MarathonMaiden's Blog

April 13, 2011

A Drowned Rat Looks Better Than You

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:09

…according to my roomie after my run this morning. It was said with love though, I think, and was said because I was dripping rain all over the apartment. Even after taking off most of my layers outdoors. Boo rain.

But my run on Tuesday was really freaking good.  It helped that the weather was really nice, not as humid as Monday with  partly cloudy and mid 50s for the temperature.  And YAY I beat the rain.  The only downside was that I had to stop 4 times to find a bathroom although the plus side is that I now know all the buildings on this particular route that have public restrooms.  Win? Maybe?

It was a mid-y kind of run distance wise, last “real run” before Monday, and my legs are feeling tired and twinge-y and, well, taper-y.  Although strangely enough I finished feeling pumped up and strong. So I made the executive decision to run the risk of being late for work so I could do this

Put my feet up, eat some breakfast and enjoy the wonderful weather. I really can’t think of a better way to start the day. The mornings have been really nice lately and so have the nights, I’ve actually been able to sleep with the window open!

And yes those are the Boston 2010 chip and the WR 2010 tag on those shoes.  I guess that pair has fallen to be the “racing shoes” as they’ve only been broken out for races (I train in the same style but, obviously different pair as these guys have ~200 miles on them)

And they’ll be the ones that I wear when I run Boston again this year.  I think I probably should have switched into newer shoes (hell even these ones and gotten a new pair for the race) as my ones I’ve been running have…well I’ll keep that a secret between me and my excel “shoe miles” spreadsheet.

I did not wear them again today because it was a rainy and dreary day and I didn’t want them to get “ruined”.  Bleh. But it’s okay overall because *fingerscrossed* the weather for Monday looks clear. I can handle the rain for a few more days.  At least it’s not snow, right?

The run itself was pretty awful.  The rain made the 40* seem even colder. I was actually shivering pretty much the entire time. Not cool mother nature. Not cool. So I was miserable for 96.3453% of the run. Overall I’m okay with it because it wasn’t a confidence deflating run.  I knew that the constant, unrelenting rain factored in, so did the choice of route (hello hills!) and the fact that, due to being very busy yesterday at work, I hadn’t eaten much on Tuesday.

And it was sans music.

Lately I’ve been using my iphone to listen to music while doing my runs.  Not every one, maybe 3 times a week. It started probably with bad intentions: I wanted to not pay attention to my leg.  BAD.  But on my easy (and not 0530) runs I’ve been listening to a playlist that’s been pumping me up.  I want to dance (and actually it’s been a pre-gaming mix too) when I hear the songs. And it’s been getting me through some not so stellar training without me obsessing about pace and other runners on the pathway I run.

Which is why I want to share it with YOU.  Yes this is MM’s first giveaway.  A music one.

I’m actually going to pick two winners. The first will win the stuff I’ve been listening to during my training and this is the mix I’m debating bringing to Boston to play intermittently during the painful miles. At the very least it’s the one I’ll force my mom to listen to as she drives me to Hopkinton. The second winner will get my last year Boston mix, the one I listened to in the car on the drive to the start.

Exciting, right? I’ll will say upfront that some of the songs are *not* the radio edits.  Here’s how you can enter to win:

Tell me a joke.  Preferably a dirty or risque one.

Yup. Only one way to enter.  I hate it when people make you jump through hoops.  And since it’s a homemade giveaway I’m not going to be that mean.  Just tell me a joke to make me laugh.  It’s been a rough training cycle.  You have until Monday the 18th at 1000.  Which is when I’ll start my 26.2 mile to Boston.

Ready? BREAK!

 

October 12, 2010

Remember The Name. I’m a Racer!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:43

When in doubt, DON’T

Benji Franklin

Well if I’ve learned anything this fall it’s to not doubt myself.

 

I'm so glad that I have ppl who tell me that I'm (and I may be paraphrasing a bit) HOT SH!T 😉

 

Aaaaaaaaaaand I’ve also learned that partying with your childhood friends the night before a race might be a good idea.  Because that’s what I did the night before the Tufts 10k.  In all fairness we were celebrating my bestie’s birthday.  I tried to cut out early.  I always think that this is possible buttttt it never is.  Darn.  At the very least I tried to tame my inner Ke$ha 😉

While I’ve always maintained that my best runs come after a late night I don’t think I’d EVER think about applying it as part of a race strategy.  Live and learn right?  Or not because, as you’ll see, things turned out most excellent.

I drove back to my hometown on Sunday afternoon.  I was meeting up with Lacey beforehand and we were heading into the race together and my mom’s house is closer to the spot we were meeting than my apartment.  So I figured I’d get more sleep this way.  Well, I ended up getting WAY less sleep than if I had stayed put because of said party.  But it was fun. And I got to see peeps I hadn’t seen in awhile.  If anything it was a good way to take my mind of off the stuff that’s been making me mopey lately. No regrets.

Anyway. I met up with Lacey and we headed into Boston together. It was our one year anniversary as we met for the first time at this race last year.

 

Picture from last year's Tufts 10k. AKA the first time we ever met 🙂

 

I feel like I’ve known her forever though!

Pre-Race

We actually got there pretty early (if you’ve been reading for awhile you’ll know that last year I had to hop a fence to make it to the start on time!). It was a noon start and we hopped off the T around 1030 in time to pick up our bibs and goodies.  There was SO MUCH FREE STUFF.  We didn’t hit up the expo until afterward (and literally loaded up our bags) but there was tons to see.  We, of course, sat down and tried to relax/get amped up.

I also put a ribbon in my hair, which Lacey tied the bow for and then said “Now you’re a real girl”.  Gee thanks 😉  I also wore my black spandex booty shorts and a black tank.  Because I truly believe that (in ANYTHING in life) how you dress is how you’ll preform and affect how you feel.  So that outfit = bamf.  And I had a pink bracelet on and the ribbon to soften it.  I may or may not overthink these things.  Oopsies.

The announcer started calling everyone up to the start and we headed to the very beginning of the 7:00 pace group.  I’ve never actually seeded myself that fast before.  It was all Lacey’s doing 🙂

But it was cool to actually be able to see the elites (because this was a national championship for the 10k) in front of us as there weren’t many women in front of us in the 6:00 and 5:00 pace groups.  Someone sang the national anthem and BOOM we were off.

Race:

Mile 1: 6:36 (6:36)

“Ummmm this is fast.  Can I hold on?” and then “ummmm this is close to my 5k pace. Holy #$%@” I was just trying to keep up with Lacey early on.  My lungs felt like they were on fire.  I developed, what I call, “smokers lung” and my lungs stayed COLD for the rest of the race. (in fact, as I sit here Monday night typing this my lungs still haven’t felt back to normal.  Boo.) And I lost my headband which threw me off for a second.  Oh well. 

Mile 2: 6:35 (13:11)

I tried to pull ahead of some of the women in front of me, as they looked fast and I wanted to pass them.  It was really tough but I wanted to keep trying to hold onto this pace because I wasn’t quite sure how long it would last. I just kept chugging along and I do remember thinking to myself that “after the first mile my body will adapt to this pace”.  Hey, I can dream right?

Mile 3: 6:51 (20:02)

Suspiciously close to my 5k pr time.  I definitely remember being SCARED of this thought as it meant that I could really DOMINATE this race.  Or I could crash and burn.  It wasn’t even half over at the 3 mile mark! Especially since I really felt the slow and the fatigue creep in.  Hence the almost 7:00 minute mile.

Mile 4: 6:55 (26:57)

Another bit of a slow mile. But I should say that my strategy going into this was a fast first 2, hold for 2, kick for 2.  So I can’t be too upset with this mile.  And it was still sub-7.

Around mile 4 we had to do a hairpin turn and then run the opposite way of where we just ran (on the other side of the yellow lines of the road.  If that makes sense)  As I turned and passed the 4 mile mark Lacey was headed the other way on the road and as we passed each other we slapped hands and said something to each other.  Likely this was along the lines of “keep it up” or “push it” and it lifted me immensely.

Mile 5 : 6:35 (33:32)

Another thing that lifted me immensely was picking off people.  I’ve also learned this fall that I’m WICKED competitive.  So picking off the women in front of me was a BOO-freaking-YA.  It made me feel really good to be going so fast.  Of course my legs hurt a bit but I’m truly a long distance gal and the longer I was out there the less my legs hurt.

And as I passed the 5 mile marker there was a little boy, maybe kindergarten age who was yelling personalized things to the runners.  Mine was: “nice ponytail”! Which made me chuckle and I turned to give him a big thumbs up!  I was also running down same area as Boston Marathon, and at the Comm Ave / Hereford intersection I remembered pushing hard there.  And it gave me some kick to fight home.

Mile 6: 6:37 (40:05)

I rounded the corner to the finish at mile 6 and I got maybe halfway down this stretch and was KICKING the heck out of the course.  I was probably close to a full out sprint (or at least as close as I could be after the effort) and Joan Benoit Samuelson was being announced as crossing the finish line (she ran a 40:30 I think).  Which was cool because she is FAST and I wasn’t too far behind.  Of course, she had just smashed some marathon record the day before in Chicago (2:47:50!!) and was not running her “A” game here.  But it was cool nonetheless.  As soon as she crossed the line she turned around to high five all the runners coming in, like she always does at this race.

But during this final stretch I was determined to not let any of the women pass me.  And I actually passed one or two myself.  Which is exciting. And made me push through the fact that my legs didn’t want to run any faster.  But I made them dammit.

Total: 41:27 (clock)

41:23 (watch)

41:20 (chip) 6:40 pace

This is a 3:49 minute PR

Age Group: 41/1594= top 2.6%

Overall (and women because it’s a all women race): 72/6690 = top 1.1%

OH SNAP.

Post-Race:

So I’m VERY proud of myself for this race.  I really wasn’t feeling it mentally.  Like I’ve said (and it’s probably come across in the tone of my posting lately) I’ve got a lot on my mind lately and being able to focus on one thing RACING is hard.  Concentrating on one thing PERIOD is hard. Granted this worked out for me in my 5k where I really let my mind wander but I’m happy that for 6.2 miles my mind was on racing.

And I’m happy with how I executed it too.  Like I said above, my strategy was go out strong and fast for the first two miles, then hold on for the next two, then kick it to the end.  And my splits reflected that.  The next step is obviously holding a strong pace for the WHOLE 6.2 miles 😉

I will say that, as happy and on cloud nine as I am, my pace (6:40) is not that much faster than my 5k PR pace (6:26). Hmmmm.  I don’t really know what that says.  And my legs didn’t feel drained and completely done-zo at the end.  Another hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Especially since I met up with a high school running buddy for some “easy miles” which *felt* easy but were at 8:00 pace.  And since I had a big mileage weekend beforehand (silly weather being so tempting!)

Oh well.

I’m extraordinarily happy with how my fall “racing season” (if you want to call it my three — untrained for and not really planned — races) went.  I smashed records (my own of course 😉 ) left and right.  I may have a Jingle Bell 5k that I’m thinking of doing in December but all my “serious” races are done and over (as the December one would be a costume-y one. YAY).

But seriously.  I learned another thing this fall: I am a racer. I live for this. Granted every single time I step to the starting line I want to back out.  But I don’t because I love the thrill of pushing myself.  And the feeling of wanting to vomit because apparently I want to do it every time I cross the finish line.

Therefore I want y’all to

Remember. My. Name.

This is 10% luck,
20% skill,
15% concentrated power of will,
5% pleasure,
50% pain,
And 100% reason to remember the name!

September 26, 2010

Saturday Was A Good Day

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

Or a great day even.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Awkward tangent]

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

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

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

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

[End awkward tangent hahah!]

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

Ready to go where you ask?

APPLE PICKING.

Yay Apples

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BAMF


Check out the giveaway Matt‘s having.

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