MarathonMaiden's Blog

May 6, 2010

Racing Toward The Finish

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:26

Heeeeey-o!

Now that I finished that second presentation Wednesday night I am *almost* home free.  Just have to hand in 2 Spanish papers, take Spanish exam #5, Spanish final and a Quantum take-home.  Okay so I guess it looks like more written out but having those 2 presentations done and over with makes me feel SO. GOOD.  So it’s like nothing can even touch how stressed I was over them.  Luckily last night’s went extremely well.  I think I was able to really articulate my ideas and break a complex topic down to a level that other people can understand.  My project was about a 50/50 mix of physics and bio so the bio stuff people had lots of questions on.  But I was able to clearly respond and not stutter and get wicked awkward.  Yay.

But enough tooting my own horn.

I don’t think I mentioned how much your guys’ comments about me getting back into running and being okay with keeping it light, easy and fun.  So many of you told me that I need to enjoy being “a kid” and enjoy life because before I know it I’ll be grown up.  Granted I’m trying to do everything in my power to not grow up buttttt I love the support of embracing a different attitude with my running and not worrying about anything.

Which I obviously am loving the whole “run free” thing.  I spent 16+ weeks following intense running and rigorous running.  I do have a post in the works about my Boston training from an analytical standpoint.  I started it, oh a week ago, and still am drafting so don’t expect it tomorrow or anything.  But suffice it to say that I thought not following a plan, not really being able to run these past few weeks…well I thought it would be a let down and I’m glad that I can be happy with it.

Another plus of my “new mindset” (and I do want to state that my go-get-’em intense mindset isn’t gone but it just needs to recovery just as my body did from Boston) is that I’m comfortable taking XT days in stride.

Like today.  As I mentioned yesterday after 4 days of running my legs are feeling tight.  I knew that I *could* get a run in today.  And I even knew that if I were to run a short run that I would still be on the speedier side.  I really don’t think that my run would have been bad today but tight muscles aren’t fun and considering I keep saying I’m going to stretch/foam roll….clearly I never do.  And another day of running without stretching probably wouldn’ t have been good.  I’m such a firm believer that tight muscles are a cause of injury soooooo

I took an XT day this morning.  It helped a bit that there was a chance of t-storms and, unlike Monday, it actually *felt* like it was going to storm.  Of course it never did (not even one drop of rain).  But  I’m sure my legs are liking me after my workout on the elliptical.  In my past few runs, even though I’ve felt spot on and amazing there has been that tightness lingering.  Not enough to cause pain or hinder my runs but enough that I’m like “Oh yeah. Hey there”.  But the elliptical didn’t trigger that awareness.  So I’m hoping that I can find some time to stretch today.  Unlikely but I think that if I keep saying it enough it will eventually happen. No?

I also wanted to take an XT day because this weekend I want to hit my first double digit run post-Boston this weekend.  And, while my tight muscles haven’t been any type of issue ( and I want to make that perfectly clear to stave off the “if your legs are hurting then rest! injury” kind of comments that crop up every time I mention a small nag) I recognize that if I want to do my favorite 11.5 mile route then it’s best to “save” those miles rather than tempt fate.

Obviously this is a type of revelation for me given the training cycle I’m coming off of and I know that some of you have been beating me over the head with it. But whatever. Better late than never.  And, like I said earlier, I’m feeling happy and confident with myself right now.  So it’s the perfect time to push my comfort zone.

Re-reading what I have written and I feel like this post didn’ t really have a point per se.  Oops.  I guess that being so sure of my “training”, I guess “working out” might be the better phrase, and I haven’t felt that way in awhile.  And by awhile I mean the past 4-5 months.  While I’m itching to put the pressure on myself for training and racing, c’mon now do you really think a tiger can change its stripes? haha, I think the lack of pressure is helping me become refreshed and refocused for whatever is next.

And with that I’m going to try and take some of this content-ness and ease and go tackle those assignments I mentioned earlier. [ETA: So I started this post in the AM so update: Almost done with the Spanish papers. Progress!] Only one more day of classes for me! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! Sure most of my peers don’t have Friday classes and are done today but whatever.  It’s still almost done for me! (I’m taking Spanish, totally by choice so I can’t complain too much, so I did, in fact, have Friday classes this semester and thus one class tomorrow.  It’s an exam too.  Talk about a way to wrap up my undergrad career!)

And then I get to go get disoriented tonight.  “Disorientation” is a senior tradition where the class council takes the entire senior class to a secret location to hang out and basically party.  In years past seniors have gone to brewerys, chuck-e-cheese like places for adults, etc.  So I’m pretty excited to cut lose.  Granted I do have that peskey exam tomorrow but it should be a blast anyway 🙂

I also plan to bring my camera but I’m not sure how “blog friendly” they’ll come out 😛

April 22, 2010

T+3

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 09:50

Warning: this post started out all concise but became a bit rambling.  I blame it on my dreading to do the mountain of work in front of me haha.

I still haven’t changed the “D-Day counter” on my phone screen yet.  I initially set it about 100 days out from Boston and it said “Boston : ) D-X” just as a nice reminder that, you know, I was running a marathon in X days.

Now it says “Boston : ) D+X”  as a nice reminder that, you know, I ran a marathon X days ago.

And I’m still so on cloud nine.  And a HUGE thanks to all the continued support I’ve gotten from you guys.  I have just been blown away by all your words.  Knowing that I’m part of such a great community really makes me smile and feel all warm and fuzzy.

Also a warm and fuzzy feeling? All the support I’ve gotten on campus.  I was totally blown away from that too.  I really didn’t advertise that I was running Boston to many people.  I wasn’t secretive about it or anything and if someone asked me about it I readily talked about it. But I didn’t shout from the rooftops or anything. Granted it’s hard to not notice someone who is always running, especially on a campus as small as mine.

I was totally surprised how many people– people that I know well, duh, I was kind of expecting them to track me or look me up as well as people that I don’t know well — already knew about it and were asking me how I did.  Of course the fact that I am still wearing my jacket alerts them to it.  But the fact that a lot of them actually followed me on race day, and even tried to find my name in the paper on Tuesday, just was awesome.  And one of my friends decorated my door with a HUGE congrats poster which made me well up a bit when I got back to campus.

Since the race ended I’ve just been basking in the glory.  I’ve been in such a great mood and smiling to myself a lot.  I doubt this feeling will fade anytime soon. Or at least I hope to hell not.  And when people ask how I did I launch into everything and I’m sure they regret even opening their mouths haha!

The natural question you guys might have is “how are you physically feeling?” (the next one might be “what’s next?” and I’m trying to come up with that.  But right now? Basking for a good long while 8) ).  Honestly? Not too bad.  Post-Providence last year I didn’t feel banged up AT ALL.  No soreness and I was able to run some miles the next day.

This time around I’m sore but I can do stairs, sit down normally etc.  Here’s the breakdown by day

Monday was tough in general, once my body stopped moving to sit (or even stand still) the leg-os wanted to cramp up.  Going down stairs was tough, I keep remembering with a laugh how my mom had to support 90% of my body going on to the T 🙂  And that night I couldn’t sleep a wink.  And it’s not because of excitement or anything.  My legs just didn’t want to be motionless.  So I laid in bed really really wanting to nod off but couldn’t.  Typical of any type of hard effort but annoying.

Also annoying that night? That I couldn’t regulate my body temperature so I went from soaking my sheets in sweat to cold and clammy.  Again to be semi-expected after such a hard effort.

Tuesday wasn’t as bad as Monday at all.  My hips, IT band, calves and hammys were a bit sore and tight.  But I could walk down stairs normally and even attempt to lower myself to sit without pain.  The legs still didn’t really like to sit still all that much and the drive back to campus was rough when I got out of the car. In terms of sleep, I slept decently that night.  I even nodded off during a commercial break of LOST.  I never do that kind of stuff in general, let alone during LOST.

Wednesday and the soreness was disappearing. I had PT that day and we didn’t do any of the exercises. Because, while the rest of my body was only semi-sore, my shins? Well they are wicked tight.  Like beyond wicked tight.  Especially my left one, which is the one that was giving me trouble lately.  Some self-massage has helped and I had PT on Wednesday and all we did was stretch, massage, ice and stim.  I think that I’m going to keep going to PT next week and then stop.  I have enough exercises to do on my own and I’m obviously not going to be running the volume that I have been.

Thursday rolls around and the only thing that is tight is that damn left shin.  Everything else feels good to go. I guess I did something right with my training and recovery though as I can walk without limping and can carry out my life normally. If you’d look at me, you wouldn’t guess that I just ran 26.2 miles at a PR pace on Monday.

Sleep sure does feel amazing too.  I’ve been crashing hard (aside from Monday).  Annoying because I have to play major catch up with work and I can’t really afford to sleep right now.  But the body wants what the body wants.  And it also wants food. My appetite is still in full force.

And the plan for this week is no running at all.  Granted I’m sure many of you would think that wanting to run after a marathon is crazy talk.  But I know that my body will likely be ready within 3-4 days post-race to run.  But since I am SO incredibly overtrained my doctor has advised me to not run for at least a week.  We’re going to reevaluate after this weekend.  Kind of a bummer because the weather has been gorgeous this week.

I can, however, do some XT-ing in order to keep the blood moving post-race and fight off excess soreness.  On Wednesday I did a short elliptical session.  I didn’t really change much in the elliptical routine (same level/resistance) but it felt so much easier than that type of session did pre-race.  Interesting.  I’m not quite sure why but I didn’t feel like I was pushing that hard at all and I easily was going faster.  Don’t worry though, I kept checking my HR and it wasn’t elevated too much (~60% max). Same thing with this morning (Thursday) too.  Not that I’m complaining. Guess I’m recovering nicely 🙂

I figure I’ll keep doing these types of sessions throughout the week and weekend, adjusting my effort as I see fit.  I want to get in a spin session at some point but I think that, even though my cardiovascular system doesn’t feel strained right now, the smart thing to do is hold off on spin because that gets my heart pumping.

So I’m going to be pretty boring this week.  At least in the running/working out department.  After taking a 4 day weekend I’ve got plenty to do in the work side of my life.  Gotta get cracking on it though because I was informed the other day that after this week there are only 2 more weeks of classes.  Eeeeeek! And I’ve had no desire to do work.  I had an exam Wednesday morning but I just couldn’t bring myself to study.  So I didn’t.  I don’t think it went too badly though.

So I’m off to try and play catch up with life.  Hope everyone enjoys the day! Aside from my mountain of work I plan on trying to get outside.  It’s really pretty out and Earth day after all 🙂

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