MarathonMaiden's Blog

August 2, 2010

Monthly Recap: July 2010

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

Wait, really? August already?! I honestly feel like I was just typing out June’s monthly recap.  I wish months like February would go this fast and it has less days to boot! Guess the nice weather makes time just flyyyyy.  It’s like that Einstein quote

Put your hand on a hot burner for a minute and it feels like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour and it feels like a minute

Anyway.

Before I get into my recap I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who commented on my stressed out post.  It was just one of those days where everything seemed to come crashing down.  I really hate how all or nothing things can be sometimes.  But I’m on the upswing and, while still very stressed out, there are some really amazing people in my real life ( as well as you guys in my blog life!) who really stepped up and took care of me when I needed it. 🙂

Since then I’ve taken *another* full length practice test.  I actually took it on Saturday and it officially marks the end of everything I have to do with my course.  Yippee.  Now that in no way means that I’m done.  I’m taking another practice test on Tuesday and still studying my butt off, but knowing that all the “have to”s are done is nice.  The results of this past test were…interesting.  Science scores are easy to keep boosting so I keep making great progress there but my Verbal score is pretty stagnant.

Not a bad thing per se (because I’m okay with the actual score if that’s what I get on test day) but it’s discouraging to not see tangible improvement.  That said, I do have new study tactics that, while they haven’t been around long enough to pay dividends yet, I’m already feeling good about.  After taking 5 practices I’m comfortable with the length of time it takes (aka I sit on my butt for 5.5 hours!) and the format (and hopefully the material too haha) but I need to work on my pacing in certain areas.  Wow another parallel with my running! I think I can make anything related to my running haha (Again, sorry to dedicate so much space to the MCAT but it’s the most pressing thing on my mind right now.)

And the literal physical running has been going GREAT.  Seriously seriously great.  My average daily run paces continue to get fast while maintaining the easy effort that I’ve always been putting in.  Some great stuff here.  Part of it might be the *amazing* weather here in New England (would you hate me if I said the highs the past few days have only been in the upper 70s? It felt cold! And the lows have been in the upper40s.  Ummmm I slept with a comforter to keep me warm) but I also know that the reduced mileage is a very large part of running fast and effortlessly too.

Speaking of….here is the month of July in review:

Week of June 28 –  July 4

  • 130.8 Miles
  • 18 Hours 43 Minutes 36 Seconds
  • 8:36 Pace
  • 4X Core, 1X Lifting, 0 XT

Soooo about that whole cutting back? In fairness I didn’t realize that cutting back needed to happen until the very end of June so this week is inflated by that.  This was also the week that I dominated that 5M.  Woot.  Way happy about that despite the mileage being so high. AKA the most miles I’ve run in a single week. Ever. Did I mention I’m not training for anything?

Week of July 5 – July 11

  • 111.1 Miles
  • 16 Hours 7 Minutes 25 Seconds
  • 8:43 Pace
  • 3X Core, 2X Lifting, 0 XT

Mmmmmhhhhmmmmm.  So clearly I was lying to myself when I said July was going to start with a cut back! In fairness I did cut back the first 2 days of the month.  Apparently, though, I picked right back up where I left off! While it was 20 miles less than the week before I don’t think it was nearly enough to really be considered cutting back.  I do like how I managed to get to the gym to lift twice though.

Week of July 12 – July 18

  • 59.6 Miles
  • 8 Hours 48 Minutes 20 Seconds
  • 8:52 Pace
  • 1 Core, 0 Lifting, 0 XT

Hello Philly! As expected my mileage took a hit.  Not that I’m complaining really: something needed to force me to stop running so darn much.  I got to run with Flo which was a highlight of the trip and do some Philly exploring in the early hours of the morning.  My pace was a bit slower than previous weeks but I’m okay with that because I was on vacay.  I also dropped doing core work and have yet to start up again.  Oops.

Week of July 19 – July 25

  • 56.4 Miles
  • 7 Hours 58 Minutes 59 Seconds
  • 8:30 Pace
  • 0 Core, 0 Lifting, 0 XT

Wowza to that pace.  Another week of treating my legs better and the runs became even more fluid and fast.  Unfortunately because all the runs looked the same (just easy going mid-distance stuff) I actually stopped writing down comments in my log book! So all I have is the raw numbers hahah.  But suffice it to say I was probably pretty stoked to have that pace and I do remember looking at my watch after several runs and shaking my head in awe.

Week of July 26-August 1

  • 60.0 Miles
  • 8 Hours 23 Minutes 7 Seconds
  • 8:23 Pace
  • 0 Core, 0 Lifting, 0 XT

So my average pace keeps dropping? Pretty effing sweet. Since this week was pretty crazy in terms of studying (this was the week that I was just flooded with every little thing that could go wrong doing so) I don’t really have much to say about the runs themselves.  Also goes back to what I’ve been saying all this week about my runs just being boring overall.  Exciting stuff to look at in terms of trends, just not very fascinating day to day.

Month of July

  • 354.5 Miles
  • 50 Hours 54 Minutes 49 Seconds
  • 8:37 Pace

Obviously not June.  But that’s okay.  In fact I’m a little shocked that my miles are as high as they are given how “low” the past 3 weeks have been.  Guess everything is just relative.  I’m also shocked (and SO PUMPED) at that monthly average pace.  8:37?! That’s a solid 7.0 on a TM. Hollllllllerrrrrrrrr.

I’m also happy that I was able to break the cycle of doing more-more-more.  While I don’t think it was really hurting me, in hindsight I can definitely say that it wasn’t for the best.  Maybe if I was training for a big huge long event.  But I wasn’t.  I’m still in search of a marathon for the late fall/winter so it’s very good that I’m backing off now if I end up ramping it up in the future.

So what’s next?

I know lots of you set goals at the beginnings of the month and whatnot.  I’ve thought about that.   And while I don’t have any concrete goals that I’m going to make sure I hit ( at least for running.  Hello MCAT? Hello moving?)  I do want to try and make speed work happen this month.  I’ve lamented over and over how I’m not racing BUT there’s a race in NH (the half that I want to do with Lacey ) and then a 5k in Providence that I might want to do; I’ve been getting their emails since I ran it last year but haven’t seriously considered it yet ($$ being the issue).  Not to mention the Tufts 10k in October.  I want to smash some records this fall and planting the speed work rewards into my muscles now will likely pay off big.

Oh yeah.  And some core + lifting might be a good thing too.  Maybe today?

And I guess I do have a “wishy-washy” goal for this month too (aka a goal that’s not really concrete or tangible): chill the eff out.  I’ve been so stressed that it’s been way hard for me to find time for myself.  I’ve gotten better at it lately (reading, seeing friends) buttttt it’s something I’ll likely need to work on for the rest of my life.  This month I am taking a vacay…well I was going to say next week but I leave on Thursday. So I’m leaving soon.  That’ll be fun.  And once my test is over and I’m moved my life might be introduced to this concept called fun again. It’ll be a good thing to be at a job and not have to be “on” 24/7 like I was at school.  I’m definitely looking forward to that  🙂

Well this is getting long and I need to hit the books some more.  But in terms of what I mean by “chill the eff out” here’s my new most favoritest picture that was taken on the Philly trip with the girls 🙂

Drunk. Happy. Hott. ❤

July 2, 2010

Ooooooooooooh we’re halfway there

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Week of May 31 – June 6

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

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

Week of June 7 – June 13

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

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

Week of June 14 -June 20

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

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

Week of June 21 – June 27

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

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

Month of June

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

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

Year to Date

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

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

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

Goals for 2010:

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

And the ways I wanted to get there:

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

So what’s next?

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

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

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

June 1, 2010

Monthly Recap: May 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Week of May 3-9

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

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

Week of May 10-16

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

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

Week of May 17-23

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

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

Week of May 24-30

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

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

May totals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 2, 2010

Monthly Recap: April 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:25

April was…an interesting month to say the least.

The foundation for the  month really started on March 28th when I ran the Eastern States 20 Miler.  If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile then this is review but for any new readers that race was awful for me.  I had been dealing with shin splits and there wasn’t a single pain free step that whole race.  I had to take lots of time off that week because I don’t think I could have run on my shins.  I honestly had thought that I had fractured my shin.

Flashforward to the next weekend and I ended up in the hospital for an infection in my toenail.  I had to have a minor procedure and no running for another few days.  By the time I felt okay to run it was ~10 days pre-Boston.  I still wasn’t doing any speedwork and the actual running I was doing was minimal.

Then Boston happened and I ran the race of my life (well so far. Hopefully I improve as the years go on ha!).  I had no pain and ran a PR with a negative split.  Then came recovery for a few days and I got two decent runs in before I was back in the hospital for the staph infection that I needed an IV for.  Aka no running.

Soooooo April was a HUGE nosedive from previous months with intensity and miles.  Which I’m trying to be okay with.  I have two thoughts on it, one is that this sucks.  Hardcore.  I’m so type A that to be forced to back off is mind blowing and slightly terrifying.  Granted things worked out with the marathon (PR baby) but it’s still hard for me to trust that rest works.  The other thought is that rest works.  My body needed this month to be not intense running wise.  And it was a good mental exercise too.

I keep going back and forth between the mindsets with some days easier than others. But such is life I guess.

With that all said, here’s how the weeks broke down with a sentence or so about them.  I was lazy (or too distracted by NOT running) this month to do them as the weeks passed so my memory is kind of shaky.

Week of March 29 – April 4

  • 54.5 miles
  • 8 hours 46 minutes 8 seconds
  • 9:39 pace
  • 3 x core, 1x lift, LOTS of  XT

Well so much for really cutting back post-Eastern States.  Although I suppose that 54<100. At this point I decided to 100% cut out speedwork for the remainder of the cycle up until Boston (and which is why during the weekly breakdown all the average paces are SO SLOW.  No speedwork to pull those paces down).  I also reduced the lifting this week from 3X –> 1X and then after that first week of the month lifting got cut completely. Partly because of taper, partly out of my shins.

Week of April 5 – 11

  • 38.7 miles
  • 6 hours 2 minutes 27 seconds
  • 9:22 pace
  • 5 X core, 0X lift, LOTS of XT

Really ramped up the XT here with the further decrease in miles.  I think I got a little obsessive and worried that my cardio-fitness was going to be lost though because I was constantly thinking that I should go back to the gym to do more!

Week of April 12-19

  • 27.8 miles
  • 4 hours 26 minutes 42 seconds
  • 9:36 pace
  • 3X core, 0X lift, LOTS of XT, One rest day

Took my first 100% rest day in a *very* long time* (like November?)

Week of April 19 – 25

  • 40.7 miles
  • 5 hours 54 minutes 59 seconds
  • 8:43 pace
  • 3X core, 0X lift, LOTS of XT

Week of Boston! Which is why the average pace is WAY lower than the other weeks ha! I got two 7 milers over this weekend and my legs definitely felt recovered (which makes what happened on Sunday — toe infection — so hard to deal with) although by the end my quads were a little fatigued.

Week of April 26 – May 2

  • 8.1 miles
  • 1 hours 15 minutes 5 seconds
  • 9:16 pace
  • 4X core, 0X lift, Minimal XT

Week of severe toe infection.  So lots of rest here.  As you can see I did sneak out for an 8 miler (on Sunday which isn’t getting counted as April because it was May 2nd) because the toe/leg was not red at all and there was no pain. The run itself was really relaxed and easy.

April:

  • 152.4 miles
  • 23 hours 41 minutes 21 seconds
  • 9:20 pace
  • Lots of core, Little lifting, Lots of XT, One rest day

Overall I’m trying to be happy.  The rest was good for pushing me mentally into getting out of the go-go-go-keep-pushing-no-matter-what attitude despite how hard it was.  But I can’t grow if I don’t challenge what’s comfortable right?

And all the non-running days obviously didn’t hurt me because I rocked Boston (if I do say so myself 😉 ) and not only did I run well but the mentality of Boston was so much fun.  I think that I was able to salvage something from my overtrained state.

This month (May)  I”m going to have to up the lifting soon as I lifted…once (?) this whole month! I kept the core going strong though and totally rocked the XT.  I’m going to try to strike a balance between the (hideously horrible) XT and running.  Although overall I don’t hate XT as much as I did before.  I think I’m getting tolerant of it 😉

Happy Sunday all.  Hope your month of May is starting off right 🙂

to a job that send me a secondary application (yay!) and kicking back with lots of ginger ale.

April 2, 2010

March = Crazy Life. April = Crazy Nice Weather (well so far. this is new england)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:50

So before I forget Lizzy’s having a great giveaway and so is ErikaH. I keep meaning to link up to them butttt obviously I haven’t yet hah.

I was going to post a March recap yesterday but, as usual, life got in the way.  And since I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to really tally and keep a recap updated this month (I tend to start the recap at the beginning and fill in the deets as each week passes) I think I’m just going to share March as a whole:

  • 432.4 miles
  • 64 hours 57 minutes 3 seconds
  • 9:00 pace

First off: HOLY MILES BATMAN.  This is definitely a monthly mileage PR.  Granted the first 4 full weeks of March (the 1st – 28th) were all in the “Monster Month” of training and thus each were 100+ miles.  I think that’s impressive to say the least.  Also impressive (or maybe not depending on your P.O.V.) is that the shin situation was at it’s worst this month and the last few days on March were all XT’d.

I was also thinking lately about March as a whole in terms of my life and I’ve come to the conclusion that March as a test of my strength across all disciplines.

  • School: Well I’ve been very busy on this front.  It seems that any time I’m not running (or blogging ha) I’m doing work.  Before spring break it was basically: every time I’d turn an assignment in another one came straight at me.  Like a rotating door.  Especially with experimental physics; each week was a 10+ page lab write up, and once we finished one report we had to start the next experiment.  Spanish has been more of the same, lots of busy work.  And remember last week? Yup, quantum took over my LIFE with that exam.  Plus I can honestly say that I haven’t really worked on my Capstone research much but only because I’ve been doing all that other work not because there isn’t any.  Blahhhh
  • Running: Monster Month really took it’s toll on me.  By the end of the month not only was I worn physically down but mentally as well.  All this culminated with the 20 miles from HELL
  • Body: I think my shins and PT deserve their own bullet and if you’ve been following my blog you’ll know that I’ve been battling shin aches all month which are frustrating.  But the upside is that as of this week (which I’ll talk about below) I think *knockonwood* that I’m on the upswing. Also under body: sleep.  I can’t remember the last night I got a “good” night sleep: defined by at least 6 hours in bed — I’ve totally changed my standard of sleeping well, at this point even 6 hours of interrupted sleep is a blessing.
  • And bullet # 4 is just because 4 is my lucky number.

(And sorry if this sounds complain-y.  In my head it’s not but rather a physical list of things that I’m proud I’ve gotten through.)

And speaking of the shin: I just got back from PT and the right shin (the one that the Rx is actually for) is 100%.  Sure I can feel a bit of bruising when I really press hard on it but my PT said that she doesn’t feel any damage and we didn’t stim it today. Hizzah. The left shin? Well it’s still got lots of edema there and my PT is just “amazed” at that.  BUT that’s what she said about the first shin when I first saw her.  So I’m hoping (and genuinely believe) that the swelling will go down very soon.

Also, the left shin is pretty much pain free.  On Wednesday I wrote about my test run and how I was paranoid about any pain or aches or whatnot but regardless I was going to run on Thursday.  Well I did and it went well.  I ended up with 10 or so miles, all VERY SLOW, and with some aches in the left shin.  No pain and it was such a relief not to feel the way I did over the weekend (aka in MUCHO pain).

I kept the pace slow (which damn near killed me because Thurdays are tempo) because

  • The shins hurt a bit when I go fast (like speedwork fast).  Obviously faster = more pounding = more impact.  And even if they didn’t hurt in the moment, it was the smart choice because this way I’m likely to be able to run more.
  • My body (aka my leg muscles) just didn’t want to go faster.  I think that this week I’ve worked HARDER  than ever before with all the XT and earlier this week I was going for the same time (roughly) that I would spend running which tuckered out my legs.

So like I said my shins ached a tiny bit after running yesterday.  Maybe I was overzealous with the miles but whatever. I do what I want 😉

I also hit up the weight room because in all my woe-is-me sans running I realized I hadn’t lifted in a week! It felt good to be pumping iron again even though I can sometimes find it tedious.

Anyway, this morning (well really the realization came last night) I knew that I should arc train again.  But the INCREDIBLY nice weather was tempting me.  So I made a compromise: half the workout on the arc and half outside running (as I had PT today I figured I could get away with it as she was going to work me good with massage and stim at the end of the session) .  I think it worked out well and there was no pain running and went a bit longer than planned 😉   I even ran pretty fast too.  The pace felt natural and smooth.  Most excellent.

I’m hoping that this feeling keeps up over the course of the weekend.  It’s suppose to be GORGEOUS out.  And, if it’s anything like today, it’ll be some amazing weather.  Maybe not the best for running (likely on the hot side) but still I will take the sun and warmth where ever I can get it.  BUT (and many people have been putting this out there on their blogs lately) WEAR SUNSCREEN!! Wicked important.  I am sooooooo bad with this but, as a runner who will run in the midday sun whenever I can, I need to be more diligent about it.  In fact, it’s one of my 2010 “resolutions”

So get out there and enjoy the weekend! I was watching the national forecast at PT and I think almost everyone is going to have some spectacular weather tomorrow and Sunday 🙂

March 3, 2010

Monthly Recap: February

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:40

I officially like doing these monthly recaps much better than weekly! It’s really nice to see how my training varies (or not ha) on one page. And oops for putting this up 3 days into March but hey, I was lazy in February and didn’t keep a running tally in my (handwritten) logbook haha.

But before I get into it I had the most demoralizing run this morning.  You know how I said the weather was going to stay nice and spring like so it was okay that I was on the tm yesterday? Well the weather gods decided to smite me and I got basically a blizzard.  I still stuck it out outside but man was it tough and I felt like it was a total test of my character. Snow, a bit of hail and a helluva lot of sleet.  Ugh.

That plus the intense intervals from yesterday made the pace sooooooooo slow. Obviously what my body needed but still very tough to handle looking at such a slow pace.  Add that to the clutter in my brain from some heavy life stuff and well…hopefully this doesn’t turn into a funk!

I do have some tempo miles on tap for Thursday (tomorrow) so I’m hoping that perks me up a bit 😀

Although again: weather gods WTF?!  When I last checked it was suppose to be nice butttt now it’s looking like snow/rain mix. Blahhhh.

Now onto looking back at February (although  Mel’s having a pretty cool giveaway):

Week of 1-February to 7-February

  • 97.8 miles
  • 14 hours 32 minutes 43 seconds
  • 8:56 average pace
  • Core 2x, Full Body Lifting 3x, XT 1X

This was a tough week.  I nixed the hills in my intervals session because I was feeling burnt out on them which I think helped my tempo later that week and I nailed my paces.  But the LR was mentally tough. I guess this was a character building week as everything seemed a bit tougher than it should have.  I was having a tough time sleep and stress wise so I’m sure that was a factor too.

Week of 8-February to 14-February

  • 100.4 miles
  • 15 hours 13 minutes 1 second
  • 9:06 average pace
  • Core 2x, Full Body Lifting 3x, XT 2X

Hollllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  100 mile week. BAM.  So proud of this week because I pulled off 2 stellar quality runs and one (the tempo) that was totally acceptable, just not outstanding.  The pace is over 9:00 for the first time this cycle and I think that it’s a combo of an overall slower tempo but also because I’ve been taking recovery runs VERY seriously.  If I’m going to be attacking as hard as I have been (both in intensity and mileage) then I need to keep being smart. Goal for next week: back off a bit as my run on Sunday was a bit sketch but I was determined to get that 100 🙂

Week of 15-February to 21-February

  • 95.2 miles
  • 14 hours 28 minutes 34 seconds
  • 9:08 average pace
  • Core 2x, Full Body Lifting 3x, XT 2x

Okay so I guess I was semi-successful in cutting back.  I meant to cut back more but I got carried away with my interval session and LR.  Not the biggest deal ever and I think it’s pretty significant that I was able to have a week that didn’t top the previous one.  Very good sign mentally, even if it was only 5.2 miles. I also was slightly slower than last week (which I attribute to a less than stellar tempo that I ended up calling a steady state run) but I think, in hindsight of course, that it was a positive to the week, especailly coming off a 100 mile week.  This was also the week that my shin starting bugging out a little (after the long run) so I switched completely to newer shoes. So hard for me to do but a potential injury is NOT worth it.

Week of 22-February to 28-February

  • 97.1 miles
  • 14 hours 38 minutes 16 seconds
  • 9:03 average pace
  • Core 2x, Full Body Lifting 3x, XT 2x

Okay so another great week.  I was really hoping for a sub-9 average pace given how awesome my tempo and intervals were but I guess I didn’t account for the fact that it would impact my recovery runs.  Couple that with an “eh” average pace for the LR (which I’m not disappointed with the run itself as a whole, but rather the first 12 miles or so) and I guess that 9:03 is what I should have expected.  I kind of wish I had run just a bit faster one of the days to get rid of those pesky 3 seconds.  What can I say: I’m a numbers chica.  But other that that I am THRILLED with how this week went.  Maybe the numbers don’t tell the whole story but it was definitely one of the most solid weeks I’ve had throughout this cycle.

February:

  • 390.5 miles
  • 58 hours 52 minutes 34 seconds
  • 9:03 average pace

Again with those pesky 3 seconds! Overall I’m very pleased with the month.  I got some really hard workouts in, stuck to keeping a weight routine AND hit my first ever 100 mile week.  I secretly wish I had run a bit extra to hit 400 miles buttttt that would have required an average of 100 miles per week and I don’t think I had that in me.  Came close though and I’m happy with how it all went down.  And WOWZA I spent a lot of time running.  Guess I don’t really think about how much it really adds up.  Craaaaaazy.

Heading into March, and the Monster Month, I’m looking forward to having more intensity and, likely, more miles. And I say: BRING IT.

February 1, 2010

Monthy Recap: January 2010

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

So I kind of liked not having weekly recaps last month.  Makes me feel like the posts are “meatier” AND it’s easier to see week-to-week trends when there are 4 weeks laid out.  Granted the weeks listed here are Monday to Sunday so there are a few days of December but whatever. I like it this way 🙂

But before I get into the first month of the year I was talking to my Spanish profesora after class just to let her know that I’ll be missing class for the Boston Marathon.  Normally I wouldn’t have bothered (we get 3 free misses already) but there’s a composition due that day so I wanted to make sure (in advance because I am like that) that it would be ok to email it to her.  And she goes “Oh don’t even worry about it.  You have the best reason ever for missing class. How exciting”.  She’s not a runner but it was way cool to have a professor be so interested and supportive in my running rather than looking at me like I have three or four heads.

So here’s January / the first 5 weeks of Boston training. Just to note, I wrote these as the weeks passed so the tone might shift from week to week and whatnot.

Week of 28-December to 3-January

  • 90.0 miles
  • 13 hours 3 minutes 38 seconds
  • 8:44 average pace
  • Core 3x, Full Body Lifting 2x

Woooooot another weekly mileage pr (as the last week in December was one too).  I wasn’t even shooting for it, but it just happened and I was *shocked* that I ran 90 miles.  This was also the unofficial first week of Boston training, I was just loosely following a schedule.  The overall pace was *much* faster than it’s recently been (I had 2 speed sessions and 2 tm sessions which go much faster than outdoors for me). I’m actually both excited and nervous about the mileage / training this week. Excited because I know that during “monster month” I will be able to do what I need to but nervous because it’s only week 1 (or week 16 depending on how you count) and I don’t need to be anywhere near this point right now.

Week of 4-January to 10-January

  • 85.2 miles
  • 12 hours 47 minutes 32 seconds
  • 9:00 average pace
  • Core 3x, Full Body Lifting 2x

Week 2 (or Week 15 according to my plan) of Boston training down — I decided to make it official after all.  Still on the high side of mileage but that’s due to one overzealous run at the beginning of the week, the rest were where they needed to be.  Average pace looking good too, I think 9:00 is a good balance between my recovery days (which tend to be slooow) and speed days (obv fast).  Happy with the 2x of lifting and 3x of core; hopefully that can continue longer in the training cycle.

Week of 11-January to 17-January

  • 87.2 miles
  • 13 hours 5 minutes 40 seconds
  • 9:02 average pace
  • Core 2x, Lifting 3x, XT 1x

Another great training week.  I still continue to be amazed by how my body is reacting to the training.  The average pace is right where I want it (well maybe 2 seconds too slow haha) which is nice because my recovery runs have been really slow (which they need to be) so it means that I’m hauling butt in my quality workouts.  Definitely good.  I’m also very happy with the fact that I was able to hit the gym THREE times for lifting.  So far the response has been positive.  I also added in an elliptical session, it was after my tempo run so it was nice to be able to stretch the muscles and circulate my blood without the impact of running.

Week of 18-January to 24-January

  • 89.4 miles
  • 13 hours 13 minutes 4 seconds
  • 8:52 average pace
  • Core 2x, Full Body Lifting 3x, XT 1x

So my favorite part of those numbers? The 8:52 average pace!! I guess with a kick ass interval, tempo AND long run I should have expected it.  Woot.  I also like all the lifting I’ve been doing: powerful and strong chica here.  My least favorite part? The eighty-nine point FOUR.  Makes me wish for an extra .6 to round up to 90.  But I know that’s not what I needed.  I mean this was supposed to be a cutback of 5-10 miles.  Oops heh. And I don’t like the XT.  I think that I don’t like XT in general. But I’m happy I got that in as my shake-the-legs-out workout post-tempo rather than another run.

Week of 25-January to 31-January

  • 93.8 miles
  • 13 hours 50 minutes 17 seconds
  • 8:51 average pace
  • Core 2x, Full Body Lifting 3x, XT 1x

Weekly PR.  I think this will likely be the last one of those for a while.  I definitely let my mind run wild this week and I think I felt the touches of the drain with my speed sessions, while stellar, just felt blah.  Amazing considering that I broke the double digit streak this week that my miles could get so high.  Plus my average pace for the week was a killer. I think that was mostly due to faster-than-normal recovery runs because I didn’t think my speed work sessions were anything extra spectacular compared to previous weeks. SO I’m very proud of this week and it’ll definitely go in my books as a stupendous week.

Month of January totals:

  • 397.1 miles
  • 58 hours 58 minutes 17 seconds
  • 8:54 avg pace

Definitely a monthly PR for sure. So many great things happened. Hit 2 weekly mileage PRs (and all the weeks have been the highest they’ve ever been for me!). Boston training really took hold.  I was in the midst of an amazing double digit streak.  I incorporated lifting and stretching and XT-ing into my routine. The thing I’m most impressed with is my average pace being UNDER 9 min/mi.  I know for some of you that is no biggie but that’s huge for me.  It definitely shows that I’ve been diligent and hardcore with my speed work.  I know that I’ll won’t likely get another month like this but it sure sets the bar high for what is to follow.  I’m hoping that I can take what I’ve done (lifting, stretching, XT, speed work) and keep it all up for February.

What a way to start of 2010!

January 1, 2010

In with a Semi-Bang & 2009 Monthly Totals

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:40

Man I didn’t think I was going to be this sore after yesterday’s full body lifting + tempo! It’s not as bad as it could be I suppose and, in fact, I quite like this type of soreness.  Let’s me know I pushed hard yesterday which I did.

Hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve.  I had a low-key night and stayed in for a house party rather than going into the city.  We made frappes with Bailey’s which was heavenly 🙂 And we also thought that we were cheated out of the ball dropping.  Turns out we’re just idiots because upon replay the ball did in fact drop. Heh.

Despite a late night I still got up early because of my internal alarm.  The weather was really nice (upper 20s no wind) even early but my sore muscles + extreme hunger pushed off a run until late morning.  Not quite a huge bang to welcome 2010 like I said goodbye to 2009 but a solid 13 miles nonetheless.  So a semi-bang because 13 miles isn’t anything to snivel over even though the run itself was kind of unremarkable.

But without further ado (because I have another massage scheduled that I need to head out for then heading to see Avatar in 3D. Yay!!) here are my 2009 miles. Maybe I should have posted this in 2009 but whatever I’m combining posts because I don’t want to keep putting off telling you how great I was in 2009 haha!!

Here are the mileage breakdowns for each month of 2009 (along with some thoughts / things I associate with each month — sorry but I am a terrible picture taker because I don’t really ever do it).  It took me forever to do because I kept “eh” records prior to the summer.  I had all the data but I never totaled things etc.  Gross.  But I was curious to see the ebb and flow of my running over the course of the year.  I am not ambitious enough (nor bored enough yet) to calculate the overall time spent running / pace.  I kind of do want to know that info but I think I’m going to save myself the headache heh.

January: 161.4 (Kind of low, especially when you consider my miles lately.  But I had a really case of cellulitus in my toe which led to a bad blood infection — and hospitalization — so I was out of commission for a good week-ish and then could only xt for a bit after.  So overall not that bad.)

February: 219.9 (First 20 miler ever this month! And after that run was the first time I posted with the RWOL Dailies crew.  Awesome people, good support & they’re all wicked smart. The overall monthly mileage is kind of low compared to future months though)

March: 265.4 (First month that I ever did double digits during the week.  I turned my Tuesdays into mini-long run — like 11-12 miles — and I felt like such a bad ass doing that many miles then going to classes)

April: 254.9 (Longest run everrrr — at least not including the marathon — of 22 miles.  Ran it in HURRICANE conditions (no joke: legit hurricane) on Easter weekend.  Wrote in my log “very challenging mentally and physically, let the taper begin!” haha. I think this was the month where I created the blog )

May: 229.1 (Marathon was at the beginning of this month and the rest was focused on recovery although to look at the weekly stuff I didn’t take long to bounce back)

June: 237.4 (Started the 100 pushup challenge this month because I still wasn’t anxious to get back into a lifting routine.  I really liked this challenge even though I haven’t done a single pushup on my own accord since doing the 100. Oops!)

July: 250.7 (Ran my first 5 mile race and did it well.  Kind of embarrassing that it took me so long to get back to speed post-marathon as this was it)

August: 264.3 (This month including some hardcore hills because I visited my friend up in Lake Winnipesaukee.  I felt wicked hardcore hitting what felt like mountains)

September: 281.5 (Beginning of the fall of racing. I did the Covered Bridges Half Marathon — and Lacey was there even though I didn’t know her yet! — and my first ever 5k which I had mixed emotions over.)

October: 307.8 (Raced the Tufts 10k with Lacey & her sister — finally a meet up! Also a huge month for me, first time over 300 miles!)

November: 293.6 (Obv the highlight here was the 23k on my 23rd.  Genius of my advisor to tell me to go metric!)

December: 350.0 (Woot to high mileage.  I was running like it was job here!)

As you can see I pretty much increased my miles every month! And I have pretty good memories to go along with it.  I actually really liked flipping through my log to pick out the stuff as I don’t get to “rest on my laurels” ever.

And 2009 grand total? Drumroll please: 3116.0

Hooooooollllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Okay so I’m not convinced that it’s a point 0 total (I use an online tracker and sometimes question it’s accuracy) but I like it anyway. And I know I didn’t include those warm up/down miles for lifting, these miles are “pure” running ones.  But I am pumped and wicked pleased.  2010: you have a lot to live up to 😀

December 28, 2009

Monthly Recap: December 2009

Filed under: Weekly Recap — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:30

So I haven’t gotten around to posting weekly recaps all month.  Oops. So here’s the weekly recaps that make up December (and yes I know that December isn’t over.  Oh well December decided not to be nice and end on a Sunday for me):

Week of 30 November – 6 December

  • 71 miles
  • 10 hours 45 minutes 10 seconds
  • Core 5x but no rest & no XT

Great week. Didn’t mean to run so much but it felt so good.  This week also remarked the return of speedwork which I think helped my overall running mood be lifted. I also made a conscious decision to keep up a streak this week (start date was Nov 14th) so we’ll see how far that lasts 🙂

Week of 7 December – 13 December

  • 74.3 miles
  • 11 hours 9 minutes 35 seconds
  • Core 5x but no rest & no XT

Another high mileage week which impresses me because it was the last week of classes and thus the final push of the semester.  Lots of double digit runs and an interval one.  But my body still is recovering well between runs and I ended the week feeling like I still had gas in the tank.

Week of 14 December – 20 December

  • 80.6 miles
  • 12 hours 17 minutes 23 seconds
  • Core 5x but no rest or xt

Mileage PR! And clearly a time spent running PR too.  Wow, 12+ hours that’s a lot.  Definitely the week of the long runs to say the least as well because every run was 10+.  But I think this week awoke the inner mileage junkie in me.  And despite my bitching about feeling slow the overall pace was right around normal, a bit on the slow side but definitely not by much.  Reassuring that my body was capable of handling so many miles.

Week of 21 December – 27 December

  • 84.6 miles
  • 12 hours 53 minutes 31 seconds
  • Core 3x, Fully Body Lifting (Legs, Arms, Core) 2x, No rest

Another weekly mileage pr! I think once I broke the 80 mile barrier last week it was really easy to do it again.  I think sometimes there are goals that really are psychological in nature, because I smashed last weeks mileage, rather than physical because I’m quite happy with my pace.  With lots of long runs I’m still going faster than long run pace.  I’m also really happy that I was able to get in two strength sessions in plus an additional 3 core sessions.  I think that going into the New Year I want to have established that lifting will be a consistent part of my routine.

November 30, 2009

Weekly Recap: November 23 – 29 2009

Filed under: Weekly Recap — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:13

Miles: 73.9

Time: 11 hours 25 minutes 36 seconds

Strength: Big Fat GooseEgg

Core: 5x

XT / Rest: Zero

This week epitomized “Go Big or Go Home” in a huuuuuuuuuuge way.  Since I was at home for the majority of the week I ramped up my running in proportion to the stress being home brings.  The POTM challenge also was a factor as I was in the final push for that too.  Lack of rest didn’t hurt either in this monster week.  Miraculously (?) my average pace didn’t suffer toooooo much.  Makes me really think that I’m perfectly suited for this long distance stuff.  And don’t anyone worry: I’m definitely going to NOT keep this up! Heh.

Also to note: November mileage = 293.6.  Great month to be sure but slightly disappointed that it’s not a monthly pr like October was.  Seems a bit improbable given this past week but hey, not going to snub my nose at it 🙂

P.S. Check out the giveaway that Lizzy’s having, although I’m going to say don’t  (like always) because I want a better shot at winning haha

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