MarathonMaiden's Blog

February 16, 2010

Working Hard

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:44

So I woke up this morning to snow.  Not the biggest deal ever for two reasons: Numero uno, nothing was sticking so there was going to be no accumulation (yup I am that New Englander who hates the snow. At least when I’m on campus and have to travel through it).  Numero dos: I didn’t have to worry about crappy ass drivers hitting me on my run because it’s Interval/Hill Tuesday, aka all the miles on the TM.

As much as I dread intervals and hill work I get a sick perverse pleasure writing out my workout Monday night.  Like it’s probably unhealthy how much I like it.  Oh well.  Guess I could be shooting up drugs in the bathroom to get that kind of rush so in the grand scheme of things my pleasures are tame.

Anyway before I get into the meaty-ness of my workout I want to say that I think I’ve been working wayyyy too hard on physics lately.  Now I am being productive and there hasn’t been any sort of frustration / meltdown but last night I had a dream that involved bras and kets (yes those are the real physics terms) and I was solving problems involving them in my sleep.  Too bad none of the answers to my problem sets were in there.

So clearly my workouts are a nice mental break from all that (as is speaking languages which today I stopped by the French TAs office hours to chat and it was soooo amazing!).  My plan only called for 4 X 1600 with 3 minutes recovery but, as usual, me being me had to go and change it all up.  So here’s what went down:

  • 2 mile warm up
  • 5 X 1600 @ 10k pace (7:08) with 3 minutes .4 mile recovery jog
  • 1 mile warm down

5 minute bathroom / water break

  • .5 mile re-warm up
  • 3 X [.5 mile hills @ 5%] with .25 mile recovery (at .5%)
  • 2 X [ 90 seconds @ 8%] with 90 seconds recovery (at .5%)
  • 1 X [.5 mile hills @ 5%] with .25 mile recovery (at .5%)
  • 2 mile warm down

Total time: 133 minutes
Total distance: 16.3 miles
Average pace: 8:10 (Interval portion: 7:53, Hills portion: 8:35)

First thought when I was done? Man am I glad that’s done.  When I walked into the gym I didn’t know if I really wanted to complete the workout.  It just seemed very scary today.  It’s not that much different than weeks past but very intimidating nonetheless.  Maybe it was the hill portion, like usual.

The mile repeats were tough.  Funny because when I was doing my 2000m repeats (which is like 1.25 miles) I felt great and I remember writing something about how longer intervals are nicer because I could get into my rhythm and showed what a distance person I am.  Not so much the case here.  Normally I think the TM keeps me really honest about the pace (because once I plug it in I feel like a pansy for lowering it during a repeat) but I was all over the belt today.  Side to side, front to back.  Craziness I tell you.  Luckily a really interesting documentary on the Blizzard of ’77/’78 was on the History Channel and I was able to get into it.

But I gutted it out and felt really good after the last one.  Well maybe not really good in the sense of banging out a few more (definitely would NOT have been able to) but it was a good solid workout nonetheless.  I hopped off the TM for a short water break (I was sweating soooooooooooo much!!) and then went for round 2.

Since the last time I did hills I did a bit of research into what type of hills I’m going to see at Boston.  I’ve been really worried that it’s all going to be STEEP and LONG.  Well I’ve been right about the long part (it seems that roughly the hills are .4-.6 miles long — at least the uphill parts) but I haven’t been too impressed with the grade.  The chart I was looking at didn’t indicate that there was anything much steeper than 4.5-5%.

Which is why I included more of the half-miles at 5% rather than my favs the 90 seconds at high grade this week (they just seem soooo much easier!) And maybe I had just been mentally psyching myself out over them but they didn’t seem too bad.  Of course I did only 3 before switching to 2 shorter once and then coming back for the last one.  Even though I like my even numbers (with 4 being the lucky one) 3 just seemed to be more manageable mentally for me.  Next week I’ll probably put the 4 together like I did for the first few weeks of training but I definitely remember those hills to be hard. Today after 2 I knew that my body only had to go through one more before switching it up but those other weeks after 2 it was like “only halfway there?! $%#%#$%”

I obviously ended up sweating up a freaking storm with this workout.  I never drink water during workouts (probably so bad but whatever) and I totally needed to today.  I think I was getting a bit dehydrated because during that water break I felt a bit lightheaded.  Nothing serious but I needed to take a moment and hit up the water fountain and re-group.  But when I was done I was feeling on top of the world!(And note: even though today’s run was 16.3 miles — clearly a lot — it was the exact same distance as last Tuesday so I’m still under what I was at this point last week)

Not to be confused with a run where everything just clicks.  I think I tend to talk about my runs very analytically, which is totally my sciencey brain coming through, and it probably leads many of you to think that I end most of my workouts feeling bamf like it was a stellar run (I will admit that I do feel bamf regardless of my feelings during the run).

Not so as today’s run was HARD.  I think I already mentioned it but when I started I was definitely overwhelmed by what I wanted to accomplish. Granted, the hardest part of any workout is the start, but I wasn’t really looking forward to the run and during it I was a bit bored.  Or at least not as attentive to being “on” is a better way of putting.  I guess it’s hard to describe the difference in words but I think that my weaving on the TM belt was one way that showed my mind wasn’t really engrossed.

Again, it’s not as though I hated it (I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t love it) but because I have a specific race already signed up for and a specific goal already planned for it I feel like running is on the “to-do” list.  It’s such a hard thing to describe though and I could probably write pages on it trying to find the right words. I think a lot of you get it though: running being both a want-to and a have-to.  So I’ll leave it at that. But I just wanted to clarify that I’m not some superhero chica who flies through workouts unfazed (as much as I would love to be!). Today was a day that seemed to faze me.

Okey-dokey atrichokey: after I hit publish (and WOOT to post #300!!) I’m off to go finish lots of homework.  And then watch LOST.  Because a girl needs her hot boy toys. And clearly with guns  🙂



  1. good lordy lady i am falling over just reading this. way to go. seriously. you keep topping your own workouts!!!!!! hehehehe. if running is truly about “you vs you” then you have got YOu beat like crazy!!!!!!!!!!! keep up the great work!!!!!

    Comment by Lacey — February 16, 2010 @ 19:25

  2. A day that fazes you? I totally understand what you mean. Happens to the best of us! 🙂

    Comment by EE — February 16, 2010 @ 19:25

  3. Damn how do you run that long on a treadmill?

    Comment by Matt — February 16, 2010 @ 19:49

  4. another great workout! I actually might copy this one sometime soon, once I’ve built back up my milage base. Although I must say, the thought of doing that on the treadmill makes me alittle crazy… 😉

    Comment by tmart — February 16, 2010 @ 19:52

  5. holy crap girl!! A 16mi midweek run? You are way impressive. Have you thought about an ultra? Because I think you would like it (not that I would know…Ive done one marathon). Enjoy LOST. What is it about guns that makes hot boys even hotter?

    Comment by runningfiance — February 16, 2010 @ 20:49

    • An ultra is actually one of my “goals” for 2010. I have one in mind for late May (Memorial Day weekend). I haven’t registered or anything but it’s definitely in the back of my mind 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — February 17, 2010 @ 21:23

  6. Holy mother that’s a meaty workout! I will live vicariously thru you! Nice job!

    Comment by Teamarcia — February 16, 2010 @ 21:07

  7. physics is pretty much my worst subject of all time, so those physics dreams sound like nightmares…ahhh!

    your treadmill workouts are super impressive! i have no idea how you do the hills even at 5% – i always feel like i’m going to fall off the back and break something. nice job though, getting through those days that faze you a bit totally just make you even stronger!

    i HEART lost! mmm…sawyer…:)

    Comment by HurdlingHam — February 16, 2010 @ 21:46

  8. ohhh i like the tempo portion!! I might have to copy the first half of this one next time i’m TM-bound! (i’m weird and have to run hills outside)…you are seriously a champ to be able to do both portions at once! The TM is sooo boring for me, I am so impressed that you can rock 16-mi on that bad boy! and i am totally with you on the NOT drinking while running, I don’t understand why people go on 5-mile runs with waterbottles!?!…so crazy to me, but they look at me like I’m crazy when I go out for 13-mi runs without anything! I can’t believe it’s snowing…ughh! I hope spring comes sooner than later for you crazy east coasters! 🙂 have a great night girlie! xoxo!

    Comment by Lizzy — February 16, 2010 @ 22:42

  9. I just imagined myself running on the treadmill for that long and I think I got nauseous haha! GREAT job! You rocked it out today…but question, history channel?? HAHA. Whatever works for ya! In my gym in college, I would have had crazies yelling at me to get off if I decided to park it longer than “the limit”!

    Comment by Running on Faith — February 16, 2010 @ 22:51

    • Hahah yeah but the History channel captures my midn better tha the crappy stuff on mtv, espn etc. And I totally hide the clock with a towel, start and restart the machine so I can keep it for the 2 hours haha. I’m sooooo going to hell 😉

      Comment by marathonmaiden — February 17, 2010 @ 21:03

  10. I don’t have a date for the medical yet, my coach said he’s waiting on a call from the doctor to see when he can fit all the boxers who need one in! I’m hoping it’s soon cause I’m not good at waiting around haha.

    I totally get that feeling of pleasure from a really sick workout too! The harder and more grueling the better…when you’re finished at least!!

    Comment by laura — February 17, 2010 @ 05:03

  11. Monster workout! Great job. Any chance you will be able to do a dry run of the Boston course? Might help w/ prep.

    Comment by A Marathoner — February 17, 2010 @ 09:03

    • I could but it’s more effort to get there than any benefit I’d receive. When I ran with Lacey I got to see similar hills but that’s probably going to be it. I just can’t afford to waste time traveling to a destination

      Comment by marathonmaiden — February 17, 2010 @ 21:04

  12. WHOA physics, yikes. I’m friends with a load of engineering majors at my school who do all these crazy science classes like that, so I’m def impresssed. Awesome job on your run too….16 miles is more like my loooonng run this week!

    Comment by Kathleen — February 17, 2010 @ 10:20

  13. I’m tired just reading about your workout. Also, I want to know what a physics bra is.

    Comment by EarlyRunner — February 17, 2010 @ 11:03

    • A bra looks like this and when you put them together you get a bra-ket (bracket) that looks like which equals 1. I should post a picture of my homework now that I finally have a camera

      Comment by marathonmaiden — February 17, 2010 @ 21:06

  14. Sending a little sunshine award your way! Hope you’re enjoying your day 🙂

    Comment by laura — February 17, 2010 @ 11:58

  15. i tend to sweat so much when running on the treadmill. It just drips off me. I know that I am not drinking enough water after sweating so much from my runs so my goal this afternoon is to get more water!! I think incorporating the hills the way you did is great and will definitely prepare you for the marathon! keep up the good work!

    Comment by J — February 17, 2010 @ 12:50

  16. wow that is one INTENSE speed workout. yikes!

    i am a californian who hates the sun 🙂 so there you go. haha

    Comment by aron — February 17, 2010 @ 15:24

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