MarathonMaiden's Blog

October 4, 2010

Drunk Pumpkin

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:42

AKA one more funny search term. I love using these because I don’t have to come up with something on my own.  YAY laziness. And you should google image “Drunk Pumpkin”.  Seriously.

The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.
Muhammad Ali, former American boxer and three-time World Heavyweight Champion

This quote certainly does not speak to laziness though. Nor did my run this morning.  But first the rest of the weekend?

Saturday friend came to visit and we did go for a 4 miler and I had done some core before leaving (of which I am STILL sore.  Note to self: taking 6 weeks off of core work is not a good idea.  And I must have been really using my arms to help me during my track workout because they are sore too).  It was nice and not to fast but not to slow.  And it was nice and sunny out.  A beautiful fall day.  Later we went out that night to a sports place that I had been dying to go to.  The best part of being in a new city is that you get to explore places.  There are still so many places that I want to go to!


It’s nice to get all dolled up too.  Don’t get me wrong: I love my jeans and a t-shirt but putting on a fancy dress is amazing too

We stayed out wayyyyyy late and I had to call the person I was going to go running with when my alarm went off the next morning to see if we could push our running plans from 0900 to later that afternoon.  But we ended up just rescheduling them.  Which is just as well because I had some errands to run and a good book to catch up with.  And the weather was cloudy and blahhh.  A perfect day for some tea and a warm blanket.

Since I got so little sleep on Saturday I went to bed embarrassingly early Sunday night.  And man I slept HARD.  I think the fact that it was rainy out and extremely cool and NOT humid helped a lot.  It was still a shock when my alarm went off this morning at 0530 though.  I definitely did not wake up feeling refreshed at all.  I’m thinking that when I get off work today that I’m going to have to at least TRY and nap. 

But my run did not reflect that in the slightest.  In the back of my mind I thought that my body would do a forced recovery day like they did after the hills of last week.  Mostly because my body is SORE at the moment.  I think I can feel every single muscle in my body.  For real.  Not 100% sure why but I’m guessing it’s the combo of  no core work in 6 weeks + hard track workout + being out really late Saturday + inactivity on Sunday.  I’m leaning toward my Saturday night because it’s the one thing that was out of normal. But who knows. It’s interesting because I wasn’t that sore yesterday.  Maybe I shouldn’t have taken that rest day 😉

But the run ended up being SO not recovery.

  • 1st loop: 4.1 @ 8:09
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 @ 8:00
  • 3rd loop:    4.1 @ 7:56
  • Total:               12.3 @ 8:02

Definitely a very surprising run indeed.  It kind of came out of left field.  Even though it felt good and fast and ON during it.  It’s like all the stars were aligned. And maybe they were because it was 0530 and dark. 

Yay google images

And yes, all three loops were my path loop.  It wasn’t really all that boring and I did it that way because I felt safer. 

The weather was pretty nice for running too: 52*, 90% humidity, some rain. Luckily the rain was only drizzle, with the exception of a 5 minute spurt, and it wasn’t raining when I stepped out the door.  Given how my eyes were stinging from lack of sleep I might have just gone back inside! Especially since the temperature felt sooooo cold.  It was 20* warmer on Friday for my run!

But it wasn’t as cold as one of the guys on the path thought it was: he was in SNOW PANTS and SKI GLOVES. I thought I was overdressed in a long sleeve and shorts hahah! I mean, I do wear ski gloves in winter but it’s definitely nowhere near cold enough yet. And hopefully it won’t be any time in the near future.

The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.Muhammad Ali, former American boxer and three-time World Heavyweight Champion

In the near future, however, I intend on doing a tune-up speed workout either tomorrow or Wednesday.  I’m thinking that I’ll have to head back to the track again as I know that once I’m actually there I’ll go fast.  There’s just too much doubt when I do something on the roads.  But we’ll see.  I guess it depends on how sore my body is in the morning (I still cannot get over how sore I am!).  Any type of speed work this week would likely just be mental as the race is on MONDAY. Exciting.

Until then I have to get through some work.  The rainy weather + sleepiness + sore body = me not wanting to move.  Luckily the work I have today is to start (and hopefully get a lot of work done on) the monthly report.  AKA sit at my desk.  My body could probably use movement to not stiffen up but I’m being lazy.  Don’t judge 🙂

September 28, 2010

You Can’t Make Me

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:02

Do speed work that is. At least out and out speed work.

Because today I tackled the HILLS.


I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this.  Hell I’m NEVER sure I want to do this.  Hills are like reverse frenemies.  They are nasty to you outright but behind your back they help you become a better runner.

I’m glad you guys don’t really have a problem with me complaining so much about the weather — or at least you guys were too polite to do so.  Because I suppose I’m going to do it again. When I last left you guys the weather was cool and misty.  This morning it was 71* with a humidity of 91%.  I guess  I can’t really complain because late afternoon yesterday the humidity was 97%. Hello summer? WTF New England?!

I also got to sleep in (AGAIN) today.  My body woke me at 0715 but I laid there until the alarm was supposed to go off 45 minutes later.  In hindsight it might have been a mistake because adding the hill repeats, and the subsequent recovery jogs, into the route caused me to run slightly late for work this morning.  But everything miraculously worked out and I got here on time.  And the repeats let me feel good.

It didn’t start out that way.  I woke up and, as the title of the post suggests, I did NOT want to do anything other than an easy run.  It’s easy.  Duh.  I think one of the best things I incorporate into my running is this blog.  I mean, I had SAID that over the weekend I was going to do this workout.  And then I said it again yesterday.  At some point I’ve got to nut up or shut up

How I tackled these hills hahah

And so I did.  The first few warm up miles were NOT pretty.  My legs felt DEAD and TIRED and NOT MOVING. But by this time I knew that I was doing hills so I told myself that by the time I got to the two hills I wanted to do that my legs would feel better.

LIES.  But it got me to stop at the hills rather than just continue on my way.

  • ~40 minute warm up
  • 4 X Hill 1: ~.1 miles @ 12% [Edit: I lied, this hill is really 26%. Eep. the funny thing is that this one hurt less than the other one!] 
  • 4 X Hill 2:  ~.1 miles @ 15%
  • ~ 55 minutes warm down
  • Total hillage: 8 repeats for ~1.5 miles
  • Total miles & pace: 12 miles @ 9:05

Ouch.  I was expecting a faster time than that.  But the slow start and the killer hills (and granny jog — aka barely moving — recovery) and then slow to get my legs moving after the hills (plus I realized that I still had to go up more hills to get back to my apartment!) all add up to a SLOW overall pace. I’m not too upset by it.  Obviously I cringed a bit when calculating it out but I’m happy with getting those hills in. It was a very challenging workout for me.

These guys were TOUGH.  My legs BURNED after the first one. My butt and hips are going to be very VERY sore tomorrow.  I could feel them being sore during the workout.  And I could feel them sore during the runn granny shuffle afterward.  Heck I can feel them being sore right now as I type this at clinic.

That said, looking back on the workout I’d have to classify these guys as just hill repeats.  Not hills sprints.  Of course my legs were tired and hurt like the dickens by the end but I never felt like I was going to hurl.  I do know that is what I always want out of racing but I also think a good hard session of hills or intervals should give you a slight feeling of vomit-ness. 

But again, I’m not disappointed with this workout.  My heart was pounding in my chest and I wanted to stop.  But I didn’t. I know that the next step in my running scheme is to get from repeats to sprints.  But considering that I haven’ t done a hills workout since Boston training (and those were on TMs because of the lack of hills in my area) this one was a doozy.

Which suits me just fine 8)

September 23, 2010

Bullets = Scatterbrain

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:10

Whoa there. Today’s clinic has the potential to make this week feel really long and gloomy and when I tried to write a cohesive paragraph-ical post this morning I couldn’t.  Sooooo here are some bullet points.  Because bullet points are inherently jumbled and by the time Thursday comes around I am usually jumbled.  But there’s always this to cheer us up — and the promise of the weekend so despite Thursdays being a long work day I still love them to death 😀

  • First I’ll start with the running.  It’s been going well.  Last week I complained a lot about my crazy hours at the clinic and this week I’ve been working more reasonable hours (granted I just jinxed myself!). But the lack of sleep and overload of stress really hit THIS week. I’ve been sleeping like a ROCK but still been very tired (Except for the annoying texts that my friends (who still do not have jobs and therefore do not understand why I want to be a granny and go to bed before midnight) send me post-midnight. But we won’t talk about that hah!).  What does this have to do with running? Well on Wednesday I had planned a shorter run because my legs have some lingering soreness from the 5k but I was so deep in thought and out of it that I missed a turn.  Which added 3.3 miles to my route.  Annoying.  Especially since I was so committed to NOT running far that day. Normally I wouldn’t mind but the cumulative effects of a hard race 2 weeks ago and a hard race a few days ago has left my legs still a bit groggy.  As much as you would never believe that I could type this out but I could have used a shorter distance day.
  • Thursday (today)’s run was nicer.  Maybe because it went according to plan hah! I went out bowling last night but because of the later clinic today I got to sleep in.  Which was like a rock again.  So I woke up ready to tackle my run.  And tackle I did.  I chose to NOT run the pathway like I usually do in the mornings (it was 0800 and felt safer because there was sunlight and lots of people around) and run through the city.  It was a different feel because I normally just run there on the weekend.  It was cool to see people hurrying about and kids going off to school. The downside was it was on those steep hills (which one of them I have recently found out is legitimately 12% grade).  Not the fastest run ever and neither the longest nor the shortest run ever but it still felt really good.
  • According to Wednesday morning at 0530: 65* and humid WTF?!  The overnight low Tuesday night was WARMER than the high of Tuesday?!  And the temp Monday and Tuesday morning (at 0530 and 0800 respectively) when I was running was 44*?! How is that possible?! The forecast is also predicting a cold front this weekend. Gahhhh New England.  How I love and yet hate thee.


Seriously. Bamf status right here. How can you not love it?!


Seriously. How could you love this?!

  • Does drinking soda count toward hydration? I used to say NO because I’ve always been told that caffeine = diuretic so it shouldn’t count.  But I’ve since read articles that caffeine is no more a diuretic than good old H2O. AND when I was drinking my afternoon Dr. Pepper (because I’ve found something else other than my diet coke with lime to fuel my caffeine addiction! GASP!) lo – and – behold: the first ingredient is water.I think it should count.  Especially since, and this is likely very shameful, I only drink about 16 oz of actual water a day (I do drink lots of milk.  Like probably too much).
  • I use to map.  And I typically truncate the mileage at the first decimal place (aka 4.56 = 4.5).  Recently I’ve tried to look at the hundredths place and that can yield me up to .2 or .3 MORE.  This also obviously messes with the average overall paces. Thoughts on what I should do from here on out? I just tend to distrust the accuracy of the .01 place but clearly can make a big difference over a longer run like this.  Should I take an average of the two? Hmmmm.
  • I discovered driving home from clinic late one night last week that the route I drive is territory to the Bloods.  As in the gang.  I realized this because there were about 20 cops breaking something up and I checked the news the next day.  I have never been more happy to be leasing the car I drive from my family.  Money well worth spent.
  • I love your guys’ input on my goals that I wrote about last post.  And your suggestions for the time between now and Tufts.  I keep getting nervous / scared for it. Much like I was before this past 5k.  I keep questioning things like maybe I never fully recovered from my half then ran a really good 5k and didn’t truly try to recover from that.  Or I’m training like I’m running for a longer race. I need to smarten up and GET FOCUSED because I have the Tufts 10k coming up! Sometimes I feel like maybe I’m not taking my 10k goal seriously. Or I’m just scared of it. Again: funny because I’m such a type-A personality and I tend take things too seriously.
  • Also on a 100% not related to ANYTHING I’ve written about (but then again is anything really related in this post?) I want to share this gem of a picture that I found on failblog.  It caused me and the girl sitting next to me at work to dissolve into hysterical laughter.  And then I had to text my sister who texted me back:

I don’t know what to think of this.  On one hand I appreciate it and on the other I’m slightly offended

And check out these giveaways from Marcia and Emily!

September 8, 2010

Clearly Racing Means Fast Post-Race Runs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:00

Holy Moly guys!

Thanks so much for all the amazingly nice comments on my race report from this weekend (especially the ones where you guys said that me and Lacey were way cute and adorable hahah)! It definitely makes me smile to read them and makes me feel really special 8)

I want to give you a big bear hug 🙂 (and note that his sign says "Teddy McIntosh says Eat More Fruit". Awesomeness.)

I’m still kind of on cloud 9 post-race.  It still *really* hasn’t hit me how fast I ran or how much of a PR that race was.  I can tell in subtle ways though.  Despite my saying I wasn’t sore at all the day after the race I can feel my quads and shins hardcore now.  Nothing “OW” inducing but enough that I would really like a massage.  Preferably by a hot male.

Do I have to beg?! Hahahah

I can also tell because my runs in the days that followed have been pretty fast.  Even with the muscle soreness.  I know that seems a bit counter-intuitive but I’ve typically found that after a hard effort my subsequent runs are faster.  Even if they don’t feel that way in the moment.

Here’s a rundown of my working out post-race

Monday was a run in the continued AMAZINGNESS that was post-hurricane Earl (if you could even call it a hurricane.  Neither was it a tropical storm.  Only heavy rain.) The weather truly felt like fall and the run felt good because of that.  My legs weren’t feeling fresh (duh) but my pace was an 8:33 which kind of stunned me a bit just because I had RACED HARD the day before. I also biked today because there was no food in my house when I got back from NH so my brother and I biked to a sub shop to catch up and eat — I love how I’m a bit closer with my siblings now that I’ve moved out of my hometown! I suppose I also got in some “lifting” because I had to move some more furniture to take with me.

Tuesday found me back in RI and back on the pathway.  Because of my work schedule I was able to “sleep in” and that was pleasant.  I love waking up on my own, even if it’s still pre-0700, and feeling the covers engulf you.  Of course I did eventually get up after laying there and was rewarded with sore quads and shins.  Not that I didn’t see this coming because when I woke up on Monday I felt it too but man, I really thought about going back to bed! Like always, I’m glad I didn’t because I was rewarded with this run

  • 1st loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:40
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:33
  • Add-on:     1.1 miles @ 8:15
  • Total:            9.3 miles @ 8:34

A great run for sure and it was really surprising to see such a fast first loop.  I really did tell myself (out loud too!) that I wasn’t going to try and pass anyone and do racing a la Jess (which I know I’m just linking to her homepage but whenever I “race” someone I think of her!).  Well I guess the competitive juices were flowing (or my beat – frequency theory from aways back was brought up) because I wanted to pass all those runners out there.  Oops.

Wednesday was a weird start time (for a Wednesday) because there was a clinic (the 2nd Wednesday of every month has a women’s clinic and the 4th Monday has a men’s clinic in addition to the regular Tuesday / Thursday primary care ones) so I got to sleep in AGAIN.  Hoooooooooooollllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  I woke up with an alarm though.  It wasn’t obscenely early or anything (if fact it was the same time as Tuesday) and I was able to lay in bed for a bit before getting up.  The shin soreness had subsided a bit but the quads still felt like I had lifted heavy!

I hit the pathway again with the following results

  • 1st loop: 4.1 miles @ 9:01
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:30
  • Add-on:     1.1 miles @ 8:15
  • Total:            9.3 miles @ 8:42

The reason the second loop was so fast was because a thunderstorm kind of popped up out of the middle of nowhere! And, of course, it had to pop up when I was at the FURTHEST point from my apartment.  Nothing like lighting overhead to make you haul ass.  Interestingly enough when I first heard the thunder (and then saw the lightning) my first thought was “oh #$#@ I’m NOT going to be able to run faster”.  And I actually didn’t feel like I was.  But there’s got to be something said about survival mechanisms or something like that because I did run faster.  The storm passed through really quickly (it went from sunny and happy to dark and scary and then back again in a matter of 20 minutes or so) and by the time I got back to my apartment I was able to tack on the extra Add-on.

So that’s the deal-io with my running post-race.  I’m sure that running so many miles isn’t advisable.  But when have I EVER done anything advisable.  Seriously.  I dare someone to say something and challenge that.  I double dare ya 😉

Thank you google images

I just always feel good / fast the week after a race.  I figure that my body will tell me to go slow when it needs to (it has never had a problem doing so in the past!)

Looking ahead though I think that I’m racing a 5k next weekend (aka not this upcoming one but the next) And, depending on schedules and which one I end up choosing,  it might be with Lacey again (that girl is going to get SO sick of me hahahah).  I’m hoping that I can trust my new strategy of GO OUT HARD AND HOLD ON to get another PR.  I ran my first (and so far only) 5k around this time last year so it’ll be interesting to see how I’ve progressed in the past year.  I’m planning on adding one legit speed-work session and some some quicker overall runs sometime between now and 10 days from now (YIKES) just because I know I clearly have endurance but I haven’t done anything purposely fast since my Boston training days.

The same goes for the Tufts 10k this year as well (which I just found out that my work is going to SPONSOR me to run.  Maybe not sponsorship in the most technical definition of the word — because I don’t even know what that would be — and I would have run it anyway but now I just don’ t have to pay — always a good thing), which is more of a goal race than any 5k I’m going to do.  I’m ready to smash some more PRs. This past weekend was extremely cloud-9-y and scary as well.  But I’m ready to embrace it.

On a totally NOT running related note: a few weeks ago I won a giveaway from Jess (yup she gets double link love today and I also am 100% aware that I have about 3-4 reviews to do and post.  Most of them are already written I just need to polish them! Oops.) Now this isn’t going to be a review per se but I wanted to share what I won and how cool it was.

It was also my very FIRST package at my new place.  I had only been here for a few days and it was wonderful to get home from work and find this

And then when I opened it up:

Always a good thing to be told that.  Not that it would have stopped me anyway  😀

Here’s some of the loot that was inside:

Coupons and chapstick and tea. OH MY 🙂

Recipes. Yum. Maybe now I’ll actually have to start baking.

So thanks Jess! And check out these other giveaways from ShutUpAndRun and Marcia. Or not because I want them 😛

July 7, 2010

Lame and Out of Focus

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:00

I so desperately need a vacation.

Unfortunately it’ll be another 3 weeks before my class is over.  And then another 2 until I take my test.  And then I start my job.  Ugh. So much for an actual summer. But I am looking forward to having those two weeks of no classes.  Like a lot.  Yes I have full length tests to take during that time buttttt.  It just feels different.

It’s almost like I’m waiting and waiting for those two weeks to get here.  And then I know they’ll fly right by.  Funny because I don’t have plans for them, and in all likelihood I won’t ha!, but I’m still wanted them to get here. Right. Now.

Must. Re. Focus. 🙂

Despite having a really great race over the holiday weekend, (you guys are way too kind with your comments! But thanks anyway 🙂 )and remembering that racing is very fun, nothing has really transpired in terms of actually planning to do more racing.  Partly sheer laziness: I don’t want to actually look up races.  Partly I’ll plead the poverty line: I am working for AmeriCorps for the next 12 months.  And partly I’ll blame the weather: Tuesday was over 100* ambient temp and felt like 104*.  Then again, maybe I shouldn’t blame the weather because a lot of you routinely hit that 😉

I have been running a little bit though.  I mean, I think you’d have to commit me if I didn’t.  In terms of running lots and lots I’ve stayed fairly committed to running less than I have been.  I think I mentioned it at the beginning of the month (which, by the way, was a week ago?! Time goes by wayyyy too fast) that I took some days off, then raced, and since then I’ve been doing some light stuff.  I’ve been going crazy, however, without that physical release and I think that’s contributing to my lack of focus, or rather my easy distractability, lately.

In terms of my body: my legs were kind of sore in the days post-race.  Nothing “OW” inducing but I was definitely working muscles that had not been worked before.  Funny how running fast is so not the same as running easy.  Go figure. I actually stretched. *GASP*.  Crazy, right?

I did also lift on Monday and it was HARD. I’m very sore right now. Well I was on Tuesday when I started drafting this post, today (Wednesday) is better but my chest is still a bit sore.  Weird how only one area is bugging me. Further actually making me want to stretch!  And, trying to see a silver lining in the “heat wave” hitting the good old NorthEast, the idea of stretching is more appealing because I don’t want to curl up into a ball and warm up post-run.

Despite that soreness of race + lift, the runs have still been on the quick side.  I think I’ve mentioned it before but following a hard effort it seems to not require too much additional effort to keep that speed in the days post-race, tempo, interval.  Inertia if you will.  My body is primed for it now. Doubly so since my running wasn’t too shabby before the 4th.

And, like I feel like I’ve said a lot lately, the whole lack of sleep thing must place a role on some level.  I just seem to run better sleep deprived.  Not too sure the source of my insomnia either: all the thoughts that run through my head (I cannot for the life of me turn my brain off! WTF?!) or the weather (I like to snuggle under the covers.  Hard to do when the temps don’t get below 75* overnight).  I’m sure there’s a breaking point but for now I guess I’ll just revel in the moment of quasi-fastness.

But nothing worth shouting from rooftops for.

I am, however, looking forward to my upcoming trip to Philly.  Sure the first part of the trip is work: job training.  But the second part I’ll be visiting one of my really good friends from high school who I never see because she’s in Philly and I’m, well, not.

Due to the fact that in a week I’ll be there, I’ve been thinking of how I’ll fit running in.  I don’t yet have the day-to-day schedule but it’ll follow something similar to 9-5.  Obviously running doubles or LR and whatnot won’t happen but I’m hoping to get a unique perspective of the city via running. Even though it’s hard to really believe sometimes due to how much I run but a short run is better than no run. Any tips?

And, of course, I’ll have ample study material with me.  When do I not? I’m actually that kid who brings her flashcards around with her so that I can be as productive and prepared as possible.  Major nerd alert again.

Interestingly I did study teleportation this past spring semester...

So I’m wondering how I’ll reconcile the amount of work I have with the training I’m in the city for.  I’m sure it’ll all work out but I’m type A.  So I worry about these things.

I mean, everything always works out in the end, but I’ve just been feeling out of focus (duh I did title this post that way) and distracted.  Which is why I haven’t posted in a couple days.  Everything I seem to do is covered in lame sauce.  Nothing terrible has happened or anything but I’ve just been feeling a bit stifled where I am.

So…yeah….lame and out of focused.  Kind of like this post. But life can’t all be fireworks and glory.

I’d still appreciate a vacation though 🙂

Now off to study some more.  Or at least try too!

May 10, 2010

Not As Bad As I Thought

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 10:00

[ETA: Oops to forgetting to post this up Sunday when I finished writing it! I swear it was ready to go that afternoon! That’s what I (and you) get when all you want to do is take advantage of free time before the craziness of finals week starts hahah.  I tried to go back and edit so it sounds like I wrote it today but I really wrote it Sunday.]

Definitely not as sore as I thought I’d be after my lifting session Saturday[ETA: Well Sunday morning when I got up this was the case.  As time has gone on the soreness factor has increased a bit but I’m not sure how much is lifting and how much is the LR that I did].  And I’m glad that I chose to hit up the gym, because the weather was soooo spazzy: one minute nothing then the next downpouring to clear again.  That’s not even mentioning the random thunder and lightning that cropped up.  I can handle the rain / heavy rain but I’m terrified on thunderstorms so that would not have been good.  Plus I don’ t think it’s all that smart to be running in that kind of storm 😉

But the gym was good.  I did my “typical” lifting routine (found here) sandwiched between some elliptical and some treadmill action as warming up and down.  I kept the weights on the light side because, like I mentioned yesterday, it has been a good 4-5 weeks since I last hit the weights.  I think I used the correct weights for my legs (oh hey there hamstrings!) but I probably under did it with the arms as I’m really not feeling any effects of the session.

My process of choosing the weights was take the weights I was using during training and go down one.  I don’t think I lost as much fitness as I think I did because my body isn’t omg-I-can’t-move sore.  More of an okay-hello-muscles sore.  I’m debating whether to increase my weights next time or keep it at the lower ones for another couple of sessions.

In a way it’s good that I’m not as sore as I was anticipating because my long run was pushed off to Sunday. It felt really weird to not do a Saturday long run because that’s what I’ve been doing, not just during Boston training, but since my last training cycle save a few actually no, the summer was Friday lrs but I haven’t done Sundays since…(checks log book) February 8th 2009.  Wowza.

But since classes are over there is no reason to keep Sunday really free and clear.  I even pushed off the run to mid-morning to allow some food to get into my system and pray for a bit that the wind would die down a bit.  Obviously the running gods did not want to listen to me because it was still very windy when I hit the road.  Oh well.  It was certainly better than trying to run in the tstorms of yesterday.

And to be honest (and I’m going to just state that I really hate that phrase…and the phrase “not going to lie”…so I don’t know why I want to use it here hah) the wind wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Sure it gusted a bit but it kept me from overheating and I’ve turned into a pansy as of late with my running.  I only want to run in perfect conditions.  I’ve been spoiled because of all the XT I’ve been forced to do and avoid the elements.

So I put on a slightly heavier long-sleeve (and by slightly heavier I mean heavier than a tech shirt but not a thermal shirt) to keep the wind at bay and took off.

Like really took off.  Since you all know by now that I don’t have a garmin (I think I write that so much ha! Guess as much as I say I’m happy without one, having one would be nice.  Too bad they’re so expensive!) I don’t know what my pace was for the first few miles (or any individual mile really) but suffice it to say that I felt like I was cruising.  And who knows, maybe I was.  I do know that my pace decreased in the mid-miles and then re-increased during the last 5k or so and I ended right around 8:00 pace (which was my GMP for Boston).

But overall I’m really happy with how the run went and I’m really glad that I went for it.  I was debating pushing it off some more but figured “why the hell not do it today?”.  I think I also got a fire lit under me because this is the last weekend I’ll be on campus (next weekend I have to go home for a dentist appt and the following Saturday is graduation) so this was the last weekend to get a long run in and I wanted to do a good-old standby route.  Because I’m not likely to ever do another long run again in this area. Tear.

Like I just mentioned I likely went out too fast in the beginning.  I could feel the slight soreness in my legs from yesterday’s lifting but it didn’t affect me and my stride.  In fact the slower I went the more I noticed it!  The mid-miles, though, were a bit tough.  Not necessarily from a physical standpoint but from a mental one and I’m pretty sure I slowed down a bit during miles 6-10 or so.  I remember thinking at some point in there: how in God’s name did I do this as a recovery run route before? But once I hit that 10 mark I was able to get a second wind and really feel good in the homestretch.  I’m also pretty sure that I had a nice tailwind over the last few miles and that certainly didn’t hurt either!

The overall stats:

  • 13.2 miles
  • 117- mins
  • 8:51 pace

I was thrilled with this run immediate when I got back and am doubly thrilled when looking at this data! I definitely cannot remember the last time I ran a LR sub-9 without checking my training log and the amazing feeling of running at a pushed pace, but with ease, has eluded me for quite awhile, save the past week.

Not bad at all 🙂

Although bladder issues did crop up.  Thank god during Boston I was able to run the whole thing without stopping.  Now that I’m back to just running, however, I guess my bladder wants to misbehave.  I did make it the whole way without stopping but it was a full out sprint to the bathroom when I got back. *LeSigh* haha

But remember how I said the lifting soreness wasn’t as bad as I thought? Well it wasn’t until after I showered then I got the lifting+hard run sore feeling.  Not painful bad at all but totally a “daaaaaaaaaayum girl you’ve been working hard” soreness.  Which I like. So I’m going to reward myself by sitting in my comfy chair by the window and opening the good book I’m into (apparently I was wrong when I thought I had read every John Grisham novel out there, as I found a copy of one that I must have missed somehow.  AMAZING!).  It’s too windy and not quite warm enough (barely cracking the 50s!) to sit outside and read but being by the window is a very close second.  And let’s be real here people: once I get into a novel I am oblivious to the world so does it *really* matter when I am? haha.

Check out this giveaway from Mel


Again, the above was written yesterday (Sunday).  And I’m too lazy to do a real overhaul.  So I’m leaving as is for now.  I did end up reading a lot which was really nice and a great way to recharge before finals week starts…today.  Finals week is never too stressful for me.  This semester I only have a Quantum take home and a Spanish pre-scheduled, so two finals? Not so bad.

Nothing today except to pick up the take home but I’m going to my friend’s thesis defense so I got up early to hit the streets. I probably could have waited until after the defense but I like to get up at get going.  Something that doesn’t feel the same way as me? The temperature.  We had a frost advisory last night! The sun was shining though so it didn’t feel as bad as it could have been.  There wasn’t any wind either which made it pleasant out.

And my legs? Wowza soreness! I can feel the knots in every muscle in my legs.  I was thinking of trying out the foam roller but I’m too afraid of how much pain I’ll be in! Maybe I’ll brave it after the defense.  I was also thinking of hitting up the weights again today but I’m not in a hurry to really make a set schedule for strength stuff just yet.

Therefore after my ~7 mile recovery run (and trust me it was recovery after such a great LR yesterday) I just did some core and my PT hip exercises.  The exercises are getting wayyy easy so I’m happy because it means that my hips are getting stronger.

Aaaaaaaaand I’m going to wrap this up here because between two days worth of running recaps I’m about to write a thesis myself.  Gotta dash off! Send good vibes her way if you can 🙂

May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayooooooo

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:00

Happy Cinco de Drinko Mayo all.  Today is actually my friend’s birthday and I haven’t been able to celebrate for the past few years because it’s always been the final push of the semester.  The past two years were finals week and this year I have my Experimental Physics presentation tonight…from 1900-2200.  Fun stuff. I’d much rather be drinking margueritas and taking tequila shots.

Speaking of tequila shots work, thanks for all the good lucks on my Senior Presentation on Monday.  I think it ended up going well although I think I rushed at the end and stumbled a bit on my words.  Oh well.  It’s done and over with. Yay.  Although not really because I actually liked reading about the condition I was presenting on.  I just didn’t like the whole put-together-a-presentation/talk thing haha.

All this school (and financial aid and future job) stress must be working it’s way into my sleep because last night I had a dream about toe getting reinfected.  And the infection being WAY worse than last time (and it was pretty bad).  Plus my friends were sick of being supportive in it.  So it was like a double whammy.  Ick. I woke up actually feeling stressed out! Thankfully my toe is FINE (school, financial aid and job? Not so much but that’s something that hopefully will get ironed out soon).  I’m actually on the last day of one of my antibiotics and second to last day for the other.  Yippee 🙂

Okay enough other things and more running!

Oh but first: LOST?! OMG.  Why is this show soooo amazing?! I won’t get into last night’s episode here (because I hate it when people are major league asses and spoil endings like that) BUT if you want to chat about theories, OMG how-could-they-moments or anything just drop me a line 🙂

So *now* onto the running.

On Tuesday I had the most amazing run I’ve had in forever.  I think I said that in my last post too.  But it keeps on stunning me how well my legs are running.  My pace felt really relaxed and… well I don’t want to say easy because I was breathing a bit heavy but it was effortless.  It was one of those runs where I knew I was going hard but I didn’t feel like I was dying.  That said the pace didn’t end up being blistering (only 8:30) but it was still pretty damn  awesome.

I think it helped that the weather was amazing.  It was on the hot side (~70*) but I was able to keep my room an ice box somehow without air conditioning (cheap ass school — no cable nor AC.  I guess I’m lucky I get heat in the winter) so the warmth felt great.  Like Monday it was a sports bra and shorts day.  Finally I get to show off all my really cute / brightly colored sports bras! 😉 But unlike Monday there was very little humidity so I didn’t feel all gross and sticky running.

Sadly Wednesday morning was not a sports bra morning.  Although it wasn’t cold (still tank-top and shorts weather) the contrast between 70* and 55* is big.  And the humidity was WAY down thanks to some really big and scary T-storms that rolled through Tuesday afternoon.  So I was actually a little chilly at the beginning of the run.  Again, it felt kind of good considering that my body isn’t used to those really hot temps we’ve been having here in the NorthEast.

Yet again, my body surprises me because I ran another sub-9 paced run.  Where were these guys when I needed it during marathon training as confidence boosters? Oh yeah.  No where! The pace felt a bit awkward though.  Not like I was pushing really hard (my runs as of late are taking on the motto: Run the pace you feel comfy with for as long as it feels comfy.  Then adjust) but my legs were feeling the effects of 4 consecutive days of running.  Feels weird to type that out considering the streak I put in over the winter of, not only running days, but of *double digit* running days.  I guess that’s what happens when XT became the focus and I “lost” a bit of running fitness.

But I’m really happy that I’m happy and excited to go out there and run.  It’s so much fun lately and I feel like a kid all free on the playground or something 😀

My only complaint is that my legs did feel a bit tight.  And not just in one particular muscle.  My IT, hammys, quads, calves, pretty much everything was feeling it.  I guess this also happens when you get back into a running routine and run serious distances.  Nothing major, I still haven’t run double digits post-Boston yet (maybe this weekend?), but I totally needed a good stretching session. Or a good foam roller session.  Because, despite buying one 6ish weeks ago, I still have yet to break it out.  Seriously.  Partly because I don’t really know how to use it.  Is it really as basic as hopping on and moving my body over it?

Okay time to wrap this up and go prep that Experimental Physics presentation.  I suppose figuring out what I’m going to say with each slide is pretty important.  But you should check out the giveaway from Erika

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!

January 14, 2010

Riki Tiki Tempo

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:09


So I stretched last night for a good 20 minutes while watching NCIS kick some booty.  And I don’t think I should EVER go on such a long stretching hiatus. It’s been 5 weeks since Jazz classes ended and thus 5 weeks without me stretching.  Combine that with huge mileage and the recent start of actual training (read: lifting and speedwork are regular occurrences)  and my muscles are clearly tight.  And I will say that the stretching felt good last night.  But man, I am sore from it.  I have no idea why but I did know that this would happen last night.  Maybe I overdid what my muscles could handle? Oh well.  Hopefully this soreness doesn’t deter me from stretching more often because I have lost A LOT of flexibility.

On the other hand I woke up with no Achilles pain.  I must have done *something* right. And Matt just sent me some stretching and strengthening stuff that helped him deal with this issue. Going to keep stretching lots as it did tighten up a bit after my run today. But sore legs are no excuse for slacking in the training plan.

Ergo I still had to do my tempo run today.  And before I get into how AWESOME it was (because it’s the truth) I want to say that I’m still loving the twice a week speed work that I’m doing.  I guess I love going fast. Don’t get me wrong: I love my distance and would feel incomplete without my long runs but (and shhhhhh it’s a little secret) I’m a bit scared of speed work.  Yes, my running start was as a sprinter so I shouldn’t really be but speed work is *HARD* and you have to put so much effort and energy into it.  So I always shy away.  This plan has me confronting my fear head on and I say BRING IT beyotch.

Here are the stats for the run:

  • 2.7 mile warm up
  • 5.9 to 6 mile tempo (mapmyrun says 6 but I’m thinking it’s a little overzealous?)@ 7:17-721 pace!
  • 4.1 mile warm down

Right off the bat I’m going to complain about mapping online and yes I know I should get a garmin but I am po’.  I had mentally calculated the tempo portion to be 5.9 miles but when I actually mapped it for accuracy online I got a 6 miler.  Obviously not the biggest deal in the world but I’m obsessive and need to know exact.  Anyone use mapmyrun and want to chime in as to how accurate they’ve felt it is? I did both “follow roads” and manual and they both spit out really similar results (like one hundredth on a difference)

Regardless of that .1 I am so pumped with the pacing.  If you recall last week I was slightly disappointed with my pacing job as I was on the low end of the range I wanted (target pace = 7:30 +/- 15 seconds). I had that in the back of my mind as a “carrot” to get me to dig deep within myself and obviously something clicked.  The pace itself, even though I had no idea what it was at the time, felt really hard.  But a comfortable hard. I think tempo runs are the hardest runs to do because it’s not sprinting, so you’re not going all out, but it’s not just something you can go by how your body feels.  It’s supposed to be hard.  You’re supposed to be breathing heavy and feel your legs getting tired and want to slow down. Eventually, however, my body just accepts that I’m not slowing down.

Well sort of.  It’s been a problem for me to keep a steady tempo pace.  I can feel a change in my form when I go from pushing-tempo-pace to relaxing a bit.  Even though my actual speed doesn’t change too much (at least I don’t think so) I notice a small shift.  Tempo pace has me running forward – almost falling into my step.  But when I relax I feel like I’m on my heels more and my hips shift forwards, almost as though I’m contracting my torso.  I like how aware of my body I’ve gotten lately.  No idea where it’s developing from per se but it’s good to be aware of any pacing and form connection.  Again, this doesn’t dramatically affect anything but it’s interesting how this happens.

And I think it’s linked to mental focus, which is always a point of contention for me. I’m still not able to focus as well as I’d like to.  I am aware that I can’t be 100% focused on maintaining a fast pace 100% of the time but I’d like to cut down on the accelerating/decelerating (or maintaining speed work form vs relaxed form) that I’m doing.  Any tips?

I do know that this is the reason I’m going to keep my tempo runs outside.  It’s getting me used to running fast on my own which is obviously something I’d be doing in a race.  And the runner’s high off of an outdoor tempo when you know that it’s 100000% YOU keeping up the bamfness is just not going to be found on any tm (even though I do find the tm useful). Plus as much as it would totally suck to bomb a tempo paced run it is a good learning experience (as I have learned in the past).

Although just as a note: I think my tempo was progressive today as I timed my last half mile (since I knew the distance) and I was running at – ready for this? – 640 pace!! Wayyy too fast for a tempo but still exciting to see for sure.

Today I also XT’d a bit.  As I was about to hit the showers my friend texted me to see if I wanted to hit up the gym when it reopened at 1600.  I figured I could use that time to play catch up, circulate my blood and get a good stretch.  I won’t get into too much detail here (or any really) because that’s basically what happened.  My HR stayed really low  so I knew I wasn’t taxing my cardiovascular system too much, funny because that ‘s what most people want to do! And stretching afterward felt sooooooooooo good. Like unbelievably good.

Before I click “publish post” check out these giveaways from Nikki (Slow is the New Fast) and Brandi (Bran Appetit)

Also: lots of new readers have been commenting! YAY. This makes me happy because I love getting feedback and hearing from y’all. But unfortunately I haven’t updated my blogroll in a *very* long time. So if you want to be on it let me know — and that goes for people who have also been commenting frequently too! I’m just lazy when it comes to update the blogroll

P.S. Anyone remember the book that I got my title of the post from?! Or am I just showing how weird I am 😛

December 24, 2009

Oh Hello There

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:17

my fairweather friends.  I mean I know that today is Christmas Eve Day so lots of people have it off.  But it’s a bit too coincidental that today is the first nice weather day temp wise and I see tons of people out running.  It was quite balmy at 34*.  Where were you guys when it was 22* yesterday or the day before? Hmmmmm?

Oh well.  That probably made me sound really elitist and snobby.  Oops!

So like I mentioned it was pretty nice out today.  Overcast yes, but there wasn’t any wind and the temps were like 10* warmer than yesterday.  Which made it feel like summer or something! Unfortunately the burner in our house went out last night so there was no heat until about 1300 today.  Really weird when it feels as though the outside is warmer than inside during the last week of December!  But never fear the oil man came and supposedly fixed it although I am still in sweats with a blanket wrapped around me with a space heater at my feet.

But I digress.  Yesterday’s run had left me PUMPED.  And Tuesday’s lifting session still has me sore.  Like I was sitting around this morning catching up on things, went to get up and uuuuugh.  I am a creaky old woman.  But with the spirit of someone my age.  Mind over matter my friends because I put on my shoes and hit the streets.

Slow moving at times but I think that was because I chose the hilliest route EVER to do.  I didn’t really even think about it until I got to ’em.  And then all I wanted to do was turn around.  But what kind of bamf would I be if I rolled over and quit at the sight of hills (nevermind the fact that I rarely get to see hills ever in my neck of the woods!).  So I forged on.

Forging for 12.1 miles.  It was a run where I didn’t really feel bad but never felt like I was a superstar.  Kind of run of the mill but hey it’s another 12 in the books. Which is pushing me to the front of the POTM (Pile on the Miles) Challenge Holiday Edition.  Woot! And my drive to keep up this double digit streak.  Going strong!

The last 2 miles were quite fast and I definitely fatigued my legs by the end of it.  I don’t think I could have eeked out another mile.  Good thing because of my ankle.  Guess it wasn’t solely the shoes I was wearing when I last complained of ankle pain because around mile 11 a felt a slight ache (not really a pain) in the same spot.  So I’m icing now (GASP I’m actually doing something medically sound? Heh). And yes Jess I am really surprised too that I don’t have more nagging pains although since it’s now in my head the hypochondriac in me will find something wrong heh.

And since I’m in a disjointed mood (and half my brain is in the novel I started last night babysitting) I’m going to not really switch gears but ask you a question (or two)

1. Well I’m going to preface this question with a story. And sorry if it’s TMI.  Remember that I do want to be a doctor so sometimes questions that are borderline inappropriate / gross don’t phase me.  But over the past two weeks (coincidentally around the same time my miles bumped up big time) my bladder has grown so weak.  I’m not talking about when I’m just bumming around.  But after my long runs I can’t stop running until I’ve reached the bathroom.  No joke.  Yesterday and today especially I couldn’t even stop in my driveway and walk up to the house.  I had to run into the house.  Thank god it was unlocked and I didn’t have to fumble with a key.  So here’s the question: Normal? Is my bladder just getting annoyed at being jostled for 10-12 miles? Because I have a bladder of steel when it comes to any other time during the day.

2. Totally not running related but: when I reply to your comments in the comments section are you getting email notifications? I think that’s what I have it set to but I’m not sure and I don’t want you guys to think that I’m ignoring you!

And finally before I dive back into my book (Which is But I Trusted You. I ❤ Ann Rule) I need more questions from you! I have 11 so far and I’m fully prepared to make it a game of 11 questions but I’d really like 20. Pretty please? 🙂

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE!! Hope everyone is celebrating in the manner that pleases them 🙂

[Edit to add: Wow I just re-read this and my brain is all over the place. I blame the holidays and the “runners brain” effect of my run haha]

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