MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 1, 2011

Of Ladders and Recovery and Racing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:18

First off I need to give a HUGE shoutout to my girl Lesley for hanging out/driving me to Super Target for groceries. She’s the BEST! I actually ran into her during our long runs this past Saturday (we ran by each other) and hopefully I can get together and run with her someday (and go to the zoo. Remember now, you promised 😉 )

Thanks google

I swear I’m not 5 years old and/or her 4th kid.

Back to running because I guess moving and unemployment have been the best things to happen to it.  And to my blog posting abilities.

The group I’ve linked up with WRRC decided to make their speed session workout Tuesday morning. At 5am. Now in any “normal circumstance” (because trust me I realize that getting up at 4am to haul ass around a track is not in any way shape or form normal) I’d be all for it.  But with no car, I have to take the rail.  And catching a 0432 rail after walking a mile in the dark to the station is not ideal.  I don’t live in the worst neighborhood per se, but it made me uneasy.  So I figured I’d do it on my own.

Unfortunately some upsetting dreams (and I’ve been having VIVID dreams lately) had me oversleeping and I knew that trying to do speedwork once the sun comes up is not prudent.  As it stands in my log book I ended up getting a mid-distance run in, which might not have been prudent either given the lack of water stops on the “trail” I was on.  I did 11 but based on the time and my effort I feel like it should have been more.

I suppose it serves me right for starting a run at 8am although in my defense that’s the weather I’ve been running in all summer back home (86* and home has higher humidity which makes it feel worse) so I figured I’d be okay.  My stomach by the end was all upset in its “dehydration ouchie” state.  I think on the way home I stopped a couple times to stretch it out. Lesson learned: this is Texas. Bring water. (and drink more H2O in general. Adding lemonade powder to my water has been a lifesaver lately though because I can only take so much water!)

The only saving grace to the run was that it drizzled for the whole first half.  Actually I’m not sure if this made it better or not as I felt a little more humidity about.  At least there wasn’t any true lightning like there was on Monday morning when it poured (now that felt good).

The rest of the day (and really any day) was spent recovering (aka feet up and applying to jobs) for:

WEDNESDAY’S BIG DAY OF RUNNING

The track workout that I didn’t do Tuesday was on tap.  I had set my alarm for 0530 so I could easily be out the door before 0600. I ended up getting up at 0600.  Still well before the sunrise, so it’s okay.  The temp was 88*.  Ouch.

On tap was

  • Warmup
  • 800-1200-1200-800 (with 400m recovery between)
  • Warmdown

This was created, I think, by one of the guys in the Running Coop and he’s posted on the FB group page a “Ladder Pace Chart” for what you should try and hit depending on your marathon goal.  For me, I’m not signed up for a marathon so I really had no clue what I should do.  A few weeks back I did some 800s at 7:20-30 pace which according to the pace chart below was what the group aiming for a 3:40-3:50 marathon would target.

Because I’m delusional I decided I wanted to go faster and hit paces targeting a 3:20-40 marathon (and corresponding to a 1:34-44 half, see below). Don’t forget that out of all my marathons, I’ve run 75% of them slower than 3:30 and my half PR is 1:33:something.

Delusional.

Because here’s the pace chart (I figured it’d be easier for y’all to see it with your own eyes rather than me confuse you by trying to explain it)

Yes I am aware it’s an oddly shaped image with a lot of space at the bottom. Deal (although the whole point was so that you guys could read it. Hopefully you can get it to enlarge, maybe by clicking on the image to open it in a new tab/window?)

In order to do this workout I needed to find a track.  This shouldn’t have been a problem.  And wouldn’t have been if I had a car at the moment.  But I don’t.  So I needed something within an appropriate warm up distance.  I found it but the one I found definitely had a sign that said “stadium for school district use only”.  Oops. I had to even walk through the school to get to the track.  Luckily I was able to get in because it was unlocked for the football team.

Side note: I grew up in MA, my high school’s football team (and football in general in the league) was, and likely still is, a joke. In college I didn’t have a team. So this was fascinating in it’s own right.

I guess I can share my speeds/what I actually hit.  As I said above I was targeting the 320-3:40 pace on the chart, but in reality I ended up hitting more of a 3:50-4:00 goal. (rest was one lap, and typically took me ~3 minutes. The recovery according to the pace chart is above but is supposed to be marathon goal in minutes:seconds).  So here are the splits, for 800s it’s broken 400+400 time, for the 1200s it’s broken 800+400 times

  • 800:   1:55 + 1:50 = 3:45 (7:30 pace)
  • 1200: 3:55 + 1:57 = 5:52 (7:52)
  • 1200: 4:00 + 2:00 = 6:00 (8:00)
  • 800:    1:58 + 1:58 = 3:56 ( 7:52)

The workout itself ( again, done mostly in the dark. Ugh late sunrises but yay to seeing the sunrise) went meeeeeeeeeeeeeeh. I mean, I hauled assMajor ass. But it just wasn’t pace wise where I thought I should be.  I was wayyyy off of the goal for me, with the second half of the ladder being much slower than the first and despite me feeling like I was pushing HARD.  Next week I’m going to haul butt to do the speed session with the group because I know that during the intervals it wasn’t a constant “on”, it was a slow down/speed up routine that made me feel like crap.

Shouldn’t have been too surprising though given how slow I’ve been running all summer but I wanted something faster to make my decision whether to run a fall / winter marathon (or even half) clearer. Only good thing about the run (well I guess just getting out there and running fast is a good thing) was that the football coach  asked me “Marathoner?” and I said yes, and told him a potential goal race to which he said “you have an excellent footfall. Wish I could teach my kids that”. That made me smile and probably put a little pep in my step for that last 800.

But I guess it’s a good/decent barometer as to where I am at the moment.

Later that night I went for a group run with the Coop.  I met up with my friend beforehand for a little over 2 miles and the loop with the group was a little over 6 so I got ~8.4 on the night.  The pace felt easy (except for some rolling hills at the end and humidity when we hit White Rock lake) and it was faster than my usual runs.  Not sure what that means.  What I do know is that it left me with 16 for the day.

I didn’t get back to my apt until close to 2200, had to eat dinner and shower AND *register for the DRC half in November before the price increased today*. After the group run, sitting around at Fuzzys Tacos, I wasn’t really talked into it per se but it just made sense.  Something to train for.  Something relatively soon. Something not a marathon. I still have marathon *ideas* but that’s all there is to them.  We’ll see how the half goes first (and if I get a job to pay for it!)

I didn’t get into bed until late and, normally not a big deal but with the Texas heat I really can’t run mid-morning anymore.  So I’m skipped  my scheduled 7 for this morning.  Maybe I’ll get it in tonight (very likely) but we’ll see. I’m babying my Achilles at the moment because, as I mentioned yesterday, Dallas “trails” are really just concrete bike paths that they call multi-use paths. Guess this is a city built on concrete.  I’m not quite sure why but I suspect asphalt would melt in the summer but that’s my theory.

Anyway, it’s September 1st, meaning I should do a “Previously on MM” post for August. I’m going to wait a bit. Lots of stuff went down in August, but I feel like in my last two or three posts you’ve gotten it all.  I’ll have to put my creative juices to work and come up with something wicked pissah to put into words my monthly total.  Hmmmmmmmmmm.  As if applying to jobs wasn’t zapping all my mental capacity!

And since you’ve read this thus far (seriously, I mean what I wrote about unemployment being good for the blog above!):

thansk google

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February 16, 2011

Question: Will This Ever Get Any Easier?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:09

Answer: Probably not.

In some ways I don’t want it to get any easier, because then it means I’m not pushing, but man: TEMPOS SUCK. I know I know, broken record.

Wah wah wah. Thanks google images

I guess so do GMP runs, because lately that’s all I’ve been able to muster.  Like yesterday’s workout:

  • Warm up
  • 6.6 mile tempo @ 7:33 (2.2 @ 7:40, 2.2 @ 7:20, 2.2 @ 7:39)
  • Loooooooooooooooong warm down

I’m a little unsure of how I feel about it.

In terms of a workout it was GREAT. It felt hard at times and my legs were burning with effort.  But I’m eeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhh about the pace.  Because it sucks to see a slower-than-I-thought pace. Mostly because the first 2.2 was uphill AND against the wind.  Seriously. Like one of the two isn’t bad enough.  The plus side is that the second 2.2 was going back the way I came, so it was downhill and with the wind.  And the third, well, I was tired at that point and haven’t done a continuous 6.6 yet.  So no real excuse for that one, because I expected it to hurt.  And it didn’t let me down in that respect.

I actually felt pretty darn good during it and my legs were really tired and lactic acid-y afterward. So the effort gets a good grade for this workout, maybe B+, because my mind *did* wander a bit over life stuff despite my legs feeling like they should at the end. But pace gets a lower grade.  I really wish the weather would cooperate with me! Doesn’t it know I’m training for the Boston Marathon?!

Wouldn't this be nice? Thanks google.

But I’m slowly making peace with this idea of tempo / GMP.  I hate it but I’ve been doing it so regularly that it’s just a part of life right now.  So it better pay dividends in a few weeks.

Because I sure know that my recovery run this morning was slooooooooooooooooooow.  And the leg-os were pretty heavy too.  I actually got up a half hour earlier than Monday and ended only slightly earlier at the end of the run! Granted I ran a bit further than Monday’s recovery run but I guess LRs don’t take as much out of me as harder / faster efforts.  Maybe I should try and push the LRs more. But that’s a thought for another day.

I also went to the doctor yesterday (because I’ve been so tired, lightheaded, bruising easily etc) and *surprise* I was / am low on iron.  Which is what I expected. So for the next month I’ll be on iron supplements.  And I’m thinking that my running will improve (as well as my mood and energy levels). I just started today so I’m, obviously, not feeling it yet.  Maybe by my intervals tomorrow? I can only dream. But hopefully a semi-placebo effect will kick in soon so I get AMPED to go climbing tonight.

GOAL EQUALS

Holler. Thanks google.

I’m semi-kidding on that front.  Lizzy might make me change my mind and my climbing buddy is actually going to Yosemite this spring to do it.  Eeep.

Check out the giveaway from Jess @ Blonde Ponytail

January 5, 2011

Where The Wild Things Are Sex Running

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:05

Another spicy search term to brighten up your day/week because: WHEW it has been dragging! Guess that’s what I get when I take days off and don’t work a full work week since pre-Thanksgiving.  I’m hoping I can stay strong and pull through to the weekend!

Training wise…yes I said “training”.  Even though I’m not officially starting a plan for the 2011 Boston Marathon (!!) Sunday marked 4 weeks post-White Rock.  And thus I’m not purposely limiting myself to only easy runs.  I mean, if I feel like going easy on a day I want to do something specific I’ll take it(no sense in mentally beating myself up and wearing down) but I’ve decided to throw some “hard” (or rather quality) workouts in here and there.  Just to make sure my body doesn’t forget how to train (like it ever could!)

Monday: Easy 8.8 miles at 0545. Ugh. After a weekend of only sleeping 13 hours this run was really rough.  Like unbearably rough.  Sunday night I crawled into bed around 2030 to read because I was done with everything I needed to do (yay productive Sundays) and wanted to catch up on the good book I’m reading. I swear I was out cold within 10 minutes.  Because when my mom called me at 2115 I was sooooo out of it.  I am such an old lady!

But despite the sleep deprivation I had a good run.  It was refreshing to be out in the crisp morning pre-dawn air.  And I was running pretty fast too.  I had only planned a 6.5 mile route but was feeling so strong that I ended up adding the extra 2.3 miles.  I faded hardcore towards the end of it and wish I had stopped at the original distance (so much for not wearing myself out 😉 ) so that I could end on a BANG rather than a fizzle.  But hey, the run was still good.  So I was happy. Not bad for the first early morning run in about 2 weeks.

 

Although I might have felt great on the run this is likely what I looked like. Thanks google.

Tuesday:Again, I slept for an obscene amount of time. Apparently my body can’t handle three days of drinking over the weekend like it once could. For shame I tell you! Anyway, Tuesday was tempo Tuesday during WR training, and will likely be during Boston training, so I decided that Tuesday would be a good day to reintroduce speed.  While a good idea might have been to do fartleks or something to ease into it.  Nope. Not me. Here’s what went down:

  • Warm up
  • “Tempo” : 4.4 miles @ 7:43 (2.2 @ 7:47, 2.2 @ 7:40)
  • Warm down

Tempo is in quotes because I know that it’s not tempo paced.  But for some reason any run that is faster than easy and supposed to be steady = tempo in my mind.  Maybe that’s something I should work on this upcoming training cycle. That said, I’m soooo totally not disappointed that it’s not actual tempo pace of even MP.  It hurt and was hard.  And confirmed that I hate tempos.  But it was a great start and, despite hating every minute of it, I still loved pushing myself.  T-3 weeks until Boston training for me!

I was supposed to finish my Hundred Pushups Challenge and 200 Situps Challenge.  But I didn’t .  Yes I’ve completed all 6 weeks. But I’ve done this challenge before and don’t feel the need to “prove myself”.  I’m 99% sure that I can do it buttttt, I’ll fully admit it, I just wasn’t into it.  Doing the days and weeks was a vehicle to get myself to reintroduce some type of resistance training.  Mission accomplished.  Instead I did a core workout for 15 minutes and then did another type of pushup challenge.  The gist of it is to do 1 pushup on January 1st, 2 on the 2nd, etc. and culminate with 365 pushups on December 31st.  I actually decided to do this on Tuesday and had to do 10 to catchup.  But after doing the other challenge, it wasn’t so bad…we’ll see as the year progresses what I think.

Wednesday: Another 0545 run.  Blah. This one was actually a little worse than Monday but only because I had to work late last night and didn’t crawl into bed until late. But I’m glad that I got out there this morning.  I don’t know where this “Oh hey I can sleep more and then run after work” attitude is coming from.  Not that it’s a bad thing per se but I used to be a real go-getter in the mornings!

Not too much interesting here except that I totally wiped out about a mile or so from my apartment. Normally I’d just shake it off but since it was around 0700 at this point it was getting lighter out and a guy totally saw me hit the ground.  To his credit he asked if I was okay and if I was hurt.  Only my ego buddy. I need to start paying attention hahah! I still ended up with about 8 miles at a good easy…dare I say recovery (after 4 weeks of recovery running I’m not sure I like the phrase at the moment!)?…pace with no fading at the end and there might have been a light negative split. Emphasis on the slight.

Well that’s all I got for you today. Happy Hump Day. I usually hate that term but considering the search term I titled my post after and the picture for pushups I’ll use it.

Check out the giveaway from Julie (Hot Legs Runner) and Muncher Cruncher and Matt (The Kitchen of  a Runner)

December 2, 2010

And I’m Off. Kind of Sort of.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:01

So (and this is my FB status so I’m sorry to repeat for my FB friends): I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off because I’m leaving for DALLAS on FRIDAY (TOMORROW) to run a MARATHON. Eeeep? I’m leaving tonight after clinic to head up to my mom’s house so I can be closer to Boston for my flight.  So, not off yet, but pretty damn close!

After reading your comments on my monthly recap I guess  I was running A LOT.  It honestly didn’t seem like that much.  And while the breakdown per day statistically was ~15 miles it obviously didn’t work out that way every day.  My quality days were 15+ and my Fridays were doubles which helped.  But there were light days in there. It was either heavy or light.  No real in betweens. Maybe that’s why I didn’t feel like I was running that much!

Taper madness.  Given that I have training madness, ummm see month of November?, it’s no surprise that running very few miles this week is messing with my head.  Not in ways that really make me feel like I have taper madness but I’ve just been antsy (and cooking.  I’ll have lots of recipes to share when I get back.  Plus I know that I’ll be cooking lots during recovery.  Guess I’ll end the year on a bang note there!).

Grrrrr to the taper. thanks google

For the most part tapering is going well. Going into Wednesday and today I knew that the bulk of training was, DUH, behind me and that Tuesday’s NAILED GMP was the last “real” workout.

Wednesday morning was a recovery run.  As well as a taper run.  So it was somewhere around 6 miles. (  <– that is the reason I ran so many miles in November.  Taper much? ) I was debating about whether or not to get this run in. I had made myself a deal that if it was raining, even drizzling out, when my alarm went off I’d take the day off as it was suppose to, and did in fact, rain pour all day and I knew I wasn’t getting out of work at a decent time. And if it was clear I’d go for 5-6 miles. Well no rain in sight when I got up as it was a lovely morning.  Later, when the house my apartment was in was literally shaking it wasn’t so lovely hahah

But it was almost 50* Wednesday morning! In December! I checked the forecast for Dallas and it was only 40*. Ummmm some destination marathon I picked, no? I’ve been told the forecast for Sunday is actually looking really nice though.  I haven’t had the heart yet to check it out myself

I also got in my pushups (25, 29, 25, 25, 37) and situps (38, 45, 38, 38, 55).  Man I hope they get me some strength because I can feel them whenever I do them!

Since today (Thursday) is a clinic day AND I’m in taper check this out: I got to sleep in EXTRA EXTRA.  Thursdays have been my long run days and with T-2 days (OMG I think I just got sick a bit) I figured it’d be prudent to NOT bang out a long run.  Maybe I’m not so taper madness-ified after all? 😉

While the weather on Wednesday morning was cloudy but warm (hello I was in a sports bra by the end!) this morning brought about sun and temps in the mid-30s and I settled for a repeat of Wednesday: an easy 6 at a slower-than-I-thought pace. Since I was running “only 6 miles” I thought I’d have extra time this morning to leisurely shower and eat.  But I was actually feeling pretty good that I stopped just shy of 8.  Again, taper much? Any extra time I thought I had by only planning on running 6 miles was taken up by the aforementioned sleeping and those extra 2 miles.  So much for not rushing around before work.

Must. Get. To. Work. Now.

Anyway I’ve been shying away from posting about the taper because A) everyone else seems to be and B) because I really suck at it.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look at November’s numbers and realize that I didn’t stick too well to the taper plan I had set out.  BUT this week I have been making sure to do things right.  Maybe even a dramatic taper as I sucked a lot during it.  I think the only thing I really did well was shift speed work to GMP….but I digress.

In addition to sleeping extra and not running mega miles everyday I’ve also been stretching and rolling lots and did that too today, as well as made sure I did it every day this week.  It’s funny how tapering makes those things a PRIORITY.  Like drinking lots of water.  This week I’ve actually swapped out my diet coke / diet dr. pepper habit with water.  GASP. See? Dramatic. Incidentally I’ve nixed lots of salt.  Even though I know that skimping on salt (for ME) is no bueno and leads to lightheadedness, I can still taste the salt from my margarita experience last weekend. Obviously by now it’s just mental but regardless: I still have that taste in my mouth.

I’ve also been increasing the carbs that I’m getting.  I’m not actually switching out any foods but just adding extra carbs to what I’m already eating.  While some people complain about the weight that they gain during taper I couldn’t care less.  I don’t *feel* any heavier and, at 5’11”, any taper weight gain is not going to be noticeable.  And to be honest: I actually brought home 10 lbs of turkey from Thanksgiving. That bird is not going to eat itself!

Aaaaaaaaaaaand that’s all I got for you.  Annoying, right? This post has been a mish-mash of pre-race / pre-travel excitement, daily running and taper.

I wish I had better taper advice but this is only my 3rd marathon.  For my first I really wasn’t doing much intense training and, thus, didn’t really do much of a taper.  For my second I was injured, so I was tapering for 5 weeks because I couldn’t run much at all.  That said, I’ll take suggestions of what y’all do…

So, like I opened this post and titled the post, after clinic tonight I’m off and putting my sorry marathoning butt on a plane tomorrow morning.  I have some pre-written posts set up while I’m away but the next time you’ll hear from me “live” will be when I get back.  Or a day or two after for the full recap as I’m spending Monday night in my hometown (mostly for the free dinner that my mom has said she’d cook for me.  But shhhhh don’t tell my family that!). I’m sure that I’ll do that annoying quickie-where-I-don’t-tell-you-anything teaser post while I’m there.

Because I’m like that.

thanks to my favorite sister for her lovely paint skilllzzzz. and i must really love my tiara because this is the billionth time i've shown this pic!

And check out the giveaway from Marcia and Julie (hotlegs runner)

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 24, 2010

I Cook! Again!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:14

Okay so it’s been awhile. I know.  But last weekend I decided to stray again into being domesticated.  And I’ve decided to share.  Mostly because I remembered to take pictures and partly because Thanksgiving is on Thursday and I’ve decided to bless my family with only my beautiful face.

AKA I will not have any sort of Thanksgiving dish to share with you post-Thanksgiving.  Or at least anything that I’ve created.  So goes the plan although I will lay out the disclaimer that I could get roped into something.  After all I’m typing this out on Sunday night (who knows when I’ll post it though!) and plans can change.  Fingers crossed all I have to do is show up for the meal 😉

I have no idea where this recipe is from, as I got it from a co-worker. But it’s really good.  Considering that I HATE pasta (oops I’m a runner?) I think that it means the recipe is good.

Greek Vegetable Pasta (this is vegetarian for all you veggie lovers out there)

Oops for far away picture. Close up at the end.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz bowtie pasta
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup butter (or margarine 😉 )
  • 1 lb zuccini and/or yellow squash (I used a mix of the two) halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4″ thick slices (Orrrrrrrr I just chopped up ~4 cups worth of the stuff and didn’t worry about presentation)
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 2 gloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried Greek seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 can (~15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbs. capers, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbs. fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz feta cheese (roughly 1 cup) (I kept this on the side to add in as people wanted)

Directions

  • Cook pasta and drain reserving ~1/2 cup of the cooking water
  • Grate 1 tsp. zest and squeeze 2 tbs. lemon juice from the lemon, reserve separately
  • In a large nonstick skillet pan, melt butter over medium high heat
  • Add zucchini and squash, onion, garlic, seasoning, salt and pepper
  • Cook and stir occasionally until the vegetables softened (this took ~5-7 minutes)
  • Add chickpeas, capers, pasta, lemon juice and pasta water.  Cook this until heated and then remove from the heat
  • Stir in the mint and the zest
  • Sprinkle with cheese if desired
  • ENJOY

_______________________________________________________________

As far as running went today, well it didn’t. These allergies / this cold (I’m not sure which) is bothering me again. I think it’s allergies as I couldn’t sleep last night due to post-nasal drip and ONE sinus being congested.  And I have a cough that isn’t dry but I can’t seem to cough anything up.  Ah well.  I’m sure y’all really wanted to know all my sickly woes. Although when my alarm went off at 5am I (audibly I think) said “EFF THIS” and slept for a little more. Even if this isn’t a cold the few extra hours of sleep won’t be a bad thing especially after I got as close to a tempo/GMP run as ever yesterday

But my miles are going to have to come after work (if at all. I’m not too worried because it’s taper time).  It was such a lovely morning (albeit a bit windy) that I’m kind of kicking myself for not getting out there earlier.  But hopefully it’s still nice out when I get out there late.   Since it’s the day before Thanksgiving I’m hoping that I can get out of the office early to run The boss just called and said we all had to leave here at 1300.  Yippee! before seeing “A Christmas Carol” tonight which I’m really excited about.

Busy day (complete with tiara again) but fingers crossed I get a short recovery run in there!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! Good luck to all in Turkey Trots and whatever else people call them.  My brother asked to run one with me and I told him “There is no way I’m getting embarrassed on Thanksgiving by my younger brother” (he’s 14).  So my game plan is to do the 13-15 mile “long run” (golly gee how 15 miles seems soooo not like a long run!) and then head over to my mom’s house for some good eats.  And, like I mentioned above, not prepared by me.

And, of course, I want to watch the Pats (duh) while catching some of the Macy’s parade and Charlie Brown.  Hey, when you live without cable (or actual television at all) then you binge at your mom’s house. Duh.

I was going to put a serious Charlie Brown picture up buttttt obviously this was cooler to me. I do ❤ Charlie though.

Check out the giveaways from Julie (Hot Legs Runner) and Lesley (Racing It Off) and Tricia (Endurance isn’t only Physical)

November 19, 2010

Friiiiiiiiiiiday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:52

I’ll play the Four For Friday game. Mostly because I like bullets and this is a bullet point template for posting essentially.  And 4 is my lucky number. There is a flow to the bullet and probably could have been pulled together for a flowing post.  But it’s Friday.  I’ll make it nice and easy for you 🙂

I do want to say HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII to all the new peeps reading! It’s really exciting to get an email saying “Please Moderate a Comment” because it means that someone new is commenting. I LOVE it.  Thanks for finding me!

  • I think I’m going to go with the taper plan I suggested yesterday. I think my message in asking for advice was a bit lost as many of you commented on the volume of running I’d be doing, which I’d never questioned myself. I was more curious about the speed work.  But since no one shouted ‘NO MM DON’T DO THAT” in terms of going the GMP route (and those of you who did mention speed work did say that GMP tempo intervals were the way to go) I’m going to assume that my speed work plan is good.  Plus since my friend did those workouts and beasted Indy with them I’m hoping for the “monkey see monkey do” approach here. But I guess since I’m a newbie then it’s all trial and error.  Eeeep.  Wish me luck? 🙂

Monkey See...thanks google

  • That said I’m still torn between doing Yassos this weekend or tempo intervals.  While I know that tempo intervals might be more beneficial in the long run with 16 (HOLY #$%@) days until WR.  But I ❤ 800m repeats. Yes I am weird.  On one hand, Yassos could build up my confidence with a kick butt workout.  On the other hand they are really intense for a workout.  Possibly too much breakdown with so little time left.
  • I had a really good recovery run this morning.  Like really good.  Very shocking because I felt on the slow side yesterday on my long run too.  Maybe that’ll be a trend this taper: feeling slower than I’m going. Yes the pace was outside of McMillian but it was faster than I thought I was going.  A good sign I think. And if you’ve been reading awhile, then you know that, while I question the validity of calculators, I need paces forced down my throat.  Apparently I am incapable of making pacing decisions on my own. That said, for recovery runs I think that pace is complete horse pooh.  Recovery is recovery.  Sometimes I need a granny shuffle recovery and other times it’s a brisk clip.  I’ve also noticed that as I’ve been training my typical 0500 runs have gotten slower, as they follow hard days.  At first I was a bit upset “What do you mean I’m getting slower?!” but then I said “EFF IT” because my quality workouts are being kickass and BAMF.  Fingers crossed for a BAMF marathon.

Okay so this pic isn't RR at all. But I google imaged BAMF and this came up. Anyone else upset that LOST had to end?

  • Yes the recovery run was good but the temp wasn’t.  I probably shouldn’t say that because 35* really isn’t cold.  It’s not even freezing.  But yesterday I ran in beautiful 45* weather and the morning before, while it was pouring rain, was 57*.  Ahhhhhhh relativity.  And New England. I was completely comfy in my shorts and long-sleeves BUT my hands, with THREE LAYERS OF GLOVES, froze.  I know I have poor circulation but it’s still no bueno.  I might have to break out the snowmobile mittens soon.  The ones that make me look like I have lobster hands.  I should spray paint them red…

And with that enjoy the rest of your Friday.  I’m hoping to be able to leave work on the early side and I’m pretty sure I have a fun weekend planned.  So TGIF.

November 12, 2010

T-23 days

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

Eeep.  And as I was heading to work this morning I was like “this time in 3 weeks I’ll be at Logan getting on a plane”. Double eep.

I can’t think of a good transition or opening for this BUT: when I got the confirmation email it was semi official.  When I got the acceptance email it was official.  Now:

OFFICIAL official. Hizzah.

Although I suppose that a snapshot of my bank statement with the registration fee extracted would be the most official news on that front 😉

But I digress.  This morning was a recovery run.  And a rough one at that.  After 3 nights of clinics (and thus getting up naturally without an alarm) my 5am alarm was a bit on the brutal side this morning. It was a decent run.  A bit warm, or at least I overdressed because my room was on the frigid side, but it was sunny for some of it.  I guess the sun might have made it warmer than expected too.  It felt weird to have sun again. It made me feel like I was running late for work!

I started out pretty slow because, as many of you guys noted, yesterday’s workout for 2 X 3 miles (and what ended up being  6X that HILL) was particularly brutal.  But what was surprising was that my recovery pace is much faster than it was last training cycle. Which is exciting.

Or worrisome as I could be going to fast but overall all my workouts are faster so I’m going with exciting.  The only annoying thing was that the ball of my right foot started bugging me at the end of the run today.  It’s happened before in the past, not on a regular basis and not in correlation to my shoes and/or mileage.  It’s never been serious but it still hurts. Ouch!

I guess now I have a reason to call that podiatrist up and harass ask him some more questions. I still have yet to go out and buy new socks.  I have some polyester ones that I’ve been using on the more intense workouts (aka the ones I know I’m going to sweat a lot on).  I guess this experiment is going to be an annoying one because the only way to know for sure is by failure of the solution to work: aka I get another infection.  Obviously not something I want to happen.

So that’s what’s going on today for me in the running department.  Fun stuff right? At least it’s Friday and we’re on the precipice of the weekend.  Although I’ve always felt that, despite working and school stuff on Fridays in the past, Friday is part of the weekend.  Let’s be honest: we’re all mentally checked out at this point.

 

Thanks google images

So if I get out of here at a reasonable hour (aka before the sun sets because it’s 100% different running in the dark in the morning vs. afternoon) I might get another recovery run in.  I did that a couple weeks ago because it’s another time to get the blood circulating.  We’ll see.  I’m not completely sold on it yet. I do want to actually calibrate and try out the Nike+ that I got in the mail this week (thanks Megan!) Maybe I’ll check with the person I occasionally run with…

Anyway yesterday meals for miles asked to play a short questions / interview game.  And since I love reading q & a posts from others I decided to play 🙂

Favorite restaurant and why?

The Chateau.  I don’t really have a good reason for why.  The food isn’t out of this world good (but it’s still excellent!) but I think it’s the sentimental value of it’s the first “fancy” restaurant that I went to as a kid.  I remember dressing up to go there and they have fancy after dinner mints. Of course as a kid that was my favorite part.

What’s at the top of your Christmas list?

Well, since my birthday AND Christmas gift is my flight and registration for WR, I don’t feel like I’m able to make a list for Christmas.  That said, I’d love a gift card to a bookstore or some nice clothes.  Funny how when I was a kid the idea of getting clothes for Christmas is heinous and now I welcome it.  I also desperately need a new clutch.  What you thought running gear was at the top of my list? While I can always use more running clothes or a garmin, it’s not really at the top because I’m happy with what I have to work with right now.

If you were given a free trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Spain.  I’ve never been there before but I’d love the chance to go and practice my Spanish.  I’d also love to go back to France, specifically the Castle at Versailles.  Maybe not a trip though, living there would be wicked amazing.

What do you like most about blogging?

The camaraderie for sure! I’ve actually met lots of bloggers to run and party.  I started blogging to meet other runners because no one in my real life (or at least at the time I started because I consider some of the bloggers I’ve met part of my real life) runs and I wanted peeps to bounce ideas off of. I keep blogging because I love that I can post something and get a quick lift saying “hey don’t be so hard on yourself” or “hey go get that checked out” or “hey push yourself HARDER”. 

I’m not going to tag anyone to re-post (although I’d LOVE it if y’all did!) but if any of the questions are something you feel passionate about I’d love to hear your responses as well 🙂

Plus I love answering questions so ask away! If I get enough I might try to do a questions only post, like 20-questions or something.

And be sure to check out the giveaway from Julie (Hotlegs Runner) and Sarah (Skinny Runner) and DC Rainmaker

November 8, 2010

Rolling, Snowing and Trying to Cling to Fall

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:56

Hey all.  YAY for sunlight on my morning runs from now on thanks to DST ending.  Last night when I was out running some errands the sun was setting at 1633?? Oh well.  The fact that the sun rose at 0626 this morning makes up for it. I guess.

Hopefully y’all feel well rested from this weekend.  I do? I actually felt like a slug this weekend because I slept for 10 or so hours Friday night and then, because of the time change, ELEVEN hours on Saturday night.  Which was even more miraculous because I went out that night as well.  Who am I?! I NEVER sleep in like that.  I’m going to call it a good thing though.  Although I will say that I totally squandered that extra hour in the day. I’m always complaining about how I wish there were more hours in the day and then when I get one, what do I do? Sleep.  Figures 😉

After my repeats on Saturday, which I did edit the post with an addendum saying that I was pleased with the workout and know that I’m in the right place with my training, I basically DID NOT MOVE until going out.  Instead I curled up with a good book I’ve been reading (*cough*IamsuchaNERDbecauseit’soneofthosebooksyoureadinhighschool*cough*) and lounged.  After a while my legs started feeling more than a little tight.  So I finally broke down and broke out:

And yes those are two laundry baskets. I actually have three. I use a very complicated system 😉

Now I know that many of you have been on the foam rolling action for a long time.  So have I … in theory.  I bought this baby back in March or so but only have used it a few times.  Mostly because I’m lazy and partly because I know how tight my muscles are.  Roller + tight muscles = pain.  Duh.

I will say that I neither cried nor screamed as I was doing my thing.  I had a friend over and complained a lot.  Aloud of course — that’s the only time complaining is really ever fun HA.  But my voice never rose and I’m pretty sure no cuss words were uttered.  I did sweat though.  Which tells me I was doing something good and putting my body through some type of stress.

This translated, I think, into a muy bueno recovery run on Sunday.  Sunny skies and cool temps.  It felt great.  I even ran a wicked hilly route and felt fine.  Encouraging and I used the darn thing Sunday too after a long day of laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning the apartment.  See? I can do more domestic things than cook 😉

Monday morning brought SNOW.  And..well not a recovery run per se…but an easy one at that and “fast” easy (aka I looked at my watch at the end and smiled because it was faster than I thought).  The only remarkable thing was the weather and, well, I’m afraid I’m dangerously close to using up my complain-for-free passes.  It actually ended up not being too bad (it was mostly sleet and it stopped early on in the run) except my shoes were soaked 100m into it.

I will say that if it snows, or I guess this morning was more of a sleet, at WR I will be ready.

Just because the sun rises earlier doesn't mean 0500 is any lighter! So a bad picture but YES that is snow on the railing, in the tree and on the road!

I was sent this article on How to Deal with the Cold from a friend who thought it’d be funny to send this to me.  I’ve been living here my whole life so I think, despite my complaints about winter, I’m pretty cold savvy.  For those of you who aren’t here are some excerpts (and my thoughts on said excerpts):

The Physical

  • Don’t underestimate the power of sunshine” Duh but with .43453453453 hours of daylight (yes that’s a decimal point out in front of those numbers), and all of those during working hours, how am I supposed to get this?
  • Take your vitamins. Duh.
  • Stay hydrated Okay so this one I get because heaters = dry air. Which also equals nosebleeds for me.
  • Get outside and stay active. But. It’s. So . Cold. I actually do get outside (I think last year I ran in 12* weather) but it’s soooooooo hard to do.

The mental

  • Be mindful of your mood and mental health Unless of course this makes you even angrier for not getting out of the NorthEast when you had the chance.
  • Stay social. Ummm this is really hard to do when you’re A) too cheap to pay for a cab and B) to intoxicated to drive yourself.  AKA walking is how I roll.  Let me tell you: heels and dresses in freezing weather? Not a good combo. I guess we’ll just have lots of house parties?
  • Evaluate your winter pitfalls to guard against them This might actually depress me because it’s basically telling me to make of list of why I hate winter.  And I’m pretty sure (as I know you are) that it’s a pretty lengthy list.

I think you should probably be doing these things year round.  And I bet you can totally tell how bitter I am about winter.  I’m going to spend the rest of this…rain/snow/sleet/whatever it’s doing out there daydreaming about my move to somewhere warm. Because I’m 100% serious about making like a leaf and getting the f$%# out of here.

Anyone? I know I chose a random picture but anyone on that quote that's italicized?

And hey, check out this giveaway from Matt (Kitchen of a Runner) and Janae (Hungry Runner Girl) because everyone likes a giveaway.

And what’s a post without wicked awesome pictures?! (and by wicked awesome I mean Halloween-y and NOT snow and not a random guy from a great movie)

I actually forgot to share this last week! But over Halloween weekend some friends and I went to a “Jack-o-Lantern” festival in the city. It was way fun to see all the creative ways people carved pumpkins.  Here are some of my favs:

Betty Boop!

I ❤ Dinosaurs

Monopoly Man!

I know it’s a week late but I feel the need to say “Happy Halloween” anyway. I mean, it is my favorite holiday after all. But I can say (and have it be 100% true) “hope you enjoyed the weekend 🙂 ”

And enjoy your Monday too.  I sure am considering that A) I haven’t done any work all morning because the software I use won’t download the new version and we had to call in IT people B) the network is being backed up so I can’t work on any of my files and C) my friend made the coffee this morning so strong that I’m afraid to stand up because I’m pretty sure that my legs are so twitchy that I don’t think they’ll support me hahah.

October 30, 2010

Another Confidence Boosting Workout.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:56

Surprisingly my legs felt pretty good after Thursday’s 20.3 miles.

I mean, my quads were a bit sore and my recovery run Friday morning was very slow, but all things considered I was up and moving and still agile. Although I may have to re-think going long on a work day, especially a clinic day, because I don’t think I ate enough Thursday night to compensate. Normally I’m not too hungry on long run days but at least on the weekends I can make myself small snacks. On a busy work day? Not so much. Bummer because I like being all hardcore and saying “I ran 20 before coming in today” hahah

I ended up doing a double on Friday, however, as part of the recovery of the long run.  According to my peeps over at RWOL in the Marathon Dailies, doubles are not only a good way to get the mile in (as if I needed help with that!) but “but also gets the blood flowing twice during the day thus speeding recovery”. So when the guy I’ve been running with texted asking if I was up for some easy miles after I got out of work I gladly said yes. Which I’m glad I did because my run post work was the same effort level but was ~60 seconds per minute FASTER than my early bird one.  Mental boost that my body is in shape and can bounce back from hard efforts.

Good thing because Saturday = Interval Day.

I was originally going to do some mile repeats but after reading what Jess did on Friday for her speed work I decided to copy her and do longer intervals.  Yet again, because I’m 99.99% sure I did the same thing last week with my Yasso workout.  She did 2 X 2 miles but she’s training for a half and suggested to me to do 2 X 3 miles for my marathon training. And according to another friend over at RW (who has a blog too: The Puerto Rican Kenyan):

I LOVE that type of workout [ 2 X 2 miles or 2 X 3 miles] for someone getting ready for either a HM or a full marathon. I fall along the camp that those running longer distances (HM and full) are best served by running longer intervals and threshold runs at HMP and MP, especially as you get closer to race day. By zeroing in a goal pace as the race approaches, you train your body to become more efficient at running at that pace. But since it doesn’t take a lot of time to accomplish that, these types of workouts are best done later in the training cycle rather than earlier. NACN

And with 35 (36?) days to go I figured it was good to give my body that type of training. BTW: Half marathon pace is currently 7:10 and GMP is 7:34 for the 3:18:08 time that McMillian thinks I can do.

I also mapped the “mile” route I did and it was .95mi.  Bummer, so it ended up being 2 X 2.85 (and all times below are PACES not what I saw on my watch.)

How’d it go?

  1. 6:45 : The time on my watch said 6:25 and I said “holy #$@%”. I always go out too fast! And even though the actual pace is slower, it still was my fastest repeat
  2. 7:03 : Yup.  I destroyed the chances of goodness
  3. 6:52: Maybe not

MILE RECOVERY: 8:48

  1. 6:52: Wow I wish I hadn’t taken that recovery mile. Hard to get back into fast!
  2. 6:54: Nooooooooooooo, I have one more?!
  3. 6:48: Holy $%$#.  (There were lots of curse words during this mile.  By this point the lactic acid was in full effect)

So I think it went well but it was hard! Like way hard.  By the end my legs were hurting from the effort.  Not pain but fatigue.

My average for the first “3” miles was VERY inconsistent but I kind of locked into a more steady pace for the second “3”.  It makes me a little nervous that the first set was bouncing around with the times but the paces were all around what McMillian calls my “tempo interval” pace (which based on my half time is 6:47-7:01) which is what this workout essentially was.

Confidence boosting? Yes and no. I do secretly (well I guess it’s not a secret if I’m blogging about it now) wish that the paces had been faster.  Even though I knew that the distance was likely off by a little and would affect the paces I was liking the fast numbers. And, in the end, the paces were faster than the HMP or GMP that I was thinking to be appropriate. So the paces weren’t half bad.

Gaaaah. I’m actually REALLY annoyed that the distance was off and am having a hard time getting over it.  I should have gone to the track, but in the end it’s best I didn’t.  Races (at least the ones I run in) aren’t on the track and it’s good for me to do fast stuff on rolling hills. But oh well that’s what I get for not having a garmin. I was going to ask for one for Christmas butttttt  I kind of want the airfare for WR more hahah.

I also took my VERY FIRST ICE BATH.  LIES.  My legs were tired and hurting after the workout so I knew that it was time to take the plunge.  And when I was half way to the store to buy ice I decided that I really didn’t want to do it anymore. So I walked back to my apartment and took a hot shower.

And, because I love Halloween (and celebrated with a costume dance party last night. Maybe that’s why the workout was hard? Hahah! Stay tuned for a few pictures of that as well as the Halloween cookies I made) here’s a theme picture. Because, who doesn’t like themes?! And pictures?

Thanks failblog, SODA DISPLAY WIN

 

First: GOOD LUCK RACERS. Go get ‘em!

As for me I did a lover-ly interval session.  I copied runjess’s workout from yesterday but used her suggestion of doing 2 X 3 miles.  It went well and it was hard! Like way hard.  I was likely going too fast.  And I just mapped the “mile” route I did and it was .95mi.  Bummer, so it ended up being 2 X 2.85. Annoying but then in means that my pace was a few seconds slower than I thought. My average for the first “3” miles was VERY inconsistent but I kind of locked into a more steady pace for the second “3”.

I’m actually REALLY annoyed that the distance was off.  Oh well that’s what I get for not having a garmin. I was going to ask for one for Christmas butttttt  I kind of want the airfare for WR more hahah

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