MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 1, 2011

Of Ladders and Recovery and Racing

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

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

Thanks google

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WEDNESDAY’S BIG DAY OF RUNNING

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

On tap was

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

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

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

Delusional.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

thansk google

August 29, 2011

Howdy Y’all

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:09

Hi all! I had planned to do some comprehensive posts of all my life changes, because I’m finally ready to unveil them but I’ve been busier than I though lately and that coupled with lack of good internet time just meant that I couldn’t do anything with the blog.  I definitely can’t promise that I’ll update regularly even now because I still haven’t subscribed to an internet service yet.

If I ever though that last year was the year of changes for me, 2011 went out and proved it all wrong. I’d have to say that, while 2010 brought really good accomplishment changes, 2011 has tested me.  Especially this past summer I don’t really like to post lots of personal stuff here so I’m not going to go into detail BUT the major life changes that hit me were

  • Ending of my job.  It was only a year long position so I knew that it would end. In the late spring/early summer I started looking for a job.  Except no one in RI is hiring. No bueno.
  • The death of my grandfather on July 3rd.  I wasn’t ever going to mention it on the blog but it was very unexpected in the way that he died (he went into surgery which he had a 10% chance of surviving, made it through(!!) and then crashed 6 days later when they went to lower his BP meds) and it hit me wayyyyy harder than I thought it would. I know that it took up a lot of my mental energy from May (when I found out he needed surgery) until now.
  • Boy drama.  Definitely not going to post that stuff here but it definitely affected my mood / brain energy.
  • Moving.  To Texas.  Remember when I came here last August? Yeah, I fell in love with the state.  I knew when I came back last year that I’d be there in 12 month.  On August 17th, 2011 I hopped on a plane.  Here I am. Everything about the move was stressful: From saying good bye to friends (although I did through myself a kick ass goodbye party)  to how to pack up my stuff, to what I definitely needed to bring, and what I needed to get when here as my original (and fully furnished) apartment fell through and I ended up crashing on a couch for the first 7 nights I was here.

It's true. Especially the bugs. They're waaaaaaaaaaay bigger than at home.

There were good stuff too to the summer.  I went to the beach twice, learned how to salsa dance, took a VACATION, connected with people, got really into karaoke etc.   But the bad weighed me down.  But I’m here.  I made it through the summer alive.  Even though the above stresses aren’t gone (still looking for a job, still get teary eyed occasionally thinking of Papa, adjusting to moving to a place on a gut feeling) and new stresses have cropped up (how do I figure out the DART system because I don’t have a car?) I feel good.  As Ian Malcolm said

All major changes are like death. You can’t see what is on the other side until you get there.

I had no idea what to expect when I got here. I couldn’t even speculate what to expect. I kept thinking I didn’t have any friends or family or anyone here.  And that I was moving to a new state 100% on my own. But I discovered that Texans won’t hear of that and I have friends here that I didn’t know I could count on the way I can and actually have been counting on. I’m so not alone.

Yay fountains!

Now that I’m here, I LOVE it and feel silly for feeling so scared before I left (I was debating not hopping on my plane). Except for the AC.  I’ve NEVER lived with it before.  And I’m chilly.  Like, way chilly. My sister looked at me crazy when I packed sweaters to move to Texas, in August, but I’m sitting here in the apartment complex office freezing. I’ll go out in a few hours and sit by the pool (after getting another round of job applications going) so I guess it’s all good.  I almost feel like a menopausal woman…almost.

I feel like everyone could end this heat wave by opening the windows/doors and cooling down the state with their A/C

As you probably figured I have been running. And have been the entire time I’ve been here.  Typically I’ve done a mix of some runs around sunrise, where temps are in the upper 80s, and some around 1800, where temps are in the 100+* range.

At first the running was nothing major mileage wise, I just didn’t have the routes / feel comfy enough to really explore (even with my Mace). So my weekly miles have been taking a hit, because my runs ranged from 5-8 the first week and a half.  The paces were slightly faster than back home, which was surprising.  Not by much but there wasn’t the “holy moly it’s hot let’s walk” thing that I’d have expected from the get-go.  Now that my legs are getting used to ~40 miles less per week (the last 4 weeks have been 101, 85, 65, 62) I’d expect to go faster.

And who knows.  I certainly plan on ramping up my miles and racing, which means I do expect to get faster/back into racing shape.  I’ve signed up to join the Dallas Running Club, which as part of it you get to do 8 of their races (first one for me is Saturday!) and discounts on 3 others.  I think I’ll be in training sooner rather than later. Especially since I’ve joined an informal running group to train with that one of my friends from RW hooked me up with (they are / were part of the DRC training group but wanted something more relaxed for group runs) and did a LR with them this past weekend and plan on joining them to run twice this upcoming week.

And since this post is getting long and I have more to say, I’m going to break it off here. The next post will have the specific workouts I’ve done since getting here and why I think I’ll be training for something in the near-ish future despite my proclamations of not racing the rest of 2011 because 2011 can suck it (see above for why it hasn’t been good).

Again: LOVE IT.  Everything just feels right despite the heat  wearing me down at the end of the day; I’m typically asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. And the sun rises so late here! I guess I’m not in Kansas (or RI) anymore…

August 12, 2011

Another Week Goes By….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:22

…and no post.  I meant to post during the week but (and this is one of my transitions, I’ll try to give them all a separate post — unfortunately it might be late next week– because I want to talk about my workout today) this week was my last week at the clinic.  I can’t believe that my year with VISTA is over! And since last post I don’t have anything exciting on the workout front.

So needless to say, I’ve been swamped.  Not with work per se.  More so with the “let’s spend 8 hours applying to jobs” and “let’s go drinking with friends at night” swamped. Tough life, no?

Well yes.  Because tough = mile repeats = pain.

Granted I was out way to late last night and woke up still drunk this morning.  But, that said, I’ve had spectacular sessions before after such nights.  This was not the case and I think my liver is finally realizing that it’s not 21 anymore. I’m still in the process of convincing it otherwise.

Thanks google images.

Anyway I headed out to the track this afternoon to “bang out some mile repeats”. Step one of running fast is the outfit and I rocked my booty spandex and sports bra and sunglasses. (Step two is not chickening out — see below and my pre-1 repeat)

Last week I was excited about them (and by them I mean the 800s).  This week I knew I had to run twice the distance and about the same pace.  Last fall I was able to do 6 X 1 mile @ ~6:30.  Based on last week’s workout I wanted to do 4 X 1 mile @ 7:30.

Now, as I’m just getting back into speed work I have ZERO idea what I should be running these things in.  But 7:30 is what I’d ideally call a tempo pace, and did last fall  (and I just cheated and looked at McMillian based on my PW marathon time and mile repeats should be at 7:21-7:43 with tempo runs being 7:53-8:13 and tempo intervals being 7:46-8:03 for whatever that info is worth)

I’m very glad I didn’t know that information until just now though.  Just because.  I think that with the hiatus I’ve taken I should just go.

And go I did.

Workout: 4 X 1 mile with 800m recovery jog

  1. 4:10 + 4:01 = 8:11. F@#$. <– Thought in my head.  I debated nixing the whole workout but figured that anything faster than the 9:40 easy paces I’ve been doing should be beneficial.  Fact: I stopped this first repeat at the 200m line. Gave myself a HTFU pep talk, walked back to the start and then ran in
  2. 4:06 + 4:04 = 8:10 Seriously?!?
  3. 4:05 + 4:00 = 8:05 Better I guess.
  4. 4:05 + 4:00 = 8:05 Dayyyyyyyyyum

So clearly I’ve fallen from last fall.  Like last week, I never felt like I was going fast.  And yet I know I could not have gone faster.  It was upsetting to a degree. Funny how last week I wrote about being okay because I was getting back into it and, while I’d never have admitted it beforehand, I was hoping to really bounce back fast. I shouldn’t (and am not) be surprised just because after last Friday’s session my legs were wiped for days after.  I’m not sure if it’s even possible BUT I don’t think my legs were recovered today!

I was just complaining to a friend about how “out of shape I clearly am” and he disagreed.  Mostly because he know I run a lot and that equals being in shape.  At the time I didn’t have a retort.

Now I do: I am out of racing shape.  I can bang out 100+ mile weeks with the best of them but that doesn’t mean I’m going fast.  I really don’t think I could have run faster if Jack the Ripper was behind me today.

thanks google images

And since I love racing (I know I don’t race often but I do love it) that’s frustrating. I guess this means that if I want to start seriously contemplating a fall race (not a marathon but maybe a half or 10k or anything!) I need to cut back on the miles and let myself ride out this period of awkward “hey-what-the-hell-am-I-doing?!?” phase of getting into Fasty McFast shape.

Note: I’m not upset over this in an “I’m-going-to-agonize-over-it” way.  I’m just annoyed that I’m not in my Fall 2010 Racing Shape. The workout wasn’t a complete disaster because I fell in the “tempo interval” range as noted above. I’m sure I’ll reap some benefit from this, no? And, as I mentioned last week, there’s room for improvement. I need to focus on that excitement.

I also hope this post is coherent.  I’m running on little sleep.  Time for a quick nap and then time to go out and celebrate with my friends (they’re 2nd year med students and this week is the 1st year’s orientation.  I’m an honorary med student this week hahah!)

June 24, 2011

Friiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiday. Means Dance.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:42

Still busy.  Still planning. In the process of moving to my sublet this weekend. But two posts in one week? One work week in fact? I’m happy with that.

Sooooooooooooo what’s keeping me sane? Musica. I don’t really know if any of these ones are considered “current” but they are goodies in my eyes and if I can scream at the top of my lungs and bust a move then it’s all good.

And since I’m taking casual Friday to the extreme and listening to my iPhone as well as going out dancing tonight (holllllllllllllllerrrrrrr) I want to use this post as a vehicle to start getting pumped (trust me: I spent the past…well I’m not going to admit to how long I actually spent searching/researching songs. I had to limit myself to lucky #4 for the blog though). And by pumped I mean creating a pre-gaming mix.  Suggestions are welcome!

Also note: these songs go on running mixes too.  Thankfully I don’t run with music often because I’m 97.3453% sure that I’d end up with more cracked ribs that way!

  • Fist pumping song. Never. Gets. Old. “Yeah X3” by Chris Brown
  • This one is just awesome to belt to. I’m toying with the idea of karaoke-ing it.  Angry. “You Lie” by The Band Perry
  •  “You Be Killing ‘Em” by Fabulous.  Mostly because it have the best line ever! (They say she a dime. I say she underrated)
  • “Evacuate the Dance Floor” by Cascada. Ummmmmmmmmm dancing. Need I say more?
  • One that I just rediscovered is by Shakira. Hot.

Okay so that was 5. Moving onto running related notes before I add 5 more…

I’m still running obviously.  Like the month of May I’ve been running a lot of miles and trading off for speed.  Lately (aka this week) my energy levels increased a bit — mostly from sleeping a combined 34 hours over last Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and partly from doing more afternoon running — and my pace has sped up a bit as a result.

I. Wish.

I’m just rolling with the running thing.  My muscles are starting to feel slightly sore and so are my feet so I’m going to take it as a sign to start listening to my body and ease up if it seems to be an ongoing/recurring/continuing thing.

But that whole going out and dancing thing tonight? If it’s going to cause muscle/feet soreness, well then, I think it’s a price I’ll have to pay. Have a great weekend y’all!

June 20, 2011

Another 10 Days…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 07:19

…or more (?)…and no post. I was originally typing it up Sunday night but then got drug to Pub Trivia.  And beer.  Tough life I know.

This one isn’t going to be a huge catch up on all things running though.  Mostly because I’ve been doing the same thing. Well not really the same thing, I’ve been varying the distance and routes that I go. But lots of miles and lots of slowness.  I’m loving it.  With no race on the calendar it’s nice to get out there (and in 70* weather! For the most part, there have been some cold damp days as well as some HHH days) and run.  And think.

I’m still holding close the real reason (s) I’m not posting much.  But suffice it to say that I’m making big plans, both happy and sad. I feel like such a teenage girl not sharing but I don’t want to jinx anything, for better or for worse.

But the following pictures kind of / sort of depict what I’ve been doing FUN wise over the past few weekends this month.  The first weekend was my sister’s graduation…in the middle of nowhere….but beautiful scenery for running.  Because I was literally in the mountains.  I had high hopes of running to the NY and VT borders but time constraints forced me to not. I had brought my phone with me in case I should encounter beastly wildlife and snapped a few pictures.  And by a few I think I mean 13.  The large majority of which I will share.

Mountains!

Florida,MA.Holler.

The hills…errrr mountains…are alive with the sound of music.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand again.

Path I was actually on.

The rivaaaaaaaaaaaah

And to actually prove that I was at a graduation I present to you la famille.

The following weekend (the 12th) I went to a wedding.  For a friend whom I’ve known since I was 10. And I’ve known the groom since I was 14 (when they started dating). YIKES! Most of the pics snapped aren’t mine, so my favs will follow; although anyone who is FB friends with me can see all of them.

Waiting for the event to start

The class of 2005 (minus the bride of course)

Let’s dance

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm let’s see….anything else exciting happen lately? Oh yeah. The B’s! And my hero. It’s been so nice to “have a reason” to go out on a weekday night.  Too often I find myself staying in because it’s a “work night”.  Psssss (did I mention I went to pub trivia last night? Sunday?)

thanks google images

So that’s been the highlights of my June so far.  I suppose that since I’m posting, oh say, never, this might just be the linked post when I type up my June “Previously” post hahah! I feel so terrible being such a bad blogging friend but I swear that the end is in sight. It might be another 2 weeks off (I’m moving into my sublet this upcoming weekend and the ongoing family / future plans drama type stuff) before I’m fully back but I haven’t forgotten about this blog. Or y’all.  Promise!

June 10, 2011

Previously on MM…May 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:02

I am soooooooooooooo totally aware that today is June 10th. AKA we are officially in mid-June.  And I never put up my May recap-y post.  In all fairness I didn’t put up any posts this month so far.  So in one sense I’m really not that late because this is my first post all month.

Needless to say I’ve been busy.  And once my computer got that virus 2+ weeks ago I haven’t turned it on once after getting it fixed. And then I went away last weekend for a graduation (in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful. But middle of nowhere.) So I’m popping in real quick before I head away for a wedding this weekend and I go even longer without posting. I have some awesome pictures from my weekend away that I want to share. (I totally rubbernecked on my runs) and I’ve had some strange/amusing encounters on my runs lately so I know I’ll be back.  I sure hope so because I’ve missed y’all!

Anyone remember when I posted daily? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.

thanks google

May 2011

  • 425.6 miles
  • 67 hours 16 minutes 3 seconds
  • 9:29 pace

May 2010

  • 286.6 miles
  • 42 hours 40 minutes 49 seconds
  • 8:56 average pace

The biggest, most obvious, difference is the increase in miles. WOW. I posted my miles with my Dailies crew and got a couple of questions/remarks of “how do you run so many miles?”.  Well I really don’t know.  It’s not like I’m sacrificing much here: I’m an early riser in general so getting up between 0530 and 0600 typically happens no matter what time I go to bed and I’m lucky that I don’ t have kids or a spouse or those obligations.  That frees up lots of time.  Plus I”m young so my social obligations don’t start until at least 2000.  Somehow it all works out.  I mean, I definitely skimp on the sleep and many runs have been a little dehydrated from the night before.

And obviously pace suffers.  That’s pretty obvious is the stats too. Which, at this current moment, is something I don’t really care about.  I have prospect races but nothing that I’ve laid down the cash for so I’m perfectly happy just going out there and running big.  Or twice in one day and with the weather getting to be SUMMERTIME is something I’m loving.

Overall: good month. Some other highlights? Well this was a really stressful month on the family front but I got some good stuff out of it too.

  • Some of my stress was relieved when I found a place to sublet for July and August (and a place for beyond that! I AM SO EXCITED!). Turns out I will not be living in a cardboard box on the side of the road for the remainder of my time in PVD nor beyond that. Holler.

thanks google

  • WARM WEATHER. Borderline hot. Holler again.  It’s so nice to be able to go out at night and not wear a jacket or sweater.  It’s definitely helped my social life.  Which, speaking of, going out with Lacey over Memorial Day weekend was fan-freaking-tastic. I love dancing.
  • Evidently not baking though as I only made one recipe. And if memory serves me correctly I stated such in my post.  They were cookies though.  Win?

Yum.

  • Cracked ribs.  Okay so maybe not a highlight per se.  But it makes a great story.  Luckily I’m almost at 100%.  I don’t need the painkillers to sleep anymore, which is nice, but I can still feel that my ribs are a little damaged when I take deep breaths.

Hopefully this post was coherent. When I started typing I felt like I forgot how to blog! It’s Friday so it’s a half day for me (don’t be tooooooooooo jealous. I had to work several 9-10 hour days to get it!) and I’ll be

  1. Catching up on your lovely blogs
  2. Enjoying the wonderous(ly hot) weather
  3. Cheering the Bruins on tonight

Ready? BREAK!

May 25, 2011

It’s All Coming Back to Me Nowwwwwwwwwwwww

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:41

Don’t lie: you love this song and Celine.

At least it’s coming back to my legs.

Maybe I want to call it kick? Maybe spark?

Either way I’ve noticed that my afternoon sessions of my doubles give me faith that I’m not a slug. Because that’s what I feel like during my pre-work runs lately. As evidenced today when I ran 8 miles pre-0700 at a slow yet steady and comfortable pace and then followed it up with 5 miles post-work at a comparable effort level but easily 45 seconds faster per mile than this morning.

Maybe it’s a factor of the fact that I’m still under stress and having no real appetite leading to fatigue in the early morning hours (vs afternoon runs where I have two meals and two snacks in my system, even if they aren’t the most substantial)

Or maybe it’s a factor of my mind and body being awake in the afternoon. I’m quite positive neither are at 0530, although this morning the sun was actually out before my alarm went off and I woke up with a START because my room was soooo bright that I thought I had overslept.

FINALLY (thanks google images)

Either way I thoroughly enjoy my typical M/W/F double of ~6-8 in the morning with ~4-5 post-work.

You’re probably saying to yourself “well then why don’t you just run all of your miles during the afternoon?” Well lots of it has to do with timing.  I just started doing this double thing (while holding down a “real job”) recently and it coincided with my roomie being done with the semester/classes.  And we’ve decided to start having dinner together on the days I’m not at clinic late.  We settled on an 1800 time and, provided I can get out of work at 1600-1630, I have just enough time to get home, change, run and shower.

Plus I feel badass doing doubles.  And I really don’t want to give up my early morning runs.  Even though I don’t get to see the actual sunrise (something I really enjoy but  it’s so early now!) there’s something really peaceful running that early.  Especially when I run one of the typically bustling-with-college/grad-students streets at 0600. Because it’s EMPTY. I don’t want to give it up. I also have “friends” that I regularly see on my boulevard pathway.

The temps in the morning don’t hurt either (this morning was ~60* at 0530 although it was 75* at 1630) and the fact that there’s very little traffic so I don’t have to wait at lights which is convenient.

That’s not to say that I’ve been doing doubles everyday.  It’s really hard for me to get up early on the weekends so it’s typically all afternoon miles and on T/R I work until 21-2200 and it’s all morning.  But I go back and forth with morning vs afternoon running and which I like better.  I guess the nice thing about running (and the doubles) is that I really don’t have to choose.

I think I’ve written about different time frames of running before (so I apologize if you’re feeling some deja-vu) and this post is mostly just word vomit of some thoughts that struck me on my run this afternoon. And I ran with it.  Pun totally intended.

On a totally unrelated note: I think I want to be T.Swift when I grow up.  For real.

May 22, 2011

Did You Miss Me?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Projo

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

Newsflash: the sun and warm temps zap energy.

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

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

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

thanks google images.

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

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

May 12, 2011

It’s Bubble Wrap Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:41

Because I took another spill Tuesday morning (warning at the end of this post is a picture of the damage. Hey it’s my blog and I ❤ these pictures. Like, if you have any then post ’em on your blog!)

thanks google images

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Another fall?! Last time the damage was minimal.  Because this time I fell hard enough to crack my iphone. And bruise a rib (or two).  Seriously. There’s no point tenderness, only soreness/bruising pain (although interestingly enough, no bruise) so I haven’t gone to the doctor yet because it isn’t a clear-cut fracture and, after talking to a doc at the clinic later that night, the treatment for everything else is just rest, ibuprofen and ice.  If I’m in lots of pain I can go to the doctor for a Rx painkiller but I’d rather not do that.  I mean, I didn’t take any painkillers when I got my wisdom teeth out.  I think I can handle this a little bit.

So running: on hold until the pain goes away (I’m told ~4 days which puts me into the weekend) then I can ease back into it.  The pushups/situp challenge I was doing? (aka the 365 challenge) On hold as I can barely use my arm / rib muscles to push myself out of bed in the mornings (and the past few mornings my muscles have spasmed there. Ugh) or prop myself up in bed.

When it rains it pours right? I mean, at the moment I feel like nothing running-related can go right. Or without incident. I will say that the run ended up being pretty damn good aside from falling. Nice and steady and long with a spectacular finish (twss) (the fall was ~1 mile from the end of the run) But I do think my ego hurts more than any body part. Especially since both falls could have been prevented (aka tying my shoes and not getting lost in my hot mess thoughts)

Or my knee as when I went to the dermatologist (for a yearly head-to-toe skin scan) on Wednesday she looked at my sorry body (fall Friday, shenanigans Friday night, fall Tuesday = banged up) she noticed an odd looking scab on my knee.  Upon closer inspection it turns out that it wasn’t a crusted blood scab but a rock/pebble the size of an apple seed / green bean seed in my knee. It was lodged so deep that I couldn’t feel any sort of excess bump other than what a scab would look like.  The doctor actually had to use NOVOCAINE to my knee as she extracted the, as she so eloquently put it, “boulder” from my knee.  And she kept it to show her colleagues.

Of course I took a picture of the hole in my knee. DUH.

Moral of my last two posts? MM = hot mess. Like, who else does this happen too? The good news is that this year I didn’t need any moles removed at the derm.

I also want to mention in passing that there’s some family stuff going on right now and things have been very emotional. Well actually one large family thing. So I may be absent from the blog world for a week.  I am acutely aware that now that I make that disclaimer I’m going to find lots of time to blog/comment.  Because that’s how it works. And, because I like reading blogs and I like writing my posts.  We’ll see. I just don’t want anyone to worry that I died from infection or lung collapsement from that last fall.  Things are just going to be busy and my mind is going to be all over the place, that’s all.

May 9, 2011

PSA Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:19

Tie your shoelaces when running.  Otherwise this might happen

Or this

Or maybe don’t because it’ll be a good cover-up for drunk shenanigans and bruises incurred while consuming too much whiskey later that night. Small favors. Not that I’d know anything about shenanigans. But seriously: tie your shoelaces. Luckily the fall resulted in mostly a bruised ego.

Another PSA: always remember to wear sunscreen.  A lesson I learned the hard way the past few weeks in the nice weather. But a follow-up lesson: remember to REAPPLY the stuff. I’m lucky that I have my annual derm/skin appointment this week.  She (my doc) needs to scare me silly.

Running wise, I’m going at it.  Slow and steady.  Such is the norm.  I think my body is still reeling from the injury back in mid-March, the 2 week long illness I had around the same time and the huge miles I ran that month.  Oh and maybe a little thing called a marathon last month.

That said, I have been slowly ramping up the miles this past week.  I’m not doing anything with my pace right now, mostly because both my legs and mind balk every time I think I’m going to tackle it. But this past week saw the reintroduction of two things:

  • A double digit long run. Early last week I was planning on running 11.5 miles but the really nice weather, coupled with some fresh legs, forced me to tack on an extra 2.5.  FOURTEEN.  And the pace was decent too.  It’s funny how some runs can be so on with both distance and pace while others (*ahem*sunday*run) seem to falter from the get-go.
  • Doubles.  On Friday, after Cinco de Mayo, I had planned on running after work (Fridays are half days for me) but I woke up at 0615 anyway.  Blahhhh. So I got up and went out for a quick run before work and then completed my miles post-work, for a grand total of 12 on that day.  I was planning on 12 anyway but it’s soooo mentally easy breaking up the run as such.

Overall the motivation to GO and the overall pace of my runs is blah.  I’m trying to embrace the blah. There’s too much going on in other aspects of my life to fight this. Maybe I would if I had a big goal race on the docket but I don’t.  C’est la vie.

And, since work is wicked busy today, that’s all you’re going to get.  This weekend, aside from emerging banged up, my roomie and I actually cooked/baked.  Funny how last week I wrote that I really didn’t enjoy it and now I have a recipe to post.  I guess I really don’t like just cooking for one, or cooking by myself, because this was fun.

Off to go apply my new favorite beauty product (seriously. This stuff is GENIUS)

thanks google images

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