MarathonMaiden's Blog

April 21, 2011

Okay So I Lied

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:41

about the “oh my body recovers fast” statement from my race report.  Because 48 hours after the marathon my quads and shins hurt. Blahhhh. But now, 72 hours later, it’s gone. Annoying.

But recovery from The Boston is going.  Like I said above, my muscles feel fine. But my sunburn hurts

and knee hurts too. Thanks for the good lucks about my doctors appointment today and it was about what I expected: slight tear in my flexor tendon and, rather than send me to an ortho and “tests” and a potential cutting-away-happy person to see, my doctor gave me a PT script to get me back faster and stronger.

AND joy upon joy, because I’m a VISTA (aka the government legitimately says I have no income) the PT place that’s in my building (who works with the free clinic patients) has discounted my co-pay heavily. So I can actually go. I probably wouldn’t have because of the co-pay price (this is why I didn’t go 5 weeks ago when the pain started). HIZZAH. Double hizzah because my first appointment is tomorrow.

So still no running post-Boston. I’ma be waiting for the PT’s go-ahead. Bleh. The funny thing is that mentally I have no desire to run right now. I saw some people on my drive to work this morning out on my usual route and I thought “hahah you @$$^&*% are out running. And I’m not”

A little discerning because I’m always itching to run.  And analyze. But I’m not doing any post-race analysis. Yet. This is the second Boston I’ve run injured so there’s obviously something wrong with how I trained.

For now, I’m spectating the Cox Providence Marathon on May 1st (a friend is running and I’m going to cheer him on) and I know that seeing others out racing and pushing themselves with likely get me going.  Hopefully by then I’ve been cleared to run. I think that’ll be the case but you never know. And with the amazingly springlike weather this week I should want to.  But I’m content with sleeping a lot and sitting on the balcony post-work reading.

And the winners of my dirty joke = music giveaway (and I loved reading the jokes!) are:

Boston 2011 Training Mix: Sarah, who wrote

A little old man shuffled slowly into an ice cream parlor and pulled himself slowly, painfully, up onto a stool. After catching his breath, he ordered a banana split.
The waitress asked, ‘Crushed nuts?’
‘No, arthritis.’

Boston Driving to Start 2010 Mix: Marcia, who wrote

why are blonde jokes so short?
So brunettes can understand them.

❤ so send me your addys to marathonmaidenrunner@gmail.com and I’ll get those out to you ASAP. And by ASAP I mean whenever I get to the store to buy CDs. If you harass me enough it’ll be on the sooner side!

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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?

April 22, 2010

T+3

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 09:50

Warning: this post started out all concise but became a bit rambling.  I blame it on my dreading to do the mountain of work in front of me haha.

I still haven’t changed the “D-Day counter” on my phone screen yet.  I initially set it about 100 days out from Boston and it said “Boston : ) D-X” just as a nice reminder that, you know, I was running a marathon in X days.

Now it says “Boston : ) D+X”  as a nice reminder that, you know, I ran a marathon X days ago.

And I’m still so on cloud nine.  And a HUGE thanks to all the continued support I’ve gotten from you guys.  I have just been blown away by all your words.  Knowing that I’m part of such a great community really makes me smile and feel all warm and fuzzy.

Also a warm and fuzzy feeling? All the support I’ve gotten on campus.  I was totally blown away from that too.  I really didn’t advertise that I was running Boston to many people.  I wasn’t secretive about it or anything and if someone asked me about it I readily talked about it. But I didn’t shout from the rooftops or anything. Granted it’s hard to not notice someone who is always running, especially on a campus as small as mine.

I was totally surprised how many people– people that I know well, duh, I was kind of expecting them to track me or look me up as well as people that I don’t know well — already knew about it and were asking me how I did.  Of course the fact that I am still wearing my jacket alerts them to it.  But the fact that a lot of them actually followed me on race day, and even tried to find my name in the paper on Tuesday, just was awesome.  And one of my friends decorated my door with a HUGE congrats poster which made me well up a bit when I got back to campus.

Since the race ended I’ve just been basking in the glory.  I’ve been in such a great mood and smiling to myself a lot.  I doubt this feeling will fade anytime soon. Or at least I hope to hell not.  And when people ask how I did I launch into everything and I’m sure they regret even opening their mouths haha!

The natural question you guys might have is “how are you physically feeling?” (the next one might be “what’s next?” and I’m trying to come up with that.  But right now? Basking for a good long while 8) ).  Honestly? Not too bad.  Post-Providence last year I didn’t feel banged up AT ALL.  No soreness and I was able to run some miles the next day.

This time around I’m sore but I can do stairs, sit down normally etc.  Here’s the breakdown by day

Monday was tough in general, once my body stopped moving to sit (or even stand still) the leg-os wanted to cramp up.  Going down stairs was tough, I keep remembering with a laugh how my mom had to support 90% of my body going on to the T 🙂  And that night I couldn’t sleep a wink.  And it’s not because of excitement or anything.  My legs just didn’t want to be motionless.  So I laid in bed really really wanting to nod off but couldn’t.  Typical of any type of hard effort but annoying.

Also annoying that night? That I couldn’t regulate my body temperature so I went from soaking my sheets in sweat to cold and clammy.  Again to be semi-expected after such a hard effort.

Tuesday wasn’t as bad as Monday at all.  My hips, IT band, calves and hammys were a bit sore and tight.  But I could walk down stairs normally and even attempt to lower myself to sit without pain.  The legs still didn’t really like to sit still all that much and the drive back to campus was rough when I got out of the car. In terms of sleep, I slept decently that night.  I even nodded off during a commercial break of LOST.  I never do that kind of stuff in general, let alone during LOST.

Wednesday and the soreness was disappearing. I had PT that day and we didn’t do any of the exercises. Because, while the rest of my body was only semi-sore, my shins? Well they are wicked tight.  Like beyond wicked tight.  Especially my left one, which is the one that was giving me trouble lately.  Some self-massage has helped and I had PT on Wednesday and all we did was stretch, massage, ice and stim.  I think that I’m going to keep going to PT next week and then stop.  I have enough exercises to do on my own and I’m obviously not going to be running the volume that I have been.

Thursday rolls around and the only thing that is tight is that damn left shin.  Everything else feels good to go. I guess I did something right with my training and recovery though as I can walk without limping and can carry out my life normally. If you’d look at me, you wouldn’t guess that I just ran 26.2 miles at a PR pace on Monday.

Sleep sure does feel amazing too.  I’ve been crashing hard (aside from Monday).  Annoying because I have to play major catch up with work and I can’t really afford to sleep right now.  But the body wants what the body wants.  And it also wants food. My appetite is still in full force.

And the plan for this week is no running at all.  Granted I’m sure many of you would think that wanting to run after a marathon is crazy talk.  But I know that my body will likely be ready within 3-4 days post-race to run.  But since I am SO incredibly overtrained my doctor has advised me to not run for at least a week.  We’re going to reevaluate after this weekend.  Kind of a bummer because the weather has been gorgeous this week.

I can, however, do some XT-ing in order to keep the blood moving post-race and fight off excess soreness.  On Wednesday I did a short elliptical session.  I didn’t really change much in the elliptical routine (same level/resistance) but it felt so much easier than that type of session did pre-race.  Interesting.  I’m not quite sure why but I didn’t feel like I was pushing that hard at all and I easily was going faster.  Don’t worry though, I kept checking my HR and it wasn’t elevated too much (~60% max). Same thing with this morning (Thursday) too.  Not that I’m complaining. Guess I’m recovering nicely 🙂

I figure I’ll keep doing these types of sessions throughout the week and weekend, adjusting my effort as I see fit.  I want to get in a spin session at some point but I think that, even though my cardiovascular system doesn’t feel strained right now, the smart thing to do is hold off on spin because that gets my heart pumping.

So I’m going to be pretty boring this week.  At least in the running/working out department.  After taking a 4 day weekend I’ve got plenty to do in the work side of my life.  Gotta get cracking on it though because I was informed the other day that after this week there are only 2 more weeks of classes.  Eeeeeek! And I’ve had no desire to do work.  I had an exam Wednesday morning but I just couldn’t bring myself to study.  So I didn’t.  I don’t think it went too badly though.

So I’m off to try and play catch up with life.  Hope everyone enjoys the day! Aside from my mountain of work I plan on trying to get outside.  It’s really pretty out and Earth day after all 🙂

Check out the giveaways EatMoveLove and Bobbi and Mel and HealthHappinessAndHope are having!

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 31, 2010

Lady GaGa Hour

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 20:41

No joke.  When I was at the gym this morning (grrrrr XT-ing) MTV played AN HOUR of Lady Gaga videos.  I was unaware that she had an hours worth of music videos.  Bummer that I couldn’t listen along because, even though I have headphones in my gym bag, the little device that hooks the sound from the tvs on the wall to me is broken.  Well it cuts in and out which is annoying.  And not just on the equipment that I was using but on all the machines.  I think it’s because their old and too many people have plugged and unplugged their headphones.  The same thing happened to my discman (gosh did I just date myself?!).

Anyway I mention it because I know that Sarah (the shu box) would be happy and enjoy that.  🙂

As you probably could tell I did the arc trainer this morning.  I had a little extra time (sleepless night = able to get out of bed early) so I did another 2 hours on the darn thing.  Sadly no one gave me any exciting XT workouts to do sooo I did this:

  • 30 minutes @ Resistance =25
  • 60 minutes @ Resistance = 30 (30 “forwards motion” 30 “backwards”)
  • 30 minutes @ Resistance = 25

It was interesting to see how, on one machine R = 25 felt WAY harder than R=25 on another.  I did the first 30 minutes on the harder machine (because my fav one was taken) but quickly jumped on the fav when it opened up.  I’m pretty sure that on the machine I started on the resistance of 25 was a resistance of 30 on the other machine so if I had just adjusted then everything would have been okay.  But then again, if I hadn’t switched I wouldn’t have been in perfect position for Lady GaGa 🙂

And I’m right there with you guys for going off of HR and perceived effort guiding my workouts rather than the machine readouts.  I just found it interesting that the calories were SO HIGH.  Regardless my HR was around 140 or so the whole time which is typical for me and ~70% my “max”.

For some reason, even though lots of you praised me for being able to handle 2 hours yesterday, the time doesn’t really pass that slowly and it’s not really that boring. I guess I can entertain myself and I have exciting thoughts to think about.  I don’t have an ipod so music is out.  I can “watch” tv but I don’t have sound.  And I absolutely cannot read while working out.  It just doesn’t workout nicely for me. So it’s just me and my thoughts.  And the occasional people watching 😉

I suppose all the not running is helping my shin.  I am pain free for another day and the allure of running proved too much.  So after my Spanish class I laced up my shoes and went on a test run.  Not really a run because it was so short but something just to see if the pain free living would translate to pain free running.

I’m happy to say that YES it did.

I was really really nervous about heading out for this test run.  I think once I succumbed to the no-running mentality it made me feel like I’m really frail and I almost didn’t want to run anymore. Crazy right? I know Jess has blogged a bit about this before, well maybe  not the no running but the scared feeling of getting back into it.  I plan on running tomorrow and, although Thursdays mean tempo, I’ve already decided to nix all speedwork this week.  I just don’t think I’m mentally up to it regardless of the shin status.

Now I know that many of you probably would like to see me wait longer before jumping into any sort of running but I did the test run for a couple of reasons:

  • I’m an even kind of girl.  Meaning that it’s been 2 days.  Waiting until tomorrow means 3 days.  And 3 isn’t happening.  I’d have to wait until Friday to get to the next even number and I really didn’t want to wait that long.  Plus if I waited beyond Friday it would have to be 8 days because I like multiples (or fractions) of 4. OCD much?
  • I have PT tonight so any “damage” (because let’s face it, running and working out causes damage no matter if you have shin splints or are 100% healthy) would be worked out through massage and stretch and stim.

Which I just got back from and it was comical how ridiculously tight my calves are.  Seriously. The faces my PT was making were…well let’s just say my calves are tight.

And she was really surprised at all the edema that is in my (newly affected) shin.  But she was happy that the “old” shin was feeling great.  So now we need to get the swelling down in this guy which I’m confident that we’ll do.  I mean, we did it with the last one.

Off to go do some work.  And maybe get some sleep tonight.  Send some sleepytime vibes my way please 🙂

March 22, 2010

Congrats to Racers & PT Session Numero Dos

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:36

Hey guys, it’s been a busy busy day in MM land.  Going to try to make this quick as I just received a quantum take-home exam and I am going to have to devote all the time I can on it!

The first day back from break has been well so far.  I didn’t have any work over break, so there was nothing to procrastinate from and therefore as soon as I clocked out of tutoring last night at 2100 I promptly went to bed.  As you may recall I hadn’t been feeling so hot.  Although I am not one to discount allergies or dehydration as the culprit I’m suspecting a cold of some sort because after drinking more water than I care to think about and popping a benadryl I still (and pardon my language here) felt like shit.

So sleeping it off was my solution.  I don’t think there’s any validity to this approach at all (not the sleep but what I’m about to say next): I also turned my heat WAY up to “sweat out the bad”.  When I was little my dad always used to say that the cure to not feeling well was / is to curl up in a warm blanket and just sweat out the toxins.  Maybe it’s a mental thing but 3 pairs (!!) of pjs later and I’m feeling back to normal. Well kind of. Still a little congestion but THAT is likely allergies.

Good thing that my dad’s “trick” worked because, as I opened the post with, I had a busy day that started off with a run.  I was secretly hoping that my feeling better would translate to a good Monday run — at least time wise.  I did feel really good physically while running but wish that my pace had shown that.  I ran the miles in 9:28.  Eh. I’m going to chalk it up to sickness related and just move on.

I’ve been really hard on myself lately with how “fast” I am.  I know I shouldn’t be but I am. And I’m falling into the trap of comparing myself to others.  Especially when so many of you raced this weekend and put up STELLAR times.  A huge congrats to Sarah (washingtonranhere), Sarah (theshubox), Sarah (skinnyrunner), RunDateEatSleep, Nick (midpack runner), HurdlingHam (corre! run! run like a llama!), Erika (DrTriRunner, Flo (Girl in Motion), Lizzy (Healthy Bites conquer Athlete Appetite), Pen (penatpeace), Amy (secondcityrandomness)Mel (tall mom on the run), Kristen (therundown), Heather (with a side of sneakers)

So you can see where I’m coming from: these peeps are awesome! (Although I should have linked to their RRs where appropriate. Oops. But y’all are smart kids and can figure out how to show them some love!) Hopefully I didn’t forget anyone.  So many of you!! But such inspirational to read 🙂

Luckily I don’t have to wait the 4 weeks (!!) until Boston to get my race on.  I’ll be able to do that next week with the Eastern States 20 miler (with Lacey!)

But yeah.  So I wish the run this morning had been faster.  I’m kind of surprised it wasn’t just because of all the race reports I’ve been reading lately buttttt whatever. The weather was even close to perfect: upper 30s/low 40s, cloudy, a little damp (like you knew rain was coming).  Really nothing too taxing.  *LeSigh*  As you can see I’m failing miserably at not dwelling on it haha

I went to go hablar some espanol and I realized that I missed not speaking it for the week of break.  I’m going to need to find someone post-G day to keep talking to me in Spanish! And since I wasn’t lifting today (did the circuit yesterday) I was able to take a long hot shower before heading off to my second PT appointment which was cool.

Since I remembered to pack shorts, socks and shoes in my big ole bag of a purse (since no PM lifting = actually getting to wear real clothes!) my PT was able to get me on the TM and video my running.  It was interesting to say the least and in the interest of time here are the conclusions from the tape:

  • Yup the right shin in a-hurtin’.  I knew that it was “slapping” around but I guess I didn’t know how loud it was until I hopped on the TM and became very self-conscious about it
  • I’m a heel striker
  • My right hip is weaker than my left one, although both are pretty weak
  • My IT band in both legs are tight
  • I tend to rotate in my trunk more to the left than I do to the right
  • I have “chicken wings” when I run

While cool the video wasn’t really all that informative for me, I probably could have told her that before doing the video.  That said it was nice to see the evidence.  As a scientist I love having proof to back up my claims.

So after that we went to work on exercises for my hips.  And we stretched my legs.  The PT also massaged my (still) inflamed ankle as well as my IT band and calf.  It felt amazing.  No tenderness anywhere but I can tell (and obviously so could she if she broke out The Stick for my IT) that stretching hasn’t really been a priority for me lately. That’s going to have to change!

I left after some icing and e-stim (which by the time we got to this step it was past the time my appointment would end but I *really* wanted it so I decided that it was okay to chance running late for my PM class!) with printouts of the exercises and stretches.  I knew that if I didn’t request physical copies than I wouldn’t do them!

And WOAH it is later than I want it to be! I’m going to leave you with that.  I had wanted to delve into nutrition a bit but it will have to wait until another day later this week (yup I’m a tease 😛 ) and assuming I remember haha.

Also I have some intervals tomorrow to do.  I’m on the fence as to whether or not to do hills.  I’m leaning towards no.  The last time I did them (3 or so weeks ago) was a bit irritating to the shin/ankle area and my PT advised me against them and I’m inclined to agree with her.  I’m just hoping that I can fit another hill session in before Boston.  I’d hate to think that the last time I did hills was 7 weeks before race day! I’m sure that I have enough “oomph” in my legs to handle Boston’s hills but I still worry. Haha!

March 21, 2010

Circuit Time & Relaxation on Sunday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:08

Hope everyone is enjoying Sunday.  Finally a Sunday for me that is relaxing.  Granted it’s the day before classes start up again and likely the last relaxing one for the remainder of the semester but still. Relaxing = good.

Kind of.  I’m a firm believer that staying busy (and dare I say it stressed?) is a great way to avoid being sick.  Yes I know that stress = taxing on the immune system BUT during the moments of craziness I can keep the germs at bay.  And since my spring break really wasn’t all that relaxing I expected the typical “break illness” to be avoided.

But damn you nice weather and relaxing all afternoon yesterday! Now I’m not saying there is a direct link between relaxing and getting sick buttttttt I find it suspicious that after 48 hours of relaxing I’m battling congestion, aches , headache (although I suspect this is from drinking practically nothing after a really hot LR) and a sore throat.  Nothing to knock me out (yet at least) but enough to make me feel slightly irritable.

I think the nosebleeds I was having Friday night is related too.  I get “seasonal” nosebleeds.  None of them are ever serious but I know that winter is on it’s way when I start getting them in the fall.  Same with the spring.  Maybe it’s related to the changing of the weather? I don’t think that the congestion I’m dealing with helps any, and probably makes me think that there’s more blood that actually present because my snot is coming out too.  But I don’t want to alarm anyone (and I think a couple of you were worried) and the nosebleeds that night are, while I don’t want to say normal because nosebleeds in general shouldn’t be normal, they’re….typical? Annoyance? In any case I mean not serious.

Also: I’m definitely sticking with PT.  My insurance covers something like 15 sessions per RX and  I plan on using all of them.  I mean, after G-day in May I don’t think I’m going to have insurance so I need to take advantage now.  The co-pays are going to kill me though.  I don’t know where I’ll get the cash-monies to do it.  But I plan on keeping up with PT because I want to fix the root cause. I’ve also been doing the stretches that my PT has already given me.  I haven’t noticed a difference yet but I like that I’m following a plan even though I was already doing these stretches, albeit intermittently. My type-A personality likes having a plan 🙂

So now that I’ve taken care of questions / updates onto today.

I woke up a little stuffy and felt sooooo hungover.  Last night with my friends I didn’t drink a drop.  Of either alcohol or water.  And hangovers = dehydration. Lucky me, I get the after effects without the raging glory.  Not that last night was out-of-control.  But still.

I wasn’t sure how my body was going to feel during a run but I knew that I wanted to take advantage of cool-ish temps. The past two days, despite running first thing, I’ve been hit with ~70* (mid-60s Friday and in the 70s Saturday) and according to weather.com this morning was suppose to be low 40s.  Lies but I’ll still take mid-50s over 70 anyday 🙂

The run felt slow and creaky.  I’m not sure how much of my aches were due to the LR, dehydration or sickness.  Maybe a combo of the three.  I took it easy and I know that, despite not having a garmin, I was going no faster than granny shuffle.  My feet probably didn’t even come far off the ground! I was about to turn around and just bag it when I started getting some fluidity and…not quite “pep in my step” (as I still felt semi-geriatric) but my feet started clearing the ground so that I didn’t have to worry about tripping over an ant hah!

I finished the run at a very respectable 9:33 pace.  I guess I wasn’t as slow as I thought.  Given the stiffness of the early miles I was thinking I could walk faster.

When I got back I knew that, since spring break had messed with my lifting sessions, I wanted to get something done in terms of strength today so that I had 2 sessions on the week.  Plus my lifting session tomorrow is canceled due to my scheduling a PT appointment during my usual lifting chunk of time.  And I didn’t want to go Wednesday to Wednesday with my lifting.

Since the gym is closed (spring break hours, gotta love ’em) I made up a circuit as I was eating my breakfast to do later in the afternoon.  Something to tackle the major muscle groups but not be very time intensive.  I don’t think I got as good a workout as my typical lifting but it was a good “placeholder”.  Not that I need to be working on gaining lots of strength in the next few weeks.  It’s all about maintenance.

Here it is (it’s pretty much the same thing that’s under the circuit link on the right side of the screen):

  • Russian twists (ab work with 12 lb weights)
  • Lunges (with 12 lb weights)
  • Push-ups (real military ones)
  • 90* legs (ab work with 12 lb weights)
  • Squats (with 12 lb weights)
  • Bear Push-ups
  • Supermans (back work)
  • Dead Bug (ab work)
  • Calf Raisers
  • Dips

I worked through this circuit 3x.  Each exercise was :45 and essentially no rest between the exercises (probably was like :05 or something).  I also took ~2 minutes between each set.

All and all it was a good workout.  I doubt I’ll be sore tomorrow as most of the exercises I’ve been doing all along.  Maybe a bit in my arms.  I liked the circuit and I had forgotten how nice it is to mix up workouts.

I also did quick warm up/downs and I did them SANS watch! I figured that since these miles don’t count in my mileage totals or pace calculations then why bother tracking how fast I’m doing them? It was very freeing.  That said I know that I will NEVER go watchless for an actual run (way too much of a numbers junkie here.  I really do like to keep track of all the data in my notebooks) but it was fun today.  Although I did try to “stop” the watch when I was done hah!

Alright. Time to get back to “relaxing”.  Hopefully lots of water + backlog of magazines = less headachey MM.  Hope y’all are enjoy your Sundays.  With the sun shining and the temperature just shy of 60* I know I am 8)

March 20, 2010

Long Run Before Breakfast

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:30

What a beautiful way to welcome spring in New England. Sunny, slight breeze, 78* (according to my car).  Well maybe 78* is more like summer but considering that this time last weekend there were gale force winds, rain and overall yuck I’m not complaining. It was so nice to take a blanket and book and read outside in the campus dimple.  Makes me want summer 🙂

In fact, when I got done with my run at 1100 it was already 68* out.  What?! Crazy! I’m glad I went out first thing, my body is definitely not ready yet for that kind of weather.  It needs time to acclimate and figure out this thing called sweating and regulating body temperature efficiently ha!  Too bad Mother Nature wants to play games with my heart, tomorrow is suppose to be a high of 54*. It’s going to feel freezing as temperature is all relative.

Like I mentioned I was up and at ’em this morning with the running.  Partly because I couldn’t sleep.  I was having unsettling dreams and nosebleeds all night so after awhile it just feels pointless to just lay there.  I had to sleep with TWO pillows under my head and line the pillows so blood didn’t get everywhere soooo it felt extra pointless to stay in bed.  So I got up and knowing that it was going to be a warm one decided to just go for the LR immediately and try to beat the heat (oh how I hate that phrase! haha).

I wasn’t sure if that was going to be a smart move or not.  See, and I think I’ve mentioned it on the blog before, but my stomach is really finicky with what I can and can’t eat within a couple hours of a run.  Namely nothing 2-3 hours before, so I knew that eating breakfast was out of the question. My rumbling stomach, however, had a different idea and I settled on a tiny apple — the kind that they give out to kindergartners at lunchtime hah. It was a good compromise: it quieted my stomach but didn’t make me want to puke during the run.

The run itself was a bit unremarkable.  The pace was 9:22 on average.  Slower than I aim for (9:00).  But it was about 60 seconds off my current MP and 82 seconds off my GMP.  So not that bad per se. But the “upsetting” thing was that I was way off my game: my MO is to start slow and finish strong.  Week after week you’ve heard me “complain” of that: my first loops is turtle speed and then I pick it up.  Not today I could actually feel the last few miles slowing down.

I think it was party due to not having breakfast before going.  This is the first LR EVER (!) that I haven’t eaten beforehand.  Sure I’ve done runs up to 13.5 or so without fuel but I think that’s my limit for a comfortable run. I did have a hearty bowl of oatmeal with some canned fruit last night before going to bed but after tossing and turning all night I suspect my body burnt through it.

Another component? The weather.  Last week the pace of my LR was bad because of horrid winds and driving rain.  This week my body wasn’t ready for the 70* temps. As Sarah mentioned earlier today temperature plays a huge role in pace and that the increase in temp would likely slow it down.  I’m really glad I read that when I was done with my run today because I was getting pretty angry with myself for a perceived failure as to where I like to keep my pace. Thanks girl!

As for my shin/ankle, I think that PT didn’t really make it better haha.  After being touched so much yesterday it was a little more tender today than usual.  Nothing major or anything but I could tell going to bed last night that the area was “exhausted”.  Again, no pain but I had been avoiding doing anything to it (like working through ROM stuff) and I think that it was tuckered out last night.  Even though that might sound discouraging I’m actually excited about it because it means that the ultimate goal of PT for me (to increase ROM and reduce inflammation) is going to work.  Clearly the area has issues and after day 1 I can already feel it changing stuff.  Not instant gratification but encouraging to me.

So I think you guys lucked out on a short post (well short for me ha!). It is Saturday night after all.  I think a couple of my friends who are student teaching (and therefore didn’t get spring break, although don’t feel sorry for them as they got February break and will get April break!) are going to watch a movie.  Who knows what it’ll be but it’ll be a great way to end a day of long running and laying in the sun.  After all that excitement I am beat! 🙂

Oh and I sooooo want to show you guys pictures of my toes and feet.  Actually I want to show everyone I come into contact with.  But I’ll refrain and just say I have:

  • 1 black toe
  • 1 popped blood blister on my big toe
  • 3 regular blisters that are becoming calluses
  • 1 toenail that is so soft and malleable that I’m scared to even poke it for fear of it falling off

Oh such lovely feet I have.  The funny thing is that I’ve heard that it’s possible to train and have none of this happen.  But I wear it with a badge of honor and definitely wouldn’t change anything about it 🙂

March 19, 2010

PT Eval and Nice Clothes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:34

Well I got back to school safe and sound last night.  There are surprisingly a lot of people on campus, although I suspect that many of them are seniors thesis-ing. It’s not T-9 weeks until G-day.  So even less actual school time because the week before is Senior week and 2 weeks before is finals.  So wait, I have only 7 weeks left?!

Moving on before I start to cry or something…

The nice weather continues to stay with us.  Mother nature must be wanting to get on the good side of us New Englanders after the monsoon over the weekend.  It hit 71* today as I was driving around on errands!!

Since I had my PT eval, as well as a PM informational interview, today I wanted to get a run in beforehand.  A run is always the best way to start the day.  Especially when it’s already mid-40s outside when you get up.  Holllleeeer! I wasn’t sure what to expect from the run as Fridays are technically recovery days but yesterday’s workout wasn’t “hard”.  At least GMP isn’t supposed to be as hard as tempo in my mind.  But with my body finding the workout challenging in the moment (and running for 60 minutes at 7:59 should be I guess for me, even though I want to keep that pace for 26.2 come April 19th. Sheesh haha) I had mixed feelings about what to expect.

I wanted today to be a little quicker than it was, even though I was running ~9:16s the whole time.  Amarathoner wrote about this idea yesterday, that as training goes on the question becomes when do you increase the “easy” or “recovery” pace.  I suppose the answer obviously lies within your own body and I should let mine dictate that.  But on the other hand, I read about elites who say that there is no such thing as too slow for a recovery run and routinely clock theirs in around 9 or 10 pace.

But the point is that I think I should stop being shocked at “pulling off” 9:15 or so recovery runs. The past 2 or so weeks this has been the norm.  Of course now that I say that this upcoming week is going to have my recovery runs be slower than molasses.  Such is life 🙂

Onto bigger and more exciting things.  I know you’re probably all dying to hear about how my PT session went.

I have the diagnosis (from the sports med doc on Monday) as periostitis, which is the inflammation of the connective tissue that surrounds bone.  My goal from PT is to reduce the swelling in my ankle so that I can get a better range of motion.

So today was just an evaluation so my PT (who is the PT I shadowed in the fall of ’08, so I already knew her) just did a battery of “tests”, like watching me walk, do squats, leg lifts, calf raisers etc. as well as taking measurements of my range of motion in my ankles, knees and hips. She gave me some calf stretches to do and then iced me down and I got e-stim.  I’ve had stim on my back before and it’s amazing.  Basically it’s electric pulses that break up the gunk in the area it’s applied to; the “buzzing” you feel is awesome.  Probably the best part of the session haha!

The consensus? That my problem cropped up NOT because of muscle imbalance but because I have incredibly tight joints in my ankle and knees and hips.

In one of the next sessions (because I scheduled about a half dozen or so) she wants to do a gait analysis because she thinks I’m a heel striker (I honestly couldn’t say myself as I’ve never paid attention to that before).  This would lead to my problem because when my foot strikes the ground my ankle can’t dorsalflex enough to properly absorb the shock, and neither can my other joints.  The muscles and tendons then absorb extra shock.  And when it can’t take anymore inflammation occurs.

Over the course of the next few weeks the goal is to reduce inflammation so I can be in tip-top shape to toe the line at Hopkington.  Right now when she was trying to bend my right (affected) ankle it would barely rotate.  Beyond that I’m going to want to keep working with her (as long as insurance will allow) to work on my biomechanics and possibly loosen up my joints a bit.  Not sure how much that is possible but looser joints will mean less stress is forced upon my muscles every step I run.

After my appointment I had to dash immediately off to an informational interview.  Not a job interview but a brainstorming session with an alum from my school who the career center thought would be beneficial to talk to. She’s not in the field I want (medicine) but she’s a manager at a company who consults with companies who want to market medical devices.  I’m not quite sure what I was expecting from this meeting but it went well.  It was more like a conversation and she complimented me on my ability to stay calm and actually carry a conversation.  I’m glad that I looked like I wasn’t nervous because I totally was! I also dressed up all professional too which made me feel all amazing.  After a semester of living in gym / running clothes I’ve forgotten how nice it is to put on my “nice” clothes

Sorry for the blurriness! And that it's sideways haha!

As for tomorrow (which is the first official day of Spring!!!) I’m not quite sure what I’ll be tackling running wise.  According to my plan I have 15-19 to do.  For the first time all cycle I think I’m going to, not only be within the range, but on the low end.  I think I’ve tried to do it before but failed on it and am always on the upper end.  I have a 16.6 mile route that I think I’m going to tackle (it’s one big loop) but we’ll see.

Too bad the monsoon on last weekend couldn’t have been this weekend to keep my in check haha! The weather is suppose to be even nicer tomorrow than today. It’ll be all about the mental aspect of running and a huge challenge to stick with that number.  I’m okay if I go to 17 because it’s smack dab in the middle of the range but I’m hoping that I can just do that route and be satisfied.

Send some luck my way 🙂

Alright it’s pretty late to be blogging on a Friday night (although spring break = no concept of days of the week).  Since none of my friends are back yet I’m going to catch up on some television and READING.  Today when I was getting e-stim I was able to whip out the book I’m in the middle of and I realized how much I miss reading for FUN.  Stupid school work getting in the way 😉

Have a great Friday night y’all!!

March 18, 2010

Ehhhhh. And *THAT’S* my GMP?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Without further ado here it is:

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

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

But good Boston training 😉

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

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

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

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

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