MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 13, 2011

It’s Looking Like I’m Training.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:11

I think I really should invest in internet soon.  Having to use the wireless in the Leasing Office at my apartment complex means having to use it between 09-1700 M-F and that’s prime time for interviews (fingers crossed!) and feeling safest taking the bus to do errands. I have been doing job searching at the library (YAY for getting a library card in my new city) but I feel like since I’m at the libs I need to be *focused*.  Not a bad thing at all.

The plus to all that is that I have a few workouts under my belt to talk about and can make this post decent with running.

Okay so not everything's running. I can be random too 😉

First: I’m sure everyone’s thinking of Boston this time of year with registration opening up yesterday for BQ-20. Not I.

I have the time to register at the moment (my WR time from last December is still good) but I just don’t feel it.  Of course, seeing people’s FB statuses and talking with people who are nervous the spaces will fill later this week makes me want to. Despite needing revenge I think it might be best to tackle it later at some point.  That and I just made some huge life changes in the past month so I’m just trying to get through things day by day.  Thinking ahead to April is unfathomable. Lots of other factors went into the decision and it was hard to put my ego aside. We’ll see if I feel the same way in April. Or even later this week.

Best of luck to all who are trying to get in!

Since my last post, last Wednesday, I’ve done 3 quality workouts.  Training time? Okey Dokey. The first was a hill workout on Wednesday with the CoOp group.  Yes, as I found out, there are hills in Dallas.  You really have to search for them though.  They weren’t hill repeats though: it was a ~1.3 mile loop where you ran up a hill, across a straightaway, down the hill, across another straightaway but in the other direction, up a hill, across a straightaway then down the hill and headed back to the start.

It really wasn’t as complicated as I just wrote it. The workout is called “Crazy 8s” because the loop is done as a figure 8.

thanks google

The plan was to do 4 of ’em but due to major GI troubles (that had plagued me all day that day and I pigheadedly thought that I’d be able to work through it) I only did 3.  The first 2 were really strong and the third was when my intestines were like “ummmmmmmmmmm no”.  I ended up with slightly over 6 miles for the total and annoyed that I tried to push myself through that third one yet also annoyed that I didn’t get through the whole thing.  Silly me.  I mostly felt “bad” that I was “wasting” the cold front.  The temps were in the 80s and it felt awesome.

Which meant that this past weekend should have been a good LR with the group.  Well I evidently partied too hard on Friday night, although I was at the Rangers game so I didn’t think there’d be much room to party.  Obviously the party didn’t end with the game. And slept through the group LR on Saturday.

The alarm was set. I just slept through it.  And the two phone calls one of the group members made to me. Oops.

I woke up in a panic about a half hour into their run and was like “I SWORE I’d be able to make it”. Clearly I was wrong.  I stayed in bed all day that day and made up the run with a friend who wasn’t, for other reasons, able to make Saturday’s run on Sunday (and I hate running long on Sundays).  I think it ended up for the best: it was my fastest run, in general, since Boston at any distances, and it was 15 miles at 9:03 paceSo I’m not quite sure what that tells me.  I was never struggling during the run and was not 100% drained afterward.  Hopefully this run was the mental wake up I needed, I have a half to run this fall!

I also absolutely ADORE the girl (well woman I guess) that I was running with. She hasn’t been running long but she’s trying to learn all she can about running and we talked a lot about running (obviously) and she encouraged me to pick the brains of people that run in the CoOp. I always feel weird asking people for advice like that, mostly because I feel like I’m pumping them with information.  But I’ll try to make myself more annoying during group runs 😉

I’m sure the weather helped for that long run (it was still in the 60s when it started) and that was not the case today, as it was 80* at 0600. Greeeeeeeeeat. Today’s workout was a ladder workout and it was decent, aka better than last time, despite being alone for it.  It was supposed to be with the group but late last night kind of freaked out about having to get up to make a 430am rail. Which wouldn’t be so bad except I have to walk just over a mile to get there.  Even at a jog it wasn’t appealing.  Nor did it seem like a good idea to be in a confined car at 430am. In all honesty nothing probably would have happened but I don’t think I’ll get to do AM track sessions with the group ever. So I got an extra 2 hours of sleep instead. WIN.

So I headed to a local track and did the same ladder they did: 800-1200-1600-1200-800 with 400m recovery time (although I’m not sure if I cheated by doing an 800 recovery after the 1600.  I needed it so I think not).  Let’s just say that I wasn’t too thrilled with the added 1600 in there because last time we did a ladder, two weeks ago, it wasn’t.

I’m still not sure which paces I’m supposed to be hitting here according to the pace chart for the group (which can be seen in the link above from last time and does vary with the distance of the intervals), so I kind of put a range between the “goal marathon time” I ended up running paces for last time (the 4:00 marathon) and the one faster (3:50).  I was in there, on the slower side, but in there.  What was frustrating was, despite feeling like I worked hard, the marathon times I selected are still slower than marathons I’ve run.

  • 800: 3:49 (7:38)
  • 1200: 5:53 (7:50)
  • 1600: 8:02 (8:02)
  • 1200: 5:57 (7:56)
  • 800: 3:52 (7:44)

Looking back at my training log, I was pretty much at, or slightly faster, than my times the last time I did a ladder.  I’m happy with that, especially being able to be slightly faster than the last time (aka I didn’t flounder the way I did last time) on the “down” portion of the ladder after the 1600. Obviously not where I was last fall/winter but about where I was training for Boston this past winter.

All told my legs had that good burn at the end of it.  I feel like I couldv’e gone faster though? I mean, my legs hurt and my mind wanted to quite but I wasn’t satisfied with it.  I’m glad I did it today though as I was debating putting it off another day.

I’m at an impasse though because my long run was so stellar on Sunday and my intervals were meh today.  Intervals suck. I appreciate everyone who’s chimed in about me taking care of myself and I continue to do so.  Although I’m sure that some of you are shaking your heads at my running load. Other than my paces being slower than in the past, I feel fine physically.  Since I’m training now, I’m going to keep a closer eye on things but I don’t have access to affordable health care at the moment so I’ll just continue to do what’s worked for me when I’ve been I’ve feltlike this before.

Since adding in quality workouts, however, my weekly miles have dropped slightly, I’ve gotten back an appetite (aka can fuel better) and my weekly average pace has dropped slightly as well (at least the past two weeks since I’ve considered myself training for something). 

Anyway that’s what I’ve got. Hopefully I won’t go another week or so without posting/commenting/keeping in touch.  Although I am keeping my fingers crossed that I get a call back from a job and having to work makes it difficult to post 😉

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September 1, 2011

Of Ladders and Recovery and Racing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:18

First off I need to give a HUGE shoutout to my girl Lesley for hanging out/driving me to Super Target for groceries. She’s the BEST! I actually ran into her during our long runs this past Saturday (we ran by each other) and hopefully I can get together and run with her someday (and go to the zoo. Remember now, you promised 😉 )

Thanks google

I swear I’m not 5 years old and/or her 4th kid.

Back to running because I guess moving and unemployment have been the best things to happen to it.  And to my blog posting abilities.

The group I’ve linked up with WRRC decided to make their speed session workout Tuesday morning. At 5am. Now in any “normal circumstance” (because trust me I realize that getting up at 4am to haul ass around a track is not in any way shape or form normal) I’d be all for it.  But with no car, I have to take the rail.  And catching a 0432 rail after walking a mile in the dark to the station is not ideal.  I don’t live in the worst neighborhood per se, but it made me uneasy.  So I figured I’d do it on my own.

Unfortunately some upsetting dreams (and I’ve been having VIVID dreams lately) had me oversleeping and I knew that trying to do speedwork once the sun comes up is not prudent.  As it stands in my log book I ended up getting a mid-distance run in, which might not have been prudent either given the lack of water stops on the “trail” I was on.  I did 11 but based on the time and my effort I feel like it should have been more.

I suppose it serves me right for starting a run at 8am although in my defense that’s the weather I’ve been running in all summer back home (86* and home has higher humidity which makes it feel worse) so I figured I’d be okay.  My stomach by the end was all upset in its “dehydration ouchie” state.  I think on the way home I stopped a couple times to stretch it out. Lesson learned: this is Texas. Bring water. (and drink more H2O in general. Adding lemonade powder to my water has been a lifesaver lately though because I can only take so much water!)

The only saving grace to the run was that it drizzled for the whole first half.  Actually I’m not sure if this made it better or not as I felt a little more humidity about.  At least there wasn’t any true lightning like there was on Monday morning when it poured (now that felt good).

The rest of the day (and really any day) was spent recovering (aka feet up and applying to jobs) for:

WEDNESDAY’S BIG DAY OF RUNNING

The track workout that I didn’t do Tuesday was on tap.  I had set my alarm for 0530 so I could easily be out the door before 0600. I ended up getting up at 0600.  Still well before the sunrise, so it’s okay.  The temp was 88*.  Ouch.

On tap was

  • Warmup
  • 800-1200-1200-800 (with 400m recovery between)
  • Warmdown

This was created, I think, by one of the guys in the Running Coop and he’s posted on the FB group page a “Ladder Pace Chart” for what you should try and hit depending on your marathon goal.  For me, I’m not signed up for a marathon so I really had no clue what I should do.  A few weeks back I did some 800s at 7:20-30 pace which according to the pace chart below was what the group aiming for a 3:40-3:50 marathon would target.

Because I’m delusional I decided I wanted to go faster and hit paces targeting a 3:20-40 marathon (and corresponding to a 1:34-44 half, see below). Don’t forget that out of all my marathons, I’ve run 75% of them slower than 3:30 and my half PR is 1:33:something.

Delusional.

Because here’s the pace chart (I figured it’d be easier for y’all to see it with your own eyes rather than me confuse you by trying to explain it)

Yes I am aware it’s an oddly shaped image with a lot of space at the bottom. Deal (although the whole point was so that you guys could read it. Hopefully you can get it to enlarge, maybe by clicking on the image to open it in a new tab/window?)

In order to do this workout I needed to find a track.  This shouldn’t have been a problem.  And wouldn’t have been if I had a car at the moment.  But I don’t.  So I needed something within an appropriate warm up distance.  I found it but the one I found definitely had a sign that said “stadium for school district use only”.  Oops. I had to even walk through the school to get to the track.  Luckily I was able to get in because it was unlocked for the football team.

Side note: I grew up in MA, my high school’s football team (and football in general in the league) was, and likely still is, a joke. In college I didn’t have a team. So this was fascinating in it’s own right.

I guess I can share my speeds/what I actually hit.  As I said above I was targeting the 320-3:40 pace on the chart, but in reality I ended up hitting more of a 3:50-4:00 goal. (rest was one lap, and typically took me ~3 minutes. The recovery according to the pace chart is above but is supposed to be marathon goal in minutes:seconds).  So here are the splits, for 800s it’s broken 400+400 time, for the 1200s it’s broken 800+400 times

  • 800:   1:55 + 1:50 = 3:45 (7:30 pace)
  • 1200: 3:55 + 1:57 = 5:52 (7:52)
  • 1200: 4:00 + 2:00 = 6:00 (8:00)
  • 800:    1:58 + 1:58 = 3:56 ( 7:52)

The workout itself ( again, done mostly in the dark. Ugh late sunrises but yay to seeing the sunrise) went meeeeeeeeeeeeeeh. I mean, I hauled assMajor ass. But it just wasn’t pace wise where I thought I should be.  I was wayyyy off of the goal for me, with the second half of the ladder being much slower than the first and despite me feeling like I was pushing HARD.  Next week I’m going to haul butt to do the speed session with the group because I know that during the intervals it wasn’t a constant “on”, it was a slow down/speed up routine that made me feel like crap.

Shouldn’t have been too surprising though given how slow I’ve been running all summer but I wanted something faster to make my decision whether to run a fall / winter marathon (or even half) clearer. Only good thing about the run (well I guess just getting out there and running fast is a good thing) was that the football coach  asked me “Marathoner?” and I said yes, and told him a potential goal race to which he said “you have an excellent footfall. Wish I could teach my kids that”. That made me smile and probably put a little pep in my step for that last 800.

But I guess it’s a good/decent barometer as to where I am at the moment.

Later that night I went for a group run with the Coop.  I met up with my friend beforehand for a little over 2 miles and the loop with the group was a little over 6 so I got ~8.4 on the night.  The pace felt easy (except for some rolling hills at the end and humidity when we hit White Rock lake) and it was faster than my usual runs.  Not sure what that means.  What I do know is that it left me with 16 for the day.

I didn’t get back to my apt until close to 2200, had to eat dinner and shower AND *register for the DRC half in November before the price increased today*. After the group run, sitting around at Fuzzys Tacos, I wasn’t really talked into it per se but it just made sense.  Something to train for.  Something relatively soon. Something not a marathon. I still have marathon *ideas* but that’s all there is to them.  We’ll see how the half goes first (and if I get a job to pay for it!)

I didn’t get into bed until late and, normally not a big deal but with the Texas heat I really can’t run mid-morning anymore.  So I’m skipped  my scheduled 7 for this morning.  Maybe I’ll get it in tonight (very likely) but we’ll see. I’m babying my Achilles at the moment because, as I mentioned yesterday, Dallas “trails” are really just concrete bike paths that they call multi-use paths. Guess this is a city built on concrete.  I’m not quite sure why but I suspect asphalt would melt in the summer but that’s my theory.

Anyway, it’s September 1st, meaning I should do a “Previously on MM” post for August. I’m going to wait a bit. Lots of stuff went down in August, but I feel like in my last two or three posts you’ve gotten it all.  I’ll have to put my creative juices to work and come up with something wicked pissah to put into words my monthly total.  Hmmmmmmmmmm.  As if applying to jobs wasn’t zapping all my mental capacity!

And since you’ve read this thus far (seriously, I mean what I wrote about unemployment being good for the blog above!):

thansk google

August 31, 2011

To Race or Not To Race

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:43

It’s probably a silly question.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love racing: going fast is awesome.  But on the other hand, I’ve let myself get way out of racing shape.  Mostly by running long and slow but also not taking care of myself terribly well this past summer. In retrospect maybe I could have done things differently but whatever, I did what I needed to do.

That said, once I moved here I jumped on the chance to run/train/race.  I met one of my friends in the Dallas area last December (actually I met in real life a lot of people that December) at White Rock.  We keep in touch via RW and now FB as well as, duh, real life.  She’s part of a running group (The White Rock Running Coop) that meets twice a week, very informally, to do a LR on Saturday and then a speed workout in the middle of the week.  This past week they actually met three times because the afternoon heat has made speedwork hard, so that was changed to an early am session and the night run is a recovery one.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that ever since I’ve known I was going to move here (as in once I had actual plans to do so) she invited me to the FB group for the group and I’ve been excited ever since.  Training with a group is awesome. Don’t get me wrong I love my solo runs. But I ran a long run with them last Saturday and their training mindset was infectious.  After Boston I had vowed to take off racing for the year; I was definitely overtrained, injured and just tired of push push pushing.  These guys are all training for fall races, ranging from Chicago to White Rock, and it got a little bit of the “hey I want to do that. Hey I want to follow a training schedule and have workouts with NAMES again.”

thanks google images

Now I haven’t gone off the deep end and registered for any races yet (I have registered to become a member of the Dallas Running Club and with that you get 8 free races.  I’m not counting those, especially since this one on Saturday is going to be after a 9-10 mile run as part of the long run) but I have some on my little “I want to do them” list.  A couple have price increases as of September 1st and I hate having pressure on me, especially since I still don’t know what I’ll do.

So the title of this post may be a tease because I clearly have no information as to my fall race schedule to give myself, much less you.  I am, however, training as though I’ve committed.

The first week that I was here (and for those of you who missed my last post I am not longer in Providence RI but now in Dallas, TX) I just ran easy.  No shock because that’s what I’ve been doing all summer. It was all about A) getting acclimated to the weather (it’s been 100+ every day with the lows being PVD’s highs!) B) exploring the area — both via bus/rail and running by getting out on the “trails” :

DallasCounty.org

While the trails can be pretty, there are the quote marks because it’s concrete. My legs are taking a beating due to it!

After being here in TX a week, I decided last Thursday (the 25th) to do a speed session. After actually making the move to Texas I felt that my life was less chaotic and during the exploratory run the previous night I felt the itch to do something structural with my running week. So on Thursday I set out.  In 85* @ 7am weather. Excellent.

I’d actually only been in Dallas for a day at that point due to the apartment fail but I had found a nice field on my previous run and thought it’d be good to use for speed work.  I was secretly hoping for a track there but it wasn’t too be.  I used a soccer field instead and did the following workout:

  • 4 X 3 laps of the field (~1000m) with 1.5 laps of recovery (~500m)

After some “extensive” google searching I took the average of all the measurements out there to be that 3 laps of a soccer pitch is ~1000m, and for my pace calculation I took it to be .6 miles. Good enough for me. How’d it go?

  1. 4:32 (7:33)
  2. 4:31 (7:32)
  3. 4:37 (7:43)
  4. 4:39 (7:45)

I guess I’ll take it? It’s slightly slower pace wise then when I did my 4 X 800m three week prior but slightly faster than when I did my 4X1 mile two weeks ago.  Since I really have no idea how long the entire field was, my paces ranged from 15 seconds faster (if you assume I ran further than the distance I used) to 30 seconds slower (if you assume I ran shorter). With all that guesswork involved I’ll just say that I’m happy with it because it felt hard and very taxing.

Just an interesting note that I saw lightning off in the distance during these early bird hours of running. Weird to me to have those t-storms so early; in MA/RI those storms crop up in the late afternoon. And there was a creepy kid doing soccer drills in the field.

No apologies for this one. Once I wrote lightning I had to watch it. And then share

This past Saturday was my first group LR.  I think I’ve run by myself for long runs with the exception of maybe 5 total.  This was the day that I started really feeling the itch of having a marathon on tap this fall.  The plan was to go for 15 miles, but a few wrong turns from the group leader got us to 15.6. NBD in my book.

We started at 0600 to try and get the bulk of the miles before the sun came out (sun rises around 7 in these parts) and the run was okay.  With my summer going how it went and the Texas heat I started out with the group that was running 9:45 pace and stuck with them.  At first I felt like I could have gone faster but I’m glad one of the guys told me not too.  I felt great until mile 11.  Miles 11-13 were eh.  After that I just wanted to be done.  I did finish: 15.6 miles @ 9:45 pace. As one of the guys told me at the end:

“Welcome to Texas”

Also just a note, because this is getting sooooooooooooooo freaking long!, I started a bare bones strengthening workout this week that I plan on doing 2-3 times a week (found it in a recent RW I think).  Nothing major but it makes me feel like I’m doing something.  At some point I’ll add to it or actually hit a gym but it’s good for a nice quick 10-minutes-and-I-feel-better-about-myself lift.

  • 20 walking lunges
  • 50 crunches
  • 10 pushups
  • 20 squats
  • 30-45 seconds of plank

I’m going to call this past week (August 22-28) my first week of training.  For what? Who knows. But after those two workouts above, re-starting a strength plan (hadn’t done anything like that for arms/core since May and legs was probably December) I’m beat and wearing compression socks to bed.  I’m sure adjusting to the heat has something to do with it too. No injuries although, as I mentioned above, my legs are feeling achy from the concrete. Regardless I finished up with 62.7 miles. Lower than I’d like but a solid place to start.

Wow I didn’t realize how much I had to say about my running lately. Sure makes up for my lack of exciting running this summer! I’ll post my track workout that I did this morning (it was the group workout that I had missed Tuesday morning because I wasn’t going to walk in the dark to get there!) tomorrow or Friday because it was a doozy and put some things in perspective in terms of races and this fall, as well as the group recovery run I’m going to tonight.

August 5, 2011

Well It’s a Start. The Story of Me (kind of) Finding Speed.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 20:06

I’ve been M.I.A. lately. Duh.  So much so that I’d forgotten my password to log into my blog. Suffice it to say that I’m in the midst of some HUGE changes in my life (exciting, scary, sad, partying, frustrating) and posting…well it just was something I didn’t have time for.

But I’m back.  For the day. Maybe longer.  But those changes are still on- going until September so bear with me.  And no, that’s not me apologizing.  If you don’t want to bear with me then don’t.  But I’d like it if you did 🙂

Also back into life is speed-work.  This entire summer I’ve only done LSD.  Seriously.  My weekly miles are huge and slow (I know I didn’t do a monthly recap for June or July but the miles were 451.9 and 433.7 respectively with the average paces being 9:45 for each month or thereabouts). I’m okay with that, running has been one aspect of my dealing with life (dancing and karaoke with friends is the other) and it feels good to just kind of plod along and let my thoughts wash over me.

That said, for whatever reason during my run this morning (which was supposed to be a long run) the idea popped into my head to run track work today.  Since I was already 7 miles into my run I stopped that run, headed back to my apartment, and rested up for the afternoon (I figured doing speed-work immediately after 7 miles was silly).  Because I decided that I had to do it THAT SAME DAY or else I was liable to chicken out. Who knew when my next urge to run at the track would be?

Because my last speed work session was March 5th.  Like 5 months ago.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (thanks google images)

I chose to run 800s; mostly because they are my favorite track session.  I decided to do 4 of them because 4 is my lucky number.  And I decided to shoot for 3:30 for each one because it was…well there was no rhyme or reason but I wanted to go at 7 pace. That whole 5 months thing be damned.

How’d I do? Well, considering during my warm up mile around the track was painfully slow and I wanted to bail on the whole stupid thing, fine.  Not quite on pace but there’s that five month thing.

  1. 1:54 + 1:52 = 3:46 (daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn I am slow. My first ones are usually the fastest! Wonder how the next three will go)
  2. 1:54 + 1:52 = 3:46 (Seriously?! The same f$#%ing time?)
  3. 1:53 + 1:51 = 3:44 (Better.  Kind of sort of)
  4. 1:52 + 1:49 = 3:41 (Okay.  That hurt.)

Overall I can’t say I’m too upset.  Of course I want to be faster.  And I think I held some stuff back because I wanted to hit all 4 of them around the same pace.  Which I was successful of. Just wish I had been consistent in a faster manner. I never felt as though I was…well I hate to use the word sprinting because that’s not the point of track work…but I never felt as though I was going fast.

But 7:22-7:32 pace as the range for all 4 of them isn’t too bad. That’s my typical threshold run, or at least it used to be. So I do have a long way to go before I can say I’m my typical speedy self but I’m not beating myself up over it. If I don’t improve from here then, sure, let the beating up commence.  But for now I’ll just sit back, let my legs feel the good ole feeling of tiredness from a job well done.

As well get ready to go drink beer and go dancing tonight.

Also: I picked the perfect day to do this.  The temp when I went out at 1600 was 75* and cloudy.  When the sun broke through it literally looked like this.  I guess that’s a sign I should make a date with the track every week?

thanks google images.

March 8, 2011

Cutback Week = Cookies and Wine.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 07:49

Sadly the illness that I was referring to in my last post was not the hang-over induced.  It was sinus pain, ear pressure and enlarged lymph nodes.  The former would have been more fun.  Or at least have good memories associated with it after. Luckily I’m feeling slightly better and less “ohmigod I want to just curl up into bed and sleep for a year”.  Mostly due to a couple of things:

  • Being an old lady and going to bed WAY early.  No necessarily by choice.  Each day for the past few days I’ve come home from whatever I’d been doing and showered (prepping to go out) then sitting down on my bed and conked out (in my uber small twin bed.  Which apparently a lot of you are shocked I can fit my while frame in it ahhah!).  On Saturday night this was at 1830.  I woke 3 hours later, confused, called my friend to say that I was not going out then put on a movie and feel asleep around 2230. Jeez…is it time for the home yet?
  • Winning. I woke up Sunday feeling icky still but went to a baby shower for my friend.  Not only did I have tons of fun I also won, not one, but TWO bottles of wine.  Hizzolllller. Talk about feeling better.

  • Cooooooooooookies. My mom came to visit me this weekend and I baked cookies for her…and of course I had to save some for me as well.  Which was a GODSEND when I woke up each night with really REALLY bad ear pain (I kept cursing that I just wanted my damn eardrum to pop so I’d feel better!).  I’m not one to really snack during the night, nor am I an emotional eater, but these hit the spot when my tummy was rumbling at 0230!

Classic Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

(from the back of the oats container I used)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2  cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter margarine (I’m SORRY to all you real bakers out there!), softened
  • 3/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup granulated sugar
  • 2  eggs
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt (optional and I used it)
  • 3  cups oats (I used old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1  cup raisins — or more. I think I used closer to 1.5 cups.  But I love raisins.

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
  4. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
  5. Add oats and raisins; mix well.
  6. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack.
  8. Cool completely and ENJOY.

 

So, while I’ve done relaxing stuff and stuff that’s made me feel better I’ve decided that I’m taking this week to chill out! I’m not saying that I’m nixing the running totally

(I did do intervals this weekend, stupidly I might add because I wasn’t feeling 100%:

  • Warm up
  • 2 X 1 Mile continuous (7:28, 7:32)
  • 2 X [ 2 X 1 mile] easy / hard (9:XX, 7:45, 9:49, 7:35)
  • Warm down

but no hard workouts (think nice and easy running!). That workout kicked my ass.  And not because it’s challenging in and of itself.  I’m just worn down.  I don’t think it’s because I’m training for a marathon per se but it’s a culmination of lots of stresses, physical and mental/emotional, at the moment.  And, surprise surprise, you guys are smarty-arties in suggesting that I need some down / less intense time.  Unfortunately I never learn.  And never get to wear the dancing smarty pants. Oh ah.

Thanks google. And I SWEAR the only reason I know this guy is because I have much younger siblings. Do you believe me?

 

The good news is that a lot of it will dissipate this week.  And if not, well I do have two bottles of wine and 3 dozen , more like half dozen at this point, cookies to help me cope.

Hopefully, since I’m posting this before I even wake up this morning, I stay strong getting out there and resisting the traditional Tuesday Tempo.  Because this week I’m saying a big FU to my actual workouts (among other things, like the stuff that’s stressing me out!)….and then hopefully this sickness. Time to recharge!

February 28, 2011

Glutton for Punishment?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:32

Apparently.  After an emotionally charged weekend what do I decide to do to cap it off? Try to physically exhaust myself too. Luckily I had a hard interval workout on tap for this weekend. I wasn’t up for it at all on Saturday so around noon on Sunday I decided to tackle it and hope that a good painful (but in a good way) run was what was necessary to pick me up.

On tap: 3 X 3.3 miles. Boo! Hiss!

Ouch just to look at the workout. I typically only do 2 of the intervals (as do most normal and sane runners) but I was definitely going for the whole “glutton for punishment” vibe this weekend.

As far as how fast I wanted to run it, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to hit the 6:29-6:43 tempo interval pace that McMillian thinks I can do based on WR, and while I’m in good shape, there was something just ON about my training last fall for WR….which speaking of….guess what I got in the mail over the weekend?

Holler. Between this piece of mail and my new Boston confirmation I should be rearing to go! Maybe not McMillian pace ready, but I thought that between 7:00 and 7:15 was reasonable for this workout.  Oh man. Oh hubris.

How’d it go?

  • Warm up
  • 1st interval: 3.3 miles @ 7:19
  • 2nd interval: 3.3 miles @ 7:28
  • 3rd interval: 3.3 miles @ 7:32
  • Warm down

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeh. My head was no where near being in this workout.  I was very distracted, probably from my weekend, but in all honesty I was about to write that I felt like I was pushing at my best.  I wasn’t.  Clearly with each interval being slower than the last. Normally I’m the opposite. No real excuses or anything but I probably could have kept my head in the game…

Is it bad to admit that this is on my iTunes?

That said, my legs did feel the burn and clearly fatigued throughout the workout.  Which is what I wanted to do. I just wish that fatigue pace was a little faster that’s all. Too much to ask for? I know that all the life stuff that’s been crazy present in my life lately  has been a huge factor in my training this cycle.  Unlike previous cycles I’m not basing my life around my training but rather my training around my life.  And at the moment some things (*cough*hanging out with my friends and having fun*cough*) are more important than, well I was going to say training but I’ve still be attempting my hard workouts, but things more of the sleep nature

 

I love how my friend's expression is like "oh man. here we go tonight" hahah!

And I don’t quite know how this post is going to come across.  Because I have lots of emotions going on when I think about this Boston training and where my running is at right now.  In the end, no matter how frustrated or upset or angry I am about not being as fast as when I was training for WR, I am much faster than this time last year when I was training for Boston.  That’s still a very good sign.  Just annoying that WR was so amazing that right now can’t really compare.  It’s like karaoke-ing after the kid who is studying musical performance at grad school (true story from last week at karaoke!).  No matter how good you are at singing (or training with my running right now) it’s not going to compare.  Doesn’t mean that I’m not doing some good stuff but last time had all the stars aligned. We’ll see how zen I feel about it on April 18th though!

February 17, 2011

I Dropped The Ball

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:20

Because I totally forgot to post this pic on Monday.  I actually found it back in December and was sitting on it.  Naturally I didn’t end up posting it.  Let’s pretend that it’s the 14th again? At least for a second?

thanks xkcd.com

Anyway I guess that it’s kind of lame to be posting it on the 17th. But whatever.  I’m only hours away from my vacation.

But that doesn’t mean I slacked off in the training department as I had an interval workout on tap for today.  I don’t think I’m going to be able to get in any type of quality workouts in during my trip.  Maybe some 6 or 7 milers but nothing serious.  A) I’m on vacay and crashing with a friend and B) I’m sincerely hoping to not be in the condition to bounce out of bed (or off the couch) every morning to get in a hard workout.

Just to be clear, because I know that someone will worry about the workout that I did today: I am not “anemic” (aka lack of red blood cells (RBC) or hemoglobin) just low on *iron* [edit: this is how my doc described it to me. I know that technically anemia is being low on iron, but my case is not severe at all].  I asked my doctor if I could continue to train and she said yes, although to get extra sleep, extra H2O and take it easy a bit.  Granted this workout was a doozy but, like I just mentioned, I’m taking the next 4 days as real easy days when I’m away.

Sarah commented the other day that

From experience, a word of wisdom: in general, the training you do while anemic doesn’t benefit you a great deal. So, as I’m sure you are doing, heal up like it’s your job!

Soooooooooooooo thoughts? Did I really “waste” my last month of quality workouts because I didn’t get to the doctor sooner? I mean obviously the next 4 days will be resting up (or not depending on which life activity you’re thinking about…) but even though I read that last night, I was still planning on my intervals.

Today was supposed to be Jess‘s favorite workout (and GOOD LUCK this weekend lady!) of 2 X 3 miles.  Bleh to me.  When I woke up this morning I decided that, since I did that workout 2 weeks ago, I was going to do something faster and more “me”: 5 X 1.2 miles.

Why 1.2? Well of course, like my tempos, it’s just how a good, safe-car route falls.  And 1.2 miles is ~ 2km (1.2465 miles is exact) and last year while training for Boston I did 5 X 2 km.  So it seems apropos to do this workout.  With lots of my interval workouts that are not on the track I typically calculate what the time I need is to hit a pace.  Since I changed up my workout last minute I didn’t do that this time but I knew ideally I’d hit between 7:00 and 7:10 pace.  Of course that meant nothing during the workout itself.  The idea was just go fast.  But isn’t it always?

 

Cheetah speed. 60, 70 miles per hour. (Thanks google. And movie quote: anyone on that?"

Drum roll pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease:

  1. 8:36 (7:10 pace) Wow this sucks. It hurts.  My legs are achey.  Did I mention this sucks? I should have figured out what a 7:00 or 7:10 pace is for 1.2 miles.  Silly.
  2. 8:29 (7:04) Okay. Faster. With same effort.  Maybe I can do this
  3. 8:32 (7:07) Ouchie.  My legs hurt.  Am I hurting myself by doing this low on iron? Is there any point in training hard low on iron at the moment?
  4. 8:31 (7:06) Maybe this should be the last one.  I started off pretty slow. Let’s push! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeh.
  5. 8:32 (7:07) Thank god this is the last one. Final push!

The recovery distance was ~.5 miles and took me between 4:45 and 5:00 minutes to do.

My first thoughts after calculating my paces? “Holy #$%” That not too far off my last MP. I really ran 26.2 miles around here?! Second thought? Well I hit my paces. Naturally I’m always going to want to go faster. My legs definitely were feeling really achey afterward so after eating and showering I put on my compression socks.  Unfortunately it’s a REALLY nice day out (it was in the mid-30s when I left for the run and about 50* when I finished!) so I wanted to wear a skirt but my legs trump fashion at this point. I think this is the first time that I’ve ever said that. Normally I’m all “let’s wear heels post-LR or hard workout”

Regardless my legs are feeling a bit tender and sore but the workout went well.  I’m not terribly disappointed in it but my legs did feel worn down and none of the intervals felt great.  Almost like I was running in molasses.  Duh, that’s the low iron levels.  So I’m calling this a win because, despite the weariness, I ran fast.  I can’t wait to see what happens after a few more days / weeks of getting my iron levels back up to normal.

Wowza. Longer than usual post right? I’ll wrap it up with that.  No Boston schpeal from me.  I guess I have thoughts on it but after April 18th, 2011 I don’t know (or really care) what Boston plans I have for the future. My focus is elsewhere, both on running and life in New England in general (aka I’m moving outta here!)

My focus is in the picture below.  T-24 hours and I will be on a bus to Philly!

February 14, 2011

A Tale Of Two Good Runs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:14

…and one mediocre one.  Despite being really REALLY busy I’ve been able to unplug and unwind a bit this weekend.  I got to play catchup with some friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile, finally got to see HP 7 at the $2 theater and, this is KEY, sleep for 11.5 full hours on Saturday night.

And, of course, running.

Friday was supposed to be an easy run at 0530 before going to an appointment and then a work luncheon (to represent the clinic with the CEO at the GoRedforWomen‘s event).  But I checked the weather when the alarm went off (while I was still laying in bed) and saw 6* real temp.  So I reset the alarm and told myself that I’d run post-luncheon.  Which I did.  And because I was running in the afternoon I figured I’d get an interval workout in.

I did this particular workout (given to me by Lacey) last fall.  The goal time for the miles were around 7:00 but I figured, given how my paces for all my fast workouts have gone so far this cycle, that it was a bit ambitious.  But I gave it a shot anyway.

Friday intervals:

  • Warmup
  • 2 X 1 mile continuous (7:08, 7:10)
  • 2 x [ 2 X 1 mile] easy / hard combo (8:54, 6:45, 9:09, 7:11)
  • Warm down

I really REALLY love the 6:45 mile I was able to pull off but I know it’s not a true reflection of what I’m capable of.  Because it was downhill.  That said, the other times (both the 2 X 1 mile and the hard miles) were all uphill because of the way I ran my route (it was 2 miles out uphill, one easy/one hard back downhill, one easy / one hard out uphill…if that makes sense).  And I’m sure it averages out to something I’m happy with all things considered.

Because the miles were HARD.  I was pushing hard.  My legs burned during the hard miles and I actually could feel the lactic acid after each fasty mcfast mile.  It felt good.

Like, I felt *almost* as fast as this guy 😛

Saturday was a medium long run. 13 miles.  Which were hard.  The pace was kept easy, I don’t think my legs would have done anything else, but I’ve realized that all my runs are “hard” at the moment. But for different reasons.  Or at least every run now has a purpose and to keep the run true to the purpose takes effort. Friday was hard to keep running fast and Saturday was hard because my legs were recovering.

Just in time for the Sunday long run.  Since all my favorite routes are under snow at the moment, I did a mentally challenging long run by running a 10 mile route TWICE.  Then adding on an extra mile for kicks.

  • 10 miles @ 8:42 (oops went out to hard)
  • 10 miles @ 9:06 (wanted to quit so bad!)
  • 1.1 miles @8:35(PUSH!)
  • 21.1 miles @ 8:53 pace

I’m happy with this run.  Like I wrote above the second 10 miles were very tough for me.  I had the opportunity to quit around mile 15.5 or so but I didn’t.  At that point, after passing my apartment and not stopping, I knew that I could finish it.  I also had to pass my apartment at the 20 mile marker (and I was originally going to go the 20) but I felt this kick and rush in my legs and clearly they did not disappoint.

I also wanted to go the twenty-ONE miles because I knew that it would push me to 100 miles (one hundred point five to be exact).  Go me?  This capped off a really great training week where I nailed my tempo on Wednesday, hit the intervals hard on Friday and went loooooooooooong Sunday.

I’m hoping that this is an ongoing trend for the next *gasp* 9 weeks until Boston. Yes, only 9 weeks until my next race.  I guess since I only spent 5.5 weeks training in it’s entirety for WR that I still feel like I have an eternity before Boston.

But guess what I don’t have to spend an eternity waiting for? My trip out of town.  I’m visiting one of my really good friends from high school this weekend in Philly.  I found a really REALLY good bus deal online and she’s willing to let me crash on her couch and paint the town red with her, so I bought my tickets last night.  Needless to say, after how super overwhelmed and busy I’ve been lately, this is MUCH needed.  Of course planning the trip is making me a bit stressed out in and of itself.  But I just need to keep looking at my last trip to visit her to realize how glorious it’ll be.

Drunk. Happy. Hotttt

But between now and fun I have to get through this week.  And do some quality training.  And some rockclimbing.  Fingers crossed that today kicks off the week right!

November 28, 2010

I’ve Found the Way to Make Me Taper

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:43

Obviously it’s not a secret that taking it easy isn’t in my vocabulary.  And tapering is the time to take it easy.

But I’ve found the antidote to my gotta-run-lots ways

Pitcher(s) of Margaritas – 1, MM – 0

I’ve been told that one night of drinking erases a week of training.  Oopsies.  I sincerely hope that is not the case. And I hope that the thought of tequila someday doesn’t make my stomach churn.  I need to increase my points in the above tally! Preferably soon as I’ll be in TEXAS in a week!

But needless to say going out with my roomie and my bestie was fun and successful on Friday night.  In fact I spent all of Saturday laying on the couch (where I woke up no less) and would dissolve into hysterics throughout the day remembering the things that went down (and yes I can remember the night *thankyouverymuch*)

Okay: in all honesty, I didn’t actually spend the ENTIRE day on the couch.  I had wanted to still get in my speed session and around 1430 or so I felt up to trying.  Ambitious much? So I moseyed outside (in the bright SUN) to attempt

  • Warm up
  • 2 X ~3.3 miles @ GMP (or actually I wanted to target 7:25-7:30 which is slightly faster than the 7:34 of GMP McMillian says) with one mile recovery
  • Warm down

The portion I was going to use for my warm-up of the legit workout felt pretty awful so I decided to just run how my body would let me.  And once I nixed going for those GMP intervals, the run actually turned into a very great run.  Yes my stomach was still turning but my head hadn’t been pounding all day at all so I was able to pound my feet.  The average pace ended up being 8:25! I tried to pick people off (success) and not get passed (double success)

I also did pushups ( 22, 30, 20, 20, 30) and situps ( 33, 42, 30, 30, 50) after the run

Interesting how my run on Friday, after a good night sleep and lots of Thanksgiving carbs, was wicked slow and Saturday, after a ehhh night of sleep and too much tequila, was wicked fast.  That said, I didn’t rack up many miles because A) I’m tapering and B) I could still taste the tequila and salt from the night before and didn’t want to risk revisiting them again.

Meaning that the workout got transferred to Sunday.  I normally hate doing quality workouts on Sunday.  Mostly because I want to use my Sundays to be lazy.  To do a quality workout on Sunday just seems so….productive.  Given that my Saturday was soooooooooo not productive I guess the switcheroo was okay.

The aforementioned workout was on tap and before I left I calculated out what the time elapsed would be to hit my paces: 24:28 to 24:45.

How’d I do?

Well after an obscenely slow warm up…

  • 3.3 miles in 25:37 ( 7:45 ) Yeah…not so much.  I knew that I wasn’t flying and that my legs felt the effort but I was kind of – more than a bit actually- off where I wanted and needed to be.
  • 1 mile recovery in 8:32 — trying to convince myself that I can do another one.  That I *want* to do another one.
  • 3.3 miles in 24:55 ( 7:33 ) Better.  Trying to keep my mind in the game and focused. I will say that once I was done with this interval I was dry heaving.  Ugh

Well….I’m not going to lie: this kind of sucked.  I knew the second I woke up this morning that this would be one tough workout. A helluva tough workout.  And not *just* because I hate them. Usually even when I wake up not feeling like going fast, once the workout starts and I start kicking it I can feel good and turn my attitude around. Not today. I kind of regret not doing this workout yesterday because, despite running the risk of re-visiting my good friends Jose and Rita, my legs at least had some pep.  Just goes to show you that runs after drinking are always good in my book.

In the end I’m going to chalk today up to just a bad day and move on.  In exactly a week I’ll (highly likely) be done with the race and I don’t need mind games at this point (and trust me the desire to complain and be really frustrated/angry is so huge right now)I’ve had stellar workouts this cycle. No joke.  So I know I’m ready.

It’s just a bit disheartening to leave it at that, especially since I have yet to really know what GMP feels like.  I sort of hit it last week with my longer, continuous GMP attempt and I sort of hit it today with interval numero dos. I mean, I know I’m in taper but that doesn’t mean the intensity goes down.

In light of that, there is a chance for quasi-redemption later this week as I wanted to get another GMP run in.  Similar to today but with shorter intervals.  According to the taper plan I was using as a guide I’ll be doing

  • Tuesday: 2 @ MP, .5 easy, 2 @ HMP
  • Thursday: 1 @ MP, 1 @ HMP

We’ll see how that goes.  Regardless I’m likely going to try and get something in the vein of GMP, likely Tuesday being 4 miles @ GMP and Thursday being 3 (or 3.3 because I have a route pre-done) at GMP.

All I know is that there is going to be no more of this until AFTER I cross that finish line

acoustic version because I couldn’t find an official video. Still awesome and you should youtube the song to hear the radio version.  I would have put that here but the videos were all homemade.

November 21, 2010

“This Is A Workout To Put You On The Podium”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:17

Or so the high school cross country coach was telling his boys Saturday when I was at the track.  As I didn’t run XC ever I don’t know what championship they’re gearing up for but whatever it is: Good Luck Boys. I think they were doing 1km repeats.

My workout on Saturday was no less shabby either.  After some thought, and reading the awesome words from you guys, I decided to not do a full yasso workout.  Bummer because it really might be my favorite.  I knew the best workout for me to do would likely be my “other favorite” workout: 2 X 3 miles.  But I had done that last week and, while I have absolutely no problem repeating workouts from the immediate past, this workout is one that won’t ever be the case with.

I decided to split the difference and do a shorter tempo interval workout with a couple 800s tacked on at the end if I wasn’t feeling too beat up.  I did them on the track because the track keeps me honest and honest workouts make me feel like a million bucks for not a million bucks.  With non-track workouts I can have mitigating circumstances as to why I didn’t hit the target and, while wind and plain old not feeling it do happen with the track, there really are only two options: hit or miss

Thanks XKCD

You can’t really go wrong. Or I guess you can.  But it’s painfully obvious.

The Plan

  • Warmup
  • 1 Mile fast, with 400 recovery
  • 2 X 2 Miles fast, with 800 recovery after each one
  • 1 mile fast, with 400 recovery

And then if I felt halfway decent

  • 2-4 800m, with 400 recovery
  • Warm down

If you look closely, you’ll notice that, with the exception of the 800 repeats, the recovery distance has been shortened by what I normally do.  I usually do half the distance but today I decided to do only a quarter of the interval distance.  It’s probably too soon to the actual race to be messing with this kind of stuff but time was an issue and there is no way that I’m cutting out intervals.  I like running fast too much 😉

The target pace for the 1 miles was 6:45-6:50 and the target pace for the 2 miles was 13:30-13:45.  I was expecting to be on the slower end of these paces simply because my legs have taken a beating these past 4 or so weeks.  Of course I *should* have been targeting slower paces because this workout constitutes a GMP workout.  And neither 6:45 nor 6:50  is GMP.  But whatever.

I was on the track. I was ready to GO.

The Workout

I warmed up for about 3 or so miles to get to the track and then:

  • 1 Mile : 6:47

Only 6:47?! For the effort put it, this should be faster. I definitely positive splited this one too

  • 2 Miles: 13:34 (6:53, 6:41)

6:53? This is going to be one long tough workout.  13:43? That’s a pretty sweet comeback.

  • 2 Miles: 13:31 (6:43, 6:38)

This is feeling gooooooood.  Should I add that last mile here? 1,2,3 would be wicked awesome

  • 1 Mile: 6:40

Good solid last mile

  • 800 #1: 3:15

Maybe I didn’t give it my all for those other intervals!

  • 800#2 3:20

Or maybe I did.  Time to pack it up hahah

The Afterthoughts

I’m really happy with how this workout turned out.  I hit goals (and were even faster than goals) for all the intervals. Surprising because I was going on less recovery than I normally do.  It was definitely a challenging workout and despite not feeling it at the beginning I really got into it and was just clicking away at the laps as they went by.  It felt very rhythmic and awesome. And, as I’ve said before about me needing paces shoved down my throat, each one was within McMillian tempo interval range. Muy bien.

Plus, with the exception of the very first mile, each interval was a negative split.  And since I checked my watch every 2 laps (not sure if that counts as a half mile as it 800m ~ 1/2 mile.  See how much of a precision nerd I am? It’s a wonder I made it out of college with my physics degree — physicists tend to round EVERYTHING) I knew that, again with the exception of the very first interval, I was getting faster and faster.

Obviously this bodes well for a marathon as it’s a pretty freaking long race.

Not else much to say.  Usually bad workouts are so much more fun to write about because I can bitch and moan. I can mutter about the sky being all dreary and looking like a colorless winter day buttttt then I have to say that I triumphed over it hahah.

I think part of me was competing with the high school boys.  Which is silly. They are *highschoolboys*.  I’ve learned from running with my high school aged brother that they are naturally faster than me.  So I tried to not get lapped / passed.  I was very successful as they only passed me once.  Considering that we were both doing long intervals, and running around the track multiple times each interval, I think that’s a victory hahah.

I did use their coach’s shouting as motivation of my own.  He kept saying things related to getting on the podium like, “200m ’til you on the podium” or “two laps to go until the podium”.  And I was like, “Okay.  It’d be cool to be at the podium.” Although, not going to lie, breaking the tape would be more ultimate.

 

Look how happy he is. (thanks again google)

After taking a shorter-than-normal warm down I got back to my place for some foam rolling (this workout had my hips and glutes and IT and quads and everything screaming and tight). It was still the vomit-inducing torture it always is. I don’t ever tear up or scream out but man, do I feel like puking.  I also stretched while watching an old HP movie because my left calf was spasm-ing.  Normally I don’t stretch ever.  But I’ve already said that before.  I discovered (again) that all my muscles are like chicken tendons. Weird analogy but that was the first thing that popped into my head.

I also did W2D3 of my pushups and situps:

Pushups: 16, 17, 14, 14, 21

Situps: 24, 25, 21, 21, 35

____________________________________________________________________________________________

As far as today goes, I’ve already done my recovery run.  It was quite fast which, as I mentioned on Friday, doesn’t real mean much.  The pace was comfortable and conversational as when I was running I met up with my running buddy.  Unplanned and it probably let the run get both fast and easy; running with someone else usually does that. The weather was chilly (34*) but sunny which helped the miles click by effortlessly.  My legs feel sore, but in a “they just had a massage” way.  I think it was the rolling last night.  It was pretty intense.

Hope everyone enjoys the remainder of their weekend and had great ones to recover from! I’m definitely looking forward to a lazy Sunday.

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