MarathonMaiden's Blog

May 25, 2011

It’s All Coming Back to Me Nowwwwwwwwwwwww

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:41

Don’t lie: you love this song and Celine.

At least it’s coming back to my legs.

Maybe I want to call it kick? Maybe spark?

Either way I’ve noticed that my afternoon sessions of my doubles give me faith that I’m not a slug. Because that’s what I feel like during my pre-work runs lately. As evidenced today when I ran 8 miles pre-0700 at a slow yet steady and comfortable pace and then followed it up with 5 miles post-work at a comparable effort level but easily 45 seconds faster per mile than this morning.

Maybe it’s a factor of the fact that I’m still under stress and having no real appetite leading to fatigue in the early morning hours (vs afternoon runs where I have two meals and two snacks in my system, even if they aren’t the most substantial)

Or maybe it’s a factor of my mind and body being awake in the afternoon. I’m quite positive neither are at 0530, although this morning the sun was actually out before my alarm went off and I woke up with a START because my room was soooo bright that I thought I had overslept.

FINALLY (thanks google images)

Either way I thoroughly enjoy my typical M/W/F double of ~6-8 in the morning with ~4-5 post-work.

You’re probably saying to yourself “well then why don’t you just run all of your miles during the afternoon?” Well lots of it has to do with timing.  I just started doing this double thing (while holding down a “real job”) recently and it coincided with my roomie being done with the semester/classes.  And we’ve decided to start having dinner together on the days I’m not at clinic late.  We settled on an 1800 time and, provided I can get out of work at 1600-1630, I have just enough time to get home, change, run and shower.

Plus I feel badass doing doubles.  And I really don’t want to give up my early morning runs.  Even though I don’t get to see the actual sunrise (something I really enjoy but  it’s so early now!) there’s something really peaceful running that early.  Especially when I run one of the typically bustling-with-college/grad-students streets at 0600. Because it’s EMPTY. I don’t want to give it up. I also have “friends” that I regularly see on my boulevard pathway.

The temps in the morning don’t hurt either (this morning was ~60* at 0530 although it was 75* at 1630) and the fact that there’s very little traffic so I don’t have to wait at lights which is convenient.

That’s not to say that I’ve been doing doubles everyday.  It’s really hard for me to get up early on the weekends so it’s typically all afternoon miles and on T/R I work until 21-2200 and it’s all morning.  But I go back and forth with morning vs afternoon running and which I like better.  I guess the nice thing about running (and the doubles) is that I really don’t have to choose.

I think I’ve written about different time frames of running before (so I apologize if you’re feeling some deja-vu) and this post is mostly just word vomit of some thoughts that struck me on my run this afternoon. And I ran with it.  Pun totally intended.

On a totally unrelated note: I think I want to be T.Swift when I grow up.  For real.

October 30, 2010

Another Confidence Boosting Workout.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:56

Surprisingly my legs felt pretty good after Thursday’s 20.3 miles.

I mean, my quads were a bit sore and my recovery run Friday morning was very slow, but all things considered I was up and moving and still agile. Although I may have to re-think going long on a work day, especially a clinic day, because I don’t think I ate enough Thursday night to compensate. Normally I’m not too hungry on long run days but at least on the weekends I can make myself small snacks. On a busy work day? Not so much. Bummer because I like being all hardcore and saying “I ran 20 before coming in today” hahah

I ended up doing a double on Friday, however, as part of the recovery of the long run.  According to my peeps over at RWOL in the Marathon Dailies, doubles are not only a good way to get the mile in (as if I needed help with that!) but “but also gets the blood flowing twice during the day thus speeding recovery”. So when the guy I’ve been running with texted asking if I was up for some easy miles after I got out of work I gladly said yes. Which I’m glad I did because my run post work was the same effort level but was ~60 seconds per minute FASTER than my early bird one.  Mental boost that my body is in shape and can bounce back from hard efforts.

Good thing because Saturday = Interval Day.

I was originally going to do some mile repeats but after reading what Jess did on Friday for her speed work I decided to copy her and do longer intervals.  Yet again, because I’m 99.99% sure I did the same thing last week with my Yasso workout.  She did 2 X 2 miles but she’s training for a half and suggested to me to do 2 X 3 miles for my marathon training. And according to another friend over at RW (who has a blog too: The Puerto Rican Kenyan):

I LOVE that type of workout [ 2 X 2 miles or 2 X 3 miles] for someone getting ready for either a HM or a full marathon. I fall along the camp that those running longer distances (HM and full) are best served by running longer intervals and threshold runs at HMP and MP, especially as you get closer to race day. By zeroing in a goal pace as the race approaches, you train your body to become more efficient at running at that pace. But since it doesn’t take a lot of time to accomplish that, these types of workouts are best done later in the training cycle rather than earlier. NACN

And with 35 (36?) days to go I figured it was good to give my body that type of training. BTW: Half marathon pace is currently 7:10 and GMP is 7:34 for the 3:18:08 time that McMillian thinks I can do.

I also mapped the “mile” route I did and it was .95mi.  Bummer, so it ended up being 2 X 2.85 (and all times below are PACES not what I saw on my watch.)

How’d it go?

  1. 6:45 : The time on my watch said 6:25 and I said “holy #$@%”. I always go out too fast! And even though the actual pace is slower, it still was my fastest repeat
  2. 7:03 : Yup.  I destroyed the chances of goodness
  3. 6:52: Maybe not

MILE RECOVERY: 8:48

  1. 6:52: Wow I wish I hadn’t taken that recovery mile. Hard to get back into fast!
  2. 6:54: Nooooooooooooo, I have one more?!
  3. 6:48: Holy $%$#.  (There were lots of curse words during this mile.  By this point the lactic acid was in full effect)

So I think it went well but it was hard! Like way hard.  By the end my legs were hurting from the effort.  Not pain but fatigue.

My average for the first “3” miles was VERY inconsistent but I kind of locked into a more steady pace for the second “3”.  It makes me a little nervous that the first set was bouncing around with the times but the paces were all around what McMillian calls my “tempo interval” pace (which based on my half time is 6:47-7:01) which is what this workout essentially was.

Confidence boosting? Yes and no. I do secretly (well I guess it’s not a secret if I’m blogging about it now) wish that the paces had been faster.  Even though I knew that the distance was likely off by a little and would affect the paces I was liking the fast numbers. And, in the end, the paces were faster than the HMP or GMP that I was thinking to be appropriate. So the paces weren’t half bad.

Gaaaah. I’m actually REALLY annoyed that the distance was off and am having a hard time getting over it.  I should have gone to the track, but in the end it’s best I didn’t.  Races (at least the ones I run in) aren’t on the track and it’s good for me to do fast stuff on rolling hills. But oh well that’s what I get for not having a garmin. I was going to ask for one for Christmas butttttt  I kind of want the airfare for WR more hahah.

I also took my VERY FIRST ICE BATH.  LIES.  My legs were tired and hurting after the workout so I knew that it was time to take the plunge.  And when I was half way to the store to buy ice I decided that I really didn’t want to do it anymore. So I walked back to my apartment and took a hot shower.

And, because I love Halloween (and celebrated with a costume dance party last night. Maybe that’s why the workout was hard? Hahah! Stay tuned for a few pictures of that as well as the Halloween cookies I made) here’s a theme picture. Because, who doesn’t like themes?! And pictures?

Thanks failblog, SODA DISPLAY WIN

 

First: GOOD LUCK RACERS. Go get ‘em!

As for me I did a lover-ly interval session.  I copied runjess’s workout from yesterday but used her suggestion of doing 2 X 3 miles.  It went well and it was hard! Like way hard.  I was likely going too fast.  And I just mapped the “mile” route I did and it was .95mi.  Bummer, so it ended up being 2 X 2.85. Annoying but then in means that my pace was a few seconds slower than I thought. My average for the first “3” miles was VERY inconsistent but I kind of locked into a more steady pace for the second “3”.

I’m actually REALLY annoyed that the distance was off.  Oh well that’s what I get for not having a garmin. I was going to ask for one for Christmas butttttt  I kind of want the airfare for WR more hahah

June 10, 2010

Three Things Thursday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:09

Or really four because, sorry Erika, the number 3 (as well as all even oops I meant *odd*! — thanks Chelsea! numbers) bugs me. A lot.

So I don’t know who started this (or even if in the internet age we can attribute it to only one person) BUT since I’m so swamped I can’t write an original, mind blowing and creative post I decided to steal this idea as a template 🙂

  • Studying is taking over my life.  I HATE that I can’t blog or comment on yours as much as I used to. And I hate that after going out last weekend I realized that going out is a biiiiiiiiiig no-no.   I need the time to study.  But the plus side is that I really feel like I’m grasping concepts in the way that the MCAT needs me to.  Note: I didn’t say grasping concepts as a whole.  That’s because I do already know this stuff (I mean I took year long classes on it!) but I need to reteach my brain how to think like an MCAT person or even teach my brain to study.  Because I do not know how.  But my brain *hurts* at the end of the day and I feel productive.  Which is nice 🙂
  • I’m 99.99% sure I have a place to live next year for my job! My roommate (god bless her for doing all the apartment searching work!) found a killer place and after some drama with a third roommate dropping out and then scrambling to find another because the place was TOO GOOD to pass up, we probably have plans.  Which is exciting.  So keep your fingers crossed for us!
  • Strawberries are soooooooooooooooo good. Like X good. Yesterday I ate an entire quart with my lunch and today I did the same.  Thank god that my mom works at a farm stand and we can pick our own.  And since they’re from a farm stand they aren’t the genetically-modified-to-be-as-big-as-my-head.  They’re nice and small and I eat too many for it to be a good thing for my wallet.
  • Running is  cyclical.  I knew it was going to bite me in the butt after writing so much about how running was kicking ass.  I know that I’m not crashing or burning or anything like that (and even my pace is still faster than what I’d consider normal and it’s so much fun to see how naturally fast I can go in the second session).  But the feeling of the stars aligning is gone and I’m back to being mere mortal.  Bummer.

So that’s all I got for you! Hope everyone is having a great Thursday.  Mine has been studying so far (I’m being so “bad for blogging right now haha) but I’m going to get a quasi-long run in before my MCAT course tonight.  So no double. It’s funny how much I’ve been looking forward to them!

June 7, 2010

How [Double] Running Can Rock: Low(er) Mileage, Shorter Runs & Sleep

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:00

If you didn’t catch the first few pieces of “How Running Can Rock” I talked about: double runs, carbs and no/low stress.

I have some other idea of why my running (and running in general) can be all happy but they aren’t really anything scientific or something I can really elaborate on. And it just occurred to me how self-serving this post series is.  Like, I’m going to just shout from the rooftops how awesome I am.  Oh well I guess I like bragging 🙂

So in bullet form…

  • Low mileage.  WHOA did I just say low mileage? Yes. And why? Because, if there’s one thing I learned in physics it’s that everything is relative. My mileage right now, while still in the 60s and nearing 70, is nowhere near the level I was at during marathon training.  AKA I’m no longer logging 100 mile weeks.  My legs like that.
  • Optimal mileage. I’m not saying that 70 miles is what you need to do in order to run well.  Au contraire.  For lots of people this may be too much and will lead to injury.  To others it may not be enough.  It’s all about finding the *key mileage* that works for you.  Granted I do have lots of “free time” (or put better: unscheduled time) so I can put in my best mileage and I’m usually just sitting around all day save for my runs.  If you were working, say, a construction job, maybe less miles is for you because your legs will be tuckered out from the physical work of the job.

Again, it’s all relative.

Something else that’s all relative?

  • The length of each individual run.  I’ve been doing several shorter runs over the course of the day and there’s no longer that barrier of mega runs.  Don’t get me wrong: I never really dreaded doing that double digit streak or anything but there’s something daunting about knowing you’ll be out running for 2 hours straight of running.  And that can wear you down mentally (and likely create stress in life).  Not the case with shorter runs and I’ve often found that 30-45 or even 60 minute runs just fly by so fast.
  • Not taking 329423947983274 miles to feel warmed up.  It’s a double edge sword though because I’ve built up that “tolerance” to the endorphins so often after a 4 miler I don’t feel like I’ve done much but I’m slowly getting my body used to running shorter stuff, I’m already cutting back from the typical 3 miles of warm up to 1 or 2.
  • Sleep.  Since graduating I’ve been sleeping really well.  I think this goes hand-in-hand with low stress / not having to be at a specific place at a specific time.  Sleep is really important too as I’ve written about before and I’ve been working my way out of a sleep debt.  And I don’t think it’s any surprise that sleeping well will lead to better running as it clearly leads to better everything.  (If you didn’t want to click that link sleep = Growth Hormone = repairing muscles)

Anyway those are just some odds and ends that are sort of “duh” statements.  At least I think they are.

And they are all true.  Not exactly a trifecta (because obviously there were more) but each one has contributed lots to my running.  Which has taken up all my “free time” aka when I’m not studying / working on my application.

As proof of such I offer up this past week 31-May to 6-June:

  • 16 different runs (5 doubles, 2 triples.  Minimum distance run: 3.2, Maximum: 8.6)
  • 92.3 miles
  • 8:43 average pace

So first off.  HolyMileage!! As soon as I saw that number when I ran the numbers I immediately freaked out.  I mean, running that much is good and fun but….way too excessive for me right now.  After I calmed down a bit (and yes regained the pride of “Hell Yeah I did that during a crazy busy week”) I freaked out over the pace.  But this time in a good way.  In the time that I’ve been recording my runs and data (just about a year now) I have NEVER had an average pace be that fast when

  1. There was no formal speedwork involved. I did have a run in there that might have been pushed just because of time constriction but there was no plan this week to do anything
  2. My mileage was that high.

I think the only other week close to that was my marathon day week when – duh – I was racing

So I’m pumped on that front.  Don’t worry though, after seeing that many miles I’m cutting back.  Which will be good because then I can dedicate more, yes MORE, time to studying (going full throttle even though I have a long way to go) and essay writing (a big huge THANKS to those of you who have read / are reading my essay).

But interestingly enough my body doesn’t feel like it ran 90 miles.  It really doesn’t.  No aches or pains or shin problems (bladder problems are a different story though 😉 )

And thanks for all the congrats on my job.  I’m really excited about it! I’ve been trying to keep it under wraps and downplay it a bit but…yeah I’m wicked stoked.  It’s not really a “real” job though: I joined the AmeriCorps VISTA program.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the program, it’s like the Peace Corps except for the USA.  The goal is to eradicate poverty.

Which means that I’m taking on a year of service.  At the federal poverty level a very modest income.  I don’t want to share too many details (I know that if someone wants to find out who I am, where I live etc they will do so but I’m not making it easy for them! Plus I don’t really know what I can and can’t say) but I’m working as an IT Development Coordinator at a clinic for patients who do not have any health care.  It’s pretty cool and even though I’m the IT person, I was talking to the current VISTA in the position and she was saying that it’s not heavy tech stuff.  Which is good because I don’t have much tech skillz.  She was also saying that I probably will have more doctor/patient interaction than the position I had initially applied for.  Which is awesome.

Another awesome thing? The fact that I get to go to a Pre-Service Orientation in Philly in mid-July.  That’s pretty awesome but even more awesome? The government is footing 100% of the cost.  Sweet.

Not so awesome? All the paperwork I have to fill out.  Which I should be doing now.  Or studying.  Or something rather than procrastinating 😉

Check out this giveaway from Sarah (The SHU Box)

June 6, 2010

How [Double] Running Can Rock: No Stress & Good Moods

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 10:00

So in this installment of How Running Can Rock I want to talk about stress level (if you missed it here’s the one about double running and here’s the one about refueling/carbohydrates and how each is helping me run fast).  Clearly there isn’t much we can do about certain kinds of stress, like our bosses yelling and screaming or the amount of homework professors drop on you (although luckily there will be no more of that for me.  I’m a graduate 😛 )

And I know that many of you use running as stress relief (I DEFINITELY do) but I’m writing these posts about when all the stars align and running is just on. And sometimes you can do all things right of your control (refuel, hydrate adequately, rest) but sometimes you just need a period of good old fashioned NO STRESS.

Courtesy of Google Images

Or should I say, low stress.  You see, stress is actually GOOD for the body.  In terms of physical stress, our bones are kept healthy by our pavement pounding, mechanical stress that creates new bone and gets rid of old bone.  And certain chemical stresses (hormones) keep our body functioning properly. Even slight colds putting stress on the body are good because they keep the immune system on their toes (and I think this is what vaccinations do as well).

Mental stress is good in some capacity too.  I’m not talking about debilitating paralyzing stress.  You know, the kind that makes you want to curl up into a ball and cry (not that I know anything about that…) but rather stress that keeps you driven.  If we didn’t have deadlines to meet how would we get anything accomplished? How could we feel proud that we did something and met a goal?

For me, this means being focused.  During the semester, I was running well but I wasn’t running *well*.  Now I’m not quite sure if you can tell over the internet but those two “wells” have different meanings.  Before the semester was over nothing was wrong per se with my running: my paces were good, my body wasn’t hurting etc. I was running solely to burn off my stress.  Which was good and did what it intended too.  But there was no real passion.  No overjoyousness to get out there on the streets and GO.

Ever since the semester ended I’ve been pretty even keeled so running doesn’t need to be my therapy. Yes it still does help me mull over ideas but with no pressure there’s no worries.  I’m a graduate, I have a job (!! I know I haven’t said anything about this but one of the places I interviewed during senior week rejected me for the position I interviewed for but offered me a different one.  And after weighing my options, because I was offered another position too, I decided to take it) and I’m prepping for the MCAT as well as applying to medical school.

Life seems to be moving forward and chugging along quite nicely.

And yes you read that right: prepping for the MCAT is keeping me even-keeled.  But hear me out: with this test I am not at the mercy of a rigid class schedule per se.  I do have my T-R 1830-2130 class but for actual studying I can create my ideal schedule.  Plus what I’m doing right now have a *purpose*.  I’m doing something that really is getting me on the path to Med School.  And that’s exciting. To respond to Jess who, in jest, said “MSB is studying for his first board exam and it’s more like 10-12 hours a day! I hope you know what you’re getting yourself into;)” I say Bring. It. On.

There’s something markedly different in doing something that is your passion vs. doing something because you have too (ahem some of my classes).  I liken it to running vs. lifting for me.  Running clearly is my passion and I LOVE getting out there (well most of the time heh) so even during the Monster Month I didn’t mind putting in the work.  I knew that it was going to get me to my goal of Boston.  But lifting? I knew it was good for me sure but I wasn’t excited to hit the gym all the time.

Another component of the good mood / no stress lifestyle is the weather.

Google Images again

Clearly this is something else we can’t control.  I know that when the sun is out no matter what I’m doing, even stuck in a lab, life is good.  Rainy days just kill motivation.  I’d be interested to see depression studies, if any have been done, comparing people in the Pacific North West and SoCal.  (And I’m NOT saying that PNW has more depressed people or anything just that the image associated there is rain and rain and rain). So I’m lucky that lately these double runs have come on a good stretch of weather.

Okay so what exactly is the point of this and my double running? Well clearly low stress / focused stress = good mood = want to run more.  And sunny skies = good mood = want to run more.  So good moods help with running.  Which is a good thing when you’re lacing up the shoes twice a day.

Now some may say that ANGRY running makes them run fast and well.  Which I agree with to a degree.  I’m not going to go research any studies but, anecdotally, I can say that while my angry runs are fast they tend to blow over fast too.  Like running gets rid of the anger so then the fastness wanes because I’m no longer angry and often, no longer have a desire to go for more.  I could also see running under the influence of anger to be slightly dangerous as there’s the potential to not pay attention to things around and within you (distractions, going out too hard and hurting yourself etc.)

Running will NEVER get rid of happiness so when I start off in a good mood  I’m likely to stay “high” and want to do more.

Unlike the carbohydrate post I posted, this aspect of how double running can rock is more about when the stars align.  Yes there are things that can be done to achieve a low stress / balanced mindset but the best running, for me, comes from a genuine woke-up-on-the-right-side-of-the-bed feeling. I can’t guarantee that the weather is going to be so nice and sunny and warm forever.  I can’t guarantee that my life is only going to have one focus like it does at the moment (aka Operation Get Into Medical School).

June 2, 2010

How Running Can Rock: Doubles

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:17

Yay for today: National Running Day.  Yes that is today.  June 2nd.  I’m actually surprised I remembered given how I’m trying to limit my internet / blogging / fb/ anything but MCAT/essay time.  But I remembered and did a double today (duh) to celebrate.  Well I’d be doing a double anyway.

So I said in a previous post that I wanted to go into the factors that I believed to be clutch in my running so well (case in point: today’s first run was at 8:42 pace and the second one was at 8:45 which I’m still wrapping my mind around how they feel slow but clearly aren’t).  And I’ve drafted some other posts to go up later this week / weekend (because I have no concept of days so if you take reading blogs hiatuses over the weekend you’re going to miss out 😉 )but I think the crux of this is the double.  Sure, I’m confident that I’d be running well if I wasn’t doing doubles (and I think I was during Senior Week) but I’m starting to really get into them.

Which I think it’s apropos to give you a little background, not JUST on why I do doubles but why people in general should do doubles particularly if you are in training for something.  Maybe not the majority of days of the week but every once in a while.

Physically:

  • Ability to get more miles in.  I think this comes down to basic energy math: is it easier to do one 20 miler or two 10 milers with 4+ hours to recover? Of course if you’re in marathon training the 20 miler has it’s own benefits but running doubles is a great way to overall increase your mileage while not beating up your body too much. As long as you take sufficient steps to recover from each workout.  Ideally you should wait at least 4 hours before going out for run #2 and I would imagine that 6-8 hours (say before and after work?) would be perfect for many people.
  • Higher cardiovascular endurance and running economy.  I think of doubles in terms of intervals.  I know that each run isn’t like each individual interval but rather the overall arch is the same: you run, recovery, run again, recover.  Like intervals, doubles are letting you use less energy to run fast as your body gets more fit.
  • If you have a hard session in the AM, you can use the PM one to shake out the legs. Conversely if you have a hard PM session you can use the AM one to loosen up your legs.
  • This goes hand-in-hand with mentality but it’s great as a release for pent up energy.  There’s a reason they used to give kids in elementary school 2 recesses a day.

Mentally:

  • Easier to mentally handle said higher mileage.  Back to the example of 1X20 or 2X10.  I think that only having to do 10 (or 5 or whatever) at once is easier to wrap your mind around.  Of course, sometimes motivation to get out and do that second run wanes a bit when you know that you’ve already run but…
  • Double post-run high.  If you run twice then you get that mood enhancer twice.
  • Breaks up the day.  For me, my body itches to get moving after a marathon like study session so it’s easier for me to do what I’ve been doing: study-run-study-run-essay.  I’m able to focus better after getting my pent up energy out and clear the mind of the stress that has accrued.

Where to begin?

To start:

  1. Be running 5-6 days a week already and be able to complete 40 minutes minimum a day and 60+ for your long run.
  2. Add a double workout on an every other day basis and NOT on a hard quality (ie speedwork) day.
  3. The double run only has to be 20 minutes if it’s what you have to start with.  You can still derive benefits from this! The idea in the first few doubles / weeks is to get your mind and body around two workouts.  Ideally you can work up to 40ish minutes but slowly building up is the way to go.
  4. In order to NOT injure yourself the other “regular” run of the day should be ~10-20 minutes shorter initially and like I mentioned above wait 4+ hours between workouts.
  5. In the recovery time make sure to refuel with a mix of carbs, fats and protein.  (More on that later when I start posting that post in the series)

What to avoid / be careful of?

  • Too much too soon.  As with anything you should ease into it using the tips above.
  • Any disturbances in eating / sleeping / mood patterns.  Remember that doubles are suppose to be a BENEFIT.  And if you start to sleep funny or lose your appetite or get cranky and irritable over small things then maybe it’s time to back off because it sounds like overtraining.
  • Injuries.  Any increase in activity increases your risk of injury so running twice in one day definitely does.  Again, ease into it and be prepared to ice, stretch and recover well to avoid getting hurt.  And as soon as you notice something physically isn’t right then back off and move into doubles slower.

So those are the benefits of running doubles.  Now you can be all BAMF and hardcore when you say that you ran twice 🙂

And here are some random musings.  Mostly thought of during my runs today.

  • How many cops does it take to supervise paving a road that is, at most, a half mile long as well as NOT a main road?  Well if you guessed 7 then you’re right.  3 at one end of the road to stop cars from driving down.  2 with the construction vehicles.  2 more at the other end of the road.
  • But freshly paved road is soooo nice to run on because it is sooooo soft.  It felt amazing.  And no Mr. Cop #4 I do not want to hop on the sidewalk. Oh wait this area is so freshly paved that it’s actually hot? Okay then.  You win
  • I have semi-retracted my Obama cursing over the Restore America’s Roadways after running on said freshly paved road.
  • Is mapmyrun really accurate? I’m running really really fast.  But I used the same sight when at school and it seemed pretty accurate.  And my hometown is even hillier than school.
  • Little girl: if I’m running on the grass next to the sidewalk and you are biking on the sidewalk then clearly we are NOT in each other’s ways.  Therefore you do not need to pull into the grass and collide with me.  I know you mother probably told you it’s polite to maneuver out of people’s ways but this was not the case and you did, in fact, get in my way.
  • Middle school girls: please do not feel shy to say hi to me while we are all out running. I know that I’m tall and BAMF but I LOVE that you are out running.  Let’s be friends.
  • I know I’m beautiful.  You do not need to tell me that Boy In Jeep.

I’ve also been using my runs as a way to flush out my ideas for my personal statement (Thanks Ada for all your help!) as well as hammer out troublesome concepts for the MCAT but I’m sure you guys don’t *really* care about the periodic trends, electron configurations or inclined planes that are not frictionless.

So I’m off to go put some of those more productive thoughts into action.  Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday!

Check out the giveaway from Sam @ peaveloverun

June 1, 2010

Monthly Recap: May 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:41

First off: Wow. I’m so glad that you guys are viewing my study running breaks as a good thing and something that we all use to keep our sanity after a long day sitting down! Thanks for the positive vibes too. They are definitely appreciated.  You guys are the bestest 🙂

So I know that yesterday I said that I was going to do a “How Double Running Can Rock” series.  And I’ve actually drafted two of them already (of the power of procrastination ha) but I wanted to get this up before I forgot and since yesterday was the last day of May…it’s apropos.

May was definitely a….well let’s just say an interesting month.  I finally was able to jump back into running.  And I did, full throttle.  If you remember the end of April was me getting my IV out and just prior to that was Boston.  So April was on the low side with running.  Let’s just say I was chomping at the bit and ready to hit May hard. Not as hard as March when I ran 400+ miles but still hard nonetheless.

May also wanted to hit pretty hard back: not only was it the wrapping up of a school year but the wrapping up of my UNDERGRADUATE career.  Scary.  So I was pretty busy in my non-running life, especially the first half when all my senior projects and presentations were.

But when does running not happen? Yeah yeah besides scary infections and shin splints 😉

Luckily May didn’t have any of that for me so here’s a week by week glance at the fifth month of the year (and seriously?! How have 5 months gone by already?!)

Week of May 3-9

  • 56 miles
  • 8 hours 18 minutes 8 seconds
  • 8:55 average pace
  • 4X Core, 1X Lifting, 2X XT

First full week of running not only post-infection but post-Boston.  Needless to say I’m not a fan of the slow and steady thing? 10% rule what? I do have some notes in my log book saying that the legs were a bit tight but I think that’s more so because I reintroduced lifting this week and I have a complete disregard for stretching. The pacing was spot on too and I think that’s due to huge recovery period post-marathon and ~50% reduction in peak training miles.

Week of May 10-16

  • 67.3 miles
  • 10 hours 4 minutes 45 seconds
  • 8:59 average pace
  • 3X Core, 1X Lifting, 1X circuit, 0 XT

Whew a close one with that pace 😉  Finals were this week which, for a lot of students, is a huge time suck and stressor.  Not so much for me and I was able to get some quality runs in.  And by quality I mean feel really good about the runs quality.  Still no speedwork here, too soon post-Boston it had only been 3 weeks.

Week of May 17-23

  • 71 miles
  • 10 hours 43 minutes 15 seconds
  • 9:04 average pace
  • 3X Core, 2X Lifting, 0 XT
  • 1 double day

Senior Week! Very much relaxed (except for packing up my life) and trying to be on cruise control for the week.  Lots of good-bye runs this week too so I was pretty nostalgic.  I was also sick at the beginning of the week with some type of flu-like illness (oh immune system, can you please behave? haha) but I bounced back.  On Sunday, the first full day at home was also the first day of doubles that I had been talking about lately and it was a good two runs, both very strong and a good way to round out the week although I wish that I had been able to lower the average pace a bit.

Week of May 24-30

  • 72.9 miles
  • 10 hours 35 minutes 26 seconds
  • 8:47 average pace
  • 3X Core, 2X Lifting, 1X XT
  • 4 double days running, 1 double day of lifting/running

Wow.  Huge mileage and a fast pace.  I think this week was the first true no-obligations week I’d had in a very long while.  I’m not on my third (but really fourth) floor room and my legs, while running more, are overall more rested. Lots of doubles here and clearly they added up more than I thought they did but the leg-os aren’t hurting or sore.  If anything something is happening right because my pace was WICKED low for a weekly average for me.

May totals

  • 286.6 miles
  • 42 hours 40 minutes 49 seconds
  • 8:56 average pace

I think I talked enough about my running this month in the preceding paragraphs so just one note: the pace.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a month (at least while I’ve been consciously tracking things like monthly data) where I had an average pace under 9 minutes.  Woot! I think I’m prouder of that than my 400+ month of March!

And before I dredge back into MCAT/essay land I want to share a story of my second run on Memorial Day. In true MM fashion it’s long and not about me but I felt it worthy to share and am sticking it at the end of the post so those of you who roll your eyes at the length of my posts can stop if need be 😉

I ran it with my sister, K4 (I’m the oldest of 6 and all our names begin with K so we’ve been assigned numbers haha).  I was really unsure of whether or not I wanted to “bring her along”.  Sure she’s an athlete and actually ran XC last fall…but her schtick is Throwing.  And she told me that her best XC race was ~28 minutes for a 5k.  Which is slower than I wanted to go.

I told her that we’d do a tempo kind of thing for her.  My distance was 4 but we could go at “tempo” (for her) for ~1.3 miles then she could turn around and recover while I ran to the halfway point and then catch up with her pacing her back in.  She was down for it, I think that I was still unsure if she could keep up.  I figured that even if I went at a 9 pace it would be pushing it for her.  And a note about my family: we rarely complain about things like pushed paces.  Sure I may complain, bitch & moan about an eyelash in my eye but I will push through anything physical and the same goes for K4.

That said, at ~Mile 1 she stopped short.  I told her that if she was going to throw up she better do it away from me.  That got me a laugh as well as a dirty look but after a second of catching her breath we were off again.  We hit the ~1.3 miles at (calculated later)…8:46 pace!!  Here she turned around and walked a bit and I’m assuming at some point she started jogging because when I caught up to her she was much further than I thought she would be.

When she saw me I think a part of her died buttttt I told her that the goal was just to not stop running for the ~3/4 mile we had left.  And she did it.  She had a really bad stitch-in-side but she did it.  I am soooooo proud of her for being so damn tenacious and determined.  I think that, even though she considers throwing her thing, she could have a strong XC season if she wants it and decides to do it again.  She’s not that big into running, definitely not a passion of hers,  but she could own it if she sets her sights on it.  Maybe not *winning* but I think she could be strong and SMASH her PR and expectations.

So that’s the story.  About my sister. I’m hoping that we get to run more together this summer 😀

March 8, 2010

Technically a Double Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:21

So I totally now believe in SAD: season affective disorder.  I used to think people who complained of it were just B.S.ing me.  BUT you know that funk I complained about for days on end last week? Well it’s not gone (still too much crap going on in my personal life) but my mood is improving.  And I think it’s because of the weather.

The past 3 days have all had highs in the 50s(!!!!!) and today hit 60*.  It’s been sunny and warm and amazing.  It just makes me breathe easier and make me a bit more able to cope with life stuff.  It’s glorious. And tempting to run a lot.  Which is what I did today.

My morning started by me being woken up by the sun (yes I rise with the sun literally) around 0630 and laying in bed for an extra 15 minutes. Mind you: I didn’t hit the sheets until midnight and probably took about an hour to actually fall asleep. My alarm wasn’t set until 0715 (well really 0714 heh) but I figured that I could use the extra time to stretch my calf (soooo tight) as well as my shin and do some shin exercises.

By the time I hit the streets I figured that after my huge mileage week it was a good thing that I was 20 minutes ahead of schedule because I’d likely need those minutes for my run in order to make it to class on time haha.  For some reason this wasn’t the case: my run felt great and I ran it close to 30 seconds FASTER than a typical Monday run: clocking in at 9:22 average! I know for some of you that’s creepy-crawly-might-as-well-be-walking pace but it’s perfect for my Monday run.

I think part of what helped was that I don’t look at my watch at all during the run (since I’m so numbers obsessed I do need to look at it afterward at some point to get the data).  And while the first loop felt dreadfully slow I could feel myself naturally pick up the pace the second half which is ALWAYS a pleasant feeling.

So just to make it clear: up earlier than normal, running faster than normal.  This should equal plenty of time before my class.  And if you think this you’d be correct: I finished up everything about 25 minutes earlier than normal.  Upon starting my computer, however, I discovered that my class had been canceled.  D’oh!

Oh well, it was an amazing run.  The weather just uplifted me and put me in a good mood.  Plus I got to relax a bit when catching up on blogs/email/RW.  And then I got to use that class time to work on Quantum.  Not really fun per se but necessary.

Flash forward to my lifting session around noon time.  First off, I think that there was a memo sent around telling all the males who were going to be in the weight room to wear a combo of red and black.  Apparently I also read this memo because I was looking all hot and seksi in my red short-shorts and black top.  Hahah wish I had taken a picture!

The lifting itself was un-remarkable mostly because, upon the sound advice of you guys, I’ve decided to just try and maintain my strength in the time coming up to the race.  For me this means not changing up my routine because I don’t want to do anything that will compromise a run by being wicked sore.  Sure I’ll get all sore from a running routine and be okay with it but I don’t really want that from lifting. Especially since the day after lifting is a quality run.

Okay…so here’s the deal: after lifting I said to myself that I wanted to go outside for my warm down.  Which I’ve done before. No problem.  Well actually there is a problem: the weather.  I stepped outside and was like, okay I can go a bit longer than a normal warm down just keep the pace in check.  Because shorts and a t-shirt (yes still the gloves though. Likely until June haha) is such a rare occurrence in early March.

Pace in check? I’m feel SO DAMN GOOD.  Seriously.  My pace was SUB-9!! What?! For a warm down?! I saw this after about 3.5 miles and thought “what the hell? This isn’t a warm-down! This is a second run!” And since for me a run is <4 miles I went 4.3 miles at 8:52 pace (I also told myself that if I hit sub-9s for the whole thing I would count it as a run, got to keep my mind happy with numbers and stats ahaha). I wanted to go more but was under time-constraints and I was really pushing it with the amount I went. But…

It. Felt. Amazing. I was smiling the whole damn run and it just felt soooooooooooo awesome. It felt like SPRING IS HERE. And with T-6 weeks ’til Boston I also thought about how perfect it would be if the weather was like this on race day.  I realize that I live in New England and winter ain’t over until, oh say, July hahah.

And so far I’m feeling pretty good in the aftermath.  No shin “pain” (although I did ice down afterward), no aches that shouldn’t be there.  No indication that I ran a total of about 17 miles. Except that I’m pretty darn hungry heh.  A lot of you commented that you’d like to see a “How MM eats” type of thing.  I’ve done some stuff with that but more in regards to pre, during and post – run stuff.  I’d be happy to try and put together something though about day-to-day.  Might not happen until I’m on spring break (T-4 days) but be on the look out. And maybe I’ll actually use my camera and take pictures 🙂

Enough talk! Or writing as the case may be.  I need to get cracking on my homework so that I’m not a crazy person right before leaving for break.  Well I’m pretty much a crazy person all the time but you know what I mean ha. That said, it looks like (*fingerscrossed*) that I might make it out of the science center in time for 24 at 2100 or at least CSI: Miami at 2200.  Hollllllleeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrr.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Monday in a manner that would make EE proud. I certainly am!

And checkout this giveaway from Charlotte. But actually don’t. I want it. 😛

January 20, 2010

Recovery Run Love?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:03

Ummm so I love the fact that after I posted saying how much I love the support I get from you guys that LOTS of you told me that you love me.  Well maybe not quite like that but I was feeling the love! So thanks again and you guys ROCK 🙂

It’s Wednesday (?!) so that means recovery run day! I think I’m slowing beginning to enjoy the recovery run as the training programs moves along.  Partly because I’ve been shown great results when it comes to the quality workouts I’m doing and partly because it’s nice to just let go of pace.  It’s mentally taxing to constantly be worried about hitting a pace.  And the longer I’ve been doing these types of runs the less judgmental I am.

Like today.  I set out on a nice 6 mile loop and just went.  Yes my legs were a little cranky from yesterday’s killer workout but I didn’t feel the need to pressure them into doing something faster than they wanted.  And I didn’t feel like I was running all that slow or anything either. Granted when I finished up that loop and saw just in fact how slow I was running, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit appalled. But I pushed it from my mind and my next 4 mile loop, while faster sure, didn’t feel any faster.

This tells me that I’m letting my body respond to my workouts and tell me what it needs.  This is fabulous.  Since my plan has me doing 3 quality workouts a week I’ll stop my schpiel there and refer you to an interesting article I found the other day on recovery runs.

As I’m sure you noticed my mileage was yet again double digits (double digit streak = 38 days. running streak = 59 days).  While I have no problem with this as long as my body holds up my muscles are starting to tighten and rebel.  I’ve responded by stretching more (!).  Now it’s not much, only about 20 minutes a night the past few night, but it’s a start.  I’ve lost so much flexibility that it’s a bit discouraging to do but I know that tight muscles =/= injuries. So I’m working to increase my flexibility to keep my muscles loose and avoid nagging aches and pains.

Lately my left foot has been acting up and last week my right achilles was.  Preventative stretching and strengthening have made that go away so I’m hoping to do the same with the foot.  At first I was thinking plantar fasciitis but my pain isn’t in the heel at all.  It’s in the middle third of my foot and the tightness radiates up through the big toe.  In fact I can feel the “pain” (which it’s not pain per se but more acheyness) best when I try to flex my big toe and when I do a standing calf stretch.  It’s gotten better as I’ve stretched out more so I’m hopeful that it’s not a big deal.

I also did another full body lifting session today.  I think I might hit 3 sessions this week again! Luckily there were no sports teams there today which was great.  It definitely made it a lot less crowded.  I’m extremely happy with my level of strength, like I say a lot haha, but I’ve noticed that by lifting the way I have my arms are able to carry be through the hard workouts like yesterday.  During the intervals I was incredibly thankful that my arms are as strong as they are.  As well as my legs, abs etc. It also feels good to have the prissy girls on the elliptical (and I can’t wait to create a gym crazies post at some point) kind of stare at me all bug eyed and the guys stare with a sort of respect.  I tend to then adapt a “hell yeah I’m a BAMF” attitude that just fuels me through the rest of the workout.

The rest of my day is going to be pretty lazy. So I’m going to go start that now 🙂

Also be sure to check out Tricia’s giveaway. And Meg’s.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

September 1, 2009

Another great day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:43

Wow. I know that we’re definitely going to have an Indian Summer of sorts later on but this morning was yet another morning where the temps felt so nice and cool. It was 48* when I got up at 0630 to run! I could totally get used to this, and sadly as soon as I do the heat and humidity will come back with a vengeance.  Boo!

But I decided to take advantage of the cool dry air this morning by moving up my tempo a day.  A little risky in my mind because I had done my long run on Sunday rather than Saturday (when I had wanted to) or Friday (like this whole summer).  I figured “what the heck” and started off.

I planned for a 1 mile warm up, 4.5 mile tempo, 1 mile warm down.

Well let me tell you something.  I think I’ve been selling myself short when I do so much speedwork on the TM.  Last week I wrote about how I was keeping the pace 10 seconds faster than my usual tempo pace and today (even with legs that weren’t 100% fresh) I was slightly faster than what I call tempo (as in 30 seconds on the overall time for the given distance).  It felt so much easier, in fact, that I decided to add .5 miles to the tempo and after that I still had LOTS of gas in the tank so I tacked on a lap of campus (1 mile) on to that.  So the tempo portion was 6 miles, not 4.5.

Oh man.  At this point my legs were feeling the lactic acid so I did a mile warm down but I had to force myself to slow it down hardcore! But I was (and still am truth be told) pumped about it.  I just felt so powerful and strong.  I kept my head in the game the whole time which is soooo reassuring that running tempos and speed outside is totally do-able.  I think that I doubt my running ability and fall back on the safety net on having the TM tell me what I should do; or at least I lock into the pace that I think is good but never let my body tell me the truth.  I definitely think that I’ve been holding myself back in that respect.  I’m really excited to see what I can do in the upcoming races I have planned — maybe not this weekend but definitely later this fall.

After a short session of freshmen advising (only 1 hour this morning compared to the 5 yesterday!) I wanted to go for a recovery run.  Now, if you remember last week, I ran my recovery run incredibly fast.  Much faster than I should have.  No major repercussions after but still, I want these runs to be about stretching the legs.  Granted, sometimes a quicker pace does stretch out my legs but I don’t want to have a second real workout which is what I feel I did last week. I enlisted a friend to go with me and told her that she could pick the pace.  She’s slower than me so it worked out; we ran 2.7 together and then I tackled another mile after at a quicker pace to just get a nice turnover going.

Total for the day: 11.7.  Ah-mah-zing.  My legs have never felt so strong! I think the rest of the week is going to be backing off a bit in intensity and lowering the miles slightly for this weekend.  I want the hardwork I’ve been putting in these past few weeks to be really noticeable. I am slightly scared that if I back off the strength that I’m feeling and the comfort at these faster paces will back off too but I’m just going to have to trust what I know and ignore what fears I have.

The rest of the day is pretty free for me! A little relaxing before classes start tmrw.  I’m such a nerd that I’m really looking forward to it haha.  I am making a Target run later tonight and while I actually do need stuff, I need to be disciplined and only. buy. what. I. need.

P.S. Happy September!

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