MarathonMaiden's Blog

August 26, 2010

And On the Fifth Day…

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

The floods receded.

Okay so maybe that’s an exaggeration. Not by much but the pounding of rain New England got the past 4 days has been intense.  I’m all for rainy days and all but after not seeing the sun since Saturday I was excited when I got up this morning to an actual sunrise rather than just going from black to gray.

That might be just the only NOT sad song about rain.

First though: my run on Wednesday was okay.  It was another 2 X 4.1 miles at 0530.  I actually ran it pretty fast.  Or at least fast for what I’ve been running lately.  And there was over a minute of negative splitage.  Holler. That’s the way to rock a morning run.  It was cool and misty.  I think those might be pretty good conditions for a run because it’s not RAIN .  Sure that leads to great humidity but the small water particles on my face felt good.

Despite not having to go into work until the afternoon today I still got up at 0530.  I have a meeting with my pre-health advisor that I wanted to make sure I had enough time to get to.  I didn’t actually mind such an early alarm.  Sure my eyes STUNG because of lack-of-sleep (I’ve only been getting 5 or 6 hours a night lately boo!) but once I’m up and changed out of my pjs I’m pretty good to go.

Like I mentioned there was NO RAIN.  And I actually got to see the sunrise.  It was really pretty with lots of pinks and purples.  Of course getting to see the sun and receive light from the sun was a real treat after lots of cloudage lately.  It was also still cool.  A nice 62*.  Despite not getting many hours of sleep last night, the cool temperature made things feel nice.

For some reason today’s run just felt *right*. It was way strong from the get-go which was nice because, after sleeping so little/poorly lately and being on my feet so much at my job, I was beginning to question whether or not I was losing my running touch.  You know, the one where almost every run this summer was fast and strong and powerful? Well I had been doubting whether or not that was a fluke or not.

I started out fast.  Not really intentionally but rather because I was running at around the same pace as this guy on the path (it was 0530 so the path run it was!) and it was that awkward running where, unless one of us drastically changed pace, we would likely keep passing and re-passing each other over and over.

Not necessarily a bad thing and normally I would actually attempt to run with such a person (my theory is that if you find someone who is running around your pace JOIN THEM.  It makes things fun) but I had a lot on my mind this morning so…..and this is going to reveal the nerd in me….I had to disengage the “Beat Frequency Effect”

Not really a catching title though for my theory.  If y’all have better suggestions I am all ears.

Nerd Alert!

So in physics, beats are when two sound waves have very similar frequencies but they’re are different enough that they aren’t in-phase (or lined up) with each other.   Therefore the amplitude of the waves can add positively (constructive interference and the sound is louder, or the sum of the two) or negatively (destructive interference and the sound is quieter, or the different of the two).  That’s why when tuning an instrument you get that oscillating sound as the instrument tries to line up with the right note.  Hopefully that science wasn’t confusing and I explained it okay.

The reason I mention it is because it happens in running too: the push and pull (or adding and subtracting) of two runner’s paces. Since no one runs at the *exact* same pace during the course of every step of a run there is the effect of a wave like motion that goes on when runners are running around the same pace.  I’m sure you guys have experienced it.  For me, it’s annoying. At least when running with others isn’t the point of a particular run.

And, if I hadn’t been the one to break away (like I said I had a lot on my mind and wanted to push and make my run feel hard) this guy and I would have been caught in this dance, like a beat frequency.

I have no idea if any of what I just wrote makes sense to you guys butttt it makes sense in my head.  Oh how I can relate anything to physics and/or running.

So the long and short of this tangent is to say that I was on the one who picked up the pace and blew past this guy.  It felt really good to just let go and run hard.  It’s not like it was a tempo effort or anything.  But it was faster than the paces I’ve been doing since I’ve moved and started up my early bird running.

So I ran the first loop in 8:29 pace! That’s faster than the average of my overall runs lately! And because my MO is to progressively run my runs my second loop was exactly one minute faster leading to an 8:15 pace.  Way cool stuff.  And since I was feeling really good I added a loop around a couple of the blocks by my apartment to add another 1.1 miles.  The pace of which was 7:52.  I was cruising.

Grand total for today? 9.3 miles in 8:18 pace.  All before 0700 too. I think I might be getting back into the swing of things 🙂

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May 14, 2010

Done?!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:11

Whew. Even though finals week is never really stressful / crazy for me I guess this just isn’t the typical semester. As you guys know (and are probably sick of hearing) I’m taking quantum physics and we got a take home that…well didn’t really kick my butt but was being a time suck.  Couple that with any “free” time being totally taken up with trying to get my shizznit together for finding, you know, a source of income for the next year and well, I’ve been feeling a bit stressed.

But luckily I’m 100% done with undergraduate work so it’s not so bad.  Now I just need to find a job. And I appreciate all the comments telling me to push through and that I can do it, don’t stress and enjoy these last few weeks.  I definitely needed to hear that 🙂

Thanks for the good lucks on my thesis too.  Except for the fact that I”m not doing one haha. Kind of sad, kind of not but thanks for the support anyway 😉  I think that the confusion arose because I’ve been going to a bunch of defenses for my friends but I definitely did not do one.  I was doing enough already that I think a thesis would have put me in the loony bin.

Luckily I had running to get me through the year and because I’ve been really busy lately (sorry to all those blogs that I read but didn’t comment on the past week because I haven’t had time! And doubly sorry to all the emails i have yet to respond too, I promise I’ll play catch up soon!) here’s a quick (well not really quick) little running recap because I do call myself a runner.  Plus I really haven’t been doing anything other than school work and running.  I’d be willing to bet that you’d rather read about my runs than my Quantum physics exam.  Just a hunch though 😉

Tuesday was a run and a full body circuit (which can be found on the tab on the right-hand side of the page).  The run was actually at a nice cruising pace.  I was really surprised when I mapped out the route and found that it was 8.8 miles and that my pace was ~8:59 (gotta LOVE having that one second under 9s hah).  I guess the soreness in my legs from the weekend wore off nicely because my quads and hammys weren’t shouting in protest.  The circuit itself was pretty unremarkable.  I had wanted to hop into the gym but because of finals week the hours are all screwy and I couldn’t go when I needed to.  I figured the circuit was a good “placeholder” strength workout — a workout where it doesn’t really help you add muscle or make gains but it keeps your muscles from forgetting that they need to work.

Wednesday morning I got up early to run before my Spanish exam (gaahhh can’t believe that’s over with! So sad). The weather forecast wasn’t looking too good (rain bleh) but because of the limited fitness center hours I knew that I would have to get out there if I wanted to do a run at all.  After the exam I needed to work a lot more on the quantum exam.  But I’ve been really lucky lately.  Even though the weather has been quite chilly for mid-May (highs only in the upper 50s and lows into the upper 30s) I’ve so far been able to avoid the precipitation.   Give me sub-zero temps any day (well maybe not as I really do hate being cold) just as long and there is no snow or rain.  It misted a bit during the run but I was able to crank out another great feeling run.  I faded a bit at the end but I think that’s just my legs saying “Hey there, you really want to get us back into a regular running routine?!”

Thursday: So my intention was to get up early and run, do some quantum work then lift.  But life happens.  Or rather flu-like illness happens.  Wednesday night was not pretty with chills, body aches, sore throat and fever.  Basically a restless night of sleep.  Although “sleeping” it off (I was in bed for 13 hours but was tossing and turning the majority of the night so I wasn’t asleep) made me feel better I knew that my plan was out the window.  I was really dehydrated from all the sweating overnight and have that hangover headache.

So I decided to do my work in the morning and if I felt better after hydrating and getting some fluid in me that I’d get out for a run.  By mid-afternoon I was sooooo ready for a study break from the quantum exam so I figured a little run and some fresh air would do me good.  I was also feeling *much* better.  I had that sexy voice from being sick but that was it.  And wouldn’t you know it: my run was the fastest I’d done all week and felt AMAZING.  Well it didn’ t feel stellar at the time, it didn’ t feel bad or anything but it felt like a typical easy run.  Not the case and I had to triple check my route because my pace was really good.  It’s funny how I consider the 8:38s I ran this day to be blistering because it was an easy run but I would never accept that as a fast pace for a tempo.  How how everything is relative (and that’s also a total physics joke with the club too)

Friday was trying to get my planned Thursday lift in.  I was feeling 100% illness wise (although with a slight sore throat and that sexy voice still) so I got a quick run in outside in the misty rain.  Nothing too strenuous because I knew I was essentially doing a double workout with the pending lift but the pace was spot on.  Nothing like Thursday but still a respectable 9:05.  It felt pretty good too and if you had asked me mid-run I’d have told you that I was running way slower.  I definitely think not doing the mega-miles now is letting me run faster on a daily basis.  Guess that’s just the trade off between miles and speed.

I then looked over my Quantum exam, handed it in and eventually hit up the gym for some lifting (and did the arms and legs portion in the Lifting tab on the right).  I didn’t do the abs/back at this time because I wasn’t sure if I really would get to the gym and I love doing core / think it’s really important to do regularly, so I did it right after the run in the AM.  As for the weights, last weekend when I reintroduced lifting I went with slightly lower weights but today, after not being incredibly sore after that lift and Tuesday’s circuit, I decided to go back to what I was using pre-Boston.  And man was it tough.  It hurt — but in that oh-so-good way.  I’ll likely be feeling it tomorrow and I welcome it with open arms.

Aside from the soreness I’m not quite sure what the weekend holds for me running wise. I decided not to go home this weekend so I get one more LR on campus and trying to decided when / where to make this final goodbye LR is a really tough decision!

Anyhoo that’s been my running/working out update since Monday when I last updated it.  And I really am starting to think I should have been an English major given how long my posts are 😉

Now I get to relax a bit and bask in the glow that is NO WORK.  I mean, starting tomorrow I have to start drafting more cover letters, but as of right now I really don’t have to do anything.  I’m trying not to think about it too much because it means that graduation is in 8 days so I guess party time? 😀

(And yet again I’m not proof-reading this post before posting.  Sorry for any typos/grammar errors!)

Check out these giveaways from SkinnyRunner and Marcia

May 6, 2010

Racing Toward The Finish

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:26

Heeeeey-o!

Now that I finished that second presentation Wednesday night I am *almost* home free.  Just have to hand in 2 Spanish papers, take Spanish exam #5, Spanish final and a Quantum take-home.  Okay so I guess it looks like more written out but having those 2 presentations done and over with makes me feel SO. GOOD.  So it’s like nothing can even touch how stressed I was over them.  Luckily last night’s went extremely well.  I think I was able to really articulate my ideas and break a complex topic down to a level that other people can understand.  My project was about a 50/50 mix of physics and bio so the bio stuff people had lots of questions on.  But I was able to clearly respond and not stutter and get wicked awkward.  Yay.

But enough tooting my own horn.

I don’t think I mentioned how much your guys’ comments about me getting back into running and being okay with keeping it light, easy and fun.  So many of you told me that I need to enjoy being “a kid” and enjoy life because before I know it I’ll be grown up.  Granted I’m trying to do everything in my power to not grow up buttttt I love the support of embracing a different attitude with my running and not worrying about anything.

Which I obviously am loving the whole “run free” thing.  I spent 16+ weeks following intense running and rigorous running.  I do have a post in the works about my Boston training from an analytical standpoint.  I started it, oh a week ago, and still am drafting so don’t expect it tomorrow or anything.  But suffice it to say that I thought not following a plan, not really being able to run these past few weeks…well I thought it would be a let down and I’m glad that I can be happy with it.

Another plus of my “new mindset” (and I do want to state that my go-get-’em intense mindset isn’t gone but it just needs to recovery just as my body did from Boston) is that I’m comfortable taking XT days in stride.

Like today.  As I mentioned yesterday after 4 days of running my legs are feeling tight.  I knew that I *could* get a run in today.  And I even knew that if I were to run a short run that I would still be on the speedier side.  I really don’t think that my run would have been bad today but tight muscles aren’t fun and considering I keep saying I’m going to stretch/foam roll….clearly I never do.  And another day of running without stretching probably wouldn’ t have been good.  I’m such a firm believer that tight muscles are a cause of injury soooooo

I took an XT day this morning.  It helped a bit that there was a chance of t-storms and, unlike Monday, it actually *felt* like it was going to storm.  Of course it never did (not even one drop of rain).  But  I’m sure my legs are liking me after my workout on the elliptical.  In my past few runs, even though I’ve felt spot on and amazing there has been that tightness lingering.  Not enough to cause pain or hinder my runs but enough that I’m like “Oh yeah. Hey there”.  But the elliptical didn’t trigger that awareness.  So I’m hoping that I can find some time to stretch today.  Unlikely but I think that if I keep saying it enough it will eventually happen. No?

I also wanted to take an XT day because this weekend I want to hit my first double digit run post-Boston this weekend.  And, while my tight muscles haven’t been any type of issue ( and I want to make that perfectly clear to stave off the “if your legs are hurting then rest! injury” kind of comments that crop up every time I mention a small nag) I recognize that if I want to do my favorite 11.5 mile route then it’s best to “save” those miles rather than tempt fate.

Obviously this is a type of revelation for me given the training cycle I’m coming off of and I know that some of you have been beating me over the head with it. But whatever. Better late than never.  And, like I said earlier, I’m feeling happy and confident with myself right now.  So it’s the perfect time to push my comfort zone.

Re-reading what I have written and I feel like this post didn’ t really have a point per se.  Oops.  I guess that being so sure of my “training”, I guess “working out” might be the better phrase, and I haven’t felt that way in awhile.  And by awhile I mean the past 4-5 months.  While I’m itching to put the pressure on myself for training and racing, c’mon now do you really think a tiger can change its stripes? haha, I think the lack of pressure is helping me become refreshed and refocused for whatever is next.

And with that I’m going to try and take some of this content-ness and ease and go tackle those assignments I mentioned earlier. [ETA: So I started this post in the AM so update: Almost done with the Spanish papers. Progress!] Only one more day of classes for me! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! Sure most of my peers don’t have Friday classes and are done today but whatever.  It’s still almost done for me! (I’m taking Spanish, totally by choice so I can’t complain too much, so I did, in fact, have Friday classes this semester and thus one class tomorrow.  It’s an exam too.  Talk about a way to wrap up my undergrad career!)

And then I get to go get disoriented tonight.  “Disorientation” is a senior tradition where the class council takes the entire senior class to a secret location to hang out and basically party.  In years past seniors have gone to brewerys, chuck-e-cheese like places for adults, etc.  So I’m pretty excited to cut lose.  Granted I do have that peskey exam tomorrow but it should be a blast anyway 🙂

I also plan to bring my camera but I’m not sure how “blog friendly” they’ll come out 😛

May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayooooooo

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:00

Happy Cinco de Drinko Mayo all.  Today is actually my friend’s birthday and I haven’t been able to celebrate for the past few years because it’s always been the final push of the semester.  The past two years were finals week and this year I have my Experimental Physics presentation tonight…from 1900-2200.  Fun stuff. I’d much rather be drinking margueritas and taking tequila shots.

Speaking of tequila shots work, thanks for all the good lucks on my Senior Presentation on Monday.  I think it ended up going well although I think I rushed at the end and stumbled a bit on my words.  Oh well.  It’s done and over with. Yay.  Although not really because I actually liked reading about the condition I was presenting on.  I just didn’t like the whole put-together-a-presentation/talk thing haha.

All this school (and financial aid and future job) stress must be working it’s way into my sleep because last night I had a dream about toe getting reinfected.  And the infection being WAY worse than last time (and it was pretty bad).  Plus my friends were sick of being supportive in it.  So it was like a double whammy.  Ick. I woke up actually feeling stressed out! Thankfully my toe is FINE (school, financial aid and job? Not so much but that’s something that hopefully will get ironed out soon).  I’m actually on the last day of one of my antibiotics and second to last day for the other.  Yippee 🙂

Okay enough other things and more running!

Oh but first: LOST?! OMG.  Why is this show soooo amazing?! I won’t get into last night’s episode here (because I hate it when people are major league asses and spoil endings like that) BUT if you want to chat about theories, OMG how-could-they-moments or anything just drop me a line 🙂

So *now* onto the running.

On Tuesday I had the most amazing run I’ve had in forever.  I think I said that in my last post too.  But it keeps on stunning me how well my legs are running.  My pace felt really relaxed and… well I don’t want to say easy because I was breathing a bit heavy but it was effortless.  It was one of those runs where I knew I was going hard but I didn’t feel like I was dying.  That said the pace didn’t end up being blistering (only 8:30) but it was still pretty damn  awesome.

I think it helped that the weather was amazing.  It was on the hot side (~70*) but I was able to keep my room an ice box somehow without air conditioning (cheap ass school — no cable nor AC.  I guess I’m lucky I get heat in the winter) so the warmth felt great.  Like Monday it was a sports bra and shorts day.  Finally I get to show off all my really cute / brightly colored sports bras! 😉 But unlike Monday there was very little humidity so I didn’t feel all gross and sticky running.

Sadly Wednesday morning was not a sports bra morning.  Although it wasn’t cold (still tank-top and shorts weather) the contrast between 70* and 55* is big.  And the humidity was WAY down thanks to some really big and scary T-storms that rolled through Tuesday afternoon.  So I was actually a little chilly at the beginning of the run.  Again, it felt kind of good considering that my body isn’t used to those really hot temps we’ve been having here in the NorthEast.

Yet again, my body surprises me because I ran another sub-9 paced run.  Where were these guys when I needed it during marathon training as confidence boosters? Oh yeah.  No where! The pace felt a bit awkward though.  Not like I was pushing really hard (my runs as of late are taking on the motto: Run the pace you feel comfy with for as long as it feels comfy.  Then adjust) but my legs were feeling the effects of 4 consecutive days of running.  Feels weird to type that out considering the streak I put in over the winter of, not only running days, but of *double digit* running days.  I guess that’s what happens when XT became the focus and I “lost” a bit of running fitness.

But I’m really happy that I’m happy and excited to go out there and run.  It’s so much fun lately and I feel like a kid all free on the playground or something 😀

My only complaint is that my legs did feel a bit tight.  And not just in one particular muscle.  My IT, hammys, quads, calves, pretty much everything was feeling it.  I guess this also happens when you get back into a running routine and run serious distances.  Nothing major, I still haven’t run double digits post-Boston yet (maybe this weekend?), but I totally needed a good stretching session. Or a good foam roller session.  Because, despite buying one 6ish weeks ago, I still have yet to break it out.  Seriously.  Partly because I don’t really know how to use it.  Is it really as basic as hopping on and moving my body over it?

Okay time to wrap this up and go prep that Experimental Physics presentation.  I suppose figuring out what I’m going to say with each slide is pretty important.  But you should check out the giveaway from Erika

April 16, 2010

Just Release. And A Look Into My Academics

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

Hmmmm yeah. I had nothing to really say yesterday. Hence no posting. Also my running has been boooooring.

But I did get in the 6 (well really 6.3) miles I wanted too on Thursday.  It was sooo hard to NOT push more miles.  I really didn’t start feeling good until the end — per usual — but obviously more miles with such little time left is silly.

I’m still in a semi-zen state although planning the logistics of getting to the start, what I’m going to wear and (most pressing) what I’m going to pack to head to the hometown for the weekend are starting to get to me. I don’t want to deal with it so I keep putting this stuff off.  But with 3 days to go…well let’s just say that I should really think this stuff through BEFORE race morning.

But I think that I’ve got some plans underway.  I think the lack of planning is because I’ve thrown out all expectations for this race.  Seriously.  I think I talked a bit in the beginning of the training cycle how I wanted to get 3:29:59.  Well I just don’ t think that this is going to be that race for me.  And I’m not saying that out of taper doubts or being all self deprecating or fishing for compliments.  I really just don’t think my body is in the right place to gun for a spectacular time.  And it’s my own fault really.  I got caught up in the more is better bug.

I kept trying to push and push and push.  I think I wanted it too much. But like I’ve said all along: I’m a newbie at this.  Sure it’ll suck to not PR (I think that every race I’ve ever run has been a PR) or to smash goals.  It’s a learning curve though.  I’m only 23 years old and have plenty of running years ahead of me (*knockonwood*!!).

Oddly though, as soon as I realized over the weekend that 3:29:59 is likely not in the cards, I was at peace with things. Releasing all that pressure just made my life feel really good and less stressful.  It’s been like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  And who knows, maybe going in with little expectation (other than have fun) might just make a good day and wonderful things happen.  It’s not like I’m purposely going to keep things nice and easy if I’m feeling good.  But I think that I’m a bit overtrained, so I guess I’m just trying to be a little more realistic.

Although as much as I’m not feeling like a stellar time is in the cards I’m feeling more self-assured and confident in myself.  It’s like I’m very comfortable in my skin at the moment.

Guess the taper is making all philosophical. Hahah.

I also feel more at ease and on top of things in my school life too.  Obviously training for a marathon is a huge deal and I’ve been obsessed with it for the past 4+ months.  Now, I’m not saying I’ve been slacking on my school work butttttt the combo of trying to do hardcore studying and hardcore training has been so draining.  But once I released the running tension, it was like I got renewed focus and productivity.

I talk so much about running here that I think many of you suspect all I do is run.  I mean, I know I bitch and moan about school sometimes but I wanted to take this time (since I’m still not running much) to share a bit of two projects I’m working on.

My Capstone: I’m continuing my research into Adhesive Capsulitis (frozen shoulder) that I was doing last semester.  In the fall I look at what it was and who was affected.  Kind of boring, but at least I was able to find information and literature on it.  Now I’m trying to look into the mechanics of it and it’s not known.  Like at all.  And I’m the kind of person that likes to be able to find information.  Not cool.

BUT I was able to do research on mechanical and chemical stress in the body and how that affects cell growth (which A.C. is characterized by huge amounts of cell growth).  The way it works it that a stressor (be it a hormone or increase in pressure) can change the way a cell responds to it’s environment.  For my purposes I’m looking at stressors that cause cells to grow uncontrollably and unchecked.  It’s kind of (really) cool but still frustrating because I can’t run experiments or trails or have access to real patients.  I guess this is good for me to learn that life doesns’t happen in a bubble the way college is set up.

Plus it strengthened my resolve to want to go into endocrine as well as try to pursue research in a diabetes research facility next year.  Fingers crossed for me — it’s really hard to get the kind of position I want. But that still leaves me sitting at my computer trying to put together a powerpoint presentation. Ugh.

Experimental Physics independent lab: The first half of the semester this class was all about doing pre-selected experiments to solidify our knowledge of physics concepts.  The second half my lab partner and I get to design our own experiment to study something physics-y but of our choosing.  And since my lab partner is basically a slacker (which I am SO trying to not be bitter about) I designed a lab to measure the effect an increase in pressure has on the human heart.

I tried to base my model on obese people vs. “normal” people (that sounds so bad to type out like that!!). The lab was taking tubing and creating a closed circuit (it ended up not being closed due to the difficulty of making the tubing stay) and varying the amount of pressure being placed in a particular spot on the tube — aka like fat around the heart.  Placing a marble into the model I was able to measure how fast it traveled with the different pressures.

I’m still not quite sure what my results mean (the more outside pressure lead to an increase in velocity) so I’m trying to find research on hypertension and obesity and what exactly causes the two to be related.  Like with my capstone I doubt there’s a lot of literature out there on the mechanism, so I’ll likely be looking more into the physics behind hydrolic pressure and fluid mechanics.

So hopefully you found this post to be interesting.  Since I use this blog as a way to talk about my running (because no one in my “real life” gets running) I tend to ignore the other things.  But I swear I’m more than one dimensional!

And here’s a giveaway from Run Girl Run. And from ErikaH

P.S. I do apologize for not getting around to responding to comments.  I hope that once I’m off campus I’ll be able to catch up on them!

March 26, 2010

Whew. TGIF yo!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 20:01

Gosh I’ve been a bad blogger! Not only have I gone a couple days without posting but I’ve been neglectful on your blogs. I have been trying to keep up but there have been moments where I just clicked “mark all as read” on my google reader.  Sorry if over the past few days you fell victim to that! I tried to do it as infrequently as possible. But I’ve been turning on my computer as little as possible the past few days.

Because sometimes life is more important than blogs.  Shocking I know 🙂

Where have I gone? You might ask.  Two words: quantum physics.  I got my take home on Monday night and I dropped off all radar for Wednesday and Thursday and this morning/afternoon. It’s been a really grueling exam.  Maybe more time consuming than hard but still.  It wears me down.  Luckily this week was on the light side for my other classes and I was able to dedicate lots of hours to it. Total count? 23 hours.  That’s more than I spend running. Or sleeping for that matter haha 🙂

So what else have I been up too?

  • Foam roller has arrived.  I’m lucky that I had time to hit up the post office and pick it up (plus another pair of shoes. Holler).   Unfortunately I haven’t had the time yet to open the package. (And I’m very encouraged that many of you love your foam rollers and have found it to be a great investment.  Hopefully I can find the time to open the dang package!)

  • PT.  Had session #3 on Thursday.  My right shin’s “bruise” (the only way I can accurately describe the feeling) is less pronounced.  I still don’t really have the range of motion that I want buttttt it’s a start.  The bad thing? I think that the same thing is starting on the left shin.  But I’m in PT so I asked my PT to do a little ice and massage on it so that it doesn’t get worse.  It’s just an inkling (repeat: nothing serious!)
  • Hip exercises & stretching from PT.  Man these are hard! My hips and butt hurt after doing them.

I have also been running too. On Wednesday I went for a recovery run from the Tuesday of intervals.  It was pretty slow but it wasn’t as slow as I anticipated. I went early enough that, while I didn’t see the sun actually rise, I got to still see all the pretty colors of dawn. I also got a good lifting session in the afternoon.  I felt pretty strong doing it which was great.

Thursday was a “tempo” day.  I don’t know what is up with me and tempos but I cannot do one!  I know that there are a lot of factors that go into an “on” day and whatnot and I know that the fact that I’m in Week 4 of training works against me (because I’ve put in lots of weeks.  And many of those weeks have been high miles).  And I think I’m not 100% recovered from my Tuesday sessions on Thursday.

So I recognize that.  That said, I’ve been struggling with consistency this whole cycle with tempos.  I would think that over the course of a cycle there would be a speeding up of the average tempo pace and then, around now, a stalemate or even slight slowing.  All with the same effort level.  But I’ve just been all over the place, and overall I’d say that my fastest tempos (save the tm ones) were in the very beginning of the cycle, so an overall slowing.  I think that after Boston I want to focus on getting a real feel for tempos no matter what distance I end up training for during the summer and fall.

Anyway here’s the data from Thursday:

  • 3.8 mile warm up @ 9:44
  • 7.1 miles tempo @ 7:44
  • 3.8 mile warm down @ 9:16

Total time: 127 minutes 30 seconds
Total distance: 14.7 miles
Average pace: 8:41

Immediately after this run I went to PT. Like I mentioned above, PT is going really well.  I’m not as tender in the right shin (although the left is nagging a bit).  I’m glad that I chose to run before because both shins were sore right after and it was good to get some treatment.

Today was not a good day overall. Well I guess now it’s all good but it was overwhelming to go through.  It started at midnight with me still working on my exam.  And I was being productive but the math was just taking along time.  Eventually I put it away and fell asleep to RAIN.  And I knew that the rain would continue in the morning so I planned on hitting up the gym.  After Thursday with my shins buggin’ a bit I figured the TM would help me baby. So I guess the rain was a good thing in that sense.  Also I was hoping that the rain would help with my allergies.  Nope. Still congested and still lots of bloody noses.  Lovely.

And I’m glad I planned for the TM because it was sleeting when I got up.  Although the weather was so weird: sleet in the early AM, snowy in the late AM and SUN in the PM.  I banged out a fairly quick recovery run (all of my TM runs are faster than outdoors and I figured that with the tempo from Thursday being a bust that I didn’t need as slow of recovery).  My shins were a bit troublesome, mostly the left one (like the one I’m NOT in PT for) but I got to watch the second half of a really cool History Channel special on preserving the Valley Forge National Park and it had cool info about the whole American Revolution.  And then the first part of a “Punishment” special where the focus was on torture.

And then in the PM (clearly procrastinating from the quantum exam) I did some lifting.  I ended up doing my warm up on the elliptical because I was worried about the shin and I’m glad I did because I did try to do some running to warm up and the shins were saying NO.  Nothing to worry about but I knew that it was a smart choice to do something else.  After the warm up and lifting I was able to do the warm down with running 100% pain/tenderness free. So I guess the muscles/tendons needed time after sitting in class/doing my exam all morning.

The rest of my day has been putting in more hours to the exam.  The good new is that I’m done (finished at 19:22 tonight!).  The bad news is that I know I’ve made errors.  But they’re silly errors (like one of my answers is a factor of 2 off and I’m NOT going back and redoing it for something insignificant like that) and I know that I have the process correct of what I’m going to do.  And my professor is fair and has even told me and the rest of the class that the process is the most important and let him catch the small math errors. Fingers crossed that all my hard work (23 hours) is going to pay off!

Whew! That was a marathon of a post.  I guess that’s what happens when you don’t have time to check your email much less blog.  Oh well.  Now I’ve got to go shower because I went running at 0700 and never had the time all day to do it.  It’s going to feel so good to just wash this week off of me.  And then? I’m off to Relay for Life. It started hours ago but my exam was basically my life.  I’m going to slide it under my prof’s door as I head over. Can’t wait until it’s out of my hands!

And check out this giveaway from Racing with Babies and this one from TheHealthNut and this one from Tricia.

Hope everyone is having a great Friday night!

December 4, 2009

TGIF

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:54

Indeed.  It’s been one long week! The weeks after a long weekend always drag.  Well maybe the weeks don’t because I can’t believe it’s Friday, the 4th of December, but the days sure do.  I think the longest days this semester have been this week.  Oh well, one more week to go!

I ended up not going out.  I got sidetracked with my geophysics paper and no one wanted to go out because they had lots of work to do as well.  Kind of a bummer because I totally wanted to go out but I prolly needed the extra sleep as my body is reeling from such a prolonged sleep deprivation before Thanksgiving.  I ended up with 6 hours but that totally is better than 3-4.

When I woke up it was cold again! Yesterday’s high was 68* so the 38* that I woke up to felt very frigid and I debated breaking out the underarmour.  I didn’t though and I’m glad because it was totally not necessary.  But weather is so relative so it was tempting to wear it. I actually enjoyed the brisk cold enveloping my body — I think I say this during all my brisk mornings haha.

I also woke up to some sore muscles: specifically my quads.  Yesterday’s massage prolly was a bit too much pressure on ’em because they felt like someone took a baseball bat to them and feel all bruised.  No es bueno! I actually stretched out a bit after doing some corework and before hitting the streets.  And let me say this: stretching feels sooooooooooo good.  Seriously.  I need to get back into a stretching routine.  I do stretches for jazz class but 2x a week just isn’t enough.  Todos los dias (everyday)!

Even though my legs were a bit, ummmm can’t really think of a word because sore doesn’t really describe it, my run was pretty good.  Unfortunately my hardcore pseudo-tempo didn’t give me a huge leap in my pace for an easy run. Bummer only because I’ve been so reliant on the “fast running begets fast running” principle and in the grand scheme of things it’s still true.  But I think the extremely high mileage + massage =/= fast running.

Don’t get me wrong, I still was at a good clip but it wasn’t the easy pace – 30-40 seconds that I usually enjoy the day after a speed session.  Just the easy pace.  My body will be happy even though my mind is frustrated with it. Meaning I prolly should have cut back from my planned 9.1 miles but they felt good so why not? I think that I’m not going to do a “long” run tmrw but stick with the 9-11 range.  No sense in really pushing hard yet.  Plus it’s suppose to rain in the pm and I don’t think I’ll be able to get more that 10 first thing haha.

Okay — I need to get some more work done on this geophysics paper.  For those who were curious I’m writing it on gravity anomalies.  Due to the mass distribution on Earth some places are denser than other.  This leads to an increase in the pull of gravity on objects in that particular area.  NASA is looking at these and can actually detect sea level changes, glacial changes, groundwater changes from the different values gravity has in the areas.  Pretty cool but totally kicking my ass right now. Also, since I’ve been so math-based for so long and am currently taking  two language course I cannot for the life of me string together an English sentence anymore! Every other word in my paper has been something in French or Spanish haha.

Also Sarah is having a giveaway.  Holllleeerr. But don’t enter. Because I want it 😛

November 23, 2009

Grit-ness

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 20:15

Good evening all. Taking a short break from my GeoPhysics take-home exam to post.  This test is kicking my butt.  At least it was: I think that I’m on my way to understanding it better.  I “got” the concepts but the math wasn’t working out right.  That’s the good thing about physics, I always know when I’m wrong because the numbers have physical meanings and I can base my numbers on my intuition.  For example: when a fluid gets more viscus it’ll move slower (example molasses moves slower than water) so when my answers follow what my gut tells me then I know I’m on the right path. And so I am.

But enough about physics.  After all this is a running blog and I’m taking a break from it. So no business talk here haha.

I had a typical Monday morning run.  Slow and yet steady.  I think that by accepting a slow Monday I’m able to deal with the mental aspect of disappointment of not hitting a pace.  On the other hand, I feel like I might just be setting myself up for EVERY Monday to be slow simply because my attitude is that Monday = slow run.  A catch-22 to be sure.

The weather was decent.  Low 40s with clouds.  Seems to be the typical weather as of late and I’m sort of glad, I mean as much as I despise the cold and winter looming it *is* November after all.  Time for Mother Nature to start acting like it.  It does make for pleasant runs.

Like today for instance.  Despite my legs feeling sore and trashed yesterday I was able to pull 9.2 this morning.  No Last Mile Party for me today however as my legs were exhausted by the end.  I think I’ll be happy when the POTM challenge is over.  I know that I’m not in the running for first place but it’s still keeping me going long these days. And although my legs were dragging a bit over the last mile or so I never felt like I was crawling along.

In my mind though that means I need to do some speedwork in the very near future.  Tomorrow perhaps? It’s been raining all afternoon and going to continue into the night /morning so I think it’s the perfect opportunity to hit the gym and get a good hard tempo or interval in.  Maybe the TM is a cop-out but hey, I don’t really want to run in the rain.  If it doesn’t rain I’m sure I’ll be wayyy tempted to skip speedwork as I’m not so good at sticking to speed stuff outside.

I’m not dead set on doing the whole speedwork tmrw as when Boston training comes around and there’s snow on the ground the TM will definitely be the way to get my speed in and I’ll be more motivated to keep a regular schedule for speed.  So I’m not too worried about skipping it tmrw.  Not going to derail anything but I sure could use a bit of “fast running leads to fast running” to boost my spirit and get me pumped.

Speaking of Boston training, anyone have a good training plan they want to share? I haven’t found anything that’s really stuck with me as “YES!” so I’m open to anything at this point.  I want something challenging with a peak of somewhere around 70mpw. Because I’m tenacious like that.

Oh snap a perfect segue into my next “topic” that I wanted to share: I took an online “grit survey” and according to the results that were emailed to me this morning I have more “grit’ than most ppl my age.  Numerically I scored a 3.75 while most of my peers scored a 3.2 Hollllller 🙂 Makes me feel even more like a bamf!

Alright gotta go show my bamfness to this exam as it’s due tmrw morning.  And then I get to leave for Thanksgiving break.  There was some drama over the weekend as to whether or not I was going home but I am (at least as of this moment) and I’m excited to party it up with my friends from high school.  I’ll likely also be doing lots of running with another friend as I said before our motto is “Go Big or Go Home”.

Enjoy your Monday nights.  Hopefully they are more exciting than mine although if I finish this exam soon then I’m going to watch El Laberinto del Fauno.  I’ve been waiting to (re)watch this movie for awhile now so it’s a great incentive to get me work done 🙂

el laberinto del fauno

October 5, 2009

Odds and ends

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:32

A quick note before I delve into more of my ramblings.  I want to apologize to Sarah for pretty basically attacking her alma matter in a comment I made on one of her posts without intending to.  I was clearly expressing bias and my surprise (and type without thinking statement) was because of everything you said in your defense of Williams (ie: all the good stuff). I shouldn’t have made a blanket statement when all I was drawing on were my sister and her cronies and their attitudes.  Every place in the world is a mix of good and bad and I shouldn’t have assumed that what I saw was representative of everyone. Sorry! and hopefully you won’t hate me forever!

A Marathoner commented yesterday that I seem to do daily runs ranging from 9-13 miles.  At first I was taken aback (like NO I mix things up and do too have distinction between long runs and weekday runs!) but then I realized: he’s right.  I’ve been pushing for the sake of pushing and getting high miles in.  Part of it is because I can but part of it is so mental.  I’ve gotten to the point where shorter runs just don’t do it for me anymore; when did a 5 miler become not good enough? I’ve also gotten used to being able to brag to ppl that I do a daily 8,9,10-er.  Man, I think I need to chill out!

Good thing today is a rest day!

I have such a hard time taking rest days.  I just want to run run run! So luckily today was a jammed packed day: 3 classes in the morning with a GeoPhysics field trip lab in the afternoon; which by the way was AWESOME.  Hopefully I can get some pictures uploaded soon (have to wait for them to be put up on facebook).  But the basic gist is that we were trying to figure out the composition of materials in a field near my school.  We banged a sledgehammer into the ground and recorded how long it took for our sensors to pick up the propogated wave.  Tmrw in class we’re going to analyze the data and try to figure out how deep the bedrock is.  Yes, I am a physics nerd and this was soooooo much fun heh.

Addressing the questions about the potential marathon: unfortunately nothing really happened on Friday like I had hoped *sadface*.  So to unveil some of the mystery here’s the deal: My friend’s dad is running a marathon (I’m going to leave some mystery and not tell you which one) which his company is paying for.  There was (and still is) a good chance that I can get the company to bring me along — my friend hasn’t had time yet to talk with her dad.  Which would be frickin sweet.  The catch is that I would be helping to pace him to a sub-4 I have no problem doing this because A) I wouldn’t be paying for the trip 100% and B) the marathon itself would be amazing.  If the whole company thing doesn’t work out, my friend has hinted that her and her boyfriend would help out considerably financially as it’s in a vacation-y spot and a great trip.  Again, to reiterate: nothing concrete and nothing for me to pin hopes up on yet but that’s what’s going on at the moment.

As another note about marathons, Lacey asked which marathon my friend did; it was the Portland ME one (not sure if it has a more specific name than that…) and I still am soooo proud of her!

And another note (but not about marathons) from a few days ago: yes I do eat instant raw oats.  Not quite sure why, but when I’m making them I pour the packet into my coffee mug while I wait for the water to boil.  More often than not by the time the water boils I need another package because it’s already half gone! It’s not something that I can say I looooove and look forward to eating but it just happens heh.  Very weird I know.

And I want to leave you with this, which I read on Tay’s blog this morning.  It’s from her g’ma and I thought it was really nice to read. It’s called “Rules to Live By”:

1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

2. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

4. When you say, ‘I love you,’ mean it.

6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

7. Believe in love at first sight.

8. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.

9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.

14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

15. Say ‘bless you’ when you hear someone sneeze..

16. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

18. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

20. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice

21. Spend some time alone.

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