MarathonMaiden's Blog

August 5, 2011

Well It’s a Start. The Story of Me (kind of) Finding Speed.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 20:06

I’ve been M.I.A. lately. Duh.  So much so that I’d forgotten my password to log into my blog. Suffice it to say that I’m in the midst of some HUGE changes in my life (exciting, scary, sad, partying, frustrating) and posting…well it just was something I didn’t have time for.

But I’m back.  For the day. Maybe longer.  But those changes are still on- going until September so bear with me.  And no, that’s not me apologizing.  If you don’t want to bear with me then don’t.  But I’d like it if you did 🙂

Also back into life is speed-work.  This entire summer I’ve only done LSD.  Seriously.  My weekly miles are huge and slow (I know I didn’t do a monthly recap for June or July but the miles were 451.9 and 433.7 respectively with the average paces being 9:45 for each month or thereabouts). I’m okay with that, running has been one aspect of my dealing with life (dancing and karaoke with friends is the other) and it feels good to just kind of plod along and let my thoughts wash over me.

That said, for whatever reason during my run this morning (which was supposed to be a long run) the idea popped into my head to run track work today.  Since I was already 7 miles into my run I stopped that run, headed back to my apartment, and rested up for the afternoon (I figured doing speed-work immediately after 7 miles was silly).  Because I decided that I had to do it THAT SAME DAY or else I was liable to chicken out. Who knew when my next urge to run at the track would be?

Because my last speed work session was March 5th.  Like 5 months ago.


I chose to run 800s; mostly because they are my favorite track session.  I decided to do 4 of them because 4 is my lucky number.  And I decided to shoot for 3:30 for each one because it was…well there was no rhyme or reason but I wanted to go at 7 pace. That whole 5 months thing be damned.

How’d I do? Well, considering during my warm up mile around the track was painfully slow and I wanted to bail on the whole stupid thing, fine.  Not quite on pace but there’s that five month thing.

  1. 1:54 + 1:52 = 3:46 (daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn I am slow. My first ones are usually the fastest! Wonder how the next three will go)
  2. 1:54 + 1:52 = 3:46 (Seriously?! The same f$#%ing time?)
  3. 1:53 + 1:51 = 3:44 (Better.  Kind of sort of)
  4. 1:52 + 1:49 = 3:41 (Okay.  That hurt.)

Overall I can’t say I’m too upset.  Of course I want to be faster.  And I think I held some stuff back because I wanted to hit all 4 of them around the same pace.  Which I was successful of. Just wish I had been consistent in a faster manner. I never felt as though I was…well I hate to use the word sprinting because that’s not the point of track work…but I never felt as though I was going fast.

But 7:22-7:32 pace as the range for all 4 of them isn’t too bad. That’s my typical threshold run, or at least it used to be. So I do have a long way to go before I can say I’m my typical speedy self but I’m not beating myself up over it. If I don’t improve from here then, sure, let the beating up commence.  But for now I’ll just sit back, let my legs feel the good ole feeling of tiredness from a job well done.

As well get ready to go drink beer and go dancing tonight.

Also: I picked the perfect day to do this.  The temp when I went out at 1600 was 75* and cloudy.  When the sun broke through it literally looked like this.  I guess that’s a sign I should make a date with the track every week?

thanks google images.

June 24, 2011

Friiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiday. Means Dance.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:42

Still busy.  Still planning. In the process of moving to my sublet this weekend. But two posts in one week? One work week in fact? I’m happy with that.

Sooooooooooooo what’s keeping me sane? Musica. I don’t really know if any of these ones are considered “current” but they are goodies in my eyes and if I can scream at the top of my lungs and bust a move then it’s all good.

And since I’m taking casual Friday to the extreme and listening to my iPhone as well as going out dancing tonight (holllllllllllllllerrrrrrr) I want to use this post as a vehicle to start getting pumped (trust me: I spent the past…well I’m not going to admit to how long I actually spent searching/researching songs. I had to limit myself to lucky #4 for the blog though). And by pumped I mean creating a pre-gaming mix.  Suggestions are welcome!

Also note: these songs go on running mixes too.  Thankfully I don’t run with music often because I’m 97.3453% sure that I’d end up with more cracked ribs that way!

  • Fist pumping song. Never. Gets. Old. “Yeah X3” by Chris Brown
  • This one is just awesome to belt to. I’m toying with the idea of karaoke-ing it.  Angry. “You Lie” by The Band Perry
  •  “You Be Killing ‘Em” by Fabulous.  Mostly because it have the best line ever! (They say she a dime. I say she underrated)
  • “Evacuate the Dance Floor” by Cascada. Ummmmmmmmmm dancing. Need I say more?
  • One that I just rediscovered is by Shakira. Hot.

Okay so that was 5. Moving onto running related notes before I add 5 more…

I’m still running obviously.  Like the month of May I’ve been running a lot of miles and trading off for speed.  Lately (aka this week) my energy levels increased a bit — mostly from sleeping a combined 34 hours over last Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and partly from doing more afternoon running — and my pace has sped up a bit as a result.

I. Wish.

I’m just rolling with the running thing.  My muscles are starting to feel slightly sore and so are my feet so I’m going to take it as a sign to start listening to my body and ease up if it seems to be an ongoing/recurring/continuing thing.

But that whole going out and dancing thing tonight? If it’s going to cause muscle/feet soreness, well then, I think it’s a price I’ll have to pay. Have a great weekend y’all!

May 28, 2010

We All Came Here To Make It

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:32

So first off I’m obsessed with this song.  Pretty basically been listening to it on repeat the past week.  Sound up and rocking out.  I saw him (Jason Aldean) last summer in concert and am in LOVE with him too.  Why do all my celebrity crushes have wives?!

Anyway, life is about to get crazy for me.

My MCAT class is picking up steam and it looks like I’ll be studying ~6 hours a day, 4-5x a week for the next 10 or so weeks.  In fact, I should be studying right now…but I’m not *shhhhhhhhh* I’m not quite sure what to think of the class.  It’s definitely going to be a HUGE boost to me but it’s also going to be tough and challenging.  I’m going to have to tackle things head on that are not my strengths.  Last summer when I was studying for the exam (on my own and with textbooks) I was able to shy away from things that were hard.  And it showed.  Sure, my score was good enough but not what I knew I was capable of.  Hence the class this summer.

I’m also starting the process of applying to med schools.  I’ve started drafting the two (in my opinion) hardest sections: the work/activities section and the personal statement.  If there’s anyone willing to look over them (or at least the essay) I’d be forever indebted.  Seriously.

So even though those are the only two things I have to do from now until July-ish (when I’m targeting the application being sent in) and mid-August (MCAT), it’s going to be quite a busy thing.  I’m already feeling a bit of the stress that deadlines and commitment bring.

Luckily I have an amazing agenda book that I can create to-do lists in and gain satisfaction in crossing off items.  Sometimes the list becomes really big.  And I’m the kind of person that if I don’t start making progress and roll with the momentum then nothing will happen.  So the physics joke from a few years ago in the club “Mo’mentum Mo’problems” really isn’t apropos here.

Luckily I also have running.  The weather has “cooled” off here — aka 70* rather than 95+* — and it feels nice.  Especially at night and I’ve been actually a bit chilly in the morning when I get up. Granted I have perfected the placement of fans / open windows so that my room becomes an ice box but still…running at noon as my first study break didn’t feel bad yesterday nor did it today.  Oh relativity.  I probably was complaining in April about how a few 70* days felt like a heat wave after weeks of 40* and rainy weather.

Not that I should complain, and I try not to because I BEG for hot weather in January/February.

And I’m going to take the fact that not many people seemed to read my Tips for Hot Weather Running yesterday as a sign that you guys are smarty-arties and already knew all of it.  And for those of you who commented and added your suggestions: THANK YOU. I need to start getting smarter in my running life if I want to keep improving.  I’ll take all the help I can to run STRONG, run FAST and have FUN.  Too bad I can’t think of a great F word for strength.  Then I could call it the “Three Fs” or something.  Run with fortitude? Doesn’t have the same ring to it.

But that’s what I have been doing the past few days.  And even, if you were to go back and re-read my posts, the past 2-3 weeks (I’m lucky that I have my log book right out in front of me).

Today was no exception.

But first: I think that Tues/Fri is going to be my lifting schedule for the summer.  At least it’s what I’ve fallen into lately. And today was TOUGH.  My legs, which have been pretty tight, were not all that interested in lifting.  But I figured that since I actually drove to the gym then come hell or high water I was going to get a full body lift in.  Gas ain’t cheap and I drive an SUV.  I augmented my lifting to a weight load lighter than normal.  Still hard though.

After doing my legs I decided to try out foam rolling on my IT band.  So I grabbed the foam roller and set to work.  And my first thought? PHsssssssh this isn’t so bad.  Then I realized that the part of the roller I was on was really worn down.  So I moved over to the end portion of it and my thought? Okay this hurts more but still isn’t so bad.  I’m thinking that I was doing something wrong because everything I read on blogs has said this should hurt like hell.

I came home, refueled, studied some in my physics review book then hit the streets for a nice run.  And it felt good.  Like I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, my running has been good.  Not quite spot-on — ideally I’d be doing workouts and a hard/easy type of schedule.  But running has been so effortless lately.  I’ve never felt like I’ve been exerting myself and yet my paces have been so fast.  I’ve been doubting whether or not my mapping system is accurate.  It’s been so nice and such a confidence / mood booster.  It’s been allowing me to keep focused for studying / application writing / my 3 hour class.

But in case anyone was wondering what I mean about paces: today was 7.2 miles @ 8:34 pace.  Typically when I go for an easy run, post-lift run etc.  I try to target 9:15.   And my easy run paces the past two weeks have, with maybe one exception, all been sub-9.   And maybe my tightness in my legs is telling me that I need to put on the brakes a bit in terms of pace.  But I’m in such a good state-of-mind lately that I just don’t want too.

Bang Bang Bang 😀

Check out this giveaway from Tricia.  And have a great Memorial Day Weekend.  Hopefully you guys have more exciting plans than me….aka studying. So I might be MIA in both blogging and commenting on-and-off the next week or so as I struggle to find a balance with everything.

May 26, 2010

What A Way To Start The Summer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 10:42

Wow I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  Moreso than when I was in school! But I tend to thrive when life gets busy so it’s all good.  It just means that I don’t have time to string together a coherent post (and trust me I’ve tried but when you can only write in 5 minute snippets the tone of the post goes all over the place!) .  Oh well.  I think that this week is the exception until about August so apologies in advance if I go MIA again for the remainder of the week.

But let’s back track.  I’ve been doing some pretty decent runs since coming home.  The area that I live in really isn’t that hilly but compared to where my school is located…well let’s just say I feel like I’m running in the Alps right now.  Just shows you how relative everything is.  Not that I’m complaining too much; as much as it sucks to be out of breath on the actual hill itself there’s a BAMF factor at the end of it.

Another thing factoring into my BAMFness? The heat and humidity that has been cast upon New England.  As of when I got up this morning at 0800 it was already in the low 80* with ~68% humidity. Yuck.  But I think there are going to be some T-storms later today which hopefully cools things down.

So it’s made my runs a bit interesting. Here’s a bit of a recap

Sunday: I know in my last post I said I was going to XT it up but the lure of running was too much (and when is it not?! ha) so I went out on my favorite home route, a really lovely 8 miler.  It was fast too but I think that it helped that I went out at noon.  As much as the heat isn’t the funnest (and yes I know it’s grammatically correct to write more fun) to run in my paces are so much quicker when I *don’t* run first thing.  But I followed up the run with corework, and since I had been running in just a sports bra I got to see my abs working which made me feel strong.  Around 1600 my running buddy from home called and wanted to know if I was up for a quick run.  Very last minute because she wanted to leave right away! Luckily I hadn’t showered yet (LAZINESS!) so I was able to get a 4 miler in.  Which was WAY fast.  But it felt good so I went with it.

Monday: I know I haven’t talked much about post-graduation plans BUT I had a job interview on Monday so I had to get up early to run before heading up to NH for the interview (and no I’m not going to go into details right now.  Don’t want to jinx myself before anything comes through) I will say I think the interview went well and combined with a decent interview last week I’m hoping something comes through.

But back to the run.  Okay, so early is an exaggeration.  I mean to say that I ran first thing when I woke up rather than set an alarm.  I love that during the summer I can do this! But it was sticky out already.  I run a fan in my room and get some cross ventilation with my windows so my room was chilly and I think I overdressed in a tech shirt and shorts. Should have done the sports bra + shorts thing.  My legs felt a bit tight during the run but I did run a really good 9.1 miles @ 9:15 pace.  Much faster than it felt.  And of course I got my core work in.

Tuesday: Another busy day here too.  I had a doctors appointment that was back down at my school (an hour away) followed by an MCAT prep course (can’t remember if I mentioned this before).  I know I took the exam last year, and I did decently on it, but I studied solely with my college textbooks.  Not ideal.  So I laid down the money to get really focused and intense work, which the pre-health advisor at my school thinks can raise my score ~7 pts.  Which is huge.  So last night was the first night and we did a 5 hour diagnostic test. Ouch.  I think 20 milers are easier!

My workout was a double this day.  Since my appointments were all in the afternoon I took the whole morning to get a good lifting session in followed by a 6 mile run.  The lifting was first thing and felt hard! I wasn’t doing much differently than normal (actually nothing differently) but my muscles were definitely being worked hard.  After getting back to my house and refueling with a pb & banana sandwich and oatmeal (yes oatmeal in the summer. I’m weird) I went out at noon for a run.

Maybe not the smartest order to do my workouts in because it was definitely 90* and humid. The plan was just to take it easy and my perceived effort was easy but my pace was 8:35. Whoa there.  I kind of wish I had looked at my watch earlier, not to dial back but to take advantage of the speediness that my legs were giving me.  Either way it might have been the smartest thing to only do 6 miles in the heat.  I was sweating a TON and am not fully acclimated yet.

Wednesday (today): Not sure what exactly I’m going to be doing today.  I only have one appointment today in the PM but I have lots of post-grad stuff to do.  Not to mention catch up on NCIS and The Biggest Loser which I missed last night due to my prep course.  Priorities 😉

I’m thinking an easy 7 or so.  My legs, as well as the rest of my body, are feeling a bit tight so something easy to get the blood flowing probably is appropriate.  Kind of a bummer because I wanted to do a speed workout and start to make those a regular occurrence in my weekly routine.   And easy because I’m not likely to get out until noon again and it’s going to be another hot one.  But I think some T-storms are coming through so hopefully it’ll cool things off.

Jeez Louise! I’ve written so much already.  Guess that’s what happens when life gets in the way of blogging 😉

Here are some other things I wanted to talk about but will bullet point it because this is getting very lengthy

  • LOST and 24 are over.

Forever. Sad face 😦  I’m not sure how I feel about the LOST ending, I’ll likely have to re-watch it sometime soon to wrap my head around it.  I liked the note that it ended on but I *really* wanted all the mysteries to be solved. Like, how did MiB become the smoke monster? How are the rules of the island created? Why did pregnant women die ? What did the bomb accomplish? I felt that a lot of the physics in some of the mysteries was fast and loose and as a scientist (and hello physics major!) I felt frustrated.  But overall I enjoyed it.

As for 24, again mixed feelings.  I liked pretty much everything about it except for the fact that for a series finale it things open ended.  I guess it’s because there’s talk of a 24 movie.  But I loved that Jack went all Mike Tyson and “judge and jury” on us.  Really BAMF.

  • Health and Fitness Expo June 12-13th in Boston (I think on the Common) Anyone interested in going possibly?

So much for my bullet points 😉 And saying that this might be a coherent post haha! But check out the giveaway from Mel

March 26, 2010

Whew. TGIF yo!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 20:01

Gosh I’ve been a bad blogger! Not only have I gone a couple days without posting but I’ve been neglectful on your blogs. I have been trying to keep up but there have been moments where I just clicked “mark all as read” on my google reader.  Sorry if over the past few days you fell victim to that! I tried to do it as infrequently as possible. But I’ve been turning on my computer as little as possible the past few days.

Because sometimes life is more important than blogs.  Shocking I know 🙂

Where have I gone? You might ask.  Two words: quantum physics.  I got my take home on Monday night and I dropped off all radar for Wednesday and Thursday and this morning/afternoon. It’s been a really grueling exam.  Maybe more time consuming than hard but still.  It wears me down.  Luckily this week was on the light side for my other classes and I was able to dedicate lots of hours to it. Total count? 23 hours.  That’s more than I spend running. Or sleeping for that matter haha 🙂

So what else have I been up too?

  • Foam roller has arrived.  I’m lucky that I had time to hit up the post office and pick it up (plus another pair of shoes. Holler).   Unfortunately I haven’t had the time yet to open the package. (And I’m very encouraged that many of you love your foam rollers and have found it to be a great investment.  Hopefully I can find the time to open the dang package!)

  • PT.  Had session #3 on Thursday.  My right shin’s “bruise” (the only way I can accurately describe the feeling) is less pronounced.  I still don’t really have the range of motion that I want buttttt it’s a start.  The bad thing? I think that the same thing is starting on the left shin.  But I’m in PT so I asked my PT to do a little ice and massage on it so that it doesn’t get worse.  It’s just an inkling (repeat: nothing serious!)
  • Hip exercises & stretching from PT.  Man these are hard! My hips and butt hurt after doing them.

I have also been running too. On Wednesday I went for a recovery run from the Tuesday of intervals.  It was pretty slow but it wasn’t as slow as I anticipated. I went early enough that, while I didn’t see the sun actually rise, I got to still see all the pretty colors of dawn. I also got a good lifting session in the afternoon.  I felt pretty strong doing it which was great.

Thursday was a “tempo” day.  I don’t know what is up with me and tempos but I cannot do one!  I know that there are a lot of factors that go into an “on” day and whatnot and I know that the fact that I’m in Week 4 of training works against me (because I’ve put in lots of weeks.  And many of those weeks have been high miles).  And I think I’m not 100% recovered from my Tuesday sessions on Thursday.

So I recognize that.  That said, I’ve been struggling with consistency this whole cycle with tempos.  I would think that over the course of a cycle there would be a speeding up of the average tempo pace and then, around now, a stalemate or even slight slowing.  All with the same effort level.  But I’ve just been all over the place, and overall I’d say that my fastest tempos (save the tm ones) were in the very beginning of the cycle, so an overall slowing.  I think that after Boston I want to focus on getting a real feel for tempos no matter what distance I end up training for during the summer and fall.

Anyway here’s the data from Thursday:

  • 3.8 mile warm up @ 9:44
  • 7.1 miles tempo @ 7:44
  • 3.8 mile warm down @ 9:16

Total time: 127 minutes 30 seconds
Total distance: 14.7 miles
Average pace: 8:41

Immediately after this run I went to PT. Like I mentioned above, PT is going really well.  I’m not as tender in the right shin (although the left is nagging a bit).  I’m glad that I chose to run before because both shins were sore right after and it was good to get some treatment.

Today was not a good day overall. Well I guess now it’s all good but it was overwhelming to go through.  It started at midnight with me still working on my exam.  And I was being productive but the math was just taking along time.  Eventually I put it away and fell asleep to RAIN.  And I knew that the rain would continue in the morning so I planned on hitting up the gym.  After Thursday with my shins buggin’ a bit I figured the TM would help me baby. So I guess the rain was a good thing in that sense.  Also I was hoping that the rain would help with my allergies.  Nope. Still congested and still lots of bloody noses.  Lovely.

And I’m glad I planned for the TM because it was sleeting when I got up.  Although the weather was so weird: sleet in the early AM, snowy in the late AM and SUN in the PM.  I banged out a fairly quick recovery run (all of my TM runs are faster than outdoors and I figured that with the tempo from Thursday being a bust that I didn’t need as slow of recovery).  My shins were a bit troublesome, mostly the left one (like the one I’m NOT in PT for) but I got to watch the second half of a really cool History Channel special on preserving the Valley Forge National Park and it had cool info about the whole American Revolution.  And then the first part of a “Punishment” special where the focus was on torture.

And then in the PM (clearly procrastinating from the quantum exam) I did some lifting.  I ended up doing my warm up on the elliptical because I was worried about the shin and I’m glad I did because I did try to do some running to warm up and the shins were saying NO.  Nothing to worry about but I knew that it was a smart choice to do something else.  After the warm up and lifting I was able to do the warm down with running 100% pain/tenderness free. So I guess the muscles/tendons needed time after sitting in class/doing my exam all morning.

The rest of my day has been putting in more hours to the exam.  The good new is that I’m done (finished at 19:22 tonight!).  The bad news is that I know I’ve made errors.  But they’re silly errors (like one of my answers is a factor of 2 off and I’m NOT going back and redoing it for something insignificant like that) and I know that I have the process correct of what I’m going to do.  And my professor is fair and has even told me and the rest of the class that the process is the most important and let him catch the small math errors. Fingers crossed that all my hard work (23 hours) is going to pay off!

Whew! That was a marathon of a post.  I guess that’s what happens when you don’t have time to check your email much less blog.  Oh well.  Now I’ve got to go shower because I went running at 0700 and never had the time all day to do it.  It’s going to feel so good to just wash this week off of me.  And then? I’m off to Relay for Life. It started hours ago but my exam was basically my life.  I’m going to slide it under my prof’s door as I head over. Can’t wait until it’s out of my hands!

And check out this giveaway from Racing with Babies and this one from TheHealthNut and this one from Tricia.

Hope everyone is having a great Friday night!

March 17, 2010

Springtime Recovery = Beautiful. And “Marathoning Age”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:20

Hey all! Gotta make this a quick semi-quick one as I’m between appointments and later tonight I’m seeing Alice in Wonderland in 3D with mi hermana 🙂

To start: Boston numbers came out earlier this week!! Because I prefer to remain (slightly) anonymous I’m not going to announce my number. But I will say that I’m in the second wave.  I was secretly hoping to get into the first one buttttt there are some fast people out there! The cut off for the waves was 14,000. That is so crazy that there are so many people running Boston.  I’m excited but not as excited as I thought I was going to be. Weird although I know that it’ll change once the race gets closer.

But I gotta take everything day by day.  Did I actually say last week that spring break was going to be relaxing? Someone should have slapped me or something because, have I had time to relax yet?! Nope. I’ve been going from one thing to the next.  I was able to get in some good work today though.  I hit the gym for some lifting.  Due to Monday’s craziness I skipped (for the first time all session) a strength workout so I really wanted to get one in today.  And I did.  It was pretty good too but, and it’s probably mental, my arms lost fitness in those days?! Hahaha.  My arms were dying by the end.  It felt good but man, I felt the burn.

I chose to lift first (rather than second like I’ve been doing for the rest of the training cycle) because I wanted to take advantage of the BEAUTIFUL weather.  Sunshine, 50* (with a high of damn near 60), no wind.  The only bummer is that the floods have yet to recede and the large majority of my routes (include my hometown favorites) are still underwater.  The roads are so bad that that there are huge ass detours and back ups.  The trip home from the gym (a regular < 10 minutes) took 40.  Blahhhhh.

But despite the rivers in the streets I got a great recovery run in.  It definitely didn’t feel that way at the time.  I went into the run with the attitude that it was 1100 so my body was awake and the sun was shining with warmth so it should feel great.  Too bad my body wasn’t on the same page.  My legs felt so heavy and slow.  My mind was getting doubtful as to whether or not I even wanted to be out there. Luckily I was able to re-frame my thoughts and tell myself to shut the eff up.  I kind of resigned myself to the fact that my pace would be slow.  And like I said, this was the first time in 3 days that I was outside and that the time before that (Saturday’s long run) was in brutal conditions.  TM miles =/= road miles.

I think that having these low expectations did something because my recovery run was at a “blistering” 9:16 pace.  For those of you who are new to reading (and thanks for reading! To new and old readers 🙂 ) My typical recovery pace is around 9:30-9:45.  So it was a pleasant surprise to see something faster.  Especially since it felt so much slower.  There’s definitely something to be said about running in nice weather and not first thing.  Yes I think I’ll always be a morning runner but my body will go faster later in the day. Fact.

But enough about today’s recovery run.

I just wanted to talk a little bit more about my conversation with the high school track & field coach (yes I know this post is long already but oops. My blog. Too bad haha).  He definitely wasn’t saying that I had to take a week off.  It was more like if I had to then I wouldn’t lose much, if any, fitness. He did say that it would help to take this week as a major cutback but it wasn’t imperative that I stop running or anything.  He suggested that max time off this week would be good and then go hard for two weeks rather than just go semi-hard for three.

But the comment that most people “questioned” or rather commented on was the wait-a-few-years-to-marathon statement.

I’m not quite sure exactly his reasons for saying that and I didn’t really press him because let’s be honest here: I’m going to do what I’m going to do. BUT I can’t deny that I’ve been thinking along the same lines.  Not that I shouldn’t be doing this but that maybe I should pull back after Boston and focus on shorter stuff.

Firstly: The stress on my body. I’ve been thinking about the wear and tear I’m putting my body through. Yes, I’m still young (23) so the wear and tear isn’t huge. And yes I love it but it’s very grueling. Sure I could train on less buttttttttt. Yeah. I could but it wouldn’t fulfill me in the same way. To me marathons = mega-miles.

So my thinking is mostly just about wear and tear. Which I think is where the T&F coach’s thinking is too.  As a early (well maybe mid) 20-something my body is still maturing.  Sure I’m not going through puberty or anything but my bones and their density are still developing.  I know that running is good for bone health but 112 mile weeks is not the same thing as what the typical 20-something is recommended to do. I know that the typical 20-something isn’t running marathons either (I think that as bloggers, specifically running bloggers, sometimes we don’t see that as we represent a small number of people out there in the world).

So my bones is a concern. Another one is my hormone level.  While I’m still getting regular(ish) periods (mine have never been 100% regular, hence the ish) I’m still concerned that: running high miles = lower than usual body fat = less circulating estrogen (if one of the knowledgeable medical peeps begs to differ let me know! I am by no means an expert!). And I’m really slim already.  Not that I’m losing / have lost tons of weight or anything over the past 3ish months.

I know that running 100 mile weeks isn’t a year round thing butttttt….16 weeks of intense training has got to take some sort of toll.  And with less estrogen concern for my bones becomes great (part of the reason I was intensely worried about my ankle/shin being a stress fracture) as well as my reproductive health. I’m too young to be thinking about kids (like right now NO WAY IN HELL haha) but I’ve always reserved the right down the road to change my mind.

I guess the concern boils down to the whole mega-miles thing.  Like I just said, 100 mile weeks are tough and grueling.  I think the “concern” from the coach (or rather where he was coming from) was to take a few years to build up to that level, which is why I think traditionally most people say women “peak” at the marathon later in life: because it takes some time to build up I suppose.  Although he did say with a slight shrug “Well if you’re already there”.

Also the thinking tends to be younger = fast short races.  I really want to take advantage of the fact that I can recover quick and go out hard and fast. I know there are fast “older” runners but I’ve read lots of articles stating that a 20 year old (or at least that decade) is the best time to develop the power and speed necessary of a 10k. And while I love long stuff I’d be lying if I said that it isn’t fun to go all out for a 10k and run really fast. And I’d hate to think that I’m “wasting” that super speed young ones are known for 😉

So there you have it.  Nothing concrete or anything like that.  And again, I’m not (yet) a medical person myself so my knowledge is limited to textbooks and what others (doctors, fellow runners etc.) tell me.

And (before I wrap this up because I know it’s lengthy again!) I don’t want anyone to think that I’m nixing marathons forever. Part of my thoughts may just be that I’m in Week 12 of an intense training and my brain is thinking that there’s no way in hell that I want to go through this again.  I’m sure that more marathons are in my future even if I can’t see beyond Boston at the moment. I’m sure ultras are in my future.  But I just can’t see it yet.  The same thing happened after my last marathon: even though I knew I would run Boston, at the time I just couldn’t fathom training for it.  So life happens and things change.  But you got to get a look into my brain. How fun (hopefully haha!!)

So thanks for reading this novel (maybe physics wasn’t my calling.  Maybe writing should have been haha) and check out these giveaways from Tricia and Marcia. LOVE it.

February 5, 2010

Friiiiiiiday and 5 week check-in

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:59

Hey all! Another busy Friday for me.  Do I ever get a break?! This weekend is going to be all about the homework.  It feels overwhelming but — deep breathe — I know it’ll all get done. How? Good question.  But it will.  Small steps.  So clearly I am being productive by blogging 😉

Nothing too exciting running wise here.  Got in a very nice recovery run this morning and followed it up with some afternoon lifting. The pacing of the run was typical: start of shuffling and then after loosening up the legs move into a more fluid form.  Another reason I like morning running is that no one I know is awake on campus to see me doing the “granny shuffle” as i start these runs.  So my ego gets to stay relatively intact 🙂

My knee is feeling somewhat better today.  Definitely still bruised and it’s red/purple.  I wish I could remember what I banged it into!! So annoying but the more I think about it I could see it being a lifting related bruise.  I often bang my knees with the weights inadvertently.  Nothing really bad  but I’m a klutz haha. I’m also thinking it could be a result of the way I sit in my desk chair: with that leg under me.  I’ve always noticed that it hurts my knee when I get up and I think that it might be a cause of the pain that’s there.  I’m not ruling out a running injury although the color of my knee suggests that’s unlikely.

I figured that since today is about 5 weeks into the New Year I’d take a moment and reflect on the goals I set for myself like I did a week into the year.  I think it’s very useful to frequently remind myself of them so that I don’t keep them on the back burner:

  • Drink more water Ehhhhh.  I do drink a liter of water, a liter of milk and some diet coke with lime everyday so I am staying hydrated but most of what I drink is in the afternoon and night.  This makes my sleep interrupted because I have to pee.  All. The. Time. At. Night.
  • Get faster aka do more speed training. Semi-Check.  I still have been doing the 2x a week speed that my plan calls for but I feel stagnant a bit.  I mean, yes I am fast, and my tempos have been rocking but I think I need a race to truly give me a sense of where I stand with this one.  I’m sure I am faster (how could I not with the killer speed stuff I’ve been doing?) but I need a good check-in and hopefully I can find a race in the next few weeks.
  • Get stronger aka do more lifting. Check.  Since my last check-in I’ve been lifting 3x a week and still LOVE it.  I definitely love the way my muscles look when I keep lifting regularly and I know that the reason I’m able to hit quality workouts is because my muscles are strong.
  • XT more Kind of Check? I’ve incorporated ellipticalling into my routine but not as a replacement for running. More as a supplementary was to do a shake-out run without actually running.
  • Stretch more Maybe. I’ve been inconsistent with this one.  There are periods of a week or so where I am religious about stretching and then periods of time where it won’t happen.  So better than last check-in where I had yet to begin a routine but definitely room for improvement.
  • Respect rest day FAIL. Nope.
  • Listen to body Ehhhh Check. Last week I let the streak go because my body just wasn’t feeling it and I’d like to think that it let me be a little less obsessive with the miles.  I am really good at listening to my body when it comes to pacing and I’m a lot less judgmental about that.  Which is a HUGE victory.
  • Wear sunscreen FAIL. And I’m just going to let what I wrote last month stay: “Granted the sun hasn’t been out that much in the past 10 days or so when I made these goals but I need to remind myself that even though it’s WINTER the sun is just as bright and dangerous.  In the vein of skin care I have made a dermatologist appointment to get some of my suspicious moles checked out.”

So I’ve actually improved over the past 4 weeks since I last checked in. Obviously room for improvement but what fun would life be if all your goals immediately came to you? I like a challenge!

Okey-dokey.  Going to go try to do some work before heading into the city tonight to catch a movie with a friend.  No idea what we’re seeing but that’s okay because he has free passes.  And since I’m not spending my own moolah I don’t have to be picky haha

And check out this giveaway over with ErikaH

Happy Friday!

January 27, 2010

Wild Wednesday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:01

Wow today has been CRAZY!! Looks like my Wednesday’s are just going to be busy.  I feel like my Monday / Wednesday schedule is always crazier than my Tuesday / Thursday schedule.  At least the past couple years. Hope no one minds if I share what today looked like:

  • 0715-0900: Wake up and run a “recovery” 11.2 miles
  • 0900-1030:Breakfast and blog read (you guys are so busy overnight!)
  • 1030-1120: Spanish class
  • 1130-1230: Lifting session (#2 of the week!)
  • 1245-1345: Lunch & Shower
  • 1400-1500: Doctor appt
  • 1530-1650: Quantum Physics
  • 1730-1830: Catchup dinner with friends

Man oh man, on paper it looks busier than it really was.  Meal times are actually going to be sit-down meals this semester, even if lunch ends up being brief because I have to dash off. But I thrive on having to bounce from place to place.  And my Thursday doesn’t have any classes just a couple of meetings.  Looks like it’s either feast or famine this semester on a daily basis. Which, like I said, is fine.

And I think I’m really going to like my classes this semester.  Spanish is awesome again.  I love my professor and was able to switch into the section I wanted.  Quantum…well it’s going to be hard.  But my professor is amazing (also my advisor) so it’s going to be a blast regardless of how over my head the material may or may not be.  And those two classes, my friends, are the only two classroom classes I have.  I’m also taking Experimental Physics, which is going to be doing independent experiments so I just have to find time during the week, and I’m continuing my independent research from last semester, which will be on my own time as well.  Hollleeeerrrrr.  So I’ll be very busy even though when I write out everywhere I have to be it looks a bit underwhelming.  Maybe I should schedule in those other two “classes” right in permanent slots now so I have a plan, will be productive and won’t just waste my days.

As far as running goes: I guess my intervals yesterday really weren’t that hard because my recovery run really was a “recovery” run.  I’m still going to give it that title but it might be more appropriate to call it an easy day.  In case you’ve forgotten my recovery pace in the past has been 9:30-9:45 and my legs have really felt the need to go slow.  Today? Well I rocked out a 9:05 average pace.  WTF?! My body didn’t feel like it was pushing, in fact my HR stayed pretty low the entire time (I don’t have a HRM but I do take my HR the old fashioned way at the end of my run and then two minutes after that — Gosh I am an old fogie!)

But it felt great to have that pace be where my body wanted to be.  But I have the sneaking suspicion that my interval & hill session yesterday just wasn’t as hard as it could have been / they have been in the past.  What I’m trying to convince myself is that my body is just getting better at recovery in between runs.  Either way I’m not going to knock a good effortless run (even though I kind of did haha 🙂 )

And I think I’m going to like having a ~0700 running time rather than an 0600 wakeup.  There’s just something about that extra hour that makes getting up more bearable plus it seems like there are less cars on the road.  And I hate traffic regardless of whether I’m driving or running or walking somewhere. Plus the sun is up and shining.

As a short lifting note: I LOVE it when the gym is practically empty.  Not the case the past 3 weeks (when there were limited hours).  I felt productive and that I could concentrate better on what I needed to do.  And, like I’ve said the past few lifting related posts: I definitely am feeling stronger when I lift. Time to up the weights? Or add more reps? Oh decisions!

Giveaways! Zoe and Tricia

November 9, 2009

Happy 200th

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:28

First off: This is my 200th post! I was going to post my weekly stats this morning but decided I didn’t want to “waste” my 200th — even though this post is not going to talk about it from this point out hahaha.

Oh man. And to think that Monday’s shouldn’t be that busy for me.  But it’s 1830. I’ve been up since 0530 (stupid insomnia!) and this is the first time I’ve had to myself.  Sheesh.

Anyway.  Like I just said I didn’t get that much sleep last night.  I was up semi-late trying to figure out what I want to do for my proposal that I mentioned yesterday.  Needless to say it was a bit frustrating and I didn’t get anything done with it.  I just kept looking at articles but nothing was clicking with me.  Grrrrrrr. So I thought that it would translate to a terrible run.

But I keep forgetting how AWESOME I am (and I say that in the most modest way I assure you).  I mean, the run wasn’t the greatest pace wise but it was much better than Mondays of the past.  Muy bueno. My one complaint was the temperature.  The high for yesterday was 68*.  The overnight low was about 28* and about 32* when I got up.  I (stupidly) did not check the weather forecast and froze my little butt off haha.  Not really but my hands and fingers were not appreciative.  I think I need to start looking into better gloves for the winter.  Although I don’t really know why I try, I’ve done the triple layering occasionally to no avail. Stupid poor circulation!

Despite the DST change last weekend the sun still continues to rise later and later.  Boo! So now I’m waking up in darkness but after doing my core routine I have sunshine.  Gosh I really do hate going into these winter months.

Either way sunshine (and not clouds) lifts my mood.  Tremendously and I was able to get through 7 miles quite effortlessly.  My HR stayed low the entire time which was nice and, once I was done, quickly went back to resting.

The run itself was great.  The first 5 miles or so felt strong — which, despite running well the past week, has rarely been the case.  Maybe I was pushing too hard, trying to burn off that frustration of the night before as well as the insomnia.  Regardless the last two miles significantly slowed down and prolly is where the slow overall pace comes in.  The annoying thing is that I could *feel* myself fading over the last couple miles.  And there really wasn’t anything I could do about it!

Overall, however, I’m happy with the run.  I look at it as a Monday run that was much better than usual.  A bonus. I’m trying to embrace things that annoy me or that I dislike.  My theory is that if you can accept this stuff then life is good.  I’m trying it out with slow runs and winter.  We’ll see if my overall mood improves.  I’ve been content so far!

Also, I’ve been getting pretty nervous about this weekend.  I’m hitting “real person age”.  It’s a bit scary. I was thinking of running my age in miles that day, as the older I get the more miles I’d have to do (duh!).  But now I’m not so sure.  See, I’ve planned a three day extravaganza of debauchery.   Well maybe only two (Thurs & Sat as I’ll likely need Friday to recover from Thurs haha).  The thing is that my body doesn’t recover like it did back in the days (haha I sound real old now).  I guess if I take it easy Friday night — and I plan to watch El Laberinto del Fauno and take it easy — maybe I can still do it? I still got a few days to decide.

Alright back to putting my nose on the Monday grindstone.  Lots and lots to do!

Also: Natalie over at NoNo2YoYo is having a giveaway, plus that post I just linked too also has sweet info about Project Feed Me which is soooo cool.  Sign up! (and tell her that I was the one you found out about this from)

AND re: Spanish TA. I’m not sure I believe the rumors and it’s literally one or two things I’ve heard from other ppl.  Definitely not giving up yet 🙂

October 29, 2009

Thursday = almost end of the week

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 21:58

So I’m going to put up a sorry excuse for a post. BUT

A) It’s a rest day today.  A little disappointing because I know I run faster the day after a speed session like yesterday’s.

B) I’ve been swamped with work and meetings all morning and afternoon

C) I’m getting ready to go out on Thirsty Thursday again and make some bad life decisions

I do have an exam tmrw morning which keeps making me waffle back and forth between going out and staying in and getting some sleep.  I already know that I’m still going to get up early and run before the exam and only having 3-4 hours of sleep? It’ll be interesting to say the least.

I think it’ll wake me up and keep me from being groggy, like I would be if I rolled out of bed and went to class.  Plus sleep is always the most important in the days leading up to the big event, right? The exam is in Spanish so I’m not terribly worried because I know the material really well. But I am worried about making these Thursday nights out a trend haha.

But if I get to see Hot-Spanish-TA tonight it will be well worth it. Send me courage vibes to dance/talk! 😉

And, so as to not create withdrawal, here is the next installment of the Facts of Life (and oh man I nearly just peed myself reading today’s!)

41. There’s no worse feeling than that millisecond you’re sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

42. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

43. “Do not machine wash or tumble dry” means I will never wash this ever.

44. I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There’s so much pressure. ‘I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren’t watching this. It’s only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?’

45. While watching the Olympics, I find myself cheering equally for China and USA. No, I am not of Chinese descent, but I am fairly certain that when Chinese athletes don’t win, they are executed.

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