MarathonMaiden's Blog

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!)

August 5, 2011

Well It’s a Start. The Story of Me (kind of) Finding Speed.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 20:06

I’ve been M.I.A. lately. Duh.  So much so that I’d forgotten my password to log into my blog. Suffice it to say that I’m in the midst of some HUGE changes in my life (exciting, scary, sad, partying, frustrating) and posting…well it just was something I didn’t have time for.

But I’m back.  For the day. Maybe longer.  But those changes are still on- going until September so bear with me.  And no, that’s not me apologizing.  If you don’t want to bear with me then don’t.  But I’d like it if you did 🙂

Also back into life is speed-work.  This entire summer I’ve only done LSD.  Seriously.  My weekly miles are huge and slow (I know I didn’t do a monthly recap for June or July but the miles were 451.9 and 433.7 respectively with the average paces being 9:45 for each month or thereabouts). I’m okay with that, running has been one aspect of my dealing with life (dancing and karaoke with friends is the other) and it feels good to just kind of plod along and let my thoughts wash over me.

That said, for whatever reason during my run this morning (which was supposed to be a long run) the idea popped into my head to run track work today.  Since I was already 7 miles into my run I stopped that run, headed back to my apartment, and rested up for the afternoon (I figured doing speed-work immediately after 7 miles was silly).  Because I decided that I had to do it THAT SAME DAY or else I was liable to chicken out. Who knew when my next urge to run at the track would be?

Because my last speed work session was March 5th.  Like 5 months ago.


I chose to run 800s; mostly because they are my favorite track session.  I decided to do 4 of them because 4 is my lucky number.  And I decided to shoot for 3:30 for each one because it was…well there was no rhyme or reason but I wanted to go at 7 pace. That whole 5 months thing be damned.

How’d I do? Well, considering during my warm up mile around the track was painfully slow and I wanted to bail on the whole stupid thing, fine.  Not quite on pace but there’s that five month thing.

  1. 1:54 + 1:52 = 3:46 (daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn I am slow. My first ones are usually the fastest! Wonder how the next three will go)
  2. 1:54 + 1:52 = 3:46 (Seriously?! The same f$#%ing time?)
  3. 1:53 + 1:51 = 3:44 (Better.  Kind of sort of)
  4. 1:52 + 1:49 = 3:41 (Okay.  That hurt.)

Overall I can’t say I’m too upset.  Of course I want to be faster.  And I think I held some stuff back because I wanted to hit all 4 of them around the same pace.  Which I was successful of. Just wish I had been consistent in a faster manner. I never felt as though I was…well I hate to use the word sprinting because that’s not the point of track work…but I never felt as though I was going fast.

But 7:22-7:32 pace as the range for all 4 of them isn’t too bad. That’s my typical threshold run, or at least it used to be. So I do have a long way to go before I can say I’m my typical speedy self but I’m not beating myself up over it. If I don’t improve from here then, sure, let the beating up commence.  But for now I’ll just sit back, let my legs feel the good ole feeling of tiredness from a job well done.

As well get ready to go drink beer and go dancing tonight.

Also: I picked the perfect day to do this.  The temp when I went out at 1600 was 75* and cloudy.  When the sun broke through it literally looked like this.  I guess that’s a sign I should make a date with the track every week?

thanks google images.

October 30, 2010

Another Confidence Boosting Workout.

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

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

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

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

Good thing because Saturday = Interval Day.

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

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

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

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

How’d it go?

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks failblog, SODA DISPLAY WIN


First: GOOD LUCK RACERS. Go get ‘em!

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

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

October 26, 2010

The Post You All Have Been Waiting For….Part 2

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

First: Yay for y’all liking my cookie post. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Next up will be Oatmeal Raisin (my all time fav) or a legit PB cookie (because, and I think there was some confusion here, there were only pb chips in the cookies not actual pb). Or I may try something else.  Who knows. But I’m excited for it 🙂

But back to running.  Because I am not Cookie Maiden but Marathon Maiden.

Apparently it seems that you guys all thought my post on cookies was going to be about my destination marathon.  That thought honestly never crossed my mind.  Mostly because I was still debating whether or not I really had the funds to do so. Silly because the blog title has “marathon” in it.

But I was complaining to various members of my family about the agony of wanting to do a destination race but being on a VISTA budget (aka legit poverty) and the solution? Birthday and Christmas present rolled into one.

Therefore I immediately emailed my running sistaaaaaaaaaa to tell her that we needed to choose one STAT before I backed out due to financial scared-cat-ed-ness.  And after texting back and forth last night we have decided to do:

On December 5th


I think this is a good pick because:

  • The only real weekend that truly worked for me was the first one in December (pushing off until January wasn’t good because of Boston) leaving Dallas and Vegas. I don’t think my wallet can handle Vegas.
  • WARMTH and NO SNOW.  RI at that same time? Well I can’t say there will be snow on the ground but it’ll be cold. Hell it already is (or at least last week, today and tmrw are weird freak warm days).
  • A bunch of people from RW Marathon Dailies are doing it and it’ll be nice to finally meet them in person.

Now I just need to pick a flight and figure out accommodations for that weekend.

But I’m excited. And feel a bit crazy.  I mean, December 5th isn’t terribly far away.  Do I have what it takes to run race a marathon at the moment? My workouts ( 20 miler, 10 X 800m intervals) suggest yes but there’s no way that I can say I’ve been TRAINING for this. Which puts me a bit uneasy as I’m such a planner.  And this is so spontaneous.  But all my other races this fall have been spontaneous (or at least in terms of no specific training / signing up for each race not in advance) and they’ve all been good.

Fingers crossed? I don’t really know what to expect.  Obviously not the most amazing race ever but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to RACE the darn thing.

But it shall not be said that I’m in the process of at least semi-training for this race.  Obviously there is no way to make up for the fact that I should have started training earlier but, with 39 (!!) days until race day, there’s still time to get my body in some sort of fighting shape for this thing.

Hence why I did a tempo this morning. Maybe I was running on excitement from making a decision and planning flights and stuff like that but I wanted to go FAST and HARD. I also didn’t sleep well AT ALL last night (waking up every 1.5-2 hours ugh) and felt jittery, needing to burn off some energy. Since I had run intervals over the weekend (as well as had a semi-long run on Monday before clinic) I chose a tempo.  After all, when y’all were guilting me last week with my lack of speed work, some of the workouts were tempos.

Let me preface this by saying I HATE tempos.  I can never seem to hit them right or make them feel good.  According to McMillian, based on my half time from September, my goal tempo range is 6:53-7:11.  I’m really glad I didn’t know that until AFTER the run because it would have freaked me out.  I just figured I’d go hard and hold it. And I knew that, since I hadn’t done a tempo since Boston training, that I shouldn’t expect to jump into a 6,7,8, miles effort.  I chose to do my pathway, which is dirt as well as ~4 miles.

  • 2.2 mile warm up @ 8:56
  • 4.3 mile tempo @ 7:04 (2.15 miles @ 7:17, 2.15 miles @ 6:51)
  • 5.6 mile warm down @ 8:39
  • Total: 12.1 miles @ 8:08

I must admit that I think I nailed it.  My pace was smack dab in the middle of the given range and I ended STRONG.  My heart was pounding by the end though and my legs were tired.  It was such an effort to keep strong. I used the strategy I use in races: try to pick off the people in the distance ahead.  And clearly it worked. I ran the tempo portion on my pathway and looking at the time elapsed at the halfway mark I thought I was WAY off target, hence the speeding up.  But I was able to handle it. Go me 🙂

The weather cooperated too, for once it wasn’t freezing.  In fact it was 65* and muggy as anything.  Which I’m not complaining about except to say that my body is used to running in 35-40* temps.  Therefore I was a sweaty beast once I was done.

Nope no picture of that. And I apologize for the lack of pictures in this post. To make up for it here are LOTS of giveaways: Jess (Have Faith), Miss Zippy, Julie (HotLegsRunner), Sarah (SkinnyRunner), Shut Up and Run, Monica (RunEatRepeat), Erika (Dr Tri Runner), Matt (The Kitchen of a Runner)

October 23, 2010

Exceeds Expectations

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:24

As promised, a more exciting post than the one about my library card.  Not going to lie though: I’m still pretty excited about that.

Plus I can’t say “exceeds expectations” without thinking of HP. And then getting excited about it coming out. So already this post is more exciting than previously.

Today is not a Harry Potter day though and I exceeded my own expectations (which I’ve written that word several times already in this post and spellcheck has had to correct me each time! Oops.) with my workout.  Like I mentioned yesterday many of my fellow bloggers have been making me feel majorly guilty about my lack of speed work. Not intentionally of course, but through reading their posts it was making me more-than-acutely aware that my last date with the track was 3 weeks ago to the day.

I did tell myself when the alarm went off that I could skip it because I’m not training for anything.  But I guess it was about time to “nut up or shut up”.


I do have to say that I have a love/hate with the track.  It’s actually starting to grow on me and I’ll be sad when winter comes and plops 2 feet of snow on top of it.  I mean, I loved the TM for speed last winter but there’s something satisfying about hitting a time on your own.  Assuming, of course, that you can hit the times you want.

Lacey told me in her comment to my post yesterday to do 800s.  I didn’t get the comment until AFTER the workout but the originally plan *was* to steal the workout that Jess did earlier this week because I like it and she’s a fast runner. Yay Lacey for being on the same brainwave as me.  And yay Jess for making me want to run fast. I figured that to be fast you need to train like you’re fast so what’s good for her is going to be good for me.  Well that was the hope.

  • Warm up (aka jog to the track)
  • 6 X 800m (with 400m jogging recovery)
  • Warm down (aka jog home)

According to McMillian my 800 speed workout could range from 3:02.5 to 3:15.2, depending on which recent race I used in the calculator.  With my half time of 1:33:58, the range was 3:06.5 to 3:15.2.  Since I’ve NEVER done 800 repeats on my own before (hello TM!) I wasn’t sure what to aim for, so I figured that hitting the upper end of the range was good (and to me that hundredths of a second doesn’t really mean anything to me, so as long as I didn’t see 3:16 then I considered the target hit) .

How’d I do?

THE WORKOUT (italics are my thoughts during the run/interval.  Normal font is post-run reflection.)

1st: 3:08.13

Holy @#$%.  That was fast.

2nd: 3:15.57

Whoa there. Clearly that first one was a bit trigger happy hahah.  This one felt much slower and I was worried that I had killed the workout with that first one.

3rd: 3:15.16

After this one half-way there! On the slower end but within what I wanted.

4th: 3:11.38

*Breathe* okay I can do this. It was actually starting to feel “easy” at this point.  Not effortless but I was feeling good in getting into a rhythm over the 800m

5th: 3:12.66

Shut up kids! There was some little kid soccer team practicing on the infield and one of the twerps shouted “hey weird runner! Keep running!”. Did I mention that I hate kids?  It took the utmost willpower not to shout something back.  It also made me wish that the high school girl from 3 weeks ago was there to tell me I was a good runner.

6th: 3:12.31

Heyyyyyy.  This isn’t so bad.  Let’s see how many I can do before my legs give in to fatigue!

At this point I knew I was done with the workout and that anything else would be icing on the cake.  I decided to do more until my times dropped off.

7th: 3:13.94

Okay so maybe I lied and my legs are almost done.  Let’s try one more to see if that was a fluke?

8th: 3:13.63

Oh hey there lactic acid!

9th: 3:11.28

Just. Hold. On. I really couldn’t tell you why I kept pressing on.  Maybe because 10 X 800 is that golden standard? But I’m VERY happy I did because this repeat was a good one.

10th: 3:11.53

So was this one.  Even though my times for the repeats never fell off I decided to make this one the last one.  My legs hurt more than the normal lactic acid build up, like the borderline of actual hurt.  And my recovery jog after this one was ~10 seconds slower than the previous 9 (they had all been in the 2:20 range and this one was 2:30.  Total time between intervals might have been an additional 20-30 seconds because I stopped to record times) so I figured it was time to call it a day.



So I’m really happy with this workout.  I give myself a B+ for it.  (and since I’m a perfectionist that’s likely the highest grade I’ll EVER give myself!).

Repeats #8, 9, 10 were HARD.  I honestly thought that they were going to be in the 3:20 range.

But, yeah, really happy with this one.  If I remember correctly I did a 3 X (4 X 800m) workout during Boston training (aka 3 sets of four 800m repeats with 5 minutes recovery between sets, for a grand total of 12 repeats) and the pace for those was done in 7:08 pace, or 3:34 for the 800.  Sure I only did 10 today but they were FASTER and ON THE TRACK.

And there was some annoying adult fitness group that came and walking laps around the track and I had to dodge them.  I think that the last one could have been faster if I hadn’t literally run into one of the women.  Honestly though, if you heard the shouts (granted they were breathless shouts) of “Watch Lane One”, what would you do? Stay in Lane One?

Oh well.  I still rocked this workout.  My hips are telling me so! Like screaming such at me.

I think that it’s going to be a stretch, *foamroll* and read those library books rest of the afternoon. At least until my roomie wakes up and we can possibly decide of baking something.

And then going out tonight to “shake out my legs” hahah! I was thinking of taking an ice bath butttttttttttt we currently do not have any ice made in the freezer and I am FAR too cheap to go out and buy a bag or two. I gotta save for a destination marathon 😉

So this is getting long and it’s Saturday.  Lots of relaxing to go do!

October 22, 2010

I Am The Proud Owner Of…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:16

Well I wish I could say that it was something exciting like a BRAND NEW CAR.  But no.

A library card will have to do instead.

YAY reading!

I’ve actually been meaning to get one since I moved here but just never had the time.  After work I had some errands to do that were within walking distance of my apartment.  While on the way I realized I had some time to kill before my dinner plans (and clearly still do as I wasn’t going to post today because my running has been monotonous lately hahah) so I decided to walk to the library I pass on one of my running routes.  The alternative was do run again when I was done with the errands.

I’m pretty sure that this library I decided on is the furthest library from my apartment and in the end I’m pretty sure I walked ~4 miles so I’m not quite sure if my “no double to save my legs for tmrw” plan worked.

But I now have a library card and checked out some books that I’m pretty excited to read. YAY.

Major win.

In actual running news, however, isn’t as major a win.

CIM closed yesterday. Bummer. Any other suggestions for December? Preferably in a warm climate? I’ve gotten some suggestions already but the more the merrier.  I think that no matter where I decide it’s going to suck to be my bank account.  I just need to click the submit buttons on travel plans and registration fees with my eyes closed!

But I’m actually really starting to warm up and love this idea.  Even though I haven’t done any specific marathon training since Boston. No real specific training for anything really.  Which is unlike me to be so enamored with the idea given the lack of preparedness I’m at.  Sure I’ve put in the miles but is it really enough? Is the lack of speed work enough?

I ponder this because it seems like EVERYONE is doing speed work the past two days, either intervals (Jess, Lindsay) or tempos: LaceyMegan).  Okay so that’s only 4.  But  seeing as how I was going to do speed on Thursday — but opted to go long instead — and then rescheduled it to Friday — only to not do it due to being too cold.

It’s soooooooooo not a good excuse but I really wasn’t feeling speed so early, and with it being so cold AND early my mind was made up.  I just wanted to crawl back into bed.  I think that doing speed on the weekends is going to be my thing and do LRs during the week.  It seems at the moment to gel with my work schedule best and I don’t have to worry about rushing to work because the only way so far to get me to do speed work is head to the track. And overall that makes the process time consuming. At least during the pre-marathon training months.  I’ll revisit days of the week as training for Boston gets closer.

Therefore Saturday is going to be my speed work day and I shall head to the track.  Since 800s seem to be the interval workout of choice I’m thinking that looks pretty good.  Although I do really like mile repeats.  Hmmmm. Decisions.

I did get a “speedy” 10 miler instead aka faster than the usual 0530 runs.  It was surprising to be so “fast” in the early morning.  Which is why I got 10 in rather than the 8 I was planning. A little extra time although 2 miles was definitely pushing my time factor hahah. I think it was so speedy because it was so cold: despite wearing gloves my hands went numb.  Not completely but it made me wonder how I’m going to get back into my apartment when the real cold comes (aka unlocking the door because today wasn’t that cold and it was slightly difficult to turn the key!)

Nothing else terribly exciting going on.  I am planning that baking frenzy that will be this weekend.  It seems like everyone is baking stuff lately as well.  Or maybe because I really want to bake it feels that way.  Not sure what I’ll make as I currently do not own stuff for baking.

Hopefully between my baking tomorrow afternoon and my planned speed work I’ll be a bit more exciting next post 😉

As a treat here’s something that I found (and may actually have re-found as I may have posted this awhile back. Oops if that’s the case. I’m getting old and forgetting things!) and laughed at.  I’m so mean at laughing at others’ pain.  I love the caption on the actual youtube site: “Philip Idowo runs into stupid lady”

October 1, 2010

A Lone Warrior. A Suit of Armor. Our Only Hope

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:08

Any guesses as to where I got the title to today’s post? Nope not a search term.  Although it’d be cool if it had been!

Happy October everyone! As I say every month I can’t believe another one has gone by.  September was a good month for sure. I’m in the process of tallying the numbers and data for a monthly recap and it looks good so far! Hopefully that bodes well for October as well

In both running and life.  Because I can’t wait to make myself one of these guys:

Thank you google images

But onto the running.  Which was not as cool as a carved pumpkin this morning.  Neither in temperature (75* and 87% humidity) nor workout. I was going to do speed work today (originally mile repeats).   Yeah, about that.  It didn’t happen. My legs felt dead.  I tried to brush it off, it was 0600 and dark and hot and humid and I figured that my legs would feel better after a warm up and some pickup strides.  Which they sort of did.  My last few strides actually felt good and decent.

Then I tried to go into my first mile.   I always know to expect the first mile or repeat of anything to suck.  That’s just how I roll.  And I can usually override the “OMG I am going to die. Stop NOW” feeling.  But this morning was different. I felt glued to the ground and that no matter how hard I tried my legs were not going to move.  I’ve contemplated whether or not I just need some rest, sometime I obviously don’t do much of, but this felt different than just normal tiredness and fatigue from training hard.  I’ve felt this exact way before (wayyy back in the day) and it was because of  low iron.

The best way I can describe it is that my legs, specifically my quads, felt suffocated.  Which makes sense as iron is part of what comprises hemoglobin and helps bind oxygen to the red blood cells (RBC) and deliver the important gas to the muscles.

Thank you google images

So I’m going to pick up supplements soon.  My friend gave me one of her pills today at work with another 4 in case I don’t get to the store right away.  I can’t remember how fast they worked last time but I’m hoping they kick in soon.

Thank you google images

I still got the total miles in that I was planning on.  They just were run easy rather than interval style: 10@ 8:45. I ended up kind of waxing and waning on the pace.  Because I bailed on my speed work I re-routed my run because I didn’t want to be running easy on a “course” that I’ve reserved for speed.  So the run itself was nice because it was new and the whole concentrating on not getting lost helped keep my mind off of the fact that I bailed.  as I thought about the fact that I BAILED.

Sooooo I guess I’m going to throw the question to you guys: How do you deal with not completing a workout? This is the first time I’ve EVER bailed on one.  There have definitely been times where I’ve been unhappy with a workout because I didn’t nail it but I’ve never 100% nixed one before.  I don’t know what to think. Am I smart for doing this? I feel a little uneasy just because I’ve never out and out stopped a workout before like that.

I think I’m going to retry a speed workout tomorrow? I feel like I need redemption and a mental boost that I can do it. But if the iron doesn’t help then maybe attempting something hard again isn’t a good idea.  Both physically and mentally.  I don’t want to have to bail on another workout.

Though it won’t be mile repeats.  The sting of failing today might be a little raw.  Maybe 800 repeats. I think that after two days of iron (I took one last night too.  I wasn’t sure why at the time. I didn’t have a definite reason at the time but I felt like it was something I needed to do.) and after T.S. Nicole comes through tonight (because she’s STILL not here yet!) and decreases the humidity.  It’s a little funny: my clothes from yesterday are still not dry!

Since I can’t really tell how the tone is coming across in this post I just want to state that I’m not TOTALLY bugging out about the failed workout.  Yes it sucks and my Type-A perfectionist ways don’t like it at all but I have some exciting things planned for this weekend and life is still, overall, going really well.


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 27, 2010

I Guess I Complain A Lot About The Weather…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:57

…so I’ll try not to. Because things really are feeling great right now.  It’s a nice refreshing feeling considering how run down I was last week.


I am OBSESSED with this movie at the moment all the time. And this might be the best line ever.  Although I did watch this movie last night and all the lines are really good. I’ll very likely be quoting it all day.   

But the real reason I feel like I actually am taking crazy pills is because of the weather here in New England! On Saturday (the day I went apple picking) I was in a halter top, shorts and my flippy floppies.  And that night I went out sans jacket.  

But Sunday and today? Ummm total sweatshirt weather.  Not that I really mind because sweatshirt weather is awesome but the back and forth weather is getting old.  Granted I should be used to it because I’ve lived here my entire life but nope.  Not so much. Silly New England and changing the weather every 5 minutes! 

The weather this morning when I got up was NICE.  AKA no complaints — yet 😉   

Cool, cloudy, 60*, 80% humidity and misty conditions.  Luckily there was no rain but I woke up in the middle of the night, because I was cold and wanted a comforter to be cozy under, and it was POURING out.  I’m glad that it stopped before I got up though and I’m glad that I got to fall back asleep listening to it.  Sleeping while it’s raining is so nice.   

And the weather conditions made for a very fun and muddy run.  I tackled my pathway again and because it’s a dirt path my legs got all good and dirty.  Even though I always shudder before I leave my door thinking about messiness once I got started it just felt hardcore to be out there.  There’s definitely something liberating about having dirt and mud caked onto the back of your calves.  And I think it’s even better that it wasn’t actively raining because my feet got to stay dry!   

(from google images)

 The run:  

  • 1st loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:45
  • 2nd loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:40
  • 3rd loop:     2.3 miles @ 8:14
  • Total:              10.5 miles @ 8:37

I saw a lot of “hardcore” people out this morning.  Normally I see a mix of people who are really booking it, to those just plodding along, to walkers.  I felt like EVERYONE was running hard and INTENSE.  Naturally this made me want to go and be intense too.   I even got caught up in a “race” with some guy on the path.  He blew me away but it was fun to get caught up in the energy that was out there!

Not exactly mission accomplished with being intense myself because my pace was my easy pace but it put some pep in my step.  This made the first loop of my pathway not that bad as normally the first loop is always an “ugh I have to do this again?!” type feeling. But I really felt strong and wanted to be out there for those first miles, which for me are always the toughest. And this let me hammer home the last smaller loop.  Wooot to ending on a strong note 🙂   

It also made me feel better about my thinking that a marathon is what I want to tackle next.  At first I wasn’t sure if I was just getting pumped and jealous of everyone who is running a fall marathon but, after this weekend and this morning, I think that I’m making the right choice.  Like many of you commented, I knew that I’d be back for another marathon.    

Just annoying that I got this bug in my ear now with not a lot of options when it comes to picking a race.  I really don’t want to wait for a spring race and knowing my luck there’ll be a nor’easter on race day.  Then again, I risk that even in April / May. 

This image sends shivers down my spine. (from google images)

But in the time being I need to wise up for the Tufts 10k which is in TWO WEEKS (!!).  After my really great 5k last weekend I gave myself time to not do any speed work. Which was probably good and what I needed but now I’m thinking that there’s soooooooooo little time to really focus for Tufts.   

So this week I’ll likely do the hill workout that I skipped out of this weekend and another fast interval-esque workout.  I’m debating between the workout I did prior to the 5k ( warm-up, 2 miles hard, 1 mile easy, 1 mile hard, warm down) or changing it up to something unknown.  There is a track nearby so I was thinking of maybe doing something there.  But I don’t really know what yet.  I’ve gotten lots of suggestions from you guys so I’ll look them over but if anyone has a MUST do workout let me know! 

I probably should get back to the clinic and wrap up this semi-aimless post hahah!  The neurologist that’s in right now needs some help with the electronic medical recording (EMR) because she’s a new volunteer provider and is a little unsure.  I might not end up doing any recording but I’m surely not going to pass up an opportunity to be in with patients! 

Check out the giveaway from Miss Zippy. Or don’t because I want it!

September 13, 2010

“Drunk Chick Passed Out On Pavement”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:04

I bet that title got your attention today!

Because, according to the search terms people use to get to my blog, this is how someone got here.  Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.  Just for the record: I have never been passed out on the pavement.  Ever. And I don’t plan on starting either. Clearly this reader will have left here disappointed. But I found it hilarious anyway.

Okay moving on…

Apparently there was a 5k on Sunday morning a block from my apartment. Why did I not know about this?!  When I started my “recovery run” (more on that later) I noticed mile markers and when I was finishing up the run I saw the starting line.  Not that I really should have been thinking about racing so soon after last weekend (Question: am I ever going to get tired of linking to that RR?! Answer: never) but it reinforced that I really need to get in touch with the local running community and make a trip to the local running store again.  Simply waving and smiling (and batting a few eyelashes) isn’t going to cut it anymore.  Time to make my presence known 😉

But like I said, I went out for a recovery run first thing on Sunday.  The combination of having a really good dream (too bad I can never remember the good ones!) and the temps being so cold last night (okay so it was only 50*.  It felt cold though) that the covers were so warm made it almost impossible to get out of bed.  I mean obviously I did but there was a moment or two of “I just want to lay here forever”.

Because it was so cold last night I opted for my neon green long sleeve for my run.  The weird thing was that once I stepped out of my apartment the air felt about 10* warmer than inside! I kept the long sleeve on though because I like being able to wrap my hands in the sleeves.   And it’s literally neon green.  Question: How can you beat that?!

I apolog-- oh wait no I don't. I think pink + green = amazing combo. I didn't run in the pink shorts though (or the sexy socks) because I'm writing this post run and thus threw the shirt on for a random picture. I'm pretty sure my roomie thinks I'm nuts 😉

Answer: You can’t

Lately I’ve been struggling with my sense of direction and I decided to tackle one of my “not-on-the-path” routes that I have yet to run properly.  Not that I’ve ever been fully lost.  I do have a keen sense of direction and always know where I am but sometimes I doubt that ability and take wrong turns because I feel like a turn should have happened already.

I am proud to say that I ran the entire route properly. And then because I was feeling really good despite having run looooooooooong the day before (and running an 8:29 pace! Although I didn’t know that at the time) I added on a little bit extra.  So maybe Sunday wasn’t really the recovery day that it should have been.

Not much else to say about it except that this route has some killer hills (I literally live in the neighborhood called “College Hill” after all) and, with the exception of maybe the first hill on the route because I was still warming up a bit, I didn’t notice them.  Even this one which comes at a point where I’m pretty far away from my place (and thus really effing tired already!)

Not the best quality of a picture but hopefully you guys can see the line where the hill just drops. AKA where the sunlight is on the next street over is about 100m BELOW where I’m standing.

You know how way back in the day people thought the world was flat and that we’d drop off the face of the Earth if we traveled too far? Yeah.  Well that’s what I think every time I come to this hill.  The only thing worse than going down is knowing that I have to go back up.

And view from the bottom:

Again, not the best quality but hills are darn hard to capture on film!

So much for recovery from the LR with hills like these.  And they are everywhere here!  And with another speed session on tap for a bright and early Monday morning, well maybe I should have re-thought this route.  My pathway is relatively flat though, but after running it all week I wanted to break loose.

And so, with a killer 13.6 mile long run on Saturday and a very hilly recovery-yet-so-not-recovery run on Sunday I awoke bright and early to do a repeat of last Thursday’s speed work courtesy of my new coach. Aka Lacey.

Bright and early = I had to run this at 0500.  Which is a totally different beast than even 0530.  At least with the latter there’s a promise of sunlight at some point.  Not so much at 0500.  And the path where I warmed up, well there are no streetlights on the actual path — it’s a path that divides the road so the streetlights are on the actual sidewalks.  So I did have some light but it was still a little spooky I guess.  But as I started off I definitely thought it could motivate me to run faster!

In case you’re too lazy to click my link above, here’s what the deal-io was:

  • Warm up
  • 2 X 1 mile continuous
  • Warm down

Granted I changed it up last time (and for that I’m going to make you click the link if you’ve forgotten) and, duh, changing it up was likely and what I knew was going to happen anyway when I hit the streets.  My target pace for the miles was 6:45, ideally with the second mile being faster than the first.  This was the case last time but my first mile was kind of slow.  Paige had a really good suggestion of adding strides during the tail end of my warm up because I suspect the reason the first mile had been slow was because my warm up was done slowly and the fastness in me hadn’t been woken up yet.  So during the warm up I added about 8 or so strides over second half.

It was another chilly morning here in New England which fit me just fine for some speediness. While  I don’t mind running in heat at all (in fact I actually enjoy it) the cool, crisp temps of September and October really make interval workouts enjoyable.  Granted by the end of the hard stuff I was sweating so much I thought I was in the dog days of August but oh well.  I was working hard 🙂

Here’s what went down:

  • Warm up: 3.7 miles @ 8:59
  • 2 X 1 mile (1st: 6:47, 2nd: 645)
  • 1 mile recovery @ 8:50
  • 1 mile HARD @ 6:26
  • 2.8 mile warm up @ 8:22

Total: 10.5 (although I think it’s actually 10.6 with the way I round my warm up/down) @ 8:16 (or 8:11 if you use the 10.6)

So I think that this workout possibly went better than the last time (which I linked above but will again here) just because the pacing was more even. Surprising after the weekend of miles and hills. I’m not 100% sure of the splits for the 2 X 1 mile just because it was still pitch black when I hit the 1 mile mark and I was running so hard that I’m pretty sure I lost the ability to do my usual mental math but I’m 99.99% sure.  And I know that the two of them together were 13:32.

I will say that the second one was WAY harder than the first mile.  Which wasn’t the case last time.  I actually thought that I’d be getting positive splits for, very likely, the first time.  I didn’t and then busted out another great mile at the end.  But trust me: I was hurting.  Breathing hard and my quads were like jelly.

Sign of a good workout? Maybe?

Another sign might be that the recovery mile and the warm down felt sloooooooooooooooooow.  The recovery mile is actually a lot slower than last time but felt so much faster.  I use street signs as the mile markers and every time I’d pass a new street I’d pray that it WASN’T the one I needed to start that third mile!

But the third mile went really well.  At least time wise.  I had to keep mentally telling myself to not let up or coast.  Which is probably a good thing because if I plan on running a fast and hard 5k then I’m going to have to fight through the pain that is fast running.

I finished the workout a little dazed from the effort because the warm down, not only felt like I was walking, but I *ranpastmyapartment*.  Oops. Not the biggest deal because the warm down wasn’t over (I run two small loops) butttt I looked around at one point and was like, ummm I think I missed a turn for the typical first loop.

To think I claim running wakes me up in the morning 😉

So that is that.  Another speed session in the books.  I’m still not quite sure how I truly feel about it because A) I don’t have a measure by which to judge speed workout, specifically for the 5k and B) I’m a perfectionist and didn’t smash my times from last week.  Which annoys me. But on paper it looks good I think. So I’m still iffy about whether or not this workout was a big success or not.

I guess we’ll see this weekend, right? 8)

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