MarathonMaiden's Blog

March 22, 2011

Motivational Issues and One Heck of a Nutcracker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 18, 2010

Boston Marathon 2010 Race Expo (and PICTURES)

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

So yesterday I got up nice and early at 0800.  Maybe for some people that’s early (aka all my friends) BUT for me (and likely lots of you who read my blog) that’s a most excellent sleep-in.

Due to worries about my shin I’ve decided to nix any “shake-out” runs this weekend.  It majorly sucks to not have a 3-5 miler to look forward to in helping me focus in on the race but hey, I’m going to do what it takes to get me, not only to the starting line, but the finish line as well.  And with the left shin being cranky lately it’s probably just as well.

Before I go into the RACE EXPO on Saturday I want to say thanks for the comments, both “go for the freaking 3:29:59” and the “enjoy the experience because you’ve worked so hard” ones.  I haven’t written off a PR or anything like that but I’m just trying to be realistic and accept that “que sera sera”.  Who knows maybe I’ll have the race of my life, maybe I’ll crash and burn.  At this point I honestly think it could go either way and it’s comforting to know that you guys have my back 🙂

Now onto this sucker:


Like I said I got up at 0800 Saturday morning and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast as I didn’t have a workout to complete or rush around to get in before leaving.  Around 0930 (after dragging this girlie outta bed)

I told her to smile and this is what I got. Guess she wasn't awake yet

We got to the expo via the T which was the easiest thing to do.  For those of you who aren’t from Boston the T = subway = easiest way to get around.  Plus I hate driving in general so a drive into the city? Pretty basically hell on earth.  So we arrived stress-free (well almost as I though I lost la hermana at the T stop!) and ready to go.

Yay! There were so.many.people. Obviously I know that Boston has a huge field but man! Not only do I hate driving but I hate crowds.  Secretly though I was hoping that all the people would make me pumped for the race because I haven’t been feeling nervous or excited. Like I mentioned yesterday, this is normal for me but I still wanted to feel that butterfly feeling that others have been talking about.  Instead the sight of all the people was practically panic attack inducing. Especially considering my last marathon (Providence 09) was a teeny tiny race compared to this beast.  That expo was in a hotel lobby.  With about 6 sponsors and 3 vendors.  Way small.

But it was still way cool to see all the people and such.  It was funny on the T because most of the people were heading to the expo and there was a sense of camaraderie even though it was mildly stressful. I picked up my number and race bag and t-shirt

Doubles as my check-in bag for race day

With these goodies inside, plus a bunch of those annoying coupon/ads

Official program, spectator guide, water, medal and rice. Yes rice.

You'll just have to wait until post-race day (or go online) to see what this baby looks like.

Ditto about waiting ’til post-race to see my actual jacket.  The only reason I opened that packet is because I needed to make sure the size I ordered was correct.

and then hit up the massive expo.

I didn’t take many (read: any) pictures of the expo booths.  Nothing really exciting. Standard stuff.  Although I will say that I didn’t think there was enough FREE STUFF.  Major bummer.  I did walk away with some loot though.  And basically anything that was free I took huge quantities of.

Fooooood.  AKA: 4 (well 5 but I ate one) Odwalla Berries GoMega bars, 4 (lucky number duh) of the following Tea2Gos: Green Tea Pomegranate, Ice Tea Natural Lemon, Lemonade, Passionfruit, Cranberry Pomegranate, Fruit Punch, and Wild Berry Pomegranate, Planters Cranberry Almond Peanut Bar, Everlast Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch and Everlast E-Drenaline energy shot

So enough to look impressive but given the size of the expo I was disappointed that there wasn’t more. And maybe there was and it was just hiding from me.

There was also some pain management stuff

Topricin creme which is supposed to be anti-inflammatory and help with healing.  Not too sure about it but the guy was really enthusiastic and didn’t object when I loaded my bag full of them.  I plan on using them on my shin.  Anything to help right? And pain relief patches which I plan on using in the week post-marathon.

Children’s Hospital also had a booth and I stocked up.  I’m in love with Children’s, I interned there over the summer and went there for my shin.  I was bummed that I missed the doctor who looked at my shin’s lecture but there were many other lectures on the medicine of running.  Way cool.

Children's loot, en español también

So that’s the stuff I walked away with.  And I didn’t spend a DIME on other stuff.  It helped that I had $1.34 in my wallet and no credit/debit card.  Seriously.

But my sister and I managed to have fun without spending money.  Yay. So here’s a picture medley from that

Yay I win!

Yeah, some friends of mine.

No big deal or anything

And we also found some really inspiration stuff.  Which I had hoped would feed into a sense of excitement and it sort of did.  But I’m going to have to accept that I’m a get-butterflies-on-race-day gal.

Below this guy was a wall where people signed good luck / inspirational / funny messages to other runners. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the whole wall buttttt people don’t pay attention to where they’re walking and I kept getting head shots.  (Actually I kept getting head shots all day.  Or rather my sis did (my camera beyotch). It’s miraculous she got as many as she did!)

Here's what I wrote to my fellow runners :)

My sister wrote one for me.  I’m not going to post the pic I took of it as it has my bib number on it and I don’t want that to be circulated (don’t know who’s reading this aka crazies) but it said “# You run this hard. Good Luck!”.  And too think that I complain about my sibs all the time! Another writer wrote “Whoop Whoop!” For whatever reason I found this funny and laughed and laughed and laughed.  Guess I’m weird.

All in all we weren’t really at the expo for all that long.  Sadly I didn’t get to see anyone that I “knew” although I did keep my eyes peeled.  And since I wasn’t in the mood to spend any money we did a few laps on the convention center and then left.  I did take a picture of myself with the race course in the background but my sis wanted me to hold up my race number so I’m not going to post the picture.  I will say that it’s my favorite one.  So if I know you (aka I’m comfortable to email and text with you and you want to see it then email me 🙂 ) But all-in-all a great day.

[EDIT: So upon the advice of Laura, who told me to photo edit scribble out the number, I realized I could just cut the lower half of me out.  So it’s basically a head shot haha]

Kind of small but you can click to enlarge

Especially a great day since when we got home we hit up the gym for a half-hour of easy cycling to shake out my legs (for me and it really was easy.  I think I only hit 7 or 8 miles) and a half hour of running (for her).  And even nicer was that we went to the gym I work at so it was all free.  Yay.  After our cardio we did an abs circuit.  It felt really great to be able to spend so much time with her today.  As much as the day was about me and Boston it felt fantastic to be with her.  I don’t get to do that often being away at school and when I lived full-time at home my relations were very contentious with la familia.

Holy Word Count Batman! But before I wrap this up (and I thank you for sticking with me in this) I also got a massage today.  Which made me miss the RW forumites dinner.  Oops.  But I think that my shin will thank me because my massage therapist (who is a good friend) really worked my shin real good.  Like I needed it.  She did other stuff with my legs but my shin reallyreallyreally needed this.  So I apologize to the RW peeps!! I didn’t get out of the massage until 1900 and after showering it was almost 2000! But I think some stuff might go down today? *FingersCrossed*

So before I get the hook from you (is that image appropriate for a blog?!) I’ll just leave you with this picture as I don’t know what my plans are for the day.  Obviously rest, ice and massage.  As well as putting together the race day outfit, affixing my chip & bib and packing stuff for race day.  Exciting stuff no?But the next time you’ll hear from me is post-race. Eeeeeeek.

And I’ll say hope you guys are having a great weekend 🙂

March 18, 2010

Ehhhhh. And *THAT’S* my GMP?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:31

I loved reading all your thoughts on my last post regarding marathon age. Many of you had some great thoughts and while I go back and forth as to the whole “Should I be marathoning now? Is it right for me at the moment?” I thought you guys had some great insight and wise words that will be in the back of my head.  Granted the whole question/debate thing isn’t something that consumes my thoughts but every once in awhile it pops into my head and it’s really nice to have other opinions.

Today was met with an “eh”. Since I’m home and always want to lug the least amount of stuff from school to here, I opted to leave my clock radio back at school.  Which leaves me clockless at home.  Yes I set my alarm on my cell phone but in the middle of the night I’m sure as heck not getting out of bed to satisfy my curiosity.

Sidenote: The line “curiouser and curiouser” just popped into my head.  Alice in Wonderland was pretty darn good and I’d recommend seeing it.   Maybe I’m skewed because I saw it in IMAX 3-D though which can make any movie good. I wouldn’t see it again but I was happy that I did see it.  Definitely worth the money.

Anyway the whole point of my talking about the clock was that I woke up sometime before my alarm.  It was light outside so I knew it had to be post-7 but since my alarm hadn’t gone off yet it wasn’t quite 0730.  But since I am lazy I wasn’t going to get up to check my cell.  It was really nice to wake up by myself and I think I got 9 hours (!!) I can’t remember the last time I got 9 hours of sleep.  Way too long.

Silly me though didn’t realize that Thursday = only day of break with no real obligations aka no appointments.  So I still decided to tackle the tempo run I had on tap first thing.  Who knows if things would have turned out differently if I had given myself sometime to wake up, eat a little etc.  Then again the weather got warm again today and that might have let the run play out similarly as my body isn’t used to the extreme changes in temp.  I need some time to adapt!

In any case the tempo flew out the window and was replaced by a GMP run.  Part of it was the length of the actual workout portion.  I thought that 2 of my running routes were cleared of water / not affected.  Apparently I was wrong and severely underestimated how much rain we got.  Yes I can quote the number but it doesn’t really mean anything until you’re faced with knee deep water in the roads. Or as was the case with me. So I had to make an adjustment which tacked on more miles than I was planning.

Without further ado here it is:

  • 3.1 mile warm up @ 10:12
  • 7.8 mile GMP @ 7:59
  • 3.1 mile warm down @ 9:01

In complete contrast to yesterday’s workout where I felt so sluggish but was pleasantly surprised by a good pace. Although I guess I shouldn’t say complete contrast because I knew I wasn’t hauling for a tempo pace.  Part of it was the length, I’m pretty sure I dipped slow during the mid miles before finding the Last Mile Party.  And part of it was the damned hills around me. I know I don’t live in a really hilly area but where I was forced to run today had some pretty considerable ones.  I’m not used to it.

But good Boston training 😉

So while I’m pissed that I couldn’t do a solid tempo I’m okay with the workout as a whole.  It was another steady-state run.  Both with the pace and the distance.  Much longer than what I wanted to do tempo-wise so I guess it was a good thing that the pace responded as well. I will say, though, that it did feel semi-hard.  Not quite sure when I said that 3:29:59 was my goal that I really thought it through.  Hold that pace for a marathon? HA. So I have to just put my trust in the fact that I’ll be able to run 26.2 miles at that pace. I know factors leading up to the race will play a role buttt it’s just so hard to believe that it’ll happen that way.

And before I go finish packing (because yes I’m going back to school tonight. It’s like getmeouttahere!!) I want to mention that I have my first PT appointment tomorrow.  I keep being amazed at how fast I’m able to be getting into to see people about my shin/ankle.  It’s an evaluation appointment so it’ll mostly be the PT getting familiar with me and my specific problems but I’m sure that I’ll gain something from it right off the back knowledge/info wise.  And I’m really looking forward to the e-stim that they’re going to do 🙂

Because I got a second massage today and I think that some more layers of the tightness onion have been peeled.  My calves are still hard as rocks but there is some softening which is good.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get some more of that out on my own and with the help of PT.  Plus she was able to spend sometime on the “bum ankle” and I think that whatever she did on Monday was really positive because she said she could notice a difference in the sight of it ie) less puffy.  And the area was less tender.  So I’m thinking that the combo of her massage + ice + ibuprofen + compression socks at night really are making a difference.

And I’ll leave you with that as I really should go pack hah! I’m not even going to proofread this sucker so I apologize for any spelling or grammatical stuff 😛

March 15, 2010

Spring Break? Really? You Don’t Say

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:32

Ughhhh. Now before I say this I’m going to preface it with: I know that some of you have it worse and get up wayyyy earlier than I did today. But when you have been naturally waking up on your own for the past 8-10 weeks (even if it’s still sleep deprivation as I physically can’t sleep in) an alarm clock sucks.  I don’t care if it’s 0400, 1000 or even past noon. Alarm = suckage.  So I won’t try to have a pissing contest to see who gets up earlier.  Suffice it to say: it was earlier than a natural wake-up, dark out (stupid DST) and incredibly painful.

Butttt I felt the need to get a good hard run in before my sports med appointment this morning.  My mentality was a stupid one: god forbid the doctor tell me I can’t run for a bit, I wanted to have a solid run in. Go ahead: berate me all you want but I know most of you would have done it too. (That said, I wasn’t entirely stupid about it and if I actually thought I was seriously hurting myself then DUH I wouldn’t have.  But I was really freaking myself out the past two nights over the what-ifs so I went into today with the above mentality)

Alas the monsoon still rages outside.  That coupled with absolute darkness made the gym a good choice.  So I pulled on some cute gym clothes (because even in the wee hours of the morning you never know who you’re going to run into *coughhotboyscough* at the gym).  AKA I threw on a lime green bra and a white t-shirt which would subsequently show off said bra when I got all sweaty (aka 5 minutes into the run).  Go ahead: call me a lady of the night or something similar 🙂

The run went really well.  Yesterday I think I noted that there was absolutely no shin pain and I’m likely to think the cause is that I started off the run slower than a typical TM run.  So I did the same thing today.  There was still calf soreness (interestingly in the OTHER calf aka not the shiny-shin-shin one. Compensation for something maybe?) but nothing that changed my stride.  I cruised through some miles (while watching Angel and Charmed. Ummm how could I forget how awesome those shows are?!) until it was time to head off to my appointment.

I also did some corework.  I usually do core when I lift on Mondays but since today was so jammed packed I knew I wouldn’t have time to get back to the gym to lift.  Not such a big deal (I mean I HATE skipping workouts) but I figure core = most important part, so I still got that in.

I had just enough time to inhale a breakfast, change my clothes into something dry (still in workout clothes haha) and dash off to my appointment.  I might have been able to shower butttt I hate being on-time (in my opinion early = on time and on-time = late. If you’re actually late, don’t even bother showing up at all) so I nixed it.  Good call because all the flooding closed some roads and I arrived just in the nick of time (aka 10 minutes early hahah)

SO. This is the part you’ve probably wanted to read.  The Appointment.  The doctor was really nice and first did a visual exam of my right ankle/shin (affected) compared to the left (normal).  I explained what I was training for yada yada yada (including my mileage and intensity as well as my goals for the race) and told him my concerns: that I thought it was just shin splints but it’s been going on for 3 weeks, changing shoes didn’t help and now I’m worried that it could be more serious.

He made me do some toe walks, heel walks, heel stomping etc. and asked about pain level.  No pain, but it feels all bruised and tender.  Comme d’habitude. He then started poking and prodding trying to elicit a “jump off the table” response.  I mean, I could feel it (felt like a bruise and tender but nothing painful).  I was sent for x-rays (yes I know stress fractures don’t typically show up BUT from working at this very department last summer I know doctors have to do it.  Mostly for insurance purposes so that the companies will pay for pricier tests down the road. It shows that the doctor tried to go alternate routes. Lame but whatevs.)

The x-rays were negative (duh).  He said that it was highly unlikely that it was a stress fracture though given the results of what he had made me do prior to the x-rays weren’t in line.  I knew this deep in my gut but it was really nice to hear a medical professional say it. Regardless: BIG SIGH OF RELIEF.

He did say that because there’s swelling and inflammation in the area that he thinks I sprained it at some point (very minorly though, just enough to cause an acute inflammatory response) and that the restriction in my motion has caused the other problems. Aka shin tenderness on both sides of the ankle.

The fix? PT.  I walked out of there with a ‘script and I know that someone is going to “yell” at me (insert eye roll here) but I’ll start that next week when I get back to school and can see a therapist on a regular basis.  I was also told to keep ace bandaging it during running, icing, ibuprofen (as long as my stomach can handle it).  In addition I was told to ace bandage it a couple times over the course of the day just to try and push out the inflammation.

Exercise wise…he told me to basically start the taper now.  At this point he said that it was a risk vs reward and while he certainly isn’t telling me NOT to go through with the next two weeks as planned, he said to play it by ear. I asked what workouts I could do if I had to not run and he said the whole thing comes down to (running and XT)not being in pain (which I am not in at the moment). If it hurts, stop. If I get localized pain, stop and come right back to him. He said that it also comes down to what my goals are.  Clearly I want to race Boston sooooo….yeah.

I’m torn though.  And I feel like I want to put that out there.  I debated for quite sometime where or not to be honest with those feelings or just grin and bear it on the blog because I know many of you are going to be harsh and whatnot when I say that (even if it’s not intended that way, it’s the internet and it’s how I perceive it).  But I want this blog to be honest.  I’m not saying I’m going to disregard what the doc is telling me (I was very impressed with him both researching him online as well as in person.  He’s even giving a lecture at Boston!) butttttt I’m sure you guys “know” me well enough to know that this is a hard thing to wrap my head around.

So here’s what I’m going to do: play it by ear but I’m not sure if I can mentally handle going into the taper 5 weeks from the race.  Like I said yesterday, I’m not sure I can wrap my head around a 3 week taper. But rest assured, I’m not going to do anything stupid.  I mean, as much as I liked this doctor, I think I can live without having to see him again. 🙂

I will say that despite the torn-ness over the whole taper issue, I am feeling very optimistic about the whole appointment.  And I’ll say this again in big bold letters: I AM NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING STUPID. I am going to play it by ear.  And work with a PT.  So please know that I am taking care of this thing. (Can you tell how much I don’t want to be “yelled” at haha?). Your advice, as always, is welcome.  But please don’t bash me.

Side note: And I think it’s important to note that even if I do “severely” cut back (which I don’t have to do at this point) I’m still going to be logging huge miles simply because I’m at such a high level now.  This past week was…112.7. And a double side note: I know that there’s not way I can keep that up, ankle or not.

After that appointment (and hooray if you’re still reading this marathon of a post haha) I grabbed a quick lunch and headed over to my massage.  And boy was it glorious.  I told her to really only work on my calves.  Yes the butt, hamstring and quads need (and did get) work but with my calves being as tight as they are I wanted the focus there.

It. Felt. Glorious. I mean, my calves were as hard as rocks and soooo tender but a lot of work was done today.  I’m sure I’ll be feeling it in the morning and I tentatively scheduled another one for Thursday (provided that she’s free then).  The last 20 minutes of the session she even dedicated solely to my “bum” ankle.  By the end there was no swelling at all.  Sure once gravity took over it was a bit bigger again butttt I know that getting the old “gunk” out is a good thing.

Wow. Long ass post.  I guess today was such a busy day and I had a lot to say about.  Since getting up I’ve spent a grand total of 1/2 hour at home between appointments and whatnot.  That means that pretty much since getting up I haven’t showered.  Ewwww I am stinky.  So I’m going to go do that and then head over to a friend’s house for some 24 action.  It should be fun because, since the semester was so crazy busy so far for the both of us, we haven’t been able to watch 24 together (or really do much together!). Andddd her family is my family.  It’s going to be a good night!

And (gosh MM, can this post get any longer?!) I apologize to those who have emailed me lately.  I really haven’t had the time to thoughtfully reply (that also goes for replying to comments. I have read them but I haven’t had a chance to reply yet!).  Or really had the time to do much lately so I apologize for those blogs that I couldn’t comment on today — I didn’t turn my computer on until 1600 and the volume of unread blogs was staggering.  Y’all keep busy!

And it’s spring break?! This busy-ness needs to change haha.

December 30, 2009

Distance FAIL. But the streak continues

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:31

Wow surprisingly not sore.  Last night when I was lounging around my calves were sooooooo sore from the massage.  Like so sore I didn’t want to move at all.  Even a slight flexing caused my muscle to feel a stretch. My soleus muscle (in both calves) just did not want to relax at all during the massage.  But I knew that going in because that area is always a problem area for me.  I did set up another appt for Friday.  My legs really need it!

And I really think a large part of me not being sore today is that I wore my cheap-ass varicose vein compression socks for a large part of the afternoon / evening yesterday.  I don’t feel a day-to-day difference using them but in moments like this I really do think that I’m doing something right. Because, oh man, it hurt to think about moving last night after the workout and massage.

I think part of the reason I’m extra tight lately is the weather.  Can I just say that I’m sick of the switching up of temperatures? I mean, as much as I hate the cold I’d rather have it consistently be frigid rather than the up / down game of late.  Earlier this week it was 50* (!!).  I woke up this morning to -5*.  Brrrrrrrr. My muscles just bunch right up when it’s this cold. But it’s sunny out and sun trumps the cold. It was a balmy 16* when I left my house. Whoop!

I was even sweating at points on my run! Which, by the way, was an epic failure to keep it at a lower mileage.  I set out on an 8 route but just kept going.  I think that part of it is that my body doesn’t feel like it’s got the kinks out until, like, mile 4 or something.  So if I want to keep my miles low I feel like I’m being cheated out of miles because right around the time I’m feeling great it’s about time to stop.  Anyone else feel that way? It’s not a recent thing for me as I’ve “complained” about this since high school when the daily runs were around 4 or 5.  I just never got to feel loose and relaxed ever. But now I can.  Because I’m doing all this high miles.

Which, question, is there a point where I really should say “hey I need to not run so much?” Because

  • A)I’m not injured
  • B) I show no signs of overtraining
  • C) I really am enjoying all these runs and there isn’t a point where I’m dreading lacing up the shoes.

I guess this is something that’s individual in nature but I’m dying to know what you guys think. Particularly those who are logging around the miles I am or have in the past. I know I know: I keep pondering this and maybe I should let it go but people keep telling me that I’m going so hard so I’ve started to believe it and not trust that my body is okay with what I’m doing.

But I’ve been internally debating this, whether or not  / how much to back off, lately and I’ve decided that I probably should, even if the only reason is to make a distinct break before Boston.  But it feels so good. Then again I’m sure a crack addict would say the same thing. Such a fine line between going hard in a smart way and a stupid way!

I took the pace to be conservative because I wasn’t sure how my muscles were going to really feel once they were being used.  And it would have been stupid to push pace after such a challenging workout yesterday. I ended up with a slightly faster-than-target-lr pace but slightly slower than ideal-gold-mental-standard pace.  Right in the middle of the two actually so the best of both worlds. And it felt right where I needed to be.  Despite my semi-disappointment with not sticking to 8 miles I’m happy that I didn’t beat myself up over a “less than ideal pace” and I was able to listen to my body and speed up/slow down when and where I needed to. Sans judgment.

Like I said above the sun was shining and there wasn’t much wind so it made it really easy to feel like I was going easy.  Sometimes the wind can be really demoralizing as well as the cold.  It seems to force me to expend more effort to hit the same pace.  Which is fine but I’m such a numbers chica that I’m always trying to keep paces and don’t really take into account the fact that x pace today means a particular effort and x pace tomorrow might be a much harder effort. I’m so cerebral that I don’t always listen to my body cues.  But that’s old news ha. Anyone else like that? A numbers freak that it’s hard to be true to your body? That’s definitely on my list of things to work on in 2010.

And last call for questions for me?! I’ve still only got 11 which says one of two things: 1) I spill too much of my life out here and you know everything there is to know about me or 2) The stuff I do share is boring and no one wants to know more.  Heh.  But I’m prepared to post with the 11 I have so have no fear, you *will* be learning about me in the near future 😉

Happy running / living / shopping / relaxing — whatever you are doing right now! I’ve got my compression socks back on, feet up and about to jump into yet *another* book.  I’m logging some serious book-age — maybe more than my miles hah.

December 29, 2009

Intervals, Hills and Massages. Oh My!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:12

Yesterday (Monday) was a whirlwind day.  I was on the go from 0800 to 2300! Whew.

I obviously still managed to get a run in though.  I ran first thing because I knew how busy it was going to be plus we were supposed to get (and did get in fact) a rain/snow storm in the late morning/early afternoon.  So timing was perfect.  I set out for 8 miles but for some reason thought that 11 was more appropriate? And I am totally bumming that I didn’t keep track of how far I was going because I did this run on autopilot and I really did want to slowly lower my mileage down.  But it was a good run albeit on the slow side because I wasn’t paying attention to anything.  I really don’t think I could really tell you where I even ran to be honest.

And just a note about the crazy ass New England weather: I was driving on the highway and I started out in rain close to my house, it changed back and forth between rain and snow then I hit whiteout conditions.  On the highway!! Now it wasn’t that scary because I’ve done that before but after about 20 minutes it’s was like I hit a curtain and SUN on the other side.  Freaking crazy how the highway can be such a divisor of weather patterns.

Now onto today.  I was planning on doing intervals (or any type of speedwork really) yesterday but since I was choosing to run in the morning, in prep for a packed day, I didn’t want to feel rushed or anything so I put it off.  I also was feeling a little sore from lifting on Sunday (although not as sore as I thought I would be.  Better shape that I thought? Yes!). So it fell onto today.  Which I’m not too upset about because, although I still have yet to pick out a plan (and 16 weeks was YESTERDAY), both the plans I’m thinking of, Boston Bound and BAA Veteran (any insight would be helpful in my decision making process and my thoughts on the subject are here), have an interval/speed/hill type thing on Tuesdays so I figured why not set a tone now.

Although looking at the workout you’d think that I was in training right now.  Which to anyone wondering (I know AMarathoner asked earlier) I’m not quite sure how I’m reconciling the high miles I’m doing now with what a potential training program will ask.  What I think I’ll do is (hopefully *fingerscrossed*) take the next 4 weeks to back off and then start back up again.  The BAA one has the potential to get high mileage, like roughly where I am now, and the Higdon one looks lower mileage but I think I can add safely to both of those if I feel necessary; I have such a high base already.

So here’s the workout: I channeled Jess because I remember her doing both intervals AND hills in the same workout. And just an interesting note I had this song in my head the whole time heh. That man can do no wrong in my eyes!

  • Warm up
  • 2 X [ 4 X 800] @ 10k pace with 90 sec recovery between 800s and 5 minutes recovery between sets
  • 4 X 800 m hills with 90 seconds between hills (and 5 minutes between last 800 set and first hill)
  • Warm down

I did do this on a treadmill because it was wicked windy out AND in the teens, soooo not conducive to fast running, but whatever.  I still feel like a bamf!  I ended up running the 800s a little faster than 10k pace — more like what I want my 10k pace to be (703 min/mi vs 715 min/mi).  And both the distances for the 800s and recovery were loose.  Since I was on a tm sometimes I wanted to start or end the recovery on an even number or whatever so I took the liberty to do that.  Same with the hills. I don’t know if I can call these Yassos or not.  For one thing there was that 5 minute recovery between repeat 4 and 5.  I think that’s a no-no in Mr. Yassos book but whatever.  I felt that it was still a good solid workout. I’m happy with the pacing too because, although the first one felt like death, the rest felt good and I had to resist the urge to go faster.  As I had 8 total I didn’t want to burn myself out and not be able to finish.

As for the hills.  They were tough.  Yes they were done after the 800s but I think they would have been tough on their own.  I designed this workout myself and I wrote down 400m hills but after the 800 repeats I think that’s just what my brain was used to, so I got about a mile more in that originally planned.  Which I could not for the life of me figure out why my mileage ticker on the tm was more than I thought it should be. And yes I consider math a strength of mine haha. (Interestingly enough I think I ended up doing a 5th 800 on the last set because I can’t count!) I did the hills at 4% incline (is is an appropriate hill setting? Gosh I feel like such a noob!) and the first one was tough! They got easier after that but man that first one almost killed me I think.  But then again the first anything is really tough IMO.

When I was done my face was beet red! But like I mentioned, I felt so bad-ass! There were also a bunch of people staring both during the workout and after.  I guess not many people can fathom running on the treadmill for as long as I did / actually do a real hard workout on the darn thing (or anywhere really).  But I take pride in that.  I wanted to shout to everyone: “I’M RUNNING THE BOSTON MARATHON!!” but I figured that would make me seem like a braggart (does anyone even use that word or am I the only one?) so I didn’t.  I just smiled back at them and hit the next interval or hill hard.

One of the other reasons I did this workout today was because I’m actually getting a massage soon! Even though I’m not a fan of the post-massage soreness the next day I love the feeling of a massage.  It’s definitely not relaxing for me but I love when my friend works on my legs and I can feel tension and “gunk” (lactic acid etc.) being released and my muscles loosening up. So I wanted to hit my body hard and then get it worked on 🙂

Which I probably should leave for like NOW! Enjoy your Tuesday’s everyone.  Stay warm in you’re in the NorthEast (or anywhere else that’s cold too!) and stay cool if you’re somewhere warm.  Although don’t tell me that because I may have to hunt you down haha!

December 3, 2009

Wait! What day is it?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:27

Ugh this whole week I just haven’t felt like it was the proper day and I’ve really had to think about where I need to be! Doesn’t help when I switch up workouts in the morning either. Double whammy: I’ve had to idea what the “plan” is for the week workout wise and then I’m not doing the usual day’s run so the rest of the day is messed up.  Aaaaaaaaannoying.

For those of you (like myself) who need a reminder: it’s Thursday.  Meaning that with a “long run” on Saturday I shouldn’t be doing speedwork today.  I guess it’s not a rule but a preference.  But I chose to run my runs this way (speed today rather than yesterday) because I knew it was going to be POURING and storming this morning.  IE) gym time for sure.

A bit irksome though because the temperature this morning? 55*.  But pouring and wicked windy (so much so that power was lost — doubly annoying because I was at the gym.  Power outage + crappy school gym =/= fun).  Yesterday was freezing and clear and sunny.  Guess the lesser of two evils was the cold although I do despise that almost as much as rain.

Since I’m one smart cookie and look at the weather in advance I knew this about the weather and planned to do speedwork today.  Wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to accomplish but I was thinking tempo because I wanted to put some pep in my step and run hard for longer than an interval.

My workout looked like this:

  • 1 mile warmup
  • 3 miles @ tempo pace
  • 1 mile recovery
  • 3 miles @ tempo – 20 seconds
  • 2 miles warm down

Luckily the power outage happened right as I was going from recovery to tempo-20.  Very convenient in the sense that I didn’t have to worry about really losing any data because it was nice and round numerically.  Although I did *somewhat* angerly think “why can’t the backup generator that’s powering the lights do the tms too?” Haha.  Oh obsession? Hello there!

The tempo pace felt too slow.  Usually for the first mile or so of a tempo I’ll feel exhausted and want to quit but after that first mile there’s usually a “breakthrough”.  But today I only felt tired during the warmup.  Maybe I’m faster than I give myself credit for?

I almost skipped the recovery bit but decided to stick to the plan stan.  The second tempo bit felt more challenging but and felt like what a tempo should feel like.  A hard, I-could-eek-out-one-more feeling (and I almost did!) but glad that it’s not going happen.  So maybe my true tempo pace is about 20 seconds faster than what I’ve been considering.

When I was done with my workout (which also included some ab and BACK work — getting back into my routine for the pain) , on my walk back to my building, the sun was out, there was no wind and it was soooo warm (65*)!! Come on Mother Nature: you couldn’t have had the storm blow through, like, two hours earlier?! And btw: It’s December 3rd (I may not know the day of the week but I sure as hell know the date haha) and we have 65* weather? After a cold spell? And with snow predicted this weekend? Such a tease!

After showering and feeding myself (pb & banana sandwich? yes please!) I headed over the field house where there were FREE MASSAGES.  Granted I did have to donate some non-perishable food for a local shelter and the massage therapists were students at a school but it was awesome.  It was only suppose to be 15 minutes but because I got there right away (@ 0900) and there was no one else there I got to stay for 30 minutes.  Holllleer.

I had the therapist concentrate on my legs because they are sooooo tight and it felt soooo good even though it hurt a bit.  Only downside was that because my legs are so tight I’m going to be sore tomorrow as 30 minutes (while amazing) was no where near enough time to get all the kinks out.  But it was definitely worth it.  I’m going to A) have to be more diligent with stretching — as in start stretching and B) call my massage therapist from home and set up some appts for my when the semester ends.

So far the rest of my day has been kind of boring.  Albeit stressful boring: I need to write my physics paper (on gravity anomalies) and I feel aimless. I just need to sit down and write but I’d rather be on fb, rwol, etc.  Oh priorities.

And to answer a question I’ve been thinking about lately re: Boston.

LARunner and AMarathoner asked about the length of the training program. December 28th marks 16 weeks out. I was actually thinking about that after I posted and I’m thinking of pushing it pack to a 12 week plan as I have a great base already and could use the extra 4 weeks to “relax” and “rest” my body.  And it also lets me have 4 more weeks of procrastinating on picking out a plan!

Also no real Hot-Spanish-TA update. I mean we’ve talked and stuff.  In fact last night me and another friend hung out with him and the other Spanish TA just chatting about random stuff in Spanish.  But nothing Earth shattering.  I actually kind of want to go out tonight just because I think I’d run into him but none of my friends want to go out.  And I should be working on aforementioned paper.

Thanks for sticking with this lengthy post.  It’s weird because when I sat down to type I thought I didn’t have much to say haha.

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