MarathonMaiden's Blog

August 29, 2011

Howdy Y’all

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yay fountains!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (thanks google images)

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.

March 8, 2011

Cutback Week = Cookies and Wine.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 07:49

Sadly the illness that I was referring to in my last post was not the hang-over induced.  It was sinus pain, ear pressure and enlarged lymph nodes.  The former would have been more fun.  Or at least have good memories associated with it after. Luckily I’m feeling slightly better and less “ohmigod I want to just curl up into bed and sleep for a year”.  Mostly due to a couple of things:

  • Being an old lady and going to bed WAY early.  No necessarily by choice.  Each day for the past few days I’ve come home from whatever I’d been doing and showered (prepping to go out) then sitting down on my bed and conked out (in my uber small twin bed.  Which apparently a lot of you are shocked I can fit my while frame in it ahhah!).  On Saturday night this was at 1830.  I woke 3 hours later, confused, called my friend to say that I was not going out then put on a movie and feel asleep around 2230. Jeez…is it time for the home yet?
  • Winning. I woke up Sunday feeling icky still but went to a baby shower for my friend.  Not only did I have tons of fun I also won, not one, but TWO bottles of wine.  Hizzolllller. Talk about feeling better.

  • Cooooooooooookies. My mom came to visit me this weekend and I baked cookies for her…and of course I had to save some for me as well.  Which was a GODSEND when I woke up each night with really REALLY bad ear pain (I kept cursing that I just wanted my damn eardrum to pop so I’d feel better!).  I’m not one to really snack during the night, nor am I an emotional eater, but these hit the spot when my tummy was rumbling at 0230!

Classic Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

(from the back of the oats container I used)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2  cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter margarine (I’m SORRY to all you real bakers out there!), softened
  • 3/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup granulated sugar
  • 2  eggs
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt (optional and I used it)
  • 3  cups oats (I used old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1  cup raisins — or more. I think I used closer to 1.5 cups.  But I love raisins.

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
  4. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
  5. Add oats and raisins; mix well.
  6. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack.
  8. Cool completely and ENJOY.

 

So, while I’ve done relaxing stuff and stuff that’s made me feel better I’ve decided that I’m taking this week to chill out! I’m not saying that I’m nixing the running totally

(I did do intervals this weekend, stupidly I might add because I wasn’t feeling 100%:

  • Warm up
  • 2 X 1 Mile continuous (7:28, 7:32)
  • 2 X [ 2 X 1 mile] easy / hard (9:XX, 7:45, 9:49, 7:35)
  • Warm down

but no hard workouts (think nice and easy running!). That workout kicked my ass.  And not because it’s challenging in and of itself.  I’m just worn down.  I don’t think it’s because I’m training for a marathon per se but it’s a culmination of lots of stresses, physical and mental/emotional, at the moment.  And, surprise surprise, you guys are smarty-arties in suggesting that I need some down / less intense time.  Unfortunately I never learn.  And never get to wear the dancing smarty pants. Oh ah.

Thanks google. And I SWEAR the only reason I know this guy is because I have much younger siblings. Do you believe me?

 

The good news is that a lot of it will dissipate this week.  And if not, well I do have two bottles of wine and 3 dozen , more like half dozen at this point, cookies to help me cope.

Hopefully, since I’m posting this before I even wake up this morning, I stay strong getting out there and resisting the traditional Tuesday Tempo.  Because this week I’m saying a big FU to my actual workouts (among other things, like the stuff that’s stressing me out!)….and then hopefully this sickness. Time to recharge!

March 4, 2011

Sometimes I Wish There Was…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 10:38

…a “like” button for the comments section of blogs.  Well maybe not because I’d like them all BUT Miss Zippy told me yesterday

Let me add that one day, Charlie Sheen’s brain may be in the Mutter! ; )

which merged my new favorite website and my new favorite museum. Word.  I have spent far too much time clicking the Charlie head! Currently my favorite quote is “I’m alive. Bring it.” Or “There’s a new sheriff in town. And he has an army of assassins.” CLASSIC.

Also classic? My Tuesday and Thursday workouts.  AKA Tempo (or GMP / threshold / as fast as I can go for ~6 miles) Tuesday and Long Run Thursday.

Tuesday

  • Warm up
  • 6.8 miles @ 7:37 pace (2.2 mile @ 7:50, 2.2 @ 7:22, 1.2 @ 7:41, 1.2 @ 7:23)
  • Warm down

Again a “meh” from me. I woke up on Tuesday morning by oversleeping. Or rather re-setting my alarm about a minute before it was supposed to go off.  For about an hour or so (that totally takes dedication there as I’ve disabled the snooze function so I have to manually reset the darn thing). Oh well.

And it was really tough to get into this workout initially.  Intertia (heeeeeeeeeeeeello physics nerd!).  At this point I actually hadn’t read the majority of your comments suggesting a cut back week or cutting out the hard stuff this week but I was thinking of nixing the tempo/whatever anyway.  I actually did have a major cutback week 2 weeks ago where I ran miles less than the week before (by 30 miles) and the week after (by about 20 miles). I do plan on taking another cutback week (and reducing the speed/hard work that week as well) but I think part of the reason I’m worn down is emotional/mental rather than physical.

Because it was my mind that really REALLY wasn’t in the first portion of the tempo (aka lots on my mind lately that’s been distracting) and my legs then decided to jump on that bandwagon.  But once I rounded that corner (literally as it was a turnaround after 2.2 miles) I was able to pick things up a bit by thinking POSITIVE.  Once I did that (as well as staying FOCUSED) my legs seemed to perk up. I also find it funny that the first and third paces above are similar as are the second and fourth.  I blame it on the way I run my route: the first and third portions above are “first halves” of loops and I tend to slack a bit because I’m scared of crashing and burning.

But, like last week, I’m okay with the pace of the tempo/threshold/whatever not being what WR was.  I’m getting okay with the training being what it is.

Thursday – 22.2 miles total

  • 10 miles @ 8:57 pace
  • 10 miles @ 9:06
  • 2.2 miles @ 9:00

While the pace is MUCH slower than I wanted (I blame a very emotionally draining Wednesday night) at least they were pretty consistent.  Or at least consistent as much as a 22 mile run can be.  I actually thought the last route (the 2.2 one) was faster.  Because I was putting in more effort.  But nope.  Oh well.  I was working hard anyway.  Nothing felt off and I actually felt like this was a good positive run even if the numbers “disagree” with me.

Wednesday and Friday were the standard recovery runs. Lots of boringness.

Maybe kind of sort of like this post.  And my workouts.  I need some spice.  I’ve taken Jess’s suggestion of taking Boston as a fun race and I really REALLY like that idea.  Like I mentioned above it’s helping me not take my workouts as “be all to end all” and hopefully that will let me jump into doing workouts / wrapping my head around trying new training stuff out.  That’s spice right?

I’ll leave you with this video that my roomie and I watched the other night.  I can’t believe I had never really watched any Flight of the Conchords stuff before.  Hil-ar-ious!

March 2, 2011

Previously On MM…February 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:28

I’m going to copycat echo Aron and say BUSY was the word on the month for February.  Or STRESSED.

Still got the running done though, despite feeling a bit off during my workouts and my drive to hit them hard.

Totals? Here you go!

  • 345.7 miles
  • 51 hours 21 minutes 9 seconds
  • 8:55 Average Pace

This is only .3 more miles and 7 minutes less than January.  Talk about consistency! Digging back to 2010 I ran 390.5 miles in February.  So I was down some (mainly because I’ve been *gasp* taking rest days!) but I ran these miles 8 seconds faster on average.  Considering that I’m training for the exact same race as I was this time last year (Boston baby) I think that’s really good.  Sure, I could probably be hitting workouts harder (like I’ve been complaining about forever it seems) but overall a good solid month.

This month my training *really* began and I hit 4 interval workouts, 4 tempo workouts and only 3 actual long runs (hello cutback week).  Considering that this month has exactly 4 weeks in it, and we got about 30 (?) inches of snowfall, I’d say not too shabby.

Whenever I say the phrase “not too shabby” I think of this song. Yes, I’m weird.

What else besides running was I up to this month?

Well stress ( so I’m going to really have to think about what I’ve been up to!) and dealing with massive snowstorms every week, but I went to Philly to…ummm….do some activities to shake it off.

gor.geous.

And got to see some really cool medical stuff at the Mutter Museum.  I really want to go back there!

I also really got into rockclimbing and took out a trial membership at the climbing gym. The membership ends in the next few days so I need to come up with the cash money to keep going! It’s been great for XT and my arms / legs are getting more of an “athletic” look rather than “runner” look. I like it. Especially since *fingerscrossed* spring / skimpy clothes season is soon!

Because I was really stressed I didn’t really cook at all.  I relied on other people to feed me.  But that’s what friends (and roomies) are for right?  BUT I did make some really good “Crack Bars”

as well as Chili (repeat of a recipe from….December according to when I posted it)

But to relieve my stress I did get some lovely mail! AKA I got my WR trophy and my updated Boston confirmation.  Which helped my waxing and waning motivation to train (which a lot of you made some really insightful comments on my last post which I shall muse over when I have more time to think / mull them over and develop my own thoughts on them!).

Yes I know I put both of these images up recently. Deal.

 

So a mixed month for sure. I’m sincerely hoping that things calm down a bit.  I mean, I love being busy and having stuff to do but there is definitely such a thing as TOO MUCH of a good thing! Upcoming in March is the monster month for training so it’s time to get serious about my workouts.  Hopefully in my next post I’ll be able to recap the hard (yet decent) tempo I did the other day and the long run or intervals that are supposed to shape up tomorrow.

Happy Hump Day.  Now I’m off to rockclimbing? Fingers crossed!

September 17, 2010

Short and Sweet…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:28

Because it’s Friday.  And we all know what I’ve got on the brain. WEEKEND TIME 😀

Yesterday turned into a very long day with me being in a very bad mood by the time I left work.  Nothing serious but I was exhausted.  Since my clinic days are really long I’ve been feeling burnt out a bit by Friday.  Nothing major or anything: I just feel tired and I get a bit rattled and frazzled. I think most people know what I’m talking about even if you don’t put in 12 hour days.

Which is why I was glad that I went out after clinic was over last night to unwind a bit.  At a bowling alley.  And before you roll your eyes and ask me how old I am, let me tell you this: it is $1 for shoes, $1 soda, $1 food.

That’s not even the best part: $2 beer and $3 mixed drinks.  Quality stuff too.  How can you go wrong? Plus one of my friends, who is also a co-worker, knew how bad of a week I was having and put me on the tab already started.  So nice!  And I also never realized how many bar + bowling alleys existed until recently.  I had only known of a handful but apparently I find them where ever I go.

Granted since I had to get up and go into work early this morning (ugh — annoying because the doctor I showed up to help didn’t show up until late morning!) I only had one drink but the atmosphere was JUST what I needed. As was “sleeping in” this morning.  AKA not running before work.  It felt good and semi-refreshing especially since it rained last night and sleeping with rain in the background is sooooooooooo nice.

Which meant that I ran after work (which, annoyingly, the doctor didn’t *really* need my help and was out of there within a half hour. *LeSigh*.  BUT I’m NOT hating on my job.  I love it. It’s just been a long week for everyone at the clinic and I’m in a complainy mood hahah). And it’s not like I was there ridiculously late either: because of my long hours already this week my boss let me go as soon as the doctor was done. SO NICE.

So I laced up my shoes around noon and ran.  It was an interesting run. First positive split run in….well I can’t really remember the last time I did it but each loop was ~1-2 seconds slower than the previous one.  Annoying.  Not that the pace was bad or that the few seconds of a drop was significant. The paces of which were

  • 1st loop:  8:22
  • 2nd loop: 8:23
  • 3rd loop:  8:25
  • Short 4th bit: 8:08 (so I did end very strong!)
  • Average pace settled into 8:23.

Not bad for a long run at all.And I’m not putting up the distances because I did, in fact, run long (and I don’t want any negativity raining down on my parade and I want 100% good vibes sent my way for this weekend.  Yes I am selfish and fishing for good vibes.  My blog so whatever hahah!). Oops. But I will reassure you that each loop wasn’t way long and I did not run a marathon-training LR.  Not even close. So not freak out too much 😉

The whole run felt good and strong and powerful.  It also felt in control and not strenuous.  I hooked into a group of guys for a few of the miles and, despite running at a good clip, the pace was easily conversational.  Therefore I’m not worried about today hurting the race if I do run it (I currently am still debating because I really don’t have the $$ to run this race) because I’ve done this before and the results have never been bad.  As long as I have one day to recover from a tough or long workout, I’ve found that I’m good to go.  I rebound really fast.

And apparently I rebound from a long and stressful week fast too because all it took was this run to improve my mood.  Or the fact that it’s Friday and I do not have to do anything this weekend.

Except try and come up with the money so that I can race so hard I want to puke.

So I’ll leave it there because it’s Friday and I promised short and sweet and I feel like I’m rambling with no true point.  But hey, 5 posts for the past 5 days? I can’t remember the last time I did that 😛

And, despite the weather being slightly overcast, a little humid and on the warmish side (hello fall frigid mornings but beautiful afternoons!) but I still think that my balcony is calling my name.

And since I like linking to songs that are stuck in my head here’s a good one that I’ve been loving today….and maybe dancing to on my balcony right now 🙂

I can’t find the real video for it and Pitbull’s rap is different but it’s still an awesome song regardless!

And speaking of Pitbull I just remembered this AWESOME clip.  Wait for it about the 1:03 minute mark.  The man doesn’t even miss beat!

And check out this giveaway from Shut Up and Run.  How about all this awesomeness on a Friday afternoon! 🙂

August 19, 2010

Legendary Top Dog

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:23

Whew.  Hello again everyone. Going to try to make this quick as I have a long to-do list (comme d’habitude!) starting with a nice hot shower because the hot water was finally turned on!

I think it’s only been a day since I last posted but I’ve been crazy busy so it feels like it’s been a week!  The job has been the most crazy thing going on: I had to do the monthly report yesterday.  Ummm it was only my third day?! Talk about trial by fire! I’m glad everyone finds my job interesting though.  I think that once I get through this first month I’ll finally be settled?

Regardless, today is a day where there’s PM clinic (always on T/R) so I don’t have to go in until 1230/1300.  As much as the different times to go into and leave work is weird and will take time to get used to I think  I end up enjoying it? Again, it’ll take time to get settled.  But clinic (at least on Tuesday) was fun.  I get to hang out with the volunteer doctors and residents and nurses and other people who make the clinic run.  And I get to see some pretty cool patients (although I don’t think I can say much anything due to HIPPA) but suffice it to say that I’m having fun.  Crazy busy and stressed but fun.

I’ve also been really busy lately because I’m filling out an entirely new application for medical schools.  I had an epiphany recently which, while I’m totally still filling out the “common app” for medical schools, requires me to fill out a different system of applications.  All of which are due October 1st.  Now I’m not saying it’s NOT possible to do this task butttt it’s going to require me to put A LOT of work in.  But working hard = my life so I’m sure that I can get it done.  There just might be some tears of frustration here and there.  Of course whether or not I send in the applications depends on my MCAT scores so I hope I’m not doing all this work and extra stress for nothing! We’ll see.  I was WICKED productive last night on that front so I’m thinking that’s a good sign?

Every now and then I feel like my blog veers away from running and more towards STRESS.  Maybe I should rename it to Stressed-Out-Marathon-Maiden?!

So on to the running!

I still have yet to go actually explore more intense running routes rather than my standard 2X4.1 that I’ve been doing.  Mostly due to lack of time to explore.  I kind of like knowing exactly how far I’m going in advance and, since I am sans garmin, I need to map this stuff out.  Lack of time = lack of running routes.  Luckily I have a job that I will not have to bring home work with me so I can get out and explore / map this weekend. Which means that I’ve been running my 8.2 miles every day haha!

Wednesday obviously was 8.2 miles and it was at a creepy crawly pace.  Like the title of my last post suggests, I’m going to have an excuse: I didn’t get home from work until 2200 on Tuesday then had to be at work by 0800 on Wednesday.  Meaning a 0515 wake up.  Sure I can handle it but it’s tough to bang out quality miles under so little sleep.  I’m not saying I was running terribly slow (it was ~8:48 pace) but it just felt lethargic.   The humidity had cut down a bit, so it was more like 87% when I left.  I definitely was dripping with sweat when I got back to the apartment!

I got to sleep in a bit on Thursday.  Aka 0745 😀  It was one of those mornings when the covers just conform to your body and it’s the most comfortable thing everrrrr. And I think I was having a good dream too.  I guess I’m weird and can only remember bad/scary/disturbing dreams so I don’t know what this one was about but I woke up with a smile.  That’s a great way to start a day!

But after laying there for a bit I did get out of bed to hit the streets. And I’m glad I did.  The humidity was around 80% or so.  But the temp was 65*!! I definitely was working hard and sweating though.  But I don’t really mind sweating when I know it’s because of my effort and not because it’s so HHH (hazy hot and humid)

And I ran for

…wait for it….

8.2 miles. Legendary.

I’m not going to lie though: my legs felt like absolute crap.  But when I checked my watch at the halfway mark I was running at 8:40 pace.   While not rockstar pace, it was much faster than I anticipated.  Which put some pep in my step and I finished the whole run at 8:34 pace.  It’s funny how on days where the leg-os don’t feel their best is when I run my fastest.  Of course my legs might be feeling tired because I’m running fast.  But hey now I like thinking things are paradoxical.

Woot.  I even passed some really faster runners. Or at least runners that I’ve perceived to be faster during my whole 5 runs in my new locale.  This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Does that make me a bad person?!

Meaning: I want to still be top dog!  In my hometown I rarely saw another runner out.  And if I did they were old person and not a “serious” runner (I don’t know if that sounds harsh but I don’t mean it as a negative.  I’m just more focused than most of the runners back home).  This made me appear to be the best runner in the universe.  Simply because no one else runs.  Or rather no one else really races.

Here it’s definitely not the case.  Of course there are walkers and people who are out just for the hell of it but there are definitely people who are sporting the racing shirts and doing *workouts*. Of course I have been making eye contact with some of them and waving.  I even got a “hey now don’t lap me!” from one of the guys out running yesterday.  But it’s just weird to not be the only person in my area who runs.

I need to establish myself.  And fast 😉

August 2, 2010

Monthly Recap: July 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 09:00

Wait, really? August already?! I honestly feel like I was just typing out June’s monthly recap.  I wish months like February would go this fast and it has less days to boot! Guess the nice weather makes time just flyyyyy.  It’s like that Einstein quote

Put your hand on a hot burner for a minute and it feels like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour and it feels like a minute

Anyway.

Before I get into my recap I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who commented on my stressed out post.  It was just one of those days where everything seemed to come crashing down.  I really hate how all or nothing things can be sometimes.  But I’m on the upswing and, while still very stressed out, there are some really amazing people in my real life ( as well as you guys in my blog life!) who really stepped up and took care of me when I needed it. 🙂

Since then I’ve taken *another* full length practice test.  I actually took it on Saturday and it officially marks the end of everything I have to do with my course.  Yippee.  Now that in no way means that I’m done.  I’m taking another practice test on Tuesday and still studying my butt off, but knowing that all the “have to”s are done is nice.  The results of this past test were…interesting.  Science scores are easy to keep boosting so I keep making great progress there but my Verbal score is pretty stagnant.

Not a bad thing per se (because I’m okay with the actual score if that’s what I get on test day) but it’s discouraging to not see tangible improvement.  That said, I do have new study tactics that, while they haven’t been around long enough to pay dividends yet, I’m already feeling good about.  After taking 5 practices I’m comfortable with the length of time it takes (aka I sit on my butt for 5.5 hours!) and the format (and hopefully the material too haha) but I need to work on my pacing in certain areas.  Wow another parallel with my running! I think I can make anything related to my running haha (Again, sorry to dedicate so much space to the MCAT but it’s the most pressing thing on my mind right now.)

And the literal physical running has been going GREAT.  Seriously seriously great.  My average daily run paces continue to get fast while maintaining the easy effort that I’ve always been putting in.  Some great stuff here.  Part of it might be the *amazing* weather here in New England (would you hate me if I said the highs the past few days have only been in the upper 70s? It felt cold! And the lows have been in the upper40s.  Ummmm I slept with a comforter to keep me warm) but I also know that the reduced mileage is a very large part of running fast and effortlessly too.

Speaking of….here is the month of July in review:

Week of June 28 –  July 4

  • 130.8 Miles
  • 18 Hours 43 Minutes 36 Seconds
  • 8:36 Pace
  • 4X Core, 1X Lifting, 0 XT

Soooo about that whole cutting back? In fairness I didn’t realize that cutting back needed to happen until the very end of June so this week is inflated by that.  This was also the week that I dominated that 5M.  Woot.  Way happy about that despite the mileage being so high. AKA the most miles I’ve run in a single week. Ever. Did I mention I’m not training for anything?

Week of July 5 – July 11

  • 111.1 Miles
  • 16 Hours 7 Minutes 25 Seconds
  • 8:43 Pace
  • 3X Core, 2X Lifting, 0 XT

Mmmmmhhhhmmmmm.  So clearly I was lying to myself when I said July was going to start with a cut back! In fairness I did cut back the first 2 days of the month.  Apparently, though, I picked right back up where I left off! While it was 20 miles less than the week before I don’t think it was nearly enough to really be considered cutting back.  I do like how I managed to get to the gym to lift twice though.

Week of July 12 – July 18

  • 59.6 Miles
  • 8 Hours 48 Minutes 20 Seconds
  • 8:52 Pace
  • 1 Core, 0 Lifting, 0 XT

Hello Philly! As expected my mileage took a hit.  Not that I’m complaining really: something needed to force me to stop running so darn much.  I got to run with Flo which was a highlight of the trip and do some Philly exploring in the early hours of the morning.  My pace was a bit slower than previous weeks but I’m okay with that because I was on vacay.  I also dropped doing core work and have yet to start up again.  Oops.

Week of July 19 – July 25

  • 56.4 Miles
  • 7 Hours 58 Minutes 59 Seconds
  • 8:30 Pace
  • 0 Core, 0 Lifting, 0 XT

Wowza to that pace.  Another week of treating my legs better and the runs became even more fluid and fast.  Unfortunately because all the runs looked the same (just easy going mid-distance stuff) I actually stopped writing down comments in my log book! So all I have is the raw numbers hahah.  But suffice it to say I was probably pretty stoked to have that pace and I do remember looking at my watch after several runs and shaking my head in awe.

Week of July 26-August 1

  • 60.0 Miles
  • 8 Hours 23 Minutes 7 Seconds
  • 8:23 Pace
  • 0 Core, 0 Lifting, 0 XT

So my average pace keeps dropping? Pretty effing sweet. Since this week was pretty crazy in terms of studying (this was the week that I was just flooded with every little thing that could go wrong doing so) I don’t really have much to say about the runs themselves.  Also goes back to what I’ve been saying all this week about my runs just being boring overall.  Exciting stuff to look at in terms of trends, just not very fascinating day to day.

Month of July

  • 354.5 Miles
  • 50 Hours 54 Minutes 49 Seconds
  • 8:37 Pace

Obviously not June.  But that’s okay.  In fact I’m a little shocked that my miles are as high as they are given how “low” the past 3 weeks have been.  Guess everything is just relative.  I’m also shocked (and SO PUMPED) at that monthly average pace.  8:37?! That’s a solid 7.0 on a TM. Hollllllllerrrrrrrrr.

I’m also happy that I was able to break the cycle of doing more-more-more.  While I don’t think it was really hurting me, in hindsight I can definitely say that it wasn’t for the best.  Maybe if I was training for a big huge long event.  But I wasn’t.  I’m still in search of a marathon for the late fall/winter so it’s very good that I’m backing off now if I end up ramping it up in the future.

So what’s next?

I know lots of you set goals at the beginnings of the month and whatnot.  I’ve thought about that.   And while I don’t have any concrete goals that I’m going to make sure I hit ( at least for running.  Hello MCAT? Hello moving?)  I do want to try and make speed work happen this month.  I’ve lamented over and over how I’m not racing BUT there’s a race in NH (the half that I want to do with Lacey ) and then a 5k in Providence that I might want to do; I’ve been getting their emails since I ran it last year but haven’t seriously considered it yet ($$ being the issue).  Not to mention the Tufts 10k in October.  I want to smash some records this fall and planting the speed work rewards into my muscles now will likely pay off big.

Oh yeah.  And some core + lifting might be a good thing too.  Maybe today?

And I guess I do have a “wishy-washy” goal for this month too (aka a goal that’s not really concrete or tangible): chill the eff out.  I’ve been so stressed that it’s been way hard for me to find time for myself.  I’ve gotten better at it lately (reading, seeing friends) buttttt it’s something I’ll likely need to work on for the rest of my life.  This month I am taking a vacay…well I was going to say next week but I leave on Thursday. So I’m leaving soon.  That’ll be fun.  And once my test is over and I’m moved my life might be introduced to this concept called fun again. It’ll be a good thing to be at a job and not have to be “on” 24/7 like I was at school.  I’m definitely looking forward to that  🙂

Well this is getting long and I need to hit the books some more.  But in terms of what I mean by “chill the eff out” here’s my new most favoritest picture that was taken on the Philly trip with the girls 🙂

Drunk. Happy. Hott. ❤

July 29, 2010

Three Things Thursday: Stress Edition

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:34

Ummmm pretty basically my life is one big ball of overwhelming stress.

  • MCAT.  2 weeks.  In two weeks from now I will hopefully be drinking on the pond feeling good about my test.  Until then, of course, it’s a little bit unnerving to feel like the entire future I want could hinge on this test.  There have been some high points: I feel better about certain topics that have traditionally given me trouble (thank you library! But no thank you old creepy men who stare at me!) but that by no means makes me feel like I’m totally prepared.  I just want the stupid thing done and over with.
  • Moving.  2 weeks plus one day.  Yes that’s right: I am moving the day after I take my test.  Ugh.  Poor planning on my part maybe.  I had originally hoped to move some of my stuff down this week or early next week but it just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen due to MCAT prep and other life stuff.  Since I’m just moving out of my mom’s house it’s not the end of the world to live bare-bones for a bit but still.  Not exactly ideal.
  • Medical School Application.  Because I still haven’t submitted it yet.  I need to re-work my essay which I haven’t had time for yet.   Nor have I really figured out how I’m going to pay for it, which adds stress of itself.
  • Not enough hours in the day.  I mean, I’ve been using the hours productively (which isn’t technically stressful) but I’d love it if I could have 2 (or 10) more.  Yeah so maybe a lame bullet point but I cannot just leave three things there.  Lucky number 4 and all 🙂

Had enough complaining yet?  Me too.  I really really try to not complain (and hopefully that does come across in my posts) but sometimes it feels good to just vent.  Also: I hate how the saying “when it rain it pours” is true. Also true? deep breathing = cure to being upset.  I’m don’t easily get upset so when I do I never know how to calm down.  But DEEP BREATHING.  Seriously.  It works.That said, here are three things that have been making me happy lately and, while they might be in vain, have attempted to lower my stress level.

  • Running.  Duh.  I feel like I haven’t been talking about my running lately because stress is so large that it’s taking over my mind and all my runs have been similar. But my runs have been feeling really good lately.  Sure, today I kind of slogged through 8 miles but can it really be called slogging when the average pace is 8:25?  I’m loving it.  Yesterday was a good 8 miles at 8:30 pace so I’ve been really pumped about it.  Thanks for all your comments about racing.  I still know I’m not going to commit to anything now but it’s nice to know that you guys think I could rock a race 🙂 AND I love the suggestions of loosely following a plan so I can get rid of that monotony feeling I have currently.
  • Reading for FUN.  Slash making sure the hour or so before my head hits the pillow is enjoyable. I’ve been making a commitment to reading chapters from a good book before I go to bed every night.  Sure it’s only 20 or 30 minutes or so, cutting into my sleeping time, but I love to read.   So it’s nice to be able to get lost in a story line.
  • Boston Medical. Which is on tonight 🙂 I’ve been absolutely fascinated with the show!  And no, I don’t think it’s because I want to be a doctor although I’m sure that’s part of it.  One of my friends, who is studying interior design, loves it too.  Always a plus to have some chica time. Anyhoo, hopefully my  *last* MCAT class tonight doesn’t run late so I can get home in time to watch the whole thing.  I’ve had to miss the beginnings sometimes and I hate missing the beginnings of shows.
  • And I know this is supposed to be THREE things but I need to put in a 4th (again):

And it’s not just this song but I’ve been really letting music lift my mood lately.  Lacey made me a mix CD that I’ve been listening too on repeat and other people have been “making” me listen to music I otherwise wouldn’t have.  But it works: I put on a good song and for 4ish minutes my thoughts are NOT on stress.

And my friend, who I stayed with in Philly, put up her pics on FB so I have more to share.  Sooooo here’s another.  And I’m going to dole them out slowly because I want to keep you guys coming back for more.  Unless you’re my FB friend.  Then you’ve likely stalked my pictures already and are bored with them haha.

Longwood Gardens. Check out the sock tan line. I am soooo attractive haha

P.S. If you’re not on my blogroll but want to be: let me know! I’m terrible at updating it when I find a new blog I love reading!

June 30, 2010

Oops! I Did It Again

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:34

My homegirl.

I don’t think she was talking about running but I am.  I ran another 20 mile day.  21.5 miles to be exact. I really should think about a marathon I guess.  (And I’m delaying tabulating my June miles for now as well as the *GASP* half way through the year numbers.  I have the weekly totals (and past months) and everything calculated but summing it all up is going to be very interesting. Ha.  I’m playing ostrich:)

This was the first image that popped up during my google search. It scared the bejeezus out of me!

This is what I really meant

In my defense it’s been one hell of a long day.  Yes I’ve been studying for weeks now but today was really test/quiz intense and my brain was craving the idea of leaving it all behind and my body was itching to move. And move I did.

It was also a pretty emotional day just because of all the testing.  I think I’ve mentioned this before but I suffer from really bad testing anxiety so emotions were obviously going to be running high.  And, while I didn’t do badly at all on the tests and quizzes I took today, I didn’t do as well as I wanted.  But it’s hard to hit the “A” goal when it’s perfection.  And running releases that to a degree.

Like last time I’ll recap it in three different runs.

Run 1:

  • 0830
  • 9.3 miles
  • 80 minutes 43 seconds
  • 8:41 pace

I don’t really know what possessed me to go so far for a first thing run.  I slept terribly last night. Weird because some sort of front came through and knocked the humidity out of the air so theoretically I should have slept like a baby. But I was up late doing work and I think I was just overtired.  So I didn’t fall asleep until 0200 or 0300.  And naturally I wake up at 0800.

The lack of humidity (hello 40%!!) probably made me run so far though.  It was practically chilly when I stepped outside and, for the first time in awhile, I felt awkward running in just a sports bra and shorts.  The start of the run was, like always, a bit rough but my legs kicked it into high gear in no time and I was WAY surprised when I passed my street and thought to myself, hey let’s go further. I was even more surprised when I figured out my pace with about a half mile to go and realized that I was running way fast.

Go me.

Run 2

  • 1230
  • 8 miles
  • 67 minutes 59 seconds
  • 8:30 pace

I had just finished up an Orgo section on oxygen binding molecules.  Fun stuff.  And no, I’m not really kidding there.  I LOVED orgo when I took it.  There’s something about it that is amazing and nice and…I’ll stop there as I don’t want to fully cement my nerd status just yet.  It’s also hard to hate on a subject where, in one of the labs, I got to make 95% ethanol.  That’s 180 proof.  I’m a bamf.

Where was I…oh yes the run.  Regardless of how much I love orgo it still is tricky stuff.  So my body was ready to GO from sitting and working and my brain was ready to GO because it was pumped after doing an orgo section.  So after 6 miles I looked at my pace and figured that 2 more miles wouldn’t hurt. I felt good and happy and strong.

The weather was also still REALLY nice.  There’s always a trade off with heat and humidity: early mornings = high humidity but low heat and afternoons = low humidity but high heat.  Sure it wasn’t COLD when I went out for this run but a very pleasant 75* with, and OMG, 35% humidity.  I can’t remember the last time there was so little water in the air.

Don’t be too jealous though because tomorrow the humidity is supposed to come back with a vengence

Run 3

  • 1700
  • 4.2 miles
  • 36 minutes 13 seconds
  • 8:38 pace

At this point in the day I had done SO. MUCH. TESTING.  Granted, like I mentioned above the orgo I like and don’t mind doing.  But my PM studying/testing was in Verbal.  Now don’t get me wrong: I’ve always tested well on verbal and I probably could say it’s my strongest section for the MCAT (There are 3 well really 4 but Writing doesn’t count: Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning and Biological Sciences) but no matter how well I do on the subject, it’s very mentally draining.

I probably wasn’t being the smaaaahtest person ever by running 17.3 miles prior to this point but hey, it happens.  I also knew that I needed to run.  So I planned to do only 3 knowing full well that, like the rest of my runs today, it would end up being longer.  Which, duh, it was.

The run itself was really good.  The beginning sucked.  My legs were stiff from the miles and the Verbal section test but I picked up the pace and fell into a groove.  I was very surprised to see that my pace was so good.  Normally on runs I check my watch at familiar checkpoints just to use as a gauge for how I’m doing.  I don’t know where they come mileage wise or anything but they’re just relative reference points.  I didn’t do that this run because I was just trying to unwind from the day so if I had to base it just on feel I would have said I was eh.  Pacing is such an elusive thing but I didn’t really feel like I was running mid-8s.

Total for the day

  • 21.5 miles
  • 3 hours 4 minutes 55 seconds
  • 8:36 pace

Great day.

I’m obviously not planning to do this again.  Or at least purposely.  Maybe my next post about this will be “Gimme More” or something 😉

I’ve got to get back to studying.  *LeSigh* My brain is sufficiently recharged from my running and I think I can tackle another chapter or two of Biology.

I also need to solidify plans for the 4th of July as well as a week in August when I don’t have ANYTHING to nail me down to a specific location the way my class is now (can you tell how much I want to procrastinate after a full day of work? haha). I was originally going to go up to my friend’s house on Lake Winnipesaukee this weekend but I have to take a full length MCAT on Saturday and I have an early morning appointment on Monday the 5th.  So it doesn’t make sense to drive 2ish hours to be up there for not even 24 hours.  Bummer.  Anyone doing anything spectacular to give me an idea to steal? A couple friends have to work that weekend too so we’ll be hanging out and celebrating America  8)

EDIT: Kristin brought up a good point in the comments about not relying so heavily on running as my release.  I completely agree! Today was probably the exception as I’ve been pretty good about tuning into the Office for breaks. Like you said, running is just such a release. I know it CAN’T be my only one so I’ve been experimenting with other things (TV, trashy mags) but haven’t really posted about them as I just don’t plain like them as much as running as well as the fact that this is a running blog. But I see the point. Thanks for looking out for me guys :)

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