MarathonMaiden's Blog

April 16, 2010

Just Release. And A Look Into My Academics

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 09:00

Hmmmm yeah. I had nothing to really say yesterday. Hence no posting. Also my running has been boooooring.

But I did get in the 6 (well really 6.3) miles I wanted too on Thursday.  It was sooo hard to NOT push more miles.  I really didn’t start feeling good until the end — per usual — but obviously more miles with such little time left is silly.

I’m still in a semi-zen state although planning the logistics of getting to the start, what I’m going to wear and (most pressing) what I’m going to pack to head to the hometown for the weekend are starting to get to me. I don’t want to deal with it so I keep putting this stuff off.  But with 3 days to go…well let’s just say that I should really think this stuff through BEFORE race morning.

But I think that I’ve got some plans underway.  I think the lack of planning is because I’ve thrown out all expectations for this race.  Seriously.  I think I talked a bit in the beginning of the training cycle how I wanted to get 3:29:59.  Well I just don’ t think that this is going to be that race for me.  And I’m not saying that out of taper doubts or being all self deprecating or fishing for compliments.  I really just don’t think my body is in the right place to gun for a spectacular time.  And it’s my own fault really.  I got caught up in the more is better bug.

I kept trying to push and push and push.  I think I wanted it too much. But like I’ve said all along: I’m a newbie at this.  Sure it’ll suck to not PR (I think that every race I’ve ever run has been a PR) or to smash goals.  It’s a learning curve though.  I’m only 23 years old and have plenty of running years ahead of me (*knockonwood*!!).

Oddly though, as soon as I realized over the weekend that 3:29:59 is likely not in the cards, I was at peace with things. Releasing all that pressure just made my life feel really good and less stressful.  It’s been like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  And who knows, maybe going in with little expectation (other than have fun) might just make a good day and wonderful things happen.  It’s not like I’m purposely going to keep things nice and easy if I’m feeling good.  But I think that I’m a bit overtrained, so I guess I’m just trying to be a little more realistic.

Although as much as I’m not feeling like a stellar time is in the cards I’m feeling more self-assured and confident in myself.  It’s like I’m very comfortable in my skin at the moment.

Guess the taper is making all philosophical. Hahah.

I also feel more at ease and on top of things in my school life too.  Obviously training for a marathon is a huge deal and I’ve been obsessed with it for the past 4+ months.  Now, I’m not saying I’ve been slacking on my school work butttttt the combo of trying to do hardcore studying and hardcore training has been so draining.  But once I released the running tension, it was like I got renewed focus and productivity.

I talk so much about running here that I think many of you suspect all I do is run.  I mean, I know I bitch and moan about school sometimes but I wanted to take this time (since I’m still not running much) to share a bit of two projects I’m working on.

My Capstone: I’m continuing my research into Adhesive Capsulitis (frozen shoulder) that I was doing last semester.  In the fall I look at what it was and who was affected.  Kind of boring, but at least I was able to find information and literature on it.  Now I’m trying to look into the mechanics of it and it’s not known.  Like at all.  And I’m the kind of person that likes to be able to find information.  Not cool.

BUT I was able to do research on mechanical and chemical stress in the body and how that affects cell growth (which A.C. is characterized by huge amounts of cell growth).  The way it works it that a stressor (be it a hormone or increase in pressure) can change the way a cell responds to it’s environment.  For my purposes I’m looking at stressors that cause cells to grow uncontrollably and unchecked.  It’s kind of (really) cool but still frustrating because I can’t run experiments or trails or have access to real patients.  I guess this is good for me to learn that life doesns’t happen in a bubble the way college is set up.

Plus it strengthened my resolve to want to go into endocrine as well as try to pursue research in a diabetes research facility next year.  Fingers crossed for me — it’s really hard to get the kind of position I want. But that still leaves me sitting at my computer trying to put together a powerpoint presentation. Ugh.

Experimental Physics independent lab: The first half of the semester this class was all about doing pre-selected experiments to solidify our knowledge of physics concepts.  The second half my lab partner and I get to design our own experiment to study something physics-y but of our choosing.  And since my lab partner is basically a slacker (which I am SO trying to not be bitter about) I designed a lab to measure the effect an increase in pressure has on the human heart.

I tried to base my model on obese people vs. “normal” people (that sounds so bad to type out like that!!). The lab was taking tubing and creating a closed circuit (it ended up not being closed due to the difficulty of making the tubing stay) and varying the amount of pressure being placed in a particular spot on the tube — aka like fat around the heart.  Placing a marble into the model I was able to measure how fast it traveled with the different pressures.

I’m still not quite sure what my results mean (the more outside pressure lead to an increase in velocity) so I’m trying to find research on hypertension and obesity and what exactly causes the two to be related.  Like with my capstone I doubt there’s a lot of literature out there on the mechanism, so I’ll likely be looking more into the physics behind hydrolic pressure and fluid mechanics.

So hopefully you found this post to be interesting.  Since I use this blog as a way to talk about my running (because no one in my “real life” gets running) I tend to ignore the other things.  But I swear I’m more than one dimensional!

And here’s a giveaway from Run Girl Run. And from ErikaH

P.S. I do apologize for not getting around to responding to comments.  I hope that once I’m off campus I’ll be able to catch up on them!


  1. I am sure that you have a great time at Boston and you may even surprise yourself! Just enjoy every step and have fun! Training and being in college is tough!

    Comment by J — April 16, 2010 @ 11:22

  2. No matter what your time is, just the experience of running Boston is going to be awesome.

    Thanks for sharing your school stuff with us. You did leave out one important piece of information, though. What happened to hot TA?

    Comment by EarlyRunner — April 16, 2010 @ 11:27

  3. Enjoy this weekend for what it is, something out of the ordinary that loads of people will never get a chance to do. You’re right, you’re way young, so loads of time to get faster and faster. And I relate 100% to the “at peace” feeling when you loosen the reign on your goal, that’s the only reason I no longer fear this race at all. I’m curious how it’ll beat me up, but not scared. 🙂 Hope to see you but if not, GOOD LUCK!!!

    Comment by Flo — April 16, 2010 @ 11:33

  4. Love this post. You have just the right attitude, throwing expectations out the window and rolling with it.

    Screw finishing time; marathons are about the journey anyway — why else would we run them? You’re a senior in college and it’s all coming down to the end — things get a bit surreal, like the days are slowing down and speeding up at the same time. Next Monday, you’re gonna go out there and experience 26.2 miles of LIVING, and you’ll be sharing that with thousands of others on arguably the most historic marathon course there is. You are going to have a blast. When it starts getting tough and you start getting tunnel vision and wanting it to be over, high five some people in the crowd, thank the policemen, say something to the aides at the water station that will make their day, and savor the feeling of knowing just how alive you are.

    Comment by C — April 16, 2010 @ 11:36

  5. i absolutely LOVE what the person above me said…might have to make a mental note of that one. i think taking the pressure off has helped you a lot – and i think you’ll have a better race because of it! you can still run a great time and have a great race whether it’s a 3:29, a PR, or not – it’s BOSTON! and it’s going to be awesome!

    i’d love to meet up at some point! i’m in the 2nd wave, 3rd corral…but i’m planning on taking a pretty early bus to hopkinton because i’m weird about getting to the start line early haha.

    also…your research sounds REALLY COOL!

    Comment by Hurdlingham — April 16, 2010 @ 12:14

  6. hey my beautiful run run sis!!
    …the day is coming FAST! wooohoo! I’m excited for you, but don’t get too nervous –>this race is YOUR chance to have FUN! I know what you mean about SMASHING goals and PR-ing EVERY single time you RACE!…i’m the same way, and get WAY TOO excited! hehe! (if there is such a thing as too excited!) I will be cheering for you from over here on the WESTcoast!
    ~I heart you girlie!
    …soooo NIKE WOMEN’s HALF in San Fran in October???…yep you better fly over here so I can pick you up at the airport and RUNNNN it together!

    Comment by lizzyj1305 — April 16, 2010 @ 12:14

  7. very interesting post! I am in podiatry school so it has been kind of cool knowing what you talking about when you talk about this and your injuries.

    Comment by lhatala — April 16, 2010 @ 14:36

  8. I read the descriptions of your projects three times and still don’t have a blasted idea what they’re about, other than cold shoulders. Except probably not, right? So, whateva academia and again, major good luck to you. PR or not, a marathon is a tremendous accomplishment. I hope you love every blasted inch of that 26.2.

    Comment by sarah — April 16, 2010 @ 14:45

  9. Again, sooooo proud of you and especially the zen side of you. You are approaching it properly. From what I’ve read and heard, just getting thru 26.2 training is a major accomplishment. You are healthy and ready to run a great race. The time is what the time will be. Boston will be such a wonderful experience for you. It’s funny, but a couple of Boston folks I’ve spoken with have the same post-run attitude as you … “after Boston, I’m not thinking about another marathon.” With your age and talent, I think it would be really cool to see you run shorter stuff … track, 5ks and 10ks. But then again, don’t go changing the name of the blog to “800m Maiden”! 🙂

    Comment by a marathoner — April 16, 2010 @ 15:51

    • Well I don’t have access to a track club or meets like that but 5,10K is definitely a summer thing for sure

      Comment by marathonmaiden — April 16, 2010 @ 22:23

  10. To Junior Me,

    Here’s your pre-race speech, so *listen* up! First off, GO for 3:29:59. Let me say that louder, GO FOR IT!!!! You have the pre-race jitters. Yeah, you might feel “calm and at peace” blah, blah, blah. Stinkin’ GO FOR IT! Your training has been rock solid, shin issue or not, the training is there. Do NOT doubt yourself. Print off the 3:29:59 pace band; wear it; follow it until either you are too tired and hit the wall OR you cross the finish line. You worked too hard for this to sit back and act like some 2nd rate goal is going to be okay with you. I think if you are honest with yourself, you still “WANT IT TOO BAD.” That’s okay. It’s also okay if you go for it and don’t make it.

    I went out for my stinking sub 3 in my last marathon, held none back. I cramped at mile 20, but you know what? I lived and still had a good finishing time. The good thing was that I didn’t have to deal with my brain asking “what if?” afterwards. I also learned lessons about what to do next time. If you don’t go out trying for your goal, you WILL ask yourself “what if”. Boston is going to be incredible, goal time or no goal time. The rest, the crowds, the course, everything will fall together on Monday.

    I know you’re worried about lack of running lately. I know you’re worried about the shin, the toe, the antibiotics, but all that is going to be okay. You have to wake up on Monday morning and believe that you maybe, just might, hit that 3:29:59, then work your bootie off to get there. If you crash and burn, who cares. (I’m saying this b/c you WONT crash and burn). You will know you gave it your all, just like you have done this whole training cycle.

    ((((HUGS))))) and go get that 3:29:59!!!!!

    Comment by Rebecca — April 16, 2010 @ 16:12

    • Haha. I think my body is so overtrained that I’m prepping myself for that. I definitely WANT 3:29:59 (and still am going to go for it and keep it on my mind) but I totally beat my body up too much, even during taper, and am trying to be okay with not meeting that goal. But thanks for the pep talk 🙂 And I LOVE that you call me “junior me” haha!!!

      Comment by marathonmaiden — April 16, 2010 @ 22:27

  11. You’ve acheived so much just getting to Boston and being able to run 26.2 miles, after running 10 today I don’t know how you do it, 10 seemed so far to me! I think your attitude towards it is great, just get out there and enjoy yourself, in your moment! I think everyone elses comments are really great too 🙂 I’m just repeating them really!

    Thanks for your advice on my blog, I perhaps need to eat a bit more before the run, or maybe try and take some juice with me to keep my blood sugar up. I really struggle to fuel before my runs because for me it’s a really fine line between not eating enough and eating too much or the wrong thing or at the wrong time so I feel really sick during the run… I had the tummy problems during and after the run so the dairy thing might be a good thing to bear in mind because I had milk in my cereal straight after, I’m going to try experimenting on my next long run 🙂

    Comment by Laura — April 16, 2010 @ 16:39

  12. Every step, means that your body is giving itself up to the present NOWNESS of you being alive. Honor and Respect it. I pay homage to this journey of yours and am proud to cheer you from afar. You inspire me.

    Comment by Special K — April 16, 2010 @ 17:01

  13. I love this post for so many reasons:

    a) your attitude is perfect and spot-on
    b) you are correct in saying that life is so much bigger than what ‘we’ see from you on the blog
    c) your projects/research sound really cool
    d) i’m sooo jealous of your school work-ethic because I have zero in that area! (hense why I won’t be going to grad school anytime soon and will have to settle for my tiny teachers’ salary + bakery job!)

    I got your email. We will meet up. Count on it. 🙂

    Comment by tmart — April 16, 2010 @ 17:21

  14. Good luck & enjoy running your first (and definitely not your last) Boston. It’s an incredible experience that many dream of but few achieve, and you’re one of those few! Take in all the sights and screaming fans, you will feel like a rockstar. Turning down the homestretch onto Boyleston for the last 0.2 miles or so is awesome, soak it all in. You’re an amazing runner and however you do on Monday will not take away from that. I’ll be cheering you on and can’t wait to see how you finish.

    Comment by Jenny — April 16, 2010 @ 17:22

  15. just make sure you go out there and have fun and soak up every ounce of the boston marathon!!! cant wait to read all about it 🙂 have a great race girl!

    Comment by aron — April 16, 2010 @ 18:05

  16. Go out, have fun, and rock Boston!
    You’ve been training so hard for this…so THIS is your time to shine!
    I know you’re timid because there’s soreness and pain in some parts but this is Boston, this is YOUR victory parade!
    So whatever happens, enjoy the experience! It’ll be one to remember, I’m sure.
    Can’t wait to hear what happens. Live it up!

    Comment by The Laminator — April 17, 2010 @ 10:12

  17. I am amazed and humbled that you are off to Boston, I can’t wait to read your recap. Best of Luck and have an amazing time. Take time to breathe in the experience.

    (I am staying away from the PR or to not PR discussion 🙂 )

    Comment by katerina — April 17, 2010 @ 10:34

  18. hey, I was going to see if I could drop you an email, but from one health science student to another…check out the link between obesity and inflammation, and inflammation and heart disease. There’s a lot of stuff out there on the pathophysiology of endothelial damage if that is what you’re looking for. your school library may have some pathophys books, or even a basic anatomy book may explain it in some detail 🙂 You’re right, lots of physics involved in it too!

    Comment by a. — April 17, 2010 @ 13:39

    • Thanks! I will definitely check some of that out 🙂

      And if you need to drop me an email you can at marathonmaidenrunner (at) gmail (dot) com

      Comment by marathonmaiden — April 18, 2010 @ 09:40

  19. Girl, you are gonna do fabulous, NO MATTER what your time is. It doesn’t matter! I know it may matter to you, but as long as you are running, you’re doing what you love 🙂
    ❤ jess

    Comment by Jess — April 17, 2010 @ 22:12

  20. I’m glad you readjusted your goal for tomorrow and are feeling some relief from the pressure. It’s good that you can recognize when you’re “on” and when you’re not. I’m very sure you’ll have such a good time that your race time will be the least of your worries. Simply qualifying for Boston is QUITE an accomplishment. Cruise the route and soak up the vibes! Thanks for sharing about your research. Quite interesting!

    Lit Chick

    Comment by lit chick — April 18, 2010 @ 07:37

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