MarathonMaiden's Blog

November 30, 2010

I’m Pretty Sure That Taper Madness Is Likely Setting In

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:08

When I think of taper madness I think of someone needing to strap me down on a gurney so I don’t go out there and run a billion miles between now and race day

I’m not bouncing off the walls or worrying constantly. Or even obsessing over the weather.  I just don’t want to stop running (but I did not run on Monday.  Must have been the love from here.  Or the funny texts from my friend hahah).  Or stop training hard.  I’m still a bit calm and collected.  Even keeled so to speak. Except when it comes to figuring out what to do between the time my plane lands and when my dinner plans start on Friday.  But no real freaking out over the race itself.

But I guess that taper madness is it’s own little beast.  And, as it is with most neurosis, the sufferer can’t see what the problem is.  So when I suggested earlier this week that my plan for RACE WEEK was to do two GMP speed workouts, The Running Laminator told me

Just looking at your scheduled runs on race week, I can already tell that the taper madness has indeed set in. Two speed workouts, at half marathon pace is a bit like taking tequila shots back to back on an empty stomach because you’re so anxious to get the party going. Haha! One speed workout, with a few miles at GMP, is probably all that is needed.

Of course, as soon as I read that, I sighed.  Because that was exactly what I needed to read.  Yes I still really want to do two GMP workouts but as The Peanut Gallery told me “Whisper to your tequila-laden self “less is more, less is more…”” (and girl you KNOW that I love you so TPG is a term of endearment ❤ )

That said, I still wanted to get ONE MORE GMP workout in.  Or at least a semblance of it.

Taper madness? Maybe.

Given that the last time I did a quality workout was on Sunday, I’d have ideally done this workout on Wednesday.  But Wednesday is a non-clinic day (aka if I want to run I have to get up before the sun) and Tuesday is a wake-up-naturally day.  So today it must be because Thursday sure as heck is out.  Although I will say that for all the extra sleep I’m getting I still feel tired and groggy in the mornings.  I hope that I start to perk up by Sunday!

The Workout (results of)

  • Warm up
  • 4.4 miles @ 7:28 pace
  • Warm down

thanks google

While the break down of the 4.4 miles (7:38, 7:19) is a little cringe worthy, as it definitely was not even pacing or GMP if you just look at the splits individually, I am so happy that the average of this workout was for all intents and purposes (although can I PLEASE say intensive purposes?!) spot on.

I did start to beat myself up over the workout on the warm down (and semi did it too after seeing 16:48 for the first half when I knew that GMP should have been 16:30) but then I realized that I’m a progression runner. Even on my easy days I ALWAYS end up finishing a run about a minute or so per mile faster than I started.  That’s just how I roll.  I’d have to go back in my (hard copied) log books to see if that’s how it’s always been but I do know that the vast majority of my runs are: start slow(ish), finish hard(er).

I think it’s a good that, while the run clearly got faster and faster as the distance went on, the average pace was GMP. I’m not quite sure what that means but I’m choosing to think that it means my body knew how to get the end result and hit the goal.

I also am pleased because the effort felt the same throughout the run.  Normally I’d be kicking myself because I’d think “well if the effort on the first part felt the same as the second then the first part should have been faster”or something to that effect.

Today my thoughts were that I was able to go faster and harder with an easier effort. Amazing as the last real workout before WR.

NAILED. BAM.

Oh and before I forget: On Monday I was also going to repeat Week 3 of my two strength challenges given that it’s race week.  But I re-looked at W3D1 of the plans and thought “gee whiz that doesn’t look hard” and then looked at Week 4 and thought “I can do that”. Well I wish I had stuck to my guns because this was hard.  I did them on Monday actually.  Mostly because it forced me to respect the rest day I had planned but gave me something to do but also partly because I figured, with the race on Sunday and travel and whatnot, that a M/W/F challenge schedule would be prudent. I may switch back to Week 3 for the next two days of the challenge this week.  We’ll see.

Pushups: 21, 25, 21, 21, 33

Situps: 32, 48, 32, 32, 50

And check out the giveaway that Matt’s having.And Miss Zippy.

November 26, 2010

Apparently The Countdown is Now in Single Digits

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:16

…as of today.  T-9 days!!

Well I said an early Happy Thanksgiving on Wednesday and I’m saying a belated Happy Thanksgiving today.  Suffice it to say, the fact that I turned my computer on for the first time in 36 hours just now means I had a busy holiday.  And it was pretty good too.  I don’t think I’ve kept it a secret here that my relationship with my family has been tenuous in the past, so I was really mixed about going home for the day.

But I had a blast and even went to the extended family portion of the day (my family eat the dinner as nuclear families and then meet up at one person’s house for dessert), something I haven’t gone to in 6 years.  I think moving out on my own has really matured me and I’ve rethought skipping the family portion of Christmas.  After all: this is going to be my “last” in New England (a fact I’m acutely aware of every day — although my last snowstorm will be cause for celebration hahah)

The best part of the day? Nope not the food (although that was pretty good). Having a dance-off with one of my sisters. To which song you ask?

Luckily no one brought a camera.  So I still have some dignity left in the world.

By the time I got back to my apartment I was bushed! I also arrived home with more leftovers than I can probably eat.  I pulled major rank and said “I’m a poor VISTA and you (my two college sisters) have dining halls. I win”

In light of the fact that I had a great holiday I sincerely hope that you did too 🙂

Since I last left you my running has been…highs and lows? On Wednesday after work I did get some miles in before going to the theater to see “A Christmas Carol”  (which was a really fun musical version!) and then a couple of drinks after.

Still my favorite version. I need to actually buy a copy this year! (thanks google)

The miles were pretty good and, despite still having some allergy problems when I went out, the pace was faster than anything I could have pulled off at 0500.

Thursday was, duh, Thanksgiving and I hit the streets for a “long run”.  After the past four weeks being: 20.3, 20.4, 20, 17.6, the 15 I was scheduled for putting in felt measly.  The first half was slower and sluggish (the thought of “oh great” eyeroll passed through my mind) but I picked it up and finished WAY strong.  I think the final overall average pace was about 8:45.  Which is roughly what I’ve been doing on my long runs — at least when I’m by myself as I had that killer one two weeks ago with a friend.  And the later portion was about 8:20 on this particular run. So YAY.

The weather wasn’t the greatest either: 28* but sunny.  On a whim I checked what the temperature in Dallas was at that time and it was 69*. Ummmm that’s 41* warmer? I’m pretty sure that was a freak day for them but that was still at 0615 CT.  Crazy.

I also got in my pushups (20, 25, 15, 15, 26) and situps (30, 38, 23, 23, 40) before heading to my mom’s house.  I can’t tell if they’re making me stronger yet. They’re certainly not getting much easier but I’m able to handle the increases so far.

The weather on Friday was warmer here (and I think it was actually colder in Dallas hahah. Suckers 😉 ) but drizzly.  Since I had gone over what I should have done yesterday (silly me for thinking about the run as a long run!) I decided to take it slow and steady for a few miles.

Well I guess I didn’t factor into the equation that Thanksgiving has food that I normally don’t eat (not that I wouldn’t like to enjoy them year round but I’m lazy and don’t make anything hahah!) and, while Chocolate Creme Pie and Gingerbread Pudding = sugar = carbs, my legs might not have liked having new foods. I don’t care what anyone says, my legs know the difference between pie carbs and apple carbs.

Because my legs felt like sludge. So I guess I didn’t have to worry about forcing myself to take it slow and steady and easy. [Edit: I just calculated the pace for the run and it was the very slowest possible recovery run pace according to McMillian.  While I still believe that recovery runs should just be run without pace guidelines (the point is to recover and that’s done by what your body wants) I shouldn’t complain about the pace because it wasn’t, in fact, as slow as I thought]

It was one of those runs where you *know* how slow you’re running and even if a rabid dog came after you, your legs would not go faster.

Thanks google

So I cut the run WAY short, ate some breakfast, foam rolled and am debating about going back out to hit the street for 2 more miles in a hour or so bringing my grand total to the day to about 6. Then again, I’m in taper (and likely still a food coma) so I might not.

Speaking of foam rolling (yes I’m aware this is a mish-mash post!) I’ve really gotten into it lately. With the exception of yesterday (because I was running late to get to my mom’s house), I’ve rolled every day for the past 7 days.  And, while my legs aren’t magically faster or anything, I’ve noticed a subtle change in how my legs feel.  They no longer feel wicked tight or sore or cramped.

Yes they still are tight and fatigued and they do still twitch sometimes.  But there’s something that I can’t quite put my finger on that makes me feel good about it.  Not enough to be a zealot for this foam rolling action.  But enough of something to keep doing it until I figure out what the heck that something is.

Aaaaaaaand that’s it?  I sure hope so because this post is already running long 😉

Just finishing up some breakfast and coffee.  The sun’s actually out now which is exciting although annoying because I ran in the drizzle and overcast. I like the sun. After I finish up eating I’ll do some more rolling and stretching and relaxing until later tonight.  One of my friend’s from high school is visiting me as she spent Thanksgiving in our hometown (she lives in PA so I don’t get to see her that much).  We’re going out for dinner then (lots of?) drinks.

Good golly gee whiz this is shaping up to be a great holiday break 😀

November 23, 2010

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

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

When I got to work on Monday I was crowned:

Silly camera phone being blurry

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

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

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

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

And hey, alliteration is hot.

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

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

The plan:

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

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

The result:

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

The average for the tempo portion looked like this:

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

Not quite what I was going for.

Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pushups: 14, 18, 14 ,14 , 21

Situps: 21, 27, 21, 21, 35

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

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

November 21, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks XKCD

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

The Plan

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

And then if I felt halfway decent

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

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

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

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

The Workout

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

  • 1 Mile : 6:47

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

  • 2 Miles: 13:34 (6:53, 6:41)

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

  • 2 Miles: 13:31 (6:43, 6:38)

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

  • 1 Mile: 6:40

Good solid last mile

  • 800 #1: 3:15

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

  • 800#2 3:20

Or maybe I did.  Time to pack it up hahah

The Afterthoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Look how happy he is. (thanks again google)

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

I also did W2D3 of my pushups and situps:

Pushups: 16, 17, 14, 14, 21

Situps: 24, 25, 21, 21, 35

____________________________________________________________________________________________

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

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

November 18, 2010

So It’s Taper Time…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:03

…and because I’m a bit worried about the fact that I signed up for this race not too long ago, I figured I’d take a moment to write a post about my possible taper plan. I kind of mentioned it on Monday’s post but it was buried amongst other things.

I didn’t end up posting because my Wednesday was a bit blahhhhh and looked like this:

  • woke up 26 minutes before alarm with headache and sore throat
  • listened to pounding rain for 26 minutes

Obviously I dramatize but the rain was wicked heavy at first. Thanks google.

  • drug butt out of bed.  Decided to cut run short because icky feeling was more sick than “holy crap it’s 0500”
  • rain stopped so I tacked on extra
  • considered calling in sick to work
  • went to work and did NOTHING except the bare minimum. Except gossip of course.
  • since everyone was mentally checked out and I don’t think I checked in, I peaced out early
  • sat on my couch with a good book and tea.
  • obsessed over the taper

So here is this post because, while I could elaborate on each of the bullets above, I do not want to relive yesterday. Although I kind of just did.  Oops.

Anyway, so as of right now I’m ~2.5 weeks out from my marathon. Clearly the beginnings of tapering.  I’ll fully admit that I’m a marathoning newbie, having only run 2 and neither time suffering from taper madness.  The first marathon, while I did have lofty goals (want to BQ) I never really thought about the taper and my overall training wasn’t intense.  While training for #2, Boston, I was injured at the end of my cycle so my taper was elliptical with a couple of miles race week.

I have lofty goals again for WR.  After the past few weeks of training I think that, barring anything major, I can do well.  So I’m obsessing over what to do during my taper.  Is this the beginnings of taper madness?!

I’m toying with the following, and the workouts of the last two weeks worth of speed sessions have been by a friend who is actually a coach.  Not mine but I can bounce ideas off of him from time to time:

Week of November 15-21 (aka this week) ~80% of max miles.

  • On Tuesday I got a good tempo/GMP steady run in, with ~14 miles total and 6.6 of them at tempo/GMP.
  • Thursday: LR of 17-18 miles (today and check. 17.6 done-zo)
  • Saturday: Yasso 800s or 3 x (2@HMP, 1@MP+ 15 seconds) <– suggested by friend and the yassos are my idea.  And I’m not sure if, 2 weeks out, they’re the best in terms of race prep. See quote below from my friend.

Week of November 22-28. ~50-60% max mileage

  • Tuesday: 3 X (1.8 miles @ HMP with .2 mile recovery)
  • Thursday: LR of 13-15 miles
  • Saturday: 3 @ HMP, 1 easy, 1 @ MP, 3 @ HMP

Week of November 29-December 5 (RACE WEEK)

  • Monday/Tuesday: 2 @ MP, .5 easy, 2 @ HMP
  • Wednesday/Thursday: 1 @ MP, 1 @ HMP
  • Weekend: Travel and RACING 26.2 miles!

I spoke with a friend who really knows running stuff and he advised me

“At this point, my speed workouts are all aimed at dialing in on goal race pace, so I’ll incorporate portions at HMP or MP twice a week.”

Which I think is pretty sound advice and he also pretty much dictated the above schedule in terms of speed work.  It was in line with what I was thinking in terms of the *ideas* of the workouts and the types, but those are his workouts suggested as what he did before running Indy this year. The only change I think I’d make is to input one straight up tempo, or continuous GMP run instead of one speed session each week. Because tempo intervals (which essentially is what they all are) destroy my soul.

Thanks google images

So I guess I’m trying to feel out what you guys do during the taper and your experiences of workouts during it.  Obviously everyone is different but I like hearing things from “The Peanut Gallery” *CoughFloCough* I have the feeling that my friend is right and dialing into GMP is the thing to do now.  So I don’t know how/if my planned yassos for this weekend will shape up. They might be too intense of a workout so close to race day. [edit: I’m moreso trying to gauge the speedwork side rather than my overall miles for the next few weeks. The mileage cutbacks are pretty much set in stone but I’m just wondering how intense speedwork should be / use the track or go GMP?]

As far as today goes, I got my LR in.  I felt pretty crumby all day yesterday so I wasn’t sure how this workout was going to go.  Luckily I fell asleep relatively early last night and got 9 hours in.  Compare that to the 5 I slept all weekend and the 6 from Tuesday night and I’m no where near out of debt but feeling slightly better than yesterday. I still have some ear/sinus pressure that made the LR oh-so-much but it’s going away and not as intense as when I first got up. Better to feel a bit under the weather now than two weeks from now as two weeks + one day = MM on a plane to DALLAS.

The LR itself was…well a LR.  Nothing terribly special about it.  I didn’t feel particularly strong or powerful during it.  On the other hand I didn’t feel particularly weak or tired.  My legs did feel fatigued over the last 5 or 6 miles but, given the loop splits, I think I was increasing my effort and that’s why they were feeling it rather than true worn-out-ness.

13.5 miles @ 8:44
4.1 miles @ 8:24
Total: 17.6 miles @ 8:40

So I actually don’t have anything to complain about for once.  I did think this was going to be slower because of my head hurting and my legs feeling fatigued by the end.  Plus I was actually famished by the end of it, usually I’m a bit hungry after runs because I get out of bed and go within 5 minutes.  It was weird to be start feeling hungry during a run, especially so during a long run where my appetite is usually killed during the day.  That might have also contributed to the “I think this is slower” thinking.  But I’m happy that it wasn’t.

Money in the baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaank. Lots of you suggested it as an alternative “hay in the barn”.  I’ve obviously heard the expression before but rarely use it.  I should start.  Even though every time I say it I think of the song that was stuck in my head the whole run today

Phew.  Lots going on in this post, no? But I also did my pushups and situps.  Today was W2D2:

Pushups: 14, 16, 12, 12, 18

Situps: 21, 24, 18, 18, 30

November 16, 2010

Like, I Really REALLY Hate Tempos

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

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

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

 

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

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

When all was said and done this was the result:

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

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

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

The breakdown of the tempo looks not so great:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afterward I did W2D1 of my pushups and situps:

Pushups: 14, 14, 10, 10, 16

Situps: 21, 21, 15, 15, 25

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

Thanks google

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

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

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

November 14, 2010

Quite The Weekend

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

Heyyyyyyyyyyyy there everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Total: 20 miles, 2:45:31

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pushups: 11,15,9,9,15

Situps: 17,22,14,14,21

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

Yay google images

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

Quite the weekend indeed. I love it.

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

I LOVE MY SISTER

And the old spice guy.

November 11, 2010

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

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

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

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

Thanks google images

But the wheels never truly came off.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 9, 2010

Give Me Speed and Give Me Strength

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:58

I’m weirdly happy that you guys were intrigued by my laundry system.  It’s really not complicated at all and when saying it aloud makes me feel silly because in the end everything gets washed together.  Yes that’s right: whites, colors, line dry, washer friendly.  All together.  So far I haven’t ruined any clothes (or, more importantly because I’m about a billion feet tall, shrunk anything).  The only thing that gets separately washed is sheets and towels. But that’s because they’re on a different schedule.

Briefly (and I can’t believe I’m writing about this on my *running* blog) : I have 3 laundry baskets

Lucky for you I did laundry over the weekend so the baskets aren't overflowing!

One for anything that can go into the dryer safely.  One for things that MUST get line dried but are a worn once and done deal and one for work clothes that can be worn again (or things like jeans that duh can be worn again).  Essentially it boils down to two baskets for workout clothes and one for regular clothes.

I feel silly typing that out.  It kind of shows that I’m not quite all there? But I’m a runner so it goes with the territory.

Back to running though… and I might confirm that I’m not quite all there because I had on tap for today a tempo run.  I guess this cycle Tuesdays are tempo days.  I still hate tempos and still don’t really quite know what I’m capable of on any given day.  Two weeks ago I ran my tempo @ 7:04 and last week was 7:16.  I think that I should be going slower than that, ideally GMP which is 7:34, and I kind of knew that I wasn’t going to do that today.  So the goal was to go and be in control for the tempo portion.

After a brief warm up (which was on the quick side) I dove right in.  Because I know certain landmarks on the particular route that I ran too I was able to track my progress over the course of the tempo portion.  After the fact of course as no Garmin for me (although THANKS to Megan for the Nike+ that I got in the mail yesterday 🙂 )

Like I said above the plan the past two weeks has been to do the tempo between HM and GMP.  No different today. And luckily all the snow from yesterday had melted.

The Workout

  • Warm up
  • 2.2 miles in 16:02 (7:17)
  • 2.2 miles in 15:03 (6:50)
  • 1.2 miles in 8:17    (6:54)
  • Warm down

Grand total for the tempo is 5.6 miles in 39:22 mines which is a 7:01 pace with 13.3 miles total and an average of 8:08.

Well, I went too fast. Big surprise there, right? Normally I’d secretly be happy with it and I guess in the grand scheme of things I am really happy with that pace.  It’s fast.  But not quite a tempo workout. I mean, according to McMillian my tempo pace workouts should be between 6:53 and 7:11.  And this was more faster. Obviously.

I’m also a bit disappointed on the whole “control” goal that I had.  I felt in control for the first portion and probably should have stayed at that pace for the rest of the run but I saw 16:02 and thought (wrongly duh) that it meant 8:00 pace and sped up.  The second portion then felt out of control and was way faster than it should be.  Between the second and third portion I had to stop to cross a road and I couldn’t get a good feeling after that.  The lactic acid had built up and those split seconds of not moving just attacked my legs.  Still I got a good pace on that last 1.2 mile bit.

Overall I can’t lie and say that I hate this workout.  I LOVE that I was able to run as fast as I could for as long as I did.  I love that my hips and legs felt the lactic acid at the end (maybe more rolling later?) But I can’t lie and say it was a true tempo.  I don’t really know what it is.  Maybe it’ll tell my legs to run faster at WR and absolutely smash any notions that I might have for this race.

I guess we’ll see in <4 weeks.  Eeep.

In addition to mega speed I  felt sufficiently bad about my LACK of strength work  the past few months (the last time I did lifting was…July? And core…August?) so I printed off some time efficient challenges: One Hundred Pushups and Two Hundred Situps. The gist of both challenges is that, over the course of 6 weeks, you should be able to do it.  Sounds simple enough.  I did the pushup one over the summer of ’09 and it was HARD.  I think I repeated some of the later weeks so it took me 8 weeks total.  But I did it.

I need to look like this again hahah

I chose these challenges because it wasn’t as time intensive as going to the gym (not that I have a membership) and I didn’t feel bad about not doing 45-60 minutes of lifting.  Today only took 10 minutes and because I was following a program I didn’t feel bad about it at all.  I’m starting with Week 1 Day 1 (W1D1) and column 3 (I didn’t do the initial test but I know that I’m strong enough to do the last column)

Pushups: 10,12,7,7,max(10)

Situps: 15,18,10,10,max (15)

I alternated doing pushup set 1 with situp set 1 until I was done with the whole thing.  My arms feel like jello now! Guess it’s been far too long since I did this stuff.  The funny thing is that when I looked at each set individually I thought “wow this is going to be easy” but I was breathing a little hard by the end.  Probably because on a couple sets I did one or two more than I should. Hello hubris

Google Images

But it was a good workout. And a great way to get back into … well I guess I’m rebuilding muscle now. Then it’s maintenance of it hahah.  And it was a nice way to cap off a really hard speed session too.  I’m at work right now and feel like I’m on top of the world 🙂

I’ll leave it at that because this post is long and maybe a bit rambly.  Maybe it’s the wicked strong coffee and I’m out of focus (possibly reflective in the writing of the post!) but if you’ve made it this far you should check out the giveaways from Marcia and Lesley and Sam

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