MarathonMaiden's Blog

May 12, 2011

It’s Bubble Wrap Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:41

Because I took another spill Tuesday morning (warning at the end of this post is a picture of the damage. Hey it’s my blog and I ❤ these pictures. Like, if you have any then post ’em on your blog!)

thanks google images

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Another fall?! Last time the damage was minimal.  Because this time I fell hard enough to crack my iphone. And bruise a rib (or two).  Seriously. There’s no point tenderness, only soreness/bruising pain (although interestingly enough, no bruise) so I haven’t gone to the doctor yet because it isn’t a clear-cut fracture and, after talking to a doc at the clinic later that night, the treatment for everything else is just rest, ibuprofen and ice.  If I’m in lots of pain I can go to the doctor for a Rx painkiller but I’d rather not do that.  I mean, I didn’t take any painkillers when I got my wisdom teeth out.  I think I can handle this a little bit.

So running: on hold until the pain goes away (I’m told ~4 days which puts me into the weekend) then I can ease back into it.  The pushups/situp challenge I was doing? (aka the 365 challenge) On hold as I can barely use my arm / rib muscles to push myself out of bed in the mornings (and the past few mornings my muscles have spasmed there. Ugh) or prop myself up in bed.

When it rains it pours right? I mean, at the moment I feel like nothing running-related can go right. Or without incident. I will say that the run ended up being pretty damn good aside from falling. Nice and steady and long with a spectacular finish (twss) (the fall was ~1 mile from the end of the run) But I do think my ego hurts more than any body part. Especially since both falls could have been prevented (aka tying my shoes and not getting lost in my hot mess thoughts)

Or my knee as when I went to the dermatologist (for a yearly head-to-toe skin scan) on Wednesday she looked at my sorry body (fall Friday, shenanigans Friday night, fall Tuesday = banged up) she noticed an odd looking scab on my knee.  Upon closer inspection it turns out that it wasn’t a crusted blood scab but a rock/pebble the size of an apple seed / green bean seed in my knee. It was lodged so deep that I couldn’t feel any sort of excess bump other than what a scab would look like.  The doctor actually had to use NOVOCAINE to my knee as she extracted the, as she so eloquently put it, “boulder” from my knee.  And she kept it to show her colleagues.

Of course I took a picture of the hole in my knee. DUH.

Moral of my last two posts? MM = hot mess. Like, who else does this happen too? The good news is that this year I didn’t need any moles removed at the derm.

I also want to mention in passing that there’s some family stuff going on right now and things have been very emotional. Well actually one large family thing. So I may be absent from the blog world for a week.  I am acutely aware that now that I make that disclaimer I’m going to find lots of time to blog/comment.  Because that’s how it works. And, because I like reading blogs and I like writing my posts.  We’ll see. I just don’t want anyone to worry that I died from infection or lung collapsement from that last fall.  Things are just going to be busy and my mind is going to be all over the place, that’s all.

May 9, 2011

PSA Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:19

Tie your shoelaces when running.  Otherwise this might happen

Or this

Or maybe don’t because it’ll be a good cover-up for drunk shenanigans and bruises incurred while consuming too much whiskey later that night. Small favors. Not that I’d know anything about shenanigans. But seriously: tie your shoelaces. Luckily the fall resulted in mostly a bruised ego.

Another PSA: always remember to wear sunscreen.  A lesson I learned the hard way the past few weeks in the nice weather. But a follow-up lesson: remember to REAPPLY the stuff. I’m lucky that I have my annual derm/skin appointment this week.  She (my doc) needs to scare me silly.

Running wise, I’m going at it.  Slow and steady.  Such is the norm.  I think my body is still reeling from the injury back in mid-March, the 2 week long illness I had around the same time and the huge miles I ran that month.  Oh and maybe a little thing called a marathon last month.

That said, I have been slowly ramping up the miles this past week.  I’m not doing anything with my pace right now, mostly because both my legs and mind balk every time I think I’m going to tackle it. But this past week saw the reintroduction of two things:

  • A double digit long run. Early last week I was planning on running 11.5 miles but the really nice weather, coupled with some fresh legs, forced me to tack on an extra 2.5.  FOURTEEN.  And the pace was decent too.  It’s funny how some runs can be so on with both distance and pace while others (*ahem*sunday*run) seem to falter from the get-go.
  • Doubles.  On Friday, after Cinco de Mayo, I had planned on running after work (Fridays are half days for me) but I woke up at 0615 anyway.  Blahhhh. So I got up and went out for a quick run before work and then completed my miles post-work, for a grand total of 12 on that day.  I was planning on 12 anyway but it’s soooo mentally easy breaking up the run as such.

Overall the motivation to GO and the overall pace of my runs is blah.  I’m trying to embrace the blah. There’s too much going on in other aspects of my life to fight this. Maybe I would if I had a big goal race on the docket but I don’t.  C’est la vie.

And, since work is wicked busy today, that’s all you’re going to get.  This weekend, aside from emerging banged up, my roomie and I actually cooked/baked.  Funny how last week I wrote that I really didn’t enjoy it and now I have a recipe to post.  I guess I really don’t like just cooking for one, or cooking by myself, because this was fun.

Off to go apply my new favorite beauty product (seriously. This stuff is GENIUS)

thanks google images

October 19, 2010

I Apologize

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:51

for the haphazard way my post yesterday was.  I re-read it this morning and was like “I  WROTE THAT?!”

But the point of it was

  • I am registered for Boston (after the ulcer inducing process!)
  • I recovered nicely from my 20 miles on Saturday

The rest was just…well I don’t know what it was.  But it took me a billion words to say what I just so succinctly wrote above.

I should have broken it up but whatever.  I should have said that everyone who is running Boston 2011 should meet-up that weekend.  But I didn’t.  Hopefully y’all were able to get through that post and will forgive me by meeting up in April!

Post Race Euphoria. And a plea to meet up in April 🙂

The irony of signing up for a race, such as Boston / so far away from now, is that while I have definitely NOT decided on goals or training or ANYTHING, clearly hitting submit that I just want to GO and jump into training RIGHT NOW.  So I’ve been musing some things even though the race is soooooooooooo far away (but likely will be here before I know it!)

Like I mentioned in my last post, but was likely hidden from all the BOSTON EXCITEMENT, is that I need to find a training plan.  One which I will stick too and not end up with massive shin splits and the fear that I’ve fractured them.  I was debating following the same plan I did last year (found here — or not as it’s a BAA plan and the website is still set up to tell ppl that registration is closed…I’ll repost / edit this later once I can find the plan) but *actually* following it.

I’ve also debated creating my own, and I know that Jess has written a post on doing so which I might try to do, but honestly? I think I’m too lazy to do that myself.  Any takers want to do it for me hahah? But if I did that at least I’d know that I’d follow it 🙂

The general gist of what I want is (and I’m NOT making anything more detailed right now as I’d very likely jump into training immediately which is something I don’t want to do):

  • 12 week plan
  • 3 quality runs: intervals, tempo, long run
  • ~80 mile weeks

Which is basically the plan I followed last year.  Or at least the theory of what I did.  I used a 16 week plan and peaked around 100 miles.  Since I’m actually working rather than being a student this year I think that 80 sounds good for miles and, with my base, 12 weeks sounds good.  I think this cycle, while it *will* be hard and intense, is going to be about fine tuning which is what the last few weeks of marathon training is about, right?

I’m also going to have to start looking for a  (cheap) gym.  Winter is brutal in New England (as I know it is in other parts of the country as well) and I’m not going to have my school’s gym to fall back on in the event of a blizzard or negative temps.  I’m thinking of using the Y because, as a VISTA, I know I can get a really good deal.  And since I’m tough as nails (hahah) I’d only be using it for the occasional lifting session (must start those up again!) and to get a quality run in in bad weather.  So a cheap price is extra important so I feel like I’m sort of getting my money’s worth.

That’s about it in terms of what I’m thinking.  It’s nothing concrete, of course, but the excitement of having a submission number for Boston is making me want to plan.

Of course I do have a time goal of 3:29:59 — just like last year — although after plugging in my recent races from this fall the allure of going even faster than that is enticing as my recent half marathon in April indicates a 3:18 is possible.

 

Or maybe I'll just win the damn thing like that girl asked me last year hahah

Until then I’m going to still try and keep running light and fun.  Yes, there will be structured runs like LR and intervals but I’m hoping that I can keep the pressure off of myself to kill myself over workouts.  Easier said than done given my personality.

And of course having a submission number also makes me want to run far.  Which is normally my inclination, duh.  Since today is a clinic day I got to do a longer run than the office hour days, I did 13.5 miles.  It felt good and, aside from the first 3 or so miles, it felt strong. This was the first time since Tufts that I felt really really good during a run so I’m thinking that I’ll do a light speed session later this week.

Who knows when it’ll happen though because the weather is staying consistently cold overnight every night and I suspect that we’ll get the first frost soon.  Unlikely for snow as snow has been arriving later and later every year (I remember it snowing on my birthday when I was little!) but the cold is already on it’s way.

Gosh I really need to get out of New England if I’m already bitching about the temps.  It isn’t even cold yet!

Aaaaaaaaaaand a bunch of you asked for a picture of the cookies I baked this weekend. Welllll they’re all gone.  BUT my roomie and I baked last night too and here are the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies that were produced.  Sorry for the poor quality picture but I remembered to take it when I was at work hence the baggie.  But I did remember to take it before they were scarfed down 🙂

Yum

October 2, 2010

It’s Really Fall. And It’s Really Time To Run Fast.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:34

Thanks so much for the kind words about my bailing on the speed session yesterday. It made me feel (slightly) better knowing that many of you have “postponed” workouts before.

I also got a few comments about taking the iron pills — which I should have expected and clarified yesterday.  This wasn’t just one bad run and I jumped to a conclusion.  Yes I’ve been telling you all the good stuff with my running and life (with the exception of the weather!) but my overall energy was suffering and if you want to see what the symptoms are for iron deficiency anemia you can on Wikipedia (LOVE that site).  I have a few of them and coupled with me having gone through this before I think a few days of iron is what I need.  I’m not going on something long term and my plan is to do two or three more days of one pill then MAKE SURE I take my multi-vitamin daily (I’ve been slacking hardcore since last winter or so).  Someone also asked if I knew what the root cause is and for me is likely menstruation with no intake of high iron sources to replace it.

And don’t worry: if this persists much longer I will make an appointment with my doctor.

Despite many of you saying that you’d nix a hard workout for the rest of the week (and I didn’t get any of those messages until after I did this morning’s workout! Oops!) I wanted a do-over.  Yes I know there are no such things as do-overs in life but whatever. I can try.

Yesterday’s rain was only that: rain.  No storm and no blowing over of houses.  Bummer.  But what it DID do was give New England the fall that it should be having at the moment.  When I awoke this morning (after SOUND sleeping. YAY) it was about 53* and 56% humidity.  Talk about weather quickly changing! Very nice to sleep in and very nice to run in as well.  I debated putting off the run until after getting something to eat in me but decided against it because I didn’t want my brain to do any negative or doubt-y talk.  So I laced up my shoes and off I went.

While I know I said yesterday that I was going to not think about doing mile repeats (which had been on the docket yesterday) that was what I wanted to do.  Yes I am crazy and a glutton for punishment.  And I knew that I wanted to do them on an actual track.  This made the warm up (and down after) a bit longer than I’d have ideally liked but I knew that going to the track would really help my mental game.

How can you not channel them when you're on the track? (and all images in this post are google images)

It was also a bit scary because I used the TM for pretty much all the Boston training speed work I did.  So I was off on my own and, in my mind, flying blind!

THE PLAN

  • Warm up (~3.7 miles)
  • 4 X 1 mile (target pace 7:00) with ~1/2 mile recovery
  • 1 X 400 m (unknown target pace because I haven’t done these in forever! Maybe close to 6:00 pace?) with 400m recovery
  • Warm down (~3.7 miles)

THE ACTUAL WORKOUT (dun dun dunnnnnnnnnn):

Warm up: 3.7 miles @ 9:24

Ouch.  I knew that my pace was slow and I’m glad that I didn’t do any mental math to figure out HOW slow I was.  I think I’d have bailed on the workout again

Mile 1: 6:43 (recovery = 4:56)

SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW.  At least that’s how it felt.  I thought I was doing a 7:30 or even closer to 8:00 pace.  When I finished and saw sub-7, my first thought was I skipped out on the last lap! This did not feel as fast as I’d have thought a 6:45 to be.

Mile 2: 6:38 (4:45)

Starting this repeat I had the doubt that I missed a lap during mile 1 so I checked the split at the 800m mark and it was 3:19.  Yep I am fast.  This was exciting but sooooooo scary to see. I’m not used to seeing those times on my own on the track!

Mile 3: 6:43 (4:50)

I now had the boost of two good solid fast repeats under my belt and since I was on #3 out of 4, I was half way there! My legs did sort of wax and wane a bit but I stayed strong.

During this mile’s recovery a girl who, I’m guessing here, was on the high school XC team (there was some kind of team practicing on the track) was doing her own recovery going the opposite was as me.  And as she passed me, she looked at me shyly and said “you’re a really good runner“.  This absolutely MELTED my heart and I squeaked out a thank you.

Mile 4: 6:49 (4:50)

I had thought the girl’s comment would put some pep in my step but this ended up being the slowest mile.  My legs were pretty fatigued at this point.

400m: 85.63 seconds, which is a 5:41 pace (2:29)

Death. Vomit. Hamstrings very weak.  But I did check the split at the 200m mark and it was 44 seconds.  Meaning I negative splitted a 400m sprint.  Impressive? Maybe. I’ve always been told that the goal of a 400m is to go out hard and try to hold on.  Not progress like I did.  But I was happy with it because it HURT but felt AMAZING.

I don’t know if only doing one of them was worthwhile. I think I mostly did it as a mental thing.  It would have been nice if I could have done another 2 or 3 after.  But I didn’t want to!

Warm down: 3.9 miles @ 9:07

Decent. The beginning miles were uphill (GAH) and were no faster than a walk despite having warmed down for a quarter mile after the 400m.  I ended up finishing up the run on the pathway which was a nice way to end the hard workout I just completed.

THE REACTION

Or not.

Success? I think so.  I’m a bit perplexed at the “easiness” of the mile repeats though as I was never close to the target of 7:00. I’m not truly complaining here as I’ve always targeted 7:00 – 7:15 pace as acceptable.  It’s kind of exciting to be sub that, although I did just check what McMillian (which is what I’ve based my paces off in the past) says about mile repeats when I plug in my recent 5k time: 6:15-6:30 for middle distance runners and 6:23-6:37 for long distance.  I was hovering above that today.

That said, I checked the 800m splits for #2,3,4 and they were all slower than the second 800m.  Not by much (I’d still say I did a pretty even pacing job) but I never bombed in the second half.  Encouraging. Although next time I might have to push a little harder 😉

But for the 400m sprint I did McMillian says that for mid-distance runners the target is 86-89 seconds and for long distance runners the target is 87-92 seconds.  And I was under that.  I’m not quite sure what that says about me as a runner.  I’ve always thought that my strength was the looooooong stuff.  But maybe the shorter stuff is just more familiar to me so I really go at it (I’m a sprinter by training: 100m and 200m in high school).

Interesting too is the fact that, based on my 5k time — which isn’t always the most accurate at all in predicting marathon time — McMillian says I can run a 3:14 marathon. HA (although this time give a 1:32 half time which is really close to my current pr).  With my recent half pr I can run a 3:18. HA again. Although it makes me want to sign up for one now 🙂

Regardless this was a great boost for me! I’m going to do another speed workout sometime next week.  Nothing as hard as the hills of this week or the mile repeats of today but just something to keep it in my head that I am FAST and STRONG and AMAZING.

That is all.

Hope everyone has a great rest of your Saturday! I have a friend who is coming into the city later this afternoon and this evening to hang out with me.  And possibly do a short run with me (<4 miles) too. Hopefully I can find the time to lounge for the rest of the day (not too hard with SUN and FALL WEATHER and a GREAT BOOK on the BALCONY!)  If we do end up running I’ll very likely take the day off tomorrow as I can tell my miles for this week are pretty high already!

September 26, 2010

Saturday Was A Good Day

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

Or a great day even.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Awkward tangent]

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

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

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

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

[End awkward tangent hahah!]

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

Ready to go where you ask?

APPLE PICKING.

Yay Apples

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BAMF


Check out the giveaway Matt‘s having.

September 23, 2010

Bullets = Scatterbrain

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:10

Whoa there. Today’s clinic has the potential to make this week feel really long and gloomy and when I tried to write a cohesive paragraph-ical post this morning I couldn’t.  Sooooo here are some bullet points.  Because bullet points are inherently jumbled and by the time Thursday comes around I am usually jumbled.  But there’s always this to cheer us up — and the promise of the weekend so despite Thursdays being a long work day I still love them to death 😀

  • First I’ll start with the running.  It’s been going well.  Last week I complained a lot about my crazy hours at the clinic and this week I’ve been working more reasonable hours (granted I just jinxed myself!). But the lack of sleep and overload of stress really hit THIS week. I’ve been sleeping like a ROCK but still been very tired (Except for the annoying texts that my friends (who still do not have jobs and therefore do not understand why I want to be a granny and go to bed before midnight) send me post-midnight. But we won’t talk about that hah!).  What does this have to do with running? Well on Wednesday I had planned a shorter run because my legs have some lingering soreness from the 5k but I was so deep in thought and out of it that I missed a turn.  Which added 3.3 miles to my route.  Annoying.  Especially since I was so committed to NOT running far that day. Normally I wouldn’t mind but the cumulative effects of a hard race 2 weeks ago and a hard race a few days ago has left my legs still a bit groggy.  As much as you would never believe that I could type this out but I could have used a shorter distance day.
  • Thursday (today)’s run was nicer.  Maybe because it went according to plan hah! I went out bowling last night but because of the later clinic today I got to sleep in.  Which was like a rock again.  So I woke up ready to tackle my run.  And tackle I did.  I chose to NOT run the pathway like I usually do in the mornings (it was 0800 and felt safer because there was sunlight and lots of people around) and run through the city.  It was a different feel because I normally just run there on the weekend.  It was cool to see people hurrying about and kids going off to school. The downside was it was on those steep hills (which one of them I have recently found out is legitimately 12% grade).  Not the fastest run ever and neither the longest nor the shortest run ever but it still felt really good.
  • According to weather.com Wednesday morning at 0530: 65* and humid WTF?!  The overnight low Tuesday night was WARMER than the high of Tuesday?!  And the temp Monday and Tuesday morning (at 0530 and 0800 respectively) when I was running was 44*?! How is that possible?! The forecast is also predicting a cold front this weekend. Gahhhh New England.  How I love and yet hate thee.

LOVE.

Seriously. Bamf status right here. How can you not love it?!

HATE.

Seriously. How could you love this?!

  • Does drinking soda count toward hydration? I used to say NO because I’ve always been told that caffeine = diuretic so it shouldn’t count.  But I’ve since read articles that caffeine is no more a diuretic than good old H2O. AND when I was drinking my afternoon Dr. Pepper (because I’ve found something else other than my diet coke with lime to fuel my caffeine addiction! GASP!) lo – and – behold: the first ingredient is water.I think it should count.  Especially since, and this is likely very shameful, I only drink about 16 oz of actual water a day (I do drink lots of milk.  Like probably too much).
  • I use mapmyrun.com to map.  And I typically truncate the mileage at the first decimal place (aka 4.56 = 4.5).  Recently I’ve tried to look at the hundredths place and that can yield me up to .2 or .3 MORE.  This also obviously messes with the average overall paces. Thoughts on what I should do from here on out? I just tend to distrust the accuracy of the .01 place but clearly can make a big difference over a longer run like this.  Should I take an average of the two? Hmmmm.
  • I discovered driving home from clinic late one night last week that the route I drive is territory to the Bloods.  As in the gang.  I realized this because there were about 20 cops breaking something up and I checked the news the next day.  I have never been more happy to be leasing the car I drive from my family.  Money well worth spent.
  • I love your guys’ input on my goals that I wrote about last post.  And your suggestions for the time between now and Tufts.  I keep getting nervous / scared for it. Much like I was before this past 5k.  I keep questioning things like maybe I never fully recovered from my half then ran a really good 5k and didn’t truly try to recover from that.  Or I’m training like I’m running for a longer race. I need to smarten up and GET FOCUSED because I have the Tufts 10k coming up! Sometimes I feel like maybe I’m not taking my 10k goal seriously. Or I’m just scared of it. Again: funny because I’m such a type-A personality and I tend take things too seriously.
  • Also on a 100% not related to ANYTHING I’ve written about (but then again is anything really related in this post?) I want to share this gem of a picture that I found on failblog.  It caused me and the girl sitting next to me at work to dissolve into hysterical laughter.  And then I had to text my sister who texted me back:

I don’t know what to think of this.  On one hand I appreciate it and on the other I’m slightly offended

And check out these giveaways from Marcia and Emily!

September 21, 2010

I Love Fall

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:04

First: did you check out my race report for my awesome 5k? Oh shameless self-promoting 😀 

Afternoons that is. Mornings? Not so much. The coupling of the sun rising later and mid-40s for the temps makes it not a lot of fun.  Afternoons? YES.  The warm sun and upper-60s makes my heart go pitter-patter.  This weather would be perfect for running.  Too bad things called work get in the way.  Ruining a perfect weather day.

I also love the turning of the leaves! I live near a lake in my hometown and this is pretty much exactly what it looks like. But this picture is from google images

Nothing I can do about the temps and daylight I guess.  Except try to embrace the hours that I do get to spend outside.  Monday morning was a 0515 wake up call so running outside before work in the sunshine was a no-go.  It was dark and cool the entire time.  Blahhh.  When I got out of work at 1700, however, the weather was nice and I got to sit outside and enjoy the sun.  I debated running again but decided against it.  My motivation tanks after a day of work.

So here’s Monday morning’s run and the data:

  • 1st loop: 4.1 @ 8:56
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 @ 8:28
  • 3rd loop:    1.1 @ 8:02
  • Total:              9.3 @ 8:37

It had been awhile since the last time I did a double loop of the pathway so I decided to do it Monday.  It was nice because I’m so familiar with the path that the fact I was likely still half asleep didn’t matter.  Nor the fact that I couldn’t see too well at this hour and I now know (through many many errors) where every root and stone are.

I don't know if this picture is exactly where I run but, if not, it's almost identical to it. At least all the greenery was what I saw in the summer hahah! Now trying to run this with no sunlight! There is roadway on either side but that gravel path in the center is what I run on.

Despite running a kick ass 5k on Sunday (which THANKS again for all the congrats. I’m still riding high from it 8) ) there was minimal soreness.  Don’t get me wrong: my quads — and abs! Must. Do. More. Core. — were feeling the effort from the day before.  But it was no where near as bad as I though it was going to be. Probably because I iced down and stretched afterward.  And I wore my diabet compression socks all day.  Maybe I’m learning as runner?!

So I was only planning on doing one loop and then then the add on. But I was actually feeling good after doing those guys so I tacked on an extra pathway loop.

My theory is that when you’re feeling strong embrace it.  That said, I did stop at the 9.3 despite feeling like I could have done more.

And I took to this theory again on Tuesday for my run.  Monday’s tend to be long days, not at the clinic, but in terms of waking hours just because I get up so early.  So it was nice to wake up feeling slightly REFRESHED. I fell asleep around 2230 and slept like a ROCK until my alarm went off at 0730.  9 hours? Yes please.

While the sun was shining outside, the thermometer read 44*.  YIKES! See what I mean about fall? Mornings suck.  I need to migrate south. STAT.  I was still feeling decent but, as you probably know, anything can happen over the course of a run so I nixed the idea to do a big long loop in favor of a few smaller loops (but then again, I’ve been doing that a lot lately).

This is what my path will look like in a few weeks! Hello fall! Again, like the image above, I don't know if this is exactly where I run (hey google images) but it looks damn near identical to it

The aim was to do the first two loops listed below, which would give me 9.7 miles.  And I seriously do not know what it is about running the week after a race but my runs just feel strong and fast.  So I tend to “cheat” myself out of recovery.  Hence adding an extra 1.3 miles to make it 11.

Tuesday:

  • 1st loop: 4.1 @ 8:46
  • 2nd loop: 5.6 @ 8:40
  • 3rd loop:    1.3 @ 8:22
  • Total:           11.0 @ 8:40

Clearly neither of those runs would qualify as recovery runs.  But it’s not like I’m *trying* to push things after a race.  Of course I’m not trying to hold back and stay true to recovery.  I guess I’m just going.  Might not be the smartest thing but I guess I’ll let my body dictate?

One thing that my body will NEVER tell me to do naturally is speed work and since my next race (a goal race of sorts) the Tufts 10k (less than 3 weeks!!) I want to ask you guys what kind of speed work have you found to be useful in fast races?  Any thoughts as to what my next three weeks should look like? I obviously have thoughts of my own on this topic but the more ideas I can get the better my running will be!

Which, I know this is getting lengthy and I have no sparkling pictures of my beautiful face to show you 😉 , but this might be a good time to revisit some goals that I set for 2010. (you can see the full list by clicking that link).  Yes, I know that it’s the middle of a month but I’ve doing a lot of thinking about how I’ve progressed as a runner this year.  So bear with me.

These were my specific time goals aka the tangible goals that needed focus (my NEW comments are in blue):

  1. sub 20:00 5k — considering my only 5k time is 21:32 and I didn’t train for it I think this is lofty but do-able if I train for a 5k.  Who knows if that will happen though as I ❤ the long stuff. CHECK.  Hizzah. And this happened on no real specific 5k training.  Just two speed work sessions 10 days and 6 days before.  New goal? Sub 19.  Very lofty.  But I think that with specific speed work I can do it.  Maybe not before the year is out.  But it’s the next target.
  2. sub 43:00 10k — ideally I just want 43:23 because that works out to 7 pace even but being the overachiever I am I want to break a round number. I have yet to run one this year.  But I think that I can do this at Tufts.  *FingersCrossed*
  3. sub 1:40:00 half — every time I run a half I smash my previous pr.  I’m currently at 1:41:56 which was a 2 or 3 minute improvement from the previous pr.  Definitely going to be hard but I think it’s do-able. Totally do able! And done-able! I smashed this by running 1:33 over Labor day weekend.  New goal? Sub 1:30.  Going to be hard but I think if I want it bad enough I can get it.
  4. 3:35:00 marathon — I was going to write sub 3:30 but that’s an 8 minute pr and I’m not sure how realistic that would be.  Actually to hell with it: the goal is sub 3:30.  I left the last marathon feeling like I had plenty of gas in the tank so we’ll see if I can capitalize on that in 2010. Well I missed the Sub 3:30 goal but I walked away from Boston with a new PR of 3:35.  Which was the original goal.  Sub 3:30 is what I have my eyes on next.

So it’s WAY exciting to see that I’ve PR’d in every distance that I’ve done this year (and since I’ve only run one of each I pr’d in every race!) including the 20M and 5M I did that weren’t in the goal list because they popped up randomly.

This has definitely been a great year so far.  Luckily there is still a little over 3 months left 😀

September 15, 2010

Coffee, Kid Sippy Cups and Margaritas.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:57

AKA: things that are making me happy now.

Ugh it has been a VERY long week.  Long hours, little sleep, big life decisions to make.   Sooooo the second I strolled into work today (on Wednesday) I asked my fellow VISTA co-workers (whom I LOVE to death!) “Hey anyone want to head to DD now?”

This sight makes my heart go pitter-patter. Seriously. Who am I?! I don't drink coffee!

Remember the last time I had coffee? Oops. But so far so good on the jittery front. Hopefully this coffee thing doesn’t become a habit. I’m already addicted to caffeine! I don’t need a higher dose! We didn’t end up heading there until lunch though.  And with the leftover fajitas from last night’s clinic? Well let’s just say that my life felt a little better.  Walking field trip to DD and a free lunch.  In the cool crisp fall air.  Most excellent.

Also most excellent? The free kids cups that I got to keep after Fire & Ice (amazing restaurant chain in the New England area!) donated food to the clinic last night (aka the fajitas I had for lunch today) for the providers.  It made my night last night.  You know it’s a rough night when these suckers make you happy:

They even have a little game of "Can you find how many bananas are hidden in the jungle?" on them. Will I ever grow up?

And since it’s been such a long week already my roomies and I decided on Tuesday that we are having a margarita night. And we decided very soon.  How soon depended on how the rest of the week goes.  Hopefully we can make it until Friday. Not too sure about that at time point! And this upcoming night will be one where multiple margaritas are consumed.

But until then I still have my running 🙂

After a 10 hour day at the clinic on Tuesday and 5.5 hours of sleep that night this is the run that occurred on Wednesday:

  • 4.1 miles @ 8:57
  • 5.6 miles @ 8:40
  • 1.3 miles @ 8:36
  • Total: 11.0 @ 8:46

And the entire time I had this song in my head.

Maybe not the best song to have stuck in your head during a run but whatever. It worked.  I powered through it.

I don’t really know what possessed me to run as far as I did.  And the exact same route as Tuesday. I certainly wasn’t feeling particularly refreshed or anything.  I wasn’t feeling terrible either so it’s not like I was killing myself to hit those miles. I just kept running and, in contrast to Tuesday, I was feeling pretty good even when I stopped because I ran out of time (I was running slightly slower than yesterday).

Post-run I’m feeling a bit tired in the legs, which is something I am taking note of for tomorrow. I’ve had my recovery socks on all day (and yesterday too. Yay for cooler weather = long pants to work = covering legs = recovery socks on!) too.

I think I’m running to work through some of the craziness and uncertainty my life is in, like how I opened this post. Which is fine.  I’m surprisingly calm and not stressed out about where I’ll be next year or the year after etc.  I think my running is helping me with that.  Life is still good despite being busy and uncertain.  Maybe I’m maturing? Hahahah.  See kid cups picture above. I’m just in a good place right now and running is a part of that.

So I’ll keep running what I feel like and what my body tells me it can handle. I think that’s the best way to run, no?

It’ll certainly make things interesting this weekend if I decide to race (yes I know I’m the most wishy-washy person in the world when it comes to racing stuff.  Whatever 😛 )

Other notes on the run itself:

It was really effing cold this morning! I think weather.com rated the overnight low last night as 48*.  I’m really glad that I just found that out rather than knowing it before hand.  My hands damn near froze (I have Raynaud’s syndrome.  A fancy was of saying “really bad circulation to my extremities” ).  Guess it might be time to break out the gloves? UGH.  It’s not even the official start of fall yet!

But the cooler weather made wearing a long sleeve legit.  I think the past few times I wore one it was mostly to be like “YAY FALL”. Now it’s like “dayyyyyyyyyyyyyyum fall.  Winter is around the corner”.  Not cool in my book at all.  I definitely question when the temps start to drop what the heck I’m still doing here (and knowing New England we’ll have an Indian Summer and everything I’ve complained about with the weather is going to look silly!)

The cold temps do make it nice to bury under the covers at night.  Even if I’m not climbing into bed until late the hours that I am asleep I am ASLEEP.  It’s nice.  But it makes me not want to get up in the morning because I’m so comfy.  I don’t know what I’m going to do when real winter comes! It’ll be dark until 0730.  And then dark again at 1600. *BreatheDon’tThinkAboutIt”

I kind of mentioned it above but the run was neither amazing nor horrible feeling.  Just me and my thoughts.  As much as I love amazing swell (thanks Flo!) runs and despise horrible ones the ones that are in between might be my favorite in the moment.  Hard efforts are my favorite in the aftermath because I feel like a bamf.  And horrible runs are just plain no fun.  But the in-betweeners are good to just GO.  No worries.  No aches.  No pains.  It’s just me and my thoughts.  And with lots of major life decisions ahead it suits me just fine.

Of course on Sunday when I potentially race I want to be running so hard that I feel like vomiting.  No matter what life choices I have to make.  But until then, I want to be In The Zone. Just like my girl Britney.

So I’ll leave this post on that note because since the run was boring I’m rambling a bit.  And by a bit I mean a lot. I think I’m trying to avoid the topic of race strategy for this weekend because I DON’T HAVE ONE (except run so hard I want to vomit).   Suggestions would be nice.  *HintHint*

I’ve also been writing this post all day at work (hurray no clinic!) and since I’ve put in more than 50% of my weekly hours over Monday and Tuesday I’ve decided to cut out early.  So after I put the finishing touches on this I’m going out on the wicked amazing balcony I showed you yesterday (which I’m glad y’all found my apartment as awesome as I do) and RELAXING.

August 31, 2010

Old Men Love Me

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:00

Title to be more explained later in post.  But it’s true.  Every single old man that is out on my pathway when I’m running smiles and waves.

Ummm it’s August 31st.  Whaaaaaaaaaat?!

I realized that today when A) I saw the “monthly totals” box in my log book that needs to be filled out and B) saw that it’s labor day weekend this weekend.

As much as I love the fall (and cannot wait to go apple picking in the next few weeks!!) actually seeing the calendar roll over tonight will be sad.  It marks the end of summer. Sure, fall doesn’t officially start until the 23rd but September really does mean fall. And school.

I’m surprisingly not as sad as I thought I would be that I’m not going back to college.  Sure it’s weird, and I still feel like I’m playing grown up but, but having grown up taking care of lots of others I really am liking this this whole be-on-own thing.  Hopefully I still want to head off to school next year if I apply to and get in to medical school haha.

Fall also means that racing is going to be going on and holllllllllllllller.  I’m 99.99% sure this half marathon with Lacey is going to happen.  Yay.

From the Tufts 10k last fall.

I’m also still looking for other races.  I have possible ones in mind but it’s just a matter of registering.  I mean, I’m not even registered yet for this half!

And if I’m going to get serious and do races this fall I should probably do more specific runs rather than 2 X 4.1 easy!

Despite it being a Tuesday (and thus a clinic day) I still got up at 0530! I had a meeting (for non-work related stuff) and I wanted to make sure that I could get my run in as well as shower.  Going to meetings all sweaty is not likely a good thing.  I’m sure the people I was seeing appreciated my showering capabilities and were happy that I gave up a little sleep to do so.

And since the fall really is drawing near this means the sun is getting up later and later.  So it was pitch black when my alarm went off.  The sky lightened a bit by the time I stepped out the door (and the sun was fully risen by 6:10) but man, I always forget how rough it is to drag my butt out of bed with no real sunlight.

What am I going to do in winter when the sun won’t have risen at all during my runs?!

Oh well.  I guess I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I get to it, right?

My legs felt fresher today than they did yesterday.  Still a bit sore though.  Maybe from my LR this weekend? I know that I’ve been feeling a bit tired lately muscle wise but I’ve been chalking it up to my lack of sleep the past week or so.  It’s quite possible that 13.5 miles + 90* heat could be a contributing factor.  Plus all that walking for Waterfire (which I’m glad y’all loved! Seriously: if you are in the area on September 11 or October 9th then you MUST go to it!).

Another Waterfire pic. Although deer in headlights much?! 🙂

And the antibiotics.  Which are never fun to be on.  But thanks for all the well-wishes on that front yesterday(click that link if you missed the deal-io on my toe as well as my Waterfire recap) I have a primary care follow up appointment for Thursday (yay for being seen in a timely manner!) but I’m not expecting much.  These infections really are just regular bacteria infections that just cause a really big reaction for me.  I still think it’s stress related though which is why they get so bad.  Too bad life isn’t stress free haha.  Where would the fun be in that?

Due to the fact that it was so dark out I opted for my 2 X 4.1 miles again.  Like I mentioned about it was faster than yesterday.  Not by a whole lot but it felt faster too which is always a good thing

  • 1st loop: 4.1 miles @ 9:05
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:28
  • total:         8.2 miles @ 8:46

Obviously the first loop leaves a little to be desired but I really picked it up for the second loop.  Maybe that’s why the run felt so fast.  I wasn’t even trying to race anyone this morning! The pathway was full of lots of walkers but very few runners.

I did have one (old) man tell me “You’re making this look too easy #4” (I have a lucky number 4 tattoo) which put some extra pep in my step and actually did make the rest of my run — which I was on lap  by then — easier.   As much as I think old people are grumpy and cranky and not fun to be around, I find myself loving the cute old men that are really nice to young girls.  Not in a creepy way but a “I’m being nice because you could be my granddaughter” way.

And there may be a little flirting on their part.  But they’re cute old men.  How can I get mad at that?!

But it was a good run.  Nothing awe-inspiring (except to my new old man friend) but a solid run.  It made me feel better about Monday‘s run being much slower than I’m used to.  A fluke.

And I really wanted to insert this quote that I read from The Daily Sweat and give some witty or motivational anecdote for it but I can’t think of one now and I don’ t want to sit on it.

you just have to give into LIFE and go LIVE

Very VERY true. I think I’m doing this and living by this at the moment.

And if I wanted to get all sappy I could say something about moving in my own place and having a real job.  Or I could just direct you back to my Waterfire night and drinking beer in the streets.  Whatever works for y’all 🙂

And check out the giveaway from Marcia and Kim

September 22, 2009

Fall? Really?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:10

Happy fall everyone.  Today at 1718 EST (518 pm for all you non-24 hour clock fans) it will officially be fall. Interestingly enough it was much warmer this morning when I got up this morning compared to yesterday.  Yesterday = low of 39*. Last night = 53*.  Seriously? WTF? And yes I do know that I’m lucky with this weather as some of you are still in high-summer temps.  But the cooling down reminds me that winter is right around the corner.  I want to see how some of you southerns would take to running in sub-zero weather.  Because yes, last winter I did. 😛

The warm weather this morning lead to incredibly dense fog! It was all misty and mysterious. Like a tropical rain forest, except not as warm haha.  It made me feel very LOST-y, which made me sad that this upcoming season is it’s last and it doesn’t start until January. The fog also made me feel really clammy and soaked me through by the end of the run.

Lately I’ve been feeling a little meh and a slight cloud of blah has settled over me and I’ve been using my runs to think and sometimes even get away from my thoughts.  So I didn’t even notice that I ran 9.1 miles.  Well I kind of did but I didn’t notice that 9 miles takes longer than 7, so I was running wicked late for my 0830 Tuesday Spanish lab.  I finished my run with only 20 minutes to spare! Just enough time to grab a bagel from the dining hall; luckily I wasn’t smelly at all.

And no, that’s not me just being all “I don’t ever smell” and stuck-up (because I do have a friend who refuses to wear deodorant because “my b.o. smells like roses”.  I’m all like noooooooo it doesn’t man) but because I asked ppl (including my advisor!) and they all told me that they couldn’t tell.  Sweet deal. I think it was because the dew from the fog gave me a natural shower haha.

And yes that Spanish class is the one with the freshman who was “making eyes at me” (heh great expression that I haven’t heard in a while LARunner).  Hopefully I didn’t crush how I’m viewed by showing up all gross, although since he’s 18 and I’m almost 23 it feels almost creepy to care in that way haha.

But back to running. I think I need to start paying more attention to how my body is feeling during runs though.  I read somewhere about “associated” and “dissociated” running, and while there’s a time and place for both, I want to start reading my body signals and be able to feel things like certain paces, how my quads react etc.  I’m a very cerebral person so I think this will be very challenging. Like most things of an overhaul nature this will take time and I think I’m prepared to start small.

Jazz dance is definitely helping with this as dancing is a lot of feeling.  Today my professor even told us to stop thinking.  So this is prolly going to be a good segue into translating that mind-body connection to my running.

Enough philosophizing.  Time to go save the world, one physics tutee at a time! AKA hoping that no one shows up so I can do my own work heh.

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