MarathonMaiden's Blog

August 29, 2011

Howdy Y’all

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yay fountains!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 7, 2010

I Freaking Love Texas.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 07:34

I had lots of money in the bank.  And now I’m broke.

This and most of the other pics are Liz's because she remembered to bring her camera! Oops.

There were so many things I was going to title this post (my absolute favorite being “We’re doing it Longhorn style”) but in the end I went with my motto throughout the entire Dallas White Rock marathon that I ran this past Sunday.

If you’re my fb friend (or if you read on other places that stole my thunder) then you know that I ran really well.  Like really well.  So I guess I’m not spoiling anything by giving the stats first:

Dallas WR Marathon

  • 26.2 miles (or I’ve been told that it was actually 26.45 but whatevs)
  • 3:09.26
  • 7:13 average pace

I don’t have the exact splits but you can wander over to my running sistaaaa’s blog (whom I ran with and she did amazing as well!) because I think she’s going to post them when her in-depth RR goes up.  Regardless the above stats garnered me this (and keep in mind there were A LOT of people who ran it.  I have no idea how many but this is a HUGE race) (these are updated results from the WR website post-FB status)

  • 126th overall
  • 9th woman (annoying because when I checked yesterday I was 8th)
  • 2nd AG

I’m pretty much on freaking cloud 9 right now.

But first let me back up and kind of recap the whole weekend (or as best as I can in one post. So beware this is going to be long).  I left work Thursday night to head up to my good ole childhood home so my mom could drive me to the airport Friday.  I slept very well (and in my sister’s bed because I no longer have one there. Sad face) and when my alarm went off at 0600 I woke up with a start and had NO IDEA where I was.  Legit.

Once I got my bearings I got up, threw on some clothes and headed to the airport (btw the shoes I was wearing were the ones that I wore to work the night before: heals).  The flights were unremarkable which was incredibly nice because the last time I went to Texas all hell broke loose from the skies and the travel was a nightmare.  I actually landed at DFW *early*.   On my flight to Philly I actually sat next to a marathoner (2:45) from Dallas and we chatted about the race and he gave me general advice.  Very cool to have that happen.  Anyway, he told me that he’d be cheering for me on Sunday (he wasn’t running but was going to cheer peeps on)

When I landed I hung outside the airport while I waited for Jess to pick me up.  It was really nice to sit in really warm weather.  When I left Boston it was 28* and when I landed in Dallas it was 75*.  LOVE IT. Jess drove up from Houston that day, with a friend who was also running the half, and they were amazing to pick me up!

We hung out in Dallas for awhile where we meet up with a friend of ours to chill before the RWOL Dailies dinner.  We ate nachos and dip.  Talk about good pre-race food 😉

Then we headed to The Angry Dog to meet up and eat and drink with my peeps:

They are the NICEST people EVER.  It was an amazing time.  We talked about running (duh) but also life.  It was great to put names to faces and hear voices.  I owe A LOT to these guys (and obviously those on the forum that weren’t there).  Lots of laughs were had.

I was originally going to spend the night with my running sis but plans change (another saying of mine this trip was “This was such an ill planned trip! I pretty much just hopped on a freaking plane!) but I had a friend who graciously let me crash on her couch for the night.  I slept really well.  I slept until 0900 Dallas time.  Ummm that’s 1000 my time? I NEVER sleep that late.  But it was good.

Rather than do a shakeout run (which I had wanted to do) the two of us went out for coffee.  Then Liz came by and picked me up to head to the expo.  Traffic was brutal and (yet another “theme” of the trip: we’re glad we made it there alive hahah).  We picked up our packets and shirts and chatted with some really nice Texans (seriously the nicest people in the world).  We also ran into Jess and her friend there.  Well okay, Jess and I had been texting each other to try and meet up.  But it was nice to see her again as I didn’t actually see her at the race itself.

Liz and I also bought these babies:

I actually won a pink pair in a giveaway but they haven't arrived yet and I really wanted these for the plane ride back to Boston. So worth it!

Then we left the expo and got coffee (more for me. YAY).  Then I met back up with the friend I spent Friday with and we headed up to dinner with her parents and her parents running friends (her mom was running the full too). It was cool to spend another night with runners who were able to give advice.  As well as laugh and have fun.

I tried to get to sleep early Saturday night but I couldn’t.  I was never really worried but knowing that I had to get up so early the next day for, the race, I obviously couldn’t sleep.  So I settled for time off my feet.  I woke up before my alarm, which was nice, drank some coffee and ate a pb and banana sandwich.  I had stayed with my friend and her parents overnight and, since her mom was running the race too, they drove me to the start.

Traffic was horrible and I thought I was going to miss the start.  For real.  But I didn’t. I actually saw Lesley at the bag drop off for about 5 seconds.  I can’t believe you recognized me girl! And thanks for saying hi! And luckily I found my running sister at our corral (B. Holler for us putting a fast projected time down).  I probably would have cried if I hadn’t found her. I was in spandex shorts and a spandex top.  No gloves.  I was shivering (I mean, I’m from New England but 37* is chilly no matter what) but it’s all good.  Sure my hands went numb early but whatever.  I was running a marathon.  Comfortable? What’s that? 😀

While we waited for the gun to go off we were dancing and jumping around.  Maybe we should have saved our energy for the race.  But we were excited.  Then we were OFF.

I don’t have the exact splits (Liz was wearing the garmin but when I get them I’ll update this post as well as post them in a future post) but here are some highlights of the race (aka thoughts I can remember):

(splits to be put here when I get ’em 😛 ) I do know that the first mile was 6:58 and we were pretty consistent with our pacing around 7:11 the whole time.  Our slowest mile was around 18 (?) and it was 7:22.  And I do know that we picked it up A LOT at the end and the last 3 were sub-7.  Holler.

  • We went out really fast.  Like really fast.  But it felt good.  So we we said to each other “let’s just go at what’s comfy”.  So we did.  Because we were in Corral B we weren’t with the 3:20 pacer but we actually caught up to him.  And then we passed him real early on.  And never looked back.
  • Around mile 12ish I hear something to the effect of”At least we have two nice pairs of legs to pull us on this pace”.  To which Liz and I replied “Like 2 girls pulling a pack of 10 guys? Oh well.  See you at the finish” hahah.  Later one of those guys passed us and called us mean for ditching the old guys.  That’s us: heartbreakers.
  • The Dolly Parton hills? Really? Yes I saw the sign that announced them (mile 22 maybe?) and I heard people complaining about them but I honestly never felt a hill the whole race.  Silly Texans.
  • Also silly Texans with the Chuck Norris signs of varying degrees. And the “run b!tch run” one. They were hilarious and I high fived the guy with the latter sign.
  • Regardless of what I felt hill wise, I was feeling the effort around mile 19/20 and luckily there were shot blocks here.  I’ve said this time and time again but I am SO not a model runner.  Because I haven’t eaten anything on long runs (nor have I ever had coffee before a run but I did that on Sunday too!).  And I ate these guys.
  • As soon as I ate them I thought that it was a bad idea because it threw off my stride and breathing and stomach.  But I’m glad I did because they did make my legs feel better.  It could just be mental but I felt it.  I also thought at this point that I really can’t vomit at the end because the shot blocks were red and that it would look like I was vomiting blood.
  • Holy @#$& these last few miles suck.
  • Holy #$@% I could break 3:10 (thought at mile marker 26)
  • Holy !@#$ I just did (thought at finish line)

So yeah:

“I love Texas”

I think I said this about every minute.  The crowds were great and I just felt the love. I even got lei-ed in the first half and wore the red lei for the rest of the race!  Liz and I also tried to join in the Texas love by throwing up the “hook ’em horns” at some of the cameras.

Like this but during the race

I adored it when people cheered for us passing the guys and calling us girls and ladies.  I know some people get offended (like really?!) but I love it.  It made me feel really bamf and hardcore.  I definitely chicked a lot of people in the last 4 or so miles.  It felt great.

As fun as the run I was I was there to race and, that said, I was in absolute shock when I finished and realized that I did, in fact, break 3:10.  Totally smashed my goal of 3:20.

We walked through the finisher area together (after jumping around like idiots at the actual finish line) where we were given hats because we were in the top 100 females and told that we were also very likely top 10.  We got our medal, finishers shirt and FOOD.  And BEER.  I’m not at all a big beer drinker but I crave it after races.  So I indulged.  It tasted awesome.

We took a finisher photo together and then met up with Liz’s friend who had driven down from Tulsa to cheer us on.  We had thought he was going to jump in at the last few miles to keep us going but he didn’t.  Lame hahah.  We then headed back to where we were spending the night to eat and shower.

And then go out to drink. Let me just say this now to all you Texans: y’all know how to drink on a Sunday night.  Did I mention I freaking love Texas?

Did I mention I love us too?

After drinking we chilled at the house and ate more before heading to bed.  I actually had a semi-fitful night of sleep and at 0530 whispered to Liz “Are you at all asleep?”.  Nope was the reply and we got up to just move the legs before leaving for the airport.

I guess I should talk about how my legs felt Monday.  They were sore.  I don’t think they couldn’t be after such a hard effort.  But I could do stairs normally and everything.  I was probably more sore after Boston.  Sitting on my long flight back to Boston was rough but I was never in immobile mode.

That said, Monday was a rest day (as was Friday and Saturday btw).  Simply because of the travel.  Which is good because I am sore.  So that tells me there’s damage and running would have been bad.

In any case I arrived on time in Boston and my mom made me a HUGE dinner that night.  And my biggest fear was realized: as I hopped into the car to drive home it was SNOWING  (and the predicted weather this week is snow and below freezing).  I cursed, like a trucker to which all members of my family yelled at me for, and then I said something to the effects of jumping on a plane back to Dallas.

I also foam rolled Monday night after getting back to my apartment and I almost vomited.  It hurt.  I think because I didn’t sleep much Sunday night the muscle soreness didn’t really set it.  It’ll be an interesting next few days to say the least!

So if you made it to the end of this BEAST then congrats. It was a pain in the ass to write because I didn’t write it race day so I’m sure I forgot to include *something*.  Oh well.  It’s all good. This race was wicked awesome and a perfect way to end my 2010 racing.

Because I still feel on top of the freaking world

August 11, 2010

Up For A Breath Of Air

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

Hello Again! Did you miss me?

I got back from vacay Monday afternoon and have been on the go essentially ever since.  I had sooooooo much fun on vacation and totally got the R&R that I needed. Definitely good times.

It just sucks that now it’s time to snap back to reality.  But hopefully while I was gone you enjoyed the guest posts from my friends!

Like I said, life got kind of crazy coming back from vacation.  Lots to do but I’m trying to keep a level head.  Everything will get done!

Of course running is happening.  Duh.  So here’s a brief (?) recap of my running since I last left you.

Thursday (the day I left) I started my day with a LR.  I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to run a lot on vacation so I wanted to get something lengthy in.  It went really well.  Nice and fast especially considering that I was running first thing so I could catch my flight.  Which almost didn’t happen because of a t-storm that hit Boston with perfect timing that made getting my flight out of Boston next to impossible (my flight was postponed indefinitely).  Luckily I ended up catching a flight.  And after 11 hours of travel/being in airports I was out of Boston.  Not at my final destination though as my connecting flight was canceled.

There was a silver lining though: since I was in Texas (en route to Dallas), my connecting flight was in Houston and I got to run with Jess Friday! I have awesome friends and the friend I was staying with (who is friends with Jess) drove down from Dallas and we crashed at another friend’s house.  Which was actually MSB’s place (seriously: the people  in Texas are SO NICE)

Yes I know that I've shown this picture before (it's from when Jess was in Boston) butttt I didn't take any pictures when in Houston


Jess was doing her long run and swung by MSB’s place to let me tag along for 8.3 miles.  Not the fastest run ever but we averaged around 8:26 pace (at least during the miles I was with her).  We went out for these HUGE pancakes afterward which were soooo yummy and delicious.  Also delicious are the cookies that she made and sent to my friend, which I had eaten as my dinner the night before 🙂

After eating with Jess, my friend and I drove up to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and went out two-stepping that night (at the largest honky-tonk in the world!) which was FABULOUS.  I had an unbelievable amount of fun.  I really wish that there were places like that up here in New England.  I was surprised that I was also able to stay awake as long as I did because of my long travel day before and the run that morning but I’m glad I could because of all the fun I had.

On Saturday I was able to get out for a 4 mile sunset run with my friend.  We averaged ~8:27 pace.  Apparently Texas is in the middle of a heat wave right now but I was actually not that phased by it.  At least in terms of running.  My run with Jess was at 0700 and this run was as the sun was going down.  Shade makes such a huge difference! I did feel the heat a bit more during the day when we were out and about (highs of 105*?! What?!) but during my runs I was okay.  Definitely not as bad as I feared.

Sunday was a rest day.  I was actually pretty wiped out from not sleeping much the days before: flight getting in at midnight with a 0630 run, two-stepping, karaoke on Saturday night.  All about the R&R here.  Good thing too because I went to a house party BBQ that was sooooooooooo much fun too.

Just a quick note about the food: it was really really good.  Maybe it’s because I’m from New England and just don’t have a good comparison buttttt I had such good Mexican food while in Fort Worth and great BBQ on Sunday.  Seriously: nothing like that in New England.

I headed home early Monday morning.  Thank goodness my flight home was not as eventful as my flight to Texas! I was also really sad to leave! The weekend was just absolutely amazing and, to be 100% honest, Texas just felt comfortable.  It’s a totally different world there and one that I really found myself loving (I had never been before this weekend)

Yay Texas. Billy Bob's is also the honky-tonk we went to on Friday

Once I got home I was a bit overwhelmed with being home and back in my “real life” so after doing all the chores my family (who are on a vacay of their own) left for me to do, I headed out for a run to stretch the legs.  I ended up with 8.5 in about 8:14 pace.  It felt really good.  Like amazingly good. And I think I brought the Texan heat back with me as it was ~95*.  Okay so not 105* but still.  The week before I left the temps were in the 80s.

Yesterday (Tuesday) I got another 8 miler in.  Not quite as fast as Monday but it felt good and fluid.  The rest of my Tuesday was busy and nothing else to really say about it. Trying to catch up with lots of things that I missed while away.  And of course every time I tried to focus I kept getting distracted by thinking about the stellar weekend I had just had.  It was very memorable and, you’re probably tired of this word but, FUN.

Unfortunately, despite bringing my camera, I didn’t take a single picture.  I’m going to take that as a sign that I was having so much fun because I never once remembered I had my camera.  It was in my purse the whole time! Oops.  But it was definitely a fabulous weekend. I wish that could happen every weekend.

I apologize in advance in I fall off the face of the Earth in the next few days.  I’m moving to my new place this weekend (gahhhh need to pack!) and starting the new job on Monday.

I guess August is still going to be crazy.  Lots of changes but lots of excitement too 😀

Hope everyone has had a great past week (I swear I’m playing the catch up game!) and that y’all (and note: I said y’all BEFORE I went to Texas but had to squelch the urge to say it because, well, New England represent!  haha) have a great Wednesday too.

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