MarathonMaiden's Blog

June 30, 2010

Oops! I Did It Again

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

My homegirl.

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

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

This is what I really meant

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

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

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

Run 1:

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

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

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

Go me.

Run 2

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

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

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

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

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

Run 3

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

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

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

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

Total for the day

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

Great day.

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

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

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

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

June 17, 2010

Mid-Week 20 Miler? Check. Well Sort Of

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

Conversation while I was studying at a friend’s house last night

Me: Yay another 100% on my quiz.
Friend: See? You’re pretty good at this electromagnetism stuff.
Me: It must be because I’m so attractive.

Okay so that was funnier in the moment I guess.

Something that wasn’t so funny in the moment but later (like a split second later)?  I think I forgot to mention this but when I went out with my friends last time (which was sooooo effing long ago. Damn you MCAT!) we went to a dive bar in the town next to us and who walks in? Yeah my dad.  It actually wasn’t as bad or as awkward as you’d imagine.  I think because I’m…(gulp) 23 years old and just, you know, graduated college my dad kind of expects that I go out.  But I won’t lie: seeing him walk through the door made my heart drop for a minute. I suppose I should have known to expect it when 1) the town you’re going to is where your dad lives and 2) the bar is owned by your dad’s friend.  Don’t know why I was reminded of that today but there’s a nice random story for you.

Moving along…

It was interesting reading your reactions to my…well I’m not going to call it coaching because I realized that I don’t want it to be like that.  Kristin summed it up best:  “an older, kick-butt runner gal cheering me on and asking how my training was going.”  I’m sure the mom was doing a bit of helicoptering when she initially talked to me so I’m going to call (or possibly be called) later this week and chat with the girl.  Many of you said to keep it low pressure and I was thinking a run or two a week, no more than 3 miles.  This way there’s no real commitment on either of our ends. Even if I was willing to do more than just be a role model I just can’t devote any time to stuff other than studying.   So thanks for all the advice and feedback 🙂

You know how I mentioned that I wanted to do a 20 miler, but split up over 3 runs? Well I was honest with you that once I put an idea out there I will follow through.  And I figured what better day than Wednesday? I knew that Thursday it couldn’t happen because of my class, Friday I wanted to get a weight session in which would cram those miles into 2 runs and if I waited until the weekend then I’d get pretty antsy and it would be all I would think about until then.

Therefore I bounded out of bed on Wednesday morning (after staying up far too late — but finishing! — The Lost Symbol) ready to tackle round 1 of the day.

0815 run: Sluggish. Ugh. I knew that my legs were just working out the morning kinks and that no matter what an 0800 run is going to suck for the first mile or so.  Even armed with that knowledge it’s not very nice mentally to know that run 1 of 3 and the first miles out of 20 are going to be lethargic.  Still I was only going to run 5.3 due to this fact but I perked up a bit and extended it to 7.   I figured that putting more miles in the morning would be easier by the time run 3 came along and it was the end of the day.  The weather likely helped in this decision: it got chilly last night so I was running in ~60* so tacking on the extra 1.7 felt comfortable.

Run 1:

  • 0815
  • 7 miles
  • 62:39 minutes
  • 8:57 pace

1200 run: My noon runs are always my favorites buttttt they always tend to get procrastinated on, at least the timing for when I leave the house as I’m usually knee deep in MCAT work.  But after 3 or 4 hours of studying I need the break.  I don’t really have much to say about this run except that, like most of my runs as of late, I negative split-ed it.  It was taken as more of a progression run and I always feel great toward the end of these runs.  I could just keep going and going.  Of course my study materials keep calling my name so I can’t but I want to.  It’s always a Last Mile Party a la Jess.

The initial plan for this run was 7-8 but around mile 6 I figured, like I did with the first run, that since I was feeling good I could extend it to 9 and make my life a little easier mentally when I headed out for run 3.  I’m really happy with the decision as I really was feeling good and ran the last mile really close to 8 pace.

I even got to wear my snazzy sunglasses (sorry for no picture) that make me feel like an elite runner.  Couple that with “fancier” shorts (read: not basketball ones) and I really feel special.  I don’t always wear the shades because…well let’s just say I’m vain enough to worry about tan lines.  So I’d rather suffer and squint.  Oops.

Run 2:

  • 1200
  • 9 miles
  • 78:59 minutes
  • 8:47 pace

1700 run: I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before but my house is at the bottom of a hill.  Legit bottom too.  So every run starts with uphill.  Not even 10 feet of flat to go before going up.  Normally not a problem buttttt not exactly what I wanted after putting in 16 miles on the day.  Sure going straight down at the end of a run is AWESOME but to start? Yeah not so much.

It was drizzling a bit when I left my house and I was really hoping for the rain to hold off.  I get kind of pissy sometimes in the rain.  Of course sometimes I really love it but I had the feeling this wouldn’t be one of them.  Luckily actual rain never materialized.  I don’t really have any straight-up even 4 routes so I chose my 4.2 route (an out-and-back) and then was feeling good so I tacked on some side streets to make it 5.  The first half was pretty easy and net downhill but going up a particular hill was a bit rough on the way back.  But whatever, besides that blip I was feeling good.  And it was a really great feeling to come blazing down that hill after putting in a grand total of 21 miles.

Run 3:

  • 1700
  • 5 miles
  • 43:53 minutes
  • 8:46 pace

I love how my last run of the day was also the fastest (albeit by 1 second per mile).  I think that my legs were warmed up and rarin’ to go.  Of course the time of day probably played a role.  I know that I run the fastest (or maybe the easiest effort for the same pace is the best way to put it?) between 1500-1800.  I just like running earlier.  Guess that’s just a trade-off.  Stupid circadian rhythms 🙂

Total for day:

  • 21 miles
  • 3 hours 5 minutes 31 seconds
  • 8:50 pace

I definitely don’t feel like I ran 21 miles (both yesterday and this morning).  I think the breaks between each one were enough to get food in me and put up my legs (while I studied ugh) and keep my legs from being beat up and totally depleted.  I really only felt it at the very beginning of a new run and I don’t know how much of it was tiredness from the previous one or just inertia holding me back.

Today will be easier.  Yes I’m going to run.  But only a single.  Partly because I’m assuming the “damage” to my tissues is the same overall regardless of how well I recovered in between runs and partly because I don’t have time to run more. And because if I run more then my food bill will likely exceed the national debt.

Just a note about food (I know this is a really long post. Sorry!): I really should have paid better attention to eating enough throughout the day.  I never went hungry and totally ate enough to fuel my running, but after dinner I realized that, for the amount I ran, I definitely didn’t eat enough and, consequently, tried to at least make up for some of it so I’m not a ravenous beast today.  Let’s just say that the stomach really isn’t all that expandable.  And luckily I have ample ginger ale 🙂

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