Thursday, January 31, 2013


I have done this workout twice, both times it won. I call it monster, but maybe one day I'll call it my b*tch.  


Let's figure out your paces first. Go to McMillan Running Calculator, type in your current PR and goal for the event you're training for, then look at Training Paces and select "Speedster" or "Endurance Monster" (you know which one you are, if not...go with what you're training for. 10K or over is EM, 10K or under is S.) 

Warm up 2 miles to the track. 
1 mile: Speed Pace 
         off the track for 2 miles at Stamina > Steady State pace
1200: Speed Pace
         off the track for 2 miles at Stamina > Steady State pace
800: Speed Pace
         off the track for 2 miles at Stamina > Steady State pace
400: Speed Pace
Warm down 2 miles.

*Note: there is NO rest*


I'm a true Endurance Monster. My legs have 0 turnover. Loppers. Which can get me down. Like my coach gave me a 4:00 for my 1200, but I hit it in 4:06... which is okay when I look at the McMillan paces (4:01 - 4:13). But I still have a hard time not beating myself up for not hitting 4:00. And after that beast, I was supposed to finish with a :73 400. Ha! :77 was my puke zone. 

Right after the workout, I was really down. I had only hit the mile on the head. I had one of those moments in the rain on the track alone where I question what the hell I'm doing here. I feel like I'm putting all the work in, and yet 6 weeks later this workout isn't much easier.

I slept on that feeling (not before writing my coach a borderline whiny bitch email unfortunately) and this morning woke up with a new perspective. And some Pros of the Monster. 
  1. My recovery was much better this time. Like night and day. 
  2. The effort of the workout was easier, even though my baby giraffe legs can't turn over fast enough on the oval to hit the 1200 in 4:00 and there were wimpy little baby tears after my 800.  
  3. I know exactly what I need to work on. That workout strips it down and leaves me knowing exactly what will break in a race. Luckily that wasn't a race. It was a workout, so now I have a list of things to improve. And I have time to complete the list.
  4. I effing did it. Alone. In the rain. And I will do the work again. Again. Again. Until I'm faster. 
because it's all about making this day faster... #raceday
Ever done this workout before? What's your Monster? 

Friday, January 11, 2013

oiselle bird heads east

As mentioned in my 1am pondering post, I am headed to New England! Delta redeye from Seattle to Rhode Island. I'll be visiting running stores and showing the fall 2013 line with Anne, otherwise known as Mama MacKay.

I'd love to run or have coffee ... meet some of you who I only know as a tiny Twitter face and handle.

                             ILOVERMONT || Saturday (1/12) - Monday (1/14)                                                  
Staying in Shelburne and visiting various running stores during the day Monday. 

Sunday 1/13                                    

9:30AM - Meet at Shelburne Farms welcome center & farm store. Easy run, the more the merrier! I will have Oiselle swag and will be running with a couple of Oiselle Team members.

                             MASS  || Tuesday (1/15) - Wednesday (1/16)                                                            
Staying near Worcester, but traveling around. 

Tuesday 1/15                                  
Run meet up? Would love to head towards the Cape to see Rebecca TW!
Wednesday 1/16                                
Run meet up at Marathon Sports in Wellesley? Around 3pm?

                               Upstate NY || Thursday (1/17) - Friday (1/18)                                                           
Staying in Syracuse, I think. 

Are you around any of these areas? Interested in a run? I'll have Oiselle swag in tow and would love to meet you! 

Get in touch: @oiselle_mac or email me at or leave a comment!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

flying east

On Friday I'm heading my motherland, the beautiful graveyard of mill industry, Whitinsville Massachusetts. Which isn't a town, but a town within a town. A non-town of just over 6,000 people. Where I spent the better (or worse) part of 6th grade, and lived until high school graduation. Like most small towns I didn't see it for what it was until I left it 10 years and 3,000 miles in the past.

That's not quite true. I lived enough places before landing in Whitinsville to recognize it for what it was. Something out of a book. A cliche, almost. I actually used to dream that I would travel the whole United States, eating in small town diners and interviewing the locals. I would compile all these story clips into book. For what purpose? I'm not sure. I suppose to show that these little towns exist. What can I say, I grew up listening to a lot of Garrison Keillor.

The plan was always to be passing through these little towns, that much I knew. And every other week I had another dream for my adult self. Marine biologist, poet, botanist, actress, novelist, photographer...I imagined adulthood as having all the time to explore the things that really interest you. Turns out that's actually childhood.

Unless, I think, you're dedicated to keeping curiosity alive. Exploration, always wanting to dive into a topic of interest even if it doesn't hold a 'measurable' reward (like a line on your resume or promotion). To exhaust your curiosity just for the sake of it, and to find a career/partner/life that allows and encourages you to do so.

I won't say people are "lucky enough" to find a career or path that allows them to get their hands all over the subjects that make them tick. They actively carve that path, perhaps without thinking about the end result, so it looks like luck. But they stay the course by remaining true to a bigger self. Or a younger self.

The path back to my home, is the path I took out. My body was always running and my mind was always writing, telling a story, and following the ones that spoke to me. It's really as simple as that. But of course not really, really. ;)

I'm excited to get back to New England and to meet new friends face to face that I've been connected to through Oiselle and running. To visit running stores where I used to buy my track spikes and show them the new Oiselle line, that I am so proud of you'd think I sewed it all myself. And to see my family. To run along the loops I've run for years, through all the reincarnations of my running self.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

the nap won

I can count on half a hand how many times this has happened: I put all my running clothes on, right down to my socks and shoes ... and then don't go. But it happened last night. My stomach was turning, my sinuses aching, my head splitting.

I don't subscribe to this belief: "I regret that workout, said no one ever".  I've regretted workouts. I've felt worse after a run. And sometimes I throw in the towel and rest instead of slogging out a crappy run that means nothing.

But the line between good rest and wimpy rest is thin. Like I said I don't take many 'unplanned' rest days. I don't throw in the towel on a planned workout unless I know it's about to be unproductive pain. But I very often want to. I can't tell if this will come as a shock to anyone. But there are many days and sometimes the days stretch out for weeks, that I just don't want to run. I don't want to leave my warm couch to tromp my sore little legs around the same 8 mile loop. I just don't.

But of course I do. I run 6 days a week, sometimes twice a day. And the #1 reason I do get my butt out the door isn't very tagline worthy or inspiring.

  1. Plan: Plan the week and stick to it. If there's happy hour after work, I know I better be up getting my miles at 5am. If there's a meeting in the morning, I plan a runch. Don't leave workouts to the whim of day, it won't happen. I take the thought out of it... and just do it. (I guess there is a tagline in there)
  2. Bribery: I use music as my #1 bribe. Yep, I plug in. Sometimes for days at a time. Running to my own soundtrack is just about the best treat I can think of. 
  3. Friends: I say it all the time, "I wouldn't have ____ without you". Meeting friends takes 87% of the work out of running. Just show up and go. As you talk, the miles go by. Autopilot. 
  4. Threads: It's not motivating to tromp around in my 3 sizes too big half marathon finishers tee shirts. Sure it works, but I'm most motivated after laundry day when all my Oiselle gear is there, ready to be made into bright outfits. 
  5. Competition: I think about who isn't taking the day off. 'nuff said. 

Winter is the pits, it's not my jam. I'm one happy lamp from full on blanket wrapped depression by February 2. But while getting out the door sucks, getting out of bed suuuuucks, and that first mile or two sucks... by mile 4 I'm usually a happy runner. Yes, there are some days from start to finish that all I think is, "this effing sucks. Eff this run." But luckily those days are rare.

What keeps you running?