MarathonMaiden's Blog

October 18, 2010

I. Am. Registered.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:14

For Boston.


Post Boston 2010 Euphoria

After major hemming and hawing (and talking to some amazing peeps from the RWOL marathoners dailies) I bit the bullet and registered.  I don’t think I’m technically registered yet — as they need to confirm that I qualified but I entered.  I guess the biggest thing in getting me to register was talking to some of my RW peeps and having them tell me some really nice things.  So if you’re one of the guys that pushed me to do this and consider myself a good runner to RACE Boston then thanks, you know who you are 🙂

Plus I want OUT of New England by next summer and I don’t think I’ll be able to afford a trip back East anytime soon.

So yeah.  I’m doing Boston again. It took FOREVER for me to enter too and I wasn’t sure if I would get it because I didn’t enter until late in the day(I think it was a bad link?) but I’m in. Now I need to find a training plan. And hope that the BAA doesn’ t charge my credit card for the billion attempts that I made.

Which is semi-exciting after having that 20 miler on Saturday under my belt (and I think I miscalculated and actually ran 20.6 giving me the full marathon for the weekend 🙂 ).  Obviously I won’t start training until late January or early February as it’s highly likely I’ll only follow a 12 week plan given how strong my base is already.

Post-20 miler I’m feeling quite good.  There is some soreness (mainly quad and I’m pissed that all the hills I’ve been running — both up and down — didn’t make it less soreness!) but I think I’d be fooling myself if I said it wasn’t to be expected. But I did a lot of walking last night while out (because drinking and drive is NOT cool so I’d rather walk a billion miles to the bars.  Which I did) and some *gasp* stretching.  Not much but I’m sure it helped a lot.

Which is why I went out for a semi-quick shake out run when I first got up and before an event that I was going to go to for the clinic (gotta represent VISTA man).  The run actually wasn’t too bad at all and was surprisingly even paced: the first portion that I timed was at 9:04 pace and the second was at 8:59 pace and the whole thing averaged out to 9:01.  Silly pesky :01…or rather :02 as I’m becoming elitist when it comes to where I want my paces to be.  Oops.

But the overall pace was slightly surprising given how much slow I was during the days that followed the Tufts 10k.  But I guess different types of effort.  I feel like I can run FOREVER.  But give me a short and fast race? Different kind of running.

And then after running I headed to the coast to participate in a 1 mile walk along the coast where the money raised was going to the clinic.  The weather (which was perfect, yet again, for my run this morning) was also perfect for the late afternoon walk: by the time we started it was probably in the low 60s with the sun shining BRILLIANTLY down.  There was a nice breeze off of the ocean too which felt great.

And you really can’t beat the smell of salt water.

Here are some pics of the area.  I really wish that I lived closer to here / I knew about it sooner / I was training for a marathon because the place is sooooooooo beautiful and I’d LOVE to do a long run here (a long run is really the only way I’d justify driving so far).  Maybe once the winter thaws out during Boston training? Though knowing New England that’ll never happen!

I think I’ll miss fall the most when I move out of here! The changing of the leaves (despite most of them being green in this picture) is something you really don’t get anywhere besides the NorthEast.  But NorthEast = snow in winter and I’m looking to stay away ahahah

For most of the walk I jumped from rock to rock that’s seen in the right of this picture.  It made me feel like a kid!

As did this NEMO KITE!

A candid that my coworker snapped right before I jumped off the rocks. My hair is a hot mess. Thanks wind!

All in all I’m really glad I went.  I was ambivalent about it on Friday but I’m really happy that I ended up going and spending my Sunday this way. It would have been better spent watching my men play (and what a game it was! I wish I could have watched it live!)


butttttttttt I’ll take what I can get I suppose.

The rest of my Sunday was entirely dedicated to relaxing and doing as little as possible.  AKA catching up on NCIS and The Office.  I was WAY behind but now I’m not.  Although it did make me sad that I have to work late on Tuesday and Thursday nights.  Not that I have a tv that shows television (it’s DVDs only).  But an excellent way to end the weekend nonetheless 🙂

It didn’t however do much to make my Monday morning run any easier.  I had to get up at 0530 (never fun) and the entire run was in darkness.  I got some pre-dawn by the end buttttt no sun.  Now, of course, the sun is really bright and I’ve had to close the blinds.

Not much to note on the run itself.  Slow-ish but not slog.  I think that’s important.  The overall pace can be whatever but as long as I don’t feel like crap the run is doing something for me.  The most exciting thing was that I saw two full grown adult raccoons!

I was going to put a picture of a rabid raccoon here. But I figured that would be prejudicial as I'm sure most raccoons are not rabid despite what my parents told me If you're really interested check out google images!

It promptly scared the living bejeezus out of me.  When I was little it was drilled into my head that ALL raccoons were rabid. Something that is apparently ingrained in me to this day as I hightailed it OFF my pathway onto the road.

I guess that put a little pep into my slow step this morning.

In other random news I have a Halloween costume.  And I’m excited. October 31st needs to get here now.  Or at least the weekend that we’re celebrating Halloween. Hollllleeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrr.  But such a tease because I’m not going to share.

That’s how I treat my readers for reading this monstrosity of a post that probably reads like a stream of consciousness with no structure or semblance of outline.  I’m so nice 😀

But you can check out the giveaway from Tricia and HotLegsRunner.  Clearly nicer than me!

October 14, 2010

Today Is Not Boring

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:04

Here I was, thinking that I was going to have to make something up to have my run being exciting or not post today, when lo and behold something exciting happened.

Well not really truly exciting.  But I fell. 

Which is something more than a boring “I ran today. And slowly because I’m recovering and trying to enjoy just running”.  In fact I almost fell during the middle miles as silly high school kids were getting off of a bus and I tried to dodge them and one of them tripped me. 

Probably accidentally but it didn’t stop me from shooting the group a mean glare. But I was wearing my sunglasses so it likely went unnoticed. Heck they were high schoolers so everything goes unnoticed to them. 

Which by the way can I say that they looked SO YOUNG. Gahhh does this mean I’m getting old?!

Anyway the REAL fall was at the end of my run and I wasn’t paying attention to where I was running.  And I tripped over the uneven sidewalk (UGH New England and planting large trees with roots that breakup the pavement!) and completely hit the ground.  But luckily I was a hardcore volleyball player in the past because all my vball training came out and I did the most perfect roll ever.  So I came away relatively unscathed.  I think there was only one cut that actually bled. 

And the weather was pretty cold (39*) so I didn’t even feel a thing until I hopped into the shower.  That didn’t stop me from utter a few of George Carlin’s “7 Words” during the actual falling of course.  It felt like the fall was in slo-mo so I think I got all 7 out. The humidity was relatively high today too (91%) but because it was so cold it didn’t feel that bad at all. 

Random mathy picture to break up a possibly boring post 🙂

Apparently FailBlog likes to feed the inner nerd in me 🙂

Here’s what went down today for my running:

  • 1st loop: 5.6 miles @ 9:14
  • 2nd loop: 5.6 miles  @ 8:56
  • 3rd loop:     1.2 miles @ 8:19
  • Total:               12.4 miles @ 9:00

Not too bad.  I’m not thrilled with the overall pace (slower than the past two days) but the fact that I was able to pick up the pace and get down to 8:19 for the last loop is encouraging. Aside from my second run after the race on Monday I don’t think I’ve seen the low 8 paces yet post-race.  A good thing.  I’m recovering 🙂

That said, I’m still going to take it easy and NOT try to push pace.  Let it happen naturally for the next week or two.  Which I think will be hard because

A) the weather is truly turning colder (although I’m still pulling for an Indian Summer), meaning that I want to run FAST to warm the heck up (I refuse to break out the cold weather gear until it dips into the mid-20s!) and

B) I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.  Gosh I really am such a racer.  The week after running a great race makes me really want to keep going HARD because racing well is such a high.  It’ll be hard to keep me in check until marathon training starts up again. As Jess noted, my training right now is practically marathon training!


In other news…

I’m trying to cut down on my salt and caffeine intake.  Regarding salt: I LOVE the stuff.  I put it on EVERYTHING. Veggies, meats, oatmeal.  You name it and I’ll put salt on it.  I’ve been blessed with relatively low BP (typically 98/60) so I’ve never been worried nor has any doctor mentioned it.  But I easily go through a salt shaker each week.  That’s A LOT of salt.

So I’ve cut it out in terms of ADDING salt to things.  No particular reason per say.  I guess just to see if I could. And I’ve been successful. I’ve stopped adding it.  But I’ve also gotten quite *light-headed* lately. Even when sitting down. I’m thinking the two are related so I’m likely going to start shaking the salt shaker again. Plus all my food tastes bland without it.

Regarding caffeine…well it’s been a FAIL.  I’ve been drinking it despite my intentions of not.  Oh well.  It’s not the biggest deal ever as I’m already addicted so I think my goal will be to not increase my consumption as I get severe withdrawal going without. But so far that’s a fail as I’ve been drinking more coffee and, thus, more caffeine.  And I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I’m really starting to enjoy the taste of it.

WHO AM I?! hahahah.  And with that I should head back into the clinic because I’m hanging out with a really cool doctor who is semi-taking me under his wing every time he volunteers (which is every week! Way cool!).

Enjoy your Thursdays (best day of the week!). I’m still giggling like a loon from my Tufts 10k race 8)

October 13, 2010

Feeling So Fly

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:51

Or, as Flo told me, I am giggling like a loon for 3 days.  But they haven’t yet made a song that says that.  Maybe someday.

And in case you don’ t know why I’m giggling like a loon or feeling like a G6 check out what I did on Monday.

Thanks a million for the congrats and love y’all gave me.  I’ll admit that I had a bit of an inflated ego after reading them 😉

In the days that have passed I, duh, have still been running.  But it’s been SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW and total, complete 100% recovery paced: Tuesday ended up being 8:53 and Wednesday was….well techically the way I round it should be 9:00 but I *really* want to make the 8:59.25 a 8:59, so I am.  Close enough right? HAHAH. Oh me and my numbers and weird rounding ways.

The runs themselves were pretty unremarkable the weather on Tuesday was 52* 80%, brisk, but it was 0800 so it was pretty sunny out and I got to wear my bamf sunglasses (to those who asked: BAMF is an acronym that stands for Bad Ass Mother F^%#$& and it’s pronounced like it’s written) which helped counter the fact that my legs felt tired.  Which is a good thing since I raced my heart out on Monday.

Wednesday I woke up to 40* and 75% humidity.  Since the sun was out it didn’t really feel that cold and I’m glad that I didn’t break out the gloves yet.  While my extremities always get cold I’ve lived in New England my whole live and it would be quite shameful to have broken out anything yet.  Longsleeves covering my arms sufficed.  I guess.  My hands did get a bit numb by the end and it was slightly difficult to unlock my apartment door.  Oh well.  I did make it inside. 

Again it was a slow run as my legs were tired at beginning but I felt a real pick up at the end, which was encouraging.  I’ve always said that I recover fast so the fact that I was feeling slow and the legs were lead on Tuesday was a bit disheartening.  At least in terms of recovery and what my brain is used to.  I’m taking it as a good sign that I really pushed hard and ran the race my body was primed to at Tufts.

Kristin said in her comment yesterday

Great job! So happy (but not surprised at all) with your HUGE HUGE pr!! “Although if you consider your racing season “untrained for”… I’m afraid to see what insane efforts training entails you’re a workhorse, own it!”

Which got me thinking about the future.

In the immediate future (aka this week) I want to relax a bit.  Despite not following a hard grinding training program for anything this fall I was still doing structured workouts and (GASP) feeling guilty for doing things like…bailing on workouts ooooor skipping them entirely.  It’ll be nice to wake up without knowing how far I’ll be going and to not feel the pressure of an upcoming race. I think I said it yesterday but there’s a Jingle Bell 5k in the beginning of December that would be a fun race. 

Of course I am a racer so we’ll see how the actual race turns out but it’ll be a race in costume.  Which inherently makes it “fun”. Right?

In response to that comment and the more long term future, I actually shudder to think about what would happen if I actually trained for a race.  I think part of the reason I was so successful this fall was because I DID NOT train for any of the races specifically.  Definitely not the half (it really wasn’t on my radar until the week before) and the 5 and 10ks were never “goal”‘ed.  I did a few speed sessions but I wasn’t laser focused on them. 

I say this, the shudder part, not out of the fear of doing great but because the last time I TRULY trained for a race I ended  up with AWFUL shin splits that required forced rest.  AKA the 3 weeks prior to the Boston Marathon I couldn’t run and I was in PT to get over my shin problems.  In fact, the race that was 3 weeks before, Eastern States 20 Miler, I had thought my shin were legit fractured crossing that finish line. Obviously not something I want to repeat.

But I’m looking towards a marathon in 2011 and, duh, training will happen.  It would be nice if I can train SMARTLY for something.

I know that you guys probably want to know more details of what I want to do next year.  But beyond what I’ve written above I simply don’t know.  I just want to take some time and bask in the glow of an awesome Fall 2010 season on races.

If I can find the time to bask.  Clinic this week has been insane so far and doesn’ t look like it’ll lighten up anytime soon.  I probably should stop blogging and start working, right? The weekend can’t come soon enough! Because, as much as I’m giggling like a loon right now, the real celebration will happen this weekend. 

It’s a promise to myself 😀

And since this post is boring with no pictures added, and a bit lackluster as I’m unsure of the future of my races and just am taking time to recover from the fall, here’s a comic from because anything physics-y brightens my day.  I don’t know how much physics anyone has taken but the Right Hand Rule rules all. 

Giveaway from HotLegsRunner and Mel (Tall Mom on the Run)

September 30, 2010

Make It A Hurricane Before I Go Insane

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:41

And no not this kind because it really hasn’t been that kind of week.

I mean the storm that is hitting the southern east coast right now and is moving up to us in the NorthEast.

I didn’t realize that so few of you were math nerds like me! Hope I didn’t bore you too much with my math-y post yesterday! Oops 🙂

I ended up calculating the pace of my run yesterday and it was a very sluggish 9:25.  I’m actually surprised it wasn’t slower than that.  I really never felt any kick at all.  But I guess it just means I *really* pushed myself the day before with those hills. Similarly my legs didn’t feel the greatest when I got up this morning. And my body in general didn’t want to get up.  The way my covers conformed to my body was really nice. 

But there was some lingering soreness in the legs, from the hills maybe? I wanted to do a speed / interval workout today but I nixed it.  I know that my legs never feel the greatest first thing in the morning but I want any type of speed work I do to really count. 

I’ll do it tomorrow.  After two days of easy stuff my legs should be good to go (and after pondering today’s run below I think they will be).  Maybe the first interval will be rough (when is it not?) but the workout will work out alright.  Fingers crossed.  I still don’t know what workout I’m going to do though. Decisions decisions.

It wasn’t so hard to decide on today.  Since yesterday was a really short run (like <7 miles short) I knew that today was going to be longer. Even with the prospect of speed work tomorrow. That said, I didn’t know how my legs would feel once I got out there so I opted to do some loops.  I wanted the first one to take me through the city for ~5.5 miles and then I would see if I wanted to do that again or just do my pathway. Here’s what went down:

  • 1st loop: 5.6 miles @ 8:59
  • 2nd loop: 5.6 miles @ 8:48
  • Total:          11.2 miles @ 8:54

The first 2 or 3 miles were ROUGH.  I thought it was going to be a repeat of Wednesday: slow as molasses.  I’m sure the weather is having something to do with it: as much as I love warm weather, it’s hard to really push and feel awesome when it’s 73* and 95% humidity. 

Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE this weather.  But there’s a reason that mid-50s and cool crisp air allows so many PRs to be set (like my half earlier this month).  I’m hoping, like that weekend of the half and hurricane Earl, that the upcoming tropical storm Nicole brings some cooler fall weather to us.  Because it is fall.  New England needs to recognize it.

The end of the run ended up feeling very strong.  Too bad I don’t do mile splits because I know that the last 4 or so miles were really fast and I flew.  I was totally DRENCHED in sweat (with that kind of humidity how could I not be?) but it made me feel BAMF and likely fueled those fast miles.  While I still don’t think I would have been prepared for speed work this morning I think that I’m right in thinking tomorrow’s session will be a good one. 

Assuming that the tropical storm isn’t going to be too bad.  At the moment we’re under both a wind and flood advisory I think. Too bad the tropical storm isn’t a hurricane, at least in non-running thinking terms.  I’m kind of itching for it.  A whole “batten down the hatches” kind of storm. By the time most big storms get up here they’re tame.  I almost want a house to blow away.  Not mine of course but I think that’d be cool to see: a roof blowing off a house.  Gosh. I just re-read that and I totally am a horrible person for writing that!

(all images courtesy of google)

In other news, before I risk turning this running blog into a “complain about the weather blog”, I think I have enough black toenails that I don’t have to buy nail polish for a really long time (once I get a black nail they last FOREVER).  Interestingly enough none of the ones I currently have are due to running.  Yes, I am that cool.

Also cool? It’s the Flintstone’s 50th birthday

I’ll end this post on that note.  Kind of a blah day.  Still not a “make it a hurricane” type of day. I didn’t have the smoothest night last night or (with the exception of the end of my run) morning and I’m dragging.  More like a coffee day? That remains to be seen.  Mix the dragging in with the weather and it’s a recipe — I was totally going to write a math equation eff it here it is:

lack of sleep + uneasy dreams + changing weather + long clinic hours =

Okay so maybe that’s a bit over-dramatized.  And by a bit I mean a lot.  I got an excellent run in, ate a good brunch at work (leftovers from our breakfast feast at yesterday’s staff meeting. YUM) and I just got my blood pressure checked by one of the medical-assisstants-in-training and it was really good (98/60), like always.  Plus I get to get an EKG done later for them to practice AND I get to go into a bunch of exams because there’s a lack of volunteers to do the recording today.  It’s the little things 😉

September 29, 2010

Scared Screaming Person

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:16

Yet another search term that someone used to find me. Holler? Hahah 

Apparently I lied and that hill workout I did on Tuesday? Yeah, Hill 1 is actually 26% grade! I was correct in saying that Hill 2 is 15% though.  Oops. No wonder the workout hurt so badly! Like I said in my edit yesterday, the funny thing is that the second hill is the one that hurt the most! 

Also a note on hills: I found out yesterday that a 100% grade hill is a 45* angle (not the straight up like I would intuitively think).  Thinking about it I’ve decided that the math (aka trigonometry) does, in fact, work out that way.  But I never would have intuitively realized it and this means that my 26% grade hill is actually twice as steep as I would have thought a 26% grade hill to be. And I thought it was pretty darn steep! 😛 If any of that made sense that’d be awesome because it’s hard to wrap my head about it hahah. 

A couple of people asked me how to calculate percent grade. So I’ll nerd out a bit 🙂  It’s trig and the formula for percent grade is your slope formula: rise over run 

goooooooooooooogle images (as are all images in this post)

Of course the “run” part of the equation is not the exact portion you are running (the hypotenuse is) and the more complicated equation becomes if you don’t know the “run”.  So you can use the actual distance traveled (the hypotenuse) with the equation (and feel free to use a calculator!): 

100*tan[arcsin(rise/distance you run)] 

Enjoy that math lesson? Don’t lie because of course you did. 

And I bet you’ll also enjoy the fact that my body is feeling the workout today as well.  At least I am. Sure it made the actual run today total suckage but that’s okay.  Surprisingly my legs have reacted pretty well to being hammered and beaten on those hills.  But I’m not feeling crippled.  It’s more of a tightness and lead feeling rather than OUCH. 

Doesn’t change the end result that I felt like I was running through molasses this morning. 

The Great Molasses Flood of Boston. No joke.

In all fairness I don’t think it was entirely my legs’ fault.  It was 69* and 93% humidity. 

And this was at 0500. Which means is was PITCH BLACK the entire run.  Well maybe by the end there was pre-dawn light but ugh. I know most of you know what I’m talking about. 

So I’m sure my legs LOVED that as well.  Especially since I couldn’t see the path I was running on.  The areas that are tree covered made me really unsure of where I was stepping.  Luckily I came out unscathed 🙂 

I can go either way with loving or hating 0500 and so can my runs.  Either  I just GO without thinking or my legs don’t want to wake up.  Secretly I think it’s more love with that wake up because, oddly enough, I feel like a real adult.  Like I have to get up this early because I have to be at work on time. 

But my legs did feel sloooooooooooooooow.  In fact I checked my watch at a place where I knew how far I’d run, saw the time and then didn’t look at my watch for the rest of the run.  Because it was THAT slow.  I’d have loved to have turned off the watch completely but, hey, at the end of the day I’m a numbers junkie and my log book and stats would not have liked that. Suffice it to say I haven’t yet looked at the overall time because I want it to sting less if I look at it later! 

I can say that it was between 6 and 7 miles.  Maybe close to 8 if I’m being overly pessimistic right now on the pace.  I doubt it though.  I’d say a solid 6.5.  Once I saw how slow I was and knew that I wasn’t going to care about pace (at least in terms of seeing the time during the run) I kind of wandered a bit on my route. 

Very unlike me. 

A recovery run itself isn’t really like me either.  If you remember, after both my recent half and 5, none of the runs were slow or short enough to be classified as recovery.  Damn you hills 😉

I’ll wrap up there.  It’s been a long day at work already.  I’ve been in meetings from 0800 until abut 1330.  So the time has flown by but I’ve gotten nothing accomplished that I wanted to.  So what am I doing? Finishing a post then heading to DD.  Because it’s a coffee day! And I’ll be walking down gang street to do so. Wish me luck! 

September 21, 2010

I Love Fall

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:04

First: did you check out my race report for my awesome 5k? Oh shameless self-promoting 😀 

Afternoons that is. Mornings? Not so much. The coupling of the sun rising later and mid-40s for the temps makes it not a lot of fun.  Afternoons? YES.  The warm sun and upper-60s makes my heart go pitter-patter.  This weather would be perfect for running.  Too bad things called work get in the way.  Ruining a perfect weather day.

I also love the turning of the leaves! I live near a lake in my hometown and this is pretty much exactly what it looks like. But this picture is from google images

Nothing I can do about the temps and daylight I guess.  Except try to embrace the hours that I do get to spend outside.  Monday morning was a 0515 wake up call so running outside before work in the sunshine was a no-go.  It was dark and cool the entire time.  Blahhh.  When I got out of work at 1700, however, the weather was nice and I got to sit outside and enjoy the sun.  I debated running again but decided against it.  My motivation tanks after a day of work.

So here’s Monday morning’s run and the data:

  • 1st loop: 4.1 @ 8:56
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 @ 8:28
  • 3rd loop:    1.1 @ 8:02
  • Total:              9.3 @ 8:37

It had been awhile since the last time I did a double loop of the pathway so I decided to do it Monday.  It was nice because I’m so familiar with the path that the fact I was likely still half asleep didn’t matter.  Nor the fact that I couldn’t see too well at this hour and I now know (through many many errors) where every root and stone are.

I don't know if this picture is exactly where I run but, if not, it's almost identical to it. At least all the greenery was what I saw in the summer hahah! Now trying to run this with no sunlight! There is roadway on either side but that gravel path in the center is what I run on.

Despite running a kick ass 5k on Sunday (which THANKS again for all the congrats. I’m still riding high from it 8) ) there was minimal soreness.  Don’t get me wrong: my quads — and abs! Must. Do. More. Core. — were feeling the effort from the day before.  But it was no where near as bad as I though it was going to be. Probably because I iced down and stretched afterward.  And I wore my diabet compression socks all day.  Maybe I’m learning as runner?!

So I was only planning on doing one loop and then then the add on. But I was actually feeling good after doing those guys so I tacked on an extra pathway loop.

My theory is that when you’re feeling strong embrace it.  That said, I did stop at the 9.3 despite feeling like I could have done more.

And I took to this theory again on Tuesday for my run.  Monday’s tend to be long days, not at the clinic, but in terms of waking hours just because I get up so early.  So it was nice to wake up feeling slightly REFRESHED. I fell asleep around 2230 and slept like a ROCK until my alarm went off at 0730.  9 hours? Yes please.

While the sun was shining outside, the thermometer read 44*.  YIKES! See what I mean about fall? Mornings suck.  I need to migrate south. STAT.  I was still feeling decent but, as you probably know, anything can happen over the course of a run so I nixed the idea to do a big long loop in favor of a few smaller loops (but then again, I’ve been doing that a lot lately).

This is what my path will look like in a few weeks! Hello fall! Again, like the image above, I don't know if this is exactly where I run (hey google images) but it looks damn near identical to it

The aim was to do the first two loops listed below, which would give me 9.7 miles.  And I seriously do not know what it is about running the week after a race but my runs just feel strong and fast.  So I tend to “cheat” myself out of recovery.  Hence adding an extra 1.3 miles to make it 11.


  • 1st loop: 4.1 @ 8:46
  • 2nd loop: 5.6 @ 8:40
  • 3rd loop:    1.3 @ 8:22
  • Total:           11.0 @ 8:40

Clearly neither of those runs would qualify as recovery runs.  But it’s not like I’m *trying* to push things after a race.  Of course I’m not trying to hold back and stay true to recovery.  I guess I’m just going.  Might not be the smartest thing but I guess I’ll let my body dictate?

One thing that my body will NEVER tell me to do naturally is speed work and since my next race (a goal race of sorts) the Tufts 10k (less than 3 weeks!!) I want to ask you guys what kind of speed work have you found to be useful in fast races?  Any thoughts as to what my next three weeks should look like? I obviously have thoughts of my own on this topic but the more ideas I can get the better my running will be!

Which, I know this is getting lengthy and I have no sparkling pictures of my beautiful face to show you 😉 , but this might be a good time to revisit some goals that I set for 2010. (you can see the full list by clicking that link).  Yes, I know that it’s the middle of a month but I’ve doing a lot of thinking about how I’ve progressed as a runner this year.  So bear with me.

These were my specific time goals aka the tangible goals that needed focus (my NEW comments are in blue):

  1. sub 20:00 5k — considering my only 5k time is 21:32 and I didn’t train for it I think this is lofty but do-able if I train for a 5k.  Who knows if that will happen though as I ❤ the long stuff. CHECK.  Hizzah. And this happened on no real specific 5k training.  Just two speed work sessions 10 days and 6 days before.  New goal? Sub 19.  Very lofty.  But I think that with specific speed work I can do it.  Maybe not before the year is out.  But it’s the next target.
  2. sub 43:00 10k — ideally I just want 43:23 because that works out to 7 pace even but being the overachiever I am I want to break a round number. I have yet to run one this year.  But I think that I can do this at Tufts.  *FingersCrossed*
  3. sub 1:40:00 half — every time I run a half I smash my previous pr.  I’m currently at 1:41:56 which was a 2 or 3 minute improvement from the previous pr.  Definitely going to be hard but I think it’s do-able. Totally do able! And done-able! I smashed this by running 1:33 over Labor day weekend.  New goal? Sub 1:30.  Going to be hard but I think if I want it bad enough I can get it.
  4. 3:35:00 marathon — I was going to write sub 3:30 but that’s an 8 minute pr and I’m not sure how realistic that would be.  Actually to hell with it: the goal is sub 3:30.  I left the last marathon feeling like I had plenty of gas in the tank so we’ll see if I can capitalize on that in 2010. Well I missed the Sub 3:30 goal but I walked away from Boston with a new PR of 3:35.  Which was the original goal.  Sub 3:30 is what I have my eyes on next.

So it’s WAY exciting to see that I’ve PR’d in every distance that I’ve done this year (and since I’ve only run one of each I pr’d in every race!) including the 20M and 5M I did that weren’t in the goal list because they popped up randomly.

This has definitely been a great year so far.  Luckily there is still a little over 3 months left 😀

May 16, 2010

Speedy Weekend. Holler.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:27

Ugh so when do I get my voice back? Like I mentioned in my last post, I had a real nasty virus Wednesday night and the only lingering effects are in my head: congestion (and not just any congestion, it feels like water is being constantly pushed up my nose), ear pressure , a moderately bad sore throat and a real sexy voice. Annoying as I had a couple interviews set up for next week and I really can’t cancel them.  Plus I’m tired of resting my voice! It was fun at first but I miss my real voice haha

Oh well. I woke up on Saturday morning with a pretty bad sore throat and I was absolutely starving so I decided to miss out on the cooler weather that first thing running brings and run before lunch.  I figure that it’d be good training for summer running, as by the time I left my dorm it was 70*, sunny with a few clouds and kind of windy.  Which was actually really nice, even the head wind, because it kept me cool.  I debated another sports bra run but figured a beater was sufficient.  Don’t want to scare too many people with my fish belly 😉

Anyway despite my thinking that my legs would be a little sluggish because of the consecutive days of running I’ve been doing lately (the fact that my gym isn’t open on the weekends anymore and only limited hours during the week has made me really good at justifying the whole run lots thing!) My LR went SO WELL.  I have no idea how it happened either, the entire time I was just telling myself to just go at a comfy pace because I was worried about crashing.  Definitely didn’t need to worry about that as I got 13.1 miles in at 8:30 pace.  That is, like, sprinting for me.  I’m in shock that I was able to run so fast and not feel like I was dying or anything.  I was getting a weird hand cramp during it though…odd. Any ideas why?! Very bizarre.

But an awesome way to say goodbye to that route! I wish I had been having these types of runs pre-Boston, something I know The Puerto Rican Kenyan has been talking about recently too. Guess I should just go with the flow right? And maybe try to capitalize on it by looking for a half or 10k sometime soon?Assuming I actually look for races haha.

I’m just pumped that it was a run where I wasn’t expecting my time to be so fast and when I checked my watch at the end it was like JEEZ LOUISE!

So I basked in it for a bit and took advantage of the really nice weather to lounge around for the rest of the day.  It’s not part of my personality to lounge around and do nothing though so I ended up making a big ass to-do list for Sunday! Note: I didn’t start doing any of the items Saturday night because Saturday = last day possible for finals = no matter what everyone is done.  Clearly that means party time.

And party time was fun.  I honestly haven’t seen a lot of my really good friends a lot this semester because everyone has been so busy / busy at very different times.  It was great to play catch up and drink and dance.  How I am going to really miss these moments post-graduation (and ACK D-6 days!!)

It’s totally a different feeling going out on a Saturday when you know you don’t have to get up to do school work the next morning. Sure I did have that to-do list, including but not limited to cover letters and resumes (ugh) but there’s always that awareness that if I don’t get them done immediately one more day won’ t *kill* me.  I’m trying to work on them now because I do want to get them out asap but the pressure was off.

Oh, nice segue MM into pressure again.  Because like my Saturday LR, my Sunday recovery run was, like all my runs post-Boston, pressure free.  And I don’t know if it’s the lack of pressure or lack of 100 mile weeks BUT my recovery run was at 9:06 pace.  Seriously? During Boston training I would have *paid* to see that kind of pacing during easy runs.  Or even LRs.

I know that I did start the run at a shuffle pace but my last mile was just under 8.  Again, seriously?! I’m still loving it and don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth or anything buttt….I can’t help but wonder what kind of damage I could do to any race given my current love-affair with my legs.

It’s just really funny that on the past two runs my mind has been severely underestimating how fast I’m actually going.  Definitely goes to show you how mental running can be at times. Again, not a bad thing but I’m secretly hoping that this will help my internal pacing mechanism and hoping that it’s not lulling me into a false sense of security for whenever the next time I toe the line.  You know, thinking that I’m running way faster than I am and I get complacent. But with no races in the near future I guess that’s not too much of a worry.

Time to go finish up some of those cover letters I’m dreading.  If I can finish one more I’ll go outside and read for fun 🙂

April 22, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 09:50

Warning: this post started out all concise but became a bit rambling.  I blame it on my dreading to do the mountain of work in front of me haha.

I still haven’t changed the “D-Day counter” on my phone screen yet.  I initially set it about 100 days out from Boston and it said “Boston : ) D-X” just as a nice reminder that, you know, I was running a marathon in X days.

Now it says “Boston : ) D+X”  as a nice reminder that, you know, I ran a marathon X days ago.

And I’m still so on cloud nine.  And a HUGE thanks to all the continued support I’ve gotten from you guys.  I have just been blown away by all your words.  Knowing that I’m part of such a great community really makes me smile and feel all warm and fuzzy.

Also a warm and fuzzy feeling? All the support I’ve gotten on campus.  I was totally blown away from that too.  I really didn’t advertise that I was running Boston to many people.  I wasn’t secretive about it or anything and if someone asked me about it I readily talked about it. But I didn’t shout from the rooftops or anything. Granted it’s hard to not notice someone who is always running, especially on a campus as small as mine.

I was totally surprised how many people– people that I know well, duh, I was kind of expecting them to track me or look me up as well as people that I don’t know well — already knew about it and were asking me how I did.  Of course the fact that I am still wearing my jacket alerts them to it.  But the fact that a lot of them actually followed me on race day, and even tried to find my name in the paper on Tuesday, just was awesome.  And one of my friends decorated my door with a HUGE congrats poster which made me well up a bit when I got back to campus.

Since the race ended I’ve just been basking in the glory.  I’ve been in such a great mood and smiling to myself a lot.  I doubt this feeling will fade anytime soon. Or at least I hope to hell not.  And when people ask how I did I launch into everything and I’m sure they regret even opening their mouths haha!

The natural question you guys might have is “how are you physically feeling?” (the next one might be “what’s next?” and I’m trying to come up with that.  But right now? Basking for a good long while 8) ).  Honestly? Not too bad.  Post-Providence last year I didn’t feel banged up AT ALL.  No soreness and I was able to run some miles the next day.

This time around I’m sore but I can do stairs, sit down normally etc.  Here’s the breakdown by day

Monday was tough in general, once my body stopped moving to sit (or even stand still) the leg-os wanted to cramp up.  Going down stairs was tough, I keep remembering with a laugh how my mom had to support 90% of my body going on to the T 🙂  And that night I couldn’t sleep a wink.  And it’s not because of excitement or anything.  My legs just didn’t want to be motionless.  So I laid in bed really really wanting to nod off but couldn’t.  Typical of any type of hard effort but annoying.

Also annoying that night? That I couldn’t regulate my body temperature so I went from soaking my sheets in sweat to cold and clammy.  Again to be semi-expected after such a hard effort.

Tuesday wasn’t as bad as Monday at all.  My hips, IT band, calves and hammys were a bit sore and tight.  But I could walk down stairs normally and even attempt to lower myself to sit without pain.  The legs still didn’t really like to sit still all that much and the drive back to campus was rough when I got out of the car. In terms of sleep, I slept decently that night.  I even nodded off during a commercial break of LOST.  I never do that kind of stuff in general, let alone during LOST.

Wednesday and the soreness was disappearing. I had PT that day and we didn’t do any of the exercises. Because, while the rest of my body was only semi-sore, my shins? Well they are wicked tight.  Like beyond wicked tight.  Especially my left one, which is the one that was giving me trouble lately.  Some self-massage has helped and I had PT on Wednesday and all we did was stretch, massage, ice and stim.  I think that I’m going to keep going to PT next week and then stop.  I have enough exercises to do on my own and I’m obviously not going to be running the volume that I have been.

Thursday rolls around and the only thing that is tight is that damn left shin.  Everything else feels good to go. I guess I did something right with my training and recovery though as I can walk without limping and can carry out my life normally. If you’d look at me, you wouldn’t guess that I just ran 26.2 miles at a PR pace on Monday.

Sleep sure does feel amazing too.  I’ve been crashing hard (aside from Monday).  Annoying because I have to play major catch up with work and I can’t really afford to sleep right now.  But the body wants what the body wants.  And it also wants food. My appetite is still in full force.

And the plan for this week is no running at all.  Granted I’m sure many of you would think that wanting to run after a marathon is crazy talk.  But I know that my body will likely be ready within 3-4 days post-race to run.  But since I am SO incredibly overtrained my doctor has advised me to not run for at least a week.  We’re going to reevaluate after this weekend.  Kind of a bummer because the weather has been gorgeous this week.

I can, however, do some XT-ing in order to keep the blood moving post-race and fight off excess soreness.  On Wednesday I did a short elliptical session.  I didn’t really change much in the elliptical routine (same level/resistance) but it felt so much easier than that type of session did pre-race.  Interesting.  I’m not quite sure why but I didn’t feel like I was pushing that hard at all and I easily was going faster.  Don’t worry though, I kept checking my HR and it wasn’t elevated too much (~60% max). Same thing with this morning (Thursday) too.  Not that I’m complaining. Guess I’m recovering nicely 🙂

I figure I’ll keep doing these types of sessions throughout the week and weekend, adjusting my effort as I see fit.  I want to get in a spin session at some point but I think that, even though my cardiovascular system doesn’t feel strained right now, the smart thing to do is hold off on spin because that gets my heart pumping.

So I’m going to be pretty boring this week.  At least in the running/working out department.  After taking a 4 day weekend I’ve got plenty to do in the work side of my life.  Gotta get cracking on it though because I was informed the other day that after this week there are only 2 more weeks of classes.  Eeeeeek! And I’ve had no desire to do work.  I had an exam Wednesday morning but I just couldn’t bring myself to study.  So I didn’t.  I don’t think it went too badly though.

So I’m off to try and play catch up with life.  Hope everyone enjoys the day! Aside from my mountain of work I plan on trying to get outside.  It’s really pretty out and Earth day after all 🙂

Check out the giveaways EatMoveLove and Bobbi and Mel and HealthHappinessAndHope are having!

March 21, 2010

Circuit Time & Relaxation on Sunday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:08

Hope everyone is enjoying Sunday.  Finally a Sunday for me that is relaxing.  Granted it’s the day before classes start up again and likely the last relaxing one for the remainder of the semester but still. Relaxing = good.

Kind of.  I’m a firm believer that staying busy (and dare I say it stressed?) is a great way to avoid being sick.  Yes I know that stress = taxing on the immune system BUT during the moments of craziness I can keep the germs at bay.  And since my spring break really wasn’t all that relaxing I expected the typical “break illness” to be avoided.

But damn you nice weather and relaxing all afternoon yesterday! Now I’m not saying there is a direct link between relaxing and getting sick buttttttt I find it suspicious that after 48 hours of relaxing I’m battling congestion, aches , headache (although I suspect this is from drinking practically nothing after a really hot LR) and a sore throat.  Nothing to knock me out (yet at least) but enough to make me feel slightly irritable.

I think the nosebleeds I was having Friday night is related too.  I get “seasonal” nosebleeds.  None of them are ever serious but I know that winter is on it’s way when I start getting them in the fall.  Same with the spring.  Maybe it’s related to the changing of the weather? I don’t think that the congestion I’m dealing with helps any, and probably makes me think that there’s more blood that actually present because my snot is coming out too.  But I don’t want to alarm anyone (and I think a couple of you were worried) and the nosebleeds that night are, while I don’t want to say normal because nosebleeds in general shouldn’t be normal, they’re….typical? Annoyance? In any case I mean not serious.

Also: I’m definitely sticking with PT.  My insurance covers something like 15 sessions per RX and  I plan on using all of them.  I mean, after G-day in May I don’t think I’m going to have insurance so I need to take advantage now.  The co-pays are going to kill me though.  I don’t know where I’ll get the cash-monies to do it.  But I plan on keeping up with PT because I want to fix the root cause. I’ve also been doing the stretches that my PT has already given me.  I haven’t noticed a difference yet but I like that I’m following a plan even though I was already doing these stretches, albeit intermittently. My type-A personality likes having a plan 🙂

So now that I’ve taken care of questions / updates onto today.

I woke up a little stuffy and felt sooooo hungover.  Last night with my friends I didn’t drink a drop.  Of either alcohol or water.  And hangovers = dehydration. Lucky me, I get the after effects without the raging glory.  Not that last night was out-of-control.  But still.

I wasn’t sure how my body was going to feel during a run but I knew that I wanted to take advantage of cool-ish temps. The past two days, despite running first thing, I’ve been hit with ~70* (mid-60s Friday and in the 70s Saturday) and according to this morning was suppose to be low 40s.  Lies but I’ll still take mid-50s over 70 anyday 🙂

The run felt slow and creaky.  I’m not sure how much of my aches were due to the LR, dehydration or sickness.  Maybe a combo of the three.  I took it easy and I know that, despite not having a garmin, I was going no faster than granny shuffle.  My feet probably didn’t even come far off the ground! I was about to turn around and just bag it when I started getting some fluidity and…not quite “pep in my step” (as I still felt semi-geriatric) but my feet started clearing the ground so that I didn’t have to worry about tripping over an ant hah!

I finished the run at a very respectable 9:33 pace.  I guess I wasn’t as slow as I thought.  Given the stiffness of the early miles I was thinking I could walk faster.

When I got back I knew that, since spring break had messed with my lifting sessions, I wanted to get something done in terms of strength today so that I had 2 sessions on the week.  Plus my lifting session tomorrow is canceled due to my scheduling a PT appointment during my usual lifting chunk of time.  And I didn’t want to go Wednesday to Wednesday with my lifting.

Since the gym is closed (spring break hours, gotta love ’em) I made up a circuit as I was eating my breakfast to do later in the afternoon.  Something to tackle the major muscle groups but not be very time intensive.  I don’t think I got as good a workout as my typical lifting but it was a good “placeholder”.  Not that I need to be working on gaining lots of strength in the next few weeks.  It’s all about maintenance.

Here it is (it’s pretty much the same thing that’s under the circuit link on the right side of the screen):

  • Russian twists (ab work with 12 lb weights)
  • Lunges (with 12 lb weights)
  • Push-ups (real military ones)
  • 90* legs (ab work with 12 lb weights)
  • Squats (with 12 lb weights)
  • Bear Push-ups
  • Supermans (back work)
  • Dead Bug (ab work)
  • Calf Raisers
  • Dips

I worked through this circuit 3x.  Each exercise was :45 and essentially no rest between the exercises (probably was like :05 or something).  I also took ~2 minutes between each set.

All and all it was a good workout.  I doubt I’ll be sore tomorrow as most of the exercises I’ve been doing all along.  Maybe a bit in my arms.  I liked the circuit and I had forgotten how nice it is to mix up workouts.

I also did quick warm up/downs and I did them SANS watch! I figured that since these miles don’t count in my mileage totals or pace calculations then why bother tracking how fast I’m doing them? It was very freeing.  That said I know that I will NEVER go watchless for an actual run (way too much of a numbers junkie here.  I really do like to keep track of all the data in my notebooks) but it was fun today.  Although I did try to “stop” the watch when I was done hah!

Alright. Time to get back to “relaxing”.  Hopefully lots of water + backlog of magazines = less headachey MM.  Hope y’all are enjoy your Sundays.  With the sun shining and the temperature just shy of 60* I know I am 8)

March 19, 2010

PT Eval and Nice Clothes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:34

Well I got back to school safe and sound last night.  There are surprisingly a lot of people on campus, although I suspect that many of them are seniors thesis-ing. It’s not T-9 weeks until G-day.  So even less actual school time because the week before is Senior week and 2 weeks before is finals.  So wait, I have only 7 weeks left?!

Moving on before I start to cry or something…

The nice weather continues to stay with us.  Mother nature must be wanting to get on the good side of us New Englanders after the monsoon over the weekend.  It hit 71* today as I was driving around on errands!!

Since I had my PT eval, as well as a PM informational interview, today I wanted to get a run in beforehand.  A run is always the best way to start the day.  Especially when it’s already mid-40s outside when you get up.  Holllleeeer! I wasn’t sure what to expect from the run as Fridays are technically recovery days but yesterday’s workout wasn’t “hard”.  At least GMP isn’t supposed to be as hard as tempo in my mind.  But with my body finding the workout challenging in the moment (and running for 60 minutes at 7:59 should be I guess for me, even though I want to keep that pace for 26.2 come April 19th. Sheesh haha) I had mixed feelings about what to expect.

I wanted today to be a little quicker than it was, even though I was running ~9:16s the whole time.  Amarathoner wrote about this idea yesterday, that as training goes on the question becomes when do you increase the “easy” or “recovery” pace.  I suppose the answer obviously lies within your own body and I should let mine dictate that.  But on the other hand, I read about elites who say that there is no such thing as too slow for a recovery run and routinely clock theirs in around 9 or 10 pace.

But the point is that I think I should stop being shocked at “pulling off” 9:15 or so recovery runs. The past 2 or so weeks this has been the norm.  Of course now that I say that this upcoming week is going to have my recovery runs be slower than molasses.  Such is life 🙂

Onto bigger and more exciting things.  I know you’re probably all dying to hear about how my PT session went.

I have the diagnosis (from the sports med doc on Monday) as periostitis, which is the inflammation of the connective tissue that surrounds bone.  My goal from PT is to reduce the swelling in my ankle so that I can get a better range of motion.

So today was just an evaluation so my PT (who is the PT I shadowed in the fall of ’08, so I already knew her) just did a battery of “tests”, like watching me walk, do squats, leg lifts, calf raisers etc. as well as taking measurements of my range of motion in my ankles, knees and hips. She gave me some calf stretches to do and then iced me down and I got e-stim.  I’ve had stim on my back before and it’s amazing.  Basically it’s electric pulses that break up the gunk in the area it’s applied to; the “buzzing” you feel is awesome.  Probably the best part of the session haha!

The consensus? That my problem cropped up NOT because of muscle imbalance but because I have incredibly tight joints in my ankle and knees and hips.

In one of the next sessions (because I scheduled about a half dozen or so) she wants to do a gait analysis because she thinks I’m a heel striker (I honestly couldn’t say myself as I’ve never paid attention to that before).  This would lead to my problem because when my foot strikes the ground my ankle can’t dorsalflex enough to properly absorb the shock, and neither can my other joints.  The muscles and tendons then absorb extra shock.  And when it can’t take anymore inflammation occurs.

Over the course of the next few weeks the goal is to reduce inflammation so I can be in tip-top shape to toe the line at Hopkington.  Right now when she was trying to bend my right (affected) ankle it would barely rotate.  Beyond that I’m going to want to keep working with her (as long as insurance will allow) to work on my biomechanics and possibly loosen up my joints a bit.  Not sure how much that is possible but looser joints will mean less stress is forced upon my muscles every step I run.

After my appointment I had to dash immediately off to an informational interview.  Not a job interview but a brainstorming session with an alum from my school who the career center thought would be beneficial to talk to. She’s not in the field I want (medicine) but she’s a manager at a company who consults with companies who want to market medical devices.  I’m not quite sure what I was expecting from this meeting but it went well.  It was more like a conversation and she complimented me on my ability to stay calm and actually carry a conversation.  I’m glad that I looked like I wasn’t nervous because I totally was! I also dressed up all professional too which made me feel all amazing.  After a semester of living in gym / running clothes I’ve forgotten how nice it is to put on my “nice” clothes

Sorry for the blurriness! And that it's sideways haha!

As for tomorrow (which is the first official day of Spring!!!) I’m not quite sure what I’ll be tackling running wise.  According to my plan I have 15-19 to do.  For the first time all cycle I think I’m going to, not only be within the range, but on the low end.  I think I’ve tried to do it before but failed on it and am always on the upper end.  I have a 16.6 mile route that I think I’m going to tackle (it’s one big loop) but we’ll see.

Too bad the monsoon on last weekend couldn’t have been this weekend to keep my in check haha! The weather is suppose to be even nicer tomorrow than today. It’ll be all about the mental aspect of running and a huge challenge to stick with that number.  I’m okay if I go to 17 because it’s smack dab in the middle of the range but I’m hoping that I can just do that route and be satisfied.

Send some luck my way 🙂

Alright it’s pretty late to be blogging on a Friday night (although spring break = no concept of days of the week).  Since none of my friends are back yet I’m going to catch up on some television and READING.  Today when I was getting e-stim I was able to whip out the book I’m in the middle of and I realized how much I miss reading for FUN.  Stupid school work getting in the way 😉

Have a great Friday night y’all!!

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