MarathonMaiden's Blog

May 31, 2010

Study, Run, ReFuel. Repeat.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:00

So first of all: HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY.  Aside from the perfect excuse to grill some food it’s also a day to remember all the brave men and women who have died while serving this country.  So thanks to everything they have done as well as the incredibly strong soldiers who are currently protecting us and those who will keep us safe while we sleep in the future.  THANK YOU.

Speaking of sleeping, this weekend was ROUGH.  Not because of excessive partying nor because of excessive studying (although that *did* happen) but rather because a rogue eyelash decided to glue itself to the underside of my eyelid.  So when I looked into the mirror I couldn’t see the damn thing but trust me I knew it was there.  At least I think it was an eyelash.  After battling for 2 days with it, whatever it was feel out Sunday night while I was sleeping.  Ugh.  I’ve had eyelashes in my eyes before but this was (100000000 + ∞ ) X worse.  I thought I was going to go blind or something.  I have never been in so much pain before and even now my left eye still kind of burns after all the scratching.

I still was able to live my life, aka studying and writing essays, which is good.  And thanks for all the good lucks and nice stuff you guys all said on my last post 🙂 I know that I’m not dumb but I’m trying to make myself be the most attractive candidate to my dream med schools so I’m busting my butt. And I really can’t afford to take a day off.  Even if it’s just going over my flashcards, I’m in the zone.

So I’m clearly attacking this the same way I would attack a marathon: intensely.  On days that I don’t have my night MCAT class, I’ve been getting up and: Breakfast. Studying for ~3-4 hours right away.  Taking a run break.  Lunch. Another 2-3 hours of studying.  Another run break. Dinner. AMCAS essay writing (the application). Pre-Bed snack.  On days that I do have it the essay and second study session get flipped.

That’s right, you read it: double sessions.  Almost every day (and I say almost even though I’ve written above that I do the 2 runs any day I’m studying but some days other things come up, which is fine! But I’ve written down here the *average* not the be-all-to-end-all rule).

And I’ll admit it: sometimes it’s triple sessions (granted if I do a third thing it’s lifting and I get up early to do it before my first study session, so not running but still a third workout)

I’m basically living in my gym clothes.  From morning until night.  And for the record: I refuse to shower more than once a day unless it’s completely necessary aka I have something I need to be clean for.  But studying? Not so much. Hahah oops. At least I’m only wearing one outfit per day.  There have been times in the past where I’ve worn the same pair of shorts for multiple runs.  That would be kind of gross right now, even I have standards 😉

But before someone goes all postal on me about running doubles or doing triples, especially without a goal race or specific goal, let me clarify: I’m not doing long, or even mid, distance runs.  Each run ranges from 4-6 miles and the total for the day rarely, if ever, exceeds 10.  So I’m not going all crazy and doing 20+ miles a day.  That would be too much: remember that these runs are study breaks so I don’t want to stay away too long from my books. And I think that the shorter distance + recovery + shorter distance is gentler on my body.

Plus the runs aren’t all hard.  In fact, I still have yet to re-introduce speedwork or anything challenging into my routine.  So both runs each day, every day are nice and easy.  Just a way for me to clear my mind.  That’s not to say that the pace isn’t faster than what I’d expect but I’m still running easy. I think that this is due to a couple things you guys have mentioned to me and that I’ve thought about:

  • Low(er) mileage
  • Nice weather.  Sunny skies and warm temps!
  • No overwhelming debilitating paralyzing stress
  • Good mood & an even keel
  • Refueling well after each workout
  • Good quality sleep

So no matter what the reason for my good runs (likely a combo of all of these) I’m going to roll run with it 😉

I know, I know! You guys are probably sick to death of hearing how good running is going and my lame posts as of late (blame studying! and not me!).  I’m in the process of tallying up the month of May so then I’ll have some data to back up my feelings on my runs.  Then you might REALLY be sick of me because I think the data is good and I’ll be talking about how awesome running went this month 😉

But since I’m so analytical and wrote that list of variables as to why I’m running / feeling good I though I’d take the next few posts (and call them How Double Running Can Rock maybe? I like that)and elaborate, not really on me per se but what the benefit is to them and why I think they’re clutch to not just double sessions but any athletic endeavors in general.  I doubt I’ll do a whole post on each one, maybe lump some together and whatnot but I think it could be fun for me to write a more scientific / look stuff up kind of post.

But it might be another couple of days until I start posting them. Actually crafting a non-word-vomit post (like this one for example) takes thought and so does the MCAT and essay writing and I need to focus on that, case in point: I didn’t turn on my computer today or yesterday until post-dinner (thank you scheduled posting).  Oops.

But hopefully you’re enjoying the rest of the holiday weekend everyone!

May 28, 2010

We All Came Here To Make It

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:32

So first off I’m obsessed with this song.  Pretty basically been listening to it on repeat the past week.  Sound up and rocking out.  I saw him (Jason Aldean) last summer in concert and am in LOVE with him too.  Why do all my celebrity crushes have wives?!

Anyway, life is about to get crazy for me.

My MCAT class is picking up steam and it looks like I’ll be studying ~6 hours a day, 4-5x a week for the next 10 or so weeks.  In fact, I should be studying right now…but I’m not *shhhhhhhhh* I’m not quite sure what to think of the class.  It’s definitely going to be a HUGE boost to me but it’s also going to be tough and challenging.  I’m going to have to tackle things head on that are not my strengths.  Last summer when I was studying for the exam (on my own and with textbooks) I was able to shy away from things that were hard.  And it showed.  Sure, my score was good enough but not what I knew I was capable of.  Hence the class this summer.

I’m also starting the process of applying to med schools.  I’ve started drafting the two (in my opinion) hardest sections: the work/activities section and the personal statement.  If there’s anyone willing to look over them (or at least the essay) I’d be forever indebted.  Seriously.

So even though those are the only two things I have to do from now until July-ish (when I’m targeting the application being sent in) and mid-August (MCAT), it’s going to be quite a busy thing.  I’m already feeling a bit of the stress that deadlines and commitment bring.

Luckily I have an amazing agenda book that I can create to-do lists in and gain satisfaction in crossing off items.  Sometimes the list becomes really big.  And I’m the kind of person that if I don’t start making progress and roll with the momentum then nothing will happen.  So the physics joke from a few years ago in the club “Mo’mentum Mo’problems” really isn’t apropos here.

Luckily I also have running.  The weather has “cooled” off here — aka 70* rather than 95+* — and it feels nice.  Especially at night and I’ve been actually a bit chilly in the morning when I get up. Granted I have perfected the placement of fans / open windows so that my room becomes an ice box but still…running at noon as my first study break didn’t feel bad yesterday nor did it today.  Oh relativity.  I probably was complaining in April about how a few 70* days felt like a heat wave after weeks of 40* and rainy weather.

Not that I should complain, and I try not to because I BEG for hot weather in January/February.

And I’m going to take the fact that not many people seemed to read my Tips for Hot Weather Running yesterday as a sign that you guys are smarty-arties and already knew all of it.  And for those of you who commented and added your suggestions: THANK YOU. I need to start getting smarter in my running life if I want to keep improving.  I’ll take all the help I can to run STRONG, run FAST and have FUN.  Too bad I can’t think of a great F word for strength.  Then I could call it the “Three Fs” or something.  Run with fortitude? Doesn’t have the same ring to it.

But that’s what I have been doing the past few days.  And even, if you were to go back and re-read my posts, the past 2-3 weeks (I’m lucky that I have my log book right out in front of me).

Today was no exception.

But first: I think that Tues/Fri is going to be my lifting schedule for the summer.  At least it’s what I’ve fallen into lately. And today was TOUGH.  My legs, which have been pretty tight, were not all that interested in lifting.  But I figured that since I actually drove to the gym then come hell or high water I was going to get a full body lift in.  Gas ain’t cheap and I drive an SUV.  I augmented my lifting to a weight load lighter than normal.  Still hard though.

After doing my legs I decided to try out foam rolling on my IT band.  So I grabbed the foam roller and set to work.  And my first thought? PHsssssssh this isn’t so bad.  Then I realized that the part of the roller I was on was really worn down.  So I moved over to the end portion of it and my thought? Okay this hurts more but still isn’t so bad.  I’m thinking that I was doing something wrong because everything I read on blogs has said this should hurt like hell.

I came home, refueled, studied some in my physics review book then hit the streets for a nice run.  And it felt good.  Like I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, my running has been good.  Not quite spot-on — ideally I’d be doing workouts and a hard/easy type of schedule.  But running has been so effortless lately.  I’ve never felt like I’ve been exerting myself and yet my paces have been so fast.  I’ve been doubting whether or not my mapping system is accurate.  It’s been so nice and such a confidence / mood booster.  It’s been allowing me to keep focused for studying / application writing / my 3 hour class.

But in case anyone was wondering what I mean about paces: today was 7.2 miles @ 8:34 pace.  Typically when I go for an easy run, post-lift run etc.  I try to target 9:15.   And my easy run paces the past two weeks have, with maybe one exception, all been sub-9.   And maybe my tightness in my legs is telling me that I need to put on the brakes a bit in terms of pace.  But I’m in such a good state-of-mind lately that I just don’t want too.

Bang Bang Bang 😀

Check out this giveaway from Tricia.  And have a great Memorial Day Weekend.  Hopefully you guys have more exciting plans than me….aka studying. So I might be MIA in both blogging and commenting on-and-off the next week or so as I struggle to find a balance with everything.

May 27, 2010

Tips For Running In The Heat

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:05

aka Do Not Do As I Did

My run on Wednesday was pretty amazing regardless of the 96* temps facing me as I headed out the door.  And during the first mile, when my body became drenched in sweat, I wondered how I was going to finish the damn thing.  But I know myself and once I lock into a rhythm then I’m good to go no matter what.

Hence the 9 miles at a 8:48 pace.  Not my best but still really fast for an easy run.  And it really did feel easy.  Then factor in the triple H’s (hot hazy humid) and I became ecstatic with the run.  Who know what could have happened if it was cooler? Oh what might have been.

That said I was melting.  I kind of didn’t want to stop running.  And no, not because I felt so awesome (even though I did), but because I knew that if I stopped I would get hit with a wave of heat and an extra bucket of sweat.  The cold water I splashed on my face afterward felt soooo good.

And since it doesn’t look like we’ll be reverting back to true winter anytime soon (thank freaking god!) I think it’s apropos to do a little bit on running in heat (although I bet you smart bloggies already knew these because they are spouted off all the time.  Lame post for a busy girl? Maaaaaaaybe haha).  But take everything with a grain of salt because I did NONE of these on Wednesday.  Oops.  Hello hypocrite!

  • Run when the temp isn’t at it’s peak. Usually that means early morning (before the sun comes up) or late night (after the sun goes down).  The reason for this is obvious: if you’re running in cooler temps then you’re going to be more comfortable.  Peak intensity is usually from 1000 to 1600 so those are the times to avoid. Ummmm my noon runs? Not so good especially if my next tip is to…
  • Take time to acclimate For me, this means doing my lengthy or hard workouts during the time that it’s not peak BUT do a short 3 miles when it is hottest.  This way I’m not taxing my system too much in the heat but I’m letting my body know that “Hey there, this is what you need to run in but I’m not going to jump right in and kill you”.  Definitely didn’t do this on my Wednesday run (or my Tuesday for that matter)
  • Seek shade Or at least routes that are predominately shade.  Shade will protect you from the blistering sun and keep temps *slightly* cooler.  Granted this will not help at all with the humidity but it’s a start right? And in my defense, part of my run were shaded, just not as much as I originally thought.  Some stretches were all trees and others were just me and the blacktop.  Ouch.
  • Seek water As in sprinklers and water fountains.  I was trying to find this stuff buttttt nothing.  Although I was going at such a good machine clip that who knows if I would have stopped.  When I finished the run I did do this but nothing in the time I was in motion.
  • Keep pace appropriate Despite having a stellar pace on my run I went out with the intention of NOT doing my planned speedwork.  In the heat you’re body is going to be rebelling because it’s hard to run in the heat and you’ll end up with some type of heat-related illnesses if you go *too* hard.  I definitely should have scaled back and been more conservative as I was getting overheated and maybe slightly delusional by the end.
  • Appropriate clothing So maybe this tip I did alright with? I mean I wasn’t in sweats or anything (gosh I am just sweating thinking about that!) but I was in a sports bra and shorts only.  Meaning nothing to wick away the massive amounts of sweat I was producing.  But you’ll want to wear light colored clothing (black/dark absorbs all wavelengths of light which means that you’ll be absorbing all the heat) and wicking clothing so that you’re sweat can be more efficiently evaporated, thus keeping you cool.  Loose fitting clothing is also key so that the evaporation process can happen more easily too
  • Sunscreen Ummm I suck at putting on sunscreen.  But skin cancer? No joke.  I just had a couple pre-cancerous moles removed from my skin.  A good tip here is to look for sweat-proof ones as it sucks hardcore when you get this stuff in your eyes and, as I mention time and time again, I sweat like… a lot.
  • HYDRATE Yes I am terrible with this.  The other day, at the gym doing lifting, I lost 3 pounds during my hour session.  Obviously that was all water weight but I know for a fact that I only drank 20 oz of water all day.  Yes I drink a liter of milk and ice teas but that is no match for my sweat rate.  And I think that running would make that weight loss even more pronounced.  But your body is ~70% water so clearly replenishing that is key to living and avoiding heat related illnesses.  As a runner being well hydrated means more efficient workouts as well as workouts that feel easier.  To know if you’re properly hydrated I guess the standard is the pee test? If your pee is lemonade color you’re good, ice tea color? Not so much.
  • Educate yourself Know the signs and symptoms of heat stroke, heat exhaustion etc.  If you notice the signs in yourself or anyone else it’s time to put the breaks on the workout. And if they don’t go away with some hydration and shade then seek medical attention.  Maybe this tip is one that I actually did as I know the signs and symptoms.  Go me ha! But for those of you who aren’t as lucky as me they are: faintness, dizziness, disorientation, no sweating or  cool and clammy skin.

So there you have it.  I think I can check off only the education tip off of my things I did Wednesday.  Oops.  Hopefully typing this out motivates me (and YOU) to be smart as summer comes on full swing.

Luckily for me those T-storms I mentioned yesterday did come through so I woke up to 60* weather and it felt nice and chilly.  I don’t think it’s supposed to get warmer than 70* today (yeah be jealous) which is going to feel like *winter* after running in 96* on Wednesday.  Holllllleeeeeeerrrrrr. I don’t even feel bad waiting until noon again 😛

May 26, 2010

What A Way To Start The Summer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 10:42

Wow I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  Moreso than when I was in school! But I tend to thrive when life gets busy so it’s all good.  It just means that I don’t have time to string together a coherent post (and trust me I’ve tried but when you can only write in 5 minute snippets the tone of the post goes all over the place!) .  Oh well.  I think that this week is the exception until about August so apologies in advance if I go MIA again for the remainder of the week.

But let’s back track.  I’ve been doing some pretty decent runs since coming home.  The area that I live in really isn’t that hilly but compared to where my school is located…well let’s just say I feel like I’m running in the Alps right now.  Just shows you how relative everything is.  Not that I’m complaining too much; as much as it sucks to be out of breath on the actual hill itself there’s a BAMF factor at the end of it.

Another thing factoring into my BAMFness? The heat and humidity that has been cast upon New England.  As of when I got up this morning at 0800 it was already in the low 80* with ~68% humidity. Yuck.  But I think there are going to be some T-storms later today which hopefully cools things down.

So it’s made my runs a bit interesting. Here’s a bit of a recap

Sunday: I know in my last post I said I was going to XT it up but the lure of running was too much (and when is it not?! ha) so I went out on my favorite home route, a really lovely 8 miler.  It was fast too but I think that it helped that I went out at noon.  As much as the heat isn’t the funnest (and yes I know it’s grammatically correct to write more fun) to run in my paces are so much quicker when I *don’t* run first thing.  But I followed up the run with corework, and since I had been running in just a sports bra I got to see my abs working which made me feel strong.  Around 1600 my running buddy from home called and wanted to know if I was up for a quick run.  Very last minute because she wanted to leave right away! Luckily I hadn’t showered yet (LAZINESS!) so I was able to get a 4 miler in.  Which was WAY fast.  But it felt good so I went with it.

Monday: I know I haven’t talked much about post-graduation plans BUT I had a job interview on Monday so I had to get up early to run before heading up to NH for the interview (and no I’m not going to go into details right now.  Don’t want to jinx myself before anything comes through) I will say I think the interview went well and combined with a decent interview last week I’m hoping something comes through.

But back to the run.  Okay, so early is an exaggeration.  I mean to say that I ran first thing when I woke up rather than set an alarm.  I love that during the summer I can do this! But it was sticky out already.  I run a fan in my room and get some cross ventilation with my windows so my room was chilly and I think I overdressed in a tech shirt and shorts. Should have done the sports bra + shorts thing.  My legs felt a bit tight during the run but I did run a really good 9.1 miles @ 9:15 pace.  Much faster than it felt.  And of course I got my core work in.

Tuesday: Another busy day here too.  I had a doctors appointment that was back down at my school (an hour away) followed by an MCAT prep course (can’t remember if I mentioned this before).  I know I took the exam last year, and I did decently on it, but I studied solely with my college textbooks.  Not ideal.  So I laid down the money to get really focused and intense work, which the pre-health advisor at my school thinks can raise my score ~7 pts.  Which is huge.  So last night was the first night and we did a 5 hour diagnostic test. Ouch.  I think 20 milers are easier!

My workout was a double this day.  Since my appointments were all in the afternoon I took the whole morning to get a good lifting session in followed by a 6 mile run.  The lifting was first thing and felt hard! I wasn’t doing much differently than normal (actually nothing differently) but my muscles were definitely being worked hard.  After getting back to my house and refueling with a pb & banana sandwich and oatmeal (yes oatmeal in the summer. I’m weird) I went out at noon for a run.

Maybe not the smartest order to do my workouts in because it was definitely 90* and humid. The plan was just to take it easy and my perceived effort was easy but my pace was 8:35. Whoa there.  I kind of wish I had looked at my watch earlier, not to dial back but to take advantage of the speediness that my legs were giving me.  Either way it might have been the smartest thing to only do 6 miles in the heat.  I was sweating a TON and am not fully acclimated yet.

Wednesday (today): Not sure what exactly I’m going to be doing today.  I only have one appointment today in the PM but I have lots of post-grad stuff to do.  Not to mention catch up on NCIS and The Biggest Loser which I missed last night due to my prep course.  Priorities 😉

I’m thinking an easy 7 or so.  My legs, as well as the rest of my body, are feeling a bit tight so something easy to get the blood flowing probably is appropriate.  Kind of a bummer because I wanted to do a speed workout and start to make those a regular occurrence in my weekly routine.   And easy because I’m not likely to get out until noon again and it’s going to be another hot one.  But I think some T-storms are coming through so hopefully it’ll cool things off.

Jeez Louise! I’ve written so much already.  Guess that’s what happens when life gets in the way of blogging 😉

Here are some other things I wanted to talk about but will bullet point it because this is getting very lengthy

  • LOST and 24 are over.

Forever. Sad face 😦  I’m not sure how I feel about the LOST ending, I’ll likely have to re-watch it sometime soon to wrap my head around it.  I liked the note that it ended on but I *really* wanted all the mysteries to be solved. Like, how did MiB become the smoke monster? How are the rules of the island created? Why did pregnant women die ? What did the bomb accomplish? I felt that a lot of the physics in some of the mysteries was fast and loose and as a scientist (and hello physics major!) I felt frustrated.  But overall I enjoyed it.

As for 24, again mixed feelings.  I liked pretty much everything about it except for the fact that for a series finale it things open ended.  I guess it’s because there’s talk of a 24 movie.  But I loved that Jack went all Mike Tyson and “judge and jury” on us.  Really BAMF.

  • Health and Fitness Expo June 12-13th in Boston (I think on the Common) Anyone interested in going possibly?

So much for my bullet points 😉 And saying that this might be a coherent post haha! But check out the giveaway from Mel

May 23, 2010

Sooooo. Now What?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 10:37

Good morning all.  I am HOME and in the midst of *unpacking*.  Who knew that I owned so much stuff? I mean, over the course of the past week I have filled 4 SUV loads.  Ummmm this has never been the case in any other year.  Normally I can move myself out by myself with just my SUV.  Wonder what happened this year?

Anyway yesterday (Saturday the 22nd) was a pretty big day.  Kind of like the culmination of 4 years of hard work and sweat and, yes, many tears.


The ceremony was amazing.  My school is really small in general, and we don’t have any graduate students, and my graduating class was about 400 which allowed the whole thing to be over in about 2 hours. Sweet deal.  But that didn’t mean that I wanted to rush through it or anything (although I kind of did because I *still* wasn’t fully packed. Oops).  Just that sitting in the sun in 75-80* weather in black robes isn’t ideal haha.

The long and short of it is that I graduated.  No tears but I did get chills when our speaker, Ann Curry (who, despite my not liking her, was really good) finished up her address with Winston Churchill’s quote “Never never never quit”.  Oh and did you know that her first job post-college for journalism was as a cocktail waitress?  Maybe there’s hope for me to make it big 🙂

And since you guys liked my Rosecliff pics and liked seeing some non-running stuff in my life I have some from G-Day.

Me and my advisor.

But let me back up a bit.  Friday night was Sentimental Night and the Candlelighting Ceremony.  It was fun, not quite as emotional as I was expecting though.  But we watched a slideshow from the past 4 years and then went outside to the pond to send our candles on their way.

The candlelighting ceremony starts freshman year where, on the very first night on campus, we’re given candles and stand around the pond to light them.  And then, 4 years later on the very last night on campus, we take our freshman year candles, light them and then send them of their way into the pond on floating boat-like things.  Very cool looking

Sadly my boat thing didn’t want to float and this is what I ended up with

Oh well.

The rest of the night was a night of drinking.  Sorry no pictures of that 😛

Saturday morning (aka graduation day) I rose at some ungodly hour to run before the ceremony.  I doubt I really slept though given the night before.  But I was in my bed for a little bit.  So I will say that I did go to bed that night. Maybe just not for that long.

The weather was perfect for an early morning run.  Well maybe not *perfect* (I would have preferred it to be a bit cooler and less humid) but all things considered it wasn’t bad.  I was unsure, even when my alarm went off, as to where I would be running too. As I got dressed I decided to run the two routes which I can distinctly remember running from freshman year. A nice 6.1 miler followed by the “original” route of 3.8.

The run wasn’t stellar.  But I didn’t really expect that I would pull out kick ass splits given the activities of the past few days.  Which was nice.  Sometimes when I’m going fast and feeling good like that, the background scenery gets lost.  Not a bad thing but not what I wanted as my final run.  I ended up running the 9.9 and tacked on an extra 1.3 miles because I was running much faster than expected so I could.  I also think that I wanted to delay the inevitable of putting on that cap and gown.

Overall a nice 11.2 miles at 9:10 pace.  I’m very happy with that.

What I’m not happy with? My bladder.  I guess it’s fitting that on my last long run at school my bladder wants to act out.

And from there I went off to go graduate, which I talked about at the beginning of the post.  Hmmmm maybe I should go back and edit this to be chronological? Nahhh I’m too lazy and tired to do that ha!

As for today I’m toying with the idea of hitting up the gym for some xt.  With finals/senior weeks happening recently the school gym wasn’t open much so I ran a lot.  I think I’m closing in on 60 this week.  So I’m sure some elliptical would be good for me. I’d rather run though of course.  We’ll see 🙂

P.S. I promise I’m going to try to catch up this week on emails and the like. I’m normally not this flaky I swear!

May 21, 2010

D-1. Eeeek.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:03

Phew. What a long day! I know that I’ve had longer but I’m all zapped out of energy at the moment and all I want to do is lay down on the floor.  Because my bed is lofted and I don’t think I can hoist myself up onto it hah!

I guess part of my exhaustion is my own doing.  After Rosecliff (thanks for all the compliments! Glad you liked the post and my dress and told me that I looked wonderful 🙂 ) and getting very little sleep that night, I was out late again Thursday night celebrating the last Thirsty Thursday.  Normally not a big deal but I wanted to get a run in before my graduation rehearsal this morning.  Which started at 0900.  Ugh.  Oh well.  At least I’m not a hardcore drinker.  Some of my peers were still drunk when they showed up ha.

So I got up at 0600 (good thing I’m graduating because I sure don’t act like a normal college kid!) to run because I knew that by the time it ended it would be really hot and I’d be unmotivated.  And sure enough by the time I finished my run at around 0730 or so it was already 70*.  Hello summer?

The run itself was pretty unremarkable.  A tad on the humid side but it felt bearable.  I need a gradual build up to full blown swimming pool.  Think that my runs would count as XT at 100% humidity and I could call them pool runs?

It’s bittersweet to be running this week.  Obviously I’ve mentioned it enough but graduation is tomorrow an dI’m moving on in my life, exciting!!, but moving into a very unstable world, scary!! For my running this means I likely won’t ever have reason to run these routes again.  They’ve been with me (through some modification of course) for the past 4 years.  I could, and probably have, run them asleep.  And I know I’ve run some of them still drunk after a good Thursday night.

But enough nostalgia.  Today’s run: 9.3 miles of goodness.  It didn’t feel good the first 4 miles and I questioned whether or not I really wanted to be doing this.  This meaning 0600 running, not running in general.  Especially since I had had such an amazing run the day before. When that happens sometimes a little lethargy and lead in the legs shuts down the go-get-em mentality.

Regardless I had another mile to go before I passed by the dorm and by the time I got there my legs were feeling good to complete the rest of the run.  I negative splited the run, not too hard to do when the first half is wicked slow ha!, and ended on a semi-fast note.  A strong note.  Another good good-bye run.

I also did some core work right after the run.  I was planning on going to the gym after the rehearsal but I still like to do my core immediately after finishing.  I think it started when I needed to make my gym time shorter when I was doing doubles and the natural thing to do was to move my 15 minute core routine to right after the morning run but I’ve kept it there because I like feeling hardcore and the burn while I’m still wicked sweaty.  Today was a mix of that and the fact that I had that picture of my abs on my brain from yesterday and wanted to keep those abs rock solid 🙂

And I’m not vain at all.  Promise 😉

After the rehearsal I did make it to the gym and man, it was HOT in there.  I know it’s a small school with a limited budget so I’ve never expected air conditioning in the gym (or in any other building really) but it was stifling.  So I did my thang and got out of there.   And I also wasn’t really in the mood to be lifting either.

Which brings me to a question I’ve been pondering: how much of what you do, do you do because you feel like you have to? I mean, I obviously love running and never feel like I have to do it but rather I want to.  But sometimes with lifting I’m questioning why I’m there.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve written about how awesome I think weights are for you and the fact that I grew up with a father who was wayyyy into lifting so I don’t see it as evil.  But sometimes I think I do it because I know it’s going to make me a better runner and that’s the only reason I head over to the gym.  Yoga and stretching are the same way although I avoid them like the plague and never do them.

It was nice to read this post from Jess saying that she hadn’t lifted in about a week and a half.  Sometimes I wonder if it’s really necessary to make sure to hit the weights 2-3 a week, every week.   Oh well, just some musings.  I’m definitely not pushing my body to do something I don’t want to do and after my date with the weights I felt really good and powerful and strong.  But sometime it’s so hard to take that first step.  Guess how that it with many things in life.  The whole inertia thing.  Yup Newton’s first law.  I am getting my degree in physics tomorrow 🙂

Speaking of tomorrow, I plan on getting up early to run and calm myself before the ceremony — yes I know that means I’ll not be sleeping a wink tonight so maybe “getting up early” is misleading haha. Final goodbye run.  Don’t know where it’ll be yet but I think I have an idea.  I probably should be hyping these runs up so much — I told my friends about them, the whole saying goodbye thing, and they looked at me like I had two heads!   But the run will likely be one of the first routes I can recall running regularly.

Oh man! Look at the time! And the length of this post! Gotta go get ready for my last night on campus.  We’re doing a sentimental night and the second half of the candlelighting ceremony (the first half was done our very first night on campus).   And then the Last Chance Dance. Wooooot!

Check out the giveaway that ErikaH is having. And I apologize in advance if I’m not around much this weekend to comment on all your lovely blogs.  I may have a few moments here and there and I still love you guys but I’ll be too busy graduating 😉

May 20, 2010

Running With My Hair Did

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:22

Hey-o! Thanks for keeping your fingers crossed for me and good vibes being sent my way.  Keep them up! Again, I don’t want to go into much (read: any) detail on the blog for fear of jinxing myself but I could use the good vibes 🙂

Anyway, last night (Wednesday) was the formal ball that my school does every year for the Senior Class.  The senior council rents out Rosecliff Manor, in ritzy Newport RI,:

Outside of Rosecliff (courtesy of google image because we got there and it was too dark to take any good pictures)

and we get all dressed up, dance, drink and have a really fun time.  The drinks were so strong (legit 6 oz of alcohol to 1-2 oz of juice/soda etc. CRAZY and well worth the $6) that I’m pretty sure you couldn’t *not* have a good time 🙂

I had a blast and it was so much fun putting on a fancy schmancy dress and pretending to be all lady like for the night. Although I did feel a bit like Abby from NCIS in my dress.  But in a totally cool way that made me feel really special.

Here are some pictures that I took of the event:

Physics and LOST buddy.

Physics and drinking buddy


  • “Haha MM you tower over [him]” (Roomie)
  • “Not now” (Me and [him]) aka i duck down and he leaps causing much amusement to our friends”

Picture of just my friends so you don't think I'm all self-centered and only took pics of myself although I am in the large majority of pics that are currently on my camera. I guess I went around going "hey I need a picture of us!" hah!

Chocolate Room

and damages

Some people decided to stay in hotels overnight in RI but I didn’t.  I didn’t want to spend the $$ on a limo and hotel (I actually used the bus that my school provided to get to and from because it was WAY cheap) and I really enjoy staying in a real bed and not a hotel one.  Therefore I didn’t get back from the party until 0200! As you may recall from yesterday I got up at 0600.  Talk about a long day.

You’d think that with such a long day my body would actually like to sleep in this morning.  And I did…I guess.  0800 is an improvement.  And I did lay in bed for an extra half hour, awake but still tired.  My eyes are struggling to stay open! I decided that running first thing, while I really love doing it, just shouldn’t happen today.  And since there aren’t any senior events until tonight I figured that I could do some “life future” stuff (aka follow ups on interviews, cover letters, job research etc.) until mid-morning.  My favorite time to run.

And since I was/am in love with how my roomie did my hair last night

I didn't get a pic from the front last night so here's one from this morning

I, duh, wanted to leave it in for as long as possible.  I do this when people braid my hair too.  Anyway the long and short of it is that the 15 bobby pins kept my hair in place for the event, sleeping AND the run.  Here’s what it looked like after though

Not too shabby. A bit messy but my hair stayed up the entire run!

But enough about hair.  And on to the outfit I wore today (I swear I’ll talk about the run soon).  Normally I don’t *really* care what I run in.  Yes  I do try and match (no red top with orange shorts or anything crazy like that) but I was feeling really girlie with the formal last night so this is what I wore

Yes. Pink bra. Pink shorts. And if you're wondering I was also wearing pink underwear too. All going with the pink camera and pink wristband I typically wear anyway haha

This was taken post-run and clearly there is a post run glow on me.  I was going to “apologize” for any food baby you might see but you know what? I love this picture.  I look very happy and despite thinking at the time I was carrying a good baby I clearly am not and I love the way my abs look rock solid here.  I think I look strong and glowing 🙂

And for good reason.  The run I went on today was kick-freaking-ass! Despite the lack of sleep I mentioned at the beginning of the post my legs felt pretty fresh.  They weren’t rarin’ to do something hard, like a track workout or something, but they were feeling good.  Coupled with the 70* weather it was a good time.

I guess I was running really fast (for an easy no expectations run) at 8:31 pace! I was not expecting that at all, although given that it was 1130 when I left and my runs earlier this week were all pre-breakfast, it shouldn’t have been too surprising.  It was a really great way to say “goodbye” to the route.

Basically I just felt fluid and efficient.  This is sometimes the best way to define a good run.  Sometimes I’ll say I had a good run but it means that I completed my workout and hit splits.  Sometimes I forget to be intune with what my body defines a good run and to me it’s what I just said: fluid and efficient.  Natural. Everything clicking and nothing feels wrong.  Like you could go one forever. Granted at the end my legs were feeling fatigue but that good fatigue where you know that you worked.  Not enough to kill you (ahem intervals) but enough that your body is tired.

Speaking of, today there isn’t any real senior week event although informally everyone is going to the local bar as the last Thirsty Thursday…EVER.  Wow.  Going to go rest up for that 🙂

And the rest of the week.  Graduation rehearsal, candle lighting ceremony and sentimental night tomorrow and then *graduation* on Saturday.  So crazy.

PS Check out the giveaway from ShutUpandRun

May 19, 2010

Oops. I Fartlek’d

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:31

….okay so that joke will NEVER get old

Woot to that video interview! Glad you guys liked it 🙂

And thanks for all the get-well good vibes! I sure needed them.  I don’t know what it was but in the past week I’ve gotten TWO 24 hour flu-like bugs.  This time, like last, all I have to show is some residual sinus pressure.  I did go to the doc (both last week and this week) and they told me there wasn’t anything they can do for me.  I just need to take it easy.  Did I mention that it’s senior week? Yeah, taking it easy ain’t going to happen.

Oh well.  I’m feeling MUCH better today.  A little sinus pressure but nothing major.  And despite me saying that the doctor I saw on Monday said there wasn’t much I could do, I do have a Rx for an antibiotic in case things don’t get better.  The deal is that I likely have a sinus infection, the large majority of which are viral.  So if my body can’t fight it off (which it appears to be doing though *knockonwood*) I’ll fill the Rx.  I’ve just been on soooo many antibiotics lately and, if I can avoid it, I will.  Plus antibiotics are over prescribed anyway.  But that’s a different topic.

Yesterday I got a great lifting session in as well as a solid run.  I’m saddened that my body is re-adjusting to the lifting and I don’t get the same soreness I did when I first re-introduced it.  I know I can always do something crazy, like switch up my routine, but that takes planning and to be quite honest I think I’ve killed my brain cells that do that function this week 😛

And this morning I got up wayyyyy too early to do a 10 miler.  I had something important to do (which I’m going to be cagey about not to jinx myself but still be selfish and ask for good vibes) and I knew that the rest of my day today would be just as busy.  I didn’t intend on running 10 (haha that rhymed) but I was at 8.7 and I have a perfect 1.3 mile route that I decided to do.  Plus I had already worked my core for 3 straight days and I tend to run on a 3on-1off-2on-1off week with core.  So I had a bit of extra time.

The first few miles were crap but I think it was because A) it was much earlier than I’ve been getting up and B) it was icky out.  Now, don’t get me wrong I don’t not like running in the rain but seeing clouds in the sky, even overcast, just puts a mental damper on things.  Luckily it wasn’t raining, more like misting, but over the course of 10 miles a little misting adds up to soaked clothing and that ick factor.

The rest of the run ended up being pretty good.  Since it’s been 4+ weeks since Boston I figured that this week would be a good week to re-introduce speed work.  After all I’ve been doing LRs and lifting sessions for two weeks now.  And all the “recovery plans” I’ve looked at have said that W+3 and W+4 are good times to add some more intensity.  Granted I think these plans also want you to have a target race 4-5-6 weeks out and I do not, but hey.  Plans are plans and they make my world go round.

My world maybe but my body?Even though I’m feeling soooo recovered from Boston I still wanted to take it easy.  In this respect I’m kind of a beginner again.  Obviously I can’t, just like someone lacing up their shoes for the first time, jump into 5 X mile repeats or remember that killer workout I did during training: 3 X [4X 800m]? Yeah so do I.  Not something I really need to do right now. That and I pretty much knew that my body would want something less structured and more go-with-the-flow coming off this cold-esque dealio.

So I opted for a fartlek workout.  I didn’t really ever like fartleks because they’re not really formal or something that I could concretely describe in my log books.  But they do require lots of hard work and intensity and focus and it was silly of me to avoid them. Now some info about the fartlek:

What is it? Well it’s Swedish for speedplay and the gist is that you speed up / sprint / go fast for some distance. Nothing exact or anything, more like 20-30 seconds or, like I did today, the length of 4 telephone poles.  You can go farther or short, faster or slower depending on how you feel or what your goal is.

What is the goal? For me, the point of the workout was to just get my legs to remember how to do faster turnover but, in the past, I’ve used it to do harder sprinting and a less formal way to get those intervals in because you can change the intensity based on how you feel.  It’s also great for endurance work because you’re constantly in motion, every time you pick up the speed you challenge your cardiovascular systems and make gains. Yay for getting faster and more endurance-ified.

How do I do it? Head out for a run.  After going long enough to feel warmed up then push the pace *hard* for anywhere from 30-60 seconds.  Slow back down to your warmup pace until you’re not breathing hard.  Repeat.  For a beginner try maybe 5 (?) at first and as you get fitter you can increase.  For example I did 4 speed ups during my run.  I wanted to do more but my body was “eh”.  Like everything listen to your body

When should I do it? I like to do fartleks when I’m not in training for anything given the informal nature of the workout.  It is a speed workout so I wouldn’t do it before another speed workout such as intervals or a tempo.  Just because of my Type-A ways I favor more formal and tangible ways to get speed done during race training but you can definitely incorporate it that way if you choose.  Just remember that the sprinting portions would need to intense (ie at least 30-40 seconds per speed up).

Hopefully you guys enjoyed this more informative post.  I know lots of those who comment probably already knew this stuff but I think lots of you have the same attitude I have/had about them: not “hardcore” enough.  But that’s the beauty: you can make them as hard or easy as you want.  Plus I have some readers who are more beginner based and thought this would be useful (and feel free to comment! I don’t bite. Hard 😉 )

Checkout the giveaway from Tricia

May 17, 2010

Fever? Again? Seriously?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:34

Apparently getting a fever last Wednesday during finals week wasn’t good enough and whatever virus I’m harboring decided to crop back up last night.  103* fever, body aches, chills.  Grrrrrrr.  Not to mention the sore throat, congestion and ear pressure I’ve been dealing with as residual stuff post-Wednesday.

Bummer because this week is senior week and I want to be in top form! Luckily I’m feeling a bit better after “sleeping” it off (granted I was up every hour because of it but the time in my bed was kind of nice).

Quicky post for me because, like I mentioned, it’s senior week so I have lots to do. Both fun stuff (like the white glove brunch that was this morning and the treasure box ceremony later tonight) as well as…more cover letters and calling places up. Running however, won’t be one of them.  I’ll try to sneak out for a run later but I think I missed my only opportunity because, while I woke up with no fever, I had a splitting headache as a result of the fever and subsequent dehydration so my morning run didn’t happen.

But I wanted to share this interview I did yesterday (before I came down with my fever) with Ian from MeButFitter.  He was nice enough to accommodate my schedule to do this and it was lots of fun to do!

Here’s the link to the interview because I can’t figure out how to put it into my post because it’s not a youtube video or a similar website.  Hopefully you guys like it!

May 16, 2010

Speedy Weekend. Holler.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:27

Ugh so when do I get my voice back? Like I mentioned in my last post, I had a real nasty virus Wednesday night and the only lingering effects are in my head: congestion (and not just any congestion, it feels like water is being constantly pushed up my nose), ear pressure , a moderately bad sore throat and a real sexy voice. Annoying as I had a couple interviews set up for next week and I really can’t cancel them.  Plus I’m tired of resting my voice! It was fun at first but I miss my real voice haha

Oh well. I woke up on Saturday morning with a pretty bad sore throat and I was absolutely starving so I decided to miss out on the cooler weather that first thing running brings and run before lunch.  I figure that it’d be good training for summer running, as by the time I left my dorm it was 70*, sunny with a few clouds and kind of windy.  Which was actually really nice, even the head wind, because it kept me cool.  I debated another sports bra run but figured a beater was sufficient.  Don’t want to scare too many people with my fish belly 😉

Anyway despite my thinking that my legs would be a little sluggish because of the consecutive days of running I’ve been doing lately (the fact that my gym isn’t open on the weekends anymore and only limited hours during the week has made me really good at justifying the whole run lots thing!) My LR went SO WELL.  I have no idea how it happened either, the entire time I was just telling myself to just go at a comfy pace because I was worried about crashing.  Definitely didn’t need to worry about that as I got 13.1 miles in at 8:30 pace.  That is, like, sprinting for me.  I’m in shock that I was able to run so fast and not feel like I was dying or anything.  I was getting a weird hand cramp during it though…odd. Any ideas why?! Very bizarre.

But an awesome way to say goodbye to that route! I wish I had been having these types of runs pre-Boston, something I know The Puerto Rican Kenyan has been talking about recently too. Guess I should just go with the flow right? And maybe try to capitalize on it by looking for a half or 10k sometime soon?Assuming I actually look for races haha.

I’m just pumped that it was a run where I wasn’t expecting my time to be so fast and when I checked my watch at the end it was like JEEZ LOUISE!

So I basked in it for a bit and took advantage of the really nice weather to lounge around for the rest of the day.  It’s not part of my personality to lounge around and do nothing though so I ended up making a big ass to-do list for Sunday! Note: I didn’t start doing any of the items Saturday night because Saturday = last day possible for finals = no matter what everyone is done.  Clearly that means party time.

And party time was fun.  I honestly haven’t seen a lot of my really good friends a lot this semester because everyone has been so busy / busy at very different times.  It was great to play catch up and drink and dance.  How I am going to really miss these moments post-graduation (and ACK D-6 days!!)

It’s totally a different feeling going out on a Saturday when you know you don’t have to get up to do school work the next morning. Sure I did have that to-do list, including but not limited to cover letters and resumes (ugh) but there’s always that awareness that if I don’t get them done immediately one more day won’ t *kill* me.  I’m trying to work on them now because I do want to get them out asap but the pressure was off.

Oh, nice segue MM into pressure again.  Because like my Saturday LR, my Sunday recovery run was, like all my runs post-Boston, pressure free.  And I don’t know if it’s the lack of pressure or lack of 100 mile weeks BUT my recovery run was at 9:06 pace.  Seriously? During Boston training I would have *paid* to see that kind of pacing during easy runs.  Or even LRs.

I know that I did start the run at a shuffle pace but my last mile was just under 8.  Again, seriously?! I’m still loving it and don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth or anything buttt….I can’t help but wonder what kind of damage I could do to any race given my current love-affair with my legs.

It’s just really funny that on the past two runs my mind has been severely underestimating how fast I’m actually going.  Definitely goes to show you how mental running can be at times. Again, not a bad thing but I’m secretly hoping that this will help my internal pacing mechanism and hoping that it’s not lulling me into a false sense of security for whenever the next time I toe the line.  You know, thinking that I’m running way faster than I am and I get complacent. But with no races in the near future I guess that’s not too much of a worry.

Time to go finish up some of those cover letters I’m dreading.  If I can finish one more I’ll go outside and read for fun 🙂

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