MarathonMaiden's Blog

June 10, 2011

Previously on MM…May 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:02

I am soooooooooooooo totally aware that today is June 10th. AKA we are officially in mid-June.  And I never put up my May recap-y post.  In all fairness I didn’t put up any posts this month so far.  So in one sense I’m really not that late because this is my first post all month.

Needless to say I’ve been busy.  And once my computer got that virus 2+ weeks ago I haven’t turned it on once after getting it fixed. And then I went away last weekend for a graduation (in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful. But middle of nowhere.) So I’m popping in real quick before I head away for a wedding this weekend and I go even longer without posting. I have some awesome pictures from my weekend away that I want to share. (I totally rubbernecked on my runs) and I’ve had some strange/amusing encounters on my runs lately so I know I’ll be back.  I sure hope so because I’ve missed y’all!

Anyone remember when I posted daily? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.

thanks google

May 2011

  • 425.6 miles
  • 67 hours 16 minutes 3 seconds
  • 9:29 pace

May 2010

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

The biggest, most obvious, difference is the increase in miles. WOW. I posted my miles with my Dailies crew and got a couple of questions/remarks of “how do you run so many miles?”.  Well I really don’t know.  It’s not like I’m sacrificing much here: I’m an early riser in general so getting up between 0530 and 0600 typically happens no matter what time I go to bed and I’m lucky that I don’ t have kids or a spouse or those obligations.  That frees up lots of time.  Plus I”m young so my social obligations don’t start until at least 2000.  Somehow it all works out.  I mean, I definitely skimp on the sleep and many runs have been a little dehydrated from the night before.

And obviously pace suffers.  That’s pretty obvious is the stats too. Which, at this current moment, is something I don’t really care about.  I have prospect races but nothing that I’ve laid down the cash for so I’m perfectly happy just going out there and running big.  Or twice in one day and with the weather getting to be SUMMERTIME is something I’m loving.

Overall: good month. Some other highlights? Well this was a really stressful month on the family front but I got some good stuff out of it too.

  • Some of my stress was relieved when I found a place to sublet for July and August (and a place for beyond that! I AM SO EXCITED!). Turns out I will not be living in a cardboard box on the side of the road for the remainder of my time in PVD nor beyond that. Holler.

thanks google

  • WARM WEATHER. Borderline hot. Holler again.  It’s so nice to be able to go out at night and not wear a jacket or sweater.  It’s definitely helped my social life.  Which, speaking of, going out with Lacey over Memorial Day weekend was fan-freaking-tastic. I love dancing.
  • Evidently not baking though as I only made one recipe. And if memory serves me correctly I stated such in my post.  They were cookies though.  Win?

Yum.

  • Cracked ribs.  Okay so maybe not a highlight per se.  But it makes a great story.  Luckily I’m almost at 100%.  I don’t need the painkillers to sleep anymore, which is nice, but I can still feel that my ribs are a little damaged when I take deep breaths.

Hopefully this post was coherent. When I started typing I felt like I forgot how to blog! It’s Friday so it’s a half day for me (don’t be tooooooooooo jealous. I had to work several 9-10 hour days to get it!) and I’ll be

  1. Catching up on your lovely blogs
  2. Enjoying the wonderous(ly hot) weather
  3. Cheering the Bruins on tonight

Ready? BREAK!

Advertisements

January 24, 2011

Early AM vs. AM vs. PM

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:11

I don’t rate myself as a fantastic, talented athlete. I just have perseverance. I’m a cart horse. I work hard.
Colleen DeReuck, Four-time Olympian

Considering that it’s T-12 weeks until Boston, it’s time to start working hard.

And lately I’ve been pondering the best time for me to do hard (or any) work.  You see, I really REALLY love running before work, ideally before my clinic nights when I can run around 0800.  I also have to run some mornings (office days) at 0600 or earlier.  But my BODY loves running later, like 1400 or even as late as 1700.

Let’s compare my two recent runs, shall we?

Sunday: 10.2 miles @ 8:46 pace @ 1630.  It felt effortless and easy.  Definitely didn’t feel like I was running at all.

Monday: 13.1 miles @ 9:08 pace @ 0830. Picked up pack at end and last mile was at 8:20 pace.  I was really surprised at how fast this run was because it was -1* when I left my friend’s house this morning and 1 or 2* when I left my house.  Right now it’s been about 10 hours post run and my fingernails still sting. Definitely not an embracing winter moment today 😉

Seems to me that it takes me WAY longer to warm up when I start my runs earlier. And I suspect my afternoon runs feel easier because I’ve had two solid meals in me and a few snacks. But I like running my runs early and it works best with my schedule. I just wonder how much better of a runner I’d be if I ran all my runs later. I mean, I can “train” my body to run earlier (and definitely have because I can train well before noon) but there’s something about naturally running well that’s enticing.

Does the time you like to run match the time your body likes to run?

Also: does your body run on cookies?

Because apparently mine does.  The night before my last long run I made these two cookie recipes with a friend.  And likely ate half the batter/cookies before they got to work the next day.  Oops.

Butttttt who can resist this dough?!

Good Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 cups of flour
  • .5 teaspoon baking soda
  • .5 teaspoon salt
  • .5 cup butter, softened
  • .5 cup packed brown sugar
  • .25 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 package of chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375* and in a small bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt
  2. In a larger bowl beat the butter and sugars (the directions say with a mixer but we used out *clean* hands) until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla  until well combined. Reduce to low speed and beat in the flour mixture just until well blended.  With wooden spoon stir in the chips.
  3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons, 2 inches apart, on two ungreased cookies sheets.  Bake until golden around the edges (roughly 10 to 12 minutes)
  4. Transfer to cookie rack to cool then eat and enjoy

Not the greatest lighting but still yummy

And now my favorite: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ingredients:

  • .75 cup flour
  • .5 teaspoon baking soda
  • .25 teaspoon salt
  • .5 cup butter, softened
  • .5 cup granulated sugar
  • .33 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cup oats, uncooked
  • .75 cup raisins

Directions:

  1. Essentially the same as above, except the oven is set to 350* and the oats and raisins get added in after the flour mixture.  We also found that the cookies took about 15 minutes to cook.
  2. ENJOY

And I’m still at work.  It’s been a long day.  I think I’m going to my friend’s house for Pushing Daisies (and I LOVE that lots of you watch/watched it too) and some more baking.  Because it’s better for my body than drinking… 😉

I don’t rate myself as a fantastic, talented athlete. I just have perseverance. I’m a cart horse. I work hard.  

Colleen DeReuck, Four-time Olympian

December 24, 2010

A Little Bit of Green and Pumpkin.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:51

First: I LOVED your answers to the questions I posed on Wednesday. Hilarity.  You guys are the best

Second: Sadly I’m not talking about green money.  I wish. Nor am I talking about green pumpkins which is likely a good thing!  And I could be talking about the Celtics but, for once, I’m not (although WOOOOT to another win!)

I wasn’t planning on blogging today as I’ve been busy (but duh who isn’t this time of year with work and the holidays and everything) and every time I sit down to type about my runs it’s all the same really. Buttttt I had a kick ass run on Thursday.  So I’m sharing 😉

I got up on Thursday morning and saw…SNOW. Again.  It really stormed on Wednesday and I was hoping that it would have dissipated by Thursday. Nope. It was the big light fluffy stuff, not a blizzard or anything icky, and I am so glad that I ran.  Well duh I ran.  I did an elliptical session the day before.  No way I could make myself do two in a row.  But I’m actually happy that I ran because it was a really stellar one.

I’ve been shying away from posting my paces as I recover for a bunch of reasons, first and foremost being that my pace shouldn’t matter in the days and weeks post-marathon.  That and partly because I’ve been doing lots of slow running and I felt really jealous when seeing others doing fast stuff and I’m not.  Because I’m really competitive. Green eyed monster anyone?!

Only not so warm and fuzzy. Thanks google.

Granted slow is all relative but suffice it to say that in the weeks post-marathon my runs have ranged from the slowest run at just over 10:00 pace to the more recent 8:57 that I did on Tuesday.  I saw lots of 9:30ish paces in there and I did get some LMPs in but overall these runs have been much slower than what I’m used to. The trend is slowly getting faster with the same effort but still, I want to jump right back in!

I’m not going to lie and say that mentally I was okay with it the slower paces.  I went back and forth between being cool and not cool with it. Going from “yes this is what my body needs” to “ugh another slow splits?!”.  Don’t get me wrong: at the end of the day my life isn’t ruined by not running speedy during these runs. But it sometimes felt that way right after a run.  Which makes me feel awkward typing out this post. Especially since I’m saying this in order to set up how awesome my run on Thursday was and how sweet it felt.  It makes me feel a bit bratty.

After running the first loop well I decided to sneak a peak at my splits at each check point  (I did a 2.2 loop, my pathway (essentially 2 @ 2.2 for timing purposes), 1.1 loop)

  • 2.2 miles (19:13, 8:44 pace) Okay this could be a good run
  • 2.2 miles (18:47 minutes, 8:32 pace) Well there you go. Hope I don’t break something
  • 2.2 miles (18:05, 8:18 pace) Jeez think I can hold onto this for one more mile?
  • 1.1 miles (9:00, 8:10 pace) Holy S$#%, this is like PRE-MARATHON RUNNING

So 7.7 miles total in 65:05 which is a 8:27 pace.  If that isn’t beautiful I do not know what is.  I’ve been waiting for my legs to come around and give me those mid-8s that just felt like I wasn’t doing anything except having fun.  The only sad thing is that I ran out of time to capitalize on the fast pace and great feeling!  Of course the preventative stuff happened post-run (don’t want to jinx myself here) and I did W5D2 of pushups ( 19, 19, 22, 22, 18, 18, 22, 47 ) and situps ( 30, 30, 36, 27, 27, 33, 100 ) as well as the PT exercises, rolling, stretching.  The works.

I’m not going to consider myself fully recovered from the marathon — I think it’s good for me to still be on a break because I’ve *never* given myself an off season — but man, did this run feel good.  No aches, no pains, no nagging anything to suggest I ran a 3:09 marathon just 2.5 weeks ago. Not too much more to say on it because I feel the data just speaks for itself.  For once the numbers are in line with how I feel while running

Elite Boston Marathoners. Maybe not as good as this though 😉 Thanks google.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and / or weekend if you don’t celebrate! I’m going to try and blog but hey, it’s the holidays so I may not. Unless I have another stellar run like I did on Thursday! I’m hoping that some hometown runs do the trick. If fact, I’m off for one now. Happy Christmas Eve y’all!

But in case you’re feeling ambitious today I’ve decided to also share a recipe. Since it’s the holidays (and YAY for going home for the holiday. Aka no work — and more importantly no early bird wakeup Friday) I’ll share a recipe.  This one was probably more appropriate for Thanksgiving as it has pumpkin in it but I’m pretty sure that pumpkin is good for year round stuff. I mean I’m not a die-hard like some people but I’m not going to discriminate based on something as silly as month.  Case in point: I made it for the Celtics game last night.  I received no complaints.

And if not, well then, simply don’t make it. Like most of my recipes, this one came from a friend but when she gave it to me the recipe card said it was from “The Baking Pan” so I guess that’s where she got it. I didn’t actually look to see if it was still on their site but I’ve written down the directions per her. And I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that if you do find it, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is word for word the recipe on the site as I just copied and pasted her email hahah!

And yes I know there are lots of words that follow. So feel free to just look at the pictures.  Unless you try to make it.  Then I’d suggest reading the ingredients and directions 😉

Pumpkin Walnut Cake


Ingredients:

  • Small amount of vegetable shortening and flour for preparing pan

Cake:

  • 1 cup dark or golden raisins, plumped (or a combination of both)
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced crystallized ginger
  • ½ cup quartered red candied cherries
  • 3 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree or, one 15-ounce can of pumpkin.
  • 1¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups walnuts, coarsely chopped, 2 tablespoons reserved for the top

Orange Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest (about ½ orange)
  • 4 to 5 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice

This is so totally the bread that I mention below. Same recipe. But I felt I didn't a good picture to break up the text 😉

 

Directions:

Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one 10 inch cake pan and lightly grease it with shortening and dust with flour
  • Plump the raisins by steaming in a colander in a double boiler; steam the raisins about 1 minute or until softened. Thoroughly drain, or spread the raisins on paper toweling to dry. (in the interest of time we did not do this.  I’d imagine that the cake would have come out even tastier if we had)
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the drained raisins, ginger and cherries. Stir in 1 tablespoon of flour to keep the fruit from sticking together. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; whisk together to mix.  Set aside.
  • In a large bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs; beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer still on medium-high speed, slowly add the granulated sugar to the eggs, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking 3 to 4 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the eggs and sugar are fully incorporated, and the mixture looks light in color and thickened.
  • Add the brown sugar one tablespoon at a time, taking 3 to 4 minutes, and beating until the sugar is fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  • Reduce mixer speed to medium, add the pumpkin puree, and beat for 1 minute. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly pour the oil into the batter in a slow steady stream, and then beat for 1 minute longer.
  • Reduce mixer speed to medium-low, and blend in the flour mixture all at once, mixing just until incorporated.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a balloon type whisk or large rubber spatula, fold in all but 2 tablespoons of the walnuts, along with the raisins, ginger, and cherry mixture.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons reserved walnuts over the top. Bake 65 to 70 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Place pan on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then remove cake from the pan and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.

Orange Glaze:

  • In a small bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar and orange zest. Add 4 teaspoons orange juice and stir until smooth. Add additional teaspoon of orange juice if needed to make a good drizzling consistency. The glaze should be like a soft icing, but thin enough that it will run down over the sides of the cake
  • Drizzle glaze over the cake, allowing the glaze to drip down the sides.  Let the glaze set before serving.
  • ENJOY!

Close Up. Yum

And since this cake was such a big hit to the party I brought it too I decided to use the recipe and make it into a bread.  Minus the glaze because I wanted to take it into work for the doctors that volunteered Thursday night at the clinic. Kind of as a thank you for both being a volunteer as well as coming in the day before Christmas Eve. It was a bit tricky getting it made before work post-run but soooo totally worth it!

Everyone loved it as a bread too.

December 20, 2010

Things I’ve Learned: Weekend Edition

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:23

I typed out a post just now but deleted it because even I couldn’t stand how teenager whiny I sounded.  Especially because I was just bitching and moaning. Nothing positive.  No bright side. So I’ve turned it into things I’ve learned this weekend.  Because learning is ALWAYS positive. And fun.

  • If it’s 8 days until Christmas then good luck finding those gingerbread kits.  Because my friend and I wanted to make real gingerbread houses Friday night but decided to at 2100 that night.  Meaning we could have made the dough for the walls but decorating would have to wait.  And let’s face it: decorating is what gingerbread house making is all about.  After hitting up several stores searching for those $10 kits there was nothing in sight.  So we said “Eff it” and watched Iron Man 2 instead.

 

Or maybe eating it's the best. Thanks google for the image

  • Sleeping in until 1000 isn’t a bad thing.  Unless of course you have a billion things to do during the day.  Luckily that wasn’t really the case for me on Saturday when my alarm went off at 0845 and I fell back asleep until a little past 1000.  But it felt glorious.  And lazy. I also did this, but to a not-as-late degree, on Sunday morning.  Mostly because it was cold in my apartment (see a later lesson for why) and because
  • Late nights at the GCB (the Graduate Center Bar, literally in the basement of a building at the university) are fun.  It’s essentially a dive bar and I tend to shy away from it because I’m not a student but the drink are extremely cheap (and relatively strong) and there are graduate students there.  Hotttttt. I also think that it was this late night (coupled with restless sleep because it was cold in my room) lead to the sleeping in Sunday morning.  So worth it.

 

Good times with good friends = awesomeness. Not taken Saturday night though.

  • Running post-breakfast is a good idea and leads to good running for me. Although it’s tough to get my butt out the door because I’ll get sucked into the internet vortex or the good book that I’m currently reading.  And even if I manage to pry myself away it takes FOREVER to actually put the running clothes on and get out there. Lesson: do this on days where I have nowhere to be.
  • But once I got out there it was amazing! Lesson: sunny runs and runs where I’ve let my body wake up are the bestest. On Saturday I ended up with 10.8 miles, first double digit post-WR and it was definitely the FASTEST, by a long shot, post-WR. Again, the pace isn’t where I’d love it to be but it was 0:02 away from being within McMillian’s easy pace/LR pace.  So I’m thrilled. The day was perfect for it too: 36* and sunny.  Definitely beats the teens and dark that I’ve been doing during the week.  Sunday was a shorter but equally fast (like 0:01 seconds off that easy pace) run in some cloudy, yet warmish, day.  It felt like it was going to snow though.  Boo.  But both runs kicked booty AND ended with LMPs (last mile parties) and WAY fast splits. Leading me to my next lesson:
  • Rolling, stretching, PT exercises are good.Coupled with the Pushups ( 29, 33, 29, 29, 40 ) and Situps ( 45, 50, 45, 45, 70 ) I’ve been doing my body is feeling good and on that Saturday run I was pain free.  Holler.  I’m feeling like a better/stronger/faster/less hurting runner.  This can only help me in the long term.
  • As can checking the oil burner more frequently (what you thought this would be 100% running?!) Because on Friday we ran out of oil and spent 2.5 days with no heat.  Let’s just say mid-December in New England is not the best time to do so and apparently my apartment, being nice and glorious in it’s antiquity, is not well insulated.  AKA we burned through our oil wicked fast, like 3 weeks fast.  Luckily we finally went out to buy a wrench and bleed the line so we have heat.  I feel incredibly BAMF for being able to bleed the line myself now.  Like a regular MacGyver

thanks google images

  • So I spent most of the whole day working on my bloggy secret santa gift (SORRY TO THE PERSON I HAVE. I’m 99.99% sure it’ll come the Monday after Christmas! I’ll have it in the mail before obviously but I have no idea if it’ll get to you in time), catching up on blogs (as well as reading through the blogs of some new commenters!) and watching the first season of Chuck.  Because Chuck is an awesome show.

And he's a wicked cute nerd, like me 😉 Thanks google images

  • And finally, after staying out way late for two nights and sleeping in for two days Monday mornings suck. I normally don’t care too much about Monday mornings but man it is ROUGH getting out of bed at 0545 (or getting into bed before 2300 the night before!) after getting out of the habit.  And the running isn’t too stellar usually as was the case this morning.  But, after having pain free and fast and AWESOME runs for the past 4 days, I can’t say that the dud of a run this morning was all that awful. And I will say that Monday morning runs are worth it because I get to see my friendly older pair of men walking the pathway when I’m out that early.  They’re always so upbeat and happy and I smile when I pass them and tell them to have a great morning/week/whatever.

What about y’all. Any lessons learned this weekend?

Check out the giveaway from Janae (Hungry Girl Runner) and Julie (HotLegsRunner)

1. Vacation: beach or mountains?

2. Luggage: check it or carry it on?

3. Bed: make it or leave it a rumpled comfy mess?

4. Races: smaller or bigger?

5. Toilet paper roll: over or under?

6. Pancakes: thick and fluffy or thin and crepe-like?

7. Alarm: get up or hit snooze?

December 17, 2010

Question: What Kind of Coach Purse Does Jennifer Garner Have?

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

Answer: I’m sorry to the person who used that google search term to get to my blog yesterday but I have no idea. Maybe Sarah (SkinnyRunner) does? 😉

My Thursday was CRAZY busy. Both with work stuff and life stuff. But, and this must be some sort of Christmas miracle, I got everything I wanted to get done yesterday done. It was a bit stressful but nothing that a couple of deep breaths and one GIANT cookie that got mailed to me from a really great friend couldn’t cure.

No pictures out of the baggie because I knew it was going to be so good that I wouldn't be able to put it down. It lived up to those expectations.

And yes, those are both candy bits *and* CCs. I feel so loved. And it was seriously as thick as my finger. HEAVEN.

Workout wise Thursday was PDG (pretty damn good). Before work I completed an 8.2 miler that was, well, rockin’. Granted I say that with the mindset of marathon recovery: the pace was still slow but it was MUCH faster than any run post WR. I checked my watch at the half way point and thought NO WAY was I running that fast. But I was. I didn’t have a LMP but I did have a second-to-last mile party. Then I slowed down a bit for the last mile with a slight surge over the last block before getting to my door. I’m telling myself that it was the warm down 😉 So while I still have a long way to go before I can consider myself recovered I was quite encouraged by this run. The run was also without hip/IT/pirformis/whatever the heck it is pain. Another encouraging thing.

Lots of pushups (25, 29, 25, 25, 37) and situps ( 38, 45, 38, 38, 55) from W4D2 as well as PT hip exercises followed that run and almost made me late to work. Maybe that’s why I felt really rushed at the clinic? Besides the fact that I wanted / NEEDED to get those exercises in I was also running late because I mailed the first batch of Christmas cards out. Yes that’s right: FIRST BATCH. You see, what typically happens is that I mail my initial 15-20 cards out and then inevitably forget a bunch of people. So I know I’ll be mailing another 5-10 out this weekend. But I’m such a good friend so it’s all good.

Like these guys: (All I know is that, based on the C’s vs. Knicks game on Wednesday night, NY cannot handle THE TRUTH)

So much amazingness going on here. Well that was Wednesday. And by golly it was the perfect thing to come home to after work.

This morning (Friday) I awoke eaaaaaaaaaaaaaarly. Okay so it was 0545. But when I get up at 0800 on Tues/Thurs it makes the 0545 alarm so much more painful. It was obviously to run (sorry Jess for the lack of willpower to XT! But you ditched me Tuesday 😉 ). It was cold (duh) but I felt like I was appropriately dressed and never felt cold on the run. Success. The run itself was a quasi-success. It totally was NOT as great as my run Thursday in terms of both pace and feeling in the leg. I’m blaming it on the fact that I ran out of time to roll post-workout and then was too lazy to stretch or roll post-work. So I’d gone 48 hours of not treating the leg-o with some TLC.

That said, the run didn’t suck at all. And it was probably the second fastest run post-WR. Which says a lot because it was an early run and my paces typically aren’t the most stellar at 0600. So another encouraging thing-a-ma-bob. I even got a LMP out of the run. I had only planned on running 6 but decided to tack on one more, because today is Friday and after some changes at work (sadly nothing scandalous) I have a new supervisor who doesn’t work Fridays. So I had those extra minutes to spend running. Should I have spent them rolling and stretching and PT-ing? Highly likely but I did spend 30 minutes doing that stuff so, again, it’s all good.

Anyway…something that ISN’T right  or good is the following picture. I’m all for holiday spirit and all (and I’m getting into it myself in my own way) and I thoroughly enjoy driving around the neighborhoods that put all fancy and creative lights up. But I’m very thankful that this person is not my neighbor.

Check out the giveaway from Tricia (Endurance isn’t Only Physical) and Running and Rambling and Amanda (Run to the Finish)

November 23, 2010

Well Not Exactly A Tempo. But I’ve Come A Long Way.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:44

When I got to work on Monday I was crowned:

Silly camera phone being blurry

The eClinicalWorks Queen.  Or ECW (pronounced e-c-dubs) Because I am apparently the know-it-all with the program.  Did I mention I’m not staff here? Just a VISTA?

What a great way to start a Monday, no? I actually wore the silly thing alllll day.  And it’s going to be on my head all day today too.

The rest of my Monday was pretty good.  My legs have still been feeling tight and achy lately.  A result, I’m sure, of the foam rolling.  I think I may be using too much pressure, although to quote my friend “How can you use too much pressure? You’re not 400 lbs” Overall I think that the increase in rolling is a good thing.  It’s making more aware of my muscles and how they feel.

That said I was going to do my tempo yesterday (because I had time in the morning) but didn’t.  Partly because I wanted that extra day of ease. And partly because that would throw off the rest of my weekday schedule.  I hate juggling things around when I don’t have to.

And hey, alliteration is hot.

I kind of regret that decision as I woke up this morning coughing up phlegm and with my sinus clogged and eyes itchy.  Hello allergies.  I hate the fact that I never had allergies until I hit my 20s.  Booooo.  So I did what any sane runner would do and ever sane person would not: pop an allergy pill and go out and try to hit my Tempo Tuesday.  I did get 8.5 hours of sleep so I figured I could be good to go.

The weather was also cooperating, giving me a lovely 47* morning with plenty of sunshine.  It felt like early spring! Obviously winter hasn’t even begun yet but it was nice to be able to run in spandex and a wife beater top.  And take off my gloves midway through 8)

The plan:

  • Warm up
  • Hit tempo pace (according to McMillian 6:51-711) for ~4.4 miles (aka the loop path with a bit extra)
  • Then hit GMP (~7:30) for ~2-3 miles during my recovery route
  • Take the rest of the recovery route as recovery

The idea was to hit a tempo pace hard so that the 3 or so miles at GMP felt really really easy. Confidence boosting? Yes please!

The result:

  • Warm up at an obscenely slow pace that actually didn’t feel that slow
  • 6.6 miles @ 7:24
  • Warm down at what feels like an obscenely slow pace that actually wasn’t

The average for the tempo portion looked like this:

  • 2.2 miles @ 7:28
  • 2.2 miles @ 7:20
  • 2.2 miles @ 7:24

Not quite what I was going for.

Thoughts:

After the first 2.2 miles I knew (from calculating it out beforehand) that I was just under GMP.  Since this has been the plan since, oh I don’t know, the past 4 weeks I made the decision to stick with that pace (or try to) for the remainder of the route.  And I was pretty successful.  Yes it was a little fast but it wasn’t all over the place and the average wasn’t too much faster than GMP anyway.

As I was running the warm down I was starting to beat myself up over not being faster today.  And then I stopped.  Not running (duh never!) but thinking like that.  In terms of pure running, I’ve come a long way since my last training cycle.  While I was running tempos around 7:20-7:40 it never felt “good”.  It always felt hard.  So the fact that the same pace can feel, well not EASY but EASIER is huge.  A feather to put in the cap (or my tiara) if you will.

So all in all: Success.  At this point (T-13 days!) in my training “cycle” (I still feel weird calling it a cycle when it’s only 5 weeks long!) this is the type of workout I need: consistent and at GMP (or I guess slightly under as the case may be today).

I know that I’m ALWAYS going to feel disappointment with these types of workouts just because they aren’t an all out effort. I finished the tempo portion, still standing, and finished the workout with a curt nod of my head.  I really wanted, however, to end the tempo portion bent over and trying to catch my breath.  But right now these workouts aren’t meant to be that way and I need to start facing that discomfort of not going “balls to the walls” sooner or later if I want to continue to run (and race) well.

Oops to get all reflective and pensive on this Tuesday of the short week.  But I think this workout was huge.  Not in running terms per se but it’s given me reason to be *mentally* ready for WR even if physically it wasn’t what I’m used to or always want to be at.

But of course I also did W3D1 of my pushups when I got back, as well as some foam rolling action.

Pushups: 14, 18, 14 ,14 , 21

Situps: 21, 27, 21, 21, 35

And, to brighten up your day, a giveaway from Marcia

Plus, with Thanksgiving being in TWO days, a funny comic. From Foxtrot.  Which is my favorite. Enjoy

November 21, 2010

“This Is A Workout To Put You On The Podium”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:17

Or so the high school cross country coach was telling his boys Saturday when I was at the track.  As I didn’t run XC ever I don’t know what championship they’re gearing up for but whatever it is: Good Luck Boys. I think they were doing 1km repeats.

My workout on Saturday was no less shabby either.  After some thought, and reading the awesome words from you guys, I decided to not do a full yasso workout.  Bummer because it really might be my favorite.  I knew the best workout for me to do would likely be my “other favorite” workout: 2 X 3 miles.  But I had done that last week and, while I have absolutely no problem repeating workouts from the immediate past, this workout is one that won’t ever be the case with.

I decided to split the difference and do a shorter tempo interval workout with a couple 800s tacked on at the end if I wasn’t feeling too beat up.  I did them on the track because the track keeps me honest and honest workouts make me feel like a million bucks for not a million bucks.  With non-track workouts I can have mitigating circumstances as to why I didn’t hit the target and, while wind and plain old not feeling it do happen with the track, there really are only two options: hit or miss

Thanks XKCD

You can’t really go wrong. Or I guess you can.  But it’s painfully obvious.

The Plan

  • Warmup
  • 1 Mile fast, with 400 recovery
  • 2 X 2 Miles fast, with 800 recovery after each one
  • 1 mile fast, with 400 recovery

And then if I felt halfway decent

  • 2-4 800m, with 400 recovery
  • Warm down

If you look closely, you’ll notice that, with the exception of the 800 repeats, the recovery distance has been shortened by what I normally do.  I usually do half the distance but today I decided to do only a quarter of the interval distance.  It’s probably too soon to the actual race to be messing with this kind of stuff but time was an issue and there is no way that I’m cutting out intervals.  I like running fast too much 😉

The target pace for the 1 miles was 6:45-6:50 and the target pace for the 2 miles was 13:30-13:45.  I was expecting to be on the slower end of these paces simply because my legs have taken a beating these past 4 or so weeks.  Of course I *should* have been targeting slower paces because this workout constitutes a GMP workout.  And neither 6:45 nor 6:50  is GMP.  But whatever.

I was on the track. I was ready to GO.

The Workout

I warmed up for about 3 or so miles to get to the track and then:

  • 1 Mile : 6:47

Only 6:47?! For the effort put it, this should be faster. I definitely positive splited this one too

  • 2 Miles: 13:34 (6:53, 6:41)

6:53? This is going to be one long tough workout.  13:43? That’s a pretty sweet comeback.

  • 2 Miles: 13:31 (6:43, 6:38)

This is feeling gooooooood.  Should I add that last mile here? 1,2,3 would be wicked awesome

  • 1 Mile: 6:40

Good solid last mile

  • 800 #1: 3:15

Maybe I didn’t give it my all for those other intervals!

  • 800#2 3:20

Or maybe I did.  Time to pack it up hahah

The Afterthoughts

I’m really happy with how this workout turned out.  I hit goals (and were even faster than goals) for all the intervals. Surprising because I was going on less recovery than I normally do.  It was definitely a challenging workout and despite not feeling it at the beginning I really got into it and was just clicking away at the laps as they went by.  It felt very rhythmic and awesome. And, as I’ve said before about me needing paces shoved down my throat, each one was within McMillian tempo interval range. Muy bien.

Plus, with the exception of the very first mile, each interval was a negative split.  And since I checked my watch every 2 laps (not sure if that counts as a half mile as it 800m ~ 1/2 mile.  See how much of a precision nerd I am? It’s a wonder I made it out of college with my physics degree — physicists tend to round EVERYTHING) I knew that, again with the exception of the very first interval, I was getting faster and faster.

Obviously this bodes well for a marathon as it’s a pretty freaking long race.

Not else much to say.  Usually bad workouts are so much more fun to write about because I can bitch and moan. I can mutter about the sky being all dreary and looking like a colorless winter day buttttt then I have to say that I triumphed over it hahah.

I think part of me was competing with the high school boys.  Which is silly. They are *highschoolboys*.  I’ve learned from running with my high school aged brother that they are naturally faster than me.  So I tried to not get lapped / passed.  I was very successful as they only passed me once.  Considering that we were both doing long intervals, and running around the track multiple times each interval, I think that’s a victory hahah.

I did use their coach’s shouting as motivation of my own.  He kept saying things related to getting on the podium like, “200m ’til you on the podium” or “two laps to go until the podium”.  And I was like, “Okay.  It’d be cool to be at the podium.” Although, not going to lie, breaking the tape would be more ultimate.

 

Look how happy he is. (thanks again google)

After taking a shorter-than-normal warm down I got back to my place for some foam rolling (this workout had my hips and glutes and IT and quads and everything screaming and tight). It was still the vomit-inducing torture it always is. I don’t ever tear up or scream out but man, do I feel like puking.  I also stretched while watching an old HP movie because my left calf was spasm-ing.  Normally I don’t stretch ever.  But I’ve already said that before.  I discovered (again) that all my muscles are like chicken tendons. Weird analogy but that was the first thing that popped into my head.

I also did W2D3 of my pushups and situps:

Pushups: 16, 17, 14, 14, 21

Situps: 24, 25, 21, 21, 35

____________________________________________________________________________________________

As far as today goes, I’ve already done my recovery run.  It was quite fast which, as I mentioned on Friday, doesn’t real mean much.  The pace was comfortable and conversational as when I was running I met up with my running buddy.  Unplanned and it probably let the run get both fast and easy; running with someone else usually does that. The weather was chilly (34*) but sunny which helped the miles click by effortlessly.  My legs feel sore, but in a “they just had a massage” way.  I think it was the rolling last night.  It was pretty intense.

Hope everyone enjoys the remainder of their weekend and had great ones to recover from! I’m definitely looking forward to a lazy Sunday.

November 16, 2010

Like, I Really REALLY Hate Tempos

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:47

Another Tuesday Tempo here! It was SO HARD to drag myself out of bed this morning knowing that A) I’m still sleep deprived from this weekend B) my covers were amazingly comfy and C) I really effing hate tempos.

But I drug my sorry butt out of bed for the tempo. What I wanted to get out of this was a controlled workout. Sure the pace matters but with WR being only…18(?!)…days left the work that I do now is mostly mental.  Essentially the “hay is in the barn” (anyone else HATE that phrase?! Any suggestions for what I can replace it with?!) and now it’s getting comfy with some miles that aren’t killer but are faster.  Ideally GMP but that’s been the ideal all along, no?

 

Sometimes it's like no matter how hard I try I can't hit the workouts how I want

The plan was to warm up for a couple miles, bang out ~5-6 miles at “tempo” pace (whatever that means at the moment) and then warm down for a couple miles + a few more (my warm downs are always longer than my ups).  I knew before I even stepped out of my door that this was going to be a challenging workout and to not expect paces around what I’d been running the past few weeks.  My hips felt a bit…tender? Not hurt or pain or injury.  More like “HEY I could use a massage NOW”

When all was said and done this was the result:

  • Warmup
  • 6.6 mile “tempo” @ 7:26 pace
  • Warm down

I don’t think this really tells the whole story though.

Essentially the tempo portion can be broken down into three 2.2 mile segments as that’s how I thought about it when as I ran it.  Now, looking at the overall pace the workout looks fine.  Maybe a little slow for true tempo pace based on where I’m at fitness wise, but still where a workout could/should be with ❤ weeks until marathon day.  Maybe even exactly where I need to be as my estimated GMP is ~7:30.

The breakdown of the tempo looks not so great:

  • 2.2 miles @ 7:42
  • 2.2 miles @ 7:10
  • 2.2 miles @ 7:25

Oddly enough I was thinking about how to describe this workout and I thought: CONTROL.  Unlike last week, today I felt like I was moving how I was supposed to be.  I will admit that when I saw 16:56 as my first loop split I kind of freaked out because, while I knew it was ~7:45 (hizzah math) it was slower than GMP, let alone the tempo paces I’ve been running the past 3 weeks.

So I kicked it up a bit and, surprise surprise, it didn’t feel any harder than the first loop.  I know Flo talked a lot about this recently: that if I start out fast, I stay fast.  The trick now is to figure out what my pace is from the get-go.  Because, to be 100% honest here, my 9:42 warm up pace didn’t feel slower than my 7:42 first tempo loop nor did either of those feel different from my next 7:10 loop.

I mean, I can tell by the lactic acid that sort of accumulates and the burn that I feel but once I lock into a pace I can hold it.  I’d be VERY surprised if I deviated much from the average loop paces during the loops themselves. Which is why I felt like I was in control during the workout.

Mission accomplished then. I’m thinking that the feeling of control is more important than the splits themselves.  Or so I’m trying to tell the numbers junkie in me 😉

In the end I think that today’s workout was not a bad one by any means.  Once I got the initial “UGH I didn’t get the workout how I wanted it”  thoughts out of the way (because, let’s face it, they will always be there I have come to the following conclusion: Getting close to GMP is tricky and hard for me and this was a learning workout. Plus once I got that first 2.2 loop out of the way I was quite speedy.

Afterward I did W2D1 of my pushups and situps:

Pushups: 14, 14, 10, 10, 16

Situps: 21, 21, 15, 15, 25

I did discover when I was going my “strength” stuff that my legs are tight! I shamefully cannot touch my toes anymore.  I used to be really flexible but stretching was the first thing to go when my schedule got hectic this fall.  Don’t worry though: I plan on using my break to stretch today.  I want to get back to being really flexible.  Not for any real running reason per se (I’m not the biggest subscriber to stretching being *wicked* important.  It has it’s place but I don’t think it’s the be-all-to-end-all) but because I just feel better in life when my muscles aren’t like a rubber band. I feel like I stand straighter and am more confident. And that my muscles aren’t all cramped and I’m not all hunched in a ball, making me want to be on the couch all day.

Thanks google

Since I never stretch someone might have to use a torture device so I can hit that flexibility goal hahahhah

Have a lovely Tuesday y’all.  And Amy that means you too girl!

And check out this giveaway from Lesley (Racing it Off)

November 14, 2010

Quite The Weekend

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:53

Heyyyyyyyyyyyy there everyone!

First: I’m really glad birthdays come only once a year. Especially now as I get older.  I’m pretty sure that my liver is out of love with me after this weekend.

And no joke this song came on exactly as the clock struck midnight.

BUT before the shenanigans of this weekend, I had my last long run before WR. And I can’t believe I just typed that out.  Because I registered, ummmmm, 20 days ago.  But I’ll be racing (or with any luck be done) in three weeks time.  Crazy, no?

I mean, I’m not going into taper RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE or anything as this upcoming week is going to be intense.  Just that on Saturday I ran what will be was the last of the 20 miles.  The next LR will be 17-18 and then *real* taper.  It’s going to feel really weird to be done with training so soon after starting.

But based on my long run yesterday I bet that the endgame will be sooooo totally worth it.

I met up with a friend who I met on RWOL in the marathon dailies crew.  Interestingly enough he is NOT training for a marathon so I’m lucky that he was willing to run this 20 with me.  On the weather front it was damn near perfect for running.  The start of the run was cool (39*) but it ended up being about 60* by the end. I was a bit overdressed by the time we finished as I was freezing on the drive over! Better overdressed than under dressed I suppose.

But I guess that’s what I get for wanting to start the run at 0800: cold to start but the sun warms things up as you go along.  But round one of celebration was the night before and I wasn’t about to get up any earlier than necessary hahah.  Side note: Round one was with my roomie to her school’s graduate student bar (which is subsidized by the university itself meaning cheap drinks! How cool?!) where I discovered that I am quite good at darts.  Like scary good.  Which totally made it up to my teammate for my being horrendous at pool.

The late night didn’t end up affecting the run negatively at all. The splits ended up being:

  1. 7:36 (entirely downhill and when my friend said that it was a sub-8 pace I said WHOA!)
  2. 8:10
  3. 8:30
  4. 8:41
  5. 8:54 (first hill!)
  6. 8:49 (second hill)
  7. 8:37
  8. 8:27
  9. 8:01
  10. 8:09
  11. 8:09
  12. 8:09
  13. 8:09
  14. 7:50
  15. 7:58
  16. 7:53
  17. 7:59
  18. 8:06
  19. 8:21
  20. 9:19 (entirely uphill and by myself as my friend wanted to slow down and take the last mile lightly)

Total: 20 miles, 2:45:31

The time at the half was 1:49.10 and was actually a PR for the half for the guy I was running with!

The average pace for the first 19 miles (because my friend had a garmin) was 8:14 Ummmm this is my current marathon PR pace.

The average pace for the run with that last really tough mile is 8:16/17 (depending on how you round)?! Ummmm that’s only 3 seconds slower than what I ran Boston in last year. Even more impressive because there were some major hills thrown in there. I think one of them was 12% grade! Whoops? Maybe?

Needless to say I’m pretty freaking pumped to see what WR brings. After today I HAVE to conclude that I’m in much better shape than I thought I was. I honestly never felt like I was running as fast as the splits indicate.  I think it was because I LOVE running with others.  Not only do the miles pass fast because you’re not alone but the miles pass fast because I always run wayyyy faster with someone else.  I remember running with Lacey last winter on a long run and we just FLEW through the miles.

That and, like I said, I’m finally coming to realize that I’m in really good shape for this race.  I still can’t wrap my mind over the fact that the first 19 miles were at my marathon pr pace.

I also did W1D3 of my “strength routine” when I got back to my place.

Pushups: 11,15,9,9,15

Situps: 17,22,14,14,21

And then it was time to relax before shipping up to Boston to party a bit for round 2 of celebrations

Yay google images

Now it’s Sunday and luckily I had the foresight to do some errands before the weekend started.  Because I’m pretty freaking tired. But the weather is nice so I’ll probably head out for a birthday run…likely within 5 minutes of hitting publish.

Quite the weekend indeed. I love it.

And,this is random but it makes my day bright so I need to share, my sister texted me (right at midnight) to tell me to check FB.  When I did I found this:

I LOVE MY SISTER

And the old spice guy.

November 11, 2010

Well I Think I’ve Found A Workout I Hate More Than Tempos

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:28

Sorry Jess but the 2 X 3 miler is just plain awful.  That said, because I hate it so much, it must be doing something good for me.

I think I don’t like it because there’s the recovery time in the middle.  By the time I’m done with mile 3 of the first repeat I’m getting into a groove.  Then BAM the recovery distance (and I took a 1 mile one but the same holds true for ANY recovery distance) hits my legs like a ton of bricks and my legs — or maybe it’s my brain — just don’t want to rev it up.  It’s probably moreso my mind as you’ll see in the numbers that I really didn’t crash and burn. Sometimes during the workout I felt like this:

Thanks google images

But the wheels never truly came off.

The workout ended up being 2 X 3.15 miles.  If you remember from the last time I did this workout (over Halloween weekend I think) I had miscalculated the distance and it was short by .05 miles.  I wasn’t going to let that happen again so I mapped out a route that would get me .05 miles over 😉

I really didn’ t have any goal time in mind for these.  I ran them too fast two weeks ago so I figured that around 7:00 would be good? So after a quick (eeeeeeeeer not in time but distance) warm up I jumped right into it (time of lap is first and pace in red)

  1. 8:02 ( 7:39 ) Okay so this one is deceiving because, not only did I not realize that there was a 7%, .2 mile HILL in about 3/4 through the lap that, um, almost stopped me in my tracks, I overshot the side street I was going to take.  So I’m pretty sure that I ran more that 1.05 miles by a tenth or so.
  2. 7:33 ( 7:11 ) Better even though that hill was killer
  3. 7:27 ( 7:05 ) Didn’t feel terribly fast and my legs weren’t obscenely tired.  I even charged up the hill. Well as best I could.

1 mile recovery: 8:44.  This time went by WAY too fast despite it feeling slow.  I avoided the hill for obvious reasons.

  1. 7:35 ( 7:13 ) Not too shabby considering it felt like it took me forever to get going again
  2. 7:40 ( 7:18) I definitely got cocky on this one and totally didn’t push myself.  I know it. Still sub-7 though.
  3. 7:26 ( 7:04 ) Final push? Interesting how the last lap of each repeat is the fastest. I suppose that says a lot about my endurance and capacity for long distances.

I took a very long warm down after that.  I’ve been taking shorter warmups and longer downs lately and I’m enjoying it.  I’m always chomping at the bit to just GO into the workout and I like having time to reflect on the warmdown.

Anyway…the long and short of this workout is that I can’t really be too disappointed.  Yes, NONE of the repeats were in the tempo interval zone (according to McMillian: 6:53-7:01) BUT that hill really just was like running into a brick wall.  My form suffered and I’m fairly certain that my pace suffered too.  That’s not to say that if I was on a flatter loop that I’d have made this workout hare like but given the terrain (and the wind along the canal) I’m going to have to force myself to be happy with it.

After the workout I talked to one of the peeps who originally suggested this workout and he said (after my complaining)

I wish that I could say that I feel sorry about that workout sucking, but I don’t, LOL! I wouldn’t be recommending or suggesting it if I questioned your ability to handle it. That workout is supposed to suck, just like [a mutual friend] has told me that he hates 800 meter repeats. And there’s no reason for you to try to run them faster, you should be aiming for HMP. 6-7 miles @ HMP is going to be tough, there’s no denying or avoiding it. NACN

Also: as much as that killer hill surprised me I’m actually really glad that it was there. I had been debating between hill repeats and intervals for today’s run and this was a good way, even if unplanned, to get both in.  I have no idea what the course is going to be like at WR so it’s a good thing I have at least 6 hard and fast hills under my belt.

So all in all, while the times in and of themselves do not indicate where I want my fitness level to be (at least to me at the moment) it was good and given the challenging nature of the route/loop it is EXACTLY where I think my fitness level should be, no?

I also did Week 1 Day 2 (W1D2) of both the pushup and situp challenges before heading out:

Pushups: 10, 12, 8, 8, max (14)

Situps: 15, 18, 15, 15, max (20)

Finally, but probably the most important part of this post: for those who have served, are serving or will serve:

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.