Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pictures from the Half Marathon

Dave was unable to get any pictures of me as he had the baby and didn't know where the new course went to be able to get in any position to get any action shots.  So, I "borrowed" a few from the official photographer.

Does this face say, "I'm squeezing my buns so I don't poop on myself"?  You can read about that here.

I'm going to be completely honest here.  It's my blog and I can.  I hate this picture.  This picture makes me mad.  This picture screams, "I'm 10 pounds overweight; I'm not even trying to lose the baby weight; I am never going to be the runner I once was or should be."  It's just gross.  It makes me sick.  I want to try harder.  I've got to try harder.

I wish I had more pictures from this race.  I wish I had more flattering pictures.  I wish I felt better during this race and then maybe I would have looked a little better.  :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Columbus Half Marathon 2014


Well, that was a real shit show.


I'm starting to think the Columbus Half Marathon hates my guts (pun intended).  Last year we had problems sitting in traffic and this year was a whole other mess.

We left the house with about an hour and a half before the race start and made it downtown in plenty of time.  With forty minutes left until the start of the race I got into a port-a-john line.  The line was long but having done this and other major races, I knew these lines moved fast.  Except it didn't.  I noticed that our line was merging with another line.  Crap.  Literally.  So, with 15 minutes left until race start I jumped out of line, gave Dave all of my warm clothes, and got into another line.  Hey, I was wearing a chip.  I'd be okay.  I HAD to go.  And with three people in front of me in line, the gun went off for my wave.  I was in corral A, hoping to run a fast half marathon, and I had missed the start.  I got my business done and took a "warm up" run to the corrals.  Luckily, they had a gap open for the front waves, and I was escorted into the correct corral. 

Except now I was in the back of where I wanted to be and no one was running my pace.  Sure, I like to start slow and work into my pace, but this was ridiculous.  Columbus Marathon and Half have gotten huge and there was nowhere for me to get around anybody.  Short of me pushing people (and I did some), I wasn't moving up. 

Mile 1 - 8:26
Mile 2 - 8:07
Mile 3 - 7:57

Now I was starting to get things going and I was feeling great.  I was passing people all over the place.  The average pace was dropping and I had a good feeling about this race.

Mile 4 - 8:01
Mile 5 - 7:46
Mile 6 - 7:38

Then something happened.  My stomach wasn't bothering me.  I mean, I wasn't crampy, I wasn't feeling sick, my stomach wasn't doing flip flops, but I needed to find a port-a-john and quickly.  The buns were locked and loaded.  Luckily I found one and was able to do my business quickly.

Mile 7 - 8:38

And then I was back and moving again.

Mile 8 - 7:53

It was short lived, though.  My fire buns were not cooperating and I was running squeezing it in.  I had to stop again.

Mile 9 - 8:38

I pride myself on being the fastest pooper in the midwest (self professed) and it was at least doing me good in this race.

Mile 10 - 7:38

One pit stop during a race is okay if necessary, two is ridiculous and yet, I needed a third one.  Good grief.  Unfortunately, as I swung by my third port-a-john of this race, some dude jumped in right in front of me.  He took a long time too (or what seemed like a long time).  I literally yelled from outside the bathroom "HURRY UP!"

Mile 11 - 9:20

At this point I didn't care what was going on back there.  There were only two miles left and I was going to book it to the end with no more stops.  I ran some of my fastest miles of the race in those last two miles.

Mile 12 - 7:43
Mile 13 - 7:24
Last 0.1 - 7:17 pace

Overall time: 1:46:49

Then to finish this whole mess off, there were no medals at the finish line.  I was disappointed until I read the reason behind it.  I have now requested my medal be sent to me.

If you look at my time, for most runners, this is a great time.  And honestly, it's a little humorous that I ran that time with all that happened.  But I am a little disappointed.  Between the bathroom stops and starting in the back, I probably wasted 4-5 minutes during this race.  I have been running for years.  I love the half marathon.  I'm so tired of running in the 1:40s.  I'm better than that.  This race was supposed to be a great race. 

So, what the heck was going on with my stomach?  Well, it could have been the chili I had for dinner the night before.  Sure, not an ideal pre-race meal, but we were hanging out with friends at their house and they already had it in the Crock Pot when we got there.  I couldn't say no.  It could have been the fact that I had been sick all week.  I had been fighting a pretty bad cold (Ebola?) since Tuesday and my body was full of snot and cold medicine.  Lastly, maybe it was stress.  My paternal grandmother passed away last Wednesday and we were leaving immediately after the race for a 5 hour trip down to Kentucky for her showing later that evening and funeral Monday morning.  It could have been any of these reasons.  It could have been all of these.  It could have been none.  All I know is I had a "crappy" race and I'm hoping in three weeks to have a much better marathon.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Foto Friday

Y'all, I have been waiting so impatiently to show some of these pictures!!!

When we were in Montana I hired Bethanne from Marianne Wiest Photography to take our family pictures.  It wasn't the easy session with a baby.  He wanted to play in the rocks and splash in the water and because we were in a public place, there were dogs and people who were distracting.  But Bethanne did an amazing job and the pictures were beautiful.  Here's a few of my favorites.

Please do not steal these images.  They don't belong to you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


I love fast chicks!  Last weekend was such a great weekend of stalking fast women runners and triathletes.  (Nope, I personally do not know any of these ladies, but I do follow/stalk them on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, blogs.)  Let's review:

Rachel ran a 3:00 marathon in Chicago!  I got to see her run at the 2009 Nike Women's Marathon.  She is so tall!  And so fast!!!

Angela came oh so close to her Olympic Trial qualifying time in Chicago.  These chicks are FAST!!!

Sonja finished second (freakin' SECOND!!!) in her age group at the Ironman World Championships.

Katie ran an Olympic Qualifying 2:41 and finished second at the Hartford Marathon.

Danielle got her Boston Qualifying time at the Chicago Marathon.

And finally, a special shout-out to my girl Amanda who FREAKIN' WON the Ironman 70.3 World Championship (SHE'S A WORLD CHAMPION!!!) a few weeks ago.

Congratulations all!  You inspire me!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Worth The Money

In addition to car shopping this past weekend, we were also mattress shopping.  Our mattress is older than our marriage.  I bought it when I moved into my first solo apartment, about 14 years ago.  It has gone through its eight years of life and then some.  It is soooo uncomfortable.  I think I would sleep better on the floor.  I have been asking for a new mattress for ages but they're so darn expensive, so we never really shopped.  Recently though, I've been complaining, begging.  I sleep horribly.  Maybe it's because I nap during the day; maybe I nap during the day because I can't sleep at night.  I don't know, but I knew it was time to start shopping. 

Dave, of course, started his shopping online.  Shopping with Dave is a very tedious process, for which I have zero patience.  He had found a place called Bed in a Box which had great reviews and inexpensive mattresses.  So, we headed to two local stores to try out different types of beds to determine which type we should order.  At the first store we tried out 5 or 6 different mattresses, from coils to posturpedic.  There was one we both laid down on and were like "woah!"  "This is the most comfortable mattress I've ever laid on."  Then we went across the street to another mattress shop and tried out three more mattresses.  It was a little like Goldilocks: one was too hard, one was too soft, and the other was just okay.  We went back across the street and tried out a few more mattresses and then made a quick decision.  We got a good deal on a king, yes a GIANT KING, bed and bought it straight away.  Then we had to buy a new mattress pad, new, very soft sheets, and a new bed frame as ours did not expand to a king. 

You spend a third of your day in bed.  For me, it may be a little more than a third; I love to sleep.  It's worth it to spend the money to get exactly what you want when it comes to bedding.  Our mattress gets delivered on Friday and I CANNOT WAIT to sleep on it.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Week in Review

It was sorta a crap week.  Truth be told, I've been battling some bad shin splints/tendonitis.  It's been so bad that there are nights where it hurts to sleep.  So, I took a step back this week and rested.  I iced, I stretched, I strengthened, and hopefully I will be going into the last big week of the training cycle feeling a little better.

I only did four workouts this week:

Swim - 1800 yards
Bike - 5.62 miles
Run - 11.25 miles

I did one 6.25 mile run on the treadmill which included the middle 27-1/2 minutes at a steady state of 8:30 pace.  The other run was a 5 miler outside that hurt so badly. 

It's been frustrating that the last two years have been plagued with shin splits/tendonitis.  I know my body shape and weight are not the same as pre-baby.  It's been frustrating for me, but it is what it is.  But, it affects my running.  I'm not as stable as I was and I don't have muscles where I once did.  I have always struggled with higher mileage (40+ miles) and this training cycle has been no different.  There's so many miles (and they're even tougher to do with a little one to work around) that often the strength routines go by the wayside.  Life balance is difficult, and I'm trying, and each day gets a little easier.  This has felt like a really long training cycle.  As with all marathon training, I'm ready for it to be over.  I'm ready for a break and I'm ready to work on new goals.  Hold on Meredith!  Only a few weeks to go.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Test Drive From Hell

I was able to do it.  I was able to talk the husband into at least looking at and test driving new cars.  Earlier this week we checked out the Honda CR-V (loved) and the Subaru Forester and Outback (loved).  Then earlier today we did a test drive of a Audi Q3 (beautiful, can't really afford).  All of these experiences were great.  We did not receive a sales pitch, the sales person let us test drive the cars by ourselves, we received great information, and overall had a great first impression.

Then this afternoon we went to a local Hyundai dealership.  We should have walked away right from the start.

As we took a collective deep breath and mustered the courage to get out of our car, we were met by a sales person barely outside of our car.  We were hoping to look around, get our bearings, and then ask for help, but instead we were ushered directly into his cubicle where he wanted to know why we were shopping, what we were looking for, what we wanted for our trade in (we didn't even bring the car with us), and what price we were looking to spend.  Woah, woah, woah!  We are just getting started.  We just wanted to look at and test drive the car.  Then we were escorted out to the two cars we were interested in: the Tuscon and the Santa Fe.  He showed us every minute detail of each car and then went on our test drive with us.  We only got to drive maybe two miles of city traffic (I would have liked to take it on the freeway and felt the pick-up of it) and he demonstrated their "On-Star" feature, which was dumb.  Something we would (a) never pay for and (b) never use.  Then once we returned from our short test drive he asked us no less than three times what he could do to drive away in one of the cars today.  Well, right from the start we told you we were just starting to look.  And, MAKE US AN OFFER!  We're in a position of power.  We have a perfectly working, low mileage vehicle that we do not have to get rid of.  Make us an offer we can't refuse.

The sad part is, we really liked the car.  We hated the dealership and the sales person, though, which makes us have to walk away for now.  There is another Hyundai dealership in town but I had such a HORRIBLE experience with them with one of my previous cars that I absolutely REFUSE to work with them again.  There's another location for this same dealership further away from us that I guess we can check out.  I don't know.  I just rubbed me the wrong way.

Do sales people actually believe this high pressure sales stuff actually works?
What's the worst sales experience you've ever had?