MarathonMaiden's Blog

May 22, 2011

Did You Miss Me?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:13

I took a longer hiatus than I wanted but I suppose 10 days is an eternity in the blog world to go without posting. What have I been doing in those 10 days? Well pounding the pavement, duh, among other things.

I don’t think I mentioned it last post, because I don’t think I knew when I hit publish, but that fall that caused the boulder to be lodged in my knee also cracked two ribs. Fabulous.  According to the doctor at the clinic I’ll be fully healed in 4-6 weeks post-fall provided that I don’t do anything silly.  Like cough or sneeze or laugh too hard. And up until last night I was doing well when I took a tumble while celebrating my roomie being done with her first year of her PhD program.  Luckily alcohol is a pretty good painkiller.

Before that though the pain was tolerable during the day.  Sleeping is still really tough.

I did ask when I could return to running and he said immediately, depending on my pain tolerance level.  Of course I run the risk of re-fracturing ’em but I can do that by hearing a good joke. I’m a sucker for a good joke, and I laugh at lots of things I probably shouldn’t.

Luckily my pain tolerance is pretty high and I’ve been getting the miles in.  Last week I worked less clinic nights than usual so I got out of work a couple days at 1600 and got to do some doubles.  While I love the long run (I did a 17 miler on Saturday!) there’s something mentally refreshing to do 6 miles before work and then tackle another 6 post-work. Because it’s “only” 6.

Which helped the lack of motivation because all last week I thought I was living in Seattle; it was so foggy every morning with rain in the afternoon/nights

Source: Projo

Which is why on Saturday, when the sun finally showed itself, I took advantage and ran long.  I didn’t intend to get go 17; my route was only planned for 13.  And during that loop I really didn’t think I’d be able to do more than that.

Newsflash: the sun and warm temps zap energy.

But, about a mile from my apartment, a few things happened to me

  1. I kicked a squirrel.  Well maybe I didn’t really kick it. It ran out of a bush and crashed into my ankle.  I actually have a bruise from it!
  2. I saw a few of the med students that volunteer at the clinic outside of a Starbucks.  Normally when I see people I know it doesn’t change the distance of my run (I just start to haul ass to not appear slow/tired etc) but I was going to a bbq put on my the med students that afternoon and wanted to brag.  Now to most people 13 miles qualifies as bragging.  But some of them had run the Providence marathon 3 weeks ago.  I needed to go big or go home.

Surprisingly the last 4 miles of my run were the best. I felt energetic and light.  Given how the mid-miles had felt I’d have thought that going for more was a stupid idea.  But maybe no? I actually ran around a lot at the bbq; playing frisbee, volleyball, AND boomerang, although one of the guys I was with got nailed on the nose. Champ as he is, he still played on with a nice battle wound

thanks google images.

Anyway, I left my last post saying that I was WAY stressed out, and to a certain degree I still am.  But some stressors are out of the way: I found a med student to sublet from so I’m no longer going to be homeless in July/August and my family stress is stable — still bad but stable for the next few weeks. I still have lots of unresolved stress but it’s nice to be able to put some things on the back burner.

I’m hoping things are looking up for now; I can’t guarantee another hiatus but I’m thinking that for now I’m back.  Off to go try and catch up on 10 days worth of blog by y’all!

April 13, 2011

A Drowned Rat Looks Better Than You

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:09

…according to my roomie after my run this morning. It was said with love though, I think, and was said because I was dripping rain all over the apartment. Even after taking off most of my layers outdoors. Boo rain.

But my run on Tuesday was really freaking good.  It helped that the weather was really nice, not as humid as Monday with  partly cloudy and mid 50s for the temperature.  And YAY I beat the rain.  The only downside was that I had to stop 4 times to find a bathroom although the plus side is that I now know all the buildings on this particular route that have public restrooms.  Win? Maybe?

It was a mid-y kind of run distance wise, last “real run” before Monday, and my legs are feeling tired and twinge-y and, well, taper-y.  Although strangely enough I finished feeling pumped up and strong. So I made the executive decision to run the risk of being late for work so I could do this

Put my feet up, eat some breakfast and enjoy the wonderful weather. I really can’t think of a better way to start the day. The mornings have been really nice lately and so have the nights, I’ve actually been able to sleep with the window open!

And yes those are the Boston 2010 chip and the WR 2010 tag on those shoes.  I guess that pair has fallen to be the “racing shoes” as they’ve only been broken out for races (I train in the same style but, obviously different pair as these guys have ~200 miles on them)

And they’ll be the ones that I wear when I run Boston again this year.  I think I probably should have switched into newer shoes (hell even these ones and gotten a new pair for the race) as my ones I’ve been running have…well I’ll keep that a secret between me and my excel “shoe miles” spreadsheet.

I did not wear them again today because it was a rainy and dreary day and I didn’t want them to get “ruined”.  Bleh. But it’s okay overall because *fingerscrossed* the weather for Monday looks clear. I can handle the rain for a few more days.  At least it’s not snow, right?

The run itself was pretty awful.  The rain made the 40* seem even colder. I was actually shivering pretty much the entire time. Not cool mother nature. Not cool. So I was miserable for 96.3453% of the run. Overall I’m okay with it because it wasn’t a confidence deflating run.  I knew that the constant, unrelenting rain factored in, so did the choice of route (hello hills!) and the fact that, due to being very busy yesterday at work, I hadn’t eaten much on Tuesday.

And it was sans music.

Lately I’ve been using my iphone to listen to music while doing my runs.  Not every one, maybe 3 times a week. It started probably with bad intentions: I wanted to not pay attention to my leg.  BAD.  But on my easy (and not 0530) runs I’ve been listening to a playlist that’s been pumping me up.  I want to dance (and actually it’s been a pre-gaming mix too) when I hear the songs. And it’s been getting me through some not so stellar training without me obsessing about pace and other runners on the pathway I run.

Which is why I want to share it with YOU.  Yes this is MM’s first giveaway.  A music one.

I’m actually going to pick two winners. The first will win the stuff I’ve been listening to during my training and this is the mix I’m debating bringing to Boston to play intermittently during the painful miles. At the very least it’s the one I’ll force my mom to listen to as she drives me to Hopkinton. The second winner will get my last year Boston mix, the one I listened to in the car on the drive to the start.

Exciting, right? I’ll will say upfront that some of the songs are *not* the radio edits.  Here’s how you can enter to win:

Tell me a joke.  Preferably a dirty or risque one.

Yup. Only one way to enter.  I hate it when people make you jump through hoops.  And since it’s a homemade giveaway I’m not going to be that mean.  Just tell me a joke to make me laugh.  It’s been a rough training cycle.  You have until Monday the 18th at 1000.  Which is when I’ll start my 26.2 mile to Boston.

Ready? BREAK!

 

November 4, 2010

A Haiku to the Long Run

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:23

Twenty Point Four Miles

All of Which Were in the Rain

But Not Snow. Thank God.

  • 13.5 miles @ 8:57
  • 6.9 miles @ 8:09
  • 20.4 miles @ 8:41 pace

As the opening haiku states the entire run was in the rain.  Major bummer.  I had thought that the rainstrom wasn’t going to start until 1000 (according to my sources at weather .com) so I figured that I’d be able to finish the entire run before it started to get really wet.  WRONG.

Not that it was that bad of a thing.  The fact that it was a balmy 42* helped.  It meant that it wasn’t snow.  Truth be told: I like the very first snowfall.  And I actually like running in the snow, no matter where I am it just seems quiet and tranquil.  I’m just not ready for snow yet. 

But despite the weather the run was GREAT.  I was only planning on 17-18 because last week I ran 20 as well. And I think in an ideal world I probably should have stuck to those miles.  In the back of my mind, in case you haven’t noticed is always the notion that I can go more.  And once I’m aware of those ideas I tend to act on them.

The first loop, however, was pretty slow and didn’t start off great.  I definitely thought to myself that it was going to be one heck of a looooooooooooong long run.  I was in a overall grumpy and moody mood and NOT into this run. In hindsight I think I really had to use the bathroom because after stopping at a DD (which btw always has the cleanest restrooms.  Always) my mood improved and I decided to push the pace a bit and try to make the last few miles “count” and push a bit.

Well my legs clearly found their second wind and I finished the last bit at a pretty fast pace.  Not GMP or anything like that but fast for the end of a long run for sure! Not too shabby and definitely another confidence booster that I’ll be able to finish (and quite possible finish well) at WR.

Okay so I know I won't win it. But I can dream, right? HAH

My only concern is that this is my second 20 in two weeks.  I have another one scheduled  next week as well.  While in a normal training cycle, 2 of them would be fine or even 3, my cycle is not that lengthy by any stretch of the imagination.  But I do feel good with no aches and pains or injuries. And I have been running hard / a lot already this fall, thus giving me a great base and almost a de-facto training cycle. I’m planning on letting my body dictate (like it did today) though. 

Again, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m still looking forward to all my runs and hard workouts.  I remember last cycle not looking forward to them at all.  Maybe because I was injured for the end of it which, knock on wood, I currently am not.  I also just switched into a new(er) pair of shoes.  I wore them for Boston and then put them away.  They still have the Boston chip on them! Which I may never want to take off 🙂

On a non-running but yes training note: I may have to *start* stretching again.  Because, after 20 miles and sitting at my desk my hips are feeling tight.  Never fear though because it’s New Patient Lottery Night so I’m sure to be getting my recovery movement in for the craziness.

And yes, another day of heels after a 20-miler.

October 6, 2010

Un-moping

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

Sarah told me yesterday that she hoped I “un-moped” soon.  So do I.  And while I still feel a bit mopey (I swear it’s the weather as it yet ANOTHER day of rainy skies) I’m going to do my best to snap out of it. 

This song helps. A lot.

I sincerely believe in the power of the mind.  Sure I don’ t necessarily believe that you’ll always get what you want if you try hard enough but I do think that, when it comes to mental outlook, if you try hard enough you can be UN-MOPEY.

Which is why, despite the stats of this morning’s run I’m in a MUCH better mood.  Yes, yesterday was a rough day.  It was really busy at work and chaotic and I left pretty tired.  Which is standard for Tuesday nights: getting home really late, not having time to eat a proper dinner, running around like crazy etc.

So I can recognize now that Wednesdays will never be the day to do speed work or any other type of quality workout. But now that I know and recognize this I can be at peace with it.  Doesn’t mean I need to enjoy it but just knowing that Wednesday = slow but all my other days are good makes one little blip not so bad. 

Anyway I wanted to get 10 miles in.  In actuality I got 8.2 in, which is 2 loops of the pathway.  A good compromise I think.  I got enough of a run in to justify getting up as early as I did but short enough that I felt like I had a few miles left in me.  Which is good because Monday and Tuesday were 12 milers.  And really good ones at that. A cut-back so-to-speak in MM language.

  • 1st loop: 4.1 miles @ 9:23
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 miles @ 9:08
  • Total:           8.2 miles @ 9:16

Ouch. Not literally though. But after having such stellar runs for the past 3 or 4 months seeing average paces 9:00+ is tough even knowing beforehand it was going to be slow.  But it’s what happen and I’m surprisingly okay with it.  I still got to run and although it was slow it was never physically or mentally awful and I wanted to be out there.  Therefore life is good and UN-MOPEY 😀

I did get 7.5 hours of sleep last night too which, if you know how early I get up, you know that means I was ridiculously tired when I got home and literally collapsed into bed. Oops.

But on the bright side I got to sleep.  Which was glorious. Especially since the one good thing about the incoming cold is sleeping in it.  So despite it being cold-ish lately and yucky out I still slept with my windows open and my fan blowing in it.  Am I weird? Maybe but it’s so nice to have  a freeeeeeeeeeeeezing room (and for those of you who know me you know that I HATE the cold.  Like I need to migrate south for the winter) and then bury under some comforters and / or a quilt.

Also for ONCE in my life I looked outside, saw it actually raining, and didn’ t think “oh #$%” like I usually do.  I’ve maintained that I don’ t mind running in the rain as long as it starts once I’ve started but starting a run in the rain is awful.  Maybe it was me being all sleep deprived but I didn’t mind this morning.  A good sign for things to come and another thing that is UN-MOPEY.

It helped that it was 60* out. Cold / fall whaaaaaaaat? I don’t think I’ll ever get over the fluctuations in temperature New England likes to put us though. And I’ve lived here my whole life!

And since I have nothing profound to add today (except that it’s T-5 days until the Tufts 10k) here’s another physics joke from xkcd.com( which I’m glad you guys liked.  Well some of you anyway 😉 ).  I’m such a nerd. I literally laughed out loud with this one.

So consider me un-moped.  Because I am. Even though this post did have some complaining in it 😉

September 27, 2010

I Guess I Complain A Lot About The Weather…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:57

…so I’ll try not to. Because things really are feeling great right now.  It’s a nice refreshing feeling considering how run down I was last week.

   

I am OBSESSED with this movie at the moment all the time. And this might be the best line ever.  Although I did watch this movie last night and all the lines are really good. I’ll very likely be quoting it all day.   

But the real reason I feel like I actually am taking crazy pills is because of the weather here in New England! On Saturday (the day I went apple picking) I was in a halter top, shorts and my flippy floppies.  And that night I went out sans jacket.  

But Sunday and today? Ummm total sweatshirt weather.  Not that I really mind because sweatshirt weather is awesome but the back and forth weather is getting old.  Granted I should be used to it because I’ve lived here my entire life but nope.  Not so much. Silly New England and changing the weather every 5 minutes! 

The weather this morning when I got up was NICE.  AKA no complaints — yet 😉   

Cool, cloudy, 60*, 80% humidity and misty conditions.  Luckily there was no rain but I woke up in the middle of the night, because I was cold and wanted a comforter to be cozy under, and it was POURING out.  I’m glad that it stopped before I got up though and I’m glad that I got to fall back asleep listening to it.  Sleeping while it’s raining is so nice.   

And the weather conditions made for a very fun and muddy run.  I tackled my pathway again and because it’s a dirt path my legs got all good and dirty.  Even though I always shudder before I leave my door thinking about messiness once I got started it just felt hardcore to be out there.  There’s definitely something liberating about having dirt and mud caked onto the back of your calves.  And I think it’s even better that it wasn’t actively raining because my feet got to stay dry!   

(from google images)

 The run:  

  • 1st loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:45
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:40
  • 3rd loop:     2.3 miles @ 8:14
  • Total:              10.5 miles @ 8:37

I saw a lot of “hardcore” people out this morning.  Normally I see a mix of people who are really booking it, to those just plodding along, to walkers.  I felt like EVERYONE was running hard and INTENSE.  Naturally this made me want to go and be intense too.   I even got caught up in a “race” with some guy on the path.  He blew me away but it was fun to get caught up in the energy that was out there!

Not exactly mission accomplished with being intense myself because my pace was my easy pace but it put some pep in my step.  This made the first loop of my pathway not that bad as normally the first loop is always an “ugh I have to do this again?!” type feeling. But I really felt strong and wanted to be out there for those first miles, which for me are always the toughest. And this let me hammer home the last smaller loop.  Wooot to ending on a strong note 🙂   

It also made me feel better about my thinking that a marathon is what I want to tackle next.  At first I wasn’t sure if I was just getting pumped and jealous of everyone who is running a fall marathon but, after this weekend and this morning, I think that I’m making the right choice.  Like many of you commented, I knew that I’d be back for another marathon.    

Just annoying that I got this bug in my ear now with not a lot of options when it comes to picking a race.  I really don’t want to wait for a spring race and knowing my luck there’ll be a nor’easter on race day.  Then again, I risk that even in April / May. 

This image sends shivers down my spine. (from google images)

But in the time being I need to wise up for the Tufts 10k which is in TWO WEEKS (!!).  After my really great 5k last weekend I gave myself time to not do any speed work. Which was probably good and what I needed but now I’m thinking that there’s soooooooooo little time to really focus for Tufts.   

So this week I’ll likely do the hill workout that I skipped out of this weekend and another fast interval-esque workout.  I’m debating between the workout I did prior to the 5k ( warm-up, 2 miles hard, 1 mile easy, 1 mile hard, warm down) or changing it up to something unknown.  There is a track nearby so I was thinking of maybe doing something there.  But I don’t really know what yet.  I’ve gotten lots of suggestions from you guys so I’ll look them over but if anyone has a MUST do workout let me know! 

I probably should get back to the clinic and wrap up this semi-aimless post hahah!  The neurologist that’s in right now needs some help with the electronic medical recording (EMR) because she’s a new volunteer provider and is a little unsure.  I might not end up doing any recording but I’m surely not going to pass up an opportunity to be in with patients! 

Check out the giveaway from Miss Zippy. Or don’t because I want it!

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 🙂

August 24, 2010

Rain and Hills. Hills and Rain. And Repeat.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 10:01

I started this post — and finished it — Monday afternoon but I forgot to post it! Oops. So yet again my apologizes for any time discrepancies.  I did add an addendum at the end for today though 🙂

I have (had?) been so lucky this summer with regards to rainfall.  I was in control of scheduling my own time and I still worked at the gym so I had a free membership if I ever felt the need to hit up the TM in inclement weather.

I guess now that I’m a real adult I don’t have that luxury anymore.  I know I gushed about how nice the weather had been for my Saturday long run but I guess I jinxed myself as Sunday it POURED.  I woke up after having been out on the town to the sounds of heavy rain.  Ugh. Normally since it was a Sunday and I didn’t have to be anywhere I would have just rolled over and done my run later in the day.

But I checked the weather (because I’m a spoiled brat and can do it from my phone without having to move at all) and it was suppose to clear up — maybe — late in the day.  But until then: heavy rain and possible thunderstorms.

I wish that it had been as gentle and pleasant looking out as this!

I also had a TON of errands to run as well as work on my application.  So I rolled out of bed at 0830 and, because I’ve turned into a sloth as of late, I logged onto my computer to map out a road run.  I’ve decided that the weekends are going to be exploring runs and weekdays will continue to be my familiar path.

Now I’m always hesitant to run routes that I’ve mapped and haven’t yet driven or scoped out.  You never know if the roads actually still exist (there definitely have been routes that I’ve gone out to do only to discover that it’s simply not there anymore!) or what the conditions of the road are or if it’s really traffic-y (I remember once I mapped out a route that ended up taking me on the highway.  No I didn’t actually run on the highway but it was scary to be like…ummm this is it?).

And while I’m really good with directions getting lost is a very real and distinct possibility.  Again, I remember a 14 miler that I planned out and then missed a turn making the route end up being a little over 18. Normally I’d bring a something with directions on it because it was pouring out bringing any type of paper with the route would get ripped up.  I still brought it but it was essentially useless.  But peace of mind and all that.

Okay enough set-up?  You guys should know by now how I like to ramble 🙂

Like I said it was really heavy rain when I started. The rain would let up and then pour off and on during the course of the whole run but once I was thoroughly soaked (which was about .000001 seconds into it) the rain didn’t really matter anymore.  Plus once your shoes are soaked and feet are wet there really isn’t any more discomfort you can get really. It was a bit annoying to have my clothes matted to me but because I live in a community that has some values, I kept my clothes on.

I even started to enjoy the run a bit.  Rain will always take getting used to. But like there comes that point where you are too wet to care.  And that’s when puddle jumping comes in.  And let me tell you: you will feel like a kid again.  Quite possibly one of the greatest feelings ever. That and muddy runs

Look at the sheer joy on their faces!

One of the not so greatest feelings ever? Running massive hills when you aren’t used to them.

OMFG hills. Like 90* incline hills.

Coutesy of GoogleImages

I know that picture is an exaggeration but just slightly.  I really would wager that, and I don’t really know anything about percent grades for hills, it was at least 60* to the horizontal. And let’s just say that there were more than one that I had to do.  I’d estimate that over the whole 9.2 miles about 5 of them were hills.  And that’s being conservative.

Hopefully I find the $$ to register for Boston whenever it opens up because these hills in my area are ri-donk-u-lous. Totally made my plans for a recovery run go wayyy out the window because there was no way a hilly mountainous 9.2 miles qualifies as recovery.  And they were done at an 8:40ish pace which for the terrain was flying!

I also was able to run by the river and explore a bit of the local park area.  Which was nice.  I’m sure it would have been nicer if there hadn’t been so much rain.

— Side note — where are all the hardcore runners in my area?! Sundays typically are long run days right? I think I saw TWO other runners out.  And it was in the early-ish morning too!

The rain totally ruined the whole sightseeing experience because I do live in a quaint little old city.  Some of the streets/sidewalks are bricks and all that jazz.

Something else to note: that ankle/shin/calf soreness I talked about last time? Totally cleared up after running on the roads for two days.  So my legs need to HTFU and get used to the pathway that will likely be my weekday runs!

It was also expected to downpour today/this morning (Monday) but the time I wanted to get out for my run (I left my apartment at 0545) I must have caught a break in the storm because it wasn’t raining.  The rain started up during the last mile or so of my good old standby route (gosh it feels good to be able to say I have a standby route!) but even then it was NOTHING like Sunday.  And again I didn’t see many runners out and about.

Which clearly and totally made me feel hardcore.  That and I was passing the peeps who were out left and right.  That felt damn good.  My overall pace was still iffy: my legs are still getting used to this whole running  earlier than I’m used to thing.  I still managed to eek out those 8.2 miles in about an 8:35 pace.

I had wanted to make these miles the recovery ones I should have done yesterday…and I guess I kind of did? The 8:30-8:45 pace range has settled into my typical easy pace and the path I’m running on now is really flat.  So long run, hills, recovery run? Sounds like someone needs to commit to a race sometime soon!

I’m also apparently an idiot and cannot read a schedule so my 0530 wake up call was for nothing.  I guess there are clinic hours this Monday (the schedule is definitely weird because only the fourth Monday of each month has clinic rather than every Monday) so I didn’t have to go in until 1100.  Bummer.  But I got to get some errands and to-do stuff done.  So it’s not terrible.  Still annoying though! Especially since I tend to not be able to make up sleeping hours elsewhere (ie through naps or oversleeping other days).

But enough! Hope everyone is having a great start to their week.  I think I am (I’m writing this post a few hours before it’ll go up so I can’t say with 100% accuracy haha) as I’m only in week two of my new “real” life and things are still exciting.  I’m sure it’ll be a stressful day too as the girl I’ve replaced is 100% gone so it’s 100% me today but I’m feeling confident that I’ll figure my way out 🙂

P.S. & Totally Random: As I sit here typing this (Monday morning before work) I am drinking a glass of milk out of a bud light glass.  Classy, no?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Addendum: So I guess I forgot to post the above yesterday? Well I won’t write too much more but I figured I’d take advantage and write about my post on Tuesday morning.  This morning I actually knew what time I have to be at work and allowed myself t sleep in until 0745! Woot! My alarm was set for 0800 but I hate just laying in bed when I *know* I have to get up.

Especially, and I really don’t know what’s gotten into my brain lately as these tend to be REALLY rare occurrences, but I had another “wake up with a smile” dream.I can’t for the life of me remember what it was about but apparently it was good?

But get up I did.  And I ran my usual.  I’m starting to think that on Tuesday / Thursday (when I don’t have to go into clinic until noon or so) I might keep exploring the city as I tend to leave my apartment around 0800.  And that time feels safer than 0530.  Granted one must always be alert when running but there are more people and traffic out later so veering off the path might be nice.

Nothing too stellar about the run.  It was neither a slow nor fast 8.2.  Around an 8:43 pace. Okay so not “around” because I just calculated that 🙂

I got passed by some runners and passed others.  The rain and cool temps continued into today (after my run on Monday it poured all day) so it was quite humid out.  And by rain I mean mist.  So it wasn’t too bad. My brain wasn’t really into the run so it passed quickly despite the first two miles going so slowly.  Somewhere between miles 2 and 3 my legs found a rhythm and I went into autopilot.

And while my legs weren’t feeling the freshest ever I did manage to negative split the run by 1 minute and 1 second. Awesomeness.

Now I sit here doing some (application) work before going into (real) work.  And, like yesterday, I’m drinking my milk from a bud light glass.  Guess I’m starting a tradition here — oh the things you can do without batting an eye as a 23 year old haha 🙂

July 11, 2010

Another MCAT Down

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:00

First: Thanks for all the “you look awesome in glasses” comments.  They made me smile and laugh and feel better about wearing them when I have to.  I think they make me look like even more of a physics nerd.  But that’s okay.  Apparently physics nerds look awesome 🙂

And thanks for all the “wow you are organized” comments too.  I take a certain amount of pride in my organizational skills 🙂  And yes, I realize I carry around too much stuff.  Sometimes, if I’m just running to the corner store or something I just grab my keys and go buttttt I guess I just like to prepare for all the “What Ifs” haha

And yes, I took another full length MCAT this weekend.  Ugh.  I didn’t necessarily do worse than last time but I didn’t make any real strides either.  Maybe 1 a week is too much? I heavily focused on the Physical Sciences this week and it showed.  Both in my grade on that section as well as the others.  Oh well.  I have more data to reformulate a plan.  But, not going to lie, it’s a little disheartening to not see an improvement from last week.

And I had to take the silly (well it’s not silly really.  Rather annoying though)test  in Starbucks because…dun dun dun…the library was closed and let me down.  Which is does All. The. Time.  I mean, I understood last weekend when I had to take the test that the holiday weekend would shut things down.  But July 10th? WTF?!

Starbucks wasn’t so bad.  I’m of the age where the employees were all clearly younger than me but not by soooo much  that I  think they wouldn’t feel comfortable telling me to leave.  It was a bit distracting have all people wandering about maybe that contributed to the mental fatigue and antsy-ness I felt by the end of the test. But, again, it wasn’t so bad. And I LOVE the smell of coffee.  I can’t drink the stuff but the smell is amazing.

Good old New England FINALLY got some rain over the weekend as well. Didn’t really cut any humidity out but for the duration of the storm the temp dropped a little and it felt a bit cooler.  Sure the storm passed through in about an hour but that hour was glorious.  Especially since I was determined to do some more work and try to pinpoint the exact ways I can improve my study habits and refocus/regroup.

I did get a good muggy run in before taking the exam though. It wasn’t my fastest run ever (I’m blaming the fact that I haven’t had a 0545 wake up in a very long time) but it felt good and luckily it didn’t rain on me.  Granted that meant that all the moisture was in the air and I felt like I was breathing water buttttt I like sunshine.

I have a love / hate relationship with running in the mornings.  On one hand I love it.  I love waking up with a run and shaking out the morning cobwebs.  The temperature is a bit cooler and that feels nice too.

On the other hand, the humidity is the worst in the morning.  And, one of the reasons I have morning cobwebs is because I’m staying up so late to study.  Wah wah wah.  I’m sure you’re sick of hearing this 🙂

But the biggest reason running in the morning has a hate component? Deer flies

Basically the bane of my existence in the summer

I think it’s just me.  Okay so maybe not as I see lots of people swatting at them as well.  But on every single run I’m attacked by them.  And it’s not just one fly, it’s a swarm.  I guess I just smell nice?

And the only way to kill them is to let them land on you and, before they can bite because they hurt like whoa, squish them like the little bugs that they are.   For real.  My running buddy thinks I’m really weird for literally pinching them between my fingers but I’ve found that if you hit them and even give them a good smack they will come back.  I’ve seen deer flies that I’ve smacked on my arm and thought were dead come back to life.

Annoying right? And it’s the absolute WORST in the mornings.

The weird thing is that it’s only about a mile radius from my house that they’re the worst.  I think it’s because I live on the water and water tends to be bug breeding grounds.  So while I get to swim and frolic in the water (ahaha who am I kidding I don’t have free time for frolicking!) the trade off is the bugs.  Ick.

Oh well. That’s my rant for the weekend.

I was also given a blog award from Jaime for having a blog of substance.  Very nice to hear because sometimes I think I just ramble and ramble and ramble. Thanks girl 🙂

The Rules:
•Thank the blogger who awarded it to you.
•Sum up your blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience using five (5) words.
•Pass it on to 5 other blogs which you feel have real substance.

New Friends Who Love Running

Basically, the long and short of why I started blogging is because NONE of my close friends do.  So it was kind of lonely to not be able to talk to others about running or bounce ideas off of and whatnot. Luckily now I have TONS of new friends who love running as much as I do.  I’ve also been fortunate enough to meet some of you and run with you. 🙂

And I’m going to be lame and not tag anyone.  Because I want everyone who reads this to do it.  Seriously.  I love reading this kind of stuff!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! The agenda for today (Sunday) is to look over what I got wrong on the exam I took yesterday and then attack those sections with a vengeance. I tried to do some of it last night but there’s so. much. material.

I also hope that everyone has a good week this week. I’m off to Philly this week for job training so I’m probably not going to be posting until mid-next week.  I’ll have my phone with me so theoretically I can but doing anything on my phone, save calling and texting, can be a pain sometimes.  It’ll be weird to not post whenever I want but hopefully I’ll have LOTS of fun pictures to share when I get back 🙂

May 19, 2010

Oops. I Fartlek’d

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:31

….okay so that joke will NEVER get old

Woot to that video interview! Glad you guys liked it 🙂

And thanks for all the get-well good vibes! I sure needed them.  I don’t know what it was but in the past week I’ve gotten TWO 24 hour flu-like bugs.  This time, like last, all I have to show is some residual sinus pressure.  I did go to the doc (both last week and this week) and they told me there wasn’t anything they can do for me.  I just need to take it easy.  Did I mention that it’s senior week? Yeah, taking it easy ain’t going to happen.

Oh well.  I’m feeling MUCH better today.  A little sinus pressure but nothing major.  And despite me saying that the doctor I saw on Monday said there wasn’t much I could do, I do have a Rx for an antibiotic in case things don’t get better.  The deal is that I likely have a sinus infection, the large majority of which are viral.  So if my body can’t fight it off (which it appears to be doing though *knockonwood*) I’ll fill the Rx.  I’ve just been on soooo many antibiotics lately and, if I can avoid it, I will.  Plus antibiotics are over prescribed anyway.  But that’s a different topic.

Yesterday I got a great lifting session in as well as a solid run.  I’m saddened that my body is re-adjusting to the lifting and I don’t get the same soreness I did when I first re-introduced it.  I know I can always do something crazy, like switch up my routine, but that takes planning and to be quite honest I think I’ve killed my brain cells that do that function this week 😛

And this morning I got up wayyyyy too early to do a 10 miler.  I had something important to do (which I’m going to be cagey about not to jinx myself but still be selfish and ask for good vibes) and I knew that the rest of my day today would be just as busy.  I didn’t intend on running 10 (haha that rhymed) but I was at 8.7 and I have a perfect 1.3 mile route that I decided to do.  Plus I had already worked my core for 3 straight days and I tend to run on a 3on-1off-2on-1off week with core.  So I had a bit of extra time.

The first few miles were crap but I think it was because A) it was much earlier than I’ve been getting up and B) it was icky out.  Now, don’t get me wrong I don’t not like running in the rain but seeing clouds in the sky, even overcast, just puts a mental damper on things.  Luckily it wasn’t raining, more like misting, but over the course of 10 miles a little misting adds up to soaked clothing and that ick factor.

The rest of the run ended up being pretty good.  Since it’s been 4+ weeks since Boston I figured that this week would be a good week to re-introduce speed work.  After all I’ve been doing LRs and lifting sessions for two weeks now.  And all the “recovery plans” I’ve looked at have said that W+3 and W+4 are good times to add some more intensity.  Granted I think these plans also want you to have a target race 4-5-6 weeks out and I do not, but hey.  Plans are plans and they make my world go round.

My world maybe but my body?Even though I’m feeling soooo recovered from Boston I still wanted to take it easy.  In this respect I’m kind of a beginner again.  Obviously I can’t, just like someone lacing up their shoes for the first time, jump into 5 X mile repeats or remember that killer workout I did during training: 3 X [4X 800m]? Yeah so do I.  Not something I really need to do right now. That and I pretty much knew that my body would want something less structured and more go-with-the-flow coming off this cold-esque dealio.

So I opted for a fartlek workout.  I didn’t really ever like fartleks because they’re not really formal or something that I could concretely describe in my log books.  But they do require lots of hard work and intensity and focus and it was silly of me to avoid them. Now some info about the fartlek:

What is it? Well it’s Swedish for speedplay and the gist is that you speed up / sprint / go fast for some distance. Nothing exact or anything, more like 20-30 seconds or, like I did today, the length of 4 telephone poles.  You can go farther or short, faster or slower depending on how you feel or what your goal is.

What is the goal? For me, the point of the workout was to just get my legs to remember how to do faster turnover but, in the past, I’ve used it to do harder sprinting and a less formal way to get those intervals in because you can change the intensity based on how you feel.  It’s also great for endurance work because you’re constantly in motion, every time you pick up the speed you challenge your cardiovascular systems and make gains. Yay for getting faster and more endurance-ified.

How do I do it? Head out for a run.  After going long enough to feel warmed up then push the pace *hard* for anywhere from 30-60 seconds.  Slow back down to your warmup pace until you’re not breathing hard.  Repeat.  For a beginner try maybe 5 (?) at first and as you get fitter you can increase.  For example I did 4 speed ups during my run.  I wanted to do more but my body was “eh”.  Like everything listen to your body

When should I do it? I like to do fartleks when I’m not in training for anything given the informal nature of the workout.  It is a speed workout so I wouldn’t do it before another speed workout such as intervals or a tempo.  Just because of my Type-A ways I favor more formal and tangible ways to get speed done during race training but you can definitely incorporate it that way if you choose.  Just remember that the sprinting portions would need to intense (ie at least 30-40 seconds per speed up).

Hopefully you guys enjoyed this more informative post.  I know lots of those who comment probably already knew this stuff but I think lots of you have the same attitude I have/had about them: not “hardcore” enough.  But that’s the beauty: you can make them as hard or easy as you want.  Plus I have some readers who are more beginner based and thought this would be useful (and feel free to comment! I don’t bite. Hard 😉 )

Checkout the giveaway from Tricia

March 15, 2010

Spring Break? Really? You Don’t Say

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:32

Ughhhh. Now before I say this I’m going to preface it with: I know that some of you have it worse and get up wayyyy earlier than I did today. But when you have been naturally waking up on your own for the past 8-10 weeks (even if it’s still sleep deprivation as I physically can’t sleep in) an alarm clock sucks.  I don’t care if it’s 0400, 1000 or even past noon. Alarm = suckage.  So I won’t try to have a pissing contest to see who gets up earlier.  Suffice it to say: it was earlier than a natural wake-up, dark out (stupid DST) and incredibly painful.

Butttt I felt the need to get a good hard run in before my sports med appointment this morning.  My mentality was a stupid one: god forbid the doctor tell me I can’t run for a bit, I wanted to have a solid run in. Go ahead: berate me all you want but I know most of you would have done it too. (That said, I wasn’t entirely stupid about it and if I actually thought I was seriously hurting myself then DUH I wouldn’t have.  But I was really freaking myself out the past two nights over the what-ifs so I went into today with the above mentality)

Alas the monsoon still rages outside.  That coupled with absolute darkness made the gym a good choice.  So I pulled on some cute gym clothes (because even in the wee hours of the morning you never know who you’re going to run into *coughhotboyscough* at the gym).  AKA I threw on a lime green bra and a white t-shirt which would subsequently show off said bra when I got all sweaty (aka 5 minutes into the run).  Go ahead: call me a lady of the night or something similar 🙂

The run went really well.  Yesterday I think I noted that there was absolutely no shin pain and I’m likely to think the cause is that I started off the run slower than a typical TM run.  So I did the same thing today.  There was still calf soreness (interestingly in the OTHER calf aka not the shiny-shin-shin one. Compensation for something maybe?) but nothing that changed my stride.  I cruised through some miles (while watching Angel and Charmed. Ummm how could I forget how awesome those shows are?!) until it was time to head off to my appointment.

I also did some corework.  I usually do core when I lift on Mondays but since today was so jammed packed I knew I wouldn’t have time to get back to the gym to lift.  Not such a big deal (I mean I HATE skipping workouts) but I figure core = most important part, so I still got that in.

I had just enough time to inhale a breakfast, change my clothes into something dry (still in workout clothes haha) and dash off to my appointment.  I might have been able to shower butttt I hate being on-time (in my opinion early = on time and on-time = late. If you’re actually late, don’t even bother showing up at all) so I nixed it.  Good call because all the flooding closed some roads and I arrived just in the nick of time (aka 10 minutes early hahah)

SO. This is the part you’ve probably wanted to read.  The Appointment.  The doctor was really nice and first did a visual exam of my right ankle/shin (affected) compared to the left (normal).  I explained what I was training for yada yada yada (including my mileage and intensity as well as my goals for the race) and told him my concerns: that I thought it was just shin splints but it’s been going on for 3 weeks, changing shoes didn’t help and now I’m worried that it could be more serious.

He made me do some toe walks, heel walks, heel stomping etc. and asked about pain level.  No pain, but it feels all bruised and tender.  Comme d’habitude. He then started poking and prodding trying to elicit a “jump off the table” response.  I mean, I could feel it (felt like a bruise and tender but nothing painful).  I was sent for x-rays (yes I know stress fractures don’t typically show up BUT from working at this very department last summer I know doctors have to do it.  Mostly for insurance purposes so that the companies will pay for pricier tests down the road. It shows that the doctor tried to go alternate routes. Lame but whatevs.)

The x-rays were negative (duh).  He said that it was highly unlikely that it was a stress fracture though given the results of what he had made me do prior to the x-rays weren’t in line.  I knew this deep in my gut but it was really nice to hear a medical professional say it. Regardless: BIG SIGH OF RELIEF.

He did say that because there’s swelling and inflammation in the area that he thinks I sprained it at some point (very minorly though, just enough to cause an acute inflammatory response) and that the restriction in my motion has caused the other problems. Aka shin tenderness on both sides of the ankle.

The fix? PT.  I walked out of there with a ‘script and I know that someone is going to “yell” at me (insert eye roll here) but I’ll start that next week when I get back to school and can see a therapist on a regular basis.  I was also told to keep ace bandaging it during running, icing, ibuprofen (as long as my stomach can handle it).  In addition I was told to ace bandage it a couple times over the course of the day just to try and push out the inflammation.

Exercise wise…he told me to basically start the taper now.  At this point he said that it was a risk vs reward and while he certainly isn’t telling me NOT to go through with the next two weeks as planned, he said to play it by ear. I asked what workouts I could do if I had to not run and he said the whole thing comes down to (running and XT)not being in pain (which I am not in at the moment). If it hurts, stop. If I get localized pain, stop and come right back to him. He said that it also comes down to what my goals are.  Clearly I want to race Boston sooooo….yeah.

I’m torn though.  And I feel like I want to put that out there.  I debated for quite sometime where or not to be honest with those feelings or just grin and bear it on the blog because I know many of you are going to be harsh and whatnot when I say that (even if it’s not intended that way, it’s the internet and it’s how I perceive it).  But I want this blog to be honest.  I’m not saying I’m going to disregard what the doc is telling me (I was very impressed with him both researching him online as well as in person.  He’s even giving a lecture at Boston!) butttttt I’m sure you guys “know” me well enough to know that this is a hard thing to wrap my head around.

So here’s what I’m going to do: play it by ear but I’m not sure if I can mentally handle going into the taper 5 weeks from the race.  Like I said yesterday, I’m not sure I can wrap my head around a 3 week taper. But rest assured, I’m not going to do anything stupid.  I mean, as much as I liked this doctor, I think I can live without having to see him again. 🙂

I will say that despite the torn-ness over the whole taper issue, I am feeling very optimistic about the whole appointment.  And I’ll say this again in big bold letters: I AM NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING STUPID. I am going to play it by ear.  And work with a PT.  So please know that I am taking care of this thing. (Can you tell how much I don’t want to be “yelled” at haha?). Your advice, as always, is welcome.  But please don’t bash me.

Side note: And I think it’s important to note that even if I do “severely” cut back (which I don’t have to do at this point) I’m still going to be logging huge miles simply because I’m at such a high level now.  This past week was…112.7. And a double side note: I know that there’s not way I can keep that up, ankle or not.

After that appointment (and hooray if you’re still reading this marathon of a post haha) I grabbed a quick lunch and headed over to my massage.  And boy was it glorious.  I told her to really only work on my calves.  Yes the butt, hamstring and quads need (and did get) work but with my calves being as tight as they are I wanted the focus there.

It. Felt. Glorious. I mean, my calves were as hard as rocks and soooo tender but a lot of work was done today.  I’m sure I’ll be feeling it in the morning and I tentatively scheduled another one for Thursday (provided that she’s free then).  The last 20 minutes of the session she even dedicated solely to my “bum” ankle.  By the end there was no swelling at all.  Sure once gravity took over it was a bit bigger again butttt I know that getting the old “gunk” out is a good thing.

Wow. Long ass post.  I guess today was such a busy day and I had a lot to say about.  Since getting up I’ve spent a grand total of 1/2 hour at home between appointments and whatnot.  That means that pretty much since getting up I haven’t showered.  Ewwww I am stinky.  So I’m going to go do that and then head over to a friend’s house for some 24 action.  It should be fun because, since the semester was so crazy busy so far for the both of us, we haven’t been able to watch 24 together (or really do much together!). Andddd her family is my family.  It’s going to be a good night!

And (gosh MM, can this post get any longer?!) I apologize to those who have emailed me lately.  I really haven’t had the time to thoughtfully reply (that also goes for replying to comments. I have read them but I haven’t had a chance to reply yet!).  Or really had the time to do much lately so I apologize for those blogs that I couldn’t comment on today — I didn’t turn my computer on until 1600 and the volume of unread blogs was staggering.  Y’all keep busy!

And it’s spring break?! This busy-ness needs to change haha.

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