MarathonMaiden's Blog

March 23, 2010

Another Interval Tuesday. Mojo = Back

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:35

Yup.  It’s official: I must have been delusional when I thought that this week would be a nice transition back into school.  And I guess it is if you like trial by fire.  Me? Not so much.

I’m feeling MUCH better about life in general though.  I did another night of “sweat out the cold” and I definitely think things are improving.  I took some benadryl too which I think helped the allergy portion of my ickyness.  If anything it knocked me out fast because I had to sleep with two pillows again. Blah.

I’m also feeling better after reading your awesome words yesterday about comparing.  I know it’s silly to do.  Which makes me feel *worse* because I know that comparing =/= good.  Like many of you said, running is really individual.  Sure people can compete against each other but, and this goes for me, running is about challenging *yourself’*.  I think I lost sight of that for a minute. It’s partly your fault though for running so many amazing races over the weekend 😛

But I got my mojo back speed wise.  Yup. It’s interval Tuesday in MM’s world.  This week’s main course? Let’s check it out:

  • Warm up
  • 2 3 X [4 X 800m] @ 10k pace (7:08) w/ 90 seconds ( .2 mi )recovery between repeats and 5 mins (.6 mi) recovery between sets
  • 3 miles GMP
  • Warm down

I went into this workout thinking that I really didn’t want to do it.  Because of the sickness, allergies, legs, no real sleep etc I was tired to the bone.  After my early Spanish class I really wanted to go back to sleep.  My eyes were just so heavy.  Since it was rainy hardcore today I would have been in the gym anyway.  Plus after a week of running outside it was probably a good idea to use the TM to “baby” my leg.  So I told myself that I could do as much of the workout as I could and then just easy run or elliptical if I was truly tired. Running though has the funny way of giving you energy.  So while I am a bit tired in general from life stuff I felt great for completing it and it totally woke me up.  I had forgotten how running does that to me.

And Whew.  It was quite challenging.  In the past I’ve only done two sets of 800s.  I was tempted to do straight up Yassos but since the workout was on the TM, I didn’t think that it would be useful to me. So I kept those 5 minutes or so in (it probably was more than 5 minutes because, on a TM, I don’t want to have to think too much about when to start and stop the intervals.  I know that 90 seconds is ~.2 miles and 5 minutes is ~ .6 miles so I went with that to make the math easier.  Plus, I’m not going to lie: having extra recovery is not a bad thing so late in the training)

I was a little worried that my body would fall apart after the second set.  Yes I’ve done a hill workout following 2 sets before but hills =/= intervals.  Yes hills are hard but they are a different beast.  Although sidenote: I read in one of my training log books, which includes little factoids, tips and motivational quotes, that one should do hills BEFORE intervals.  Obviously I don’t think my doing it the other way is a big deal but it doesn’t say why that is.  Any thoughts? Pure curiosity on my part.

But the intervals went really well.  I don’t know what it is but the first repeat of each set felt like death but the last 3 were always good.  I suspect that even though extra recovery is nice I probably took too much haha.  But whatever, I wanted the math to work nicely.  I finished the sets really strong.  I doubt I could have done many more repeats buttttt I did 12.  No need to do more!

Even though I REALLY wanted to do hills this week: I didn’t.  After speaking to lots of people (including the sports med doc,  high school t&f coach, PT) it just seemed like too much a risk to push through hill repeats.  I even went as far as to write down the hill portion on my workout piece of paper! And I kept thinking of how to sneak in hills.  I’m just worried that I haven’t done hills the past 3 weeks and I don’t want all that hill-fitness to go be for nothing! As a compromise I chose to do some GMP work instead.

I figured that since the repeats took a considerable amount of distance that I would cut the warm down short (I hadn’t needed that long of a warm up either today, saving some more miles to “quality”) and make the GMP 3 miles long.  These miles weren’t really *for* anything.  I just think it’s important to show my legs and mind that I can handle this pace after a challenging workout and the distance of 3 miles is arbitrary.  No offense to those who consider ❤ miles a run but I don’t.  I’m too much of a mileage junkie for that.  3 miles roughly a 5k so that seemed good enough for me.

The pace felt really easy (and duh after running so hard in the intervals) which is good.  Yes they were coming off faster work but it could have felt sooo hard if my legs were exhausted.  Clearly this wasn’t the case and is another pat on the back to me. Yay.

Also a couple of you mentioned a foam roller. While I resisted shelling out the $$ (I honestly don’t know how I’m going to pay for it when I get the bill) I finally caved over break and ordered one.  I think I got it for $25 (including shipping) so it’s not toooo bad but I’m hemmoraging money over here with co-pays and bills! *LeSigh*.  But I was happy when my PT suggested I get one and I could tell her that I had already ordered one.  Hopefully I find the time to use it and maybe it’ll jump start an overall stretching routine.

I also have purchased little ice packs.  You know the kind that you put in kids lunchboxes? I figured that a lot of days I’m not going to have access to an ice machine right after a workout (aka the weekends or any outdoor run) so this will be a makeshift way to keep the icing up!

Okay. I’ve sufficiently procrastinated on this quantum exam for long enough (and I doubt many of you have read this far since I write so much haha!!) Gotta get some work on it before LOST comes on.

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday!

March 16, 2010

Oh Mr. Sun. And Some Paranoia

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:14

Aww thanks guys for all the support and encouragement yesterday.  Obviously the whole situation is a positive one but still, I really was expecting a lot of “what are you thinking?” stuff.  Or maybe I was just worried that my plan of action wasn’t a good one and you guys wouldn’t let me b.s. it hahah.

Anyway.  I had another busy day on tap?! What is it with this week? I have yet to not wake up to an alarm.  I mean, yes it’s partly my own doing because I want to workout before I start my day but sheesh.  It’s spring break yo.  I hate that I go to school far enough away that I can’t space these kinds of appointments out over the semester.  Oh well.  One more half semester so I guess that it’s the last time I’ll be dealing with it. Scary.

But, yeah, I woke up before the sun again.  I didn’t place my alarm (aka my phone) where I normally do so when it went off I was all blurry eyed (hello 24 amazingness and staying up too late with my friend! So worth it though 🙂 ) because of little sleep so I couldn’t find the damn thing.  And this was pre-family getting up too so I was extra crazy because I didn’t want to wake anyone up (not that they would do the same for me…)

I hit up the TM again today (third day in a row!).  First it was pitch black and I just don’t feel safe running in 100% darkness.  I think, as a female, that too much paranoia runs through my mind.  Girls are just taught to be on the lookout for creepers more than boys growing up so I think that’s it.  I get paranoid at night too.

Second, even though the monsoon had stopped: the flooding? Yup still there.  So many roads are still closed and I would have been running in knee deep water at points.  No thanks.  When I was driving to my appointments later today I had to “ford the river” many many times.  Ugh. (Anyone with that reference? aha)

Third, I wanted a softer cushioning for my shin.  I mean, even though I’m not in pain, I do want to stay smart. And seeing as how I had intervals (hard enough for me to get outside because of point 2 but I shy away in general from doing intervals outside) the TM just was what I wanted.

I feel the need to list those reasons because it was (and still is) BEAUTIFUL outside. After downpours for 3+ days the sun was glorious to see. My mood perked up about a billion points. So now I feel a little guilty for not getting out there butttt when I had the chance to run this weather wasn’t there. Boo. Oh well.

On schedule for today was 1600m aka the mile.  I’m iffy towards this distance in general.  It’s obviously a longer interval and yet, as soon as I start to feel good in it, the damn thing is over.  But I grinned and beared it. Going into the session I was kind of scared.  I mean, yes the doctor said I could keep running but at this point it really does become a cost vs benefit deal.

Therefore I nixed the traditional hills portion of interval day.  In the 11 full weeks of Boston training I’ve only not done hills 2x.  That’s a lot of hills.  So even though one of those skipped days was last week I figured that it didn’t matter. Like a lot of you mentioned I’ve done so much work already this training.  And since the last time I did hills the shin was a little aggravated (and I’ve read that hills aggravate shin splints and tendinitis, my two possible diagnosis) I’m okay with my decision.  I am, however, going to try for hills next week and then have that be it for hills.  I figure it takes 3-4 weeks for a workout to show up and next week is T-4 weeks.

But here’s the workout. Kind of non-exciting because I didn’t do much adding or craziness haha:

  • 2 mile warm up
  • 6 X 1 mile (5 @ 7:13, 1 @ 7:03) with .4 mile recovery between
  • 3 mile warm down

Total time: 107 minutes
Total distance: 13.5 miles
Average pace: 7:56

Okay so I’m sure that many of you are scratching your heads and wondering how 13.5 miles can be considered lower-key (or maybe not if you’ve been reading for awhile hah) BUT it’s 4 miles less than last Tuesday.  A start to say the least.

The last time I did this workout was about a month ago and figured that I’d play it safe and keep it at 10k pace (current pr pace = 7:15).  I tend to like to increase pace every time I repeat a workout (especially if it’s 4+ weeks since the last time I did it) buttttt yeah.  I did go faster on the last one because I knew that if I kicked up the pace I could hit 8 miles in 60 minutes on the TM timer which was cool.  (I go warm up. Hit reset. Then start the intervals)

No shin pain.  Well no pain. During the warm down I could tell that my shin was getting fatigued which strengthened my resolve to nix the hills.  I tend to go wimpy brained during the beginnings of workouts when my body is adjusting and tell myself I can stop early and then by the end always want to add more. I probably would have done that today too if the shin didn’t tell me otherwise.  Again: NO PAIN.  But I was “listening to my body” and *wicked* paranoid about anything happening to my shin so I was hypervigilant is paying attention to it haha. Guess paranoia isn’t always a bad thing 😉

So all in all a great workout.  I’m happy with it and I felt really good afterward.  I always think how amazing it is that I always want to avoid these sessions before they begin but once I’m done I am so happy with myself. I just feel so accomplished. I’m sure that you guys know what I’m talking about 🙂

And yes I know this is a(nother) lengthy post. But I do want to write a bit about a “second opinion” I got re: my shin.  My sister is on the track team and, although I didn’t get along with the head T&F coach in HS, he is knowledgeable about distance running.  So I went to pick up my sister and chat with him for the last 15 minutes of their practice.

Basically I told him my situation (including going to the sports med clinic yesterday) and relayed my fears of going into a taper this far out.  He told me that even if I took a full week off (like this week) that I shouldn’t be worried about my fitness and the race. Although he agreed with the principle of going into taper now (and preventing a potential stress fracture) he said that what I’d likely be comfortable with is to back off this week, go up to 60 or 70 for one or two then hit the taper hard.

He also suggested pool running to be the best thing for me.  I agree but my access to a pool is non-existent.  Yes my school has a state-of-the-art facility but it’s only open to the public for 4 hours a day.  4 hours that I have commitments.  Boo. I can try to find a pool for this week but will likely pay through the nose for a daily, or even weekly, pass. I do have unlimited access to ellipticals and bikes though which I’m sure would be good if I really feel the need to hardcore nix more miles.

Beyond this week (which he did suggest to be cut back by 40-50%) he said the words of the cycle: play it by ear. But I left the school feeling better knowing that both the sports med doc and the coach said the same thing independently of each other.  The coach (which I am on a first name basis with but because this is the internet I’ll just keep calling him anonymous stuff like “the coach”) also said that I could email him if I had anymore questions (because I did pepper him with q’s for a half hour!!) or if things went arry.

Interestingly he told me that he would advise running marathons at my age.  Nothing against me or anything but he would have suggested that after Boston focusing on halfs and 10ks.  Speedier stuff. He said that it would be good for me to let my body mature more before plugging into such heavy mileage.  It totally wasn’t said in a negative way or anything like that but I thought it was an interesting point.  Maybe I’ll elaborate on my thoughts (because I wasn’t totally opposed to the idea and despite my wanting to run an ultra I have been thinking along those lines too).  But in the interest of the fact that this post is VERY long I won’t. 😉

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday! I’m going to try to have a low-key night and grab a glass of wine while watching NCIS and LOST.  A perfect way to unwind after running around all day!

[ And I apologize for any typos or sentence/grammatical mistakes.  I was gone all day and don’t want to proofread my novel haha!]

March 15, 2010

Spring Break? Really? You Don’t Say

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:32

Ughhhh. Now before I say this I’m going to preface it with: I know that some of you have it worse and get up wayyyy earlier than I did today. But when you have been naturally waking up on your own for the past 8-10 weeks (even if it’s still sleep deprivation as I physically can’t sleep in) an alarm clock sucks.  I don’t care if it’s 0400, 1000 or even past noon. Alarm = suckage.  So I won’t try to have a pissing contest to see who gets up earlier.  Suffice it to say: it was earlier than a natural wake-up, dark out (stupid DST) and incredibly painful.

Butttt I felt the need to get a good hard run in before my sports med appointment this morning.  My mentality was a stupid one: god forbid the doctor tell me I can’t run for a bit, I wanted to have a solid run in. Go ahead: berate me all you want but I know most of you would have done it too. (That said, I wasn’t entirely stupid about it and if I actually thought I was seriously hurting myself then DUH I wouldn’t have.  But I was really freaking myself out the past two nights over the what-ifs so I went into today with the above mentality)

Alas the monsoon still rages outside.  That coupled with absolute darkness made the gym a good choice.  So I pulled on some cute gym clothes (because even in the wee hours of the morning you never know who you’re going to run into *coughhotboyscough* at the gym).  AKA I threw on a lime green bra and a white t-shirt which would subsequently show off said bra when I got all sweaty (aka 5 minutes into the run).  Go ahead: call me a lady of the night or something similar 🙂

The run went really well.  Yesterday I think I noted that there was absolutely no shin pain and I’m likely to think the cause is that I started off the run slower than a typical TM run.  So I did the same thing today.  There was still calf soreness (interestingly in the OTHER calf aka not the shiny-shin-shin one. Compensation for something maybe?) but nothing that changed my stride.  I cruised through some miles (while watching Angel and Charmed. Ummm how could I forget how awesome those shows are?!) until it was time to head off to my appointment.

I also did some corework.  I usually do core when I lift on Mondays but since today was so jammed packed I knew I wouldn’t have time to get back to the gym to lift.  Not such a big deal (I mean I HATE skipping workouts) but I figure core = most important part, so I still got that in.

I had just enough time to inhale a breakfast, change my clothes into something dry (still in workout clothes haha) and dash off to my appointment.  I might have been able to shower butttt I hate being on-time (in my opinion early = on time and on-time = late. If you’re actually late, don’t even bother showing up at all) so I nixed it.  Good call because all the flooding closed some roads and I arrived just in the nick of time (aka 10 minutes early hahah)

SO. This is the part you’ve probably wanted to read.  The Appointment.  The doctor was really nice and first did a visual exam of my right ankle/shin (affected) compared to the left (normal).  I explained what I was training for yada yada yada (including my mileage and intensity as well as my goals for the race) and told him my concerns: that I thought it was just shin splints but it’s been going on for 3 weeks, changing shoes didn’t help and now I’m worried that it could be more serious.

He made me do some toe walks, heel walks, heel stomping etc. and asked about pain level.  No pain, but it feels all bruised and tender.  Comme d’habitude. He then started poking and prodding trying to elicit a “jump off the table” response.  I mean, I could feel it (felt like a bruise and tender but nothing painful).  I was sent for x-rays (yes I know stress fractures don’t typically show up BUT from working at this very department last summer I know doctors have to do it.  Mostly for insurance purposes so that the companies will pay for pricier tests down the road. It shows that the doctor tried to go alternate routes. Lame but whatevs.)

The x-rays were negative (duh).  He said that it was highly unlikely that it was a stress fracture though given the results of what he had made me do prior to the x-rays weren’t in line.  I knew this deep in my gut but it was really nice to hear a medical professional say it. Regardless: BIG SIGH OF RELIEF.

He did say that because there’s swelling and inflammation in the area that he thinks I sprained it at some point (very minorly though, just enough to cause an acute inflammatory response) and that the restriction in my motion has caused the other problems. Aka shin tenderness on both sides of the ankle.

The fix? PT.  I walked out of there with a ‘script and I know that someone is going to “yell” at me (insert eye roll here) but I’ll start that next week when I get back to school and can see a therapist on a regular basis.  I was also told to keep ace bandaging it during running, icing, ibuprofen (as long as my stomach can handle it).  In addition I was told to ace bandage it a couple times over the course of the day just to try and push out the inflammation.

Exercise wise…he told me to basically start the taper now.  At this point he said that it was a risk vs reward and while he certainly isn’t telling me NOT to go through with the next two weeks as planned, he said to play it by ear. I asked what workouts I could do if I had to not run and he said the whole thing comes down to (running and XT)not being in pain (which I am not in at the moment). If it hurts, stop. If I get localized pain, stop and come right back to him. He said that it also comes down to what my goals are.  Clearly I want to race Boston sooooo….yeah.

I’m torn though.  And I feel like I want to put that out there.  I debated for quite sometime where or not to be honest with those feelings or just grin and bear it on the blog because I know many of you are going to be harsh and whatnot when I say that (even if it’s not intended that way, it’s the internet and it’s how I perceive it).  But I want this blog to be honest.  I’m not saying I’m going to disregard what the doc is telling me (I was very impressed with him both researching him online as well as in person.  He’s even giving a lecture at Boston!) butttttt I’m sure you guys “know” me well enough to know that this is a hard thing to wrap my head around.

So here’s what I’m going to do: play it by ear but I’m not sure if I can mentally handle going into the taper 5 weeks from the race.  Like I said yesterday, I’m not sure I can wrap my head around a 3 week taper. But rest assured, I’m not going to do anything stupid.  I mean, as much as I liked this doctor, I think I can live without having to see him again. 🙂

I will say that despite the torn-ness over the whole taper issue, I am feeling very optimistic about the whole appointment.  And I’ll say this again in big bold letters: I AM NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING STUPID. I am going to play it by ear.  And work with a PT.  So please know that I am taking care of this thing. (Can you tell how much I don’t want to be “yelled” at haha?). Your advice, as always, is welcome.  But please don’t bash me.

Side note: And I think it’s important to note that even if I do “severely” cut back (which I don’t have to do at this point) I’m still going to be logging huge miles simply because I’m at such a high level now.  This past week was…112.7. And a double side note: I know that there’s not way I can keep that up, ankle or not.

After that appointment (and hooray if you’re still reading this marathon of a post haha) I grabbed a quick lunch and headed over to my massage.  And boy was it glorious.  I told her to really only work on my calves.  Yes the butt, hamstring and quads need (and did get) work but with my calves being as tight as they are I wanted the focus there.

It. Felt. Glorious. I mean, my calves were as hard as rocks and soooo tender but a lot of work was done today.  I’m sure I’ll be feeling it in the morning and I tentatively scheduled another one for Thursday (provided that she’s free then).  The last 20 minutes of the session she even dedicated solely to my “bum” ankle.  By the end there was no swelling at all.  Sure once gravity took over it was a bit bigger again butttt I know that getting the old “gunk” out is a good thing.

Wow. Long ass post.  I guess today was such a busy day and I had a lot to say about.  Since getting up I’ve spent a grand total of 1/2 hour at home between appointments and whatnot.  That means that pretty much since getting up I haven’t showered.  Ewwww I am stinky.  So I’m going to go do that and then head over to a friend’s house for some 24 action.  It should be fun because, since the semester was so crazy busy so far for the both of us, we haven’t been able to watch 24 together (or really do much together!). Andddd her family is my family.  It’s going to be a good night!

And (gosh MM, can this post get any longer?!) I apologize to those who have emailed me lately.  I really haven’t had the time to thoughtfully reply (that also goes for replying to comments. I have read them but I haven’t had a chance to reply yet!).  Or really had the time to do much lately so I apologize for those blogs that I couldn’t comment on today — I didn’t turn my computer on until 1600 and the volume of unread blogs was staggering.  Y’all keep busy!

And it’s spring break?! This busy-ness needs to change haha.

March 5, 2010

Guess I Sure Like The Treadmill

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:22

Happy Friday all! Sadly it does not feel like a Friday. I just looked at my planner (BAD IDEA on a Friday!!) and it looks like I’ll be doing work the whole time.  Or at least all day each day. I have a whole lab to perform and write up, quantum physics problem set, spanish composition AND need to produce some slides for my capstone/independent study. Whew!

Luckily Matt, Mary and BostonRunner have passed on The Sunshine Award. So I kind of need to smile over that 🙂

This award was also MUCH needed because of the funk I was talking about yesterday (and still semi-feeling today).  So not  only did getting this award make me smile but so did your comments (yet again I thank you).  Sometimes I feel that my non-running friends (aka all my friends in “real life” because I consider y’all my friends too) don’t get it.  And I know they don’t.  So it’s nice to hear from people who understand why I run and why I push myself.  Because I feel like that’s what you guys are doing too.

Anyway I could probably go on and on about how awesome you are (and I know I’ve said all this stuff in the past too) BUT I think it’s important to let you guys know that I draw so much motivation from you.  I know a lot of you say that you get motivation from me but trust me: this is a two way street.  So in the spirit of the award I tag all of you: people who comment here, people who lurk here, people whose blogs I comment on, people whose blogs I lurk on.  Every. Single. One. Of. You.

But enough about the sappiness! And on to running! I hit up the TM this again this morning. It was a pretty hard decision.  The weather was nice and crisp and although there was snow on the ground from last night it didn’ t appear too bad out road-conditions wise.  That said, my ankle was semi-bugging me yesterday (no pain but a bit of stiffness) and I didn’t want to be caught in a situation where I was several miles away from home and in pain.  Sure, pain hasn’t happened yet BUT I didn’t want to chance it. The TM gave me the option to opt out of running if I had to and not have to push through pain or crawl in any attempt to get home.

Plus the TM belt is also a more forgiving surface and I’m going to try and baby my shin for a while.  That said, I’m definitely NOT hopping on that thing for my LR tomorrow. I’ve done LRs on the TM before and, while it’s totally doable, I’m just not going to.  The weather is supposed to be spectacular this weekend (*fingerscrossed*) and I think LRs should be done outside no matter what. Recovery runs, such as today, not so much but the LR is critical to get outside (barring of course extreme weather etc)

I guess also by using the TM I was able to be in close proximity to ice down right after.  Sure I could have walked to the dining hall to get some ice after running on the roads but with such a tight morning schedule I knew that, even though it was a possibility, I was HIGHLY unlikely to do it.  Right by the gym there’s The Cafe and they’ve been really nice about giving me ice when I emerge from the gym every day.  Yes I know that getting ice from them isn’t a big deal but their attitude is nice towards me and I appreciate it.

So that’s why I used the TM (TM guilt much? I talked so much about my justifications haha!).  And, despite my fears of being in excruciating pain from my shin and having to crawl home if I was outside, my shin/ankle didn’t bug me at all (it’s interesting how that area actually feels better when it’s being used and moving about) and I was able to get in a lovely recovery run.  Again, my one beef with staying inside is that it’s hard for me to listen to my body.  Outside there’s a natural cadence to the run and I slow down, speed up without even thinking about it.  On the TM I tend to just plug away at a set pace.  Not that I’m pushing really hard or anything but it’s just harder to be in-tune with the body’s natural pacing mechanisms.

Likely that resulted in a too-fast recovery run: clocking in at a 8:56 pace.  Not out of the world fast, but I know that if I had gone outside the pace would have easily been ~40 seconds slower per mile.  That said, I never felt like I was being pushed or that my legs were too fatigued. Who knows how accurate of a representation that is because I turned on CNN to watch the whole time (sadly the History Channel had a boring special on. Tear!) so I probably was concentrating more on that.

And I’m glad you guys all think that trying to see the trainers here is a good idea. I just feel awkward because I’m not an athlete here so I don’t have a rapport with any of them.  I was discussing this over lunch with my good friend (who I lived with sophomore year and is on the vball team) and she told me to email one of the trainers (she even told me the “nice” one hahaha) and just ask if that was something he’d do.  So I did that and I’m waiting to hear back.  *FingersCrossed* And like a bunch of you said, she even told me that my tuition dollars do go toward the athletics (or at least in theory who knows where the actual money goes!) so that I should be entitled to something.  So we’ll see where that goes. I’ve done as much as I can with it on my end.

And it’s refreshing to see me be proactive and preventative with this (okay so I’m sure that part of it was running in those shoes with a billion miles and running so many miles in general but hey, I’m trying to prevent it from getting worse 😉 ) My MO in the past has just been to grin and bear it.  Okay so I really have never had a real injury ever but in general I tend to let things get to it’s absolute worst before acting.

Okay it’s about 1830 on a Friday, too much writing here! Hahaha. Hope everyone has a great Friday night. I’m going to tackle a bit of work but there’s possibilities of going out tonight so I don’t think I’ll end up being a complete shut-in 😉

March 4, 2010

Funk & Another TM Tempo

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:36

Awww you guys are soooo nice for saying awesome things about my February mileage! Way too kind.  Each of your comments have made me smile 🙂

Which I’ve been needing lately.  I don’t know what it is exactly but I’ve been in a horrible funk.  I hate making excuses but I think that the grueling semester, grueling training schedule and everything life related has practically beaten me down.  I still have some fight in me (hence why I don’t feel like I’m making excuses completely) but man, it is tough to make myself get going and do what I need to do.  Nothing really serious or anything (I’m not staying in bed all day or anything) but it’s just been difficult to motivate myself.

I think it’s that time of the semester AND of training where this is suppose to happen.  School-wise it’s always tough right before spring break (T-9 days!!).  And running wise I need to keep in mind that I’ve been going at this for almost 10 full weeks. I’ve been pushing and going hard every week (I was going to say every day and that might be true even if it’s not physically hard per se).  It’s that point where the actual race isn’t in sight yet BUT I’m so far into the training program that it’s all I can remember.

So while I feel like I just made a bunch of excuses for why I’m in a funk I’m also being proactive in trying to change it by attempting to sleep more, set myself up for success with my quality runs, and making time to watch my favorite shows with my friends. It’s kind of working which is why I said earlier that I have some fight in me.

Another part of my funk is the weather.  It’s being soooo New England lately.  You know the expression “if you don’t like the weather in New England just wait 5 minutes” Pretty basically what’s been going on and I was told today to not discount how that physically makes me feel (ie crappy). It ended up raining/snowing last night so the roads were slick and wet and I really didn’t want to deal with it.  When I woke up this morning I just KNEW that the weather plus my mood was NOT going to allow me to run my tempo run optimally.

So for the 3rd day (out of 4 for March — which I was told by J that it’s the only day that commands you to do something. Think about it) I was on the TM.  As much as I keep saying I don’t mind the TM I can’t do it so frequently! And I’ve been getting some questions about why I don’t use a track and it’s because my school doesn’t have an outdoor track.  Sure we have an outdoor track team but they have drive to some high school or other college to use for track workouts.  Trust me, I’d sooooooo be using a track if I could.

Anyway, despite my blahhh mood (because I’m sure that I could complain about it foreverrrr if I wanted to) I got in a great workout in.  At least I think it was a good workout, my mind was just kind of floating around so I don’t really remember it haha. BUT I was able to feel really good post workout.

  • 3.5 mile warm up
  • 7.1 mile tempo @ 7:19
  • 3.5 mile warm down

Total time: 112 minutes
Total distance: 14.1 miles
Average pace: 7:56

The tempo miles actually flew by.  I set the TM to manual and inputted 52 minutes which I knew would give me slightly more than 7 miles which I was okay with.  This way I didn’t have to keep checking the clock and could just keep running until the belt started to slow down.  Muy Bueno.

I wanted to push the tempo another mile but I didn’t because my body was at the point where it was time to stop.  This point is soooo subjective but I think that over the course of this training I’ve been able to read my body pretty well so I actually said out loud that I didn’ t need to go further and that doing so would be bad because my body had taken everything it needed out of this workout. Plus, like Tuesday, it was also the point where my ankle / shin was making itself known so it was the smart thing to stop and I even iced immediately after the run (yes it’s a plastic baggie surrounded by an ace bandage. I’m a college kid who is not part of a team, hence makeshift ice wrapping):

And I ran into a girl that I know who is on the swim team and she told me to just walk in boldly to the trainer’s office and ask to be seen.  The one catch is that I would probably have to go during odd hours (like in between practices) because I’m not a school athlete. But she said that I’m working just as hard, if not harder, than some school athletes and that they would likely be willing to check me out.  I’m going to try and fit it in but the hours I’d have to go are weird so I’m not sure at the moment if I’d have a class during that time. But I’m trying to be proactive about it even more than I am already.

And as much as I was kind of dreading the run I felt great afterward, like  I really worked hard. I know that if I were to have tried this outside all my mental stuff would have shown so I set myself up for success again like last week.  Now I totally think the best thing is to do tempos outside (I mean races aren’t done of the TM man) but sometimes I think that the mental aspect of running — ie me running on the TM and keeping my spirits up due to my funk — needs to be put before running in conditions.  I think that I’ve run in enough bad conditions to feel prepped for Boston 😛

And check out this giveaway from Marcia!

March 2, 2010

Tuesday Off-ness But Still BAMF

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:29

Hey all. Glad you liked my random facts and my truth vs lie stuff the other day.  I expect to be seeing you guys do it too 😉 And thanks for telling me great it is that I turned my life around.  I guess I don’t tend to think about it like that but I suppose my life could have easily gone a very bad way.  I suppose I don’t give myself enough credit.  So that’s what I count on you for 😛

Today is Tuesday and that means….well you know.

Going into today’s workout I didn’t really feel all that great.  Not exactly sickness or anything.  Just an off-ness. I think there has been a lot of non-running stress in my life right now (that I don’t blog about) that’s just weighing on me.  Couple that with lots of school work, the work itself not necessarily the stress surrounding it (spring break = T-10 days yippee!) and that blah feeling is definitely understandable.  I hate looking forward and wishing time would go faster as it’s my last semester but I’m feeling worn down and totally need the rest it will (hopefully) bring.

Even with that disclaimer I still rocked the workout.  I think that it was really challenging and I definitely nailed it.  My mind wasn’t 100% there though.  Don’t really know where it was but it wasn’t in my stress either. Very good. And since I really liked showing you the picture of my workout like I did last week here it is again:

Pretty intense, no? Here’s the overall rundown because I obviously don’t know how it’s all going down before I step foot on the TM and don’t actually write down the totals because I can easily do it in my head (oh the joy of being really good at math haha):

  • 17.2 miles (TM distance PR hollllleeeeeer)
  • 138.5 minutes
  • 8:02 average pace

Again, not quite sure how I feel about the workout.  I worked hard, felt my heart pumping when it should etc. but I look at the stats and, while impressive, feel like a bit much.  Maybe all you guys telling me I’m doing too much is wearing off on me.  But it’s not like I set out to go so far.  It just happened. And as Amarathoner said recently “I assume this is a good thing as it indicates that I am not “forcing” or junking up the workouts.”

That said by the end of the workout my ankle/shin was starting to bug me so today was right on the edge of too much.  I’ve still been diligent with stretching, strengthening, ibuprofen and *gasp* I’ve been icing (sporadically but the thought is there).  This is the first flare up in almost a week so I’m not too worried.

Another reason I’m not too worried about the length of the run is that Boston is so close. I mean, it is T-48 days (<7 weeks) so the next 4 weeks make up Monster Month.  What better way to kick it off than with today’s intensity? At this point intensity is a given and every mile today did have a purpose.

Although with all the intensity lately I have a toenail that is dangerously close to falling off.  It’s all black and tender now so it could go either way.  I told one of my friends this and she was like “girl you loose soooooo many toes”.  In reality I’ve only lost 2 in my life (and only 1 of them was due to running).  I have had about a dozen or so black toes but they didn’t ever fall off.  But I’m into dramatics so my friends probably think my feet are falling off or something.  I was going to post a picture butttttt I figured I gauged people’s interests before I subjected you to that 🙂

And despite what I said about my mind not really being into it my body was.  Kind of.  The last time I did this workout I did the 1200m @ 7:13 because it was my 10k race pace.  I figured that since I did my mile repeats at that pace 2 weeks ago that I could bump up the pace 0:05.  Not a huge leap but enough to feel a challenge.  And it sort of did.  Maybe not at first but as Lacey has said (and I think Elliot told her)”It’s all about being consistent until the last one” .  Basically I could have gone faster for the first ones but then I would have crashed and burned.  Defeating the whole purpose of the run.

My thinking, though with the 0:05 increase, was that my pace *should* be increasing as I get into better and better shape.  And obviously my theory is appearing to be correct because my body totally handled it.  I debated throwing in another interval but that definitely would have been pushing things too far.  At the end of 7 my legs were tired but not exhausted.  Another one probably would have trashed them.

And I still had hills to do.  The more I tackle these suckers the more confident I’m getting with them.  Heartbreak Hill: Here I come!!  The 8% ones were pretty tough but I knew this from past experience and planned for equal recovery time just because that’s how it’s been going down recently anyway.   I felt at some points I was going to fly off the end of the treadmill (obviously I didn’t. But man, that would make a GREAT story!!)

Speaking of the TM, I got the worst case of TM guilt today.  As you’ve probably figured out I am totally not a TM hater. I even wrote a post about why the TM is useful. That said, I more or less want the weather on the days I’m TM-ing it up to be crappy so I don’t feel like I’m wasting the day.  Not the case today.  It was a high of 47*, sunny and minimal wind.  More like a gentle breeze.  Now, it’s not like  the weather is going to do a 180* on me (well *knockonwood*) but so far the weather forecast is looking like — dare I say it — SPRING.  Mid 40s and sun.  So I plan of getting outside lots.  But still I hate the fact that I was stuck inside because I don’t have access to an outdoor track.  *LESIGH*.  I did have an open window next to me and a very nice breeze but c’est la vie I suppose.

Ohhhhh I just spoke in French which reminds me: “Mesa de espanol” (aka spanish table) might be getting moved to Wednesdays.  Which means I can go!! Currently it’s on Mondays and Mondays = no time to think let alone add another activity.  Fingers crossed this happens (although it’s run by TAs and not the school so it’s muy informal and probably will happen).

Okay so now I need to start all my homework because…it’s LOST!!! Some of my chicas and I are having a Quantum party beforehand buttttttt there may or may not be a stack of work in front of me right now that is calling my name.  I probably should answer.

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday! And I’m almost done with my February totaling and it should be going up tomorrow if I can just do the final rundown calculations.

March 1, 2010

Hello Mr. Sun. Thanks For Showing Up AFTER My Run

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:33

So I’m not going to make you wait to find out which one was the lie from yesterday’s post.  Alright maybe I will, but I want to explain them and maybe tell a story if applicable. No one guessed it right though. If you don’t care then just scroll down and I’ll talk about my run today. 😉

  1. I flirted with wanting to be a writer when I was little and even wrote a book on StoryBookWeaver to send to a publisher (never got sent though) Truth. In fact that computer software was soooo special to me.  Unfortunately it did nothing to help me improve my storytelling abilities.
  2. I went through a huge party girl phase in high school and can’t really remember parts of my sophomore spring and junior fall Truth. I can honestly say that I showed up to my math final sophomore year high (among other things that spring).  Not my proudest moment let me tell you BUT I no longer have a desire to party and get out of control now the way most of my peers do. Luckily it never was really out of control (like some of my friends who now have issues with the stuff) and I was able to keep my life together. No horror stories here.
  3. I failed all my high school physics exams.  Funny because I’m a physics major and tutor now Truth. Lots of people thought this one was the lie.  But I never passed (well I define pass as >C) any of the exams.  I did end up passing the course by the end of the year (so maybe the statement was deceptive) but that was mostly due to getting 100% help on labs and homework from my teacher. Still, I was one of  the “mayors of F city” as my teacher jokingly told me and a couple other students
  4. When I was little I fell and smashed my mouth on a plastic bin which pushed my two front teeth up and back into my gums.  Luckily I was still young enough that it didn’t affect my adult teeth and I have a near perfect smile. LIE.  This actually happened to my youngest sister, although she was old enough that her adult teeth were also in her gums and they are dented a bit from the impact.  It was very scary to watch happen.
  5. Also on an injury note, my brother (who BTW is 10 years younger than me) threw a golf club at me and broke my nose.  I think it looks slightly crooked but people tell me that they wouldn’t have noticed in I hadn’t told them. Truth.  Not much to say about it except I remember my mom telling me that if necessary insurance would cover plastic surgery.  Gee thanks, what a nice thing to say to a teenager mom!
  6. I’ve only been out of the country once (and it was France not anything easy like Canada or Mexico), I’ve never been off the East Coast, and I’ve been out of NE only 4 times. Truth. I’m definitely not well traveled.  I’ve been to France (senior year homestay) once, FL twice, DC once, VA beach once and NY twice.  Something I want to do after graduating is travel if I can afford it.
  7. I was convinced I was going to be an Olympic Gold Medalist in swimming and had mock Olympics every summer in the pond I live on when I was a young’un Truth. The funny thing is that I wasn’t even on a swim team until I was 12.  So I’m not quite sure why I thought I was going to win the gold.  That’s not to say I was a bad swimmer or anything I just had absolutely no experience with anything competitive at that point in my life!

So there you have it.  I actually really liked reminiscing about the past and laughing about it. And I encourage you to do the same! Consider yourself tagged 🙂

Now onto today. I checked the weather forecast last night for this morning and it said “snow” so I figured I can handle snow.  It’s 10000x not as bad as rain.  Now guess what I woke up to this morning? Well it wasn’t exactly pouring out but the skies looked unfriendly so with the memory of last Wednesday’s practically hypothermia inducing run I decided to hit the good old treadmill.  I simply didn’t want to get caught in anything.

Not quite sure I made the right call because every time I looked out the window in the gym it wasn’t raining.  Plus by the time I finished my run the sun was peaking out (WHY HELLO THERE!).  Oh well, I got a great run in and it was very windy out so I know that I wouldn’t have had a productive run.  And with T-49 days (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I want the majority of my runs to be productive.  No sense in getting myself into a mental snit if I can help it. So I guess I did make the right call after all.

I think I have the opposite problem than most people who run on the treadmill: I tend to run faster and get tempted into more miles than I would outdoors. Yes I am a freak.  I think part of it is that I get lulled into my rhythm and before I know it the planned workout is over but I still want more!

This was totally the case today.  Only had 10 planned but since I was running faster than my typical Monday run (8:40 vs 9:40) I tacked on an extra 2.1 miles and ran 12.1 in 105 minutes.  And I got to watch a really good special on the History Channel about Andrew Jackson (I ❤ learning!).  Very interesting man and it made the time fly by. And I’m okay with going faster than normal because Monday is “easy” vs “recovery”.  I did think about how this might impact tomorrow’s intervals but I’m okay with it.  I was never feeling like the pace was too much or anything so I doubt I’ll crash and burn in the intervals (*knocksonwood*)

I did make up for the treadmill-ness this morning because the weather did turn out much lovelier than predicted and I chose to do both my warm up and down outside for my lifting.  It’s funny but I’ve noticed that my warm downs, when they’re outside, mimic the exact pace my early AM runs are.  I thought that since the TM is dictating pace that this wouldn’t be the case today but sure enough my body was primed to go a bit faster.  Interesting.  Even in the dreaded wind.

The lifting was a bit…well I was going to type “eh” but that doesn’t really describe it very well because it wasn’t bad.  Nor was it outstanding.  I forget who suggested this in a comment last week but as Boston draws closer my focus should be more on maintaining the strength I have now.  So no upping weights or anything like that.  I guess that’s going to mean some boring lifting because at this point in the training I don’t want to fiddle around with stuff too much.  That’s not to say the workouts are going to be phoned in but I don’t think I’ll be excited about them from now until after Boston.  I’m totally cool with that though because…BOSTON. Duh.

Oh and Happy March.  Did you remember to say “Rabbit Rabbit” ? I did 🙂 So today = Monday March 1st = new week AND new month.  Awesome.  Plus it means that spring is, oh, less than 3 weeks away (March 20th baby!). Sure we may have snow until April but it’s all about the mentality. Hopefully not.  In like a lion (storms last night)…out like a lamb?  Spring is almost here!!

And I did have a monthly recap for February started but I wasn’t on top of my game this month in terms of recording / calculating things weekly so it might be another day or two simply because I don’t have time to sit down and do the math.  But rest assured that I will be posting it, likely on Wednesday.  I think February was a big month so I’m pretty excited to see what the numbers say.

And check out the giveaway Ada’s having! And Tricia

February 25, 2010

Setting Yourself Up For Success

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:28

Not that failure is a terribly bad thing. I 100% believe that good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment (ie failure at something).

With that said, I’ve been having some bad luck and tough times with my tempo runs as of late.  Yes, they have taught me stuff and sure I know there have been mitigating circumstances (crappy weather, lack of sleep). But it’s still never really nice to have to rationalize or justify (not quite the words I want but close enough) things. Especially when you have my mind set.

So I decided that my tempo today was going to be a success.  Given the crappy, rainy and cold weather that awaited me this morning I knew that it was going to be a TM day.  And since this whole training cycle I have yet to do a tempo on the TM I figured that I was okay.  1 session inside wasn’t going to ruin or take away from the 8 I’ve put in outside.  6 of which were stellar, 1 was great given the conditions and 1 was truly “eh”.  Not bad stats at all.

Basically by switching to the TM I was able to avoid the weather and give my mind a break from having to think and have a chance to doubt myself.  Because, let’s face it, unless you’re doing intervals on the TM (or going from workout to warm down) it’s kind of embarrassing to have to lower the speed.  At least that’s the case for me. So I knew that when I  plugged in my tempo speed, that was that.  No changes. And I didn’t deviate at all from my prescribed workout.

Well maybe I did.  The plan I’m following always has me doing 2 or 3 by XX minutes with some rest in between.  But to me that’s not a tempo.  To me tempo is a continuous effort for 40-60 minutes at a hard pace.  So this is how it went down:

  • 3.5 mile warm up @ 8:34
  • 7 mile tempo (6@ 7:19, 1@ 708)
  • 3.5 mile warm down @ 8:34

Total time: 111 minutes even
Total distance: 14 miles
Average pace: 7:55

My gripe with the TM is that I ALWAYS run my warm up/down faster than I should. I mean outside I would have been warming up roughly a minute slower than inside.  I think my warm down pace is typically around an 8:30 pace or so, just because after running so fast for so long this feels creeping.  But the warm-up today was wicked fast.  Not that it felt uncomfortable at all but it’s just weird that I can run the same effort but a faster pace on the tm.  I’ve been told that it’s usually the other way around for most people and running outside is faster.

But the faster warm up coupled with a FAST tempo made the overall pace drop which is going to be huge when I calculate the weekly pace.  And I can’t say that upsets me. 😛

But the run itself was great.  I threw a towel over the console so I wouldn’t be caught counting down the time until it was over.  I did peak around minute 17 which was about 2.5 miles in or so and then decided not to look again.  Heh.  I made it to 4.6 or so but by then I knew I was more than halfway there and it was all good.

Like usual the first mile or so SUCKED.  It’s just so hard to go from easy to really pushing and, while my body isn’t exactly rebelling, my mind sure is.  But since I was on the TM there was no way in hell I was adjusting my pace.Even though there was maybe 2 other people there with me. Haha.

As a note on the pace: I chose to run today VERY aggressively (and if sweat is any indication then it was VERY times . And no, no pictures.  I thought about it butttttt no. Haha. I figured that I didn’t want to ruin the image you guys have of me because today was much sweatier than Tuesday.  Like I was drenched a mile into the tempo.  I should have brought a change of clothes to the gym heh)  Partly because the past two tempos have been under-performed.  But mostly because I wanted to prove to myself that this was something I was capable of.  The first 6 miles were just off of 10k pace and the last mile was under my 10k pace.  I think this says to me that I have some speed and need to settle a score with the 10k.  I do have a tentative one set up over my spring break but we’ll see if it’s feasible for me to travel there.

But despite the pushed pace I never felt like it was too much.  I’m not sure if I could have gone faster (or at least changed the ratio of 7:19 to 7:08) or longer (well maybe a half mile or so but not much beyond that).  Total signs that I did this tempo correctly.  I wasn’t being bull-headed by going out so strong.  Always a good thing and with me I never know if that’s the case: am I being stupid and trying to just show off or am I running smart.  Looks like today was a smart one.

And being the smart cookie I am, I acted immediately on calling the Sports Med Dept at Children’s Hospital this morning (even though it’s a children’s hospital about half the patients in the sports med dept are adults because all the doctors are have other specialties and are board certified for adults and children).  Just to reiterate because I think this is getting lost with some people: my ankle/shin is NOT AN INJURY.  I’m doing this solely precautionary.  Which is why I’m waiting until my spring break (2 weeks eeeek!) rather than getting in earlier.  That and I can’t take a day off of school unless my foot is actually falling off.  That said, I’m glad that all of you guys think it’s a good choice to see someone.

Speaking of it though, this morning I woke up with very little stiffness/achey-ness.  I suppose some of the credit should be that I started an NSAID routine yesterday and that helped the healing process of my body.  I’m sure that my stretching and alphabets have helped too.  The only thing that hurt when I got up was my calf: it felt like I had gotten a charlie horse overnight! I’m positive I didn’t because I totally would have woken up but it felt amazing to stretch out today.  And as I type this up it feels back to normal.

Oh and another thing that I loved about moving my run to the TM was that I got to put on the History Channel while running.  I normally don’t like putting on the TV while running. For one thing the screen is *way* too close to me and another is that I don’t feel like a “real runner”.  Silly? Yes. But hey, I am a minimalist at heart.  Either way I got to watch a really cool special on the pyramids of Giza.  It was SO . COOL.  Part of me thinks that I should have taken more (read: ANY) history classes while here at school buttttt I don’t think I would have liked being “forced” to learn it.  I like doing it this way 🙂

Another way to success 🙂

And to keep a semi-theme of success I need to hit up the physics and Spanish work so that I can pass my classes? Yes that would be a good thing.  Plus if I get done at a reasonable hour I can drink tonight.  And there’s nothing like drinking and dancing to get a chica motivated to do her work.  Success? I’m getting there 🙂

February 23, 2010

Intervals and Hills. Because It’s Tuesday.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:29

Another sleepless night for me.  Well that’s not true I ended up with about 6 hours.  But 6 =/= 9 which is what my body wants/needs.  Which maybe a bit ridiculous to ask of a college student but hey, the body wants what it wants you know? I mean, I did get A LOT done last night which was great but I actually woke up to my alarm which NEVER happens.  And I was in the middle of a very weird dream where I was at an indoor pool party with Lacey and her entire family.  Kind of like her family reunion and I was a party crasher. Hahah.

I keep meaning to mention this but I was awarded the Sunshine Award by EE and Laura (and maybe someone else but I have a terrible memory and can’t seem to find it looking at old posts in google reader)

And I tag all of you because EVERYONE could use more sunshine in their lives 🙂

Additionally I wanted to cheer more people up too.  Anyone ever heard of Operation Beautiful? If not you can go to their site because I’m sure they have a better description than the one that I’m going to give: people put up post-its telling others how beautiful and awesome they are.  So I did that today at the gym and here’s what I put up and hopefully it’ll brighten lots of people’s days at the gym (and I just realized I spelled independent wrong! Oops, I feel embarrassed)

And on to today for me.  I have a love/hate relationship with Tuesdays.  Obviously I love that I only have one 50 minute class.  But I hate that it’s at 0830 (when I’d rather be running).  I love running fast and getting that BAMF feeling after an interval workout.  But I hate that I’m scared of them.

Rather than type out my workout for you I figured I’d take advantage of my new camera and snap a pic of the workout.  I take sheets of yellow memo paper and write out my workout the night before.  I don’t know how well you can see but the stuff in black is the prescribed workout, or at least the template.  The pencil marking are calculations (like distance, pace, time etc) and the Red is what actually goes down:

So before I jump into how I felt over this workout I want to do a shin update (which the discomfort is right where the shin meets the ankle for those of you who have asked) because last night I was really worried about it.  Not anything specific per se like “OMFG I’m in pain” but rather “How is this going to affect my intervals? My hills? My tempo? The next 8 weeks?”

You see, I’m never quite sure when it’s appropriate to back off of running and when it’s okay to push through with regards to pain.  I have a VERY high tolerance to pain: I never even took OTC painkillers after getting my wisdom teeth extracted.  In fact I was eating solid food within hours and out doing intervals the very next day.  So I guess the questions on my mind were more of the natural of if I *should* run rather than if I was *capable* of running.

I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up pain free this morning.  And I do want to clarify that I was never in pain well maybe I was with my high tolerance but it was never real pain for me. Now that’s not to say the discomfort wasn’t there after walking around a bit but I think the “alphabet” exercises and the stretching of my calf made a world of difference.  Funny how I never would have thought to stretch my calf but thanks BostonRunner for the tip!

Even so I was mildly worried that my shin was going to snap in two trying to do the workout above.  Not because of anything real but just because my imagination loves to run wild on me like that.  I did tell myself that if after the warmup I was feeling uncomfortable I could bag it.  Clearly, because you have seen the picture, I didn’t and my shin discomfort was very minor the whole time, mostly though between the intervals and re-starting with the hills.

I think that because I went into this workout with a “let’s see what happens” attitude that it went better than it otherwise would have because there was no real pressure.  Last week’s session I felt like I was at the end of the TM belt the whole time struggling to run in a straight line and this week I felt good with the paces maybe a bit too easy for the 800m and 600m, although the 200m pace was a bit tough by the end.  I might have to re-evaluate what 10k pace means.  I’m 99.99% sure I’m doing a St. Patty’s Day 10k so that would be a good test. I thought about going for 4 sets but by the end of the 3rd my legs were happy enough so I made a bathroom break and then reloaded for the hills.

Okay so as much as I’d love to say that the hills were great this week…well they were after the fact but man, they were TOUGH.  I upped the pace I typically do them at to my current MP (~820) and that combined with an annoyed shin made for a long session.  I’m sure here was the point where I should have said “I’m done” but I had come so far into the workout that I felt compelled to finish.  Again, I wasn’t in pain but my shin/ankle did let it be known that it didn’t like the hills too much. When I was done with the hills though it was such a euphoric experience.  I felt like I had just beasted it.  Not only did I do some challenging hill work but I did it at a BQ pace.  Very positive.  I’d like to work that down to GMP but I’m right where I need to be at the moment.  A very validating feeling.

So with that said I felt like such a champ when I was through.  Today was a TOUGH workout.  And as much as I complained about my shin I do want to re-iterate that it’s NOT an injury (at least at this point) but just a nagging ache that I need to watch. The ache comes and goes and right now I’m in no discomfort but that might change though when I try to get up as I’ve been sitting for awhile now.

I’ll leave you with another picture, this one of me when I was done the workout.  Please excuse the crazy eyes but I did just finish a stellar workout.  And the monster hands.  Are my hands really that big? I think it’s just the way the camera was angled. Sadly I don’t think you can see it very well in the picture but my entire tank top is drenched in sweat.  But that’s what you get I guess. Oops, I don’t think I wrote down the final stats of the run so here they are as well:

  • 16.5 miles
  • 134 minutes
  • 8:07 average pace

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday.  I’m trying to work like a mad-woman because tonight is LOST and I soooo badly want to watch it live!!

Oh and also as I got some comments about the weather yesterday: 45* in February is AMAZING weather.  We’ve definitely gotten down to the single digits before and probably an overnight low in the negatives.  It always amazes me how relative weather is because I know some of you have MUCH worse winters and others think that 45* is worth bundling up for.  And still no sign of the rain/snow that was predicted.  Hopefully it stays that way! Unlikely but I can hope 🙂

February 16, 2010

Working Hard

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:44

So I woke up this morning to snow.  Not the biggest deal ever for two reasons: Numero uno, nothing was sticking so there was going to be no accumulation (yup I am that New Englander who hates the snow. At least when I’m on campus and have to travel through it).  Numero dos: I didn’t have to worry about crappy ass drivers hitting me on my run because it’s Interval/Hill Tuesday, aka all the miles on the TM.

As much as I dread intervals and hill work I get a sick perverse pleasure writing out my workout Monday night.  Like it’s probably unhealthy how much I like it.  Oh well.  Guess I could be shooting up drugs in the bathroom to get that kind of rush so in the grand scheme of things my pleasures are tame.

Anyway before I get into the meaty-ness of my workout I want to say that I think I’ve been working wayyyy too hard on physics lately.  Now I am being productive and there hasn’t been any sort of frustration / meltdown but last night I had a dream that involved bras and kets (yes those are the real physics terms) and I was solving problems involving them in my sleep.  Too bad none of the answers to my problem sets were in there.

So clearly my workouts are a nice mental break from all that (as is speaking languages which today I stopped by the French TAs office hours to chat and it was soooo amazing!).  My plan only called for 4 X 1600 with 3 minutes recovery but, as usual, me being me had to go and change it all up.  So here’s what went down:

  • 2 mile warm up
  • 5 X 1600 @ 10k pace (7:08) with 3 minutes .4 mile recovery jog
  • 1 mile warm down

5 minute bathroom / water break

  • .5 mile re-warm up
  • 3 X [.5 mile hills @ 5%] with .25 mile recovery (at .5%)
  • 2 X [ 90 seconds @ 8%] with 90 seconds recovery (at .5%)
  • 1 X [.5 mile hills @ 5%] with .25 mile recovery (at .5%)
  • 2 mile warm down

Total time: 133 minutes
Total distance: 16.3 miles
Average pace: 8:10 (Interval portion: 7:53, Hills portion: 8:35)

First thought when I was done? Man am I glad that’s done.  When I walked into the gym I didn’t know if I really wanted to complete the workout.  It just seemed very scary today.  It’s not that much different than weeks past but very intimidating nonetheless.  Maybe it was the hill portion, like usual.

The mile repeats were tough.  Funny because when I was doing my 2000m repeats (which is like 1.25 miles) I felt great and I remember writing something about how longer intervals are nicer because I could get into my rhythm and showed what a distance person I am.  Not so much the case here.  Normally I think the TM keeps me really honest about the pace (because once I plug it in I feel like a pansy for lowering it during a repeat) but I was all over the belt today.  Side to side, front to back.  Craziness I tell you.  Luckily a really interesting documentary on the Blizzard of ’77/’78 was on the History Channel and I was able to get into it.

But I gutted it out and felt really good after the last one.  Well maybe not really good in the sense of banging out a few more (definitely would NOT have been able to) but it was a good solid workout nonetheless.  I hopped off the TM for a short water break (I was sweating soooooooooooo much!!) and then went for round 2.

Since the last time I did hills I did a bit of research into what type of hills I’m going to see at Boston.  I’ve been really worried that it’s all going to be STEEP and LONG.  Well I’ve been right about the long part (it seems that roughly the hills are .4-.6 miles long — at least the uphill parts) but I haven’t been too impressed with the grade.  The chart I was looking at didn’t indicate that there was anything much steeper than 4.5-5%.

Which is why I included more of the half-miles at 5% rather than my favs the 90 seconds at high grade this week (they just seem soooo much easier!) And maybe I had just been mentally psyching myself out over them but they didn’t seem too bad.  Of course I did only 3 before switching to 2 shorter once and then coming back for the last one.  Even though I like my even numbers (with 4 being the lucky one) 3 just seemed to be more manageable mentally for me.  Next week I’ll probably put the 4 together like I did for the first few weeks of training but I definitely remember those hills to be hard. Today after 2 I knew that my body only had to go through one more before switching it up but those other weeks after 2 it was like “only halfway there?! $%#%#$%”

I obviously ended up sweating up a freaking storm with this workout.  I never drink water during workouts (probably so bad but whatever) and I totally needed to today.  I think I was getting a bit dehydrated because during that water break I felt a bit lightheaded.  Nothing serious but I needed to take a moment and hit up the water fountain and re-group.  But when I was done I was feeling on top of the world!(And note: even though today’s run was 16.3 miles — clearly a lot — it was the exact same distance as last Tuesday so I’m still under what I was at this point last week)

Not to be confused with a run where everything just clicks.  I think I tend to talk about my runs very analytically, which is totally my sciencey brain coming through, and it probably leads many of you to think that I end most of my workouts feeling bamf like it was a stellar run (I will admit that I do feel bamf regardless of my feelings during the run).

Not so as today’s run was HARD.  I think I already mentioned it but when I started I was definitely overwhelmed by what I wanted to accomplish. Granted, the hardest part of any workout is the start, but I wasn’t really looking forward to the run and during it I was a bit bored.  Or at least not as attentive to being “on” is a better way of putting.  I guess it’s hard to describe the difference in words but I think that my weaving on the TM belt was one way that showed my mind wasn’t really engrossed.

Again, it’s not as though I hated it (I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t love it) but because I have a specific race already signed up for and a specific goal already planned for it I feel like running is on the “to-do” list.  It’s such a hard thing to describe though and I could probably write pages on it trying to find the right words. I think a lot of you get it though: running being both a want-to and a have-to.  So I’ll leave it at that. But I just wanted to clarify that I’m not some superhero chica who flies through workouts unfazed (as much as I would love to be!). Today was a day that seemed to faze me.

Okey-dokey atrichokey: after I hit publish (and WOOT to post #300!!) I’m off to go finish lots of homework.  And then watch LOST.  Because a girl needs her hot boy toys. And clearly with guns  🙂

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