MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 28, 2010

You Can’t Make Me

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:02

Do speed work that is. At least out and out speed work.

Because today I tackled the HILLS.


I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this.  Hell I’m NEVER sure I want to do this.  Hills are like reverse frenemies.  They are nasty to you outright but behind your back they help you become a better runner.

I’m glad you guys don’t really have a problem with me complaining so much about the weather — or at least you guys were too polite to do so.  Because I suppose I’m going to do it again. When I last left you guys the weather was cool and misty.  This morning it was 71* with a humidity of 91%.  I guess  I can’t really complain because late afternoon yesterday the humidity was 97%. Hello summer? WTF New England?!

I also got to sleep in (AGAIN) today.  My body woke me at 0715 but I laid there until the alarm was supposed to go off 45 minutes later.  In hindsight it might have been a mistake because adding the hill repeats, and the subsequent recovery jogs, into the route caused me to run slightly late for work this morning.  But everything miraculously worked out and I got here on time.  And the repeats let me feel good.

It didn’t start out that way.  I woke up and, as the title of the post suggests, I did NOT want to do anything other than an easy run.  It’s easy.  Duh.  I think one of the best things I incorporate into my running is this blog.  I mean, I had SAID that over the weekend I was going to do this workout.  And then I said it again yesterday.  At some point I’ve got to nut up or shut up

How I tackled these hills hahah

And so I did.  The first few warm up miles were NOT pretty.  My legs felt DEAD and TIRED and NOT MOVING. But by this time I knew that I was doing hills so I told myself that by the time I got to the two hills I wanted to do that my legs would feel better.

LIES.  But it got me to stop at the hills rather than just continue on my way.

  • ~40 minute warm up
  • 4 X Hill 1: ~.1 miles @ 12% [Edit: I lied, this hill is really 26%. Eep. the funny thing is that this one hurt less than the other one!] 
  • 4 X Hill 2:  ~.1 miles @ 15%
  • ~ 55 minutes warm down
  • Total hillage: 8 repeats for ~1.5 miles
  • Total miles & pace: 12 miles @ 9:05

Ouch.  I was expecting a faster time than that.  But the slow start and the killer hills (and granny jog — aka barely moving — recovery) and then slow to get my legs moving after the hills (plus I realized that I still had to go up more hills to get back to my apartment!) all add up to a SLOW overall pace. I’m not too upset by it.  Obviously I cringed a bit when calculating it out but I’m happy with getting those hills in. It was a very challenging workout for me.

These guys were TOUGH.  My legs BURNED after the first one. My butt and hips are going to be very VERY sore tomorrow.  I could feel them being sore during the workout.  And I could feel them sore during the runn granny shuffle afterward.  Heck I can feel them being sore right now as I type this at clinic.

That said, looking back on the workout I’d have to classify these guys as just hill repeats.  Not hills sprints.  Of course my legs were tired and hurt like the dickens by the end but I never felt like I was going to hurl.  I do know that is what I always want out of racing but I also think a good hard session of hills or intervals should give you a slight feeling of vomit-ness. 

But again, I’m not disappointed with this workout.  My heart was pounding in my chest and I wanted to stop.  But I didn’t. I know that the next step in my running scheme is to get from repeats to sprints.  But considering that I haven’ t done a hills workout since Boston training (and those were on TMs because of the lack of hills in my area) this one was a doozy.

Which suits me just fine 8)

September 24, 2010

In England An Elephant Stuck In Molasses

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:51

Another weird search term someone used to find me.  Seriously? At least I’m not really offended by it like I kind of was with “Drunk Girl Passed Out On Pavement” 😛

Take care of yourself. Eat well, rest, train hard and smart, make time to think and breathe. Be intentional with your time.

Kristin Armstrong, Author and runner

That was my runnersworld quote for…yesterday? It was earlier this week for sure. It definitely came at a good time because this is how I was originally going to start my post:


Because that’s how I’ve been feeling the past few morning.  I don’t know if it’s allergies or lack of sleep or the changing of the seasons (HELLO FALL) but man I have been dragging lately.  And it’s not just in mental fogginess.  My body feels like it’s moving through quicksand.   It isn’t, of course, but I feel gravity’s pull.  To keep me in bed longer, to keep my butt glued to my desk chair at work etc.  I need to WAKE UP.

More coffee?

Which is funny because (and I know I’ve mentioned this is previous posts) I’ve been sleeping pretty soundly.  Like I am out cold within .00000000001 seconds of my head hitting the pillow.

I don’t have much exciting to report.  I think that the honeymoon phase of “real life” is over and I’m stuck with the reality that I am, despite me not wanting to be, an adult.  I’ve been in my new place for about 6 weeks and the newness has worn off.  I’ve already paid a round of bills, rent, parking and it’s no longer playing house or playing adult but being an adult.  At least with the whole responsibilities thing.

I am still loving my job and, while I worked MORE hours this week than last, it didn’t feel that way.  I guess I wasn’t working as many hours each day which can make a huge difference.  I cut hours earlier in the week because: guess what I got to do today? Or rather guess what happened at the clinic today that I had to go to?

PRESS CONFERENCE.  With the United States Senator.  Because he was really impressed with the clinic at some point earlier this year or last year and raised close to $100,000 for us.  Woot.  Normally, if I go into work at all on Fridays, I get to have a dress down day.  Because it’s just staff.  But today I got to look like this.

It's like the first day of school photo shoot!

And I’m trying to do the whole “hunch over haute-couture” model thing. And being a goof-ball instead! My roomie took this picture and she was being so serious about being the photographer! I called her on it (because she wanted to take sooooooo many shots and angles) and she said “Well if it’s going on your blog…” haha

Which really isn’t that different than what I normally wear on clinic nights (gotta look nice for those doctors 😉 ) but is totally different than all Fridays and more dressy than my regular office days.  Sadly I did not get a picture with the Senator because I am a lowly VISTA hahah!

The blah feeling and, well I was going to say quicksand but I will instead say molasses in light of the title of the post, feeling has sort of extended into my running.  I don’t think it helps when the weather is really muggy out.  Like I said yesterday: seriously New England? I don’t want humidity anymore! It’s fall.  I think it was 63* out at 0600, which is fine, but the humidity was 91%.  And at some points during the run I literally felt like I was running in water.  It wasn’t raining but the water on my face definitely wasn’t sweat.  At least not all of it hahah.

From Google

Again, despite not really digging the weather or feeling like my runs have been great in-run, the running is good.  I’m kind of kicking myself, thought, for not taking recovery form the 5k more seriously as my quads still are a bit sore.  I think I let my ego get the best of me and I really came back too fast/intense after the race.

Not that it’s hindered me at all.  The past few runs have all been decently distanced (8-10) and all run within 8:30-8:40 pace.  Which has morphed into my new easy pace.  Exciting for sure. True to my usual self I start out the first route just under 9 pace and end the last route just over 8 pace.  Progression.  I just wish I could *feel* that progression on my runs.

For example today’s run:

  • 1st loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:54
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:39
  • 3rd loop: 2.3 miles @ 8:12
  • Total: 10.5 miles @ 8:38

With the exception of maybe the very first mile, every mile felt the same!  And clearly the first loop was much slower than the last one.  What gives? I’m thinking of going back to that 12% grade hill I showed a few weeks ago and doing some repeats tomorrow morning.  I need something to, like I said earlier, WAKE ME UP.  Not that being in an easy flow is a bad thing but I’m itching to do some focused running.

Hope y’all have great Friday nights! I’m debating skipping out on a Toga Party I’ve been invited too.  It sounds like fun and the people who are throwing it are awesome butttt I’m going into Boston tomorrow night and Lord knows that I could use BOTH nights to catch up on sleep.  We’ll see what I end up doing.  Maybe two nights out will snap me out of the UGH-ness.

Check out the giveaway from Mel

September 2, 2010

I Want To Be A Supermodel

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:00

Hmmmm I think there’s a movie being filmed in my ‘hood.  The past two days on my early morning runs there have been cameras and trailers and PYRO / BLOWING UP STUFF equipment.  I’ve been wayyyy tempted to stop and say “hey do you guys need a hot blond as an extra?”.  Which last month there was an American Eagle commercial being shot in the town my dad works at and he invited me over (he was working the shoot (he’s a cop and was there for traffic/people control) and I did say that.  I was turned down.  Silly modeling/advertisement people.

You think they’d want to cast a chick that looks like this

Clearly ANTM missed out when they rejected me

But onto the running.  Because I’m clearly more successful as a runner than model.

Or not as on Wednesday I had an “eh” run.  It was lethargic and slow and dragging.  I think that, even if you haven’t been reading this for that long, you know that I go through cycles of not sleeping well.  Apparently this is one of them.

Yes I know that I’m getting up early to run out (0530 takes its toll over the course of several days) and I’m going to bed pretty late.  But I think it’s turning into a this-is-what-my-body-knows things.  Hopefully I can do some catch up this weekend.

And the weather here in New England is very dog-days-of-August, despite this run kicking off September.  It’s not the temperatures so much but the humidity.  Every morning when I get up it’s at least 85% out.  Usually 90+%.  So yeah, it’s very humid out.  I know I can’t really complain because A) I live in New England and this is to be expected and B) many of you deal with humidity on a much more regular basis than me.

But humidity = lots of sweating.  And since I avoid water for some really annoyingly strange reason, dehydration could be a culprit. That and the antibiotics as it’s recommended to drink an addition 1-2 cups of fluid while on them.  Riiiiiiiiiiight.

I guess part of it could also be nutrition.  I definitely eat “the right foods” (aka not fast food all the time despite indulging in the good stuff every day like ice cream 🙂 ) But, especially on clinic days, I’m not likely eating enough.  It’s just really hard to make sure I am because I’m at the clinic for 9-10 hours and I’m constantly doing stuff.  It’s nice to know I’m important around here but it would be nice to be able to eat a meal at work rather than just snack all day.

Anyway.  Enough with the excuses!  The reason I mention it is A) I have the tendancy to look for negatives (or as my amazingly nice friends put it: whine) and B) by writing it out I have an incentive to change it.  I mean, if I don’t you guys will hate on me! hahah 🙂

But here’s the data for Wednesday:

  • 1st loop: 4.1 miles @ 9:12
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:46
  • Add-on : 1.1 miles @ 8:15
  • Total: 9.3 miles @ 8:53

So much for wanting to start September off with a bang.  Slow to start, like always, but slower than usual.  I definitely picked it up later in the run and managed to salvage a sub-9 overall average but it wasn’t enough to make me feel really good about the run.

Especially, and I don’t know if others notice this, but each loop and the 1.1 add on felt the same physically.  Even though I was going much faster later.  I don’t really know why that is buttttt it’s nice as well as annoying.  If I’m going fast I want to feel FAST not simply the same as my slower start!

On Thursday I had an earlyish doctor’s appointment so I got up at … yes 0530 again.  I’m really hoping that this weekend lets me sleep in a bit.  As per usual this week my run was a bit on the slower side.  See excuses above for reasons why.

So I’ll just let the data speak for itself

  • 1st loop: 4.1 miles @ 9:08
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:44
  • Add-on: 1.1 miles @ 8:28
  • Total: 9.3 miles @ 8:53

Somehow my average pace worked out to be the exact same despite have two very different experiences on the runs.  Weird. More even pacing here but I really like ending *really* fast.  Still, I can’t really complain about it too much because I like the decreasing pace trend over the run.

Another really humid one out there and I’m really hoping the hurricane that’s suppose to hit New England demolishes it.  Sure I can handle heat but I will hate on humidity freely.

Hopefully it comes and goes before my half this weekend.  But I don’t really watch the news anymore so I really couldn’t tell you.  All I was told was to go to the store on Wednesday to buy essential because if I went on Thursday nothing would be there.  Oh panicky New Englanders.  I highly doubt we’ll get hit that badly.  We never do.  Except for The Perfect Storm.  Which I should go watch again.  Because George Clooney + Mark Whalberg = gloriousness.

As for the doctor’s appointment.  It was half follow up on the toe – half hello-I’m-your-new-patient.  So she checked all my vitals and family history and stuff (yay for having a PCP!).  Then she took a look at my toe.  She declared it on its way to being healed. She also had a bit on insight on why I keep getting them.

The short version: the pounding on my feet from running is making my feet susceptible because of the trauma that any amount of running does to them.  I did tell her how much I run and she didn’t think that was a source. I’m not saying that mileage isn’t a factor (these infections did start just before I started training for my first marathon) but during each infection my mileage has varied.

It’s the running itself that’s the root. And the way my body is responding to it.  Not the best answer (like it doesn’t answer hey, why all of a sudden in the past 18 months?) and I think in combo with my stress-induced theory it works.

But she didn’t tell me to not run.  Rather she referred me to a podiatrist so that I can come up with a plan to make sure I minimize the trauma that it happening to my feet.  Yet another doctor and copay to deal with. I’ll likely have to see someone else too, maybe a sports medicine doctor, but I feel better that *someone* gave me an answer other than “well gee whiz.  I don’t know why you’re getting these infections.”

And then it was off to work.  And my workweek is, for all intents and purposes, over.  Today we had a cook out in the parking lot.  As in: I got here at noon and didn’t do any work because of the lunch cook out because I socialized for a couple hours.  Productive? Not really.  But I’m really thinking I made the right choice with this job.  They might work us hard but they reward us pretty well too. Next month is falafels or breakfast.  Yes be jealous 😛

Whew. Long recap. Oops.  But it’s Thursday.  Meaning that by the time your reading this (slash by the time I post this) it’s going to be late in the day.  And then it’s almost Friday.  So the work week is essentially over.  And what better way to pretend to do work than read about me?!

Seriously.  It’s like I’m doing you a favor by writing so much 😉

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 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 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 🙂

September 13, 2009

Two long runs, one weekend

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:55

Pretty uneventful night.  I was pretty bushed by my killer long run earlier yesterday and the rainy, dreary day didn’t really help me perk up.  I ended up watching The Patriot with a friend.  Not going to lie, it’s a long, non-action packed film.  But it was still pretty good.  I think I’m so used to watching movies where it’s a lot of action and not so much character development.

I ended up making the party rounds after the movie though.  By that time, maybe 2330?, most everyone was already in high gear so it was pretty easy to not party hard at that point.  I went to bed late (for me but super early for a typical college kid) at about 0100.

I kind of knew that I wouldn’t get much sleep because of my body loving the early wakeups and, while true I got up at 8, those 7 hours were pretty sound.  When my eyes fluttered open I debated going for my run later and easing into my morning.  After some serious in-my-head fighting I put on my running shoes and headed out.

Since I hadn’t partied I wanted to stick as close to 10 as I could.  My legs were a bit sore but by the time I hit the actual route they were okay.  When I run I usually have a set route and then some “add-on” bits that if I’m feeling good I can tack on at the end to get me anywhere from .5-3 miles extra.  For today I did one of the add-ons (1.1 miles) before the main course and then chose to do the second add-on immediately because I had the feeling that if I waited until the end I would wimp out.

Which definitely would have been the case.  My legs definitely were tired this morning. And there were moments, like at mile 5, where I was like “WTF am I doing?” But I think that in the very long run (ha pun intended) I’m doing my legs a good service by pushing them.  I read somewhere about doing two long runs in one weekend, in the same manner I did, and that there was benefits to it. Clearly now that I want to find the stupid article, I can’t. Grrrr frustrating.  In some ways this weekend has made me feel incredibly hardcore but I’m a little worried about burning out before my next marathon cycle.

But clearly feeling more bamf than worried. And it’s not like the entire run was awful because my legs were feeling pretty strong at certain points, particularly during the end miles.  Very encouraging.  My overall pace was pretty damn good too.  Not as good as yesterday but spot-on to what my long runs should be.  Also very encouraging because this morning was about 90% humidity. I think what helped me push through the last half was that I saw another runner and he kind of paced me for a mile or so (I more-or-less played tag-along until we split ways).  It was really nice to have some banter with someone else on a run. He was running faster than I was (initially) and it was a nice jump start to the last 5 or so miles.

And just as a note on the weather, it was dreary and humid and clammy this morning when I went for the run.  Literally 20 minutes after I got back: sun! Which made it nice out.  I’m glad I ran when I did but man, if I had waited…

After the run I did about 20 minutes of abs/back work in my room before settling into the PILE of work I have to do.  I’ve got every immediate thing done but there’s tons of long term stuff that I need to get a jump start on because this week is looking crazy busy.  Case-in-point: tomorrow I have to go to the local hospital for a rotation in “Wound Care” for one of my classes.  Great in the sense that it will be really exciting and fascinating but not-so-great because it eats up 4 hours of my day, plus travel time, and every precious second of my life is already accounted for. Heh.  So I guess I should wrap up this post and get back to work? Ugh, yes.

Have a great Sunday afternoon! Hopefully it’s more relaxing than mine.  I try to do all my work Fri/Sat so that I can have an easy Sunday but it’s looking like this semester it’ll be hard to keep that tradition!

June 27, 2009

And here I come out of the water…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — marathonmaiden @ 10:29

but trust me, I was on land the whole time! Yesterday was *so*bloody*humid*. The sun actually came out for the run and I thought that sun = good running.  Ummmmm not so much.  The fact that there was no rain meant that all that water vapor was trapped in the air surrounding me.  Making my run like swimming, on land.

But I’m proud to say that I finished my 11 and actually felt like I could have tacked on another couple of miles. Most excellent feeling given the conditions.  Even better was the fact that my pace was exactly where I want it to be for a long run. At least for right now.  I just tried to enjoy the run and stay mellow.  I think I did a pretty good job considering how anxious I get when things are *just*so* haha.

Now, I know a lot of you deal with humidity on a regular basis too, so rather than say “it was soooo bad” etc. I’ll just leave it at, there was NO evaporation.  Zero.  I had to stop and change my entire outfit half way (I was doing a 5.5 loops twice for that reason). Ugh. Nothing like oppressive heat to make me wish it was rainy season again.

I also did week 3 day 3 of the pushup challenge. I feel so bamf every time I complete one of these workouts and I can’t wait until I can bust out 100 and be all bamf!

Today I had to work at 9 (currently where I’m blogging from) so I hauled my butt out of bed at 6 and ran a pretty lethargic 7.  But it was an ok lethargic as it wasn’t painful or draining to keep going.  I think this could qualify as a true recovery run. The weather seemed to want to cooperate too, still humid but not as bad as yesterday and definitely about 15* cooler! Too bad enjoying this weather means 6am wakeup calls.  Which is funny because during the semester I would never had thought about running at any other time than 6.  Oh well, different schedule, different priorities.

I did some core work after and then had to high-tail it to work.  I don’t know what it was about this morning but nothing really seemed to go smoothly.  Nothing went truly wrong either but it was an unsettling feeling nonetheless. Like, I was running late, and I kept forgetting stuff I wanted to pack and then had to take two trips out to my car. And then I remembered I wanted to fill a water bottle.  Just little things that I typically can do without really thinking about it.  Hopefully I can shake that feeling because I need to get some work done sitting at this desk for the next 5 hours!

Speaking of work, I was able to complete another study guide for the MCAT.  Meaning, the only thing left in this test prep is taking practice tests! This is both exciting and scary because I really want to do well on this test, which requires experience and you truly only get experience by failing a couple times.  It’s just that at $35 a practice test, I want a really quick learning curve.  And with the $225 already paid for the test, I want the most bang for my buck.

Gotta go get crackin’ on that! Enjoy your Saturday!

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