MarathonMaiden's Blog

June 30, 2010

Oops! I Did It Again

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:34

My homegirl.

I don’t think she was talking about running but I am.  I ran another 20 mile day.  21.5 miles to be exact. I really should think about a marathon I guess.  (And I’m delaying tabulating my June miles for now as well as the *GASP* half way through the year numbers.  I have the weekly totals (and past months) and everything calculated but summing it all up is going to be very interesting. Ha.  I’m playing ostrich:)

This was the first image that popped up during my google search. It scared the bejeezus out of me!

This is what I really meant

In my defense it’s been one hell of a long day.  Yes I’ve been studying for weeks now but today was really test/quiz intense and my brain was craving the idea of leaving it all behind and my body was itching to move. And move I did.

It was also a pretty emotional day just because of all the testing.  I think I’ve mentioned this before but I suffer from really bad testing anxiety so emotions were obviously going to be running high.  And, while I didn’t do badly at all on the tests and quizzes I took today, I didn’t do as well as I wanted.  But it’s hard to hit the “A” goal when it’s perfection.  And running releases that to a degree.

Like last time I’ll recap it in three different runs.

Run 1:

  • 0830
  • 9.3 miles
  • 80 minutes 43 seconds
  • 8:41 pace

I don’t really know what possessed me to go so far for a first thing run.  I slept terribly last night. Weird because some sort of front came through and knocked the humidity out of the air so theoretically I should have slept like a baby. But I was up late doing work and I think I was just overtired.  So I didn’t fall asleep until 0200 or 0300.  And naturally I wake up at 0800.

The lack of humidity (hello 40%!!) probably made me run so far though.  It was practically chilly when I stepped outside and, for the first time in awhile, I felt awkward running in just a sports bra and shorts.  The start of the run was, like always, a bit rough but my legs kicked it into high gear in no time and I was WAY surprised when I passed my street and thought to myself, hey let’s go further. I was even more surprised when I figured out my pace with about a half mile to go and realized that I was running way fast.

Go me.

Run 2

  • 1230
  • 8 miles
  • 67 minutes 59 seconds
  • 8:30 pace

I had just finished up an Orgo section on oxygen binding molecules.  Fun stuff.  And no, I’m not really kidding there.  I LOVED orgo when I took it.  There’s something about it that is amazing and nice and…I’ll stop there as I don’t want to fully cement my nerd status just yet.  It’s also hard to hate on a subject where, in one of the labs, I got to make 95% ethanol.  That’s 180 proof.  I’m a bamf.

Where was I…oh yes the run.  Regardless of how much I love orgo it still is tricky stuff.  So my body was ready to GO from sitting and working and my brain was ready to GO because it was pumped after doing an orgo section.  So after 6 miles I looked at my pace and figured that 2 more miles wouldn’t hurt. I felt good and happy and strong.

The weather was also still REALLY nice.  There’s always a trade off with heat and humidity: early mornings = high humidity but low heat and afternoons = low humidity but high heat.  Sure it wasn’t COLD when I went out for this run but a very pleasant 75* with, and OMG, 35% humidity.  I can’t remember the last time there was so little water in the air.

Don’t be too jealous though because tomorrow the humidity is supposed to come back with a vengence

Run 3

  • 1700
  • 4.2 miles
  • 36 minutes 13 seconds
  • 8:38 pace

At this point in the day I had done SO. MUCH. TESTING.  Granted, like I mentioned above the orgo I like and don’t mind doing.  But my PM studying/testing was in Verbal.  Now don’t get me wrong: I’ve always tested well on verbal and I probably could say it’s my strongest section for the MCAT (There are 3 well really 4 but Writing doesn’t count: Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning and Biological Sciences) but no matter how well I do on the subject, it’s very mentally draining.

I probably wasn’t being the smaaaahtest person ever by running 17.3 miles prior to this point but hey, it happens.  I also knew that I needed to run.  So I planned to do only 3 knowing full well that, like the rest of my runs today, it would end up being longer.  Which, duh, it was.

The run itself was really good.  The beginning sucked.  My legs were stiff from the miles and the Verbal section test but I picked up the pace and fell into a groove.  I was very surprised to see that my pace was so good.  Normally on runs I check my watch at familiar checkpoints just to use as a gauge for how I’m doing.  I don’t know where they come mileage wise or anything but they’re just relative reference points.  I didn’t do that this run because I was just trying to unwind from the day so if I had to base it just on feel I would have said I was eh.  Pacing is such an elusive thing but I didn’t really feel like I was running mid-8s.

Total for the day

  • 21.5 miles
  • 3 hours 4 minutes 55 seconds
  • 8:36 pace

Great day.

I’m obviously not planning to do this again.  Or at least purposely.  Maybe my next post about this will be “Gimme More” or something 😉

I’ve got to get back to studying.  *LeSigh* My brain is sufficiently recharged from my running and I think I can tackle another chapter or two of Biology.

I also need to solidify plans for the 4th of July as well as a week in August when I don’t have ANYTHING to nail me down to a specific location the way my class is now (can you tell how much I want to procrastinate after a full day of work? haha). I was originally going to go up to my friend’s house on Lake Winnipesaukee this weekend but I have to take a full length MCAT on Saturday and I have an early morning appointment on Monday the 5th.  So it doesn’t make sense to drive 2ish hours to be up there for not even 24 hours.  Bummer.  Anyone doing anything spectacular to give me an idea to steal? A couple friends have to work that weekend too so we’ll be hanging out and celebrating America  8)

EDIT: Kristin brought up a good point in the comments about not relying so heavily on running as my release.  I completely agree! Today was probably the exception as I’ve been pretty good about tuning into the Office for breaks. Like you said, running is just such a release. I know it CAN’T be my only one so I’ve been experimenting with other things (TV, trashy mags) but haven’t really posted about them as I just don’t plain like them as much as running as well as the fact that this is a running blog. But I see the point. Thanks for looking out for me guys :)

June 29, 2010

¡Viva la España!

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

Uh-oh. Definitely spoke too soon about the whole crazy lady not calling me.  Because she did.  Apparently while I’ve been thinking I’m all coy about dodging her they were on vacay.  And now they’re back.  I didn’t actually take the call but I know I have to return it.  She mentioned to whoever took the message for me that she would pay me.  My  mom actually knows who she is and told me that I’d be “effing stupid” to not take the money.  Haha.  We’ll see how it goes.  My bank account has been dwindling lately.

Apparently Uncle Sam’s has been too because I’ve been told that I cannot fly to Philly for my job training in two weeks.  Too expensive.  So I have to take the train.  Ugh.  At least I’ll have plenty of time to study for the MCAT — which I’m taking in 6 weeks.  (Holy Moly.  6 weeks?! OMG freak out time!)

As some of you noted running has been a great stress relief from the test.  Definitely why my miles are so high lately.  I’m also liking the no real structure to my running and I think the lack of pressure has made my pace drop as well.  That and my whole lack of sleep rule.  As a few of you asked, no I don’t have AC in my house so I’m guessing that sleep is going to be fitful for the rest of the summer.  I rely on my good old trusty window fan.  I can get a semi-cross breeze as I’m on the corner of the house with two windows.  Sometimes it can be a help sometimes not.

But enough about stress and complaining.  And on to running!

This morning I woke up and wanted to get in a good run before I had to deal with my pre-med advisor.  I also had to drive my sister to camp so I woke up extra early.  In vain too, because when I got back from my run I had a message waiting for me saying that, despite taking the past 4 weeks off he wasn’t going to be in today and the office didn’t know if he would be in all week.  Ummm did I mention that I wanted to get these applications in pronto?

Oh wait, did I say I wasn’t going to complain?! Oops 🙂

But in some ways it was good that I was under the impression the meeting would still happen because I ran very decently this morning in my haste to get it done before the day started.  I wasn’t so sure when I first got up because my legs were a bit stiff from the lifting of Monday and my leg had been feeling achy last night.  It was almost as though I was one of those old people that could feel when the weather was changing.  No pain but I was like, GAH I’m soooo old hahah.

But I loosened up after the first 10 minutes or so like I always do.  I think it helped that it was slightly cooler this morning than yesterday and slightly less humid.  Granted by the end of the run I doubt that anyone could tell the difference but for the first part of the run it wasn’t so bad.

And, while I know many of you run in hotter weather, I miss my perfect late-May / early June morning weather.  I do, however, thrive in heat, as evidenced by my great running this summer.  I’m the NE girl who prays for this weather in January.  I just don’t like looking like I went for a swim after an 0800 run.  Oh well.  Win/Lose situation I guess.

I chose to do 2 X 5.5 miles just because it was easy to quit after one if I wanted.  Anyone else do that? I’ve never actually quit after the first loop of something but I rarely do full one-loop long runs anymore.  I think it’s partly a mental thing as NOT quitting or giving in makes me a tough chic 8)

I even negative splitted it which was really nice to see as it’s been awhile since I did a LR first thing in the morning.  And, while I fully will take pride in ANY negative split, it was a 3 minute negative split.  Great way to start the morning and, despite the lack of pre-med meetings, I’ve been pretty productive.  Another great way to start the morning / day.

Off to study MORE before my class.  Or maybe just pretend to study as the Spain-Portugal game is on right now. ¡Viva la España!

Oh and I want to say how awesome Rebecca is.  She ran the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon over the weekend and was a champ.  You can read how she did here.  I’m totally thrilled to be called her mini-me 🙂

June 28, 2010

Gah Who Turned Up The Heat?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:25

Not that it’s summer or anything like that…

But I don’t want my relatively cool mornings to go away! It was 82* when I woke up this morning with roughly the same humidity.  Not cool Mother Nature.  Not cool at all. But I think I hear thunder in the distance so maybe it’ll cool off?

I think that the weather is part of the reason I can’t seem to sleep at all anymore.  In the past week or so I’ve maybe gotten 5 or 6 hours a night.  It’s not like I’m not trying to sleep or anything.  But I just can’t seem to nod off.  I guess I’m just under a bunch of stress and my brain doesn’t think it deserves to turn off or something.  I’m hoping that this, like everything, is cyclical and I’ll be back to sleeping soundly in no time.

I have been running a lot lately too (when I told a friend how much I ran, she looked at me and was like, “well I guess you’ve been under so much stress lately…”) and I’m not discounting that effect in my disrupted sleep.  And by “a lot” I mean that by looking at my training log you’d think I was training for a marathon.  I’m almost embarrassed for the time when I have to total up the month of June, as well as the half way through 2010 point, and actually come out of the denial that I’ve been living in with regards to my mileage.  Currently I’m in the mindset that if I don’t actual have hard data on total miles then I’m okay.

But let’s just say that I’ve been running an obscene amount.  It’s making me think that I should sign up for a marathon or something. You’ll see in a few days when June wraps up (YIKES!).

I can start to feel the miles adding up too.  Just little aches and tightness that make me want to schedule a massage.  No pain but my muscles have been in high demand lately.  I’m not sure if it’s the miles per se or if I need new shoes.  The stupid ones I’m in now are NOT holding up the way my beloved New Balances did.  I’m probably going to have to shell out some $$.  Soon. Boo.

The numbers, however, do not seem to want to taper off and I keep running faster (and keep sounding like a broken record!).  Case in point: this morning during my run the leg-os were feeling a bit sluggish for maybe 75% of my run but if you were to look at my overall time for the run you wouldn’t think that at all.  Heck, when I look at the numbers from this morning I’m like, “I was feeling slow?!” Oh relativity.  And so much for not using my physics degree ever because I think that every event in my life I relate to some physics concept tee-hee 🙂

Hello. My name is MM and I am a nerd

I actually even have glasses.  But I like to think I look hot in them 😉

In addition to running earlier today I had 2 runs yesterday.  The morning one was FAST and I felt like I was flying.  It was the type of run that I didn’t want to stop because I was just feeling so strong and powerful.  Weird because it was the morning.  (Lately if I do a double it’s first thing and then around dinner.  With the lack of sleep I need something to wake me up.  My  post-study break mid-day is  now a food one 😉 ) It was the greatest feeling ever though and one where afterward I felt like I could pretend that I was an elite runner hah! My legs during the second one felt a little like jello but, in true MM form as of late,  the pace was stellar.

Since the last time I posted, and talked about how I was feeling the lack of gym-time guilt, I did hit up the gym.  Today in fact.  I went in the early afternoon and it was a god-send to be in air conditioning.  I think I might go to the gym everyday just to feel the air conditioning.  I almost didn’t but seeing Lacey post her workouts everyday gave me the kick is the butt to go.  It was one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done (well maybe not but it sure felt it) but, like always, I felt good when I was done.  Maybe it’s just vanity but I love the way I look after a good lifting session.  I know you can’t see results immediately but I always feel like my muscles are just a bit nicer looking.  Again, I’m vain so I would notice these things.

Oh and on another running related front, I still haven’t seen that lady yet.  I’m totally not complaining but I’m waiting for the moment when she, like, pops out of the woods at me during a run.  Which is scary in and of itself but I zone out wicked bad when I run so I’m likely to die of a heart attack.  So, while I haven’t been a regular blogger lately because of MCAT stuff, if I don’t post for a few days send up a quick prayer that I’m recovering from said heart attack.   Or a prayer that MCAT stress goes down.  I’ll take that too 🙂

Sorry for a kind of blah post.  I’ve been pretty distracted lately and without focus to be all exciting haha. Hope everyone is having a great start to your week!  I know I am because, despite the heat, when I woke up this morning there was NO ONE home and no one has come home since then.  Not that I’m complaining or anything because it was a pleasant surprise to be able to have quiet to study in for once.

And check out this giveaway from Emily and RunningDivaMom

June 26, 2010

Faster and Faster

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:18

First off: I got a call from my roomie for the next year and we officially have a place for the next year 🙂 YAY.  Very very exciting because we got the place that we really wanted.  There was some drama with finding a third roommate but the place was just too good to not try.  And try we did and finally someone wanted to commit.  Hip hip hooray!  This is a pretty big sigh of relief. Woot. Especially since I figured I’d be living with my family until I died.  Now it’s almost like I’m a “real person”.  Almost.

Anyway.

I’m still not considering myself a real person yet.  Maybe because I’m still in the mindset of a student with all the studying I’m doing.  Yesterday (Friday) was no different. Blah.

I mentioned the other day that I was falling out of love with lifting.  Still totally is the case as I could not motivate myself to get to the gym on Friday for my typical Friday lifting session.  It’s not like I was soooooo exhausted of anything like that.  I woke up with 2 minutes to spare before my alarm went off, said “Eff this” to lifting and reset my alarm for another half hour.  Who am I?! Hahah.  Even though I didn’t fall back asleep (I’ve been having the absolute worst time falling/staying asleep lately) it was nice to just lay there with my covers draped around me all cozy.

I was feeling sufficiently guilty, though, that when my alarm did go off I went for a short run to wake up.  But lifting? Ehhhh not so much.  It’s not that I don’t *want* to lift but at the moment I don’t want to have to drive to the gym.  I wish that my dad had left all his gym equipment when he moved out.  Oh Newton and your first law of motion (inertia).

But the run was good and got me focused for some studying.  One of the reasons I really love running first thing in the morning is that I become AWAKE after.  Not all groggy-eyed.  Clears the cob-webs and sleepytime fuzzies.  Definitely a good thing because there’s lots of studying to be done!  And I think I’m slowly getting my groove back with the studying.  This past week has just felt a little off and I’ve had no desire to study.  Luckily for me and my medical future that’s turning around.

So after a looooooong freaking day of studying I got a little restless and was itching for a run.  Go figure.  I headed out about 1700 or so and was planning on getting in 4 to release all the tension that had built up over the course of my studying.  I must have been in the self-punishing mood, it was a pretty rough day mentally after all, and apparently I figured my body would want the same sort of thing because I did the 4 on the hilliest route ever.

Okay so grand scheme of things it likely wasn’t all that hilly.  But for where I am located at the moment it’s like the most hilly thing ever.  I blame the fact that I spent 4 years at a school with no hills.  I was spoiled.  And now I’m kind of a brat with hills.  Although it’s more love/hate because I love knowing that I beasted them but when I’m at the base of one I shudder a bit.

But it was a really good run regardless.  My body was ready to GO and I ran it pretty fast.  Even faster when I saw crazy lady walking across the playground field near my house.  I think she was with her daughter, so I feel bad for doing this, but I actually sprinted away.  And I didn’t slow down until I was at my house.  I don’t know if I thought she’d come after me or something but I wasn’t taking any chances.  I just didn’t want to get caught up in a loooooooong freaking conversation.  Even though her daughter was there and it would have been nice to introduce myself.  I’m SUCH a bad person.

On the plus side, that last fast mile gave me some time to do some ab/core work that I’ve been neglecting lately as I finished my run early and didn’t have to start dinner for the family yet.

As I’ve been writing over the past few days my running has been going really well, as evidenced by my latest runs.  Ever since running with Jess a week ago (wow time FLIES) my runs have been *fast* and *furious* (I was going to say strong but I like the alliteration and Paul Walker).  I credit her for injecting a little speed into my legs.  We ran pretty fast.  I can’t remember what our exact pace was over all without getting up and looking at my log book but it was a progressive run and I remember her saying that we hit one of the later miles at 8:15.  Which I just don’t do.  But, and while I don’t know individual mile splits, my overall splits have been getting faster ever since that run.  Woot.  I’m going to credit her because she’s fast and awesome 🙂

But with the increase in pace is an increase in intensity which means I’ve been losing major water weight during my runs.  And I’ve never denied being a bad hydrator.  I don’t know why but I need to be getting better and actually forcing myself to chug the good old H2O because, and I’m a bit shamed to admit this, on one of my runs this week I lost 3(!) pounds.  Ummmm that’s a lot.  So I’ve actually been thinking of duct-taping a water bottle to my hands or something.   But then it’d be awkward to study.  Which I should get cracking on because…

GO USA!!

Hot.

Check out this giveaway from ShutUpandRun

June 24, 2010

As Many Things As I Want Thursday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:15

Soooooooo I’m kind of liking the Three Four As Many Things As I Want Thursday.  I don’t think I did it last week but whatever. I’m feeling a bit lazy today.  Or just too busy to really think of anything creative. Or maybe I just like the bullet style 🙂

But first (and I’m not counting this as one of my Four Billion Things) I’m really glad that you guys agree with the whole “Tell Yourself You’re Awesome” deal-io.  I know it’s kind of a “heavy” topic or at least a more personal one for a blog, and I debated a bit before hitting publish, but worth it to get it out there that dealing with insecurities with running is NORMAL. It happens to everyone and, to beat a dead horse, I think there was an article awhile ago about Kara Goucher having lots of self-doubts.  So we’re in good company 🙂

I also think that on some level, that having small insecurities is a good thing because it shows that there is passion and a sense of *caring* involved.  If you’re so confident that you’re going to do well or awesome or amazing then, at some level, what’s the point of even trying?  Sometimes the fact that I don’t know if I can complete a run is just fuel to go out there and do it.

Okay so now my Four Things.  It did start out with four but then I decided to add more.  Because it’s been a way to procrastinate on my studying.  Oops.

  • Last night I decided to call it an early night of studying and went to a BBQ.  I think technically it was a housewarming party for my friend? Buttttt it wasn’t at her new place.  So I was a bit confused.  But a night out with the girls is always appreciated.  Drinking + farm stand ice cream (her family runs a state park) + good music = dance party.  Can I get some love for the dance party?
  • My toes still feel weird.  And I’m still not quite sure what it is .  A couple people suggested that my shoes are too tight but I would have thought it would result in blisters if that was the case.  This is more that the tendons and muscles are sore and almost tender-like.  Jess made a really good point that I’ve been trying to run on my toes a bit more (it makes me feel and go a bit faster I think. Maybe it’s all mental.  I will say that it takes so much effort to do so though despite the more powerful feeling)
  • Plus these shoes I’ve been wearing for….well I think the term “awhile” is an understatement 😛  But maybe rather than being too small they’re just worn out. LeSigh. I have given consideration to the fact that I’ve been running A LOT lately.  Like practically marathon training weeks.  It’s almost embarrassing how much I’m running lately. Therefore…
  • I need to plan some races.  Yes I love running but lately I’ve just been running for the sake of running.  Which was fine post-Boston but Boston was kind of a long time ago.  I need to regain some speed.  It’s not like I’m not thinking about it.  Pretty much on every run I go on I’m like “Damn.  I should do something fast today.  But then I get settled into a pace.  And no fastness occurs.  I’m pretty sure having a race on the docket would change that but hey, I’m too lazy to do some actual searching.  I should hire a personal assistant or something.
  • I also need a vacation.  Seriously.  I have job training in Philly during July and probably will stay with a friend for a couple extra days after but I want a tropical island vacation.  Or actually anything that isn’t where I am now.  Sadly my schedule is so tight this summer that it’s going to be hard to do.  But not impossible.  Kind of as a tangent to racing, I’ve been toying with the idea of a destination race.  Likely a marathon because it just doesn’t seem right to travel and do anything less.  I’m totally open to suggestions and, while I am starting a year of poverty service in August I’m not going to be really picky about cost.  Wow. Those are words I never thought I’d say.  Thoughts?
  • I actually am wearing sunscreen right now.  Well maybe not as I think I sweated it all off on my run just a few moments ago.  But I’ve been waking up recently and the first thing I see are two scars on my chest from getting two *atypical* moles removed recently and I realized I needed to just suck it up and wear the stupid sunscreen.  Skin cancer is probably one of the, if not THE, most preventable cancer due to sun exposure which is in our control.  I need to smarten up and make sunscreen the first thing I put on everyday.
  • My second run went well yesterday and was incredibly faster than the first 7 miler.  I ran the same route as the morning run just to see what kind of difference I could produce.  It was about a 5 minute difference.  Hollllleeeerrrrrr.  And my run this afternoon was a lovely 8 miler that was, oh I don’t know, 8:22 pace.  Where is this coming from? I still think I’m dehydrated, sleep deprived and stressed out though.  Maybe that should be my new math equation to good running 😉
  • I’m stealing this one from Ada because I really liked it: What are the 10 countries in the world that only have 4 letters in them? I got 5 of ’em before I had to resort to google.  And she posted the answers in a recent post so you can cheat that way if you want 😉

So much for Three Things ahahah.  Maybe I should have majored in English or Writing rather than Physics. Hope everyone enjoy their Thursdays 🙂 And here are two pictures of me and Jess when she was here in Boston over the weekend.

We look incredibly put together for having run 9 miles!

And again. We look really put together. And awesome 🙂

June 23, 2010

Because Clearly I Am Awesome

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

This is a bit random and there really isn’t any context for me wanting to bring it up. I don’t think it’s any secret that I struggle a bit with confidence issues.  This week has been pretty tough in that department and I feel a little beaten up.  MCAT studying and running had been kind of hit or miss lately. So imagine my surprise when I found this quote in my inbox:

Believe deep down in your heart that you’re destined to do great things.
Joe Paterno, Head football coach of Penn State University

And it gave me chills.  Because it was just what my friends have been telling me lately and exactly what I needed to see. After my MCAT class Tuesday night I headed over to my friends house to chill and she gave me a pep talk that bears repeating (and it really stuck with me so I’m 99.99% sure this is verbatim): “Listen I know that you don’t believe that you’re hot, smart, funny, fast or awesome.  And I know that you pull away from anything or anyone that tells you this.  But I’m going to be the doctor now and write you a prescription.  Every hour on the hour I need to you say OUT LOUD that “I am freaking awesome”.  It’s like Nazi propaganda: if you say something enough times you’ll believe it to be true

No joke about that last part.  It’s true.  Saying something enough times will eventually turn it into a truth.  Maybe not the best analogy because Nazi propaganda was based in lies and I’m pretty sure she was trying to tell me that my “lies” are actually truth.  But I think she’d been drinking and I’ll forgive her for that one.  She’s also making me a copy of her “pump up” mix, which is something she listens too before big events like presentations and whatnot. I’m actually pretty excited for that one.

So I guess my prescription is an apt one.  It’s not like I’m wallowing in self-pity or anything.  Totally not the case but every once in awhile life gets extra tough and tries to knock you down.  It can lead into a snowball effect and it’s good to get a verbal reminder from inside that you’re awesome.  So I challenge YOU to tell yourself that you’re amazing and awesome and the world’s best person 🙂

Something not so awesome though? My toes.

And I just re-read that transition and my first thought was: “Oh snap another toe infection?” hahah NO.

For some reason the spot where my toes connect to my actual feet is feeling achy.  I discovered it Saturday night because I have this awkward/nervous habit of rising up on my toes, the way a dancer would, when I feel awkward (and trust me this happens a lot.  MM is a very awkward chick) which then stretches that spot.  And I really felt like tendons/muscles were being pulled and stretched.  Very weird and I’m not quite sure what to chalk it up to.  I was thinking too many miles on my shoes but the pair I’m in now has *only* 1021 miles and I’m not feeling the usual shin splits pain of worn out shoes so I’m my wallet is hoping to still get more.

Neither is my running suffering as a result.  Since my last post I got in

  • 8.3 miles on Monday.  Okay so maybe not the greatest example of good running.  I think the dehydration I was talking about occurring Saturday and Sunday was still in effect as I had the worst stomach/intestinal pain ever.  It felt as though daggers were stabbing me in the gut. Granted the pain subsided after 2 or so miles but  I really have no idea how I got through them.  I’m stubborn I guess.  Or a masochist.  Either way I did the miles @ 8:55 pace which felt miraculous given how I felt at the beginning.
  • Lifting and 10 Tuesday.  I’ve fallen out of love with lifting lately.  When my alarm went off that morning I wanted to throw it against the wall.  But once I’m up there’s no falling back asleep blahh. So I drug my butt to the gym.  I’m actually pretty happy that I did because I was offered to work a couple shifts coming up.  Makes me feel a little better about using the gym for free and not even having a small regular shift like summers past.  The 10 miles I did before my class were pretty great.  I only had planned on going 6 or 7 but I just felt on. It was very humid out and VERY hard to breathe at first but I just got into a groove.
  • 2 X 7 miles Wednesday.  Well that’s the plan at least.  I was woken up by my 14 year old brother at 0755 saying that I needed to drive him to work at 0800.  So much for sleeping in.  Once I got back to the house I figured that I’d skip my mid-day run and just get something in before settling down to run.  Surprisingly this run was really good.  Maybe the whole waking up mid-sleep cycle thing? Aside from the first 5 minutes or so the rest of the run felt effortless and gliding.  And summer truly must be here because it was sports bra and shorts only weather at 0800.  I know that many of you have worse weather but I’m not ready for 80* with ~75% humidity that early.

I”m actually getting ready to head out for the second 7 miler soon.  Just need to finish up a section on solution equilibria. Yes my life is the most exciting thing ever.  Hopefully the run will feel just as great as my morning run did.  Or better. That would be pretty awesome.  Fitting for an awesome person 😛

June 21, 2010

I Think That I’ve Found My New Training Plan

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

First: Happy first day of summer.  Longest day of the year today  🙂

Nope no race on the horizon or anything like that but (and here’s major NERD alert coming) there is a mathematical law to my running that looks like this:

Running α drinks consumed
Running  α 1/sleep

Seriously.  For those of you who aren’t as awesome as me don’t love math that much: that fish symbol means “proportional to” and over the past few years I’ve definitely seen my running go easier / faster when I’m running on no sleep (or very little) and having been out the night before.  Guess that’s something to ponder the next time I’m training for something.

But backing up: this weekend was pretty sweet as I got to meet and run with JESS.  She’s pretty much the nicest person ever too.  She was in Boston for the weekend on a fun trip and, since I live outside the city, I thought it would be cool to run together. I kind of suggested running in jest, she’s A LOT faster than me, but she was up for it and we settled on getting together on Saturday morning.

We ran along the Charles, which as I am not from the city, I had never done before.  And omg it was gorgeous.  I kind of wish I had brought my camera (Jess said the same thing) but I never bring my camera anywhere anymore.  Oops. There were also a lot of runners out running, rowers on the water.  It was kind of weird to see so many people out.  Cool but weird.  Normally when I run at home I rarely see others out.

The actual run itself was great too.  The pace felt really good/easy (and surprise: little sleep the night before!) and we chatted the whole time.   Before we knew it the time had come to turn around and head back to her hotel.  We ended up with 7 miles in pretty much an hour exactly.  When we got back to the hotel her travel mates were all still asleep and we went back out for 2 more miles.  And since they were still asleep when we got back from that we walked up and down Newbury Street for a bit.

It was so much fun getting to meet her and, because she’s so nice, she invited me to hang out with them all day.  I declined as I had to study lots as well as I didn’t want to intrude on their vacation at all.  We did end up hanging out again that night and going out and it was fun to see her in a non-running setting because that’s the only way I knew her before.  Although, you know what was disappointing? No accents.  I know I said this a billion times that night, and her friends must think I’m the most annoying person *ever*, but I was really hoping for some strong accents.  Bummer.

And just to reiterate how awesome she is: she insisted I stay the night in the city so I didn’t have to worry about heading back out to the suburbs.  Amazingly nice (as were all her friends too).

Here’s where the whole “running-is-awesome-on-no-sleep” comes in.  I got back home ~11am.  The sun was out and it was pretty hot (although I feel weird complaining about the heat here as Jess was saying how much *nicer* it is here) but I needed something to refocus me before studying.  I figured that a short run would be good for that (duh — what else would I think?) but I ended up running 14.2 miles.  And fast too. Without getting up and checking what I wrote down my pace was, I’m going to say 8:27 and that sounds right.  I know it was under 8:30.  Ummm what?

Definitely the longest single run I’ve done in awhile as well as easily one of the fastest, if not ever than at least in recent memory.  I didn’t want to stop but thinking about the studying I had to do threw me into a panic and I nixed it. Too bad.  When I’m running well I always want to take advantage because I’m so paranoid that it’s going to go away and never return.

But a great run. Even better because I didn’t see that lady and she has NOT called me yet.  I’m kind of praying she doesn’t at all.  Maybe she forgot my number.  Wouldn’t that be nice.  I loved reading all your advice too about what to do.  Hoping that I don’t need it though.  Although, like I said last time: I’m too damn nice for my own good.

Oh well and  despite having a great run, the rest of the day was spent feeling a bit under the weather.  Apparently, and after all my MCAT studying this little tidbit must have gotten pushed out of my brain, alcohol is dehydrating.  I’m also notoriously bad at hydrating.  And since I love math here’s another equation for you:

alcohol the night before + 90* temps + running – water =/= good.

So I kind of spent the rest of the day recouping and staying low key.  Just as well because I hadn’t done such a long run in awhile nor had I really gone out and stayed out so late in awhile (oh thanks MCAT).  I also have various bruises and other marks from Saturday night which I discovered while lounging about.  Which I do remember getting but in that “ooooooooh yeah” sense.

Third equation:

alcohol + accident prone girl = ouch

But the laying low this was kind of a good thing (as you probably already know that relaxing is not my forte), and I’m trying to see the positive side here, I was able to get some quality studying done that day too.  Which I really should get back too but I keep playing this on repeat.  And it makes me want a dance party.  Real bad.

June 18, 2010

Too Nice For My Own Good

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

Ever read that book? Alexander and the Horrible Terrible No Good Very Bad Day? (or something like that).  Well that’s how my Thursday went.

Or I shouldn’t really say that because nothing went totally bad.  Just everything was off enough to put me in a bad mood.  I was pissed off enough to skip a Celtics viewing party and watch the game wrapped up under my covers.  Which made it even sadder because they lost.  Boo.

I’m not going to recap the whole day (who wants to read about all complain-y-ness?) but I do want to share more about this whole mentoring thing because I’m not quite sure what I’m getting myself into anymore.

Oh no.  Yup. She’s a helicopter parent.  That woman stopped me again (this is time #3 in 4 days and would have been #4 if I hadn’t blown right by her on one of my Wednesday runs). It’s getting to the point where I want to change my running routine in terms of timing or routes.

Now, I don’t have anything against meeting with her daughter and doing the whole “exposure to running” thing but this mom is effing crazy.  Every time she stops me it’s a 15+ minute conversation because I’m too GD nice to do anything.  I do eventually sneak a peak at my watch and she gets the hint but UGH.  And I really do want to give her daughter a chance.  I know that if I were judged by my parents….well let’s just say I would never want that to happen.

What made me really uncomfortable, however, was the fact that she mentioned paying me.  On one hand, I’m like “effing take it MM!” because I’m really effing poor.  But I think that I’m going to end up declining (too GD nice again) because I think it would make any sort of contact with the girl awkward.  Like, your mom is paying me for this.  Not what I want and it makes me more coach than role model.  But still, not going to lie: the appeal of the money is soooooooooo tempting.

She asked me for my number, which I expected her to do eventually, and said that SHE’D call me.  Not the girl.  Her.  I hinted at the fact that the girl should call me to chat but I’m clearly not an aggressive person and I’m awkward so who knows what will happen. I gave her my family landline and have taped a sticky to the phone that if she calls to take her fill name and number (because, while I know the girl’s name, I do not know hers…or her last name. Sketch) but DO NOT GIVE OUT MY CELL.  I even wrote “she’s effing crazy”  on the note.  Probably the smartest thing I’ve done.

Again, I still really do want to meet with the girl.  Crazy parent aside I think that all young girls (and boys) should have as many different types of people in their lives and diversity to expose them to many ideas and, like Rebecca said, instill passion.  Yes that might sound idealistic but running can be a vehicle for many different things (hello my life!). And even if she doesn’t want to commit to anything ever running wise in her life I think that it’ll be fun and nice for her.  Hell I wish I had SOMEONE to look up to growing up.  Someone that I could be like “I want to be like you in X number of years”

Whew that was one long rant-y thing hahah. Moving along…

Anyway the rest of my day was filled with the random annoyances: not enough time to do things, taking 2 hours to drive to my class which is 18 miles away thus being an hour late (!), running out of gas on I-95 (major highway) and slicing open my finger with a can while making dinner.  Fun stuff let me assure you.

But regardless of the other stuff in my day I did get a good run in.  Despite the 21 mile epic-ness of Wednesday (which thanks for all the positive comments.  As much as it felt great to do it it definitely won’t be any sore of regular occurrence! But I like knowing that I can do it 🙂 )I woke up feeling good.  The legs were a touch sore but, if I remember correctly, I’ve never been really sore after my LRs.  I was a bit extra tired and groggy Thursday morning but I’m blaming that on the accumulated sleep debt I’m in as my days get longer with studying. I mean I could do stuff like stretch, ice and foam roll buttttttt….enough said there 😉

The run was on-par with what I’ve been doing lately in terms of pacing which made me happy.  The first mile was very rough and sluggish and junk.  But that’s also on par with what I’ve been doing lately.  Strong finish? Yup that too.

Well maybe not a 100% finish strong.  From ~50% – 75% of the way through the run my legs were tired.  I don’t think my pace changed at all, at in the end even if it did the effect wasn’t great on the overall pace, but I just noticed them more.  They were *there*.  But of course I had run 21 freaking miles the day before.  And with that final quarter kick I’m willing to forgive my legs for the mishap 😉

Because it’s so much fun to finish strong.  Seriously.  It’s like, what now? I’m powerful. I’m fierce. Bring it life.

I effing LOVE Tyra. Well I guess it's more love/hate hah

And then sometimes, in the case of Thursday, life does bring it 😛

But the weekend is looking good:

  • Friday (today I guess) is my bro (K5)’s birthday.  (I suppose this is a double edged sword because Saturday night he’s having 5 friends sleep over.  Did I mention that he’s 14? UGH. ) And I’ve already gotten in a strong lifting session.  Sure because my body is still a little “off” (aka sleep deprived) I lowered the weights a bit — just by one dumbbell thingy — and I felt really good with it and my muscles felt that burning-but-not-dying feeling.  And I plan on getting a good 6-7 miler in later.  The temps are rising so it’ll be time to head out in a sports bra and work some more on that tan (SO BAD I know!)
  • Saturday I’m running with Jess while she’s in Boston.  The weather is suppose to be VERY nice and SUMMER.  I’m really excited to meet her! She’s taking a fun trip here and she’ll also be very likely kicking my booty in a major way when we run.  I’m secretly hoping that my usual buddy-MO pops up: faster = easier but who knows.  It’ll be fun regardless.

Sure I’ll also be studying mucho but it’s very hard to be in a pissy mood when good things are happening.

Check out this giveaway from Matt and one from Tricia

June 17, 2010

Mid-Week 20 Miler? Check. Well Sort Of

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

Conversation while I was studying at a friend’s house last night

Me: Yay another 100% on my quiz.
Friend: See? You’re pretty good at this electromagnetism stuff.
Me: It must be because I’m so attractive.

Okay so that was funnier in the moment I guess.

Something that wasn’t so funny in the moment but later (like a split second later)?  I think I forgot to mention this but when I went out with my friends last time (which was sooooo effing long ago. Damn you MCAT!) we went to a dive bar in the town next to us and who walks in? Yeah my dad.  It actually wasn’t as bad or as awkward as you’d imagine.  I think because I’m…(gulp) 23 years old and just, you know, graduated college my dad kind of expects that I go out.  But I won’t lie: seeing him walk through the door made my heart drop for a minute. I suppose I should have known to expect it when 1) the town you’re going to is where your dad lives and 2) the bar is owned by your dad’s friend.  Don’t know why I was reminded of that today but there’s a nice random story for you.

Moving along…

It was interesting reading your reactions to my…well I’m not going to call it coaching because I realized that I don’t want it to be like that.  Kristin summed it up best:  “an older, kick-butt runner gal cheering me on and asking how my training was going.”  I’m sure the mom was doing a bit of helicoptering when she initially talked to me so I’m going to call (or possibly be called) later this week and chat with the girl.  Many of you said to keep it low pressure and I was thinking a run or two a week, no more than 3 miles.  This way there’s no real commitment on either of our ends. Even if I was willing to do more than just be a role model I just can’t devote any time to stuff other than studying.   So thanks for all the advice and feedback 🙂

You know how I mentioned that I wanted to do a 20 miler, but split up over 3 runs? Well I was honest with you that once I put an idea out there I will follow through.  And I figured what better day than Wednesday? I knew that Thursday it couldn’t happen because of my class, Friday I wanted to get a weight session in which would cram those miles into 2 runs and if I waited until the weekend then I’d get pretty antsy and it would be all I would think about until then.

Therefore I bounded out of bed on Wednesday morning (after staying up far too late — but finishing! — The Lost Symbol) ready to tackle round 1 of the day.

0815 run: Sluggish. Ugh. I knew that my legs were just working out the morning kinks and that no matter what an 0800 run is going to suck for the first mile or so.  Even armed with that knowledge it’s not very nice mentally to know that run 1 of 3 and the first miles out of 20 are going to be lethargic.  Still I was only going to run 5.3 due to this fact but I perked up a bit and extended it to 7.   I figured that putting more miles in the morning would be easier by the time run 3 came along and it was the end of the day.  The weather likely helped in this decision: it got chilly last night so I was running in ~60* so tacking on the extra 1.7 felt comfortable.

Run 1:

  • 0815
  • 7 miles
  • 62:39 minutes
  • 8:57 pace

1200 run: My noon runs are always my favorites buttttt they always tend to get procrastinated on, at least the timing for when I leave the house as I’m usually knee deep in MCAT work.  But after 3 or 4 hours of studying I need the break.  I don’t really have much to say about this run except that, like most of my runs as of late, I negative split-ed it.  It was taken as more of a progression run and I always feel great toward the end of these runs.  I could just keep going and going.  Of course my study materials keep calling my name so I can’t but I want to.  It’s always a Last Mile Party a la Jess.

The initial plan for this run was 7-8 but around mile 6 I figured, like I did with the first run, that since I was feeling good I could extend it to 9 and make my life a little easier mentally when I headed out for run 3.  I’m really happy with the decision as I really was feeling good and ran the last mile really close to 8 pace.

I even got to wear my snazzy sunglasses (sorry for no picture) that make me feel like an elite runner.  Couple that with “fancier” shorts (read: not basketball ones) and I really feel special.  I don’t always wear the shades because…well let’s just say I’m vain enough to worry about tan lines.  So I’d rather suffer and squint.  Oops.

Run 2:

  • 1200
  • 9 miles
  • 78:59 minutes
  • 8:47 pace

1700 run: I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before but my house is at the bottom of a hill.  Legit bottom too.  So every run starts with uphill.  Not even 10 feet of flat to go before going up.  Normally not a problem buttttt not exactly what I wanted after putting in 16 miles on the day.  Sure going straight down at the end of a run is AWESOME but to start? Yeah not so much.

It was drizzling a bit when I left my house and I was really hoping for the rain to hold off.  I get kind of pissy sometimes in the rain.  Of course sometimes I really love it but I had the feeling this wouldn’t be one of them.  Luckily actual rain never materialized.  I don’t really have any straight-up even 4 routes so I chose my 4.2 route (an out-and-back) and then was feeling good so I tacked on some side streets to make it 5.  The first half was pretty easy and net downhill but going up a particular hill was a bit rough on the way back.  But whatever, besides that blip I was feeling good.  And it was a really great feeling to come blazing down that hill after putting in a grand total of 21 miles.

Run 3:

  • 1700
  • 5 miles
  • 43:53 minutes
  • 8:46 pace

I love how my last run of the day was also the fastest (albeit by 1 second per mile).  I think that my legs were warmed up and rarin’ to go.  Of course the time of day probably played a role.  I know that I run the fastest (or maybe the easiest effort for the same pace is the best way to put it?) between 1500-1800.  I just like running earlier.  Guess that’s just a trade-off.  Stupid circadian rhythms 🙂

Total for day:

  • 21 miles
  • 3 hours 5 minutes 31 seconds
  • 8:50 pace

I definitely don’t feel like I ran 21 miles (both yesterday and this morning).  I think the breaks between each one were enough to get food in me and put up my legs (while I studied ugh) and keep my legs from being beat up and totally depleted.  I really only felt it at the very beginning of a new run and I don’t know how much of it was tiredness from the previous one or just inertia holding me back.

Today will be easier.  Yes I’m going to run.  But only a single.  Partly because I’m assuming the “damage” to my tissues is the same overall regardless of how well I recovered in between runs and partly because I don’t have time to run more. And because if I run more then my food bill will likely exceed the national debt.

Just a note about food (I know this is a really long post. Sorry!): I really should have paid better attention to eating enough throughout the day.  I never went hungry and totally ate enough to fuel my running, but after dinner I realized that, for the amount I ran, I definitely didn’t eat enough and, consequently, tried to at least make up for some of it so I’m not a ravenous beast today.  Let’s just say that the stomach really isn’t all that expandable.  And luckily I have ample ginger ale 🙂

June 15, 2010

Oh Hey There Coach

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:08

I’m glad that many of you feel the same way about yoga as I do. Aka hate it.  Not to bash yoga, like I said yesterday, I really WANT to like it.  But for the past 5 years I just leave so agitated that I’ve stopped going.  I figured 5 years was enough to let my body adjust right? hahaha

I also love how you guys have told me to embrace the new normal. So that’s what I’m going to try to do.  I do have the mental roadblock of…well what happens if the old normal comes back? But I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Anyway, on my run…Saturday? Sunday? Yesterday? (My days are so mixed up!) a woman called out to me “Do you run for your school?”.  To which I turned around and was running backward (I hate to stop running mid-run!) “No but I’ve run marathons for myself”.  I thought that would be the end of it but NO she wanted to chat. Grrrrrrr.

Well it wasn’t sooooo bad.  Apparently her daughter runs XC for one of the private schools in town and just finished up her freshman year and wants to get better.  The mother sees me out running EVERYWHERE (well duh when you’re running doubles…) and wanted to know if I’d be interested in giving her daughter tips and whatnot and possibly running with her.

Well I’m not 100% thrilled with the idea for multiple reasons.

First, I hate running with others.  Yes I know I just wrote about my buddy run and how I enjoyed it but running with a 15 year old is a totally different thing.  Obviously there’s the whole “she’s 15 thing” but to be honest I hate changing my routine for people.  Especially when it’s regarding something I hold as me time.

Second, I am way to hard and demanding to be a coach or anything similar to that (I throw around the word coach but it’s not really what I’m doing.  I’d just be giving little pointers not like designing some big training scheme or anything).  I’m way to hard on myself (as I’m sure you’ve noticed) and I get easily frustrated when people don’t live up to my expectations.

So why did I say yes? Call me crazy but I like mentoring people.  I’ve actually based a lot of my high school and college extracurriculars on mentoring others.  And that’s what I consider this to be.  I’m obviously not getting paid or devising a way to make her the best runner on her team.  I guess what I’m really doing is trying to *inspire* her.

I don’t really consider myself “motivational” or “inspirational” (and no I’m not fishing for compliments here although if you’re so inclined…. 😛 ) but I have had people tell me that they love to see me running and that it makes them want to lace up their shoes and get out there.  I don’t know if I’ve actually gotten anyone to do it but planting the seed is the first step right?

It’s always awkward, though, when people say things like that because I have the gut reaction to deny it and play my attributes down as many people do (which is why this stupid medical school personal statement isn’t coming along as easily as I’d like).  And I’ll never forget the time I was at the gym doing quarter mile repeats and I had an older gentleman come up to me and tell me that I was the reason he kept working out longer.  Awwww. I then told him that he’s an inspiration to me because I want to be really active when I’m older too, which deflected the praise a bit.  Oops.

Bobbi had a good post on Monday about inspiration and how it’s an amazing feeling to know you have an impact on other people’s lives.  I know that there are so many people in the world, both who I know, “know” and don’t know, who inspire me and I guess I want to be able to give back to the running community because that’s one area of service I have yet to tap into. And if I can get this girl to be MORE into running (because, let’s face it, she must already like it if she’s on an XC team) then I’ll be happy.

Soooooooooo I want to hear from YOU: have you ever been told you’re an inspiration? Have you ever told someone that they are an inspiration to you? It’s funny how we’re often unaware that the things we do in everyday life are noticed by others and remembered.

AND: any tips for me so I don’t turn into a dictator? I just have such high expectations for everything that I can be a bit….well I don’t want to say mean but that’s probably how it comes out sometimes.  I just get so invested in something that I lose my objectivity.

And holy self-serving post Batman! Hopefully you guys don’t think of me as stuck up and high-and-mighty after reading this but it’s been something I’ve been thinking about lately after that woman stopped me.

Now time for clothes! Hahaha.  I think it was on Sunday a woman my mom works with decided that she didn’t want half her wardrobe or something so she sent home 2 bags of clothes that I got to go through.  Some workout stuff, some more “professional” looking.  Most of it still had the tags on?! Lots of the stuff didn’t fit but I have some nice (and apparently NEW) clothes.  Not like I really need more. Well the professional stuff yes. But everything else?*Inserteyerollhere*

And another frivolous thing: I bit my tongue yesterday eating lunch so hard that I was literally gushing blood! OMG it hurt so bad and now I have an open wound in my mouth.  Lovely.  That still hurts! Guess I’m going to have to break the salt addiction soon right Amy? Gahh I’m such a salt-a-holic (I put it on EVERYTHING. For realz).

Of course my running: it’s been going.  I’ve had this crazy notion of doing 20 miles.  Not in one fell swoop of course but 3 X ~7ish wouldn’t be so bad right? Just an idea at this point but you know me when I get an idea….like: it’s going to happen, the question just becomes when. Hahah.

Alright I need to go review some more before my class tonight (and since the CELTICS are at LA tonight therefore having a 2100 tip off,  I’ll be able to watch some of the game afterward) but I’m hoping everyone is having a great Tuesday 🙂

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