MarathonMaiden's Blog

August 31, 2010

Old Men Love Me

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:00

Title to be more explained later in post.  But it’s true.  Every single old man that is out on my pathway when I’m running smiles and waves.

Ummm it’s August 31st.  Whaaaaaaaaaat?!

I realized that today when A) I saw the “monthly totals” box in my log book that needs to be filled out and B) saw that it’s labor day weekend this weekend.

As much as I love the fall (and cannot wait to go apple picking in the next few weeks!!) actually seeing the calendar roll over tonight will be sad.  It marks the end of summer. Sure, fall doesn’t officially start until the 23rd but September really does mean fall. And school.

I’m surprisingly not as sad as I thought I would be that I’m not going back to college.  Sure it’s weird, and I still feel like I’m playing grown up but, but having grown up taking care of lots of others I really am liking this this whole be-on-own thing.  Hopefully I still want to head off to school next year if I apply to and get in to medical school haha.

Fall also means that racing is going to be going on and holllllllllllllller.  I’m 99.99% sure this half marathon with Lacey is going to happen.  Yay.

From the Tufts 10k last fall.

I’m also still looking for other races.  I have possible ones in mind but it’s just a matter of registering.  I mean, I’m not even registered yet for this half!

And if I’m going to get serious and do races this fall I should probably do more specific runs rather than 2 X 4.1 easy!

Despite it being a Tuesday (and thus a clinic day) I still got up at 0530! I had a meeting (for non-work related stuff) and I wanted to make sure that I could get my run in as well as shower.  Going to meetings all sweaty is not likely a good thing.  I’m sure the people I was seeing appreciated my showering capabilities and were happy that I gave up a little sleep to do so.

And since the fall really is drawing near this means the sun is getting up later and later.  So it was pitch black when my alarm went off.  The sky lightened a bit by the time I stepped out the door (and the sun was fully risen by 6:10) but man, I always forget how rough it is to drag my butt out of bed with no real sunlight.

What am I going to do in winter when the sun won’t have risen at all during my runs?!

Oh well.  I guess I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I get to it, right?

My legs felt fresher today than they did yesterday.  Still a bit sore though.  Maybe from my LR this weekend? I know that I’ve been feeling a bit tired lately muscle wise but I’ve been chalking it up to my lack of sleep the past week or so.  It’s quite possible that 13.5 miles + 90* heat could be a contributing factor.  Plus all that walking for Waterfire (which I’m glad y’all loved! Seriously: if you are in the area on September 11 or October 9th then you MUST go to it!).

Another Waterfire pic. Although deer in headlights much?! 🙂

And the antibiotics.  Which are never fun to be on.  But thanks for all the well-wishes on that front yesterday(click that link if you missed the deal-io on my toe as well as my Waterfire recap) I have a primary care follow up appointment for Thursday (yay for being seen in a timely manner!) but I’m not expecting much.  These infections really are just regular bacteria infections that just cause a really big reaction for me.  I still think it’s stress related though which is why they get so bad.  Too bad life isn’t stress free haha.  Where would the fun be in that?

Due to the fact that it was so dark out I opted for my 2 X 4.1 miles again.  Like I mentioned about it was faster than yesterday.  Not by a whole lot but it felt faster too which is always a good thing

  • 1st loop: 4.1 miles @ 9:05
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:28
  • total:         8.2 miles @ 8:46

Obviously the first loop leaves a little to be desired but I really picked it up for the second loop.  Maybe that’s why the run felt so fast.  I wasn’t even trying to race anyone this morning! The pathway was full of lots of walkers but very few runners.

I did have one (old) man tell me “You’re making this look too easy #4” (I have a lucky number 4 tattoo) which put some extra pep in my step and actually did make the rest of my run — which I was on lap  by then — easier.   As much as I think old people are grumpy and cranky and not fun to be around, I find myself loving the cute old men that are really nice to young girls.  Not in a creepy way but a “I’m being nice because you could be my granddaughter” way.

And there may be a little flirting on their part.  But they’re cute old men.  How can I get mad at that?!

But it was a good run.  Nothing awe-inspiring (except to my new old man friend) but a solid run.  It made me feel better about Monday‘s run being much slower than I’m used to.  A fluke.

And I really wanted to insert this quote that I read from The Daily Sweat and give some witty or motivational anecdote for it but I can’t think of one now and I don’ t want to sit on it.

you just have to give into LIFE and go LIVE

Very VERY true. I think I’m doing this and living by this at the moment.

And if I wanted to get all sappy I could say something about moving in my own place and having a real job.  Or I could just direct you back to my Waterfire night and drinking beer in the streets.  Whatever works for y’all 🙂

And check out the giveaway from Marcia and Kim

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August 30, 2010

WATERFIRE

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:00

WITH PICTURES!  Although the quality of said pictures might be a bit rough.  Oops.

Thanks for the get-better messages on that one.  I was lucky enough to TRUST myself and not go to bed on Saturday night thinking I could wait until morning.

And I’m lucky enough that, despite not seeing eye to eye with my mom with pretty much anything, she told me to do what I needed to do and not worry about the cost of the ER.  Because my co-pay is ridiculous and, I’m not going to lie, money is stressful and very tight right now. (Let’s just say that it took me many months to pay off my ER trips last April.)

So off I went and I’m glad I did so. Between 2300 on Saturday and 0200 Sunday morning when I was seen in the ER my toe went from slightly pink to vibrant red, throbbing and spreading.  I shudder to think of what it would have been if I had waited the 8+ hours.  Likely I’d have been on IVs again.

Sorry for those who get squeemish. I just really love this picture. And those that have been taken of the actual infection in my toe / leg from this past April. But I know that some people aren't fascinated with this stuff so I'll keep the really gross ones to myself 🙂

And to answer questions I’ve been getting as to why I keep getting these infections (this is my 5th in 18 months.)  Well I don’t really know and no doctor can give me a good answer.  I think it has to do with times of great stress in my life where ordinary bacteria getting into cuts on my feet (I go barefoot a lot and get blisters on occasion) are allowed to take over because my immune system is all over my stressed life.  Each infection has correlated to an extremely stressful week or two of my life. I do have an appointment with a podiatrist and sports med doctor in the near future just to get other ideas and answers especially because, as the ER doc I saw put it, I can’t keep going on antibiotics every 3-6 months.  That’s not good or healthy.

But for now I’m back on the antibiotics to take every 6 hours for the next 7 days.  And I actually started to feel better after ~24 hours on the stuff.  Wahoo.

[EDIT: Oh snap. This means I can’t drink for the next 10 days!]

Whew.  That was long winded. So I’m going to move on as this is already reading like ToeFest.  Or something like it.

I doubt you want to really read a full recap of my standard Monday morning 2 X 4.1 mile run on the path again.  But I know you guys must like reading something about my running so here’s what went down:

  • 1st loop:  4.1 miles @ 9:18 pace
  • 2nd loop:4.1 miles @ 8:42
  • Total:        8.2 miles @ 9:00

Ugh.  It’s definitely been a LONG time since I’ve seen 9 as the first number in a pace. And it’s definitely the slowest I’ve run since moving. Or since…the early spring? Oh well.

My legs just felt dead and the fact that I got 4 hours of sleep Saturday (hello ER) and then 5.5 hours of sleep Sunday night (hello early wake-up) after 11 hours on Friday night (hello gloriousness) and I’m sure my body was rebounding hard.  Throw in some really awesome runs at the end of last week, including my LR, and, well, to say that a really slow run this morning is a surprise would be a lie.

I also realized at 2000 last night that I was taking part in Shelly’s 10 day streak so I laced up my shoes for 1.1 miles.  Not the biggest deal ever and I really can’t use this as an excuse for a slow run — but I am 😛

I really like how my second loop was wayyy faster than the first.  I suspect it’s because I was trying to stave off being passed.  It was unsuccessful (this guy was flying!) but the passing happened a lot later than I thought it would.  So clearly I picked it up.

Now onto the fun 😀

So on Saturday night, before I made my little trip to the ER, I went to Waterfire.  Which is awesome.  If any of you guys are in Providence on September 11 or October 9th I highly recommending you get your butt there.

In case you were too lazy to click the link I provided Waterfire is:

WaterFire Providence®, the award-winning sculpture by Barnaby Evans installed on the three rivers of downtown Providence, has been praised by Rhode Island residents and international visitors alike as a powerful work of art and a moving symbol of Providence’s renaissance. WaterFire’s one hundred sparkling bonfires, the fragrant scent of aromatic wood smoke, the flickering firelight on the arched bridges, the silhouettes of the firetenders passing by the flames, the torch-lit vessels traveling down the river, and the enchanting music from around the world engage all the senses and emotions of those who stroll the paths of Waterplace Park. WaterFire has captured the imagination of over ten million visitors, bringing life to downtown, and revitalizing Rhode Island’s capital city.

See, I can be lazy too and just copy and paste what Waterfire is from the link I provided 🙂

I’ve been to Waterfires in the past, my school isn’t terribly far away from it, but this year was different as this is MY city.  I was able to WALK from my apartment to downtown and then up and down the canal.

And if you’ve been paying attention I did a 13.5 mile LR on Saturday before going out and walking for 2 hours along said canal.

It’s really pretty.  But the first thing my roommate and I found out was that they

…wait for it…

serve alcohol and let you walk around with it.  So we proceeded to let some boys buy us beer and then we literally get drunk on the streets of Providence.  Okay so maybe not wicked drunk or anything but tipsy.  Because when else am I going to be able to buy a beer and carry it around with me while walking downtown?

That’s right. The next Waterfire.  But there’s only two more left this season.  So I need to enjoy it while I can (and luckily I’ll be off antibiotics by then muahaha).

Roomie love

Obviously there were lots of people there to see the sculptures on the water being lit and listen to the many opera singers who were lined up along the water singing to the symphony being played on the loudspeakers.  But there were also other attractions on some of the side streets.

Like the band that was playing swing music and there was an actual raised dance stage.  They also played Sinatra to which me and my roomie had to leave because it was sad that we didn’t have any boys to dance with.

Note to self: find hot boy for next Waterfire. I was wayyyy jealous of everyone who was dancing. And if you know me then you know I don’t dance well at all. There were fathers dancing with daughters, old couples etc and everyone was having a blast.

I know it's a terrible picture but see that old man front and center? He was ADORABLE and a great dancer and I wanted to cut in and dance with him!

Along the canal there were also GONDOLIERS.  I couldn’t get a good picture at all of them (silly fire making flash photography impossible but my hands are too shaky for a non-flash pic) but it was AWESOME.

Next time I will go on one of the boats.  Life goal.

A really bad picture but if you look closely the dark figure at the end of the boat is the gondalier.

We also walked through / below the bridges of the canal, which I don’t have any pictures of because it was so busy and dark.  It was wayyy romantic and couples everywhere though so my roomie and I felt a wee bit out of place.  But we were still feeling good and happy, the whole drinking in the streets thing.

After two hours of walking and drinking we decided to head back to our apartment.   And I attempted to get a picture of one of the massive hills that I run/walk on.  It wasn’t very successful but let me say that when at the top of this hill, you look out onto the city below and all of a sudden you think there’s no more road.  Because the road just drops.

But I don’t think this picture does it justice.

See that little hill in the background? Straight. Up

So apparently Saturday was a very eventful and productive day: 13.5 mile long run, getting some good draft work on my application essays, Waterfire and a trip to the ER where I got only oral antibiotics (yay) and a referral to a primary care physician in the area.

A good exciting day indeed 🙂

August 29, 2010

Another Long Run and Some Shoe Pictures

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

(Let’s see if I can keep my knowledge of how to schedule posts.  Today (Sunday) I’m working on my application essays all day — or at least that’s the goal. I’m also trying to recover from the first of these this summer/fall.  Good times. All to be recap-ed later because I *gasp* took pictures!

So I wrote the portion about my LR on Saturday after the run was done and then tried to edit it so I could keep the tone/tenses correct for readers reading today after putting in stuff about my run today.  It may or may not have been a success.  I guess you’ll have to read and see 🙂 )

I slept for 11 hours Saturday night. For real. Like, who am I?!  I guess that I was really sleep deprived this week?!

I also guess that the massive amounts of coffee I drank on Friday didn’t affect my bedtime.  I will say that, while I am completely addicted to caffeine (I get the headaches and withdrawal if  I don’t have it everyday) the amount in the coffee I had might have been too much.  I wasn’t jittery or shaky during the day but it was kind of like an outer body experience until about dinnertime.

Oops. And I didn’t end up having any more caffeine that day.  No diet coke with lime for me.  So sad but I just did not need it. Lesson learned.

The lesson being more sleep is a good thing.  I didn’t exactly wake up feeling all renewed but it was nice to have gotten a large fix of some “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”.

Obviously this being a good thing as I planned a long run for Saturday. I really like putting my LR on Saturdays for some reason.  I used to do them on Sundays because I felt that’s when runners did them but when training for my first marathon I got into the habit of running long on Saturdays.  And then during one summer I even did them on Fridays because my weekends were so packed with working 10 hour days.  Just goes to show you how one thing doesn’t fit all.

Anyway back  to the run at hand.

Since I’m still new to the area I’ve been relying on mapmyrun to give me routes.  Or rather I search for routes other people have done in the area and then slightly modify them.  Today I took on of the routes and did it as is.  I did have to tack on about a half mile total to it because the start of the map wasn’t my apartment (how rude!).

I think it’s always slightly risky when trying out new runs in areas that you haven’t been in before.  Hell I think it’s risky even driving in areas that you haven’t been in before because, especially in a city, you just don’t know who lives there, what the roads are like etc.

But I’m a risk taker. Clearly  😛

Courtesy of google images

The fact that my route wasn’t tested out or previewed in a car by me was…okay.  Last weekend I did this (run without seeing all the roads) and it worked out okay.  I made a few minor errors but luckily the area where I was running is a place where I could easily correct: I was in an area where I could “see” the map in my head because it’s on College Hill and the roads are pretty logical.  I wasn’t exactly flying blind today but there was that potential so I was a bit nervous.

But I was really gung-ho about this run because I was going to be able to run through a park/golf course/pretty area with ponds.  Getting to said area might be difficult but the rewards were great.

Plus I got to run in two states (I almost wrote two *different* states but figured “duh they’d be different”.  I can be so blond at times haha) How awesome is that?!

And before I get into my run I want to say “great job” to all those who are doing/have done their 20 milers this week.  I got back from my long run, read about everyone’s 18-20-ers and suddenly what I did felt very short indeed 😉

Not that my run was too shabby.  I ran 13.57 miles (of course in my log book it goes in as 13.5 hah!). This is farthest I’ve run since about mid-June.  I know I did lots of doubles/triples this summer where my miles were way high for a day but for a single run it’s been awhile since I ran this far. I think I’ve done a handful of 11-ers but that’s it. It made me a little nervous but nerves mean you care, right?

Answer: Right.

So I set out in beautiful sunny weather.  Yay 🙂

So I put on my shades to cover up my eyes. But rather than feeling like a star and not stopping my shine I was feeling eh.  And I’ve probably already linked to this song/video but it’s awesome. So deal.

Feeling eh? Well I definitely started out that way.  But I just told myself to relax and my legs would warm up a bit.  I think that my legs feel the same way on all my other runs too but since I left at noon for this run my brain was actually awake and could process the stuff.  But true to form I did warm up and was off.

The way I ended up running my route had me running the more “industrial” part of the run first which I liked.  Not that I liked running through real legit city but rather that I got to run the second part last. This section (aka the first 7 miles) was kind of boring, lots of pavement and no shade.  Granted the temps were outrageous but sunlight shining directly on you makes you hot.

Once I got to the park (and any subsequent pictures are from google as I didn’t bring my camera.  But this is the area I was running in) the place was stunning.  Apparently there’s this bike path that runs about 10 miles or so.  I ended up only running 3 of the miles but I really can’t wait to go back and explore.

Surprisingly I didn’t see  *that* many people out running/walking/biking.  The weather was perfect for this stuff! Granted there were a ton of families in the park area itself and the smell of s’mores and grilling was mighty tempting for stopping.  But with a view like this how could I?!

After passing through the park I got back onto the main roads and headed back to my apartment.  I could definitely tell that my pace had picked up over the course of miles 4-10 and with about 3 left I wanted to see if I could keep up with that.  Obviously I needed have worried because once I lock into a pace I’m there or faster.  So, while I don’ t have data for each mile, I’m really confident that I can say I negative split this one too.

My final stats were: 13.5 miles at 8:27 pace.

It was very very tempting to run until I hit 14 miles.  Without a garmin that would have been tough to guesstimate.  Or hit 2 hours even.  But there really wasn’t any real reason to do that.

Why?

Because, and I realized this during mile 5 of my run today, I’m running a half marathon next week.  Or at least I’m really thinking about it.  I’ve run it a couple times in the past and this year would be running it with Lacey. Of course I’m not registered yet (and won’t until race day) but it’s an opportunity that has presented itself and, barring anything popping up unexpectedly, I’ll likely be doing it.  Exciting.

Also exciting? I’m getting another black toenail.  Okay so maybe not terribly exciting especially as I just got rid of one.  But the aching in this toe has felt suspiciously like my toe infections of the past so I’m glad that it appears to be just a banged up toe.  Of course now I’ve jinxed myself and will likely end up in the hospital again.  Like in the next hour.

As far as today (Sunday) I got out for an “early bird” recovery run (quotes because it was a first thing run.  Not because I was up early ha!).  Nothing serious on that front and I’m surprisingly not too banged up.

Well that was what I had planned to run today. Oh hubris.  Clearly I wrote that sentence on Saturday before my ER trip.

After spending the night in the hospital due to the fact that my toe is, in fact, infected, those plans have changed.  Sunday is now a forced rest day.  I still maintain that I don’t feel banged up but my toe is pulling out the trump card.  Luckily I wasn’t stubborn this time and got to the hospital BEFORE the infection spread from the actual toe so I’m only on oral antibiotics now.  Also kind of a good thing I went because now I have a primary care doctor which I was lacking in this city up until…well technically I still am because I need to call on Monday but I have a name and number!

I’ve also made plans to go to the local running store today just to try and make some running friends and connections in the running world. I want to be in the know in my new city. I may also have to break the bank and purchase new running shoes as these are what I’m currently running in

Note the blood and the fact that the heels do not have the fabric anymore.

Yes that is a hole in the mesh of the toe box

But from the outside they look okay and not too worn. Right?!

I probably should be more embarrassed about posting these pictures than I really am. But really, what can you expect after getting just north of 1700 miles.

But now it’s time to get back to working.  I swear I’m making some progress on my application essays! Slow and steady right?

August 27, 2010

You Know You’re Exhausted When…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:03

You actually accept coffee on a Friday morning when going into work (I did have to go into work today (on a Friday boo!) despite having put it a billion hours as of last night to do some catch up stuff.)

 And by accept coffee I mean guzzle down two large DD coffees. 

I’ve been working long days and having early mornings so I guess I can’t really be surprised that I’m so tired.  Granted there really isn’t anything I want to change about the situation as I’m loving my early morning runs as well as the work I do at the clinic.  But at some point the coffee must come out.

I’ve said it before but I am NOT a coffee person.  I do like DD coffee because it’s not real coffee and it’s way weak.  Definitely not strong at all but I’m still not really a fan of coffee in general. That said my coffee this morning tasted awesome.  Maybe I just really needed the caffeine.  Hopefully this means I can avoid my afternoon diet coke with lime because, while I have a very high tolerance to caffeine (as opposed to, say, my liquor tolerance haha)  I don’t want to flood my system with an overload of the stuff.

This also means that my run this morning did NOT do its job in waking me up. I even slept in an extra hour! 

That said the run was pretty awesome.

Not quite as fast as yesterday but still quite speedy.  I think that, like some of you said yesterday, the sun being out and it NOT raining definitely lifted my mood.  And, while a good angry runs leads to fastness, happy smiling runs lead to fastness too.

The sun was up again this morning and because I woke up at 0630 the sun was bright and shining.  Not wondrous sunrise but a beautiful for sure.  I left my apartment in a good mood.

Since it’s still a weekday I chose to stick to my 2 X 4.1 route again.  I like it.  I thought that it would be boring to be running the same thing over and over again.  It kind of is but I like seeing the same people and the familiarity of the run.  Sure this weekend I’m going to break away and explore again but for today the usual was good.

My first loop was run at 8:33 pace.  This was really surprising just because my body just felt alright.  I’ve noticed that I have fast times when I’m feeling really on or really off.  Never an in-between feeling yielding a fast start off pace.  First time for everything and it made me happy and want to keep going.  Since I run a route twice I always toy with the idea of stopping after the first loop. 

I have yet to actually stop (and if anyone really knows me then you know that it’s highly unlikely that I wouldn’t) but the thought always crosses my mind.  So a good time for the first loop is encouraging for me to continue.

A good time for the second loop is encouraging too and after seeing a minute negative split for my two routes (which has become the standard. Yay. I know expect to run the second portion a minute faster than the first.  It’s going to be rough the day this fails to be the case haha) with a pace of 8:20. Again, not as fast as yesterday (both on the second loop itself or the overall time at this point) but still really good and boosted me quite a bit.

So I decided to do my little 1.1 mile add-on that I did yesterday.  I think part of the reason I’m liking running the same routes day after day is that you can easily see how fast or slow you are.  Like, if it takes me 10 minutes to run a few blocks today and it takes me 9 tomorrow I can easily see that I’m faster.

But back to the run today…

My add on today was run actual faster than the 1.1 mile add on yesterday.  And I finished yesterday’s sub-8! Today’s was at 7:50 pace.  Okay so it’s two seconds faster per mile but hey.  2 seconds = 2 seconds.  I’m taking it and running with it.  Both literally and figuratively.

Thus my running today was 9.3 miles at 8:22 pace.  Not too shabby.  Now if this was any other day I’d be ecstatic, and don’t get me wrong I’m totally digging how fast this was — especially for the morning, especially for being so tired, but coming off of yesterday (which was less than a minute faster for my overall time) I still feel disappointed a bit. 

But I did get to stave off a young guy who was clearly trying to pass me to show off.  And struggling to do so. 

I win 🙂

You also should know you’re exhausted when you crack up over silly things during your time spent at work on casual Friday.  I’ve had an interesting morning with pretending to be a Spanish speaker and calling people.  Totally butchering the language.  Good times. Good to know that my time spent learning Spanish was well spent. And I love my co-workers 🙂

Guess I’m just too much of a perfectionist? 😀

And since it’s Friday I’m going to stop right there and keep this short. For once? Guess it’s not really all that short! Oh how I should have been a writer haha 🙂

August 26, 2010

And On the Fifth Day…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:23

The floods receded.

Okay so maybe that’s an exaggeration. Not by much but the pounding of rain New England got the past 4 days has been intense.  I’m all for rainy days and all but after not seeing the sun since Saturday I was excited when I got up this morning to an actual sunrise rather than just going from black to gray.

That might be just the only NOT sad song about rain.

First though: my run on Wednesday was okay.  It was another 2 X 4.1 miles at 0530.  I actually ran it pretty fast.  Or at least fast for what I’ve been running lately.  And there was over a minute of negative splitage.  Holler. That’s the way to rock a morning run.  It was cool and misty.  I think those might be pretty good conditions for a run because it’s not RAIN .  Sure that leads to great humidity but the small water particles on my face felt good.

Despite not having to go into work until the afternoon today I still got up at 0530.  I have a meeting with my pre-health advisor that I wanted to make sure I had enough time to get to.  I didn’t actually mind such an early alarm.  Sure my eyes STUNG because of lack-of-sleep (I’ve only been getting 5 or 6 hours a night lately boo!) but once I’m up and changed out of my pjs I’m pretty good to go.

Like I mentioned there was NO RAIN.  And I actually got to see the sunrise.  It was really pretty with lots of pinks and purples.  Of course getting to see the sun and receive light from the sun was a real treat after lots of cloudage lately.  It was also still cool.  A nice 62*.  Despite not getting many hours of sleep last night, the cool temperature made things feel nice.

For some reason today’s run just felt *right*. It was way strong from the get-go which was nice because, after sleeping so little/poorly lately and being on my feet so much at my job, I was beginning to question whether or not I was losing my running touch.  You know, the one where almost every run this summer was fast and strong and powerful? Well I had been doubting whether or not that was a fluke or not.

I started out fast.  Not really intentionally but rather because I was running at around the same pace as this guy on the path (it was 0530 so the path run it was!) and it was that awkward running where, unless one of us drastically changed pace, we would likely keep passing and re-passing each other over and over.

Not necessarily a bad thing and normally I would actually attempt to run with such a person (my theory is that if you find someone who is running around your pace JOIN THEM.  It makes things fun) but I had a lot on my mind this morning so…..and this is going to reveal the nerd in me….I had to disengage the “Beat Frequency Effect”

Not really a catching title though for my theory.  If y’all have better suggestions I am all ears.

Nerd Alert!

So in physics, beats are when two sound waves have very similar frequencies but they’re are different enough that they aren’t in-phase (or lined up) with each other.   Therefore the amplitude of the waves can add positively (constructive interference and the sound is louder, or the sum of the two) or negatively (destructive interference and the sound is quieter, or the different of the two).  That’s why when tuning an instrument you get that oscillating sound as the instrument tries to line up with the right note.  Hopefully that science wasn’t confusing and I explained it okay.

The reason I mention it is because it happens in running too: the push and pull (or adding and subtracting) of two runner’s paces. Since no one runs at the *exact* same pace during the course of every step of a run there is the effect of a wave like motion that goes on when runners are running around the same pace.  I’m sure you guys have experienced it.  For me, it’s annoying. At least when running with others isn’t the point of a particular run.

And, if I hadn’t been the one to break away (like I said I had a lot on my mind and wanted to push and make my run feel hard) this guy and I would have been caught in this dance, like a beat frequency.

I have no idea if any of what I just wrote makes sense to you guys butttt it makes sense in my head.  Oh how I can relate anything to physics and/or running.

So the long and short of this tangent is to say that I was on the one who picked up the pace and blew past this guy.  It felt really good to just let go and run hard.  It’s not like it was a tempo effort or anything.  But it was faster than the paces I’ve been doing since I’ve moved and started up my early bird running.

So I ran the first loop in 8:29 pace! That’s faster than the average of my overall runs lately! And because my MO is to progressively run my runs my second loop was exactly one minute faster leading to an 8:15 pace.  Way cool stuff.  And since I was feeling really good I added a loop around a couple of the blocks by my apartment to add another 1.1 miles.  The pace of which was 7:52.  I was cruising.

Grand total for today? 9.3 miles in 8:18 pace.  All before 0700 too. I think I might be getting back into the swing of things 🙂

August 24, 2010

Rain and Hills. Hills and Rain. And Repeat.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 10:01

I started this post — and finished it — Monday afternoon but I forgot to post it! Oops. So yet again my apologizes for any time discrepancies.  I did add an addendum at the end for today though 🙂

I have (had?) been so lucky this summer with regards to rainfall.  I was in control of scheduling my own time and I still worked at the gym so I had a free membership if I ever felt the need to hit up the TM in inclement weather.

I guess now that I’m a real adult I don’t have that luxury anymore.  I know I gushed about how nice the weather had been for my Saturday long run but I guess I jinxed myself as Sunday it POURED.  I woke up after having been out on the town to the sounds of heavy rain.  Ugh. Normally since it was a Sunday and I didn’t have to be anywhere I would have just rolled over and done my run later in the day.

But I checked the weather (because I’m a spoiled brat and can do it from my phone without having to move at all) and it was suppose to clear up — maybe — late in the day.  But until then: heavy rain and possible thunderstorms.

I wish that it had been as gentle and pleasant looking out as this!

I also had a TON of errands to run as well as work on my application.  So I rolled out of bed at 0830 and, because I’ve turned into a sloth as of late, I logged onto my computer to map out a road run.  I’ve decided that the weekends are going to be exploring runs and weekdays will continue to be my familiar path.

Now I’m always hesitant to run routes that I’ve mapped and haven’t yet driven or scoped out.  You never know if the roads actually still exist (there definitely have been routes that I’ve gone out to do only to discover that it’s simply not there anymore!) or what the conditions of the road are or if it’s really traffic-y (I remember once I mapped out a route that ended up taking me on the highway.  No I didn’t actually run on the highway but it was scary to be like…ummm this is it?).

And while I’m really good with directions getting lost is a very real and distinct possibility.  Again, I remember a 14 miler that I planned out and then missed a turn making the route end up being a little over 18. Normally I’d bring a something with directions on it because it was pouring out bringing any type of paper with the route would get ripped up.  I still brought it but it was essentially useless.  But peace of mind and all that.

Okay enough set-up?  You guys should know by now how I like to ramble 🙂

Like I said it was really heavy rain when I started. The rain would let up and then pour off and on during the course of the whole run but once I was thoroughly soaked (which was about .000001 seconds into it) the rain didn’t really matter anymore.  Plus once your shoes are soaked and feet are wet there really isn’t any more discomfort you can get really. It was a bit annoying to have my clothes matted to me but because I live in a community that has some values, I kept my clothes on.

I even started to enjoy the run a bit.  Rain will always take getting used to. But like there comes that point where you are too wet to care.  And that’s when puddle jumping comes in.  And let me tell you: you will feel like a kid again.  Quite possibly one of the greatest feelings ever. That and muddy runs

Look at the sheer joy on their faces!

One of the not so greatest feelings ever? Running massive hills when you aren’t used to them.

OMFG hills. Like 90* incline hills.

Coutesy of GoogleImages

I know that picture is an exaggeration but just slightly.  I really would wager that, and I don’t really know anything about percent grades for hills, it was at least 60* to the horizontal. And let’s just say that there were more than one that I had to do.  I’d estimate that over the whole 9.2 miles about 5 of them were hills.  And that’s being conservative.

Hopefully I find the $$ to register for Boston whenever it opens up because these hills in my area are ri-donk-u-lous. Totally made my plans for a recovery run go wayyy out the window because there was no way a hilly mountainous 9.2 miles qualifies as recovery.  And they were done at an 8:40ish pace which for the terrain was flying!

I also was able to run by the river and explore a bit of the local park area.  Which was nice.  I’m sure it would have been nicer if there hadn’t been so much rain.

— Side note — where are all the hardcore runners in my area?! Sundays typically are long run days right? I think I saw TWO other runners out.  And it was in the early-ish morning too!

The rain totally ruined the whole sightseeing experience because I do live in a quaint little old city.  Some of the streets/sidewalks are bricks and all that jazz.

Something else to note: that ankle/shin/calf soreness I talked about last time? Totally cleared up after running on the roads for two days.  So my legs need to HTFU and get used to the pathway that will likely be my weekday runs!

It was also expected to downpour today/this morning (Monday) but the time I wanted to get out for my run (I left my apartment at 0545) I must have caught a break in the storm because it wasn’t raining.  The rain started up during the last mile or so of my good old standby route (gosh it feels good to be able to say I have a standby route!) but even then it was NOTHING like Sunday.  And again I didn’t see many runners out and about.

Which clearly and totally made me feel hardcore.  That and I was passing the peeps who were out left and right.  That felt damn good.  My overall pace was still iffy: my legs are still getting used to this whole running  earlier than I’m used to thing.  I still managed to eek out those 8.2 miles in about an 8:35 pace.

I had wanted to make these miles the recovery ones I should have done yesterday…and I guess I kind of did? The 8:30-8:45 pace range has settled into my typical easy pace and the path I’m running on now is really flat.  So long run, hills, recovery run? Sounds like someone needs to commit to a race sometime soon!

I’m also apparently an idiot and cannot read a schedule so my 0530 wake up call was for nothing.  I guess there are clinic hours this Monday (the schedule is definitely weird because only the fourth Monday of each month has clinic rather than every Monday) so I didn’t have to go in until 1100.  Bummer.  But I got to get some errands and to-do stuff done.  So it’s not terrible.  Still annoying though! Especially since I tend to not be able to make up sleeping hours elsewhere (ie through naps or oversleeping other days).

But enough! Hope everyone is having a great start to their week.  I think I am (I’m writing this post a few hours before it’ll go up so I can’t say with 100% accuracy haha) as I’m only in week two of my new “real” life and things are still exciting.  I’m sure it’ll be a stressful day too as the girl I’ve replaced is 100% gone so it’s 100% me today but I’m feeling confident that I’ll figure my way out 🙂

P.S. & Totally Random: As I sit here typing this (Monday morning before work) I am drinking a glass of milk out of a bud light glass.  Classy, no?

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Addendum: So I guess I forgot to post the above yesterday? Well I won’t write too much more but I figured I’d take advantage and write about my post on Tuesday morning.  This morning I actually knew what time I have to be at work and allowed myself t sleep in until 0745! Woot! My alarm was set for 0800 but I hate just laying in bed when I *know* I have to get up.

Especially, and I really don’t know what’s gotten into my brain lately as these tend to be REALLY rare occurrences, but I had another “wake up with a smile” dream.I can’t for the life of me remember what it was about but apparently it was good?

But get up I did.  And I ran my usual.  I’m starting to think that on Tuesday / Thursday (when I don’t have to go into clinic until noon or so) I might keep exploring the city as I tend to leave my apartment around 0800.  And that time feels safer than 0530.  Granted one must always be alert when running but there are more people and traffic out later so veering off the path might be nice.

Nothing too stellar about the run.  It was neither a slow nor fast 8.2.  Around an 8:43 pace. Okay so not “around” because I just calculated that 🙂

I got passed by some runners and passed others.  The rain and cool temps continued into today (after my run on Monday it poured all day) so it was quite humid out.  And by rain I mean mist.  So it wasn’t too bad. My brain wasn’t really into the run so it passed quickly despite the first two miles going so slowly.  Somewhere between miles 2 and 3 my legs found a rhythm and I went into autopilot.

And while my legs weren’t feeling the freshest ever I did manage to negative split the run by 1 minute and 1 second. Awesomeness.

Now I sit here doing some (application) work before going into (real) work.  And, like yesterday, I’m drinking my milk from a bud light glass.  Guess I’m starting a tradition here — oh the things you can do without batting an eye as a 23 year old haha 🙂

August 22, 2010

My Post Dedicated To My Recent Long Run

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

It’s been awhile since I wrote a whole post on just ONE run (hah!) but I think that it’s fitting that today’s post is on…

Saturday’s long run ( and it’s a bit rambly and I go on tangents.  But that’s okay.  Don’t lie: you know you like it!)

First: Since I know I posted on Saturday and not many people keep up with blogs on Friday/Saturday check out Mary and Christina’s guest post.  Very good stuff!

So I have yet to map out a proper long run.  But that didn’t mean I stuck to my 2 X 4.1 route like I did all this past week.  Granted part of me wanted to just so I could say I ran 7 full days of the same thing as I ran the same thing Sunday through Friday.  A little masochistic maybe but it would have been a source of perverse pride for what it’s worth.

But I logged into mapmyrun — which I hadn’t done in AGES because I love my standard routes from college and home, of which I’m close enough to my college that I can conceivably head up there if I need a run of a particular distance.  Not the case right now as I’m not in training.  But still good to know.

Anyway, moving back to me mapping out a route through my new city.

Well it’s not really a *new* city as I’ve spent lots of time here during my college days (gosh that makes me feel so darn old!) but new because I’m living here for the first time.  And I also want to mention that I LOVE living in an actual city.  And be within walking distance from my apartment and bars.

This is the life 🙂

But I mapped out a run that took me through the campus of the college I live by (and which my two roomies are doing post-grad stuff at).  It was awesome to FINALLY get onto the roads again.  Sure the path I ran on all this week (and likely will during the week just for safety/peace of mind stuff) is awesome.  But nothing beats running the streets.  That’s my idea of a good run right there.

I don’t yet feel comfortable going on a huge long run loop like I would if I was at home or back at school so I settled for 2 X 5.6 miles.  Thus giving me 11.2 for the day.  Not the 17-20 that EVERY OTHER PERSON did this weekend.

But it was great supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (and oh snap I spelt that correctly on the very first try. Holler for me.  And I ❤ Dick Van Dyke.  Like more than I should.)

I started out running down the usual path and when I got to the end of it I felt a thrill of exploring.  Yeah yeah yeah, I know that the route was planned out but running through city streets and seeing the hustle and bustle of life going on (which I never got in the suburbs of my house or school) was cool.  There was a farmer’s market at the end of the path by the park and people out having brunch in cafes and restaurants. I totally had a grin on my face the whole time and I was constantly looking around me taking in these sights.

The fact that it was a GORGEOUS day out probably didn’t hurt either.  I think it was 65* and about 40% humidity.  At high noon.  I think fall might be around the corner? Probably not although an Indian summer wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen to me.  But fall weather is perfect.  Sweatshirts and shorts.

The run itself started out a bit on the slow side.  During my run on Thursday I stepped awkwardly transitioning from the sidewalk to the road and rolled my left ankle.  Of course my mindset is to keep going because “it won’t swell that way”.  Kind of like how when you roll your ankle playing basketball you aren’t suppose to take your shoe off in order to keep the swelling down? Well I’m obviously okay because I finished that run and ran it well too.  Just a little tweak.

But I woke up Friday with a little soreness in my left calf on the outside of my leg.  I truly think it’s a result of running so much on soft trail and my legs are trying to absorb the shock and it’s going to that calf.  But I can’t help but wonder if my little tweak helped expose that weakness. Something to think about.

And before anyone asks NO I am not in any pain and it isn’t changing the way I move or do stuff.  And there wasn’t and hasn’t been any swelling (I feel like I have to make that disclaimer because people jump down my throat about this stuff!) It just feels like muscle soreness.  Couple that with the left hamstring being INCREDIBLY tight and I think it’s a result of  this new surface I’m running on.  And the tweak didn’t help.

Quite possibly too that I haven’t exactly worn the most supportive shoes lately.  For a girl who pretty much lives in sneakers, this transition to a working professional wardrobe is going to have some type of repercussions.

And gosh darn it I need a hot male to give me a leg massage.  Stat. Although I will take any kind of massage to be honest.

I finished up my first loop back at my apartment saw that my time was 47:32.  That would be roughly 95 minutes for the whole 11.2 miles.  A very good time indeed especially given that I haven’t been running quite as fast as I’d like to have been this whole week.

I decided to do my second loop reverse style and re-trace my steps.  Mostly to be able to get familiar with the neighborhood in a new light.

And let me tell you that the area I’m living in is HILLY.  No matter which way I ran this route there were some serious hills.  Clearly this will help in any type of training that I do in the future.  But it’s going to suck to get used to it.

Running the route backwards also helped with the whole annoying “I’m running the same thing twice” boredom thingy.  Sometimes I don’t get that feeling — like when I’m trying to negative split a run — but sometimes I do.  And like I said I wanted to familizrize myself with the neighborhood really well.  I need to start feeling like a native or something ha!

The second half was great too.  Again, just taking in sights and sounds of the city. I did end up negative splitting the run, going for 46:01 minutes and finishing in 93.31 minutes. Or an overall 8:20 pace.

Very good.  Very exciting.  Wicked awesome 🙂

I didn’t end up working on my applications that much like I had said I wanted to do.  The rest of my day was spent setting up the apartment with my roomies because my mom was nice enough to drive down and being some of the stuff that I couldn’ t fit in the car last week (and don’t think it’s she’s totally being nice either.  I know she wants to see me. Despite the TONS of differences we’ve had in the past and to this day — of which I don’t think I have or will ever get into specifics — she told me that it took her a few days before she could go into my old room at home because she’d start crying.  Maybe this is a start to patching things up?)

Saturday was also spent lounging. Lot s of lounging.  I love being able to catch up on my reading-for-fun list.

I could get used to this whole “being a real adult” thing.  Quickly too.

Later that night I met up with some other VISTAs and we went bar hopping.  A great way to end a beautiful day with a great run in it.

Today (Sunday) I have already gotten out for a good “recovery” run in a downpour on an exploratory run.  But that deserves a post of its own. And this post A) is long enough and B) is dedicated to my long run.  So y’all will have to wait until next time.  Meanwhile I have lots of errands to run and application essay to write.  Sunday does equal funday after all!

August 21, 2010

Guest Post: Mary and Christina’s Portabella Burgers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:07

Hey all! Currently I’m trying to work on some applications and stuff (I’m going to be a brat and keep the schools I’m applying hush-hush.  It’s awesome you guys are interested but it’s a bit too personal for me to share here!).  But it’s sooooo nice in New England that I’m really just sitting out on my deck pretending to work.  Hence the blogging 🙂

But I’m not going to try and bore you with my run from Friday.  It was, duh, the standard 8.2 that I’ve been doing all week.  And it was slooooooooooooooow.  I’m totally still using the whole “I’m getting used to a new routine so my running sucks” excuse.  For real.  One of the little children (like legit 5 or 6 year old because I do have an annoying tendency to call anyone younger than me a child.  Oops.) I passed though told his mom “Wow she’s running fast”.  It was a cute kid and he won over my heart.  Too bad he’s probably in kindergarten age. If only those shirtless boys would say something similar 😉

My weekend really started on Thursday.  YAY.  I think my work schedule will let me take 3 day weekends a lot so I’m happy about that.  Even so I’m getting to taste my first real weekend on my own and in a city.  Despite going to cities to party before I’ve never lived in one.  So this is exciting.  My roomies and I didn’t go crazy last night but it was fun to walk about and explore some nightlife being “real adults”.  Or maybe I’m just the only real adult as they’re still pursuing graduate studies haha. As much as I thought I’d miss being a student (and thus be jealous of them) I think I like my arrangement right now!

Today I let myself SLEEP IN.  Aka 0821.  For most of my peers that’s waking up early but I know you guys get it.  I slept like a rock too.  For the most part.  I woke up at 0441 (isn’t it weird how we remember that stuff?) because of a really terrible dream.  But the next few hours I think I had a good dream because I woke up with another smile.  Twice in one week?! Que suerte indeed.

I’m actually about to head out for my “long run” of the week.  It’ll likely only be 10 miles (maybe 10.8 depending on how I choose to run it) but it’ll be nice to actually run some of the routes I’ve been eyeing during my weekly runs.  I guess because it’s the weekend and NOT 0500 I feel safer running through less familiar paths.  Although sending some suerte my way that I don’t get lost would be nice.  There are so many side streets that I probably won’t end up following the route I have mapped out because I will get lost.  But it’s okay because, with so many side streets, everything will lead me back.  Well that’s the theory.

Hopefully I’ll be back safe and sound so that tomorrow I can put up a post about my exploratory run 😉

But because my word count is ridiculously low for me right now (heh) here’s another guest post from Mary and Christina from Sisters Running the Kitchen.  They did a guest post on some awesome pizza while I was away in TX earlier this month and sent me another recipe to try! They’re pretty awesome so check them out.  I don’t do enough cooking on my own to feel like I can post recipes I use (because my idea of cooking is opening a bag or can!) so I’m sooooo glad they have some great ones to share 🙂

Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far and is hopefully having some nice weather to boot!

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Mary’s boyfriend works at a Mushroom company called ToJo mushrooms out in Avondale, Pa. We both have been wanting to make Portabella burgers for quite some time now and Todd was SUPPOSED to bring them to us this weekend but Mary forgot to remind him and thus Todd forgot them! No big deal, though…we just went to the store and picked up some nice portabella caps ourselves!

We found this recipe from Rachael Ray. It received five stars and sounded delicious so we decided to give it a try for ourselves. This recipe lived up to everything we were hoping for. The portabellas really made such a wonderful and succulent juice and the roasted pepper paste and smoked mozzarella (smoked really makes a difference by the way) gave these burgers even more of a rich and delicious taste to them. We also bought good quality brioche buns from a local bakery, which we both agree made a HUGE difference. The only change we would make to this recipe for next time would be to slice the smoked mozzarella a little thinner to give the cheese a chance to melt more. And if you are a little nervous to eat a burger with a mushroom as its base or if you think you do not like mushrooms…have no fear…this recipe will not let you down!

Along with the roasted pepper paste and smoked mozzarella, we served these burgers with red onions and tomatoes. You can also try baby spinach leaves. We thought that caramelizing the onions would make this burger even better…we’ll have to give it a shot the next time we make these portabella burgers.

IMG_0242-1.jpg picture by mtponzio

Ingredients for the Portabella Burgers:

  • 2 tablespoons (2 turns of the bottle in a slow stream) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup (3 splashes) balsamic vinegar
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 teaspoons grill seasoning blend (preferred brand: McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning) or 1 teaspoon combined coarse salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound fresh smoked mozzarella, sliced
  • 4 large crusty rolls, split
  • roasted red pepper paste (recipe below)

Directions

  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in the bottom of a large food storage bag.
  2. Add mushroom caps, seal bag and shake bag to coat caps, then let the mushrooms marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. Grill mushrooms on indoor or outdoor grill, starting with caps down, turning to caps up, 6 minutes on each side. Alternatively, you may pan-fry the mushrooms in large nonstick skillet for same amount of time.
  4. Season caps while they cook on each side with grill seasoning or a little salt and pepper. Melt the smoked cheese over mushroom caps in the last minute of grill time.
  5. To serve, place the grilled mushroom caps topped with melted cheese on the bun bottoms. Top with spinach and onion. Spread bun tops with roasted pepper paste (recipe below).

Roasted Red Pepper Paste

Ingredients for the Roasted Pepper Paste

  • 1 (14-ounce) jar roasted peppers, drained
  • A drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 large clove garlic, cracked away from skin
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Combine the roasted red peppers, oil, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper in food processor and pulse into thick sauce.

IMG_0203.jpg picture by mtponzio

We served the portobello burgers with Bobby Flay’s Grilled Lime and Cilantro Sweet Potatoes! This is by far our favorite way to prepare sweet potatoes…everything about this recipe is amazing…from the sweet flavor added from the lime, to the saltiness from the Kosher salt, to the fresh taste from the cilantro, to the thickness of the potatoes to the beautiful grill marks- this recipe is always a hit at the dinner table!

cimg1838-1.jpg picture by mtponzio

Ingredients

  • 3 sweet potatoes, unpeeled
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • canola oil- not much just enough to brush
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions Parcook the potatoes: Place in a pot of water and boil until fork-tender; let cool. Make sure you do not cook the potatoes too much because then they will fall apart when you slice & grill them. Slice each potato lengthwise into eighths. Preheat a grill to medium or place a cast-iron grill pan over medium heat. Mix ~ 1/2 tablespoon salt, the lime zest and cayenne in a small bowl. Brush the potato wedges with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden brown on all sides (including the skin) and just cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter; immediately season with the salt mixture and sprinkle with cilantro. **Helpful tip: keep the sweet potato slices on the thicker side…this way they wont break apart on the grill!

August 19, 2010

Legendary Top Dog

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:23

Whew.  Hello again everyone. Going to try to make this quick as I have a long to-do list (comme d’habitude!) starting with a nice hot shower because the hot water was finally turned on!

I think it’s only been a day since I last posted but I’ve been crazy busy so it feels like it’s been a week!  The job has been the most crazy thing going on: I had to do the monthly report yesterday.  Ummm it was only my third day?! Talk about trial by fire! I’m glad everyone finds my job interesting though.  I think that once I get through this first month I’ll finally be settled?

Regardless, today is a day where there’s PM clinic (always on T/R) so I don’t have to go in until 1230/1300.  As much as the different times to go into and leave work is weird and will take time to get used to I think  I end up enjoying it? Again, it’ll take time to get settled.  But clinic (at least on Tuesday) was fun.  I get to hang out with the volunteer doctors and residents and nurses and other people who make the clinic run.  And I get to see some pretty cool patients (although I don’t think I can say much anything due to HIPPA) but suffice it to say that I’m having fun.  Crazy busy and stressed but fun.

I’ve also been really busy lately because I’m filling out an entirely new application for medical schools.  I had an epiphany recently which, while I’m totally still filling out the “common app” for medical schools, requires me to fill out a different system of applications.  All of which are due October 1st.  Now I’m not saying it’s NOT possible to do this task butttt it’s going to require me to put A LOT of work in.  But working hard = my life so I’m sure that I can get it done.  There just might be some tears of frustration here and there.  Of course whether or not I send in the applications depends on my MCAT scores so I hope I’m not doing all this work and extra stress for nothing! We’ll see.  I was WICKED productive last night on that front so I’m thinking that’s a good sign?

Every now and then I feel like my blog veers away from running and more towards STRESS.  Maybe I should rename it to Stressed-Out-Marathon-Maiden?!

So on to the running!

I still have yet to go actually explore more intense running routes rather than my standard 2X4.1 that I’ve been doing.  Mostly due to lack of time to explore.  I kind of like knowing exactly how far I’m going in advance and, since I am sans garmin, I need to map this stuff out.  Lack of time = lack of running routes.  Luckily I have a job that I will not have to bring home work with me so I can get out and explore / map this weekend. Which means that I’ve been running my 8.2 miles every day haha!

Wednesday obviously was 8.2 miles and it was at a creepy crawly pace.  Like the title of my last post suggests, I’m going to have an excuse: I didn’t get home from work until 2200 on Tuesday then had to be at work by 0800 on Wednesday.  Meaning a 0515 wake up.  Sure I can handle it but it’s tough to bang out quality miles under so little sleep.  I’m not saying I was running terribly slow (it was ~8:48 pace) but it just felt lethargic.   The humidity had cut down a bit, so it was more like 87% when I left.  I definitely was dripping with sweat when I got back to the apartment!

I got to sleep in a bit on Thursday.  Aka 0745 😀  It was one of those mornings when the covers just conform to your body and it’s the most comfortable thing everrrrr. And I think I was having a good dream too.  I guess I’m weird and can only remember bad/scary/disturbing dreams so I don’t know what this one was about but I woke up with a smile.  That’s a great way to start a day!

But after laying there for a bit I did get out of bed to hit the streets. And I’m glad I did.  The humidity was around 80% or so.  But the temp was 65*!! I definitely was working hard and sweating though.  But I don’t really mind sweating when I know it’s because of my effort and not because it’s so HHH (hazy hot and humid)

And I ran for

…wait for it….

8.2 miles. Legendary.

I’m not going to lie though: my legs felt like absolute crap.  But when I checked my watch at the halfway mark I was running at 8:40 pace.   While not rockstar pace, it was much faster than I anticipated.  Which put some pep in my step and I finished the whole run at 8:34 pace.  It’s funny how on days where the leg-os don’t feel their best is when I run my fastest.  Of course my legs might be feeling tired because I’m running fast.  But hey now I like thinking things are paradoxical.

Woot.  I even passed some really faster runners. Or at least runners that I’ve perceived to be faster during my whole 5 runs in my new locale.  This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Does that make me a bad person?!

Meaning: I want to still be top dog!  In my hometown I rarely saw another runner out.  And if I did they were old person and not a “serious” runner (I don’t know if that sounds harsh but I don’t mean it as a negative.  I’m just more focused than most of the runners back home).  This made me appear to be the best runner in the universe.  Simply because no one else runs.  Or rather no one else really races.

Here it’s definitely not the case.  Of course there are walkers and people who are out just for the hell of it but there are definitely people who are sporting the racing shirts and doing *workouts*. Of course I have been making eye contact with some of them and waving.  I even got a “hey now don’t lap me!” from one of the guys out running yesterday.  But it’s just weird to not be the only person in my area who runs.

I need to establish myself.  And fast 😉

August 17, 2010

Excuses Excuses

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 09:59

Thanks for the many many congrats with the MCAT and good lucks for the job! You guys rock.

And I’m glad y’all like Zoolander.  I’m 100% resisting the urge to quote is now. It’s totally a classic 🙂

My first day on the job was great.  Maybe a little boring because I’m going so much orientation stuff and getting familiar with the clinic.  But I totally think I’ll be very happy here for the next year.  Provided I don’t get overwhelmed the first week aha!

I don’t think I ever said what I’m doing though? Well the brief synopsis is that I’m the IT Development Research Coordinator (my job title changed after I took the position) at a clinic which provides free health care to the uninsured.  My job is primarily with the medical records and making sure they’re being maintained properly and that there are no issues with it.  I’m also responsible for the program that puts brand name drugs in our patients hands.  So I’m pretty excited.  If I decide to take more time off before heading into med school this would be a HUGE boost to my application (currently I can’t really talk about it because I haven’t done anything yet!)  But that’s what’s going on in my work life.  I don’t think it’ll be too exciting day to day, maybe long hours, but the overall picture is pretty exciting.

Now onto the running! But first…I’m really liking the whole insert-a-song-that’s-stuck-in-my-head thing.  This one is appropriate because, in terms of my running, I am solo.  Although I will say there are a few guys and gals that I’m thinking of approaching because they look like they’d be awesome to run with.  So scary though, asking someone to run with you! haha.

And this song is in my head because it’s just a kickass song. Although does it bother anyone else that he *doesn’t* go “Jaaaaaaaaaason Derulo” at the beginning?  Because it kind of bothers me.  In fact, I even had a friend (when I was in Philly) sing my full name like that when I walked into a room.  Yes I’m that awesome haha 🙂

When I last left you (gosh I feel like I’m writing a weekly drama or something…previously on MarathonMaiden haha!) on Sunday, I was about to head out for my first exploratory run in the new ‘hood.  And it was fun.  I ran along the boulevard road a couple blocks over from my house.  Nothing too fancy, just a nice path that a full loop is 3 miles.  Yeah, I’m going to have to find some new places to supplement because 3 miles (roughly 4 starting from my place) isn’t going to cut it.  But I managed to get a good 8.2 miles in.  The pace was decent, roughly 8:37.  Nothing like the runs I’d had earlier that week but I’m chalking it up to the stress of moving 😉

I also reintegrated core work into my routine on Sunday too.  Yikes.  The last time I did core was 5 weeks ago.  Literally the day before I left for my Philly trip in July.   Needless to say I woke up Monday morning a bit sore.  I was actually sore Sunday night! But it’s the good kind of sore.  The kind that says “dayyyyyyyyyyum you are working!”.  Of course it goes without saying that I probably shouldn’t have gone as long as I did between sessions but whatever.  Now that I’ve started doing it again I’ll likely be able to “guilt” myself into doing core more often.  Not that it should be so hard: I love having some tight abs 🙂

Which is why on Monday morning I did them again.  After my run though, which might have been a mistake because I definitely was running through a rain shower for the majority of my miles and when I got back to my apartment I was pretty soaked.  Not to mention my hair was all knotted because of the weather.  Annoying. The last thing I wanted to do was work my core.  But like I said, I’m vain and want my abs to look hotttttttt.

But the rain actually was kind of nice while I was out there.  It hadn’t started yet when I left my apartment at 0545 (ugh to early wake ups again!) and I can totally tolerate the rain as long as I start with no precipitation.  Does that make me weird?

Because it was so early I ran the same route as I did the day before just because I was familiar with it and because it was a legit running path and I knew that there would be at least a few people out.  And there were.  So I got another 8.2 miles.  A bit slower though.  I’m thinking 8:45? I know I have it written down in my log book but I’m too lazy to get up and check.  I’m blaming the fact that I haven’t seen a 0530 wake up in quite some time.

Man I’m just filled with excuses this post 😉

I did run a negative split by about a minute (I ran the 4.1 route twice). That’s good even if the pace isn’t quite where I want it to be.  I guess in the grand scheme of things I’m not in training for anything (although I should be if I’m really going to do a half over Labor day weekend and a 10k over Columbus day.  They’re coming up!)

Today I don’t have to go into work until 1300.  Which is nice until you think about the fact that I’m not getting out until 2200.  Ugh.  But it’s okay.  It’s a clinic day so there will be lots to do and I’ll be able to interact with doctors and volunteers and be moving around.

It’s also okay because I didn’t have to get up at 0530 to run! I don’t know what I’m going to do with my running schedule.  It’s obviously in my best interest to maintain a regular bedtime/wake up butttt if I’m staring work at 0900 twice a week and 1300 twice a week (I’m 99.99% sure that if I hit my hours over the 4 days I get Friday off. Woot.) then I really don’t want to get up at 0530 the days I don’t *have* to.  And let’s face it: I’m not skipping a morning run to keep my wake up later either.  I really don’t want to run after work as I’m going to be hungry for dinner and very likely unmotivated.  So for the time being I’m going to keep separate wake-ups.

Basically that whole previous paragraph was a segue into my run today, Tuesday.  A long segue but a segue for sure. (And can you tell that I have a hard time doing these catchup posts that I need to bold the days of the week?! haha).

Anyway.  Since I got to “sleep in” I got up a little before 8 and was greeted outside by 92% humidity.  No joke.  So I knew that a stellar run to make up for the “slower runs” the past few days wasn’t really going to happen.  Still, since I’m lazy and only have my 1 route right now, I hit the streets/path for another 8.2.  This time it was a little faster than Monday — maybe an 8:39 pace? — but it felt so sluggish. There was a *slight* negative split but it was much more even than the day before.  But hey: negative split = negative split.  No matter if it’s a minute or 30 seconds!

I tried to play racing games a la Jess but it really wasn’t happening.  The middle 4 miles were somewhat great though and I did pass people, but I think all the excitement of the past few days / week has caught up to me.  No rest for the weary though: this is my new schedule and my body is just going to have to adapt.  I don’ t think it’ll take too long to do but after living on my own schedule I’m not enjoying the transition back into obligations that aren’t flexible.

On the other hand, since I went running today later than Monday there were a lot more people out.  It always makes me feel better to see a plethora of runners.  Including some very good looking shirtless men.  Maybe I saw them during those 4 miles that felt good and that’s why those miles didn’t feel as bad?  Eye candy is always appreciated in my book haha.

But whew. Another LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG catch up post?! Blah.  I promise I’ll get better 🙂

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