Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thursday Thoughts

I learned a great piece of information this week that I didn't know. While watching "Living with Ed" on HGTV, I learned that when recycling plastic bottles, lids need to be removed because the lids are usually not recyclable. When the lids are not removed, usually the bottles are thrown away instead of taking the lids off at the recycling center. So remove your lids, people!

So, what's one important thing you've learned this week?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Columbus 5K and Corporate Challenge

Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of representing my company by participating in the Corporate Challenge. At first I was tapped to represent the 25-29 age group as part of the Columbus 5K. People! I hate the 5K. The first mile marker was way off and I passed in 5:30. I knew it was off, but I began to worry how fast I was actually going. The second mile marker I hit at 9:50. Yeah, obviously something was not right. I hit the 3 mile marker at 7:10. That one was probably correct. In the last 150 yards or so, I passed a girl who I thought was in my age group. I was really struggling though, and was on the verge of tossing my cookies so I had to slow up a little and she passed me back. Turns out she was in my age group. I finished 2nd in my age group with a 23:33. A friend of mine who was wearing a GPS said the course as 3.2 miles. Makes me feel a little better about my time.

There were also other events as part of the Corporate Challenge yesterday that I got "roped" into doing. Other events included push-ups, sit-ups, jump roping, standing long jump, and a shuttle run. I also participated in the jump rope competition and the standing long jump. I totally kicked a$$ in the jump rope by doing 290 jumps in 2 minutes. Our team won the jump rope competition. I was shown no mercy by being the smallest person in the standing long jump, but I held my own by at least jumping my height.

I don't think we won the competition yesterday, but I'm pretty sure we won the President's Cup which is the overall year-long competition.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Q&A with Meredith

Liz posted a question in the Thursday Thoughts and I wanted to answer it as a whole other entry.

She asked, "I would LOVE to run this 18 mile race on October 7, and I have been running about 25-30 miles a week. I recently ran 9 miles and I felt very strong. Do you think if I kept building my long runs, I'll be able to run the 18-miler by then?"

This was an excellent question and I am so happy to answer it. Here is my response:

I think you have plenty of time to train for an 18 mile race on October 7th. I think your weekly mileage is far better than most people would be running that same race. In fact, that is the same weekly mileage I used to run my first three marathons. Since your longest single run to date is 9 miles, I would recommend increasing your long run each week by 1-2 miles. You can choose to actually run 18 miles as a training run before the race, or you might want to only run 16-17 miles as your longest training run before the race. I would also recommend keeping your weekly mileage roughly the same or even a little bit higher, like 30-35 miles.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind to keep from getting injured.

-Do not increase your weekly miles too quickly. I would only increase that long run mileage.
Your long runs should be long, SLOW runs. We’re talking 1-2 minutes slower per mile than your race pace. For example, I run my marathons between an 8:00 and 8:30 pace per mile. I do my long runs between a 9:00 and a 9:30. The runs should be comfortable and you should be able to hold a conversation. If you feel yourself picking it up, slow it down.

-Your other daily runs should also be at a comfortable pace. Only once or twice per week should you be doing any speed workouts.

-And finally, if it hurts, STOP! Take some time off, rest and ice, and return to your running slowly. Usually it’s just soreness and a day or two off will really help.

If anyone else has running questions, or any questions you'd like to ask me, please leave a comment or send me an e-mail:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday Thoughts

Welcome to Thursday Thoughts, the back to school edition. My niece heads to her first day of kindergarten tomorrow and I head back to college in 4 weeks.

If you were heading back to school now or if your child is heading back to school, what's the one school supply that you desperately have to have?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wait a Second

Yep that’s right. I have started a second blog.

For several years now I have been toying with the idea of starting my own photography business. And now I am going to take the leap of faith and actually go for it. Right now, I’m only going to have a blog, but my goal is to have my business up and running and selling by mid-April (my 30th birthday).

So check it out; leave me a comment; and send me some business!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

You are never going to believe this....

Dave and I went to the Western and Southern Financial Group Master's tennis tournament in Cincinnati yesterday. We had tickets to the semi-finals. The first match was Federer vs. Hewitt. It was an absolutely fabulous match that went to a third set tie breaker and for a minute I actually couldn't believe I was going to be at a match where Roger Federer lost. But, Federer won in the tie breaker. The second match was Blake vs. Davydenko and I couldn't believe how handily James Blake won. Quite impressive.

Here's the real story.

After dinner Dave and I were exploring the grounds: checking out Nadal practicing, noticing the ESPN center where the broadcast was going to take place, and finally looking at the boards with the ATP standings. While there I was approached by a woman who asked me if I wanted to participate in a contest. I asked her, "What kind of contest?" She said I would be one of three participants to be on court between the Blake match and the Bryan brothers match. I would have thirty seconds to hit tennis balls at a target to win prizes. She said everyone would win a prize. Although I haven't picked up my tennis racquet in probably four years, I said yes. So, with two games left in the Blake match, I headed down to the meeting point. I, along with two other guys, was led down into the player's tunnel and waited until the match was over. Then we were led out onto the court while Blake was being interviewed.

The announced explained the contest. Each contestant would be fed balls and have 30 seconds to hit towards the Coke display and knock over as many bottles as possible. The person knocking over the most bottles won.

The prizes were as follows. First place would win a Cincinnati prize pack including 10 tickets to King's Island, four tickets to a Red's game, and four ticket's to a Bengal's game. In total, first price was worth $1500. Second prize was a Richard Petty driving experience at the Kentucky speedway. Third prize was two cases of Coke per month for a year. Even if nobody knocked over any of the targets we would each get to draw for one of the prizes. It was a win-win situation.

The first guy up had never hit a tennis ball before and it showed. He either hit the balls into the net or way up into the stands. Needless to say he didn't hit the target. I was up second. The tennis pro feeding me the balls fed them so fast I didn't have time to line up my shots or see what I was doing. I heard the crowd cheer and I figured I was doing well.

When it was over I had knocked over three Coke bottles.

The final participant's first ball hit the target squarely and I thought for sure he'd be knocking over all of them. To my surprise however, none of the bottles fell and the rest of his shots were just off target.

Unbelievably, I won! I won this huge prize pack to Cincinnati. And I was interviewed on court.

The announcer asked me what I was most excited about and I said the Kings Island tickets. He then asked me about getting to see the Bengals and I said I was a Browns fan. I got booed by the crowd. :) None the less, as I left the court and found my way back to my seat, I received several congratulations.

Not only did I get to see great tennis yesterday, I got extremely lucky and walked away a winner myself.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust

Oh Andy. I picked up semi-final tickets because I thought it was my best chance to watch you play. And then you go and lose before even getting to the quarters. Who will I be seeing in the semi-finals? Right now it's looking like Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt, and James Blake. Maybe?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Come on Guys!

Dave and I have tickets to the semi-finals this weekend for the ATP Master's Tournament in Cincinnati. I am really excited about this, since I am one of the biggest tennis fans. I thought by going to the semi-finals we would have a chance to see Nadal and Federer and Roddick and Djokovic or any of the other big names in tennis.

But no. Nadal retired yesterday in his match and Djokovic was upset. I've seen Nadal play at the US Open before so that's okay. I am really crossing my fingers to get to see Roddick play. He's one of my favorites.

So, what are you doing this weekend?

PS--Look for something new and exciting very soon!

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Two years ago Dave and I were out running and we saw a perfectly good pair of Nike sunglasses on the side of the road. They fit me wonderfully and looked cute on me, so I kept them. A couple weeks ago after spending the weekend in Cleveland, I lost the sunglasses.

A week ago I was in a bathroom at work and beside the sink was a bag with a pair of shoes and a pair of sunglasses. As much as I was tempted, I didn’t take them. Later in the day, about six hours later, I frequented that bathroom again and the shoes and sunglasses were still there. This time I couldn’t resist, after all, I had given the person six hours to retrieve them.

Two days ago I was talking to a friend at work and one of the leads for our department was talking to another person about having her shoes and sunglasses stolen. My eyes got really big. I pulled my friend into the hallway and told her I was the one who stole the sunglasses.

After simmering and stewing with a guilty conscious for a full 24 hours, I returned the sunglasses yesterday. Luckily, the woman thought the story was very funny. And, funny enough, the shoes were also returned to her by someone else.

That Karma…She’s a beyotch!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My Heart Was Beeping

I can barely type that title without laughing. The whole family went to see Hairspray this weekend and when it was done, Nephew #1 was quite wound up. My sister sent him outside to run around our house. It was way hot outside and he had just eaten and he stopped after only running one lap. He said his heart was beeping. J

Nike Minus—In Columbus there is a trail that runs along the Olentangy River that is marked every mile and runs approximate 13-15 miles one way. This is the course we do our long runs on and usually where I do my lactate threshold runs since it is marked. Since June there have been three attempted female abductions at one of the major parking lot areas and I decided and promised my mom I would no longer run on that course alone. This weekend I bought a Nike+ to use with my iPod and help me measure courses so I can do my LT runs. I used it yesterday on a course I’ve measured with my car and it was off by about 4 tenths. Not a huge deal, but there were other problems. The Nike+ uses stride length to measure distance instead of GPS. It assumes an “average” stride length so it can be used out of the box, although you can calibrate it too. My run yesterday was six miles with three at half marathon pace. My half marathon pace is around 7:50 per mile. I ran the first 1-1/2 slow and then picked it up. Here’s the problem…when I run slow I have a really small stride length. It’s almost shuffle-like. When I run fast, I take pretty sizable steps. Yesterday’s run was pretty hard (more on that in a minute) so I doubt I ever made it down to 7:50 miles, but I certainly wasn’t at the 9:27 pace my iPod was telling me. When I slowed down for the last mile and a half of the run my pace “quickened” to 9:09 even though I was running slower and easier. Guess I will need to calibrate it using an “average” pace.

It’s Getting Hot in Here—Unless you don’t ever leave your house or don’t watch the news you know there is a huge heat wave going on in the Midwest. Last week after running our nine miles on Wednesday afternoon/evening Dad and I swore to Mary that it would not get any hotter this summer. Ha! Yesterday’s run was miserable. said it was 88 but felt like 96 and being out in that heat, it felt like the surface of the sun. The places I usually run have great trails, but no protection from the sun. I have been drinking gallons of water (no kidding, I had 10-8 oz glasses of water yesterday), which in turn has made me sweat like a faucet being turned on. I was dizzy, I thought I was going to throw up, I got chills, and I was still sweating so I know I was okay. I took more breaks in that run that should have been allowed. I should not even be allowed to call it a run. Tomorrow I am scheduled to run 11 miles and I’ve already had two of my regulars back out. Now it’s down to Dad and I (and maybe Dave), but I’m really thinking of doing the run at 5:30am. It may be the only time it can be done safely.

Celebrate Good Times, Come On—Maybe I haven’t mentioned this, but this is my 30th year. Next year at the Boston Marathon I will turn 30. Actually what’s funny is that I will have been able to run the same race in two separate years at the same age. Bet that doesn’t happen very often. I always thought 30 was old and I still think it’s old. But I don’t feel 30 and I certainly don’t feel old. I have 9 months left in this 30th year and I want it to be a grand year full of adventure. Mostly I am going to try to check things off my Life List this year, but certainly there will be things I’ll do that aren’t on that list. What would you do if this was your big year? How can you help me check things off my List? What is the next great adventure?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Lifeline of Ohio Half Marathon

Last Saturday I did something I have never done. I ran a race without competing.

A few months ago during track season one of my students approached me saying she wanted to do a half marathon for her senior project and she was including all the other girls on the team. She put together a training, nutrition, and stretching plan and then executed it with her teammates. I would meet them early on Saturday mornings and do the longs runs with them.

Saturday we met downtown for the Lifeline of Ohio Half Marathon. I promised the girls I would run with them and make sure they were going to make it the distance. The goal was to run about two hours and one of the girls was wearing a GPS to let us know what our pace was. On a side note—I am not a fan of GPSs. This girl looked at her watch the entire time and never ran by how she felt. At one point I told her to stop being a slave to her watch and just run. The girls are so competitive with each other, too. If one stepped ahead of another they would yell at her and tell her not to speed up. Since this was their first distance race, I’m okay with that, but I’d love to see what they could really do if they were not doing this together.

In the end we finished how we started—in a straight line and as teammates. Our time was 2:02:40. We held hands as we crossed the finish line and congratulated each other. I’m so proud of the girls. I think this will give them wonderful skills and confidence for the upcoming cross country season.