MarathonMaiden's Blog

June 14, 2010

Buddy Run

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

Whew. Whirlwind weekend for sure! Hope everyone had a good weekend! Mine was pretty good despite all the studying.  Or maybe in spite of it.  As I’ve said before: the more comfy I get with the material the less I dread doing it.

I had grandiose plans about not turning on my computer all weekend.  And it almost worked until about 1600 when I wanted to upload all the MCAT study work I had been doing in my notebook onto the computer.  I know! I should be doing 100% of the MCAT work on the computer because it’s a computerized based test but the only thing I do in my notebook are the practice problems at the end of the chapters because I’m taking notes.  Everything else is done to mimic the actual test as closely as possible.  I figure if part of my problem is test anxiety then I need to do lots of computer based stuff that looks like the real deal BUT also do a little bit in my comfort zone so I can keep the confidence up.

And wow I did not mean to ramble about the test.  Haha oops.  I guess when you deal with something so intensely it’s hard for it to leave your brain!

Which is why I having running.  And doubles.  A couple of you suggested doing something non-running to give myself those breaks during the study day.  Yoga was the big one.  Honestly? I’ve never been attracted to yoga.  Totally not my type.  I’ve tried it before and I really *want* to like it but I get angry and aggressive and downright pissed off every time I do yoga.  Kind of counter intuitive, no?  But I keep going back to it every once in awhile thinking that this time will be different haha.  The definition of insanity right?

I had another friend suggest re-watching LOST from the beginning but I quickly nixed that as I wouldn’t be able to stop at one season episode.  I have started reading the new Dan Brown book “The Lost Symbol”. It’s a Robert Langdon book so if you liked Angel and Demons or The DaVinci Code you’ll likely enjoy this one. I’m about 100 pages in and I’m lovin’ it so far.  But, like LOST, I’m always at risk of spending too much time with it so I’ve been regulating it to before bed when my eyes will dictate how much is enough and I can quit thinking about meiosis or hydrocarbon reactions.

So I do have my outlets.  Just the only physical one is running right now.  Rebecca just had a good post on why running is the best activity ever. And in terms of my studying running is the only activity for me 🙂

Which means that I’m still running a lot.

BUT good news: the knee is okay! As is the rest of my body.  I never really would have classified it as an injury.  More like a pre-injury.  Because my quad, hammy and calf were all a little mad at me and that translated to my knee being cranky.  But some tender love and care fixed that.  I did get a major Charlie Horse in my ENTIRE left leg on Saturday night because of the tightness but that is resolved now.  I’m a little sore because of it and it hurt like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  But the knee is a-okay.

What helped? Well obviously the icing, stretching and ibuprofen.  BostonRunner also gave me these exercises that she does/did to help her knee pain and I’m tacking them onto the PT exercises I already do.  I definitely think that the problem is  muscle imbalance which is easily correctable.

Rather than bore you with every run I’ve done since my last post, because at some point they all feel the same, especially if they’re the study break kind, I’m going to mention the one I did on Sunday because it was a BUDDY RUN.

First off: I’m always nervous about running with others.  Sure I’ve known this girl for a long time (we were running buddies in high school) but still.  I always wonder if I’m not going fast enough/holding her back or if I’m going too fast and she’s just too polite to say so.  But these worries are always unfounded. Guess I’m just a worrywart.

We ended up doing our standard M.O. for the buddy runs: a “nice” 10 miler through our town.  I say “nice” because there is a stretch where we have to run by / on a highway.  Scary yes but there is a sidewalk.  The rest of the run is really nice though.

What I really loved about the run was that the conversation just flowed.  Sometimes we don’t speak at all during the run, other times we can’t shut up. Today was the latter.  I can’t even remember what we talked about exactly but I’m sure we covered: MCAT, applying to med school, our plans for the next year and I’m pretty sure we had a debate/discussion (because we really were advocating the same thing so it wasn’t a true debate) on responsibility in the medical field as well as the college scene.  Not that we talked all about serious stuff.  There was definitely mention of clothing and partying.

Because we were talking the whole time, our pace kind of dropped a bit.  The average was just under 9 and I could tell that she was a bit disappointed with that.  I was too.  BUT we did have a progressive run and finished really strong.  Well sort of strong.  At the 9.5 mile mark we discussed tacking on some more and as soon as I agreed to do so my legs just went to lead! Funny how that works.  We still finished at a great pace / feeling but I was like, oh man if I hadn’t said anything so early about being willing to do more I KNOW my legs would have held up.  But 10 is still good.  So I’m happy 🙂

I do want to mention pacing before I wrap this up.  I mentioned that a 9 pace was a bit on the eh side.  So funny because, if you recall, during marathon training I was ecstatic to hit that.  But with my pace dropping lately, my mind has gotten accustomed to running sub-9s without though.  I still plan for the 9 pace but secretly, well not so secretly anymore, think that sub-9 is where I need to be.  It’s like my mind still gets shocked that I can run faster than a 9 pace but as soon as my legs go back it’s all “WTF? I need you to go fast”. Guess that’s just how life is: the bar is constantly changing to a new norm and the old norm seems weird and outdated.  Nothing terribly important in that musing except that I’m sure many of you guys struggle with fast vs. slow and the relativity between them.

Hope everyone enjoys….Monday? I can’t keep track of what day of the week it is anymore! Even though I’m taking a course I still can’t really tell what day it is because I’m not on such a regular school / work schedule.  As it stands, aside from studying I’m doing the random babysitting gig so that’s not even regular!

And I know I told myself that I wasn’t going to do any type of work this summer buttttt I need money.  Badly. And the kids were good plus they went to bed early so I didn’t have to do anything awful and got to read / study after they went to bed.  Win/Win 🙂

December 22, 2009

Hitting the Gym

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:53

Yes I finally did it. Worked my way back into the gym for some lifting (and of course some borrowing on fitness mags — don’t judge I always return them when I’m done haha).  When we last left our good friends the weights I was on the verge on my running explosion and wanted to use the hour or so I spent lifting hammering out miles.  I also think that part of it was feeling to much like a have-to.  I’ve always been the type of person/runner who made sure that I hit the weights 2-3x a week for a full body session.  I just couldn’t imagine why someone wouldn’t lift. But with my focus shifting towards being a mileage junkie those sessions just felt burdensome.

So I stopped.  Wayyy back in October, about 10 weeks I think.  And obviously my running did explode and climb higher and higher.  Which is fine and exciting and something I’m happy / proud of.  But I don’t want to be that runner who shuns the gym.  I really do think that lifting / strengthening should be a part of every runner’s repertoire.  I won’t go into the benefits here of lifting (I definitely am not an expert) but anecdotally in the past I have always felt really good and strong and powerful when I’ve incorporated lifting on a regular basis.

Part of it is obviously physiological: make the muscles stronger and DUH you shall feel stronger.  Part of it is also psychological for me too: I grew up with a father who actually powerlifted.  Like in meets and stuff.  Seriously.  We even traveled for it too; my childhood trips to Disney coincided with huge meets.  From an early age I was shown that lifting was something to do.  Granted I often ignored the advice spewed by the parentals, but still, regardless of whether or not you want to listen, it sticks.

In any case I was “forced” to lift once I hit my teen years and although I HATED it I did enjoy the fact that there were high school boys there too to train under my dad.  I eventually abandoned actual lifting when I hit high school and did more calisthenic stuff with the volleyball, basketball and track teams.  I’d later incorporate this stuff post-high school much more readily into my routines as you don’t really need anything to do them.

So I’m not sure where all that reminiscing came from.  I guess to show you that I really do believe that everyone should take strength seriously.  And that lifting has always been a part of my lifestyle in some capacity which is why I take it seriously. And that I’m owning up to shunning that advice myself heh. And that I kind of guilted myself into driving to the gym today to get in some strengthening.

I did the Lifting workout here (it’s on the tab on the right for future reference).  And boy do I think I’m going to be sore tomorrow! My abs probably not as I’ve been consistently doing abs throughout the fall.  And maybe not so much my legs as I’m sure all that running has staved off toooo much strength loss.  But my arms felt like jello after the first set. Can’t wait to see what they’re like in the morning.  Oh well I can’t really complain because I really deep down love that feeling.

It felt really good to be back in the gym.  The actual physical gym as well as the workout itself.  It’s a totally different atmosphere in the weights section compared to the cardio, even in my gym where it’s basically one big room with weights in one corner and cardio equipment in another.  It could also be my gym, lots of working class people just doing their thing.  No hoity-toity people, no annoying a-hole college athletes etc.  I love it.

And because I am me I went running afterward.  I even mapped out a run in the town that my gym is in.  Naturally there are no streets signs, or at least signs for the streets I wanted so I ended up running around a little aimlessly.  I mapped it out just now and *drumrollplease* 11.4 miles.  Yeah.  Much more than I thought it was. Or rather much more than I wanted.  Although when all is said and done I’m proud of it.  Full body lifting and double digit run? Bamf.

But I wish that someone would tell my ankle that.  I think all my hubris about 2000+ miles on my shoes caught up to me BOOM in one fell swoop.  On my left ankle, at the base of my shin really, I am having a bit of pain/soreness/twingeing that feels a bit like tendinitis.  I have no idea if it can come on so quickly but that’s the closest thing that I can compare it too.  Maybe shin splints but it’s a bit lower than when I usually feel the onset of that pain. And maybe I’ve just been successfully ignoring the pain as it was building.  But now it’s a bit inflammed and the longer I sit here on the couch all immobile the more it hurts to move it. (And I kind of think I’m dramatizing this.  I’m sure that it’s nothing life or death here, just a bit of the good ole aches and pains)

And the real kicker? Absolutely no ice in the house.  No one refilled the ice cube trays.  And there’s no frozen veggies or anything like that in the freezer to make a makeshift one.  My only option is likely to go out in the snow.  But that requires me to move.  And go out in the cold.  Not going to happen. Boo I hate living with people who don’t think outside of themselves.

Enough writing more reading! I started U is for Undertow last night and got sucked in (like I should have known I would) and stayed up wayyy too late and actually fell asleep with it open.  I’m craving so badly to get back to it so get back to it I shall. 🙂

P.S. Like always keep the questions coming! I totally appreciate all the questions that have already come in but I need more 🙂

September 28, 2009

Working hard…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:17

…or hardly working.  Maybe both but for different reasons.

After so much working over the weekend (and thanks to everyone’s kind words about the stress I was / am under) I seem to have caught a bug.  The procrastination bug.  I did go to all three of my classes this morning (and actually in my French class I really got into the activity we were doing) BUT since being out of class I have had no desire to do anything. And the lethargy-in-life bug started last night after finishing the first draft of my lab when I caught up on: NCIS (best show ever), Numb3rs (Colby = bamf) and Psych (Kenan –maybe I could have picked an updated pic but this is how I will always know him– and the guy that was Urkel guest starred, GENIUS).  Wow some serious linkage there heh.

But I started my day pretty eventfully.  My phone (which I use as my alarm) died on me last night. And no, this isn’t a sob story about how I slept through my workout or something else but rather my phone has a really annoying tone that it uses when it’s about to die.  I even had the feeling last night that it would do this at some point but I’m really anal about letting the phone die 100% before charging it so even though it was on it’s last bar (which 3 bars last four days then it dips to 2 bars which last one day, 1 bar last for 12 hours and 0 bars lasts 3 hours. UGH. Muy stupio.) So naturally the thing started beeping at 0442.  At which point my bladder also informed me that I needed to get up and I actually found someone showering at this time. Really?

Anyway my point is…actually I don’t think I had a point there.  Just a complaint really.

At 0600 I got up, did some core while the pre-dawn lighting arrived and then set out for an 8-er.  Which surprisingly felt good.  My pace was eh.  But I think I’m accepting that 0600 will never be Kenyan fast.  My attitude has been adjusted though so that I’m okay with going a bit slower so that I can keep being a mileage junkie. The quads felt a little sore but that obv is due to all the running I did over the weekend.

I knew that I wanted to get some lifting in today as well, part of my vow to do so actually and it helps when you plan this stuff out in advance.  I’m the type of person that if I get the idea to do something I WILL do it.  Like yesterday when I tacked on some miles to the end of my run.  I kept saying to myself, if you’re feeling good then add.  But I knew damn well those miles were going to happen because they were already in my head.  Am I weird?

So I did the same lifting routine I did on Thursday minus the core stuff because I had already done it earlier this morning.  I will mention that my quads are TRASHED after lifting.  Not sure if that’s good or bad. And as I was about to do my warm-down a friend asked me to join on a 2.5 mile run.  Since I was most likely going to get 1-1.5 miles done on my own I said why not? Ummm my quads, that’s why not.  The pace was horrendous for an afternoon run.  I think I’ve said this before but my PM runs are like 90 seconds faster than my AM ones.  Not today that’s for damn sure.  But it’s okay because I was having fun and the pace felt okay.  Despite my clarity and nirvana-esque paragraph above, clearly I am not all accepting of the “slow pacing is good for you” mindset. Ahhh, it’s a work in progress.

Obv if you’ve been following this post you realize that I did a lot more running today than a usual day (barring LR days of course).  This means the appetite is in full swing.  And this means that I can stomach double portions of my favorite foods at one time.  This is especially good when I have just enough HoneyBunchesofOats left for a huge bowl.  Now normally I would bemoan the fact that I’ve run out of a cereal but in this case I’m not bc A) my g’ma bought me like 10 boxes of the stuff recently and B) the last bowl of HBO is always the granola-y small crushed up bits.  Which is pure joy (and FYI: cinnamon clusters are the bestest).

And I want to end the post with two things:

  1. My destination marathon is by no means set in stone.  And, judging by my source of the information, there’s a very good chance it will fall apart.  So keep fingers crossed for me and hopefully I will know more by the end of the week.  Even though fall just began, winter is just around the corner and I’d have to start thinking about training plans / starting ’em very soon.
  2. I just finished reading The Perfect Mile, and while I’m by no means a miler it got me pumped and inspired to do some hardcore training.  Next up on my list is Born to Run which I’ve been told is also really inspirational. I actually got my copy from a friend who doesn’t run and she said that it made her want to start.  Now she told me she has no intention of actually running but eh, I’m sure that I’ll find it as fuel to train hard.

Hope everyone’s Monday is going smoothly.  And more productively than mine. Despite my long-ass to-do list from the weekend being finito, the next one is already forming. Heh. Such is my life 🙂

August 30, 2009

staring into their yellow eyes without blinking once

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:52

So last night rocked! The chapel ceremony was so much fun (like always) and afterward a bunch of us seniors jumped into Peacock Pond (which is incredibly gross) — as part of a senior tradition — and swam across.  It was 55* out (stupid tropical storm yet again!) but such an amazing experience. As a matter of fact I prolly still smell like pond.  Lovely.

After all the excitement last night (let’s face it I wasn’t going to let my LR get in the way of my fun – at least not when I’m not in serious training haha) it’s no surprise that my legs were a little stiff when I got up this morning.  Still, I was going to get in my LR.  I set out on my 11.5 mile route and my legs hated me! I told myself that I could do it and really tried hard not to think about how far I’d gone or how far I had left.  Very hard to do but I think I was pretty successful at it because I didn’t get overwhelmed like I can sometimes do when thinking that I have so much further in the run.

As a plus, the rain is gone.  I think I wouldn’t have minded so much moving in the freshmen yesterday if I knew that the weather would be yucky all around but it was beautiful Friday and, while it’s still cloudy and a bit cool, today.   Just super annoying that the ONE day I would have wanted it to be dry was the one day that it was not. Grrrrrr.

On a running note with the weather, I am happy that yesterday was the only rainy day.  I hate starting my runs in the rain which was what yesterday was because it literally rained all day.  This morning was completely dry.  It was also cloudy and cool (remnants of the storm I guess) which was what I wanted for my long run.  As I said a couple paragraphs ago, my legs just didn’t want to go fast at first.

My legs weren’t wicked tight or sore or anything like that.  Upon writing up my weekly recap this week, my legs clearly are run down because of all those “ohmigod-I-love-8-mile” days that I had.  I need to start thinking with a game plan.  But once I got through about 3 miles it got easier.  I didn’t get “in-the-zone’ until about mile 8 but after 3 the legs stopped protesting as much.

This long run was definitely written up as a success.  I would categorize it as a progression run (of which I seem to be doing more and more lately — or at least calling more of ’em that).  The last 3 miles were at MP +10 seconds so clearly my legs weren’t about to give up on me.  In fact, when I finished, I felt like I could’ve done one or two more.  I kept those miles in the tank (so to speak) but if needed they were there, although I did add .5 so that my 11.5 became 12.

Interesting to think about (maybe just for me at least) is that during the week I’ve been complaining that after about 8 miles my legs seem to want to stop.  This was the case today but the last couple of miles were the fastest of the 12.  I keep forgetting that so much of this running this is mental and that maybe the legs aren’t really tired after 8, maybe it’s just my mind.  Important to give the mind what it wants sometimes too but I always seem to forget how much mental focus is needed on quality workouts.  Funny because I “re-discovered” this during this week on this tempo!

Upcoming this week will be a mileage reduction.  I am running a half a week from today and I’d like to race it.  With the past few weeks that I’ve had, that means taking it easy this week.  I might do a tempo-esque run mid-week just to keep the leg turnover high but I need to be conscious of what kind, and how many, miles I’m putting in. I still have yet to register (I know I am such a procrastinator!) so technically if the beginning of this week just feels like I’ve put my body under too much I can bail.  But I think the masochist in me would still race it to see what I can do race-wise when my body isn’t 100%.  Stupid? Maybe but I like to see what what’s possible when things aren’t perfect because life rarely is…oh man I am deep 😛

P.S. Check out the giveaway that Mary’s doing!  Awesome!

P.P.S. LARunner and RunJess were right.  The title to Saturday’s post (as well as today’s) was from Where the Wild Things Are. I’m ambivalent about the movie that’s coming out based on the book.  I don’t want anything to take away from the joy this book brings me!

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