MarathonMaiden's Blog

February 28, 2011

Glutton for Punishment?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:32

Apparently.  After an emotionally charged weekend what do I decide to do to cap it off? Try to physically exhaust myself too. Luckily I had a hard interval workout on tap for this weekend. I wasn’t up for it at all on Saturday so around noon on Sunday I decided to tackle it and hope that a good painful (but in a good way) run was what was necessary to pick me up.

On tap: 3 X 3.3 miles. Boo! Hiss!

Ouch just to look at the workout. I typically only do 2 of the intervals (as do most normal and sane runners) but I was definitely going for the whole “glutton for punishment” vibe this weekend.

As far as how fast I wanted to run it, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to hit the 6:29-6:43 tempo interval pace that McMillian thinks I can do based on WR, and while I’m in good shape, there was something just ON about my training last fall for WR….which speaking of….guess what I got in the mail over the weekend?

Holler. Between this piece of mail and my new Boston confirmation I should be rearing to go! Maybe not McMillian pace ready, but I thought that between 7:00 and 7:15 was reasonable for this workout.  Oh man. Oh hubris.

How’d it go?

  • Warm up
  • 1st interval: 3.3 miles @ 7:19
  • 2nd interval: 3.3 miles @ 7:28
  • 3rd interval: 3.3 miles @ 7:32
  • Warm down

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeh. My head was no where near being in this workout.  I was very distracted, probably from my weekend, but in all honesty I was about to write that I felt like I was pushing at my best.  I wasn’t.  Clearly with each interval being slower than the last. Normally I’m the opposite. No real excuses or anything but I probably could have kept my head in the game…

Is it bad to admit that this is on my iTunes?

That said, my legs did feel the burn and clearly fatigued throughout the workout.  Which is what I wanted to do. I just wish that fatigue pace was a little faster that’s all. Too much to ask for? I know that all the life stuff that’s been crazy present in my life lately  has been a huge factor in my training this cycle.  Unlike previous cycles I’m not basing my life around my training but rather my training around my life.  And at the moment some things (*cough*hanging out with my friends and having fun*cough*) are more important than, well I was going to say training but I’ve still be attempting my hard workouts, but things more of the sleep nature


I love how my friend's expression is like "oh man. here we go tonight" hahah!

And I don’t quite know how this post is going to come across.  Because I have lots of emotions going on when I think about this Boston training and where my running is at right now.  In the end, no matter how frustrated or upset or angry I am about not being as fast as when I was training for WR, I am much faster than this time last year when I was training for Boston.  That’s still a very good sign.  Just annoying that WR was so amazing that right now can’t really compare.  It’s like karaoke-ing after the kid who is studying musical performance at grad school (true story from last week at karaoke!).  No matter how good you are at singing (or training with my running right now) it’s not going to compare.  Doesn’t mean that I’m not doing some good stuff but last time had all the stars aligned. We’ll see how zen I feel about it on April 18th though!

January 23, 2011

Okay So Hills For Real

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:05

I ended up staying over with my friend Friday night (and thus haven’t had lots of time to respond to comments I’m hoping to get caught up later today/tonight! Promise) because I spent my “working from home” day here. I got a good 10.5 mile run in.  Not in the snow like I thought, because the “storm” wasn’t really a storm, so it was a nice quick clip.  Roughly 8:30 pace.  For an easy run that’s really happiness inducing for me!

Later that night we went to a Brown University bball game ( because I have a friend on the team and sadly Brown lost.) and then out to The English Cellar Alehouse where I ate the greatest pre-quality workout meal ever: Fish and chips with beer. Followed by fried oreos for dessert.  WTF? hahah

thanks google. yet again.

Surprisingly, despite not having fried foods for years, this choice was quite yummy. Slightly worrysome because I was wondering how my tummy would respond.  I’m happy to say that even though I REALLY didn’t want to mentally go running Saturday, the fried food didn’t affect me in a bad way.  I’m not quite sure if I can give credit to it for having a decent run but I completed the dreaded….HILLS

The workout looked something like this.  And was with my friend.  Love running with others.

  • Warm up / Easy miles (~8 miles worth)
  • Hills X 4.  The way the hill portion was run is that there are two parallel hills, one really steep but shorter (I call it “A” hill) and the other is slightly less steep but longer (I call it “W” hill).  I guess the average distance between the two is .2 miles and the average incline was 11%.  I alternated each hill to get to the four repeats. I didn’t time the actual hills but they went something like this:
  1. (W) Holy F#$%.  I refuse to do another.  Well maybe try one more.  The first of anything sucks.
  2. ( A) Okay not sooooo bad. I think I like this hill better
  3. (A) Ugh. Maybe it was so bad.  The buuuuuuuuuuuuuurn. Let’s go for lucky number 4 though
  4. (W) Suckage.  But at least I made it to the top with hard effort and didn’t give up!
  • Warm down

thanks google. yet again.


Obviously the hills were really tough and hard. I didn’t ever feel like I was running at a fast speed but I definitely felt the burn in my glues and hammys and quads.  Granted this is the 12(ish)% grade hill but I feel like a pansy for A) wanting to quit after 1 and B) only doing 4.

I ran the warm down and bitched and moaned to my friend that I “effing hate hills”.  But then I realized that hills are inherently hard and doing this workout before Boston training officially starts (TOMORROW! EEEEEP!) is good because now I know that hills are something I’ll need to focus on.  Particularly the W hill.  I know that I love charging up hills, making A hill nicer to me.  Boston, if I remember correctly, has a mix of both. So I’ll need to keep doing these hill loops and not shy away from the W hill. It’ll be hard facing a hill that I know is nastier to me when there’s a nicer one a few meters over but I’ll need to.

So, for once I’m writing a quick post, because now I’m taking a lazy Sunday, staying in my pjs and watching more Pushing Daisies with my friend.  I’ll likely get a run in but it won’t be until later this afternoon as it is currently 16* outside and I’m hoping it gets warmer by 1400 or so.  Fingers crossed.

May 12, 2010

Training For Boston 2010: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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

A bunch of you have asked for my thoughts on how my training cycle went, what I learned etc.  And I figured that it would be a good thing for me to do. Even if no one else cares anymore or finds this post really boring   😉

It’s been XX days (and since I’m writing this over several days I don’t really know how many days it will have been when you read this but y’all are smart and can figure it out ha) post-Boston so the emotional high and euphoria has waned and I can be more analytical than if you asked me on the 20th of April what my thoughts were.

And be warned, I wasn’t quite sure how to organize my thoughts when I originally sat down to write this so they might jump around a bit. And because most of the questions I got were: what did you learn / what would you do differently there might be a slight emphasis on the negative/bad stuff.  Rest assured that I do consider this training cycle to be a success and I’m way happy with it.  Also, in true MM form it’s long.

The Good: I PR’d and re-BQ’d. Pain free too.  If that’s not good then I don’t know what is 😛

The Bad: Absolutely terrible shin splints that threatened to derail me. And there was a lot of doubt that creeped in on top of the physical woes.

The Ugly:aka what I would change. In general, though, everything that went “bad” I wouldn’t change.  I’m a very inexperienced marathoner / racer in general so no matter what the mistake I made was I needed it.  Cliche to say that but whatever, it’s how life is.  Of course I would have loved everything to fall under the good category but that would be anti-climatic, no?

But here’s a more detailed breakdown…

The training plan:

  • The good: Very aggressive and that was good for me.  After training for my first marathon in early 2009 I felt like I hadn’t reached my full potential.  It was pretty conservative and I wanted something that would really challenge me.  Lots of speedwork was the perfect solution for that. I absolutely loved how much speedwork there was in the plan I picked.  It made me feel…well to state the obvious, fast.
  • The bad: Well I guess the bad thing is that I didn’t follow it.  As in I added lots more miles.  Like way more.  I think the peak my plan had was 75 miles and I definitely hit 112 at one point during Monster Month.  There also weren’t any places to insert hills or lifting so I had to try and figure out where to place that which likely led to more intense sessions than necessary.
  • The ugly: Nothing inherently ugly about the plan except that I was overzealous about getting in the miles — and then some.  This lead to a much more extended taper (remember the sports med doc who said I should start the taper 5 weeks out to counter the damage?) and I’m still feeling the effects of being over-trained.  I probably could have added some XT in there because I trained (pretty much) exclusively with running

Specifics with the training plan:

1. Pacing:

  • The good: In general, pacing was good.  I was slightly faster than McMillian paces for all workouts but I was able to listen to my body for recovery runs which was good and an improvement.  My interval paces were always faster than called for on the plan (oops to following that sucker) but I was able to nail those workouts.  My LR pace was slightly all over the place but it was always within :45 – :75 of GMP (which at the time, and still is, 8:00) and thus was ~60-90 seconds slower than my actual race pace at Boston. Which, according to numerous sources and articles, is where it should have been.
  • The bad: I still cannot for the life of me hit tempos.  It’s so hard and maybe it was a cause of all the mental stuff going on that I get into later but nailing a tempo still eludes me.  Curses.  Another bad thing was how all over the place my paces were for the LR.  Some weeks it was sub-9, some weeks it was 9:30.  And I never felt as though my LRs were improving.  By the end of the cycle I definitely didn’t have my usual kick to the finish.

2. Lifting:

  • The good: I lifted 3x a week for the first 13 weeks of the plan.  Exactly what I wanted to do. For Providence (in May 2009) I lifted 2x a week and cut it out way early.
  • The bad: I did the same routine each session.  So by the end of the cycle I probably wasn’t deriving as much benefit as I could have been.

3. Hills:

  • The good: I was able to incorporate hills into my routine and even got to run the Comm Ave hill once during training.  This allowed me to BEAST Newton.  I never noticed the first of the hills (only after a guy running next to me said 1 down 3 to go) and the rest of them really weren’t bad.  Negative splits anyone? And I ran them at the end of my speedwork sessions semi-mimicking the fact that the hills come so late in the race.
  • The bad: With the exception of going on Comm Ave once (and back in January too) all my hills were on the TM and I couldn’t prep myself for the downhills; let’s be honest here: everyone talks about the Newton Hills but the race is net downhill.  And while I still ran a strong race, with negative splits indicating the Newton Hills didn’t break me, my quads did take a beating.  Unfortunately as much as I would like to go back and change this, in reality I wouldn’t be able to if I could because my area is pancake flat and travel was not an option.

Other stuff…

1. Nutrition

  • The good: Well I ate really healthy and made sure that I was getting a wide variety of nutrients by eating variety in each individual meal as well as meal -to- meal.  I even upped my salt intake so that I could retain more water to push through those tough workouts as well as the antibiotics I was on over the Easter break.
  • The bad: I ended up losing a bit of weight which tells me that I wasn’t eating enough overall.  I’m a pretty small person girth wise so I think that if I had been able to keep on that weight then maybe I would have been able to run faster / harder. (Note: This is why I haven’t yet — and likely won’t ever– do another fueling post, I’m trying to figure things out for myself and see what works.  Again: inexperience here!) Another thing that was BAD was my lack of water intake.  Sure, overall I drink a lot of fluids but the daily breakdown looks like this: ~32oz milk, ~20 oz diet coke, ~16 oz ice tea, ~20 oz water.  So out of 88oz liquids consumed only 22% is water. Obviously an area where I can improve drastically.
  • The ugly: Save for one long run I didn’t take in fuel during the long runs.  And I never took in any water or fluid (that goes for marathon day too although I did eat two mini-luna bars).  I don’t really know why this happened as during the my first marathon cycle in 2009 I readily ate during runs (never drinking things though).  This, in conjunction with overtraining, probably led to some of those lethargic runs toward the end of the cycle.  Hard to tell which was the larger source but they both played a role I’m sure.

2. Sleep

  • The good: Ummmmm…I did make it a point to sleep A LOT the week before race day but it probably was just a drop in the bucket at that point because…
  • The bad: Well I’m a college student.  Suffice it to say that I probably sleep a lot more than the average college student and I only got about 6 hours a night.  Not nearly enough when logging mega miles.  Part of it was work: those assignments certainly aren’t asexual! Part of it was social: It’s senior year and I want to see my friends. Part of it was likely overtraining.  But I wouldn’t change anything here even though sleep deprivation sucks hardcore.

3. GI Issues

  • The good: I didn’t have to stop to go the bathroom during the race!
  • The bad: It was awful to have bladder issues during my LRs.  Absolutely awful. Not really quite sure how to fix it though.  I tried a number of things and nothing worked.  Maybe it was mostly mental.  Wicked frustrating as I *never* had this problem training for Providence 2009.

4. Psychological / Mental stuff

  • The good: I was mentally prepped to go into this race because I was expecting it to be a disaster with everything bad that happened.  Aka: I was expecting to just enjoy the race so it took the pressure off. I think what helped me the most gut out the hard miles at the end of the race was that I was doing so much at the time.
  • The bad:I was mentally very tired by the end of the training cycle: finishing up Senior year, training while juggling all my classes, doing job searches, setting up things so I can apply to med schools, being social.  And then on top of that training a billion miles a week.  That’s just the “regular stuff”.  Throw in the toe issue that happened on Easter as well as the shin splints which really put a lot of doubt into my mind and it’s a wonder I made it to the starting line not in a straight jacket. There really isn’t, however, a way to reduce all that mental stress.  It’s just my life.

Well there you have it.  Again, everything went as well as it could.  Yes I could have done lots of stuff differently to produce a “better” race but it went down how it went down. I’m sure I could write more on the topic buttttt this sucker is long enough as it is.

P.S. The Boston Jacket is *still* being rocked 😀

March 16, 2010

Oh Mr. Sun. And Some Paranoia

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:14

Aww thanks guys for all the support and encouragement yesterday.  Obviously the whole situation is a positive one but still, I really was expecting a lot of “what are you thinking?” stuff.  Or maybe I was just worried that my plan of action wasn’t a good one and you guys wouldn’t let me b.s. it hahah.

Anyway.  I had another busy day on tap?! What is it with this week? I have yet to not wake up to an alarm.  I mean, yes it’s partly my own doing because I want to workout before I start my day but sheesh.  It’s spring break yo.  I hate that I go to school far enough away that I can’t space these kinds of appointments out over the semester.  Oh well.  One more half semester so I guess that it’s the last time I’ll be dealing with it. Scary.

But, yeah, I woke up before the sun again.  I didn’t place my alarm (aka my phone) where I normally do so when it went off I was all blurry eyed (hello 24 amazingness and staying up too late with my friend! So worth it though 🙂 ) because of little sleep so I couldn’t find the damn thing.  And this was pre-family getting up too so I was extra crazy because I didn’t want to wake anyone up (not that they would do the same for me…)

I hit up the TM again today (third day in a row!).  First it was pitch black and I just don’t feel safe running in 100% darkness.  I think, as a female, that too much paranoia runs through my mind.  Girls are just taught to be on the lookout for creepers more than boys growing up so I think that’s it.  I get paranoid at night too.

Second, even though the monsoon had stopped: the flooding? Yup still there.  So many roads are still closed and I would have been running in knee deep water at points.  No thanks.  When I was driving to my appointments later today I had to “ford the river” many many times.  Ugh. (Anyone with that reference? aha)

Third, I wanted a softer cushioning for my shin.  I mean, even though I’m not in pain, I do want to stay smart. And seeing as how I had intervals (hard enough for me to get outside because of point 2 but I shy away in general from doing intervals outside) the TM just was what I wanted.

I feel the need to list those reasons because it was (and still is) BEAUTIFUL outside. After downpours for 3+ days the sun was glorious to see. My mood perked up about a billion points. So now I feel a little guilty for not getting out there butttt when I had the chance to run this weather wasn’t there. Boo. Oh well.

On schedule for today was 1600m aka the mile.  I’m iffy towards this distance in general.  It’s obviously a longer interval and yet, as soon as I start to feel good in it, the damn thing is over.  But I grinned and beared it. Going into the session I was kind of scared.  I mean, yes the doctor said I could keep running but at this point it really does become a cost vs benefit deal.

Therefore I nixed the traditional hills portion of interval day.  In the 11 full weeks of Boston training I’ve only not done hills 2x.  That’s a lot of hills.  So even though one of those skipped days was last week I figured that it didn’t matter. Like a lot of you mentioned I’ve done so much work already this training.  And since the last time I did hills the shin was a little aggravated (and I’ve read that hills aggravate shin splints and tendinitis, my two possible diagnosis) I’m okay with my decision.  I am, however, going to try for hills next week and then have that be it for hills.  I figure it takes 3-4 weeks for a workout to show up and next week is T-4 weeks.

But here’s the workout. Kind of non-exciting because I didn’t do much adding or craziness haha:

  • 2 mile warm up
  • 6 X 1 mile (5 @ 7:13, 1 @ 7:03) with .4 mile recovery between
  • 3 mile warm down

Total time: 107 minutes
Total distance: 13.5 miles
Average pace: 7:56

Okay so I’m sure that many of you are scratching your heads and wondering how 13.5 miles can be considered lower-key (or maybe not if you’ve been reading for awhile hah) BUT it’s 4 miles less than last Tuesday.  A start to say the least.

The last time I did this workout was about a month ago and figured that I’d play it safe and keep it at 10k pace (current pr pace = 7:15).  I tend to like to increase pace every time I repeat a workout (especially if it’s 4+ weeks since the last time I did it) buttttt yeah.  I did go faster on the last one because I knew that if I kicked up the pace I could hit 8 miles in 60 minutes on the TM timer which was cool.  (I go warm up. Hit reset. Then start the intervals)

No shin pain.  Well no pain. During the warm down I could tell that my shin was getting fatigued which strengthened my resolve to nix the hills.  I tend to go wimpy brained during the beginnings of workouts when my body is adjusting and tell myself I can stop early and then by the end always want to add more. I probably would have done that today too if the shin didn’t tell me otherwise.  Again: NO PAIN.  But I was “listening to my body” and *wicked* paranoid about anything happening to my shin so I was hypervigilant is paying attention to it haha. Guess paranoia isn’t always a bad thing 😉

So all in all a great workout.  I’m happy with it and I felt really good afterward.  I always think how amazing it is that I always want to avoid these sessions before they begin but once I’m done I am so happy with myself. I just feel so accomplished. I’m sure that you guys know what I’m talking about 🙂

And yes I know this is a(nother) lengthy post. But I do want to write a bit about a “second opinion” I got re: my shin.  My sister is on the track team and, although I didn’t get along with the head T&F coach in HS, he is knowledgeable about distance running.  So I went to pick up my sister and chat with him for the last 15 minutes of their practice.

Basically I told him my situation (including going to the sports med clinic yesterday) and relayed my fears of going into a taper this far out.  He told me that even if I took a full week off (like this week) that I shouldn’t be worried about my fitness and the race. Although he agreed with the principle of going into taper now (and preventing a potential stress fracture) he said that what I’d likely be comfortable with is to back off this week, go up to 60 or 70 for one or two then hit the taper hard.

He also suggested pool running to be the best thing for me.  I agree but my access to a pool is non-existent.  Yes my school has a state-of-the-art facility but it’s only open to the public for 4 hours a day.  4 hours that I have commitments.  Boo. I can try to find a pool for this week but will likely pay through the nose for a daily, or even weekly, pass. I do have unlimited access to ellipticals and bikes though which I’m sure would be good if I really feel the need to hardcore nix more miles.

Beyond this week (which he did suggest to be cut back by 40-50%) he said the words of the cycle: play it by ear. But I left the school feeling better knowing that both the sports med doc and the coach said the same thing independently of each other.  The coach (which I am on a first name basis with but because this is the internet I’ll just keep calling him anonymous stuff like “the coach”) also said that I could email him if I had anymore questions (because I did pepper him with q’s for a half hour!!) or if things went arry.

Interestingly he told me that he would advise running marathons at my age.  Nothing against me or anything but he would have suggested that after Boston focusing on halfs and 10ks.  Speedier stuff. He said that it would be good for me to let my body mature more before plugging into such heavy mileage.  It totally wasn’t said in a negative way or anything like that but I thought it was an interesting point.  Maybe I’ll elaborate on my thoughts (because I wasn’t totally opposed to the idea and despite my wanting to run an ultra I have been thinking along those lines too).  But in the interest of the fact that this post is VERY long I won’t. 😉

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday! I’m going to try to have a low-key night and grab a glass of wine while watching NCIS and LOST.  A perfect way to unwind after running around all day!

[ And I apologize for any typos or sentence/grammatical mistakes.  I was gone all day and don’t want to proofread my novel haha!]

March 14, 2010

Pi Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:53

I was facing a bit of writer’s block (I know crazy right considering how much I ramble in my posts! Ha) but I was re-reading some of the comments over the past few days and I figured that I’d talk a little bit about the next 5 weeks.  Because Boston is 36 days away.  AKA 5 weeks from tomorrow.

My plan has me set up for a 3 week taper.  Meaning that the next 2 weeks will be wicked intense.  I’ve thought about tune-up races and honestly had a couple penciled into my schedule.  Unfortunately time and money made this impossible.  Both Kristen and Rebecca mentioned that running a tune-up race would help with any jitters and give me a realistic goal of what to expect. I 100% agree.

Last cycle I didn’t do this at all and really wanted to incorporate it this time around.  But like I said….life sometimes just gets in the way. There was (well is I guess as it’s still going on) a St. Patty’s 10k that I was thinking of doing with a friend this weekend but again, time and money.  Always the story.  Plus, I wasn’t comfortable committing to a race when I didn’t know what was going on with my ankle / shin (hopefully I’ll have more info after tomorrow) and I missed the deadline to register. I am registered for this 20 mile race at the end of the month though (with Lacey!).  That’s at the end of Week 4, just leading into the taper.

Speaking of. Heh. But first the next two weeks are going to be intense.  Now, I’m not one to peak ahead during my plans so I can’t tell you without looking myself what exactly I’m facing, but obviously: 2 very hard intervals (I do believe though that this upcoming week is either mile or 2000m repeats. I did look but I forgot ha!), 2 hard tempos, a LR of about 17-19 miles and another one of 20-23 (which will be that race).  So the second half of Monster Month is going to be intense.  But then again, the whole damn cycle has been intense. What else is new?

The plan calls for a 3 week taper with the first of those weeks being more of a cut back and the next 2 being much more so. I’ll be upfront here and say that last cycle I didn’t really do the taper all that well. Yes, I did cut way back but not as much as people would advise. So I can probably say right now that I likely will suck at the taper this cycle too.

That said, I’ve been thinking about the taper a lot more lately.  Mostly because I’m really feeling the intensity of my training at this point in the cycle.  As much as I think my funk two weeks ago was a result of school stress and weather I’m sure my huge miles played a role.  So I’m sure my body is eagerly awaiting the taper (and the massage I had scheduled for tomorrow. Holllleeeerrrrr). My mind? Yes that too.

I’m also wondering what constitutes a taper for someone who is running as many miles as me.  Obviously a cut-back is necessary for the taper but to what degree? I’ve never heard (or maybe I have but it never sunk in) about how much to cut back. I’m peaking at 100+ miles (done 3 weeks of them already over the training cycle) sooooo does my taper look like a 30% reduction (to 70 miles? Likely not, that seems like a lot), 40% (to 60?). Do I go by half? Like I’ve already said, I “sucked” at tapering last time around.  I think that my peak was 72 miles and the 7 days before my marathon (which didn’t suck at all btw) was 42 miles (that works out to a 40% reduction)

As Amarathoner noted: I’m a very go-go-go person who thrives on being busy.  I know this and I also know that the weeks of the taper will be very busy school wise as I try to piece together my capstone project in order to graduate.  So I know I’m not going to be sitting around twiddling my thumbs.  I doubt that taper madness will take over or anything. I definitely didn’t experience that last time around and I think that part of it was that the semester was gearing up for finals and I had plenty to keep my mind occupied on.

So there you have it.  I guess I don’t have anything definitive in this post.  Mostly musings haha.  But it was helpful to get some of these ideas flushed out and to form some ideas on them.  Any thoughts and insight would be appreciated as like I’ve continually said: I’m a very inexperienced racer.

As for a quick blurb (maybe) about today. First off: Happy Pi Day! Yes I’m a nerd.  And yes I’m disappointed that Pi day has ALWAYS fallen on spring break so I cannot celebrate with my fellow nerds.

It’s also DST.  Hopefully y’all remembered to set your clocks ahead an hour.  I did but apparently my phone (which have always automatically reset itself in the past) decided to not last night.  No biggie as it’s Sunday and I’m on break but it was annoying to wake up when I thought I wanted to but really have it be an hour ahead.  Now my brain is all confuzzled.

It’s also monsooning out.  The drizzle from yesterday has turned into a monsoon.  Not cool.  I’m glad that I went outside yesterday and had a kind-of-crappy but kind-of-awesome run (BTW: Thanks for all your  kind comments about that run.  It made me feel really good and perked me up a bit. And I just calculated my average pace for the week and the “crappy” LR didn’t impact me as much as I thought! And yes numbers obsessed = that being important to me ha) because there was no way I was getting out there today.  Treadmill time (and likely tomorrow. Boo. Send some good weather vibes my way?).

I’m pretty sure I pushed a little too hard pace wise for a recovery run (started at 9:00 pace and ended at 8:15) but I wasn’t feeling bad.  A little calf soreness and absolutely nothing with the shin (I was a bit sore last night because after my run I did not move my body once so everything stiffened up as I headed to bed haha). And Tmart: while it wasn’t a rest day it was a severe cutback from my normal Sunday routine.  A start, no? Which I haven’t run the total numbers yet BUT this week was a monster of a week!

Hope everyone is having a very relaxing Sunday.  There’s something about the rain that makes productivity go right out the window so I haven’t gotten much done.  I think I’m going shopping tonight though? That counts right? 😉

And checkout this giveaway from Have Faith

March 12, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:44

First off: No I’m not injured (later in the post is an explanation)

Secondly: I didn’t mean for this to be a long post.  Oops. It’s Friday too and I don’t think many people check / read blogs on the weekends (I know my stats tend to drop Friday til Sunday)

Thirdly: Thanks for your insights onto my tempo runs.  I’m glad it makes you guys excited to “hear” that I’m progressing in my training. To answer a few questions posed:

  • My current 10k pr pace is ~7:13.
  • I think it’s silly to run a 7.6 mile tempo at that 10k pace.  A tempo is not a race. BUT…
  • …Yes I think I can push the pace for both 10k races AND tempo.  As evidenced by my TM tempos.
  • I’ve come around to the idea that different tempo lengths can mean variations on tempo pace.  If I was running only 4 miles for the tempo I would have expected
  • I think my HR was so low at the end (when I take my HR) is because I’ve had 7.6 miles to let my heart adjust.  If I were to take it earlier in the run I’d bet it would be higher. And that’s not a me exclusive thing. I’d bet that your ending HR is lower than a mid-tempo HR too.

Okay so I ended up finishing my work pretty early last night.  Yahoo! Around 2100: just in time for The Office! I didn’t think last night was all that funny, sure there were moments but there have been better ones.

Unfortunately even though I was done with my work most of my friends have/had already gone home for spring break.  I am that rare senior / upperclassman who has class on Friday.  Not that I’m truly complaining: it’s Spanish and I absolutely LOVE the class.  But it’s a bummer because the one Thursday that I feel I really could have gone out and not had to think about work is the one Thursday that no one is around. Oh the irony! I would have thought that people would have wanted to go all out partying the Thursday before break.  But I guess that everyone just wanted to get the hell off campus haha.

Not me! Even though I had a morning class I figured I’d stick around and head home after dinner. Because I had so much work to do this week my room is a MESS, I have laundry to do (doing now in fact) and I am in the process of packing for the week now.  I would stay on campus but the dining hall is closed all week and I’m not spending $$ to feed myself.  At least when I go home my mom helps me out a bit so I’m not spending all my money on food.

Onto the running.  So just to recap this week: beautiful weather = more miles than “normal”.  (I admit that my normal is really high! I just want to point out that I realize I’m running a lot and training at a huge level.  I read Sarah’s post this morning about comparing ourselves to others and realized I’m so guilty of it. So I just want to emphasize that what I’m doing is right for me and that what you’re doing is right for you. I don’t think enough bloggers say that.  I know when I read particular blogs I can walk away feeling bad.  So don’t: you’re perfect the way you are 🙂 )

How many more? Well I’m pretty sure that 5 days into my running week has me about 13 or 14 miles more than I had this time last week.  Wowza.  Granted some of those have come because I’ve changed the “warm down” title after my lifting to “second run” but still.  That’s more miles in the logbook.

But I guess the point of me declaring that is this: my body doesn’t feel any worse for the wear.  I’m very excited by this.  My recovery runs this week have fallen between 9:25 – 9:40.  Sure that may be slow to some of you but for me it’s perfect recovery.  Surprising because I’ve felt that I’ve given my quality sessions my all as well. I guess that most people (myself included) would think that by now I should be feeling run down.  And I am kind of, but I can’t tell if it’s the training or the school stress that’s the bigger cause.  I feel pretty worn but I’ve felt like this before when I was wasn’t running so much as it was school related. I guess we’ll see when I don’t have any school stress this upcoming week (for once I have NO work to bring home with me. I think it’s well deserved though)

So more miles + more intensity = feeling good = feeling confident.  Exactly what I need seeing that Boston is only 38 days away (!!!)

Not everything is all bright.  I mean, I’m not injured but I titled my post the way I did because my calves are very tight today.  Like I can feel them when I’m sitting down.  I think it has to do with the tempo I ran yesterday, the extra miles, the OUTDOOR intervals. A culmination of things really. I’ve been stretching and doing all the stuff I want but man are they tight. I really want my massage today but I guess I can wait until Monday 🙂

I feel like I should put a “shin update” out there because I’ve gotten a couple questions about it.  I’ve been really hesitant to mention it again after getting some negative feedback when I talk about it.  I think that lots of people here don’t want to see me get hurt and, while I appreciate that, I feel like what I’ve written about the shin gets misconstrued.

BUT seeing as how I love you guys ( 🙂 ) I’ll say that it’s not any worse at the moment.  Not really better per se but since it’s never been any sort of real problem that doesn’t really mean much.  After a really hard effort I can feel my shin muscles more but it’s NOT PAIN and it’s NOT INJURY. Hahaha.  I have my sports med appointment on Monday so I’ll know more then.  I will say that I’m worried that it’s an injury but the signs my body is giving me is that right now it’s not.  I just want to do everything I can to keep it that way.

So before I go grab my laundry (because I figure if I’m being charged laundry in my tuition payments I’m going to damn well wash my clothes here rather than at home!) : just to recap today (because I rambled hardcore above!):

  • AM: recovery run @ 9:40. My shins were tight and never really wanted to loosen up all the way.  But everything else felt good and, while 9:40 isn’t lightning speed, I felt good and not dragging the whole time. It was a bit raw out but it actually felt a little bit good. But I might be a masochist 🙂
  • PM: Full Body Lift: I think that I’m going to start hating lifting.  Sure I’ve never found it to be pleasant but since I’m not working on getting stronger (the emphasis is on maintaining now) I’m just going to be bored.  I’m also wondering when I should cut it out completely. During the taper? Just during marathon week? Do I cut down from 3 to 2 or 1 sessions at some point?
  • PM: Easy “second run”.  I think this will be the last time this happens though.  The weather is suppose to be not-as-nice as it was this week and I don’t want to do anything stupid.  Sure it’s Monster Month and sure I’m feeling strong during these post-lifting runs butttttt….well but nothing really. I just don’t think I’ll have the time after break to keep doing them.  Priorities and school > running.  Well at least school > running double hahah!

Hope everyone is enjoying their Fridays! And send some good weather vibes my way: it’s looking like it’s going to be RAIN tomorrow.  Sure I know I was spoiled this week with the good weather but I don’t want to move my LR to the TM.  Yeah I know I won’t melt in the rain, and I guess it depends on how heavy the rain is…but I just don’t wanna 😛

Check out the giveaway from ErikaH

February 1, 2010

Monthy Recap: January 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:19

So I kind of liked not having weekly recaps last month.  Makes me feel like the posts are “meatier” AND it’s easier to see week-to-week trends when there are 4 weeks laid out.  Granted the weeks listed here are Monday to Sunday so there are a few days of December but whatever. I like it this way 🙂

But before I get into the first month of the year I was talking to my Spanish profesora after class just to let her know that I’ll be missing class for the Boston Marathon.  Normally I wouldn’t have bothered (we get 3 free misses already) but there’s a composition due that day so I wanted to make sure (in advance because I am like that) that it would be ok to email it to her.  And she goes “Oh don’t even worry about it.  You have the best reason ever for missing class. How exciting”.  She’s not a runner but it was way cool to have a professor be so interested and supportive in my running rather than looking at me like I have three or four heads.

So here’s January / the first 5 weeks of Boston training. Just to note, I wrote these as the weeks passed so the tone might shift from week to week and whatnot.

Week of 28-December to 3-January

  • 90.0 miles
  • 13 hours 3 minutes 38 seconds
  • 8:44 average pace
  • Core 3x, Full Body Lifting 2x

Woooooot another weekly mileage pr (as the last week in December was one too).  I wasn’t even shooting for it, but it just happened and I was *shocked* that I ran 90 miles.  This was also the unofficial first week of Boston training, I was just loosely following a schedule.  The overall pace was *much* faster than it’s recently been (I had 2 speed sessions and 2 tm sessions which go much faster than outdoors for me). I’m actually both excited and nervous about the mileage / training this week. Excited because I know that during “monster month” I will be able to do what I need to but nervous because it’s only week 1 (or week 16 depending on how you count) and I don’t need to be anywhere near this point right now.

Week of 4-January to 10-January

  • 85.2 miles
  • 12 hours 47 minutes 32 seconds
  • 9:00 average pace
  • Core 3x, Full Body Lifting 2x

Week 2 (or Week 15 according to my plan) of Boston training down — I decided to make it official after all.  Still on the high side of mileage but that’s due to one overzealous run at the beginning of the week, the rest were where they needed to be.  Average pace looking good too, I think 9:00 is a good balance between my recovery days (which tend to be slooow) and speed days (obv fast).  Happy with the 2x of lifting and 3x of core; hopefully that can continue longer in the training cycle.

Week of 11-January to 17-January

  • 87.2 miles
  • 13 hours 5 minutes 40 seconds
  • 9:02 average pace
  • Core 2x, Lifting 3x, XT 1x

Another great training week.  I still continue to be amazed by how my body is reacting to the training.  The average pace is right where I want it (well maybe 2 seconds too slow haha) which is nice because my recovery runs have been really slow (which they need to be) so it means that I’m hauling butt in my quality workouts.  Definitely good.  I’m also very happy with the fact that I was able to hit the gym THREE times for lifting.  So far the response has been positive.  I also added in an elliptical session, it was after my tempo run so it was nice to be able to stretch the muscles and circulate my blood without the impact of running.

Week of 18-January to 24-January

  • 89.4 miles
  • 13 hours 13 minutes 4 seconds
  • 8:52 average pace
  • Core 2x, Full Body Lifting 3x, XT 1x

So my favorite part of those numbers? The 8:52 average pace!! I guess with a kick ass interval, tempo AND long run I should have expected it.  Woot.  I also like all the lifting I’ve been doing: powerful and strong chica here.  My least favorite part? The eighty-nine point FOUR.  Makes me wish for an extra .6 to round up to 90.  But I know that’s not what I needed.  I mean this was supposed to be a cutback of 5-10 miles.  Oops heh. And I don’t like the XT.  I think that I don’t like XT in general. But I’m happy I got that in as my shake-the-legs-out workout post-tempo rather than another run.

Week of 25-January to 31-January

  • 93.8 miles
  • 13 hours 50 minutes 17 seconds
  • 8:51 average pace
  • Core 2x, Full Body Lifting 3x, XT 1x

Weekly PR.  I think this will likely be the last one of those for a while.  I definitely let my mind run wild this week and I think I felt the touches of the drain with my speed sessions, while stellar, just felt blah.  Amazing considering that I broke the double digit streak this week that my miles could get so high.  Plus my average pace for the week was a killer. I think that was mostly due to faster-than-normal recovery runs because I didn’t think my speed work sessions were anything extra spectacular compared to previous weeks. SO I’m very proud of this week and it’ll definitely go in my books as a stupendous week.

Month of January totals:

  • 397.1 miles
  • 58 hours 58 minutes 17 seconds
  • 8:54 avg pace

Definitely a monthly PR for sure. So many great things happened. Hit 2 weekly mileage PRs (and all the weeks have been the highest they’ve ever been for me!). Boston training really took hold.  I was in the midst of an amazing double digit streak.  I incorporated lifting and stretching and XT-ing into my routine. The thing I’m most impressed with is my average pace being UNDER 9 min/mi.  I know for some of you that is no biggie but that’s huge for me.  It definitely shows that I’ve been diligent and hardcore with my speed work.  I know that I’ll won’t likely get another month like this but it sure sets the bar high for what is to follow.  I’m hoping that I can take what I’ve done (lifting, stretching, XT, speed work) and keep it all up for February.

What a way to start of 2010!

January 19, 2010

Tuesday Intervals: Week 13. GET PUMPED

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:18

First off: I’m so paranoid that my computer will get another virus like now that I keep running virus scans every hour. Am I officially crazy? Maybe but last hour it picked something up but I think I took care of it.  Eeeek!

Second of all: I LOVE you guys.  I don’t think I say this enough (or at all) but I get so motivated by your comments and your blogs.  I think I’ve mentioned that I do my running 100% alone in “real life”, aka my friends and family don’t really support me at all, so every time I hear from one of you it just feels soooo good to know that other can relate and know what I’m going through and understand.  Soooooooo I’m going to stop right there before this gets too corny.  But thanks 🙂

Gosh I get scared every Monday night when I’m planning out my Tuesday workouts.  And by plan I mean copy the workout to an index card and write down pertinent information. I don’t think it’s the actual speed work that I dread but Interval Day = Hill Day as well and I am terrified of hills.  This is week 4 of doing hills and I will admit they are getting easier to mentally wrap my head around but I do still get the heeby-jeebies thinking about them.

This is what my plan told me to do:

  • 5-7 X [1000m] @ 10k pace with 2 minutes recovery

And here’s what I did.  (So I guess I retract the “I only copy down my workout Monday night” statement haha)

  • 1 mile warm up
  • 8 X [1200m (3/4 mile)] @ 713 pace (just about 10k pace) with 400m (1/4 mile) recovery
  • 1 mile warm down
  • 5 minute bathroom / water break
  • 5 minute re-warm up
  • 6 X [ 90 seconds hills in ladder form (6%, 7, 8, 8, 7, 6)] with 60 seconds recovery (pace was 8:34 whole time)
  • Loooooong ass warm down

Total time = 2 hours
Total distance = 15 miles

What a great workout! I wasn’t planning on going for so long but by the time the warm down came up I was ready for a really long and relaxing one so the mileage did get inflated a bit.  Funny that I was probably the first person in the gym when it opened up at noon and the very last person to leave when it closed at 1400.  I’m sure the person working the desk and other gym-goers thought I was crazy. They’re probably right. 🙂

The interval section wasn’t that bad, like usual.  I changed the plan and added 200m to each repeat because it’s easier to keep track of on the treadmill .75 miles than .621.  Plus the recovery of 2 minutes roughly equaled .25 miles so it was very easy not only to keep track of when to change pace but it was also really easy to keep track of the number of repeats I did.

It was also good for me to keep the pace at 10k pace rather than trying to go faster and harder.  As Lacey has noted in the past, the whole point of repeats is to make it to the last one rather than push it in the first one and die for the rest.  It’s a lesson I’m trying to avoid learning the hard way.  By interval 6 I was still feeling good so I decided to tack on an extra repeat rather than increase the pace.  I think it was a smart choice as by the end of repeat 8 I was feeling that build up of fatigue in my legs.

I guess today was 2 separate workouts done back to back because I took a 5 minute break between the intervals and hills and each got its own warm up/down. This also allowed me to watch an obscene amount of the History Channel.  I got to watch a show on the Pacific Coast Highway (which I now want to drive the whole damn thing) AND a show on the Saraha desert and how it was once a fertile rainforest.

The hills weren’t as bad as I’ve done in the past.  Yes they were really hard but I think that it was more manageable because I chose to go with more intensity (higher grade (6-8% vs 5%)) but for a short duration (90 seconds vs ~4 minutes).  Because of the shorter time interval I was able to mentally stay with it and not want to quit.  In fact despite having 6-8 repeats written down on my card I was willing to let 4 happen and then call it a day (because hills scare me *that* much).  I’m thrilled obviously that I was able to get in 2 more repeats.

My legs felt soooo tired at the end, like they were out of gas, but I knew that I needed to warm down.  I know that if you just STOP after such intensity then blood pools in your legs.  Not good.  I probably didn’t need to go for as long as I did but when I hit the amount of time I planned for the warm down I noticed that for an extra 6 minutes I would hit 2 hours AND 15 miles.  And numbers like that don’t happen every day you know.  So I was tempted and couldn’t resist.  I even thought to myself that I was crazy and I didn’t need those minutes/distance but hey my number crunching ways couldn’t say no. Heh.

The only downside to the workout was that it was right during lunchtime and I was starving when I finished.  I didn’t eat much after breakfast because I wasn’t hungry yet but I let too much time pass between eating and basically just inhaled a ton of food.  Like literally it probably was a ton! I guess that’s why they say don’t let yourself get too hungry ever? Haha 😛

In other notes: I was right about yesterday at the gym being crowded.  Both the T&F and bball teams were there and my school has a tiny gym in general and the weight section is small too.  Not good for trying to get weights / space.  Plus so many people talking and being chaotic makes me unable to think.  Boo. One day I’m going to write a post on the gym-goers I see as Special K suggested.  I’m trying to draft something now but I can’t seem to erase the bitterness in it.  Oops, something to work on I guess haha,

BUT I’m pretty sure my 3:30 goal for Boston is official-official.  One of the T&F coaches was there (the one who has been trying to recruit me to pole vault / high jump for the past 4 years) and he was asking how much I was running and why etc. because he sees me running all the time and in places that are pretty far from the school (well duh because I’m running big miles haha).  So I mentioned that I was training for Boston, wanted to better my debut marathon time etc.  And when he asked me A) what my debut time was and B) what my goal time was, he was VERY impressed with my goal of 3:30.  But he also told me that 7-8 minutes (PR = 3:37:58) is totally doable because the race is so long.

So now I’m even more pumped than ever! Wooooooooooot!

January 16, 2010

Woot To The Long Run

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:36

Oh man. It’s been feeling like one crazy day but I haven’t *really* done a lot.  I guess that’s what happens on long run days.  Not only are you running for lots of minutes but it makes time seem so relative and before you know it the day is over!

I’ve been having some computer problems lately and finally got them squared away today.  So I started off my day by visiting the Geek Squad and dropping off my computer before heading off on my long run.  After the run (which I will get to because I ❤ the long run and love to talk about it heh) I went back and picked up my computer.  The guy that helped me was sooooo nice because there really wasn’t anything wrong with my machine.  But he stayed with me for an hour and a half (!) and “fixed” it.  Then didn’t charge me.  I actually walked away with tears in my eyes because I was (and still am) so grateful.

So now that my computer is back I can tell you all about my long run (and I need to catch up on google reader. Man you guys were busy for the 8 hours I didn’t have access to the internet!).  The schedule said 17-19 miles for today.  Which first off is ridiculous.  But in a total loving good way.  It’s only week 3 of my plan which is why it’s crazy that I mapped out a 18.2 mile route.  To put it in perspective: last training cycle I didn’t do my first 18 run until week 6!!

I was a little amped up over the computer situation so I think I went out a little fast on the first portion of my run.  I had a 14.4 mile loop and then was going to follow it with a 3.8 loop.  Nothing too exciting about the first loop.  I mean I did a lot of thinking but mainly I knew that the 14.4 route was just a warm up to the last bit.  Not to belittle that first part but pushing through the last part of any run is where I anticipate a little more effort needed.  I mean they don’t say the marathon is a 20 mile warm up for a 10k race for nothing.

I will say that miles 11 to 14 ended up being the rough ones.  I was going to try to hit goal marathon pace (GMP) during these miles but I just didn’t have the drive to.  Which is okay because I don’t have to hit GMP during a long run for another couple of weeks or so.  I think I didn’t want to because at that point I’d already gone a considerable distance but there was still so much more to go to hit the 18.2 that I wanted.  Despite this I was actually thinking of ditching my 3.8 route in favor of a 4.6 route that would give me 19 even miles.  But I didn’t because my previous distance PR post-marathon was the 16.2 I did last week.  And I thought that almost 3 miles more would be quite a leap.

And I kind of regret it.  Almost.

See as much as I really get pumped off of speed stuff I really live for the long run.  It just comes very naturally to me (part of why I think an ultra is in my future). I take a really long time apparently to find my groove.  Like 14 miles maybe? Because once I hit that second loop I was off to the races I guess.  Which is funny because with most people I’d attribute it to taking a gel or granola bar (as I usually do).  But for whatever reason today I decided to go with nothing.  Yes the entire long run was done on my breakfast.

I have no real explanation for why the first 14 miles were right on par with what I shoot for on a long run (9:00 pace) but the last 3.8 were at 8:25?! WTF?! I thought that these 3.8 were going to be the bane of my existence: my bladder was full, I was worried about my computer, I didn’t have any food on me.  But I felt so damn good that I tacked on an additional half mile for a grand total of 18.7 miles.

I wish I had the foresight to know how good I was going to feel so I could have hit the upper range of 19 in my plan.  But 18.7 is just as good which is why I don’t regret not doing 19. I even thought about eeking out another 1.3 to make it 20 (because I ended the run on such a high and my legs felt ready to GO) but didn’t only because I don’t need to.  I’m trying this thing called “Trust The Plan” 🙂

I’m sure the lifting played a part in why I felt so good.  That and the hills I’ve been doing.  And the slow as hell recovery runs. Sure it’s been torture but like I said yesterday, it surely is a prescription for greatness. So thanks to everyone whole told me that yesterday.  It means a lot and helps me stick to “Trusting the Plan”.   Rebecca also mentioned this when she said “I’ve found that the slower I do my recovery runs, the more I can put towards tempo/LT workouts.” I definitely feel the same way and think that it also holds true to these long runs. Plus I felt like I could charge up the hills on my route (there aren’t many and I guess technically they’re more like inclines in the road haha) without altering my pace.  If I keep getting this kind of feedback from my body I think I’ll be okay come April.

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect either: 45* and partly cloudy.  I got to wear shorts and a tee-shirt! And of course my gloves, but they weren’t the “lobster mittens” (as I so lovingly refer to them as) but just the regular old gloves.  Perfect conditions for a damn near perfect run.

I could go on and on about how awesome this run felt.  But I won’t because I don’t want to beat a dead horse. Plus 18.7 miles makes a girl very hungry.  Must. Go. Find. Food!

P.S.  I won Nikki’s LED hat giveaway! Thanks girl! I can’t wait to try it out and report back 🙂

January 5, 2010

Training Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:17

I’m glad you guys liked my Twenty Twelve Questions yesterday. Looks like lots of you are peanut butter fans AND diet coke addicts (well except AMarathoner. Boo! haha)  I really had fun answering them and I got some more questions as a result! Yay! So if you have ’em send ’em my way and sometime in the near future I’ll do a Part 2 or something 🙂

On a running note: I guess I’m just going to accept that I’m officially in Boston Training.  I was going to wait another 3 weeks, and do a 12 week plan, but the pull of training is too great and when I tried to “loosely” follow last week’s schedule it ended up being the schedule.  Oops! Oh well, I don’t think it’ll be a big deal and I love having actual workouts to do rather than “Hmmmm what should I do today?!”

So Tuesday is now interval day and since last week was 800 repeats that made today longer intervals. I decided to hit up the gym first thing when I got up so that I could have my whole day free (as *fingerscrossed* I’m heading back to school at some point today).  And I decided to hit up the gym rather than head outside because the track is covered in snow and I don’t have short distances mapped out.  I figure if I’m doing my LR, easy and tempo runs outside I’ll be okay and the treadmill won’t kill me for the speed stuff. Well it may kill me but it won’t harm my marathon heh.

Here’s the workout I did:

  • Warm up
  • 1mile – 2miles – 1mile @ 10k pace with 4 mins, 7 mins, 4 mins recovery respectively
  • 5 minutes easy
  • 4 X 800m hills @ 5%, MP with .2 miles recovery
  • Warm down

Whew! It was one of the most challenging workouts I have done EVER! (hence the “it might kill me” from above) I think it was the hills section though. The intervals were great actually. The workout plan said “slightly slower” than 10k pace but I did it at 10k pace as I think I’m faster than my PR suggests.  Hopefully this is okay.  I actually felt that I could have gone faster.  And not just for the first repeat but through the whole thing.  This tells me that either I’m not performing up to snuff in my races or that I’m in much better shape than I was when I ran my 10k PR.  Hopefully it’s the latter but even if I’ve been under performing that just means that I’ll smash some PRs this year 🙂

The only downside to the current plan I’m following (found here) is that doesn’t have any hills incorporated so, like last week, I added on 4 hills after the interval portion. And I increased both the speed AND the incline on it so maybe that’s why it was so hard? Go figure heh.  I had just felt that last week was a bit easy so I really ramped it up.  I was huffing and puffing.  But I totally finished and in one piece. And like a bamf.

I don’t think it was necessarily the increase in pace that got me (as it was only 10-15 seconds faster per mile.  Nothing huge in my opinion) but rather the 4% to 5% increase.  I’m still such a noob when it comes to hills workouts.  My first marathon was really flat (which is funny because it was in Providence which is known for being a bit hilly) so I never had to incorporate hills into my plan.  Obviously now I do which is why I tacked on those hills at the end of last week and today.  We’ll see if it pays off. But, in case you didn’t realize it already (because I knew this and somehow still thought that it didn’t apply to me or something), running VERTICAL is totally a different beast than HORIZONTAL.

I did feel pretty good during the warm down and was ecstatic that I finished the workout.  After hill number dos I seriously considered letting up a bit either in the incline or the distance.  It would have been totally acceptable but, like I’ve mentioned before, once I get an idea into my head of what I’m going to do then that’s what will be done.  I’m totally stubborn that way.

Unfortunately my face was beet red (totally attractive!) and I was sooo overheating after all that despite the crazy happiness I was feeling at completing such a tough workout.  I had to skip a walking portion of the warm down just so I could head outside to let the 20* weather cool me down.  And I was so thirsty afterward! I quickly drank down 32 oz of water.  Sweaty girl = thirsty girl.

Okay time to finalize packing and head back to school after dinner. Hopefully.  Classes don’t start for another 3 weeks so I don’t have to head back tonight but I have a bit of work to do that I know I won’t get done here and I need to get out of this zoo hah! So the fact that I don’t have to get back is making me lazy even though I probably should go.  Just an hour long drive so definitely not too bad or anything.   So I’m going to get one last good dinner in my belly then I’m getting the hell out of dodge 🙂

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