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 😉

September 6, 2011

The Race That Wasn’t Supposed to be a Race. And Wasn’t. Really.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:36

I’m really glad that the DRC Breakfast Bash 5M that I ran on Saturday morning wasn’t supposed to be taken as an actual race for me.

competetor . com

While the above picture isn’t exactly what happened to me during the race it was probably the longest 5 miles. Of. My. Life.

The plan was to get some miles in before the race and then take the race as MP, to get some pace work in, as it was the LR day for the group ( I still feel weird calling it “my group” despite having run with them 3 times in the 3 weeks I’ve been here and 2 weeks in Dallas). MP, of course, means nothing to me as I’m not signed up for a marathon and sooo am not in marathon *racing* shape or really any racing shape.

I met with up with two friends to do a 9 mile loop around White Rock Lake beforehand. My goal was to run the first 9 slow and then just push the race. We started out at 0600 (and it was PITCH BLACK) and we went…slowish. The first mile was nice and slow, right where we wanted it to be (we were shooting for 9:45 average) and then picked it up a bit too much for our liking given how early we were in the run, the first three miles were 9:30 average. Normally this wouldn’t matter too much but we had that race after.  We locked into 9:45 even for miles 3-7.5 and then slowly picked up the pace over the next mile and a half.

Grand total pre-race: 9 miles in 87 minutes even, which is a 9:39 pace. I’m pleased with it.

We finished up with about 20 minutes before the 8am start and I’m pretty sure it was hot out. As I mentioned above the goal for the race portion was to go at MP.  One of my friends who did the lake loop with me wanted to target 9:00-15 pace, and I wanted…well ideally I wanted to PR, but that would mean a sub-7 pace.  Did I ever mention I was delusional?! I set my sights, however, on a sub-9 pace.  Ideally just under since my speed session during the week indicated those were the paces I was training for (according to that chart). As I told my friends earlier in the run, I want a sub-9 pace, even if it’s one f#$%ing second sub-9.

Summary of the race: It hurt and tested me mentally. I gunned it from the get go and my first mile was a little fast, second mile a little slow but the last three were dead on even (8:50, 8:58, 8:55, 8:55, 8:54). According to my watch (and I had to stop and tie my shoe and stopped my watch.  If it’d been a training run, which essentially this was, I’d have done the same. Don’t judge) my time was 44:42, which about a 8:56 pace.  Officially I ran a 45:01.  Annoying 1 second.

I’m pleased.  It’s what I wanted, even and hard effort, and my pace, while definitely not my marathon paces in the past, felt hard and challenging and it was a good workout on tired legs. And  I’ll repeat: it was the longest damn 5 miles of my life.  Thank god for some guy that chatted with me during the second half who kept me going and not letting me quit (and called me silly for not taking any water at the water stop. HA)

That said, after talking with some peeps from the group post-race (see below picture), I’m still excited to get into a training mode for my half in early November. I also got a mini-massage on my achilles and hips because they’re acting up, no injury but just tightening.  Silly Dallas and all your concrete!

Oh yeah, in a race that I was not racing at all I got 4th AG. So maybe it was a race for me. Evidently my AG isn’t too competitive here.  Too bad I’m bumping up one this fall and it’ll get more competitive. Damn.

I went out to Ft. Worth that night with a friend (who ran the loop with me) and met up with a bunch of people, including a girl I went to college with.  We danced the night away! It was so much fun despite, out of all the people we hung out with I only knew two of the people. But I guess now I have more friends after that night.

The rest of the weekend was about recouping, both from the race and getting home from Saturday night at 0430 Sunday.

I got a little taste of home on Labor day, when I stepped out my door for a morning run: 67* and a nice crisp breeze. Yay for “cold fronts”

But after being here for close to 3 weeks now, with the lows in the 80s and the highs being 100+, it did almost felt chilly – guess I’m embracing the whole Texan thing.  I wanted to go for a mid-distance run (and I got it) but I also wanted to get some type of faster turnover and I figured that my legs should be adequately rested from the pace work on Saturday and would be ready for the group quality workout Wednesday if I did them today.

I settled for a minute-ladder: 1-2-3-3-2-1, with half recovery between them.  I toyed with the idea of doing it twice (because grand total my miles were around 10.7 and the above workout wouldn’t take that long) but after the last interval, I could take the second ladder or leave it.  So I left it. I’m second guessing my decision so if anyone has any input (*cough*FLO*cough) on what the “correct” thing to do was I’d love to hear it. I’m sure that if I took equal recovery for the intervals I’d have been able to do the second ladder but I’m never sure how much rest to take during speed sessions.

I figure that since I’m getting back into quality workouts, I think I’ve only done 4 or 5 speed ones including today, and that last week was my first “training week” with 92 miles. It might be good to ease back into it and work up to multiple ladders? On the other hand I ran over 10 total and maybe the long slow portion negated the faster minutes.

Who knows. I clearly overthink things. This morning was an even “chillier” one: 63*.  I was running and looking around expecting leaves to be changing and apples to be ripe for the pickin’.  No such luck.  This is Texas after all.  I got my 8+ in though.  I’m thinking of hitting up my standby neighborhood run (aka I can run on people’s grass and not concrete) later today when it’s *only* 80-something degrees out.

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” :

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.

May 22, 2011

Did You Miss Me?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:13

I took a longer hiatus than I wanted but I suppose 10 days is an eternity in the blog world to go without posting. What have I been doing in those 10 days? Well pounding the pavement, duh, among other things.

I don’t think I mentioned it last post, because I don’t think I knew when I hit publish, but that fall that caused the boulder to be lodged in my knee also cracked two ribs. Fabulous.  According to the doctor at the clinic I’ll be fully healed in 4-6 weeks post-fall provided that I don’t do anything silly.  Like cough or sneeze or laugh too hard. And up until last night I was doing well when I took a tumble while celebrating my roomie being done with her first year of her PhD program.  Luckily alcohol is a pretty good painkiller.

Before that though the pain was tolerable during the day.  Sleeping is still really tough.

I did ask when I could return to running and he said immediately, depending on my pain tolerance level.  Of course I run the risk of re-fracturing ’em but I can do that by hearing a good joke. I’m a sucker for a good joke, and I laugh at lots of things I probably shouldn’t.

Luckily my pain tolerance is pretty high and I’ve been getting the miles in.  Last week I worked less clinic nights than usual so I got out of work a couple days at 1600 and got to do some doubles.  While I love the long run (I did a 17 miler on Saturday!) there’s something mentally refreshing to do 6 miles before work and then tackle another 6 post-work. Because it’s “only” 6.

Which helped the lack of motivation because all last week I thought I was living in Seattle; it was so foggy every morning with rain in the afternoon/nights

Source: Projo

Which is why on Saturday, when the sun finally showed itself, I took advantage and ran long.  I didn’t intend to get go 17; my route was only planned for 13.  And during that loop I really didn’t think I’d be able to do more than that.

Newsflash: the sun and warm temps zap energy.

But, about a mile from my apartment, a few things happened to me

  1. I kicked a squirrel.  Well maybe I didn’t really kick it. It ran out of a bush and crashed into my ankle.  I actually have a bruise from it!
  2. I saw a few of the med students that volunteer at the clinic outside of a Starbucks.  Normally when I see people I know it doesn’t change the distance of my run (I just start to haul ass to not appear slow/tired etc) but I was going to a bbq put on my the med students that afternoon and wanted to brag.  Now to most people 13 miles qualifies as bragging.  But some of them had run the Providence marathon 3 weeks ago.  I needed to go big or go home.

Surprisingly the last 4 miles of my run were the best. I felt energetic and light.  Given how the mid-miles had felt I’d have thought that going for more was a stupid idea.  But maybe no? I actually ran around a lot at the bbq; playing frisbee, volleyball, AND boomerang, although one of the guys I was with got nailed on the nose. Champ as he is, he still played on with a nice battle wound

thanks google images.

Anyway, I left my last post saying that I was WAY stressed out, and to a certain degree I still am.  But some stressors are out of the way: I found a med student to sublet from so I’m no longer going to be homeless in July/August and my family stress is stable — still bad but stable for the next few weeks. I still have lots of unresolved stress but it’s nice to be able to put some things on the back burner.

I’m hoping things are looking up for now; I can’t guarantee another hiatus but I’m thinking that for now I’m back.  Off to go try and catch up on 10 days worth of blog by y’all!

May 9, 2011

PSA Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:19

Tie your shoelaces when running.  Otherwise this might happen

Or this

Or maybe don’t because it’ll be a good cover-up for drunk shenanigans and bruises incurred while consuming too much whiskey later that night. Small favors. Not that I’d know anything about shenanigans. But seriously: tie your shoelaces. Luckily the fall resulted in mostly a bruised ego.

Another PSA: always remember to wear sunscreen.  A lesson I learned the hard way the past few weeks in the nice weather. But a follow-up lesson: remember to REAPPLY the stuff. I’m lucky that I have my annual derm/skin appointment this week.  She (my doc) needs to scare me silly.

Running wise, I’m going at it.  Slow and steady.  Such is the norm.  I think my body is still reeling from the injury back in mid-March, the 2 week long illness I had around the same time and the huge miles I ran that month.  Oh and maybe a little thing called a marathon last month.

That said, I have been slowly ramping up the miles this past week.  I’m not doing anything with my pace right now, mostly because both my legs and mind balk every time I think I’m going to tackle it. But this past week saw the reintroduction of two things:

  • A double digit long run. Early last week I was planning on running 11.5 miles but the really nice weather, coupled with some fresh legs, forced me to tack on an extra 2.5.  FOURTEEN.  And the pace was decent too.  It’s funny how some runs can be so on with both distance and pace while others (*ahem*sunday*run) seem to falter from the get-go.
  • Doubles.  On Friday, after Cinco de Mayo, I had planned on running after work (Fridays are half days for me) but I woke up at 0615 anyway.  Blahhhh. So I got up and went out for a quick run before work and then completed my miles post-work, for a grand total of 12 on that day.  I was planning on 12 anyway but it’s soooo mentally easy breaking up the run as such.

Overall the motivation to GO and the overall pace of my runs is blah.  I’m trying to embrace the blah. There’s too much going on in other aspects of my life to fight this. Maybe I would if I had a big goal race on the docket but I don’t.  C’est la vie.

And, since work is wicked busy today, that’s all you’re going to get.  This weekend, aside from emerging banged up, my roomie and I actually cooked/baked.  Funny how last week I wrote that I really didn’t enjoy it and now I have a recipe to post.  I guess I really don’t like just cooking for one, or cooking by myself, because this was fun.

Off to go apply my new favorite beauty product (seriously. This stuff is GENIUS)

thanks google images

March 14, 2011

So much for a cutback week, right? At least there was Pi(e)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:18

Well at least it was a cutback week in terms of intensity, as I was going to originally call this post “the week of the 10 minute miles” because that’s what all my runs hovered around with the exception of a really long LR.  If any of y’all are my facebook friends then you already know that I banged out 24 miles (well 24.2 to be exact) on Saturday. It was a great run to end “the week of the 10 minute miles”.

Guess I’m feeling better, no?

I spent Friday night in a low key fashion but still managed to get to bed really late. Funny how that works.  So late that when I got up Saturday morning….well I didn’t.  I mean, I woke up but didn’t drag my butt out of bed until about noon.  And then decided to go for a run and let my legs decide how far I was going to go because I wasn’t really into the idea of running at all.  But I knew in the back of my mind it’d make me feel better.  And it did.

Since I had been sick earlier in the week (and still have the sniffles now!) I wasn’t sure how far I could make it but I figured I’d start with a nice, pretty 13.5 mile loop then see what would happen beyond that point.  The weather was FIFTY (five-zero) during it and it was the first run of the year without gloves on.  Gotta love that!

I don’t have many thoughts about the run as I was running it (or rather I’m sure I did and I’m jealous of those of you who can remember what you’re thinking about during your runs!), except that I was *incredibly* thirsty.  Like really REALLY thirsty.  Maybe it’s a sign that I should start carrying water with me, or at least find routes that have water fountains. Or simply hydrate well the night/day before as I’ve never had the problem of being thirsty on a run before.

But despite being thirsty (after the run I drank lots and lots of sports drink and water….which made my tummy hurt because I drank it so fast! hah!) physically the run was great.  No aches and pains, I kept the pace manageable for a long run and consistent with how my long runs have been lately (hovering around 9:00 pace).  Distance wise, this run was not the longest I’ve gone (duh a marathon is) but time was it was about 90 seconds slower than my first marathon (which was my slowest).  It may be neither here nor there but I think that it’s cool / interesting that I am capable of running 2 miles MORE in LESS time.

As I said, physically my body could handle it but mentally it was a tough run.  I thought about quitting after each loop that passed me by my apartment (I did 4 loops total: 13.5, 4.4, 4.1, 2.2).  The fact that I didn’t quit after any of them (and I actually thought about going for another 2 to say I’d done a marathon 😉 ) makes me think I earned some type of mental toughness award.

Or lots of this, as my friends and I celebrated Pi day a few days early on Saturday:

PI(E) DAY (which is 3.14 by the way)

this image will probably be edited once better ones (of the other table (!!)) go on facebook hah!

Anyway, before the party but after the run I did something I’ve sworn up and down that I’d never do…take an ICE BATH.  Yeah, I’d definitely never had one before 1612 on Saturday afternoon.  Mostly because I hate being cold but also because I recover really quickly from things in general (I’ve never been really sore after races…or sore at all I guess) but since I had been running for quite awhile (and there was a bag of ice in the freezer) I figured why not.

Ummmm brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


Okay okay maybe it wasn't this bad. I wasn't fully submerged. Thank god. And thanks google images (although I vaguely recall this image being from a House, MD episode)

I think I whimpered as I hopped in and my roomie definitely shouted “it’s an ICE BATH.  What did you think it would feel like?!” hahah.  But I survived by listening to music and trying to read a book.  After *exactly* 20 minutes I hopped out and turned the shower on and HOT about a half hour later.  Does that negate the usefulness of the ice bath? I sure hope not!

I’m not quite sure if it did anything because, as I already mentioned, I recover quick from workouts in general.  My left knee was a bit cranky when I got up on Sunday and I’m pretty tired overall.  But that can also be blamed on: pi party and time change.  So who knows.  But at least I know now that I definitely will be able to finish Boston in 5 (!!) weeks.

At least according to that long run.  This mornings run was tough.  Maybe not so much mentally but my left leg is feeling a bit tight so it was hard to feel like I was moving…well I don’t really ever move gracefully but you know what I mean.  So it was a slooooooooooow run for sure.  No sore muscles yesterday or today (so maybe the ice bath did something? Maybe I recover really well?) but just a tightness.  Same tightness as last December after WR but in the other leg.  Therefore we all know what I should do tonight: ice, stretch, roll.  I’ve actually been stretching  (and using a tennis ball!) here at work.  Fingers crossed it works!

P.S. I have been absolutely terrible at replying to your comments. It’s something on my to-do list for this week!

March 4, 2011

Sometimes I Wish There Was…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 10:38

…a “like” button for the comments section of blogs.  Well maybe not because I’d like them all BUT Miss Zippy told me yesterday

Let me add that one day, Charlie Sheen’s brain may be in the Mutter! ; )

which merged my new favorite website and my new favorite museum. Word.  I have spent far too much time clicking the Charlie head! Currently my favorite quote is “I’m alive. Bring it.” Or “There’s a new sheriff in town. And he has an army of assassins.” CLASSIC.

Also classic? My Tuesday and Thursday workouts.  AKA Tempo (or GMP / threshold / as fast as I can go for ~6 miles) Tuesday and Long Run Thursday.


  • Warm up
  • 6.8 miles @ 7:37 pace (2.2 mile @ 7:50, 2.2 @ 7:22, 1.2 @ 7:41, 1.2 @ 7:23)
  • Warm down

Again a “meh” from me. I woke up on Tuesday morning by oversleeping. Or rather re-setting my alarm about a minute before it was supposed to go off.  For about an hour or so (that totally takes dedication there as I’ve disabled the snooze function so I have to manually reset the darn thing). Oh well.

And it was really tough to get into this workout initially.  Intertia (heeeeeeeeeeeeello physics nerd!).  At this point I actually hadn’t read the majority of your comments suggesting a cut back week or cutting out the hard stuff this week but I was thinking of nixing the tempo/whatever anyway.  I actually did have a major cutback week 2 weeks ago where I ran miles less than the week before (by 30 miles) and the week after (by about 20 miles). I do plan on taking another cutback week (and reducing the speed/hard work that week as well) but I think part of the reason I’m worn down is emotional/mental rather than physical.

Because it was my mind that really REALLY wasn’t in the first portion of the tempo (aka lots on my mind lately that’s been distracting) and my legs then decided to jump on that bandwagon.  But once I rounded that corner (literally as it was a turnaround after 2.2 miles) I was able to pick things up a bit by thinking POSITIVE.  Once I did that (as well as staying FOCUSED) my legs seemed to perk up. I also find it funny that the first and third paces above are similar as are the second and fourth.  I blame it on the way I run my route: the first and third portions above are “first halves” of loops and I tend to slack a bit because I’m scared of crashing and burning.

But, like last week, I’m okay with the pace of the tempo/threshold/whatever not being what WR was.  I’m getting okay with the training being what it is.

Thursday – 22.2 miles total

  • 10 miles @ 8:57 pace
  • 10 miles @ 9:06
  • 2.2 miles @ 9:00

While the pace is MUCH slower than I wanted (I blame a very emotionally draining Wednesday night) at least they were pretty consistent.  Or at least consistent as much as a 22 mile run can be.  I actually thought the last route (the 2.2 one) was faster.  Because I was putting in more effort.  But nope.  Oh well.  I was working hard anyway.  Nothing felt off and I actually felt like this was a good positive run even if the numbers “disagree” with me.

Wednesday and Friday were the standard recovery runs. Lots of boringness.

Maybe kind of sort of like this post.  And my workouts.  I need some spice.  I’ve taken Jess’s suggestion of taking Boston as a fun race and I really REALLY like that idea.  Like I mentioned above it’s helping me not take my workouts as “be all to end all” and hopefully that will let me jump into doing workouts / wrapping my head around trying new training stuff out.  That’s spice right?

I’ll leave you with this video that my roomie and I watched the other night.  I can’t believe I had never really watched any Flight of the Conchords stuff before.  Hil-ar-ious!

February 25, 2011

Apparently none of y’all say “wagon”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:22

I think it’s a my-family thing though rather than regional. What can I say. My family is weird. Sure I’ll defend them to my grave, but they’re weird.  And for those of you who asked, yes I say “bubbler” and “frappe” and “wicked”. Yes I may want to move the heck out of here but it will forever have a place in my heart ❤

Anyway. Moving on.

To things I want to recap on.  I’m going to do it bullet style because the last time I did a running post (or even a real post in general) was over a week ago and I’m 99.9342% sure that there’s no way I can make smooth transitions.  And y’all will get the highlights…or the funny-lights because I’m sure that somethings aren’t exactly going to be true high points. At least not when they were happening!

  • PHILADELPHIA was an absolute BLAST.  That is, of course, once I got there.  My bus ride took 8.5 hours because the driver decided to go through NYC during rush hour traffic. I was in the Bronx for 2 hours.  But, once I got to my friend’s house I was a-okay for the rest of the weekend.  There was lots (and I mean LOTS) of drinking. But some shopping and museum going and movie watching and gossiping/giggling. The coolest part was going to the Mutter Museum which, for those of you who aren’t going to click the Wiki link, is a medical museum located in the Center City area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It contains a collection of medical oddities, anatomical and pathological specimens, wax models, and antique medical equipment (thanks wikipedia!).  It was SO COOL.  And did I mention the drinking? Because taking the train into the city that day, well, let’s just say I didn’t think it was going to happen. So of course that means I did not run one step. And that’s not sarcasm

The girls!

  • On Monday when I got back to Boston I ended up having dinner with my family due to the train schedule being silly for the holiday.  I got a great 7 miler in my old stomping grounds that night, although my hometown has banned streetlights to save money (eyeroll) which I didn’t know about.  Needless to say that the end of the run was a bit faster than the start.  Oh, and I also karaoked the following song.  Stone. Cold. Sober (because I was the driver that night). I think that’s pretty impressive.
  • Despite not sleeping at all over the weekend as well as that Monday I still decided to tackle my Tuesday tempo workout.  With varying success.  I did, in fact, sleep in about an hour and a half later than usual. Didn’t change the results of the workout though.  I guess that the workout ended up being a GMP one.  Per usual at this point. The fast portion was 6.6 miles @ an average of 7:37 pace (2.2 @ 7:41, 2.2 @ 7:24, 2.2 @ 7:46).  Just like last week the middle 2.2 was way faster than the first or third.  Weird. And meh.  At this point I’ve given up hope of having stellar threshold runs.  I’ll just try to hold on until Boston.
  • The same thing goes for the long runs.  I mean, they are definitely *not* going poorly. Especially since yesterday’s 21 miles @ 8:50 pace is any indication.  I did do the typical long run fade in the middle miles (which is funny because with my tempos/GMP it’s the opposite: see above) but the last mile was run in 8:20 so I’m happy.  If I can finish the marathon strong I’ll be happy.
  • My recovery workouts have been going well too.  They’ve been faster than I expect which, under normal circumstances, would be great.  But given how I’m not over-whelmed with joy over my hard workouts I kind of look at my faster easy paces a little skeptically.  Not that I’m upset with how my tempos/GMP/LR/intervals have been going but sometimes I feel like I’m not *really* in training.  I don’t know if that makes sense but it does in my head. So there.
  • Maybe this will light a fire under my butt in my quality workouts: YAY for my new Boston confirmation with updated (WR) time coming in the mail this week.

And with that I’m about to finish up my work week and go for a nice recovery run in the pouring rain.  Hopefully everyone has a fun-filled weekend! I’m definitely planning on taking it a bit easy after my weekend in Philly last week.  I am going to see a friend perform in a play tonight and then hopefully grab a drink after.  And then do some rockclimbing, maybe tomorrow. Very low-key.  Fingers crossed.

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!

February 7, 2011

This Is What It Feels Like To Be An Old Person

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:35

aka the words from my friend after our 20 miler on Sunday.

Which, by the way, was awesome.  The weather was pretty basically springtime: 45* and SUN.  The snow / ice was melting so there were lots of rivers to jump through.  And mud.  The smell of spring was in the air.

And the feeling of training within my grasp.

It’s probably not a shocker to y’all that I’ve been struggling with my mojo lately.  Especially with the running.  Without spilling the details over the internet, I’ll leave it that life has gotten pretty stressful over the past month.  *Nothing serious or earthshattering or bad*  Just really busy and, at times, overwhelming.  So naturally that’s been spilling into my running and lots of why I think my motivation has been lost.  And that the posting / commenting / replying has decreased slightly. I promise I’m playing catch-up!

But that taste of glorious.  It’s hard to not enjoy running and feel all gung-ho about training when it’s like this out

thanks google images

And what a run it was.  I was originally going to only do 18 or so but just felt like going further.  I actually ran the entire thing with a friend.  She was only going to run the first 13 with me but at that point she decided that she “was committed to the entire 20 with you“.  So props to her!

I’m not sure if I would have run faster or slower without her.  And we actually ran MORE than 20 but she was using her garmin ( it was awesome not running a pre-set route, exploring!, and mapping it out beforehand and pray that it’s not a highway.)   I might have to invest, or at least beg as a gift for some holiday in the future. and forgot to turn it off after a stoplight, so it was more like 20.8 or so.  But since I’m silly I convinced her to go 20.00 according to the garmin.  But we finished strong. And happy. I mean, it was spring here after all.

  • 20 miles in 2:56:41 @ 8:50 pace

Sure, I wish that I was faster but there were the Providence hills and we hit just about everyone of them.  Not complaining here, on the contrary I need them!, but the garmin showed that we hit very slow paces going up them.  Especially when they hit at mile 17.

But I have the first 20 of the cycle under my belt.  And it feels good.  I am in training!  This week was the first good week of training that I’ve done: solid tempo on Tuesday, intervals on Thursday and LR on Sunday.  Hizzah. My legs did also feel shaky after the 20 which, to me, means I pushed myself.  And that feels good too.  Hopefully this can stay put. Especially as I gear up for my ever-so-favorite workout tomorrow: the tempo.

Also feeling good? How bamf I am at rockcliming.  I went rockclimbing in lieu of running on Saturday and, yet again, it was a blast.  But my arms were friiiiied by the end.  Such a pleasant fried though.  And the bruises that I’m racking up (which I don’t ever seem to remember banging into stuff) are soooooooooooo totally bamf.  I am sooo totally in love with climbing.  I cannot wait to go again!


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