MarathonMaiden's Blog

May 31, 2010

Study, Run, ReFuel. Repeat.

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

So first of all: HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY.  Aside from the perfect excuse to grill some food it’s also a day to remember all the brave men and women who have died while serving this country.  So thanks to everything they have done as well as the incredibly strong soldiers who are currently protecting us and those who will keep us safe while we sleep in the future.  THANK YOU.

Speaking of sleeping, this weekend was ROUGH.  Not because of excessive partying nor because of excessive studying (although that *did* happen) but rather because a rogue eyelash decided to glue itself to the underside of my eyelid.  So when I looked into the mirror I couldn’t see the damn thing but trust me I knew it was there.  At least I think it was an eyelash.  After battling for 2 days with it, whatever it was feel out Sunday night while I was sleeping.  Ugh.  I’ve had eyelashes in my eyes before but this was (100000000 + ∞ ) X worse.  I thought I was going to go blind or something.  I have never been in so much pain before and even now my left eye still kind of burns after all the scratching.

I still was able to live my life, aka studying and writing essays, which is good.  And thanks for all the good lucks and nice stuff you guys all said on my last post 🙂 I know that I’m not dumb but I’m trying to make myself be the most attractive candidate to my dream med schools so I’m busting my butt. And I really can’t afford to take a day off.  Even if it’s just going over my flashcards, I’m in the zone.

So I’m clearly attacking this the same way I would attack a marathon: intensely.  On days that I don’t have my night MCAT class, I’ve been getting up and: Breakfast. Studying for ~3-4 hours right away.  Taking a run break.  Lunch. Another 2-3 hours of studying.  Another run break. Dinner. AMCAS essay writing (the application). Pre-Bed snack.  On days that I do have it the essay and second study session get flipped.

That’s right, you read it: double sessions.  Almost every day (and I say almost even though I’ve written above that I do the 2 runs any day I’m studying but some days other things come up, which is fine! But I’ve written down here the *average* not the be-all-to-end-all rule).

And I’ll admit it: sometimes it’s triple sessions (granted if I do a third thing it’s lifting and I get up early to do it before my first study session, so not running but still a third workout)

I’m basically living in my gym clothes.  From morning until night.  And for the record: I refuse to shower more than once a day unless it’s completely necessary aka I have something I need to be clean for.  But studying? Not so much. Hahah oops. At least I’m only wearing one outfit per day.  There have been times in the past where I’ve worn the same pair of shorts for multiple runs.  That would be kind of gross right now, even I have standards 😉

But before someone goes all postal on me about running doubles or doing triples, especially without a goal race or specific goal, let me clarify: I’m not doing long, or even mid, distance runs.  Each run ranges from 4-6 miles and the total for the day rarely, if ever, exceeds 10.  So I’m not going all crazy and doing 20+ miles a day.  That would be too much: remember that these runs are study breaks so I don’t want to stay away too long from my books. And I think that the shorter distance + recovery + shorter distance is gentler on my body.

Plus the runs aren’t all hard.  In fact, I still have yet to re-introduce speedwork or anything challenging into my routine.  So both runs each day, every day are nice and easy.  Just a way for me to clear my mind.  That’s not to say that the pace isn’t faster than what I’d expect but I’m still running easy. I think that this is due to a couple things you guys have mentioned to me and that I’ve thought about:

  • Low(er) mileage
  • Nice weather.  Sunny skies and warm temps!
  • No overwhelming debilitating paralyzing stress
  • Good mood & an even keel
  • Refueling well after each workout
  • Good quality sleep

So no matter what the reason for my good runs (likely a combo of all of these) I’m going to roll run with it 😉

I know, I know! You guys are probably sick to death of hearing how good running is going and my lame posts as of late (blame studying! and not me!).  I’m in the process of tallying up the month of May so then I’ll have some data to back up my feelings on my runs.  Then you might REALLY be sick of me because I think the data is good and I’ll be talking about how awesome running went this month 😉

But since I’m so analytical and wrote that list of variables as to why I’m running / feeling good I though I’d take the next few posts (and call them How Double Running Can Rock maybe? I like that)and elaborate, not really on me per se but what the benefit is to them and why I think they’re clutch to not just double sessions but any athletic endeavors in general.  I doubt I’ll do a whole post on each one, maybe lump some together and whatnot but I think it could be fun for me to write a more scientific / look stuff up kind of post.

But it might be another couple of days until I start posting them. Actually crafting a non-word-vomit post (like this one for example) takes thought and so does the MCAT and essay writing and I need to focus on that, case in point: I didn’t turn on my computer today or yesterday until post-dinner (thank you scheduled posting).  Oops.

But hopefully you’re enjoying the rest of the holiday weekend everyone!

May 28, 2010

We All Came Here To Make It

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

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

Anyway, life is about to get crazy for me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today was no exception.

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

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

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

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

Bang Bang Bang 😀

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

September 17, 2009

Shorts, T-Shirt…Gloves?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:53

Grrr I really hate doing homework.  Don’t get me wrong: I love learning.  But tolerating busy work has never been my strong point.

Luckily I have posting here, RWOL, facebook etc to provide me with enough distractions to last me a lifetime! Not to mention that The Office premieres tonight.  Doubt I’ll get to watch it “live” but it’s still exciting. Wicked exciting.  Plus NCIS starts up next week. EEEEEK.

Last night was absolutely freezing! Oh okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration.  But it was a little cold.  I think I’ve mentioned it before but I have Raynaud’s syndrome.  A fancy was of saying really poor circulation, so my hands get soooo cold and numb once the mercury dips below 55* or so.  Since this morning was upper 40s I broke out the gloves.  I felt like an idiot because it was still warm enough out for shorts and a tee but hey, I’m sure ppl thought I was crazy for being out running at 0600.

As for the running, well I’d rather not discuss that.  But since this is (primarily at least) a running blog I should talk about it.  The plan was 8 — yeah rather ambitious given my killer workout yesterday.  And like I usually do I was going to do the “add-ons” before the 6 mile route.  But something in my brain said “No, do the 6 first”.  I listened, and I’m semi-glad I did.  My legs felt weak and it was a struggle to finish.  You wouldn’t know it looking at my time but my mind and body weren’t into it.  Maybe it was because I was up at 0540 to workout before my second rotation at the hospital, maybe it was the lack of sleep I’ve been getting all week or maybe it was because of my repeats.  Maybe all three.  Lots of maybes.  But the bottom line is that I was not feeling it. Makes me a little worried because of the 5k coming up, but it’s 2 full days before the race and that should be enough to recover from the repeats, right? Well too late to do anything about it, should’ve more seriously considered it heh.

When I finished I was happy that I ran but I don’t think I could have done more if you paid me.  And I’d do just about anything for some $$. Heh. Climbing the 4 flights of stairs to my room was tough too (I live on the third floor but there’s a “ground floor” that you need to climb stairs to get to floor 1).  I guess I could’ve taken the elevator but I feel so lazy doing that.  And I seriously judge those who do it.  Especially those who take it going DOWN.  But that’s a rant for another day haha.

Just a note about my rotation/internship before I get back to my pile of work.  I did not pass out today.  Granted I was in a different department but I still had anxiety about it happening again.  I was in physical therapy today and it was alright. The PT I shadowed was really nice and I love the aspect of hands-on patient interaction.  Buuuuuuuuuut, I’m pretty sure that’s not the path for me.  About 18 months ago I was pretty sure that I was going to go into PT but then I decided to follow my (childhood) dream about being a doctor.  Even if it means I pass out in the process. Eeek :-/

Although speaking of medical stuff.  I’ve decided NOT to apply to med schools this year.  Looking at my application, it’s kind of middle of the pack and I think taking a year to work would make me a much stronger candidate.  I had a meeting with my pre-health adviser and he basically told me that it was my choice whether to apply this year or not.  I kind of wanted him to make the decision since I’m neither a strong nor a weak applicant.  Even though it bothers me that I’m not applying this year, it’s prolly for the best. It’ll save me A LOT of stress this fall and has the potential to boost my chances of getting into my dream med school.  *FingersCrossedItsForTheBest* I have some ideas of what I want to do for my gap year and I’m a little excited about that which takes the sting away from my decision to delay the med school application process.

And props to you if you stuck through this post — kind of a random assortment of thoughts  🙂

July 22, 2009

Fly by…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 21:39

…posting, day etc. Not my run though.

I got up at 5 this morning to get a run, some core and pushup challenge in.  First off, I did the core/pushups first.  I never do that but it was pitch black when my alarm went off, so I decided to wait until it got lighter out.  Made me feel safer.  So I think I was tired from 1) lack of sleep 2) dehydration (totally didn’t drink enough ANYTHING yesterday — or today for that matter) 3) doing weight bearing stuff before running.

It also didn’t help that it was incredibly humid out. When it rains, it pours I guess; everything just compounds at once.

So my run kind of sucked. And drug on and on (and yes, I know “drug” isn’t the correct grammatical way of saying it but I’m infatuated with anything Southern and I believe that is a word they use. No?).  I ended up finishing up my run in the exact same time as yesterday even though it was about a mile less.  Not too concerned over it but it bothered me because my legs just felt drained.  And here I was, just talking about how my legs weren’t feeling all the miles I’ve put in.  Granted, it could be one of the 3 factors I named above, but I’ll add a fourth: mileage.

The day at the hospital, in contrast, flew by. In the morning I administered more research surveys (note to self, add to resume / med school app) and got some hardcore studying in.  Totally paid off because I did a physical science section just now and totally improved my score.  Still lots more to study but I think I’ve revamped my studying so that I’m being productive. And it makes me want to email my prehealth adviser and tell him to shove it because, in an email last week, I was told that the list of schools I want to apply to is “shooting way way too high”.  His exact words. Two “way”s. Ughhh. He was basing it off my gpa which is middle of the pack.  Boo. But I just got a confidence boost, so I’m still able to be productive and focus on the end run.

And I “discovered” a new way to drive home from the clinic.  I had to call my friend who lives in the city to give me directions to have a faster way to leave and I’m happy to say I survived driving in Boston. Like, *in* Boston.

Alright got to get back to studying. Have a great night all!

July 12, 2009

The good with the bad

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:25

I’ve in kind of a bad mood / funk right now so I’m going to try and keep this short to minimize the complaining  haha.

I had a *terrible* night last night. First, I tried to get some studying/practice testing in for the MCAT but that didn’t go so well and I ended up staying up later than I wanted because I was super frustrated over the whole thing.  Upon reflection it’s no wonder I did poorly (or semi-poorly) because I haven’t had a good solid 8-9 hours of sleep in quite some time.

In any case I finally fell asleep and a *massive* thunderstorm rolled through and literally jolted me out of bed at some ungodly hour! Naturally I’m have an irrational fear of t-storms so falling back to sleep was tough. And when my alarm went off at 6 I was going to get up and run a bit but I figured with less than 5 hours of sleep, I’d skip it and try and make it up after work.  I’m sure the people absolutely loved me at work. I went from so tired I’m hyper to major crash and back again.   Didn’t help that every loony-toon person out there decided to shop and seek me out for advice / help!

Unexpectedly my boss let me go an hour early so I was able to fit in a mind clearing 7.3 miles.  It was toasty but it felt so good just to sweat out my bad feelings and all the lingering ick I’ve been accumulating the past few days. Running is such a good detoxify-er, and in many ways: perfect cure to a hangover, bad moods, residual ick both mentally and physically. I’m really glad I was able to get that run in and be able to run as far as I wanted rather than having to be back in time to make dinner for the kidd-os, which usually occurs when I work my shift plus extra.

Well since I started off complaining I’m going to leave you with things that went well this weekend, because I have the tendancy to only talk about the bad and not enough about the good.  So:

  • I had the house to myself all day Saturday as well as Sunday morning; the rest of my family was in NY at a family reunion.  While I didn’t have a raging kegger or anything I did enjoy the evening because I got to hear the *quiet* that occurs when I’m the only one around.
  • Running pretty much always can lift me up and be a highlight.  My run yesterday was a spectacular recovery run, perfect pace and perfect feeling.  And as I mentioned above, the run I just got back from was much needed and provided some clarity.
  • Work.  Yes, I just complained about it but I got to leave an hour early! Yahoo! Plus, yesterday at the gym I was able to draft my med school application essay and bang out some “work experiences” and prioritize them.
  • Getting through another MCAT prax test. Again, I just complained but, seeing as nothing in my life is 100% bad (yes I do realize that), the mere fact that I got through it and gained exposure is a good thing.  It will only make me stronger.
  • I’ve been able to sit down and enjoy a good book; really getting absorbed.

So I said I’d make this short, but I lied.  I suppose it would have been short if I just stuck to complaining haha. But recognizing the good that happened was beneficial (maybe just to me) because my funk is lifting a bit.

Ok, I’m going to try and start a weekend recap a la Jess.  Hopefully I will post that shortly, just need to do a little number crunching!

July 10, 2009

To be or not to be…pride edition

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:21

I was  so proud during my run that I did not react at all to the catcalls, whistles, horns etc. that were directed at me.  I’ve gotten so much better at *not* giving ’em the finger and saying a few choice words.  Then about a mile from being done I lost it.  Well, not really.  But at mile 12/13 of a 14 mile run in temperatures that are 15* warmer than they have been my patience isn’t at it’s peak. So when I was crossing the street and a car ignores the stop sign and almost hits me I was actually happy to say that all I did was give an evil look.  But when the driver leans out the window to tell me to “Be careful, I almost hit you” in an uppity-snooty-soccer-mom-suv-driving tone, I just had to snap back with “well why don’t you learn how to stop at an effing stop sign”. Except I didn’t saying “effing”.

But other than that the run was great.  It ended up being 14.1 miles and the pace was great! Yeah, sure it was a little fast (it was actually MP + 20 seconds! Yikes!) but it felt strong by the end and I think I could have eeked out another mile or two easily. It was an epic fail pace wise, but I’m thinking that hopefully it means my MP could be faster.  Yes, I will live in denial with that train of thought.

Other than my run, it’s been a pretty unremarkable day.  I did make a lot of calls to doctors (both my own and the ones I’m working with) AND I was able to reach every single one. On a Friday. Woot, way to tie up loose ends! I also got a prescription filled and while I was waiting I got to see a very angry woman berate all 3 pharmacists and the store manager because her prescription wasn’t filled yet. I understood her point that her son really needed the medication but if the pharmacy doesn’t have the drugs on the premises, yelling isn’t going to do any good.  Very awkward while I was waiting.  And it was very hard not to laugh out loud. My entertainment on a Friday night.

Speaking of entertainment, the fourth season of The Closer came in the mail today! I’ve already seen it but I had to watch it online because I was in school and we don’t get cable *gasp*. $50,000 a year and we don’t get cable.  Bull.  I do have to outline an essay and compile a list of relevant work experiences for my Med School app so I might put on a couple episodes and try and multitask.  I do have 6-7 hours of work at the gym tmrw which means I have 6-7 hours to do work behind the desk so I’m not too worried if I don’t get anything done but it would be nice to have some starting point.

Oh well, off to go pick up pizza. Enjoy your Friday night!

Edited to add: check out this awesome giveaway!

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