it rather than it is the way it is.

Another thing that annoys me (and sorry if this seems like a complaining post.  Blame it on the lack of sleep, I know I am.  So much for a complaint free existance, right Sarah? You lasted longer than I have haha) is cross training.  Maybe I’m just saying this because I love running.  But I can’t replicate that feeling of working-so-hard-that-I-might-puke feeling, although in retrospect the point of XT isn’t to go balls out, right? I mean, I sweat (and lots) when on the elliptical, but my HR never seems to get as high as it does on while running, even on an easy run. I can’t even try to get some reading or studying done on the damn thing because then my stride rate goes down as does my HR (which isn’t that high to begin with!) Again, maybe that’s the point, to trick your mind into believing it’s exercising hard but the cardiovascular system gets a slight rest.

Oh well, the thing I know is that my body is thanking me because A) I didn’t get up at 6am and B) didn’t push myself through a run.  Theoretically this means that I should have more energy to study.  And hopefully this means I can be more focused with my studying so that I can start my bedtime routine a little earlier and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get more sleep tonight. Wish me luck 🙂

July 23, 2009

Progression

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 20:50

I had a pretty good progressive run today.  For any non-runner reading this, a progression run in one where you get progressively faster over the course of the run.

I started off super-de-duper slow but the second half was fast. I felt really powerful coming down the last 3 or so miles that I was tempted to add more distance on.  I didn’t though because I had already done a tough lower body workout and my legs can prolly only take so much abuse.

I was really surprised that I was able to go as fast as I ended up going because you could have cut the humidity with a KNIFE it was so thick. I think my body just got used to it after 4 or so miles because miles 4-7 were solid.  What a great feeling to end a run on, right?

On a racing note, I am seriously considering this race.  It’s 7 weeks away which I’m sure, given my base, is totally do-able.  Any tips for training in 7 weeks? I’m thinking maybe making sure one of my runs during the week is speed but I’m not sure what would be smart to do.

I’m trying to convince one of my friends to do it too.  I ran it in 2007  (my first race EVER) and it was a really great course and race. I keep saying that I need a race and I think this one will be perfect.  I need to decide by July 31st though before the price jumps.

I’m also making progress on my studying.  Something is clicking with me (so far) and I’m feeling pretty good.  Sometimes I just need to change the way I do something to get results. There’s some quote about the definition of insanity being doing the same thing over again expecting a different outcome. Hopefully I don’t get overconfident and slack off.  With T-13 days until test day I need to keep focused! As I keep telling my friends: once August 5th is over I will throw a kegger and we shall chill.  🙂

Off to go take a study “break” and watch CSI.  “Break” because I will have my MCAT notes in front of me.  And even though I’ve already seen tonight’s episode it has t.swift in it.  How can I *not* re-watch it? I’m seeing her on July 31st with Keith Urban and I am pumped because it will be A) an excellent show B) a night without studying and C) I get to see one of my high school friends whom I haven’t seen in for-freaking-ever.

July 22, 2009

Fly by…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 21:39

…posting, day etc. Not my run though.

I got up at 5 this morning to get a run, some core and pushup challenge in.  First off, I did the core/pushups first.  I never do that but it was pitch black when my alarm went off, so I decided to wait until it got lighter out.  Made me feel safer.  So I think I was tired from 1) lack of sleep 2) dehydration (totally didn’t drink enough ANYTHING yesterday — or today for that matter) 3) doing weight bearing stuff before running.

It also didn’t help that it was incredibly humid out. When it rains, it pours I guess; everything just compounds at once.

So my run kind of sucked. And drug on and on (and yes, I know “drug” isn’t the correct grammatical way of saying it but I’m infatuated with anything Southern and I believe that is a word they use. No?).  I ended up finishing up my run in the exact same time as yesterday even though it was about a mile less.  Not too concerned over it but it bothered me because my legs just felt drained.  And here I was, just talking about how my legs weren’t feeling all the miles I’ve put in.  Granted, it could be one of the 3 factors I named above, but I’ll add a fourth: mileage.

The day at the hospital, in contrast, flew by. In the morning I administered more research surveys (note to self, add to resume / med school app) and got some hardcore studying in.  Totally paid off because I did a physical science section just now and totally improved my score.  Still lots more to study but I think I’ve revamped my studying so that I’m being productive. And it makes me want to email my prehealth adviser and tell him to shove it because, in an email last week, I was told that the list of schools I want to apply to is “shooting way way too high”.  His exact words. Two “way”s. Ughhh. He was basing it off my gpa which is middle of the pack.  Boo. But I just got a confidence boost, so I’m still able to be productive and focus on the end run.

And I “discovered” a new way to drive home from the clinic.  I had to call my friend who lives in the city to give me directions to have a faster way to leave and I’m happy to say I survived driving in Boston. Like, *in* Boston.

Alright got to get back to studying. Have a great night all!

July 21, 2009

I’m back

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:18

OK. I finally have my computer back and semi-running.  I need to re-install all my programs and other stuff which might take awhile because I need to remember what programs I had.  I guess it’ll be more of a “hey, I need install x program because I need it NOW”. The only exception is Microsoft Office because I need my software disk and I can’t find it.  Boo! Hopefully it turns up so I can open my word documents soon.

The only good thing, like I’ve been saying all along, is that I’m really focusing on my MCAT studying.  I think I’m understanding more material and it’s truly an understanding rather than just a memorization.  Bueno.

I’m not going to do a huge recap of my running and life since Friday.  As you may, or may not, have noticed: I write a lot so here are the bullets:

  • Friday: 8.6 miles + pushups
  • Saturday: AM 6 miles and core PM 4 miles of anxiety relief
  • Sunday: Rest
  • Monday: weights + 7 miles

I will say that I ran too much for a cutback week though, and like I said in my recap, it really fell on a double day Saturday.  I was really stressed and needed a cathartic run.  I’m not sorry that I took it and I think my mental health and anxiety levels trumped my legs.  Sorry legs.

I also wrote last week that I got some new professional looking clothes.  And I ❤ them and I promise I will talk about running later in the post.  I got 2 skirts, one a bright (but not florescent!) pink and the other a black with pink and white flower petals on it.  The later isn’t a print, but the petals fall around the hem.  I also got a pair of capris that have navy and white vertical stripes, which remind me a little of the navy.  I got two tops, one white the other purple, in the same style which is really pretty to look at but not so much to describe; they have a braid along the collar and fit semi loose and flowy.

So now I have a base of nice looking clothes.  I really am a jeans, tshirt and sneakers girl so I’m glad that my wardrobe is getting updated.  I also went out last night for nicer shoes and I found not one but TWO pair. They are this and this can’t find a good pic of the other one.  I am very excited about this. Especially since neither pair broke the bank.

AND back to running.  This morning I kicked off my morning at 530 and got 8 extremely wet miles in.  I debated for awhile the merits of hitting up the gym for a speed session to get out of the rain but I spent too much time debating ended up not having enough time to do that.  So it was outside in rain.  It wasn’t even that it let up at any point.  Two speeds/strengths: hard and harder.  In retrospect, I’m glad I did it because I need to get more mentally tough when it comes to starting my runs when it’s already raining.

I’m currently debating the merits of trying a cutback week this week too.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to really reign myself in but maybe another upper 40 week instead of jumping back into the 50s? I’m not sure if that will really have any effect, or if I should really try to cut back, or if I need to.  Thoughts?

In any case, I need to get back to studying.  I was really lucky today at the clinic / internship.  In the morning I was assigned to sit at reception to hand out a research survey and got to get some good studying in.  Got to keep the focus going now!

Also check out this awesome giveaway.  Pretty sweet.

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