MarathonMaiden's Blog

August 29, 2011

Howdy Y’all

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

Hi all! I had planned to do some comprehensive posts of all my life changes, because I’m finally ready to unveil them but I’ve been busier than I though lately and that coupled with lack of good internet time just meant that I couldn’t do anything with the blog.  I definitely can’t promise that I’ll update regularly even now because I still haven’t subscribed to an internet service yet.

If I ever though that last year was the year of changes for me, 2011 went out and proved it all wrong. I’d have to say that, while 2010 brought really good accomplishment changes, 2011 has tested me.  Especially this past summer I don’t really like to post lots of personal stuff here so I’m not going to go into detail BUT the major life changes that hit me were

  • Ending of my job.  It was only a year long position so I knew that it would end. In the late spring/early summer I started looking for a job.  Except no one in RI is hiring. No bueno.
  • The death of my grandfather on July 3rd.  I wasn’t ever going to mention it on the blog but it was very unexpected in the way that he died (he went into surgery which he had a 10% chance of surviving, made it through(!!) and then crashed 6 days later when they went to lower his BP meds) and it hit me wayyyyy harder than I thought it would. I know that it took up a lot of my mental energy from May (when I found out he needed surgery) until now.
  • Boy drama.  Definitely not going to post that stuff here but it definitely affected my mood / brain energy.
  • Moving.  To Texas.  Remember when I came here last August? Yeah, I fell in love with the state.  I knew when I came back last year that I’d be there in 12 month.  On August 17th, 2011 I hopped on a plane.  Here I am. Everything about the move was stressful: From saying good bye to friends (although I did through myself a kick ass goodbye party)  to how to pack up my stuff, to what I definitely needed to bring, and what I needed to get when here as my original (and fully furnished) apartment fell through and I ended up crashing on a couch for the first 7 nights I was here.

It's true. Especially the bugs. They're waaaaaaaaaaay bigger than at home.

There were good stuff too to the summer.  I went to the beach twice, learned how to salsa dance, took a VACATION, connected with people, got really into karaoke etc.   But the bad weighed me down.  But I’m here.  I made it through the summer alive.  Even though the above stresses aren’t gone (still looking for a job, still get teary eyed occasionally thinking of Papa, adjusting to moving to a place on a gut feeling) and new stresses have cropped up (how do I figure out the DART system because I don’t have a car?) I feel good.  As Ian Malcolm said

All major changes are like death. You can’t see what is on the other side until you get there.

I had no idea what to expect when I got here. I couldn’t even speculate what to expect. I kept thinking I didn’t have any friends or family or anyone here.  And that I was moving to a new state 100% on my own. But I discovered that Texans won’t hear of that and I have friends here that I didn’t know I could count on the way I can and actually have been counting on. I’m so not alone.

Yay fountains!

Now that I’m here, I LOVE it and feel silly for feeling so scared before I left (I was debating not hopping on my plane). Except for the AC.  I’ve NEVER lived with it before.  And I’m chilly.  Like, way chilly. My sister looked at me crazy when I packed sweaters to move to Texas, in August, but I’m sitting here in the apartment complex office freezing. I’ll go out in a few hours and sit by the pool (after getting another round of job applications going) so I guess it’s all good.  I almost feel like a menopausal woman…almost.

I feel like everyone could end this heat wave by opening the windows/doors and cooling down the state with their A/C

As you probably figured I have been running. And have been the entire time I’ve been here.  Typically I’ve done a mix of some runs around sunrise, where temps are in the upper 80s, and some around 1800, where temps are in the 100+* range.

At first the running was nothing major mileage wise, I just didn’t have the routes / feel comfy enough to really explore (even with my Mace). So my weekly miles have been taking a hit, because my runs ranged from 5-8 the first week and a half.  The paces were slightly faster than back home, which was surprising.  Not by much but there wasn’t the “holy moly it’s hot let’s walk” thing that I’d have expected from the get-go.  Now that my legs are getting used to ~40 miles less per week (the last 4 weeks have been 101, 85, 65, 62) I’d expect to go faster.

And who knows.  I certainly plan on ramping up my miles and racing, which means I do expect to get faster/back into racing shape.  I’ve signed up to join the Dallas Running Club, which as part of it you get to do 8 of their races (first one for me is Saturday!) and discounts on 3 others.  I think I’ll be in training sooner rather than later. Especially since I’ve joined an informal running group to train with that one of my friends from RW hooked me up with (they are / were part of the DRC training group but wanted something more relaxed for group runs) and did a LR with them this past weekend and plan on joining them to run twice this upcoming week.

And since this post is getting long and I have more to say, I’m going to break it off here. The next post will have the specific workouts I’ve done since getting here and why I think I’ll be training for something in the near-ish future despite my proclamations of not racing the rest of 2011 because 2011 can suck it (see above for why it hasn’t been good).

Again: LOVE IT.  Everything just feels right despite the heat  wearing me down at the end of the day; I’m typically asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. And the sun rises so late here! I guess I’m not in Kansas (or RI) anymore…

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August 11, 2010

Up For A Breath Of Air

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:00

Hello Again! Did you miss me?

I got back from vacay Monday afternoon and have been on the go essentially ever since.  I had sooooooo much fun on vacation and totally got the R&R that I needed. Definitely good times.

It just sucks that now it’s time to snap back to reality.  But hopefully while I was gone you enjoyed the guest posts from my friends!

Like I said, life got kind of crazy coming back from vacation.  Lots to do but I’m trying to keep a level head.  Everything will get done!

Of course running is happening.  Duh.  So here’s a brief (?) recap of my running since I last left you.

Thursday (the day I left) I started my day with a LR.  I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to run a lot on vacation so I wanted to get something lengthy in.  It went really well.  Nice and fast especially considering that I was running first thing so I could catch my flight.  Which almost didn’t happen because of a t-storm that hit Boston with perfect timing that made getting my flight out of Boston next to impossible (my flight was postponed indefinitely).  Luckily I ended up catching a flight.  And after 11 hours of travel/being in airports I was out of Boston.  Not at my final destination though as my connecting flight was canceled.

There was a silver lining though: since I was in Texas (en route to Dallas), my connecting flight was in Houston and I got to run with Jess Friday! I have awesome friends and the friend I was staying with (who is friends with Jess) drove down from Dallas and we crashed at another friend’s house.  Which was actually MSB’s place (seriously: the people  in Texas are SO NICE)

Yes I know that I've shown this picture before (it's from when Jess was in Boston) butttt I didn't take any pictures when in Houston


Jess was doing her long run and swung by MSB’s place to let me tag along for 8.3 miles.  Not the fastest run ever but we averaged around 8:26 pace (at least during the miles I was with her).  We went out for these HUGE pancakes afterward which were soooo yummy and delicious.  Also delicious are the cookies that she made and sent to my friend, which I had eaten as my dinner the night before 🙂

After eating with Jess, my friend and I drove up to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and went out two-stepping that night (at the largest honky-tonk in the world!) which was FABULOUS.  I had an unbelievable amount of fun.  I really wish that there were places like that up here in New England.  I was surprised that I was also able to stay awake as long as I did because of my long travel day before and the run that morning but I’m glad I could because of all the fun I had.

On Saturday I was able to get out for a 4 mile sunset run with my friend.  We averaged ~8:27 pace.  Apparently Texas is in the middle of a heat wave right now but I was actually not that phased by it.  At least in terms of running.  My run with Jess was at 0700 and this run was as the sun was going down.  Shade makes such a huge difference! I did feel the heat a bit more during the day when we were out and about (highs of 105*?! What?!) but during my runs I was okay.  Definitely not as bad as I feared.

Sunday was a rest day.  I was actually pretty wiped out from not sleeping much the days before: flight getting in at midnight with a 0630 run, two-stepping, karaoke on Saturday night.  All about the R&R here.  Good thing too because I went to a house party BBQ that was sooooooooooo much fun too.

Just a quick note about the food: it was really really good.  Maybe it’s because I’m from New England and just don’t have a good comparison buttttt I had such good Mexican food while in Fort Worth and great BBQ on Sunday.  Seriously: nothing like that in New England.

I headed home early Monday morning.  Thank goodness my flight home was not as eventful as my flight to Texas! I was also really sad to leave! The weekend was just absolutely amazing and, to be 100% honest, Texas just felt comfortable.  It’s a totally different world there and one that I really found myself loving (I had never been before this weekend)

Yay Texas. Billy Bob's is also the honky-tonk we went to on Friday

Once I got home I was a bit overwhelmed with being home and back in my “real life” so after doing all the chores my family (who are on a vacay of their own) left for me to do, I headed out for a run to stretch the legs.  I ended up with 8.5 in about 8:14 pace.  It felt really good.  Like amazingly good. And I think I brought the Texan heat back with me as it was ~95*.  Okay so not 105* but still.  The week before I left the temps were in the 80s.

Yesterday (Tuesday) I got another 8 miler in.  Not quite as fast as Monday but it felt good and fluid.  The rest of my Tuesday was busy and nothing else to really say about it. Trying to catch up with lots of things that I missed while away.  And of course every time I tried to focus I kept getting distracted by thinking about the stellar weekend I had just had.  It was very memorable and, you’re probably tired of this word but, FUN.

Unfortunately, despite bringing my camera, I didn’t take a single picture.  I’m going to take that as a sign that I was having so much fun because I never once remembered I had my camera.  It was in my purse the whole time! Oops.  But it was definitely a fabulous weekend. I wish that could happen every weekend.

I apologize in advance in I fall off the face of the Earth in the next few days.  I’m moving to my new place this weekend (gahhhh need to pack!) and starting the new job on Monday.

I guess August is still going to be crazy.  Lots of changes but lots of excitement too 😀

Hope everyone has had a great past week (I swear I’m playing the catch up game!) and that y’all (and note: I said y’all BEFORE I went to Texas but had to squelch the urge to say it because, well, New England represent!  haha) have a great Wednesday too.

July 9, 2010

What’s In Your Bag?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:56

But first:

I’d like to think that I’m a decently smart person.  Yes, of course I’m no Einstein but I’m definitely not dumb.  Based on my running decisions today, however, you totally wouldn’t think it.

I’m going to shove blame on the fact that it is drastically cooler here than it was earlier in the week.  I think it was Tuesday where we hit 101* with a feels like of 104*? I remember the mornings in the beginning of this week being in the 80s as well.  So the fact that today’s high is in the low 90s feels like…well I’m not going to say cold.  But I got up yesterday morning to run and the 76* weather did feel cool.

I kind of liked it.

And it deluded me into thinking that starting a run at 1300 was a smart idea.  And that tackling the hilliest route I know in my area was a good idea.  Not to mention that said route had no shade.  At. All.

Well I survived.  That’s a good thing right?  And I managed to run an 8:30 pace.  Almost exact too but I was 1 measly second to slow to have it be perfectly exact.  Annoying. Stupid one second.

I suppose, though, that it wasn’t all that bad.  Definitely could have been worse.  I didn’t feel so bad during the actual run itself but once I stopped running BUCKETS of sweat were pouring off of me.  Attractive no?

I also got some corework in after, which, lately I’ve been slacking on majorly.  I definitely felt the burn!

Anyway.  I’ve been studying like crazy and trying to stay focused.  I have another practice full length test this weekend (ahhhhhh) which I’m sort of nervous for.  Studying has been going eh for me lately.  Like, I know the stuff but when it comes time to test myself, I freeze up.  Gotta get more comfortable with the actual testing situation I guess.

And with that stress/anxiety comes writer’s block.  I don’t have much in terms of creativity to say and with my running just being there (neither amazing nor sucky, both of which make good posts to write) I haven’t been posting regularly.

BUT lucky me! Sarah (the SHU box) had a post the other day on what is in her bag.  I thought it was cool and a unique way to get to know her better (because she’s pretty awesome!) and I felt like being a lemming.  So I copied her 🙂

And I thank her profusely because there was so much stuff that I needed to throw out! So I got to do a little cleaning.  Hence why there isn’t a lot of true junk in here 🙂

I have two bags.  One is my “purse” which I bring with me on errands and whatnot.  The other is my “study” bag.  I used this one when I was still in school (it still feels weird to say that I’m no longer a student!) to bring my books and stuff to class and now it’s been designated “Official MCAT bag”.  And I also included a picture of my desk area.  Where I spend all my time haha

Everyday bag

I asked for this bag for Christmas a few years ago and I’ve been in love with it ever since.  It’s LLBean so hopefully it’ll last forever too

Flashcards.

Obviously not something that’s *always* in my bag.  But they will be until I take this silly test.  And look how thick some of the stacks are! Plus I’ve made some of my own for the trickier concepts(click to enlarge and see my stellar handwriting haha)

Scarf & glittens & other various clothing

Mmmmhhmmmm I know it's summer. But I'm lazy and just never removed them once the weather turned nice. And come on now: this is New England. What the saying? If you don't like the weather wait 5 minutes? And that's definitely the shirt I got at the race last weekend. Guess I'm pretty lazy if it's still in there haha.

Lots of pens and permenant markers. And drugs.

Because I'm a nerd. And I hate being without a writing utensil and something to write on. Seriously. It practically gives me heart palpitations. And okay not that kind of drug. Despite never taking asprin or ibuprofen or anything like that I have an arsenal of them. So if you have aches and pains I'm your girl. And yes, those are all in bags so that my big bag can stay organized. You don't have to say anything. I know I'm wicked cool.

ID badge from last summer, Keys, 2 (?!) wallets and phone

The basics. I don't really know why I have two wallets. One of them is 100% empty. ID badge not pictured but I mostly keep this around because I'm a pretentious person who likes to say "See? Look where I worked last summer: Children's Hospital!" haha

MCAT bag

A cheap knock-off LLBean bag. Still good and I like the red color. And yes, that is a binder clip attached to it. I am a major nerd

Lesson book and agenda.

Ughhhh to the lesson book. Look how thick it is and know that it's only about half of the material. My life = the agenda book.

Pens, pencils, big eraser, various earbuds in varying states of decay

Essentials.  Duh. I think you know what they look like so I didn’t take a picture 😉

Glasses

So I try to avoid wearing mes lunettes so I didn't have any already on my computer and had to take a self-portrait haha. Technically I don't think I really need glasses. So I don't wear them except for when I get really tired and my eyes start hating on me. I think I look very...studious? And does anyone else feel awkward taking self-portraits? Maybe it's just me...

And excuse the Desk Space

And my desk space. Cramped and small but I guess it's getting the job done

So there you have it.  Hopefully some of you liked seeing my bags.  I thought about doing my gym bag too but I’m pretty sure that the only workout related thing is my log book and the rest is all junk papers of sorts.  And I’m so not ready to clean that out yet ha!

On a running related note: I still have not called crazy lady back. It’s been almost two weeks since she called me.  I am a terrible terrible person.

Oh and I promise that I’m trying to play catch up on everyone’s blogs.  My google reader is overflowing right now! But check out these giveaways from Matt, Kim, Tricia and ErikaH

June 28, 2010

Gah Who Turned Up The Heat?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:25

Not that it’s summer or anything like that…

But I don’t want my relatively cool mornings to go away! It was 82* when I woke up this morning with roughly the same humidity.  Not cool Mother Nature.  Not cool at all. But I think I hear thunder in the distance so maybe it’ll cool off?

I think that the weather is part of the reason I can’t seem to sleep at all anymore.  In the past week or so I’ve maybe gotten 5 or 6 hours a night.  It’s not like I’m not trying to sleep or anything.  But I just can’t seem to nod off.  I guess I’m just under a bunch of stress and my brain doesn’t think it deserves to turn off or something.  I’m hoping that this, like everything, is cyclical and I’ll be back to sleeping soundly in no time.

I have been running a lot lately too (when I told a friend how much I ran, she looked at me and was like, “well I guess you’ve been under so much stress lately…”) and I’m not discounting that effect in my disrupted sleep.  And by “a lot” I mean that by looking at my training log you’d think I was training for a marathon.  I’m almost embarrassed for the time when I have to total up the month of June, as well as the half way through 2010 point, and actually come out of the denial that I’ve been living in with regards to my mileage.  Currently I’m in the mindset that if I don’t actual have hard data on total miles then I’m okay.

But let’s just say that I’ve been running an obscene amount.  It’s making me think that I should sign up for a marathon or something. You’ll see in a few days when June wraps up (YIKES!).

I can start to feel the miles adding up too.  Just little aches and tightness that make me want to schedule a massage.  No pain but my muscles have been in high demand lately.  I’m not sure if it’s the miles per se or if I need new shoes.  The stupid ones I’m in now are NOT holding up the way my beloved New Balances did.  I’m probably going to have to shell out some $$.  Soon. Boo.

The numbers, however, do not seem to want to taper off and I keep running faster (and keep sounding like a broken record!).  Case in point: this morning during my run the leg-os were feeling a bit sluggish for maybe 75% of my run but if you were to look at my overall time for the run you wouldn’t think that at all.  Heck, when I look at the numbers from this morning I’m like, “I was feeling slow?!” Oh relativity.  And so much for not using my physics degree ever because I think that every event in my life I relate to some physics concept tee-hee 🙂

Hello. My name is MM and I am a nerd

I actually even have glasses.  But I like to think I look hot in them 😉

In addition to running earlier today I had 2 runs yesterday.  The morning one was FAST and I felt like I was flying.  It was the type of run that I didn’t want to stop because I was just feeling so strong and powerful.  Weird because it was the morning.  (Lately if I do a double it’s first thing and then around dinner.  With the lack of sleep I need something to wake me up.  My  post-study break mid-day is  now a food one 😉 ) It was the greatest feeling ever though and one where afterward I felt like I could pretend that I was an elite runner hah! My legs during the second one felt a little like jello but, in true MM form as of late,  the pace was stellar.

Since the last time I posted, and talked about how I was feeling the lack of gym-time guilt, I did hit up the gym.  Today in fact.  I went in the early afternoon and it was a god-send to be in air conditioning.  I think I might go to the gym everyday just to feel the air conditioning.  I almost didn’t but seeing Lacey post her workouts everyday gave me the kick is the butt to go.  It was one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done (well maybe not but it sure felt it) but, like always, I felt good when I was done.  Maybe it’s just vanity but I love the way I look after a good lifting session.  I know you can’t see results immediately but I always feel like my muscles are just a bit nicer looking.  Again, I’m vain so I would notice these things.

Oh and on another running related front, I still haven’t seen that lady yet.  I’m totally not complaining but I’m waiting for the moment when she, like, pops out of the woods at me during a run.  Which is scary in and of itself but I zone out wicked bad when I run so I’m likely to die of a heart attack.  So, while I haven’t been a regular blogger lately because of MCAT stuff, if I don’t post for a few days send up a quick prayer that I’m recovering from said heart attack.   Or a prayer that MCAT stress goes down.  I’ll take that too 🙂

Sorry for a kind of blah post.  I’ve been pretty distracted lately and without focus to be all exciting haha. Hope everyone is having a great start to your week!  I know I am because, despite the heat, when I woke up this morning there was NO ONE home and no one has come home since then.  Not that I’m complaining or anything because it was a pleasant surprise to be able to have quiet to study in for once.

And check out this giveaway from Emily and RunningDivaMom

May 27, 2010

Tips For Running In The Heat

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:05

aka Do Not Do As I Did

My run on Wednesday was pretty amazing regardless of the 96* temps facing me as I headed out the door.  And during the first mile, when my body became drenched in sweat, I wondered how I was going to finish the damn thing.  But I know myself and once I lock into a rhythm then I’m good to go no matter what.

Hence the 9 miles at a 8:48 pace.  Not my best but still really fast for an easy run.  And it really did feel easy.  Then factor in the triple H’s (hot hazy humid) and I became ecstatic with the run.  Who know what could have happened if it was cooler? Oh what might have been.

That said I was melting.  I kind of didn’t want to stop running.  And no, not because I felt so awesome (even though I did), but because I knew that if I stopped I would get hit with a wave of heat and an extra bucket of sweat.  The cold water I splashed on my face afterward felt soooo good.

And since it doesn’t look like we’ll be reverting back to true winter anytime soon (thank freaking god!) I think it’s apropos to do a little bit on running in heat (although I bet you smart bloggies already knew these because they are spouted off all the time.  Lame post for a busy girl? Maaaaaaaybe haha).  But take everything with a grain of salt because I did NONE of these on Wednesday.  Oops.  Hello hypocrite!

  • Run when the temp isn’t at it’s peak. Usually that means early morning (before the sun comes up) or late night (after the sun goes down).  The reason for this is obvious: if you’re running in cooler temps then you’re going to be more comfortable.  Peak intensity is usually from 1000 to 1600 so those are the times to avoid. Ummmm my noon runs? Not so good especially if my next tip is to…
  • Take time to acclimate For me, this means doing my lengthy or hard workouts during the time that it’s not peak BUT do a short 3 miles when it is hottest.  This way I’m not taxing my system too much in the heat but I’m letting my body know that “Hey there, this is what you need to run in but I’m not going to jump right in and kill you”.  Definitely didn’t do this on my Wednesday run (or my Tuesday for that matter)
  • Seek shade Or at least routes that are predominately shade.  Shade will protect you from the blistering sun and keep temps *slightly* cooler.  Granted this will not help at all with the humidity but it’s a start right? And in my defense, part of my run were shaded, just not as much as I originally thought.  Some stretches were all trees and others were just me and the blacktop.  Ouch.
  • Seek water As in sprinklers and water fountains.  I was trying to find this stuff buttttt nothing.  Although I was going at such a good machine clip that who knows if I would have stopped.  When I finished the run I did do this but nothing in the time I was in motion.
  • Keep pace appropriate Despite having a stellar pace on my run I went out with the intention of NOT doing my planned speedwork.  In the heat you’re body is going to be rebelling because it’s hard to run in the heat and you’ll end up with some type of heat-related illnesses if you go *too* hard.  I definitely should have scaled back and been more conservative as I was getting overheated and maybe slightly delusional by the end.
  • Appropriate clothing So maybe this tip I did alright with? I mean I wasn’t in sweats or anything (gosh I am just sweating thinking about that!) but I was in a sports bra and shorts only.  Meaning nothing to wick away the massive amounts of sweat I was producing.  But you’ll want to wear light colored clothing (black/dark absorbs all wavelengths of light which means that you’ll be absorbing all the heat) and wicking clothing so that you’re sweat can be more efficiently evaporated, thus keeping you cool.  Loose fitting clothing is also key so that the evaporation process can happen more easily too
  • Sunscreen Ummm I suck at putting on sunscreen.  But skin cancer? No joke.  I just had a couple pre-cancerous moles removed from my skin.  A good tip here is to look for sweat-proof ones as it sucks hardcore when you get this stuff in your eyes and, as I mention time and time again, I sweat like… a lot.
  • HYDRATE Yes I am terrible with this.  The other day, at the gym doing lifting, I lost 3 pounds during my hour session.  Obviously that was all water weight but I know for a fact that I only drank 20 oz of water all day.  Yes I drink a liter of milk and ice teas but that is no match for my sweat rate.  And I think that running would make that weight loss even more pronounced.  But your body is ~70% water so clearly replenishing that is key to living and avoiding heat related illnesses.  As a runner being well hydrated means more efficient workouts as well as workouts that feel easier.  To know if you’re properly hydrated I guess the standard is the pee test? If your pee is lemonade color you’re good, ice tea color? Not so much.
  • Educate yourself Know the signs and symptoms of heat stroke, heat exhaustion etc.  If you notice the signs in yourself or anyone else it’s time to put the breaks on the workout. And if they don’t go away with some hydration and shade then seek medical attention.  Maybe this tip is one that I actually did as I know the signs and symptoms.  Go me ha! But for those of you who aren’t as lucky as me they are: faintness, dizziness, disorientation, no sweating or  cool and clammy skin.

So there you have it.  I think I can check off only the education tip off of my things I did Wednesday.  Oops.  Hopefully typing this out motivates me (and YOU) to be smart as summer comes on full swing.

Luckily for me those T-storms I mentioned yesterday did come through so I woke up to 60* weather and it felt nice and chilly.  I don’t think it’s supposed to get warmer than 70* today (yeah be jealous) which is going to feel like *winter* after running in 96* on Wednesday.  Holllllleeeeeeerrrrrr. I don’t even feel bad waiting until noon again 😛

May 26, 2010

What A Way To Start The Summer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 10:42

Wow I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  Moreso than when I was in school! But I tend to thrive when life gets busy so it’s all good.  It just means that I don’t have time to string together a coherent post (and trust me I’ve tried but when you can only write in 5 minute snippets the tone of the post goes all over the place!) .  Oh well.  I think that this week is the exception until about August so apologies in advance if I go MIA again for the remainder of the week.

But let’s back track.  I’ve been doing some pretty decent runs since coming home.  The area that I live in really isn’t that hilly but compared to where my school is located…well let’s just say I feel like I’m running in the Alps right now.  Just shows you how relative everything is.  Not that I’m complaining too much; as much as it sucks to be out of breath on the actual hill itself there’s a BAMF factor at the end of it.

Another thing factoring into my BAMFness? The heat and humidity that has been cast upon New England.  As of when I got up this morning at 0800 it was already in the low 80* with ~68% humidity. Yuck.  But I think there are going to be some T-storms later today which hopefully cools things down.

So it’s made my runs a bit interesting. Here’s a bit of a recap

Sunday: I know in my last post I said I was going to XT it up but the lure of running was too much (and when is it not?! ha) so I went out on my favorite home route, a really lovely 8 miler.  It was fast too but I think that it helped that I went out at noon.  As much as the heat isn’t the funnest (and yes I know it’s grammatically correct to write more fun) to run in my paces are so much quicker when I *don’t* run first thing.  But I followed up the run with corework, and since I had been running in just a sports bra I got to see my abs working which made me feel strong.  Around 1600 my running buddy from home called and wanted to know if I was up for a quick run.  Very last minute because she wanted to leave right away! Luckily I hadn’t showered yet (LAZINESS!) so I was able to get a 4 miler in.  Which was WAY fast.  But it felt good so I went with it.

Monday: I know I haven’t talked much about post-graduation plans BUT I had a job interview on Monday so I had to get up early to run before heading up to NH for the interview (and no I’m not going to go into details right now.  Don’t want to jinx myself before anything comes through) I will say I think the interview went well and combined with a decent interview last week I’m hoping something comes through.

But back to the run.  Okay, so early is an exaggeration.  I mean to say that I ran first thing when I woke up rather than set an alarm.  I love that during the summer I can do this! But it was sticky out already.  I run a fan in my room and get some cross ventilation with my windows so my room was chilly and I think I overdressed in a tech shirt and shorts. Should have done the sports bra + shorts thing.  My legs felt a bit tight during the run but I did run a really good 9.1 miles @ 9:15 pace.  Much faster than it felt.  And of course I got my core work in.

Tuesday: Another busy day here too.  I had a doctors appointment that was back down at my school (an hour away) followed by an MCAT prep course (can’t remember if I mentioned this before).  I know I took the exam last year, and I did decently on it, but I studied solely with my college textbooks.  Not ideal.  So I laid down the money to get really focused and intense work, which the pre-health advisor at my school thinks can raise my score ~7 pts.  Which is huge.  So last night was the first night and we did a 5 hour diagnostic test. Ouch.  I think 20 milers are easier!

My workout was a double this day.  Since my appointments were all in the afternoon I took the whole morning to get a good lifting session in followed by a 6 mile run.  The lifting was first thing and felt hard! I wasn’t doing much differently than normal (actually nothing differently) but my muscles were definitely being worked hard.  After getting back to my house and refueling with a pb & banana sandwich and oatmeal (yes oatmeal in the summer. I’m weird) I went out at noon for a run.

Maybe not the smartest order to do my workouts in because it was definitely 90* and humid. The plan was just to take it easy and my perceived effort was easy but my pace was 8:35. Whoa there.  I kind of wish I had looked at my watch earlier, not to dial back but to take advantage of the speediness that my legs were giving me.  Either way it might have been the smartest thing to only do 6 miles in the heat.  I was sweating a TON and am not fully acclimated yet.

Wednesday (today): Not sure what exactly I’m going to be doing today.  I only have one appointment today in the PM but I have lots of post-grad stuff to do.  Not to mention catch up on NCIS and The Biggest Loser which I missed last night due to my prep course.  Priorities 😉

I’m thinking an easy 7 or so.  My legs, as well as the rest of my body, are feeling a bit tight so something easy to get the blood flowing probably is appropriate.  Kind of a bummer because I wanted to do a speed workout and start to make those a regular occurrence in my weekly routine.   And easy because I’m not likely to get out until noon again and it’s going to be another hot one.  But I think some T-storms are coming through so hopefully it’ll cool things off.

Jeez Louise! I’ve written so much already.  Guess that’s what happens when life gets in the way of blogging 😉

Here are some other things I wanted to talk about but will bullet point it because this is getting very lengthy

  • LOST and 24 are over.

Forever. Sad face 😦  I’m not sure how I feel about the LOST ending, I’ll likely have to re-watch it sometime soon to wrap my head around it.  I liked the note that it ended on but I *really* wanted all the mysteries to be solved. Like, how did MiB become the smoke monster? How are the rules of the island created? Why did pregnant women die ? What did the bomb accomplish? I felt that a lot of the physics in some of the mysteries was fast and loose and as a scientist (and hello physics major!) I felt frustrated.  But overall I enjoyed it.

As for 24, again mixed feelings.  I liked pretty much everything about it except for the fact that for a series finale it things open ended.  I guess it’s because there’s talk of a 24 movie.  But I loved that Jack went all Mike Tyson and “judge and jury” on us.  Really BAMF.

  • Health and Fitness Expo June 12-13th in Boston (I think on the Common) Anyone interested in going possibly?

So much for my bullet points 😉 And saying that this might be a coherent post haha! But check out the giveaway from Mel

May 20, 2010

Running With My Hair Did

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:22

Hey-o! Thanks for keeping your fingers crossed for me and good vibes being sent my way.  Keep them up! Again, I don’t want to go into much (read: any) detail on the blog for fear of jinxing myself but I could use the good vibes 🙂

Anyway, last night (Wednesday) was the formal ball that my school does every year for the Senior Class.  The senior council rents out Rosecliff Manor, in ritzy Newport RI,:

Outside of Rosecliff (courtesy of google image because we got there and it was too dark to take any good pictures)

and we get all dressed up, dance, drink and have a really fun time.  The drinks were so strong (legit 6 oz of alcohol to 1-2 oz of juice/soda etc. CRAZY and well worth the $6) that I’m pretty sure you couldn’t *not* have a good time 🙂

I had a blast and it was so much fun putting on a fancy schmancy dress and pretending to be all lady like for the night. Although I did feel a bit like Abby from NCIS in my dress.  But in a totally cool way that made me feel really special.

Here are some pictures that I took of the event:

Physics and LOST buddy.

Physics and drinking buddy

Roooooooooooomies!

  • “Haha MM you tower over [him]” (Roomie)
  • “Not now” (Me and [him]) aka i duck down and he leaps causing much amusement to our friends”

Picture of just my friends so you don't think I'm all self-centered and only took pics of myself although I am in the large majority of pics that are currently on my camera. I guess I went around going "hey I need a picture of us!" hah!

Chocolate Room

and damages

Some people decided to stay in hotels overnight in RI but I didn’t.  I didn’t want to spend the $$ on a limo and hotel (I actually used the bus that my school provided to get to and from because it was WAY cheap) and I really enjoy staying in a real bed and not a hotel one.  Therefore I didn’t get back from the party until 0200! As you may recall from yesterday I got up at 0600.  Talk about a long day.

You’d think that with such a long day my body would actually like to sleep in this morning.  And I did…I guess.  0800 is an improvement.  And I did lay in bed for an extra half hour, awake but still tired.  My eyes are struggling to stay open! I decided that running first thing, while I really love doing it, just shouldn’t happen today.  And since there aren’t any senior events until tonight I figured that I could do some “life future” stuff (aka follow ups on interviews, cover letters, job research etc.) until mid-morning.  My favorite time to run.

And since I was/am in love with how my roomie did my hair last night

I didn't get a pic from the front last night so here's one from this morning

I, duh, wanted to leave it in for as long as possible.  I do this when people braid my hair too.  Anyway the long and short of it is that the 15 bobby pins kept my hair in place for the event, sleeping AND the run.  Here’s what it looked like after though

Not too shabby. A bit messy but my hair stayed up the entire run!

But enough about hair.  And on to the outfit I wore today (I swear I’ll talk about the run soon).  Normally I don’t *really* care what I run in.  Yes  I do try and match (no red top with orange shorts or anything crazy like that) but I was feeling really girlie with the formal last night so this is what I wore

Yes. Pink bra. Pink shorts. And if you're wondering I was also wearing pink underwear too. All going with the pink camera and pink wristband I typically wear anyway haha

This was taken post-run and clearly there is a post run glow on me.  I was going to “apologize” for any food baby you might see but you know what? I love this picture.  I look very happy and despite thinking at the time I was carrying a good baby I clearly am not and I love the way my abs look rock solid here.  I think I look strong and glowing 🙂

And for good reason.  The run I went on today was kick-freaking-ass! Despite the lack of sleep I mentioned at the beginning of the post my legs felt pretty fresh.  They weren’t rarin’ to do something hard, like a track workout or something, but they were feeling good.  Coupled with the 70* weather it was a good time.

I guess I was running really fast (for an easy no expectations run) at 8:31 pace! I was not expecting that at all, although given that it was 1130 when I left and my runs earlier this week were all pre-breakfast, it shouldn’t have been too surprising.  It was a really great way to say “goodbye” to the route.

Basically I just felt fluid and efficient.  This is sometimes the best way to define a good run.  Sometimes I’ll say I had a good run but it means that I completed my workout and hit splits.  Sometimes I forget to be intune with what my body defines a good run and to me it’s what I just said: fluid and efficient.  Natural. Everything clicking and nothing feels wrong.  Like you could go one forever. Granted at the end my legs were feeling fatigue but that good fatigue where you know that you worked.  Not enough to kill you (ahem intervals) but enough that your body is tired.

Speaking of, today there isn’t any real senior week event although informally everyone is going to the local bar as the last Thirsty Thursday…EVER.  Wow.  Going to go rest up for that 🙂

And the rest of the week.  Graduation rehearsal, candle lighting ceremony and sentimental night tomorrow and then *graduation* on Saturday.  So crazy.

PS Check out the giveaway from ShutUpandRun

May 3, 2010

From Winter to Summer All in One Week

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:02

What a time to make my comeback. And if you haven’t checked it out here’s my April recap.

Okay so maybe comeback is too strong a word.  I never really took a lot of time off.  At least in the sense of having something majorly catastrophic happen to me.  But it’s been a good long while for me since I laced up my running shoes.  And I know that resting obviously not only was good for my infection but good for my post-race recovery but there’s always going to be that nagging voice in the back of my mind as to whether or not my legs will “remember” how to run after even a day off.  Hence the lack of rest day I take.

Now I’m not going to say that I’m wrong.  Nor am I going to say that you guys are wrong.  Because my run yesterday was neither laborious (as I would have thought) nor fresh and springy (as you guys have implied). It just was.

I decided to hit up the streets for an easy run in the early AM Sunday morning. My foot/toe doesn’t have any redness in it anymore, no pain (although I haven’t had pain in quite some time) and the open wound on my big toe — from where the doc debreeded it last Monday (gosh was it really so long ago?!) has formed a new skin.  It hasn’t made it to tough skin yet but there was no “openness” to it anymore.  So I figured that I might as well give it a go.

It was semi-sunny out and hot as hades already when I left.  I think it was in the mid-60s? I didn’t check before but when I got back around 0900 and turned on my computer it was already into the 70s. For some reason though it didn’t feel that bad? I thought the heat would have impacted me more considering how cold it was mid-week last week.  One morning on a trip to the ER it was under 30* and there was frost on the ground!

I kept the pace relaxed, just putting one foot in front of the other.  There’s something awesome about following a training plan and having a specific run to complete.  But there’s also something really nice about just going.  That’s something I don’t do very often because, I’m quite often in training for something and even the “relaxing runs” serve a purpose.  There really is no sense of get-out-there-and-go.  At least not when I’m in training.

I ended up with 8.1 miles at maybe a 9:10 pace? I was actually pretty surprised by the pace.  In a good way of course. I had expected worse and I think the run ended up being a progression run because my first few miles definitely were not anything more than a “Hey legs let’s wake up” type of deal.

My experience today (Monday) was a little bit different.  I was debating yesterday whether or not to run two days in a row.  There was a chance of scattered T-storms for the early morning until about noon and, the fact that I’m petrified of t-storms notwithstanding, running in a t-storm isn’t exactly a smart idea.  Go figure right?  I figured that if I woke up and it was clear then I’d take it as a sign from a higher being that running was where it would be at.  If it was stormy then I’d XT it up.  In all honestly I would have been okay with either.  After experiencing so many problems lately as much as running would make me really happy, I’d be happy with the XT too.  Not as much but I can deal.

As it turned out it wasn’t storming.  It was overcast and drizzling (I even turned on my computer to check the weather and it didn’t appear that anything major was going to crop up) so I threw on some running gear.  In some ways I wish it had been storming because it was (and still is) HOT and HUMID and HAZY.  Basically the 3 H’s of New England summer.

So my running gear? Shorts and a sports bra.  Yes that’s right.  The first sports bra run on the year.   And it’s only May 3rd.  Fabulous. Bummer that it had to be on an overcast gray and rainy morning.  But I honestly couldn’t even imagine wearing any type of shirt, wicking material or not.

Luckily (?) it was on and off spurts of showers.  Nothing drenching but it felt good to have that cool H2O on my skin.  Sure none of it could evaporate off, including my sweat, but it felt good to have anyway.  Compared to right now as I type this and it’s still humid as hell, hot as hell but sunny.  So it feels even muggier.  UGH.

I finished up with 9 (!) miles at 8:50 pace.  Which is much faster than I A) thought I was going and B) thought I would be able to go.  So it was a nice confidence booster.  I’m a little shocked that I went as far as I did.  I was planning on going for time (which I did) and based my distance estimate on what I was doing pre-marathon. This makes me excited because I feel like I can really do some damage to my shorter distance race PRs(assuming that I get my butt in gear and sign up / start to look for them!) because I won’t be doing nearly the same amount of volume as I did for Boston.

A couple people have asked what’s to come from me in my running / racing life.  And the honest answer is: I don’t know.  It’s scary in terms of not having a plan to run off of.  But I just don’t have the time to really look at a race calendar.  So I’m doing what I’ve been reading that a lot of you are doing: maintenance right now.  On one hand I know that I’m itching to race and train.  On the other hand I’m really busy with trying to put together a “real world” life.  As in I graduate in 19 days and still have neither a job nor plans.

Talk about scary.  Oh yeah, and I have to finish up all my classes and stuff so that I can, in fact, graduate.  And with that I’m off to go do some of that work.  Tonight is also the Senior Physics Majors Presentations where we present our research over the course of the past year.  I’m not too worried about mine (it’s more bio based so I KNOW I’ll be the expert in the room) but I still don’t like standing in front of other people and talking.  So wish me luck 🙂

April 3, 2010

Long Run Dehydration. Boo.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:20

Hey everyone. Just a quick update as my computer is having issues and is at the Geek Squad.  Since tomorrow is Easter it’s looking like I will be sans computer until Monday night or so.  I *could* post from a computer at the cafe or library (like I am now because I needed to check my email so sorry if there are typos or grammar stuff) but it’s a hassle so I’m not dying or something 😉

I did, however, feel like dying today on my run.  I spent all morning at the Geek Squad so when I was ready to go for my run it was already noon. And being the stubborn chica I am I went out anyway.  I had planned for 16.5 with the option of pushing it to 18 (accoring to the plan today was 15-18) but I had to cut it short.

I was SO dehydrated.  I had debilitating stomach cramps and drinking water was the only thing I could think about doing.  I’m really happy that at the beginning of my run I changed my mind about the route I was going to do and rather than doing one big loop I opted for some smaller loops as cutting it short was totally the right call.

I think I went into the run dehydrated and 70* is not something my body is used to yet. C’mon Mother Nature let us adjust! The funny thing is that I was going to run early (like first thing) but chose to lay in bed longer (the whole lack of sleep thing).  This caused me to watch tv online and subsequently get the intense virus that crappola’d my computer.

Oh well.  I’m not to bummed about the run itself even though I just spent the last few hours lying on the floor in agony. I did get in the minimum suggested by the plan and my shins did not bug me once. I’m icing down regardless but it’s a totally positive note. I didn’t even have to wrap them during the run for applied pressure.

And I broke out the shoes that I will be running Boston is.  They’re 100% comfy and worked wonderfully.  To bad my body didn’t want to do the same ha!

But don’t worry about the dehydration thing.  Yes it was scary, I’ve only been more dehydrated than today once in my life and that was terrifying. But I’ve drank TONS of water post-run and I’m starting to perk up.  My next stop will likely be the dining hall for some food.  I ate some cereal after the run but my stomach wasn’t happy at all with anything.

So I’m off to do that.  OH and my computer being gonzo means that I likely won’t be able to comment much (if at all) but I still love you and will do my best to catch up once I’m all hooked up again 🙂

But check out Erika’s giveaway 🙂

March 20, 2010

Long Run Before Breakfast

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:30

What a beautiful way to welcome spring in New England. Sunny, slight breeze, 78* (according to my car).  Well maybe 78* is more like summer but considering that this time last weekend there were gale force winds, rain and overall yuck I’m not complaining. It was so nice to take a blanket and book and read outside in the campus dimple.  Makes me want summer 🙂

In fact, when I got done with my run at 1100 it was already 68* out.  What?! Crazy! I’m glad I went out first thing, my body is definitely not ready yet for that kind of weather.  It needs time to acclimate and figure out this thing called sweating and regulating body temperature efficiently ha!  Too bad Mother Nature wants to play games with my heart, tomorrow is suppose to be a high of 54*. It’s going to feel freezing as temperature is all relative.

Like I mentioned I was up and at ’em this morning with the running.  Partly because I couldn’t sleep.  I was having unsettling dreams and nosebleeds all night so after awhile it just feels pointless to just lay there.  I had to sleep with TWO pillows under my head and line the pillows so blood didn’t get everywhere soooo it felt extra pointless to stay in bed.  So I got up and knowing that it was going to be a warm one decided to just go for the LR immediately and try to beat the heat (oh how I hate that phrase! haha).

I wasn’t sure if that was going to be a smart move or not.  See, and I think I’ve mentioned it on the blog before, but my stomach is really finicky with what I can and can’t eat within a couple hours of a run.  Namely nothing 2-3 hours before, so I knew that eating breakfast was out of the question. My rumbling stomach, however, had a different idea and I settled on a tiny apple — the kind that they give out to kindergartners at lunchtime hah. It was a good compromise: it quieted my stomach but didn’t make me want to puke during the run.

The run itself was a bit unremarkable.  The pace was 9:22 on average.  Slower than I aim for (9:00).  But it was about 60 seconds off my current MP and 82 seconds off my GMP.  So not that bad per se. But the “upsetting” thing was that I was way off my game: my MO is to start slow and finish strong.  Week after week you’ve heard me “complain” of that: my first loops is turtle speed and then I pick it up.  Not today I could actually feel the last few miles slowing down.

I think it was party due to not having breakfast before going.  This is the first LR EVER (!) that I haven’t eaten beforehand.  Sure I’ve done runs up to 13.5 or so without fuel but I think that’s my limit for a comfortable run. I did have a hearty bowl of oatmeal with some canned fruit last night before going to bed but after tossing and turning all night I suspect my body burnt through it.

Another component? The weather.  Last week the pace of my LR was bad because of horrid winds and driving rain.  This week my body wasn’t ready for the 70* temps. As Sarah mentioned earlier today temperature plays a huge role in pace and that the increase in temp would likely slow it down.  I’m really glad I read that when I was done with my run today because I was getting pretty angry with myself for a perceived failure as to where I like to keep my pace. Thanks girl!

As for my shin/ankle, I think that PT didn’t really make it better haha.  After being touched so much yesterday it was a little more tender today than usual.  Nothing major or anything but I could tell going to bed last night that the area was “exhausted”.  Again, no pain but I had been avoiding doing anything to it (like working through ROM stuff) and I think that it was tuckered out last night.  Even though that might sound discouraging I’m actually excited about it because it means that the ultimate goal of PT for me (to increase ROM and reduce inflammation) is going to work.  Clearly the area has issues and after day 1 I can already feel it changing stuff.  Not instant gratification but encouraging to me.

So I think you guys lucked out on a short post (well short for me ha!). It is Saturday night after all.  I think a couple of my friends who are student teaching (and therefore didn’t get spring break, although don’t feel sorry for them as they got February break and will get April break!) are going to watch a movie.  Who knows what it’ll be but it’ll be a great way to end a day of long running and laying in the sun.  After all that excitement I am beat! 🙂

Oh and I sooooo want to show you guys pictures of my toes and feet.  Actually I want to show everyone I come into contact with.  But I’ll refrain and just say I have:

  • 1 black toe
  • 1 popped blood blister on my big toe
  • 3 regular blisters that are becoming calluses
  • 1 toenail that is so soft and malleable that I’m scared to even poke it for fear of it falling off

Oh such lovely feet I have.  The funny thing is that I’ve heard that it’s possible to train and have none of this happen.  But I wear it with a badge of honor and definitely wouldn’t change anything about it 🙂

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