MarathonMaiden's Blog

April 11, 2011

I Waited All Winter For This.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:44

And, no, I’m not talking about this little thing that I’m doing next Monday.

Or the ice cream brownie sundae I got to eat on my porch last night with the brownie recipe below. I have to carb sugar load for Boston, right?

I’m talking about SPRING. Like, real spring. Not some date on the calendar (although I think that mother nature and the calendar should get on the same page) but warm weather. The kind where my roomie and I could actually sit on the balcony and not be all bundled up! Hallelujah (and yes I’m acutely aware that I just jinxed myself. And all of you. I apologize in advance. Especially since we all know this jinxing will occur on the 18th)

thanks google

The overnight lows were in the 40s and the highs were damn near 60* the past 5 day.  We didn’t actually hit 60, which is my typical benchmark for spring.  But I think that, given how rough winter was for the large majority of the country, I’ll let it slide.

With the rising temps I’m always tempted to raise my miles as well.  Which I probs disregarded the first week of my taper. BUT I have shown some restraint and there have been no fartlek runs or anything resembling speed work.  While I may be in the mindset of going with the flow I’m too scared to risk anything with speed work! Especially since the runs keep going back and forth between pain and pain free. Which some of you (smart minds 🙂 ) told me in my last post. I just need to relax and ride out the next week-ish until the race. Eeep. Easy running has been my bread and butter for the past 5(!!) weeks, no need to mess with it.

And it’s taper time, right?

Easy running, therefore was the story of the weekend.  Thursday and Friday were easy mid-distance days, Saturday was my last “long run” and Sunday was somewhere between short and mid.  All in bright shining sunlight.  Some wind but that felt great and “cooled things off”. (Can you tell how excited I am about the weather. Every paragraph refers to it. And in a glowing way!) <– Happiness.

All the runs were pretty darn fast too.  Relatively speaking, which even with that disclaimer is still confidence boosting.  Definitely no sub-9 miles (gosh I haven’t seen those since pre-injury!) but fast enough to tell me that I’m recovering.  Hopefully in a week, those 26.2 miles between Hopkinton and Boston don’t throw a monkey wrench in it.

Aside from working on my tan (which I really need to be diligent about the sunscreen this year. Hello another 3 moles removed! And hello sun-freckle-spot thingy machine that was at clinic last week and showed me the damage on my skin.  Surprisingly it wasn’t as bad as I thought but the sunscreen needs to be a daily thing) I’ve been baking a bit. Or rather my roomie told me “we are making brownies to bring to pub trivia”. So really a bit = once and because I was told to.

So I did. We used this recipe from All Recipes and it turned out pretty good if I do say so myself.  And the fact that there were none left by the end of the night is a good sign too (do not disillusion me by saying that we were drinking at trivia night. Irrelevant!) If I were to make them in the future I’d try and tweak the recipe to make them more fudgey. Maybe less flour and an extra egg?  I know that with all my box mixes I get to add an extra egg to fudgify it.

Hope everyone is enjoying your Monday! I knew when I left work on Friday that today was going to be a rough one but, hey, the weather is nice and I’m sitting on a really good (well relatively speaking anyway) 8.5 miler already done.  There was IT pain and my legs felt dead. But that could be taper related.  The humidity was definitely a factor as well, 53* and 91% humidity! And YES to spring again because the sun actually rose in the first half of my run.

So I say: Monday? Bring it on!

April 7, 2011

Life, uh, Finds A Way

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 07:28

If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, expands to new territory, and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously.

Don’t judge me for my favorite book. ❤

Is it too much to ask for consistency?! I mean, I LOVE that I feel like I’m on an exciting frontier with life stuff. Like I’m a pioneer or something.

thanks google.

But is it too much to ask that the small life stresses stay the same so I can concentrate on other stuff? That means: work, family, friends: you are on alert. Don’t change.  Don’t cause drama.  Because I can handle the status quo right now. Do not play this cyclical game of giving me stress and then backing off.  It’s disarming. And will cause me to be pissy.

Life: stop breaking free and causing chaos in my life. (And don’t worry I’m not as stressed — like at all — as I was back in February and March.  Just annoyed because there are things that I want to do (SELFISH alert!) and can’t at the moment. Annoying)

You too mother nature.  It’s been going back and forth between humid + rainy to brisk (I can’t in good conscience call it cold anymore) + sunshine.

Luckily (?)  my run on Tuesday got the humid part.  Complete with some drizzle and WIND.  When I got up this morning, after resetting my alarm more than once, my mood matched the dark skies.  I was only planning on 10 or so, which was also the feedback that my body was giving me from the get-go, but as the run went on I got faster and faster and my mood got better and better.  In spite of the humidity, on and off rain, and wind.

It was actually, GASP!, fun.

Sometimes, in spite of everything seemingly stacked against you, a ray of sunshine comes through. It helps when it’s literal, as was the case when I hit my apartment to get the 10. The sun broke through!  It was like a sign to keep going. And I listened (Taper whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?)

I’m glad I did because the last 6 felt effortless. It might have been a bit, well unwise, on my part. Taper? IT?

thanks google. and rachel

I know that I had a good, pain free run over the weekend with my 20 miler.  But that run was characterized by an overall slow down for the run.  This run? Nuh-uh-uh. I felt like I was FLYING by the end. If that 20 miler was a sign that I can complete the marathon this one was a glimmer of hope that I might actually finish with a smile on my face.

Running is fun again.

And I say that with the knowledge that my run Wednesday kind of sucked.  Because it was a true recovery run.  As in: Sloooooooooow.  And with some IT pain the whole time.  I use the term “pain” very loosely, it was more of an awareness that my IT band is a part of my body.

Today? Who know what it’ll bring. I’m tempted to do some fartleks.  But let’s just hope for an IT pain free run, m’kay? And let’s hope I make it through the next 11 days (holy s#$%!) without going crazy, m’kay? I’m sure it’ll be easy, m’kay?

Can anyone not say m;kay and think of this guy? thanks google

On a follow up note from my last post and the response I was getting from me cutting our the shaker: well I hear y’all (and let me tell you it warms my heart to have people tell me to keep on saltin’) buttttttttttttt that doctor is probs right.  I will definitely admit to eating a fair amount of processed  and canned foods which give me plenty of salt as it is (I tend to crave salty stuff).

Maybe I’ll revisit the issue in the summer (or even spring once I start really sweating salt) but for now I’m going to try and reduce my added intake.  So far, and it’s been almost a week, nothing major has happened aside from my food being a little blander. And it’s not that I have health issues with HTN either.  My blood pressure is routinely low.  But, like lots of other things in life, the effects of too much salt (it’s literally a shaker every 10 days or so) probably won’t be seen until later in life when it’s too late to correct it.

March 29, 2011

Here We Go Again

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:58

Bleh. I’ve been meaning to blog, because I’ve had some pretty good stuff happen lately. But my computer is very likely on it’s last legs and acting a bit wonky.  And I’ve been busy.  In a good way. Despite my intentions of “a bad life decision weekend” happening (which I’m not saying didn’t) I was actually really REALLY productive.  I’ll keep being cagey about my plans for next year but let’s say that I’ve been making lots of headway there. Exciting.  Scary but exciting.

I also got my bangs trimmed this weekend and I finally have them again. The excitement is palpable people. Palpable.

Also exciting? Well let’s also just say that, being from the suburbs, I’ve never had to actually WAIT for a table at iHop at 0130.  The pancakes, however, made up for it.

Judge me all you want but the banana/strawberry ones AND the blueberry ones are mine.

But it was a good source of carbs for my long run on Saturday.  Because…wait for it…I ran TWENTY MILES.

Not in a row but I ran a good 14 miler when I first woke up and then, because my leg was feeling good, I ran a pre-dinner 6 miler.  I am totally aware that 14+6 =/= 20 miles in terms of actual training but I’m happy that I was able to cover 20 miles in a day.  Makes me more optimistic about Boston. Of course, the pace that I’m running at, well this run was much faster than my typical runs have been, is slow (like I really felt like I was hoofing it here where it normally is a pace that I can feel easy about) I know that I can at least cover the 26.2 miles from Hopkington to Boston. Quickly? Well that’s a different story.

It didn’t hurt that weather was FABULOUS. Okay, so it was 25* but it was sunny and I ended up being WAY overdressed for the first run.  Oh well.  It also didn’t hurt that I loaded up my iphone with some really good (read: catchy pop / hip-hop) songs and that lightened my mood.  I’m not one to use music, like, ever but it was a good change of pace. Although, side note, I have my tragus pierced and I cannot for the life of me get ear buds to stay in that ear. Help?

So no leg pain! YAY. It was a bit achy later that day but nothing serious or hurting.  I think that since I’ve stopped rolling my IT band the improvement in the pain has been really nice.  Miss Zippy (I think?) told me that sometimes rolling the IT band when it’s still hurt and not on the way out of recovery can irritate it more, which is likely the case. I’ve also stopped the PT exercises for the same reason…right now it’s about babying it.  And rolling + exercise, while in the end will be a huge asset to me, is not helping at the moment and not what I need at the moment.

Of course, one could argue that running 20 miles in a day would be irritating to it as well.  Battles people. Battles.

Like the follow up 10 on Sunday with some tightness in my quad but still no pain. Even afterward when the aches typically really start up.  Same thing with Monday’s run: I got a good 12 miler in.  I wanted to go a bit further because I had a late night clinic and I really enjoyed it.  Like my LR this weekend I listened to music and it got me through the miles.  The last 1-2 miles were a little more than achy so I’m glad that I was running late for work (hello comfy bed in the morning!) so I couldn’t stay out any longer.

I then tempted fate this morning and heck YES to the pace I was running at.  Definitely not my usual clip but it was fast.  I felt like I was huffing and puffing.  But it didn’t feel like I was flying so I figured I was going the slow pace that’s been the usual and I was pissed off about my cardio fitness as of late and made me question whether I’d hold up at Boston.  In reality I was going decently.  Maybe that’s why my leg started hurting a bit earlier in the runs than I’ve been used to lately.  I did truck on, I mean how could I not with “Fuck You” blasting in my ears, and there’s no lasting pain during the day, but I’m still conflicted as to what Boston holds in store for me.

Totally apropos. Thanks google. In case you can't read the caption because it's small, it says "It's amazing you've made it this far"

Basically, regardless of my runs, I’ve been trying to enjoy this lovely weather lately.  Yes I am sick of waking up and running in 25-30* weather (spring…whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?) but the sun has been shining and so I’ve been sweating wicked badly because I’m overdressing (if overdressing =  shorts, longsleeve, sweatshirt). I guess that the sun can make up for cooler temps.

How’s that for an all over the place post? Long and short of it? I’m busy but excited. Nervous too.  I can just feel that I’m on the precipice of something…it has the potential to be either amazing and earth shattering or an utter disaster. Either way it sure won’t be boring.

March 22, 2011

Motivational Issues and One Heck of a Nutcracker

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:06

(First: thanks for all the get / feel better wishes on my last few posts.  After taking that day off of work and staying in bed all day I think I’ve gotten rid of the sinus stuff.  I feel more energetic and upbeat! Despite the first half of the title of today’s post)

Clearly these are my friends at the moment. Once I get going I’m good.  But it’s taking that first step that proves to be challenging.

Case in point? I have yet to see 0500 this training cycle.  This past fall for WR (and, if I remember correctly, last year for Boston too) I was always up with my alarm. Almost bounding out of my bed at 0500.  Nowadays I set my alarm for 0500 but then re-set it for later…never too much later, like 0515 or 0530.  Maybe it’s because I’m running less recovery/junk miles this cycle (I usually do these runs on the early morning days so my later morning days I can do the quality stuff) but for whatever reason I’m just struggling to get out of bed.

Maybe it’s the weather. It was 70* on Friday. HELLO SPRING.  This weekend, however, was mid-40s.  Which, while not cold, after a 70* day felt freezing.  And Monday? Snow. Apocalypse? I think so because it’s sunny and about 40* right now.

In less struggling / terrible news I went to my mom’s this weekend to celebrate her birthday.  Annoyingly I forgot the massive bottle of wine I was going to give her.  Booo.  Mostly because I was so focused on the massage that I had scheduled Friday afternoon and the townie drinking with my friends who still live in my hometown.  Tunnel vision and all.

I mean, what else is there to do? Besides play practical jokes with my family on my family.  Like when I come back from a night out, wanting to shower and head into the bathroom to find

A 6′ tall nutcracker in the bathtub….looking like it’s in a coffin.

Backstory: my mom LOVES nutcrackers and has a collection.  Well my dad bought this for Christmas one year.  My mom HATED it. Mostly because it’s 6′ tall and a pain in the ass to move around.  And the fact that my dad decided to leave it after they split up.  My siblings and I…well we find it kind of funny that my mom hates it so much.  One year my sister and I moved it up from the basement and placed it just in front of her bed and exactly where the door to her room opens.  It scared the shit out of her.  This year apparently two of my sisters decided to place it in the tub.  And looking like a corpse.  I damn near peed myself when I saw it because it was so funny.  My mom wasn’t amused.

No real point to that story other than to procrastinate on the running that’s been going on lately. Like I mentioned above I had a massage on Friday afternoon.  Regardless of how my leg was / is feeling (read: like crap) I wanted a tune up.  My body has gone through a lot with training and some wear and tear is going on.  Since my leg has been bothering me the past week I really wanted her to focus on my quad, hammy, and IT band on my left leg.  It felt amazing…well maybe amazing isn’t the right word but it felt like just what my body needed.

And I was rewarded with an amazing (and actually FAST) “long run” on Saturday.  I went for 12 miles and the first 10 were pain free completely and the last two felt a bit achy.  Still no pain.  Hizzah. Especially since the weather was in the mid 40s and sunny. Double hizzah. Then I went out drinking and dancing (let’s also just say that “Fuck You” is the best karaoke song to do.  Ever.)

Which is what I’m blaming for my painful run on Sunday.  I made it about 6 miles before calling it quits and doing the treatment stuff: icing, stretching, rolling.  But my leg was throbbing and radiating pain.  Which called for a rest day Monday and taking some ibuprofen.

I woke up today feeling pretty good, I even did some squats (bending the leg-o was pretty painful Sunday) and felt good to do some kind of test run.  It was a decent run.  And by decent I mean kick-ass for what I’ve been doing lately. I kept it really slow (like slow enough that I wondered if it was even doing anything cardiovascular for me hahah!) and, for where I feel I should be distance wise, incredibly short run.  No more 16+ runs before work as it was only 10. But it felt really REALLY good.  I had only planned for doing a few miles given how much pain Sunday brought so I decided to do a really short loop a few times.  By the last loop my pace had slowed a bit so I called it a day.  But no pain. YAY.

Still doing the now-regular post-run routine of icing and stretching and rolling.  I’ve been not only doing specific stretches for my left leg but also trying to just stretch everything.  I’m shooting for not just running Boston but being the most popular girl there…

I’ve also been thinking about starting to heat the IT band area…or the tight muscles around it.  The massage therapist that I saw said that my adductor muscles are really tight and/or weak so that my IT band is being compensating and being overworked.  So maybe heat to the area will loosen things up? Who knows.

I’m just very glad that I’m taking Boston for fun.  Because I’m probably in a state of taper now.  Not too sure how I feel about it and we’ll have to wait and see how the rest of this week goes. Some days I run without a problem and other days I need to go extra slow or short. But I still have that nutcracker picture as my lock screen on my phone for whenever I need a good laugh. Or go onto someecards because I just spent a good hour doing that.

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