MarathonMaiden's Blog

March 2, 2011

Previously On MM…February 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:28

I’m going to copycat echo Aron and say BUSY was the word on the month for February.  Or STRESSED.

Still got the running done though, despite feeling a bit off during my workouts and my drive to hit them hard.

Totals? Here you go!

  • 345.7 miles
  • 51 hours 21 minutes 9 seconds
  • 8:55 Average Pace

This is only .3 more miles and 7 minutes less than January.  Talk about consistency! Digging back to 2010 I ran 390.5 miles in February.  So I was down some (mainly because I’ve been *gasp* taking rest days!) but I ran these miles 8 seconds faster on average.  Considering that I’m training for the exact same race as I was this time last year (Boston baby) I think that’s really good.  Sure, I could probably be hitting workouts harder (like I’ve been complaining about forever it seems) but overall a good solid month.

This month my training *really* began and I hit 4 interval workouts, 4 tempo workouts and only 3 actual long runs (hello cutback week).  Considering that this month has exactly 4 weeks in it, and we got about 30 (?) inches of snowfall, I’d say not too shabby.

Whenever I say the phrase “not too shabby” I think of this song. Yes, I’m weird.

What else besides running was I up to this month?

Well stress ( so I’m going to really have to think about what I’ve been up to!) and dealing with massive snowstorms every week, but I went to Philly to…ummm….do some activities to shake it off.

gor.geous.

And got to see some really cool medical stuff at the Mutter Museum.  I really want to go back there!

I also really got into rockclimbing and took out a trial membership at the climbing gym. The membership ends in the next few days so I need to come up with the cash money to keep going! It’s been great for XT and my arms / legs are getting more of an “athletic” look rather than “runner” look. I like it. Especially since *fingerscrossed* spring / skimpy clothes season is soon!

Because I was really stressed I didn’t really cook at all.  I relied on other people to feed me.  But that’s what friends (and roomies) are for right?  BUT I did make some really good “Crack Bars”

as well as Chili (repeat of a recipe from….December according to when I posted it)

But to relieve my stress I did get some lovely mail! AKA I got my WR trophy and my updated Boston confirmation.  Which helped my waxing and waning motivation to train (which a lot of you made some really insightful comments on my last post which I shall muse over when I have more time to think / mull them over and develop my own thoughts on them!).

Yes I know I put both of these images up recently. Deal.

 

So a mixed month for sure. I’m sincerely hoping that things calm down a bit.  I mean, I love being busy and having stuff to do but there is definitely such a thing as TOO MUCH of a good thing! Upcoming in March is the monster month for training so it’s time to get serious about my workouts.  Hopefully in my next post I’ll be able to recap the hard (yet decent) tempo I did the other day and the long run or intervals that are supposed to shape up tomorrow.

Happy Hump Day.  Now I’m off to rockclimbing? Fingers crossed!

February 25, 2011

Apparently none of y’all say “wagon”

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

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

Anyway. Moving on.

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

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

The girls!

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

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

July 29, 2010

Three Things Thursday: Stress Edition

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:34

Ummmm pretty basically my life is one big ball of overwhelming stress.

  • MCAT.  2 weeks.  In two weeks from now I will hopefully be drinking on the pond feeling good about my test.  Until then, of course, it’s a little bit unnerving to feel like the entire future I want could hinge on this test.  There have been some high points: I feel better about certain topics that have traditionally given me trouble (thank you library! But no thank you old creepy men who stare at me!) but that by no means makes me feel like I’m totally prepared.  I just want the stupid thing done and over with.
  • Moving.  2 weeks plus one day.  Yes that’s right: I am moving the day after I take my test.  Ugh.  Poor planning on my part maybe.  I had originally hoped to move some of my stuff down this week or early next week but it just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen due to MCAT prep and other life stuff.  Since I’m just moving out of my mom’s house it’s not the end of the world to live bare-bones for a bit but still.  Not exactly ideal.
  • Medical School Application.  Because I still haven’t submitted it yet.  I need to re-work my essay which I haven’t had time for yet.   Nor have I really figured out how I’m going to pay for it, which adds stress of itself.
  • Not enough hours in the day.  I mean, I’ve been using the hours productively (which isn’t technically stressful) but I’d love it if I could have 2 (or 10) more.  Yeah so maybe a lame bullet point but I cannot just leave three things there.  Lucky number 4 and all 🙂

Had enough complaining yet?  Me too.  I really really try to not complain (and hopefully that does come across in my posts) but sometimes it feels good to just vent.  Also: I hate how the saying “when it rain it pours” is true. Also true? deep breathing = cure to being upset.  I’m don’t easily get upset so when I do I never know how to calm down.  But DEEP BREATHING.  Seriously.  It works.That said, here are three things that have been making me happy lately and, while they might be in vain, have attempted to lower my stress level.

  • Running.  Duh.  I feel like I haven’t been talking about my running lately because stress is so large that it’s taking over my mind and all my runs have been similar. But my runs have been feeling really good lately.  Sure, today I kind of slogged through 8 miles but can it really be called slogging when the average pace is 8:25?  I’m loving it.  Yesterday was a good 8 miles at 8:30 pace so I’ve been really pumped about it.  Thanks for all your comments about racing.  I still know I’m not going to commit to anything now but it’s nice to know that you guys think I could rock a race 🙂 AND I love the suggestions of loosely following a plan so I can get rid of that monotony feeling I have currently.
  • Reading for FUN.  Slash making sure the hour or so before my head hits the pillow is enjoyable. I’ve been making a commitment to reading chapters from a good book before I go to bed every night.  Sure it’s only 20 or 30 minutes or so, cutting into my sleeping time, but I love to read.   So it’s nice to be able to get lost in a story line.
  • Boston Medical. Which is on tonight 🙂 I’ve been absolutely fascinated with the show!  And no, I don’t think it’s because I want to be a doctor although I’m sure that’s part of it.  One of my friends, who is studying interior design, loves it too.  Always a plus to have some chica time. Anyhoo, hopefully my  *last* MCAT class tonight doesn’t run late so I can get home in time to watch the whole thing.  I’ve had to miss the beginnings sometimes and I hate missing the beginnings of shows.
  • And I know this is supposed to be THREE things but I need to put in a 4th (again):

And it’s not just this song but I’ve been really letting music lift my mood lately.  Lacey made me a mix CD that I’ve been listening too on repeat and other people have been “making” me listen to music I otherwise wouldn’t have.  But it works: I put on a good song and for 4ish minutes my thoughts are NOT on stress.

And my friend, who I stayed with in Philly, put up her pics on FB so I have more to share.  Sooooo here’s another.  And I’m going to dole them out slowly because I want to keep you guys coming back for more.  Unless you’re my FB friend.  Then you’ve likely stalked my pictures already and are bored with them haha.

Longwood Gardens. Check out the sock tan line. I am soooo attractive haha

P.S. If you’re not on my blogroll but want to be: let me know! I’m terrible at updating it when I find a new blog I love reading!

July 22, 2010

In West Philadelphia

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 10:35

Except we didn’t go there 🙂

So I’ve been lazy with blogging.  Lazy being a relative terms as I’m currently running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  Who knew that taking a week off of class would stress me out so much?!

That said, I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things.  At least in terms of my work.  My last content class is tonight *GASP* and I’m excited and yet scared.  Definitely means that I should be ready to rock my next practice exam over the weekend.  Talk about pressure (and oh wait I have my respiratory system chapter out and am reading about negative pressure breathing.  Oh I am a nerd)

But rather than bore you with my woe-is-me and studying tales I think that a Philly recap is in order? So here are some highlights — some running related, others not so much:

And yes I know this is long.  But I don’t know when the next time I’ll have to sit down and blog is and I don’t want to keep you hanging.  But there are pictures.  That counts for something 🙂

First the overall non-running stuff: I had a blast.  Sure I was there for job training (which is always boring) but I met some awesome people who are going to be serving in the same city as I am.  This will be AWESOME when I actually move there and need to have friends.  Specifically friends who understand that VISTA-ing means poverty.  I also met some amazing people that aren’t serving near me but we went out for happy hour every night.  Seriously.  One of the girls I met and I really became close (she even came out to bar-hop with me and my high school friends that weekend!) and I can definitely see us traveling to hang out in the future.  Provided, of course, that we have money to do so haha.

Now the running.  Because I do call myself a runner.  Although before I get into the specifics I do want to mention that this trip chilled me out with regards to running.  Obviously I couldn’t run as much as I did pre-trip because I was so busy and happy hour > running extra.  This has carried over into the past few days back, partly because I need to play catchup with work and partly because I broke that chain of needing to do more to feel good.  So post-trip I’ve just been doing nice easy runs that are less than an hour.  Crazy right?

Tuesday July 13th: Train ride.  UGH to a 6 hour trip.  I did get some studying done, however, but man 6 hours sitting down is rough.  And because of when my train left and arrived and when orientation actually started I didn’t get to run.  Sad face.  But since I really can’t remember my last rest day (because such a thing really does exist) it was probably a good thing.

Wednesday July 14th: Run on hotel TM.  I tried to get my roommate for the trip to join me because she was a runner too but I was up at 0530 for it.  Not exactly what a 20-something wants to be doing.  I wasn’t 100% comfortable running through the city on my own and, since every night happy hour happened every day including the first one, I figured a run where I didn’t have to think was appropriate.

Thursday July 15th: RUN WITH FLO.  Okay so she beat me to the punch and mentioned me on her blog here and I’m lame and just mentioning it now but still. We ran along some river that I cannot and will never be able to pronounce for a couple miles.  It was great to actually meet her in person and she is hilarious.  I wish I lived closer to Philly so I could run with her more.  We ran together for maybe 5 miles and then I had my trip to/from the hotel plus a bit more to make it 9 or so.

Friday July 16th: I ended up running along the river again.  This time sans Flo.  I did, however, run past her which put some pep in my step because it’s always nice to see a familiar face when running.  I think I essentially ran the exact same route as the day before, but extended it a bit to make it 10 miles because I wasn’t sleeping well and was up early (and speaking of sleep I slept poorly the entire time I was at the hotel! Annoying!).  The scenery on the river was absolutely beautiful and reminded me a little bit of running along the Charles back “home” in Boston.  I didn’t take any pictures during the run (although I wish I had!) but here’s one I pulled off of google

Friday was my last day of training which was bittersweet.  On one hand I was soooo happy to be done with the actual orientation as there’s so much of it I can take at one time.  I was also happy because that means I can start my job next month and I’m really excited to be carrying out the VISTA mission at the clinic.  But I was sad because, like I mentioned, I made some really awesome friends and it sucks to know that I won’t be seeing some of them again.  But luckily, thanks to texting and facebook, I’ll be able to keep in touch.

After I was sworn in as a VISTA my friends from high school swung by my hotel and we went sightseeing.  I’d never been to Philly before so I wanted to do all the classic touristy stuff.  I’m also a huge nerd and wanted to see all the historic things.  Granted I live in a very colonial era so nothing was new to me but it was cool to see the same timeline but just in a different city.

I know that there’s so much writing here! But here are some pictures of the highlights. With minimal commentary (you know that I’ll never give up total commentary 🙂 )

City of Brotherly Love

Monopoly!

Massachusetts represent! Side note: I don't think I was actually suppose to touch the flag. Oops.

Paddy's Pub @ 1630. We went to see Benji Franklin's grave after this and I was slightly tipsy. Oops.

After the sightseeing we went out to dinner and bar-hopping.  I don’t have any pictures of that but it was fun.  Lots of drinking and dancing.  One of the places we went to played old school BSB, *NSync, Britney and some Miley.  Ummm I was in heaven haha.

We stumbled home around 0300.  Not a bad thing but I wake up at 0800 no matter what time my head hits the pillow.  Which was the case here.  Since my friends are not as blessed as I am I took the opportunity to get a run in.  You know, work out all the alcohol that was likely sitting in my system.  It was really hot and humid at this time (definitely moreso than the 0530 runs I had been doing during training) and since I don’t live there I have no idea how far I ran.  I did run for 81 minutes which if I go wicked conservative on the pace is 9 miles.  So that’s what it’s written down as.  Hahah.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at Longwood Gardens which is a HUGE garden.  It was absolutely beautiful and stunning and amazing.  And I got to have an authentic Philly pretzel.  Yum.

Later that night we went to a more “college” bar scene which was fun.  While waiting in line for the restroom, my friend and I were told that we were “too beautiful for your own good”.  Ummmm yeah.  Awkward. Hahah.  Sadly I don’t have any pictures of that night either.  I do know that my friend has a really cute one but I’m going to have to wait and steal it when she puts it up on FB.  I’ll update either this post or a future one with it because I remember liking it. The night ended with us at a diner at 0200.  Good times 🙂

Yet again, after another late night I got up early.  I hit the streets but only for 36 minutes (~4 miles?).  All the drinking and dancing and not greatest eating definitely was taking it’s toll on me so I cut the run shorter than typical. But it was still good.  Hot but good.

My friends and I then went to a local creamery and got amazing ice cream and saw lots of farm animals.  Then before I knew it the time had come to board the train back to Boston.  Very sad moment.  Especially since the train was delayed two hours and I got back home at midnight.  Ugh.  But again, lots of studying so the trip wasn’t too bad.

Ummmm there you have it? I apologize again for the length of it (and spelling/grammar mistakes!) but I didn’t want to keep you guys hanging by breaking it up.  Life is very crazy at the moment and I should get back to studying.  MCAT boot camp week is almost over (class every night = no bueno) and I just have to push through the full length this weekend and I’ll get some breathing room to focus on the stuff I’m shaky on rather than keep reading new stuff.  Or maybe not as I have to pack and move, finalize my medical school application, and take another vacation.  All before starting my job on the 16th of August.

Did I mention that I love being busy? Because it would sure suck to be me if I didn’t 🙂

Hope everyone has a great Thursday and a wonderful weekend! I’m still in the process of catching up on your blogs so don’t think I’m ignoring you!

June 29, 2010

¡Viva la España!

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

Uh-oh. Definitely spoke too soon about the whole crazy lady not calling me.  Because she did.  Apparently while I’ve been thinking I’m all coy about dodging her they were on vacay.  And now they’re back.  I didn’t actually take the call but I know I have to return it.  She mentioned to whoever took the message for me that she would pay me.  My  mom actually knows who she is and told me that I’d be “effing stupid” to not take the money.  Haha.  We’ll see how it goes.  My bank account has been dwindling lately.

Apparently Uncle Sam’s has been too because I’ve been told that I cannot fly to Philly for my job training in two weeks.  Too expensive.  So I have to take the train.  Ugh.  At least I’ll have plenty of time to study for the MCAT — which I’m taking in 6 weeks.  (Holy Moly.  6 weeks?! OMG freak out time!)

As some of you noted running has been a great stress relief from the test.  Definitely why my miles are so high lately.  I’m also liking the no real structure to my running and I think the lack of pressure has made my pace drop as well.  That and my whole lack of sleep rule.  As a few of you asked, no I don’t have AC in my house so I’m guessing that sleep is going to be fitful for the rest of the summer.  I rely on my good old trusty window fan.  I can get a semi-cross breeze as I’m on the corner of the house with two windows.  Sometimes it can be a help sometimes not.

But enough about stress and complaining.  And on to running!

This morning I woke up and wanted to get in a good run before I had to deal with my pre-med advisor.  I also had to drive my sister to camp so I woke up extra early.  In vain too, because when I got back from my run I had a message waiting for me saying that, despite taking the past 4 weeks off he wasn’t going to be in today and the office didn’t know if he would be in all week.  Ummm did I mention that I wanted to get these applications in pronto?

Oh wait, did I say I wasn’t going to complain?! Oops 🙂

But in some ways it was good that I was under the impression the meeting would still happen because I ran very decently this morning in my haste to get it done before the day started.  I wasn’t so sure when I first got up because my legs were a bit stiff from the lifting of Monday and my leg had been feeling achy last night.  It was almost as though I was one of those old people that could feel when the weather was changing.  No pain but I was like, GAH I’m soooo old hahah.

But I loosened up after the first 10 minutes or so like I always do.  I think it helped that it was slightly cooler this morning than yesterday and slightly less humid.  Granted by the end of the run I doubt that anyone could tell the difference but for the first part of the run it wasn’t so bad.

And, while I know many of you run in hotter weather, I miss my perfect late-May / early June morning weather.  I do, however, thrive in heat, as evidenced by my great running this summer.  I’m the NE girl who prays for this weather in January.  I just don’t like looking like I went for a swim after an 0800 run.  Oh well.  Win/Lose situation I guess.

I chose to do 2 X 5.5 miles just because it was easy to quit after one if I wanted.  Anyone else do that? I’ve never actually quit after the first loop of something but I rarely do full one-loop long runs anymore.  I think it’s partly a mental thing as NOT quitting or giving in makes me a tough chic 8)

I even negative splitted it which was really nice to see as it’s been awhile since I did a LR first thing in the morning.  And, while I fully will take pride in ANY negative split, it was a 3 minute negative split.  Great way to start the morning and, despite the lack of pre-med meetings, I’ve been pretty productive.  Another great way to start the morning / day.

Off to study MORE before my class.  Or maybe just pretend to study as the Spain-Portugal game is on right now. ¡Viva la España!

Oh and I want to say how awesome Rebecca is.  She ran the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon over the weekend and was a champ.  You can read how she did here.  I’m totally thrilled to be called her mini-me 🙂

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