MarathonMaiden's Blog

April 11, 2011

I Waited All Winter For This.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:44

And, no, I’m not talking about this little thing that I’m doing next Monday.

Or the ice cream brownie sundae I got to eat on my porch last night with the brownie recipe below. I have to carb sugar load for Boston, right?

I’m talking about SPRING. Like, real spring. Not some date on the calendar (although I think that mother nature and the calendar should get on the same page) but warm weather. The kind where my roomie and I could actually sit on the balcony and not be all bundled up! Hallelujah (and yes I’m acutely aware that I just jinxed myself. And all of you. I apologize in advance. Especially since we all know this jinxing will occur on the 18th)

thanks google

The overnight lows were in the 40s and the highs were damn near 60* the past 5 day.  We didn’t actually hit 60, which is my typical benchmark for spring.  But I think that, given how rough winter was for the large majority of the country, I’ll let it slide.

With the rising temps I’m always tempted to raise my miles as well.  Which I probs disregarded the first week of my taper. BUT I have shown some restraint and there have been no fartlek runs or anything resembling speed work.  While I may be in the mindset of going with the flow I’m too scared to risk anything with speed work! Especially since the runs keep going back and forth between pain and pain free. Which some of you (smart minds 🙂 ) told me in my last post. I just need to relax and ride out the next week-ish until the race. Eeep. Easy running has been my bread and butter for the past 5(!!) weeks, no need to mess with it.

And it’s taper time, right?

Easy running, therefore was the story of the weekend.  Thursday and Friday were easy mid-distance days, Saturday was my last “long run” and Sunday was somewhere between short and mid.  All in bright shining sunlight.  Some wind but that felt great and “cooled things off”. (Can you tell how excited I am about the weather. Every paragraph refers to it. And in a glowing way!) <– Happiness.

All the runs were pretty darn fast too.  Relatively speaking, which even with that disclaimer is still confidence boosting.  Definitely no sub-9 miles (gosh I haven’t seen those since pre-injury!) but fast enough to tell me that I’m recovering.  Hopefully in a week, those 26.2 miles between Hopkinton and Boston don’t throw a monkey wrench in it.

Aside from working on my tan (which I really need to be diligent about the sunscreen this year. Hello another 3 moles removed! And hello sun-freckle-spot thingy machine that was at clinic last week and showed me the damage on my skin.  Surprisingly it wasn’t as bad as I thought but the sunscreen needs to be a daily thing) I’ve been baking a bit. Or rather my roomie told me “we are making brownies to bring to pub trivia”. So really a bit = once and because I was told to.

So I did. We used this recipe from All Recipes and it turned out pretty good if I do say so myself.  And the fact that there were none left by the end of the night is a good sign too (do not disillusion me by saying that we were drinking at trivia night. Irrelevant!) If I were to make them in the future I’d try and tweak the recipe to make them more fudgey. Maybe less flour and an extra egg?  I know that with all my box mixes I get to add an extra egg to fudgify it.

Hope everyone is enjoying your Monday! I knew when I left work on Friday that today was going to be a rough one but, hey, the weather is nice and I’m sitting on a really good (well relatively speaking anyway) 8.5 miler already done.  There was IT pain and my legs felt dead. But that could be taper related.  The humidity was definitely a factor as well, 53* and 91% humidity! And YES to spring again because the sun actually rose in the first half of my run.

So I say: Monday? Bring it on!

April 1, 2011

Previously On MM…March 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:06

What is it that they say about March? In like a lion, out like a lamb.  Well if I remember correctly (*cough*weatherchannel.com*cough) March 1st was windy with a high in the low-40s.  Which is nice.  Last night was a bit like this

 

Big, fat, snowflakes.

Not quite the lamb I had wanted.  Maybe the expression was more for my mental state as I started the month overstressed and all crazified.  And, knockonwoodRIGHTNOW, it’s alleviated and I’m in an excitement mode. I did a lot of detox from my life this month.  It feels good.

That said, that’s pretty much it. No trips happened this month, no recipes to share.  Mostly because I didn’t blog much! But, as I mentioned above, there are lots of good things going on right now that are keeping the bad stressors at bay.

I did run.  A lot. March saw my surpass 1000 miles for the year.  That’s goodness right?

But that might be the only goodness as March is also the month of injuries apparently.  Last March (in 2010) I was plagued by such bad shin splits that I ended a race in tears and was sent to PT.  This year, well I skipped out on racing a bunch of races that I thought I was going to do, and managed to avoid rehab PT.  And this time is was the IT band, not playing nice.

I guess I should also share some numbers for March?

  • 401.3 miles
  • 64 hours 52 minutes 33 seconds
  • 9:42 pace

Despite being injured I managed to log big miles.  Maybe that’s why I ended up being injured in the first place: too many miles coupled with really intense speedwork.  Granted, there are 31 days in the month so it doesn’t average out to 100 miles / week BUT the first two weeks of the month were 100+.

And the pace is slow (to me) because I dropped speedwork after session on the 5th of March, first due to being sick and then the IT. Essentially missing out on Monster Month altogether.

So maybe not such a stellar month. It was kicked off with a bang, a good MP run (or rather what I thought MP was going to be at the time), and it ended with a very encouraging long run yesterday getting really close to the  upper end of the 15 I wanted, coming in at 14.7 miles.  All pain free.

I’m hoping that this bodes well for April.  I mean, I do have this little thing called a marathon to run.

March 31, 2011

Laundry or Food

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 08:26

Guess which one I chose to take care of last night?

Hint let’s just look at letter U shall we?

Anyway…I do want to bitch (again) about the weather.  As Sarah so astutely pointed out

the recent “cold” weather has felt weirdly warm for me. Like, it will say 19 degrees outside, but I’ll be sweating within minutes. I’m not sure what this means, other than it’s 19 degrees in late March and that’s not particularly appealing. Humidity?

I’ve been stepping outside of my apartment WAY overdressed.  But I’m dressing based on the temperature, and even taking sun / cloud cover into account, I’m overdressing.   She’s 100% right that 19* at the very end of March is sooooooooo not what anyone wants.  But it feels warm.  And, dare I say it?, nice! I hate to think that after 24 years of suffering through the cold I’m about to adapt.

We’ll see though, as it’s supposed to snow April 1.

Happy April's Fools Day y'all

Gotta love the north east.  In any case, the weather has been nice out lately. Or so it feels. Weird.

Which was the case for Wednesday’s 0530 run.  I figured that, with it being in the 20s and with the sun still sleeping (which is EXACTLY what I wanted to be doing when my alarm went off.) I’d be a little chilly.  Nope, I was sweating within minutes and, after running the first of 2 loops, shed the sweatshirt and mittens.

And then I ran the second loop faster than the first one.  Which is my standard M.O. but lately, aka with the IT band acting wonky, it’s been the opposite and I’ve been more tortoise than hare during the final stretch.  Not sure what this means but I’ll take it! The total pace was still on the slow side though as my leg was achy for longer.  Still no pain.  I’ll take that too.

Especially as I go into…taper? I feel like I’ve been tapering already! It’s been almost 3 weeks since I did anything hard.  This weekend marks 3 weeks since my last long run, which was the 24 miler that I think was the trigger for the IT pain.  I mean, I definitely haven’t been slacking with the overall mileage (and thanks to those of you who have assured me that the 20 split that I did this weekend is okay) butttttt I’m hoping that I surprise myself in a few weeks.

That said, I’m not quite sure how I should attack the next 2.5 weeks.  Obviously it’s taper time (although I was going to do a 2 week taper originally) and I can’t cram any true goodness into my body in terms of workouts but I can’t help but feel that my body is going to be stale when I get to that starting line.  Any thoughts / suggestions as to how I go about the next 17 days? (zoooooomg is that it?!)

I still haven’t ordered my jacket yet.  I probs should get on that. But right now I’m still giddy over some exciting news about my future after my year with AmeriCorps and the clinic is done. I feel really terrible about not being able to share more on here but, with nothing set in stone and my year with AmeriCorps still having 4.5 months left (yes that has become a mantra for me!) I’m going to continue to be cagey.  But good vibes are appreciated for everything to work out and not fall through at this stage.

I’ll also be nice and let you listen to the amazingness that is Enrique.  I’m soooooooooooo feeling him and his latest music. Although I do prefer the non-radio edit version.

I’m off for what I’m hoping to be a 13 – 15 miler.  My (or rather my IT Band’s) version of a long run.  Then again, maybe I’m supposed to be doing something shorter as this is the taper.  But it’s the beginning of it. Gaaaaaaaah.  This is what I get for flying by the seat of my pants with training! Fingers crossed I make it.  Or rather make it intact! I didn’t sleep well last night (couldn’t fall asleep so I stayed up watching NCIS and The Office then kept waking up during the night) so it should be interesting to say the least.

December 2, 2010

And I’m Off. Kind of Sort of.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:01

So (and this is my FB status so I’m sorry to repeat for my FB friends): I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off because I’m leaving for DALLAS on FRIDAY (TOMORROW) to run a MARATHON. Eeeep? I’m leaving tonight after clinic to head up to my mom’s house so I can be closer to Boston for my flight.  So, not off yet, but pretty damn close!

After reading your comments on my monthly recap I guess  I was running A LOT.  It honestly didn’t seem like that much.  And while the breakdown per day statistically was ~15 miles it obviously didn’t work out that way every day.  My quality days were 15+ and my Fridays were doubles which helped.  But there were light days in there. It was either heavy or light.  No real in betweens. Maybe that’s why I didn’t feel like I was running that much!

Taper madness.  Given that I have training madness, ummm see month of November?, it’s no surprise that running very few miles this week is messing with my head.  Not in ways that really make me feel like I have taper madness but I’ve just been antsy (and cooking.  I’ll have lots of recipes to share when I get back.  Plus I know that I’ll be cooking lots during recovery.  Guess I’ll end the year on a bang note there!).

Grrrrr to the taper. thanks google

For the most part tapering is going well. Going into Wednesday and today I knew that the bulk of training was, DUH, behind me and that Tuesday’s NAILED GMP was the last “real” workout.

Wednesday morning was a recovery run.  As well as a taper run.  So it was somewhere around 6 miles. (  <– that is the reason I ran so many miles in November.  Taper much? ) I was debating about whether or not to get this run in. I had made myself a deal that if it was raining, even drizzling out, when my alarm went off I’d take the day off as it was suppose to, and did in fact, rain pour all day and I knew I wasn’t getting out of work at a decent time. And if it was clear I’d go for 5-6 miles. Well no rain in sight when I got up as it was a lovely morning.  Later, when the house my apartment was in was literally shaking it wasn’t so lovely hahah

But it was almost 50* Wednesday morning! In December! I checked the forecast for Dallas and it was only 40*. Ummmm some destination marathon I picked, no? I’ve been told the forecast for Sunday is actually looking really nice though.  I haven’t had the heart yet to check it out myself

I also got in my pushups (25, 29, 25, 25, 37) and situps (38, 45, 38, 38, 55).  Man I hope they get me some strength because I can feel them whenever I do them!

Since today (Thursday) is a clinic day AND I’m in taper check this out: I got to sleep in EXTRA EXTRA.  Thursdays have been my long run days and with T-2 days (OMG I think I just got sick a bit) I figured it’d be prudent to NOT bang out a long run.  Maybe I’m not so taper madness-ified after all? 😉

While the weather on Wednesday morning was cloudy but warm (hello I was in a sports bra by the end!) this morning brought about sun and temps in the mid-30s and I settled for a repeat of Wednesday: an easy 6 at a slower-than-I-thought pace. Since I was running “only 6 miles” I thought I’d have extra time this morning to leisurely shower and eat.  But I was actually feeling pretty good that I stopped just shy of 8.  Again, taper much? Any extra time I thought I had by only planning on running 6 miles was taken up by the aforementioned sleeping and those extra 2 miles.  So much for not rushing around before work.

Must. Get. To. Work. Now.

Anyway I’ve been shying away from posting about the taper because A) everyone else seems to be and B) because I really suck at it.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look at November’s numbers and realize that I didn’t stick too well to the taper plan I had set out.  BUT this week I have been making sure to do things right.  Maybe even a dramatic taper as I sucked a lot during it.  I think the only thing I really did well was shift speed work to GMP….but I digress.

In addition to sleeping extra and not running mega miles everyday I’ve also been stretching and rolling lots and did that too today, as well as made sure I did it every day this week.  It’s funny how tapering makes those things a PRIORITY.  Like drinking lots of water.  This week I’ve actually swapped out my diet coke / diet dr. pepper habit with water.  GASP. See? Dramatic. Incidentally I’ve nixed lots of salt.  Even though I know that skimping on salt (for ME) is no bueno and leads to lightheadedness, I can still taste the salt from my margarita experience last weekend. Obviously by now it’s just mental but regardless: I still have that taste in my mouth.

I’ve also been increasing the carbs that I’m getting.  I’m not actually switching out any foods but just adding extra carbs to what I’m already eating.  While some people complain about the weight that they gain during taper I couldn’t care less.  I don’t *feel* any heavier and, at 5’11”, any taper weight gain is not going to be noticeable.  And to be honest: I actually brought home 10 lbs of turkey from Thanksgiving. That bird is not going to eat itself!

Aaaaaaaaaaaand that’s all I got for you.  Annoying, right? This post has been a mish-mash of pre-race / pre-travel excitement, daily running and taper.

I wish I had better taper advice but this is only my 3rd marathon.  For my first I really wasn’t doing much intense training and, thus, didn’t really do much of a taper.  For my second I was injured, so I was tapering for 5 weeks because I couldn’t run much at all.  That said, I’ll take suggestions of what y’all do…

So, like I opened this post and titled the post, after clinic tonight I’m off and putting my sorry marathoning butt on a plane tomorrow morning.  I have some pre-written posts set up while I’m away but the next time you’ll hear from me “live” will be when I get back.  Or a day or two after for the full recap as I’m spending Monday night in my hometown (mostly for the free dinner that my mom has said she’d cook for me.  But shhhhh don’t tell my family that!). I’m sure that I’ll do that annoying quickie-where-I-don’t-tell-you-anything teaser post while I’m there.

Because I’m like that.

thanks to my favorite sister for her lovely paint skilllzzzz. and i must really love my tiara because this is the billionth time i've shown this pic!

And check out the giveaway from Marcia and Julie (hotlegs runner)

November 30, 2010

I’m Pretty Sure That Taper Madness Is Likely Setting In

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:08

When I think of taper madness I think of someone needing to strap me down on a gurney so I don’t go out there and run a billion miles between now and race day

I’m not bouncing off the walls or worrying constantly. Or even obsessing over the weather.  I just don’t want to stop running (but I did not run on Monday.  Must have been the love from here.  Or the funny texts from my friend hahah).  Or stop training hard.  I’m still a bit calm and collected.  Even keeled so to speak. Except when it comes to figuring out what to do between the time my plane lands and when my dinner plans start on Friday.  But no real freaking out over the race itself.

But I guess that taper madness is it’s own little beast.  And, as it is with most neurosis, the sufferer can’t see what the problem is.  So when I suggested earlier this week that my plan for RACE WEEK was to do two GMP speed workouts, The Running Laminator told me

Just looking at your scheduled runs on race week, I can already tell that the taper madness has indeed set in. Two speed workouts, at half marathon pace is a bit like taking tequila shots back to back on an empty stomach because you’re so anxious to get the party going. Haha! One speed workout, with a few miles at GMP, is probably all that is needed.

Of course, as soon as I read that, I sighed.  Because that was exactly what I needed to read.  Yes I still really want to do two GMP workouts but as The Peanut Gallery told me “Whisper to your tequila-laden self “less is more, less is more…”” (and girl you KNOW that I love you so TPG is a term of endearment ❤ )

That said, I still wanted to get ONE MORE GMP workout in.  Or at least a semblance of it.

Taper madness? Maybe.

Given that the last time I did a quality workout was on Sunday, I’d have ideally done this workout on Wednesday.  But Wednesday is a non-clinic day (aka if I want to run I have to get up before the sun) and Tuesday is a wake-up-naturally day.  So today it must be because Thursday sure as heck is out.  Although I will say that for all the extra sleep I’m getting I still feel tired and groggy in the mornings.  I hope that I start to perk up by Sunday!

The Workout (results of)

  • Warm up
  • 4.4 miles @ 7:28 pace
  • Warm down

thanks google

While the break down of the 4.4 miles (7:38, 7:19) is a little cringe worthy, as it definitely was not even pacing or GMP if you just look at the splits individually, I am so happy that the average of this workout was for all intents and purposes (although can I PLEASE say intensive purposes?!) spot on.

I did start to beat myself up over the workout on the warm down (and semi did it too after seeing 16:48 for the first half when I knew that GMP should have been 16:30) but then I realized that I’m a progression runner. Even on my easy days I ALWAYS end up finishing a run about a minute or so per mile faster than I started.  That’s just how I roll.  I’d have to go back in my (hard copied) log books to see if that’s how it’s always been but I do know that the vast majority of my runs are: start slow(ish), finish hard(er).

I think it’s a good that, while the run clearly got faster and faster as the distance went on, the average pace was GMP. I’m not quite sure what that means but I’m choosing to think that it means my body knew how to get the end result and hit the goal.

I also am pleased because the effort felt the same throughout the run.  Normally I’d be kicking myself because I’d think “well if the effort on the first part felt the same as the second then the first part should have been faster”or something to that effect.

Today my thoughts were that I was able to go faster and harder with an easier effort. Amazing as the last real workout before WR.

NAILED. BAM.

Oh and before I forget: On Monday I was also going to repeat Week 3 of my two strength challenges given that it’s race week.  But I re-looked at W3D1 of the plans and thought “gee whiz that doesn’t look hard” and then looked at Week 4 and thought “I can do that”. Well I wish I had stuck to my guns because this was hard.  I did them on Monday actually.  Mostly because it forced me to respect the rest day I had planned but gave me something to do but also partly because I figured, with the race on Sunday and travel and whatnot, that a M/W/F challenge schedule would be prudent. I may switch back to Week 3 for the next two days of the challenge this week.  We’ll see.

Pushups: 21, 25, 21, 21, 33

Situps: 32, 48, 32, 32, 50

And check out the giveaway that Matt’s having.And Miss Zippy.

November 28, 2010

I’ve Found the Way to Make Me Taper

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:43

Obviously it’s not a secret that taking it easy isn’t in my vocabulary.  And tapering is the time to take it easy.

But I’ve found the antidote to my gotta-run-lots ways

Pitcher(s) of Margaritas – 1, MM – 0

I’ve been told that one night of drinking erases a week of training.  Oopsies.  I sincerely hope that is not the case. And I hope that the thought of tequila someday doesn’t make my stomach churn.  I need to increase my points in the above tally! Preferably soon as I’ll be in TEXAS in a week!

But needless to say going out with my roomie and my bestie was fun and successful on Friday night.  In fact I spent all of Saturday laying on the couch (where I woke up no less) and would dissolve into hysterics throughout the day remembering the things that went down (and yes I can remember the night *thankyouverymuch*)

Okay: in all honesty, I didn’t actually spend the ENTIRE day on the couch.  I had wanted to still get in my speed session and around 1430 or so I felt up to trying.  Ambitious much? So I moseyed outside (in the bright SUN) to attempt

  • Warm up
  • 2 X ~3.3 miles @ GMP (or actually I wanted to target 7:25-7:30 which is slightly faster than the 7:34 of GMP McMillian says) with one mile recovery
  • Warm down

The portion I was going to use for my warm-up of the legit workout felt pretty awful so I decided to just run how my body would let me.  And once I nixed going for those GMP intervals, the run actually turned into a very great run.  Yes my stomach was still turning but my head hadn’t been pounding all day at all so I was able to pound my feet.  The average pace ended up being 8:25! I tried to pick people off (success) and not get passed (double success)

I also did pushups ( 22, 30, 20, 20, 30) and situps ( 33, 42, 30, 30, 50) after the run

Interesting how my run on Friday, after a good night sleep and lots of Thanksgiving carbs, was wicked slow and Saturday, after a ehhh night of sleep and too much tequila, was wicked fast.  That said, I didn’t rack up many miles because A) I’m tapering and B) I could still taste the tequila and salt from the night before and didn’t want to risk revisiting them again.

Meaning that the workout got transferred to Sunday.  I normally hate doing quality workouts on Sunday.  Mostly because I want to use my Sundays to be lazy.  To do a quality workout on Sunday just seems so….productive.  Given that my Saturday was soooooooooo not productive I guess the switcheroo was okay.

The aforementioned workout was on tap and before I left I calculated out what the time elapsed would be to hit my paces: 24:28 to 24:45.

How’d I do?

Well after an obscenely slow warm up…

  • 3.3 miles in 25:37 ( 7:45 ) Yeah…not so much.  I knew that I wasn’t flying and that my legs felt the effort but I was kind of – more than a bit actually- off where I wanted and needed to be.
  • 1 mile recovery in 8:32 — trying to convince myself that I can do another one.  That I *want* to do another one.
  • 3.3 miles in 24:55 ( 7:33 ) Better.  Trying to keep my mind in the game and focused. I will say that once I was done with this interval I was dry heaving.  Ugh

Well….I’m not going to lie: this kind of sucked.  I knew the second I woke up this morning that this would be one tough workout. A helluva tough workout.  And not *just* because I hate them. Usually even when I wake up not feeling like going fast, once the workout starts and I start kicking it I can feel good and turn my attitude around. Not today. I kind of regret not doing this workout yesterday because, despite running the risk of re-visiting my good friends Jose and Rita, my legs at least had some pep.  Just goes to show you that runs after drinking are always good in my book.

In the end I’m going to chalk today up to just a bad day and move on.  In exactly a week I’ll (highly likely) be done with the race and I don’t need mind games at this point (and trust me the desire to complain and be really frustrated/angry is so huge right now)I’ve had stellar workouts this cycle. No joke.  So I know I’m ready.

It’s just a bit disheartening to leave it at that, especially since I have yet to really know what GMP feels like.  I sort of hit it last week with my longer, continuous GMP attempt and I sort of hit it today with interval numero dos. I mean, I know I’m in taper but that doesn’t mean the intensity goes down.

In light of that, there is a chance for quasi-redemption later this week as I wanted to get another GMP run in.  Similar to today but with shorter intervals.  According to the taper plan I was using as a guide I’ll be doing

  • Tuesday: 2 @ MP, .5 easy, 2 @ HMP
  • Thursday: 1 @ MP, 1 @ HMP

We’ll see how that goes.  Regardless I’m likely going to try and get something in the vein of GMP, likely Tuesday being 4 miles @ GMP and Thursday being 3 (or 3.3 because I have a route pre-done) at GMP.

All I know is that there is going to be no more of this until AFTER I cross that finish line

acoustic version because I couldn’t find an official video. Still awesome and you should youtube the song to hear the radio version.  I would have put that here but the videos were all homemade.

November 19, 2010

Friiiiiiiiiiiday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:52

I’ll play the Four For Friday game. Mostly because I like bullets and this is a bullet point template for posting essentially.  And 4 is my lucky number. There is a flow to the bullet and probably could have been pulled together for a flowing post.  But it’s Friday.  I’ll make it nice and easy for you 🙂

I do want to say HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII to all the new peeps reading! It’s really exciting to get an email saying “Please Moderate a Comment” because it means that someone new is commenting. I LOVE it.  Thanks for finding me!

  • I think I’m going to go with the taper plan I suggested yesterday. I think my message in asking for advice was a bit lost as many of you commented on the volume of running I’d be doing, which I’d never questioned myself. I was more curious about the speed work.  But since no one shouted ‘NO MM DON’T DO THAT” in terms of going the GMP route (and those of you who did mention speed work did say that GMP tempo intervals were the way to go) I’m going to assume that my speed work plan is good.  Plus since my friend did those workouts and beasted Indy with them I’m hoping for the “monkey see monkey do” approach here. But I guess since I’m a newbie then it’s all trial and error.  Eeeep.  Wish me luck? 🙂

Monkey See...thanks google

  • That said I’m still torn between doing Yassos this weekend or tempo intervals.  While I know that tempo intervals might be more beneficial in the long run with 16 (HOLY #$%@) days until WR.  But I ❤ 800m repeats. Yes I am weird.  On one hand, Yassos could build up my confidence with a kick butt workout.  On the other hand they are really intense for a workout.  Possibly too much breakdown with so little time left.
  • I had a really good recovery run this morning.  Like really good.  Very shocking because I felt on the slow side yesterday on my long run too.  Maybe that’ll be a trend this taper: feeling slower than I’m going. Yes the pace was outside of McMillian but it was faster than I thought I was going.  A good sign I think. And if you’ve been reading awhile, then you know that, while I question the validity of calculators, I need paces forced down my throat.  Apparently I am incapable of making pacing decisions on my own. That said, for recovery runs I think that pace is complete horse pooh.  Recovery is recovery.  Sometimes I need a granny shuffle recovery and other times it’s a brisk clip.  I’ve also noticed that as I’ve been training my typical 0500 runs have gotten slower, as they follow hard days.  At first I was a bit upset “What do you mean I’m getting slower?!” but then I said “EFF IT” because my quality workouts are being kickass and BAMF.  Fingers crossed for a BAMF marathon.

Okay so this pic isn't RR at all. But I google imaged BAMF and this came up. Anyone else upset that LOST had to end?

  • Yes the recovery run was good but the temp wasn’t.  I probably shouldn’t say that because 35* really isn’t cold.  It’s not even freezing.  But yesterday I ran in beautiful 45* weather and the morning before, while it was pouring rain, was 57*.  Ahhhhhhh relativity.  And New England. I was completely comfy in my shorts and long-sleeves BUT my hands, with THREE LAYERS OF GLOVES, froze.  I know I have poor circulation but it’s still no bueno.  I might have to break out the snowmobile mittens soon.  The ones that make me look like I have lobster hands.  I should spray paint them red…

And with that enjoy the rest of your Friday.  I’m hoping to be able to leave work on the early side and I’m pretty sure I have a fun weekend planned.  So TGIF.

November 18, 2010

So It’s Taper Time…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:03

…and because I’m a bit worried about the fact that I signed up for this race not too long ago, I figured I’d take a moment to write a post about my possible taper plan. I kind of mentioned it on Monday’s post but it was buried amongst other things.

I didn’t end up posting because my Wednesday was a bit blahhhhh and looked like this:

  • woke up 26 minutes before alarm with headache and sore throat
  • listened to pounding rain for 26 minutes

Obviously I dramatize but the rain was wicked heavy at first. Thanks google.

  • drug butt out of bed.  Decided to cut run short because icky feeling was more sick than “holy crap it’s 0500”
  • rain stopped so I tacked on extra
  • considered calling in sick to work
  • went to work and did NOTHING except the bare minimum. Except gossip of course.
  • since everyone was mentally checked out and I don’t think I checked in, I peaced out early
  • sat on my couch with a good book and tea.
  • obsessed over the taper

So here is this post because, while I could elaborate on each of the bullets above, I do not want to relive yesterday. Although I kind of just did.  Oops.

Anyway, so as of right now I’m ~2.5 weeks out from my marathon. Clearly the beginnings of tapering.  I’ll fully admit that I’m a marathoning newbie, having only run 2 and neither time suffering from taper madness.  The first marathon, while I did have lofty goals (want to BQ) I never really thought about the taper and my overall training wasn’t intense.  While training for #2, Boston, I was injured at the end of my cycle so my taper was elliptical with a couple of miles race week.

I have lofty goals again for WR.  After the past few weeks of training I think that, barring anything major, I can do well.  So I’m obsessing over what to do during my taper.  Is this the beginnings of taper madness?!

I’m toying with the following, and the workouts of the last two weeks worth of speed sessions have been by a friend who is actually a coach.  Not mine but I can bounce ideas off of him from time to time:

Week of November 15-21 (aka this week) ~80% of max miles.

  • On Tuesday I got a good tempo/GMP steady run in, with ~14 miles total and 6.6 of them at tempo/GMP.
  • Thursday: LR of 17-18 miles (today and check. 17.6 done-zo)
  • Saturday: Yasso 800s or 3 x (2@HMP, 1@MP+ 15 seconds) <– suggested by friend and the yassos are my idea.  And I’m not sure if, 2 weeks out, they’re the best in terms of race prep. See quote below from my friend.

Week of November 22-28. ~50-60% max mileage

  • Tuesday: 3 X (1.8 miles @ HMP with .2 mile recovery)
  • Thursday: LR of 13-15 miles
  • Saturday: 3 @ HMP, 1 easy, 1 @ MP, 3 @ HMP

Week of November 29-December 5 (RACE WEEK)

  • Monday/Tuesday: 2 @ MP, .5 easy, 2 @ HMP
  • Wednesday/Thursday: 1 @ MP, 1 @ HMP
  • Weekend: Travel and RACING 26.2 miles!

I spoke with a friend who really knows running stuff and he advised me

“At this point, my speed workouts are all aimed at dialing in on goal race pace, so I’ll incorporate portions at HMP or MP twice a week.”

Which I think is pretty sound advice and he also pretty much dictated the above schedule in terms of speed work.  It was in line with what I was thinking in terms of the *ideas* of the workouts and the types, but those are his workouts suggested as what he did before running Indy this year. The only change I think I’d make is to input one straight up tempo, or continuous GMP run instead of one speed session each week. Because tempo intervals (which essentially is what they all are) destroy my soul.

Thanks google images

So I guess I’m trying to feel out what you guys do during the taper and your experiences of workouts during it.  Obviously everyone is different but I like hearing things from “The Peanut Gallery” *CoughFloCough* I have the feeling that my friend is right and dialing into GMP is the thing to do now.  So I don’t know how/if my planned yassos for this weekend will shape up. They might be too intense of a workout so close to race day. [edit: I’m moreso trying to gauge the speedwork side rather than my overall miles for the next few weeks. The mileage cutbacks are pretty much set in stone but I’m just wondering how intense speedwork should be / use the track or go GMP?]

As far as today goes, I got my LR in.  I felt pretty crumby all day yesterday so I wasn’t sure how this workout was going to go.  Luckily I fell asleep relatively early last night and got 9 hours in.  Compare that to the 5 I slept all weekend and the 6 from Tuesday night and I’m no where near out of debt but feeling slightly better than yesterday. I still have some ear/sinus pressure that made the LR oh-so-much but it’s going away and not as intense as when I first got up. Better to feel a bit under the weather now than two weeks from now as two weeks + one day = MM on a plane to DALLAS.

The LR itself was…well a LR.  Nothing terribly special about it.  I didn’t feel particularly strong or powerful during it.  On the other hand I didn’t feel particularly weak or tired.  My legs did feel fatigued over the last 5 or 6 miles but, given the loop splits, I think I was increasing my effort and that’s why they were feeling it rather than true worn-out-ness.

13.5 miles @ 8:44
4.1 miles @ 8:24
Total: 17.6 miles @ 8:40

So I actually don’t have anything to complain about for once.  I did think this was going to be slower because of my head hurting and my legs feeling fatigued by the end.  Plus I was actually famished by the end of it, usually I’m a bit hungry after runs because I get out of bed and go within 5 minutes.  It was weird to be start feeling hungry during a run, especially so during a long run where my appetite is usually killed during the day.  That might have also contributed to the “I think this is slower” thinking.  But I’m happy that it wasn’t.

Money in the baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaank. Lots of you suggested it as an alternative “hay in the barn”.  I’ve obviously heard the expression before but rarely use it.  I should start.  Even though every time I say it I think of the song that was stuck in my head the whole run today

Phew.  Lots going on in this post, no? But I also did my pushups and situps.  Today was W2D2:

Pushups: 14, 16, 12, 12, 18

Situps: 21, 24, 18, 18, 30

April 16, 2010

Just Release. And A Look Into My Academics

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

Hmmmm yeah. I had nothing to really say yesterday. Hence no posting. Also my running has been boooooring.

But I did get in the 6 (well really 6.3) miles I wanted too on Thursday.  It was sooo hard to NOT push more miles.  I really didn’t start feeling good until the end — per usual — but obviously more miles with such little time left is silly.

I’m still in a semi-zen state although planning the logistics of getting to the start, what I’m going to wear and (most pressing) what I’m going to pack to head to the hometown for the weekend are starting to get to me. I don’t want to deal with it so I keep putting this stuff off.  But with 3 days to go…well let’s just say that I should really think this stuff through BEFORE race morning.

But I think that I’ve got some plans underway.  I think the lack of planning is because I’ve thrown out all expectations for this race.  Seriously.  I think I talked a bit in the beginning of the training cycle how I wanted to get 3:29:59.  Well I just don’ t think that this is going to be that race for me.  And I’m not saying that out of taper doubts or being all self deprecating or fishing for compliments.  I really just don’t think my body is in the right place to gun for a spectacular time.  And it’s my own fault really.  I got caught up in the more is better bug.

I kept trying to push and push and push.  I think I wanted it too much. But like I’ve said all along: I’m a newbie at this.  Sure it’ll suck to not PR (I think that every race I’ve ever run has been a PR) or to smash goals.  It’s a learning curve though.  I’m only 23 years old and have plenty of running years ahead of me (*knockonwood*!!).

Oddly though, as soon as I realized over the weekend that 3:29:59 is likely not in the cards, I was at peace with things. Releasing all that pressure just made my life feel really good and less stressful.  It’s been like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  And who knows, maybe going in with little expectation (other than have fun) might just make a good day and wonderful things happen.  It’s not like I’m purposely going to keep things nice and easy if I’m feeling good.  But I think that I’m a bit overtrained, so I guess I’m just trying to be a little more realistic.

Although as much as I’m not feeling like a stellar time is in the cards I’m feeling more self-assured and confident in myself.  It’s like I’m very comfortable in my skin at the moment.

Guess the taper is making all philosophical. Hahah.

I also feel more at ease and on top of things in my school life too.  Obviously training for a marathon is a huge deal and I’ve been obsessed with it for the past 4+ months.  Now, I’m not saying I’ve been slacking on my school work butttttt the combo of trying to do hardcore studying and hardcore training has been so draining.  But once I released the running tension, it was like I got renewed focus and productivity.

I talk so much about running here that I think many of you suspect all I do is run.  I mean, I know I bitch and moan about school sometimes but I wanted to take this time (since I’m still not running much) to share a bit of two projects I’m working on.

My Capstone: I’m continuing my research into Adhesive Capsulitis (frozen shoulder) that I was doing last semester.  In the fall I look at what it was and who was affected.  Kind of boring, but at least I was able to find information and literature on it.  Now I’m trying to look into the mechanics of it and it’s not known.  Like at all.  And I’m the kind of person that likes to be able to find information.  Not cool.

BUT I was able to do research on mechanical and chemical stress in the body and how that affects cell growth (which A.C. is characterized by huge amounts of cell growth).  The way it works it that a stressor (be it a hormone or increase in pressure) can change the way a cell responds to it’s environment.  For my purposes I’m looking at stressors that cause cells to grow uncontrollably and unchecked.  It’s kind of (really) cool but still frustrating because I can’t run experiments or trails or have access to real patients.  I guess this is good for me to learn that life doesns’t happen in a bubble the way college is set up.

Plus it strengthened my resolve to want to go into endocrine as well as try to pursue research in a diabetes research facility next year.  Fingers crossed for me — it’s really hard to get the kind of position I want. But that still leaves me sitting at my computer trying to put together a powerpoint presentation. Ugh.

Experimental Physics independent lab: The first half of the semester this class was all about doing pre-selected experiments to solidify our knowledge of physics concepts.  The second half my lab partner and I get to design our own experiment to study something physics-y but of our choosing.  And since my lab partner is basically a slacker (which I am SO trying to not be bitter about) I designed a lab to measure the effect an increase in pressure has on the human heart.

I tried to base my model on obese people vs. “normal” people (that sounds so bad to type out like that!!). The lab was taking tubing and creating a closed circuit (it ended up not being closed due to the difficulty of making the tubing stay) and varying the amount of pressure being placed in a particular spot on the tube — aka like fat around the heart.  Placing a marble into the model I was able to measure how fast it traveled with the different pressures.

I’m still not quite sure what my results mean (the more outside pressure lead to an increase in velocity) so I’m trying to find research on hypertension and obesity and what exactly causes the two to be related.  Like with my capstone I doubt there’s a lot of literature out there on the mechanism, so I’ll likely be looking more into the physics behind hydrolic pressure and fluid mechanics.

So hopefully you found this post to be interesting.  Since I use this blog as a way to talk about my running (because no one in my “real life” gets running) I tend to ignore the other things.  But I swear I’m more than one dimensional!

And here’s a giveaway from Run Girl Run. And from ErikaH

P.S. I do apologize for not getting around to responding to comments.  I hope that once I’m off campus I’ll be able to catch up on them!

April 14, 2010

D-5 and No Worries

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

And not a whole lot of taper madness.

No obsessive weather checking…at all really. I figure the weather is out of my control and with all the stress I have it’s not worth it to worry about whether or not I’ll get “perfect” weather conditions.

No worrying about nagging aches. Sure I had/have enough worries to make a doctor’s trip yesterday worth my while but I don’t have the taper worries.  Everything I’m worried about I’ve been worried about for awhile and I just had my last PT appointment before the race and things are a-go. Yes, there’s still inflammation but I’m at about 98.4%.

No loss of sleep.  In fact, I’ve been actually sleeping.  Of course this means my school work is suffering a bit because I’m using my time to sleep rather than work but hey, I figure I won’t sleep at all the week post-marathon in my attempts to get caught up.

No worrying about my pace on the “runs” I’ve had yesterday and today.  Yup my pace is slow but mentally I feel okay with everything.  After 15 weeks of huge runnings going out for a 3-6 mile run is sooooo refreshing. Running for under an hour?! That just seems so easy to wrap my head around.

No worrying about my ferocious appetite.  It seems that after I eat a meal I’m full but 20 minutes later I need another. I’ve never experienced this level of hunger before, not even during my 100 mile weeks. I think that it must have suppressed my appetite a bit.  But it’s all good now.  Good because I now have an accurate gauge of what my body wants energy wise.  And also good because it lets me know that I’m taking in lots of food to fuel my 26.2 mile endeavor.

No worrying about plans for race day.  Which is odd because I don’t have any. Probably should make some and figure out how I’m going to get there.  That’s pretty important. Plus I ordered my jacket last night.  Holler.

No worries about post-Boston social plans.  My friends are planning a drunken festival for whenever I get back to campus and I’m so all over it.

No worries about post-Boston running plans. Unlike many of you bloggies who are either running Boston or another marathon soon, or even those who have run them in the past and immediately signed up for the next, if you asked me right now if I’ll ever run another one I’d have to say NO.  But I felt like this last year too. I always thought that I was in the majority with my train of thought but reading some blogs lately I think I’m in the minority.  Oh well.

So I’m actually pretty calm.  And like I wrote yesterday, this is normal for me.  Granted I’ve only gone through this once but even with my shorter races it was the same way.  These past few days have been eerily calm in other aspects of my life too.  Now that I say that I’m going to jinx myself hardcore and my life will fall apart. Like tomorrow.

But I think I’m just learning to accept and not let negative shit affect me as much.  Or like in my first “No Worries” bullet point: I’m just letting go of things that I can’t control.

So I’m going to leave you with that. Nothing exciting going on in my world so nothing much to write about.  Hence a boring no-new news post haha. I’m going to try for a short run tomorrow.  According to the plan I have a tempo but I haven’t done speed in so long I think it’s silly to try and “cram” for the race.  I’m allowed up to 10 miles (the range is 7-10) but I think I’ll cap it at 6.

If I’m running slower because of lack of speedwork I have to consider time spent running and a lower mileage is appropriate. It’s totally going to be hard to *not* go far but that’s been the story of this week. And I’ve been successful so far.  Like I mentioned above, it’s mentally relieving to not have a huge day and that I can stop after one of my routes rather than building up longer ones.

And thanks for all your kind words and support in the past few days as Boston inches closer.  Hope everyone is having a good (and zen) day 🙂

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