MarathonMaiden's Blog

February 19, 2010

Keep It Steady Now

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:06

Wow.  So last night I went to see a speaker on campus.  His name is Travis Roy and he’s motivational speaker who was left paralyzed from the neck down after an accident just 11 seconds into his first BU hockey game. He talked about conquering life’s hurdles, change in plans, as well as hope, humor and pain.

Let me just say that I was feeling a bit sorry for myself yesterday.  I think you could probably get that from my post.  I think I’ve found my new source of motivation.  Yes, I know that I’m not a quadriplegic or anything serious like that but there were soooo many points that resonated with me. But the biggest one was that he posed the question of “What are you going to do with challenges that you choose and challenges that choose you”  It really made me think about taking control of my life and not letting my stress and chaos get to me.

Obviously easier said than done buttttt I’m going to try. This man was so positive in a situation where he could have easily turned into a very bitter person.  It totally shut my inner voice up! I am choosing to embark on a very challenging course of study at the same moment as taking on a very challenging training plan.  I need to remain positive and keep my goals in mind.

So inadvertently I found rejuvenation in life.  And I felt soooo bad for feeling down on myself pretty much all day. Oops. Then when I got back from the event I read some of your comments on my post and I was so uplifted by it.  I always hesitate on posting those posts because I’m always afraid I’m going to get the comments of “well youre so amazing” or “great job even feeling off” or telling me stuff that’s obvious and those comments just always feel…I don’t know. I always feel rubbed the wrong way because they just seem so impersonal.

But I could actually feel the support with your words.  Which was another of Roy’s points: having a great support system makes a huge difference and that we should all tell the important people in our lives that they mean a lot to us.  So I’m telling you now 🙂

I also did a bit of research on running stuff, mostly different types of running and paces and all that and I’ve come to the conclusion that what went down yesterday was a worthwhile training run.  Not classified as a tempo but as a “steady state run”. I’ve never actually considered doing steady-state work.  But what I did yesterday was classic steady-state. Like the description that follows says, lots of runner nowadays tend to think black and white: fast and slow.  That’s me!

From the McMillian website:

Steady-state runs were once a staple in the training programs of U.S. distance runners but somehow fell out of favor. Runners now seem to have only two speeds, slow and fast – no in-between. But the steady-state run is one of the most beneficial types of workouts especially as you complete your base training and during the initial parts of your Stamina phase (see Lecture 5). The appropriate pace range for steady-state runs is between your 30K and half-marathon race pace. Your heart rate will likely be between 83 and 87% of maximum and the runs should last at least 25 minutes and can go as long as an hour and 15 minutes.

These are pretty tough efforts not because of the pace but because of the duration of running so be prepared to increase your concentration to stay on pace and to take a good recovery day afterwards in order to reap the full benefits. Begin with shorter steady-state runs of 25 minutes at 30K race pace and build to one hour runs at 30K pace with shorter (25- to 45-minute) steady-state runs at half-marathon pace.”

There’s some really great stuff on that site and I totally plan on reading more into it.  But the combination of reading that, your comments and the Travis Roy talk really made me feel more confident.  I WILL be ready for Boston.   Oh silly self-doubt.

So when I woke up this morning I was raring to go mentally.  My legs probably had a different idea.  I took your ideas and suggestions to heart from yesterday’s post and, while I didn’t give myself complete rest, I made sure that I took it extra easy.  Not too hard to do because I don’t think my legs could have gone faster.  I’d classify today’s run as a progression recovery: the first few miles were slooooooooow but it felt better by the end and I was probably in “easy” range.

That’s not to say I did my typical superhuman double digit: I was only out there for 40 minutes.  20 out, 20 back.  I’ll map out how far I went at some point (don’t want that unknown screwing up my weekly numbers haha) but for now I’m content with not knowing.  And the weather was AWESOME.  35* (with it being 46* now in the late afternoon).  Such a tease because it’s New England and obviously winter isn’t over.  Not by a long shot.

I also hit up the gym for some lifting but I cut back there too.  I debated whether or not to drop weights or a set, either one had it’s advantages.  I ended up choosing to only do 2 sets rather than 3 for the sheer fact that I was (and still am) very time crunched today.  It was kind of nice to be in and out with 20 extra minutes.  Not a hell of a lot but enough to make me not feel so pressured.

Before I hit “publish” I also want to address the potential for overtraining that many of you have brought up.  Yes I have been thinking about it too and I do have some of the “symptoms”.  It’s really hard to tell though whether or not these symptoms are a result of my running or all the other stress in my life.  For example: I think my lack of sleep is a result of stress because I can’t turn my mind off and I’m staying up late doing work because I get all anxious if I don’t.  I also checked my resting HR (like I kept my phone in my bed so I didn’t have to move at all this morning to do so) and it was right about where my resting HR should be.  But, that said, I do recognize that I am primed for overtraining and definitely have the potential to develop it.  So it’s on my mind but as of now I think a lot of the signs of it are due to stress.  Unfortunately there’s nothing I can do about it: this is just life right now.

Happy Friday! Whoo-hoo weekend!! Not that I’ll be enjoying it.  It’s a pity too because I think it may hit 50 at some point.  How I wish that homework didn’t exist.  Or any type of work really.  But I hope that someone enjoys the weekend for me 🙂

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  1. Good for you for cutting back today, although I feel your pain not being out there to enjoy 46 degree weather. I can only dream of it being that warm.

    Comment by EarlyRunner — February 19, 2010 @ 16:53

  2. I worry about over training, too. I need to stop being lazy and actually start taking my RHR. Good for you for paying attention!

    Comment by Kim — February 19, 2010 @ 17:10

  3. Yay for an easy day! Your legs are going to feel so much better tomorrow. I check my rhr and bp every morning (I have a minor heart condition so I need to know my bp).

    I’ll enjoy the weekend for you a little 🙂

    Comment by Nick — February 19, 2010 @ 17:27

  4. I think we all need that kind of reality check. Mine came in the form of me whining about my hair one day when I was 20 and then realizing I was doing that in front of my chemo-attending mom, who had no hair. So I understand feeling humbled.

    Happy Friday!

    Comment by EE — February 19, 2010 @ 17:47

  5. Damn only 40 minutes? Are you sick? Lol just kidding. Great job listening to your body. Now you will be ready for a kick ass long run tomorrow 🙂

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

  6. wow i just read ee’s comment and am floored. it also reminded me of when my mom did chemo. kind of sad!! and also puts life in perspective, definitely important and something i should remember more often. i think i ama very humble person and am constantly aware of how others are around me. but i am quick to be negative with myself and i should just stop it. thank you for your thoughts!!!

    stress- ugh. hang in there.

    Comment by Lacey — February 19, 2010 @ 19:53

  7. Glad to hear that you had a positive, inspiring experience. You are awesome! That steady-state run sounds like a great workout. Way to go!

    Comment by runningfiance — February 19, 2010 @ 21:51

  8. Glad you recharged the emotional battery. I’m sure you had periods like this for your first marathon. It seems like all part of the process. You are putting in a ton of work (frankly A LOT more work than others I see training for Boston). You will be beyond ready and even shock yourself in April. I have all the faith in the world in your work ethic, discipline and ability to execute. Now, sneak a rest day in there. 😉

    Comment by a marathoner — February 19, 2010 @ 22:26

  9. One of my highlights of the week? No one is meant to like homework, but the problem solving nature of how to reward yourself for doing not so fun things (um, clean the bathroom) is the sense of accomplishment you may recieve following it. If all you are doing is running, fueling, homework, how are you being creative? Where is your spontaneous side? For too many years, I squelched it. I just decopaged a table! That’s creativity for ya!

    Comment by specialkphd — February 20, 2010 @ 04:52

    • I’m working on getting my spontaneous side out! It’s so tough for me but lately I’ve done some random outings that always *nourish* me (to steal your word 😉 ) I just need to remind myself that being creative and spontaneous, while scary, is amazing. But it’s just hard to make that leap sometimes.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — February 20, 2010 @ 20:01

  10. Wow, you never cease to amaze me with your mileage! Awesome job on the finishing the 21 miles and, more importantly, having fun and enjoying the ride:) I’m sorry the bladder issues are still present, I hope you are able to solve them soon.

    Comment by Ada — February 20, 2010 @ 21:17

  11. Glad to hear you’re aware of the overtraining risks, I have one rest day per week without fail and it works well for me, your body needs the rest to improve so don’t feel bad for taking them!

    Comment by laura — February 21, 2010 @ 05:29

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