MarathonMaiden's Blog

December 6, 2010

T-18 Days. Holiday *Spirits* Abound.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:11

Right now I’m likely above the skies en route to Charlotte NC where my connector is. Then I travel to Boston, I’ll have a lovely dinner with my family and then travel back to my place at some point. When I left New England snow was predicted for today.  Hopefully nothing materialized because

A) I freaking hate the snow

B) I’m coming from a warm locale

C) I don’t want to get delayed

D) I freaking hate the snow

Anyway the point of all that is I’ll have a race report up when I’m good and ready and rested from the travel.  Instead, today, you get:

Okay so Christmas is still a few weeks away. But I was going to have an ulcer or something from holding onto this picture any longer

The rest of this post is nice and sentimental (some holiday spirits flowing? Celebrating a good weekend perhaps?) so I feel a little like a terrible person for posting the above picture.  Forgive me? hahah

Okay so I’m writing this in advance (like my post on Friday) and I really didn’t want to do ANOTHER running post.  I mean, yes, MM stands for Marathon Maiden.  But honestly: I am (was? this writing for the future stuff is hard and confusing haha) tapering after all.  You really can’t expect much more from me in terms of running stuff.

So on last Wednesday night (the night before I was leaving Providence and actually typing this up) I couldn’t take sitting around.  I was antsy from tapering and couldn’t run over things in my mind.  I tried reading but failed.  I had energy to burn.

Then I remembered that when I came back from Thanksgiving I “borrowed” the fake tree my family owns.  And I figured that it would be a good idea to spend some time setting it up and putting on my ornaments.

So I took the tree out of the garbage bags it was wrapped in, put it in the stand and unfolded it (sorry not pics of this as I only remembered that this would make a good post after the fact hah!). The I opened the box of ornaments and found this:

In case you can't read the writing it says: Merry Christmas for your first apartment

And, for reasons unbeknownst to me because I am not a very openly emotional person, I teared up and got very verklempt.

Okay a little background of my growing up: every year, since my very first year on this earth, my parents have given me an ornament.  The idea is that when I move out (ahem like now) me (and my siblings) will have ~20 ornaments to place on our first trees.  Granted we all have more than 20 (as various family members have given us them as well as buying them on our own) but, in my case, 23 of them are specifically labeled as THE Christmas ornaments.

Inside that package was my 24th

I have a thing for snowmen

Right next to this one is my very first ornament ever

And, of course, the ornament that sets me apart from all

Let's just say the siblings were NOT happy over this one. Especially since my mom gave it to me!

I probably could take a picture of EVERY ornament and have a story or something for each one.  Some good.  Some bad.  Some embarrassing.   But it was quite a good night setting up this guy

It's actually in a cozy corner and not just by itself. I swear! I just had to clear some area to work my magic

I was so proud of this that I pixted (text picture?) it to my mom with a smiley face and got the reply of “Looks great. Nice job decorating”.  Mother approved 🙂

I actually set up the tree while my roomies are out and, as I type this, they haven’t yet returned to see it.  I’m thinking that it makes the apartment nice and home-y.  In fact the setting up tuckered me out so I was able to sit still and read under it 🙂

A little eerie with the lights off, no?

 

November 26, 2010

Apparently The Countdown is Now in Single Digits

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

…as of today.  T-9 days!!

Well I said an early Happy Thanksgiving on Wednesday and I’m saying a belated Happy Thanksgiving today.  Suffice it to say, the fact that I turned my computer on for the first time in 36 hours just now means I had a busy holiday.  And it was pretty good too.  I don’t think I’ve kept it a secret here that my relationship with my family has been tenuous in the past, so I was really mixed about going home for the day.

But I had a blast and even went to the extended family portion of the day (my family eat the dinner as nuclear families and then meet up at one person’s house for dessert), something I haven’t gone to in 6 years.  I think moving out on my own has really matured me and I’ve rethought skipping the family portion of Christmas.  After all: this is going to be my “last” in New England (a fact I’m acutely aware of every day — although my last snowstorm will be cause for celebration hahah)

The best part of the day? Nope not the food (although that was pretty good). Having a dance-off with one of my sisters. To which song you ask?

Luckily no one brought a camera.  So I still have some dignity left in the world.

By the time I got back to my apartment I was bushed! I also arrived home with more leftovers than I can probably eat.  I pulled major rank and said “I’m a poor VISTA and you (my two college sisters) have dining halls. I win”

In light of the fact that I had a great holiday I sincerely hope that you did too 🙂

Since I last left you my running has been…highs and lows? On Wednesday after work I did get some miles in before going to the theater to see “A Christmas Carol”  (which was a really fun musical version!) and then a couple of drinks after.

Still my favorite version. I need to actually buy a copy this year! (thanks google)

The miles were pretty good and, despite still having some allergy problems when I went out, the pace was faster than anything I could have pulled off at 0500.

Thursday was, duh, Thanksgiving and I hit the streets for a “long run”.  After the past four weeks being: 20.3, 20.4, 20, 17.6, the 15 I was scheduled for putting in felt measly.  The first half was slower and sluggish (the thought of “oh great” eyeroll passed through my mind) but I picked it up and finished WAY strong.  I think the final overall average pace was about 8:45.  Which is roughly what I’ve been doing on my long runs — at least when I’m by myself as I had that killer one two weeks ago with a friend.  And the later portion was about 8:20 on this particular run. So YAY.

The weather wasn’t the greatest either: 28* but sunny.  On a whim I checked what the temperature in Dallas was at that time and it was 69*. Ummmm that’s 41* warmer? I’m pretty sure that was a freak day for them but that was still at 0615 CT.  Crazy.

I also got in my pushups (20, 25, 15, 15, 26) and situps (30, 38, 23, 23, 40) before heading to my mom’s house.  I can’t tell if they’re making me stronger yet. They’re certainly not getting much easier but I’m able to handle the increases so far.

The weather on Friday was warmer here (and I think it was actually colder in Dallas hahah. Suckers 😉 ) but drizzly.  Since I had gone over what I should have done yesterday (silly me for thinking about the run as a long run!) I decided to take it slow and steady for a few miles.

Well I guess I didn’t factor into the equation that Thanksgiving has food that I normally don’t eat (not that I wouldn’t like to enjoy them year round but I’m lazy and don’t make anything hahah!) and, while Chocolate Creme Pie and Gingerbread Pudding = sugar = carbs, my legs might not have liked having new foods. I don’t care what anyone says, my legs know the difference between pie carbs and apple carbs.

Because my legs felt like sludge. So I guess I didn’t have to worry about forcing myself to take it slow and steady and easy. [Edit: I just calculated the pace for the run and it was the very slowest possible recovery run pace according to McMillian.  While I still believe that recovery runs should just be run without pace guidelines (the point is to recover and that’s done by what your body wants) I shouldn’t complain about the pace because it wasn’t, in fact, as slow as I thought]

It was one of those runs where you *know* how slow you’re running and even if a rabid dog came after you, your legs would not go faster.

Thanks google

So I cut the run WAY short, ate some breakfast, foam rolled and am debating about going back out to hit the street for 2 more miles in a hour or so bringing my grand total to the day to about 6. Then again, I’m in taper (and likely still a food coma) so I might not.

Speaking of foam rolling (yes I’m aware this is a mish-mash post!) I’ve really gotten into it lately. With the exception of yesterday (because I was running late to get to my mom’s house), I’ve rolled every day for the past 7 days.  And, while my legs aren’t magically faster or anything, I’ve noticed a subtle change in how my legs feel.  They no longer feel wicked tight or sore or cramped.

Yes they still are tight and fatigued and they do still twitch sometimes.  But there’s something that I can’t quite put my finger on that makes me feel good about it.  Not enough to be a zealot for this foam rolling action.  But enough of something to keep doing it until I figure out what the heck that something is.

Aaaaaaaand that’s it?  I sure hope so because this post is already running long 😉

Just finishing up some breakfast and coffee.  The sun’s actually out now which is exciting although annoying because I ran in the drizzle and overcast. I like the sun. After I finish up eating I’ll do some more rolling and stretching and relaxing until later tonight.  One of my friend’s from high school is visiting me as she spent Thanksgiving in our hometown (she lives in PA so I don’t get to see her that much).  We’re going out for dinner then (lots of?) drinks.

Good golly gee whiz this is shaping up to be a great holiday break 😀

April 18, 2010

Boston Marathon 2010 Race Expo (and PICTURES)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 09:00

So yesterday I got up nice and early at 0800.  Maybe for some people that’s early (aka all my friends) BUT for me (and likely lots of you who read my blog) that’s a most excellent sleep-in.

Due to worries about my shin I’ve decided to nix any “shake-out” runs this weekend.  It majorly sucks to not have a 3-5 miler to look forward to in helping me focus in on the race but hey, I’m going to do what it takes to get me, not only to the starting line, but the finish line as well.  And with the left shin being cranky lately it’s probably just as well.

Before I go into the RACE EXPO on Saturday I want to say thanks for the comments, both “go for the freaking 3:29:59” and the “enjoy the experience because you’ve worked so hard” ones.  I haven’t written off a PR or anything like that but I’m just trying to be realistic and accept that “que sera sera”.  Who knows maybe I’ll have the race of my life, maybe I’ll crash and burn.  At this point I honestly think it could go either way and it’s comforting to know that you guys have my back 🙂

Now onto this sucker:

Holler.

Like I said I got up at 0800 Saturday morning and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast as I didn’t have a workout to complete or rush around to get in before leaving.  Around 0930 (after dragging this girlie outta bed)

I told her to smile and this is what I got. Guess she wasn't awake yet

We got to the expo via the T which was the easiest thing to do.  For those of you who aren’t from Boston the T = subway = easiest way to get around.  Plus I hate driving in general so a drive into the city? Pretty basically hell on earth.  So we arrived stress-free (well almost as I though I lost la hermana at the T stop!) and ready to go.

Yay! There were so.many.people. Obviously I know that Boston has a huge field but man! Not only do I hate driving but I hate crowds.  Secretly though I was hoping that all the people would make me pumped for the race because I haven’t been feeling nervous or excited. Like I mentioned yesterday, this is normal for me but I still wanted to feel that butterfly feeling that others have been talking about.  Instead the sight of all the people was practically panic attack inducing. Especially considering my last marathon (Providence 09) was a teeny tiny race compared to this beast.  That expo was in a hotel lobby.  With about 6 sponsors and 3 vendors.  Way small.

But it was still way cool to see all the people and such.  It was funny on the T because most of the people were heading to the expo and there was a sense of camaraderie even though it was mildly stressful. I picked up my number and race bag and t-shirt

Doubles as my check-in bag for race day

With these goodies inside, plus a bunch of those annoying coupon/ads

Official program, spectator guide, water, medal and rice. Yes rice.

You'll just have to wait until post-race day (or go online) to see what this baby looks like.

Ditto about waiting ’til post-race to see my actual jacket.  The only reason I opened that packet is because I needed to make sure the size I ordered was correct.

and then hit up the massive expo.

I didn’t take many (read: any) pictures of the expo booths.  Nothing really exciting. Standard stuff.  Although I will say that I didn’t think there was enough FREE STUFF.  Major bummer.  I did walk away with some loot though.  And basically anything that was free I took huge quantities of.

Fooooood.  AKA: 4 (well 5 but I ate one) Odwalla Berries GoMega bars, 4 (lucky number duh) of the following Tea2Gos: Green Tea Pomegranate, Ice Tea Natural Lemon, Lemonade, Passionfruit, Cranberry Pomegranate, Fruit Punch, and Wild Berry Pomegranate, Planters Cranberry Almond Peanut Bar, Everlast Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch and Everlast E-Drenaline energy shot

So enough to look impressive but given the size of the expo I was disappointed that there wasn’t more. And maybe there was and it was just hiding from me.

There was also some pain management stuff

Topricin creme which is supposed to be anti-inflammatory and help with healing.  Not too sure about it but the guy was really enthusiastic and didn’t object when I loaded my bag full of them.  I plan on using them on my shin.  Anything to help right? And pain relief patches which I plan on using in the week post-marathon.

Children’s Hospital also had a booth and I stocked up.  I’m in love with Children’s, I interned there over the summer and went there for my shin.  I was bummed that I missed the doctor who looked at my shin’s lecture but there were many other lectures on the medicine of running.  Way cool.

Children's loot, en español también

So that’s the stuff I walked away with.  And I didn’t spend a DIME on other stuff.  It helped that I had $1.34 in my wallet and no credit/debit card.  Seriously.

But my sister and I managed to have fun without spending money.  Yay. So here’s a picture medley from that

Yay I win!

Yeah, some friends of mine.

No big deal or anything

And we also found some really inspiration stuff.  Which I had hoped would feed into a sense of excitement and it sort of did.  But I’m going to have to accept that I’m a get-butterflies-on-race-day gal.


Below this guy was a wall where people signed good luck / inspirational / funny messages to other runners. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the whole wall buttttt people don’t pay attention to where they’re walking and I kept getting head shots.  (Actually I kept getting head shots all day.  Or rather my sis did (my camera beyotch). It’s miraculous she got as many as she did!)

Here's what I wrote to my fellow runners :)

My sister wrote one for me.  I’m not going to post the pic I took of it as it has my bib number on it and I don’t want that to be circulated (don’t know who’s reading this aka crazies) but it said “# You run this hard. Good Luck!”.  And too think that I complain about my sibs all the time! Another writer wrote “Whoop Whoop!” For whatever reason I found this funny and laughed and laughed and laughed.  Guess I’m weird.

All in all we weren’t really at the expo for all that long.  Sadly I didn’t get to see anyone that I “knew” although I did keep my eyes peeled.  And since I wasn’t in the mood to spend any money we did a few laps on the convention center and then left.  I did take a picture of myself with the race course in the background but my sis wanted me to hold up my race number so I’m not going to post the picture.  I will say that it’s my favorite one.  So if I know you (aka I’m comfortable to email and text with you and you want to see it then email me 🙂 ) But all-in-all a great day.

[EDIT: So upon the advice of Laura, who told me to photo edit scribble out the number, I realized I could just cut the lower half of me out.  So it’s basically a head shot haha]

Kind of small but you can click to enlarge

Especially a great day since when we got home we hit up the gym for a half-hour of easy cycling to shake out my legs (for me and it really was easy.  I think I only hit 7 or 8 miles) and a half hour of running (for her).  And even nicer was that we went to the gym I work at so it was all free.  Yay.  After our cardio we did an abs circuit.  It felt really great to be able to spend so much time with her today.  As much as the day was about me and Boston it felt fantastic to be with her.  I don’t get to do that often being away at school and when I lived full-time at home my relations were very contentious with la familia.

Holy Word Count Batman! But before I wrap this up (and I thank you for sticking with me in this) I also got a massage today.  Which made me miss the RW forumites dinner.  Oops.  But I think that my shin will thank me because my massage therapist (who is a good friend) really worked my shin real good.  Like I needed it.  She did other stuff with my legs but my shin reallyreallyreally needed this.  So I apologize to the RW peeps!! I didn’t get out of the massage until 1900 and after showering it was almost 2000! But I think some stuff might go down today? *FingersCrossed*

So before I get the hook from you (is that image appropriate for a blog?!) I’ll just leave you with this picture as I don’t know what my plans are for the day.  Obviously rest, ice and massage.  As well as putting together the race day outfit, affixing my chip & bib and packing stuff for race day.  Exciting stuff no?But the next time you’ll hear from me is post-race. Eeeeeeek.

And I’ll say hope you guys are having a great weekend 🙂

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