MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 1, 2010

Monthly Recap: August 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 20:00

Whoa there. This year has just been FLYING. I can’t believe yet another month is over and especially August.  Despite not being a student anymore (TEAR) the beginning of September is always bittersweet.  Sure we’ll get hot days (and are kind of having some this week), and likely could until October or November, but summer just feels over once I turn the page in my calendar to September.  Plus because it’s New England we could have snow in October or November.  Gahhh.  I need to move to a warmer climate! NOW.

Enough sadness. Because September means things like Labor Day Weekend, pretty foliage and APPLE PICKING.  I am anxiously awaiting for the first opportunity to do so. And I know that you’re sick of me talking about it by now muahaha!

Cooler weather (theoretically) also means that exciting stuff can happen with my running too.  I have a half marathon Labor Day weekend which will be a good barometer of where I’m at.  And maybe I’ll really start contemplating a late fall marathon.  I keep saying it and I do want to do one but the timing is just off.  I’d love to do a winter race but New England is not conducive to that.  We’ll see.

But before I get ahead of myself, let’s look back at what was August shall we?

And in true MM style it’s long.  But there’s a picture at the end so don’t get mad. Mmmmmkay?

Week of August 2 –  August 8

  • 49.5 Miles
  • 6 Hours 56 Minutes 11 Seconds
  • 8:25 Pace
  • 0 Core, 0 Lifting, 0 XT, 1 rest day

If I had known how close I was to 50 miles I sooooooo would have run that extra half mile. And that likely would have gotten me to 7 hours even.  Oh well.  This was the week that I was on vacay so I can’t really complain.  I had a great time in Texas and the running was great too, especially as I got to run with Jess again.  Plus: look how fast I was this week 🙂

Week of August 9 –  August 15

  • 65.5 Miles
  • 9 Hours 10 Minutes 43 Seconds
  • 8:25 Pace
  • 1 Core, 0 Lifting, 0 XT, 0 rest day

I guess I can look at the previous week as a cut back week and once I got back from vacay my stress amped up with the MCAT and moving.  And I took it out on my running.  But looking back at this week in my log book all my runs have comments saying how fast and ON I was feeling.  I also got to run my first run at my new place on Sunday of this week which was exciting 🙂

I also started going core on that Sunday too.  Let’s just say my abs were not ready for their wake up after 5 weeks off!

Week of August 16 –  August 22

  • 61.4 Miles
  • 8 Hours 51 Minutes 51 Seconds
  • 8:40 Pace
  • 4X Core, 0 Lifting, 0 XT, 0 rest day

My pace just shut down this week as I started running at 0530 in the morning.  And as my body adjusted to the path I was running on as opposed to the roads.  But it’s okay because I also started working this week which, being week one, was WAY stressful.  But great at the same time.  I think this was the week that I really was starting to feel life come together a bit.

Week of August 23 –  August 28

  • 67.3 Miles
  • 9 Hours 36 Minutes 4 Seconds
  • 8:34 Pace
  • 0 Core, 0 Lifting, 0 XT, 0 rest day

And then the core work stopped.  Oops.  I need to really make an effort to keep it up because, and I’ve said this before, I am such a vain person and love the way my abs look after consistent core work.  Not that my abs are terrible as is but I like having definition there.

My pace was at a good place this week and I remember having some “race” runs with some of the males on the running path this week.  If I recall correctly I won them 😉

The mileage was a bit higher than I’d like but I know that’s because I ran a long run this week that was much longer than what I’ve done since the spring and some of my weekday runs have had 1-2 miles tacked on because I was feeling good and fast.  I’m not worried about this becoming a trend.  I may stay low 60s but I don’t plan on increasing the miles anytime soon.  Unless I find a marathon in November/December/January to commit to.

Month of August

  • 270.2 Miles
  • 38 Hours 27 Minutes 32 Seconds
  • 8:33 Pace

Definitely a good solid month for me.  The fastest overall monthly pace! Woot!

Not the biggest month ever (I don’ t think anything could top this past June) but a good month indeed.  I actually just checked and it’s the LOWEST monthly total this year.

I could be extra nerdy and go back to last year’s data to compare August 2010 vs 2009 (and I’m doing this kind of stuff for work so I’m in full nerd mode) but I think it’s accurate to

Eff it. I’m a nerd and these research reports are now my job. I’m loving that I get to work in MEDICINE and with NUMBERS.

August:

  • 2010 : 270.2 miles
  • 2009: 264.3 miles
  • Perfect change: 2.2%

Year to date:

  • 2010: 2771.0 miles
  • 2009: 1883.1 miles
  • Percent change: 47.1%

So clearly up in both.  Crazy how much more I’ve run so far in 2010 than this same time in 2009.

But back to August 2010.  This is a currently monthly recap after all.

The weekly miles are a tad high (by like maybe 5-8 each week) but I’m not worried about it.  I’m still down from July’s monthly total which I’m sure a lot of you guys enjoy seeing 😉

So the fast overall pace, despite having some slower times since my move, makes the upcoming fall, which I touched upon in my first paragraphs, really exciting to think about. I think my body would be primed for a marathon in the next 3-4 months.

I don’t really have any goals per se for this month.  Maybe try to fit in lifting.  Without access to a gym, however, my motivation to do so is very little.

And I want to try to find the funds to race more.  I have 3-4 5ks that I’d love to do, as well as the Tufts 10k that I’ve done the past 2 years.  Oh yeah and my upcoming half this weekend.

It’s time to turn all these miles and wicked hardwork into PRs and hardcore bamfness 8)

I need to feel like this again

Providence Marathon 2009. Debut and BQ 🙂

July 2, 2010

Ooooooooooooh we’re halfway there

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

Bear with me as I wanted to get A LOT into this post: weekly totals, monthly total, year-to-date, New Year goals, what’s next….

I’m not quite sure how interested you guys are in week-by-week accounts of the month or if you want the whole story right away.  But I’m going to break it down weekly just because I think there are a couple of interesting trends that went on.

First off I want to make a big fat disclaimer that this month was obscene.  I had absolutely NO intentions of running as much as I did.  But May ended graduation and I flung myself full throttle into the process of studying for the MCAT as well as applying to medical schools.  This led to the rise of the double (and occasional triple).

I’m actually semi-embarrassed by my totals.  Sure, I do feel great physically with no true wear and tear buttttt….the fact that I was running so much and not keeping tabs on my mileage makes me feel a little bit silly.  I highly doubt I would have run so much if I had known how quickly those “just a few more minutes” or “just another mile” moments added up.

That said, no regrets. While the numbers may be blush-inducing I feel great.  I feel fast and strong. Ultimately I think that’s what matters.

Too bad I don’t have a marathon on the horizon and most fall marathons have already filled up.  Couple that with the fact that New England doesn’t have any December/January marathons and I’m feeling a bit bummed that I can’t *truly* capitalize on this fitness.  Ideally I’d want to take the rest of the summer and scale back and then NAIL a winter marathon.  Maybe Disney? Any other thoughts? In the interim, I do have the local 5 miler in July, a half planned for September and a 10k in October but my mileage is a bit overkill for that.  Hell, it’s a bit overkill for a marathon to be honest.

So here it is, with slight commentary because I was an idiot and didn’t write down lots of thoughts during the actual weeks themselves:

Week of May 31 – June 6

  • 92.3 Miles
  • 13 hours 23 minutes 32 seconds
  • 8:43 pace
  • 3X Core, 2X Lifting, 0 XT

First week where I really did doubles with regularity.  At first my double runs were slower, or at least felt slower, but overall very happy with the pace.

Week of June 7 – June 13

  • 112.6 Miles
  • 16 hours 30 minutes 30 seconds
  • 8:48 pace
  • 3X Core, 1X Lifting,0 XT

More miles.  And a slightly slower average pace.  Still a wayyyyy faster pace than during Boston training.  There seems to be an interesting line between a slower average pace but with speedwork (Boston) or just easier runs everyday and a faster average pace.

Week of June 14 -June 20

  • 128.1 Miles
  • 18 hours 39 minutes 12 seconds
  • 8:45 pace
  • 2X Core, 2X Lifting, 0 XT

Bam.  Definitely a weekly PR.  Included the triple where I amassed 21 miles in a day (which I went on to repeat later this month) AND I got to run with Jess.  Which I think was a turning point because my runs have just gotten speedier since then.  I also got in an actual long run this week, not a split one, after going out drinking the night before.  So a very interesting, but awesome, week to say the least.

Week of June 21 – June 27

  • 125.5 Miles
  • 18 hours 2 minutes 2 seconds
  • 8:38 pace
  • 4X Core, 1X Lifting, 0 XT

Boom.  Pace dropped.  The miles were “scaled back”.  Not intentionally and obviously 3 miles isn’t a lot when the total is so high. I’m just very impressed with the pace for this particular week.

Month of June

  • 500.5 miles
  • 72 hours 38 minutes 12 seconds
  • 8:42 pace

Well these miles are ridiculous and definitely a new monthly PR.  The pace is just mind-blowing to me.  How could I run an average of 8:42 for 500.5 miles?!  I mentioned earlier in the post that there was that interesting trade off when I have speedwork in my week and that generated a slower overall pace.  I think that not needing the shuffle runs this month helped; everything was even keeled.  Well I also think the key is the double.  I was able to sufficiently recover from 2 X 6 miles (or even a 7-9-5 day!) because my ass was glued to a chair and I got to eat between.

Year to Date

  • 2169.1 miles
  • Too lazy to calculate time or pace hahah

Well if I remember correctly from my New Year’s goals post way back when….well actually I just looked back and I never had a mileage goal for 2010.  I know that 2009’s total was 3116.0 so I’m well on my way to smashing that.  Not sure if I want to though.

In light of the New Year’s goals I figured now would also be a good time to re-evaluate the concrete goals as well as the ways I wanted to reach them (and I just pasted the actual goals here with my current thoughts, although anything in red or bolded is from the original.  If you want to see the original thoughts you can click the link above):

Goals for 2010:

  • PR (duh who doesn’t?).  I don’t know how obvious it is or how clearly it comes across in my blogging but I race to race.  I don’t sign up to “have fun”.  I sign up so I can run hard enough to want to puke my guts out when I cross the finish line. I think that by incorporating new strength moves and speed workouts will help that.  Mixing things up and see what happens.  Specifically (and yes they are lofty but I think that with some real focus I can come real close to most if  not all of ‘em): I really wish I had been able to race more!
  1. sub 20:00 5k Haven’t raced one yet!
  2. sub 43:00 10k Haven’t raced one yet! (But definitely have one for October)
  3. sub 1:40:00 half Haven’t raced one yet! (But will in September)
  4. 3:35:00 marathon — I was going to write sub 3:30 but that’s an 8 minute pr and I’m not sure how realistic that would be.  Actually to hell with it: the goal is sub 3:30.  I left the last marathon feeling like I had plenty of gas in the tank so we’ll see if I can capitalize on that in 2010. The red is what I wrote back in December/January.  Came close with Boston with 3:35:53.  Unfinished business.
  • Do an ultra. I had one in mind right for right after graduation but all those toe infections, shin problems put that one one hold
  • Dare I say it? Requalify for Boston. Check 🙂
  • Not sure how realistic this one is as I have no idea where I’ll be in the fall but I want to run MCM.
  • And super long term I want to run the Big 5: New York, Boston, Berlin, London, Chicago.  Maybe I could get lucky and find myself in Europe this fall / next year. I can dream right? :) Well no plans right now to make good on this one
  • Have fun. I am.  Yes I tend to stress out really easy but running really has been fun.  Especially post Boston where I’m just running for the hell of it.

And the ways I wanted to get there:

  • Drink more water. Yes. I am definitely drinking more water than I did last year.  But not nearly enough.  One 16 oz bottle isn’t going to cut it.  I know I drink other stuff during the day but I need more H2O
  • Get faster. Well by looking at my marathon PR and this past months weekly totals I’d say YES.  But I originally wrote that I wanted to do this via speedwork and the funny thing is that lack of speedwork dropped my overall pace.  But I did go fast in Boston using speedwork so different tactics with different logic behind doing it.
  • Get stronger. AKA strength train more. Yeah.  I’ve been dreading going to the gym lately but I have been going regularly.
  • XT more in general too. Not so much.
  • Stretch more. Ditto above.
  • Respect the rest day. Nope.
  • Listen to my body. Yes and No.  I’m very stubborn but when I was FORCED to listen to my body (back in March/April) I got better at it.  Let’s keep this trend going.
  • Wear sunscreen. Meh.  Definitely room for improvement here too.

So what’s next?

Well I’m thinking that the miles are going to have to come down.  I know I’m not feeling anything terrible right now but it’s only a matter of time before my body can’t withstand the impact.  I know I’m a high mileage runner in general but I’m hoping that July and August is reduced and I find a marathon to do over the winter, or even late fall although I think any around me have filled up.

I also have some unfinished business with my goals so I’m printing out that old post just to keep them in my line of sight and they don’t keep falling by the wayside. I think that I just posted them and then out of sight out of mind.  I need to make a bulletin board or something like that.

And since you made it this far with the post here’s a picture that my friend uncovered from Boston on her camera.  Her caption when she put in on FB was “After she finished. She could have prob. kept running” hahahah.  My response? “So NOT true. but I love this picture anyway” 8)

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

June 23, 2010

Because Clearly I Am Awesome

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:31

This is a bit random and there really isn’t any context for me wanting to bring it up. I don’t think it’s any secret that I struggle a bit with confidence issues.  This week has been pretty tough in that department and I feel a little beaten up.  MCAT studying and running had been kind of hit or miss lately. So imagine my surprise when I found this quote in my inbox:

Believe deep down in your heart that you’re destined to do great things.
Joe Paterno, Head football coach of Penn State University

And it gave me chills.  Because it was just what my friends have been telling me lately and exactly what I needed to see. After my MCAT class Tuesday night I headed over to my friends house to chill and she gave me a pep talk that bears repeating (and it really stuck with me so I’m 99.99% sure this is verbatim): “Listen I know that you don’t believe that you’re hot, smart, funny, fast or awesome.  And I know that you pull away from anything or anyone that tells you this.  But I’m going to be the doctor now and write you a prescription.  Every hour on the hour I need to you say OUT LOUD that “I am freaking awesome”.  It’s like Nazi propaganda: if you say something enough times you’ll believe it to be true

No joke about that last part.  It’s true.  Saying something enough times will eventually turn it into a truth.  Maybe not the best analogy because Nazi propaganda was based in lies and I’m pretty sure she was trying to tell me that my “lies” are actually truth.  But I think she’d been drinking and I’ll forgive her for that one.  She’s also making me a copy of her “pump up” mix, which is something she listens too before big events like presentations and whatnot. I’m actually pretty excited for that one.

So I guess my prescription is an apt one.  It’s not like I’m wallowing in self-pity or anything.  Totally not the case but every once in awhile life gets extra tough and tries to knock you down.  It can lead into a snowball effect and it’s good to get a verbal reminder from inside that you’re awesome.  So I challenge YOU to tell yourself that you’re amazing and awesome and the world’s best person 🙂

Something not so awesome though? My toes.

And I just re-read that transition and my first thought was: “Oh snap another toe infection?” hahah NO.

For some reason the spot where my toes connect to my actual feet is feeling achy.  I discovered it Saturday night because I have this awkward/nervous habit of rising up on my toes, the way a dancer would, when I feel awkward (and trust me this happens a lot.  MM is a very awkward chick) which then stretches that spot.  And I really felt like tendons/muscles were being pulled and stretched.  Very weird and I’m not quite sure what to chalk it up to.  I was thinking too many miles on my shoes but the pair I’m in now has *only* 1021 miles and I’m not feeling the usual shin splits pain of worn out shoes so I’m my wallet is hoping to still get more.

Neither is my running suffering as a result.  Since my last post I got in

  • 8.3 miles on Monday.  Okay so maybe not the greatest example of good running.  I think the dehydration I was talking about occurring Saturday and Sunday was still in effect as I had the worst stomach/intestinal pain ever.  It felt as though daggers were stabbing me in the gut. Granted the pain subsided after 2 or so miles but  I really have no idea how I got through them.  I’m stubborn I guess.  Or a masochist.  Either way I did the miles @ 8:55 pace which felt miraculous given how I felt at the beginning.
  • Lifting and 10 Tuesday.  I’ve fallen out of love with lifting lately.  When my alarm went off that morning I wanted to throw it against the wall.  But once I’m up there’s no falling back asleep blahh. So I drug my butt to the gym.  I’m actually pretty happy that I did because I was offered to work a couple shifts coming up.  Makes me feel a little better about using the gym for free and not even having a small regular shift like summers past.  The 10 miles I did before my class were pretty great.  I only had planned on going 6 or 7 but I just felt on. It was very humid out and VERY hard to breathe at first but I just got into a groove.
  • 2 X 7 miles Wednesday.  Well that’s the plan at least.  I was woken up by my 14 year old brother at 0755 saying that I needed to drive him to work at 0800.  So much for sleeping in.  Once I got back to the house I figured that I’d skip my mid-day run and just get something in before settling down to run.  Surprisingly this run was really good.  Maybe the whole waking up mid-sleep cycle thing? Aside from the first 5 minutes or so the rest of the run felt effortless and gliding.  And summer truly must be here because it was sports bra and shorts only weather at 0800.  I know that many of you have worse weather but I’m not ready for 80* with ~75% humidity that early.

I”m actually getting ready to head out for the second 7 miler soon.  Just need to finish up a section on solution equilibria. Yes my life is the most exciting thing ever.  Hopefully the run will feel just as great as my morning run did.  Or better. That would be pretty awesome.  Fitting for an awesome person 😛

June 18, 2010

Too Nice For My Own Good

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:00

Ever read that book? Alexander and the Horrible Terrible No Good Very Bad Day? (or something like that).  Well that’s how my Thursday went.

Or I shouldn’t really say that because nothing went totally bad.  Just everything was off enough to put me in a bad mood.  I was pissed off enough to skip a Celtics viewing party and watch the game wrapped up under my covers.  Which made it even sadder because they lost.  Boo.

I’m not going to recap the whole day (who wants to read about all complain-y-ness?) but I do want to share more about this whole mentoring thing because I’m not quite sure what I’m getting myself into anymore.

Oh no.  Yup. She’s a helicopter parent.  That woman stopped me again (this is time #3 in 4 days and would have been #4 if I hadn’t blown right by her on one of my Wednesday runs). It’s getting to the point where I want to change my running routine in terms of timing or routes.

Now, I don’t have anything against meeting with her daughter and doing the whole “exposure to running” thing but this mom is effing crazy.  Every time she stops me it’s a 15+ minute conversation because I’m too GD nice to do anything.  I do eventually sneak a peak at my watch and she gets the hint but UGH.  And I really do want to give her daughter a chance.  I know that if I were judged by my parents….well let’s just say I would never want that to happen.

What made me really uncomfortable, however, was the fact that she mentioned paying me.  On one hand, I’m like “effing take it MM!” because I’m really effing poor.  But I think that I’m going to end up declining (too GD nice again) because I think it would make any sort of contact with the girl awkward.  Like, your mom is paying me for this.  Not what I want and it makes me more coach than role model.  But still, not going to lie: the appeal of the money is soooooooooo tempting.

She asked me for my number, which I expected her to do eventually, and said that SHE’D call me.  Not the girl.  Her.  I hinted at the fact that the girl should call me to chat but I’m clearly not an aggressive person and I’m awkward so who knows what will happen. I gave her my family landline and have taped a sticky to the phone that if she calls to take her fill name and number (because, while I know the girl’s name, I do not know hers…or her last name. Sketch) but DO NOT GIVE OUT MY CELL.  I even wrote “she’s effing crazy”  on the note.  Probably the smartest thing I’ve done.

Again, I still really do want to meet with the girl.  Crazy parent aside I think that all young girls (and boys) should have as many different types of people in their lives and diversity to expose them to many ideas and, like Rebecca said, instill passion.  Yes that might sound idealistic but running can be a vehicle for many different things (hello my life!). And even if she doesn’t want to commit to anything ever running wise in her life I think that it’ll be fun and nice for her.  Hell I wish I had SOMEONE to look up to growing up.  Someone that I could be like “I want to be like you in X number of years”

Whew that was one long rant-y thing hahah. Moving along…

Anyway the rest of my day was filled with the random annoyances: not enough time to do things, taking 2 hours to drive to my class which is 18 miles away thus being an hour late (!), running out of gas on I-95 (major highway) and slicing open my finger with a can while making dinner.  Fun stuff let me assure you.

But regardless of the other stuff in my day I did get a good run in.  Despite the 21 mile epic-ness of Wednesday (which thanks for all the positive comments.  As much as it felt great to do it it definitely won’t be any sore of regular occurrence! But I like knowing that I can do it 🙂 )I woke up feeling good.  The legs were a touch sore but, if I remember correctly, I’ve never been really sore after my LRs.  I was a bit extra tired and groggy Thursday morning but I’m blaming that on the accumulated sleep debt I’m in as my days get longer with studying. I mean I could do stuff like stretch, ice and foam roll buttttttt….enough said there 😉

The run was on-par with what I’ve been doing lately in terms of pacing which made me happy.  The first mile was very rough and sluggish and junk.  But that’s also on par with what I’ve been doing lately.  Strong finish? Yup that too.

Well maybe not a 100% finish strong.  From ~50% – 75% of the way through the run my legs were tired.  I don’t think my pace changed at all, at in the end even if it did the effect wasn’t great on the overall pace, but I just noticed them more.  They were *there*.  But of course I had run 21 freaking miles the day before.  And with that final quarter kick I’m willing to forgive my legs for the mishap 😉

Because it’s so much fun to finish strong.  Seriously.  It’s like, what now? I’m powerful. I’m fierce. Bring it life.

I effing LOVE Tyra. Well I guess it's more love/hate hah

And then sometimes, in the case of Thursday, life does bring it 😛

But the weekend is looking good:

  • Friday (today I guess) is my bro (K5)’s birthday.  (I suppose this is a double edged sword because Saturday night he’s having 5 friends sleep over.  Did I mention that he’s 14? UGH. ) And I’ve already gotten in a strong lifting session.  Sure because my body is still a little “off” (aka sleep deprived) I lowered the weights a bit — just by one dumbbell thingy — and I felt really good with it and my muscles felt that burning-but-not-dying feeling.  And I plan on getting a good 6-7 miler in later.  The temps are rising so it’ll be time to head out in a sports bra and work some more on that tan (SO BAD I know!)
  • Saturday I’m running with Jess while she’s in Boston.  The weather is suppose to be VERY nice and SUMMER.  I’m really excited to meet her! She’s taking a fun trip here and she’ll also be very likely kicking my booty in a major way when we run.  I’m secretly hoping that my usual buddy-MO pops up: faster = easier but who knows.  It’ll be fun regardless.

Sure I’ll also be studying mucho but it’s very hard to be in a pissy mood when good things are happening.

Check out this giveaway from Matt and one from Tricia

June 1, 2010

Monthly Recap: May 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:41

First off: Wow. I’m so glad that you guys are viewing my study running breaks as a good thing and something that we all use to keep our sanity after a long day sitting down! Thanks for the positive vibes too. They are definitely appreciated.  You guys are the bestest 🙂

So I know that yesterday I said that I was going to do a “How Double Running Can Rock” series.  And I’ve actually drafted two of them already (of the power of procrastination ha) but I wanted to get this up before I forgot and since yesterday was the last day of May…it’s apropos.

May was definitely a….well let’s just say an interesting month.  I finally was able to jump back into running.  And I did, full throttle.  If you remember the end of April was me getting my IV out and just prior to that was Boston.  So April was on the low side with running.  Let’s just say I was chomping at the bit and ready to hit May hard. Not as hard as March when I ran 400+ miles but still hard nonetheless.

May also wanted to hit pretty hard back: not only was it the wrapping up of a school year but the wrapping up of my UNDERGRADUATE career.  Scary.  So I was pretty busy in my non-running life, especially the first half when all my senior projects and presentations were.

But when does running not happen? Yeah yeah besides scary infections and shin splints 😉

Luckily May didn’t have any of that for me so here’s a week by week glance at the fifth month of the year (and seriously?! How have 5 months gone by already?!)

Week of May 3-9

  • 56 miles
  • 8 hours 18 minutes 8 seconds
  • 8:55 average pace
  • 4X Core, 1X Lifting, 2X XT

First full week of running not only post-infection but post-Boston.  Needless to say I’m not a fan of the slow and steady thing? 10% rule what? I do have some notes in my log book saying that the legs were a bit tight but I think that’s more so because I reintroduced lifting this week and I have a complete disregard for stretching. The pacing was spot on too and I think that’s due to huge recovery period post-marathon and ~50% reduction in peak training miles.

Week of May 10-16

  • 67.3 miles
  • 10 hours 4 minutes 45 seconds
  • 8:59 average pace
  • 3X Core, 1X Lifting, 1X circuit, 0 XT

Whew a close one with that pace 😉  Finals were this week which, for a lot of students, is a huge time suck and stressor.  Not so much for me and I was able to get some quality runs in.  And by quality I mean feel really good about the runs quality.  Still no speedwork here, too soon post-Boston it had only been 3 weeks.

Week of May 17-23

  • 71 miles
  • 10 hours 43 minutes 15 seconds
  • 9:04 average pace
  • 3X Core, 2X Lifting, 0 XT
  • 1 double day

Senior Week! Very much relaxed (except for packing up my life) and trying to be on cruise control for the week.  Lots of good-bye runs this week too so I was pretty nostalgic.  I was also sick at the beginning of the week with some type of flu-like illness (oh immune system, can you please behave? haha) but I bounced back.  On Sunday, the first full day at home was also the first day of doubles that I had been talking about lately and it was a good two runs, both very strong and a good way to round out the week although I wish that I had been able to lower the average pace a bit.

Week of May 24-30

  • 72.9 miles
  • 10 hours 35 minutes 26 seconds
  • 8:47 average pace
  • 3X Core, 2X Lifting, 1X XT
  • 4 double days running, 1 double day of lifting/running

Wow.  Huge mileage and a fast pace.  I think this week was the first true no-obligations week I’d had in a very long while.  I’m not on my third (but really fourth) floor room and my legs, while running more, are overall more rested. Lots of doubles here and clearly they added up more than I thought they did but the leg-os aren’t hurting or sore.  If anything something is happening right because my pace was WICKED low for a weekly average for me.

May totals

  • 286.6 miles
  • 42 hours 40 minutes 49 seconds
  • 8:56 average pace

I think I talked enough about my running this month in the preceding paragraphs so just one note: the pace.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a month (at least while I’ve been consciously tracking things like monthly data) where I had an average pace under 9 minutes.  Woot! I think I’m prouder of that than my 400+ month of March!

And before I dredge back into MCAT/essay land I want to share a story of my second run on Memorial Day. In true MM fashion it’s long and not about me but I felt it worthy to share and am sticking it at the end of the post so those of you who roll your eyes at the length of my posts can stop if need be 😉

I ran it with my sister, K4 (I’m the oldest of 6 and all our names begin with K so we’ve been assigned numbers haha).  I was really unsure of whether or not I wanted to “bring her along”.  Sure she’s an athlete and actually ran XC last fall…but her schtick is Throwing.  And she told me that her best XC race was ~28 minutes for a 5k.  Which is slower than I wanted to go.

I told her that we’d do a tempo kind of thing for her.  My distance was 4 but we could go at “tempo” (for her) for ~1.3 miles then she could turn around and recover while I ran to the halfway point and then catch up with her pacing her back in.  She was down for it, I think that I was still unsure if she could keep up.  I figured that even if I went at a 9 pace it would be pushing it for her.  And a note about my family: we rarely complain about things like pushed paces.  Sure I may complain, bitch & moan about an eyelash in my eye but I will push through anything physical and the same goes for K4.

That said, at ~Mile 1 she stopped short.  I told her that if she was going to throw up she better do it away from me.  That got me a laugh as well as a dirty look but after a second of catching her breath we were off again.  We hit the ~1.3 miles at (calculated later)…8:46 pace!!  Here she turned around and walked a bit and I’m assuming at some point she started jogging because when I caught up to her she was much further than I thought she would be.

When she saw me I think a part of her died buttttt I told her that the goal was just to not stop running for the ~3/4 mile we had left.  And she did it.  She had a really bad stitch-in-side but she did it.  I am soooooo proud of her for being so damn tenacious and determined.  I think that, even though she considers throwing her thing, she could have a strong XC season if she wants it and decides to do it again.  She’s not that big into running, definitely not a passion of hers,  but she could own it if she sets her sights on it.  Maybe not *winning* but I think she could be strong and SMASH her PR and expectations.

So that’s the story.  About my sister. I’m hoping that we get to run more together this summer 😀

May 28, 2010

We All Came Here To Make It

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:32

So first off I’m obsessed with this song.  Pretty basically been listening to it on repeat the past week.  Sound up and rocking out.  I saw him (Jason Aldean) last summer in concert and am in LOVE with him too.  Why do all my celebrity crushes have wives?!

Anyway, life is about to get crazy for me.

My MCAT class is picking up steam and it looks like I’ll be studying ~6 hours a day, 4-5x a week for the next 10 or so weeks.  In fact, I should be studying right now…but I’m not *shhhhhhhhh* I’m not quite sure what to think of the class.  It’s definitely going to be a HUGE boost to me but it’s also going to be tough and challenging.  I’m going to have to tackle things head on that are not my strengths.  Last summer when I was studying for the exam (on my own and with textbooks) I was able to shy away from things that were hard.  And it showed.  Sure, my score was good enough but not what I knew I was capable of.  Hence the class this summer.

I’m also starting the process of applying to med schools.  I’ve started drafting the two (in my opinion) hardest sections: the work/activities section and the personal statement.  If there’s anyone willing to look over them (or at least the essay) I’d be forever indebted.  Seriously.

So even though those are the only two things I have to do from now until July-ish (when I’m targeting the application being sent in) and mid-August (MCAT), it’s going to be quite a busy thing.  I’m already feeling a bit of the stress that deadlines and commitment bring.

Luckily I have an amazing agenda book that I can create to-do lists in and gain satisfaction in crossing off items.  Sometimes the list becomes really big.  And I’m the kind of person that if I don’t start making progress and roll with the momentum then nothing will happen.  So the physics joke from a few years ago in the club “Mo’mentum Mo’problems” really isn’t apropos here.

Luckily I also have running.  The weather has “cooled” off here — aka 70* rather than 95+* — and it feels nice.  Especially at night and I’ve been actually a bit chilly in the morning when I get up. Granted I have perfected the placement of fans / open windows so that my room becomes an ice box but still…running at noon as my first study break didn’t feel bad yesterday nor did it today.  Oh relativity.  I probably was complaining in April about how a few 70* days felt like a heat wave after weeks of 40* and rainy weather.

Not that I should complain, and I try not to because I BEG for hot weather in January/February.

And I’m going to take the fact that not many people seemed to read my Tips for Hot Weather Running yesterday as a sign that you guys are smarty-arties and already knew all of it.  And for those of you who commented and added your suggestions: THANK YOU. I need to start getting smarter in my running life if I want to keep improving.  I’ll take all the help I can to run STRONG, run FAST and have FUN.  Too bad I can’t think of a great F word for strength.  Then I could call it the “Three Fs” or something.  Run with fortitude? Doesn’t have the same ring to it.

But that’s what I have been doing the past few days.  And even, if you were to go back and re-read my posts, the past 2-3 weeks (I’m lucky that I have my log book right out in front of me).

Today was no exception.

But first: I think that Tues/Fri is going to be my lifting schedule for the summer.  At least it’s what I’ve fallen into lately. And today was TOUGH.  My legs, which have been pretty tight, were not all that interested in lifting.  But I figured that since I actually drove to the gym then come hell or high water I was going to get a full body lift in.  Gas ain’t cheap and I drive an SUV.  I augmented my lifting to a weight load lighter than normal.  Still hard though.

After doing my legs I decided to try out foam rolling on my IT band.  So I grabbed the foam roller and set to work.  And my first thought? PHsssssssh this isn’t so bad.  Then I realized that the part of the roller I was on was really worn down.  So I moved over to the end portion of it and my thought? Okay this hurts more but still isn’t so bad.  I’m thinking that I was doing something wrong because everything I read on blogs has said this should hurt like hell.

I came home, refueled, studied some in my physics review book then hit the streets for a nice run.  And it felt good.  Like I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, my running has been good.  Not quite spot-on — ideally I’d be doing workouts and a hard/easy type of schedule.  But running has been so effortless lately.  I’ve never felt like I’ve been exerting myself and yet my paces have been so fast.  I’ve been doubting whether or not my mapping system is accurate.  It’s been so nice and such a confidence / mood booster.  It’s been allowing me to keep focused for studying / application writing / my 3 hour class.

But in case anyone was wondering what I mean about paces: today was 7.2 miles @ 8:34 pace.  Typically when I go for an easy run, post-lift run etc.  I try to target 9:15.   And my easy run paces the past two weeks have, with maybe one exception, all been sub-9.   And maybe my tightness in my legs is telling me that I need to put on the brakes a bit in terms of pace.  But I’m in such a good state-of-mind lately that I just don’t want too.

Bang Bang Bang 😀

Check out this giveaway from Tricia.  And have a great Memorial Day Weekend.  Hopefully you guys have more exciting plans than me….aka studying. So I might be MIA in both blogging and commenting on-and-off the next week or so as I struggle to find a balance with everything.

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 21, 2010

D-1. Eeeek.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:03

Phew. What a long day! I know that I’ve had longer but I’m all zapped out of energy at the moment and all I want to do is lay down on the floor.  Because my bed is lofted and I don’t think I can hoist myself up onto it hah!

I guess part of my exhaustion is my own doing.  After Rosecliff (thanks for all the compliments! Glad you liked the post and my dress and told me that I looked wonderful 🙂 ) and getting very little sleep that night, I was out late again Thursday night celebrating the last Thirsty Thursday.  Normally not a big deal but I wanted to get a run in before my graduation rehearsal this morning.  Which started at 0900.  Ugh.  Oh well.  At least I’m not a hardcore drinker.  Some of my peers were still drunk when they showed up ha.

So I got up at 0600 (good thing I’m graduating because I sure don’t act like a normal college kid!) to run because I knew that by the time it ended it would be really hot and I’d be unmotivated.  And sure enough by the time I finished my run at around 0730 or so it was already 70*.  Hello summer?

The run itself was pretty unremarkable.  A tad on the humid side but it felt bearable.  I need a gradual build up to full blown swimming pool.  Think that my runs would count as XT at 100% humidity and I could call them pool runs?

It’s bittersweet to be running this week.  Obviously I’ve mentioned it enough but graduation is tomorrow an dI’m moving on in my life, exciting!!, but moving into a very unstable world, scary!! For my running this means I likely won’t ever have reason to run these routes again.  They’ve been with me (through some modification of course) for the past 4 years.  I could, and probably have, run them asleep.  And I know I’ve run some of them still drunk after a good Thursday night.

But enough nostalgia.  Today’s run: 9.3 miles of goodness.  It didn’t feel good the first 4 miles and I questioned whether or not I really wanted to be doing this.  This meaning 0600 running, not running in general.  Especially since I had had such an amazing run the day before. When that happens sometimes a little lethargy and lead in the legs shuts down the go-get-em mentality.

Regardless I had another mile to go before I passed by the dorm and by the time I got there my legs were feeling good to complete the rest of the run.  I negative splited the run, not too hard to do when the first half is wicked slow ha!, and ended on a semi-fast note.  A strong note.  Another good good-bye run.

I also did some core work right after the run.  I was planning on going to the gym after the rehearsal but I still like to do my core immediately after finishing.  I think it started when I needed to make my gym time shorter when I was doing doubles and the natural thing to do was to move my 15 minute core routine to right after the morning run but I’ve kept it there because I like feeling hardcore and the burn while I’m still wicked sweaty.  Today was a mix of that and the fact that I had that picture of my abs on my brain from yesterday and wanted to keep those abs rock solid 🙂

And I’m not vain at all.  Promise 😉

After the rehearsal I did make it to the gym and man, it was HOT in there.  I know it’s a small school with a limited budget so I’ve never expected air conditioning in the gym (or in any other building really) but it was stifling.  So I did my thang and got out of there.   And I also wasn’t really in the mood to be lifting either.

Which brings me to a question I’ve been pondering: how much of what you do, do you do because you feel like you have to? I mean, I obviously love running and never feel like I have to do it but rather I want to.  But sometimes with lifting I’m questioning why I’m there.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve written about how awesome I think weights are for you and the fact that I grew up with a father who was wayyyy into lifting so I don’t see it as evil.  But sometimes I think I do it because I know it’s going to make me a better runner and that’s the only reason I head over to the gym.  Yoga and stretching are the same way although I avoid them like the plague and never do them.

It was nice to read this post from Jess saying that she hadn’t lifted in about a week and a half.  Sometimes I wonder if it’s really necessary to make sure to hit the weights 2-3 a week, every week.   Oh well, just some musings.  I’m definitely not pushing my body to do something I don’t want to do and after my date with the weights I felt really good and powerful and strong.  But sometime it’s so hard to take that first step.  Guess how that it with many things in life.  The whole inertia thing.  Yup Newton’s first law.  I am getting my degree in physics tomorrow 🙂

Speaking of tomorrow, I plan on getting up early to run and calm myself before the ceremony — yes I know that means I’ll not be sleeping a wink tonight so maybe “getting up early” is misleading haha. Final goodbye run.  Don’t know where it’ll be yet but I think I have an idea.  I probably should be hyping these runs up so much — I told my friends about them, the whole saying goodbye thing, and they looked at me like I had two heads!   But the run will likely be one of the first routes I can recall running regularly.

Oh man! Look at the time! And the length of this post! Gotta go get ready for my last night on campus.  We’re doing a sentimental night and the second half of the candlelighting ceremony (the first half was done our very first night on campus).   And then the Last Chance Dance. Wooooot!

Check out the giveaway that ErikaH is having. And I apologize in advance if I’m not around much this weekend to comment on all your lovely blogs.  I may have a few moments here and there and I still love you guys but I’ll be too busy graduating 😉

May 12, 2010

Training For Boston 2010: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 09:00

A bunch of you have asked for my thoughts on how my training cycle went, what I learned etc.  And I figured that it would be a good thing for me to do. Even if no one else cares anymore or finds this post really boring   😉

It’s been XX days (and since I’m writing this over several days I don’t really know how many days it will have been when you read this but y’all are smart and can figure it out ha) post-Boston so the emotional high and euphoria has waned and I can be more analytical than if you asked me on the 20th of April what my thoughts were.

And be warned, I wasn’t quite sure how to organize my thoughts when I originally sat down to write this so they might jump around a bit. And because most of the questions I got were: what did you learn / what would you do differently there might be a slight emphasis on the negative/bad stuff.  Rest assured that I do consider this training cycle to be a success and I’m way happy with it.  Also, in true MM form it’s long.

The Good: I PR’d and re-BQ’d. Pain free too.  If that’s not good then I don’t know what is 😛

The Bad: Absolutely terrible shin splints that threatened to derail me. And there was a lot of doubt that creeped in on top of the physical woes.

The Ugly:aka what I would change. In general, though, everything that went “bad” I wouldn’t change.  I’m a very inexperienced marathoner / racer in general so no matter what the mistake I made was I needed it.  Cliche to say that but whatever, it’s how life is.  Of course I would have loved everything to fall under the good category but that would be anti-climatic, no?

But here’s a more detailed breakdown…

The training plan:

  • The good: Very aggressive and that was good for me.  After training for my first marathon in early 2009 I felt like I hadn’t reached my full potential.  It was pretty conservative and I wanted something that would really challenge me.  Lots of speedwork was the perfect solution for that. I absolutely loved how much speedwork there was in the plan I picked.  It made me feel…well to state the obvious, fast.
  • The bad: Well I guess the bad thing is that I didn’t follow it.  As in I added lots more miles.  Like way more.  I think the peak my plan had was 75 miles and I definitely hit 112 at one point during Monster Month.  There also weren’t any places to insert hills or lifting so I had to try and figure out where to place that which likely led to more intense sessions than necessary.
  • The ugly: Nothing inherently ugly about the plan except that I was overzealous about getting in the miles — and then some.  This lead to a much more extended taper (remember the sports med doc who said I should start the taper 5 weeks out to counter the damage?) and I’m still feeling the effects of being over-trained.  I probably could have added some XT in there because I trained (pretty much) exclusively with running

Specifics with the training plan:

1. Pacing:

  • The good: In general, pacing was good.  I was slightly faster than McMillian paces for all workouts but I was able to listen to my body for recovery runs which was good and an improvement.  My interval paces were always faster than called for on the plan (oops to following that sucker) but I was able to nail those workouts.  My LR pace was slightly all over the place but it was always within :45 – :75 of GMP (which at the time, and still is, 8:00) and thus was ~60-90 seconds slower than my actual race pace at Boston. Which, according to numerous sources and articles, is where it should have been.
  • The bad: I still cannot for the life of me hit tempos.  It’s so hard and maybe it was a cause of all the mental stuff going on that I get into later but nailing a tempo still eludes me.  Curses.  Another bad thing was how all over the place my paces were for the LR.  Some weeks it was sub-9, some weeks it was 9:30.  And I never felt as though my LRs were improving.  By the end of the cycle I definitely didn’t have my usual kick to the finish.

2. Lifting:

  • The good: I lifted 3x a week for the first 13 weeks of the plan.  Exactly what I wanted to do. For Providence (in May 2009) I lifted 2x a week and cut it out way early.
  • The bad: I did the same routine each session.  So by the end of the cycle I probably wasn’t deriving as much benefit as I could have been.

3. Hills:

  • The good: I was able to incorporate hills into my routine and even got to run the Comm Ave hill once during training.  This allowed me to BEAST Newton.  I never noticed the first of the hills (only after a guy running next to me said 1 down 3 to go) and the rest of them really weren’t bad.  Negative splits anyone? And I ran them at the end of my speedwork sessions semi-mimicking the fact that the hills come so late in the race.
  • The bad: With the exception of going on Comm Ave once (and back in January too) all my hills were on the TM and I couldn’t prep myself for the downhills; let’s be honest here: everyone talks about the Newton Hills but the race is net downhill.  And while I still ran a strong race, with negative splits indicating the Newton Hills didn’t break me, my quads did take a beating.  Unfortunately as much as I would like to go back and change this, in reality I wouldn’t be able to if I could because my area is pancake flat and travel was not an option.

Other stuff…

1. Nutrition

  • The good: Well I ate really healthy and made sure that I was getting a wide variety of nutrients by eating variety in each individual meal as well as meal -to- meal.  I even upped my salt intake so that I could retain more water to push through those tough workouts as well as the antibiotics I was on over the Easter break.
  • The bad: I ended up losing a bit of weight which tells me that I wasn’t eating enough overall.  I’m a pretty small person girth wise so I think that if I had been able to keep on that weight then maybe I would have been able to run faster / harder. (Note: This is why I haven’t yet — and likely won’t ever– do another fueling post, I’m trying to figure things out for myself and see what works.  Again: inexperience here!) Another thing that was BAD was my lack of water intake.  Sure, overall I drink a lot of fluids but the daily breakdown looks like this: ~32oz milk, ~20 oz diet coke, ~16 oz ice tea, ~20 oz water.  So out of 88oz liquids consumed only 22% is water. Obviously an area where I can improve drastically.
  • The ugly: Save for one long run I didn’t take in fuel during the long runs.  And I never took in any water or fluid (that goes for marathon day too although I did eat two mini-luna bars).  I don’t really know why this happened as during the my first marathon cycle in 2009 I readily ate during runs (never drinking things though).  This, in conjunction with overtraining, probably led to some of those lethargic runs toward the end of the cycle.  Hard to tell which was the larger source but they both played a role I’m sure.

2. Sleep

  • The good: Ummmmm…I did make it a point to sleep A LOT the week before race day but it probably was just a drop in the bucket at that point because…
  • The bad: Well I’m a college student.  Suffice it to say that I probably sleep a lot more than the average college student and I only got about 6 hours a night.  Not nearly enough when logging mega miles.  Part of it was work: those assignments certainly aren’t asexual! Part of it was social: It’s senior year and I want to see my friends. Part of it was likely overtraining.  But I wouldn’t change anything here even though sleep deprivation sucks hardcore.

3. GI Issues

  • The good: I didn’t have to stop to go the bathroom during the race!
  • The bad: It was awful to have bladder issues during my LRs.  Absolutely awful. Not really quite sure how to fix it though.  I tried a number of things and nothing worked.  Maybe it was mostly mental.  Wicked frustrating as I *never* had this problem training for Providence 2009.

4. Psychological / Mental stuff

  • The good: I was mentally prepped to go into this race because I was expecting it to be a disaster with everything bad that happened.  Aka: I was expecting to just enjoy the race so it took the pressure off. I think what helped me the most gut out the hard miles at the end of the race was that I was doing so much at the time.
  • The bad:I was mentally very tired by the end of the training cycle: finishing up Senior year, training while juggling all my classes, doing job searches, setting up things so I can apply to med schools, being social.  And then on top of that training a billion miles a week.  That’s just the “regular stuff”.  Throw in the toe issue that happened on Easter as well as the shin splints which really put a lot of doubt into my mind and it’s a wonder I made it to the starting line not in a straight jacket. There really isn’t, however, a way to reduce all that mental stress.  It’s just my life.

Well there you have it.  Again, everything went as well as it could.  Yes I could have done lots of stuff differently to produce a “better” race but it went down how it went down. I’m sure I could write more on the topic buttttt this sucker is long enough as it is.

P.S. The Boston Jacket is *still* being rocked 😀

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