MarathonMaiden's Blog

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!

July 27, 2010

Woooot!?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:54

Well another practice test done (#4 for those of you counting) and well maybe not woot.  I seem to have hit a glass ceiling so to speak.  My scores aren’t drastically improving the way I had hoped.  Part of it is me: I am notorious for under-performing on standardized tests and maybe I’m not studying as efficiently as I could be.  Part of it might be the tests themselves: I’ve heard that the Kaplan tests tend to run harder than what I’ll likely see on test day.

But not matter what it’s pretty damn frustrating.  I feel like I’m putting in the work and effort and not being rewarded for it.  Sure I have seen improvement but not enough to feel really good. I do have a new plan/strategy in place and hopefully I can make some progress in the next few days before I take another test.

I know some of you have commented on how frequently I’ve been taking the tests but, according to my syllabus, it’s not bad.  Take a test, write down the topics that were troublesome, study those, repeat.  In fact, it’s recommended at this stage in the course to take a test every other or every 2 days.  I hoping to get another 2, or even 3, before I leave for vacation in a little over a week (because god knows no studying will get done on vacay) then come back with 2ish days before my test where I can review the worst topics and maybe take another full length.  Good plan? We’ll see.  I think I’ll be okay as, to follow up on my marathon training = studying analogy, I’m in monster month now then I need a taper.

Oh well. Enough study talk.  Can you tell what my life has become lately?

The running part of my life has been a bit more encouraging. I have seen an improvement in my running which is nice.  It’s kind of funny though because each run feels good but slightly monotonous.  I suppose that’s why I like having a training plan: it forces me to change up my daily runs.  Nowadays I just go.  Which is fun in and of itself but not completely satisfying.

Case in point: Yesterday (Monday) I went for a 7 mile run.  And I ran it in 58.18 minutes.  Aka an 8:20 pace.  And it felt so effortless.  Great I suppose.  I love it when I surprise myself and actually can think for a minute that I’m good at running.  But because it was a really easy effort I felt a bit blase about it because it was just a run.  Not that I’m belittling the run itself.  But there’s no excitement at the moment.  No “OMG I’m making progress” because I’m not really. At least not toward any goal.

Because there has been progress of sorts. As I wrote last time I had suspected that my weekly average pace was going to be faster than I’ve seen in recent weeks and I was right.  Yes, I’ve seen faster paces on individual runs in the past but to have a week where the average is that? Quite honestly: it stuns me.  I guess my legs bounced back faster than I thought they would.  I’m going to wager that this upcoming week will be just as fast.  In comparison:

  • Pre-Philly week: 111.1 miles with an average pace of 8:43
  • This past week was 56.4 miles with an average pace of 8:30.

Which puts me in a conundrum: racing.  Clearly my body is primed for it.  My life, however, is not.  The next 3 weeks are going to be stressful, to say the least, and then I launch straight into my job.  I know that hitting up a race is possible but the idea of finding one and, this is the most important part, placing something else into my calendar is a bit stressful.  And more stress is not what I need.

But enough about me complaining.  I do want to race a half marathon with Lacey in September as well as a 10k with her in October and likely will as I am wicked excited for it.  But I just feel like I could smash a record now.  Unfortunate timing.  Story of my life.

Also unfortunate timing? My run today.  Since the test takes 5ish hours clearly no morning run would happen. Meaning that I’m running now at the hottest part of the day.  Bleh. At least it’s not the most humid part.  Choices.

BUT that said I rocked it.  But in the manner described above for yesterday’s run.  I went for 8.5 miles at, get this, 8:15 pace! That is rocking fast but it didn’t feel like it.  It could have been any number of factors, running at 1600 rather than earlier and thus having more food in my muscles, having 24+ hours between workouts or the fact that my mileage is decreasing.  But I’m stoked about it.  Not enough to be elated but enough to feel confident in my capabilities.

Which makes me think about racing more.  Hahaha.

And to make up for my scatterbrained post (I’m blaming the test from this morning) check out this giveaway from ShutUpandRun. And from Heather.  And from Healthy Stride

AND here’s another picture from Philly. What am I going to do when I run out of these?!

July 25, 2010

There’s a Light in the Darkness?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:57

I may or may not have had this in the background while I was trying to study last night

Although this song may or may not be my favorite

Mmmmmmmmm yeah.  I guess I’ve been sucking at updating lately.  But, in my defense, I’m still in MCAT bootcamp.  At least for a few more days.  I took Full Length #3 this morning (and yay for slight improvement.  Keeps the hope alive you know?) after 4 straight days of classes and 2 of solid studying.  I need to get through Full Length #4 on Tuesday and then I’m semi-home free.

Not in terms of volume of workload (because, let’s be honest here: will it ever end?) but the pace slows down a bit in terms of requirements being due and I can focus on areas where I KNOW I’m weak.  Makes me feel better than having to read stuff for class and already know the stuff.  Not that I don’t like being good at stuff but I’d rather focus my efforts on other things.  Because knowing my luck AC/DC circuits will be 100% of the material I’m tested on.

But running.  It’s been happening.  Core and lifting? Not so much.  I’m thinking that this week I’ll reintroduce it but between my trip to Philly and all my MCAT work it just didn’t seem important.  Neither did running a kajillion miles as both of those weeks I’ve been around 50.  Yes a great deal of miles for sure but compare that to June and the 100+ miles.

I’d go into more detail about the specifics of the runs but they all are the same: 6 or 7 miles at 8:20-8:40 pace.  Seriously.  Except for the “long run” I did on Saturday which was 9.  But the pace was the same.

The funny thing is that this pace is the exact same (roughly speaking) now as it was pre-Philly.  Annoying because I want my legs to be like “less miles? Let’s GO” and it hasn’t been happening yet.  Maybe I pushed my legs too far and they’ll need time to trust that I’m not going to go all crazy on them again. I will say that I’ve been having less of those shake out runs, so while my pace hasn’t dropped yet to really fast I suspect that when I calculate the average pace for the week it’ll be slightly faster than it has been.

As for now, I’m comfortable with my easy runs and the lower mileage.  It’s so funny how that trip just broke up the mental cycle of more more more.  But funny in a good way.

I’ve also noticed a HUGE spike in my appetite since lowering the miles.  I think it’s pretty common though, as running (and in the summer too) decreases my appetite in general and running multiple times a day just let that depression continue all day.  I’m not really complaining though.  My wallet might be.  But the wicked annoying thing is that I’m hungry but I’m not craving anything in particular.  So I just stand in front of the fridge/pantry/cabinet and look.  Sure I’ll eat something but it’s never really what I want.

I do know that what I really want is to relaaaaaaaaaax.  But I’m incapable of this (big huge news flash there right?).  So I’ll likely head out for a standard run then do some analysis on my test.  Oh! Actually wait! I have been able to semi-relax at night: Yes I’ve been studying wayyyy late but I have been able to read a bit before actually closing my eyes.  Of course this keeps me up later than normal but it’s so nice to have something else on my brain when I drift off rather than study materials.

And because I’m being lame with my postings I owe you guys another picture from my Philly trip

Grrrr I am strong!

Check out the giveaway from ErikaH

June 29, 2010

¡Viva la España!

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

Uh-oh. Definitely spoke too soon about the whole crazy lady not calling me.  Because she did.  Apparently while I’ve been thinking I’m all coy about dodging her they were on vacay.  And now they’re back.  I didn’t actually take the call but I know I have to return it.  She mentioned to whoever took the message for me that she would pay me.  My  mom actually knows who she is and told me that I’d be “effing stupid” to not take the money.  Haha.  We’ll see how it goes.  My bank account has been dwindling lately.

Apparently Uncle Sam’s has been too because I’ve been told that I cannot fly to Philly for my job training in two weeks.  Too expensive.  So I have to take the train.  Ugh.  At least I’ll have plenty of time to study for the MCAT — which I’m taking in 6 weeks.  (Holy Moly.  6 weeks?! OMG freak out time!)

As some of you noted running has been a great stress relief from the test.  Definitely why my miles are so high lately.  I’m also liking the no real structure to my running and I think the lack of pressure has made my pace drop as well.  That and my whole lack of sleep rule.  As a few of you asked, no I don’t have AC in my house so I’m guessing that sleep is going to be fitful for the rest of the summer.  I rely on my good old trusty window fan.  I can get a semi-cross breeze as I’m on the corner of the house with two windows.  Sometimes it can be a help sometimes not.

But enough about stress and complaining.  And on to running!

This morning I woke up and wanted to get in a good run before I had to deal with my pre-med advisor.  I also had to drive my sister to camp so I woke up extra early.  In vain too, because when I got back from my run I had a message waiting for me saying that, despite taking the past 4 weeks off he wasn’t going to be in today and the office didn’t know if he would be in all week.  Ummm did I mention that I wanted to get these applications in pronto?

Oh wait, did I say I wasn’t going to complain?! Oops 🙂

But in some ways it was good that I was under the impression the meeting would still happen because I ran very decently this morning in my haste to get it done before the day started.  I wasn’t so sure when I first got up because my legs were a bit stiff from the lifting of Monday and my leg had been feeling achy last night.  It was almost as though I was one of those old people that could feel when the weather was changing.  No pain but I was like, GAH I’m soooo old hahah.

But I loosened up after the first 10 minutes or so like I always do.  I think it helped that it was slightly cooler this morning than yesterday and slightly less humid.  Granted by the end of the run I doubt that anyone could tell the difference but for the first part of the run it wasn’t so bad.

And, while I know many of you run in hotter weather, I miss my perfect late-May / early June morning weather.  I do, however, thrive in heat, as evidenced by my great running this summer.  I’m the NE girl who prays for this weather in January.  I just don’t like looking like I went for a swim after an 0800 run.  Oh well.  Win/Lose situation I guess.

I chose to do 2 X 5.5 miles just because it was easy to quit after one if I wanted.  Anyone else do that? I’ve never actually quit after the first loop of something but I rarely do full one-loop long runs anymore.  I think it’s partly a mental thing as NOT quitting or giving in makes me a tough chic 8)

I even negative splitted it which was really nice to see as it’s been awhile since I did a LR first thing in the morning.  And, while I fully will take pride in ANY negative split, it was a 3 minute negative split.  Great way to start the morning and, despite the lack of pre-med meetings, I’ve been pretty productive.  Another great way to start the morning / day.

Off to study MORE before my class.  Or maybe just pretend to study as the Spain-Portugal game is on right now. ¡Viva la España!

Oh and I want to say how awesome Rebecca is.  She ran the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon over the weekend and was a champ.  You can read how she did here.  I’m totally thrilled to be called her mini-me 🙂

June 26, 2010

Faster and Faster

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:18

First off: I got a call from my roomie for the next year and we officially have a place for the next year 🙂 YAY.  Very very exciting because we got the place that we really wanted.  There was some drama with finding a third roommate but the place was just too good to not try.  And try we did and finally someone wanted to commit.  Hip hip hooray!  This is a pretty big sigh of relief. Woot. Especially since I figured I’d be living with my family until I died.  Now it’s almost like I’m a “real person”.  Almost.

Anyway.

I’m still not considering myself a real person yet.  Maybe because I’m still in the mindset of a student with all the studying I’m doing.  Yesterday (Friday) was no different. Blah.

I mentioned the other day that I was falling out of love with lifting.  Still totally is the case as I could not motivate myself to get to the gym on Friday for my typical Friday lifting session.  It’s not like I was soooooo exhausted of anything like that.  I woke up with 2 minutes to spare before my alarm went off, said “Eff this” to lifting and reset my alarm for another half hour.  Who am I?! Hahah.  Even though I didn’t fall back asleep (I’ve been having the absolute worst time falling/staying asleep lately) it was nice to just lay there with my covers draped around me all cozy.

I was feeling sufficiently guilty, though, that when my alarm did go off I went for a short run to wake up.  But lifting? Ehhhh not so much.  It’s not that I don’t *want* to lift but at the moment I don’t want to have to drive to the gym.  I wish that my dad had left all his gym equipment when he moved out.  Oh Newton and your first law of motion (inertia).

But the run was good and got me focused for some studying.  One of the reasons I really love running first thing in the morning is that I become AWAKE after.  Not all groggy-eyed.  Clears the cob-webs and sleepytime fuzzies.  Definitely a good thing because there’s lots of studying to be done!  And I think I’m slowly getting my groove back with the studying.  This past week has just felt a little off and I’ve had no desire to study.  Luckily for me and my medical future that’s turning around.

So after a looooooong freaking day of studying I got a little restless and was itching for a run.  Go figure.  I headed out about 1700 or so and was planning on getting in 4 to release all the tension that had built up over the course of my studying.  I must have been in the self-punishing mood, it was a pretty rough day mentally after all, and apparently I figured my body would want the same sort of thing because I did the 4 on the hilliest route ever.

Okay so grand scheme of things it likely wasn’t all that hilly.  But for where I am located at the moment it’s like the most hilly thing ever.  I blame the fact that I spent 4 years at a school with no hills.  I was spoiled.  And now I’m kind of a brat with hills.  Although it’s more love/hate because I love knowing that I beasted them but when I’m at the base of one I shudder a bit.

But it was a really good run regardless.  My body was ready to GO and I ran it pretty fast.  Even faster when I saw crazy lady walking across the playground field near my house.  I think she was with her daughter, so I feel bad for doing this, but I actually sprinted away.  And I didn’t slow down until I was at my house.  I don’t know if I thought she’d come after me or something but I wasn’t taking any chances.  I just didn’t want to get caught up in a loooooooong freaking conversation.  Even though her daughter was there and it would have been nice to introduce myself.  I’m SUCH a bad person.

On the plus side, that last fast mile gave me some time to do some ab/core work that I’ve been neglecting lately as I finished my run early and didn’t have to start dinner for the family yet.

As I’ve been writing over the past few days my running has been going really well, as evidenced by my latest runs.  Ever since running with Jess a week ago (wow time FLIES) my runs have been *fast* and *furious* (I was going to say strong but I like the alliteration and Paul Walker).  I credit her for injecting a little speed into my legs.  We ran pretty fast.  I can’t remember what our exact pace was over all without getting up and looking at my log book but it was a progressive run and I remember her saying that we hit one of the later miles at 8:15.  Which I just don’t do.  But, and while I don’t know individual mile splits, my overall splits have been getting faster ever since that run.  Woot.  I’m going to credit her because she’s fast and awesome 🙂

But with the increase in pace is an increase in intensity which means I’ve been losing major water weight during my runs.  And I’ve never denied being a bad hydrator.  I don’t know why but I need to be getting better and actually forcing myself to chug the good old H2O because, and I’m a bit shamed to admit this, on one of my runs this week I lost 3(!) pounds.  Ummmm that’s a lot.  So I’ve actually been thinking of duct-taping a water bottle to my hands or something.   But then it’d be awkward to study.  Which I should get cracking on because…

GO USA!!

Hot.

Check out this giveaway from ShutUpandRun

June 23, 2010

Because Clearly I Am Awesome

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:31

This is a bit random and there really isn’t any context for me wanting to bring it up. I don’t think it’s any secret that I struggle a bit with confidence issues.  This week has been pretty tough in that department and I feel a little beaten up.  MCAT studying and running had been kind of hit or miss lately. So imagine my surprise when I found this quote in my inbox:

Believe deep down in your heart that you’re destined to do great things.
Joe Paterno, Head football coach of Penn State University

And it gave me chills.  Because it was just what my friends have been telling me lately and exactly what I needed to see. After my MCAT class Tuesday night I headed over to my friends house to chill and she gave me a pep talk that bears repeating (and it really stuck with me so I’m 99.99% sure this is verbatim): “Listen I know that you don’t believe that you’re hot, smart, funny, fast or awesome.  And I know that you pull away from anything or anyone that tells you this.  But I’m going to be the doctor now and write you a prescription.  Every hour on the hour I need to you say OUT LOUD that “I am freaking awesome”.  It’s like Nazi propaganda: if you say something enough times you’ll believe it to be true

No joke about that last part.  It’s true.  Saying something enough times will eventually turn it into a truth.  Maybe not the best analogy because Nazi propaganda was based in lies and I’m pretty sure she was trying to tell me that my “lies” are actually truth.  But I think she’d been drinking and I’ll forgive her for that one.  She’s also making me a copy of her “pump up” mix, which is something she listens too before big events like presentations and whatnot. I’m actually pretty excited for that one.

So I guess my prescription is an apt one.  It’s not like I’m wallowing in self-pity or anything.  Totally not the case but every once in awhile life gets extra tough and tries to knock you down.  It can lead into a snowball effect and it’s good to get a verbal reminder from inside that you’re awesome.  So I challenge YOU to tell yourself that you’re amazing and awesome and the world’s best person 🙂

Something not so awesome though? My toes.

And I just re-read that transition and my first thought was: “Oh snap another toe infection?” hahah NO.

For some reason the spot where my toes connect to my actual feet is feeling achy.  I discovered it Saturday night because I have this awkward/nervous habit of rising up on my toes, the way a dancer would, when I feel awkward (and trust me this happens a lot.  MM is a very awkward chick) which then stretches that spot.  And I really felt like tendons/muscles were being pulled and stretched.  Very weird and I’m not quite sure what to chalk it up to.  I was thinking too many miles on my shoes but the pair I’m in now has *only* 1021 miles and I’m not feeling the usual shin splits pain of worn out shoes so I’m my wallet is hoping to still get more.

Neither is my running suffering as a result.  Since my last post I got in

  • 8.3 miles on Monday.  Okay so maybe not the greatest example of good running.  I think the dehydration I was talking about occurring Saturday and Sunday was still in effect as I had the worst stomach/intestinal pain ever.  It felt as though daggers were stabbing me in the gut. Granted the pain subsided after 2 or so miles but  I really have no idea how I got through them.  I’m stubborn I guess.  Or a masochist.  Either way I did the miles @ 8:55 pace which felt miraculous given how I felt at the beginning.
  • Lifting and 10 Tuesday.  I’ve fallen out of love with lifting lately.  When my alarm went off that morning I wanted to throw it against the wall.  But once I’m up there’s no falling back asleep blahh. So I drug my butt to the gym.  I’m actually pretty happy that I did because I was offered to work a couple shifts coming up.  Makes me feel a little better about using the gym for free and not even having a small regular shift like summers past.  The 10 miles I did before my class were pretty great.  I only had planned on going 6 or 7 but I just felt on. It was very humid out and VERY hard to breathe at first but I just got into a groove.
  • 2 X 7 miles Wednesday.  Well that’s the plan at least.  I was woken up by my 14 year old brother at 0755 saying that I needed to drive him to work at 0800.  So much for sleeping in.  Once I got back to the house I figured that I’d skip my mid-day run and just get something in before settling down to run.  Surprisingly this run was really good.  Maybe the whole waking up mid-sleep cycle thing? Aside from the first 5 minutes or so the rest of the run felt effortless and gliding.  And summer truly must be here because it was sports bra and shorts only weather at 0800.  I know that many of you have worse weather but I’m not ready for 80* with ~75% humidity that early.

I”m actually getting ready to head out for the second 7 miler soon.  Just need to finish up a section on solution equilibria. Yes my life is the most exciting thing ever.  Hopefully the run will feel just as great as my morning run did.  Or better. That would be pretty awesome.  Fitting for an awesome person 😛

June 15, 2010

Oh Hey There Coach

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:08

I’m glad that many of you feel the same way about yoga as I do. Aka hate it.  Not to bash yoga, like I said yesterday, I really WANT to like it.  But for the past 5 years I just leave so agitated that I’ve stopped going.  I figured 5 years was enough to let my body adjust right? hahaha

I also love how you guys have told me to embrace the new normal. So that’s what I’m going to try to do.  I do have the mental roadblock of…well what happens if the old normal comes back? But I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Anyway, on my run…Saturday? Sunday? Yesterday? (My days are so mixed up!) a woman called out to me “Do you run for your school?”.  To which I turned around and was running backward (I hate to stop running mid-run!) “No but I’ve run marathons for myself”.  I thought that would be the end of it but NO she wanted to chat. Grrrrrrr.

Well it wasn’t sooooo bad.  Apparently her daughter runs XC for one of the private schools in town and just finished up her freshman year and wants to get better.  The mother sees me out running EVERYWHERE (well duh when you’re running doubles…) and wanted to know if I’d be interested in giving her daughter tips and whatnot and possibly running with her.

Well I’m not 100% thrilled with the idea for multiple reasons.

First, I hate running with others.  Yes I know I just wrote about my buddy run and how I enjoyed it but running with a 15 year old is a totally different thing.  Obviously there’s the whole “she’s 15 thing” but to be honest I hate changing my routine for people.  Especially when it’s regarding something I hold as me time.

Second, I am way to hard and demanding to be a coach or anything similar to that (I throw around the word coach but it’s not really what I’m doing.  I’d just be giving little pointers not like designing some big training scheme or anything).  I’m way to hard on myself (as I’m sure you’ve noticed) and I get easily frustrated when people don’t live up to my expectations.

So why did I say yes? Call me crazy but I like mentoring people.  I’ve actually based a lot of my high school and college extracurriculars on mentoring others.  And that’s what I consider this to be.  I’m obviously not getting paid or devising a way to make her the best runner on her team.  I guess what I’m really doing is trying to *inspire* her.

I don’t really consider myself “motivational” or “inspirational” (and no I’m not fishing for compliments here although if you’re so inclined…. 😛 ) but I have had people tell me that they love to see me running and that it makes them want to lace up their shoes and get out there.  I don’t know if I’ve actually gotten anyone to do it but planting the seed is the first step right?

It’s always awkward, though, when people say things like that because I have the gut reaction to deny it and play my attributes down as many people do (which is why this stupid medical school personal statement isn’t coming along as easily as I’d like).  And I’ll never forget the time I was at the gym doing quarter mile repeats and I had an older gentleman come up to me and tell me that I was the reason he kept working out longer.  Awwww. I then told him that he’s an inspiration to me because I want to be really active when I’m older too, which deflected the praise a bit.  Oops.

Bobbi had a good post on Monday about inspiration and how it’s an amazing feeling to know you have an impact on other people’s lives.  I know that there are so many people in the world, both who I know, “know” and don’t know, who inspire me and I guess I want to be able to give back to the running community because that’s one area of service I have yet to tap into. And if I can get this girl to be MORE into running (because, let’s face it, she must already like it if she’s on an XC team) then I’ll be happy.

Soooooooooo I want to hear from YOU: have you ever been told you’re an inspiration? Have you ever told someone that they are an inspiration to you? It’s funny how we’re often unaware that the things we do in everyday life are noticed by others and remembered.

AND: any tips for me so I don’t turn into a dictator? I just have such high expectations for everything that I can be a bit….well I don’t want to say mean but that’s probably how it comes out sometimes.  I just get so invested in something that I lose my objectivity.

And holy self-serving post Batman! Hopefully you guys don’t think of me as stuck up and high-and-mighty after reading this but it’s been something I’ve been thinking about lately after that woman stopped me.

Now time for clothes! Hahaha.  I think it was on Sunday a woman my mom works with decided that she didn’t want half her wardrobe or something so she sent home 2 bags of clothes that I got to go through.  Some workout stuff, some more “professional” looking.  Most of it still had the tags on?! Lots of the stuff didn’t fit but I have some nice (and apparently NEW) clothes.  Not like I really need more. Well the professional stuff yes. But everything else?*Inserteyerollhere*

And another frivolous thing: I bit my tongue yesterday eating lunch so hard that I was literally gushing blood! OMG it hurt so bad and now I have an open wound in my mouth.  Lovely.  That still hurts! Guess I’m going to have to break the salt addiction soon right Amy? Gahh I’m such a salt-a-holic (I put it on EVERYTHING. For realz).

Of course my running: it’s been going.  I’ve had this crazy notion of doing 20 miles.  Not in one fell swoop of course but 3 X ~7ish wouldn’t be so bad right? Just an idea at this point but you know me when I get an idea….like: it’s going to happen, the question just becomes when. Hahah.

Alright I need to go review some more before my class tonight (and since the CELTICS are at LA tonight therefore having a 2100 tip off,  I’ll be able to watch some of the game afterward) but I’m hoping everyone is having a great Tuesday 🙂

June 14, 2010

Buddy Run

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

Whew. Whirlwind weekend for sure! Hope everyone had a good weekend! Mine was pretty good despite all the studying.  Or maybe in spite of it.  As I’ve said before: the more comfy I get with the material the less I dread doing it.

I had grandiose plans about not turning on my computer all weekend.  And it almost worked until about 1600 when I wanted to upload all the MCAT study work I had been doing in my notebook onto the computer.  I know! I should be doing 100% of the MCAT work on the computer because it’s a computerized based test but the only thing I do in my notebook are the practice problems at the end of the chapters because I’m taking notes.  Everything else is done to mimic the actual test as closely as possible.  I figure if part of my problem is test anxiety then I need to do lots of computer based stuff that looks like the real deal BUT also do a little bit in my comfort zone so I can keep the confidence up.

And wow I did not mean to ramble about the test.  Haha oops.  I guess when you deal with something so intensely it’s hard for it to leave your brain!

Which is why I having running.  And doubles.  A couple of you suggested doing something non-running to give myself those breaks during the study day.  Yoga was the big one.  Honestly? I’ve never been attracted to yoga.  Totally not my type.  I’ve tried it before and I really *want* to like it but I get angry and aggressive and downright pissed off every time I do yoga.  Kind of counter intuitive, no?  But I keep going back to it every once in awhile thinking that this time will be different haha.  The definition of insanity right?

I had another friend suggest re-watching LOST from the beginning but I quickly nixed that as I wouldn’t be able to stop at one season episode.  I have started reading the new Dan Brown book “The Lost Symbol”. It’s a Robert Langdon book so if you liked Angel and Demons or The DaVinci Code you’ll likely enjoy this one. I’m about 100 pages in and I’m lovin’ it so far.  But, like LOST, I’m always at risk of spending too much time with it so I’ve been regulating it to before bed when my eyes will dictate how much is enough and I can quit thinking about meiosis or hydrocarbon reactions.

So I do have my outlets.  Just the only physical one is running right now.  Rebecca just had a good post on why running is the best activity ever. And in terms of my studying running is the only activity for me 🙂

Which means that I’m still running a lot.

BUT good news: the knee is okay! As is the rest of my body.  I never really would have classified it as an injury.  More like a pre-injury.  Because my quad, hammy and calf were all a little mad at me and that translated to my knee being cranky.  But some tender love and care fixed that.  I did get a major Charlie Horse in my ENTIRE left leg on Saturday night because of the tightness but that is resolved now.  I’m a little sore because of it and it hurt like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  But the knee is a-okay.

What helped? Well obviously the icing, stretching and ibuprofen.  BostonRunner also gave me these exercises that she does/did to help her knee pain and I’m tacking them onto the PT exercises I already do.  I definitely think that the problem is  muscle imbalance which is easily correctable.

Rather than bore you with every run I’ve done since my last post, because at some point they all feel the same, especially if they’re the study break kind, I’m going to mention the one I did on Sunday because it was a BUDDY RUN.

First off: I’m always nervous about running with others.  Sure I’ve known this girl for a long time (we were running buddies in high school) but still.  I always wonder if I’m not going fast enough/holding her back or if I’m going too fast and she’s just too polite to say so.  But these worries are always unfounded. Guess I’m just a worrywart.

We ended up doing our standard M.O. for the buddy runs: a “nice” 10 miler through our town.  I say “nice” because there is a stretch where we have to run by / on a highway.  Scary yes but there is a sidewalk.  The rest of the run is really nice though.

What I really loved about the run was that the conversation just flowed.  Sometimes we don’t speak at all during the run, other times we can’t shut up. Today was the latter.  I can’t even remember what we talked about exactly but I’m sure we covered: MCAT, applying to med school, our plans for the next year and I’m pretty sure we had a debate/discussion (because we really were advocating the same thing so it wasn’t a true debate) on responsibility in the medical field as well as the college scene.  Not that we talked all about serious stuff.  There was definitely mention of clothing and partying.

Because we were talking the whole time, our pace kind of dropped a bit.  The average was just under 9 and I could tell that she was a bit disappointed with that.  I was too.  BUT we did have a progressive run and finished really strong.  Well sort of strong.  At the 9.5 mile mark we discussed tacking on some more and as soon as I agreed to do so my legs just went to lead! Funny how that works.  We still finished at a great pace / feeling but I was like, oh man if I hadn’t said anything so early about being willing to do more I KNOW my legs would have held up.  But 10 is still good.  So I’m happy 🙂

I do want to mention pacing before I wrap this up.  I mentioned that a 9 pace was a bit on the eh side.  So funny because, if you recall, during marathon training I was ecstatic to hit that.  But with my pace dropping lately, my mind has gotten accustomed to running sub-9s without though.  I still plan for the 9 pace but secretly, well not so secretly anymore, think that sub-9 is where I need to be.  It’s like my mind still gets shocked that I can run faster than a 9 pace but as soon as my legs go back it’s all “WTF? I need you to go fast”. Guess that’s just how life is: the bar is constantly changing to a new norm and the old norm seems weird and outdated.  Nothing terribly important in that musing except that I’m sure many of you guys struggle with fast vs. slow and the relativity between them.

Hope everyone enjoys….Monday? I can’t keep track of what day of the week it is anymore! Even though I’m taking a course I still can’t really tell what day it is because I’m not on such a regular school / work schedule.  As it stands, aside from studying I’m doing the random babysitting gig so that’s not even regular!

And I know I told myself that I wasn’t going to do any type of work this summer buttttt I need money.  Badly. And the kids were good plus they went to bed early so I didn’t have to do anything awful and got to read / study after they went to bed.  Win/Win 🙂

June 12, 2010

Poppies Will Put Them To Sleep. Sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep

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

So yesterday (Friday) I did something I NEVER do.  I ignored my alarm and slept for an extra hour.  Rather than go to the gym and get some lifting in.  Who am I?!  Seriously. And there was nothing poppy induced about my sleep either 😉

Clearly my mind and body wanted the extra rest (GO CELTICS! WHOO HOO! <— equals why I was up so late Thursday night) but it’s not like I even feel more rested or anything at the moment.  My brain was all foggy all morning.  Not so good when you have mountains of studying to do.

The extra weird thing is that I don’t feel guilty about it.  Not that I should.  Like I’ve said (and practically preached) before: sleep = good and NECESSARY to life.  But in the past not sticking to a regimented schedule has left me feeling all lost and…well bad.  I’m semi-regretting my decision only because I know that a good lifting session would have woken me up but oh well.  Nothing I can do now and I was productive on other sorts of things that morning.  You know the little things that add up to lots to do.

Can you tell that despite not feeling really guilty I’m still justifying? Hahahaha.  Work in progress I guess 😉

But I still got some studying in as well as those other things.  The strange thing is with my studying (and thanks for all the positive thoughts with it) is that, as time goes on and I get further and further into the course, the more I actually look forward to studying.  Well maybe not the studying in and of itself but I’m loving that I feel *in control* of the situation. There’s something just so satisfying about obtaining mastery on a topic.  While I don’t profess to be know everything (and to be honest even when I was taking the pre-med courses I definitely didn’t know anything either) the cobwebs are being lifted.

Maybe that’s why I decided to go for an actual long run on Friday rather than split it up like I have been doing.  Or maybe it’s the weather.  It was rainy the past few days and bam: the sun + 60* = great running weather.  Whatever the reason I figured that a long run would be what was going down.

And it was a semi-success. I kept thinking to myself how crazy I was to attempt a 12 miler with the longest run I’ve done in the past few weeks being 8.   I also was thinking how *long* 12 miles seemed.  I think that even though last week I ran so many miles over the course of 7 days it really didn’t feel like that much because each run was short.  So I guess I wasn’t really worried about physically finishing the run as mentally holding on.  Interestingly enough that wasn’t the way it worked.

I kept an 8:35 pace through the first 11 miles and it felt great (compare to the 9:10+ that I tended to average during marathon training!).  The sun was darting in and out of the clouds, the weather was cool but not cold.  The conditions were damn near perfect.  And not only was the pace really good but the miles just rolled by and before I knew it I was at mile 8 (which was the end of route 1 — for a lot of my long runs I combine routes) and about to start the “second half” of my run.  So mentally I was in the game.

But during the last mile my left knee started really bugging me.  Almost like tendinitis pain but I think it’s linked to a tight quad and hammy in the left leg as those muscles were getting sore and extra tight during that last mile.  I’m sure it’s nothing serious (and despite the leg getting all tight my overall pace for the 12 miles was still 8:37.  Not too shabby).  Nothing that ice, ibuprofen and stretching can’t cure (all of which I did right after the run).  As well as making a much larger effort too keep overall mileage down.  Last week was insane and I let it get that way because I was “just doing short runs”.  Clearly they add up and there’s a cumulative effect.

That said, I don’t want to blame the mileage entirely as I know sleeping patterns, eating patterns and stress patterns all play a role too and they’ve been, well, let’s just say studying the past few days has really taken precedent.  Plus I know now that jumping straight into 12 miles without having done anything serious in terms of distance might not be the greatest choice.  10% rule what?

The rest of Friday was basically study study study.  You know my life. I did get to watch Sherlock Holmes with my sister, and using the numbering system that would be K3.  I saw it on opening day but Robert Downey Jr is HOT.

And because studying is a full time job I was doing my flashcards.  I view them like strength training in terms of my studying “training cycle”. You know: full lengths and other types of my practice tests = endurance work (I mean the test is 5.5 hours long). And rapid fire discreet questions and my flashcards are like speedwork/strength.

But anyway I digress.  Studying is going to be what today is too.  Maybe a run (or two) but we’ll see how the knee feels.  It was a little cranky Friday night after sitting down for so long but the stretching really helped and it’s totally not feeling as irritable as yesterday.  I’ll likely call up my massage therapist and try to schedule a session in next week too.

Check out these giveaways: One, Two, Three, Four.  All from Mel because she’s awesome 🙂

June 10, 2010

Three Things Thursday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:09

Or really four because, sorry Erika, the number 3 (as well as all even oops I meant *odd*! — thanks Chelsea! numbers) bugs me. A lot.

So I don’t know who started this (or even if in the internet age we can attribute it to only one person) BUT since I’m so swamped I can’t write an original, mind blowing and creative post I decided to steal this idea as a template 🙂

  • Studying is taking over my life.  I HATE that I can’t blog or comment on yours as much as I used to. And I hate that after going out last weekend I realized that going out is a biiiiiiiiiig no-no.   I need the time to study.  But the plus side is that I really feel like I’m grasping concepts in the way that the MCAT needs me to.  Note: I didn’t say grasping concepts as a whole.  That’s because I do already know this stuff (I mean I took year long classes on it!) but I need to reteach my brain how to think like an MCAT person or even teach my brain to study.  Because I do not know how.  But my brain *hurts* at the end of the day and I feel productive.  Which is nice 🙂
  • I’m 99.99% sure I have a place to live next year for my job! My roommate (god bless her for doing all the apartment searching work!) found a killer place and after some drama with a third roommate dropping out and then scrambling to find another because the place was TOO GOOD to pass up, we probably have plans.  Which is exciting.  So keep your fingers crossed for us!
  • Strawberries are soooooooooooooooo good. Like X good. Yesterday I ate an entire quart with my lunch and today I did the same.  Thank god that my mom works at a farm stand and we can pick our own.  And since they’re from a farm stand they aren’t the genetically-modified-to-be-as-big-as-my-head.  They’re nice and small and I eat too many for it to be a good thing for my wallet.
  • Running is  cyclical.  I knew it was going to bite me in the butt after writing so much about how running was kicking ass.  I know that I’m not crashing or burning or anything like that (and even my pace is still faster than what I’d consider normal and it’s so much fun to see how naturally fast I can go in the second session).  But the feeling of the stars aligning is gone and I’m back to being mere mortal.  Bummer.

So that’s all I got for you! Hope everyone is having a great Thursday.  Mine has been studying so far (I’m being so “bad for blogging right now haha) but I’m going to get a quasi-long run in before my MCAT course tonight.  So no double. It’s funny how much I’ve been looking forward to them!

Blog at WordPress.com.