Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Friday, March 27, 2009

paranoia runs deep

The week before a big race I am more aware of my body than any other time. I am tuned into every twinge and creak, fearing that I will break down, right when I want to run most . This week it was my foot that was setting my alarm flags off. I've had on and off foot problems and never done anything about them. I've just run through them and eventually they've gone away. This week when I put pressure on my foot it was rolling outward, forcing me to walk on the edge of my foot. If I tried to put my foot down flat, I felt a sharp pain in my foot up through my ankle. Nothing horrible, but I can't only imagine how that little pain might turn into a big pain after 20 miles. I limited myself to running 3 days, and tried to elliptical. This morning, it actually felt pretty good.

But, I was also running on angry adrenaline, thanks to a mix-up with my application to a graduate program. I sent the application in October and haven't heard a word, so I thought I was all set. Then, yesterday at 5 pm, I get an e-mail saying that my application is incomplete, and they are making final decisions tomorrow. There was nothing I could do about it last night, but I woke up at 4 this morning in a panic about it. I went for what I think was a fast run (my Nike i-pod plus is broken so I don't know for sure), and then tried to round up all the materials that I know I already sent. But it was probably all for nothing, as I don't think they'll have everything in time. Now, I'm just hoping that at least got my bad luck out of the way for the week, and my foot will hold-out for the Eastern States 20 miler Sunday.

Monday, March 23, 2009

sicky sick

So in addition to the aches and pains I mentioned on Friday, now I have a cold too. Last week when everyone in my office was sick, I was feeling pretty smug. Then Friday morning my throat hurt a little, and by the time I got home from work I was exhausted, and very stuffy. I couldn't face the drive to NH, so I decided to stay home and sack out on the couch. I've found massive amounts of sleep more effective than any other remedy. I was alseep by 9 on Friday and slept until 8 the next morning. I went to an easy class at the gym, just to do something, then spent the rest of the day doing all the errands I've been putting off. After spending most of Saturday (which was a lovely day) in the waiting room at the Honda dealership and then at Sears, I needed to be outside Sunday. I couldn't roundup any ski buddies so I decided to go at it alone. I went to Ragged Mountain, which is close and cheap. But it's also a little small, so I got kinda bored. Plus around 2 it started to snow like crazy, and was extremely windy. Happy Spring! So, I called it a short day and headed home. I went to bed really early again, and hoped to be feeling better this morning. However, my run indicated that I'm still sick. I wanted to do my 7 mile loop, that I haven't done since last year to see if I'm any faster. I felt like I was really pushing it, and I thought I was doing at least 9 minute miles. I finished 6.7 miles in 1:09: I felt like I was going to throw up, I couldn't stop coughing, and my legs hurt. 6 days till the 20 miler and I need to be better.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I'm sitting at work and my legs are aching the way they used to. Basically my bones from my ankle to my knees feel like they are spontaneously splintering as I sit here. And this is after I iced for an hour last night. Really, I'm just surprised it took this long to start hurting. I've been running a ton, and continuing to go to several very high impact step and kickboxing classes. Once I'm in the class I just can't help myself from doing the hardest option, even if that involves relentless pounding.
I refuse to run less, so here's the plan. This weekend- no running, I'll be in NH so I can ski instead. New shoes- and I won't feel guilty for spending $30 more on the new pink Asics Gel Nimbus 10, instead of getting the clearance orange 9s. Ice- I've just got to be more consistent. Less impact outside of running- luckily, or unluckily, I have a quite a few work trips coming up, so I won't be able to go to night classes at the gym.

Monday, March 16, 2009


So my "rest" days after my long run turned into a 25 mile bike ride yesterday (it was just so nice out) and a fairly hard effort 5.5 mile run this morning (I lost track of time, then realized I was late for work)..........

Sunday, March 15, 2009

19.45 and good to go

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling pretty anxious. I was meeting a new running partner and going for my longest run to date. I had spent about an hour at REI the night before looking and goo and other energy products. I had tried sport beans before and really liked the taste, but wanted to try something else as well. But, as is my tendency, I wanted everything, so I got a little of everything! Some gels, some shot blocks, and some sport beans. Before the run, I had 2 cups of coffee and big bowl of cereal (frosted mini wheats, kashi go lean, and special K- again I like to have it all, I can never just have one type).
The running partner worked out perfectly. She got an in to Boston at the last minute and is also trying to do some catch-up. She was a little faster at the start, but after the first hour we were both comfortable with the speed. I couldn't believe how fast 3 hours passed! I stopped at about 75 minutes for a quick walk break, and a gel, which I had no problems with. Then we just get kept chugging. It was a bright, warm, sunny day and I had my first run of the spring in a t-shirt.
The only tough part came at the end. We planned a straight run to Concord, where we were going to meet friends for lunch. Except we got there so much faster than I thought we would. So we had about 45 minutes more of running to kill. I still felt pretty good, but it was just hard to keep running loops, and passing our cafe over and over! But, I was so determined to make it to 3 hours, and I did. The final mileage was 19.45, which is a 9:15 pace. I was shocked! I thought that we would maybe do 16 in that 3 hours. Either my nike i-pod plus is totally off, or I can actually do this!

Friday, March 13, 2009

And now I feel guilty about running

So I started the week feeling bad because I felt like I wasn't running enough. Now I feel bad because I think I'm doing too much. This week I ended up running everyday since Monday. Tuesday I did 9.5, Wednesday 7, Thursday 7, and today 6. Oh and Monday night I went to pilates, Tuesday to a step class, and last night to an intense step/weight interval class. Then, I was really sick at night, and spent a couple hours throwing up. When my alarm went off this morning, I was exhausted and felt pretty empty and weak. But, I still dragged myself out of bed and into the dark cold morning. I don't really ever give myself an option not to. The alarm goes off and I'm up. Then, if I run less than an hour, I feel like it wasn't really a work-out. This morning, I made myself stop at 45 minutes, because tomorrow I have 16-17 miles planned with a new running friend. I think that this really is going to be a challenge for me. Not just the long runs, which are hard for everyone, but also making myself slow down and break afterwards to let myself recover. The only day off I can even remember was about a month ago when I was stuck in an airport for an entire day and I was going nuts. I walked laps around the airport like a person possessed. Being physicially confined was the only thing that could stop me. I may need to invest in a straight jacket.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I finally went running!

So for the first time since I made this crazy decision, I actually went running. I normally go to a kickboxing class on Tuesday morning, but I felt like I needed to get some running in. Weather kept me inside yesterday, and the forcast for tomorrow is equally as bad, so today was the day. I just couldn't bring myself to set my alarm for earlier than 6, since 6 feels like 5 this week, so I only had time for an 80 minute run. I still find it slightly crazy that 80 minutes is a short long run now. 80 minutes used to be my longest run. It was pretty dark when I started, which make navigation a challenge since we had a sleet and snow yesterday. Luckily most of sidewalk was just crunchy snow. It was a slight challenge, but nothing like the deep snow, and sheer ice I've had to contend with most of the this weekend. It was also about 28, which for me is the perfect running temperature.

As usual, it took me about 20 minutes to start feeling good. I prefer to sleep till the last minute rather than give myself any time to warm up. I wake up, shove some gummy bears or jelly beans in mouth so I have something in my system, throw on my clothes, pop in my contacts and I'm out the door in less than 10 minutes. Once I was warmed up I felt pretty good. I chugged along at a solid 9 minute mile, listening to phedippidations, and even felt good enough to push the pace for the last couple miles. I wanted to keep going, but I had work, and I should try to save something for a real long run this weekend.

Monday, March 9, 2009

lots of skiing..... zero running

Fantastic weekend, but the amount of running I did was zero. However, I spent about 10 hours skiing and am tired and sunburned to prove it.

Saturday I met a group of people at Gunstock Nordic in New Hampshire. It's a casual group and it tends to be different people every time. Saturday I ended up skiing with 2 women around my age, one is a marathoner and one is a triathlete. So, although they are fairly new to skiing, they are both in great shape so we kept up a good pace. Also, I did a lot of arm work at the gym Thursday night, and x-c skiing really works your arms. Especially since it was so warm, and the snow was thick and slushy. On the last few hills, I felt like my arm were spaghetti and my heels were on fire. No matter what I do my boots give me horrible blisters. I've tried different socks, no socks, band-aids, duct tape. So 4 hours is pretty much my limit.

Sunday my sister and I went down-hill skiing. Because of daylight savings, we didn't get on the mountain till about 10. But we made up for lost time by not stopping the entire day, except for a quick 15 minutes to shove down lunch. It was just an incredible day- so warm and sunny that today my face is bright pink. Again, the snow was pretty thick and slushy, but I like to think of it as a good quad work-out. Between the heavy snow, the non-stop pace, and some time in the terrain park on jumps and the half-pipe, my quads were burned by 4:30.

So great weekend, but no running. On the one hand, I know I got in two solid work-outs, that are much less impact on my poor stress fracture prone body and I had a ton of fun. On the other hand, I know that running is running and skiing is skiing, and in order to run a marathon I need to run. Which I didn't do this morning either. I was planning to drag my self out of bed super early and try to get in 10 miles. But, when my alarm went off in the darkness, I could hear the sleet and hail outside. I just couldn't do it and went to the gym. So here I am, sunburned, back in my desk chair, and feeling slightly guilty.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Decision Made..... I think

I've been running for about 7 years, and the marathon has always been in the back of my mind. But there was always some reason why I didn't do one: after years of gymnastics I have a lot of lingering injuries, I like to workout every day and am not good about allowing myself any rest, I like to bike and ski on weekends and can't bring myself to get up at 4 am to do a long run before work, blah blah blah. But this year, I have decided (pretty much anyway) that I'm finally going to do it. And I'm going to do it soon. There are several reasons for this.

First, being the adventure seeker that I am, I signed myself up for the 2010 Antarctica marathon. I had to sign up last year because it fills up so fast, and at that point it seemed light-years ahead. I figured I would have plenty of time to do a couple marathons before. Only now, it's a year away. Because of my tendency to get hurt, I don't want to risk running a late fall marathon and not be able to run Antarctica. I also hate the heat. If it's over 70, I am not a happy runner. So a summer/early fall marathon is out. That leaves me with a late spring marathon. The May 3rd, Cox Providence Marathon to be exact.

I alternate between thinking this is totally manageable (I have been regularly running 30 miles a week, and have built my long runs up to 15-16 miles) and thinking that I will be totally unprepared. But, I think I need to go for it. Otherwise the marathon will continue to float in my future like a mirage in the desert.

Also, I'm quickly approaching my 25th birthday, which is not that old. But it represents a point in your life when you should have your life completely together. At the surface level I do. I graduated from college, got a great job at a medical software company where I've been promoted twice in two years, and am taking grad school classes on-line. I'm not in debt, I'm self sufficient. I look like I know what I want. The only problem is that I don't. I never pictured myself with a 9-5 desk job. Some days I think I could do this for the rest of my life. Other days, the idea of sitting in this cube for another year makes me want to cry. I've applied to grad schools full time, but the idea of walking away from financial security terrifies me. I've let myself settle too soon. I used to be a dreamer, a do-er. Now, I run, go to work, go to the gym, and come home and watch TV.

So to jolt me out of my rut before it is too late, I am going to run 26 miles to celebrate 25 years and hence the blog, 26 for 25. So come along for the ride, and see if I can not only do this, but do it well.