MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 30, 2010

Make It A Hurricane Before I Go Insane

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:41

And no not this kind because it really hasn’t been that kind of week.

I mean the storm that is hitting the southern east coast right now and is moving up to us in the NorthEast.

I didn’t realize that so few of you were math nerds like me! Hope I didn’t bore you too much with my math-y post yesterday! Oops 🙂

I ended up calculating the pace of my run yesterday and it was a very sluggish 9:25.  I’m actually surprised it wasn’t slower than that.  I really never felt any kick at all.  But I guess it just means I *really* pushed myself the day before with those hills. Similarly my legs didn’t feel the greatest when I got up this morning. And my body in general didn’t want to get up.  The way my covers conformed to my body was really nice. 

But there was some lingering soreness in the legs, from the hills maybe? I wanted to do a speed / interval workout today but I nixed it.  I know that my legs never feel the greatest first thing in the morning but I want any type of speed work I do to really count. 

I’ll do it tomorrow.  After two days of easy stuff my legs should be good to go (and after pondering today’s run below I think they will be).  Maybe the first interval will be rough (when is it not?) but the workout will work out alright.  Fingers crossed.  I still don’t know what workout I’m going to do though. Decisions decisions.

It wasn’t so hard to decide on today.  Since yesterday was a really short run (like <7 miles short) I knew that today was going to be longer. Even with the prospect of speed work tomorrow. That said, I didn’t know how my legs would feel once I got out there so I opted to do some loops.  I wanted the first one to take me through the city for ~5.5 miles and then I would see if I wanted to do that again or just do my pathway. Here’s what went down:

  • 1st loop: 5.6 miles @ 8:59
  • 2nd loop: 5.6 miles @ 8:48
  • Total:          11.2 miles @ 8:54

The first 2 or 3 miles were ROUGH.  I thought it was going to be a repeat of Wednesday: slow as molasses.  I’m sure the weather is having something to do with it: as much as I love warm weather, it’s hard to really push and feel awesome when it’s 73* and 95% humidity. 

Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE this weather.  But there’s a reason that mid-50s and cool crisp air allows so many PRs to be set (like my half earlier this month).  I’m hoping, like that weekend of the half and hurricane Earl, that the upcoming tropical storm Nicole brings some cooler fall weather to us.  Because it is fall.  New England needs to recognize it.

The end of the run ended up feeling very strong.  Too bad I don’t do mile splits because I know that the last 4 or so miles were really fast and I flew.  I was totally DRENCHED in sweat (with that kind of humidity how could I not be?) but it made me feel BAMF and likely fueled those fast miles.  While I still don’t think I would have been prepared for speed work this morning I think that I’m right in thinking tomorrow’s session will be a good one. 

Assuming that the tropical storm isn’t going to be too bad.  At the moment we’re under both a wind and flood advisory I think. Too bad the tropical storm isn’t a hurricane, at least in non-running thinking terms.  I’m kind of itching for it.  A whole “batten down the hatches” kind of storm. By the time most big storms get up here they’re tame.  I almost want a house to blow away.  Not mine of course but I think that’d be cool to see: a roof blowing off a house.  Gosh. I just re-read that and I totally am a horrible person for writing that!

(all images courtesy of google)

In other news, before I risk turning this running blog into a “complain about the weather blog”, I think I have enough black toenails that I don’t have to buy nail polish for a really long time (once I get a black nail they last FOREVER).  Interestingly enough none of the ones I currently have are due to running.  Yes, I am that cool.

Also cool? It’s the Flintstone’s 50th birthday

I’ll end this post on that note.  Kind of a blah day.  Still not a “make it a hurricane” type of day. I didn’t have the smoothest night last night or (with the exception of the end of my run) morning and I’m dragging.  More like a coffee day? That remains to be seen.  Mix the dragging in with the weather and it’s a recipe — I was totally going to write a math equation eff it here it is:

lack of sleep + uneasy dreams + changing weather + long clinic hours =

Okay so maybe that’s a bit over-dramatized.  And by a bit I mean a lot.  I got an excellent run in, ate a good brunch at work (leftovers from our breakfast feast at yesterday’s staff meeting. YUM) and I just got my blood pressure checked by one of the medical-assisstants-in-training and it was really good (98/60), like always.  Plus I get to get an EKG done later for them to practice AND I get to go into a bunch of exams because there’s a lack of volunteers to do the recording today.  It’s the little things 😉

September 29, 2010

Scared Screaming Person

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:16

Yet another search term that someone used to find me. Holler? Hahah 

Apparently I lied and that hill workout I did on Tuesday? Yeah, Hill 1 is actually 26% grade! I was correct in saying that Hill 2 is 15% though.  Oops. No wonder the workout hurt so badly! Like I said in my edit yesterday, the funny thing is that the second hill is the one that hurt the most! 

Also a note on hills: I found out yesterday that a 100% grade hill is a 45* angle (not the straight up like I would intuitively think).  Thinking about it I’ve decided that the math (aka trigonometry) does, in fact, work out that way.  But I never would have intuitively realized it and this means that my 26% grade hill is actually twice as steep as I would have thought a 26% grade hill to be. And I thought it was pretty darn steep! 😛 If any of that made sense that’d be awesome because it’s hard to wrap my head about it hahah. 

A couple of people asked me how to calculate percent grade. So I’ll nerd out a bit 🙂  It’s trig and the formula for percent grade is your slope formula: rise over run 

goooooooooooooogle images (as are all images in this post)

Of course the “run” part of the equation is not the exact portion you are running (the hypotenuse is) and the more complicated equation becomes if you don’t know the “run”.  So you can use the actual distance traveled (the hypotenuse) with the equation (and feel free to use a calculator!): 

100*tan[arcsin(rise/distance you run)] 

Enjoy that math lesson? Don’t lie because of course you did. 

And I bet you’ll also enjoy the fact that my body is feeling the workout today as well.  At least I am. Sure it made the actual run today total suckage but that’s okay.  Surprisingly my legs have reacted pretty well to being hammered and beaten on those hills.  But I’m not feeling crippled.  It’s more of a tightness and lead feeling rather than OUCH. 

Doesn’t change the end result that I felt like I was running through molasses this morning. 

The Great Molasses Flood of Boston. No joke.

In all fairness I don’t think it was entirely my legs’ fault.  It was 69* and 93% humidity. 

And this was at 0500. Which means is was PITCH BLACK the entire run.  Well maybe by the end there was pre-dawn light but ugh. I know most of you know what I’m talking about. 

So I’m sure my legs LOVED that as well.  Especially since I couldn’t see the path I was running on.  The areas that are tree covered made me really unsure of where I was stepping.  Luckily I came out unscathed 🙂 

I can go either way with loving or hating 0500 and so can my runs.  Either  I just GO without thinking or my legs don’t want to wake up.  Secretly I think it’s more love with that wake up because, oddly enough, I feel like a real adult.  Like I have to get up this early because I have to be at work on time. 

But my legs did feel sloooooooooooooooow.  In fact I checked my watch at a place where I knew how far I’d run, saw the time and then didn’t look at my watch for the rest of the run.  Because it was THAT slow.  I’d have loved to have turned off the watch completely but, hey, at the end of the day I’m a numbers junkie and my log book and stats would not have liked that. Suffice it to say I haven’t yet looked at the overall time because I want it to sting less if I look at it later! 

I can say that it was between 6 and 7 miles.  Maybe close to 8 if I’m being overly pessimistic right now on the pace.  I doubt it though.  I’d say a solid 6.5.  Once I saw how slow I was and knew that I wasn’t going to care about pace (at least in terms of seeing the time during the run) I kind of wandered a bit on my route. 

Very unlike me. 

A recovery run itself isn’t really like me either.  If you remember, after both my recent half and 5, none of the runs were slow or short enough to be classified as recovery.  Damn you hills 😉

I’ll wrap up there.  It’s been a long day at work already.  I’ve been in meetings from 0800 until abut 1330.  So the time has flown by but I’ve gotten nothing accomplished that I wanted to.  So what am I doing? Finishing a post then heading to DD.  Because it’s a coffee day! And I’ll be walking down gang street to do so. Wish me luck! 

September 28, 2010

You Can’t Make Me

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:02

Do speed work that is. At least out and out speed work.

Because today I tackled the HILLS.


I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this.  Hell I’m NEVER sure I want to do this.  Hills are like reverse frenemies.  They are nasty to you outright but behind your back they help you become a better runner.

I’m glad you guys don’t really have a problem with me complaining so much about the weather — or at least you guys were too polite to do so.  Because I suppose I’m going to do it again. When I last left you guys the weather was cool and misty.  This morning it was 71* with a humidity of 91%.  I guess  I can’t really complain because late afternoon yesterday the humidity was 97%. Hello summer? WTF New England?!

I also got to sleep in (AGAIN) today.  My body woke me at 0715 but I laid there until the alarm was supposed to go off 45 minutes later.  In hindsight it might have been a mistake because adding the hill repeats, and the subsequent recovery jogs, into the route caused me to run slightly late for work this morning.  But everything miraculously worked out and I got here on time.  And the repeats let me feel good.

It didn’t start out that way.  I woke up and, as the title of the post suggests, I did NOT want to do anything other than an easy run.  It’s easy.  Duh.  I think one of the best things I incorporate into my running is this blog.  I mean, I had SAID that over the weekend I was going to do this workout.  And then I said it again yesterday.  At some point I’ve got to nut up or shut up

How I tackled these hills hahah

And so I did.  The first few warm up miles were NOT pretty.  My legs felt DEAD and TIRED and NOT MOVING. But by this time I knew that I was doing hills so I told myself that by the time I got to the two hills I wanted to do that my legs would feel better.

LIES.  But it got me to stop at the hills rather than just continue on my way.

  • ~40 minute warm up
  • 4 X Hill 1: ~.1 miles @ 12% [Edit: I lied, this hill is really 26%. Eep. the funny thing is that this one hurt less than the other one!] 
  • 4 X Hill 2:  ~.1 miles @ 15%
  • ~ 55 minutes warm down
  • Total hillage: 8 repeats for ~1.5 miles
  • Total miles & pace: 12 miles @ 9:05

Ouch.  I was expecting a faster time than that.  But the slow start and the killer hills (and granny jog — aka barely moving — recovery) and then slow to get my legs moving after the hills (plus I realized that I still had to go up more hills to get back to my apartment!) all add up to a SLOW overall pace. I’m not too upset by it.  Obviously I cringed a bit when calculating it out but I’m happy with getting those hills in. It was a very challenging workout for me.

These guys were TOUGH.  My legs BURNED after the first one. My butt and hips are going to be very VERY sore tomorrow.  I could feel them being sore during the workout.  And I could feel them sore during the runn granny shuffle afterward.  Heck I can feel them being sore right now as I type this at clinic.

That said, looking back on the workout I’d have to classify these guys as just hill repeats.  Not hills sprints.  Of course my legs were tired and hurt like the dickens by the end but I never felt like I was going to hurl.  I do know that is what I always want out of racing but I also think a good hard session of hills or intervals should give you a slight feeling of vomit-ness. 

But again, I’m not disappointed with this workout.  My heart was pounding in my chest and I wanted to stop.  But I didn’t. I know that the next step in my running scheme is to get from repeats to sprints.  But considering that I haven’ t done a hills workout since Boston training (and those were on TMs because of the lack of hills in my area) this one was a doozy.

Which suits me just fine 8)

September 27, 2010

I Guess I Complain A Lot About The Weather…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:57

…so I’ll try not to. Because things really are feeling great right now.  It’s a nice refreshing feeling considering how run down I was last week.


I am OBSESSED with this movie at the moment all the time. And this might be the best line ever.  Although I did watch this movie last night and all the lines are really good. I’ll very likely be quoting it all day.   

But the real reason I feel like I actually am taking crazy pills is because of the weather here in New England! On Saturday (the day I went apple picking) I was in a halter top, shorts and my flippy floppies.  And that night I went out sans jacket.  

But Sunday and today? Ummm total sweatshirt weather.  Not that I really mind because sweatshirt weather is awesome but the back and forth weather is getting old.  Granted I should be used to it because I’ve lived here my entire life but nope.  Not so much. Silly New England and changing the weather every 5 minutes! 

The weather this morning when I got up was NICE.  AKA no complaints — yet 😉   

Cool, cloudy, 60*, 80% humidity and misty conditions.  Luckily there was no rain but I woke up in the middle of the night, because I was cold and wanted a comforter to be cozy under, and it was POURING out.  I’m glad that it stopped before I got up though and I’m glad that I got to fall back asleep listening to it.  Sleeping while it’s raining is so nice.   

And the weather conditions made for a very fun and muddy run.  I tackled my pathway again and because it’s a dirt path my legs got all good and dirty.  Even though I always shudder before I leave my door thinking about messiness once I got started it just felt hardcore to be out there.  There’s definitely something liberating about having dirt and mud caked onto the back of your calves.  And I think it’s even better that it wasn’t actively raining because my feet got to stay dry!   

(from google images)

 The run:  

  • 1st loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:45
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:40
  • 3rd loop:     2.3 miles @ 8:14
  • Total:              10.5 miles @ 8:37

I saw a lot of “hardcore” people out this morning.  Normally I see a mix of people who are really booking it, to those just plodding along, to walkers.  I felt like EVERYONE was running hard and INTENSE.  Naturally this made me want to go and be intense too.   I even got caught up in a “race” with some guy on the path.  He blew me away but it was fun to get caught up in the energy that was out there!

Not exactly mission accomplished with being intense myself because my pace was my easy pace but it put some pep in my step.  This made the first loop of my pathway not that bad as normally the first loop is always an “ugh I have to do this again?!” type feeling. But I really felt strong and wanted to be out there for those first miles, which for me are always the toughest. And this let me hammer home the last smaller loop.  Wooot to ending on a strong note 🙂   

It also made me feel better about my thinking that a marathon is what I want to tackle next.  At first I wasn’t sure if I was just getting pumped and jealous of everyone who is running a fall marathon but, after this weekend and this morning, I think that I’m making the right choice.  Like many of you commented, I knew that I’d be back for another marathon.    

Just annoying that I got this bug in my ear now with not a lot of options when it comes to picking a race.  I really don’t want to wait for a spring race and knowing my luck there’ll be a nor’easter on race day.  Then again, I risk that even in April / May. 

This image sends shivers down my spine. (from google images)

But in the time being I need to wise up for the Tufts 10k which is in TWO WEEKS (!!).  After my really great 5k last weekend I gave myself time to not do any speed work. Which was probably good and what I needed but now I’m thinking that there’s soooooooooo little time to really focus for Tufts.   

So this week I’ll likely do the hill workout that I skipped out of this weekend and another fast interval-esque workout.  I’m debating between the workout I did prior to the 5k ( warm-up, 2 miles hard, 1 mile easy, 1 mile hard, warm down) or changing it up to something unknown.  There is a track nearby so I was thinking of maybe doing something there.  But I don’t really know what yet.  I’ve gotten lots of suggestions from you guys so I’ll look them over but if anyone has a MUST do workout let me know! 

I probably should get back to the clinic and wrap up this semi-aimless post hahah!  The neurologist that’s in right now needs some help with the electronic medical recording (EMR) because she’s a new volunteer provider and is a little unsure.  I might not end up doing any recording but I’m surely not going to pass up an opportunity to be in with patients! 

Check out the giveaway from Miss Zippy. Or don’t because I want it!

September 26, 2010

Saturday Was A Good Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:02

Or a great day even.

I don’t think it’s any secret that these past two weeks have been LONG and TIRING for me.  I mean, it’s not like I complain about it, oh I don’t know, every post?

But I’m happy to report that this post has *minimal* complaining (because I’m writing this sentence first and there is no way I can guarantee none hahah) and I’m also happy to report that I am feeling SO MUCH BETTER (also just a warning: there may be lots of capitalized words.  I guess it’s an emphatic post)

It ended up being a no-go on the Toga Party.

Which is just as well because I ended up skype-ing my best friend from home and we spent a few hours just catching up.  I haven’t seen her since my trip to Philly in July and it was nice to actually *talk* rather than just play email catch up. Plus I got about 10 hours of sleep by not going out that night. Which made my Saturday wicked awesome.

I started out the day with a looooooooooooong run. It wasn’t my original intent (if you remember hills were) so I don’t know what possessed me (well maybe I do. I like long runs).  I knew when I stepped out the door that I didn’t want to do hills (and since I’m not in training I didn’t have to do it) but I still knew that I wanted to really push myself.

And push myself I did.  I knew in the back of my mind that if I ran far enough my body would have to reset itself (after a shower, food and reading on the balcony of course!) and that I’d feel great. I wasn’t sure how far I could go but it ended up being a very decent distance.

  • 1st loop: 5.6 miles @ 8:48
  • 2nd loop: 5.6 miles @ 8:47
  • 3rd loop: 4.1 miles @ 843
  • Total: 15.3 miles @ 8:46

15 miles is the longest run I’ve done post-Boston.  So it was WAY tiring.  Interestingly my stats above don’t show that too well but trust me: the last 2 or 3 miles were HARD. The weather wasn’t helping (it was 76* and 94% humidity at 0800 when I left!) either.

Which is what I wanted. I’ve been in the in-between state where I have enough energy to do stuff but I’ve also never gotten the chance to really recoup because my type-A personality says that I must be doing something.  Running so long forced me to slow down for the rest of the day and enjoy.

[Awkward tangent]

I also realized on this run that, as fun as the 5k was last weekend and as fun as I know the 10k is going to be in 2 (!!) weeks or even a race as long as a half, that I’m itching to do another marathon.  If you’ve noticed, my runs are getting longer, both mid-week where the average run is about 9 with one or two 10-ers and the long run where I just ran a 15. And, I know I don’t do weekly recaps anymore, the overall weekly mileage has been slowly creeping up a bit naturally.

I am fully aware that 15 =/= marathon training long run but I was definitely thinking, especially over those last 2 or 3 really hard miles that I want a marathon.  To which I can say “FINALLY” for that desire to train for a marathon returning.  I knew it would but I just didn’t know when!

I know I’ve said all fall that I regret not signing up for a marathon but deep down I didn’t have that burning passion to do so.  It was more or a “oh hey I’ve put lots of miles in I should have capitalized on it”.  Right now I want to train and focus.  I’ve been thinking of doing the Hyannis Marathon in February.  Not ideal living in New England but I can’t afford Boston, so I likely won’t do it, in which case I don’t really want to wait for spring.

Obviously no commitments yet (look how long it took me to sign up for that 5k!) but something I’ve been musing over.

[End awkward tangent hahah!]

Soooo where was I? Oh yeah: I felt ON and READY-TO-GO. How can you not feel like a bamf after running 15 miles? I was snapped back into not being a zombie!

Ready to go where you ask?


Yay Apples

Because I’ve been in a blah-ish mood my friend (who is my desk mate at work and thus hears me complain even more than you guys do 😉 ) decided that we were going to go pick some apples.  Because apple picking makes me happy and she had never been! (She’s from the south and, sadly, they apparently do not partake in any apple picking amazingness) We ended up picking ~25 pounds of apples.  She didn’t really want any of them so she just took a few out when we got back.  So guess who has ~20 pounds of apples? Anyone care to guess how long they’ll last? 😀

Clearly the best ones are at the top. And yes it was warm enough to wear a halter top and shorts. Fall?

Later that night me and my friend (my friend and I?) headed into Boston to party.  The original plan was to meet up with some of my hometown friends and do some bar hopping.  Well let’s just say that some drama ensued with the group and leave it at that.  We still ended up in the city, but with different people, and still had an absolute blast.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself and it was quite the night and a testament to the fact that changing up a routine can make a world of difference in mood!

And my workout today (Sunday)? Well let’s just say that it was a different kind of punishing than the long run on Saturday 😉

Or not.  I keep harping on the fact that after a night of having a drink or two, or a night of dancing, I run a lot better / faster / easier.  So the run was faster than I anticipated — even knowing the aforementioned fact, it still always surprises me when I go fast.

The weather was actually pleasant too.  Sure it was still 70* but the humidity was down to about 60%.  And for the first time, despite the weather not truly being cold yet, I really noticed the leaves changing — And I really tried to find a non-cliche picture of New England in the fall with changing leaves.  But I couldn’t.  And I’m too lazy to move from my balcony to go take one myself.  So here’s the cliche anyway (and all images that follow are google images as is the toga one up top ).

But know that I really do get to see this everyday.  My favorite is the deep red ones.  The changing of the leaves might be the (only) good thing about New England 😉

So I am now off to go find a place to watch the end of the Pats game.  Woot.Although by the time this is scheduled to go up the game will likely be over hah! Let’s hope they can not suck this week?


Check out the giveaway Matt‘s having.

September 24, 2010

In England An Elephant Stuck In Molasses

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:51

Another weird search term someone used to find me.  Seriously? At least I’m not really offended by it like I kind of was with “Drunk Girl Passed Out On Pavement” 😛

Take care of yourself. Eat well, rest, train hard and smart, make time to think and breathe. Be intentional with your time.

Kristin Armstrong, Author and runner

That was my runnersworld quote for…yesterday? It was earlier this week for sure. It definitely came at a good time because this is how I was originally going to start my post:


Because that’s how I’ve been feeling the past few morning.  I don’t know if it’s allergies or lack of sleep or the changing of the seasons (HELLO FALL) but man I have been dragging lately.  And it’s not just in mental fogginess.  My body feels like it’s moving through quicksand.   It isn’t, of course, but I feel gravity’s pull.  To keep me in bed longer, to keep my butt glued to my desk chair at work etc.  I need to WAKE UP.

More coffee?

Which is funny because (and I know I’ve mentioned this is previous posts) I’ve been sleeping pretty soundly.  Like I am out cold within .00000000001 seconds of my head hitting the pillow.

I don’t have much exciting to report.  I think that the honeymoon phase of “real life” is over and I’m stuck with the reality that I am, despite me not wanting to be, an adult.  I’ve been in my new place for about 6 weeks and the newness has worn off.  I’ve already paid a round of bills, rent, parking and it’s no longer playing house or playing adult but being an adult.  At least with the whole responsibilities thing.

I am still loving my job and, while I worked MORE hours this week than last, it didn’t feel that way.  I guess I wasn’t working as many hours each day which can make a huge difference.  I cut hours earlier in the week because: guess what I got to do today? Or rather guess what happened at the clinic today that I had to go to?

PRESS CONFERENCE.  With the United States Senator.  Because he was really impressed with the clinic at some point earlier this year or last year and raised close to $100,000 for us.  Woot.  Normally, if I go into work at all on Fridays, I get to have a dress down day.  Because it’s just staff.  But today I got to look like this.

It's like the first day of school photo shoot!

And I’m trying to do the whole “hunch over haute-couture” model thing. And being a goof-ball instead! My roomie took this picture and she was being so serious about being the photographer! I called her on it (because she wanted to take sooooooo many shots and angles) and she said “Well if it’s going on your blog…” haha

Which really isn’t that different than what I normally wear on clinic nights (gotta look nice for those doctors 😉 ) but is totally different than all Fridays and more dressy than my regular office days.  Sadly I did not get a picture with the Senator because I am a lowly VISTA hahah!

The blah feeling and, well I was going to say quicksand but I will instead say molasses in light of the title of the post, feeling has sort of extended into my running.  I don’t think it helps when the weather is really muggy out.  Like I said yesterday: seriously New England? I don’t want humidity anymore! It’s fall.  I think it was 63* out at 0600, which is fine, but the humidity was 91%.  And at some points during the run I literally felt like I was running in water.  It wasn’t raining but the water on my face definitely wasn’t sweat.  At least not all of it hahah.

From Google

Again, despite not really digging the weather or feeling like my runs have been great in-run, the running is good.  I’m kind of kicking myself, thought, for not taking recovery form the 5k more seriously as my quads still are a bit sore.  I think I let my ego get the best of me and I really came back too fast/intense after the race.

Not that it’s hindered me at all.  The past few runs have all been decently distanced (8-10) and all run within 8:30-8:40 pace.  Which has morphed into my new easy pace.  Exciting for sure. True to my usual self I start out the first route just under 9 pace and end the last route just over 8 pace.  Progression.  I just wish I could *feel* that progression on my runs.

For example today’s run:

  • 1st loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:54
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:39
  • 3rd loop: 2.3 miles @ 8:12
  • Total: 10.5 miles @ 8:38

With the exception of maybe the very first mile, every mile felt the same!  And clearly the first loop was much slower than the last one.  What gives? I’m thinking of going back to that 12% grade hill I showed a few weeks ago and doing some repeats tomorrow morning.  I need something to, like I said earlier, WAKE ME UP.  Not that being in an easy flow is a bad thing but I’m itching to do some focused running.

Hope y’all have great Friday nights! I’m debating skipping out on a Toga Party I’ve been invited too.  It sounds like fun and the people who are throwing it are awesome butttt I’m going into Boston tomorrow night and Lord knows that I could use BOTH nights to catch up on sleep.  We’ll see what I end up doing.  Maybe two nights out will snap me out of the UGH-ness.

Check out the giveaway from Mel

September 23, 2010

Bullets = Scatterbrain

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:10

Whoa there. Today’s clinic has the potential to make this week feel really long and gloomy and when I tried to write a cohesive paragraph-ical post this morning I couldn’t.  Sooooo here are some bullet points.  Because bullet points are inherently jumbled and by the time Thursday comes around I am usually jumbled.  But there’s always this to cheer us up — and the promise of the weekend so despite Thursdays being a long work day I still love them to death 😀

  • First I’ll start with the running.  It’s been going well.  Last week I complained a lot about my crazy hours at the clinic and this week I’ve been working more reasonable hours (granted I just jinxed myself!). But the lack of sleep and overload of stress really hit THIS week. I’ve been sleeping like a ROCK but still been very tired (Except for the annoying texts that my friends (who still do not have jobs and therefore do not understand why I want to be a granny and go to bed before midnight) send me post-midnight. But we won’t talk about that hah!).  What does this have to do with running? Well on Wednesday I had planned a shorter run because my legs have some lingering soreness from the 5k but I was so deep in thought and out of it that I missed a turn.  Which added 3.3 miles to my route.  Annoying.  Especially since I was so committed to NOT running far that day. Normally I wouldn’t mind but the cumulative effects of a hard race 2 weeks ago and a hard race a few days ago has left my legs still a bit groggy.  As much as you would never believe that I could type this out but I could have used a shorter distance day.
  • Thursday (today)’s run was nicer.  Maybe because it went according to plan hah! I went out bowling last night but because of the later clinic today I got to sleep in.  Which was like a rock again.  So I woke up ready to tackle my run.  And tackle I did.  I chose to NOT run the pathway like I usually do in the mornings (it was 0800 and felt safer because there was sunlight and lots of people around) and run through the city.  It was a different feel because I normally just run there on the weekend.  It was cool to see people hurrying about and kids going off to school. The downside was it was on those steep hills (which one of them I have recently found out is legitimately 12% grade).  Not the fastest run ever and neither the longest nor the shortest run ever but it still felt really good.
  • According to Wednesday morning at 0530: 65* and humid WTF?!  The overnight low Tuesday night was WARMER than the high of Tuesday?!  And the temp Monday and Tuesday morning (at 0530 and 0800 respectively) when I was running was 44*?! How is that possible?! The forecast is also predicting a cold front this weekend. Gahhhh New England.  How I love and yet hate thee.


Seriously. Bamf status right here. How can you not love it?!


Seriously. How could you love this?!

  • Does drinking soda count toward hydration? I used to say NO because I’ve always been told that caffeine = diuretic so it shouldn’t count.  But I’ve since read articles that caffeine is no more a diuretic than good old H2O. AND when I was drinking my afternoon Dr. Pepper (because I’ve found something else other than my diet coke with lime to fuel my caffeine addiction! GASP!) lo – and – behold: the first ingredient is water.I think it should count.  Especially since, and this is likely very shameful, I only drink about 16 oz of actual water a day (I do drink lots of milk.  Like probably too much).
  • I use to map.  And I typically truncate the mileage at the first decimal place (aka 4.56 = 4.5).  Recently I’ve tried to look at the hundredths place and that can yield me up to .2 or .3 MORE.  This also obviously messes with the average overall paces. Thoughts on what I should do from here on out? I just tend to distrust the accuracy of the .01 place but clearly can make a big difference over a longer run like this.  Should I take an average of the two? Hmmmm.
  • I discovered driving home from clinic late one night last week that the route I drive is territory to the Bloods.  As in the gang.  I realized this because there were about 20 cops breaking something up and I checked the news the next day.  I have never been more happy to be leasing the car I drive from my family.  Money well worth spent.
  • I love your guys’ input on my goals that I wrote about last post.  And your suggestions for the time between now and Tufts.  I keep getting nervous / scared for it. Much like I was before this past 5k.  I keep questioning things like maybe I never fully recovered from my half then ran a really good 5k and didn’t truly try to recover from that.  Or I’m training like I’m running for a longer race. I need to smarten up and GET FOCUSED because I have the Tufts 10k coming up! Sometimes I feel like maybe I’m not taking my 10k goal seriously. Or I’m just scared of it. Again: funny because I’m such a type-A personality and I tend take things too seriously.
  • Also on a 100% not related to ANYTHING I’ve written about (but then again is anything really related in this post?) I want to share this gem of a picture that I found on failblog.  It caused me and the girl sitting next to me at work to dissolve into hysterical laughter.  And then I had to text my sister who texted me back:

I don’t know what to think of this.  On one hand I appreciate it and on the other I’m slightly offended

And check out these giveaways from Marcia and Emily!

September 21, 2010

I Love Fall

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:04

First: did you check out my race report for my awesome 5k? Oh shameless self-promoting 😀 

Afternoons that is. Mornings? Not so much. The coupling of the sun rising later and mid-40s for the temps makes it not a lot of fun.  Afternoons? YES.  The warm sun and upper-60s makes my heart go pitter-patter.  This weather would be perfect for running.  Too bad things called work get in the way.  Ruining a perfect weather day.

I also love the turning of the leaves! I live near a lake in my hometown and this is pretty much exactly what it looks like. But this picture is from google images

Nothing I can do about the temps and daylight I guess.  Except try to embrace the hours that I do get to spend outside.  Monday morning was a 0515 wake up call so running outside before work in the sunshine was a no-go.  It was dark and cool the entire time.  Blahhh.  When I got out of work at 1700, however, the weather was nice and I got to sit outside and enjoy the sun.  I debated running again but decided against it.  My motivation tanks after a day of work.

So here’s Monday morning’s run and the data:

  • 1st loop: 4.1 @ 8:56
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 @ 8:28
  • 3rd loop:    1.1 @ 8:02
  • Total:              9.3 @ 8:37

It had been awhile since the last time I did a double loop of the pathway so I decided to do it Monday.  It was nice because I’m so familiar with the path that the fact I was likely still half asleep didn’t matter.  Nor the fact that I couldn’t see too well at this hour and I now know (through many many errors) where every root and stone are.

I don't know if this picture is exactly where I run but, if not, it's almost identical to it. At least all the greenery was what I saw in the summer hahah! Now trying to run this with no sunlight! There is roadway on either side but that gravel path in the center is what I run on.

Despite running a kick ass 5k on Sunday (which THANKS again for all the congrats. I’m still riding high from it 8) ) there was minimal soreness.  Don’t get me wrong: my quads — and abs! Must. Do. More. Core. — were feeling the effort from the day before.  But it was no where near as bad as I though it was going to be. Probably because I iced down and stretched afterward.  And I wore my diabet compression socks all day.  Maybe I’m learning as runner?!

So I was only planning on doing one loop and then then the add on. But I was actually feeling good after doing those guys so I tacked on an extra pathway loop.

My theory is that when you’re feeling strong embrace it.  That said, I did stop at the 9.3 despite feeling like I could have done more.

And I took to this theory again on Tuesday for my run.  Monday’s tend to be long days, not at the clinic, but in terms of waking hours just because I get up so early.  So it was nice to wake up feeling slightly REFRESHED. I fell asleep around 2230 and slept like a ROCK until my alarm went off at 0730.  9 hours? Yes please.

While the sun was shining outside, the thermometer read 44*.  YIKES! See what I mean about fall? Mornings suck.  I need to migrate south. STAT.  I was still feeling decent but, as you probably know, anything can happen over the course of a run so I nixed the idea to do a big long loop in favor of a few smaller loops (but then again, I’ve been doing that a lot lately).

This is what my path will look like in a few weeks! Hello fall! Again, like the image above, I don't know if this is exactly where I run (hey google images) but it looks damn near identical to it

The aim was to do the first two loops listed below, which would give me 9.7 miles.  And I seriously do not know what it is about running the week after a race but my runs just feel strong and fast.  So I tend to “cheat” myself out of recovery.  Hence adding an extra 1.3 miles to make it 11.


  • 1st loop: 4.1 @ 8:46
  • 2nd loop: 5.6 @ 8:40
  • 3rd loop:    1.3 @ 8:22
  • Total:           11.0 @ 8:40

Clearly neither of those runs would qualify as recovery runs.  But it’s not like I’m *trying* to push things after a race.  Of course I’m not trying to hold back and stay true to recovery.  I guess I’m just going.  Might not be the smartest thing but I guess I’ll let my body dictate?

One thing that my body will NEVER tell me to do naturally is speed work and since my next race (a goal race of sorts) the Tufts 10k (less than 3 weeks!!) I want to ask you guys what kind of speed work have you found to be useful in fast races?  Any thoughts as to what my next three weeks should look like? I obviously have thoughts of my own on this topic but the more ideas I can get the better my running will be!

Which, I know this is getting lengthy and I have no sparkling pictures of my beautiful face to show you 😉 , but this might be a good time to revisit some goals that I set for 2010. (you can see the full list by clicking that link).  Yes, I know that it’s the middle of a month but I’ve doing a lot of thinking about how I’ve progressed as a runner this year.  So bear with me.

These were my specific time goals aka the tangible goals that needed focus (my NEW comments are in blue):

  1. sub 20:00 5k — considering my only 5k time is 21:32 and I didn’t train for it I think this is lofty but do-able if I train for a 5k.  Who knows if that will happen though as I ❤ the long stuff. CHECK.  Hizzah. And this happened on no real specific 5k training.  Just two speed work sessions 10 days and 6 days before.  New goal? Sub 19.  Very lofty.  But I think that with specific speed work I can do it.  Maybe not before the year is out.  But it’s the next target.
  2. sub 43:00 10k — ideally I just want 43:23 because that works out to 7 pace even but being the overachiever I am I want to break a round number. I have yet to run one this year.  But I think that I can do this at Tufts.  *FingersCrossed*
  3. sub 1:40:00 half — every time I run a half I smash my previous pr.  I’m currently at 1:41:56 which was a 2 or 3 minute improvement from the previous pr.  Definitely going to be hard but I think it’s do-able. Totally do able! And done-able! I smashed this by running 1:33 over Labor day weekend.  New goal? Sub 1:30.  Going to be hard but I think if I want it bad enough I can get it.
  4. 3:35:00 marathon — I was going to write sub 3:30 but that’s an 8 minute pr and I’m not sure how realistic that would be.  Actually to hell with it: the goal is sub 3:30.  I left the last marathon feeling like I had plenty of gas in the tank so we’ll see if I can capitalize on that in 2010. Well I missed the Sub 3:30 goal but I walked away from Boston with a new PR of 3:35.  Which was the original goal.  Sub 3:30 is what I have my eyes on next.

So it’s WAY exciting to see that I’ve PR’d in every distance that I’ve done this year (and since I’ve only run one of each I pr’d in every race!) including the 20M and 5M I did that weren’t in the goal list because they popped up randomly.

This has definitely been a great year so far.  Luckily there is still a little over 3 months left 😀

September 20, 2010

I Made It

Filed under: Race Report — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:04

First of all: thanks to all the heartfelt congrats and wicked nice thing y’all said yesterday.  Maybe it was the endorphins but I smiled and laughed on all of them and teared up on some as well!  You guys are so supportive and nice!  You totally know how to make a girl feel good too 🙂

And now what you’ve been waiting for!

I really wish this song had gotten bigger than it did.  Because I am still a fan.  A huge fan. Like I’m smiling big watching this and listened to it the entire time I wrote this post.  Or I could still be on a high from the race  😀

So by now you’ve probably already seen my quickie update from yesterday where I said my watch time was 20:01.94. Which, don’t get me wrong, is a fantastic time.  But I just had my eyes on something bigger — or faster as the case may be.

Which according to my


official time I did hit it. Thank you very much 🙂

I was 206/5977 and 23/1974 in my division (Women’s Open 34 and under)

For those of you who are not as mathematically inclined as I that is top 3.4% overall and top 1.2% division.

Yes I’ve been smiling ever since they posted it.

Now let’s back up.

Pre-Race (I always take forever to set up the actual race hahah!)

The morning started by me waking up on my own and to a really pleasant morning: the temp at the start was probably mid-to-upper 60s and the sun was SHINING bright.  1115 start time + living in a small city = no early wake up calls.  I got to eat a leisurely breakfast and do some work.  Since I had been so scared (not totally terrified but more than a little nervous) I set about the apartment doing some research stuff for some things that I’m planning in the future (which — tangent — might just be the BEST thing about not being in school).  I basically was trying to make the day as “normal” as possible.

If only because I had two schools of thought on how the race was going to go.  Despite anxiety dreams on both Friday and Saturday night, in which people were telling me that I’d fail, that I couldn’t run well etc., I did think I had a shot at doing really well.  Some of you had thrown around the sub-20.  I’m not going to lie and say that it wasn’t something that I disregarded as out of this world.  But, like most races, I thought it was either going to go REALLY well or REALLY poorly.

I warmed up for about 3.5 miles.  Maybe a bit much but I really didn’t feel my legs “click” until I started doing my strides around mile 2.5.  After a mile of that, which was on the last mile of the course, I made my way to the starting line.  I was happy I chose to run on the course but it definitely brought back memories of how hilly Providence is.  AKA the final quarter mile was uphill.  And not just a gentle uphill: like UPHILL.  But at least now the fact that it was there was fresh in my mind.

Since I registered the day before and NOT online I was a really high bib number.  And since this is such a large race they put people in corrals according to said bib number.   I remembered from last year that bib numbers correlated to the approximate time you say you’ll finish when you fill out the online application.  Since I was shooting for a fast race I headed toward the front of the pack.  One good thing about this being a big race is that, the closer it got to gun time, the less people were checking bib numbers.  So I did get up closer to the front.

After about 5 minutes of a wait (while an announcer introduced famous runners that were there — like Joan Benoit Samuelson, Sarah Hall and Molly Huddle who is a local and the 2010 winner and I think the announcer said the current 5k American record holder? I guess this race is a big deal?!) the gun went off.

The bad thing about big races is that the start always is awful.  I felt stifled and ended up running on the outside of the pack which, when you take turns into account, probably added some distance to my race. But here’s the splittage breakdown (according to my watch) and some commentary from what I can remember during the race


Mile 1: 6:33

Not bad at all when you consider all the weaving I had to do.  I never found a rhythm because there were too many runners around! Normally this wouldn’t annoy me (because I’m a longer distance gal and there’s plenty of time to make up that stuff there) but in a 5k I need all the advantages I can get.  I do remember thinking, as I passed the mile marker, gahhh there’s still 2 more?! And then a few moments later holy #$%@! It’s really 2.1 miles more!

Mile 2: 6:25

This was probably the most painful mile.  It was the fastest but I think it was tough because from about mile 1.5 to 2.5 I was picking it up then slowing it down then picking it up.  My mind wandered A LOT during this mile too.  I was thinking about anything and everything.  Some race related but mostly not. Which is weird that it ended up being my fastest split.

Mile 3: 6:31

I got to see some cute middle/high school girls dressed in bumblebee costumes somewhere during this mile.  It lifted me a little (especially since I had passed them during my warmup and they cheered for me then!) From mile 2 to 3 I kept thinking about how I had run this portion of the race during the warm-up and kept thinking that the end had to be near. But in a 5k, and at this point in a 5k, it’s not.

My legs definitely threatened to shut down but the thought of passing other runners (another perk to a big race!) kept me going.  I could actually feel my legs being sore.  I guess this is a good sign that I was running fast because I’ve never gotten this feeling in a race before.

last .1: 0:33 (5:30 pace?!)

I hit mile 3 with my watch saying 19:29.  I freaking took off.  I wanted that sub-20 sooooooooooooo badly at this point.  The harder I pushed the more I thought my legs were going to collapse and I honestly thought I was in danger of vomiting right there on the race course!  I didn’t of course but I’m not going to lie: it could have happened.

CVS Caremark Downtown 5k: 20:01.94 (according to my watch) which is a 6:27 pace. And according to official results I ran a 19:59 which is a 6:26 pace

Post Race:

After the race I remember wanting to puke.  Like I know I joke about it but I think this is the first time it was actually in danger of happening.  I walked and got some water and then somehow I ended at the end of the racing area.  I’m not going to say I blacked out (because I never have and I think if I had I would have ended up in the medical tent. Another good thing about big races is that there are tons of medical people around so I’m sure if anything serious had gone down I’d have been in good hands) but I don’t really have a recollection of the 10-15 minutes after I crossed the finish line. I do know that I ate a banana and a package of trail mix as evidenced by the trash I held in my hand.

Then I headed home and waited in agony for official race results to be posted.  Agony.

Overall Thoughts

My plan to go out hard and hold it (which actually I stole from Lacey who is my coach and running partner in crime here!) worked.  I went out hard and didn’t falter (although I really don’t run 5k races so to me the paces being all within an 8 second range seems good. Yes?).  Yes I wish I had gone out harder or at least not felt like I was doing the whole slow-down-speed-up routine in the middle.  Especially since I was able to kick that last .1 miles at such a blistering pace! And considering the speed session I had been doing were around that pace.

As far as my official time is concerned I spent the large majority of Sunday trying to convince myself that running a 20:01.94 was good and okay.  Once I saw my official time I was literally screaming and jumping all around my lovely apartment.  Crazy? Maybe.  But it just felt SO GOOD!

Whew.  That was long and since I ran it by myself I don’t have any pictures.  And by now I’ve probably posted all my racing pictures in the past! Whoops.  I know I love pictures in posts so I feel bad.  Hopefully my racing made up for it?! 😛

But this is a picture of the area where the course is.  Which was really nice, despite being uphill at the end.

Thanks google images

And, I think that I should say that this race is incredibly well organized and if you’re ever in the area next fall you should check out this race.  I ran this race last year as my debut 5k and if I made it my second 5k ever then you know if must be good. Plus, since CVS is the sponsor, the stuff they give in the race packet bags is really nice — and actually useful.  I got a toothbrush, face wash, almonds and trail mix, allergy tablets, sunscreen and air foam inserts just to name a few. And a hideous orange technical shirt.  It’s actually more burnt-sienna, but hey, I shouldn’t have gotten a technical t-shirt as I registered race day (those were reserved for the first 5,000 racers).  The non-tech ones were a nice red.  Oh well.

Moral of this post (because I got sidetracked in the last paragraph):

Clearly I am a faster runner than I give myself credit for. And it might still take a while to get used to changing my mindset.  Butttttt This is exciting. The Tufts 10k is MINE 😀

September 19, 2010

Quickie Update on the 5k

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — marathonmaiden @ 13:10


Because I’m too tired and exhausted to write up a full recap right now and this original post only went up 2 hours ago.  So I figure Sunday = most people not checking in right away and I can catch y’all and update you.

The long and short of it all is this: I PR’d.  By about 90 seconds.  Or, if you go by what my official time was last year and compare it to my watch time this year (official results aren’t up yet) I pr’d by exactly 90 seconds.  And I ran decently consistent splits (the huge crowd in the beginning made the first mile the slowest).  Not what I’d want (Negative all the way!) but at least they weren’t positive all the way.

Thus my watch says 20:01.94. SOOOOOOOOOOO close and I’m pretty sure it actually hurts to be so close.  Both physically and emotionally because my legs are still jello-y and sore.  Going to hurt a lot tomorrow.

And I felt like I was going to puke.  So mission accomplished. I did not, however, but I think I may have blacked out for a second.  Things definitely got fuzzy after literally sprinting uphill for the last .2 miles.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t though because otherwise I’d have ended up in the medical tent.

I’ll stop here so that I can go eat and shower and lounge a bit.  I do have some work to do which is nice to take my mind off of the agony of being so close.  But fun work, as in I’m doing it for ME and not anyone else.  I’ll be back tomorrow to post a full recap 🙂

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