MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 4, 2010

Getting Ready To Put My Miles To Use

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

I’m glad everyone agrees that ANTM missed out on this:

I believe we are trying to "shake it like a salt shaker" here. Ahaha I ❤ my friends. Oh to be young and drunk again!

Can you believe that they told me that in order to be a model I had to either A) lose 15-20 lbs to be a regular model or B) gain 15-20 lbs to be a “full figured” model.  Ummmmmm no?  Oh well.  Like lots of you said: their loss!  Sorry Tyra but you missed out.

Whew.  I had such a long day on Thursday at work! It was our lottery day.  Since we’re a free clinic, in order to be fair to enrolling new patients, we hold a lottery at the beginning of each month.  I’m not going to do into great details of it but let’s just say that any type of lottery is crazy.  It counts double for people without health coverage who want to have health care.

While I felt like I had aged about 10+ years after leaving clinic, the upshot was that I got to fall asleep at 2215 on Thursday night.  This is about 1.5 hours earlier than I usually go to bed.  And since the next day was Friday and  I only had to go into work for a few hours to generate some monthly numbers I got to get up an hour later than usual.  Netting me an extra 2 hours (not 2.5 because I think I was tossing an turning a bit)

Plus even with the sleeping in I got to do a longer run.  It was one of those runs where, given that I have a half marathon this weekend, was stupid to run so far.  But I was feeling REALLY good by the end and wanted to capitalize on it.  Hopefully it doesn’t hurt me on Sunday. I doubt it because I’ve done it before.

Gosh I really have such bad habits for a runner!

Here are the stats for my run on 3-Sept-2010 (Friday)

  • 1st loop: 4.1 miles @ 9:08
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:51
  • 1st add on: 1.1 miles @ 8:23
  • 2nd add on: 1.1 miles @ 8:16
  • Total: 10.4 miles @ 8:51

Annoyingly (and I literally ran these numbers many many times) the second 4.1 loop was the exact pace as the overall.  Which bothered me because I felt that with two “add-ons” the average pace overall should have DROPPED.  But DUH the total of those two loops was small.  So the overall impact is small.

I like to think of it like baseball.  At the beginning of the season, small fluctuations in strikeouts and hits make big impacts on batting average but as the season goes on (and like with my running where my loops are big vs. small) then there is more data into the stats and the small stuff doesn’t impact the overall picture.  I have no idea if that made sense or if it is random hodge-podge but my brain is fried and I felt like typing that out.

You love my randomness 🙂

After work (where after last week I decided to skip the coffee haha) I loaded up my car (in the rain because silly hurricane Earl decided to bless me with his presence) and headed back to my hometown.  Driving in a hurricane? Since I was born and raised in New England I can safely say that I can drive through anything.  I wish other drivers could say the same.  My thoughts are that if you don’t feel like you can drive in bad weather (the same goes for winter snow) then don’t go out.  Because I’m going to curse at you and be angry.

Especially when the hurricane isn’t really a hurricane.  I realize that there were times when I couldn’t see but there were also plenty of times where there was no rain at all.  And thus no need to drive 20 mph.  Granted I see no reason to ever drive 20 mph but hey…to each his own haha.

So that’s where I am now (home). Although since I wrote this Friday and am posting on Saturday I might actually be in the car with LACEY heading up to our half.  I’m pumped for it.

This will be my third time running this race.

I ran it for the first time in 2007 as my VERY FIRST RACE EVER (so wow 3 years of racing?! My how time flies).  And I remember thinking how hard it was running fast on the hills (NH = hill country) and I also remember telling my friends who was there to support me how I could not see how it was possible that they had run TWICE that.  Oh how things change, right?

But it was a solid debut race for me (1:47:47 if I’m not mistaken) and I was bitten by the racing bug.

I didn’t run it in 2008 due to logistical issues with getting there and some school commitments.  But I ran it again last year and actually found out after the fact that Lacey was there! I didn’t know her at that point (I think we met later that month?) but very small world!  I pr’d this year (and was in the top 5 women? Can’t remember and I’m too lazy to check haha) which is always fun.  It’s my current PR of 1:41:56, as I haven’t run a half since then.

So I have some history with this race.  And I’m running it WITH someone rather than all alone.  This makes everything so much better.  Especially since I’m also staying with Lacey overnight.  Yes she really is as nice as she is on her blog 😀

I’ve run a couple races with her too.  The Tufts 10k last fall as well as the Eastern States 20 miler this past March. Hopefully this experience will be much better than Eastern.  Like infinitesimally better.

I mean, we’re hardcore bamfs and all buttttt a little nice weather and aligned stars wouldn’t hurt 😉

Since I’m going to be away for the weekend, and thus not taking my computer with me, I hope everyone has a fabulous Labor Day weekend! I’ll be back with how the race went though sometime soon.  So don’t you worry!

But a giveaway from Miss Zippy first.

August 29, 2010

Another Long Run and Some Shoe Pictures

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:00

(Let’s see if I can keep my knowledge of how to schedule posts.  Today (Sunday) I’m working on my application essays all day — or at least that’s the goal. I’m also trying to recover from the first of these this summer/fall.  Good times. All to be recap-ed later because I *gasp* took pictures!

So I wrote the portion about my LR on Saturday after the run was done and then tried to edit it so I could keep the tone/tenses correct for readers reading today after putting in stuff about my run today.  It may or may not have been a success.  I guess you’ll have to read and see 🙂 )

I slept for 11 hours Saturday night. For real. Like, who am I?!  I guess that I was really sleep deprived this week?!

I also guess that the massive amounts of coffee I drank on Friday didn’t affect my bedtime.  I will say that, while I am completely addicted to caffeine (I get the headaches and withdrawal if  I don’t have it everyday) the amount in the coffee I had might have been too much.  I wasn’t jittery or shaky during the day but it was kind of like an outer body experience until about dinnertime.

Oops. And I didn’t end up having any more caffeine that day.  No diet coke with lime for me.  So sad but I just did not need it. Lesson learned.

The lesson being more sleep is a good thing.  I didn’t exactly wake up feeling all renewed but it was nice to have gotten a large fix of some “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”.

Obviously this being a good thing as I planned a long run for Saturday. I really like putting my LR on Saturdays for some reason.  I used to do them on Sundays because I felt that’s when runners did them but when training for my first marathon I got into the habit of running long on Saturdays.  And then during one summer I even did them on Fridays because my weekends were so packed with working 10 hour days.  Just goes to show you how one thing doesn’t fit all.

Anyway back  to the run at hand.

Since I’m still new to the area I’ve been relying on mapmyrun to give me routes.  Or rather I search for routes other people have done in the area and then slightly modify them.  Today I took on of the routes and did it as is.  I did have to tack on about a half mile total to it because the start of the map wasn’t my apartment (how rude!).

I think it’s always slightly risky when trying out new runs in areas that you haven’t been in before.  Hell I think it’s risky even driving in areas that you haven’t been in before because, especially in a city, you just don’t know who lives there, what the roads are like etc.

But I’m a risk taker. Clearly  😛

Courtesy of google images

The fact that my route wasn’t tested out or previewed in a car by me was…okay.  Last weekend I did this (run without seeing all the roads) and it worked out okay.  I made a few minor errors but luckily the area where I was running is a place where I could easily correct: I was in an area where I could “see” the map in my head because it’s on College Hill and the roads are pretty logical.  I wasn’t exactly flying blind today but there was that potential so I was a bit nervous.

But I was really gung-ho about this run because I was going to be able to run through a park/golf course/pretty area with ponds.  Getting to said area might be difficult but the rewards were great.

Plus I got to run in two states (I almost wrote two *different* states but figured “duh they’d be different”.  I can be so blond at times haha) How awesome is that?!

And before I get into my run I want to say “great job” to all those who are doing/have done their 20 milers this week.  I got back from my long run, read about everyone’s 18-20-ers and suddenly what I did felt very short indeed 😉

Not that my run was too shabby.  I ran 13.57 miles (of course in my log book it goes in as 13.5 hah!). This is farthest I’ve run since about mid-June.  I know I did lots of doubles/triples this summer where my miles were way high for a day but for a single run it’s been awhile since I ran this far. I think I’ve done a handful of 11-ers but that’s it. It made me a little nervous but nerves mean you care, right?

Answer: Right.

So I set out in beautiful sunny weather.  Yay 🙂

So I put on my shades to cover up my eyes. But rather than feeling like a star and not stopping my shine I was feeling eh.  And I’ve probably already linked to this song/video but it’s awesome. So deal.

Feeling eh? Well I definitely started out that way.  But I just told myself to relax and my legs would warm up a bit.  I think that my legs feel the same way on all my other runs too but since I left at noon for this run my brain was actually awake and could process the stuff.  But true to form I did warm up and was off.

The way I ended up running my route had me running the more “industrial” part of the run first which I liked.  Not that I liked running through real legit city but rather that I got to run the second part last. This section (aka the first 7 miles) was kind of boring, lots of pavement and no shade.  Granted the temps were outrageous but sunlight shining directly on you makes you hot.

Once I got to the park (and any subsequent pictures are from google as I didn’t bring my camera.  But this is the area I was running in) the place was stunning.  Apparently there’s this bike path that runs about 10 miles or so.  I ended up only running 3 of the miles but I really can’t wait to go back and explore.

Surprisingly I didn’t see  *that* many people out running/walking/biking.  The weather was perfect for this stuff! Granted there were a ton of families in the park area itself and the smell of s’mores and grilling was mighty tempting for stopping.  But with a view like this how could I?!

After passing through the park I got back onto the main roads and headed back to my apartment.  I could definitely tell that my pace had picked up over the course of miles 4-10 and with about 3 left I wanted to see if I could keep up with that.  Obviously I needed have worried because once I lock into a pace I’m there or faster.  So, while I don’ t have data for each mile, I’m really confident that I can say I negative split this one too.

My final stats were: 13.5 miles at 8:27 pace.

It was very very tempting to run until I hit 14 miles.  Without a garmin that would have been tough to guesstimate.  Or hit 2 hours even.  But there really wasn’t any real reason to do that.


Because, and I realized this during mile 5 of my run today, I’m running a half marathon next week.  Or at least I’m really thinking about it.  I’ve run it a couple times in the past and this year would be running it with Lacey. Of course I’m not registered yet (and won’t until race day) but it’s an opportunity that has presented itself and, barring anything popping up unexpectedly, I’ll likely be doing it.  Exciting.

Also exciting? I’m getting another black toenail.  Okay so maybe not terribly exciting especially as I just got rid of one.  But the aching in this toe has felt suspiciously like my toe infections of the past so I’m glad that it appears to be just a banged up toe.  Of course now I’ve jinxed myself and will likely end up in the hospital again.  Like in the next hour.

As far as today (Sunday) I got out for an “early bird” recovery run (quotes because it was a first thing run.  Not because I was up early ha!).  Nothing serious on that front and I’m surprisingly not too banged up.

Well that was what I had planned to run today. Oh hubris.  Clearly I wrote that sentence on Saturday before my ER trip.

After spending the night in the hospital due to the fact that my toe is, in fact, infected, those plans have changed.  Sunday is now a forced rest day.  I still maintain that I don’t feel banged up but my toe is pulling out the trump card.  Luckily I wasn’t stubborn this time and got to the hospital BEFORE the infection spread from the actual toe so I’m only on oral antibiotics now.  Also kind of a good thing I went because now I have a primary care doctor which I was lacking in this city up until…well technically I still am because I need to call on Monday but I have a name and number!

I’ve also made plans to go to the local running store today just to try and make some running friends and connections in the running world. I want to be in the know in my new city. I may also have to break the bank and purchase new running shoes as these are what I’m currently running in

Note the blood and the fact that the heels do not have the fabric anymore.

Yes that is a hole in the mesh of the toe box

But from the outside they look okay and not too worn. Right?!

I probably should be more embarrassed about posting these pictures than I really am. But really, what can you expect after getting just north of 1700 miles.

But now it’s time to get back to working.  I swear I’m making some progress on my application essays! Slow and steady right?

August 5, 2010

Guest Post: Amy (second city randomness)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:00

Hey guys! Hope that you’re doing well and that your Thursdays are going great.  I’m actually, well I was going to say on a plane to my vacation, but I’m really likely just sitting in the airport right now *waiting* to get on my plane.  Or maybe still driving there (I haven’t decided when I want to schedule this post).  Hopefully I’m on my way and not still packing or anything aha. But I’m officially on vacation so it’s all good 🙂

Because I’m away I know that blogging myself (and sadly keeping wicked close tabs on you guys) isn’t likely.  I’ll be having too much fun. So I’ve asked Amy (second city randomness) to do a guest post on her half-marathon experience (and throughout this weekend and next week I’m going to have friends fill in for me).  She’s actually on vacay now too which makes her even MORE awesome for writing this for me.  So stop by her blog too because she’s just that awesome.


My First Half Experience

I’ve always been somewhat of a runner.  And have enjoyed it since high school when I risked my life by running on the side of some crazy curvy roads past my house (praying I wouldn’t get hit by the idiot out-of-towners whipping around the corner to get to the camp site past my house). Even in college my running would just consist of a couple miles here and there during my workout when I would wander aimlessly around the rec center trying to figure out what a good “workout” would consist of.  Running didn’t become the main focus until 2009 when my cousin and I decided to go all-out with a 5k in April for our new years resolution.  Only 29 1/2 minutes later and I was hooked.  I wanted to do another one.  Immediately.  I’ve done 6 since last April and improved my time by over 5 1/2 minutes!  (one of my prouder accomplishments)

I also dealt with my fair share of leg issues.  Including a little stint on crutches I’m still not too happy about, undiagnosed leg pain before the Chicago Shamrock Shuffle, and some pains that I suspected would turn into shin splints if I wasn’t careful.  Clearly, runners are all crazy. Yeah, I said it.

Either way, I persisted and started half marathon training in May.  Last year this time, if you asked if I’d consider a half marathon, I would have laughed.  And said, “well maybe I’ll do a 10k or something next year.”  I did two 10k’s in July.  Seems to be that I underestimated myself.

A lot of my friends also don’t get the “sport” of running.  Or how I enjoy it.  I could try to argue it’s all about conditioning and there is actually strategy involved, but there’s no point.  Probably why I enjoy talking about it on here with you fine folks so much…  And so what if they don’t understand?  I finally found something I like to do that is mine and mine alone.  My biggest competitor in running is myself.  And I like the challenge. Because the me from four or five years ago (or even one year ago) didn’t think it was possible.  The me from four or five years ago would have woken up at 6:30 in the morning and said “I’ve only been asleep for three hours?  Damn… I need to get up and take some advil.  I am going to be soooo worthless today.  The boyfriend better take me to a drive thru.”

Who knew all I needed was a little kick in the butt?

“People can’t understand why a man runs. They don’t see any sport in it. Argue it lacks the sight and thrill of body contact. Yet, the conflict is there, more raw and challenging than any man versus man competition. For in running it is man against himself, the cruelest of opponents. The other runners are not the real enemies. His adversary lies within him, in his ability, with brain and heart to master himself and his emotions.” – Glenn Cunningham

So let’s talk about race day for the Rock n’ Roll Chicago Half…  I was a little late getting into my corral, but I made it in time for the start (whew!).

With over 18,000 people running it, the start was crowded and bit hectic.  Although it thinned out quickly and by mile 2 or 3, I was in my “happy pace”- somewhere around 8:40 and 8:45.

I honestly can’t tell you too much specifically about what was going through my head during the race.  I got to a certain point where I completely zoned out.  I didn’t even see my friends at Mile 6 until they were practically right in front of my face.  But I looked up and there they were- so I shouted a happy shout of some decibel and it made me smile for a bit. :)

Here are a few things I do remember:

– People start to smell bad at around four or five miles.  This really bugged me.  Then I realized I probably smell just as bad.  So I was ok with it.  Because I’m no hypocrite.

– Watch where you run while going past water stops.  Most people were really considerate about throwing cups to the side.  But when you’re on the side, those cups are coming straight at you.

– I wonder where Guiliana Rancic is right now?  I saw her earlier at the start… when does she actually run?  What if she passes me?  Would it be weird to try and strike up a conversation?  Maybe they’re taping it and I could be on E!.

– I studied quite a few tattoos on the backs/arms of people I was behind.  And wondered the story behind them.

– Ahhhh… once we were on the lakefront, the breeze was seriously CLUTCH.

– Ahhhh Gu.  I hope they have Vanilla.  I can’t do the fruity stuff… I can see myself hurling right then and there.  Oh good- they have vanilla.

– My friends… where are my friends? I know they’re gonna be here around Mile 12… oh!  There they are!  (Seriously, at Mile 12 I was starting to drag, so seeing them jumping up and down and screaming got me to pick it up a lot for the last mile.  For this I thank them!)

– My favorite sign along the race sidelines ended with “that’s what she said”.  Yessssss.

– I have never been so excited to see a finish line in all my life (or the year and a half I’ve been doing official races- same thing).

I was smiling when I crossed the finish line.  Because I wanted this SO BAD. I proved to myself that I’m a runner.  And that I can do anything I set my mind to (Isn’t that the corniest thing ever?  But so true!).

Running for me is a break from my day.  It’s time that is mine and only mine.  It’s something I do to make myself healthier and stronger as an independent woman taking care of herself.  It’s something I’m good at and am constantly working at to improve.  Running keeps me healthy both physically and mentally. I could not be happier that I found it.  And can continue to enjoy it.

For all of you who run, why do you do it?  And for those of you who want to start- just get out there and go!  All it takes is a few small steps and a little will.  It will take you a long way.  Maybe even 13.1 miles if you feel like it.  🙂

August 25, 2009

Well now

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:27

that kind of sucked.

I planned to do a tempo run this morning, kind of as a last hoo-rah before the half on Labor Day (roughly 11 days away?).  I did a mile warm up then took off for a planned 6 at tempo.

Well, I did run those 6 faster than the warm up.  That might just be all I can say about it though.  The overall tempo pace was about 45-60 seconds slower than my usual (re: treadmill) tempo pace.   So. Incredibly. Disappointing.

I’m trying to look at it as half full because it’s still about 40 seconds faster than my usual runs outside (easy paced) and wayyyy faster than my legs have been telling me to go lately. And I could tell that the run got faster as it went on.  Since I don’t have a Garmin to tell me my pace though I have no idea where I started nor where I ended.

But since it wasn’t what I wanted to do I’m kind of pissed.  And it definitely makes me want to rethink this whole half business.  I think I’ve written this before but I’m a “go big or go home” person and I don’t want to just plod through this race.  I want to put my best effort forward.

Part of the problem is that I’ve only really thought about this race for 6 weeks; not the 12 I typically put into half training.  This is leading to a certain confidence lowering in and of itself so this weak run this morning definitely didn’t help.  I wanted to hammer in some confidence man!

I’m thinking of trying to tempo it up tmrw morning again but shortening the tempo portion to 4.5 miles.  Not sure if this will help at all on any level.  1) If I can’t do it my confidence is going to drop. 2) If the run goes like it did today it doesn’t matter how long it is because it’ll be a progression. 3) If today was slow because my body is run down (don’t think so but I’m a bad judge of these things) then trying to push hard again might do more harm than good.

So, despite all the reasons to NOT re-attempt I think I’m going to take the bull by the horns and stop whining.  And just do the damn thing.  If I fail, I fail. I’ll reassess the half after that I guess.  It’s just really frustrating because I’m such a Type-A that not being able to do something is utter failure.  Illogical yes but how my brain thinks. Thoughts on re-doing the tempo tmrw? I really am conflicted here and without wise words from you folks I will prolly try to overachieve.

The rest of my day wasn’t so bad or lackluster.  Since I’m a third year preceptor I opted out (completely not ok though) of today’s activities to do workshops with the Peer Health Advocates.  There isn’t enough space in all bloggerdom to tell what we’re doing (or at least all the ideas that we’re generating) but I am SO PUMPED for all the activities we’re doing this upcoming year.  I’ll definitely share the fruits of our labor but it was so worth getting the nasty looks from members of my precepting group (the how-dare-you-skip ones)

Unfortunately the one precepting activity I *had* to go to conflicted with the ROCK CLIMBING the PHAs were doing tonight.  BOO. I’m kind of upset about that even though there was no way to get out of precepting.  C’est la vie.  Supposedly there will be similar trips in the future but it would have been really nice to A) go rock climbing B) for free C) bond with the other PHAs D) over dinner.  I mean I love the actual precepting come orientation and semester time but this training thing (as a third year doing the EXACT SAME ACTIVITIES for each year) is getting wicked annoying.

I think this post came off kind of bitter and / or rant-y.  Definitely not the mood I’m in right now haha but (as many of you know) most of the interesting stuff to write about is that way because there’s so much emotion behind it.  Same with the really really good stuff too but I’m all melodramatic haha.

P.S. Still no ice cream in sight.  I might just have to break down and walk to CVS.

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