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!