MarathonMaiden's Blog

July 27, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:54

Well another practice test done (#4 for those of you counting) and well maybe not woot.  I seem to have hit a glass ceiling so to speak.  My scores aren’t drastically improving the way I had hoped.  Part of it is me: I am notorious for under-performing on standardized tests and maybe I’m not studying as efficiently as I could be.  Part of it might be the tests themselves: I’ve heard that the Kaplan tests tend to run harder than what I’ll likely see on test day.

But not matter what it’s pretty damn frustrating.  I feel like I’m putting in the work and effort and not being rewarded for it.  Sure I have seen improvement but not enough to feel really good. I do have a new plan/strategy in place and hopefully I can make some progress in the next few days before I take another test.

I know some of you have commented on how frequently I’ve been taking the tests but, according to my syllabus, it’s not bad.  Take a test, write down the topics that were troublesome, study those, repeat.  In fact, it’s recommended at this stage in the course to take a test every other or every 2 days.  I hoping to get another 2, or even 3, before I leave for vacation in a little over a week (because god knows no studying will get done on vacay) then come back with 2ish days before my test where I can review the worst topics and maybe take another full length.  Good plan? We’ll see.  I think I’ll be okay as, to follow up on my marathon training = studying analogy, I’m in monster month now then I need a taper.

Oh well. Enough study talk.  Can you tell what my life has become lately?

The running part of my life has been a bit more encouraging. I have seen an improvement in my running which is nice.  It’s kind of funny though because each run feels good but slightly monotonous.  I suppose that’s why I like having a training plan: it forces me to change up my daily runs.  Nowadays I just go.  Which is fun in and of itself but not completely satisfying.

Case in point: Yesterday (Monday) I went for a 7 mile run.  And I ran it in 58.18 minutes.  Aka an 8:20 pace.  And it felt so effortless.  Great I suppose.  I love it when I surprise myself and actually can think for a minute that I’m good at running.  But because it was a really easy effort I felt a bit blase about it because it was just a run.  Not that I’m belittling the run itself.  But there’s no excitement at the moment.  No “OMG I’m making progress” because I’m not really. At least not toward any goal.

Because there has been progress of sorts. As I wrote last time I had suspected that my weekly average pace was going to be faster than I’ve seen in recent weeks and I was right.  Yes, I’ve seen faster paces on individual runs in the past but to have a week where the average is that? Quite honestly: it stuns me.  I guess my legs bounced back faster than I thought they would.  I’m going to wager that this upcoming week will be just as fast.  In comparison:

  • Pre-Philly week: 111.1 miles with an average pace of 8:43
  • This past week was 56.4 miles with an average pace of 8:30.

Which puts me in a conundrum: racing.  Clearly my body is primed for it.  My life, however, is not.  The next 3 weeks are going to be stressful, to say the least, and then I launch straight into my job.  I know that hitting up a race is possible but the idea of finding one and, this is the most important part, placing something else into my calendar is a bit stressful.  And more stress is not what I need.

But enough about me complaining.  I do want to race a half marathon with Lacey in September as well as a 10k with her in October and likely will as I am wicked excited for it.  But I just feel like I could smash a record now.  Unfortunate timing.  Story of my life.

Also unfortunate timing? My run today.  Since the test takes 5ish hours clearly no morning run would happen. Meaning that I’m running now at the hottest part of the day.  Bleh. At least it’s not the most humid part.  Choices.

BUT that said I rocked it.  But in the manner described above for yesterday’s run.  I went for 8.5 miles at, get this, 8:15 pace! That is rocking fast but it didn’t feel like it.  It could have been any number of factors, running at 1600 rather than earlier and thus having more food in my muscles, having 24+ hours between workouts or the fact that my mileage is decreasing.  But I’m stoked about it.  Not enough to be elated but enough to feel confident in my capabilities.

Which makes me think about racing more.  Hahaha.

And to make up for my scatterbrained post (I’m blaming the test from this morning) check out this giveaway from ShutUpandRun. And from Heather.  And from Healthy Stride

AND here’s another picture from Philly. What am I going to do when I run out of these?!


  1. You’re getting speedy!!!

    And I know the “eh” feeling without having something to train for. I don’t know how I’m going to get my butt moving next week when I’ll have finished my half…

    Comment by Amy @ Second City Randomness — July 27, 2010 @ 18:15

  2. You are getting FAST!

    Comment by Matt — July 27, 2010 @ 18:21

  3. Yes- you should be planning races cuz you’re oh so speedyyyyyyyy :>

    Comment by sarah — July 27, 2010 @ 18:30

  4. Wonderful running, girl! Yeah, you really need a race right now, shame that there’s nothing going on, though this would be the time to start training for a good September Half so maybe you could mess around with a training plan but be ready to interrupt it when real life kicks in. Anyway, congrats on a fast week and good luck with the continued testing.

    Comment by Flo — July 27, 2010 @ 18:46

    • Very smart idea. But I’m such an all or nothing chick that I don’t think I could tell my brain to do that haha

      Comment by marathonmaiden — July 27, 2010 @ 19:28

  5. Wicked paces – live it up! Running with no training plan DEF gets monotonous — right there with ya on that one. Maybe you can keep your eyes half-peeled for a local race and just jump in on it last minute if the mood strikes you? Like the one you did on 4th of July? Might be an easy way to shake the monotony and probably snag a PR, all while still being flexible around the MCAT study tornado!

    Comment by sweatykid — July 27, 2010 @ 18:59

    • My eyes are peeled but the 4th race was already in my head way before because I knew it was always on the 4th. I need to hire someone to do race looking up for me haha

      Comment by marathonmaiden — July 27, 2010 @ 19:28

  6. Doesn’t it stink when life doesn’t give us the right timing? I still say go for it though- if you can find a race around you just do it and dont’ stress about if your training is ‘right’ for it or whatever. Sometimes the races with the least pressure/expectations/plannign turn out the best (certainly the case with me and my marathon last weekend!)

    Anyway, it sounds like you are doing a great job balancing it all- very impressive. Not that I would expect anything less from you! 🙂

    Comment by tmart — July 27, 2010 @ 19:27

    • Oh I know! Your impromptu marathon is sooooo inspiring! I’m sure I can find something. And I likely will. If not, it won’t kill me to wait until September for that half.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — July 27, 2010 @ 19:30

  7. Well, you don’t HAVE to run a race. Put it off a little bit until you’re less stressed… I have a feeling you will still do great no matter what! (And it will be cooler!)

    Comment by Kim — July 27, 2010 @ 21:28

  8. woot affirmative!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    go to and find a race asap! there are races of all lengths seriously every week. at the very least you should just do a 5k every so often, it’s good for tune up and working on at least one of your PRs!!!!

    you are making such great progress! at such high mileage!!! do you ever ice, btw? (lol i am icing after my 3 + 4 milers!). my groin is killing me! funny, huh. i guess i use my groin in running…

    Comment by Lacey — July 27, 2010 @ 22:35

  9. I’m home – and ready to get caught up on all you’ve been doing! Looks like speedy is what you’ve been up to, woohoo!! Maybe a race when the temps cool down would be more fun, plus give you time to get your test done and done with all that nutsy studying! Hang in there girl, you’re doing awesome!!!

    Comment by Jill — July 28, 2010 @ 00:35

  10. I guess you could always pick a a race plan and use to “guts” of it for a training guide. That way you’re getting variety in your workouts, and you’ll be ready to race whenever life gives you the opportunity.

    Comment by Chelsea — July 28, 2010 @ 06:31

  11. Hang in there with the studying, dear girl. Your efforts are not in vain!

    Comment by Rebecca — July 28, 2010 @ 07:09

  12. Ends to a mean – keep on repeating it until you blaze out of that testing room. The stupid test is meaningless in the long run. Just keep plugging along, and your hard work will pay off.

    ps. – I totally want to run the Tufts 10K.

    Comment by sarah — July 28, 2010 @ 07:55

  13. You’re so right about the timing of everything. The planets truly must align for us to get the perfect race performance, the perfect test conditions, whatever. All we can do is keep forging ahead and hopefully things will fall into place.

    Comment by Marcia — July 28, 2010 @ 07:58

  14. Wow…you are really improving fast! My coach and I decided I am only doing 1 race this session which is my goal race. It is weird but kind of nice to just have one thing to focus on.

    Comment by Laura — July 28, 2010 @ 08:30

  15. Never use tests as a measurement of your intelligence or knowledge. Tests are, IMO, worthless. Don’t sweat it.

    Should you race? Probably not. If your down, it’s going to bring you down. You to “know” your ready, not “think” your ready….

    What I had to do when I was in the same type of situation was this: Get ride of anything that was on my conscience and eliminate the things that stressed me out the most. Once I did that, I trained for a race and did.

    Comment by Jim@goingFitness — July 28, 2010 @ 08:40

  16. I think you’re going to do great on the exam. I definitely found that in general Kaplan’s tests were so much harder than the actual one. You’re almost there just push through a little bit longer!

    Comment by BostonRunner — July 28, 2010 @ 09:26

  17. You are ready for some racing!!

    I’d like to have some effortless runs too please. 😉

    Comment by shelly — July 28, 2010 @ 10:51

  18. You’re rocking your runs lately! You should definately get some races in when your life eases up a bit 🙂

    Comment by Laura — July 28, 2010 @ 13:18

  19. You are getting so fast! I bet your legs are feeling good from the cutback.

    Comment by Jess — July 28, 2010 @ 14:41

  20. Great job on the run! Maybe you can fit in a small race…just see if something works out…if it doesnt, then it doesnt. i am sure you will continue to run and be in good shape for the Fall races you have planned!

    Comment by J — July 28, 2010 @ 15:56

  21. They are practice tests. Stay calm. Believe in your work. No different than 26.2 training. You will be fine.

    Comment by A Marathoner — July 28, 2010 @ 17:35

  22. I know what you can do when you run out of pictures…go out and pamper yourself with something nice! 😀 You’re working yourself so much, Karyn! And don’t doubt yourself…your efforts WILL pay off!

    Comment by sophia — July 28, 2010 @ 22:23

  23. Wow…great running! I like how your undisciplined weekly mileage is the same as me while I’m marathon training. Geez, something must be wrong there! Haha!
    Don’t stress about your studying…I think practice tests are always harder than the real thing. I had the same sentiments when I studied for MCATs too. Good luck with everything.

    Comment by The Laminator — July 29, 2010 @ 19:04

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