MarathonMaiden's Blog

March 31, 2011

Laundry or Food

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:26

Guess which one I chose to take care of last night?

Hint let’s just look at letter U shall we?

Anyway…I do want to bitch (again) about the weather.  As Sarah so astutely pointed out

the recent “cold” weather has felt weirdly warm for me. Like, it will say 19 degrees outside, but I’ll be sweating within minutes. I’m not sure what this means, other than it’s 19 degrees in late March and that’s not particularly appealing. Humidity?

I’ve been stepping outside of my apartment WAY overdressed.  But I’m dressing based on the temperature, and even taking sun / cloud cover into account, I’m overdressing.   She’s 100% right that 19* at the very end of March is sooooooooo not what anyone wants.  But it feels warm.  And, dare I say it?, nice! I hate to think that after 24 years of suffering through the cold I’m about to adapt.

We’ll see though, as it’s supposed to snow April 1.

Happy April's Fools Day y'all

Gotta love the north east.  In any case, the weather has been nice out lately. Or so it feels. Weird.

Which was the case for Wednesday’s 0530 run.  I figured that, with it being in the 20s and with the sun still sleeping (which is EXACTLY what I wanted to be doing when my alarm went off.) I’d be a little chilly.  Nope, I was sweating within minutes and, after running the first of 2 loops, shed the sweatshirt and mittens.

And then I ran the second loop faster than the first one.  Which is my standard M.O. but lately, aka with the IT band acting wonky, it’s been the opposite and I’ve been more tortoise than hare during the final stretch.  Not sure what this means but I’ll take it! The total pace was still on the slow side though as my leg was achy for longer.  Still no pain.  I’ll take that too.

Especially as I go into…taper? I feel like I’ve been tapering already! It’s been almost 3 weeks since I did anything hard.  This weekend marks 3 weeks since my last long run, which was the 24 miler that I think was the trigger for the IT pain.  I mean, I definitely haven’t been slacking with the overall mileage (and thanks to those of you who have assured me that the 20 split that I did this weekend is okay) butttttt I’m hoping that I surprise myself in a few weeks.

That said, I’m not quite sure how I should attack the next 2.5 weeks.  Obviously it’s taper time (although I was going to do a 2 week taper originally) and I can’t cram any true goodness into my body in terms of workouts but I can’t help but feel that my body is going to be stale when I get to that starting line.  Any thoughts / suggestions as to how I go about the next 17 days? (zoooooomg is that it?!)

I still haven’t ordered my jacket yet.  I probs should get on that. But right now I’m still giddy over some exciting news about my future after my year with AmeriCorps and the clinic is done. I feel really terrible about not being able to share more on here but, with nothing set in stone and my year with AmeriCorps still having 4.5 months left (yes that has become a mantra for me!) I’m going to continue to be cagey.  But good vibes are appreciated for everything to work out and not fall through at this stage.

I’ll also be nice and let you listen to the amazingness that is Enrique.  I’m soooooooooooo feeling him and his latest music. Although I do prefer the non-radio edit version.

I’m off for what I’m hoping to be a 13 – 15 miler.  My (or rather my IT Band’s) version of a long run.  Then again, maybe I’m supposed to be doing something shorter as this is the taper.  But it’s the beginning of it. Gaaaaaaaah.  This is what I get for flying by the seat of my pants with training! Fingers crossed I make it.  Or rather make it intact! I didn’t sleep well last night (couldn’t fall asleep so I stayed up watching NCIS and The Office then kept waking up during the night) so it should be interesting to say the least.

October 13, 2010

Feeling So Fly

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

Or, as Flo told me, I am giggling like a loon for 3 days.  But they haven’t yet made a song that says that.  Maybe someday.

And in case you don’ t know why I’m giggling like a loon or feeling like a G6 check out what I did on Monday.

Thanks a million for the congrats and love y’all gave me.  I’ll admit that I had a bit of an inflated ego after reading them 😉

In the days that have passed I, duh, have still been running.  But it’s been SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW and total, complete 100% recovery paced: Tuesday ended up being 8:53 and Wednesday was….well techically the way I round it should be 9:00 but I *really* want to make the 8:59.25 a 8:59, so I am.  Close enough right? HAHAH. Oh me and my numbers and weird rounding ways.

The runs themselves were pretty unremarkable the weather on Tuesday was 52* 80%, brisk, but it was 0800 so it was pretty sunny out and I got to wear my bamf sunglasses (to those who asked: BAMF is an acronym that stands for Bad Ass Mother F^%#$& and it’s pronounced like it’s written) which helped counter the fact that my legs felt tired.  Which is a good thing since I raced my heart out on Monday.

Wednesday I woke up to 40* and 75% humidity.  Since the sun was out it didn’t really feel that cold and I’m glad that I didn’t break out the gloves yet.  While my extremities always get cold I’ve lived in New England my whole live and it would be quite shameful to have broken out anything yet.  Longsleeves covering my arms sufficed.  I guess.  My hands did get a bit numb by the end and it was slightly difficult to unlock my apartment door.  Oh well.  I did make it inside. 

Again it was a slow run as my legs were tired at beginning but I felt a real pick up at the end, which was encouraging.  I’ve always said that I recover fast so the fact that I was feeling slow and the legs were lead on Tuesday was a bit disheartening.  At least in terms of recovery and what my brain is used to.  I’m taking it as a good sign that I really pushed hard and ran the race my body was primed to at Tufts.

Kristin said in her comment yesterday

Great job! So happy (but not surprised at all) with your HUGE HUGE pr!! “Although if you consider your racing season “untrained for”… I’m afraid to see what insane efforts training entails you’re a workhorse, own it!”

Which got me thinking about the future.

In the immediate future (aka this week) I want to relax a bit.  Despite not following a hard grinding training program for anything this fall I was still doing structured workouts and (GASP) feeling guilty for doing things like…bailing on workouts ooooor skipping them entirely.  It’ll be nice to wake up without knowing how far I’ll be going and to not feel the pressure of an upcoming race. I think I said it yesterday but there’s a Jingle Bell 5k in the beginning of December that would be a fun race. 

Of course I am a racer so we’ll see how the actual race turns out but it’ll be a race in costume.  Which inherently makes it “fun”. Right?

In response to that comment and the more long term future, I actually shudder to think about what would happen if I actually trained for a race.  I think part of the reason I was so successful this fall was because I DID NOT train for any of the races specifically.  Definitely not the half (it really wasn’t on my radar until the week before) and the 5 and 10ks were never “goal”‘ed.  I did a few speed sessions but I wasn’t laser focused on them. 

I say this, the shudder part, not out of the fear of doing great but because the last time I TRULY trained for a race I ended  up with AWFUL shin splits that required forced rest.  AKA the 3 weeks prior to the Boston Marathon I couldn’t run and I was in PT to get over my shin problems.  In fact, the race that was 3 weeks before, Eastern States 20 Miler, I had thought my shin were legit fractured crossing that finish line. Obviously not something I want to repeat.

But I’m looking towards a marathon in 2011 and, duh, training will happen.  It would be nice if I can train SMARTLY for something.

I know that you guys probably want to know more details of what I want to do next year.  But beyond what I’ve written above I simply don’t know.  I just want to take some time and bask in the glow of an awesome Fall 2010 season on races.

If I can find the time to bask.  Clinic this week has been insane so far and doesn’ t look like it’ll lighten up anytime soon.  I probably should stop blogging and start working, right? The weekend can’t come soon enough! Because, as much as I’m giggling like a loon right now, the real celebration will happen this weekend. 

It’s a promise to myself 😀

And since this post is boring with no pictures added, and a bit lackluster as I’m unsure of the future of my races and just am taking time to recover from the fall, here’s a comic from xkcd.com because anything physics-y brightens my day.  I don’t know how much physics anyone has taken but the Right Hand Rule rules all. 

Giveaway from HotLegsRunner and Mel (Tall Mom on the Run)

September 16, 2010

Three Things Thursday

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

AKA: What I do when I’m feeling uninspired for a post 😉

Except by now we all know how I feel about odd numbers.  So Four Things Thursday it shall be.

1. This song was (and still is) stuck in my head. Normally when I’m linking to songs/videos I just search and link.  Today I felt compelled to listen to this song in its entirety. Enjoy.  Because you know I’ve just re-listened to it about, oh I don’t know, a billion times already.

2. My running went well this morning.  My sleeping? Not so much.  I did “sleep in” today (aka I woke up early and couldn’t fall asleep so I went out on the couch and watched an episode of NCIS and thus was “up” at a later time than usual) and settled on running only 7 miles.  Well that was the plan.  And I was going to stick to it because it was absolutely FREEZING last night again.  And I hate being out in the cold. I got up at 0530 and forgot to check the temp but when I remembered 2 hours later it was only 46*.  It’s not even officially fall yet and overnight temps are cold.  But I went slightly longer than planned and I felt a surge of energy at the end which I made the decision (very likely against my better judgment) to add my typical extra bit.  Not to get too psycho-analytical on myself but I think me craving the long run is myself being REALLY EFFING SCARED for this 5k.

Exactly how I feel. Thank you google images for capturing it

3. I met with my pre-health advisor this morning.  The meeting went really well.  I’m going to leave it at that (sorry but I just don’t want to go into details so this #3 thing is a bit evasive! But I’m all smiles because of it so I’m going to be mean and secretive about it 😛 ). It feels exciting and right even though nothing is set in stone. While this makes me nervous because I am such a planner to the max, I feel strangely calm, like I talked about yesterday.  But there are sketches of ideas so I’m not completely shunning my Type-A ness. I’m still a go-getter 😀

Thank you google images

4.  It’s almost Friday.  And that’s a good thing because it means I’m closer to my margarita party with the roomies.

Holler.

So there you have it.  My four things.  I probably could have written more.  Funny how I decided to do this type of post because “I didn’t have anything to write about” because I feel like I could have written 4 more things.  I think I just like doing bullet points and having randomness. And I would have written more except it’s a clinic day.  So I’m likely running around all crazy at work by the time you read this.  Such is life.  But I really can’t lie and say that I’m miserable because I love it 😀

Enjoy your Thursdays!

And I was going to link a picture for “margarita” in my #4 thing but I decided that it might make today longer than it has to be.

 

March 19, 2010

PT Eval and Nice Clothes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:34

Well I got back to school safe and sound last night.  There are surprisingly a lot of people on campus, although I suspect that many of them are seniors thesis-ing. It’s not T-9 weeks until G-day.  So even less actual school time because the week before is Senior week and 2 weeks before is finals.  So wait, I have only 7 weeks left?!

Moving on before I start to cry or something…

The nice weather continues to stay with us.  Mother nature must be wanting to get on the good side of us New Englanders after the monsoon over the weekend.  It hit 71* today as I was driving around on errands!!

Since I had my PT eval, as well as a PM informational interview, today I wanted to get a run in beforehand.  A run is always the best way to start the day.  Especially when it’s already mid-40s outside when you get up.  Holllleeeer! I wasn’t sure what to expect from the run as Fridays are technically recovery days but yesterday’s workout wasn’t “hard”.  At least GMP isn’t supposed to be as hard as tempo in my mind.  But with my body finding the workout challenging in the moment (and running for 60 minutes at 7:59 should be I guess for me, even though I want to keep that pace for 26.2 come April 19th. Sheesh haha) I had mixed feelings about what to expect.

I wanted today to be a little quicker than it was, even though I was running ~9:16s the whole time.  Amarathoner wrote about this idea yesterday, that as training goes on the question becomes when do you increase the “easy” or “recovery” pace.  I suppose the answer obviously lies within your own body and I should let mine dictate that.  But on the other hand, I read about elites who say that there is no such thing as too slow for a recovery run and routinely clock theirs in around 9 or 10 pace.

But the point is that I think I should stop being shocked at “pulling off” 9:15 or so recovery runs. The past 2 or so weeks this has been the norm.  Of course now that I say that this upcoming week is going to have my recovery runs be slower than molasses.  Such is life 🙂

Onto bigger and more exciting things.  I know you’re probably all dying to hear about how my PT session went.

I have the diagnosis (from the sports med doc on Monday) as periostitis, which is the inflammation of the connective tissue that surrounds bone.  My goal from PT is to reduce the swelling in my ankle so that I can get a better range of motion.

So today was just an evaluation so my PT (who is the PT I shadowed in the fall of ’08, so I already knew her) just did a battery of “tests”, like watching me walk, do squats, leg lifts, calf raisers etc. as well as taking measurements of my range of motion in my ankles, knees and hips. She gave me some calf stretches to do and then iced me down and I got e-stim.  I’ve had stim on my back before and it’s amazing.  Basically it’s electric pulses that break up the gunk in the area it’s applied to; the “buzzing” you feel is awesome.  Probably the best part of the session haha!

The consensus? That my problem cropped up NOT because of muscle imbalance but because I have incredibly tight joints in my ankle and knees and hips.

In one of the next sessions (because I scheduled about a half dozen or so) she wants to do a gait analysis because she thinks I’m a heel striker (I honestly couldn’t say myself as I’ve never paid attention to that before).  This would lead to my problem because when my foot strikes the ground my ankle can’t dorsalflex enough to properly absorb the shock, and neither can my other joints.  The muscles and tendons then absorb extra shock.  And when it can’t take anymore inflammation occurs.

Over the course of the next few weeks the goal is to reduce inflammation so I can be in tip-top shape to toe the line at Hopkington.  Right now when she was trying to bend my right (affected) ankle it would barely rotate.  Beyond that I’m going to want to keep working with her (as long as insurance will allow) to work on my biomechanics and possibly loosen up my joints a bit.  Not sure how much that is possible but looser joints will mean less stress is forced upon my muscles every step I run.

After my appointment I had to dash immediately off to an informational interview.  Not a job interview but a brainstorming session with an alum from my school who the career center thought would be beneficial to talk to. She’s not in the field I want (medicine) but she’s a manager at a company who consults with companies who want to market medical devices.  I’m not quite sure what I was expecting from this meeting but it went well.  It was more like a conversation and she complimented me on my ability to stay calm and actually carry a conversation.  I’m glad that I looked like I wasn’t nervous because I totally was! I also dressed up all professional too which made me feel all amazing.  After a semester of living in gym / running clothes I’ve forgotten how nice it is to put on my “nice” clothes

Sorry for the blurriness! And that it's sideways haha!

As for tomorrow (which is the first official day of Spring!!!) I’m not quite sure what I’ll be tackling running wise.  According to my plan I have 15-19 to do.  For the first time all cycle I think I’m going to, not only be within the range, but on the low end.  I think I’ve tried to do it before but failed on it and am always on the upper end.  I have a 16.6 mile route that I think I’m going to tackle (it’s one big loop) but we’ll see.

Too bad the monsoon on last weekend couldn’t have been this weekend to keep my in check haha! The weather is suppose to be even nicer tomorrow than today. It’ll be all about the mental aspect of running and a huge challenge to stick with that number.  I’m okay if I go to 17 because it’s smack dab in the middle of the range but I’m hoping that I can just do that route and be satisfied.

Send some luck my way 🙂

Alright it’s pretty late to be blogging on a Friday night (although spring break = no concept of days of the week).  Since none of my friends are back yet I’m going to catch up on some television and READING.  Today when I was getting e-stim I was able to whip out the book I’m in the middle of and I realized how much I miss reading for FUN.  Stupid school work getting in the way 😉

Have a great Friday night y’all!!

March 16, 2010

Oh Mr. Sun. And Some Paranoia

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

Aww thanks guys for all the support and encouragement yesterday.  Obviously the whole situation is a positive one but still, I really was expecting a lot of “what are you thinking?” stuff.  Or maybe I was just worried that my plan of action wasn’t a good one and you guys wouldn’t let me b.s. it hahah.

Anyway.  I had another busy day on tap?! What is it with this week? I have yet to not wake up to an alarm.  I mean, yes it’s partly my own doing because I want to workout before I start my day but sheesh.  It’s spring break yo.  I hate that I go to school far enough away that I can’t space these kinds of appointments out over the semester.  Oh well.  One more half semester so I guess that it’s the last time I’ll be dealing with it. Scary.

But, yeah, I woke up before the sun again.  I didn’t place my alarm (aka my phone) where I normally do so when it went off I was all blurry eyed (hello 24 amazingness and staying up too late with my friend! So worth it though 🙂 ) because of little sleep so I couldn’t find the damn thing.  And this was pre-family getting up too so I was extra crazy because I didn’t want to wake anyone up (not that they would do the same for me…)

I hit up the TM again today (third day in a row!).  First it was pitch black and I just don’t feel safe running in 100% darkness.  I think, as a female, that too much paranoia runs through my mind.  Girls are just taught to be on the lookout for creepers more than boys growing up so I think that’s it.  I get paranoid at night too.

Second, even though the monsoon had stopped: the flooding? Yup still there.  So many roads are still closed and I would have been running in knee deep water at points.  No thanks.  When I was driving to my appointments later today I had to “ford the river” many many times.  Ugh. (Anyone with that reference? aha)

Third, I wanted a softer cushioning for my shin.  I mean, even though I’m not in pain, I do want to stay smart. And seeing as how I had intervals (hard enough for me to get outside because of point 2 but I shy away in general from doing intervals outside) the TM just was what I wanted.

I feel the need to list those reasons because it was (and still is) BEAUTIFUL outside. After downpours for 3+ days the sun was glorious to see. My mood perked up about a billion points. So now I feel a little guilty for not getting out there butttt when I had the chance to run this weather wasn’t there. Boo. Oh well.

On schedule for today was 1600m aka the mile.  I’m iffy towards this distance in general.  It’s obviously a longer interval and yet, as soon as I start to feel good in it, the damn thing is over.  But I grinned and beared it. Going into the session I was kind of scared.  I mean, yes the doctor said I could keep running but at this point it really does become a cost vs benefit deal.

Therefore I nixed the traditional hills portion of interval day.  In the 11 full weeks of Boston training I’ve only not done hills 2x.  That’s a lot of hills.  So even though one of those skipped days was last week I figured that it didn’t matter. Like a lot of you mentioned I’ve done so much work already this training.  And since the last time I did hills the shin was a little aggravated (and I’ve read that hills aggravate shin splints and tendinitis, my two possible diagnosis) I’m okay with my decision.  I am, however, going to try for hills next week and then have that be it for hills.  I figure it takes 3-4 weeks for a workout to show up and next week is T-4 weeks.

But here’s the workout. Kind of non-exciting because I didn’t do much adding or craziness haha:

  • 2 mile warm up
  • 6 X 1 mile (5 @ 7:13, 1 @ 7:03) with .4 mile recovery between
  • 3 mile warm down

Total time: 107 minutes
Total distance: 13.5 miles
Average pace: 7:56

Okay so I’m sure that many of you are scratching your heads and wondering how 13.5 miles can be considered lower-key (or maybe not if you’ve been reading for awhile hah) BUT it’s 4 miles less than last Tuesday.  A start to say the least.

The last time I did this workout was about a month ago and figured that I’d play it safe and keep it at 10k pace (current pr pace = 7:15).  I tend to like to increase pace every time I repeat a workout (especially if it’s 4+ weeks since the last time I did it) buttttt yeah.  I did go faster on the last one because I knew that if I kicked up the pace I could hit 8 miles in 60 minutes on the TM timer which was cool.  (I go warm up. Hit reset. Then start the intervals)

No shin pain.  Well no pain. During the warm down I could tell that my shin was getting fatigued which strengthened my resolve to nix the hills.  I tend to go wimpy brained during the beginnings of workouts when my body is adjusting and tell myself I can stop early and then by the end always want to add more. I probably would have done that today too if the shin didn’t tell me otherwise.  Again: NO PAIN.  But I was “listening to my body” and *wicked* paranoid about anything happening to my shin so I was hypervigilant is paying attention to it haha. Guess paranoia isn’t always a bad thing 😉

So all in all a great workout.  I’m happy with it and I felt really good afterward.  I always think how amazing it is that I always want to avoid these sessions before they begin but once I’m done I am so happy with myself. I just feel so accomplished. I’m sure that you guys know what I’m talking about 🙂

And yes I know this is a(nother) lengthy post. But I do want to write a bit about a “second opinion” I got re: my shin.  My sister is on the track team and, although I didn’t get along with the head T&F coach in HS, he is knowledgeable about distance running.  So I went to pick up my sister and chat with him for the last 15 minutes of their practice.

Basically I told him my situation (including going to the sports med clinic yesterday) and relayed my fears of going into a taper this far out.  He told me that even if I took a full week off (like this week) that I shouldn’t be worried about my fitness and the race. Although he agreed with the principle of going into taper now (and preventing a potential stress fracture) he said that what I’d likely be comfortable with is to back off this week, go up to 60 or 70 for one or two then hit the taper hard.

He also suggested pool running to be the best thing for me.  I agree but my access to a pool is non-existent.  Yes my school has a state-of-the-art facility but it’s only open to the public for 4 hours a day.  4 hours that I have commitments.  Boo. I can try to find a pool for this week but will likely pay through the nose for a daily, or even weekly, pass. I do have unlimited access to ellipticals and bikes though which I’m sure would be good if I really feel the need to hardcore nix more miles.

Beyond this week (which he did suggest to be cut back by 40-50%) he said the words of the cycle: play it by ear. But I left the school feeling better knowing that both the sports med doc and the coach said the same thing independently of each other.  The coach (which I am on a first name basis with but because this is the internet I’ll just keep calling him anonymous stuff like “the coach”) also said that I could email him if I had anymore questions (because I did pepper him with q’s for a half hour!!) or if things went arry.

Interestingly he told me that he would advise running marathons at my age.  Nothing against me or anything but he would have suggested that after Boston focusing on halfs and 10ks.  Speedier stuff. He said that it would be good for me to let my body mature more before plugging into such heavy mileage.  It totally wasn’t said in a negative way or anything like that but I thought it was an interesting point.  Maybe I’ll elaborate on my thoughts (because I wasn’t totally opposed to the idea and despite my wanting to run an ultra I have been thinking along those lines too).  But in the interest of the fact that this post is VERY long I won’t. 😉

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday! I’m going to try to have a low-key night and grab a glass of wine while watching NCIS and LOST.  A perfect way to unwind after running around all day!

[ And I apologize for any typos or sentence/grammatical mistakes.  I was gone all day and don’t want to proofread my novel haha!]

March 14, 2010

Pi Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:53

I was facing a bit of writer’s block (I know crazy right considering how much I ramble in my posts! Ha) but I was re-reading some of the comments over the past few days and I figured that I’d talk a little bit about the next 5 weeks.  Because Boston is 36 days away.  AKA 5 weeks from tomorrow.

My plan has me set up for a 3 week taper.  Meaning that the next 2 weeks will be wicked intense.  I’ve thought about tune-up races and honestly had a couple penciled into my schedule.  Unfortunately time and money made this impossible.  Both Kristen and Rebecca mentioned that running a tune-up race would help with any jitters and give me a realistic goal of what to expect. I 100% agree.

Last cycle I didn’t do this at all and really wanted to incorporate it this time around.  But like I said….life sometimes just gets in the way. There was (well is I guess as it’s still going on) a St. Patty’s 10k that I was thinking of doing with a friend this weekend but again, time and money.  Always the story.  Plus, I wasn’t comfortable committing to a race when I didn’t know what was going on with my ankle / shin (hopefully I’ll have more info after tomorrow) and I missed the deadline to register. I am registered for this 20 mile race at the end of the month though (with Lacey!).  That’s at the end of Week 4, just leading into the taper.

Speaking of. Heh. But first the next two weeks are going to be intense.  Now, I’m not one to peak ahead during my plans so I can’t tell you without looking myself what exactly I’m facing, but obviously: 2 very hard intervals (I do believe though that this upcoming week is either mile or 2000m repeats. I did look but I forgot ha!), 2 hard tempos, a LR of about 17-19 miles and another one of 20-23 (which will be that race).  So the second half of Monster Month is going to be intense.  But then again, the whole damn cycle has been intense. What else is new?

The plan calls for a 3 week taper with the first of those weeks being more of a cut back and the next 2 being much more so. I’ll be upfront here and say that last cycle I didn’t really do the taper all that well. Yes, I did cut way back but not as much as people would advise. So I can probably say right now that I likely will suck at the taper this cycle too.

That said, I’ve been thinking about the taper a lot more lately.  Mostly because I’m really feeling the intensity of my training at this point in the cycle.  As much as I think my funk two weeks ago was a result of school stress and weather I’m sure my huge miles played a role.  So I’m sure my body is eagerly awaiting the taper (and the massage I had scheduled for tomorrow. Holllleeeerrrrr). My mind? Yes that too.

I’m also wondering what constitutes a taper for someone who is running as many miles as me.  Obviously a cut-back is necessary for the taper but to what degree? I’ve never heard (or maybe I have but it never sunk in) about how much to cut back. I’m peaking at 100+ miles (done 3 weeks of them already over the training cycle) sooooo does my taper look like a 30% reduction (to 70 miles? Likely not, that seems like a lot), 40% (to 60?). Do I go by half? Like I’ve already said, I “sucked” at tapering last time around.  I think that my peak was 72 miles and the 7 days before my marathon (which didn’t suck at all btw) was 42 miles (that works out to a 40% reduction)

As Amarathoner noted: I’m a very go-go-go person who thrives on being busy.  I know this and I also know that the weeks of the taper will be very busy school wise as I try to piece together my capstone project in order to graduate.  So I know I’m not going to be sitting around twiddling my thumbs.  I doubt that taper madness will take over or anything. I definitely didn’t experience that last time around and I think that part of it was that the semester was gearing up for finals and I had plenty to keep my mind occupied on.

So there you have it.  I guess I don’t have anything definitive in this post.  Mostly musings haha.  But it was helpful to get some of these ideas flushed out and to form some ideas on them.  Any thoughts and insight would be appreciated as like I’ve continually said: I’m a very inexperienced racer.

As for a quick blurb (maybe) about today. First off: Happy Pi Day! Yes I’m a nerd.  And yes I’m disappointed that Pi day has ALWAYS fallen on spring break so I cannot celebrate with my fellow nerds.

It’s also DST.  Hopefully y’all remembered to set your clocks ahead an hour.  I did but apparently my phone (which have always automatically reset itself in the past) decided to not last night.  No biggie as it’s Sunday and I’m on break but it was annoying to wake up when I thought I wanted to but really have it be an hour ahead.  Now my brain is all confuzzled.

It’s also monsooning out.  The drizzle from yesterday has turned into a monsoon.  Not cool.  I’m glad that I went outside yesterday and had a kind-of-crappy but kind-of-awesome run (BTW: Thanks for all your  kind comments about that run.  It made me feel really good and perked me up a bit. And I just calculated my average pace for the week and the “crappy” LR didn’t impact me as much as I thought! And yes numbers obsessed = that being important to me ha) because there was no way I was getting out there today.  Treadmill time (and likely tomorrow. Boo. Send some good weather vibes my way?).

I’m pretty sure I pushed a little too hard pace wise for a recovery run (started at 9:00 pace and ended at 8:15) but I wasn’t feeling bad.  A little calf soreness and absolutely nothing with the shin (I was a bit sore last night because after my run I did not move my body once so everything stiffened up as I headed to bed haha). And Tmart: while it wasn’t a rest day it was a severe cutback from my normal Sunday routine.  A start, no? Which I haven’t run the total numbers yet BUT this week was a monster of a week!

Hope everyone is having a very relaxing Sunday.  There’s something about the rain that makes productivity go right out the window so I haven’t gotten much done.  I think I’m going shopping tonight though? That counts right? 😉

And checkout this giveaway from Have Faith

December 8, 2009

Crazy Busy Tuesday (but last one of the semester!)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:52

Hellllllo all! It’s been such a busy day.  Tuesdays have been crazy all semester but I’ve been on the go ever since my alarm went off at 0600!

Last night I was able to finish up my physics paper.  Ughhh.  Not quite sure how I feel about it.  Luckily this is a “draft” ie) submit the final paper for peer review and then turn the final thing in by the end of the week.  I just have the feeling I’m going to want to make lots of changes.  Stressful.  I just want this out of my hands already.

But enough about work.  My run this morning was ballin’ (ummm I said that? haha).  It was about 28* this morning which felt like the Caribbean compared to yesterdays balmy 16*.  I actually thought when I stepped out the door of my building that I was wayyyy overdressed.  Everything ended up being fine — 28* is still pretty darn cold — but it’s funny how relative weather is.

It’s also funny how I can characterize my run as “ballin'” and no, not just because I think ballin’ is a word that is sooo not like me.  The first 4 or so miles were brutal.  I didn’t want to be there at all.  Unfortunately I had chosen a 6.3 mile loop to do and it was easier to keep going rather than turn around.

So I just told myself to be grateful to be out there.  Some ppl are injured and can’t run.  Some ppl have never experienced how great running is.  I am so lucky to be able to be out here (and watching a beautiful sunrise too) and able to move my two amazing feet — albeit a little large heh — and move my healthy body.

Of course after this pep talk my body responded positively and I picked up the pace a little bit.  Not much but mentally I was feeling better.  By the time that I got back to my dorm I decided to extend my run and add a smaller 3.8 loop bringing the total to 10.1.  Not the biggest deal because Tuesdays are typically a “short” double digit run, if that makes sense.

I’m really glad that I did it though because this loop was a completely different experience than the first one.  My legs and lungs and mind were all in sync working in harmony to make me feel like I was an elite runner.  No joke: that was the thought that crossed my mind.  My form was transformed a bit too, and I felt like and flying.  SO. GREAT.

It had been awhile since I had a run like this.  Sure I did a speed workout last week on the TM that made me feel fast but there’s a difference between outside and inside, obv.  Once this looped ended I realized that I was just under the pace that I wanted.  No small feat considering that I was almost crawling during the first miles.

That obv lead me to doing a lap of campus which is just over a mile.  So my Tuesday run? 11.2 miles total.  And since I was running under pace and accelerating over the past 3 – 4 miles my pace was spectacular! On cloud 9.

The only downside was that all those miles finished up around 0815.  I have a class Tuesday morning at 0830.  Very tight squeeze.  It’s not like on a “regular” day I have time to shower or anything but usually I have at least a half hour beforehand.  So I was rushed and had to grab some food and eat on the go but hey, it wasn’t stressful because of all the endorphins that were (and still are) pumping through my body.

Actually another downside is that I feel like a semi-hypocrite (and no this isn’t a fishing for complements comment) because I told myself yesterday that I should back off a bit and keep double-digit runs to a minimum.  And here I am running one.  I’m usually such a future-looker, you know someone who constantly looks to the future.  But lately I’ve been stuck on instant gratification.

Obviously there’s a spectrum and moving along it won’t happen overnight.  Like SpecialK said I have awareness of the situation.  And I always hear awareness/acknowledge of the problem is the first step to change (and wow girl that totally does sound like I’m talking about rehab). I need to start thinking big picture.  I did a little bit of that yesterday with my running goal setting so I think I need to sit down and actually figure out how the hell all that’s going to happen.  If I can see the work that I’ll need to put in soon I think it’ll show me that it doesn’t need to start now.

But I’m very happy that what happened happened.  I’m feeling stellar. Plus looking at the weather forecast for tmrw it’s supposed to be snow/rain mix.  Not so much fun. So I definitely took advantage of clear conditions.

And I’m going to wrap up this post now because A) it’s really long and B) I still have lots of work to finish up.  Luckily this is the last week of classes so the end is in sight!

Happy Tuesday everyone 🙂

November 22, 2009

Stale but running is movement

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:48

Hey all.  Hope that you’re enjoying your Sunday afternoons.  It’s a definite make-it-work day as I didn’t do anything all weekend.  And guess what? I discovered that I have wayyy more work that I thought.  So this post might feel a bit rushed.

But I wasn’t too rushed to skip my run.  I doubt that will ever happen.  When I woke up this morning I totally felt like a mack truck hit me.  I opted to skip the movie last night to just go to Vegas night in an attempt to not stay out too late.  I had to go to support my friend who was running the Vegas thing and the movie was wayyy long.  Luckily I was able to get to bed before midnight and got 8 solid hours of sleep.

The bad thing? Well I’ve been fending off a sore throat / cold for a bit now and I think it’s threatening to run rampant on me.  I totally feel like my glands are swollen (they aren’t) and I have a headache but I think that’s due more to dehydration than anything else.  I nixed the first-thing-run to see how I felt after a few hours and some food in my belly. Good call because within 3 hours I felt good enough to attempt 6 miles.

And like AMarathoner said to me at RWOL who am I kidding trying to keep my run to only 6? He predicted 9 and that’s what it ended up being haha. I think this high mileage (ball park estimate of this week? 68!?!) is taking it’s toll — although Matt is totally kicking my ass!  Hence the little ickyness this morning and the quad soreness during the run itself.  But I’m doing POTM so there’s plenty of time to rest after Thanksgiving 🙂

I also think that running has been my constant lately.  I’ve been dealing with some heaviness feelings just because the semester is winding down meaning that I only have one more semester left of college!! That is the scariest thought in the world to me right now.  Especially since I have no concrete plans for the next year.  I have ideas but nothing is set in stone and is definitely subject to change.  But I’m just chomping at the bit to move on with my life.

I’d describe it as a restlessness lately or maybe a stiffening feeling.  I feel like I’ve taken everything I can out of my college experience and want to use it in the real world.  Granted I have no idea what the real world is yet and I don’t know what I actually want to experience: do I want to travel (YES), get work experience, work in a lab to develop my research skills?

Anyway these are the thoughts I’ve been pondering lately and my runs are such a great time to do it.  Normally I like to take my thoughts and leave them in my room when I go out but lately running has embraced it.  I think it’s because I’m physically moving and my life just seems to be waiting, stagnant, until graduation.

At least that was the case this morning.  I welcomed the movement with open arms and pounded out those 9 miles.  Even with the legs feeling some fatigue I didn’t want to stop.  I just felt sooooo alive with the rhythm of my feet going at a steady beat.  The weather didn’t help either: 52* and overcast.  How much more perfect can you get for November?

So running is my rejuvenation.  As much as it’s good for my body it’s working overtime to help my mind.  A panacea if you will.  And with that I’m going to go tackle everything that is due tmrw. Ugh 😉

September 29, 2009

Lackluster

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:53

Not too much to post about today.  Had a tough run this morning, but only because I was NOT feeling it.  I cut it short to 4 and the last 2 miles actually felt so strong that I was tempted to keep going and get a “better distance” in for today.  I had to (out loud) remind myself that I felt like crap the first 2 and I did SO MUCH yesterday.  Don’t push it. For realz yo.

Plus I think all the working out, sleeping too little and increase in stress has been taking a toll on my immune system.  I can feel the chills in my spine (not good!) but I’m afraid that all my go-go-going is what’s keeping the cold/bug I’m fending off from knocking me out.  Quite the catch-22: if I stop all my craziness I’ll get sick but if I keep doing what I’m doing I’ll eventually break my immune system.  Boo!

I had jazz today too and it was intense.  We’re putting together a pretty (in my eyes) challenging couple of combinations that take all my brain power to master. At one point today I couldn’t even hear the music because I was concentrating so hard on not faltering.  Lots of kicks, spins and tricky rhythms.  Naturally my friend who is in the class is a dancer (and actually on the Dance Co.) makes me wicked jelly because she makes it look easy.  Not fair.  But she did tell me that if I were to put her on the road to run, I’d be doing the same thing to her.  Heh.

The rest of my day has been blah.  I’ve just been feeling a little aimless.  I don’t have a race I’m training for.  I don’t know what I’m going to be doing a year from now.  And day-to-day I feel like I’ve been bogged down with annoying stuff to do: email/call people, pick up forms.  Nothing too exciting.

I’m desperately hoping that by the end of the week or weekend I’ll have something exciting to report! If life decides to be nice to me I’ll have some very pleasant news re: my life, running etc.  Trust me it’s killing me not to spill everything to y’all but if I don’t tell anyone the deets then if things fall through I can make something up and say it’s exciting heh 🙂

Hopefully this post didn’t come across as all down because I’m not all down. Just…meh.  In any case tmrw is a speedwork day of some type so, whether it goes good or bad, I should be more animated 😉

Although on a really good note: I did one of my loads of laundry (the line dry stuff) so my room smells ah-maz-ing right now!

September 12, 2009

Wowza.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:54

That was a GREAT long run. Seriously.  Like the best long run in a very long time (excluding my half obv). Since I’m so pumped up about this, it may read like a race report haha 🙂

I let myself sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep last night.  Friday’s are generally a low-key night on my campus; Thursday and Saturday being the hard-core partying.  So I went to the campus theater which was playing Terminator: Salvation.  And even though I haven’t seen any of the other Terminator movies I really enjoyed it.  Doesn’t hurt that Christian Bale is mind blowingly hot. But the result was that I got a good night’s sleep and woke up this morning feeling ok.  Still pretty tired from the week.  It was also a morning where my bed was the most comfortable thing in the world. Love it.

The weather was iffy.  According to weather.com it was supposed to rain all day. Well it’s about 1600 right now and the worst I’ve seen is some misting. But I didn’t know that at the time and spent most of the morning debating whether or not to go long today.  About 1130 my breakfast had digested and I hit the road for a planned 11.5 with the option to do more if I was feeling it.

Apparently not only do I not know how to pace myself in races but I don’t know what paces actually feel like.  I thought I was plodding along but when I got to mile 9 I looked at my watch and saw that I was going 30 seconds faster per mile than I planned! (And yes I can do mental math incredibly fast while running.  Be jelly haha) It must have been the compliment Sarah paid me this morning by saying that I’m fast.

Now sometimes knowing what pace you’re going at alters what pace you finish at.  I was stoked to be running fast, especially after having some slow ass runs this past week.  The last 2.5 miles to finish up my route did feel like I was slowing down but my watch showed that I was going faster than the pace I held at mile 9.  I mean, I guess my watch could be really old (it is) and slowing time down, making me seem faster than I am.  Anyone know if digital watches do that? Well regardless I’m calling myself fast and the watch workable.  Afterall, at the half my watch was deadon the clock time (adjusted for me hitting start a couple seconds after the gun went off).

In the back of my mind the whole run was the idea to go for 13.  Don’t know why but I kind of got a bee in my bonnet (gosh did I really just use that expression?!) that 13 was where it was at. So I made a deal with myself that if I felt good I’d go for it.  And clearly I was feeling good.  The last 1.5 miles felt really good.  Definitely think I could’ve gone further.  Glad I didn’t as I don’t need these miles.  Not for a good overall week, not for the 5k coming up.  Plus I want to do 10 tmrw.  Don’t know if that will actually happen or not.

Another great thing about my run today was the mental clarity I got.  Not going to go into too much detail on here right now — too many things are up in the air at this point.  But I got some perspective over many of these miles.  The great thing about the long run is that I can tackle the same issue at many different points during the run.  Something about putting one foot in front of the other repeatedly drives my brain to solve problems. Now, all my life plans aren’t worked out after that run but I have a great plan of where to start.  Es muy bueno.  C’est très bon.

Now I’ve got to start acting on everything.  Lots to do to prep for this week — in addition to all my regular work. I’m talking to my advisers about everything so hopefully I will have something concrete to tell you later.  I hate to keep y’all in the dark but everything is too shaky to commit something to actually words yet.  And I don’t want to jinx myself.

And since I’m lame and still haven’t taken any new pictures yet to post here’s another one from my marathon

Truckin' in the late stages of the race

Truckin' in the late stages of the race

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