Thursday, December 28, 2006

Thursday Thoughts

Yeah, I know. I'm a little late on this post today. But I've been really busy. I swear! Details in a later post.

Here's the rules in case you forgot. I'll ask a question and then you answer and ask a question of your own. Then the next person will answer that question. Easy enough? Let's get started.

What did you get for Christmas (or other holidays you may have celebrated)?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Year in Review 2006

What’s the last week of December about if we can’t reflect on the past year? Yep, well, this entry is all about the highlights of 2006.

New Job: I started a new job the first of the year after having been laid off from my previous position I held for four years. I was a bit worried starting this new job as this was a career shift for me, but truth be told, this is the first job I have really enjoyed. I don’t grumble so much when I get out of bed in the morning. (Right, Dave?)

Boston Marathon: I came into this year’s Boston Marathon very well trained. I decided to follow the Pfitzinger 55/12 plan which meant a lot more miles than I was previously used to. But, to my surprise, I was able to follow the plan pretty closely. And it paid off. Not only did I accomplish running a full marathon without stopping for a walking break or even to walk through a water stop, I was able to re-qualify for Boston in Boston.

Coaches Dream: I have been coaching track for five years now and 2006 was the most successful year ever. Not only did we win our fourth out of five league championship, I had two runners make it all the way to States. They are now running in college.

Summer Vacation: This past summer Dave and I traveled to Dana Point, California for a little exploring and R&R. The trip started rocky as our flight was delayed several hours, spilling water all over my crotch (Nice!), and not bringing the address for our condo and having to wake my aunt and uncle up in the middle of the night. But, after those ordeals we found the trip to be fantastic. We spent a day at Joshua Tree National Park where we did quite a bit of hiking (in 100+ degree temperatures) and attended a star gazing. We also spent a day hiking up San Jacinto where we summited at 10,800 feet. Besides those two adventures and catching an Angels-Rex Sox games, we hung out with family and friends. What a great vacation this was.

Reach the Beach Relay: This was my third consecutive year that I have run as part of the Profile Deluxe team for the Reach the Beach Relay. This is also the fastest team that I’ve ever run on too. We finished 17th out of 300. Of all the years I’ve done this race, this year I had the most fun.

Chicago Marathon: Being that my last three out of four marathons were 3:39, 3:39 and 3:40, the goal for this marathon was simple: break 3:39. Again I followed the Pfitzinger plan, although I had a little more trouble getting all the miles in than I did for Boston. At the starting line I did not feel prepared, but I set out conservatively and just kept rolling. In the end, I did PR with a 3:35:05 and finished another marathon without walking. And the real joy of this marathon—seeing Bono from U2 at the airport.

What will 2007 bring? That’s a very good question.

On the running front…there’s the Boston Marathon again in April. And in 2007 it’s on my birthday. Who’s gonna buy me a drink after the race? I’m sure there will be another fall marathon, but at this point it hasn’t been decided which one. I would really like to try to qualify for NYC Marathon, but I am not sure I’m willing to dedicate that much time to training only to fall short. I could just enter the lottery! As of right now, I am planning to run with the team again for the Reach the Beach Relay if my team is planning on racing again.

Also in the works for 2007….I am going to become an aunt again. My sister is expecting a baby boy in early May. Dave and I will be celebrating our fifth anniversary in September and hopefully it will include a trip to Italy (if our lazy bums ever get around to planning it). Although I said 2006 was the last year, I have signed on again to coach high school track. I just love those kids too much to walk away. Nothing out of the ordinary to come in 2007, but I think it’s going to be a great year.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday Thoughts

Here we go. I ask a question; the next person answers it and then asks a question. The second commenter answers the first commenter's question and then asks their own. And so on....

What present do you really want to get this holiday season?

Monday, December 18, 2006

I Heart May

Wait a second! It's December 18th! And yet, still warm enough to wear shorts during a run.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Policy Change

Maybe you've noticed, maybe not, but I am going to start moderating comments. This is how it will work...

You make a comment and then a notification is sent to me saying a comment has been made and then I have the choice to post that comment or not.

Please do not let this deter you from making comments. I love the comments and most likely I will still be posting all of them. It's just that this blog is my opportunity to be creative and talk about the events of my life and sometimes I feel that the comments are not necessarily about my posts or my adventures but someone else's opportunity to speak their own mine about their own "stuff." Yeah, I know that sentence didn't make a whole lot of sense. Here's what it boils down to...I want to be in control of my blog and moderating comments is the way I'm going to do it.

I hope you will continue to visit and keep the comments coming!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thursday Thoughts--The New Edition

The remix version of Thursday Thoughts went so well last week, I think I might make it a permanent fixture. So again today, I'll ask one question and then the next person to comment answers it and then asks their own question. The second person to comment will answer the first commenter's question and then ask a question of his/her own. Pretty simple.

Let's get started.

What is your favorite quote from a movie?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

To Flip or Not To Flip

I started taking swim lessons when I was six months old and took them every year until I was 12. Needless to say, I can swim pretty well. And I love to swim. But, I have never mastered the art of the flipturn. Funny enough, I can do a flipturn when I'm backstroking, but I just can't figure it out with the front crawl.

Yesterday I tried a flipturn on my first pass. Not only did I get water up my nose, which usually doesn't happen, I completely missed the wall.

How many of you flipturn when you are swimming laps? If you do flipturn, what are some suggestions that you might be able to give for those of us who struggle with the flipturn?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006

Rosy Cheeks

I'll admit it; I'm kinda a girly-girl. My favorite color is pink, I love pretty dresses and shoes, I spend a lot of time and money on my hair, and I never leave the house without putting on makeup. And I would consider myself a pretty good girly-girl not just a wannabe. But I must be doing something wrong. On Saturday I was at a holiday party and a guy friend asked me if I was wind burnt. Um, no. That's blush, you idiot! Thanks for pointing that out.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thursday Thoughts--The Remix

I've been having a hard time coming up with 5 thoughtful questions every week. Last week I thought I did a good job, but they must have been "too hard" because hardly anyone answered them. This is the plan for this week. I'm going to ask one question. Then the first person who comments will answer that one question then ask one question of their own. The next person who answer the commenters question and then ask a question of their own. Get it? You answer a question; you ask a question. Pretty simple.

Here we go....

Where is one place you'd rather be right now?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Send a Message!

Hey Internet! Send a message today to the boy, Dave. He turns 30 today!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday Thoughts

It's Thursday and time for my weekly question and answer session. Please respond in the comments. If you're visiting the site for the first time, feel free to comment--anyone can. It's free! It's fun! It's addicting!

1. Under what circumstances have you ever or would you ever pose nude?

2. What is the best bargain you ever found?

3. What would be the title of your autobiography?

4. Who was the best teacher you've ever had and why?

5. What was your most vivid dream?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Why do I waste my time? (And other stuff)

One of my guilty pleasures is reality TV. I try to stop, but it's so darn addicting. But, at the conclusion of each of these reality shows, I seem to never be satisfied with the outcome. Why do I waste my time?

I have to admit, I watched this last Bachelor. Not because I wanted to; but more because it was hilarious and I really thought this one was real (I am so stupid). And after watching the two hour season finale last night, I was severely disappointed. He didn't choose my girl. She lost and I lost.


In other news...I might actually start running soon. I've run a whopping 35 miles since the marathon. I just haven't been in the mood. But now that I've gained a solid 5 pounds and the pants are starting to not fit again, I think it's time to get my lazy, large ass out on the pavement and burn some calories.

And finally, a certain significant other of mine is having a very large birthday in a week (THIRTY!!!!) and I am a little short of gift ideas. Anybody got any brilliant ideas? Anything you got for birthdays that you just loved? Any help is appreciated. :)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday Thoughts

It's time for Thursday Thoughts. You know the drill...I'll ask 5 questions and you answer them. Simple as that.

1. Which would you rather watch on Saturday--the OSU/Michigan Game or Tom and Katie's wedding?

2. What's your favorite tailgate food?

3. If you could pick any other name for yourself, what would it be and why?

4. What are your Thanksgiving plans next week?

5. What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

This is Buckeye Country

In case you've been living under a rock, there's a big football game this weekend. Of course, this weekend every year is a big game when you're a Buckeye fan. And when you live in central Ohio, the world revolves around Ohio State.

There is a hotly contested senate or congressional seat that is still being decided and it was announced this morning that the ballots will not be counted until after the game on Saturday. I also heard that the governor-elect who is to be sworn in on January 8th will not celebrate his inauguration until another date because we're all hoping OSU makes the national title game that day.

And as an Ohio State fan, I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Harriers: The Making of a Championship Cross Country Team

A few months ago I was contacted by a publishing company to read and review a book. I was a bit nervous about doing this because I did not know if this offer and/or person was legit and I am not sure my writing skills are really good enough to merit a book review. But, I figured the review was only going to be on my blog and being that it is my blog, I can pretty much review the book any way I want.

The book is called Harriers: The Making of a Championship Cross Country Team and was written by Joseph P. Shivers and Paul Shivers. Cousins, not brothers. The journey follows Salem High School’s boys cross country team from a respectable team to a state championship team. Each team member is profiled along with the coaches and displays the emotions of being part of a highly competitive team.

There were a few things I did not like about this book. First of all, I thought it was way over detailed. While communicating with the publisher, I was informed that this book was most appealing to high school runners and former high school runners. There were two different places in the book that describe how to score a race, but it was very detailed and was more information that I thought the audience needed. If this book truly is geared toward people who run or have run cross country, I do not think this level of detail is needed. That category of people should already know how to score a race. Only a high-level breakdown would have sufficed.

Another thing I thought was a bit weird in this book was that the two writers of the book, who were members of this team, referred to themselves in third person. I think I would have preferred if they had told the story from their point of view. I would classify this book as non-fiction and I think it would have been better as a memoir. It needed to be more personal.

But the book was personal, which makes for the third thing I did not like about this book. For a book about winning a state championship (twice!), I thought the overall tone of the book was pretty negative. Even when the team won the championship, it still seemed that the teammates had negative things to say about their individual performances. Winning a state championship is a huge deal. Can they not be happy with that?

There were some interesting coincidences, though. Salem High School is in Ohio and is in the same division as the high school where I coach. The state championship where Salem wins their first championship was in 2003, and I was at the state meet that year. I remember the scoring glitches that were talked about in the book. Another six degrees twist to this book was that Salem’s biggest competition is/was Walsh Jesuit High School. A close friend of mine, his brother and sister are the coaches at Walsh. Weird!

The book was not bad, especially considering it was written by two high school students. I just thought it could have been better. I appreciate the opportunity to read it and write about it. And maybe, you will check it out for yourself.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thursday Thoughts

Yep, it's Thursday and it's time for the weekly question and answer session I like to call Thursday Thoughts. I'll ask the questions; you supply the answers. Fun and interactive...exactly what this blog is all about. :)

1. Did you vote on Tuesday? How long did you wait in line? Or if you're not from the USA, when is your next election?

2. How do you know me (i.e.--thru the internet, personal friend, married to me, etc)?

3. Are you crafty? If yes, what kind of crafts/hobbies are you into?

4. What's your favorite food to eat at Thanksgiving?

5. What would be one way you would not want to die? (I know, kind of morbid, but an interesting question nonetheless).

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Million Thank Yous

A great thanks to everyone out there who voted yesterday. I would like to say a million thank yous to the Ohioans who voted for our state-wide smoking ban. I couldn't be more excited.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Make Your Voice Be Heard

Hey get out and vote today! There are important candidates and issues out there, so let your voice be heard and take a stand.

I went at 6:30 this morning and voted. The person in front of me need to vote by provisional ballot and there was some confusion surrounding that, but I think he finally got to vote. And then my precint split the alphabet in half, so this woman in line went to the line with the back of the alphabet and then got in line to vote. This other woman yelled at her to get in line. The clerk had to step in a let the woman know she had told the other woman to be there. People, this was at 6:30 this morning!

Damn Ohioans screwing everything up! Just kidding. I think that was blown way out of proportion with the last election.

And now for my soapbox. Ohioans--Vote no on Issue 4 and yes on Issue 5. Let's get the correct state-wide smoking ban in place!

Soapbox has been put away. Happy election day!

Monday, November 06, 2006

What about Boston?

So now that Lance has run his sub-3:00 marathon (without training, mind you), do you think he'll run Boston? From the looks of it, he didn't have very much fun in his first marathon. Imagine what he could have done had he actually trained.

For anyone else out there running Boston, have you made reservations yet? I'm finding that ALL the hotels are booked or if they're not booked they're crazy expensive. I found one today with availability but the price was over $1000 per night. I would pay that much for Michigan-OSU tickets, but not for a hotel. :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thursday Thoughts

Good Thursday to y'all! You all provide great responses last week. Hopefully participation will again be high this week. First I'll throw out this general question. Does anyone know when NBC is doing their coverage of the 2006 Ironman World Championships? I want to make sure I don't miss it. Now, on with the questions....

1. Are you allergic to anything? If yes, what?

2. What is one fear you might be able to conquer? How would you conquer it?

3. Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? If not, when do you think you'll start?

4. Have you started your Christmas wish list yet? If yes, what are some of the things on it?

5. If you could only get one gift over the remainder of your life, what would you want?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

October Totals

For the month of October:

Running: 104.45 Miles
Swimming: 2000 yards

Now that the marathon is over, I'd like to increase my swimming yardage and I'd also like to get back to doing some spinning (maybe) and yoga (maybe). My schedule is pretty busy and now that I'm tackling the 365 Days art project it's hard to find any more time to add activities. That being said, my gym I currently go to is adding a second location in Columbus and it's going to be really close to work. I should be able to swim or do yoga on my lunch hour or before work. I think the second location is set to open in early 2007.

Have a good first day of November!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Last week I got huge response on this blog. And I LOVED IT! But, now I don't have anything creative to say. :( Aren't you supposed to keep people coming back to your site with frequent posts and creativity?

Yesterday I went running for the first time since the marathon a little over a week ago. I felt the most awkward, like a tubby hippo trying to run. It wasn't working left foot/right arm. It was like left foot....right arm....right foot...left arm. It just wouldn't all work together! I even had to walk a little and it was only a 3-1/2 mile run.

Anyway, Happy Halloween y'all. Here's some of us from work...

I went as a cynical Carrie Fisher. He he!

Dave went as Han Solo. Shelby and Jared went as Buzz Lightyear and Minnie Mouse.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ew, gross!

I told y'all that my dad got a nasty blister in the marathon. Well, I've got the photo to prove it. WARNING! It is disgusting.

Thursday Thoughts

Here's the rules....

I ask questions, you supply the answers. First time visitors and fellow lurkers, feel free to play along. You can answer anonymously or use any identification. You don't have to have a Blogger account to post. I have only gone over 10 comments once in almost two years of this blog's existence. Let's do it again today!

1. What did you want to be when you grew up?

2. Now that you are grown up, what do you want to be?

3. What have you learned about yourself in the past year?

4. What kind of candy will you be handing out for Halloween?

5. If you had tickets to any Olympic venue (summer or winter), what would you choose to go watch?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Shout Out!

I know there's a lot of you out there who read this blog and some of you will leave an occassional comment. People, I love the comments! It's one of the highlights of my day to get a comment on my posts.

So, today I'm declaring this Meredith Shout Out day!

What does that mean? That means, leave me a comment today. Just say hi or tell me what you like about my blog or what you don't like or what you'd like to see more or less of.

I'm waiting to hear from you.....

Monday, October 23, 2006

Chicago Marathon 2006

What I should title this post is....How the most totally awesome thing happened to me not at the marathon, but at the airport! Read on....

This is my second marathon in which I have followed the Pfitzinger Advanced Marathoning plan. I ran Boston this year and had a great race, but that is a hard course to determine if you could have PRed. Again this summer I followed the plan, although not to a T, and set my goals to run between a 3:30 and 3:35, realistically knowing that 3:35 was obtainable. Despite all the training I did, I really was not looking forward to this marathon and spent most of the weekend in a terribly bad mood as the start time came closer.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) the start time did come and with it wind and rain and cold weather. Dave, Dad, and I walked to the corrals together. Dave was in the open corral, and Dad and I were in the Preferred II corral. We said our goodbyes and then headed to our areas. The gun went off and I was able to cross the start line in about 3-1/2 minutes. That was great compared to the last time I ran Chicago when it took me 20 minutes to get to the start line. And because of the preferred start, I was able to get up to speed pretty quickly. My first mile was 8:47, which is a pretty quick start for me. Although unspoken, I think Dad and I were planning on running together, but within the first mile he stopped to relieve himself and I was alone. But, he caught back up to me and we ran the first 13 miles together.

Not to brag, but I run water stops really well. I'm quick to grab my cup and cut back to the middle and never lose pace. Everytime I went through a water stop, I would lose Dad and then magically he would reappear. We ran together for about 13 miles and then we went through a water stop and I didn't see him again. He said to me that he had a blister that had formed in mile 5. I didn't see Dad again until after we were both up in the hotel room. He had a blood blister the size of a silver dollar right on the back of his heel. I'm surprised he finished the marathon at all. It is nasty!

Most of the marathon I was ticking off times that I figured were too fast. I wanted to be running around an 8:15 pace, but spent most of the run around 8:05 pace. After the midway point, I picked it up and dropped it down to around an 8:00 pace until late in the race. I got really tired in the last 3 miles, but just tried to hold on. I ran the race without taking any walking breaks.

I PRed BIG! My time was 3:35:05. I'm pretty excited about it. Here were my splits:

Mile 1: 8:47
Mile 2: 8:31
Mile 3: 8:29
Mile 4: 7:57
Mile 5: 8:08
Mile 6: 8:22
Mile 7: 8:07
Mile 8: 7:58
Mile 9: 8:06
Mile 10: 8:05
Mile 11: 7:59
Mile 12: 8:14
Mile 13: 8:08
Mile 14: 8:10
Mile 15: 7:59
Mile 16: 8:01
Mile 17: 7:59
Mile 18: 7:53
Mile 19: 8:01
Mile 20: 8:07
Mile 21: 8:10
Mile 22: 8:09
Mile 23: 8:11
Mile 24: 8:24
Mile 25: 8:34
Mile 26.2: 10:27 (8:37 pace)

So here is the coolest thing that happened to me all weekend. Yesterday as we were in the Midway airport in line at security, one person behind Dave was a man who looked just like Bono from U2. I turned to Dave and was like "oh my gosh! That's Bono." And Dave was like, "No, he'd be taller than that." Then they opened a new security line and this Bono-looking gentleman went to that line and I grabbed Dave and we filed in with two people in front of us and then Bono. So, the girl in front of us turned around and mouthed, "Yes, that's Bono." Her brother asked him and he smiled and patted him on the shoulder and then said "Yes, I am, but let's not make a big deal out of it." OMG!!!!! The amazing part was he didn't have any security; he waited in line like the rest of us; he took off his shoes like we're all supposed to do; and he was flying out of the Southwest terminal. He seemed so normal. I wanted to ask to get a picture, but I was afraid he'd say no and then it would cloud my outlook of how admirable he is. But you better believe I called everyone I knew as soon as he was out of sight.

Totally awesome day or maybe I should say, "It's a beautiful day."

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thursday Thoughts and The Upcoming Marathon

Yeah, my marathon is a mere 3 days away, and yeah, I guess I'm ready. My short and slow runs this week have felt completely effortless and I'm thankful to be carb-loading (I do love me some carbs). So, bring on Chicago! My last name is Gordon if you want to track me or look up my results online before my official Chicago Marathon post. My goal time is between 3:30 and 3:35 chip time, of course.

Now on with the Thursday Thoughts!

It's been a few weeks since I've done Thursday Thoughts. Mostly because I'm running out of questions. I might have to buy a book to help me out, but I thought I would ask the Internet first. So, today when you answer the following questions, please, if you can, start your response with at least one question you'd like to see asked on Thursday Thoughts. And it is my recommendation that you ask an open-ended question so we don't get just yes or no answers.

1. Have you ever been arrested for anything? If yes, what? (You don't have to reveal it if you don't want to).

2. Do you plan on dressing up for Halloween this year? And if yes, what?

3. If you could be any animal what would you be and why?

4. What would you be willing to do for a million dollars?

5. If you could ask one question to a current person in politics, who would it be and what would you ask?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My Confession

I have a confession to make. I don't like myself very much. I never really have. I am my own worst critic. Anytime someone compliments me, I think they are lying to not hurt my feelings. I use competition as a way to be better and self-validate, but it usually leaves me feeling empty.

Recently I stumbled across a blog that I found intriguing because it contained a link to this. This woman is participating in an art project of 365 self-portraits. I thought this art project might be a good thing for me to do to maybe explore myself. Find out what I like and don't like about myself.

So, check it out. You can find the pictures here, and I'll also post it in my blogroll on the right side.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My Big Political Message

As I am sure you are all well aware there is an election coming up in a few weeks. And here in Ohio, the candidates are just running horrible smear campaigns with awful television commercials and I know personally, I'm just about sick of it.

But there are two issues statewide on the ballot in Ohio that I would like to point out. I have a lot of readers who live in Ohio and I wanted to get the message out to them. So, if you're not from Ohio, you don't have to read this, but maybe you'd also like to chime in and give your opinion or personal experience.

Issues 4 and 5 both present themselves as smoking bans, but don't let the advertising deceive you. Issue 5 is the real smoking ban. It will ban smoking in almost all public places and places of employment. Issue 4, on the other hand, is disguised as a smoking ban, and it does ban smoking in some places. But what Issue 5 isn't saying upfront is that it will bring back smoking to restaurants, bars, and bowling alleys, something Columbus voters have voted on three times and each time it has been decided that we don't want smoking in those establishments. Issue 4 is backed by RJ Reynolds and other big tabacco companies, so there you see what kind of "ban" it is! Issue 4 also prohibits any other smoking bans from ever being put on a ballot again as it changes the state constitution. Most importantly, Issue 4 trumps Issue 5, which means if they both pass, Issue 4 will be the new law and truly there will be no smoking ban.

So, if you want the smoking ban, vote YES on Issue 5 but more importantly you MUST vote NO on Issue 4.

Want more proof of the deception Issue 4 is trying to pull? Check out these articles from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Columbus Dispatch, and the Dayton Daily News.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Shout Out!

A childhood friend of mine is in the band Shirock. Their song, "I'll Take Rain" is going to be featured on this Monday's "What about Brian" on ABC.

Shout out!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Everyone Knows it's Windy

Last Wednesday I mentioned we had very strong storms with damaging hail. Tuesday when I ran it was 74 degrees. It's 34 degrees this morning. But yesterday, we had huge storms again.

Around 6:00pm Dave and I went to the grocery store with the anticipation that the storms were going to hit around 7:00. At 6:45 when we left the grocery, it was starting to rain and the tornado warning sirens were going off. We decided to head home really quickly (we only live a mile from the grocery store). As we were putting away the groceries, the news said that the tornado was spotted on the south end of the county and we live on the north end, but they said the area where we live was going to take a direct hit. So we headed down to the basement until the tornado warning expired. Around 7:05 we headed back upstairs and turned on the news. The local news that an area about two miles from where we live and exactly halfway between where my parents live and where we live had huge damage and a possible tornado.

Photo courtesy of the Columbus Dispatch.

I called my parents to make sure they were okay and they didn't have any damage and were okay. As the news reports have continued, the national weather service has yet to determine if it was a tornado, but there has been severe damage with several houses leveled. How scary that this was so close to home, literally.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Isn't this supposed to be a taper?

Because, man, I feel like crap! My legs feel heavy; my breathing feels labored; and I don't feel like in a week and a half I'm going to be able to run between 3:30 and 3:35.

Yesterday I did one of the hardest workouts I have ever done. It was 8 miles with 3 X 1600m at 5K pace, which is a 7:00 minute mile. There was a soccer game yesterday so I wasn't able to do my intervals on the track. So, I did the intervals on the Olentangy Trail, which is marked every half mile. I did two miles of warm up, then started the 1600s with 800 rest in between. The times came out like this: 6:58, 6:55, 6:57. The last one was really hard as it was uphill for the last half mile.

This is my last "sprint" workout before the marathon. I don't feel ready yet, but there's no time to change anything. I'm looking forward to Chicago.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More Awesomeness!

Dear person who left a comment on an old post regarding the HRM not working....I sent mine back to the manufacturer after they said the chest transmitter was not working propertly. They gave me a new one and now it works great. You should call the company.

Now, on with the awesomeness!

As my long-time readers might now, a little over a year and a half ago I had lasik eye surgery. With this surgery you have follow-up appointments with the surgeon, but yesterday was my first appointment with the optometrist. It was total awesomeness to find out my vision is now 20/10. I have bionic eyes!

This is the awesome-ist part of the eye exam. WARNING! This is extremely gross! The eye doctor put in those yellow drops to look into the back of my eyeball. After my exam I went running at the park across the street. Now I have to admit, I spit when I run. I have issues with my sinuses so it's kinda a necessary evil. Anyway, while I was running I snorted my snot and then spit and because the eye drops were coating the lining of my throat or sinuses or whatever, my spit was florescent yellow. Totally awesome! And sorry that was so gross.

And finally, I must confess I watched The Bachelor last night. I'm telling you, if you haven't been watching this you are missing out. These chicks are absolutely ridiculous, but cracking me up. Last night when Kim got drunk and passed out on the beach and then woke up talking in tongues and cussing. Dave and I rewound it and watched it again and again. I laughed so hard, I cried. If I find the video, I'll post it.

Have an awesome day!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Hail of a Storm

We had a HUGE storm on Wednesday night that included lots of thunder, lightning, and rain along with tornado warnings and hail. There were reports of up to golf ball-sized hail in places. And there was lots and lots of damage. My grandmother and friends here at work have holes in their roofs and siding of their houses.

Here is a picture that a friend at work took of the hail in his yard. Looks like snow.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Reach the Beach 2006--Story and Photo Essay

Sorry, this entry is a little belated. I've been working on it for weeks, but it's taken me a long time to do the pictures.

The weekend of September 14th through 17th was my annual pilgrimmage to New Hampshire for the Reach the Beach Relay. This was my third time doing this race and I was hoping for this to be the first year without rain.

The first time I did this race, we ran 24 of the 25 hours in the rain during a hurricane. The second year it rained during my first leg, but was pretty clear the rest of the time. This year when we landed in New Hampshire it was pouring down rain. Great! This race was going to suck. Except, we woke up Friday morning and it was clear. And, amazingly, it did not rain once the entire race.

Reach the Beach 2006 had approximately 300 teams, which teams starting in waves. The waves started at 7:00am and went every half hour until, I think, 3:30pm. The idea is to start the slower teams first, fastest teams last and then teams should all end up at the finish line at approximately the same time. Our start time was 2:00pm, and there were only a few teams starting after us. We raced as a men's open team even though we had four women on the team. You need to have at least six women on the team to be considered a co-ed team. The course is 210+ miles, which is broken down into 36 segments. The shortest leg is 3.1 miles and the longest leg is about 8.8 miles. We start at Brenton Woods ski resort and end at Hampton Beach.

Bridget started for our team and was the only girl in the wave. We were against some fast competitors including some teams we've been paired against for the last several years. The first leg is straight up one of the ski slopes, across the top of the mountain, and then straight down another sky slope. Bridget held tough with the guys, though, finishing 5th out of 7th on the first leg. And, we were off.

The first van was comprised of Bridget, Brian G., Andy, Nathan, Bob, and Jim. The second van was me, Dad, Brian Y., Mandy, Steve, and Nancy. Van 1 ran the first six legs and Van 2 ran legs 7-12, and then Van 1 started again and the rotation continued. I have always been in Van 2 and therefore have always experienced running in the dark twice. This year was especially hard to run in the dark as it was foggy. For my second leg in the dark (around 4:30am), I wore my headlamp over my ballcap, which created tunnel vision with the fog. Even with the headlamp is was hard to see. Again during the second leg in the dark, I thought I was stepping on the white line on the road only to find out it was the edge of a sidewalk. Yeah, I fell. And a guy just zoomed passed me and asked me if I was alright while he kept running. Thanks for the help, buddy!

I really don't have much to say about the race. We finished 17th out of 296, in 25:27:43. Our average pace was 7:16. It's a good thing we have much faster people on the team than me. I'll let my pictures tell the story about the race.

My dad goofing around at the Profile Deluxe Motel.

Bridget preparing for her first run.

Bob is also warming up.

I like my warmups in the dancing variety.

OMG! Too funny!

Van 1 minus Nathan.

Van 2 minus Brian Y.

Our fearless leader Andy. Nice porn 'stache

Brian and Andy drinking a little Red Bull.

No botox here.

Nice shiner, Nathan.

Dad and I.

How to sleep in a minivan.

We don't look like we're having fun.

Yeah, we had fun.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Double Awesomeness!

Is awesomeness even a word?

Dave and I upgraded to a 40 inch, widescreen, flat panel, LCD, HD total awesomeness TV this passed weekend.

Then we got to watch Ohio State crush Iowa in high definition.

Double awesomeness!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

September Statistics

I had hoped to run a little more in September, but life gets in the way.

Running: 147.7 Miles

Swimming: 3000 yards

Biking: ZIPPO!

Bring on October!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thursday Thoughts

Don't be shy people! Comment!

1. How long have you lived in your current dwelling?

2. What color are your bedroom walls?

3. What is your favorite decoration in your house?

4. What life goal have you accomplished in the past year?

5. What life goal do you plan on tackling next?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Vacation Continued: San Jacinto State Park

I have more pictures to post, but they are on another computer.

Yeah, it's been about 3 weeks since we went on vacation and I didn't really say much about vacation, but there is one more adventure we had that I'd like to share.

If you remember, Dave and I had intended to go hiking up San Jacinto on our way out to Joshua Tree, but the tram was closed, so we didn't get to go. Later in the week we decided to try our luck again (this time calling before) and headed out to San Jacinto. This time the tram was open and with our coupon in hand, we embarked on our adventure.

Have I ever mentioned I have a fear of heights? Well, I do. And this was scary shizz! This 360 degree rotating tram starts at about 2500 feet and literally goes straight up the mountain to about 8000 feet in roughly ten minutes. After we got passed the first pole, I closed my eyes and waited until we got to the top. The pictures are curteous of Dave.

At the top tram station, Dave and I checked in with the park ranger and let them know that we were planning on hiking to the summit--6 miles to the top and 6 miles down. It was 1:00 in the afternoon. The ranger looked at us like we were crazy. We were wearing regular "street clothes" including tennis shoes and we were quickly informed that we probably didn't have time to hike to the top. Sure we don't look like hikers, but obviously this guy had no idea he was talking to real athletes.

Since I was a little worried about hiking to the top, we set out to make it about 4 miles to the lookout. Truthfully, I haven't really hiked before and this was proving to be tough. I was walking as fast as my little legs would take me, but the brisk walking, elevation, and the climb were causing me to have to stop often and catch my breath.

Roughly about 2 hours into the hike, we made it to the lookout. We were around 9700 feet.

Against my suggestions, we decided to keep going to the summit. Dave said he would give it one more hour and if we couldn't make it then we would turn around and start back towards the ranger station. We got up to the next station at the summit and lost the trail. We really wanted to make it to the summit as I guess there is a post there and we wanted to get our picture there, but we weren't sure how to do it. By making it to the ranger station at the top, we're claiming victory of obtaining the summit at 10,800 feet. We started our descent and I started to get cold. Really cold! My hands went numb and I was really lightheaded. I guess it was the elevation. The sun was starting to set, though, so we had to get moving.

We high-tailed it back down the mountain, walking so briskly it was almost a jog. By the time we reached the ranger station, it was early evening. We made the full hike in just under 5 hours. We rode the crowded tram back down the mountain and then drove the two hours back to the beach. Now, I'm not really into hiking, but that was a really cool experience.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Homestretch 20 Miler

My plan this weekend was to run 20 miles on Saturday at a slow pace. Problem was, when I woke up on Saturday it was storming and the weather was calling for rain and storms all day. I didn't want to be running in the rain for three hours. So, Dave and I decided to do the Homestretch 20 Miler race on Sunday with the intention of just using it as a training run.

That's never the case.

We say we're not going to race a race, but we always do. There's something about competition and being able to catch and pass people that makes racing racing and training is something different.

I started out conservatively. My first mile was 9:40 with the next couple miles just under 9:00, but then I started picking up speed. The miles started going down to 8:26, 8:25, 8:24. I even through in an 8:08 somewhere in there. The course wasn't a true out and back. It started down Cleveland Avenue to Sharon Woods Metro Park and went around their walking path, which is 3.8 miles. Then we headed to the Alum Creek Trail for the remainder of the race. The turn-around was approximately 12.75 miles into the race. It was at the turn-around that I noticed I wasn't too far behind Doug and Andrea. So I kept my consistent pace hoping to catch them. Dave was about a mile behind me at the turn-around. My miles continued to come down in time. I was now doing 8:15s pretty steadily. I missed the mile 16 marker, but around mile 17 is when I saw Andy and Andrea walking. I started running with Andrea for a little less than a mile and I went on ahead of her. I walked the mile 18 water stop. I was feeling really tired. Mile 19 was my fastest mile--8:04 uphill. And mile 20 felt like it would go on forever--8:40. I finished with 2:49:21 which is an 8:28 pace. I was 24th overall and 5th in my age group. Dave ran a 3:11:31 to finish 13th in his age group. Doug finished one minute ahead of me; Andrea finished one minute behind me; and Andy finished one minute ahead of Dave (I guess Andy is having achilles issues).

I know I wasn't planning on racing this, but I was a bit disappointed by my pace. An 8:28 won't even qualify me for Boston. My last three out of four marathons have been 3:39, 3:39, 3:40 and I really want to be running between 3:30 and 3:35. Now I know I didn't taper for this race. Heck, I didn't even decide to do it until 24 hours before, but how am I going to go at an 8:00 to 8:15 pace for 26 miles when I can't do it for 20 miles? I have four weeks to figure it out.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Do you Remember the Twenty-First Night of September--Thursday Thoughts

Today is Dave and my fourth wedding anniversary (thank you, thank you), so Thursday Thoughts is probably going to follow a theme.

For all the newbies out there...which probably isn't anyone...I ask 5 questions, you answer the questions in the comments section. It's fun, easy, and interactive. Let's get it on!

1. How many years have you been married? Or if you're single (Noj), how long was your longest relationship?

2. What was the best date you've ever had? Worst date (I think I've asked this one before)?

3. How were you proposed to? Or how did you propose? Or how would you like to propose?

4. If you were to get married again, would your wedding be the same? If no, how would it differ? Or if you're not married, how do you envision your wedding?

5. What's a memorable present you have received for an anniversary or wedding or whenever? What's the best present you've ever given?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Flash Gordon

Last night Dad and I ran 8.25 miles with 5X600 at 7:00 mpm pace. That equates to 2:37 per 600. Of course, Dad and I couldn't figure out that math beforehand and we thought we needed to run 2:24s. So my 600s came out like this:


I was so mad that I was struggling to get 2:24. It wasn't until hours later that I realized, dude, I was fast!

Only about 4-1/2 weeks until the marathon.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bits and Pieces

Lots o' little tidbits today.

How 'bout them Buckeyes?!

I followed Ironman Wisconsin on Sunday to track IronWil and TriSaraTops, and lo and behold I found my real-life friend and professional triathlete Joshua Ritchie competing in his first Ironman. Josh finished in like 10:54 and Sara finished in 15:30ish. I watched them both finish via the live web stream. Unfortunately, IronWil didn't make a cutoff and later dropped out. I think they're all winners for having the courage to start and to put themselves through all the training.

Yesterday I ran a really difficult 11 miles with 6 at half marathon pace in a brand new pair of shoes. Today, I'm exhausted. My half marathon splits should have been 7:50, but none of my miles were anywhere close to that. My splits were: 7:32, 7:31, 7:20, 7:19, 7:33, 7:09. The remaining 2-1/2 miles were a slow slug back to the car.

This weekend I'm heading to New Hampshire to compete in the Reach the Beach Relay. Anyone else going to be there? I'll be on Team Profile Deluxe and my team's start time is 2:00pm.

I have one more post scheduled about vacation. Hopefully I can get that done by tomorrow. Later, taters.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

It's Thursday

Yes, it's Thursday and that means Thursday Thoughts. But, I have been a little disappointed with the lack of response so I'm not sure I want to continue with it. So, let me know what you think. I'll ask the questions this week anyway.

1. What's your favorite book of all time?

2. What book are you reading right now?

3. How many siblings do you have and how many years apart are you?

4. What's the best lie you ever told?

5. What's one thing you'd like to change about yourself?

A few more things....Congratulations to my regular commenter and close friend Michelle. She and her husband just welcomed their second baby boy on Monday. In case you were wondering, because this is a blog about running, yes I am still running. I ran 10 miles of intervals on Monday, 4 miles of recovery on Tuesday, and yesterday I ran 12 miles with Dad and Andrea. I will be doing the Reach the Beach relay next weekend in New Hampshire. Happy Thursday, y'all.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Joshua Tree

Sorry, the vacation entires haven't been in a timely manner. But, since I know y'all are interested here's another adventure from our vacation.

The day after spending 25 hours awake and our flying fiasco, we decided to take a major driving trip from where we were saying out to the Palm Springs area. Dave thought he had found a pretty direct route on the map, so the route was our plan. We quickly found out that the direct route was over a mountain. Thank goodness we were driving a jeep. Two hours plus later we arrived in Palm Springs to take the Palm Springs tram up San Jacinto. Unfortunately, the tram was closed for maintenance, but we decided to come back later in the week to try again on the tram and for a hike.

We drove in Palm Springs and found a grocery store to get a flat of water for our journey out to Joshua Tree. We then ate lunch at a cute little Mexican restaurant. The food was good and so was the ambiance, but DAMN is it hot in Palm Springs. We then got back in the jeep and drove another to Joshua Tree.

Because we were only planning on going to Joshua Tree that day for a star gazing, we decided to stop into the visitor's center to get more information on where to go and what to see. The park rangers gave Dave a map and cicled some things and we were off. And, boy, is is DAMN hot at Joshua Tree.

We started off doing a little walk at Arch Rock Trail. The rock formations were really unique and unexpected. They looked like sandstone, but the rocks were actually lava.

Another unique thing we saw at Joshua Tree was Keys View. Being high atop the desert we were able to lookout and see all the way to Mexico, Palm Springs, and spectacular view of the San Andreas Fault.

After eating dinner at the Pizza Hut in the exciting town of Twenty-Nine Palms, we returned to Joshua Tree just as the sun was setting to take part in a star gazing party. The star gazing was amazing. I have never seen so many stars. In addition to many shooting stars, we saw several constellations, the space station, the Milky Way (amazing) and we got to look through a telescope and saw the Ring Nebula, the Whirlpool Nebula, and Jupiter and its moons. Here are some pictures of the rocks and trees as the sun was setting.

Finally, we drove the three hours (going around the mountain) back to the beach.