Thursday, December 29, 2005

2006 Resolutions/Goals

I accomplished so much last year that it's hard to follow up in 2006. With two days until the New Year I'm struggling to come up with good resolutions and goals. Sure I'd like to eat better and drop a few pounds, but I don't have anything concrete.

So blogosphere, I'm letting you chime in and then I'll create a list on what you say (and of course my input too). Keep in mind, I work two jobs and I'm married and no I'm not ready for an Ironman yet. So get creative and let me know what you think.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Key West

Okay, we've been back a week, but it's been a busy week so sorry about posting so late about our trip.

Key West was a good vacation. It was relaxing and warm and a nice getaway. So much to tell, but I'm just gonna go over the basics.

Our flight out of Columbus was delayed two hours. Not a big deal to us because we were on the same plane all the way to Key West but everyone else seemed to very antsy. There were lots of kids on that flight...it was going to Orlando...and there were lots of people wearing Mickey Mouse ears.

When we got to Key West we were a little overwhelmed. We had barely gotten there and we were being accused of dropping a plastic picnic cup on somebody's car. It flew off of the balcony above ours and we were the only one on our balcony so the people made an assumption. It was really stupid. I'm sure Dave will talk more about that in his blog. He's a better storyteller. We were also unaware of the Bourbon Street nature of Duval Street in Key West. We're not heavy partiers so it came as a big surprise. We also saw two men pee outside their car right in Mallory Square. This was all on our first night. Needless to say, we were a little shell-shocked.

The next morning I got up and went for a small run. It was nice to just go out and see some of the boats and Navy yards and Mallory Square. It wasn't until after I got back from my run that we discovered a huge cruise ship right outside our window.



We went down to see the cruise ship a little closer and discovered another cruise ship docked right behind it. I love boats, so I just loved seeing these huge vessels. In total, we saw 5 cruise ships during our few days in Key West. We got to see two leave and one dock. They're just an engineering marvel. Here's a picture of me eating the Disney cruise ship.



There are A LOT of roosters and chickens running all around Key West. The first morning we went to breakfast at Blue Heaven and the roosters just hang out under your feet there. I have a fear of birds, but the roosters were so friendly that they didn't bother me.



We walked down to the Southernmost Point in the continental United States during our trip to breakfast.



The rest of that first day we went swimming (outside!), got some ice cream, watched the street performers in Mallory Square and watched the sunset. We had dinner at Kelley's, which if ever go to Key West you should definitely go and eat there. I had a delicious apple chicken and Dave had some kind of pork chops. They were to die for.



The next day we rented bikes and rode around the entire island. We saw the beach, Hemingway's house, the lighthouse, and lots more boats including the Coast Guard boats. When we rode over by the airport a jet flew right over us onto the runway. It scared the crap out of me. I had a terrible bike. The seat fell all the way down about every ten minutes.





We really wanted to go snorkeling while we were in Key West, but it was cloudy our second day and we had heard there wasn't great visibility because of hurricane Wilma still. Maybe next time. It was a short trip but we really enjoyed going during the low season. It was relaxing, it was warm, and it was just nice to get away.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

We're Outta Here!

We're heading to Key West. Tomorrow!!!! The SoCal thing didn't work out (although still hoping to go in the future), so we decided to head south for some warm weather and R&R. We're only going for a few days but it will be much better than the snow here even if it's only for a few days.

And I'm even hoping to get some running in!

Check y'all in a few days.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Eagle Has Landed

I landed a job today and against all advice I took the job on the spot. I am now a senior analyst for a major insurance company. (I'm not gonna tell you; I don't want to lose the job.) My start date is after the New Year so Dave and I are hoping to go on vacation sometime between now and then. We're looking in the SoCal area so Jeff, I'll be in touch.

Today I ran about 3-1/2 miles and it was hard. It was the first time I've really done a workout outside since the weather got cold. I have run very, very little in the last four weeks and it showed. I've put on a little weight and my heartrate skyrocketed. I've got my work cut out for me.

For now...I'm excited.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Oh yeah, I forgot

...to tell you about the cool thing I got this week. I got me a heart rate monitor. Haven't the foggiest how to use it, but my heart beats and it records and somehow it should make me a better runner.

Technically the training for Boston is supposed to start tomorrow. The plan is to follow the Pfitzinger 55/18 plan, but it's hard to do speedwork since it's been snowing since Thanksgiving. I could do it on the treadmill but I don't know. That takes a lot of planning. I might just try to work my way up to 40-50 miles comfortably in a week and include swimming and spinning just for variety.

I got an official offer from the healthcare company on Friday. It's exception pay for a temporary position but I'm really hesistant to sign on the dotted line. They can't guarantee me a position when the job is done and I don't think the work would be very challenging once the initial analysis is completed. I am supposed to find out about another job tomorrow and I really have my fingers crossed for that one. The temp job wants me to sign tomorrow and start on Tuesday. I need more time than that!!! Here's hoping for the permanent job.

I'll let you know what happens, hopefully, tomorrow.

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Week in Review

I've been meaning to post this week, but I've been lazy. I tried once, but Blogger wouldn't log me on, so I gave up.

I got back to the gym this week. I swam twice, ran twice, did spinning once, and attended yoga twice. Tomorrow I'm planning on running outside.

My unborn niece, Alison Anne, was buried on Tuesday. The memorial service was beautiful. A pink rose was laid on her site. It was fitting.

The job search continues and frankly is getting old. I kinda had an offer from a healthcare company here. I had applied early and been turned down because the position was already filled. But they called this week and said they needed a temp for an engineering position for 6-12 months. I'm not really excited about taking a temp position but we'll see what comes of it. I'm meeting with them today. Because of this offer I was able to push back on positions that I was really interested in. One of them asked me to buy some time so that makes me feel somewhat confident about an offer. Hopefully next week the title to my entry will say "Best Week Ever."

Dave's company got funding today and made a sale. Halleluiah! Now we don't have to freak out too much.

Not much else to report. It's been snowing a lot, but y'all have probably seen that on the news so I really don't need to say much about that. It's cold, though!

Talk to y'all when I have better news.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Brrr!!!

Daggone it was cold today! And yesterday! Monday of this week I wore short. This morning I went for a run and I was wearing two pairs of tights, a long sleeve wicking shirt, a short sleeve T-shirt, a fleece, hat and gloves. Yes it was a bit excessive but the wind chill was down in the 10s. It was so cold that Bridget had icicles hanging off the ends of her hair.

The run was difficult but I'm glad I did it. I did about 5 miles. I did the first 2-1/2 with everyone and then after they all left I went back out and found my dad and did his last 2-1/2 with him. My asthma's been bothering me a lot so I decided to fill my allergy prescription which really has an affect on my asthma.

Tomorrow I'm thinking about swimming and then starting to slowly build the miles back up next week. I cannot stay inside anymore! This house is driving me crazy! Somebody offer me a job!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Name Change

Amy and Rob decided not to call the baby Lola. They named her Alison Anne. That changes the whole eclectic, free spirited, daisy girl. Alison Anne is a preppier name that would be lillies or tulips. I'll have to think about that more.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

What's up with all the nakedness...

...And talking? Why do women at the gym find it their responsibility to talk to me when they are completely naked? I'm not comfortable with that! I was getting ready to go for a run and this woman is going on and on about my asthma and that I should move to Florida to get rid of my allergies and on and on. Just change and get the heck out of the locker room!!!

Yep I've been at the gym this week. I have done some running, some swimming, and some yoga. He he he! I tried yoga and was terrible at it. Twice the instructor came over and fixed my poses. I didn't see her doing that to anyone else. I'm not sure I'll try yoga again. Tonight I'm going to try to make it to spinning class.

My sister ended her pregnancy yesterday and she seems to be doing okay with it. My mom and my grandmother are a different story. Mom cried when she saw the baby's footprints and I guess my grandmother was sobbing when mom told her the surgery was complete (over the phone). Amy and Rob named the baby Lola and will be cremating her this week. She will be buried next to my grandfather and uncle. I think Lola would have been eclectic and a bit of a free spirit (the complete opposite of her sister). I'm hoping to buy Amy and Rob some yellow daisies that would represent Lola. Amy's been really brave and I'm proud of her.

I've got two interviews tomorrow for two different positions. Here's hoping it leads to something. I've been home seven weeks now and it's so boring.

Talk to you soon!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thanksgiving and Stuffing

This Thanksgiving started like all Thanksgivings, with the annual Turkey Trot 5 miler. And as traditional, the weather was crappy. It was cold and snowy and really, really windy. I hadn't run since the previous Saturday so I was just going to wing it. It's an untimed race. The awards are pies to the first 1000 men and 1000 women. I've always gotten a pie so I wasn't worried. We started the race too far back and spent the first mile plus trying to get around all the people. We then zoomed any time the wind was at our back and struggled when the wind was in our face. The climb up the incline to the finish line into the wind was crazy. I finished in 41:21, which was decent and got a pie.

Thanksgiving dinner itself was a hoot. My nephew Jared decided to wait to get sick until the very start of the meal at the dinner table. Lovely! The only clothes he had to change into were pajamas, which made my niece Shelby jealous so she spit water all over herself so she could put her pajamas on too. Kids!

Being that both Dave's and my parents live in Ohio we usually do two holidays. We spent Thanksgiving day at my parents' house and Friday and Saturday at Dave's parents' house. Good eatings. I'm defintely gonna have to get in the pool and onto my bike in the coming days (no running--I'm taking a break).

So I have to make a confession. I am a kick a-- Minesweeper gamer. And I just found out there are websites out there with rankings and there are Minesweeper tournaments. I could totally be a professional gamer! :)

Hope you holiday was well.

Monday, November 21, 2005

More Bad News

My sister had her ultrasound and it was bad. The baby has anencephaly, which means the baby has developed without a brain. Amy now has to make a choice to either abort the baby or carry it to term when it will be stillborn. She sounds pretty shaken up. Your prayers are appreciated.

Week Round-Up

I am on the computer everyday-doing research, sending e-mails, checking employment opportunities-but I have been terrible about keeping up with this blog.

Well, I've decided not to do Rock and Roll Arizona this January. I'm just burnt out. I need a break both physically and mentally. I need to get back to cross training. I need to get my head back in the game. The plan is to do an 18 week training program for Boston.

Last week was a good week for the job hunt. I did A LOT of networking. I even had an interview that I thought went alright. I have a job shadowing day tomorrow. I think something's going to happen very soon.

One last note. My sister is pregnant with child #3 and having a very rough pregnancy. She's going for a Stage 2 Ultrasound today because there is a 1/26 chance the baby has spinal bifida. Please keep her in your prayers.

I'm going to try to write more this week. I'm doing a race on Thanksgiving so I should at least have something some what interesting to write about.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Start Anew

Last week was a bad week. But this week started fresh today and the sun was shining and I'm feeling good about maybe getting an interview this week. There is a very large insurance company in town and I know A LOT of people who work there (including my dad). I've been talking to some people there about helping me network and I'm feeling good about it.

I did get turned down for a job today that I interviewed for. A couple weeks ago I had interviewed with Abercrombie for a store operations engineering position. I'm not upset I didn't get the job. It required a lot of travel and the Fitch works their people to death. I think I would have learned a lot, but I don't mold well so I think it wouldn't have been a good fit for long.

My running suffered last week too, as you can imagine. I didn't feel like doing much of anything last week. Today was a new day, though, and I got in 10 miles this morning with 5 miles at half marathon pace. Actually it was WAY faster than marathon pace, but it seemed to be going well. Here's my splits: 8:28, 8:41, 4:15 (1/2 mile), 7:13, 7:25, 6:59, 7:16, 6:48, 8:35, 8:22, 4:13 (1/2 mile). I can't believe I threw in two sub-7:00s. I've never even done that in a race. Maybe all this long running is paying off for my speed. Doesn't make sense, but I'll go with it.

Congratulations Scott and Val on the new baby. Hey Val, can you e-mail me your new address? I wrote a letter to you two weeks ago and I don't know where to send it. My e-mail is available at the right of this blog.

Thanks for all your wonderful comments and e-mails. Dave and I really appreciate it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

When It Rains It Pours

And I'm not talking about the huge storms we had overnight.

I started this blog because I wanted talk about my running and share running stories with others online and read other stories. But there is so much crap going on that I just can't bring myself to write about running.

The job search has come to a stall. I have a lot of good leads and no matter that I am trying to be proactive I am not getting any calls or e-mails. It's really frustrating and I feel completely helpless.

Yesterday we got a complete kick in the gut. My husband works for a start-up company that has started up twice. The first time the business folded was right before we got married and Dave was unemployed about 4 months. The company went back in business under different management and is funded by a state grant. In just one month that grant is going to run out and although they have some other investments, it doesn't seem enough to sustain the business as it operates right now. Dave found out yesterday that starting in December he will only be working for minimum wage.

I cried. I cried at dinner with my parents. I don't really understand how two intelligent people have gotten themselves into the situation they're in. I'm worried about depleting my savings to pay for our house. I'm worried that I'm going to have to cancel cable and internet and phone service and sit around the house in blankets because we can't pay for our gas bills. I am trying to believe that God has bigger plans but I'm just not into the suffering for a life lesson thing.

Sorry for such a down entry. It's just been a rough time.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Big Numbers

Just this week I passed 1000 miles on the year. That's the most miles I've put into a year since I started runnning 4-1/2 years ago. Rockin'!

Good luck to everyone who's running the NYC Marathon tomorrow. I'll be rootin' for ya!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Moo!

Yesterday I attended a cattle call. Not literally; it was a career information session with an insurance agency. This company had contacted me and I thought they were interested in my analytical skills, blah blah blah. Well I guess they weren't. They were interested in making me an agent. He! For those of you who don't know me...first of all, I know nothing about insurance or finance, etc. Secondly, I would be the worst sales person in the whole world. I'm emotional. I get angry and sad and hurt really easily. I'm also kinda shy.

This information session was an hour and a half and within the first seven minutes I knew I should have left. The presenter played a video first that highlighted different career agents and their success stories. All they talked about was how much money they made. This is an insurance company that specializes in selling products to senior citizens. So immediately I was put off because I was not about to swindle seniors so I had the opportunity to make six figures. And the company worked on commission only. That's not even an option.

In the end I stayed for the whole presentation, but I didn't hand in my resume. I can check that opportunity off the list.

I was supposed to run 11 miles yesterday but I only got in 8. I ran out of time. I'm hoping to finish up the remaining three miles today. My back has been hurting more and more and now I have shooting pains in my upper hamstrings. I've got a doctor's appointment this afternoon.

Sorry I haven't gotten to read very many of your blogs recently. I'll try to get to them soon. I miss y'all.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Where you at, girl?

Here I am!

I've been a running fool the last couple of days. Last week I did 37 miles, which I think is more miles in a week than for any training week in my last marathon. And it was only the first week of the schedule! This morning I did 8 miles with 4 of the miles at half marathon pace. Actually it was quite a bit faster than half marathon pace. Here were my splits: 8:24, 8:28, 7:29, 7:26, 7:16, 7:16, 8:20, 8:05. It was a good run and I'm feeling pretty good this afternoon.

End of the month totals:

Swimming-400 meters
Biking-1 hours 30 minutes
Running-122.7 miles

I took some pictures of my niece and nephew this week. So adorable.



No news on the job front. Still looking. Still hoping.

Talk to y'all tomorrow.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

My Conclusions

Earlier this week I was really down about my job search. I felt like I had exhausted my resources and being the totally impatient person I am, felt like no company was going to call me back.

My conclusion is this...companies do all their calling on Thursdays. I've been contacted by three different companies today and all have been positive calls. The timelines of some of the processes scare me a little (one said they won't make final decisions until January!) but I guess that's what happens when you're looking for engineering jobs.

So, today has been a positive day and when I have any more news to report, I will let y'all know. But for now, back to Sudoku (thanks a lot Dave, NOT!).

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Suzy Homemaker

The first part of this blog is for Brit and to showcase my other hidden talents.

This is the first quilt I ever made. It's a basic block quilt and it took me over a year to do. I quilted it by machine.


This is the quilt I'm working on now. It's a scrap double wedding ring quilt. I started it last November and still have a long way to go. It is a wedding present for a friend. The wedding was LAST MARCH!


This is a scarf I knitted last year. I wore it a lot during track season. Track season in Ohio is cold.


This is a scarf I'm working on now.


Finally I'd like to show y'all that I'm a horrible Suzy Homemaker. This morning I popped my french toast in the toaster (he he-first strike). I set up my tray table in front of the TV (strike two). Then I got the margarine out of the fridge. The margarine is new and heavy and well, it dropped. And broke. And made a mess. And what did I do? Well, I put it back in the refrigerator...upside-down...so it wouldn't make a bigger mess (strike three--you're out!).

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Loot

I received my award from the Towpath Marathon yesterday. I finished 2nd in my age group.


The loot. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 24, 2005

Here we go....

...again. Since I really don't have anything to do during my day I decided to train for another marathon. And the training starts today. I ran 8 miles with 10 X 100m pick-ups this morning. It was cold, about 40 degrees. But I got the run done and it felt good. My lower back has been hurting a lot lately after my runs. Maybe I need to do a little more stretching and a little more strengthening of my core muscles.

Hop on over to Dave's blog. He posted his marathon report.

My interview on Friday went really well. I'm hoping to get a call back this week for a second interview. I'm pretty sure that I'll at least get a second interview. I'm also meeting with a career consultant this week (free with my severence package) to work on my interviewing skills and to review my resume.

Hope y'all had a good weekend.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Interview #2

Interview #2 will be tomorrow afternoon. I'm interviewing with a major retailer for a store process engineering position. It sounds promising. I sent my resume this morning and less than two hours later they contacted me for an interview. The bad part is this...this company "requires" you to wear their brand, even to the interview. So today I had to go out and buy a whole new outfit because I don't own any clothes of theirs. So I spent over $100 on a pair of cords, tank top, and button down (it's a really casual work environment). I'll let y'all know how it goes.

I've been getting in some good running this week. I did 8 miles on Tuesday and then another 4 yesterday. The 4 yesterday involved 1.75 miles of tempo. My first mile was in 6:38 and my next 3/4 mile was around 5:21. I felt good about that. I'm planning another 3-4 today and then maybe spinning class tonight. I'm going to spinning class because my instructor is a sales engineer and I'm going to do a little networking.

See y'all tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Interview #1

So today I had an interview with a sports marketing firm. The position was for entry level marketing. I thought this might be a good opportunity to combine my passion with a different career path. When I walked in there was probably 10 people sitting around waiting to be interviewed. I thought that was weird. And they had told me on the phone to dress as professionally as possible and I was only one of two people wearing a suit. There were people there in jeans. Again, weird. The interview was short and uninformative and I'm not really sure about it all. I guess we'll wait and see.

The best part was the receptionist told me I looked like a movie star. She said I looked like Jodie Foster. She even told me I was beautiful (awwwww!). I get that Jodie Foster thing a lot. He! It's funny.


Could be me, could be Jodie Foster? Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What to do when you're unemployed

So...my days are long. Really long. I've been getting up around 6:30 because that's when my eyes open. I usually watch the morning's top news stories and then head out for a run when Dave goes to work. Then I spend a little time sending out a resume or two and then I have hours and hours of complete boredom. So what have I been doing with all this time?

Not much.

Today I worked on my quilting and knitting. Yep...I'm 83 but I look damn good! :)

I've also been doing a lot of cleaning. Here's your cleaning tip for the day. To make your glass shower doors look incredible, wash them with the Mr. Clean sponge and then use RainX to keep the hard water stains away. I also use a squeegy after each shower.

Any ideas to keep my brain moving?

Monday, October 17, 2005

Weekend Roundup

Hello y'all from the land of unemployment!

So far, so good on the job search. I've contacted a couple companies and have already heard back from two. The quick response, I think, is hopeful that I'm employable. Or at least that's what I like to think.

My husband ran the Columbus Marathon yesterday in 4:44:18. I'm so proud of him. Never did I think he would make it to the start line and now he says he'd like to do another one. I've created a monster! It was fun to watch him and my other friends run and do well. Here's Andrea's report and hopefully Dave will post his soon. And hopefully I will have taken some good pictures for him to post (I'm not betting on it).

I ran once last week to work out the kinks from the marathon and this week I'll get back to running more regularly. I've been recruited to run with the CC team this week. I'd much prefer to run in the morning now that I don't have to rush off to work. Something tells me I'm going to have many days of running in the morning.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bad News for Meredith

Today was a really bad day for me. I got laid off from my job today. The reason I was told was 'company reorganization.' I'm not sure that's totally the truth, but that's what I'm going to believe.

So crud, now I have to look for a new job--one of my least favorite things to do. So internet if you want to help or know someone who could help:

-I have a BS in Industrial Engineering from The Ohio State University
-I have 5 years work experience--including work in the service industry and distribution.
-I have mad problem solving and analytical skills
-My computer skills include Word, Excel, Access, Project, AutoCAD, and Arena (simulation software)
-It would be great to continue working in engineering, but I'm open to anything

If you're interested in my resume or want to know, please e-mail me (it's on the sidebar).

Well, not much else to say. My day has been pretty crappy and I'm completely drained. Please keep me in your prayers.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Towpath Marathon 2005

I started back to full-time training after my broken shin in December '04 and I haven't stopped training. All my big races have been back-to-back. I've taken less than 10 days total off from training (that's not included in the rest days built into the training). So I have to tell you I was quite burnt out by the time the marathon rolled around yesterday. I kept thinking of all the different excuses I could come up with to get out of the race. But I ran it and I did pretty well.

The race started late as one of the trains bringing all the runners was late. This was a pretty small race and there was no way to gauge where to line up. We lined up pretty close to the front because we knew it wasn't going to be crowded so people wouldn't be flying past us and we wouldn't have to worry about dodging slower people.

The first two miles were on the road and then we hit the trail. The trail was crushed limestone, although there were patches of asphalt and long plank footbridges. The scenery was beautiful except I never saw any of it because there were hickory nuts all over the course and you had to watch your step.

My dad ran with me the first half of the race. We were pretty conservative as we came through the half way point at 1:47 and change.


Dad and I close to the 6 mile mark. I'm number 207; that's my dad right in front of me. Posted by Picasa


Way too close-up. Posted by Picasa


In Peninsula (that's the name of the town). Posted by Picasa


More of my dad and me. Posted by Picasa


And off we go to the halfway point. Posted by Picasa

Bridget ran with me the second half of the race and she had me pushing the pace. We started dropped down to the 8:02/8:03 range and things were still feeling pretty good. I ran all the way to mile 21 and then that damn wall came out and got me. Bridget kept having me run but we slowed down the pace to around 9:00s. I sure cut it close in the end. My time was 3:39:06. That's a PR (by 12 seconds) and requalifies me for Boston. I'm not hugely satisfied by it, but I'll deal.


Bridget and I chugging along. Posted by Picasa


And off we head towards the finish. Posted by Picasa


Here we are passing a bunch of people, who in the end, will pass us back. Posted by Picasa


Nice face! Sprinting at the finish. Posted by Picasa

Some notes about this race and why I won't be doing it again. First of al, the mile markers were off so I couldn't even use the pace bands I had attached to my arm. Nor could I figure out if I needed to speed up or sow down. Secondly, I struggled with the surface changes. I would have been fine had it been all trail or all asphalt, but switching back and forth was hard on the body. The water stops were approximately 1-1/2 miles apart but they were kinda random. And although there were signs indicating an aid station ahead, those signs were just ahead of the aid stations. for me this was difficult because I had to put all my gel in my mouth at once before the waterstop. It made me gag. It scared Bridget. (Sorry Bridget.) Lastly, there was a detour off the trail through an industrial park at miles 23 and 24. It was a very lonely stretch. To reconnect to the trail, we had to hop a curb, run through grass, run through a gravel parking lot, and finally back on the trail which was now asphalt to the end (except the very end which was grass). I wasn't planning on a cross country marathon.

I'm glad my season's over. I'm going to rest for a few days and then figure out what's nexxt. Thanks for all your good luck wishes.

And a special thanks to my dad and Bridget who helped me through the race. I'm sure it was really hard for Bridget to run a slower pace and even walk. She pushed me when I needed it and knew how to motivate me in the end. Lots of love to both of you.

Update: I finished 2nd in my age group. Now, how do I get that award?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Hey! You!

Hey you out there! Yeah you know who you are. The person reading this blog and never leaving a message! I know there are more than 4 people reading this site, y'all. So, I'm making it easier for everyone. Now everyone can leave a comment either by being a blogger member or anonymously (although I'd still like to know who you are). So hey, who are all you people?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Good and The Bad

The good part about the last few days before the marathon is the pasta eating. I love me some carbs!

The bad part about the last few days before the marathon is all the hydrating. I must have gone to the bathroom about 400 times yesterday. I even had to get up in the middle of the night. (Well, maybe like 10:30, but I go to bed really early y'all!)

Not much to post about when you're not really doing much running. I'll either post Sunday after the race or Monday morning. Towpath, here I come!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Random Stuff

I did a hard tempo run with some of the high school girls yesterday. We did about 3-1/2 miles with 1-3/4 of it at a sub-7:30 pace. There were four girls who ran with me and for the most part, they hung together pretty well. Afterwards they said it was a tough practice. It was music to my ears. I love the high schoolers.

Did you check out the piece on Vanessa Carlton on Derek's blog? I think it's great when celebrities donate to good causes, but I think it's even better when celebrities are role models.

On a serious note...we need some prayers. My sister is pregnant with child #3 and having a tough go-about. She had been having some spotting, so she went to the doctor and it was discovered that her placenta is hanging outside her cervix. (Ew!) She's not allowed to do anything physical for the remainder of her pregnancy (including S-E-X). The good news is that as the baby grows it should pull everything back into place. Please keep her in your thoughts. She has a long way to go in this pregnancy--she's not even at 20 weeks.

Have a good Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Funny Stuff

This may come as a shocker, but I read other blogs besides running blogs. Two of my favorites are Jason Mulgrew and Amalah. These are two really funny websites. Be warned, however, they contain a lot of choice language and juicy subjects.

And now I'm going to recommend a book that falls into the whole Mulgrew/Amalah genre. The Idiot Girls Action Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro is just pure funny. I laughed so hard at times that I had tears in my eyes and fell out of bed. Ladies, this one is mostly for you.

Monday, October 03, 2005

September Totals

September was another big month of running and I didn't even come close to doing all the miles that were planned. I didn't do any biking (besides around the neighborhood) or swimming in September, but I did do a lot of running. Total miles for the month:

122.7 miles

Saturday was my last "long" run before the marathon this weekend. I did 9 miles at Highbanks Metro Park. I haven't run at Highbanks very much this summer, but all my running at the stadium sure made a difference. Highbanks has some pretty good-sized hills and a flight of stairs. I flew up the big hill and the stairs and felt really good about my run.

It also helped that it was in the 40s. I love running in the colder weather. I wore shorts and a long sleeve shirt. I was a bit warm. Andrea wore long sleeves, long pants, and gloves. Andrea, you're from Canada! 40 shouldn't be cold to you!

It's supposed to be summer-like temperatures for the first couple days this week. I'm hoping it will be cold again by the weekend. T-minus 6 days and counting!

Friday, September 30, 2005

Gorgeous!!!

I was just reading Jeff's blog and he said it was 101 degrees yesterday during his run. During my run yesterday it was probably mid-60s. And I LOVED IT!!! I felt like I could run forever! It was the best run I've had in a long time. I'm so glad it's autumn.

I ran into the cross country coaches yesterday. They asked me to pace a group of girls next week during a practice. Should be fun.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

A question to all y'alls

Seriously, runners, we're busy folk. I personally work full-time, coach part-time, train, and still find time to have a husband and have a few other interests. But one thing that really stresses me out is coming home to a filthy house. I don't know why, but when I was single and lived in an apartment by myself, everything was always clean and tidy. Since I got married, though, I can't keep anything clean. I thought I would actually gain time when I got married because Dave would just be here instead of me having to make time to see him and travel to see him. I just don't feel anymore I have the time or the energy to keep the house clean. But not having a clean house makes me angry!

I've been contemplating hiring a cleaning service. We hire a service to make our lawn look great in the summer, why wouldn't I want the same for the inside of my home? Do any of have a cleaning service? I just think it would eleviate some of my stress if I didn't have to come home to a dirty house and could concentrate my time on other activities.

Running's been going pretty well this week. I did a nice 6 mile run on Tuesday and yesterday I did somewhere between 3-1/2 to 4 miles in my neighborhood and then through a park. I tried to map in out on Google but when you live in a still-developing area not everything shows on the map.

Talk to y'all later.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

2005 Goals Revisited

A meeting I had this morning resulted in some homework for me. My task was to create a list of priorites and goals for my life (no I didn't meet with a shrink, I met with my HR director). So I decided to look at my list of running goals for 2005 and see how far I've come. Here's the list, in no particular order (and you can find it buried in my blog too).

1. Run a marathon in 3:30
2. Run more races
3. Improve speed and PRs
4. Run Boston
5. Requalify for Boston
6. Do another triathlon
7. Improve on triathlon time
8. Consider a half Ironman
9. Cross train through the marathon season

With nine months of the year nearly completed, here's how I'm fairing.

1. I have yet to run a 3:30 marathon but there's always next weekend.
2. I've definitely run more races this year than any other year. I've done 10 road races, one relay, 3 triathlons, and one duathlon.
3. I've PRed in the half marathon, 10 miler, 5 miler, and 5K in 2005.
4. I ran Boston in April.
5. I have yet to requalify for Boston, but I should be able to do it next weekend in Cleveland.
6. Not only did I do another triathlon, I did 3 of them and a duathlon this past summer.
7. Improving on my triathlon times is subjective because none of the triathlons I've done to date have been the same distance, but I definitely feel I became a better triathlete.
8. Consider a half Ironman? Been there, done that in July 2005.
9. I've cross trained throughout most of the year. I've fallen short in September but mostly because the month slipped away from me and I had too much running to do.

So now I ask, what's next?

Coin Flip

It's going to be a coin flip for this marathon in a week and a half. The miles are in but they weren't consistent. Something always came up. I don't think I had one week where everything went the way it was planned.

Last week was a prime example. I started off the week well running stong 5 milers on Monday and Tuesday, a rough 4-1/2 miles on Wednesday, and then a pretty good 5K race on Thursday. Friday we went camping with the family and I ran out of time to run. The camping was pretty much roughing-it for me with lots of mud and bathrooms a good walk away and no sinks at all. Plus it rained and it was just a mess. So I didn't run on Saturday either. Sunday I was supposed to do 20 miles with Doug and Andrea, but it was like 100% humidity and I could barely make it 13 miles. I have asthma (have I ever said that?) and when it gets humid, my asthma really bothers me.

So I'm going into this marathon having done one 20 miler, two 16 milers, one 17 miler, and several in the range of 13 miles. Now I just have to hope that my fitness carries me through.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Another Pleasant Surprise

As I opened the dryer this morning to pull out my jeans a $10 bill came flying out at me. Bonus! Now I can get lunch. Unfortunately, that's about the only thing going right today. Our systems are not working here at work and I'm not able to get my reports done. Oh well...now I get to work on balancing my checkbook.

I ran the A&F Challenge last night. It's a 5K that's held at the world headquarters for Abercrombie, which also happens to be only a few miles from our house. This race had about 1400 runners and it also includes an inline race, a bike tour, BBQ, and concert. All for a $20 entry fee. The race raised $1.1 million for hurricane relief.

I started the race pretty conservatively with my first mile being a 7:36. Then I sped up to a 7:08 second mile, and finished the last 1.1 in 8:01. My overall time was a 22:46. That's about an average time for me. I'm not very good at the 5K. I'm much better at 10 miles and above. Scary, huh? I get faster the longer the distance.

This weekend ends the hard training. I'm planning on doing a 20+ mile run on Sunday, 16 miles of it with Andrea. The taper starts immediately. My marathon is October 9th.

Have a great weekend and be careful. Go Buckeyes!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A Pleasant Surprise

Yesterday was our third wedding anniversary. Due to some scheduling this year, Dave and I are not going to be able to celebrate our anniversary with dinner or a date. I ordered a gift for Dave over a week ago and I have yet to receive it. Sorry, can't tell you. Dave reads this site. Dave gave me a present yesterday, though. He bought me a beautiful necklace that has a pink tourmaline jewel in it. It's very pretty and appropriate. I wear a lot of pink. I'll try to take a picture tonight and show y'all.

We've got a 5K race tonight. This one we have run since the race was introduced 5 years ago. It's not one you run hard, but it is one that you want to run because there's a BBQ afterward and Collective Soul is performing after the race. And it's 5 minutes from home. How can you beat that?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

New Running Routes

Note: I've added some pictures from the relay this weekend. Check them out in the post below.

The town I grew up in and now where I currently live has seen a lot of change in the last 20 years. When I was younger the town was very rural and mostly there were farms. Now the town is very developed and has million dollar homes every 100 feet. With all this development there are new roads, new housing developments, and lots of golf courses. This week I've been exploring some of the new roads. For this training season I decided to not concentrate so much on the miles and run by the watch. So anything between 40 and 45 minutes I count as a 5 mile run. Get it?

Monday I parked at the high school and ran out Fodor Road to New Albany Road East, through the industrial park, down to Schleppi Road where it ended into Walnut Steet and returned. It took me 42 minutes. I'm calling that 5 miles.

Tuesday I decided to go in the opposite direction. I started at my parents' house which is off of Walnut Street. I ran Walnut Street to Schleppi and then turned left on New Albany Road East. This took me through the old Souder Farm which will soon be a housing development. The road is there but nothing else is there in the field. I really liked this part of the run. This road connected me into The Links housing development and golf course. I turned around just after Bevelhymer Road (not like you guys have any idea where these roads are, but I usually write in my journal and then type it into here).

I wonder where the road will take me today?

Monday, September 19, 2005

Reach the Beach 2005

After last year's experience it's hard to believe I would ever return to this race. But I did, and I'm glad I did.

The weekend started early Thursday with us all meeting at the airport for our flight to Manchester, NH. Once in Manchester we rented vans and headed over to the Olive Garden for dinner. Then it was on to the grocery and then the long drive up to Brenton Woods. We hung out that evening at the bar across the street from our motel, The Profile Deluxe, shooting pool and throwing darts. I turned in pretty early. I like my sleep and knew I wouldn't be getting very much of it this weekend.

Friday started with a hearty breakfast and then a relaxing lounge by the pool with my iPod. At about 12:30 we loaded up the vans and headed to the Brenton Woods Lodge for the start of our wave. Our wave started at 1:30pm and there were only 18 teams that would start after us.


Bridget and I at the Brenton Woods Lodge. That's me on the right with my eyes all squinty. Posted by Picasa

And we're off! Andy started as by bravely running up the ski slope at Brenton Woods. He quickly came back down and then case was on toward Hampton Beach. Our runners in order were Andy, Steve, Mandy, Jim, Brian Y, Terry (all in Van 1) and then Van 2: Bridget, Brian G, me, Nathan, Jen, and my dad.

My first run was very difficult. I had a 400+ foot climb in about a mile. My calves were on fire going up that climb. I admit, I had to do a little walking. I also walked as I passed this house that had huge barking dogs. Really scary!


In the van before my first run. That my dad, me, and Nathan (L to R). Posted by Picasa

It started to rain on my dad's first run and continued for the next couple of hours as we tried to get some sleep.

Our van's next round of legs started around 2:00am with Bridget. This is when things got really scary. In the past, our team has started to catch other teams during the night runs so you weren't out there alone, but that was not the case this year. When our van caught up to Bridget and asked her how she was doing she said, "Some fucker chased me." We were like, "what the...?" It turns out some guy got out of his car and started chasing Bridget, but Bridget was too fast for this guy. So the guy got back in his car and drove ahead of Bridget, got out of his car and started waving and saying things to her. Bridget stopped running and just stood there. A woman in a passing car came up and asked Bridget if she knew the guy. Bridget said no and then the woman followed her for the next 2-1/2 miles. Once the guy got frustrated and left the woman in the car called the police. The police were there immediately and questioned Bridget, questioned us, and patrolled the road the rest of the time. Poor Bridget. She has the worst luck. She's had her car stolen, her bike stolen, was beaten unconscious by an intruder in her apartment, and now a guy chased her in the middle of the night. Brian ran with Bridget the rest of her run and we followed close behind in the van.

During my 2nd run I was completely alone but my van followed closely and Bridget even ran the last mile and a half with me. My middle leg was a good run--7.4 miles in 57:09.

At the next double transition area I pulled out my sleeping bag and slept on the grass. It was nice to stretch out and get some sleep.

At around 11:45am our van was off again with only 6 legs left until the finish. My run was 4.1 miles and my official time was 31:24, but I had it at 29:56 because I got stopped at a red light where we were required to wait until it tuned green again. Our vans got stopped by that same light twice and I thought I was going to beat them to the transition. Luckily Nathan hopped in the first van which barely made it to the transition before I did.

Our finish time was 26:02:24 which is a 7:22 pace ofr 212 miles. We finished 20th out of 275 finishing teams.


Hampton Beach at the end of the race. Notice how bundled up the girls are and how crazy the boys are. Posted by Picasa

The rest of the weekend was a blur of food, margaritas, sleep, and plane rides. It's good to be home and I'm totally exhausted. Barring any changes, I'm planning to run this relay again if my team will let me.


The day after at the Sea Spirals Motel. Dad, Brian G., and me. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Pretty Smart, Pretty Stupid

I consider myself a pretty smart chick. I have a degree in engineering. That's got to put me on the high end of smart, right? Well yesterday I did something pretty stupid. Yesterday I ran with the high school cross country team. This was smart because I got in good miles and I didn't have to run by myself. In my four plus years of running yesterday was the first day I've ever forgotten socks. Pretty stupid! So I decided to run without socks because I was putting on a brand new pair of shoes and I thought that a new pair of shoes wouldn't rip up my feet. Again, pretty stupid. I ran the 6-1/2 miles with the high schoolers and it was a good run, but when I took my shoes off at the end of practice my brand new shoes had blood stains in the heels of them. I made sure to pack my socks today.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Lecture

In the last 12 years I have spent (and my parents have spent) thousands of dollars trying to rid my face of its acne. Only in the last six months has it cleared up and I think it changed because I got older and my hormones changed. With my acne clearing up, I discovered I have a whole lot of sun damage on my face. Yesterday I met with a plastic surgeon to discuss some option to get rid of the sun damage. Boy did I ever get a lecture! It came down to this...I have to wear at least SPF 30 sunscreen everyday on my face. Period! So for all you sun babies out there, wear your sunscreen!

I am going to New Hampshire this weekend to compete in the Reach the Beach Relay. It's a 200+ mile relay and we have a team of 12 people doing it. Unfortunately yesterday we found out that one of our people cannot go. We're two days away from leaving and we're scrambling to find somebody. I'm hoping we do because some people would have to run really long distances to make up for it. I might volunteer to take an extra leg since I'm the only one in the group training for a marathon.

As I've said before, I work for a shoe company and I shopped our store yesterday. When I was out in Portland a couple years ago I bought a pair of Columbia shoes that were great. They were waterproof and could be worn in the rain, in the snowy winters, and as work boots. But those shoes have finally worn out. Yesterday I tried on a pair of Merrells that were made with Gore Tex. They were the most comfortable shoes I've ever tired on. I bought them to replace my Columbias. And with my discount, it was quite a bargain.

See ya later kiddies!!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Disappointment

Yep, the Buckeyes lost and we fell in the polls, but except for our quarterbacks losing their heads in the last two plays, I thought it was a really good game. Really miss Nugent, though.

I've trained for 7 marathons (including the current one I'm training for) but I have only been able to run 4 marathons. The first three marathons I did, I trained with an organized group. The last three marathons I trained with a group that my dad runs with. It's a group of people who mostly work together and it didn't cost me anything so it was great. But participation has started to dwindle during the last couple of marathons. Training for Boston last spring, there were only 4 of us doing the race. Then this summer there were four of us again who trained for the half Ironman. It sounded like there would be a big group of us training for a fall marathon and it also sounded like we were all going to do Towpath up in Cleveland. Things fell apart, however, and now it seems I'm the only one of the group doing Towpath and one of maybe 3 or 4 even doing a marathon this fall. And, it seems, I'm the only one doing our usual training plan.

So this Saturday I showed up to Antrim to run and I was one of four...Brian, my dad, Andy, and me. Brian said he was running 8. Dad said he was running 15 but I knew that wasn't going to happen. Andy said he was running 20+, but he stopped at 15 and ran ahead of me the whole way. So I did 20, by myself. Surprisingly it went well, but I was really peeved that I had to do it by myself. I'm not doing this again. If no one is going to run another marathon then I'm moving on to a group that is going to be doing marathons. Twenty miles is a long way to run by yourself.

And I just found out in the recent weeks that even if I qualify I may not get to run Boston this year anyway. My sister is pregnant (again) and due that weekend.

As you can probably tell, I'm not in the best mood this morning.

Friday, September 09, 2005

What I've Been Doing This Week

Sorry I haven't posted much this week. I've had lots of presentations here at work I've had to sit in on and we've had a house guest all week and all the tennis that I just haven't had time to collect my thoughts.

I did some intense running on Wednesday. It was the stadium run and my friend "J" joined my dad and I. "J" is a much better runner than me so I did my best to stick with her. Each mile that we did around the track got faster and faster. Our first mile was a 7:19 and I think that was just a warm-up for her. My second mile was a 6:59 and my third mile was a 6:58. In between each of those miles was two flights of stairs so I'm pretty impressed with myself. Last night I was pretty worn out, though, so I only did two miles of recovery and I'll probably do three more this afternoon on the treadmill just to work out the kinks before my 22 planned for Saturday.

Did y'all see I got featured on the Carnival of Runner's this week? How cool was that?

In the last week I've had hits on this blog from all over the world, including Germany, Australia, India, Japan, the Netherlands, England, and Portugal. How cool is that too?

So people all around the world....I'm searching for a friend of mine who is in the military and stationed in Iraq. His name is Eric Petterson. If you know him, please have him check out this sight and get in contact with me. Thanks.

I know, I know. I still need to post the pictures from our vacation. I'm getting there!!!!

Have a great weekend if I don't hear from y'all before then. Oh yeah...GO BUCKS!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Damn right, I'm a Buckeye

107,000 screaming fans

The team making its way out of the tunnel

Script Ohio

Block O

Carmen Ohio

Damn right, I'm a Buckeye!

Friday, September 02, 2005

This will make you shake your head

Is it wrong to admit that I'm a closet Hillary Duff fan? He he!

Running has been good this week. I did 4 miles of stadium workout on Wednesday and 5 miles around the country club yesterday.

I don't know how much running I'm going to get in this weekend as we have a pretty busy schedule. This weekend kicks off Ohio State football and we're going to be neck-deep in it. It's alumni weekend (which we are) and Dave will be marching in the alumni band at the game. Tonight he's got a rehearsal and then a full morning of marching, skull session, and game. I have a ticket to the game so I also will be going. Sunday we'll be going to Cleveland for a bridal shower and because we have tickets to the orchestra. We're going to see the Cincinnati Pops in Cleveland. How weird is that? Monday has no plans as of yet, so there will probably be good running that day.

Have a good holiday weekend!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

August Totals

I'm still working on the vacation recap. Keep checking back. It's almost complete.

Training is fully focused on fall marathon and very little time is being devoted for swimming and biking.

Swim: 1800 meters
Bike: 135 minutes = 2-1/4 hours
Run: 115.6 miles

My Summer Vacation

We're back and pretty exhausted. But no time to rest, it's back to work today. I will begin posting my summer vacation and will continue to post as I get time. This post is going to be very long and I will try to put pictures in when I get a chance.

For the record, on the last post, no I did not throw up on my shorts. Sometimes my hands type faster than my brain thinks.

Vacation Day 1:

Today we traveled to NYC. The plane ride was good and a lot shorter than expected. the van ride from the airport to our hotel was a different story. The driver had a short fuse and constantly laid on his horn and shouted at other drivers. One of his statements was, "wake up sleepy." He!

I must admit that when we first got here I was feeling quite overwhelmed. It is a big, big city and where we are staying is more in a residential area than a touristy area. But after a stroll through Central Park I began to calm down.

This evening we went to Lincoln Center for "Out of Doors." It's a series of free cultural events. This evening had different ethinic dances and all the dance troops were from Brooklyn. There was a step group, an African group, a Swedish group, a Panmanian group, and a few others. My favorite was the African group.

For dinner we went to a place called Vynll which was quite a hole in the wall, but we're discovering everything is here. The menus were inside of record albums. It was good food, good service, and not too expensive.

We walked down to Times Square to end the evening. Boy it was crowded with people. I'm glad we're staying off the beaten path aways.

Vacation Day 2:

Today we got up around 6:45 and went for a run in Central Park. We got totally lost as we followed these little paths that intersected. We came out around the Natural History Museum or whatever it's called (it's got dinosaurs). At this point a woman asked us how to find the running paths in Central Park and we pointed her in a different direction that we came from because we didn't want her to get lost. We rested for a minute and then went the same path we had shown her. We soon realized, however, that we had pointed her to a road that actually went under the park. Woops! We chased her down, turned us all around, and we all ran together to the south side of the park. It was fun; it was slow; and I'm calling it about 4-1/2 miles.

Much of the rest of the day was spent on a double-decker bus tour. The first part of the tour was downtown. We saw sites such as the Empire State Building, Ground Zero, Wall Street, The Village, Chinatown, etc. It was an okay tour. Our tour guide didn't speak much English so she basically just pointed out things we could have gotten from a map. The second half of the tour went uptown where we saw the Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Harlem, and Central Park. Our tour guides were excellent and gave us a lot more information than just what the sites were. They told us all the juicy celebrity gossip, which I like.

This evening we went to dinner at Lindy's where we encountered our first bad service. Our waitress came by only three times--once to take our order, once to bring the check, and once to bring the check back. The food was alright but overpriced. We wanted the cheesecake, but didn't have time.

After dinner we hopped the subway (our first time of many times) out to Brooklyn to meet Monique and Pete for an off-off Broadway play. The play was called "World Gone Wrong" and Pete's brother was in it. The play was unusual because all the dialog was previously recorded and all the lines had come from different noir movies. It was good, but different, and I'm not realy sure I got it.

Vacation Day 3:

We started our Friday really early and were at the Today Show by 6:30 am. We got really good spots right along the railing where Matt Lauer and Ann Curry would be announcing the concert--Joss Stone. Let me say this, Ann Curry is my new best friend. She came over and said hello, shook my hand, and Dave got a picture of me and Ann Curry. It was awesome! The concert was awesome too. Unfortunately, being as short as I am, I wasn't able to actually see the performance, but I did watch it on the monitors.

Next we headed down to Ground Zero to check it out further than the bus tour. right now it's a construction site and there are posters of the new building going up there, but just the enormity of the space is enough to get the feeling of how big the building were. (I had been to the World Trade Center eleven years ago, but Dave had never seen them.) We went to the church next to Ground Zero which had housed many of the volunteers. It had a memorial and a museum.

Our next adventure tested my nature. I have a deep, dark fear of bridges and really flip out when I have to go across them. When I crossed the Cheasapeake Bay when I was a child, I sat on the floor of the car crying. Got the idea? So I conquered my fear today and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. We stopped halfway and took some pictures.


Me, from the Brooklyn Bridge Posted by Picasa

We had been told that right at the end of the bridge was this great pizza place called Grimaldi's. Well, we got to the end of the bridge and we couldn't find any of the roads supposedly by the pizza place. We walked around and around and then asked a traffic officer who had no idea what we were talking about. We then found a subway station and looked at the map to find the streets. After a lot more walking we finally found Grimaldi's which was right under the Brooklyn Bridge. We had lunch there and got some dessert at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.

After Brooklyn we headed back to the hotel for some naps and cleaned up for dinner. We went to La Bonne Soupe which had decent service, good food, and pretty good prices.

After dinner we met Pete and Monique at Union Square to go on a walking tour of The Village to see some art displays. We did a lot of walking but didn't really see any art. We think we did see some movie stars, though. We think Kirsten Dunst and Jake Gyllenhaal walked right past us. Pete pointed them out but only after they had walked past. Our final destination for the evening was B's Bar and Grill where we had a little liquid dessert and then headed home around 1:00am.

Vacation Day 4:

We woke up kinda late for us today, which made me irritable that I had wasted the morning. It was a pretty nice day so we decided our first activity would be the Empire State Building. We went probably around 10:00am and the lines weren't bad, but just being around that many people started to make me antsy. I'm pretty closterphobic so it was a bit too much. We didn't spend much time at the Empire State Building but we did get to see the view of the city from each side.

For lunch we went to Grand Central Station and just ate at the food court. What a neat place. We don't have trains or subways in Columbus so being in a busy transportation hub was cool and the architecture was also cool.

After lunch we hopped the subway down to Chinatown and SoHo to do some shopping. I really wasn't planning on doing any shopping in NY since we have most of the stores here in Columbus. I really like vintage/thrift clothes so I was hoping to find some good deals. Again, what a mistake. First of all, the sidewalks were wall to wall people and being that I was already on edge I thought I was going to die. We had this list of different vintage shops that came from our 2005 Frommer's guide and none of the stores were there. I guess they had already gone out of business. I did find the Kate Spade store which was exciting because she's one of my favorite designers. We also saw a drug transaction go down just one street off of Broadway. Good times!

For dinner we met Monique and Pete and went to an authentic Italian restaurant in the West Village. I have no idea what I ordered but it was good. It was shell pasta with creamy sauce and Italian sausage. Yummy!

After dinner we went to a sketch comedy show that Pete's brother was in. It was extremely funny. We turned in pretty early in preparation for our race on Sunday.

Vacation Day 5:

We woke up at 5:30 this morning in preparation for our race at 7:00. I woke up not feeling 100%--I was super dizzy. So dizzy, in fact, that I fell into the wall in the bathroom as I was getting dressed. We hopped the subway up to the east side of Central Park. There were lots of runners on the trains and we barely got to the starting line in time. As we were waiting for the gun to go off the announcer said there were 8000 runners registered for the race. 8000!? That's twice as many as the Columbus Marathon. The race itself was pretty difficult. First it was really, really humid and already in the 80s at 7:00am. Secondly, it was a lot hillier than anything we run around here. It wasn't steep hills, just really long hils. And lastly because it was two loops of the park, mentally it was tough because you knew you could drop out and always make it back. I finished in 1:52 and Dave finished in 2:11. That's way off our personal bests.

After the race we cleaned up, rested a little, and then decided to go down to Times Square for lunch at a chain restaurant because we wanted to be able to get free refills and be in air conditioning. (If you've never been to NYC, most of the local places serve you sodas in cans or bottles and a lot of places don't have AC.) We had a super nice, super friendly waitress at Bubba Gumps. She talked to us for a long time about culture and tourists and how NYC differs from the midwest. It was an enjoyable lunch.

Next we hopped the subway down to South Ferry and cuaght the boat to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. We had ridden the Staten Island Ferry earlier in the trip so we had already seen the Statue of Liberty but we wanted to see it up close. We took a lot of pictures and even got a stranger to take a picture of the two of us. It was the only picture we got of the two of us together the whole trip. We also went to Ellis Island and explored the immigrant museum there. It had beautiful black and white photographs. I really liked the museum.

For dinner we went to the Upper East Side to a pizza place called John's Pizza. The pizza was delicious, but again, no air conditioning.

We turned in pretty early as the day and the week were starting to wear on us.

Vacation Day 6:

Today was by far my favorite day of our vacation. Today was the day I have been waiting 14 years for. today was the day I got to go to the US Open. My whole reason for coming to NY was to see Andre Agassi play in what is probably his final US Open. Here's the sad part--I didn't get to see him play or practice, but I did get to see a lot of other great players. We first got to see Taylor Dent on one of the practice courts. It's amazing how close you can get to the players! Next we watched a small portion of the Ivan Ljubicic match. Then we went and wtached almost the whole Serena Williams first round match on Arthur Ashe stadium. After the Serena match we went back out to the practice courts and saw Tim Henman and Amelie Mauresmo. We also saw James Black and Xavier Malisse walk by. The next match we saw was Kim Clijsters. She's my favorite female player so this was an especially good treat. You have no idea how good she is until you've seen her play in person. We also got to see a small portion of the Jan-Michael Gambill/Nicolas Massu match before the Clijster's match. After the Clijster's romp we caught the tail end of Rafael Nadal and then watched the whole Venus Williams match. By this time it was late in the afternoon, we were sweaty and stinky and sunburnt and ready to go back to the hotel.

Dave had picked out three different restaurants on the Upper West Side to check out for dinner. One was Mexican, one was Italian, and one was Soul Food (sounds like the start of a joke). One thing that was different about restaurants in NY was that they were really authentic and most of the time the menus were not in English. First we went to the Mexican restaurant and I could not figure out the menu enough to figure out what to order. Then we walked a long way to the Italian restaurant where neither Dave nor I could figure out what the menu said. Finally we went to the Soul Food place where nothing sounded good. As we were walking back to the subway station we passed a coffee shop that was used in the movie "You've Got Mail." Being that this is my favorite movie, I got great joy out of this very long walk. Finally we decided to just go to the Olive Garden to get a familiar meal and headed back to the hotel to watch Agassi play on TV.

Vacation Day 7:

The final day. Today we only had time to be tourists in the morning and then hop our plan in the afternoon. This wasn't a day without adventure, though. We started the morning by going to St. Patrick's Cathedral, then to Rockefeller Plaza, to the NBC store for a little shopping, and finally got some brunch at a restaurant across from our hotel.

We then packed up and checked our travel arrangements. Remember how we had a van transport to and from the hotel? Well we took out the information sheet and it said to call 24 hours in advance. Woops! We called but they couldn't accommodate us so we needed to take a taxi to the airport. We asked the doorman to get us a taxi which we tipped him for but how stupid. The taxi moved from one sport on the curb up about 20 feet which was now in front of us. We could have done that ourselves.

Here's the funny part. On our way to the airport Dave leaned over to me and asked me if I had anything smaller than a $20. I didn't have any money. We got to the airport and our fare was $24.10. Dave handed the guy two $20s and was hoping to get some change back although we didn't actually ask for some change. So our cabbie got a 75% tip. I'm sure it made his day.

With the hurricane and all the rain now in the midwest our flight got delayed by about an hour. But, the airline actually switched airplanes so our flight was not going to leave on time. All the passengers had to board a bus that took us over to the hanger where the airplane was being prepared.

We made it home and it was pouring rain and a heck of a lot cooler than NY. It was an eventful vacation, but it's good to be home.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

What Not to Wear

You've all seen this show on TLC. This show singles out someone who has terrible style and gives them $5000 and set of rules to redo their entire wardrobe. I totally got my own lesson in what not to wear on Sunday. Being that I work at a high school and live in the same town as that high school is highly likely that I am going to see someone I know every time I step out my door. I usually try to dress nice if I am going to a school function or if I am going to a community event in which I will probably be seeing someone from the school. Sunday morning I had to go to Meijer to pick up some last minute things for our vacation. I had showered and fixed my hair and threw up on a pair of jean shorts, a T-shirt, and a long sleeve T-shirt. Not just any long sleeve shirt, however. It was my tie-dyed senior shirt from ten years ago. As I'm walking into Meijer I run into someone from my graduating class. I talked to her for a few minutes but all I kept thinking about was that I was wearing my 10 year old shirt...the same shirt she probably threw away about 10 years ago! What a dork I am!

Speaking of vacation...I'm outta here! Dave and I leave for NY tomorrow so you won't be seeing any updates for a while, unless we happen to find some place to post there. We're running the Manhattan Half Marathon on Sunday but so is about 5700 other people so you probably won't pick us out. I'll let you know how that goes in about a week.

Running has been almost non-existent the last couple days. Not only have I not had time but my shin has been hurting and after all the injuries I've had, I'm not going to push it. For now I'm doing my physical therapy, icing, and doing slower miles or at least trying.

See y'all in about a week!

Oh, oh, before I go. Something else funny happened to me over the weekend. I had a vendor follow me around Friday at work and he asked me to come to lunch with him, so I did. We were having good conversation and he kept talking to me like he wanted me to come and work for the company. I'm not really interested in becoming a consultant but I kept listening. He started talking about the book he was reading which was about how India was becoming a more technical country and that's why all the IT jobs have gone over there, blah blah blah. So I was thinking this was a test. I've had these interviews where they ask you what you are currently reading and it's supposed to be intellectual and academic and all smart and crap. I couldn't even respond to this guy what I was reading. The book I'm reading right now? The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. That's intellectual isn't it?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Pushing the Pace

Yesterday evening my dad and I met to do our weekly stadium run. The plan, as always, is to run each mile around a 9:00 and push the stairs. We never actually adhere to that plan. Our first mile was an 8:06 and we crushed the stairs, which was totally fun because there were these body-builder meatheads there who really sucked on the stairs and it was fun to show them up. The second mile I took off--7:26. Holy cow! The stairs were a little harder the second time, through. The last mile was a 7:40. It wound up being a really hard workout, not just for the stairs but also for the pace we were pushing. Oh, and I also did 800m of swimming before the workout.

So we have Muzak at work. What might surprise you is that Muzak is not just elevator music. There are different stations like top 40, jazz, country, etc. Being that there are 300 employees at my workplace, the AGM switches stations every 2 weeks so that everyone gets the chance to enjoy their music. First it was top 40, which I really liked. The second time he switched it was to called classical jazz. It was horrific! A bunch of squeeky soprano saxophones. I can say I'm not the biggest Kenny G fan. The last two weeks were country, which again I enjoyed. (Shut it...I'm a midwesterner. They played country at our high school dances. You learn how to square dance here in gym class.) Yesterday our AGM flipped the station again. This time to gangster rap. The funny part about all this is that Janet Jackson is playing on it right now. He he! I don't think I would consider her gangster rap.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Pepper Spray, Revisited

I live in the same town I grew up in. The town has become very suburban and very upscale (not that I'm upscale, but in general the town is) with big houses and tiny yards. The town wasn't always that way. Growing up there, it was very rural and most kids I went to school with lived on farms. Despite the town's growth, there is still quite a few farms in the area. Most days I do my runs from my parents' house because they live in this rural area and I enjoy running where there isn't as much traffic. Some problems I've encountered are dogs and fast cars and construction trucks trying to run me off the road (being rural there are no sidewalks). Yesterday I encountered a new problem that made me rethink the pepper spray. As I was running I heard a car slow down as it approached me. The gentleman inside the fancy convertible asked me directions to the nearest major freeway. The funny part about all of this was that I was running in the middle of a corn field. Does there look like there is a major freeway around here? I helped the gentleman, but I got kinda freaked out that he could have just snatched me and abducted me. Maybe I should be carrying that pepper spray.

In some more good news...my weekly weigh-in on Tuesday nights yielded another drop of one pound. Four more pounds to go.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

I talk about my niece a lot. Mostly because she has a crazy imagination and because she says super funny things. Last night she had a sheet of stickers that were earring stickers. She had already put some on her ears. They were blue half moon earring stickers. She told me to look at her earrings, which I did. Then I asked her what they were, thinking that she would tell me they were blue moons. She said, "They're diamonds." 'Nuff said.

I wasn't going to run yesterday. I was tired and not feeling 100%, but Dave had borrowed a CD from the library that had orchestrations of songs from the summer Olympics. How can you not run after hearing that?

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Dorkiness in Me

This post is dedicated to Andrea so she can really find out how much of a dork I am (which, she probably already knows).


I work for a major shoe retailer and I get a pretty good discount. No I don't buy my running shoes there (we don't carry them) and no I will not buy you any shoes!!! Anyway, last week I was out shopping and my favorite pair of sandals popped the back strap off. I was devastated! Here I am a week away from vacation and my favorite shoes just broke. I did a little shopping at three different places on Friday and didn't find any sandals I liked. Everything was a flip-flop. I really dislike flip-flops. They're not made for people with skinny feet and I think they are just plain painful. During my lunch break today I took my sandals to a shoe repair place and paid $10 to get them fixed. Who's the dork now?

I Got Soaked

And it wasn't even because it was raining. I started my long run on Saturday at 7:00am to beat the heat and because my dad had some place to be before noon. I watched the news at 6:00 to see what the weather was going to be like. At 6:00am it was already 75 degrees. The run started well. Dad and I ran 5 miles in about 42 minutes and then waited for everyone else to show up at 8:00. Then we ran another 7 miles at a slightly faster pace. When we stopped for our waterstop, everyone stopped except Doug, Andrea, and I. I went another 2-1/2 miles with them and then turned around. I walked twice in the last mile because my stomach started to hurt. But, I made it--17 miles. I was so soaking wet by the time I was finished with my run. In all my years of running I have never been completely wet including my shorts. My shorts were dripping they were so wet. I spent the rest of the day laying around. I think it's way too hot to be running.

Friday, August 12, 2005

It Must Be My Lucky Day

What do you do with all that change that you collect in your car, wallet, pockets, etc.? I put mine in a shoe box that sits on the top shelf in my closet. The box has so many coins in it that it's too heavy and the box too flimsy to take off the shelf. This morning I wanted to get four quarters so I could get a lemonade out of the vending machine at work. I blindly started grabbing coins out of the box until I got four quarters. When I got to work this morning I pulled out the quarters only to realize I had three quarters and one dollar bill coin. Crap! I though for sure there was no way the vending machine was going to take a dollar bill coin. But, it did!!! And now I have 75 cents extra to get me some pretzels later on.

It has been a great week of running despite the heat. I have already run 18 miles this week and went to one spinning class. Today is a day off from running and I plan on doing an 18 mile long run tomorrow morning.

Speaking of the heat....it's supposed to be 95 degrees today. I also saw gas prices at $2.55 this morning. Both the heat and gas prices are obscene. I'm just not going to drive this weekend. I'm not a hippie, but I'm really starting to think about protesting the gas prices and riding my bike whenever and wherever I can.

Hey, if I don't talk to you today, have a good weekend!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Woo Hoo!!

First things first...I have lost two pounds in two weeks. Five more pounds to go!

Secondly, how many of you have an iPod? I've been thinking about buying one but I'm having a tough time determining if I'll get my return on investment. (He he! I'm an engineer--only people like me would try to figure out an ROI on an iPod.) See, most likely I am not going to wear the iPod when I run outside. It's dangerous. There have been two women recently attacked on the trail I run on and I've been chased by enough dogs that I want to be able to hear them. So the only time I would wear my iPod to run would be when I'm on the treadmill or when I'm running on the track. I like to ride my bike on a trainer so I could see myself using an iPod then and I hate to grocery shop and could see myself using the iPod when I grocery shop. I drive an Element and it has a built in adapter to play the MP3s through the stereo so I could use it then too. And here's the kicker...I get a discount on it. So what do y'all think?

I am running the Reach the Beach relay in New Hampshire September 16th and 17th. Anyone else running it? My legs are 9, 21, 33. Check it out!

I'm also running the Manhattan Half Marathon on August 27th. Anyone else? I would love to meet any RBFers while I'm in NY. More details on that later.

Finally, a friend of a friend recently did Ironman Lake Placid. It was inspiring. I was able to watch her finish online and then I looked at her splits. To me, they were doable. Now the wheels are turning. My goal has always been to do an Ironman before I turned 30. I think Dave will divorce me if I train for an Ironman. He didn't see me very much when I was training for the half.

That's all for now folks. :)

Monday, August 08, 2005

Weekend Round-Up

No races this weekend, but I did have a successful run on Saturday. The group was at Highbanks and all of us did various distances. Andy, Andrea, Doug, and I all did 16 miles. It was a good run. Dave also did his longest run to date this weekend--15 miles. I don't know if he blogged about it or if he's going to, but you can check it out here.

Okay, so this is totally going to make you laugh. I was at church yesterday and they were holding a meeting afterwards to vote on approval of the new building designs. I didn't really care to be part of this because we're switching churches anyway, so I decided to sneak out during the meeting. The pastor said the benediction and then he went right into the meeting. I bent down to grab my keys from under my chair and WHAM! I cracked my head on the chair in front of me and it made a very loud sound. I snuck out of the room, but I wonder how many people saw that? Here's the kicker...my head is tender to the touch today. I'm lucky there's not a bruise there.

Not much else to report this weekend. Dave and I got a lot of work done around the house, so above all else, it was a productive weekend.

Friday, August 05, 2005

An Announcement

Did I mention that I got my hair whacked off last night?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A Good Run

Last night was my stadium workout. Dad and I met to do the run around 5:30pm an dit was 94 dgrees. Suffice it to say, I was not looking forward to the run. But, surprisingly, it went really well. We did our first four laps at a 7:43 mile and then worked really hard through the steps. When we got to the second mile Dad started to fall behind and only completed three of the four laps. We went through the stairs again; this time a little slower. Our last four laps we did 50 meters of walking and then a full 400 meters of jogging. At the end of the workout we walked a full 400 meteres.

I'm starting to get a little concerned. My dad's starting to talka bout giving up and not doing the marathon this fall or even another marathon. I think it's hard to reach a point in your running when you know you're only going to get slower. And I think it's really hard for my dad because I've gotten faster than him and he think he's holding me back. I think he forgets how hard I've trained all spring and summer for the half Ironman. I hope he find his passion again.

In dog news...I didn't get chased by any last night! Instead of pepper spray I was given the suggestion of carrying a small spritz bottle of ammonia and using it if necessary. I'm not really sure how I'd carry it, but that's probably a much better idea than the pepper spray.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Ugh!

Dude, I don't know where all you live and the weather there, but it is damn hot here in the midwest. Today's high is suppose to be 95. 95!!! This weather is wreaking havoc on my training. I am an afternoon runner and running in the bright sun and full 95 degree temperature is not what I call fun. And you say, why don't you just run at a different time? And I say, it's not that easy. Because of a report I have to do every morning at work I have to be at work no later than 6:30, so that rules out running in the morning. (I already get up at 5:15; I'm not getting up any earlier.) And I don't like to run in the evening because that is the time I get to see Dave. If I do my workouts after work then I get my run in before Dave gets off work and we get to spend the evening together. Plus if I go home after work then I never get out to run. Too much to do at home. So yesterday I reduced my run to a run-walk where I would walk anytime I got to shade. And in true Meredith fashion I got chased yet again by a dog. People!! Chain you dogs up!! This dog came right out to me baring it's fangs and barking like it was going to attack me. I kept screaming no, but the dog didn't stop coming toward me. The owner finally came out and got it and told me she was in the process of putting the dog in the car to go to obedience school. Ironic? Then the woman looks at me and goes, "Are you Meredith?" Yes and your dog tried to eat me!!! Seriously, I need to do something about the dog situation. Not only am I scared of dogs to start with, but they're even scarier when they're coming full force at you while running. One of these days I'm going to get bitten. I've thought about carrying mase/pepper spray but having asthma I'm a little worried about an accident and I would wind up in the hospital. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Self-Conscious

My husband and I dated 2 years before we got engaged and then we were engaged a whole year before we got married. While we were dating we got the never ending questions of "when are you getting married." It was annoying. I don't think you should be rushed into decisions like that and I am a big proponent of dating a lot to find that exact person. Now that we've been married for nearly three years and are inching closer and closer to 30, we get the question "when are you going to have a baby?" My friends and family close to Dave and I know not to ask that question because it's not in the plans. I like to be skinny; I like my money; and I like my space. I know that's selfish but after I have a child there is no more selfish so I better enjoy it now.

I had always heard that you should never ask a woman if she was pregnant. If you're wrong not only do you look foolish but you've really insulted the other person. I don't know if it's because I work in a blue collar environment or the people I work with just have no common sense, but this morning for what is probably the 3rd time in the last 30 days someone asked me if I was pregnant. And then proceded to tell me that there is a rumor going around that I am. Usually I wouldn't care because I think people here are just waiting for it to happen (I'm about the only person in management who doesn't have kids and the only one of child-bearing age), but this time it bothered me. It bothered me because not only did the woman ask me if I was pregnant but she told me why everyone thought I was pregnant...because I have "blossomed."

Here's the truth people. I'M NOT PREGNANT! I got a new bra and I put on 7 pounds this summer. Thanks for asking!

In running news (he he he)...it's too damn hot to run!

Monday, August 01, 2005

July Totals

Higher running miles. Lower swimming and biking miles.

Run = 89.7 miles
Swim = 5900 meters = 3.7 miles
Bike = 270 minutes = 4.5 hours

Summer Classic 10 Mile Run

I did a 10 mile race this past Saturday. Not really much to say about it. It was out and back; it had a few rolling (small) hills; and it was pretty boring. There were a few things to talk about, though.

First, I'm not too keen on the whole GPS/pedometer thing. I'm just not sure they are very accurate. As I was approaching the 4 mile mark of the race this older gentleman I was running beside started talking to me about how far off the mile markers were. He said we were at 4-1/4 miles at the 4 mile mark. He asked me what I thought and well...my times were pretty accurate. Sorry about your luck, buddy.

Then for several miles I had this gentleman run beside me, behind me, in front of me but he would never bug off. I can't stand that! I kept speeding up and speeding up but he would never leave. Finally I crushed him going up a small hill and that was the last I saw of him.

My intent was not to run this race hard, but I wound up doing it anyway. My time was 1:18:27. I finished third in my age group and got a nice plaque.