MarathonMaiden's Blog

March 30, 2010

Intervals? Check. Running? Nope.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:20

Jeez Louise! Thanks so much everyone for your support in that tough race Sunday.  If you missed it (and trust me it wasn’t anything I want to relive ha) you can find the Eastern States 20 Miler race report here.  It was amazing to read all your kind words about the ordeal that was every single mile of that course. I feel so loved and supported by all of you 🙂

The rest of Sunday included tutoring statistics, which was an ordeal as I was trying to keep my throbbing leg elevated and yet trying to help a bunch of kids around a table.  Sunday did not include a good night of sleeping.  I think that the physical stress of the race + all the emotional stuff really was interfering with my sleep as I slept terribly.  I woke up at 00:56, 1:33, 03:22 and finally 05:31.  I just laid in bed for a half hour and then got up to study for my exam Monday morning blah.

That night, and every night for that matter, I’ve also been plagued with nosebleeds.  Like everytime I blow my nose (because allergies make me congested) I blow the clot and BAM massive nosebleed. If anyone has a good trick to get this to stop I’d be you biggest fan. For real.

Anyway.  Monday morning came and I don’t think I could have run a step if I tried.  It wasn’t that my muscles were sore.  I’ve never actually been really sore after a long run ever *knockonwood* but rather my tendons and ligaments and skin were sore.  I don’t really know the best way to explain it but it just felt that my leg was so being stretched out, likely from the inflammation.  So running? Yeah, out of the question. I honestly don’t think I could have run if I had tried.

I did some stretching throughout the day and some corework because I had been slacking on that the past few days and I didn’t really notice that the rest day was helping me.  I’m not exactly an instant gratification gal, I can wait forever for things.  But with my running and injury (and Lacey considers shin splints an injury even though I don’t so that’s where the terminology comes from) I do want instant results. I want my body to say “oh you skipped your 0700 run so by 0800 you’ll be okay”.  Ummm I know in my brain that’s not how it works but still.

I wore my compression socks to bed (which I have been since FOREVER) and in the morning I wasn’t as stiff and I could WALK.  Yes, walking was difficult on Monday. Just as I felt every step in the race on Sunday I could feel every step I walked on Monday.  So I was very happy. I even entertained the thought of ditching my arc trainer plans in favor of running.

I quickly nixed that.  See? I’m not entirely dumb.  Plus I had already written out my XT workout for the day and there’s something AWESOME about executing what’s written down on paper.

But today is Tuesday. So it wasn’t just a plug and chug XT session.  I had intervals to do on the plan so intervals were going to be carried out.  Come hell or high water (and with all the rain and flooding high water might just in fact be a possibility ha).

I ended up on the arc trainer (blahhhhh) and used the “hill intervals” program.  I figured that a typical interval running session takes about 2 hours so I did the following:

  • 30 minutes, manual, resistance = 25 (out of 100)
  • 60 minutes, hill interval, level = 5 (out of 10)
  • 30 minutes, manual, resistance = 30 (out of 100)

All in all I guess it was an okay session.  I periodically checked my HR during the whole two hours and it was consistently between 140 and 160, which if you believe the whole Max HR = 220-age then I was around 70-80% of my max. I tried to keep the “strides/minute” around 140-150 because I think I read somewhere that’s a good place to have them.  The numbers really don’t mean much to me.

But arc trainer (or bike or elliptical) miles =/= running miles so I’m not quite sure how this workout fits in.  Yes it was a way for me to keep active today but as far as *training* goes, I’m not quite sure it qualifies. Also, on the arc trainer (not so much the elliptical though) it takes me FOREVER to go a mile.  I don’t know if I’m working the machine right or not butttt in 2 hours I only went about 6.5 miles (the same time running would yield me AT LEAST 12-14 depending on type of run and the same time on the elliptical gets me about 13 or so).  I think it’s the machine and the way it’s designed.  I mean, I guess it terms of fitness the only important thing is that my HR was up, right?

Interestingly I’ve had a toenail that’s been on the verge of falling off for awhile now.  It started with a blister that formed around the whole toenail so it’s been prime to pop off.  I’ve run countless times on it: intervals, tempos, LRs and standard recovery stuff.  And yet it still was hanging on.  Literally by a shard of skin (gross I know).  Wouldn’t you know that the way the arc trainer grips my shoes that the damn thing fell off today? It’s my first missing toenail ever.  And it’s from XT-ing.  Go figure haha.

Also interesting? The calorie count readout on the machine.  Now I’m not by any means obsessed with calories or anything like that but I found it interesting that the readout said I burned 1600 calories over those 2 hours. It was a machine where you get to input your weight so it’s not skewing it thinking I’m a big burly man but still…1600? I find it hard to believe that my workout was the energy expenditure equivalent of a 16 mile run.  Certainly didn’t feel that way. Anyone have any thoughts on it? Just curious because it struck me as odd and there’s only so much “real thinking” one can do over two hours of the elliptical. haha.

As for tomorrow I really am itching to get out on the roads.  The forecast is looking somewhat optimistic.  The heavy rain that has plagued us for the past 48 hours is hopefully going to clear out tonight.  Sure some roads are definitely going to be flooded but I’m sure I’ll manage.  If I don’t get to running then I have no idea what I’m going to do workout wise. So if anyone has any good workouts for the elliptical or the bike (there’s even one spin bike in the gym) I want it! And please email it to me and rather than putting it in the comments section. It helps me immensely to have it in my email rather than here 🙂

Oh well. I’m in dire need of some homework time. LOST is on tonight and I get to watch it with the girlies. It’s become a Tuesday night tradition 🙂 Although I don’ t think ANYTHING could top last week’s.  Richard Alpert = hot. We’re rewatching it before the new one because it was just that good!


  1. Even if you take off tomorrow I am sure you wont lose any of your fitness. Hope your body and legs are feeling a little bit more rested and you can get some good sleep tonight. I do suggest an ice bath if your legs are still bothering you. Temp of water should be about 50 degrees and you only need to go in for about 10-15 minutes. Pineapple also helps in restoring and healing your muscles. also The calorie counter things are crazy!

    Comment by J — March 30, 2010 @ 19:40

    • Pineapple? Really? That’s AWESOME because I’ve been eating it like crazy lately after buying some on sale 🙂 And sadly no ice bath because I don’t have access to a tub 😦

      Comment by marathonmaiden — March 31, 2010 @ 20:45

  2. I keep hearing about all this rain you guys are getting… that’s nuts!

    Comment by Amy @ Second City Randomness — March 30, 2010 @ 19:42

  3. Wow you spent 2 hours on that thing? That is more of an accomplishment that running!

    When it comes to XT, HR is the most important.

    Comment by Matt — March 30, 2010 @ 20:09

  4. We’re getting a lot of rain here too. Though, I am in Oregon so that’s to be expected.

    I MISSED lost last week! I need to watch it before tonights episode.

    Comment by Nick — March 30, 2010 @ 20:35

  5. The arc trainer and I became bff last month when I wasn’t running for three weeks. Even then, the most I could stomach at any one stretch was 75 minutes and that was rough. At any rate, I don’t pay ANY attention at all to the “miles” it says I went or the calories it says I burned. Now that I’m back running, I use it as a pre-run supplement where I put it at 30 and just go ~180 s/min for 30-45 minutes. I wouldn’t worry about what the numbers say, the important thing is that your HR was up for x amount of time. I can see how it would pop that toenail off, I feel a ton of pressure on my toes from the way it makes me move.

    I’d be real cautious about getting back out there right away. It would probably be a better idea to just cross-train like hell for a few more days and only get to running when you feel 100% (or at least as close to 100% as you had been feeling before Sunday’s race). If you’re only missing a few days and you’re still getting the exercise in, fitness-wise you’ll be just fine.

    Comment by runningmanz — March 30, 2010 @ 20:56

    • 180 s/min? Wow the fastest I can go is ~155 or so. What kind of resistance are you using? I could probably go faster if I dropped it down a bit but then I feel like it’s too “easy”. I like the resistance work I guess…

      Comment by marathonmaiden — March 31, 2010 @ 20:47

      • Usually I set the resistance at 30 or 31 and then I zone out. That’s what I did today before my run. It’s enough that I can do it without really focusing on it, it gets my heart rate up enough, but I’m not tired at all when I’m done with it.

        Comment by runningmanz — March 31, 2010 @ 20:58

  6. I cross trained today too! It was totally boring. I feel your pain. I also am of the belief that the calorie calculators on exercise machines are just bonkers. I put in that I am a 50 year old person weighing 75 pounds and it still tells me that I’ve burned 400 calories in 30 minutes of easy ellipticaling. I do not buy it.

    Comment by sarah — March 30, 2010 @ 21:33

  7. I was feeling the same way but after my first half marathon which was expected. I am now 90% back to normal and itching to log some serious miles. Thanks for commenting on blog. I am ashamed- I don’t really do xt. So I have no idea about bike/arc trainer issues. I should start though before I get “knock-on-wood” injured.

    Comment by run4may — March 30, 2010 @ 21:36

  8. for the nosebleeds- i have had a similar problem- when i blow my nose it was bloody all winter. Its from having try nasal tissue- and usually an over the counter nose spray will help with this plus will get rid of your stuff nose so you wont keep breaking the clot up. If yu do try one use it for a few days as these dont work an hour later too haha.

    Comment by lhatala — March 30, 2010 @ 21:39

    • Yeah, I know it’s because the air is dry. I keep meaning to break out my humidifier but am too lazy to go looking haha! It’d be easier just to buy the nasal spray 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — March 31, 2010 @ 20:48

  9. Wearing compression socks to bed always helps me! In fact, I think I might do that tonight. I’ve been pushing hard the last few days since I’m about to go on vacation.

    Comment by Kim — March 30, 2010 @ 22:19

  10. yeah.. I’m pretty sure the elliptical just makes up how many calories you’ve burned. I always feel like I’m doing practically nothing on an elliptical and yet it still tallies up..

    Comment by BostonRunner — March 30, 2010 @ 22:20

  11. i just got around to reading your ES20 race report today…damn girl, congrats on getting through what sounds like a ROUGH day. i read lacey’s too and that wind sounded AWFUL! combined with your shin issues it sounds like a tough time but you are awesome and made it!

    oh i LOVE my compression socks! good call on the XT today instead of running. i think boston is close enough that losing running miles isn’t really going to affect your performance as much as long as you’re still hitting the arc/elliptical/bike/whatever…whereas if your shin issue gets worse, it most likely will…and you are ridiculously impressive for managing 2 hours on that death machine. i think i would go nuts!

    Comment by HurdlingHam — March 30, 2010 @ 23:28

  12. First – I used to tutor stats too! Second – I did intervals today also! It’s like we’re internet twins:) Except you just completed a really hard awesome race (you go girl!!!) and I… ate cinnamon rolls.

    Comment by charlotte — March 31, 2010 @ 00:08

  13. AWESOME job on the XT! What a great workout! +1 to those that said don’t jump back too soon. You can’t and won’t lose fitness yet.

    Comment by Rebecca — March 31, 2010 @ 03:20

  14. With the bleeding from your nose, here are a few things that may help:
    1. get a humidifier if you do not have one and if you have dry air (it is no good for the lining in the nose)
    2. some medicines (like aspirin) may make it more likely for the bleeding to happen
    3. make sure you do not overuse any nose-drops (they may damage the lining)
    4. you may also try drinking some water with apple cider vinegar once or twice a day (about 1 table spoon in a glass of water)

    Hope some of that may help.

    Comment by Household Gadgets — March 31, 2010 @ 04:32

  15. There’s something about writing it down isn’t there, if I write a workout down I’ve just got to do it! And if I write it down and try it and I’m not feeling it I get so annoyed having to scribble my changes over it, so messy haha!

    Great work on the cross trainer 🙂 I’ve not heard that way of calculating HR before but it would seem to fit with my work, at the end of a 1 mile run when I ran my absolute hardest and felt like my heart was going to jump right out of my chest my HR was 193 and according to that my max would be 195 so it seems like it could be right!

    Comment by Laura — March 31, 2010 @ 04:35

    • Good to know that others find that HR formula to be relatively accurate. I’ve always wondered if it’s a true formula or total BS haha

      Comment by marathonmaiden — March 31, 2010 @ 20:49

  16. Hi my sissss!! ohhh wow to the arcTrainer…2hrs(so impressive!!)! were you reading QuantumPhys during that time!?? 🙂 I get so bored on machines, unless i’m studying! I always take the crazy high calorie count # the machine says and times it by 0.75 to get what I actually burned…SPINNING is sooooo much FUN! you should give it a go if you can’t RUN! hope you are having a great wednesday!

    Comment by Lizzy — March 31, 2010 @ 10:48

    • Interesting that you multiply the calorie count by .75, I’ve heard anything from .5 to .8 not that it matters much 🙂 Do you have any spinning routines that I can steal?! My school is so small we don’t have exercise classes and I’m wayyy to poor to afford a gym haha

      Comment by marathonmaiden — March 31, 2010 @ 20:50

  17. + 1 for not worrying too much about whatever the elliptical machines spit out at your. As long as you are going easy if it’s an easy workout or you feel like you are going hard during an interval, it’s doing what it’s supposed to do. You are definitely not going to lose all the awesome fitness you have built up over the last few weeks. You are smart to let your shin rest for as long as it needs now so it will be ready for Boston!

    Comment by Chelsea — March 31, 2010 @ 10:48

  18. I know Sunday and the last couple of days haven’t been shaking out like you’ve planned, but you are doing GREAT. The hardest 20 miler of your life and 2 hours on the elliptical? I think you’ve got the mental toughness part of marathon training down now, as if you didn’t already. And +1 to everyone who said forget the machine data, keep looking at your HR.

    Comment by kristinschleicher — March 31, 2010 @ 12:15

  19. hey karyn! Thanks for the comment. I got a women’s small. I am pretty small…only 5’2″. The women said that the womens jacket ran narrower so that is why I went with the small over the x-small. So if you’re gonna go with the women’s jacket I’d advise you lean towards the bigger size. I read your other post about your 20 miler and I just wanted to tell you to keep your head up. I think that race will serve to be an amazing experience for you come Boston in 18 days. You are strong mentally and physically and certainly got to test that strength last weekend! Props to sticking with it despite the conditions. =]

    Comment by Mary (Food Fit & Fun) — March 31, 2010 @ 14:09

    • I’m pretty tall (5’11”) so that’s why I was thinking mens sizes. Gosh I am so indecisive, I keep opening the website to order and then hem and haw haha! I’m starting to get excited for t-19 days 🙂 eeeeeeek haha and thanks for the nice words, youre the best 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — March 31, 2010 @ 20:52

  20. I’ve never been on the arc trainer before- it looks scary! Sounds like you got a good workout out of it though!

    And re: my triple workouts – My triples = Your single workout! So I’d say you are pretty much the most hard core one out there! 🙂

    Comment by tmart — March 31, 2010 @ 16:20

  21. Was the Eastern 20 your last big LR? If so, maybe start working into the taper a bit earlier to give the shin a little break. You’ve put so much time and effort into Boston and would hate to see you not be able to completely max/sell out on 4/19. Just a thought.

    Comment by A Marathoner — March 31, 2010 @ 16:24

    • Yes, Eastern States was the last real long run. The plan says 16-18 or so this weekend but we’ll see how the shin holds up. Obviously I’d love to do it but it all comes down to what the shin wants. And taper started on Monday.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — March 31, 2010 @ 20:54

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