more on running, projects, and (failed) pizza

November 11, 2010

good morning

looks like some nice conditions for a tempo run! i will be bringing the pager (well, my phone with the pager signed over to it) outside and crossing my fingers that no one has a diabetic emergency during the fast section.

i know i have some new readers after the lovely meghann posted my little guest piece on her blog earlier this week. so i thought perhaps i’d do a mini Q&A to answer the most common questions i receive about running these days.

so why are you training for a 5K? aren’t you more the marathon type?
if by marathon type you mean “no natural speed yet frightfully determined and persistent” — yeah, pretty much. and as odd as it may sound (to non-marathon lovers!) i truly miss the longer runs that go with marathon training! there is something magical about getting out there for an extended period of time and conquering real distance.

i’ve run 4 marathons. but i can’t do them all of the time! they are time consuming (especially the way i like to train for them) and i have been injured enough that i consider them risky. i will definitely tackle the distance again, but the timing has to be just right.

well, why ISN’T the time right?
as i have written about before, we are working on starting a family. without going into specifics, this process is not quite as easy-peasy for me as it is for some others. i wonder about the effects of super long runs on fertility (not long-term, just while doing heavy training), and it just doesn’t seem worth it to me when i know i might end up abandoning the training plan if when we succeed!

how does the training differ?
if i were REALLY trying to pick it up hard-core, i would be doing lots of speedwork in shorter bursts, which is different from the long tempos and 800m-mile intervals that go with marathon training. i think that training shorter races like the 5K can be just as challenging and effective from a fitness standpoint than a long race. it’s not about training just to run 3.1 miles; it’s training to run the fastest 3.1 miles possible at that time (at least, that’s how i see it!). and i still get to incorporate my favorite: the long run! it’s just that long is 8-10 miles instead of 15-20.

what are your goals?
for this 5K, i don’t have any lofty goals of a PR (i set my PR of 22:52 in march of this year, and am not nearly as fast right now). i just want to enjoy training and feel strong in the race! if i can get under 24, that would be nice.

long-term, i still would really love to qualify for boston, and i know josh does too.

how did you fit in training with medical school/residency!?
this is the most common question that i get, often from pre-meds worried about how they will be able to fit workouts into the busy medical training years. my advice?

★ don’t listen to anyone else say they can’t or couldn’t do it. everyone is different, after all! in medical school during the classroom years, fitting in a workout can be truly mind-clearing after all of that sitting/note-taking frenzy. and in residency, you can use it to wake you up post-call (although now with call going by the wayside, this strategy may become obsolete).

★ PLAN FOR IT. look at your week as a whole and decide where workouts fit (i promise, you can squeeze in something — even if it’s just a 20 minute power run — somewhere).

★ embrace the morning. try it! i never thought i was a morning exerciser until residency, but now i’ll never go back. you are much less likely to get derailed by some change in your day or new demand in the early AM compared to after work — and if you’re like me, your energy levels are 50 times better as well.

for more info (training plans, marathon nutrition, apparel, gadgets), visit the run page.

big project report
i had written before about procrastination and my issues surrounding big projects. i am happy to report that so far the GIANT project of my grant proposal has been going fairly well. i have been breaking things up and giving myself daily assignments:

each day’s tasks are chosen to be finite and manageable. and it’s funny how allowing myself to write true drafts (with time built in for editing/revisiting later) has made it so much easier for words to flow onto the page. this monthly view keeps me on track by reminding me of exactly what is left to do:

motivating because i don’t want to be left behind!

okay, i’ve written a novel this morning and it’s finally light enough to head out. don’t forget about the space 24 giveaway in yesterday’s post! it looks like a lot of you are excited about that planner, and i love hearing everyone’s big plans for next year.



workout: 35 minutes elliptical + weights
— 2 x 12 pushups
— 2 x 12 bicep curls (12 lbs)
— 2 x 10 tricep dips (body weight)
— 2 x 12 squats with 10 lbs weights
— 2 x 12 walking double lunges 8 lbs each
— 2 x 12 hamstring curls on ball

real simple fail:

it wasn’t the recipe‘s fault. it is that i have so much trouble with store-bought pizza dough! when i’ve made my own, things have worked out fine. but i can never stretch out the bought dough properly and i always end up with some sort of a puffy mess. furthermore, i didn’t buy the right kind of brie (i picked st. andre which now i know i don’t really like!) and it just melted into a puddle in the center of the pie.

oh well, you can’t win ’em all. onward and upward!


  • Reply Kim March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    some people think that running a 5k all out is a lot tougher than running a marathon, ya know? (i guess elites might be the exception….?) as for becoming pregnant, i wish you luck. you just gotta think positive: it will happen. your kids will have some seriously smart parents!!

  • Reply Lin March 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    I&#39ve definitely had many pizza fails lol. The worst one by far was during my senior year- I got food poisoning from it. Couldn&#39t go to class for 2 days!

  • Reply Anonymous March 10, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    i wonder a lot if the heavy training i&#39m doing will impact my fertility in the future. not that i&#39m planning on having kids *now* or anything but i know that marathon training (or training in general the way i do) places huge stress on my body.

    and failed pizza = pizza. yum 🙂

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