MarathonMaiden's Blog

November 30, 2010

I’m Pretty Sure That Taper Madness Is Likely Setting In

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:08

When I think of taper madness I think of someone needing to strap me down on a gurney so I don’t go out there and run a billion miles between now and race day

I’m not bouncing off the walls or worrying constantly. Or even obsessing over the weather.  I just don’t want to stop running (but I did not run on Monday.  Must have been the love from here.  Or the funny texts from my friend hahah).  Or stop training hard.  I’m still a bit calm and collected.  Even keeled so to speak. Except when it comes to figuring out what to do between the time my plane lands and when my dinner plans start on Friday.  But no real freaking out over the race itself.

But I guess that taper madness is it’s own little beast.  And, as it is with most neurosis, the sufferer can’t see what the problem is.  So when I suggested earlier this week that my plan for RACE WEEK was to do two GMP speed workouts, The Running Laminator told me

Just looking at your scheduled runs on race week, I can already tell that the taper madness has indeed set in. Two speed workouts, at half marathon pace is a bit like taking tequila shots back to back on an empty stomach because you’re so anxious to get the party going. Haha! One speed workout, with a few miles at GMP, is probably all that is needed.

Of course, as soon as I read that, I sighed.  Because that was exactly what I needed to read.  Yes I still really want to do two GMP workouts but as The Peanut Gallery told me “Whisper to your tequila-laden self “less is more, less is more…”” (and girl you KNOW that I love you so TPG is a term of endearment ❤ )

That said, I still wanted to get ONE MORE GMP workout in.  Or at least a semblance of it.

Taper madness? Maybe.

Given that the last time I did a quality workout was on Sunday, I’d have ideally done this workout on Wednesday.  But Wednesday is a non-clinic day (aka if I want to run I have to get up before the sun) and Tuesday is a wake-up-naturally day.  So today it must be because Thursday sure as heck is out.  Although I will say that for all the extra sleep I’m getting I still feel tired and groggy in the mornings.  I hope that I start to perk up by Sunday!

The Workout (results of)

  • Warm up
  • 4.4 miles @ 7:28 pace
  • Warm down

thanks google

While the break down of the 4.4 miles (7:38, 7:19) is a little cringe worthy, as it definitely was not even pacing or GMP if you just look at the splits individually, I am so happy that the average of this workout was for all intents and purposes (although can I PLEASE say intensive purposes?!) spot on.

I did start to beat myself up over the workout on the warm down (and semi did it too after seeing 16:48 for the first half when I knew that GMP should have been 16:30) but then I realized that I’m a progression runner. Even on my easy days I ALWAYS end up finishing a run about a minute or so per mile faster than I started.  That’s just how I roll.  I’d have to go back in my (hard copied) log books to see if that’s how it’s always been but I do know that the vast majority of my runs are: start slow(ish), finish hard(er).

I think it’s a good that, while the run clearly got faster and faster as the distance went on, the average pace was GMP. I’m not quite sure what that means but I’m choosing to think that it means my body knew how to get the end result and hit the goal.

I also am pleased because the effort felt the same throughout the run.  Normally I’d be kicking myself because I’d think “well if the effort on the first part felt the same as the second then the first part should have been faster”or something to that effect.

Today my thoughts were that I was able to go faster and harder with an easier effort. Amazing as the last real workout before WR.

NAILED. BAM.

Oh and before I forget: On Monday I was also going to repeat Week 3 of my two strength challenges given that it’s race week.  But I re-looked at W3D1 of the plans and thought “gee whiz that doesn’t look hard” and then looked at Week 4 and thought “I can do that”. Well I wish I had stuck to my guns because this was hard.  I did them on Monday actually.  Mostly because it forced me to respect the rest day I had planned but gave me something to do but also partly because I figured, with the race on Sunday and travel and whatnot, that a M/W/F challenge schedule would be prudent. I may switch back to Week 3 for the next two days of the challenge this week.  We’ll see.

Pushups: 21, 25, 21, 21, 33

Situps: 32, 48, 32, 32, 50

And check out the giveaway that Matt’s having.And Miss Zippy.

November 29, 2010

Let Them Eat Chocolate Cheesecake

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:22

Says the girl who does not like chocolate (or at least straight up chocolate. I like chocolate chips or Reece’s peanut butter cups and anything that’s not just plain chocolate).  So better them than me (although did you know that she didn’t actually say “Let them eat cake” but rather “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” which brioche =/= cake but rather a luxury bread)

So it was probably shocking to my roomie that I chose to make this sucker for a Celtics party I went to:

I forgot to take a pic of the finished product. By the time I remembered this is what remained

It’s just a basic Chocolate Cheesecake recipe, although I stole it offline from The FoodNetwork.

Ingredients:

Cheesecake base:

  • 1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs (I made it extra chocolatey by using chocolate graham crackers crushed up)
  • 1/2 stick butter (I used margarine. Duh)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa

Cheesecake filling:

  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped small
  • 2 1/2 cups cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar(I used regular confectioners sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon custard powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cocoa, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water

If you check out the link above there’s also ingredients and directions for a chocolate sauce.  I opted to not make the sauce because A) I’m not a chocolate fan and B) That’s just too much.

You can also click that link to see what it’s “really” supposed to look like.

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (I set it to 375* because after cooking several things in my gas oven I’ve decided to make anything that tastes good requires a higher heat in it)
  • To make the base, process the graham crackers to make rough crumbs and then add the butter and cocoa. Process again until it makes damp, clumping crumbs and then tip them into the pan. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan to make an even base and put into the freezer while you make the filling. (Being as poor as I am I didn’t process anything in a food processor because I don’t have one.  Being the perfectionist I am that meant A LOT of arm work to get the graham crackers perfectly crumbly and then add the margarine — in stick form, unmelted because of a lack of microwave.  Thank god I’m doing the pushup challenge!)
  • Put a kettle on to boil.
  • Melt the chocolate either in a microwave or double boiler, and set aside to cool slightly. (I used a makeshift double boiler on the stovetop)
  • Beat the cream cheese to soften it (ahem push ups!), then add the sugar and custard power, beating again to combine. Beat in the whole eggs and then the yolks, and the sour cream. Finally add the cocoa dissolved in hot water and melted chocolate and mix to a smooth batter.
  • Take the springform tin out of the freezer and line the outside of the tin with a good layer of cling wrap, and then another layer of strong foil over that. This will protect it from the water bath.
  • Sit the springform tin in a roasting pan and pour in the cheesecake filling. Fill the roasting pan with just boiled water to come about half way up the cake tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The top of the cheesecake should be set, but the underneath should still have a wobble to it.
  • Peel away the foil and cling film wrapping and sit the cheesecake in its tin on a rack to cool. Put in the refrigerator once it is no longer hot, and leave to set, covered with plastic overnight. Let it lose its chill before unspringing the cheesecake to serve.

Lots of work for this guy! But it was worth it even though it may not have been the best thing to bring to a Celtics party.  None of the boys complained though hahah!

A close up. Before it was devoured.

Even though the C’s game viewing was awhile ago, I’m pretty sure the C’s won.  Granted I watch any game I can so I can’t say for certain (and I’m lazy so I’m obviously not going to look it up hahah) and our record is 12-4 so far.  I do ever so much love my boys.

"Say whaaaaaaaaaaaa Kobe?"

Hope everyone enjoys their Mondays! It’s hard to believe this this week is RACE WEEK for me. Okay so maybe not *just* me.  But in my world, yes.  I’m a princess after all.  I’ve got a tiara to prove it, remember?

And since it’s RACE WEEK I set my alarm for an bit later than the typical Monday.  Because A) I’m running a freaking marathon this weekend and need the extra sleep and B) I’m tapering (although by the looks of my weekend of drinking and running you wouldn’t know it hahah!)

While I can justify any extra running bits the past 2 weeks it’s best that I sleep a little longer and don’t have the time to be tempted to add anything on. While I am a poor VISTA I really cannot afford to loose my measly pay by being late.

Therefore, when my alarm went off, I said “screw that” and set it for another hour later and skipped my planned recovery 4-6 miler.  Meaning today is a rest day (unless I cave and go out after work!).  It feels weird to take a rest day for the heck of it (normally it’s only illness or injury and even then…) We’ll see how I feel post-work 😉

Although I do have a friend who is texting me all day saying “Stay Strong. No Running!” hahahahh

Check out the giveaway from Emily (the health nut)

November 28, 2010

I’ve Found the Way to Make Me Taper

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:43

Obviously it’s not a secret that taking it easy isn’t in my vocabulary.  And tapering is the time to take it easy.

But I’ve found the antidote to my gotta-run-lots ways

Pitcher(s) of Margaritas – 1, MM – 0

I’ve been told that one night of drinking erases a week of training.  Oopsies.  I sincerely hope that is not the case. And I hope that the thought of tequila someday doesn’t make my stomach churn.  I need to increase my points in the above tally! Preferably soon as I’ll be in TEXAS in a week!

But needless to say going out with my roomie and my bestie was fun and successful on Friday night.  In fact I spent all of Saturday laying on the couch (where I woke up no less) and would dissolve into hysterics throughout the day remembering the things that went down (and yes I can remember the night *thankyouverymuch*)

Okay: in all honesty, I didn’t actually spend the ENTIRE day on the couch.  I had wanted to still get in my speed session and around 1430 or so I felt up to trying.  Ambitious much? So I moseyed outside (in the bright SUN) to attempt

  • Warm up
  • 2 X ~3.3 miles @ GMP (or actually I wanted to target 7:25-7:30 which is slightly faster than the 7:34 of GMP McMillian says) with one mile recovery
  • Warm down

The portion I was going to use for my warm-up of the legit workout felt pretty awful so I decided to just run how my body would let me.  And once I nixed going for those GMP intervals, the run actually turned into a very great run.  Yes my stomach was still turning but my head hadn’t been pounding all day at all so I was able to pound my feet.  The average pace ended up being 8:25! I tried to pick people off (success) and not get passed (double success)

I also did pushups ( 22, 30, 20, 20, 30) and situps ( 33, 42, 30, 30, 50) after the run

Interesting how my run on Friday, after a good night sleep and lots of Thanksgiving carbs, was wicked slow and Saturday, after a ehhh night of sleep and too much tequila, was wicked fast.  That said, I didn’t rack up many miles because A) I’m tapering and B) I could still taste the tequila and salt from the night before and didn’t want to risk revisiting them again.

Meaning that the workout got transferred to Sunday.  I normally hate doing quality workouts on Sunday.  Mostly because I want to use my Sundays to be lazy.  To do a quality workout on Sunday just seems so….productive.  Given that my Saturday was soooooooooo not productive I guess the switcheroo was okay.

The aforementioned workout was on tap and before I left I calculated out what the time elapsed would be to hit my paces: 24:28 to 24:45.

How’d I do?

Well after an obscenely slow warm up…

  • 3.3 miles in 25:37 ( 7:45 ) Yeah…not so much.  I knew that I wasn’t flying and that my legs felt the effort but I was kind of – more than a bit actually- off where I wanted and needed to be.
  • 1 mile recovery in 8:32 — trying to convince myself that I can do another one.  That I *want* to do another one.
  • 3.3 miles in 24:55 ( 7:33 ) Better.  Trying to keep my mind in the game and focused. I will say that once I was done with this interval I was dry heaving.  Ugh

Well….I’m not going to lie: this kind of sucked.  I knew the second I woke up this morning that this would be one tough workout. A helluva tough workout.  And not *just* because I hate them. Usually even when I wake up not feeling like going fast, once the workout starts and I start kicking it I can feel good and turn my attitude around. Not today. I kind of regret not doing this workout yesterday because, despite running the risk of re-visiting my good friends Jose and Rita, my legs at least had some pep.  Just goes to show you that runs after drinking are always good in my book.

In the end I’m going to chalk today up to just a bad day and move on.  In exactly a week I’ll (highly likely) be done with the race and I don’t need mind games at this point (and trust me the desire to complain and be really frustrated/angry is so huge right now)I’ve had stellar workouts this cycle. No joke.  So I know I’m ready.

It’s just a bit disheartening to leave it at that, especially since I have yet to really know what GMP feels like.  I sort of hit it last week with my longer, continuous GMP attempt and I sort of hit it today with interval numero dos. I mean, I know I’m in taper but that doesn’t mean the intensity goes down.

In light of that, there is a chance for quasi-redemption later this week as I wanted to get another GMP run in.  Similar to today but with shorter intervals.  According to the taper plan I was using as a guide I’ll be doing

  • Tuesday: 2 @ MP, .5 easy, 2 @ HMP
  • Thursday: 1 @ MP, 1 @ HMP

We’ll see how that goes.  Regardless I’m likely going to try and get something in the vein of GMP, likely Tuesday being 4 miles @ GMP and Thursday being 3 (or 3.3 because I have a route pre-done) at GMP.

All I know is that there is going to be no more of this until AFTER I cross that finish line

acoustic version because I couldn’t find an official video. Still awesome and you should youtube the song to hear the radio version.  I would have put that here but the videos were all homemade.

November 26, 2010

Apparently The Countdown is Now in Single Digits

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:16

…as of today.  T-9 days!!

Well I said an early Happy Thanksgiving on Wednesday and I’m saying a belated Happy Thanksgiving today.  Suffice it to say, the fact that I turned my computer on for the first time in 36 hours just now means I had a busy holiday.  And it was pretty good too.  I don’t think I’ve kept it a secret here that my relationship with my family has been tenuous in the past, so I was really mixed about going home for the day.

But I had a blast and even went to the extended family portion of the day (my family eat the dinner as nuclear families and then meet up at one person’s house for dessert), something I haven’t gone to in 6 years.  I think moving out on my own has really matured me and I’ve rethought skipping the family portion of Christmas.  After all: this is going to be my “last” in New England (a fact I’m acutely aware of every day — although my last snowstorm will be cause for celebration hahah)

The best part of the day? Nope not the food (although that was pretty good). Having a dance-off with one of my sisters. To which song you ask?

Luckily no one brought a camera.  So I still have some dignity left in the world.

By the time I got back to my apartment I was bushed! I also arrived home with more leftovers than I can probably eat.  I pulled major rank and said “I’m a poor VISTA and you (my two college sisters) have dining halls. I win”

In light of the fact that I had a great holiday I sincerely hope that you did too 🙂

Since I last left you my running has been…highs and lows? On Wednesday after work I did get some miles in before going to the theater to see “A Christmas Carol”  (which was a really fun musical version!) and then a couple of drinks after.

Still my favorite version. I need to actually buy a copy this year! (thanks google)

The miles were pretty good and, despite still having some allergy problems when I went out, the pace was faster than anything I could have pulled off at 0500.

Thursday was, duh, Thanksgiving and I hit the streets for a “long run”.  After the past four weeks being: 20.3, 20.4, 20, 17.6, the 15 I was scheduled for putting in felt measly.  The first half was slower and sluggish (the thought of “oh great” eyeroll passed through my mind) but I picked it up and finished WAY strong.  I think the final overall average pace was about 8:45.  Which is roughly what I’ve been doing on my long runs — at least when I’m by myself as I had that killer one two weeks ago with a friend.  And the later portion was about 8:20 on this particular run. So YAY.

The weather wasn’t the greatest either: 28* but sunny.  On a whim I checked what the temperature in Dallas was at that time and it was 69*. Ummmm that’s 41* warmer? I’m pretty sure that was a freak day for them but that was still at 0615 CT.  Crazy.

I also got in my pushups (20, 25, 15, 15, 26) and situps (30, 38, 23, 23, 40) before heading to my mom’s house.  I can’t tell if they’re making me stronger yet. They’re certainly not getting much easier but I’m able to handle the increases so far.

The weather on Friday was warmer here (and I think it was actually colder in Dallas hahah. Suckers 😉 ) but drizzly.  Since I had gone over what I should have done yesterday (silly me for thinking about the run as a long run!) I decided to take it slow and steady for a few miles.

Well I guess I didn’t factor into the equation that Thanksgiving has food that I normally don’t eat (not that I wouldn’t like to enjoy them year round but I’m lazy and don’t make anything hahah!) and, while Chocolate Creme Pie and Gingerbread Pudding = sugar = carbs, my legs might not have liked having new foods. I don’t care what anyone says, my legs know the difference between pie carbs and apple carbs.

Because my legs felt like sludge. So I guess I didn’t have to worry about forcing myself to take it slow and steady and easy. [Edit: I just calculated the pace for the run and it was the very slowest possible recovery run pace according to McMillian.  While I still believe that recovery runs should just be run without pace guidelines (the point is to recover and that’s done by what your body wants) I shouldn’t complain about the pace because it wasn’t, in fact, as slow as I thought]

It was one of those runs where you *know* how slow you’re running and even if a rabid dog came after you, your legs would not go faster.

Thanks google

So I cut the run WAY short, ate some breakfast, foam rolled and am debating about going back out to hit the street for 2 more miles in a hour or so bringing my grand total to the day to about 6. Then again, I’m in taper (and likely still a food coma) so I might not.

Speaking of foam rolling (yes I’m aware this is a mish-mash post!) I’ve really gotten into it lately. With the exception of yesterday (because I was running late to get to my mom’s house), I’ve rolled every day for the past 7 days.  And, while my legs aren’t magically faster or anything, I’ve noticed a subtle change in how my legs feel.  They no longer feel wicked tight or sore or cramped.

Yes they still are tight and fatigued and they do still twitch sometimes.  But there’s something that I can’t quite put my finger on that makes me feel good about it.  Not enough to be a zealot for this foam rolling action.  But enough of something to keep doing it until I figure out what the heck that something is.

Aaaaaaaand that’s it?  I sure hope so because this post is already running long 😉

Just finishing up some breakfast and coffee.  The sun’s actually out now which is exciting although annoying because I ran in the drizzle and overcast. I like the sun. After I finish up eating I’ll do some more rolling and stretching and relaxing until later tonight.  One of my friend’s from high school is visiting me as she spent Thanksgiving in our hometown (she lives in PA so I don’t get to see her that much).  We’re going out for dinner then (lots of?) drinks.

Good golly gee whiz this is shaping up to be a great holiday break 😀

November 24, 2010

I Cook! Again!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:14

Okay so it’s been awhile. I know.  But last weekend I decided to stray again into being domesticated.  And I’ve decided to share.  Mostly because I remembered to take pictures and partly because Thanksgiving is on Thursday and I’ve decided to bless my family with only my beautiful face.

AKA I will not have any sort of Thanksgiving dish to share with you post-Thanksgiving.  Or at least anything that I’ve created.  So goes the plan although I will lay out the disclaimer that I could get roped into something.  After all I’m typing this out on Sunday night (who knows when I’ll post it though!) and plans can change.  Fingers crossed all I have to do is show up for the meal 😉

I have no idea where this recipe is from, as I got it from a co-worker. But it’s really good.  Considering that I HATE pasta (oops I’m a runner?) I think that it means the recipe is good.

Greek Vegetable Pasta (this is vegetarian for all you veggie lovers out there)

Oops for far away picture. Close up at the end.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz bowtie pasta
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup butter (or margarine 😉 )
  • 1 lb zuccini and/or yellow squash (I used a mix of the two) halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4″ thick slices (Orrrrrrrr I just chopped up ~4 cups worth of the stuff and didn’t worry about presentation)
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 2 gloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried Greek seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 can (~15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbs. capers, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbs. fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz feta cheese (roughly 1 cup) (I kept this on the side to add in as people wanted)

Directions

  • Cook pasta and drain reserving ~1/2 cup of the cooking water
  • Grate 1 tsp. zest and squeeze 2 tbs. lemon juice from the lemon, reserve separately
  • In a large nonstick skillet pan, melt butter over medium high heat
  • Add zucchini and squash, onion, garlic, seasoning, salt and pepper
  • Cook and stir occasionally until the vegetables softened (this took ~5-7 minutes)
  • Add chickpeas, capers, pasta, lemon juice and pasta water.  Cook this until heated and then remove from the heat
  • Stir in the mint and the zest
  • Sprinkle with cheese if desired
  • ENJOY

_______________________________________________________________

As far as running went today, well it didn’t. These allergies / this cold (I’m not sure which) is bothering me again. I think it’s allergies as I couldn’t sleep last night due to post-nasal drip and ONE sinus being congested.  And I have a cough that isn’t dry but I can’t seem to cough anything up.  Ah well.  I’m sure y’all really wanted to know all my sickly woes. Although when my alarm went off at 5am I (audibly I think) said “EFF THIS” and slept for a little more. Even if this isn’t a cold the few extra hours of sleep won’t be a bad thing especially after I got as close to a tempo/GMP run as ever yesterday

But my miles are going to have to come after work (if at all. I’m not too worried because it’s taper time).  It was such a lovely morning (albeit a bit windy) that I’m kind of kicking myself for not getting out there earlier.  But hopefully it’s still nice out when I get out there late.   Since it’s the day before Thanksgiving I’m hoping that I can get out of the office early to run The boss just called and said we all had to leave here at 1300.  Yippee! before seeing “A Christmas Carol” tonight which I’m really excited about.

Busy day (complete with tiara again) but fingers crossed I get a short recovery run in there!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! Good luck to all in Turkey Trots and whatever else people call them.  My brother asked to run one with me and I told him “There is no way I’m getting embarrassed on Thanksgiving by my younger brother” (he’s 14).  So my game plan is to do the 13-15 mile “long run” (golly gee how 15 miles seems soooo not like a long run!) and then head over to my mom’s house for some good eats.  And, like I mentioned above, not prepared by me.

And, of course, I want to watch the Pats (duh) while catching some of the Macy’s parade and Charlie Brown.  Hey, when you live without cable (or actual television at all) then you binge at your mom’s house. Duh.

I was going to put a serious Charlie Brown picture up buttttt obviously this was cooler to me. I do ❤ Charlie though.

Check out the giveaways from Julie (Hot Legs Runner) and Lesley (Racing It Off) and Tricia (Endurance isn’t only Physical)

November 23, 2010

Well Not Exactly A Tempo. But I’ve Come A Long Way.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:44

When I got to work on Monday I was crowned:

Silly camera phone being blurry

The eClinicalWorks Queen.  Or ECW (pronounced e-c-dubs) Because I am apparently the know-it-all with the program.  Did I mention I’m not staff here? Just a VISTA?

What a great way to start a Monday, no? I actually wore the silly thing alllll day.  And it’s going to be on my head all day today too.

The rest of my Monday was pretty good.  My legs have still been feeling tight and achy lately.  A result, I’m sure, of the foam rolling.  I think I may be using too much pressure, although to quote my friend “How can you use too much pressure? You’re not 400 lbs” Overall I think that the increase in rolling is a good thing.  It’s making more aware of my muscles and how they feel.

That said I was going to do my tempo yesterday (because I had time in the morning) but didn’t.  Partly because I wanted that extra day of ease. And partly because that would throw off the rest of my weekday schedule.  I hate juggling things around when I don’t have to.

And hey, alliteration is hot.

I kind of regret that decision as I woke up this morning coughing up phlegm and with my sinus clogged and eyes itchy.  Hello allergies.  I hate the fact that I never had allergies until I hit my 20s.  Booooo.  So I did what any sane runner would do and ever sane person would not: pop an allergy pill and go out and try to hit my Tempo Tuesday.  I did get 8.5 hours of sleep so I figured I could be good to go.

The weather was also cooperating, giving me a lovely 47* morning with plenty of sunshine.  It felt like early spring! Obviously winter hasn’t even begun yet but it was nice to be able to run in spandex and a wife beater top.  And take off my gloves midway through 8)

The plan:

  • Warm up
  • Hit tempo pace (according to McMillian 6:51-711) for ~4.4 miles (aka the loop path with a bit extra)
  • Then hit GMP (~7:30) for ~2-3 miles during my recovery route
  • Take the rest of the recovery route as recovery

The idea was to hit a tempo pace hard so that the 3 or so miles at GMP felt really really easy. Confidence boosting? Yes please!

The result:

  • Warm up at an obscenely slow pace that actually didn’t feel that slow
  • 6.6 miles @ 7:24
  • Warm down at what feels like an obscenely slow pace that actually wasn’t

The average for the tempo portion looked like this:

  • 2.2 miles @ 7:28
  • 2.2 miles @ 7:20
  • 2.2 miles @ 7:24

Not quite what I was going for.

Thoughts:

After the first 2.2 miles I knew (from calculating it out beforehand) that I was just under GMP.  Since this has been the plan since, oh I don’t know, the past 4 weeks I made the decision to stick with that pace (or try to) for the remainder of the route.  And I was pretty successful.  Yes it was a little fast but it wasn’t all over the place and the average wasn’t too much faster than GMP anyway.

As I was running the warm down I was starting to beat myself up over not being faster today.  And then I stopped.  Not running (duh never!) but thinking like that.  In terms of pure running, I’ve come a long way since my last training cycle.  While I was running tempos around 7:20-7:40 it never felt “good”.  It always felt hard.  So the fact that the same pace can feel, well not EASY but EASIER is huge.  A feather to put in the cap (or my tiara) if you will.

So all in all: Success.  At this point (T-13 days!) in my training “cycle” (I still feel weird calling it a cycle when it’s only 5 weeks long!) this is the type of workout I need: consistent and at GMP (or I guess slightly under as the case may be today).

I know that I’m ALWAYS going to feel disappointment with these types of workouts just because they aren’t an all out effort. I finished the tempo portion, still standing, and finished the workout with a curt nod of my head.  I really wanted, however, to end the tempo portion bent over and trying to catch my breath.  But right now these workouts aren’t meant to be that way and I need to start facing that discomfort of not going “balls to the walls” sooner or later if I want to continue to run (and race) well.

Oops to get all reflective and pensive on this Tuesday of the short week.  But I think this workout was huge.  Not in running terms per se but it’s given me reason to be *mentally* ready for WR even if physically it wasn’t what I’m used to or always want to be at.

But of course I also did W3D1 of my pushups when I got back, as well as some foam rolling action.

Pushups: 14, 18, 14 ,14 , 21

Situps: 21, 27, 21, 21, 35

And, to brighten up your day, a giveaway from Marcia

Plus, with Thanksgiving being in TWO days, a funny comic. From Foxtrot.  Which is my favorite. Enjoy

November 22, 2010

Interception. Holler.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:59

As usual Monday was an easy run day.  No hard workout the day to recover from (*coughLazySundaycough*) but also easy because I’m always gearing up for Tempo Tuesday.  This morning brought about a temperature of ~38*.  Luckily I was able to sleep in because it was a clinic night.  Otherwise I’d have been in much colder temps with no sun. Icky.

Speaking of sleep, I’ve been sleeping LOADS.  At least during the times that I can.  Even with going out this weekend, and last night!, I still managed to get anywhere from 8 to 10 hours. Granted during the week I’m lucky if I get 6 so everything evens out in the end. But man, I totally crashed this weekend in terms of racking up those hours! I NEVER sleep as last as 0900 or 1000 but Saturday and Sunday morning? Well that’s what I did.  Very weird for a chic who’s used to waking up naturally before 0700 or 0800.

But back to my Monday run.  Or not really as it’s nothing too much to shout about.  Pretty standard easy run, going through the motions almost, although a little on the long side as I mentioned today is a day that I get to go into work late because I stay late.  Since my run isn’t exciting enough to babble about I decided to show off a couple of products that I’ve gotten recently.  Yes, I do have a STACK of them that are waiting to be written about from winning giveaways or getting cool packages from my bloggy friends but I’ll get around to them in good time 🙂

First up:

SIGG WATER BOTTLE. (and I probably should say that Cafe Press sent me this bottle free of charge but the opinions of it are my own)

I was contacted by CafePress a couple weeks ago to try out one of their personalized sigg water bottles.  CafePress is the online source for the aforementioned personalized water bottles as well as funny t-shirts and even Christmas posters (which I feel weird typing but I was asked to include that link too from the company (as well as all the links in the copy & pasted sentence above).  Then again, Christmas is a-comin’ and sores are in full Christmas regalia)

I’ve actually used CafePress in the past to make a t-shirt for my sister as a Christmas present one year.  I wish I had a picture of it but it was a shirt that said “Mike Newton is my Homeboy”.  Because, in the Team Edward or Team Jacob scheme of things, I am a Mike Newton fan.  Someone has to root for him, no? It’s not like he has supernatural powers or anything…

But I digress.

Anyway I got to choose a design for my bottle and they shipped one out for me.  This is what mine looked like (and yes I’m a nerd.  I’ve never claimed to not be)

It came in bubble wrap! Sorry CafePress but the bubble wrap was a bit more exciting than the bottle.  Here’s what it looked like up close

Which, admittedly, is still pretty freaking cool. And nerdy.  Like there’s no way to deny it now.

I actually, and unabashedly, love plastic water bottles.  Before you throw stones at me, know that I reuse the plastic ones.  So I’m not *that* eco-hating.  But, in my world $$ trumps all, so when I ran out of my last plastic bottle I figured it was serendipitous to have this one land on my doorstep.  No joke: I got this one on the day I had to recycle my last plastic one.  That was about 3 (?) weeks ago and I’ve been using this one since.  And the design has lasted these three weeks despite my dropping and banging it around.  Which is good because I like showing off my thermodynamics wit.

At least until I get the money to buy another package of plastic water bottles.

Next up:

SpiBelt. I won this guy in a giveaway earlier this month or late last month, I forget as it’s been awhile! Oops

I LOVE this guy.  The idea behind it is you can carry stuff on your run (phone, keys etc) without actually having to carry it.  I don’t run with my keys nor my phone so I was initially skeptical that I would actually need this when I entered the giveaway.  Then I thought: PAPER and PENS.

Because I am garmin-less, when I do speed work I bring a piece of paper and a red pen to write down my splits for intervals.  I can remember a fair amount of splits for things like loop runs and tempos but for something that looks like this, my memory to keep a billion and one numbers in my head falters a bit:

A recent workout. The blue is the plan I got into the workout with and the red is the splits. I apologize for the horrendous handwriting but it’s tough after running hard plus having your finger numb from the cold! I can barely read some of the numbers there and I know the routes I took. Good thing I transferred this to my notebook after the run because some of the numbers look like scribbles or not numbers at all.  To look at it now I wouldn’t have been able to tell you how long the warm up was. 26 minutes? 36? Hahahha

This means that I usually have to wear shorts with pockets or carry the stuff.  And then run the risk of the wind blowing them away if I leave it on the infield. Neither of which is a “cool” look.  Especially since I want to feel beastly during my intervals.  Not going to lie: that means spandex (no picture of that. Sorry hahah).

So this belt has been really useful in letting me wear what I want and not have to worry about losing my paper at the track.  I don’t think this was the point of the creators pf the SpiBelt but hey, it works for me.

That’s what I got for you this Monday.  A little change up from the usual Sunday / Monday = recovery / easy one-two punch. Hopefully I can get around to featuring some of the other things I’ve won recently or gotten in the mail because everything is pretty cool.

Also cool (and I obviously have to put this in here) are my PATS. Holllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrr.

Thanks google

If you aren’t a Pats fan then this picture might not be as beautiful to you as it is to me.  But it was wicked amazing and deserving the place as title of my post today 😀

Time to get back to work. I’m hoping since it’s a clinic day that I get to do lots of walking around because my muscles are still a bit tight and I have to gear up for my Tempo Tuesday!

November 21, 2010

“This Is A Workout To Put You On The Podium”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:17

Or so the high school cross country coach was telling his boys Saturday when I was at the track.  As I didn’t run XC ever I don’t know what championship they’re gearing up for but whatever it is: Good Luck Boys. I think they were doing 1km repeats.

My workout on Saturday was no less shabby either.  After some thought, and reading the awesome words from you guys, I decided to not do a full yasso workout.  Bummer because it really might be my favorite.  I knew the best workout for me to do would likely be my “other favorite” workout: 2 X 3 miles.  But I had done that last week and, while I have absolutely no problem repeating workouts from the immediate past, this workout is one that won’t ever be the case with.

I decided to split the difference and do a shorter tempo interval workout with a couple 800s tacked on at the end if I wasn’t feeling too beat up.  I did them on the track because the track keeps me honest and honest workouts make me feel like a million bucks for not a million bucks.  With non-track workouts I can have mitigating circumstances as to why I didn’t hit the target and, while wind and plain old not feeling it do happen with the track, there really are only two options: hit or miss

Thanks XKCD

You can’t really go wrong. Or I guess you can.  But it’s painfully obvious.

The Plan

  • Warmup
  • 1 Mile fast, with 400 recovery
  • 2 X 2 Miles fast, with 800 recovery after each one
  • 1 mile fast, with 400 recovery

And then if I felt halfway decent

  • 2-4 800m, with 400 recovery
  • Warm down

If you look closely, you’ll notice that, with the exception of the 800 repeats, the recovery distance has been shortened by what I normally do.  I usually do half the distance but today I decided to do only a quarter of the interval distance.  It’s probably too soon to the actual race to be messing with this kind of stuff but time was an issue and there is no way that I’m cutting out intervals.  I like running fast too much 😉

The target pace for the 1 miles was 6:45-6:50 and the target pace for the 2 miles was 13:30-13:45.  I was expecting to be on the slower end of these paces simply because my legs have taken a beating these past 4 or so weeks.  Of course I *should* have been targeting slower paces because this workout constitutes a GMP workout.  And neither 6:45 nor 6:50  is GMP.  But whatever.

I was on the track. I was ready to GO.

The Workout

I warmed up for about 3 or so miles to get to the track and then:

  • 1 Mile : 6:47

Only 6:47?! For the effort put it, this should be faster. I definitely positive splited this one too

  • 2 Miles: 13:34 (6:53, 6:41)

6:53? This is going to be one long tough workout.  13:43? That’s a pretty sweet comeback.

  • 2 Miles: 13:31 (6:43, 6:38)

This is feeling gooooooood.  Should I add that last mile here? 1,2,3 would be wicked awesome

  • 1 Mile: 6:40

Good solid last mile

  • 800 #1: 3:15

Maybe I didn’t give it my all for those other intervals!

  • 800#2 3:20

Or maybe I did.  Time to pack it up hahah

The Afterthoughts

I’m really happy with how this workout turned out.  I hit goals (and were even faster than goals) for all the intervals. Surprising because I was going on less recovery than I normally do.  It was definitely a challenging workout and despite not feeling it at the beginning I really got into it and was just clicking away at the laps as they went by.  It felt very rhythmic and awesome. And, as I’ve said before about me needing paces shoved down my throat, each one was within McMillian tempo interval range. Muy bien.

Plus, with the exception of the very first mile, each interval was a negative split.  And since I checked my watch every 2 laps (not sure if that counts as a half mile as it 800m ~ 1/2 mile.  See how much of a precision nerd I am? It’s a wonder I made it out of college with my physics degree — physicists tend to round EVERYTHING) I knew that, again with the exception of the very first interval, I was getting faster and faster.

Obviously this bodes well for a marathon as it’s a pretty freaking long race.

Not else much to say.  Usually bad workouts are so much more fun to write about because I can bitch and moan. I can mutter about the sky being all dreary and looking like a colorless winter day buttttt then I have to say that I triumphed over it hahah.

I think part of me was competing with the high school boys.  Which is silly. They are *highschoolboys*.  I’ve learned from running with my high school aged brother that they are naturally faster than me.  So I tried to not get lapped / passed.  I was very successful as they only passed me once.  Considering that we were both doing long intervals, and running around the track multiple times each interval, I think that’s a victory hahah.

I did use their coach’s shouting as motivation of my own.  He kept saying things related to getting on the podium like, “200m ’til you on the podium” or “two laps to go until the podium”.  And I was like, “Okay.  It’d be cool to be at the podium.” Although, not going to lie, breaking the tape would be more ultimate.

 

Look how happy he is. (thanks again google)

After taking a shorter-than-normal warm down I got back to my place for some foam rolling (this workout had my hips and glutes and IT and quads and everything screaming and tight). It was still the vomit-inducing torture it always is. I don’t ever tear up or scream out but man, do I feel like puking.  I also stretched while watching an old HP movie because my left calf was spasm-ing.  Normally I don’t stretch ever.  But I’ve already said that before.  I discovered (again) that all my muscles are like chicken tendons. Weird analogy but that was the first thing that popped into my head.

I also did W2D3 of my pushups and situps:

Pushups: 16, 17, 14, 14, 21

Situps: 24, 25, 21, 21, 35

____________________________________________________________________________________________

As far as today goes, I’ve already done my recovery run.  It was quite fast which, as I mentioned on Friday, doesn’t real mean much.  The pace was comfortable and conversational as when I was running I met up with my running buddy.  Unplanned and it probably let the run get both fast and easy; running with someone else usually does that. The weather was chilly (34*) but sunny which helped the miles click by effortlessly.  My legs feel sore, but in a “they just had a massage” way.  I think it was the rolling last night.  It was pretty intense.

Hope everyone enjoys the remainder of their weekend and had great ones to recover from! I’m definitely looking forward to a lazy Sunday.

November 19, 2010

Friiiiiiiiiiiday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:52

I’ll play the Four For Friday game. Mostly because I like bullets and this is a bullet point template for posting essentially.  And 4 is my lucky number. There is a flow to the bullet and probably could have been pulled together for a flowing post.  But it’s Friday.  I’ll make it nice and easy for you 🙂

I do want to say HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII to all the new peeps reading! It’s really exciting to get an email saying “Please Moderate a Comment” because it means that someone new is commenting. I LOVE it.  Thanks for finding me!

  • I think I’m going to go with the taper plan I suggested yesterday. I think my message in asking for advice was a bit lost as many of you commented on the volume of running I’d be doing, which I’d never questioned myself. I was more curious about the speed work.  But since no one shouted ‘NO MM DON’T DO THAT” in terms of going the GMP route (and those of you who did mention speed work did say that GMP tempo intervals were the way to go) I’m going to assume that my speed work plan is good.  Plus since my friend did those workouts and beasted Indy with them I’m hoping for the “monkey see monkey do” approach here. But I guess since I’m a newbie then it’s all trial and error.  Eeeep.  Wish me luck? 🙂

Monkey See...thanks google

  • That said I’m still torn between doing Yassos this weekend or tempo intervals.  While I know that tempo intervals might be more beneficial in the long run with 16 (HOLY #$%@) days until WR.  But I ❤ 800m repeats. Yes I am weird.  On one hand, Yassos could build up my confidence with a kick butt workout.  On the other hand they are really intense for a workout.  Possibly too much breakdown with so little time left.
  • I had a really good recovery run this morning.  Like really good.  Very shocking because I felt on the slow side yesterday on my long run too.  Maybe that’ll be a trend this taper: feeling slower than I’m going. Yes the pace was outside of McMillian but it was faster than I thought I was going.  A good sign I think. And if you’ve been reading awhile, then you know that, while I question the validity of calculators, I need paces forced down my throat.  Apparently I am incapable of making pacing decisions on my own. That said, for recovery runs I think that pace is complete horse pooh.  Recovery is recovery.  Sometimes I need a granny shuffle recovery and other times it’s a brisk clip.  I’ve also noticed that as I’ve been training my typical 0500 runs have gotten slower, as they follow hard days.  At first I was a bit upset “What do you mean I’m getting slower?!” but then I said “EFF IT” because my quality workouts are being kickass and BAMF.  Fingers crossed for a BAMF marathon.

Okay so this pic isn't RR at all. But I google imaged BAMF and this came up. Anyone else upset that LOST had to end?

  • Yes the recovery run was good but the temp wasn’t.  I probably shouldn’t say that because 35* really isn’t cold.  It’s not even freezing.  But yesterday I ran in beautiful 45* weather and the morning before, while it was pouring rain, was 57*.  Ahhhhhhh relativity.  And New England. I was completely comfy in my shorts and long-sleeves BUT my hands, with THREE LAYERS OF GLOVES, froze.  I know I have poor circulation but it’s still no bueno.  I might have to break out the snowmobile mittens soon.  The ones that make me look like I have lobster hands.  I should spray paint them red…

And with that enjoy the rest of your Friday.  I’m hoping to be able to leave work on the early side and I’m pretty sure I have a fun weekend planned.  So TGIF.

November 18, 2010

So It’s Taper Time…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:03

…and because I’m a bit worried about the fact that I signed up for this race not too long ago, I figured I’d take a moment to write a post about my possible taper plan. I kind of mentioned it on Monday’s post but it was buried amongst other things.

I didn’t end up posting because my Wednesday was a bit blahhhhh and looked like this:

  • woke up 26 minutes before alarm with headache and sore throat
  • listened to pounding rain for 26 minutes

Obviously I dramatize but the rain was wicked heavy at first. Thanks google.

  • drug butt out of bed.  Decided to cut run short because icky feeling was more sick than “holy crap it’s 0500”
  • rain stopped so I tacked on extra
  • considered calling in sick to work
  • went to work and did NOTHING except the bare minimum. Except gossip of course.
  • since everyone was mentally checked out and I don’t think I checked in, I peaced out early
  • sat on my couch with a good book and tea.
  • obsessed over the taper

So here is this post because, while I could elaborate on each of the bullets above, I do not want to relive yesterday. Although I kind of just did.  Oops.

Anyway, so as of right now I’m ~2.5 weeks out from my marathon. Clearly the beginnings of tapering.  I’ll fully admit that I’m a marathoning newbie, having only run 2 and neither time suffering from taper madness.  The first marathon, while I did have lofty goals (want to BQ) I never really thought about the taper and my overall training wasn’t intense.  While training for #2, Boston, I was injured at the end of my cycle so my taper was elliptical with a couple of miles race week.

I have lofty goals again for WR.  After the past few weeks of training I think that, barring anything major, I can do well.  So I’m obsessing over what to do during my taper.  Is this the beginnings of taper madness?!

I’m toying with the following, and the workouts of the last two weeks worth of speed sessions have been by a friend who is actually a coach.  Not mine but I can bounce ideas off of him from time to time:

Week of November 15-21 (aka this week) ~80% of max miles.

  • On Tuesday I got a good tempo/GMP steady run in, with ~14 miles total and 6.6 of them at tempo/GMP.
  • Thursday: LR of 17-18 miles (today and check. 17.6 done-zo)
  • Saturday: Yasso 800s or 3 x (2@HMP, 1@MP+ 15 seconds) <– suggested by friend and the yassos are my idea.  And I’m not sure if, 2 weeks out, they’re the best in terms of race prep. See quote below from my friend.

Week of November 22-28. ~50-60% max mileage

  • Tuesday: 3 X (1.8 miles @ HMP with .2 mile recovery)
  • Thursday: LR of 13-15 miles
  • Saturday: 3 @ HMP, 1 easy, 1 @ MP, 3 @ HMP

Week of November 29-December 5 (RACE WEEK)

  • Monday/Tuesday: 2 @ MP, .5 easy, 2 @ HMP
  • Wednesday/Thursday: 1 @ MP, 1 @ HMP
  • Weekend: Travel and RACING 26.2 miles!

I spoke with a friend who really knows running stuff and he advised me

“At this point, my speed workouts are all aimed at dialing in on goal race pace, so I’ll incorporate portions at HMP or MP twice a week.”

Which I think is pretty sound advice and he also pretty much dictated the above schedule in terms of speed work.  It was in line with what I was thinking in terms of the *ideas* of the workouts and the types, but those are his workouts suggested as what he did before running Indy this year. The only change I think I’d make is to input one straight up tempo, or continuous GMP run instead of one speed session each week. Because tempo intervals (which essentially is what they all are) destroy my soul.

Thanks google images

So I guess I’m trying to feel out what you guys do during the taper and your experiences of workouts during it.  Obviously everyone is different but I like hearing things from “The Peanut Gallery” *CoughFloCough* I have the feeling that my friend is right and dialing into GMP is the thing to do now.  So I don’t know how/if my planned yassos for this weekend will shape up. They might be too intense of a workout so close to race day. [edit: I’m moreso trying to gauge the speedwork side rather than my overall miles for the next few weeks. The mileage cutbacks are pretty much set in stone but I’m just wondering how intense speedwork should be / use the track or go GMP?]

As far as today goes, I got my LR in.  I felt pretty crumby all day yesterday so I wasn’t sure how this workout was going to go.  Luckily I fell asleep relatively early last night and got 9 hours in.  Compare that to the 5 I slept all weekend and the 6 from Tuesday night and I’m no where near out of debt but feeling slightly better than yesterday. I still have some ear/sinus pressure that made the LR oh-so-much but it’s going away and not as intense as when I first got up. Better to feel a bit under the weather now than two weeks from now as two weeks + one day = MM on a plane to DALLAS.

The LR itself was…well a LR.  Nothing terribly special about it.  I didn’t feel particularly strong or powerful during it.  On the other hand I didn’t feel particularly weak or tired.  My legs did feel fatigued over the last 5 or 6 miles but, given the loop splits, I think I was increasing my effort and that’s why they were feeling it rather than true worn-out-ness.

13.5 miles @ 8:44
4.1 miles @ 8:24
Total: 17.6 miles @ 8:40

So I actually don’t have anything to complain about for once.  I did think this was going to be slower because of my head hurting and my legs feeling fatigued by the end.  Plus I was actually famished by the end of it, usually I’m a bit hungry after runs because I get out of bed and go within 5 minutes.  It was weird to be start feeling hungry during a run, especially so during a long run where my appetite is usually killed during the day.  That might have also contributed to the “I think this is slower” thinking.  But I’m happy that it wasn’t.

Money in the baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaank. Lots of you suggested it as an alternative “hay in the barn”.  I’ve obviously heard the expression before but rarely use it.  I should start.  Even though every time I say it I think of the song that was stuck in my head the whole run today

Phew.  Lots going on in this post, no? But I also did my pushups and situps.  Today was W2D2:

Pushups: 14, 16, 12, 12, 18

Situps: 21, 24, 18, 18, 30

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