Thursday, April 27, 2006

Only in My Dreams

This is for all you Debbie Gibson fans out there.

Totally just kidding. Except I did see Debbie (now Deborah) Gibson in concert a few years back when NSync came to town. But, seriously, y'all don't need to know that about me. And now you're probably not my friends anymore. It was a phase! Seriously!!!

Anyway, I've had two reoccuring dreams in my life. In one I would be able to puff myself up, like one of the balloons at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and I would float around. It was weird and kinda creepy. I used to have curtains and bedding when I was a kid that had hand-drawn zoo animals on them. Sometimes I would wake up, but still be in a trance and they used to puff themselves up and float around my room. I remember having this illusion while I was in the shower too when I was a kid. Used to totally freak me out. I don't know if those have anything to do with each other, but I haven't had either dream/illusion in a long time.

The other reoccuring dream I've recently been having is that I'm enrolled in college and I've reached the last week of the quarter. I'm heading to my finals only to realize that I haven't attended class or studied all quarter. Last night I had this dream. I was living in a house with a lot of other people, probably a sorority house or a dorm, and I was supposed to attend a multi-cultural function at 5:00. But it was 5:10 and it was clear across campus (I'm guessing I was at OSU and OSU is a HUGE campus), so I decided I couldn't make it there in time. But I needed to go to this function/class. So then I decided I needed to run a race, but the race was at 4:40 and it was 5:10 and obviously I couldn't make it to the race either.

Reoccuring dreams freak me out! They obviously mean something and have a place in your every day life and that's why you're having the dreams. Yes, I feel totally disorganized right now with juggling all my balls, but is that really what the dream meant? I feel like I can someone control my chaos. Is it really that out of control?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Strike up the Band

He's alive!!! He's alive!!!!

Dave has posted on his blog!!!

Monday, April 24, 2006

More Boston Stuff

Coming from small town America, I was always told that people in big cities are not very nice. Of course, this was proved wrong last year when I spent a week in New York City. The people there were extraordinarily friendly and helpful. And last weekend in Boston, one local was very nice to me.

The morning after the marathon we went to breakfast at a restaurant called Steve's. Most people in there were wearing marathon jackets and walking very gingerly. The woman at the table beside me saw me in my jacket and asked if I had run the marathon. I said yes and then she asked me what I thought about the water stops. I thought, what a weird question?! I told her that I thought Boston had some of the best water stops: they're evenly spaced, the volunteers give the water to you instead of you taking the water from them, and there are tables on both sides of the road so people don't jam up at the water stops. Turns out, this woman was the manager of the water stops and that's why she wanted to know my opinion. And in one of the nicest gestures, which totally made me feel like I was an Olympian, the woman took her Boston Marathon pin off her jacket and gave it to me. I'll cherish it always.

Some more pictures from Boston:

At the expo there were these HUGE dry erase boards where you could find you're number and write why you run. If you can't read it, it says "Because God gave me the ability." The famous Hoyts had their's displayed all over Boston that said something about 'Because I always enjoy beating my dad.' I should have put mine as "Because I always enjoy beating my dad too!"

This is the finish line two days before the race.

Me and my pastries on the podium.

The group before the Freedom Run. From the left: Dave, my dad, me, Jim, Andrea (in the bunny ears), Doug, Mok, Jen, and Andy.

Looking at the Capital (I think) during the Freedom Run.

The view from our seats at the Red Sox game.

Dave and I at the Red Sox game.

The girls or as Andrea called us, The Boston Bitches.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Boston Marathon 2006

The perfect race. I ran the perfect marathon.

The group rode up together to Hopkinton (including Helen and I on a "blue only" bus). The temperature in Hopkinton was probably in the mid-40s and I was a bit cold. I wore my rainsuit and a long-sleeved shirt over my running clothes and gloves. I ate a banana and most of a bagel and drank lots of Gatorade. The time passed quickly and before we knew it, it was 11:00 and our friends were leaving Helen and I for the first wave. Helen and I used the opportunity to use the bathrooms while the lines were short. Then it was 11:45 and time for us to drop off our bags on the buses and walk our way to the starting line. I walked into corral 13 and I was all alone.

As I stood waiting for the starting gun all I could think about was having to go to the bathroom and how badly I didn't want to run a marathon. With these thoughts, you would have bet I was going to have a rough day.

The gun sounded promptly at 12:30 and we were off. It took me less than 2 minutes to get to the start line, but even knowing I was 32 minutes behind the first wave, my math skills were still not sharp enough to figure out how I was doing compared to the race clock. And my watch was on split time which means I could only see the time from the previous mile, except right when I hit the split button.

The first 4 miles all I could think about was having to go to the bathroom. But there was always a line so I stopped thinking about it. I also forced myself to hold back on the downhills and go ahead and let people pass me. I was a smarter racer this year.

Before I knew it 10 miles had passed and soon it would be Wellsley. And it didn't disappoint. Screaming girls!!! It was deafening and inspiring. I really had to control my emotions. The came the 14 mile mark. I checked myself here. Last year at the 14 mile mark is when I started taking walking breaks. This year at 14, however, I felt good and said to myself that I only had 12 miles left which would be easy because that's what I run all the time.

As the miles and kilometers passed I was amazed at how good I felt. I reached the 25K point and started to climb the hills in Newton. Last year I walked the hills; this year I took it one step at a time and ran up them. I got to mile 16, then 17, and I was still running and feeling fine. I told myself I would run to 30K which is about 18.6 miles. I knew some friends at work would be tracking me and I didn't want to disappoint. At 30K I decided I would continue to run to the 20 mile mark and see how I felt. At 20 or 21 is Heartbreak Hill. It wasn't pretty but I ran up Heartbreak too. This was my slowest mile of the race. I crested Heartbreak and it was all downhill into Boston. I was going to be okay.

I reached 35K ~ 22 miles and I was still running. I had never run this far without stopping before. I was entering new territory and despite my right quad getting sore, I decided to take it mile by mile and keep running. Besides there were only 4 miles left.

I reached mile 23, still running, and thought to myself only two miles until I saw my family and make the last turn. I started to see the Citgo sign and used it to pull me into the city. Mile 24 and I can't believe I'm still running and still pacing well. Only 2 miles left and the Citgo sign is ahead. Mile 25 and I'm getting tired and my head's getting foggy. I click the split and see I'm at 3:30 exactly. I have 10 minutes and I know I'm going to qualify for Boston in Boston. A big accomplishment.

All of 25 I'm looking on either side of the street for Mom, Dad, and Dave. The route has changed here and I didn't know where they would be. It's just a sea of faces and I'm having trouble concentrating. We go under Massachusetts Avenue and as we're coming up I hear "MJ" and I see my dad on the right. I point to my watch and yell, "I'm going to qualify."

I turn right onto Hereford and power up the hill as best I can. I then turn left onto Boylston, look up, and see the finish line. I click my watch at mile 26 and I have got 3:38 and change. Better move Meredith!!! I finish with my watch at 3:40:36, but I believe my official time is 3:40:33 (that's what my in-laws tracked online).

I ran the whole thing. All 26 miles. I didn't walk through a water stop. Nothing. And I ran even splits from start to finish. I'm encouraged. I feel like the hard training I put in paid off. I'm pretty sore. Check that; VERY sore, but not as bad as last year. I don't know what the rest of the year's racing season looks like, but this week I have plans to rest. I've very happy with my race.

Mile 1: 8:54
Mile 2: 8:22
Mile 3: 8:26
Mile 4: 8:18
Mile 5: 8:22
Mile 6: 8:22
Mile 7: 8:12
Mile 8: 8:17
Mile 9: 8:18
Mile 10: 8:18
Mile 11: 8:23
Mile 12: 8:11
Mile 13: 8:12
Mile 14: 8:06
Mile 15: 8:14
Mile 16: 8:15
Mile 17: 8:22
Mile 18: 8:35
Mile 18: 8:22
Mile 19: 8:22
Mile 20: 8:43
Mile 21: 8:59
Mile 22: 8:25
Mile 23: 8:25
Mile 24: 8:20
Mile 25: 8:34
Mile 26: 8:39
Last 0.2: 1:49
Finish: 3:40:33

Monday, April 10, 2006

Ready for Boston

The taper is going great. I had my back and my hip worked on last week at the doctor and I feel so much better. I ran 5-1/2 miles with my dad after work today at am 8:30 and it felt great. I think things are going to be great.

The following are pictures of what I'm going to wear in the race.

This is the whole outfit. I'm going with a black singlet with my favorite pink shorts. I'm wearing a black hat that I've put rhinestones on that says "MJ." That's my childhood nickname. The long-sleeved shirt is in case it's going to be cold, but I don't think it's going to be. Finally, I got a pack to carry my gel and my disposable camera.

My number in the marathon is 13849. See y'all in Boston!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Columbus Distance Classic--Photos

Yeah, I totally stole these off the website. Why do I look completely lost or like I'm going to throw up in every picture (except the one I'm smiling)? The girl in the green is Helen and the one you can only see the bill of her hat or her arm is Andrea. Isn't it funny that she was behind us in these pictures, yet beat both Helen and I. The last picture is of Dave. I think his picture is so cool. I might have to order his picture.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Columbus Distance Classic

Formerly known as the Capital City Half. This race, hosted by John "The Penguin" Bingham Racing, is a big event. It attracts around 4000 participants and has a half marathon, 5K, and kids fun run mascot chase.

This was my first race of 2006 and I kind of wanted to test myself to see how the training was working. But, with my back and hip hurting I thought racing may not be such a good idea. I met up with Helen at the start of the race and Andrea joined us before then end of the first mile. The three of us ran together the whole race (until the end when they both out-sprinted me because I thought I was going to toss my cookies). We eased into the first couple of miles and then started getting faster. Here are my splits:

Mile 1: 8:49
Mile 2: 8:10
Mile 3: 8:09
Mile 4: 8:02
Mile 5: 8:04
Mile 6: 7:47
Mile 7: 7:43
Mile 8: 7:38
Mile 9: 7:53
Mile 10: 7:43
Mile 11: 7:35
Mile 12: 7:47
Mile 13.1: 8:23

My overall time was 1:43:58. I'm somewhat okay with that. I guess I wish I had tried a little harder, but I also think with a good time and a good race that I'm satisfied. I had fun and that's all that's really important.

By the way...check out the sidebar. Our new photo journal is up. We only have the main page, but more is in the development. Check it out and let me know what you think.

March Totals

It was a busy month of March. I went way over any mileage I've ever done in a month.

Running = 164.70 Miles
Swimming = 2400 Meters (or Yards, whatever)