MarathonMaiden's Blog

May 10, 2010

Not As Bad As I Thought

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

[ETA: Oops to forgetting to post this up Sunday when I finished writing it! I swear it was ready to go that afternoon! That’s what I (and you) get when all you want to do is take advantage of free time before the craziness of finals week starts hahah.  I tried to go back and edit so it sounds like I wrote it today but I really wrote it Sunday.]

Definitely not as sore as I thought I’d be after my lifting session Saturday[ETA: Well Sunday morning when I got up this was the case.  As time has gone on the soreness factor has increased a bit but I’m not sure how much is lifting and how much is the LR that I did].  And I’m glad that I chose to hit up the gym, because the weather was soooo spazzy: one minute nothing then the next downpouring to clear again.  That’s not even mentioning the random thunder and lightning that cropped up.  I can handle the rain / heavy rain but I’m terrified on thunderstorms so that would not have been good.  Plus I don’ t think it’s all that smart to be running in that kind of storm 😉

But the gym was good.  I did my “typical” lifting routine (found here) sandwiched between some elliptical and some treadmill action as warming up and down.  I kept the weights on the light side because, like I mentioned yesterday, it has been a good 4-5 weeks since I last hit the weights.  I think I used the correct weights for my legs (oh hey there hamstrings!) but I probably under did it with the arms as I’m really not feeling any effects of the session.

My process of choosing the weights was take the weights I was using during training and go down one.  I don’t think I lost as much fitness as I think I did because my body isn’t omg-I-can’t-move sore.  More of an okay-hello-muscles sore.  I’m debating whether to increase my weights next time or keep it at the lower ones for another couple of sessions.

In a way it’s good that I’m not as sore as I was anticipating because my long run was pushed off to Sunday. It felt really weird to not do a Saturday long run because that’s what I’ve been doing, not just during Boston training, but since my last training cycle save a few actually no, the summer was Friday lrs but I haven’t done Sundays since…(checks log book) February 8th 2009.  Wowza.

But since classes are over there is no reason to keep Sunday really free and clear.  I even pushed off the run to mid-morning to allow some food to get into my system and pray for a bit that the wind would die down a bit.  Obviously the running gods did not want to listen to me because it was still very windy when I hit the road.  Oh well.  It was certainly better than trying to run in the tstorms of yesterday.

And to be honest (and I’m going to just state that I really hate that phrase…and the phrase “not going to lie”…so I don’t know why I want to use it here hah) the wind wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Sure it gusted a bit but it kept me from overheating and I’ve turned into a pansy as of late with my running.  I only want to run in perfect conditions.  I’ve been spoiled because of all the XT I’ve been forced to do and avoid the elements.

So I put on a slightly heavier long-sleeve (and by slightly heavier I mean heavier than a tech shirt but not a thermal shirt) to keep the wind at bay and took off.

Like really took off.  Since you all know by now that I don’t have a garmin (I think I write that so much ha! Guess as much as I say I’m happy without one, having one would be nice.  Too bad they’re so expensive!) I don’t know what my pace was for the first few miles (or any individual mile really) but suffice it to say that I felt like I was cruising.  And who knows, maybe I was.  I do know that my pace decreased in the mid-miles and then re-increased during the last 5k or so and I ended right around 8:00 pace (which was my GMP for Boston).

But overall I’m really happy with how the run went and I’m really glad that I went for it.  I was debating pushing it off some more but figured “why the hell not do it today?”.  I think I also got a fire lit under me because this is the last weekend I’ll be on campus (next weekend I have to go home for a dentist appt and the following Saturday is graduation) so this was the last weekend to get a long run in and I wanted to do a good-old standby route.  Because I’m not likely to ever do another long run again in this area. Tear.

Like I just mentioned I likely went out too fast in the beginning.  I could feel the slight soreness in my legs from yesterday’s lifting but it didn’t affect me and my stride.  In fact the slower I went the more I noticed it!  The mid-miles, though, were a bit tough.  Not necessarily from a physical standpoint but from a mental one and I’m pretty sure I slowed down a bit during miles 6-10 or so.  I remember thinking at some point in there: how in God’s name did I do this as a recovery run route before? But once I hit that 10 mark I was able to get a second wind and really feel good in the homestretch.  I’m also pretty sure that I had a nice tailwind over the last few miles and that certainly didn’t hurt either!

The overall stats:

  • 13.2 miles
  • 117- mins
  • 8:51 pace

I was thrilled with this run immediate when I got back and am doubly thrilled when looking at this data! I definitely cannot remember the last time I ran a LR sub-9 without checking my training log and the amazing feeling of running at a pushed pace, but with ease, has eluded me for quite awhile, save the past week.

Not bad at all 🙂

Although bladder issues did crop up.  Thank god during Boston I was able to run the whole thing without stopping.  Now that I’m back to just running, however, I guess my bladder wants to misbehave.  I did make it the whole way without stopping but it was a full out sprint to the bathroom when I got back. *LeSigh* haha

But remember how I said the lifting soreness wasn’t as bad as I thought? Well it wasn’t until after I showered then I got the lifting+hard run sore feeling.  Not painful bad at all but totally a “daaaaaaaaaayum girl you’ve been working hard” soreness.  Which I like. So I’m going to reward myself by sitting in my comfy chair by the window and opening the good book I’m into (apparently I was wrong when I thought I had read every John Grisham novel out there, as I found a copy of one that I must have missed somehow.  AMAZING!).  It’s too windy and not quite warm enough (barely cracking the 50s!) to sit outside and read but being by the window is a very close second.  And let’s be real here people: once I get into a novel I am oblivious to the world so does it *really* matter when I am? haha.

Check out this giveaway from Mel

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Again, the above was written yesterday (Sunday).  And I’m too lazy to do a real overhaul.  So I’m leaving as is for now.  I did end up reading a lot which was really nice and a great way to recharge before finals week starts…today.  Finals week is never too stressful for me.  This semester I only have a Quantum take home and a Spanish pre-scheduled, so two finals? Not so bad.

Nothing today except to pick up the take home but I’m going to my friend’s thesis defense so I got up early to hit the streets. I probably could have waited until after the defense but I like to get up at get going.  Something that doesn’t feel the same way as me? The temperature.  We had a frost advisory last night! The sun was shining though so it didn’t feel as bad as it could have been.  There wasn’t any wind either which made it pleasant out.

And my legs? Wowza soreness! I can feel the knots in every muscle in my legs.  I was thinking of trying out the foam roller but I’m too afraid of how much pain I’ll be in! Maybe I’ll brave it after the defense.  I was also thinking of hitting up the weights again today but I’m not in a hurry to really make a set schedule for strength stuff just yet.

Therefore after my ~7 mile recovery run (and trust me it was recovery after such a great LR yesterday) I just did some core and my PT hip exercises.  The exercises are getting wayyy easy so I’m happy because it means that my hips are getting stronger.

Aaaaaaaaand I’m going to wrap this up here because between two days worth of running recaps I’m about to write a thesis myself.  Gotta dash off! Send good vibes her way if you can 🙂

December 14, 2009

Stick a Fork in Me: I’m Done

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:05

Cheesy title? Yes.  But I like it.  Because it’s so true.  I took my first (and last) final this morning. It was Spanish and it was exactly what I expected it to be: essays based on questions we’ve been talking about all semester.  I’m sure I made some mistakes but whatever (and I just got an email from my prof saying that she finished the exams and they were good. “Some of them VERY good” heh hope I’m in the “very” category!).  Funny that once I got back to my room I put on my Spanish music and loaded an episode on the Spanish show I’m watching haha. I also handed in the physics paper before the exam so that means 5/5 classes + independent study? DONEZO.

Clearly I am a runner so I chose to do a celebratory run.  And since I no longer have any time constraints I had no idea how far I wanted to go (or how far my body did after this weekend’s 14/10).  The weather was wonderful: sunny, 42*, no wind.  I don’t think I could have asked for a better day especially after all the coldness we’ve just had and the cold front that’s suppose to move in on Wednesday. Boo for crazy New England weather!!

I guess it really is going to be dangerous this week with no restraints.  I don’t have ANYTHING.  Well I do have some stuff: like Christmas shopping but nothing pressing.  Even on the weekends this semester I had stuff that put restrictions on when/how far etc I could run.  Now? Nada.  This will change next week when I’m home — I specifically lied to my family and told them that I had an exam on Saturday (the last day of finals) just so that I could live a week responsibility free: No playing chauffeur, free babysitter, cook for everyone.

So I decided to start living it up now.  Like I mentioned above I was a little leery of what I could do today so I chose to make my run a mezcla (might be my fav Spanish word = mixture) of smaller runs so that I could bail if needed.  If you’ve been following me for any length of time though you know I didn’t bail.

I really think that my body is responding incredibly well to this high mileage.  Not only did I run a total of 24 miles this weekend, cap off a 70 mile week AND be happy with overall pace but the run length was consistent too (and I know I haven’t put up recaps for last week and this week. I plan on doing a December long one at the end of the month with each week broken down).

So with all that in mind (plus the usual Monday slug mentality) I was very surprised when my body felt great from the get-go.  Uh-oh, I thought to myself, This is tempting.  Obviously I would be a really bad (or is it really good?) drug addict because I cannot resist that temptation.  In my defense I will say that I re-evaluated how I felt after each mini-loop and doing some mental calculations  quickly I determined that I was running negative splits and feeling well while doing it.  So I kept on running right up until the moment I was meeting my friend for lunch.

Grand total? 11 miles!!

Definitely did not have “The Mondays” today.  Maybe it was the fact that I didn’t run first thing so I had a hearty breakfast in me and I had been walking to and from my exam so my body was warmer than usual.  Maybe the perfect weather played a role.  I don’t know.  All I know is that it felt incredible! It also felt like I hadn’t done a damn thing.  I felt light and not fatigued.  I mean I could feel in my muscles those miles but they weren’t screaming or exhausted.

The only thing I really felt was hungry! After bumping up my mileage so much I’ve just been ravenous.  Luckily my school has a carte blanche meal plan so I won’t go broke feeding myself 🙂

And before I head off to watch some Spanish television: thanks for the comments re: Boston training.  If you haven’t  checked it out, please leave your feedback.  It’d be greatly appreciated.  I’m definitely not set on anything and I’m really taking into account what you guys think. This will only be my second marathon so I’m such a newbie!!

Also, I want to play a game of 20 questions with you like The Laminator did awhile back. So questions? I’ve gotten a few so far but I need wayyy more if I’m going to hit 20 🙂

AND I want to direct you all to UltraRobby.  Who just finished the Hellgate 100k to complete the Beast series.  Such a bamf.  And I ❤ it that he listened to my song.  Priceless.

Hope everyone has a great Monday.  For me it’s kind of like a Friday. Be jealous 😉

December 11, 2009

Just Dance

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:36

So I wanted to talk about my experience in jazz class but it just never felt appropriate / I could never find the right way to work it in.  So obv I didn’t.  But Thursday was my last class of the semester so I wanted to include some thoughts on my experience and how I felt it impacted my running.  Because like I’ve written before (and been a broken record about it) I’m running really high mileage and feeling fantastic doing it.  I have no direct evidence that Jazz is the root of this but I suspect that it has a large influence.  What am I going to do next semester without it?!

First off I think EVERYONE should take a dance class, runner/other type of athlete or not.  Apparently (and no I don’t have studies to back this up) research has shown that it can stave off dementia because you’re constantly working the brain with music and steps and counts.  And as fun as senile old people are, I don’t think anyone wants to actually be one.

Anyway.  Back in September I was so incredibly skeptical of this class.  I mean, I am a high achiever and a dance class as part of my schedule?  Clearly even though it was hard in the way I typically associate with tough classes it was challenging.  A huge emphasis was placed on stretching and flexibility (duh have you ever seen dancers?!).  As I wrote in my guest post with Christina I never stretch.  So not only was I working muscles that I don’t regularly use but I was stretching them out too.

Not going to lie, the first few classes were tough.  I was never sore but there was always that feeling of “Oh yeah.  *insertbodypart* exists”.  A good feeling IMO.  But all this stretching left my hips being able to open up and my hammys to loosen up.  And my stride with running because more fluid and relaxed.

Another huge key was my ability to become less klutzy.  I mean, I trip over my own feet.  Regularly.  But having to dance and flow with the music has turned me into a *more* graceful person – definitely still not in the graceful category but closer for sure.  I love that I “move like a dancer” like when I get dressed? Yup I point my toes.  It’s awesome! I suppose that this musicality I’ve developed has impacted my running just by giving me more balance and being able to trust the movements of my body.

In the mental health category: I feel so happy when I left that class! I absolutely dreaded going to it and actually dreamed up excuses to miss / sit out of the class.  But, like running, I felt so much better at the end of class.  It was a great stress relief and a great way to let off some steam during the day.

Plus I also like the way it improved my moves on the dance floor 😛

Like last night.  I’m not saying I’m the best dancer out there but hey, I’m not longer limited to my “white girl” moves.  I can now at least feel the rhythm.  And that makes going out so much more fun.  I’m less self-conscious of what I’m doing. I’m also actually going to see my friend perform in the Dance Company show tonight.  I love watching dancers too.  I could prolly do it all day haha.

I wasn’t going to include my running today in this post but I kind of want to brag on how BAMF I was (because when do I not brag on myself?!) And I will preface this by saying the cold this morning is nowhere near intense as what some people are getting.

BUT.  It was the coldest it’s been yet here.  I don’t have the exact numbers for when I woke up but at 0800 it was 22* with the wind chill factor making it 10*.  That was with the sun being up for an hour or so.  (And yes even after going out last night my body oh so kindly woke me up early).  I’m 100% positive that I was in the low teens (actual) and low single digits to negative (wind).  Brrrrrrrr.  And it’s not that much warmer now.  It’s 1430 (as I type this) and it’s only 26* (actual) and 14* (wind).  And the wind really has been in effect today with pretty continual wind as well as up to 40(!) mph gusts.

I still got my run in.  Sure my hands were frozen within the first mile.  I remember saying to myself “This is going to hurt a lot when I finish” And naturally it did.  I actually had to lay down because I got so incredibly nauseous as my hands rewarmed up. Like practically fetal position so I wouldn’t vomit everywhere.  I told my friends this they all told me that it was NOT normal to feel like that when cold.  But this wasn’t just “cold” so I’m wondering if they’re right? I’m pretty cold sensitive despite living in New England my whole life…

Okey-dokey.  Time to finish up some minor details for school.  Today was the last day of classes (and the end of fall semester undergrad classes!?).  I’m 100% done with 3/5 classes but just need to put some edits on this physics paper to hand in by 1700 today (hizzah!).  Then I just have my Spanish final on Monday to deal with. NBD.  Omg I can’t believe it: this will likely be the first weekend I have such a relaxing to-do list.  But I’m sure I’ll find a way to change that *inserteyeroll*.  My life just isn’t complete without a bit of stress haha.

Enjoy your Fridays everyone! Stay warm too! Hot chocolate (esp with peppermint schnapps) = clutch 🙂

P.S. (again): If you have any question for me: Bring. It. On.  I’m looking for new ideas / topics to write about in the future.

May 8, 2009

Motivation?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:45

Where are you?

And I mean this in many aspects.  First with running and some background.  I am a huge type-A.  Major type-A. I plan *everything * and am obsessed with knowing everything.  So naturally, I keep really comprehensive training logs.  An while I’ve run the past two days (and they’ve been wicked nice runs too) I have had no desire to acknowledge them in a log.  Nor have I had the drive to do any core-work which I am also obsessed with.

I guess this is ok as I am still recovering from a sweet marathon but whenever my type-A perfectionism isn’t there 100% I always worry that I’m turning lazy.  This also applies to school.  See, even though I’ve been home for the past three days, I still have a final tmrw afternoon.  And I should be studying for it right now / have been all day.  I even have the damn spanish textbook in front of me.  But every time I look at the material it really is a foreign language to me despite studying it all year (and being actually quite good at it).  So by my feet it sits, clearly not being studied. Anyone have any good tips on how to focus?

Since this is a running blog you, my dear reader, must want to know how the running is going (even if I don’t really care to record in my log).  Recovering is going splendedly!  I truly feel like my body is recovered, even though that’s prolly a myth.  I always expect myself to be super-human or something so I should prolly take it easy this weekend.

I did a 5 miler yesterday and a 6 miler today.  GASP! I was only planning on 5 today but the legs feel really good, the pace is my easy pre-marathon run pace and it was a beautiful day out.  Perfect combo for a great run, I was nice and sweaty afterwards which was refreshing.  It’s hard to work up that kind of a sweat during the semester when my runs are during the cool mornings.  Beating sunshine, so hot that you feel your skin baking makes me happy.  So bad I know! But I’m getting better at wearing sunscreen so that I don’t develop into a wrinkley old hag by my next birthday.

May 7, 2009

Charmed

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — marathonmaiden @ 09:12

I am still in that post-marathon high.  I feel like I’m just glowing and oozing with happiness.  Hopefully this feeling lasts even longer 🙂

My body is feeling like its recovering very nicely and my massage yesterday was great.  it was only supposed to be an hour but after the hour she asked me, do you have anywhere to be? ummmm not if youre going to keep going lady haha.  my calves are a little sore and tender but i expected that as they were tooooo tender and a big “hot spot” yesterday. note to self: stretch more!

I’m going to try and have a “real” run today.  Its on and off rain today so I’m sure I wont be out there too long.  As much as I hate the rain its goingto keep me in line from pushing too hard this week.  Then it can go away forever and leave me with sun!

On the school front, I am so close to being done with my finals (and my 3rd year of college eeek!),  so thats definitely adding to the goodness I am feeling.  I just need to crunch the numbers on one problem of my take-home exam and take a spanish exam friday but nothing over-the-top. YAY.

Other than what I just wrote I plan on sitting on the couch and watching tv all. freaking. day. Right now its charmed, a show I loved when I was younger.  After this its a toss up between JAG and ER;  law & order is definitely on tap for later.

May 1, 2009

Trying to Relax

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:34

AKA: t-2 days!

My shoes came in at 954 this morning!   At least that’s when the post office notified me that my package had arrived, I was so excited that when I got the shoes, I immediately put them on in the middle of the campus center.  They’re good! Slightly differenet than my old ones (these are the newer model) but I think it’s because they’re brand new rather than the actual shoe type itself (if that sentence even made sense).  Thanks for all the kind word from everyone yesterday, they really mean a lot that people cared!

I’m starting, however, to second guess my decision to run a marathon the day before finals  week starts.  My original thinking was that most of the heavy work is typically given to me the week BEFORE finals, and thus when I’m tapering.  Well the school gods decided to play a joke on me and give me relatively no work this week, allowing me to really notice that I’m tapering.  I was hoping school would have been a good distraction haha.

In reality, finals might just kick my butt.  Most of my classes need an excellent grade for me to pull off an A.  I mean, I can live with the B+/A- grades, but I am such a perfectionist that I want the damned A.  So I have to really study, which wouldn’t be a bad thing except that my finals are at the beginning of the week. Grrrrrr.

Ok enough venting, I think I’m putting out all my negativity because I’m nervous for the marathon.  There, I said it. I am nervous! But excited at the same time.  Which is good because it means that I care about running, duh.  I’m heading down to the expo tmrw to check things out and hopefully the weather turns nice as its a little dreary out right now.  So now its time to sit back, eat some carbs, curl up with a good book (or lost because thats how I roll) and try to relax 🙂

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