MarathonMaiden's Blog

December 24, 2010

A Little Bit of Green and Pumpkin.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:51

First: I LOVED your answers to the questions I posed on Wednesday. Hilarity.  You guys are the best

Second: Sadly I’m not talking about green money.  I wish. Nor am I talking about green pumpkins which is likely a good thing!  And I could be talking about the Celtics but, for once, I’m not (although WOOOOT to another win!)

I wasn’t planning on blogging today as I’ve been busy (but duh who isn’t this time of year with work and the holidays and everything) and every time I sit down to type about my runs it’s all the same really. Buttttt I had a kick ass run on Thursday.  So I’m sharing 😉

I got up on Thursday morning and saw…SNOW. Again.  It really stormed on Wednesday and I was hoping that it would have dissipated by Thursday. Nope. It was the big light fluffy stuff, not a blizzard or anything icky, and I am so glad that I ran.  Well duh I ran.  I did an elliptical session the day before.  No way I could make myself do two in a row.  But I’m actually happy that I ran because it was a really stellar one.

I’ve been shying away from posting my paces as I recover for a bunch of reasons, first and foremost being that my pace shouldn’t matter in the days and weeks post-marathon.  That and partly because I’ve been doing lots of slow running and I felt really jealous when seeing others doing fast stuff and I’m not.  Because I’m really competitive. Green eyed monster anyone?!

Only not so warm and fuzzy. Thanks google.

Granted slow is all relative but suffice it to say that in the weeks post-marathon my runs have ranged from the slowest run at just over 10:00 pace to the more recent 8:57 that I did on Tuesday.  I saw lots of 9:30ish paces in there and I did get some LMPs in but overall these runs have been much slower than what I’m used to. The trend is slowly getting faster with the same effort but still, I want to jump right back in!

I’m not going to lie and say that mentally I was okay with it the slower paces.  I went back and forth between being cool and not cool with it. Going from “yes this is what my body needs” to “ugh another slow splits?!”.  Don’t get me wrong: at the end of the day my life isn’t ruined by not running speedy during these runs. But it sometimes felt that way right after a run.  Which makes me feel awkward typing out this post. Especially since I’m saying this in order to set up how awesome my run on Thursday was and how sweet it felt.  It makes me feel a bit bratty.

After running the first loop well I decided to sneak a peak at my splits at each check point  (I did a 2.2 loop, my pathway (essentially 2 @ 2.2 for timing purposes), 1.1 loop)

  • 2.2 miles (19:13, 8:44 pace) Okay this could be a good run
  • 2.2 miles (18:47 minutes, 8:32 pace) Well there you go. Hope I don’t break something
  • 2.2 miles (18:05, 8:18 pace) Jeez think I can hold onto this for one more mile?
  • 1.1 miles (9:00, 8:10 pace) Holy S$#%, this is like PRE-MARATHON RUNNING

So 7.7 miles total in 65:05 which is a 8:27 pace.  If that isn’t beautiful I do not know what is.  I’ve been waiting for my legs to come around and give me those mid-8s that just felt like I wasn’t doing anything except having fun.  The only sad thing is that I ran out of time to capitalize on the fast pace and great feeling!  Of course the preventative stuff happened post-run (don’t want to jinx myself here) and I did W5D2 of pushups ( 19, 19, 22, 22, 18, 18, 22, 47 ) and situps ( 30, 30, 36, 27, 27, 33, 100 ) as well as the PT exercises, rolling, stretching.  The works.

I’m not going to consider myself fully recovered from the marathon — I think it’s good for me to still be on a break because I’ve *never* given myself an off season — but man, did this run feel good.  No aches, no pains, no nagging anything to suggest I ran a 3:09 marathon just 2.5 weeks ago. Not too much more to say on it because I feel the data just speaks for itself.  For once the numbers are in line with how I feel while running

Elite Boston Marathoners. Maybe not as good as this though 😉 Thanks google.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and / or weekend if you don’t celebrate! I’m going to try and blog but hey, it’s the holidays so I may not. Unless I have another stellar run like I did on Thursday! I’m hoping that some hometown runs do the trick. If fact, I’m off for one now. Happy Christmas Eve y’all!

But in case you’re feeling ambitious today I’ve decided to also share a recipe. Since it’s the holidays (and YAY for going home for the holiday. Aka no work — and more importantly no early bird wakeup Friday) I’ll share a recipe.  This one was probably more appropriate for Thanksgiving as it has pumpkin in it but I’m pretty sure that pumpkin is good for year round stuff. I mean I’m not a die-hard like some people but I’m not going to discriminate based on something as silly as month.  Case in point: I made it for the Celtics game last night.  I received no complaints.

And if not, well then, simply don’t make it. Like most of my recipes, this one came from a friend but when she gave it to me the recipe card said it was from “The Baking Pan” so I guess that’s where she got it. I didn’t actually look to see if it was still on their site but I’ve written down the directions per her. And I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that if you do find it, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is word for word the recipe on the site as I just copied and pasted her email hahah!

And yes I know there are lots of words that follow. So feel free to just look at the pictures.  Unless you try to make it.  Then I’d suggest reading the ingredients and directions 😉

Pumpkin Walnut Cake


Ingredients:

  • Small amount of vegetable shortening and flour for preparing pan

Cake:

  • 1 cup dark or golden raisins, plumped (or a combination of both)
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced crystallized ginger
  • ½ cup quartered red candied cherries
  • 3 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree or, one 15-ounce can of pumpkin.
  • 1¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups walnuts, coarsely chopped, 2 tablespoons reserved for the top

Orange Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest (about ½ orange)
  • 4 to 5 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice

This is so totally the bread that I mention below. Same recipe. But I felt I didn't a good picture to break up the text 😉

 

Directions:

Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one 10 inch cake pan and lightly grease it with shortening and dust with flour
  • Plump the raisins by steaming in a colander in a double boiler; steam the raisins about 1 minute or until softened. Thoroughly drain, or spread the raisins on paper toweling to dry. (in the interest of time we did not do this.  I’d imagine that the cake would have come out even tastier if we had)
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the drained raisins, ginger and cherries. Stir in 1 tablespoon of flour to keep the fruit from sticking together. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; whisk together to mix.  Set aside.
  • In a large bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs; beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer still on medium-high speed, slowly add the granulated sugar to the eggs, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking 3 to 4 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the eggs and sugar are fully incorporated, and the mixture looks light in color and thickened.
  • Add the brown sugar one tablespoon at a time, taking 3 to 4 minutes, and beating until the sugar is fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  • Reduce mixer speed to medium, add the pumpkin puree, and beat for 1 minute. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly pour the oil into the batter in a slow steady stream, and then beat for 1 minute longer.
  • Reduce mixer speed to medium-low, and blend in the flour mixture all at once, mixing just until incorporated.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a balloon type whisk or large rubber spatula, fold in all but 2 tablespoons of the walnuts, along with the raisins, ginger, and cherry mixture.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons reserved walnuts over the top. Bake 65 to 70 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Place pan on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then remove cake from the pan and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.

Orange Glaze:

  • In a small bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar and orange zest. Add 4 teaspoons orange juice and stir until smooth. Add additional teaspoon of orange juice if needed to make a good drizzling consistency. The glaze should be like a soft icing, but thin enough that it will run down over the sides of the cake
  • Drizzle glaze over the cake, allowing the glaze to drip down the sides.  Let the glaze set before serving.
  • ENJOY!

Close Up. Yum

And since this cake was such a big hit to the party I brought it too I decided to use the recipe and make it into a bread.  Minus the glaze because I wanted to take it into work for the doctors that volunteered Thursday night at the clinic. Kind of as a thank you for both being a volunteer as well as coming in the day before Christmas Eve. It was a bit tricky getting it made before work post-run but soooo totally worth it!

Everyone loved it as a bread too.

December 17, 2010

Question: What Kind of Coach Purse Does Jennifer Garner Have?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:06

Answer: I’m sorry to the person who used that google search term to get to my blog yesterday but I have no idea. Maybe Sarah (SkinnyRunner) does? 😉

My Thursday was CRAZY busy. Both with work stuff and life stuff. But, and this must be some sort of Christmas miracle, I got everything I wanted to get done yesterday done. It was a bit stressful but nothing that a couple of deep breaths and one GIANT cookie that got mailed to me from a really great friend couldn’t cure.

No pictures out of the baggie because I knew it was going to be so good that I wouldn't be able to put it down. It lived up to those expectations.

And yes, those are both candy bits *and* CCs. I feel so loved. And it was seriously as thick as my finger. HEAVEN.

Workout wise Thursday was PDG (pretty damn good). Before work I completed an 8.2 miler that was, well, rockin’. Granted I say that with the mindset of marathon recovery: the pace was still slow but it was MUCH faster than any run post WR. I checked my watch at the half way point and thought NO WAY was I running that fast. But I was. I didn’t have a LMP but I did have a second-to-last mile party. Then I slowed down a bit for the last mile with a slight surge over the last block before getting to my door. I’m telling myself that it was the warm down 😉 So while I still have a long way to go before I can consider myself recovered I was quite encouraged by this run. The run was also without hip/IT/pirformis/whatever the heck it is pain. Another encouraging thing.

Lots of pushups (25, 29, 25, 25, 37) and situps ( 38, 45, 38, 38, 55) from W4D2 as well as PT hip exercises followed that run and almost made me late to work. Maybe that’s why I felt really rushed at the clinic? Besides the fact that I wanted / NEEDED to get those exercises in I was also running late because I mailed the first batch of Christmas cards out. Yes that’s right: FIRST BATCH. You see, what typically happens is that I mail my initial 15-20 cards out and then inevitably forget a bunch of people. So I know I’ll be mailing another 5-10 out this weekend. But I’m such a good friend so it’s all good.

Like these guys: (All I know is that, based on the C’s vs. Knicks game on Wednesday night, NY cannot handle THE TRUTH)

So much amazingness going on here. Well that was Wednesday. And by golly it was the perfect thing to come home to after work.

This morning (Friday) I awoke eaaaaaaaaaaaaaarly. Okay so it was 0545. But when I get up at 0800 on Tues/Thurs it makes the 0545 alarm so much more painful. It was obviously to run (sorry Jess for the lack of willpower to XT! But you ditched me Tuesday 😉 ). It was cold (duh) but I felt like I was appropriately dressed and never felt cold on the run. Success. The run itself was a quasi-success. It totally was NOT as great as my run Thursday in terms of both pace and feeling in the leg. I’m blaming it on the fact that I ran out of time to roll post-workout and then was too lazy to stretch or roll post-work. So I’d gone 48 hours of not treating the leg-o with some TLC.

That said, the run didn’t suck at all. And it was probably the second fastest run post-WR. Which says a lot because it was an early run and my paces typically aren’t the most stellar at 0600. So another encouraging thing-a-ma-bob. I even got a LMP out of the run. I had only planned on running 6 but decided to tack on one more, because today is Friday and after some changes at work (sadly nothing scandalous) I have a new supervisor who doesn’t work Fridays. So I had those extra minutes to spend running. Should I have spent them rolling and stretching and PT-ing? Highly likely but I did spend 30 minutes doing that stuff so, again, it’s all good.

Anyway…something that ISN’T right  or good is the following picture. I’m all for holiday spirit and all (and I’m getting into it myself in my own way) and I thoroughly enjoy driving around the neighborhoods that put all fancy and creative lights up. But I’m very thankful that this person is not my neighbor.

Check out the giveaway from Tricia (Endurance isn’t Only Physical) and Running and Rambling and Amanda (Run to the Finish)

December 15, 2010

So It’s Not Tuna…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:48

I like that you liked my truths post.  I encourage y’all to do it (even though I know lots of you already have and I’m late to the game!) Apparently lots of you were shocked that I eat lots of tuna.  But let’s face it: I am beyond poor (just google AmeriCorps VISTA stipend!) and beyond lazy, so tuna shows up a lot.  I’ll gladly let some of you come and cook for me however 😉

In my defense I have posted some of my better meals (like chilis and pasta salads etc).  Sadly (?) this is not one of them.  Because it’s dessert.  I should have spent my energy on my dinner (and then redeemed my quite possible lame-cooking status) but I was focused on the after-dinner part.  For the record: I baked chicken in italian dressing with a baked potato and beans.  Not picture worthy though and definitely not tuna!

But this baby is totally picture worthy:

Mmmmmmmmmm slice of goodness

It’s a pineapple cake.  Not a pineapple upside down cake.  But a pineapple one.  C’mon I’m lazy remember? I got the recipe from a friend but I’m pretty sure she got it off of Food.com or AllRecipes.com.

“Wicked Simple Pineapple Cake”

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice

Directions to make this beauty

Cake:

  1. Combine flour, sugar, vanilla, baking soda.
  2. Gently mix in undrained can of crushed pineapple. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the pineapple juice to use in the glaze.
  3. Pour into greased and floured 9×13 pan.
  4. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until center is set. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Glaze/Frosting:

  1. In a separate bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla, pineapple juice, and milk. Add more milk if the mixture is too thick. It should be a little runny.
  2. Pour glaze over hot cake.

AND ENJOY

Like I clearly did because I forgot to get a good entire cake shot BEFORE we dug in. Oops.

As far as my running stuff goes…

I finally broke out the tights as the feels like temp was 3*.  Sure it was really 16* (and actually when the wind blew I felt a bit overdressed) but I figured that tight muscles are part of the issue with my leg and so I’d rather avoid making them scrunch up more and not being able to fully extend/hurt when I do.

That said, my leg didn’t bother me during the entirety of the ~6 mile run.  Maybe I didn’t go far enough (6 miles has been the threshold so far), maybe it was the XT yesterday, maybe it was the PT/rolling/stretching yesterday or maybe it was me visualizing my hip muscles to relax while running (corny yes but the more I think about how tight they are the worse they seem to get!) as well. Who knows but the run felt good and, despite it being ridiculously slow by my usual standards, it was faster than oodless of my runs as of late.  Ahhhhh recovery ; )

After the run I ran the risk of being WAY late to work to spend lots and lots of time babying: rolling (which felt amazing yet painful), stretching (which felt great too) and doing the PT exercises (which, like yesterday, made me realize how weak my hip muscles are!).

I also saw the volunteer podiatrist on Tuesday during clinic. Mostly to thank him for the socks recommendation because I used the new socks during the marathon and my feet ended up with NO BLISTERS during the race.  I also wanted to show him a callus that formed on my big toe because, unlike most calluses, this one HURT.  Or at least whenever it rubbed up against something.  So he removed part of it and now? No pain.  Apparently my big toe joint doesn’t have the greatest range of motion because I’m a runner and I’ve developed a pinch-callus.  Luckily they take a really long time to grow back so I’m good to go.  I love having a podiatrist who is good with working WITH athletes rather than just telling them to stop doing what they love.  This guy is the MAN.

Maybe I should have showed my appreciation through cake hahah!

December 13, 2010

Ibuprofen Is My Drug of Choice At The Moment

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:36

…but only because I can’t afford anything stronger 😉

Whew.  Busy weekend much? I didn’t do anything terribly exciting.  After a whirlwind weekend last weekend (which I can’t believe that it’s been a week plus since I ran my race! and wrote two recaps for — the first link is the original and the second is the splits (which I’m glad you like!) with a few pics that I put up yesterday– and I even eluded to a 3rd if I can figure out how to steal the race photos hahah) a chill weekend was just what I needed.

I could go into all the details of what I did but the non-running highlights were:

  • Going to the theater (fo’ free again) to see Vieux Carre, in 15* weather and then walking home is a very light flurry.  It was pretty and it was also fun to see the snowflakes smash themselves into the ground.  This snow was okay because it was only a dusting and definitely did not stick or accumulate.
  • Walked to downtown and around downtown for 5 hours searching for Christmas stuff in amazing 45* weather!

  • Got annoyed because I came away from that trip feeling empty handed (even though I didn’t actually)
  • Made Christmas cards while watching Sweeney Todd

I should clarify that my making Christmas cards is to buy already made ones and then draw simple pictures and write really long personal notes inside of them ( I tend to send cards to people I don’t physically see that often or on a regular basis so the notes can get long if I’m not careful).  I am no Martha Stewart, as much as I want to be.

And there was actual running.  Because, a week out of marathon racing is the time that recovery ends. Or so I used to think. I’ve found that the above statement is likely wrong in my case with this particular marathon as, I’ve said it before, this is the first marathon that I’ve really RACED HARD.  As Jess told me in one of her comments: “Unfortunately, recovery is more than just muscle soreness going away. Annoying, I know.”

thanks google images

So I’m actually happy that I’ve run less than I did the past week (and even the least amount since back in August!).  I mean, duh, I don’t really like it (not do I like the fact that my pace has taken a hit post-WR) but it’s kind of what I need to do. While the soreness of my muscles is long gone, the really intense race obviously did more physical damage than just soreness: all my tendons and ligaments and CELLS were pushed to the limit. Even if I can’t feel or see it, I need to respect it.

I still have a bit of a twinge in my pirformis/IT band/knee/ whatever the heck it is.  I probably tried to jump into running too soon in terms of days post-race.  But keeping the mileage down has been great overall. Especially mentally. Post-WR I can’t imagine how I was able to run speed work or LR or run more than 6-7 miles at a time really! Guess the effort took a lot out of me (and you can click one of those recap links to see just how hard I was running!).  But I’m slowly getting back to feeling good and taking care of myself (if I can nip this leg issue in the bud).  And at the moment that means *NOT* logging the mega miles that everyone knows me for 😉

Feeling good was the case on Saturday when I ran 9.3 in STUNNING WEATHER.  In contrast to the 10* of Friday morning it was nearly 45* when I hit the streets. I was only planning on 8 but literally ran into my running buddy on my good old pathway.  His words when he caught up to me: “I thought it was you but then I thought ‘Nah she’s running so much slower than the last time I saw her’” HAH! It was fun to tell him about WR and the more I talk about it, especially with runners who “get it” the more I feel like I own it. My pace definitely picked up a bit over the miles I ran with him but when we parted and I had to stop at a set of lights my leg tightened up a bit a I cursed my hubris for tacking on that extra mile.

Sunday and Monday brought runs that were similar in nature: waking up with no leg issue and good for the first 5-6 miles before the pirformis/IT/knee/whatever the heck it is started telling me to stop.  On Sunday it acted up at a stoplight again while trying to start back up. The only really annoying part was that it was raining by the time this happened so I really didn’t want to stop and walk.  I was a bit smarter on Monday (today) as I planned my route to end when the leg irritation starts with the option of shorter loops close to my apartment if I was feeling good.  In the end I didn’t use the extra loops.  Not because of my leg but because I told myself that to tempt fate was silly.

And ending a run without pain was more important than mileage, well minimal pain because I could feel that if I ran any further then it would be real pain. Annoying because the weather was WARM (49*) but learning curve? Yes please

 

I definitely bump around a lot on my running career path. Hopefully my trend is up too 🙂 Thanks google images

Plus I’ve been talking to (and trying to listen I swear!) lots of runners, smarter and more experienced than I, and the gist is to baby is:aka ice, less miles and more XT (I’m trying to “borrow” my roomie’s ID so I can get into the university gym as she’s a student), ibuprofen, rolling, stretching and a new thing: sitting on a tennis ball while at work! And I’ll trust them 🙂

Sorry to be so boring.  Major changes at work + marathon recovery = nothing exciting to write about. And running-wise it likely won’t get much more exciting as I’m facing the idea of going extra EXTRA easy with this twinge, although I’ve been talking with friends (who are runners) and I’ve been hearing some encouraging things about the future.  But, like I mentioned last week, I’m still trying to enjoy the moment right now post WR.  So I’ll let these thoughts sit on the back burner for a bit.

That said, I’m hoping to put together some funner posts for later this week (which include my “truths” that Lacey might have told you to heckle me about and maybe a recipe if I can get my act together 😉 ) as I know that on the running front what I’m going to be: short slow recovery run.  Because, well maybe I could push a little harder to make a post exciting, I don’t really want to. In all likelihood that excitement would be a trip to the ER or something!

But to give you something to listen too and bop around: this song is in my head RIGHT NOW and totally has been all weekend.  It’s one of those songs that the radio station plays non-stop (I’ll end up posting the others later this week because I’m sure they’ll be in my head!).

Check out the giveaway from 26.2 is my cooldown

December 10, 2010

Shots Shots Shots Shots

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:46

EVERYBODY

I’m still recovering from WR. Duh.  The recovery process appears to be going all well and good.  Which is excellent.  But boring for posting.

Therefore I decided to share something that I collect.  Because everyone collects something right? My mom collects thimbles for example.  Me? I’m a little more hardcore.  As you probably can tell from the title of this post, I collect shotglasses.

My line of shot glasses. I have more but they're all about my room and this is my shelf

It might be hard to tell in the above picture but I recently got an addition to the collection:

TEXAS! Next to my finisher medal. Duh. And while I want out of New England, Fenway will always be a sight for sore eyes ❤

I don’t have any close ups on my others but here’s the dedicated shelf on my bookcase up close:

Seattle, Williams College, Brad Paisley, Montana, Texas

And the other half (with my Little Black Book of Cocktails):

Wheaton College, Egg!, Philly, Whiskey (making driving exciting since 1903), Utah, Cape Cod

I don’t think I mentioned this before but I’m doing Jill’s blogging exchange.  So whoever has me….well you (and everyone here) now knows that I collect shot glasses. Think about it 😉

Anyone collect anything unusual? Or cool?

But since this is a running blog I should mention my run and current state of WR recovery.  Lest you think all I do is draaaaaaaaaaaank.

The tightness I complained about in my right leg yesterday was still there for most of the whole day.  I took any opportunity I could to stretch at work and then foam rolled again once I got home from work. And I also brought a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread into my room so I didn’t have to get up when I got hungry.  And a plate so I didn’t get crumbs everywhere.  Wednesday’s night of me not wanting to get up but being hungry was no bueno.

When I got up at the ungodly hour of 0545, compared to the sleeping in of 0800 the past few days!, it was freezing.  I checked the weather last night (bad MM!) and it was supposed to be 16* with a feels like 8*.  Ick.  But that predicted forecast was actually better than it really was (at least at 0745, I don’t even want to know what it was at 6 before the sun came up and when I started my run: 10*, feels like 10*.  And I still haven’t broken out the tights.  Yes I’m crazy.

I know I said yesterday that I feel like I’m recovering well. And that’s true: no sore or achy muscles anywhere. I can even walk down stairs 100% pain free! With that said, it was probably a mistake to run, the tightness that I complained about yesterday in my right leg…well it hasn’t gone away at all.  The pace of this run was ridiculously slow, and I suspect the cold weather isn’t helping with either my pace or my leg.  The pain starts deep in my hip/glute area and then I can feel it right behind the knee cap.  I’m thinking that it has something to do with my IT band and / or pirformis but I’ve never had this area be annoying before so I don’t really know.  And my IT band itself doesn’t hurt. Oh well.  Luckily I’m not in training for anything so I can take this weekend to foam roll, ice, stretch and use a tennis ball to try and make my leg feel better. I’m not worried at all as I’m taking December to make sure I’m fully recovered to tackled Boston.  No real rush yet.

In happier news I got to email the Boston peeps to tell them that I have a WAY faster qualifying time.  Hizzah!

Also hizzah is that WR emailed me the link to my race pictures and, not only were there a lot of them (the camera must love my face), most of them were pretty good.  I haven’t yet figured out how to get them fo’ free so if anyone has any tips for getting Sport Photo, Inc ones then let me know and I can share with the world.  Instead here’s another show Liz snapped post race

Had to share because I'm still on a high. As I rightfully should be 🙂

I’m also really looking forward to this weekend.  It’s sad that it’s already been a week since I got on my flight to Texas! I want to hop on another plane for a warm-destination trip! But I definitely can use some R&R.  It’ll be weird not to do a morning speed session followed by an easy 3 or 4 recovery (and with the tightness in my leg going on it’s obviously best to not do anything harsh or beyond easy) but I think I know what to do with my time.

With 15 days until Christmas I am itching to get started (and maybe finish?) making my Christmas cards. I started the tradition during college to battle the stress of finals and decided to continue it this year.  Mostly because not being in school means no homework which means free time on the weekends.  And now that I’m not in training…

Well I’m sure that I can squander away my time.  But doing the cards will be really fun.  And I know that my peeps will like them because I am in no way artistic.  So, at the very least, I’m giving them a hearty laugh for Christmas. Hollller.

Check out the giveaway from Tricia (Endurance isn’t Only Physical)

[Edit: the staircase the my post the other day was Titanic.  I forgot to mention it again. ]

December 9, 2010

Chilllllllllli

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

AKA it’s chilly outside. For real. With no intent of getting warmer.

Amy told me that I should do some baking.  And I have been and will be.  But first I wanted to share a real meal that I did considering the last “I made something” post was apple cinnamon muffins. I have some recipes that I want to try out so all in good time my pretty, all in good time. I have lots of goodies to share!

Lindsay asked me “what’s up with you being in the kitchen all the time? sheesh. tryin’ to find a boyfriend or something?”. Hahahah. Ummmm I work at a clinic with volunteer med students and volunteer doctors.  What do you think? 😉

Therefore I combined both a warm meal with trying to land a date with a doctor in one night.  Multi-tasking at it’s finest? In any case the chili recipe that follows is a made-up recipe.   I just kind of realized that A LOT of the cooking and baking stuff I do is recipe free.  I suppose it’s because, if I fail miserably, then I have a reason: I didn’t have any directions to follow hahah!

Chili ( to be eaten with tortilla chips. Duh. And rice, although I just used Minute white rice so no picture or recipe of that because I’m sure y’all can read a box hahah!) This is veggie friendly but if you wanted to add meat you totally could.

And eh picture while it was simmering

Ingredients:

  • 2 large peppers, one green and one red (*cough*christmasspirit*cough*) and one yellow because I needed more veggies
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 large celery stalks
  • 1 large can of stewed tomatoes ~30 oz
  • 2 cans of beans, one kidney and one black ~30 oz ( I threw out the can before I looked at the exact size and I used the jumbo sizes of cans to make up for the lack of meat and to balance out the large can of tomatoes)
  • jalapenos
  • brown sugar (unknown amount. I just threw it in until it tasted right)
  • salt and peper
  • water

Directions:

  • Chop up the onions, celery, peppers and jalapenos (I chopped them up not-so-finely so they were big pieces.  There’s apparently a technique or method to chop onions so you don’t cry.  While I knew this at the time I couldn’t for the life of me remember so I was crying.)
  • In a large pot add the stewed tomatoes and beans and water and bring to a boil

Large friggin pot

  • Add the veggies and beans after the pot is boiling
  • Add the brown sugar and salt and pepper and then turn the heat down to low or medium and let simmer for maybe 10-15 minutes
  • Transfer to a crock pot to keep warm until you’re ready to eat it or eat it straight up
  • ENJOY

I don’t actually know if this is really a chili because there’s no chili powder, although there is jalapeno in there.  I’m not a real foodie or anything so I don’t know if that counts.  And I know that picture doesn’t make it look too good. But it was. And it was hearty which is also good because I am still famished post-WR. That’s all that counts.

In terms of running / recovering I got a good 6 miler in.  I foam rolled the living bejeezus out of my legs last night after getting home from work (HELLO EARLY NIGHT!) and actually got to stretch as well.  And then lay in bed with a book in my hand but not reading because I was hungry (again) and didn’t want to get out from my warm covers to get something to eat.  I need a snack bag next to my bed.

The run itself was, well, cold but what else is new.  I’ve actually stopped looking at the predicted forecast because it’s just depressing. But I did check when I got back and it was 19* outside and it felt like 8*.  Needless to say I still was in shorts, as I keep resisting breaking out the winter gear because once I do that it’s really winter and I’m not cool with that. I did have on two tops, earmuffs and my snowplow gloves though. 

Jess, jokingly I think, suggested I go out for the Austin marathon in February and it’s very tempting to have another trip of getting out of here this winter.

But I digress.

Like I said the run was okay.  I’m keeping with my theme of basking in the glow and going easy. I got tired by the end but that’s sort of to be expected because today’s run was a bit overzealous! I tried to go further today because I woke up with NO SORENESS.  As soon as I tried to walk down the steps outside my quads let me know they were still there though. And all the mini downhills (I’m trying to stay on the flattest route I have) told me the same. As did the pace: slow and steady.  It was the exact same pace as the past two runs; nice because I increased my distance today.

I’m having some tightness in my right leg, right behind the kneecap (maybe my hammy? it’s the lower part of the kneecap though) that popped up during the last mile or so.  Likely from the cold but I’m going to have to stretch out all day today.

But I’m encouraged that I’m feeling on the way to recovered. So much so that I really want to think about what’s next hah! This is so weird because after my first two marathons I vowed “never again”

I also did pushups (20, 25, 15, 15, 26) and situps (30, 38, 23, 23, 40). If you noticed this is a step back from what I’ve done lately.  I decided to go back and re-do weeks 3 and 4 because, with the travel over the weekend, I didn’t get to finish week 4 and just felt like I needed an extra week of numero tres.  On Tuesday I did W3D1 and today was W3D2.

And SUAR posted this last night and I have to copy it because tears were steaming down my face while watching it.

It was 19* outside at 0800 and it felt like 8*.  Needless to say I still was in shorts as I keep resisting breaking out the winter gear because once I do that it’s really winter and I’m not cool with that. I did have on two tops, earmuffs and my snowplow gloves though.

December 8, 2010

I’m Looking Like A Star. You Can’t Stop My Shine

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

Wow.  Just wow.  I am in love with the outpouring of love from y’all on my Dallas WR Marathon race report (ummmm yes shameless plug but it’s my blog and I do what I want 😉 ).  You guys seem just as excited as me. And I love that and the running/blogging community. ❤

I was going to do a “now what?” kind of post because I’m sure that it’s on your minds.  And it’s been in the back of my head too.  But I’m not allowing those thoughts to come to the front.  I never take the time to live in the moment. I’m always chasing the next thing and not enjoying what I’ve just done. So I can feel them tickling my brain but I’m not focusing on them.

You might ask yourself why.  And it’s because I just had a kick ass year.  I smashed my previous PRs in every race (all of which were done post-Labor Day).  And every race I ran was a PR going through the year month-by-month.  Capped off with the aforementioned race on Sunday.  Obviously everyone knows the next big race I’m doing is Boston (or at least committed to doing because I’m already registered) but goals? training? things I want to accomplish?

I have idea but I’ll think about them later because right now it’s time to revel and relax and act like the star that I’m going to be until this feeling wears off

Dedicated to the 96% of the men I finished in front of 8)

Needless to say I’m recovering now and not training at the moment so I guess this post will be how I’m reacting post-race. Mostly physically because, like I said, I’m still grappling mentally with how well I ran and am still basking in the post-amazing-race glow. And this may get lengthy because I want to do it all in one shot of a post.

On Tuesday I went out for what my dear friend tbm calls a “systems check” run.  Kind of a way to see what is true pain and what is just hey-I-dominated pain. It went well.  Quad and groin and hips soreness for sure but no pain or anything like that.  AKA I’m not injured.

I did the same Wednesday morning and actually ran the exact same route in the exact same time.  In the exact same temperature and wore pretty much the exact same outfit: shorts and a long sleeve.  I did break out the heavy duty gloves because it was ~24* and I figure that it’s December and, while the temps will likely keep dropping until Spring, I can give my hands a break here and not give them frostbite.

While I have been giving my hands a break the past few days, I haven’t for my legs/feet. And no, I’m not talking about the running. I may or may not have been wearing my heels this week.  In all honestly my FEET do not hurt.  I got ZERO blisters this race.  I’m crediting the fact that I took the podiatrist’s advice and bought the “silly” socks (and by silly I mean expensive polypropylene socks) and wore them during the race.  My feet feel amazing, although when my favorite podiatrist comes in next week I’m going to see him again. And I figure I can walk in my heels with no pain so why not? I mean, I work with cute medical students and doctors 😉

So my feet feel good.  And my muscles are sore.  Go figure right? I just ran a marathon.  But my pride refuses to let me take the elevator or walk down the stairs backwards.  While I said in my RR that I felt more sore post-Boston I have to amend that and say POST-RACE I was more sore at Boston but I’m feeling more sore in the days that follow now.  I mean, I can hobble down the stairs and not be cussing, but it isn’t fun.

Not my friend. (although bonus points if someone recognizes the pic)

Those stairs are in contrast to my new best friend which has been beer. Obviously I haven’t been drinking like a fish over these past few days but I have been enjoying a beer post-work. And on an alcohol related note: I did have a margarita while in Texas.  When in Rome, no? Immediately regretted it as my big margarita night is still too fresh hahah.

Also not fun is how famished I’ve been post-race.  Like, I know I ran 26.2 miles so, duh, I should be hungrier but I’ve NEVER had this extreme amount of hunger post-any race I’ve done.  Since I crossed that finish line I feel like I’ve been a bottomless pit.Not that I’m truly complaining (although my food bill certainly is) but it’s not fun being hungry All. The. Time.

My sleeping post-WR has been erratic.  I didn’t really sleep well on Sunday or Monday nights.  Not because of anything specific but rather that my body just wasn’t tired or sleepy.  I did get lots of time just laying around and keeping off my feet but actual sleep eluded me. Tuesday night it was a different story and I slept HARD.  I was groggy when my alarm jarred me out of bed.  It’s been awhile since my alarm has woken me up on a day I get to go into work late and I really can’t say that I enjoy it.  I’m hoping for more deep sleep the rest of the week and headed into the weekend.

So I think that wraps up today’s post? Oops to the length, I figured that since I’m out of training right now it’d be brief.

In short: I think I’m recovering fine from WR.  Granted this is the first marathon that I’ve actually felt the need to recover from even though I don’t really know how to do this hahah. My first was a pretty easy effort and for my second I was injured, so I was recovering from that and not really the race itself.  We’ll see how the rest of the week goes and, once I’m off the high that is post-WR, I’ll start to let those “what next” thoughts take form.

Oh yeah, this is my 500th post. Crazy 8)

Check out the giveaway from Linds

November 15, 2010

Recovering From The Weekend. A Case of the Too-Much.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:51

Happy Monday y’all! Hope your weekend was as great as mine: too much running, dancing, drinking, eating and having fun 🙂

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, both here and FB.  Yesterday was definitely the best birthday I’ve EVER had.

After I hit publish yesterday I got an amazing birthday run in.  The temps were ultimate fall and the sun was shining.  My legs even felt surprisingly springy considering the weekend’s activities of long runs and celebrating the day I blessed the world with my presence.

I ended up running while the sun was low in the sky, not quite dusk but it felt way late.  In reality it was only 13 or 1400 but it felt way later.  Definitely different from watching the sun RISE every other day.

It was an interesting run because I had been driven home by my friends from Boston and lots of coffee was drunk along the ride.  It’s not even that far of a drive! So while the run was great, it was frequented by a couple of stops.  I can now tell you the friendliest and unfriendliest places to ask to use the restroom now.  Which is never an useless thing I suppose.

After the run my roomie took me out to dinner at Red Stripe which is an American/French restaurant in Providence.  I ate the Red Stripe Grilled Cheese and it was amazing. I’m going to pretend, however, that massive amounts of butter are actually GOOD for your arteries when it’s your birthday.  I’m definitely not shy with my butter usage but my fancy grilled cheese was quite buttery.  And amazing. Sadly there are no leftovers for lunch today.

It was a lot of fun to dress up for another night and go out to dinner.  On a VISTA budget I never go out to eat.  No pictures because, well, I’m not a food blogger so I never carry my camera around like that.  Normally I wouldn’t even mention going out to dinner on the blog but it was just the ultimate way to end my birthday: A nice relaxing good meal.

As was the fact that the Patriots won.

Thanks Boston Globe Sports

❤ my Pats

My Monday started with my alarm going off at 0500 (funny tangent: 0500 was the time I went to bed Saturd well I guess it was Sunday morning at this point, and my thought was “Gee this is what time I’m waking up on Monday.  Oops”) and, well, let’s just say that I ate A LOT of dinner the night before.  AK A I’m typing this at noon and have yet to actually be hungry today. No GI distress or anything (surprisingly) but it was weird to be running while still full.  Normally I’m decently hungry when I get up in the mornings.

In any case all the running and dancing from this weekend took its toll on my legs and this morning I was feeling a bit achy. It was a pretty intense weekend after all. And my body in general was tired, as when my alarm went off I kept hitting snooze.  Although when it went off I woke up with a start and had no idea where I was.

I tried to get an easy run in but, even after cutting the planned distance short before leaving my apartment, I also cut it short once I started.  My pace was so slow, even taking into account the achyness that I figured it wasn’t worth it to keep going. So I still got a run in just not as far as I wanted.

At this point I’m beginning the taper process I guess. I still don’t know what that means as this is only my third marathon and my last marathon I was injured so my last 4 weeks of training/tapering were all screwy.  And I’m still weighing the pros vs cons of taking this week as hard/intense.  I definitely think this past week will be my highest mileage week but I’m still at a loss of what workouts to do this week and beyond.  I’m thinking:

  • Tuesday: tempo of ~5.5 miles @ 7-7:15 pace (I’ve given up targeting GMP)
  • Thursday: lr of 17-18 miles
  • Saturday: yasso 800s

Then the following week (which will be T-2 weeks!) I’ll do:

  • Two tempo/GMP runs
  • Long run of 15

Then it’ll be race week.  And that will be maybe a fartlek or something just to get turnover. Thoughts on my taper plan? My mindset is always GO GO GO so it may be too much.

Hmmmm musings this morning while I was running and foam rolling as I also used some of my usual running time to get in some roller love. My hips and glutes are the most achy and it felt good to get in there and mash up my muscles and tendons.  An actual massage would have been nice (even better from a hot male) but I’ll take what I can get.

Now I’m just hoping to make it through Monday without getting sore.  But, after having a really good weekend (seriously really really great) today isn’t that bad.  I even treated myself to DD this morning.  Simple pleasures.

Which is what this comic is.  It’s actually my favorite and I was so sad when it went to Sunday only but then my bro bought me a book of them so it was all good.  But here’s one from a few weeks ago.  It combines running AND football.  Amazing.

November 10, 2010

Answers for my Feet, among other things

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:53

On Tuesday night the podiatrist volunteer was in the clinic and I had him check out my feet.  If you recall at the very end of August I got another toe infection and my PCP suggested I see a podiatrist.  Well due to lack of time and money I didn’t.  So when the podiatrist showed up I jumped at the chance to see him as “the last patient” and get his input on my feet.

Thanks google images because while I do have pictures of my icky toes from hospitalizations past butttttt I'll spare you. And don't think I'm a creeper for taking them: I was TOLD to my the doctors so that I could have a visual to compare to see if they were getting better hahah.

The long and short of the “appointment” and his opinion was that I run in cotton socks which, duh, hold moisture and also cling to my feet causing micro-abrasions on the toes which then get infected because I’m not aware of them and thus do not bacitracin them.  Since I’ve really only had this problem since becoming a marathon runner he thinks that the more intense pounding is just a lot of my toe-sies.

Anyway the podiatrist’s suggestion was/is to buy polypropylene socks to wear.  Especially during the hard workouts / during the marathon itself.  He did remove two toenails that were icky.  Nothing wrong with them but they were hurting me and he didn’t want them to cause me pain.  An angel I tell you!

He was AMAZINGLY nice and told me to call him if I ever had any questions or if the socks didn’t do anything.  Like for free. God’s gift to the Earth? For real.

Since he didn’t say anything about not running (In fact when he told me I could call him whenever he said that he had lots of runners in his practice so he knew how to keep us on out there!) I felt good going out for my recovery run from the tempo I did yesterday. Which I’m still smiling from all the nice comments from you guys.  Again, I know that the workout was good and something to draw from.  But, like the mile repeats over the weekend, it wasn’t how I envisioned the workout going.  I felt slightly like a loose cannon during the later part.  Not cool calm collect and in control like I wanted.

Thanks again google images. And a physics connection too! My lucky day

Anyway….back to today.  Ever since the time change over the weekend I’ve been sleeping sooooooo much.  I honestly don’t know what’s up with that.  On one hand I know I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth butttt I never sleep as much as I have been the past few days.  Partly it’s because T/W/R this week are clinic so I don’t have to get up at 0500 but still: I’ve been falling asleep immediately and waking up to my alarm.  Plus we’re talking about ~9 hours a night. Sheesh.  Time change affecting me much? Normally I only get affected in the Spring when we spring forward!

I’m sure the extra sleep is aiding in my training, and running in general. Or at least making me focused to do what needs to be done.  AKA a nice “chilly” recovery run for me this morning. I think it only felt cold because it was cloudy and overcast and a bit misty as well as WINDY. I ran across a bridge / the canal and I honestly thought I was going to get blown into traffic.  No bueno.  But overall I got a solid run in.  It felt faster than it actually was but it was within the range I am for on recovery runs.  Not sure if that’s a good thing or not but since I wasn’t pushing the pace or out of breath I’m going to take it as a good thing.

Doubly so because my tempo yesterday was fast and my legs were tight all yesterday at work.  But no soreness in my legs this morning? I’ll take that thank you very much.  I could do without the arm soreness from those pushups from yesterday.  Whoops to not doing strength in forever.

It was also a creepy run when I was running along the river trail.  The leaves have pretty much disappeared from the trees and the dreary weather made it look like the environment was stripped of color.  Pretty freaking creepy indeed.  I actually got a little paranoid running too which *rarely* happens, especially in an area I’ve run so much and know so well.

 

Google Image #3 today

But all in all I’ve been very pleased with all my runs in this “cycle”. I can’t believe that the race is soooo soon AND it’s almost time for taper.  Weird.  But that’s what you get when you sign up and decide to run a marathon with 5 weeks to go!  In many ways I think that I’ve been so pleased because (and I don’t know if I’ve written it hear or just talked about it with a few of you via email and whatnot) I haven’t had the ~11 weeks of mental (as well as physical) beatings that I can give myself over a long training cycle and end up feeling burnt out.  I’ll likely feel slightly underprepared when stepping up to the starting line but not injured or hurt.  *knockonwood*

I have a hills (or tempo interval) workout tmrw because I’m doing what could quite possibly be my last 20 (and likely should be) this weekend with a friend.  Crazy.  Then it’s T-3 weeks.  Next week I expect to be intense but slightly cut back in terms of miles then a steep 2 week taper.

Then GAME TIME.

November 5, 2010

Icky Run but There’s Soup!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:17

Like Wednesday, the day after my tempo quality workout, today brought about not dead/sore/awful legs.  My quads and hips felt the effort of going for 20+ miles, and the last few really fast!, but moving about still feels fine today.  I guess my body is quick to adapt.

Still my recovery run was slooooooooooooooow.  I didn’t get much sleep last night as I think I picked up a bug from a friend. My stomach had been acting up during clinic last night but I just thought it  was being finicky after my long run yesterday (it tends to do that) and I figured I also hadn’t eaten enough.   I tried to eat some saltines and drink some ginger ale but I think it was too little too late.  I’m not going to say I was up all night as I’m pretty sure that I got some sleep but it wasn’t pretty.

That said, since I was awake when my alarm was supposed to go off I did get in my aforementioned recovery run. I actually got pretty far into it until my stomach started giving me problems again.  I still ended up with 10 as I don’t feel sickly or anything.

Anyway.  I’m sure I could on and on about my stomach woes but that wouldn’t be a fun read.  So I’m going to talk about a soup a friend and I made on Wednesday after a long day at work.  Not cookies? Maybe I’m becoming a real adult…scary.

Oh, because I can’t go a post without mentioning the weather: it was almost 60* at 0445 this morning! Mother Nature needs to make up her mind, one way or the other. I’d prefer the warm temps though 🙂

That said, today is a day where the temp is supposed to plummet all day so this soup might be making a repeat appearance tonight or over the weekend.

Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 3 large carrots, sliced thin (this equaled about 1.5 cups)
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin (The recipe called for 2 lbs of potatoes so we guesstimated with the 3)
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (you can add more if you want a thinner soup)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 15.5 oz can of low sodium white beans OR cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper
  • .5 cups chopped pecans (optional. We left this on the side for the people to put on if they wanted)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a kettle over medium high heat
  2. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and salt & pepper to the oil and allow the mixture to cook until the vegetables are softened.  Stir frequently
  3. Add the sweet potatoes, broth, cinnamon stick, bean and water.  Cover the mixture and allow to simmer, allowing to cook until the potatoes are tender (this was about 15 minutes or so)
  4. At the same time you can toast the pecans in a skillet over medium heat.  (We didn’t because we just placed them in a bowl. Laziness)
  5. Remove and throw out the cinnamon stick and puree the mixture in a blender until smooth.  Transfer to a saucepan (or a pot) and add more broth to thin.  Season with salt and pepper
  6. Ladle into bowls and ENJOY

 

From google images because I didn't have my camera or my phone on me! But this is EXACTLY what it looked it. I promise 🙂

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