MarathonMaiden's Blog

December 27, 2010

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:58

Oops. Wrong time of year.  Although I’m trying to stay positive with all the snow that was just dumped on my doorstep.  A day and a half after Christmas aka a day and a half too late for snow in my opinion.  Is it Spring yet? Not that I’m bitter or anything 😉

Although on second thought I am typing this from bed because the ~18″ of snow gave me a snow day. I haven’t had one of those in YEARS! It feels good 8) It’s a great way to cap off a Merry Christmas holiday.

My immediate family.  And check out the huge tree in the background! It dwarfs me and I’m 5’11”!

I did a bunch of stuff over the weekend, including running.  I’ll try and keep this short and running related, mostly because I read this post from Shelby 😉  Since it’s essentially the dreaded recap post I’ll try to do bullets with pictures.  That way my blabbering doesn’t get too out of hand hah!

  • Friday was my first hometown run since the summer! It went well, felt good and fast, especially since compared to where I’m living now there are NO HILLS there.  It was nice.  The run was a tad over 9 miles and felt quite speedy.  I’m pretty sure it was a progression run as I felt a lot faster toward the end.
  • Christmas morning brought a bit of sleeping in (I was so exhausted!) and a Christmas run. This year Christmas fell on my LR day and I had *just* enough time to get it done and shower before driving to my uncle’s for Christmas dinner.  I managed to get 11.2 miles in with the mid-miles being nice and quick and sandwiched between some sloth.  It was nice regardless to be a bit over 10.  Longest run since the marathon!
  • It’s been a tradition, oh forever, for me to run my Christmas run in a Santa hat.  Like, tradition even before I could call myself a runner and called myself just a kid who was running for bball.  I don’t know what I’m going to do when I move to a warmer locale next year because I’ve always *needed* the hat! It was 16* when I stepped out the door.

  • Sunday I ended up with a good 9 miler which was decently paced before driving back to Providence. Nothing exciting about it except that I hadn’t run the route since August. And pushups (20, 20, 24, 24, 20, 20, 22, 52 ) and situps (30, 30, 36, 36, 30, 30, 105 ) followed.  As well as rolling / PT exercises because I hadn’t done them since Thursday. Oops.

Some other highlights (other than the 3 pain free and not totally slugish runs!)  included

  • Going on Christmas Eve to a neighborhood that tends to go all out with their Christmas lights

Go Pats and Sox! As much as I want out of New England I’ll miss the 24-7 Boston sports coverage!

  • Waking up semi-early on Sunday in order to get that last hometown run in before the nor’easter hit us.  And waking up out of a deep sleep. Although the highlight was, I do believe, that I still smelled of beer and icing. Hallmarks of a good Christmas I tell you.
  • Driving through the snow storm on Sunday afternoon.  Which took forever because of idiots who live in New England and yet are completely surprised by the snow.  Grrrrr but I ended up home safe and sound.  Maybe with high blood pressure. Which wasn’t made any better by this sight early in the evening

View from Sunday night.

I totally handed back in my I’m-a-BAMF-New-Englander card when I whimpered and said that I wanted to get away from this all. And I didn’t have a good shot of my car but let’s just say it would have been wise of me to do a little shoveling / brushing off periodically during the storm. Oops.

The storm is still kind of going on right now.  And I get to run in it later due to the aforementioned snowday.  It makes me feel like a kid.  I even want to make a snow angel. Which is weird because MM and snow =/= friends. First, though, it’s breakfast in bed.  Trying to not think about all the snow I have to shovel later. Maybe I’ll just ignore it for a few more hours. And then go run.  And pray that a heat wave comes and melts that snow off my car.  I can dream, right?

And I’ll leave you with this video that Lindsay sent me a few days ago.  I probably should have put it up on Christmas day but it was Christmas and I didn’t.  Better late than never, no?

And check out the giveaway from Julie (Hot Legs Runner) and Running and Rambling

December 22, 2010

A Bloggy Secret Santa and Some Q & A

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

So I officially feel like a loser because I’m just mailing my bloggy secret santa out on Tuesday.  Even though I made mine and feel superior because of it 😉 I’ve been told that it’ll get to my buddy by Friday. So fingers crossed! I did bust my butt last night to finish it because, when I got home from work on Monday I found this waiting for me:

I also had a package from my mother. Not quite as cool but I had TWO packages waiting for me. Awesomeness

And an adorable card inside as well

Awwww 🙂

Now the fun part. The part that everyone waits for:

THE GIFTS

I LOVE IT! I don’t actually know who had me because he/she was all mysterious and didn’t sign it.  I’ll have to do some blog stalk reading 🙂  I love Clif products and the crunchy pb might be my favorite bar.  And the shot blocks got me through the tough last part of White Rock.  And I love the book Once A Runner and it’s awesome to have a real copy. I may or may not have downloaded and printed one off a few years ago.  And the “Virginia is for Lovers” shotglass? How did my secret santa know? Hint Hint hahah!

Thanks Bloggy Buddy! [Edit: After some sleuthing I’ve discovered that it was Heather from The Crazy World of a Running Mom!]

Before I get into the Q & A maybe I should mention a little bit of running stuff? After the dud run Monday I knew that I needed to foam roll and PT exercise and all that jazz regularly and did so after work. Because that’s what good runners do 😉

And it payed off.  After a fitful night of sleep where I just couldn’t STAY asleep, I got up on Tuesday to do my run.  In the snow.  It was really pretty but the roads were “ehhhh” (and I don’t really trust drivers in the snow) so I stuck to my pathway and got a really good 8.8 – 9 miles! It was (and you’re probably sick of my saying this) the fastest run post-marathon that I’ve done.  For real.  By quite a bit and was very close to being within the range I was in pre-marathon for *easy* runs.  Not recovery but easy!  A most excellent feeling and the truly great thing is that the run just felt like I was gliding.  I didn’t feel dreadfully slow and yet I didn’t feel like I was really pushing myself.  Dare I say that I’m getting my legs back under me?! I might have just jinxed myself though! I finished off the workout with my pushups ( 36, 40, 30, 24, 42 ) and situps ( 54, 60, 45, 36, 75 ) as well as the PT exercises.

Today was an elliptical day. Blah.  Not directly related to the hip stuff (because I’ve found that keeping up with the PT stuff is working wonders) but, after chatting with one of my favorite docs at the clinic Tuesday night, I decided not to push it.  His exact words when I asked him what to do today werenothing that you enjoy doing hahah!  Hence the elliptical.  But the workout was pain free and I continue to be pain free so I’m leery that I needed the non-running day but whatever.  In the long run it’s bound to be good. I am a little annoyed that I couldn’t take advantage of the earlier sunrise  (holler winter solstice yesterday! meaning LONGER DAYS AHEAD. hizzah. It also means that we’re entering true winter here but hizzah just the same.)

Enough running business for now.  I was tagged by Shelby (eat drink run) to do these questions.  And I decided to play because, while I’m very happy with how my pace is improving and my body is responding to recovery, it’s not the greatest blogging material. I didn’t pay attention to the rules of the game but I do know that I’m not answering the same questions she did.  So I think I make some up afterward and then tag people.  Whatever. The truth is that I read all the blogs that comment here so I do want all of you to do it.  Seriously.  If you really want me to link to you then well your S.O.L.  😛

1. Vacation: beach or mountains?

  • Beach. Hands down. Mostly because the mountains can be chilly at times and I hate any chance of being cold.  Granted hiking would be cool but you really can’t beat your toes in the water and @ss in the sand.

 

Clearly these feet are A) not mine and B) do not belong to a runner

2. Luggage: check it or carry it on?

  • Carry it on.  I was SO PISSED when I had to check my luggage on my trip for WR. My sister swore up and down it would fit as a carry on.  She lied. And I was out the fee to check the bag.  Both ways.

3. Bed: make it or leave it a rumpled comfy mess?

  • When I was younger I always left it a rumpled mess. Mostly because my mom made it for me.  When in college, and I realized that the dorm room was a LIFE and LIVING space I changed my tune.  Plus it’s so awesome to get into a made bed at night. And no I’m not going to share a picture of my bed. I thought about it but then thought about the creeper search terms that people use to find my blog and decided against it. Sorry.

4. Races: smaller or bigger?

  • Toughie.  I’m going to say bigger.  Because bigger = better? Mostly because bigger races = faster people entering = me being pushed.  That means I’ll likely never out and out win, which would be cool, but I’ll typically run my best.

5. Toilet paper roll: over or under?

  • However it happens to be when I put it on.  I might be the only person who doesn’t care.  I just place it on the roll.

6. Pancakes: thick and fluffy or thin and crepe-like?

  • Thick and fluffy.  Because that’s the way Americans eat ’em 😉

 

Good Morning Sunshine

7. Alarm: get up or hit snooze?

  • Get the ‘eff up.  Lately on the weekends I’ve been hitting snooze but that’s rare.  Once my alarm goes off I get up. I am going to amend this and say that, save for my post-marathon slumbers, I rarely wake up with the alarm and get up 10-15 minutes earlier than it.   I do wait until the alarm goes off to get out of bed though

Thanks google

And now my questions. I think I’m supposed to do 7 so I’ll try and come up with that many but we’ll see if I can… YAY I did it. Enjoy 🙂 (and seriously. I read y’alls blogs.  DO IT!)

  1. Dishes: clean them up right away or leave them for later and do lots at once?
  2. What is your favorite US president and why?
  3. Favorite song of 2010 and why?
  4. Seasons: Fall or Spring?
  5. Are you a brand loyalist all the time? Some of the time? None of the time? If so to what brand?
  6. Sweets: Pastries or Ice Cream?
  7. What would you say to a guy who said “So leave your keys on the kitchen counter / And gimme back that ruby ring with the big diamond”? [Edit: I don’t think some of you guys listen to that quote in context to the song. Hence why I provided the video 😉 ]

And before I forget: there were lots of questions on what “bleeding the line” means in terms of my oil burner.  It’s just a way of saying that I had to let all the air go out of the tubes “the line” because if there’s too much air in the line then the burner won’t suck up the oil.  All it involved was me loosening a valve to do so but I felt really BAMF doing it!

December 20, 2010

Things I’ve Learned: Weekend Edition

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:23

I typed out a post just now but deleted it because even I couldn’t stand how teenager whiny I sounded.  Especially because I was just bitching and moaning. Nothing positive.  No bright side. So I’ve turned it into things I’ve learned this weekend.  Because learning is ALWAYS positive. And fun.

  • If it’s 8 days until Christmas then good luck finding those gingerbread kits.  Because my friend and I wanted to make real gingerbread houses Friday night but decided to at 2100 that night.  Meaning we could have made the dough for the walls but decorating would have to wait.  And let’s face it: decorating is what gingerbread house making is all about.  After hitting up several stores searching for those $10 kits there was nothing in sight.  So we said “Eff it” and watched Iron Man 2 instead.

 

Or maybe eating it's the best. Thanks google for the image

  • Sleeping in until 1000 isn’t a bad thing.  Unless of course you have a billion things to do during the day.  Luckily that wasn’t really the case for me on Saturday when my alarm went off at 0845 and I fell back asleep until a little past 1000.  But it felt glorious.  And lazy. I also did this, but to a not-as-late degree, on Sunday morning.  Mostly because it was cold in my apartment (see a later lesson for why) and because
  • Late nights at the GCB (the Graduate Center Bar, literally in the basement of a building at the university) are fun.  It’s essentially a dive bar and I tend to shy away from it because I’m not a student but the drink are extremely cheap (and relatively strong) and there are graduate students there.  Hotttttt. I also think that it was this late night (coupled with restless sleep because it was cold in my room) lead to the sleeping in Sunday morning.  So worth it.

 

Good times with good friends = awesomeness. Not taken Saturday night though.

  • Running post-breakfast is a good idea and leads to good running for me. Although it’s tough to get my butt out the door because I’ll get sucked into the internet vortex or the good book that I’m currently reading.  And even if I manage to pry myself away it takes FOREVER to actually put the running clothes on and get out there. Lesson: do this on days where I have nowhere to be.
  • But once I got out there it was amazing! Lesson: sunny runs and runs where I’ve let my body wake up are the bestest. On Saturday I ended up with 10.8 miles, first double digit post-WR and it was definitely the FASTEST, by a long shot, post-WR. Again, the pace isn’t where I’d love it to be but it was 0:02 away from being within McMillian’s easy pace/LR pace.  So I’m thrilled. The day was perfect for it too: 36* and sunny.  Definitely beats the teens and dark that I’ve been doing during the week.  Sunday was a shorter but equally fast (like 0:01 seconds off that easy pace) run in some cloudy, yet warmish, day.  It felt like it was going to snow though.  Boo.  But both runs kicked booty AND ended with LMPs (last mile parties) and WAY fast splits. Leading me to my next lesson:
  • Rolling, stretching, PT exercises are good.Coupled with the Pushups ( 29, 33, 29, 29, 40 ) and Situps ( 45, 50, 45, 45, 70 ) I’ve been doing my body is feeling good and on that Saturday run I was pain free.  Holler.  I’m feeling like a better/stronger/faster/less hurting runner.  This can only help me in the long term.
  • As can checking the oil burner more frequently (what you thought this would be 100% running?!) Because on Friday we ran out of oil and spent 2.5 days with no heat.  Let’s just say mid-December in New England is not the best time to do so and apparently my apartment, being nice and glorious in it’s antiquity, is not well insulated.  AKA we burned through our oil wicked fast, like 3 weeks fast.  Luckily we finally went out to buy a wrench and bleed the line so we have heat.  I feel incredibly BAMF for being able to bleed the line myself now.  Like a regular MacGyver

thanks google images

  • So I spent most of the whole day working on my bloggy secret santa gift (SORRY TO THE PERSON I HAVE. I’m 99.99% sure it’ll come the Monday after Christmas! I’ll have it in the mail before obviously but I have no idea if it’ll get to you in time), catching up on blogs (as well as reading through the blogs of some new commenters!) and watching the first season of Chuck.  Because Chuck is an awesome show.

And he's a wicked cute nerd, like me 😉 Thanks google images

  • And finally, after staying out way late for two nights and sleeping in for two days Monday mornings suck. I normally don’t care too much about Monday mornings but man it is ROUGH getting out of bed at 0545 (or getting into bed before 2300 the night before!) after getting out of the habit.  And the running isn’t too stellar usually as was the case this morning.  But, after having pain free and fast and AWESOME runs for the past 4 days, I can’t say that the dud of a run this morning was all that awful. And I will say that Monday morning runs are worth it because I get to see my friendly older pair of men walking the pathway when I’m out that early.  They’re always so upbeat and happy and I smile when I pass them and tell them to have a great morning/week/whatever.

What about y’all. Any lessons learned this weekend?

Check out the giveaway from Janae (Hungry Girl Runner) and Julie (HotLegsRunner)

1. Vacation: beach or mountains?

2. Luggage: check it or carry it on?

3. Bed: make it or leave it a rumpled comfy mess?

4. Races: smaller or bigger?

5. Toilet paper roll: over or under?

6. Pancakes: thick and fluffy or thin and crepe-like?

7. Alarm: get up or hit snooze?

December 17, 2010

Question: What Kind of Coach Purse Does Jennifer Garner Have?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:06

Answer: I’m sorry to the person who used that google search term to get to my blog yesterday but I have no idea. Maybe Sarah (SkinnyRunner) does? 😉

My Thursday was CRAZY busy. Both with work stuff and life stuff. But, and this must be some sort of Christmas miracle, I got everything I wanted to get done yesterday done. It was a bit stressful but nothing that a couple of deep breaths and one GIANT cookie that got mailed to me from a really great friend couldn’t cure.

No pictures out of the baggie because I knew it was going to be so good that I wouldn't be able to put it down. It lived up to those expectations.

And yes, those are both candy bits *and* CCs. I feel so loved. And it was seriously as thick as my finger. HEAVEN.

Workout wise Thursday was PDG (pretty damn good). Before work I completed an 8.2 miler that was, well, rockin’. Granted I say that with the mindset of marathon recovery: the pace was still slow but it was MUCH faster than any run post WR. I checked my watch at the half way point and thought NO WAY was I running that fast. But I was. I didn’t have a LMP but I did have a second-to-last mile party. Then I slowed down a bit for the last mile with a slight surge over the last block before getting to my door. I’m telling myself that it was the warm down 😉 So while I still have a long way to go before I can consider myself recovered I was quite encouraged by this run. The run was also without hip/IT/pirformis/whatever the heck it is pain. Another encouraging thing.

Lots of pushups (25, 29, 25, 25, 37) and situps ( 38, 45, 38, 38, 55) from W4D2 as well as PT hip exercises followed that run and almost made me late to work. Maybe that’s why I felt really rushed at the clinic? Besides the fact that I wanted / NEEDED to get those exercises in I was also running late because I mailed the first batch of Christmas cards out. Yes that’s right: FIRST BATCH. You see, what typically happens is that I mail my initial 15-20 cards out and then inevitably forget a bunch of people. So I know I’ll be mailing another 5-10 out this weekend. But I’m such a good friend so it’s all good.

Like these guys: (All I know is that, based on the C’s vs. Knicks game on Wednesday night, NY cannot handle THE TRUTH)

So much amazingness going on here. Well that was Wednesday. And by golly it was the perfect thing to come home to after work.

This morning (Friday) I awoke eaaaaaaaaaaaaaarly. Okay so it was 0545. But when I get up at 0800 on Tues/Thurs it makes the 0545 alarm so much more painful. It was obviously to run (sorry Jess for the lack of willpower to XT! But you ditched me Tuesday 😉 ). It was cold (duh) but I felt like I was appropriately dressed and never felt cold on the run. Success. The run itself was a quasi-success. It totally was NOT as great as my run Thursday in terms of both pace and feeling in the leg. I’m blaming it on the fact that I ran out of time to roll post-workout and then was too lazy to stretch or roll post-work. So I’d gone 48 hours of not treating the leg-o with some TLC.

That said, the run didn’t suck at all. And it was probably the second fastest run post-WR. Which says a lot because it was an early run and my paces typically aren’t the most stellar at 0600. So another encouraging thing-a-ma-bob. I even got a LMP out of the run. I had only planned on running 6 but decided to tack on one more, because today is Friday and after some changes at work (sadly nothing scandalous) I have a new supervisor who doesn’t work Fridays. So I had those extra minutes to spend running. Should I have spent them rolling and stretching and PT-ing? Highly likely but I did spend 30 minutes doing that stuff so, again, it’s all good.

Anyway…something that ISN’T right  or good is the following picture. I’m all for holiday spirit and all (and I’m getting into it myself in my own way) and I thoroughly enjoy driving around the neighborhoods that put all fancy and creative lights up. But I’m very thankful that this person is not my neighbor.

Check out the giveaway from Tricia (Endurance isn’t Only Physical) and Running and Rambling and Amanda (Run to the Finish)

December 25, 2009

Happy Christmas!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:58

Hope everyone is celebrating Christmas in the way that they want 🙂

Luckily my siblings didn’t get up with the sun like they’ve done in every other year I’ve been alive.  They waited until 0800 this morning which is when I was waking up anyway.

Anyway for me Christmas is camping out in my room until the family leaves for my Uncle’s house (which is where they are now) then vegging out (reading most likely)  until tonight when I get to see Holmes with one of my close high school friends.  I ❤ Robert Downey Jr. so I’m wicked excited.

Of course running happened too and, like the past couple of Christmases, I wore my Santa hat.  Just so that people can’t say I’m a complete Scrooge heh. I also wore a red long sleeve with a green short sleeve over it.  Yes I have Christmas spirit.  And the weather, while definitely not Christmas weather, is so nice out.  Nice bright and sunny so it feels even warmer than the 36* it actually is.  Feels like 50* or so honestly and according to the weather reports it’s suppose to be that warm tomorrow.  Crazy.

I saw a lot of runners out today.  Not really surprising since lots of people make sure to get that workout in before feasting heh.  None of them as decked out as me though. I got a great 12.6 mile run in at a good clip.  It felt slow at times and really fast at times but overall it averaged out.  There was one hill that almost made me walk.  Almost though.

And I have a funny (well to me.  I guess I’m too dumb to be embarrassed by this) story related to the question I posted yesterday about my bladder (and I still want an answer too. Preferably a medical one my doctor friends? You know who you are 😉  Or at least someone to tell me my suspicion is correct and my bladder is just unhappy with the jostling running does to the lower torso organs).  Which I’m sure you can guess where I’m going with this already. And I apologize if anyone finds this unfunny or gross or immature or whatever.  I actually do find it funny. Maybe not the final outcome but certainly the whole situation. And I do recognize that this might lower my BAMF status.

By the time I had finished my run the family had already left for Christmas dinner so the house was locked up.  Which is fine in theory.  Tell that to my bladder though because I’ve known since mile 5 that when I stop running, be it at mile 5, 10 or 12.6, I’ll need a bathroom.  If you recall I said yesterday that my routine lately has been to sprint into the house and into the bathroom stopping, oh ummm, never? So this whole, get my hidden key, unlock the door THEN try to get to the bathroom thing? Yeah not so great.  But my bladder held miraculously. Seriously a Christmas miracle.

So at this point I’m feeling good about myself even though I don’t shut the door behind me nor do I remove my shoes, sunglasses etc.  Because let’s face it I still need to go.  I make it to the bathroom and go to pull down my shorts and my shirt is tucked into my shorts and my fingers don’t have full circulation and therefore don’t have full manipulation capabilities.  Problem? Yes.

And I’m not saying I full on wet my pants.  Because I didn’t.  But I did a little bit; kind of like if you laugh really really hard. Yes I think I am trying to justify this haha. I am 23 years old but do not have the bladder of one. At least after a long run because I do have a bladder of steel any other time during the day.  Even while drinking.

So I hope you enjoyed my story on this lovely Christmas day.  I’m still not sure if I should be embarrassed and sharing this but since almost everyone who reads this is a runner I’m hoping that you understand.  I mean if Uta Pippig can poop her pants during the Boston Marathon (and win) then I think a little bladder weakness on my part shouldn’t be too big a deal.

And I hope this hasn’t detracted from your Christmas spirit in any way 😛

Now it’s kicking back with a glass of wine (yes it’s only 1500) a good book, music (NOT of the Christmas kind) until my date with Sherlock Holmes.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS ALL!!

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