MarathonMaiden's Blog

March 18, 2010

Ehhhhh. And *THAT’S* my GMP?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:31

I loved reading all your thoughts on my last post regarding marathon age. Many of you had some great thoughts and while I go back and forth as to the whole “Should I be marathoning now? Is it right for me at the moment?” I thought you guys had some great insight and wise words that will be in the back of my head.  Granted the whole question/debate thing isn’t something that consumes my thoughts but every once in awhile it pops into my head and it’s really nice to have other opinions.

Today was met with an “eh”. Since I’m home and always want to lug the least amount of stuff from school to here, I opted to leave my clock radio back at school.  Which leaves me clockless at home.  Yes I set my alarm on my cell phone but in the middle of the night I’m sure as heck not getting out of bed to satisfy my curiosity.

Sidenote: The line “curiouser and curiouser” just popped into my head.  Alice in Wonderland was pretty darn good and I’d recommend seeing it.   Maybe I’m skewed because I saw it in IMAX 3-D though which can make any movie good. I wouldn’t see it again but I was happy that I did see it.  Definitely worth the money.

Anyway the whole point of my talking about the clock was that I woke up sometime before my alarm.  It was light outside so I knew it had to be post-7 but since my alarm hadn’t gone off yet it wasn’t quite 0730.  But since I am lazy I wasn’t going to get up to check my cell.  It was really nice to wake up by myself and I think I got 9 hours (!!) I can’t remember the last time I got 9 hours of sleep.  Way too long.

Silly me though didn’t realize that Thursday = only day of break with no real obligations aka no appointments.  So I still decided to tackle the tempo run I had on tap first thing.  Who knows if things would have turned out differently if I had given myself sometime to wake up, eat a little etc.  Then again the weather got warm again today and that might have let the run play out similarly as my body isn’t used to the extreme changes in temp.  I need some time to adapt!

In any case the tempo flew out the window and was replaced by a GMP run.  Part of it was the length of the actual workout portion.  I thought that 2 of my running routes were cleared of water / not affected.  Apparently I was wrong and severely underestimated how much rain we got.  Yes I can quote the number but it doesn’t really mean anything until you’re faced with knee deep water in the roads. Or as was the case with me. So I had to make an adjustment which tacked on more miles than I was planning.

Without further ado here it is:

  • 3.1 mile warm up @ 10:12
  • 7.8 mile GMP @ 7:59
  • 3.1 mile warm down @ 9:01

In complete contrast to yesterday’s workout where I felt so sluggish but was pleasantly surprised by a good pace. Although I guess I shouldn’t say complete contrast because I knew I wasn’t hauling for a tempo pace.  Part of it was the length, I’m pretty sure I dipped slow during the mid miles before finding the Last Mile Party.  And part of it was the damned hills around me. I know I don’t live in a really hilly area but where I was forced to run today had some pretty considerable ones.  I’m not used to it.

But good Boston training 😉

So while I’m pissed that I couldn’t do a solid tempo I’m okay with the workout as a whole.  It was another steady-state run.  Both with the pace and the distance.  Much longer than what I wanted to do tempo-wise so I guess it was a good thing that the pace responded as well. I will say, though, that it did feel semi-hard.  Not quite sure when I said that 3:29:59 was my goal that I really thought it through.  Hold that pace for a marathon? HA. So I have to just put my trust in the fact that I’ll be able to run 26.2 miles at that pace. I know factors leading up to the race will play a role buttt it’s just so hard to believe that it’ll happen that way.

And before I go finish packing (because yes I’m going back to school tonight. It’s like getmeouttahere!!) I want to mention that I have my first PT appointment tomorrow.  I keep being amazed at how fast I’m able to be getting into to see people about my shin/ankle.  It’s an evaluation appointment so it’ll mostly be the PT getting familiar with me and my specific problems but I’m sure that I’ll gain something from it right off the back knowledge/info wise.  And I’m really looking forward to the e-stim that they’re going to do 🙂

Because I got a second massage today and I think that some more layers of the tightness onion have been peeled.  My calves are still hard as rocks but there is some softening which is good.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get some more of that out on my own and with the help of PT.  Plus she was able to spend sometime on the “bum ankle” and I think that whatever she did on Monday was really positive because she said she could notice a difference in the sight of it ie) less puffy.  And the area was less tender.  So I’m thinking that the combo of her massage + ice + ibuprofen + compression socks at night really are making a difference.

And I’ll leave you with that as I really should go pack hah! I’m not even going to proofread this sucker so I apologize for any spelling or grammatical stuff 😛

March 17, 2010

Springtime Recovery = Beautiful. And “Marathoning Age”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:20

Hey all! Gotta make this a quick semi-quick one as I’m between appointments and later tonight I’m seeing Alice in Wonderland in 3D with mi hermana 🙂

To start: Boston numbers came out earlier this week!! Because I prefer to remain (slightly) anonymous I’m not going to announce my number. But I will say that I’m in the second wave.  I was secretly hoping to get into the first one buttttt there are some fast people out there! The cut off for the waves was 14,000. That is so crazy that there are so many people running Boston.  I’m excited but not as excited as I thought I was going to be. Weird although I know that it’ll change once the race gets closer.

But I gotta take everything day by day.  Did I actually say last week that spring break was going to be relaxing? Someone should have slapped me or something because, have I had time to relax yet?! Nope. I’ve been going from one thing to the next.  I was able to get in some good work today though.  I hit the gym for some lifting.  Due to Monday’s craziness I skipped (for the first time all session) a strength workout so I really wanted to get one in today.  And I did.  It was pretty good too but, and it’s probably mental, my arms lost fitness in those days?! Hahaha.  My arms were dying by the end.  It felt good but man, I felt the burn.

I chose to lift first (rather than second like I’ve been doing for the rest of the training cycle) because I wanted to take advantage of the BEAUTIFUL weather.  Sunshine, 50* (with a high of damn near 60), no wind.  The only bummer is that the floods have yet to recede and the large majority of my routes (include my hometown favorites) are still underwater.  The roads are so bad that that there are huge ass detours and back ups.  The trip home from the gym (a regular < 10 minutes) took 40.  Blahhhhh.

But despite the rivers in the streets I got a great recovery run in.  It definitely didn’t feel that way at the time.  I went into the run with the attitude that it was 1100 so my body was awake and the sun was shining with warmth so it should feel great.  Too bad my body wasn’t on the same page.  My legs felt so heavy and slow.  My mind was getting doubtful as to whether or not I even wanted to be out there. Luckily I was able to re-frame my thoughts and tell myself to shut the eff up.  I kind of resigned myself to the fact that my pace would be slow.  And like I said, this was the first time in 3 days that I was outside and that the time before that (Saturday’s long run) was in brutal conditions.  TM miles =/= road miles.

I think that having these low expectations did something because my recovery run was at a “blistering” 9:16 pace.  For those of you who are new to reading (and thanks for reading! To new and old readers 🙂 ) My typical recovery pace is around 9:30-9:45.  So it was a pleasant surprise to see something faster.  Especially since it felt so much slower.  There’s definitely something to be said about running in nice weather and not first thing.  Yes I think I’ll always be a morning runner but my body will go faster later in the day. Fact.

But enough about today’s recovery run.

I just wanted to talk a little bit more about my conversation with the high school track & field coach (yes I know this post is long already but oops. My blog. Too bad haha).  He definitely wasn’t saying that I had to take a week off.  It was more like if I had to then I wouldn’t lose much, if any, fitness. He did say that it would help to take this week as a major cutback but it wasn’t imperative that I stop running or anything.  He suggested that max time off this week would be good and then go hard for two weeks rather than just go semi-hard for three.

But the comment that most people “questioned” or rather commented on was the wait-a-few-years-to-marathon statement.

I’m not quite sure exactly his reasons for saying that and I didn’t really press him because let’s be honest here: I’m going to do what I’m going to do. BUT I can’t deny that I’ve been thinking along the same lines.  Not that I shouldn’t be doing this but that maybe I should pull back after Boston and focus on shorter stuff.

Firstly: The stress on my body. I’ve been thinking about the wear and tear I’m putting my body through. Yes, I’m still young (23) so the wear and tear isn’t huge. And yes I love it but it’s very grueling. Sure I could train on less buttttttttt. Yeah. I could but it wouldn’t fulfill me in the same way. To me marathons = mega-miles.

So my thinking is mostly just about wear and tear. Which I think is where the T&F coach’s thinking is too.  As a early (well maybe mid) 20-something my body is still maturing.  Sure I’m not going through puberty or anything but my bones and their density are still developing.  I know that running is good for bone health but 112 mile weeks is not the same thing as what the typical 20-something is recommended to do. I know that the typical 20-something isn’t running marathons either (I think that as bloggers, specifically running bloggers, sometimes we don’t see that as we represent a small number of people out there in the world).

So my bones is a concern. Another one is my hormone level.  While I’m still getting regular(ish) periods (mine have never been 100% regular, hence the ish) I’m still concerned that: running high miles = lower than usual body fat = less circulating estrogen (if one of the knowledgeable medical peeps begs to differ let me know! I am by no means an expert!). And I’m really slim already.  Not that I’m losing / have lost tons of weight or anything over the past 3ish months.

I know that running 100 mile weeks isn’t a year round thing butttttt….16 weeks of intense training has got to take some sort of toll.  And with less estrogen concern for my bones becomes great (part of the reason I was intensely worried about my ankle/shin being a stress fracture) as well as my reproductive health. I’m too young to be thinking about kids (like right now NO WAY IN HELL haha) but I’ve always reserved the right down the road to change my mind.

I guess the concern boils down to the whole mega-miles thing.  Like I just said, 100 mile weeks are tough and grueling.  I think the “concern” from the coach (or rather where he was coming from) was to take a few years to build up to that level, which is why I think traditionally most people say women “peak” at the marathon later in life: because it takes some time to build up I suppose.  Although he did say with a slight shrug “Well if you’re already there”.

Also the thinking tends to be younger = fast short races.  I really want to take advantage of the fact that I can recover quick and go out hard and fast. I know there are fast “older” runners but I’ve read lots of articles stating that a 20 year old (or at least that decade) is the best time to develop the power and speed necessary of a 10k. And while I love long stuff I’d be lying if I said that it isn’t fun to go all out for a 10k and run really fast. And I’d hate to think that I’m “wasting” that super speed young ones are known for 😉

So there you have it.  Nothing concrete or anything like that.  And again, I’m not (yet) a medical person myself so my knowledge is limited to textbooks and what others (doctors, fellow runners etc.) tell me.

And (before I wrap this up because I know it’s lengthy again!) I don’t want anyone to think that I’m nixing marathons forever. Part of my thoughts may just be that I’m in Week 12 of an intense training and my brain is thinking that there’s no way in hell that I want to go through this again.  I’m sure that more marathons are in my future even if I can’t see beyond Boston at the moment. I’m sure ultras are in my future.  But I just can’t see it yet.  The same thing happened after my last marathon: even though I knew I would run Boston, at the time I just couldn’t fathom training for it.  So life happens and things change.  But you got to get a look into my brain. How fun (hopefully haha!!)

So thanks for reading this novel (maybe physics wasn’t my calling.  Maybe writing should have been haha) and check out these giveaways from Tricia and Marcia. LOVE it.

March 16, 2010

Oh Mr. Sun. And Some Paranoia

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:14

Aww thanks guys for all the support and encouragement yesterday.  Obviously the whole situation is a positive one but still, I really was expecting a lot of “what are you thinking?” stuff.  Or maybe I was just worried that my plan of action wasn’t a good one and you guys wouldn’t let me b.s. it hahah.

Anyway.  I had another busy day on tap?! What is it with this week? I have yet to not wake up to an alarm.  I mean, yes it’s partly my own doing because I want to workout before I start my day but sheesh.  It’s spring break yo.  I hate that I go to school far enough away that I can’t space these kinds of appointments out over the semester.  Oh well.  One more half semester so I guess that it’s the last time I’ll be dealing with it. Scary.

But, yeah, I woke up before the sun again.  I didn’t place my alarm (aka my phone) where I normally do so when it went off I was all blurry eyed (hello 24 amazingness and staying up too late with my friend! So worth it though 🙂 ) because of little sleep so I couldn’t find the damn thing.  And this was pre-family getting up too so I was extra crazy because I didn’t want to wake anyone up (not that they would do the same for me…)

I hit up the TM again today (third day in a row!).  First it was pitch black and I just don’t feel safe running in 100% darkness.  I think, as a female, that too much paranoia runs through my mind.  Girls are just taught to be on the lookout for creepers more than boys growing up so I think that’s it.  I get paranoid at night too.

Second, even though the monsoon had stopped: the flooding? Yup still there.  So many roads are still closed and I would have been running in knee deep water at points.  No thanks.  When I was driving to my appointments later today I had to “ford the river” many many times.  Ugh. (Anyone with that reference? aha)

Third, I wanted a softer cushioning for my shin.  I mean, even though I’m not in pain, I do want to stay smart. And seeing as how I had intervals (hard enough for me to get outside because of point 2 but I shy away in general from doing intervals outside) the TM just was what I wanted.

I feel the need to list those reasons because it was (and still is) BEAUTIFUL outside. After downpours for 3+ days the sun was glorious to see. My mood perked up about a billion points. So now I feel a little guilty for not getting out there butttt when I had the chance to run this weather wasn’t there. Boo. Oh well.

On schedule for today was 1600m aka the mile.  I’m iffy towards this distance in general.  It’s obviously a longer interval and yet, as soon as I start to feel good in it, the damn thing is over.  But I grinned and beared it. Going into the session I was kind of scared.  I mean, yes the doctor said I could keep running but at this point it really does become a cost vs benefit deal.

Therefore I nixed the traditional hills portion of interval day.  In the 11 full weeks of Boston training I’ve only not done hills 2x.  That’s a lot of hills.  So even though one of those skipped days was last week I figured that it didn’t matter. Like a lot of you mentioned I’ve done so much work already this training.  And since the last time I did hills the shin was a little aggravated (and I’ve read that hills aggravate shin splints and tendinitis, my two possible diagnosis) I’m okay with my decision.  I am, however, going to try for hills next week and then have that be it for hills.  I figure it takes 3-4 weeks for a workout to show up and next week is T-4 weeks.

But here’s the workout. Kind of non-exciting because I didn’t do much adding or craziness haha:

  • 2 mile warm up
  • 6 X 1 mile (5 @ 7:13, 1 @ 7:03) with .4 mile recovery between
  • 3 mile warm down

Total time: 107 minutes
Total distance: 13.5 miles
Average pace: 7:56

Okay so I’m sure that many of you are scratching your heads and wondering how 13.5 miles can be considered lower-key (or maybe not if you’ve been reading for awhile hah) BUT it’s 4 miles less than last Tuesday.  A start to say the least.

The last time I did this workout was about a month ago and figured that I’d play it safe and keep it at 10k pace (current pr pace = 7:15).  I tend to like to increase pace every time I repeat a workout (especially if it’s 4+ weeks since the last time I did it) buttttt yeah.  I did go faster on the last one because I knew that if I kicked up the pace I could hit 8 miles in 60 minutes on the TM timer which was cool.  (I go warm up. Hit reset. Then start the intervals)

No shin pain.  Well no pain. During the warm down I could tell that my shin was getting fatigued which strengthened my resolve to nix the hills.  I tend to go wimpy brained during the beginnings of workouts when my body is adjusting and tell myself I can stop early and then by the end always want to add more. I probably would have done that today too if the shin didn’t tell me otherwise.  Again: NO PAIN.  But I was “listening to my body” and *wicked* paranoid about anything happening to my shin so I was hypervigilant is paying attention to it haha. Guess paranoia isn’t always a bad thing 😉

So all in all a great workout.  I’m happy with it and I felt really good afterward.  I always think how amazing it is that I always want to avoid these sessions before they begin but once I’m done I am so happy with myself. I just feel so accomplished. I’m sure that you guys know what I’m talking about 🙂

And yes I know this is a(nother) lengthy post. But I do want to write a bit about a “second opinion” I got re: my shin.  My sister is on the track team and, although I didn’t get along with the head T&F coach in HS, he is knowledgeable about distance running.  So I went to pick up my sister and chat with him for the last 15 minutes of their practice.

Basically I told him my situation (including going to the sports med clinic yesterday) and relayed my fears of going into a taper this far out.  He told me that even if I took a full week off (like this week) that I shouldn’t be worried about my fitness and the race. Although he agreed with the principle of going into taper now (and preventing a potential stress fracture) he said that what I’d likely be comfortable with is to back off this week, go up to 60 or 70 for one or two then hit the taper hard.

He also suggested pool running to be the best thing for me.  I agree but my access to a pool is non-existent.  Yes my school has a state-of-the-art facility but it’s only open to the public for 4 hours a day.  4 hours that I have commitments.  Boo. I can try to find a pool for this week but will likely pay through the nose for a daily, or even weekly, pass. I do have unlimited access to ellipticals and bikes though which I’m sure would be good if I really feel the need to hardcore nix more miles.

Beyond this week (which he did suggest to be cut back by 40-50%) he said the words of the cycle: play it by ear. But I left the school feeling better knowing that both the sports med doc and the coach said the same thing independently of each other.  The coach (which I am on a first name basis with but because this is the internet I’ll just keep calling him anonymous stuff like “the coach”) also said that I could email him if I had anymore questions (because I did pepper him with q’s for a half hour!!) or if things went arry.

Interestingly he told me that he would advise running marathons at my age.  Nothing against me or anything but he would have suggested that after Boston focusing on halfs and 10ks.  Speedier stuff. He said that it would be good for me to let my body mature more before plugging into such heavy mileage.  It totally wasn’t said in a negative way or anything like that but I thought it was an interesting point.  Maybe I’ll elaborate on my thoughts (because I wasn’t totally opposed to the idea and despite my wanting to run an ultra I have been thinking along those lines too).  But in the interest of the fact that this post is VERY long I won’t. 😉

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday! I’m going to try to have a low-key night and grab a glass of wine while watching NCIS and LOST.  A perfect way to unwind after running around all day!

[ And I apologize for any typos or sentence/grammatical mistakes.  I was gone all day and don’t want to proofread my novel haha!]

March 15, 2010

Spring Break? Really? You Don’t Say

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:32

Ughhhh. Now before I say this I’m going to preface it with: I know that some of you have it worse and get up wayyyy earlier than I did today. But when you have been naturally waking up on your own for the past 8-10 weeks (even if it’s still sleep deprivation as I physically can’t sleep in) an alarm clock sucks.  I don’t care if it’s 0400, 1000 or even past noon. Alarm = suckage.  So I won’t try to have a pissing contest to see who gets up earlier.  Suffice it to say: it was earlier than a natural wake-up, dark out (stupid DST) and incredibly painful.

Butttt I felt the need to get a good hard run in before my sports med appointment this morning.  My mentality was a stupid one: god forbid the doctor tell me I can’t run for a bit, I wanted to have a solid run in. Go ahead: berate me all you want but I know most of you would have done it too. (That said, I wasn’t entirely stupid about it and if I actually thought I was seriously hurting myself then DUH I wouldn’t have.  But I was really freaking myself out the past two nights over the what-ifs so I went into today with the above mentality)

Alas the monsoon still rages outside.  That coupled with absolute darkness made the gym a good choice.  So I pulled on some cute gym clothes (because even in the wee hours of the morning you never know who you’re going to run into *coughhotboyscough* at the gym).  AKA I threw on a lime green bra and a white t-shirt which would subsequently show off said bra when I got all sweaty (aka 5 minutes into the run).  Go ahead: call me a lady of the night or something similar 🙂

The run went really well.  Yesterday I think I noted that there was absolutely no shin pain and I’m likely to think the cause is that I started off the run slower than a typical TM run.  So I did the same thing today.  There was still calf soreness (interestingly in the OTHER calf aka not the shiny-shin-shin one. Compensation for something maybe?) but nothing that changed my stride.  I cruised through some miles (while watching Angel and Charmed. Ummm how could I forget how awesome those shows are?!) until it was time to head off to my appointment.

I also did some corework.  I usually do core when I lift on Mondays but since today was so jammed packed I knew I wouldn’t have time to get back to the gym to lift.  Not such a big deal (I mean I HATE skipping workouts) but I figure core = most important part, so I still got that in.

I had just enough time to inhale a breakfast, change my clothes into something dry (still in workout clothes haha) and dash off to my appointment.  I might have been able to shower butttt I hate being on-time (in my opinion early = on time and on-time = late. If you’re actually late, don’t even bother showing up at all) so I nixed it.  Good call because all the flooding closed some roads and I arrived just in the nick of time (aka 10 minutes early hahah)

SO. This is the part you’ve probably wanted to read.  The Appointment.  The doctor was really nice and first did a visual exam of my right ankle/shin (affected) compared to the left (normal).  I explained what I was training for yada yada yada (including my mileage and intensity as well as my goals for the race) and told him my concerns: that I thought it was just shin splints but it’s been going on for 3 weeks, changing shoes didn’t help and now I’m worried that it could be more serious.

He made me do some toe walks, heel walks, heel stomping etc. and asked about pain level.  No pain, but it feels all bruised and tender.  Comme d’habitude. He then started poking and prodding trying to elicit a “jump off the table” response.  I mean, I could feel it (felt like a bruise and tender but nothing painful).  I was sent for x-rays (yes I know stress fractures don’t typically show up BUT from working at this very department last summer I know doctors have to do it.  Mostly for insurance purposes so that the companies will pay for pricier tests down the road. It shows that the doctor tried to go alternate routes. Lame but whatevs.)

The x-rays were negative (duh).  He said that it was highly unlikely that it was a stress fracture though given the results of what he had made me do prior to the x-rays weren’t in line.  I knew this deep in my gut but it was really nice to hear a medical professional say it. Regardless: BIG SIGH OF RELIEF.

He did say that because there’s swelling and inflammation in the area that he thinks I sprained it at some point (very minorly though, just enough to cause an acute inflammatory response) and that the restriction in my motion has caused the other problems. Aka shin tenderness on both sides of the ankle.

The fix? PT.  I walked out of there with a ‘script and I know that someone is going to “yell” at me (insert eye roll here) but I’ll start that next week when I get back to school and can see a therapist on a regular basis.  I was also told to keep ace bandaging it during running, icing, ibuprofen (as long as my stomach can handle it).  In addition I was told to ace bandage it a couple times over the course of the day just to try and push out the inflammation.

Exercise wise…he told me to basically start the taper now.  At this point he said that it was a risk vs reward and while he certainly isn’t telling me NOT to go through with the next two weeks as planned, he said to play it by ear. I asked what workouts I could do if I had to not run and he said the whole thing comes down to (running and XT)not being in pain (which I am not in at the moment). If it hurts, stop. If I get localized pain, stop and come right back to him. He said that it also comes down to what my goals are.  Clearly I want to race Boston sooooo….yeah.

I’m torn though.  And I feel like I want to put that out there.  I debated for quite sometime where or not to be honest with those feelings or just grin and bear it on the blog because I know many of you are going to be harsh and whatnot when I say that (even if it’s not intended that way, it’s the internet and it’s how I perceive it).  But I want this blog to be honest.  I’m not saying I’m going to disregard what the doc is telling me (I was very impressed with him both researching him online as well as in person.  He’s even giving a lecture at Boston!) butttttt I’m sure you guys “know” me well enough to know that this is a hard thing to wrap my head around.

So here’s what I’m going to do: play it by ear but I’m not sure if I can mentally handle going into the taper 5 weeks from the race.  Like I said yesterday, I’m not sure I can wrap my head around a 3 week taper. But rest assured, I’m not going to do anything stupid.  I mean, as much as I liked this doctor, I think I can live without having to see him again. 🙂

I will say that despite the torn-ness over the whole taper issue, I am feeling very optimistic about the whole appointment.  And I’ll say this again in big bold letters: I AM NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING STUPID. I am going to play it by ear.  And work with a PT.  So please know that I am taking care of this thing. (Can you tell how much I don’t want to be “yelled” at haha?). Your advice, as always, is welcome.  But please don’t bash me.

Side note: And I think it’s important to note that even if I do “severely” cut back (which I don’t have to do at this point) I’m still going to be logging huge miles simply because I’m at such a high level now.  This past week was…112.7. And a double side note: I know that there’s not way I can keep that up, ankle or not.

After that appointment (and hooray if you’re still reading this marathon of a post haha) I grabbed a quick lunch and headed over to my massage.  And boy was it glorious.  I told her to really only work on my calves.  Yes the butt, hamstring and quads need (and did get) work but with my calves being as tight as they are I wanted the focus there.

It. Felt. Glorious. I mean, my calves were as hard as rocks and soooo tender but a lot of work was done today.  I’m sure I’ll be feeling it in the morning and I tentatively scheduled another one for Thursday (provided that she’s free then).  The last 20 minutes of the session she even dedicated solely to my “bum” ankle.  By the end there was no swelling at all.  Sure once gravity took over it was a bit bigger again butttt I know that getting the old “gunk” out is a good thing.

Wow. Long ass post.  I guess today was such a busy day and I had a lot to say about.  Since getting up I’ve spent a grand total of 1/2 hour at home between appointments and whatnot.  That means that pretty much since getting up I haven’t showered.  Ewwww I am stinky.  So I’m going to go do that and then head over to a friend’s house for some 24 action.  It should be fun because, since the semester was so crazy busy so far for the both of us, we haven’t been able to watch 24 together (or really do much together!). Andddd her family is my family.  It’s going to be a good night!

And (gosh MM, can this post get any longer?!) I apologize to those who have emailed me lately.  I really haven’t had the time to thoughtfully reply (that also goes for replying to comments. I have read them but I haven’t had a chance to reply yet!).  Or really had the time to do much lately so I apologize for those blogs that I couldn’t comment on today — I didn’t turn my computer on until 1600 and the volume of unread blogs was staggering.  Y’all keep busy!

And it’s spring break?! This busy-ness needs to change haha.

March 14, 2010

Pi Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:53

I was facing a bit of writer’s block (I know crazy right considering how much I ramble in my posts! Ha) but I was re-reading some of the comments over the past few days and I figured that I’d talk a little bit about the next 5 weeks.  Because Boston is 36 days away.  AKA 5 weeks from tomorrow.

My plan has me set up for a 3 week taper.  Meaning that the next 2 weeks will be wicked intense.  I’ve thought about tune-up races and honestly had a couple penciled into my schedule.  Unfortunately time and money made this impossible.  Both Kristen and Rebecca mentioned that running a tune-up race would help with any jitters and give me a realistic goal of what to expect. I 100% agree.

Last cycle I didn’t do this at all and really wanted to incorporate it this time around.  But like I said….life sometimes just gets in the way. There was (well is I guess as it’s still going on) a St. Patty’s 10k that I was thinking of doing with a friend this weekend but again, time and money.  Always the story.  Plus, I wasn’t comfortable committing to a race when I didn’t know what was going on with my ankle / shin (hopefully I’ll have more info after tomorrow) and I missed the deadline to register. I am registered for this 20 mile race at the end of the month though (with Lacey!).  That’s at the end of Week 4, just leading into the taper.

Speaking of. Heh. But first the next two weeks are going to be intense.  Now, I’m not one to peak ahead during my plans so I can’t tell you without looking myself what exactly I’m facing, but obviously: 2 very hard intervals (I do believe though that this upcoming week is either mile or 2000m repeats. I did look but I forgot ha!), 2 hard tempos, a LR of about 17-19 miles and another one of 20-23 (which will be that race).  So the second half of Monster Month is going to be intense.  But then again, the whole damn cycle has been intense. What else is new?

The plan calls for a 3 week taper with the first of those weeks being more of a cut back and the next 2 being much more so. I’ll be upfront here and say that last cycle I didn’t really do the taper all that well. Yes, I did cut way back but not as much as people would advise. So I can probably say right now that I likely will suck at the taper this cycle too.

That said, I’ve been thinking about the taper a lot more lately.  Mostly because I’m really feeling the intensity of my training at this point in the cycle.  As much as I think my funk two weeks ago was a result of school stress and weather I’m sure my huge miles played a role.  So I’m sure my body is eagerly awaiting the taper (and the massage I had scheduled for tomorrow. Holllleeeerrrrr). My mind? Yes that too.

I’m also wondering what constitutes a taper for someone who is running as many miles as me.  Obviously a cut-back is necessary for the taper but to what degree? I’ve never heard (or maybe I have but it never sunk in) about how much to cut back. I’m peaking at 100+ miles (done 3 weeks of them already over the training cycle) sooooo does my taper look like a 30% reduction (to 70 miles? Likely not, that seems like a lot), 40% (to 60?). Do I go by half? Like I’ve already said, I “sucked” at tapering last time around.  I think that my peak was 72 miles and the 7 days before my marathon (which didn’t suck at all btw) was 42 miles (that works out to a 40% reduction)

As Amarathoner noted: I’m a very go-go-go person who thrives on being busy.  I know this and I also know that the weeks of the taper will be very busy school wise as I try to piece together my capstone project in order to graduate.  So I know I’m not going to be sitting around twiddling my thumbs.  I doubt that taper madness will take over or anything. I definitely didn’t experience that last time around and I think that part of it was that the semester was gearing up for finals and I had plenty to keep my mind occupied on.

So there you have it.  I guess I don’t have anything definitive in this post.  Mostly musings haha.  But it was helpful to get some of these ideas flushed out and to form some ideas on them.  Any thoughts and insight would be appreciated as like I’ve continually said: I’m a very inexperienced racer.

As for a quick blurb (maybe) about today. First off: Happy Pi Day! Yes I’m a nerd.  And yes I’m disappointed that Pi day has ALWAYS fallen on spring break so I cannot celebrate with my fellow nerds.

It’s also DST.  Hopefully y’all remembered to set your clocks ahead an hour.  I did but apparently my phone (which have always automatically reset itself in the past) decided to not last night.  No biggie as it’s Sunday and I’m on break but it was annoying to wake up when I thought I wanted to but really have it be an hour ahead.  Now my brain is all confuzzled.

It’s also monsooning out.  The drizzle from yesterday has turned into a monsoon.  Not cool.  I’m glad that I went outside yesterday and had a kind-of-crappy but kind-of-awesome run (BTW: Thanks for all your  kind comments about that run.  It made me feel really good and perked me up a bit. And I just calculated my average pace for the week and the “crappy” LR didn’t impact me as much as I thought! And yes numbers obsessed = that being important to me ha) because there was no way I was getting out there today.  Treadmill time (and likely tomorrow. Boo. Send some good weather vibes my way?).

I’m pretty sure I pushed a little too hard pace wise for a recovery run (started at 9:00 pace and ended at 8:15) but I wasn’t feeling bad.  A little calf soreness and absolutely nothing with the shin (I was a bit sore last night because after my run I did not move my body once so everything stiffened up as I headed to bed haha). And Tmart: while it wasn’t a rest day it was a severe cutback from my normal Sunday routine.  A start, no? Which I haven’t run the total numbers yet BUT this week was a monster of a week!

Hope everyone is having a very relaxing Sunday.  There’s something about the rain that makes productivity go right out the window so I haven’t gotten much done.  I think I’m going shopping tonight though? That counts right? 😉

And checkout this giveaway from Have Faith

March 13, 2010

If you’re having girl problems I’ve got news for you son

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:31

I got 99 problems but the bitch mileage ain’t one (more on that later)

Haha. So as soon as I type “it’s Friday and my stats always take a dive” is the day that I get the most hits.  Too funny! 😉

Anyhoo on to today.  I slept like a rock last night.  Out freaking cold.  Now I think I’ve mentioned this before but home =/= fun.  In fact I really don’t like spending time here.  BUT there’s something really conducive to a good night’s sleep like your childhood bed.  And boy did I did it.

I got up this morning and my calves were “eh”.  A couple people have suggested recovery / compression socks and trust me: I’ve been wearing them every night for the past week or so.  I shudder to think about what my calves would feel like if I wasn’t wearing them! But yeah, I think I’m just running so much and stretching so little (so bad!) that tight muscles are bound to crop up.

Like running so much I didn’t realize that my double days have added up essentially to an additional run! Going into today’s run I had 80.3. HOLY COW. I had an 18.7 miler route planned out for today hence the “99”.  When I realized that of course that song popped into my head and wouldn’t get out for the entirety of the LR. Oh well. It could have been worse. Jay-Z is kind of amazing.

As I mentioned yesterday, the weather this weekend is crap.  Rain, wind, blahhhh.  I debated doing the LR on the TM.  To be honest I think TM-ing a LR is pretty easy.  I’ve never really dealt with boredom on the thing before plus I knew that it would help me with pacing.

BUT I totally guilted myself into going outside. I was on FB and stalking re-looking at Lacey’s marathon pictures. And in them, she’s smiling and having a blast in weather similar to today.  So I figured that I could try to be a BAMF and get out there too. The rain, in fact, didn’t turn out to be all that bad. Yes I did get soaked to the bone BUT it was the wind that damn near killed me.  I actually got knocked over at one point.  I just kept telling myself that this is just Boston prep and that I’ll be ready for anything after this.

That said, I kind of hated almost every damn minute of this run (god damned hubris for me saying how much running was rocking lately).  I had planned on doing some pick-up work over the course of the 18.7 miles but every time I tried I just couldn’t.  I think the effects of this week (the fact that mileage is not a problem son 🙂 ) is catching up to me.  Couple that with the fact that  I’ve apparently forgotten how “hilly” my hometown is (it’s not really but my school is in an area with NO hills) and the fact that the second loop I did was the hilliest route in my repertoire and yeah…I set myself up for a doozy.

I guess I’ve already said that I hated this run but yeah. Here’s the deal:

  • 20.3 miles
  • 192 minutes 45 seconds
  • 9:29 pace

Yup. Not 18.7 miles.  20.3.  I actually thought it was only 20 which would have made my pace even slower and because I thought this I was soooo dejected when I finished.  Still I looked my my paces with good old Mr. McMillian and he says that my LR pace (for my current marathon race/pr) is 8:50-9:50.  And plugging in my goal marathon time (which I don’t think you should do?) my LR pace is 8:31-9:31. So either way today’s run was fast enough to do something.

The funny thing is that even though I had severe upset-ment right after finishing, I really didn’t care too much beyond that.  I was so drained from the effort that all I wanted to do was lay down.  I was soooo cold, hungry, tired that I couldn’t even register anything. Every muscle in my body was tired and had put in quite the effort to stay standing much less running.

And I know I’m going to get lots of comments saying “you’re doing too much” and “duh you’re tired because you’re pushing so hard”. And yes that’s true.  I 100% admit it. But I think that there’s a bigger picture here: I’ve been training at a high level for damn near 11 weeks.  OF COURSE I’m going to feel run down. And I know that.  This was the case last cycle too so even though it sucks I know I’ve been there before.

The only thing in my mind running through my mind is “how am I going to run fast at Boston?” I know it’s silly because you don’t train LRs at GMP.  You just don’t.  And I know this.  I mean, I totally confident in my ability to run 26.2 miles.  I totally have that endurance.  But race?! I think that it’s another part of where I am in the training: self-doubt. I talked a bit about comparing to others yesterday and this is the point of training where it kicks up in high gear because the race is sooo close. But I’ve also been here before: I just need to breathe and know that marathon day will come and it shall be glorious.  Positive thinking y’all 🙂

Okay so I guess overall I’m happy with the run.  Oddly I don’t feel totally upset. Yes the pace is sooo hard for me to look at. I’m so numbers driven that it’s hard to accept it.  BUT I face hard conditions at the end of a hard week. This run was totally a prep run for harsh conditions.  And I like that I was hardcore and got out there. Oh yeah, and I haven’t been talking about this that much but…

bladder = still an issue on the LR.  I really don’t know what to do about it.  Today I felt it at mile 7 but was able to ignore /hold it until I finished.  Then my fast-twitch muscles got a workout as I sprinted to the bathroom haha.  But I felt hardcore in that I didn’t have to stop during the run.

Okay I’m rambling. Again. Time to do some t.v. catch up.  Oh how I love on-demand and being at home! Also something I’m loving at the moment? Clif Bars.  I don’t know why I stayed away from bars for so long.  Now, I don’t think they should replace a meal or anything. But after a 20.3 mile run they sure are tasty as part of a snack!

Hope everyone is having a spectacular Saturday night! It doesn’t really even feel like a Saturday due to break for me 🙂

March 12, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:44

First off: No I’m not injured (later in the post is an explanation)

Secondly: I didn’t mean for this to be a long post.  Oops. It’s Friday too and I don’t think many people check / read blogs on the weekends (I know my stats tend to drop Friday til Sunday)

Thirdly: Thanks for your insights onto my tempo runs.  I’m glad it makes you guys excited to “hear” that I’m progressing in my training. To answer a few questions posed:

  • My current 10k pr pace is ~7:13.
  • I think it’s silly to run a 7.6 mile tempo at that 10k pace.  A tempo is not a race. BUT…
  • …Yes I think I can push the pace for both 10k races AND tempo.  As evidenced by my TM tempos.
  • I’ve come around to the idea that different tempo lengths can mean variations on tempo pace.  If I was running only 4 miles for the tempo I would have expected
  • I think my HR was so low at the end (when I take my HR) is because I’ve had 7.6 miles to let my heart adjust.  If I were to take it earlier in the run I’d bet it would be higher. And that’s not a me exclusive thing. I’d bet that your ending HR is lower than a mid-tempo HR too.

Okay so I ended up finishing my work pretty early last night.  Yahoo! Around 2100: just in time for The Office! I didn’t think last night was all that funny, sure there were moments but there have been better ones.

Unfortunately even though I was done with my work most of my friends have/had already gone home for spring break.  I am that rare senior / upperclassman who has class on Friday.  Not that I’m truly complaining: it’s Spanish and I absolutely LOVE the class.  But it’s a bummer because the one Thursday that I feel I really could have gone out and not had to think about work is the one Thursday that no one is around. Oh the irony! I would have thought that people would have wanted to go all out partying the Thursday before break.  But I guess that everyone just wanted to get the hell off campus haha.

Not me! Even though I had a morning class I figured I’d stick around and head home after dinner. Because I had so much work to do this week my room is a MESS, I have laundry to do (doing now in fact) and I am in the process of packing for the week now.  I would stay on campus but the dining hall is closed all week and I’m not spending $$ to feed myself.  At least when I go home my mom helps me out a bit so I’m not spending all my money on food.

Onto the running.  So just to recap this week: beautiful weather = more miles than “normal”.  (I admit that my normal is really high! I just want to point out that I realize I’m running a lot and training at a huge level.  I read Sarah’s post this morning about comparing ourselves to others and realized I’m so guilty of it. So I just want to emphasize that what I’m doing is right for me and that what you’re doing is right for you. I don’t think enough bloggers say that.  I know when I read particular blogs I can walk away feeling bad.  So don’t: you’re perfect the way you are 🙂 )

How many more? Well I’m pretty sure that 5 days into my running week has me about 13 or 14 miles more than I had this time last week.  Wowza.  Granted some of those have come because I’ve changed the “warm down” title after my lifting to “second run” but still.  That’s more miles in the logbook.

But I guess the point of me declaring that is this: my body doesn’t feel any worse for the wear.  I’m very excited by this.  My recovery runs this week have fallen between 9:25 – 9:40.  Sure that may be slow to some of you but for me it’s perfect recovery.  Surprising because I’ve felt that I’ve given my quality sessions my all as well. I guess that most people (myself included) would think that by now I should be feeling run down.  And I am kind of, but I can’t tell if it’s the training or the school stress that’s the bigger cause.  I feel pretty worn but I’ve felt like this before when I was wasn’t running so much as it was school related. I guess we’ll see when I don’t have any school stress this upcoming week (for once I have NO work to bring home with me. I think it’s well deserved though)

So more miles + more intensity = feeling good = feeling confident.  Exactly what I need seeing that Boston is only 38 days away (!!!)

Not everything is all bright.  I mean, I’m not injured but I titled my post the way I did because my calves are very tight today.  Like I can feel them when I’m sitting down.  I think it has to do with the tempo I ran yesterday, the extra miles, the OUTDOOR intervals. A culmination of things really. I’ve been stretching and doing all the stuff I want but man are they tight. I really want my massage today but I guess I can wait until Monday 🙂

I feel like I should put a “shin update” out there because I’ve gotten a couple questions about it.  I’ve been really hesitant to mention it again after getting some negative feedback when I talk about it.  I think that lots of people here don’t want to see me get hurt and, while I appreciate that, I feel like what I’ve written about the shin gets misconstrued.

BUT seeing as how I love you guys ( 🙂 ) I’ll say that it’s not any worse at the moment.  Not really better per se but since it’s never been any sort of real problem that doesn’t really mean much.  After a really hard effort I can feel my shin muscles more but it’s NOT PAIN and it’s NOT INJURY. Hahaha.  I have my sports med appointment on Monday so I’ll know more then.  I will say that I’m worried that it’s an injury but the signs my body is giving me is that right now it’s not.  I just want to do everything I can to keep it that way.

So before I go grab my laundry (because I figure if I’m being charged laundry in my tuition payments I’m going to damn well wash my clothes here rather than at home!) : just to recap today (because I rambled hardcore above!):

  • AM: recovery run @ 9:40. My shins were tight and never really wanted to loosen up all the way.  But everything else felt good and, while 9:40 isn’t lightning speed, I felt good and not dragging the whole time. It was a bit raw out but it actually felt a little bit good. But I might be a masochist 🙂
  • PM: Full Body Lift: I think that I’m going to start hating lifting.  Sure I’ve never found it to be pleasant but since I’m not working on getting stronger (the emphasis is on maintaining now) I’m just going to be bored.  I’m also wondering when I should cut it out completely. During the taper? Just during marathon week? Do I cut down from 3 to 2 or 1 sessions at some point?
  • PM: Easy “second run”.  I think this will be the last time this happens though.  The weather is suppose to be not-as-nice as it was this week and I don’t want to do anything stupid.  Sure it’s Monster Month and sure I’m feeling strong during these post-lifting runs butttttt….well but nothing really. I just don’t think I’ll have the time after break to keep doing them.  Priorities and school > running.  Well at least school > running double hahah!

Hope everyone is enjoying their Fridays! And send some good weather vibes my way: it’s looking like it’s going to be RAIN tomorrow.  Sure I know I was spoiled this week with the good weather but I don’t want to move my LR to the TM.  Yeah I know I won’t melt in the rain, and I guess it depends on how heavy the rain is…but I just don’t wanna 😛

Check out the giveaway from ErikaH

March 11, 2010

Tempooooooooooo Demons

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:02

I never thought I’d say this. And it might never happen again so bookmark this page. BUT I love the tempo.  Or at least today’s tempo.  In a quick recap of the past few weeks worth of tempos:

  • 4 weeks ago: Just barely stayed in my tempo range. I know that snow was a factor here but it was still a tempo
  • 3 weeks ago: Had to scrap calling the run a tempo and call in a steady state (in hindsight of course). Very disappointing
  • 2 weeks ago: TM’ing it up.  Banged out a tempo that was quick and on the fast end of my range
  • 1 week ago: Ditto to 2 weeks ago.

Kind of a hodge-podge of running for my Thursdays.  I’d really like some consistency with the pacing.  Sure I know that week to week my body is going to feel different and respond differently but I’d like to *feel* a bit more consistent.  I was very hesitant when it came to this morning’s tempo.

I knew that it wouldn’t be as fast as my TM tempos simply because it was outside.  And I didn’t want to feel another disappointment as the last time I had done a tempo out of doors had felt.  And I hate feeling like I failed.  It makes me feel sub-par and I don’t care how numbers UN-obsessed you are or how zen you are or how confident you are in yourself: it NEVER feels good to feel like you could have gone harder or given a little more.  And I worry about that.  I worry about resting on my laurels. Probably silly because there’s no basis for it but still. Those are my thoughts.

Which is what I did think I was doing when I finished my warm up and saw a 10 pace.  Gahhhh.  Was this a sign of things to come?! I mean, I knew that yesterday’s double (even with neither run terribly fast) was likely going to impact me as was the fact that I was up too late last night and the sleep debt I’m in is vastly growing (I calculated it out and to recover from this debt over break I need to sleep 20.4 hours a day, all 10 days). So a morning tempo might not have been the smartest choice though. But I wanted to take advantage of the “morning chill”; when the temps aren’t cold anymore but aren’t too warm yet (typically this is around 35* or so)

Luckily I was able to tell myself that “I CAN DO THIS” and plowed ahead essentially telling myself “to hell with this. This workout is going to rock”. And I guess the stats speak for themselves:

  • 3.2 mile warm up @ 10:00
  • 7.6 mile tempo @ 7:33
  • 4.3 mile warm down @ 8:48

So I did it.  I completed the workout and executed it beautifully.  I truly think my pacing was consistent, at least on the whole.  I definitely know there were regions where I let up a bit and regions where I probably was going faster. Definitely by the end I was just cruising so when I looked at my watch and saw that my average pace for the last lap of campus was a 7:10 I was stoked. So clearly I was running really well.

And it felt….good? I’m not quite sure how to describe it because I never really felt like I could say I was running fast. I knew I wasn’t running slow but I always had doubt in the back of my mind.  It was really hard to tell what sort of pace I was at.  To be honest, my tempo portion didn’t feel like there wasn’t too much of a difference between the warm up. Obviously not the case.

So it was a weird sort of run where clearly I was running well but I didn’t feel particularly speedy.  My HR when I was done with the tempo portion was only 150.  Now I’m not by any means an expert on HR but that number looks a bit low for what a tempo effort should be.  Still, I’m not knocking this run.  If I can pound out some tempo miles right smack dab in the middle of my ideal range on lack of sleep and an abundance of stress, then I think I’m good.

It’s also a good sign for the future because it tells me that I’m getting faster. At the beginning of the training cycle I could handle this pace for only 5 or so miles.  And, remembering correctly, that was hard and I was pushing. Today I was able to handle the pace for 7.6 miles and have it feel, not like nothing, but it definitely wasn’t as hard as it was 10 weeks ago.

So I have mixed emotions. On one hand I would have loved to actually feel fast during the workout. Or at least have some gut feelings that would have helped me intuitively know where I was.  But on the other hand it was a GREAT workout and maybe I did have some sore of gut reaction because, like I mentioned, I felt that my pacing was good today.

So I can’t really complain.  And I guess I’m not.  Not really at least. I think that even if my HR was lower than it should be (and again I’m not an expert with dealing with HR) then today was a good barometer of where I stand.  And it was confidence boosting as I was able to hit it after being guided by the TM the past two weeks.  So YES I can do this.  And the demons of the past few weeks with tempos have been beaten back. At least for another week 🙂

And just to respond to yesterday’s guys that were competing with me. I love that so many of you would have done the same thing I did. I’m still not sure if the guys were actually out running or not.  But they were exiting a pizza place, were in workout clothes and definitely started running when they saw me coming as well as tried to keep up with me and stick close and mimic my pace. So I don’t really know what the deal was.  It was definitely a roll-my-eyes type of moment!

Alrighty then (gosh I need to re-watch that movie)…time to finish up a few quick assignments.  The good thing about working my tail off and staying up really late earlier this week means that I’m almost there!! I don’t think I have to bring home any work over spring break as long as I can get a few things done tonight.  With luck I’ll be able to crawl into bed early and play catch-up with some television. Hollllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeer 🙂

Check out the giveaway from EatMoveLove. Or don’t. I want it.

P.S. I promise that I haven’t forgotten about putting together a “daily fueling” type post.  I’m thinking doing two: one from home (because I’ll have time when I’m home) and then hopefully one from school.  Since I want pictures the school one might have to wait until after break but trust me, I plan to do it because it seems like such a popular request!

March 10, 2010

Another Beautiful Day. Busy but Beautiful.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 22:59

Jeez louise! It’s almost 2300 and I’m just getting back to my room after a crazy busy day.  It’s going to be a fly-by post tonight (maybe hah) as I want to get to bed at a decent hour for once.

Today was another beautiful day.  Lacey mentioned this today when she said that the really nice weather in the afternoons had made the morning crispness really nice.  I completely agree.  The 30* temps feel so refreshing right now.  I’m still in shorts and a long sleeve but man does it feel great.  Like I’m enveloped in the cold but my body is keeping itself warm.

Another plus to the cool but not frigid mornings? The fact that I’m running fast but with the same effort level.  I know that if I were to plot temperature vs running pace that at some point the higher the temp the slower I’d go (just like too cold = slow) but I’m nearing the peak running temp for me: 30-50*.  It’s soooo amazing.

Which means that my recovery run this morning was very enjoyable.  Clearly feeling like you’re slogging through a run is really no fun at all but at the same time you don’t want to zoom through it.  It’s recovery after all.  And after yesterday’s intervals my legs were a bit “eh”.  They loosened up nicely over the first half and the second half was nice and fluid.

I think I was going a bit too fast at the end but my overall pace was 9:32 so I’m okay with whatever I ended on.  It was a great mental boost to see some faster recovery run times (still within range though).  It might mean the intervals weren’t hard enough or that I’m recovering better.  I suspect the latter just because it’s not like I was all out sprinting out of the gate this morning.

Not even close: I woke up to my alarm! I feel like this has been happening more and more lately simply because I’m staying up too late!! Oh well, spring break is soon and I can pass out all week (hopefully).

I also got in a lifting session today as well.  And as much as I’ve complained about how mundane the sessions will be for the next 2 or so months this afternoon I was cruising along and being really efficient.  Maybe a combo of real strength and the fact that the weather has put a pep in my step.

Which is why I went for a warm down outside. Again. And it turned into a second run. Again.  Nothing too strenuous.  4.3 miles at 837 pace. Now a note on pacing for my pm runs: I don’t compare them to my am runs.  Runs later in the day when I’ve been up for awhile are obviously easier to go faster on because my muscles aren’t cold.  So this effort was the same as my morning effort.  Weird right? Maybe not but it’s funny/interesting to think about.

That said, as I was running there were these two guys walking out of a pizza / sub place and they started running/jogging right before I got to them.  And I was running faster so I passed them.  Which they then started trying to re-pass me.  Annoying! Now I should have said screw it and kept going at my pace. But it annoys the hell out of me when (mostly men — sorry guys!) try to compete with me.  I guess I don’t really know their intentions but it sure seems like they didn’t want to be passed by a girl.  Especially one in a “I-Run-Like-A-Girl” tee-shirt!

So I sped up and left them in the dust.  Serves them right! HA.

Okay so maybe this was a short post  (gasp really?!) as I now need toothpicks to keep my eyes open.  I apologize to those posts that are in my google reader that are now getting hit “mark as read” because there’s sooo many of them and I tend to wake up to 30 or so (yes I know not a lot to some of you) in the morning when I go to bed with nothing.  Oops. I promise I’ll comment next time!

But first, check out this giveaway from Tricia.

March 9, 2010

Intervals With A Twist of Lemon

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:07

Okay so no lemons here.  There was the potential for lemons, however, as I attempted my first outdoor interval session this morning. I’ve done them before outside but never this cycle and never as a part of a structured plan.  I really crave the immediate knowledge of pacing feedback that the TM gives me.

That said, the weather was just WAY TOO NICE to pass up.  Upper 40s when I started to low 50s when I ended. Life is good. SPRING?! Please Mother Nature: don’t take this away!

And while I’m really happy I went outside, I suffered the worst “guilt” ever about it. It was a pretty agonizing decision.  I mean, it’s not something I got an ulcer over, but I went back and forth, back and forth. On one hand:

  • The weather
  • Getting a good evaluation of where I am with pacing myself
  • The weather
  • I wouldn’t feel obligated to add hills afterward (no hills in my area and I wouldn’t be hitting the gym up after) which would be a plus to the shin thing (hills aren’t the friendliest)

On the other hand:

  • I love having the pace dictated to me so that I can maximize the workout
  • Boston has hills and I would include them
  • I would get to watch The History Channel
  • No garmin meaning I’d be doing laps of the school (1.14 miles) repeatedly.  Boring and I’m sure people would also think I’m crazy given my workout
  • Late night the past few nights + big miles = very fatigued MM

Okay so the decision doesn’t look so hard when I write it out like that.  The biggest thing going for the gym/TM was that I was AFRAID OF FAILURE and that I wouldn’t be able to A) hit my paces or B) be able to be consistent with paces.

I told myself that consistency would be the name of the game here and that I’d force myself to be happy with just even pacing. The workout I was doing was a 1-2-2-1 mile, kind of a semi-ladder at 10k pace.  On a TM that equates roughly to 7:08 pace (my real PR pace is around 7:13) so I was shooting for around there and my guess was that I’d be a little on the low side although I wouldn’t know it until after I was done and had run the numbers through a calculator.

Even though so many people love their garmins I think NOT having one is a PLUS for me.  Sure it drives me a little crazy that I don’t know how my splits go but I think it helps keep me somewhat relaxed as the best I can do is the best I can do and I’m not worried about being off during the workout when my focus needs to be on the current interval.

How’d I do?

  • 3.8 mile warm up @ 9:04 pace
  • 1.14 (7:15 pace) – 2.28 (7:08)– 2.28 (7:16) – 1.14 (7:07) miles with .5 and 1.1 miles recovery respectively (Avg pace for total recovery:838 )
  • 3.8 mile warm down @ 8:46 pace

Total time: 144 minutes 25 seconds
Total distance: ~17.6 miles
Average pace: 8:13

I have mixed feelings about this.  On one hand I’m very happy that I was able to keep my pace as fast as it was.  There’s totally something to say about the influence of weather (as many of you guys reminded me on my last post where I mention SAD).  Another positive was that my shin only started bugging during the last mile.  *Not Pain!* but a “oh hey I want ice when we’re done”. I’m a bit bummed that I wasn’t consistent the way I wanted to be.  But the numbers are right where I figured they’d be.

Another shocker to this workout was how fast the recovery as well as warm up/down times were.  It definitely didn’t feel that fast at all and I questioned how accurate my watch was!

That said, I really was feeling all happy and smiley.  Right around the halfway mark (you know: the point where the rest just seems like nothing because you’re halfway done) I really started feeling good and like I could do this.  I think what also helped was that I had just read this from TheFitnessista before heading out:

““Make it yours, and own it.” Many of you asked me about the pilot’s pep talk he gave me before the half marathon. Since I know many of you have races and events coming up, I thought I’d share the almond-shell version with ya’ll. We were sitting at Seasons 52, waiting for our friends to arrive, and I was telling him about how nervous I was. He said, “You know what, it’s going to suck. It’s going to be terrible, hard, and you’ll be hating it. But the thing is, you can let the ‘suck’ beat you and take you down… or you can make it yours, and own it. If something’s going to be painful and terrible, you might as well make it worthwhile. It’s a temporary thing and before you know it, it will be over.” So while I was running (sans iPod!! GAH!), I kept thinking about the fact that it was going to be over eventually and I might as well make it worthwhile, no matter how difficult it was. Before I knew it, we were in the car driving home”

And it totally ran through my head when I wanted to slow up because the wind was blowing really hard or I was going up a slight incline that felt like Everest the billionth time I hit it.  I just kept telling myself that “YES THIS IS HARD. But it’s going to be over soon.  Make the most of it”.  So thanks Gina (if you read my blog) for the help!

Another interesting note is that, while I’ve been really open about my struggle with pacing outdoors, I find intervals outside is easier that tempos.  Maybe because it’s such a short time frame (although I guess I wasn’t totally “on” since my paces weren’t exactly even) but I never felt like I was going fast. I think this has to do with roads and the elements vs tm and controlled climate.  I know that the inherent differences between the two will likely make me sore tomorrow because I know I was using muscles that haven’t really been tested yet.

I had to keep telling myself to pump my arms hard to go faster, but I’d easily forget and then have to re-remind myself hah! I also kept telling myself to be “light and effortless”.  I think that this mantra of the day was helpful because it regulated my breathing a bit and got me to calm down.  Which in turn likely helped me go a bit faster.

So overall: I’m very happy. I doubt I’ll give up my lovely TM for intervals anytime soon but it’s a good mental relief to know that I can do an interval workout.  And who knows: maybe I really am getting faster.  It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that I’ve been training for a bit over 10 weeks so it’s natural to be getting faster and making improvements.

Either way I’m very proud of my accomplishment today on the track on the lap of campus that I used as a large track.  What I’m not proud of? Not getting enough sleep last night because I was up so late doing work!! So I’m going to wrap this novella up so I can go be productive and hopefully not have a late night.  Because there’s no way in HELL that I’m missing watching LOST live.

Have a great Tuesday night all! (And doesn’t it feel like it should be later in the week?! Booo to that! 😛 )

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