Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Freakin' New Year!

Last New Year's I spent the day hugging the porcelain god, praying to die, and getting a shot in my butt at the urgent care. I had norovirus. I did not even see midnight because the anti-nausea medicine caused me to pass out, FOR THREE DAYS!

And it seems this New Year isn't going to be much different. Last week when we were at Dave's parents I started getting a sore throat. I thought it was just allergies as I'm allergic to pine trees and we were sleeping in the same room as the live Christmas tree. But after we came home I just kept getting sicker and I pushed through it by continuing to work out. The last two days, though, I barely made it out of my pajamas and today I wound up in the doctor's office: a sinus infection and bronchitis. For the first time that I can remember, the doctor told me not to run for a while.

So Happy Freakin' New Year, internet. I hope yours is better than mine!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Running Goals: 2009

It's that time of year. Time to make resolutions and goals. Personally, I don't like making resolutions, but I love making goals that are difficult but obtainable and give me something to work towards. I love a challenge!
After the Columbus Marathon I've struggled to determine "what's next?" For three years I worked for that 3:30 and didn't realize there would be goals on the other side. But, after a few e-mail exchanges with coach I guess there is more achievements left.

So without further ado, my short list of 2009 running goals.

  • Do all scheduled workouts (unless sick or injured)
  • Run 1200+ miles
  • Sub-1:40 half marathon
  • Sub-3:25 marathon
  • Qualify for NYC Marathon
  • Run outside unless it's raining or below 15 degrees
One thing coach likes us to do is schedule our races. I'm sure this is important for a triathlete because races fill up really quickly and they're super-expensive, but I struggle with this one because running races aren't that expensive and are pretty easy to register for. Generally, though, I pick two marathons a year and build other races around them. Right now I only have two 'A' races on the list:

  • Last Chance for Boston 1/2 Marathon - February 15th
  • Boston Marathon - April 20th
Based on the outcome of either of those races, I have a list of fall marathons I'm considering:
  • NYC Marathon
  • Nike Women's Marathon
  • St. George
  • Maui Marathon
  • California International Marathon
  • Towpath (Cleveland)
If I don't make it into New York (I will only do it if I qualify) then I'm leaning towards Towpath.

I'm sure there will be more goals to come based on training and races. I'm sure there will be other races too. This year is Dave's year, so I'm not really looking beyond Boston.

What's on your goal list?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday's Merchandise

Today's merchandise is a very important one: RoadID.

A few years ago I bought one for everyone in my family. And I'm so glad I did. Earlier this year while running we came upon a woman who was passed out laying on the side of the trail. She did not have any form of identification on her. We didn't know her name, if she had medical problems, how to contact a loved one, etc. We called 911 and she came to shortly after they arrived. I sure hope she now carries identification with her. That was scary.

So, if you don't have a RoadID, it's time to get one. It's like a $20 investment that could save your life.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 Year in Review

2008 was a pretty good year. There were ups and downs, twists and turns, but overall I'd say the year has made me pretty happy.

Running and triathlon certainly provided highs and lows in 2008. I started the racing season with the Last Chance for Boston Marathon which Dave, Dad, and I did as a relay. We finished in 3:35:06. Then in April I ran the Athens Half Marathon.I was on pace to set a new PR but my stomach had other plans. After having to make the only port-o-john stop of my running career, I still finished with a respectable 1:45:28 and finished first in my age group and was awarded with a mug. Later in April I ran the Boston Marathon. Only 6 miles into the race I knew was in trouble. My friends I started with were slipping away and I had to do a considerable amount of walking between miles 16-26. I finished with a disappointing 4:01:42 and decided to was time to give triathlon another tri. :)

Triathlon started for Dave and I when we went down to Wheelie Fun in Mason to check out their big bike sale in February. We came home with two brand new swanky bikes: mine a Kuota K-Factor and Dave's a Cervelo P2-SL. Our first triathlon was in May at the OSU Triathlon. The swim was inside and the bike and run outside. After freaking out in the swim (man that water is deep) and really sucking on the bike, I turned in a great run. I was still on-board the triathlon train. The first part of June we did the Deer Creek Olympic Triathlon. As it was last time I did this race, the weather took it's toll and the whole race sucked. Half way through the swim I decided that triathlon sucked and that I was always going to be a runner. Never the less, I lined up a week later at the Wendy's Triathlon. This race went much better and so I stuck around for the main event: Muncie Endurathon. Just like 3 years ago when I did this race, the weather was horrible. Never-the-less, I turned in a PR showing, if only 59 seconds better. :)

It was time to hang up my bike and get serious about my running. I hired a coach and decided three years of hoping to run a 3:30 marathon was too long to hope and it was time to work for it. She challenged me in ways I have never been challenged.I was now running by heart rate instead of pace; I was doing weight lifting; there was cross training; and there was lots and lots of speed work. When I toed the line at the Columbus Marathon in October I was confident but scared to death. I pushed aside my demons and ran the way I knew how--on pace and within myself. I held it together even as I fell behind the pace group at mile 23. And in the end I got that 3:30, even if it was a few seconds over: 3:30:20. So what's next? Well, you'll have to stay tuned in the next couple of days for that. :)




Personally I had a pretty good year too. I switched jobs again, but by July I had had enough of working for someone else. I had already been in business for a while with Meredith Gordon Photography and VIP Photo Booths and business was booming. I quit being an engineer after 7 years and went full-time with my own businesses. And just this month, I incorporated VIP Photo Booths. We will be at the Columbus Bride Show next weekend and expect our 2009 schedule to fill quickly.



Dave and I didn't take a formal vacation this year but had fun on our running trips like Boston and Reach the Beach. Had we known this might be our last RTB, I think we would have savored it even more (our fearless team leader has decided to call it quits).


2009 is just around the corner and I think it's going to be a fantastic year. There are more races to run and we have a HUGE vacation planned. Plus we expect our business to continue to grow and be competitive in its market. We will welcome a new niece in a few weeks and for ourselves, a few fish. Keep reading in the next couple of days. I will be posting about both my running goals and personal goals for 2009. I hope everyone had a great 2008 and is looking forward to another year of possibilities.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Page Turners

In 2007, I set a New Year's resolution for myself to read 12 books that year, which I did. In 2008, I decided to do it again (secretly hoping to do 14 books). Right now I'm reading my 14th book and it's due at the library on January 2nd. So, I might get in all 14 books. Here's the list:

1. "A Long Way Gone" by Ishmael Beah

2. "Love is the Killer App" by Tim Sanders

3. "An Idiot Girl's Christmas" by Laurie Notaro--Her books are always funny. Start with the "Idiot Girl's Action Adventure Club."

4. "Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer--Loved the book, loved the movie.

5. "Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch--Seriously DO NOT read without a box of tissues.

6. "Marley and Me" by John Grogan--I'm hoping to go see the movie soon. Cute book, even if you're not a dog lover (like myself).

7. "Dispatches from the Edge" by Anderson Cooper

8. "My Life on the Run" by Bart Yasso--My favorite book I read this year.

9. "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

10. "Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood" by Ann Brashares

11. "There's a Slight Chance I Might Be Going to Hell" by Laurie Notaro--I only have one of her books left to read. Come on, Laurie! Publish another book!

12. "Twlight" by Stephenie Meyer--My second favorite book I read this year. Loved the book, loved the movie. Dave got me the sequel for Christmas. I can't wait to read it.

13. "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris

And what I'm reading right now:

14. "No Limits: The Will to Succeed" by Michael Phelps

So, what did you read this year that you would recommend?

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Loot

Did you get good stuff for Christmas? I sure did.

I got my running stuff, like a couple pair of running tights. Dave got all kinds of running/triathlon stuff. He got like 3 winter caps, and 3 pairs of running pants. He got a pair of goggles that immediately broke. And he got a really nice pair of gloves. This is especially good for him since his hands turn ice cold in the winter.

I got stuff for my iPhone like a new USB cord and cradle so now I can have a cord attached to my computer and put the cradle beside my bed. My mom wants me to keep the phone next to my bed when I sleep. You know, just in case. :)

And probably my favorite present was a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye. My sister started my collection last year and Dave continued it this year. What he didn't realize, with his $10 purchase, was the camera had a working shutter and a film spool in it. I immediately put in some 120 film and I'm looking forward to seeing if it really works. If it does, I'm hoping to create a really awesome album of my cross-country trip next summer.

Hope you had a good Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

To all my real and virtual friends out there, Dave and I would like to wish everyone a very happy holidays.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thursday Thoughts (on a Wednesday)

Today's question is a pretty easy one. What is your favorite holiday movie?

I have three favorites...

(1) Scrooged--because seriously, Bill Murray is a comedy genius.

(2) White Christmas--classic

(3) When Harry Met Sally--I watch it every New Year's Eve.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I Had a Dream

Sunday night I had a very interesting dream. It went something like this...

I was running in a marathon and I was pretty far along--over 20 miles. I was running very comfortably and running with friends. The course went through an ice cream parlor and my friends decided to stop and talked me into stopping also. When we stopped my friends said it was okay to stop my watch. I was skeptical but stopped anyway. Then I had doubts. So, I got back in the marathon. But, I realized I was the only one running. I was close to the end of the race, but I didn't know which way to go. I asked volunteers and they just kept saying the finish was around the corner. I looked at my watch and it said 3:15. Yet, I couldn't find the finish. And then I woke up.

What's it supposed to mean? Is it a sign? Isn't it too early to be having nightmares about the marathon?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday's Merchandise

Today's merchandise I'm going to rave about is my heart rate monitor. I do, I would say, about 95% of my workouts using a HRM and not using pace. Yes, I own a Garmin, but I only use it if Coach gives me a workout that indicates I have to do a certain pace and if that certain pace couldn't be done on a track. Otherwise, I estimate the mileage and do everything in heart rate zones.

The heart rate monitor I use is this Timex. The reason I like this one is it allows me to set intervals within certain zones. The watch will beep at me if I go out of the zone and when I need to move on to another interval in the workout. The thing I can't figure out on the watch or maybe it's not possible is that I can't set all 5 zones using the zones Coach has established for me. The watch has five zones that somehow are set using your max HR and then you can customize 3 other zones, which are the ones I use as zones 1-3 as established by Coach. But, with the interval settings you can manually input your zones and that's usually how I do it.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm not sure how heart rate training works, but it is highly effective and I am going to keep training with my HRM.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside!


Seriously?! And this is without the wind chill....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Best. Christmas. Ever.

My family celebrated Christmas today. And it was AWESOME!

My sister and I have been working hard the last couple of weeks to put together the ultimate gift for my parents. And today we got to see their reactions.

We modeled our gift giving after this commercial:



We had three gifts that we spread out throughout the festivities. The first was a box of tissues. Immediately dad asked where his new car was. Then they waited and waited. Next was a brown paper bag. They waited and waited some more. Then they opened a box that had a picture of a bunch of trampolines. Now they were really thrown off. Finally, after everyone had opened every gift we gave them their real gift.

Together they opened a folder. They both squealed and started crying hysterically. My dad kept saying "throw it away." My sister Amy and I were shell-shocked. We couldn't tell if they were happy or upset. I was crying. Amy was crying. What the hell was going on?

My sister and I bought them a cruise. This cruise leaves in two weeks. We arranged their work schedules and volunteer schedules and all they had to do was find a way to get to Miami. They were overjoyed. My dad cried through dinner.

It was the best Christmas present EVER!

Friday, December 19, 2008

One of my favorite pictures

Flatman asked to see some more of my pictures. And I'm sure Jason would appreciate this too.

The summer of 2007 Dave and I took a trip to Italy for two weeks. We took like 500 pictures and had tons of stories. My intent was to fully review it here on the blog, but it was just overwhelming and I never did it.

One of my favorite places we visited was Venice. I loved the water and the food and how much quieter it was than Rome. This was perhaps my favorite pictures I took. This is the firehouse.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursday Thoughts

I once heard you shouldn't start a diet on an important day...like New Year's day or your birthday. It's not like you need a special day to make a commitment. You should start when you're ready.

I don't know if you've noticed or not, but I have blogged 8 days in a row. Holy cow! And my goal is to blog at least a month, every day. Problem is, what in the world am I going to talk about every day for a month?

So the Thursday Thought for today is, what do you want to see on this blog? What should be my topics? Please, blogosphere, I need your help!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Major Milestone

I'm sure most of you know, but if you don't, I am a business owner. In July I quit my full-time job as an engineer and went forward with my two businesses: Meredith Gordon Photography and VIP Photo Booths. For the past year I have been running these two businesses under the same entity, but the photo booth business has really taken off and we were ready to go forward promoting it separately. So, officially today, VIP Photo Booths is now VIP Photo Booths, Inc.

For those who are interested, VIP Photo Booths will be exhibiting at the Columbus Bride Show January 3rd and 4th at Veteran's Memorial. I have discount tickets if you're interested.

And for those Facebook junkies out there, because I know you are, please become our fans! Meredith Gordon Photography can be found here and VIP Photo Booths can be found here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pardon My Mess

Sorry about the blog mess going on the last few days. I'm trying to work on new templates. I figure, after 4 years, maybe it's time for a face lift. So, bear with me. It's going to be a little messy for a while.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday's Merchandise

I'm starting a new series here on the blog. I'm calling it "Monday's Merchandise" but it could also be called "These are a few of my favorite things."

Personally, I think my body is disproportionate. I have a REALLY short torso and super long arms and legs. The gentleman who fit me on my bike says that makes me a woman. He he! At 5'1", though, this is quite a dilemma. Being that short, I am a petite. With monkey arms and Olive Oyl legs, that makes me regular. Needless to say, I keep my tailor in business.

Where am I going with this? It's cold in the winter. Sometimes so cold I need to wear two pairs of tights when I go out running. Problem is, my tights don't always go down to my ankles, well, because my legs are too long for a petite person. I have to keep my ankles warm. (I do have a point!!!) So, I have created the homemade leg warmer.



This one is so easy and cheap. Go to your local store (Meijer, Walmart, Target) and pick up a packet of knee-high socks (think basketball socks). Get a sharp pair of scissors and cut the toes off of them. And ta-da, leg warms. I wear them any time the temperature is below 20.

Don't laugh. I totally know you're going to try this.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

With Every Beat of my Heart

Heart rate training is a mystery to me. I know it works. I just don't understand it.

Today Dave and I set out to do a run together. My run was 75 minutes with the first 15 minutes in zone 1, holding steady in zone 2 for 45 minutes, and then the last 15 minutes in zone 1. Dave's run was 90 minutes with a mix of zone 1 and 2. I followed the heart rate zones to a T and finished up close to 8 miles. While running comfortably in zone 2, Dave was only in zone 1 and it was pretty low in zone 1.

So this is what dumbfounds me. I was running close to 10 minute miles and I am an 8 minute mile marathoner. Dave has yet to run a marathon under 4 hours. How does it work? Has Dave not lived up to his potential? Have I maxed out my potential? Are our heart zones completely out of whack?

Coach keeps reassuring me that everything is fine with the zones. She said men should can run in a lower zone because they have a slower heart beat to start with, but that I can go longer at a lower heart rate. And I can understand that. As we were running today my heart rate stayed the same while his kept rising a little.

I've been with Coach now for 5 months and I've learned this stuff works. And I've done some reading about it. But, it is still a complete enigma to me.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Love is a Battlefield

Most couples argue about money. Dave and I argue about housework/chores. Let me rephrase. I argue with Dave about housework/chores. And this week's chore of choice is the grocery.

I HATE going to the grocery. I come from a hyper-organized mother, so grocery shopping involves making a list of meals, checking ingredients, clipping coupons, putting the grocery list in order of products and aisles, and then finally going to the grocery. I would rather go to the gynecologist than have to do all this. With Dave training for Ironman it seems he is eating me out of house and home. And yet, he will not help me with the grocery list.

So I decided if he's not going to help me with the list, I'm not going to make the list.

Here's some pictures of Dave's personal items...



Dave swears there is still toothpaste in there. I have been using a sample I got from the dentist.



Dave ran out of razor blades so he's been shaving with a disposable razor we got when we were laid over in New Jersey.



Um, dude, you smell. :)

Of course, while I napped today, he created a grocery list. Now only if I could get him to clip the 6 weeks worth of coupons I've collected.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Welcome Back

November was maintenance mode, but December started the real work towards my 2009 goals. And Coach has not been messing around. Let's look at a few of my workouts during the last two weeks....

On paper this one looked easy, but by the end of this, I thought there might be puking:

5 minute easy warm-up
2 minutes at a faster pace
20-30 push-ups
10 squat jumps
30 ab crunches
20 slow lateral squats
2 minutes at a faster pace
10 walking lunges
30 ab crunches
30 skips
20-30 push-ups

I had to do that whole routine twice. If you're adding that up, that's more than 80 push-ups people!!! And have you ever done 30 skips in a row? That's so not easy!

Then this week I got this workout, to be done on the treadmill:

15 minute warm-up
10 X 90 seconds at 1.5-3% grade in zone 2 NO HIGHER
2:30 0.5% grade recovery
5 minute cool-down

It was hard. To control the heart rate, I have to run slower. It's all about muscle building for the upcoming hill training.

But I keep this in mind, if I want to qualify for New York things are not going to be easy. I keep a post-it note on my computer to remind me of this.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Attack of the Blob!

My family is awesome. I have always believed my family was a model family and I compared all other families to them. My family was perfect. Then I started dating Dave and I realized there were some weird things about my family. For example, I learned that I didn't sing "I'm a little tea pot" correctly. Turns out, my mom taught me the wrong words and that's how I always sang it. And I also believed all these old wife's tales and urban legends because that's what my parents had taught me to believe.

But recently things have gotten even weirder. I don't know if it's because we're all getting older and a little loopier or if it's because my sister and her family have been living with my parents for the last year and they are literally driving each other insane.

Here's some good ones just from last night....

1. My dad has worked in computers pretty much my whole life. He is a software architect and helps design insurance platforms for the internet. Pretty high tech stuff, huh? Well, last night he called my blog a blob. And he wholeheartedly believed that's what it is called. Welcome to my blob, folks!

2. My sister has a recent addiction to E-bay. At dinner on Tuesday we had to bring along our phones so she could bid while we were eating. Then last night after we left my parents' house she called to tell me she finally won. Oh, Amy.

3. Both my parents have been fighting colds. And to combat their colds they've been putting Vicks VapoRub on their feet at night. Seriously. Their feet. ...I'm at a lost for words.

So, maybe my family is not the Cleavers, but they are entertaining and I love them bunches.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

So Proud

Let's face it, I may never have kids of my own, but I absolutely love being an aunt. My niece and nephews are the light of my life. My nephew, Jared, participated in his first wrestling tournament today. He's 5 and was in the 40-50 pound weight class. And he went undefeated and won his division. Here's a video of his final match when he pinned his own teammate.

video

Yeah, that's me yelling really loud. :)

And here's a few pictures of Jared with his medal.




I'm so proud.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Flying Feather Picture

My streak of bad running pictures continues...



But seriously, who looks good in the winter. Winter sucks!

Monday, December 01, 2008

November Wrap-Up

Swim = 7800m
Bike = 5.6 miles (yay, baby!)
Run = 40 miles

Positives:
--Got back to running 3-4 days a week
--New PR in a 4 mile race
--Created new HR zones by an increased lactate threshold
--Overall feeling strong

Challenges:
--The plantar fasciitis continues to nag even though I'm having ART done to it
--The cold weather is here and motivation has dropped

Upcoming in December:
--Training starts of the 1/2 marathon in February and the marathon in April
--Hopefully finding ways to get my foot to stop hurting
--No work and all play (that's right y'all; I have the whole month off from work)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Flying Feather 4 Miler

Every Thanksgiving it's tradition in my family to run a race. We have been doing this as long as I can remember. We used to run a Turkey Trot where we would race for pies, but we have switched to the Flying Feather 4 Miler where the swag includes bottles of wine to all the finishing participants over 21. I don't like pumpkin pie, so this was race was an easy choice. :)

The race was to be treated as a heart rate test for Coach. I warmed up for 15 minutes before the race. Then I was supposed to build through the first mile and blast the last three miles. Instead, I ran every mile exactly the same pace.

Mile 1 - 7:32
Mile 2 - 7:25
Mile 3 - 7:36
Mile 4 - 7:54 (according to Dave's Garmin, this mile was a little long)

My average HR was 181 with my max at 192.

I learned two things from this race:

(1) I only have one pace and that's marathon pace. And Coach wholeheartedly agreed.
(2) I have increased my lactate threshold and the HR zones need revised. Coach has readjusted them and the training start next week.

As I stated in an earlier post, I am highly competitive. Around the two mile mark, a guy decided to run right on my shoulder....FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE RACE! Every time I made a move, he'd make it with me. I like to race up inclines and so did he. When I'd relax, he'd relax. Finally, with about a quarter mile to go, I blasted it and dropped him. He did thank me after the race for setting a good pace. He also insisted he was too old for this. Dude, I'm older than I look and probably just as old as you are. You just got beat by a girl!

My time was 30:30 which is a PR and I finished 7th out of 128 in my age group.

Hopefully, they'll be a picture to come!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Wii Fit Update

Tonight I redid my Wii Fit fitness test. And although I still suck at the balance test ( which is amazing considering I teach balance beam), I am now 32 years old. Yahoo!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

You're the Inspiration

To say that I'm competitive is a bit of an understatement.

In college I had two friends who I loved dearly but competed with them fiercely for grades. And they were ultra-competitive with me. Funny enough, although we all got our degrees in engineering, none of the three of us use them. One is in sales, one is a stay-at-home mom, and I own my own business.

I met my closest friends, Helen and Andrea, while running. I love them dearly too, but the three of us have been competing with each other since we met. I was the first of the three of us to qualify for Boston, but the two of them are now just a smidgen faster than me in the marathon. And everyone knows we love to compete with each other. Helen and I both ran the Columbus Marathon. She ran a 3:25 and I ran a 3:30. Others let me know that Helen just edged me out. Thanks! I already knew. I finally thought I was getting an advantage when I hired a coach, but then Andrea moved to Denver and is training at altitude. :)

Sure, I'm competitive with myself, but really I loved to beat people. I love to be fast and I long to win.

A few years ago I ran into a friend of mine from college during a marathon. It was her first and maybe my 3rd marathon. We both qualified for Boston and both went to run it (although I had a broken foot and couldn't run). Ever since then she has gotten faster and faster. A few years ago I watched her run a 3:19 marathon. I got an e-mail from her this week that she had done a half marathon. I looked up her time--1:29. I felt two things when I read it--(1) I will never be that fast and (2) I want to be that fast.

My next race is a half marathon in February and my goal is to be better than a 1:41.

Thank you, my friends, for "inspiring" me to work harder and kick your butt!!

(Seriously, though, I do love y'all.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Adventures in Babysitting

For the last 8 weeks I have been teaching gymnastics three days a week. Gymnastics and teaching are not new to me as I spent 8 years as a gymnast, taught a little in high school for my uncle's gym, and then spent another 6 years after college coaching track. But, I've never really had a whole lot of exposure to children in general. I didn't grow up babysitting and although I see my niece and nephews quite a bit, I rarely watch them on my own or even with Dave.

Some of my classes I teach are heavenly and others are very painful. I have one class in particular that has been probably one of the most challenging thing I have ever done. I have had to seek assistance from other instructors and parents. I've had to write incident reports. And for someone who likes to cuss and throw fits, this class has really pushed me to the limits.

Last week I thought I had the class finally in control. We were in the last five minutes of the class and following all the rules on the trampoline. One of the girls was sitting next to me. She hadn't been feeling really well and had been coughing the whole class. Suddenly, she starts throwing up! I think I jumped higher than I ever had and ran on air to get to the office for help. The girl's mom and my manager come out to help me as I gather the rest of the class and escorted them somewhere else. Luckily that class is a bunch of three year olds and everyone will recover and it's a good thing I'm not squeamish.

I have never had a job as hard as this.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Feeling My Age

I work with a lot of college students. And when they find out I'm 30 they say "No Way! You don't look 30!" I don't look 30, whatever that's supposed to look like, and I certainly don't feel 30. I'm in the best shape ever!

My dad turned 57 yesterday and for his birthday my mom bought him a Wii Fit. Yes, my dad plays the Wii everyday. On the Wii Fit, you set up accounts where it measures your weight, your BMI, your balance, along with your real age to determine the "age" you are based on your health. My dad took the test first and he came out to be 57. Dave took the test. His real age is 31, but the Wii told him he was 27. My sister took the test. Now my sister is 6 months pregnant and they told her she was obese and her BMI was off the charts! My sister's real age is 27 and they told her she was 22. So I took the test. I have reason to be confident, as I stated above. My BMI was normal, my weight was about 116, but I didn't do so well on the balance test. When they calculated my age it came back with 47.

FORTY-SEVEN!!!!

Are you freakin' kidding me!? My family laughed so hard they fell off the couch.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thursday Thoughts

This coming summer Dave will be doing his Ironman in Couer d'lane (yeah I know I spelled that wrong, Dave), Idaho. We have decided to make the trip via car since we've both want to travel cross country. We plan on leaving a week before and heading to Chicago where coach lives and then heading across the northern states for a quick trip to Idaho. After the race we plan on taking two weeks to travel around to come home. Some places we're thinking of going includes Seattle, Salt Lake City, Colorado Springs, Demver, and maybe get down to the Grand Canyon. We're looking for suggstions for places to go, things to do, and people to see. Any thoughts?

By the way, we're not interested in Yellowstone because Dave's been there like a million times and I've also been there. I'm not really a nature girl and Dave has done most National Parks between Ohio and the west coast.

So think of something really creative and unique. We're heading your way!

Monday, November 03, 2008

October Totals

October was a pretty good month even though I was tapering and then recovering.

Run = 80.7 miles
Swim = 8200 yards

We discovered in October that our pool is 25 meters instead of yards. No biggie but Training Peaks doesn't like to record things correctly in meters. So I'll just pretend it's yards.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Giddy Up

My very first marathon I ran was in 2001. I started training from a base of zero and signed up for the marathon before even running a single step. The competitive person in me knew that I was going to finish that race. I joined a training team in town and had a great experience. When I finished that Chicago Marathon in 4:24 the first thing I said to myself is, "I can do better than that."

So I laced up my shoes again and did my next marathon about 6 months later. This time I was training with purpose. My purpose was to go sub-4:00. And I did in the Flying Pig 2002 with a 3:57. After getting married that summer and taking the next year off, I put those running shoes back on and was determined to qualify for Boston. And I did running a 3:39 in Columbus 2003.

Since then I have run pretty steadily bouncing between a 3:39 and 3:35 for the next 7 marathons (except for two Boston Marathons). As mentioned in the previous post, I had a goal for three years to run 3:30. Now, I have reached this goal.

So what's next?

A few days after the marathon I sent an e-mail to Coach. Turns out, I want to go faster. I'm not putting a target on an exact number but I dream of qualifying for NY with a 3:23 and someday beating my dad's personal best of 3:21. The best part? Coach is totally onboard and believes in me and my abilities.

So, giddy up Mer! The fun is about to begin.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What the...?

This is from the local newspaper. Tell me, does this newspaper have an editor?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Columbus Marathon--In Pictures

My personal paparazzi was on hand at the marathon last Sunday. Dave took my camera and snapped some good shot.

This is me before the start of the race. Do I look nervous? Scared?


And the start of the race by the Statehouse:


I wish this sign was written for me:


Near mile 9 when I shed my outer layer:


Closing in on mile 26 and still looking good (that's me near the back of the picture):


Still coming:


Right at mile 26:


And there I go off to the finish. Don't I look fit?


Looking pretty cool with salt all over my face:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Columbus Marathon 2008

More than three years ago I set a goal to run a 3:30 marathon. The closest I got was 3:35. Last year I ran a 3:44 in Columbus and this past April I ran a 4:01 in Boston. That's when I decided I was burnt out on the marathon and decided to take up triathlon, again. Shortly into the training I remembered that I didn't like triathlon and also decided I was not done with the marathon. But this time I would get serious and I hired a coach.

I hired my coach about the same time I quit my job so I really haven't blogged much about my transition or my training. I had spoken with my coach early on saying I wanted to continue to bike and swim, but start to bring up my running miles. It wasn't long before we had to have another conference and I told her that I needed to be running more. Toeing the line today, I still had my doubts if it was enough. My biggest week was 39 miles. My last several marathons I have averaged 45-50 miles per week. But, this time around I worked hard! I did more speed-work than I've ever done. Even the last week of taper I was still heading out to do marathon pace runs and pick-ups. I did weight workouts. I shed 6 pounds. I followed strict nutrition plans. And, here's the kicker, I did ALL the workouts. I've never done that.

In September I caught a cold. Two weeks ago, it caught me again. Even now I am still coughing and have a scratchy throat. My whole training I've been battling plantar fasciitis. So badly, in fact, many of my last workouts have been on an elliptical machine. I've had some hip pain. And mostly, I've had a confidence issue. The reason I haven't yet been able to break 3:30 is that it's been in my head that I can't run an 8:00 mile for a full 26 miles.

Until today.

This morning I was a wreck. I was cranky (per usual) and I was crying and I wondered what the hell I was doing. But, I lined up with the 3:30 pace group and shook all those demons. I talked to no one. I focused on the balloons, battled my way through aid stations, and kept the pace consistent. Every couple of miles I would do a full-body check: how's the head, how are the arms, how are the legs? Everything kept coming back as check, check, and check. At the half marathon point, I was just under a minute better than pace. By mile 18, I was right beside the pace leader. I listened to him, I checked my body, and I kept my mind clear. By mile 20, I was ahead of the pace leader and feeling great. Mile 21 went by, mile 22 went by. At mile 23, though, the pace leader passed me and I wasn't able to keep up. I kept my head under control, but my body was giving me mixed signals. I took a small 5 second walking break and I could hear my coach saying, NOT AN OPTION! I counted my steps and just kept turning my legs over. I remembered what the pace leader had said, "if you can see the balloons, you're fine." And I could. I kept falling further behind but I wasn't panicking. I passed mile 25 at 3:20 and knew I was going to PR. I pushed as hard as my little legs would take me. I saw my family at 26 and heard my dad say that I had to go if I wanted a 3:30. I ran and ran and ran and finished in 3:30:20. Sure, it's not sub-3:30, but it's still a PR by 5 minutes and now I've shaken that 3:30 monkey off my back.

Dave asked me on the ride home what was different this time and I'm still not sure I know. I have this great ability to block everything out when I run and think about absolutely nothing and today that ability came in handy. The miles passed by and I thought about nothing. There were no songs in my head, no mantras, nobody telling me anything. I just ran.

I want to thank my mom and dad, Dave, and my cousin Kenny for supporting me in the early miles. I want to thank all my friends from Wendy's Gymnastics who scattered the second half of the course. I saw most of you and those who I didn't see I definitely heard. I want to thank all my blog friends for sending such great warm wishes. And I especially want to thank Liz for helping me to trust the training, my abilities, and my goals. I might be the "rock star" today, but every good rock star needs a good manager, agent, and roadies to help them. Thank you all!

3:30:20!

Congratulations Meredith! Signing out from the race, and heading home. :)

Finish!

She just finished! Will be reeeeal close on the 3:30...

20 Miles

And still on pace! Come on Meredith! We'll see you at 26!

Halfway Done

Meredith crossed the halfway mark at 1:44:20, and is now a bit ahead of a 3:30 pace! She was right in the middle of a pack, so I didn't get a good look at her. Next sighting won't be until near the finish, but I'll try and post her time from the tracker as it comes in.

Mile 9

She's looking good. Right in the 3:30 group, and dropped off the long sleeves. I might put them on...it's a cold day for the spectators. :)

10K

49:19

Good start! Just over pace, but with all the traffic at the start, that's just fine!

They're Off!

Meredith was pretty nervous this morning, but we got her to the starting line. She's starting out with the 3:30 pace group, and the plan is to stick like glue to the pace leader. We'll see her next around mile 8, I think.

Ready to Go!

Meredith is up and ready to go! I'll be blogging throughout the race, so stay tuned...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ahhh...

Look what my friends at work did for me...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Good News!

Dave and I have joined the technology world (not that we weren't already technology junkies) and we are now the proud owners of a set of iPhones. Because of our great advances, Dave will now be live-blogging my race on Sunday.

So set your alarm clocks early, my race begins at 7:30am EST!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pumped

It's exactly one week until the marathon and I am pumped. I am rested, my runs have been going well, and I really think I'm going to pull off a big race. The Columbus Marathon course is new this year and I invited all my friends from work who live on campus to come out and check out the race. And it looks like we're going to have a cold front go through this week so conditions are going to be perfect.

Fingers crossed!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Thursday Thoughts

I have a guilty conscious, especially after doing something I probably shouldn't have. Like, buying something expensive or eating something I shouldn't have or taking really long naps.

Yesterday I was on the elliptical machine at the gym (trying to keep my plantar fasciitis in check) and I saw a commercial for a take and bake pizza place. They were having a special for a meat stuffed pizza. On the way home I bought one of those pizzas. And it was yummy! But, it was so bad for me. I still feel guilty and frankly a little sick that I actually ate it.

So, what makes you feel guilty?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Own It

There are 13 days until my marathon. My body is responding well and now it's time to focus on the mind and squash all the bad thoughts. I have been focusing on two words during my runs..."own it." I plan on writing it on my arm so I can see it while I race.

I had an exceptional run this morning that helped focus the mind and appreciate all the hard work I've put it. My run was 12 miles: first four miles were zones 1 and 2, miles 5-8 were at race pace, miles 9-12 were descending 15 seconds per mile. It went like this:

Miles 1-4: 10:10 pace, avg HR 155, max HR 166
Miles 5-8: 7:43 pace, avg HR 183, max HR 187
Mile 9: 8:14 pace, avg HR 178, max HR 186
Mile 10: 8:30 pace, avg HR 172, max HR 178
Mile 11: 8:43 pace, avg HR 168, max HR 174
Mile 12: 8:57 pace, avg HR 166, max HR 173

On a totally separate note, I was at the pool this afternoon and let me just say, I am so glad I am a runner and that my ass looks fantastic!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

September Totals

I was sick, I did some traveling, I've got some serious plantar fasciitis I'm dealing with and I still had a big month of training.

Swim: 2400 yards (and I just found out the pool I swim at is 25 meters instead of 25 yards)

Bike: 13.93 miles

Run: 116.56 miles

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Camp-in

You see, in the Gordon household, housework kinda takes a backseat to training, and business owning, and laziness. We used to have a housekeeper, but since I decided to go full-time with my business we had to cut that extravagance. I thought I would have time to keep up with the housework, but, well, um....

Anyway, I got a little behind in the laundry. And, we only have one set of sheets. And, they weren't dry. And well, we camped in.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Reach the Beach 2008

I know, I suck at blogging. Maybe I'll try to give it a whirl of blogging every day, but I'm going to be out of town for several weekends coming up so I don't know how that will work. Anyway...on to the entry I have promised for a while.

RTB 2008
(I wrote this while at the race, so it will be a little off in terms of tense. Does that make sense? Whatev!)


I'm back for my 5th year of Reach the Beach and this year I've been training really hard and following all the workouts coach has been giving me. I'm pretty excited to see what kind of paces I'll hit. Although, I woke up this morning (Friday of the race) with a sore throat. I always get sick after this race, but this year it looks like I'll be sick during the race. And, of course, it's raining.

Coach wanted me to run a total of 20 miles between the two days so I started this morning with a 5 mile run--really slow. It was hard to keep my HR low because I would run up a hill then down a hill. Up a hill then down a hill. I kept mostly in zone 1, but I did have a couple segments in zone 2.

5 miles
50:00
avg 145
max 161

Things got started off properly--in the rain. At Cannon Mountain it was cold and raining. Mandy was our first runner and took on all the boys. Meantime in van 2, we headed to Quiznos to get some lunch and a convenience store to buy some sweat shirts. Boy, was it cold!


I ran my first leg around 10pm and it had stopped raining and was extremely humid. With every breath I took, it looked like it was foggy outside. It was hard to see anything with the fog and humidity and the roads I ran on were not all that great. I rolled my ankle at one point but kept on going. The first leg was also hilly, but coach's workouts must be working because the hills weren't that bad.

Leg 1
6.1 miles
49:11
avg 180
max 190

Well, last year we lost Dave. this year it was Nathan. Our night sleeping spot was the technical school. We arrived there around 1am and had until 3:30am to sleep. I headed off with Bridget; Dave and Bob stayed in the van; and Steve and Nathan headed in different directions. By 4am Dave was running his second leg and van 2 was off. Problem was, we didn't have Nathan and we didn't know where he was. We and van 1 started blanketing the grounds yelling his name and looking at every person in a sleeping bag. Finally we had to make the decision to move on to the next exchange and leave Nathan behind. Van 1 continued to look for him, but still couldn't find him. After Dave exchanged to Bridget, we went back to the technical school and Andy and Nancy had finally found Nathan. He had fallen asleep on a couch and he had his head underneath his sleeping bag. He never heard his alarm or the phone when we called and left SEVEN messages!

I too had taken a small nap at the technical school, but when I woke up my sore throat had turned into a huge head cold. I felt awful and did not want to run anymore. Luckily Bob had some Sudafed and I did feel a little better after taking it. My middle leg was 6.2 miles and it went very well. I paced well and passed 9 people in the process. Because of the Sudafed I decided not to wear my HRM because the heart rate would be too high anyway.

Leg 2
6.2 miles
50:02



By the time I reached my third and finally leg I was completely wiped out. I had only slept a 1/2 hour, my head was completely clogged and my chest was super tight. Although it was only 3 miles, the whole thing felt like a struggle. I ran for 10 minutes then took a 30 second walking break. At 20 minutes I did the same thing. At 24 minutes the officer at the intersection said my exchange was just around the corner. I could see the vans so I figured I must be getting close. I picked up the pace, but the exchange wasn't right around the corner. It was around the corner and then another 0.4 miles. In fact, the mileage wasn't 3 miles as anticipated, it was 3.4

Leg 3
3.4 miles
30:10

The team did really well finishing under 26 hours. When we looked at the result at the beach we were in 28th out of 360-ish teams. (The final results had us in 29th.) Personally, I was disappointed. I have been working with a coach for months and all I could prove was 8 min/miles? I know I can't help being sick and you have to take into account running at odd times, with poor nutrition and very little sleep, but I really thought I would do better.

The fun didn't stop there! I went back to the hotel, showered and crawled right into bed. I gave Dave my remaining money, told him to get me some pizza, and I fell asleep. Dave went to the bar with the group. He woke me when he got back brining pizza, a lemonade, and some NyQuil. I ate, drank, and slept another 10 hours. In the morning we were heading home.

If only everything was that smooth. We flew from Manchester, New Hampshire to Newark, NJ. Our flight in Newark unloaded and then they told us there were mechanical problems. Our plan was taken away and they told us we would be taking the airplane coming in from Mexico City--in 4 hours! To pass the time, Dave and Andy tried to get the customer service reps to let us into the President's Club. Neither of them succeeded, but Andy was told our flight was delayed because of weather. This is not what we had been told and it would be significant.

After 4 hours an announcement came on saying our crew had too many hours and our flight was canceled. All of us rushed to the customer service desk. There were members of our group that had to get home that day and the only way they were getting home was by renting a car. There was one more flight out of Newark that evening and it was overbooked. There was one flight from LaGuardia but it too was overbooked. But, because Andy had already talked to them about weather versus mechanical problems we were able to get vouchers for a hotel and food.

So Andy, Jim, Nathan, Dave and I wound up in the Radisson Piskataway. While drinking our food vouchers (he he!!) we noticed some scantily-clad women walking through the lobby. Prostitutes? Adult-film stars? When men from the bar started following them, I got suspicious. Turns out, as we looked it up when we got home, it was WWE stars there for a benefit. Yeah, Piskataway!

The next day, Monday, we waited for the hotel shuttle to take us back to the airport. The shuttle came tearing through the parking lot and totally rammed a car. Funny part is, the car was parked next to a sign that said "Not responsible for damages." Ha!



At the airport our flight was delayed again for hours because our co-pilot never showed up. Needless to say, we've sent a little nasty gram to Continental Airlines. Finally we got home two hours later than expected only to come home to no electricity (we had a major wind storm that Sunday). After talking to our neighbors it seems we were going to be without power for a whole week (and many people in Columbus were). Thankfully my parents had power and they let us come over for dinner. And doubly thankfully, we woke up Tuesday morning to electricity.

The fun never ends in "this runner's world." :)


If you want to see all the pictures, head on over to my Facebook page and why don't you become my friend while you're at it?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fan-tat-stic!


Okay, so I should have posted this two weeks ago. As promised after Boston (nearly 6 months ago), I finally got my tattoo to celebrate. It looks much better as the picture appears because it's very hard to take a picture with your left hand. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday Thoughts

Columbus had a major wind storm over the weekend and it knocked out power to most of the city. Our power was out starting Sunday but we got it back on Tuesday. We were one of the lucky ones. There are still lots and lots of people without power and Columbus city schools are out for the fourth day in a row.

So, what would you do to be entertained with no power for days and days?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Quick Update

There is soooo much to tell about our Reach the Beach adventure this weekend, but unfortunately we came home to no power and it looks like it will stay that way for a few days. So, I'm not going to have access to my computer or my pictures until that power is back on.

I know, the suspense is killing me too!!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Dang you Andrea!

Yeah, I might have a hard exterior, but there's a soft candy center inside.

Dang you, Andrea! You made me cry!

[Read this!]

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

August Totals

Running really got bumped up in August. And it wasn't easy running at that. Lots of intervals and fartleks and hill workouts. This could shape up to be a very good running season.

Swim = 11,050 yards
Bike = 1 hr 35 mins
Run = 114.6 miles

Monday, September 01, 2008

Prerequisites and Midterms

There comes a mid-point in marathon training where things gets stale: tired of running, sore and hurting all over, wondering why you are doing this at all. This is when it should be a requirement to go see a big race.

This weekend we did:



That's right. We went to watch Ironman Louisville. We went for several reasons: (1) Dave wanted to see an Ironman before he did one, (2) we wanted to get psyched for our training and (3) we wanted to see Bree Wee because we think she's awesome.

We got lucky and found a great parking garage right at the transition area and they charged us less than was even posted on the sign. We walked as fast as we could, but we missed the pro start, but we did get to see the start for the mortals. It was a rolling start. The athletes came down a walkway, stood in line, crossed the mat, and then jumped into the swim.






The swim went upstream, around an island, then downstream to the transition area. The transition area was full of volunteers and bikes. It was all very organized. The city of Louisville did a great job.




The bike went out along the rolling countryside of Louisville and went through the town of LaGrange. From downtown Louisville there were shuttle buses that would take spectators up to LaGrange. LaGrange had set up a village of vendors and food and they had bleachers along the bike route. This is where we got to meet the Wee family. They were so gracious and friendly. Throughout the day they would say hi to us and let us know how Bree was doing. Which....was awesome. Off the bike she was winning! Here's a few pictures of Bree and her family.






We came back to Louisville after seeing Bree close in on the lead on her second lap. The nice thing about following a pro is that you got to be one of the first spectators at any area. Here's the Run Out of the transition and the finish line areas without anyone there yet.





But my favorite part of Ironman yesterday was the spectators. They dressed in fantastic shirts and had the best signs.







Dave and I had a great time. He, of course, got more nervous about doing the Ironman and I was so excited it took all of my power not to go downtown this morning and not sign up for myself. I didn't, in case you were wondering. Let me watch Dave and then I'll make up my mind. :) And, I feel like my training has been rejuvenated.