Thursday, October 20, 2016

Columbus Half Marathon 2016

The last time I ran the Columbus half it was a real sh!t show.  Literally.  My stomach just exploded and I had to take three port-a-john stops.  This time I had different thoughts.  I wasn't nervous, my stomach emptied early in the morning, and we had good logistics and I was able to stop into the port-a-john before the race without incident.

Things started pretty well.  I goofed and didn't have my watch on autolap per mile, which of course, I didn't figure out until three miles in.  Just in enough time for my stomach to revolt.  You have got to be sh!tting me!  Literally.  I got lucky and cut a guy off to get an open port-a-john somewhere in the three to four mile range and decided to just do my watch manually.  That's probably better anyway as my Garmin is always off from the mile markers (especially in a race downtown).

I was cooking.  I was moving.  Things were going well.  I really felt like I was racing, like I was back to the old Meredith. 

Mile 5 - 7:35
Mile 6 - 7:31
Mile 7 -  7:54 (uphill? long mile? gel?)
Mile 8 - 7:24

Then my stomach started to bother me again.  You have got to be kidding me?!  How can this keep happening to me?  I have, literally, raced more than 30 half marathons including faster ones than this.  How are my guts not cooperating?  I took another bathroom break.

Mile 9 - 8:23 (bathroom stop)

Dave saw me right after this.  I didn't see him.  But I was angry that I was losing time so I know I was going fast here.  The picture even looks like it.

Mile 10 - 7:22

Alright five kilometers to go and my legs and lungs and heart still feel good.  Come on Meredith.  Salvage a good race here.

Mile 11 - 7:40
Mile 12 - 7:48
(Both of those were uphill into downtown.)
Mile 13 and 0.1 - 7:49 (7:11 pace)

The overall time was 1:41:43.  Ya know, I'm okay with that time.  I haven't done a half marathon in over a year and I didn't have any specific training for this race.  I was able to take the endurance and speed I had from aquathlon training to turn this into a decent race.  If I wouldn't have had the stomach problems I wonder what I could have done.  For years my goal has been 1:35 or better.  I know I've got this in me. 

PS - Dear Marathon Foto, it you're going to charge me $24 for a single download, I am totally going to steal your images and put them on my social media.  Love, Me

Monday, October 03, 2016

Official Pictures from the World Championships

I spent about a million dollars to get four pictures from the world championships.  This might be a once in a lifetime opportunity so I HAD to get the pictures.  Right?  RIGHT?!?!

Coming into T1.  I like that you can see hair stuck to me as this proves how freakin' humid it was even with only a 1.55 run.

Coming out of the swim.  I don't know if I am starting to look like I've got swimmer's body or I just need to slim down my arms/chest.  Either way, doesn't everyone look stupid in a swim cap?

 Heading out on the second run.  Look at the focus.  Or, I'm saying, "where the heck is everybody?"

And the finally, quite possibly the coolest finisher picture of all time.  The time is irrelevant as it was from the start of the first age group wave and I was in one of the last waves.  But how cool to have the finish line all to myself, waving my flag, with my hands up in victory?!

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Week in Review

I got back to business this week and totally kicked ass!  With the little one in preschool several days a week I have been able to do ALL my runs outside.  I also did some core work and got back in the pool.

Swimming - 4950 yards
I missed one swim this week.  I had intended to do it on Saturday but forgot there was a swim meet that closed down the pool.  Maybe I'll try to fit it in next week.

Running - 29.02 miles
Woah!  You read that right.  I had a great week of running - 4 runs, all outside.  I did a fantastic track workout of several 800s, the fastest one being 3:12.  I haven't hit that pace in a long, long time.  I also did a long run with hill repeats.  I found the steepest and longest hill I could find and made it my bitch!  Half/full marathon training has begun.  It's my happy place.

Strength - 0.5 hours
I did two small core workouts this week that left me crazy sore.  The first one was done with our middle school swim team.  I totally schooled them, but was sore for days.  The second workout was done at home, late at night, waiting on the bug-a-boo to fall asleep.

Next week - more running, more swimming, more core.  I see PRs in my future!!!

Saturday, October 01, 2016

September Totals

Can you believe September is over already?  Man!  That went fast. 

September was all about the WORLD FREAKIN' CHAMPIONSHIPS!!! And, oh, there was still good training.  Check it out.

Swimming - 13,036 yards ~ 7.4 miles
Yes, this is a weird number.  That's because I did two 1000 meters swims in the ocean and I converted them to yards in my spreadsheet.  I also passed 200,000 yards (114 miles!!!) for the year this month.

Running - 67.1 miles
Not many miles, but when you're training for a fast 5K there really doesn't need to be a whole lot of miles.  Don't worry!  There will be a lot of miles coming up in the next couple of months.

YMCA Visits - 11
Cost Per Visit $3.42

After Anderson started preschool and we returned from Mexico, I just got tired of taking Anderson to the Y.  And frankly, I got tired of going to the Y.  All of this will be changing soon.  Another blog post on this soon.

October is here which means pumpkin everything (yuck), Halloween (my least favorite holiday), and miles, miles and more miles. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Foto Friday

Here's a few more pictures from our trip to Mexico.  We stayed at an all-inclusive resort so we didn't do a whole lot of anything.  Lots of pool.  Lots of snorkeling.  Lots of drinking.  Lots of sleeping.  So, we didn't usually have a camera with us and there wasn't a whole lot to take pictures of, but here's a few that we did take (not race related).

Gosh Mexico.  You are so ugly.

So, so ugly.

 I once caught a fish THIS BIG!!!

 Before and after the practice swim.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Aquathlon World Championship 2016

Err.  Umm.  Errrrrrrrr. 

How do I even write this post?

Ten months of training.  Forty-five minutes of racing.  And now the biggest race of my life is behind me.

Mexico is hot.  Maybe I should say, Mexico is humid A.F.!!!!  I had trained for it (sauna, overdressed, general summer training), but seriously it was humid.  Between checking in to transition and the start of my race was about three hours.  By the time I started I was sweating like I was running a marathon.  I had sweat rolling down my back and the front of my uniform was completely soaked.  Thank goodness there was going to be a dip in the ocean in the middle of the race.

Let's get started.  My wave started at 9:50am and had two other age groups in it, 40-44 and 45-50.  In total there were somewhere between 50-100 ladies starting together.  I lined up somewhere in the middle and tried to not get nervous about what was about to happen.  The gun went off and it was time to move.  The race was all inside a park inside of a marina and there were lots of turns.  The first turn was within the first 100 meters and then the first water stop was 100 meters from that turn.  I lined up to take the turn on the tangent and then skip the first water stop.  I mean, who needs a water stop 200 meters into a 2.5k race?  Well, the chick in front of me, that's who.  She came flying from the right side, cutting in front of me to grab the bag of water (yep, BAG of water) and I pushed her out of the way.  Sorry chick.  You don't need water that close to the start of the race.

I stayed in the pack for most of the first run, probably running into transition in the top 10 of my age group.  Transition was quick, shoes and socks off, grab cap and goggles and I was off.  It was long run down to the dock and I took it a little easy to get my heart rate down.  And then I did the most graceful thing ever - I jumped like an 8 year old boy into the water.  The previous day at the swim practice I dove into the water and my goggles came off and filled with water.  I wasn't going to risk that during the race, so I just jumped and immediately started swimming.  I doubt I even lost a second and my goggles stayed put. 

I thought I had a great swim.  For me it was a great swim.  I swam confidently and strong.  My line probably sucked, but with the water being so clear I just looked for other competitors and swam toward them.  The whole backside of the swim I had a girl tapping my feet.  The whole damn way!!!  At one point I told her not so politely to GET OFF!!!  Then in the last couple hundred yards I was able to get on feet myself and swim in the draft.  That NEVER happens to me.  It was the fastest swim I have ever done in open water and yet, it was a solid two minutes slower than most of the competitive girls.  I've come leaps and bounds this year with my swimming but I still have a long way to go.

The water was so beautiful and clear.  There were fish and corral and I really tried to concentrate on my race.  I saw those things the day prior in the practice swim and while I was snorkeling earlier in the week.  But the coolest thing was that there were scuba divers at each turn pointing you in the correct direction.  I couldn't help but smile and wave to the first one.  So neat.

Anyway, I was out of the water and running up the dock into the second transition.  Cap and goggles off, shoes and race number on.  I had decided to do the second run with no socks, which I had never practiced.  I didn't want to waste time putting on socks and it was only for a mile and a half.  Who cares if my feet got ripped up.  But, I struggled with the stupid tongue on my right shoe in transition and in my head I'm screaming, WHO CARES!  GET MOVING!!!  And so I did.  But I was in no-man's land.  As much as I could run with those chicks, I fell behind them in the swim and there was no longer anyone to catch.  Well, I did catch about 5 girls during the run but only one was in my age group and all the others were from the previous wave.  I thought I was running well, but I was a solid minute and a half slower than the first run.  I kept running, though, and as I made the last turn onto the finishing chute, my team manager handed me an American flag and I got to have my own personal victorious moment at the finish line. 

In the end I finished 17th in my age group.  Top 20 at the World Championships?  I'll take it.  And I went from the 10th American to qualify in my age group to finishing as the fourth American in my age group.  I race confidently and without fear.  To me that's a victory.  But I have to admit, I'd like another crack at the race.  I believe I can do better.  Unfortunately, I can't go to the 2017 world championships as I already have vacation plans paid for during the championship.  But coach and I have already devised a plan to get to the 2018 race.  I'm ready for revenge!!!

Thursday, September 01, 2016

August Totals

How can it be September already?!?!

Although this blog has been nothing but crickets this summer, I have been training.  I haven't been as consistent as I would have liked, but I'm getting it done.  Less than two weeks until the big dance and I'm feeling ready.

Swimming - 26,300 yards ~ 15 miles
I swear my hair and skin are just going to fall apart with all this swimming.  To be honest, I'm ready for a break from the pool, but considering it's my job to be in and around the pool every day, I don't see a break happening.

Running - 68.59 miles
Sure, I'd love to be running big miles, but the long runs stopped weeks ago in favor of short fast runs with lots and lots of intervals.  Nowadays, long runs are about 7 miles.  That will change after the world championships as I have a half marathon on the schedule.

YMCA Visits - 20
Cost Per Visit - $1.88
Some day soon I'd like to break up with the Y too.

Let's do this September!!!