MarathonMaiden's Blog

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!


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.


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%



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!

October 9, 2010

Twelve and an Orange Sherbert Tracksuit

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:32

Nope not 12 miles.  After running a semi-hard (although definitely fast for me lately) 12 yesterday it would be silly to run that again.  Granted I did so that earlier this week.

But I got 12,  ONE-TWO, hours of sleep last night.  I’ve come to realize that, even though I do not frequent college type hang outs anymore (so sad! aka I’m old!), this city is still essentially a college city.  And thus runs on a Thursday / Saturday party night schedule.  And I took advantage last night (and likely will every Friday) that no one was doing anything and caught up on this:


Hollllleeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrr (yay for google images)


Because of my work schedule I haven’t actually watched ANY new episodes of any of my favorite shows.  I think last night kicked off the weekly “Friday is going to be TV catch up night” part of my life. I mean, I had been doing this before last night but now I’m embracing it.  Especially since it means that I’ll get a good night of sleep.  The worst weekends are the ones that you stay up late but aren’t doing anything worthwhile. Just wasting time.

So I was wayyy cool and fell asleep on the couch.  But I slept right through until morning.  Seriously.  The very definition of gloriousness.  I always set an alarm and last night was no different although it was set for the time that I thought would be late enough so I’d wake up on my own.  Ummm definitely not as it jarred me awake.  Not so glorious but it was twelve hours later. Can’t complain there.  Plus I felt much better than yesterday in turns of that silly flu shot.  Can’t complain there either.

I figured that I wanted to get my run in first thing.  On a typical weekend I don’t really care when I run but I was actually afraid that I’d lay back down and fall asleep and wake up tomorrow morning.  And I told myself that I’d go exploring on my run.

Exploring for MM = map out a run first but in an area I’ve never run in.  Yes. I know. I am SUCH a risk taker.

It took me quite awhile to find a route though.  Mostly because I try and search for already mapped routes and see how I can modify them to suit my needs. I eventually decided to explore downtown as I’ve only driven through it and when I usually run I like to stick to familiar areas just due to safety and paranoia. But the good thing about cities in New England in general is that everything is within walking (and thus running) distance.

That said, I knew I didn’t want a long run so I did something I HATE (with the heat of 1,000 suns) doing: I drove to where I wanted to run.

But it was a lovely run.

I actually had typed out (with some pictures because everyone loves pictures) of the landmarks that I ran by today.  But I deleted them because I wasn’t sure how much I should put out there.  I mean, I feel like I “know” the people who read and comment here well enough that the longer I have this blog the more comfortable I’m getting interacting with you guys.  I mean, I’ve even met some of you guys in real life! But I always wonder about who is reading but NOT commenting. So I want to ask you: how do you deal with blogging privacy and security? I HATE having to keep this in the back of my mind but obviously it’s something that needs to be thought about.

And here’s a random picture (for all you cookie bakers out there) to make up for the pictures I deleted



Yay fail blog.


Maybe I’ll make cookies this afternoon.  I may not be a baker at all but at least I know that they’ll turn out better than this!

So pictures or not, all in all it was a great run and I got to see all these sights from a new perspective: that of a runner.  I need to explore the city more often this way! It was a bit of a slow run.  But I think it was because I ran later in the day yesterday (after work) and I was hungry during the run today.

  • 8.1 miles @ 8:59

Even though this is essentially 9 minute miles seeing that 8 out front makes me happy.

Gah I feel so pretentious just typing that!

Another sight I got to see? An old(er — I have no idea how old he really is) man in an all orange sherbert track suit outfit.


Except he obviously wasn't Paris Hilton. But the outfit was the same! (google images)


For real.  And he was running faster than a plod.  So I guess props to him.  And I also saw a man in yellow shorts and a red top.  Not going to lie, my first thought was of Ronald McDonald.  And I giggled.

I also got to see a 5k race in progress.  It was a walk/run race for Breast Cancer Awareness and it was amazing to see all these people — young & old, men & women etc — walking the streets dressed all in pink! I knew that there was a race downtown and it actually saddened me a bit to not be running in it as it had been written down on my “race calendar” (Aka a sheet of paper that just has the dates on races in the area).  And it made me feel competitive because I got to see the leaders of the race zoom by.  I wanted to race right then even though I KNEW that I couldn’t because of Tufts on Monday.

Which I’m wicked excited can’t wait for.

Until then I shall sit and wait.  At least for today.  With it being mid-October already there aren’t too many days I can just go outside and sit on my balcony and read left.  I have the option of running again later this afternoon with the running buddy before going out later for the night (college city means Saturday night is where it’s at).  I have yet to decide if I’m going to re-run though.  My legs, while they are by no means close to dead, might want the extra time up while I read. Plus I don’t want to tire myself out if I have a long — but fun — night ahead of me 😉

But the really nice weather might tempt me! I mean, I could also do a circuit of sorts.  But I figure I’m still going strong after not doing any lifting since July (eeek!) and the core has been sporadic at best.  So I may still be lazy on that front.

And I may or may not be in love with FailBlog at the moment.  I even have them on my google reader because they brighten my day.  Again, I don’t want to know what this says about me as a person. But here’s one I saw the other day and both laughed and cringed at the same time. Ouch:




Check out the giveaway from Miss Zippy and Shut Up and Run

October 7, 2010


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

Can’t say I dislike this search term (oh and for all of you who are wondering how to check the stats, I use wordpress so I don’t know how other sites do it, but there’s a link on the right hand side of the dashboard tab that says stat site and on the “homepage” of your blog where you can manage it, there should be a bar graph for the days of the past few weeks and you can click on the day.  From there you can see search terms) because Viva la España.  For real.


Today is going to be a long day.  And not really in a mopey way.  More of a “I have an in-service job training / meeting for AmeriCorps then get to work my regular clinic hours” way.  All told I’ll have worked at least 13 hours by the end of the day.  And it’s lottery night (the night where we pick new patients) so it’s going to be even more chaotic.   But not really mopey.  It’s just tough knowing that when I leave my apartment I won’t get back for another 13 or 14 hours.


So in light of that I’m going to do a bullet point post.  Because posts usually take me forever to write (I’m soooo type A that everything has to be perfect!) and bullets let me not worry about transition sentences 🙂

  • 11.3 miles @ 8:50. That was my run this morning.  I got up at 0530 (because of having to be at training early) and I just felt on. Obviously 8:50 isn’t really fast for me but after a slooooooow ass run yesterday (which I’m not down and out about and, like many of you told me, it’s good to have those wicked slow days) this felt quite speedy and good.  I was only planning on doing 9.5 or so (I think the route was 9.7) but I felt good and had the time so I added the extra 1.6 miles.  My legs did feel a bit fatigued towards the end (as did my right foot oddly enough) but not exhausted.  I still suspect that the last loop was my fastest but after seeing yesterday’s splits I chose to not look at each loop.


  • The weather was pretty freaking awesome too: 50*, 90% humidity and SUNLIGHT for more than half my run! Such nicer weather than the rain that’s been here the past few days: there was actually sun by the end because of no rain clouds! It was wicked nice to be able to really see where I was going during the mid and late parts of my run.  And of course sunlight = good mood.


  • Sleep = good mood as well.  And once my head the pillow last night I was out cold.  I slept straight through the night and, while I didn’t wake up rested, I didn’t feel MORE tired than the night before. 


  • I got to wear longsleeves this morning. Okay so maybe wearing them might have been a bit too much.  I did overheat by the end of the run (it was still in the low 50s).  And yes, I’ve worn longsleeves on one or two runs already.  But it felt nice to be able to pull the sleeves over my hands.  I love when I can do that with sweatshirts and I love when I can do that with my running shirts.  Small pleasures in life people!


  • Another small pleasure? Coffee.  Because I’m on my fourth cup right now. Yes it’s going to be that kind of a day. But surprisingly I’m in a chipper mood.


  • Maybe because it’s almost the weekend.  And I have some tentative plans that will be WAY fun.  I think I mentioned awhile ago that I was feeling bored in the city that I’m in but I had a really great time last weekend here and I think that this weekend will be similar.  Which is great.  After all, it’s been a long week

So there you have it.  A semi-short quick post.  Hope everyone is having a great Thursday so far! Thursday is my favorite day of the week so I totally am.  And I found this picture this morning and it let me start my long work day with a smile on my face (well as did my run, and my coffee hahah)

“Circle of Life: Fail and Win”

September 13, 2010

“Drunk Chick Passed Out On Pavement”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:04

I bet that title got your attention today!

Because, according to the search terms people use to get to my blog, this is how someone got here.  Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.  Just for the record: I have never been passed out on the pavement.  Ever. And I don’t plan on starting either. Clearly this reader will have left here disappointed. But I found it hilarious anyway.

Okay moving on…

Apparently there was a 5k on Sunday morning a block from my apartment. Why did I not know about this?!  When I started my “recovery run” (more on that later) I noticed mile markers and when I was finishing up the run I saw the starting line.  Not that I really should have been thinking about racing so soon after last weekend (Question: am I ever going to get tired of linking to that RR?! Answer: never) but it reinforced that I really need to get in touch with the local running community and make a trip to the local running store again.  Simply waving and smiling (and batting a few eyelashes) isn’t going to cut it anymore.  Time to make my presence known 😉

But like I said, I went out for a recovery run first thing on Sunday.  The combination of having a really good dream (too bad I can never remember the good ones!) and the temps being so cold last night (okay so it was only 50*.  It felt cold though) that the covers were so warm made it almost impossible to get out of bed.  I mean obviously I did but there was a moment or two of “I just want to lay here forever”.

Because it was so cold last night I opted for my neon green long sleeve for my run.  The weird thing was that once I stepped out of my apartment the air felt about 10* warmer than inside! I kept the long sleeve on though because I like being able to wrap my hands in the sleeves.   And it’s literally neon green.  Question: How can you beat that?!

I apolog-- oh wait no I don't. I think pink + green = amazing combo. I didn't run in the pink shorts though (or the sexy socks) because I'm writing this post run and thus threw the shirt on for a random picture. I'm pretty sure my roomie thinks I'm nuts 😉

Answer: You can’t

Lately I’ve been struggling with my sense of direction and I decided to tackle one of my “not-on-the-path” routes that I have yet to run properly.  Not that I’ve ever been fully lost.  I do have a keen sense of direction and always know where I am but sometimes I doubt that ability and take wrong turns because I feel like a turn should have happened already.

I am proud to say that I ran the entire route properly. And then because I was feeling really good despite having run looooooooooong the day before (and running an 8:29 pace! Although I didn’t know that at the time) I added on a little bit extra.  So maybe Sunday wasn’t really the recovery day that it should have been.

Not much else to say about it except that this route has some killer hills (I literally live in the neighborhood called “College Hill” after all) and, with the exception of maybe the first hill on the route because I was still warming up a bit, I didn’t notice them.  Even this one which comes at a point where I’m pretty far away from my place (and thus really effing tired already!)

Not the best quality of a picture but hopefully you guys can see the line where the hill just drops. AKA where the sunlight is on the next street over is about 100m BELOW where I’m standing.

You know how way back in the day people thought the world was flat and that we’d drop off the face of the Earth if we traveled too far? Yeah.  Well that’s what I think every time I come to this hill.  The only thing worse than going down is knowing that I have to go back up.

And view from the bottom:

Again, not the best quality but hills are darn hard to capture on film!

So much for recovery from the LR with hills like these.  And they are everywhere here!  And with another speed session on tap for a bright and early Monday morning, well maybe I should have re-thought this route.  My pathway is relatively flat though, but after running it all week I wanted to break loose.

And so, with a killer 13.6 mile long run on Saturday and a very hilly recovery-yet-so-not-recovery run on Sunday I awoke bright and early to do a repeat of last Thursday’s speed work courtesy of my new coach. Aka Lacey.

Bright and early = I had to run this at 0500.  Which is a totally different beast than even 0530.  At least with the latter there’s a promise of sunlight at some point.  Not so much at 0500.  And the path where I warmed up, well there are no streetlights on the actual path — it’s a path that divides the road so the streetlights are on the actual sidewalks.  So I did have some light but it was still a little spooky I guess.  But as I started off I definitely thought it could motivate me to run faster!

In case you’re too lazy to click my link above, here’s what the deal-io was:

  • Warm up
  • 2 X 1 mile continuous
  • Warm down

Granted I changed it up last time (and for that I’m going to make you click the link if you’ve forgotten) and, duh, changing it up was likely and what I knew was going to happen anyway when I hit the streets.  My target pace for the miles was 6:45, ideally with the second mile being faster than the first.  This was the case last time but my first mile was kind of slow.  Paige had a really good suggestion of adding strides during the tail end of my warm up because I suspect the reason the first mile had been slow was because my warm up was done slowly and the fastness in me hadn’t been woken up yet.  So during the warm up I added about 8 or so strides over second half.

It was another chilly morning here in New England which fit me just fine for some speediness. While  I don’t mind running in heat at all (in fact I actually enjoy it) the cool, crisp temps of September and October really make interval workouts enjoyable.  Granted by the end of the hard stuff I was sweating so much I thought I was in the dog days of August but oh well.  I was working hard 🙂

Here’s what went down:

  • Warm up: 3.7 miles @ 8:59
  • 2 X 1 mile (1st: 6:47, 2nd: 645)
  • 1 mile recovery @ 8:50
  • 1 mile HARD @ 6:26
  • 2.8 mile warm up @ 8:22

Total: 10.5 (although I think it’s actually 10.6 with the way I round my warm up/down) @ 8:16 (or 8:11 if you use the 10.6)

So I think that this workout possibly went better than the last time (which I linked above but will again here) just because the pacing was more even. Surprising after the weekend of miles and hills. I’m not 100% sure of the splits for the 2 X 1 mile just because it was still pitch black when I hit the 1 mile mark and I was running so hard that I’m pretty sure I lost the ability to do my usual mental math but I’m 99.99% sure.  And I know that the two of them together were 13:32.

I will say that the second one was WAY harder than the first mile.  Which wasn’t the case last time.  I actually thought that I’d be getting positive splits for, very likely, the first time.  I didn’t and then busted out another great mile at the end.  But trust me: I was hurting.  Breathing hard and my quads were like jelly.

Sign of a good workout? Maybe?

Another sign might be that the recovery mile and the warm down felt sloooooooooooooooooow.  The recovery mile is actually a lot slower than last time but felt so much faster.  I use street signs as the mile markers and every time I’d pass a new street I’d pray that it WASN’T the one I needed to start that third mile!

But the third mile went really well.  At least time wise.  I had to keep mentally telling myself to not let up or coast.  Which is probably a good thing because if I plan on running a fast and hard 5k then I’m going to have to fight through the pain that is fast running.

I finished the workout a little dazed from the effort because the warm down, not only felt like I was walking, but I *ranpastmyapartment*.  Oops. Not the biggest deal because the warm down wasn’t over (I run two small loops) butttt I looked around at one point and was like, ummm I think I missed a turn for the typical first loop.

To think I claim running wakes me up in the morning 😉

So that is that.  Another speed session in the books.  I’m still not quite sure how I truly feel about it because A) I don’t have a measure by which to judge speed workout, specifically for the 5k and B) I’m a perfectionist and didn’t smash my times from last week.  Which annoys me. But on paper it looks good I think. So I’m still iffy about whether or not this workout was a big success or not.

I guess we’ll see this weekend, right? 8)

June 15, 2010

Oh Hey There Coach

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:08

I’m glad that many of you feel the same way about yoga as I do. Aka hate it.  Not to bash yoga, like I said yesterday, I really WANT to like it.  But for the past 5 years I just leave so agitated that I’ve stopped going.  I figured 5 years was enough to let my body adjust right? hahaha

I also love how you guys have told me to embrace the new normal. So that’s what I’m going to try to do.  I do have the mental roadblock of…well what happens if the old normal comes back? But I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Anyway, on my run…Saturday? Sunday? Yesterday? (My days are so mixed up!) a woman called out to me “Do you run for your school?”.  To which I turned around and was running backward (I hate to stop running mid-run!) “No but I’ve run marathons for myself”.  I thought that would be the end of it but NO she wanted to chat. Grrrrrrr.

Well it wasn’t sooooo bad.  Apparently her daughter runs XC for one of the private schools in town and just finished up her freshman year and wants to get better.  The mother sees me out running EVERYWHERE (well duh when you’re running doubles…) and wanted to know if I’d be interested in giving her daughter tips and whatnot and possibly running with her.

Well I’m not 100% thrilled with the idea for multiple reasons.

First, I hate running with others.  Yes I know I just wrote about my buddy run and how I enjoyed it but running with a 15 year old is a totally different thing.  Obviously there’s the whole “she’s 15 thing” but to be honest I hate changing my routine for people.  Especially when it’s regarding something I hold as me time.

Second, I am way to hard and demanding to be a coach or anything similar to that (I throw around the word coach but it’s not really what I’m doing.  I’d just be giving little pointers not like designing some big training scheme or anything).  I’m way to hard on myself (as I’m sure you’ve noticed) and I get easily frustrated when people don’t live up to my expectations.

So why did I say yes? Call me crazy but I like mentoring people.  I’ve actually based a lot of my high school and college extracurriculars on mentoring others.  And that’s what I consider this to be.  I’m obviously not getting paid or devising a way to make her the best runner on her team.  I guess what I’m really doing is trying to *inspire* her.

I don’t really consider myself “motivational” or “inspirational” (and no I’m not fishing for compliments here although if you’re so inclined…. 😛 ) but I have had people tell me that they love to see me running and that it makes them want to lace up their shoes and get out there.  I don’t know if I’ve actually gotten anyone to do it but planting the seed is the first step right?

It’s always awkward, though, when people say things like that because I have the gut reaction to deny it and play my attributes down as many people do (which is why this stupid medical school personal statement isn’t coming along as easily as I’d like).  And I’ll never forget the time I was at the gym doing quarter mile repeats and I had an older gentleman come up to me and tell me that I was the reason he kept working out longer.  Awwww. I then told him that he’s an inspiration to me because I want to be really active when I’m older too, which deflected the praise a bit.  Oops.

Bobbi had a good post on Monday about inspiration and how it’s an amazing feeling to know you have an impact on other people’s lives.  I know that there are so many people in the world, both who I know, “know” and don’t know, who inspire me and I guess I want to be able to give back to the running community because that’s one area of service I have yet to tap into. And if I can get this girl to be MORE into running (because, let’s face it, she must already like it if she’s on an XC team) then I’ll be happy.

Soooooooooo I want to hear from YOU: have you ever been told you’re an inspiration? Have you ever told someone that they are an inspiration to you? It’s funny how we’re often unaware that the things we do in everyday life are noticed by others and remembered.

AND: any tips for me so I don’t turn into a dictator? I just have such high expectations for everything that I can be a bit….well I don’t want to say mean but that’s probably how it comes out sometimes.  I just get so invested in something that I lose my objectivity.

And holy self-serving post Batman! Hopefully you guys don’t think of me as stuck up and high-and-mighty after reading this but it’s been something I’ve been thinking about lately after that woman stopped me.

Now time for clothes! Hahaha.  I think it was on Sunday a woman my mom works with decided that she didn’t want half her wardrobe or something so she sent home 2 bags of clothes that I got to go through.  Some workout stuff, some more “professional” looking.  Most of it still had the tags on?! Lots of the stuff didn’t fit but I have some nice (and apparently NEW) clothes.  Not like I really need more. Well the professional stuff yes. But everything else?*Inserteyerollhere*

And another frivolous thing: I bit my tongue yesterday eating lunch so hard that I was literally gushing blood! OMG it hurt so bad and now I have an open wound in my mouth.  Lovely.  That still hurts! Guess I’m going to have to break the salt addiction soon right Amy? Gahh I’m such a salt-a-holic (I put it on EVERYTHING. For realz).

Of course my running: it’s been going.  I’ve had this crazy notion of doing 20 miles.  Not in one fell swoop of course but 3 X ~7ish wouldn’t be so bad right? Just an idea at this point but you know me when I get an idea….like: it’s going to happen, the question just becomes when. Hahah.

Alright I need to go review some more before my class tonight (and since the CELTICS are at LA tonight therefore having a 2100 tip off,  I’ll be able to watch some of the game afterward) but I’m hoping everyone is having a great Tuesday 🙂

January 30, 2010

Cold Long Run. Finally New England Weather!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:57

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. If I thought yesterday was bad here’s what I was up against this morning:

  • 0800: 7* feels like -7* (when I got up this morning)
  • 1000: 11* feels like -3* (a little before I left for the run)
  • 1400: 21* feels like 21* (about 45 minutes after I finished the run when I got back from the dining hall)

Yes I’m going to say it again: Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Not exactly what I wanted to go out and run in.  Luckily, as you can tell by the numbers, it warmed up slightly and the wind died down over the course of the morning.  Very good because I can totally handle the cold but when that wind blows? Yes it makes me want to curl under my covers and not move.

Despite the cold I was actually a bit on the warm side during my run.  The sun was shining and the wind wasn’t that bad so my 3 layers on top were more than enough to keep me comfy.  I always have the hardest time figuring out how to layer best.  I know that you’re supposed to dress so that you’re comfy a few miles into the run because then your body is warm but try telling that to my brain which doesn’t want to be cold at all. So I tend to overdress a bit.  BUT once the clouds came and hid the sun in the later miles I was pretty glad that I was wearing those layers.  The only thing that got cold were my hands.  Like usual.  I was wearing 2 pairs of those thin gloves then my heavy duty mittens.  Luckily my hands didn’t go numb/white but only hurt/red. So the circulation was still there.  Woot.

So why am I talking so much about the weather? No I’m not complaining (this is what I would expect for New England at the end of January) but rather that the fact I still got out there and ran my first 20+ miler (actual distance was 20.5) of this cycle made me pretty proud. That and a few other things:

  • I don’t know what it is about long runs but my bladder hates me.  I think I should just start wearing depends or something.  Despite having emptied my bladder literally right before I leave my dorm I was struck with the urge to pee after about mile 5.  Usually I just chalk it up to mental stuff and am able to ignore it but this time? No way.  After about 12 miles I actually started changing my gait every once in a while because I thought I was going to pee myself at random intervals.  I knew that there was a Dunkin Donuts around mile 15 so I thought I could hold it.  Let’s just say that the woods have never looked more inviting.  Luckily I didn’t have to stoop that low as the local country club was just ahead (and quite a nice surprise as I had totally forgotten about it) and they were *really* nice to let me use their restroom.
  • So here’s where I complain about the cold. When I stopped to go my hands were soooo frozen that I couldn’t accurately stop my watch or re-put back on my gloves after using the restroom. So for the post-restroom stop the mitten on my left hand was all crooked and looked like I had a crooked / disjointed hand because the thumb part was about 180* from where it should have been. AND my hands were so cold that I couldn’t re-tuck in my shirt into my shorts so my belly occasionally got a draft of cold air.  Plus having my shirt & sweatshirt bounce around because they weren’t tucked in was really annoying.
  • Another thing that I forgot to think about in terms of hand dexterity was my granola bars.  I haven’t yet taken any fuel in during my training runs so far (and quite honestly haven’t needed it) but I figured I’d be a fool to tempt fate and packed along 2 chewy granola bars.  I probably should have cut open the tops of the packages because I couldn’t access them due to frozen hands! Not that I probably could have eaten them because when I got back to my room and tried they were frozen solid. So I didn’t end up eating anything on the run.  Surprisingly I never felt any ill effects of no during-run fuel at all but when I did stop running and ate an apple before heading to the dining hall I almost vomited because of low blood sugar.  Any suggestions for something that won’t freeze during my long runs? I am in love with my granola bars but it looks like they aren’t the smartest choice for New England winter.

Okay so even with the “complaints”: overall great run! I’m VERY happy with it. After two AMAZING long runs the past two weeks I needed a “back-to-reality” (oops there goes gravity) long run where the pace was relaxed and I just flowed with it. I was actually supposed to push the pace for three middle miles but I figured I pushed the pace enough last week with Lacey so that was totally not necessary today. Given that the middle miles were plagued by bladder issues I’m sure that I would have been able to even if I wanted. 😉

I also thought about adding an extra half mile to make it an even 21 miles buuuuuuuuut I don’t need to right now. It’s only week 12 (or week 5 if you’re counting up) so 21 is in no way necessary.  Neither was 20 technically — my range for the day was 17-20 — but I’ve been chomping at the bit to get a 20 under my belt so I jumped at the chance today.  My plan has lots of places to potentially put in 20 milers (5 weeks have a range that includes 20, including back-to-back weeks 10 & 9 [or weeks 7 & 8 if you count up]!) and I know I’m not going to physically be able to do them all.  So I get to pick and choose which is nice.

The stats for today ended up being 20.5 miles in exactly 3:05:00.  Well maybe not exactly as my bathroom stopover + frozen hands didn’t lend to starting and stopping the watch precisely but I’ll still take it.  This averages out to 9:01 pace which is :01 over my “ideal” standard.  No biggie just an annoyance. I think I’ll live 😉

So wrapping this up because I want to try to get homework d read a good book & eat the last bowl of the box of honeybunches: cinnamon clusters (best bowl of the box is the last one. Hands down) here’s a giveaway from Liz.  Happy Saturday!

December 21, 2009

Feels So Good

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:13

First off”: Belated thanks to Lizzy for winning her awesome coffee giveaway.  I just got it when I came home and it was such a lovely surprise!!

Second off: I went to the mall last night with my sister. Surprisingly it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Granted we did just get a snowstorm earlier that morning but still.  It was T-5 days ’til Christmas.  I expected a zoo. I wasn’t doing any Christmas shopping per se.  I was buying stuff for me.  Can’t technically call it a Christmas present though since I have no intention of waiting ’til the 25th to use these babies.

What are they you ask? Compression socks.  Yes I’ve bit the bullet and bought ’em.  I was totally prepared to pay mucho dinero for them too but the two sports stores in the mall didn’t have them and said they didn’t carry them.  Boo!! At the second store the guy there said to try Sears.  I was about to call it a day though when I remembered that compression socks are used with people who have diabetes and other circulatory problems.  So I checked it out.  Sweet success.

Two pairs of compression socks for $7.96.  Holllleeerrrrr (I think I type that after everything haha).  And I didn’t pay an arm and a leg for it: I got 2 pairs for MUCH less than “official” compression socks.  Anyone have experience with them? How long do I leave them on? Sleep with them on? Wear them on errands? I’ve been hearing a lot about them in the blogging world which is what was the impetus for my trip last night.  With the miles piling high I want to be more active in how my body recovers.

You know what? I’m wearing one of the pairs now and it feels good.  Granted I can’t compare it to any name brand official pair because I’ve never worn compression socks before but it feels good regardless.  Hopefully it does *something* in helping my recovery in my legs. Not that I’ve been having a problem or anything but I do want my purchase to work for me.

Want to know what else feels good? Saving so much money on the socks that I went into Victoria Secret and blew the money saved there. Whoops. So much for a budget haha.

But back on topic.  Recovery has been on my mind a lot lately.  Namely because I’m not doing much of it. My legs have the past few runs been, well, slow.  I haven’t calculated up my miles and times for the past few weeks (hence no weekly recaps) but I feel that this past week my overall time was lower than the usual consistent pace I’ve averaged.   And if you’ve noticed I’ve “complained” about sluggyness and “running out of gas” in the past few posts. Nothing serious but I haven’t had a 100% springy run in about 4 or 5 days.

I will clarify that I’ve been recovery well between runs.  Lots of couch time with a big stack of good books to read. So I’ve decided to give the socks a try as well.  Combine that with the only physical activity I’m doing being running and eating and I think that I’ll be good.  And I’ve scheduled a few massages for break.  The woman who does my body work gives me a great deal and I am sooooo taking advantage.

Because I realized when I got up this morning that I am a mileage junkie.  Hardcore.  I knew this when I was planning my day around my run.  Ummmm I just completed an 80.6 mile week and I still wanted to go running today?! Yes. Hello, my name is MarathonMaiden and I am a run-aholic.

The weather, in DRASTIC contrast to yesterday, was bright and sunny.  I’m not sure that it was any warmer than yesterday (still in the mid-20s) but the sun made the biggest difference in the world.  I regretted wearing a long sleeve and capris! I was wearing tight fitting clothing so it didn’t weigh me down though despite being a bit on the warm side (and I wore the mittens today to and I think I’ve found a keeper.  Sure my hands were cold and bright red.  But red > white because it means I still had circulation!)

And despite what I said about feeling slow overall in the paragraphs above, today felt nothing like that.  I felt flying! So naturally that tempted me into going further than I planned.  About 6 extra miles more than I wanted for a total of…12 miles.  Yessiree the double digit streak is still going strong.  Kind of exciting.  It makes me giddy.

Not to much to actually write about the run itself.  Felt good (hence doubling it).  I had “the sun shinin’ on me like a big spotlight. So I know everything is going to be alright” (anyone? anyone?).  I was just in the zone where my thoughts flowed from one thing to the next and I thought about everything and nothing at the same time.  It was a very refreshing run.

Now I’m just back on the couch listening to music, about to dig into both my stack of books and some more food (gosh being a mileage junkie is going to take a toll on my food bill!).  Life is good 🙂 Except for the fact that I’m 2 episodes away from the season 4 finale of my Spanish show.  What am I going to do when I’m caught up?!

Also good?  Today is the Winter Solstice. Sure that mean that today is the shortest day of the year but after today the days get loooooooooonger.  Hollllleeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrr.

P.S. Keep those questions coming for my 20 questions! I’m still at about 12/13 so I need more! 🙂

November 17, 2009

Let the cutback week begin…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:29

Hmmmm yeah, so about that cut back I was talking about? Guess I’m not really running like it so far this week haha.

I really just couldn’t help myself this morning.  The weather was clear, I was up early enough to see the real sunrise during the run and things just felt right.  So I ended up with 10.3 miles.  Don’t judge 😉

I also was able to get a semi-restorative sleep last night which made me not angry to get up when my alarm went off. I still didn’t get much sleep but I think I woke up at the right point in the sleep cycle that it didn’t feel so bad.  I actually talked to my doctor yesterday about the sleep and she said that the best thing would be for me to stay up the entire night, entire next day then try to go to bed because it will restore my circadian rhythm.  I think I might try it over the weekend when I’m already staying up late.  Granted the catch is that I can’t let myself oversleep the next day.  Most likely not going to be a problem with me, but the point is to get on a good *cycle* not just get one night of lots of sleep.

In any case like I said, the weather was clear but cold, I think it was 31* when I left my room.  I was a bit worried I was going to underdress  and end up wayyy freezing because I was trying out a new running top I got for my birthday (from my awesome roomie — well she was the last roomie I had before I got my singles).

It’s a Nike DryFit top so it really isn’t designed (in my opinion) for the New England cold but it was actually not too bad for this morning though I guess it’s more of a base layer.  I definitely felt the cold but I liked the material against my skin which buffered it from being bitter cold and going numb. Again, even in shorts and this top the only thing that got cold was my hands.  I really need to find reliable gloves.  I had told her I was going to wear the top Sunday or Monday (like right after I got it) but it was just too warm those days for it.  Funny how this morning was almost too cold.  Oh New England in November.

So I think that part of the reason I ran so long this morning was because I felt so bamf and hot in it haha.  Another plus was that, because Tuesdays are crazy mornings, I don’t shower before heading to Spanish class with Hot-Spanish-TA so I got to wear it there and look good.

The run itself was pretty non-descript.  I mean, I knew going into the first mile that I was feeling good so I kept doing all the “additionals” first so that I wouldn’t mentally cop out of the full 10.3 I was itching to do.  I should have just done one of my longer routes but I love my typical Tuesday 6.3 loop so I had to do some creative loops to get those extra 4 miles.  The only problem was that doing stuff that’s 1-1.5 miles a couple times gets boring so once I hit those 4 “additional” stuff I was jacked to start the “real route”

The “real route” was going around the reservoir by my school and, even though the sun was already up by the time I started this, it was still beautiful.  Maybe that’s why I keep it as my Tuesday staple.  The fatigue / heaviness that I had been complaining about the past few days was gone, maybe another reason I went double digits.  My guess is that the Sunday fatigue was due to my longer-than-usual long run on Saturday and the Monday fatigue was Monday morning fatigue comme d’habitude (like usual, my brain is all muddled lately with all the languages I “speak”).

Definitely a plus and my pace was rockin’ for a 0600, 10.3 mile run.  Well maybe not rockin’ but compared to the past two days calculating the overall pace was amazing.  Maybe that’s what Monday runs are good for: a booster for a normal paced Tuesday run 🙂

Now sitting on a good run that lifted my spirits I have to try and get some work done.  The only thing pulling me through is the “Mesa de Espanol” later tonight.  Basically it’s going to be like the time two weeks ago where everyone there sits around and chats in Spanish (including Hot-Spanish-TA).  Only it might just be better this time because I’m dragging a friend with me so I’m not the only non-fluent-Spanish speaker there haha.

Enjoy your Tuesdays!!

October 23, 2009

Rest for the body, not for the mind

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:37

Rest day for this chica.  And good thing.  I am bloody exhausted!

I decided (very spontaneously) last night to go out with my friends to the local bar that all the seniors go to on Thursday nights.  I hadn’t been yet this semester (!) because I have three classes on Friday and always at least one of them had something important due or a big test. But today? Nada.  I mean, I had work to do but nothing major and (my exact words): “I can afford to be a little brain dead this Friday.  Who knows when it’ll happen again?”

And it was soooooo much fun.  Totally out of character for me to go but it was awesome just to cut loose and dance.  I’m definitely not a dancer — my “peeps” are Scandinavian, aka we don’t dance — but I was rockin’ out. Time just flew by and before I knew it, it was last call (which is pretty early but hey, it’s a college town in the middle of nowhere).  I ended up in bed by 0200 and asleep by 0300.  Definitely glad that I didn’t have to get up at 0600 for my run!

Another highlight of the night: Hot-Spanish-TA was there. And before anyone asks, I am too much of a middle school girl to do anything but stare.  Seriously.  I am lame.  But I know he saw and recognized me because we did smile and acknowledge each other. Eeeeeeeek! Hopefully this is progress. omgiamsolame.

Lame also because I have the feeling that I’m going to crash and burn tonight. Even though I didn’t get up to run, I still had 3 classes, the first being at 0930.  So I got about 5 hours of sleep.  My body likes 9.  Problem? Yes. So I will likely pass out wicked early unless I get a second wind, which you never know.

And lame because this is going to be a make-it-work weekend.  Lots and lots to do! But the stuff I have to do is important and interesting which makes it okay.  There’s absolutely nothing worse than busy work.

So, yeah, not much going on in my world today.  Which is fine by me.  Makes for a lame post.  (And, while bamf was the word of the day a while ago, it seems that lame is today’s.  And my favorite expression with lame? “Covered in lame sauce” which I tell my 11 year old sister that all the time, to which she just smirks and says that I am too haha!)

Just a random note (to imply that I’m not lame and because I noticed it this morning when getting dressed — although the fact that I was thinking about it may be lame haha): I am going through a period of dressing really really nicely.  I mean, I definitely do show up to class in my gym clothes (prolly more times than I’d like to admit) BUT the days where I have the time to shower in the morning and/or are not doing a second workout/jazz class in the afternoon, I’ve been wearing my super nice clothes.  Not, like, my nice professional clothes or anything but a step or two up from jeans and a t-shirt.  It may or may not have to do with the fact that I never know when I’m going to run into Hot-Spanish-TA but hey, whatever 🙂

Check out this link which I found on a thread on RWOL.  It creates anagrams of your name.  Most of them come out kind of dirty haha. Here’s mine (with my full name, first, middle & last): LL ‘N’ HORNY ‘N’ MY YANK. Heh.

And yet another installment of The Facts of Life:

21. Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

22. My brother’s Municipal League baseball team is named the Stepdads. Seeing as none of the guys on the team are actual stepdads, I inquired about the name. He explained, “Cuz we beat you, and you hate us.” Classy, bro.

23. Whenever someone says “I’m not book smart, but I’m street smart”, all I hear is “I’m not real smart, but I’m imaginary smart”.

24. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear what they said?

25. I love the sense of camaraderie when a n entire line of cars teams up to prevent a dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers! [Such a Masshole thing to do! haha]

21. Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

22. My brother’s Municipal League baseball team is named the Stepdads. Seeing as none of the guys on the team are actual stepdads, I inquired about the name. He explained, “Cuz we beat you, and you hate us.” Classy, bro.

23. Whenever someone says “I’m not book smart, but I’m street smart”, all I hear is “I’m not real smart, but I’m imaginary smart”.

24. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear what they said?

25. I love the sense of camaraderie when a n entire line of cars teams up to prevent a dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

October 17, 2009

Good Luck Lacey! and a great long run

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:33

First off: GOOD LUCK TMRW LACEY! I’m sending fast vibes your way as well as making an animal sacrifice or two to the weather gods so it’s NOT cold and rainy and bad out. I mean the weather ppl were wrong about today, n’est-ce pas?

Oh wow I am tired. I think I have a sleep hangover.  I saw Transformers 2 last night and my advice to you if youre thinking of seeing it: don’t.  Total waste of my time (luckily it was free so I didn’t waste any $$) but there was too much robot and not enough action.  I actually wanted to leave 30 minutes into it but my friend wanted to stay so I was there the whole time.  It put me in a slightly bad mood (and the fact that it’s 2.5 hours long didn’t help) which is too bad because another GREAT thing happened last night…

MAJOR HOT-SPANISH-TA SIGHTING. Last night there was a Latin Dance performance and I went to support my friend who, while not in the Hispanic dance group, was doing a piece to help out (she’s in the school’s Dance Co.).  And guess who was there? Well I already told you but Hot-Spanish-TA. AND he stood next to me / my group of friends for the entire performance.  Plus, just when I thought that my night was complete, some of my friends wanted to grab something to eat at the dining hall and guess who ended up getting there just after us? Yup, Hot-Spanish-TA (plus some other TAs he was with).  Word.  Not only was the night fun from all the stuff I was doing with my friend but I got to see Hot-Spanish-TA.  Too bad the movie was a complete buzz-kill.

Anyway, on to running as this is the reason I started the blog and why most of you prolly started reading it haha.  Another cold day in New England, about 36* when I woke up.  Since today was a planned long run, as opposed to all the longest runs I just do during the week haha, I chose to wait a bit before running and eat some breakfast first thing.  This gave me food in my belly and a chance for the weather to warm up a few degrees.  Since it was really sunny out the temperature would really matter *that* much but I’ll take whatever I can get!

Since I did an interval workout yesterday, I was hesitant to go long today but it was sunny (yet still in the 30s) when I left and tmrw is suppose to be rainy.  I try to avoid the rain whenever possible, so today was going to have to be the day. My legs were a little stiff getting out of bed but that may have to do with a little impromptu dancing last night haha.

Even though it was a bit chilly when I left, I knew that I would eventually warm up so I wore this baby (except with longsleeves):

I bet you could see me in a blizzard wearing this!

I bet you could see me in a blizzard wearing this!

and I was complemented by a couple of cyclists as well as hollered at by a few high school boys haha.  I’m glad I went with the long sleeves because the temperature DROPPED so much by the end of the run, or at least it felt that way (it’s about 47* now I think).

And my legs held up remarkably well the whole time.  I don’t really know what it is but my body loves long distances. I just feel like I’m warming up the first 6 miles or so then everything is ready to roll.  During my marathon this past spring, I felt amazing post mile 20 and both post 20 mile training runs AND the actual marathon I never felt real soreness.  Guess it’s no surprise that my planned 12 turned into 14.  Plus the extra miles also gave me a chance to run by Hot-Spanish-TA’s house.

The 14 miles were also much faster (like 30 sec per mile) than my *shorter* mid-week runs.  How crazy is that? Plus I’m 99.99% sure that miles 1-6 were creepy crawly, meaning that miles 7-14 were actually faster than the average pace. So I finished my run all pumped up and actually wanting to do more.  And I would have too, if my stomach wasn’t grumbling.  Now my legs are a wee bit sore again so I’ll  *gasp* stretch them out and maybe use The Stick (haven’t done that in a while).

But I’m still happy because the run just lifted me up.  I wasn’t necessarily in a bad mood per-se beforehand but there’s just something about a good fast long run that just buoys you (or maybe it’s just me).  I’m for once not dreading the to-do list I’ve been staring at for the past hour or two haha.

Enjoy your Saturdays y’all and GOOD LUCK (again) LACEY 🙂

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