Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My New Best Friend

Dave and I were at the pool together last Wednesday doing a speed workout. There was a girl in the lane beside us who was water running. She was working hard and it appeared she was rehabbing an injury. Dave and I were racing each other during the 50s and I’m sure splashing everybody in the one mile vicinity of the pool.

When we got to the end of the pool she said we were fast. We smiled and said thanks even though we knew she must know nothing about swimming, cause we are far, far away from fast. We asked her if she was rehabbing and she said she was. She had suffered a stress fracture in the half marathon a few weeks ago. She asked if we ran it and I said no because it was the week before Boston.

As we were talking she was getting out of the pool and she was ripped. She was so skinny and all muscle. Then she said….

“I won the race. I ran a 1:19.”

Dave and I smiled big and laughed a little. I said, “Who are you?” Then she said she was Lyndsi Benedict. I knew exactly who she was.

The best part is, she was really friendly. She said goodbye to us and memorized our names. I saw her again on Saturday at the pool and she said hi again both in the locker room and in the pool. I told her I had a long workout and she said she would stay in the pool as long as I was in the pool. She didn’t, but I thought that was super nice. I look forward to seeing her more and watching her kick some more butts (specifically mine) at races this summer.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I Suck!

Yesterday I took the maiden voyage on Lucy, my bike, outside. My workout called for a reverse triathlon: 30 minute run, 60 minute ride, 30 minute swim. The run went really well despite having run a marathon just a few days earlier.

Then, the bike. Oh yes, the bike.

When I did my first triathlon five years ago, I had grand delusions that I'd be really good at it since I'm a pretty good swimmer and a good runner. The problem is the bike. Truth be told, I really don't like to bike. It takes so much longer to get in a good workout than running, it's boring and lonely, and it hurts my lady bits. :) Most races I would struggle to keep up a 16-17 mph pace and that would put me dead last in most triathlons. Thank goodness I could catch them in the run. But imagine what it would be like if I could keep in contact on the bike?!

I always blamed my biking skills on my bike I had. It didn't fit and was painful to ride, so I just didn't. And therefore that's why I sucked. Now I got this new, fancy bike and I thought it was going to solve all my problems just because it fit better. It does feel a lot better on my back and my privates and therefore, I enjoy riding it more, but yesterday's ride was one hour and I only did 14.42 miles. Therefore, I SUCK!!!

Seriously, bikers/triathletes out there. You've got to help me. I've read your blogs; I've seen your times. Y'all are FAST! What's up? Sure, I've got to put more time on the bike. That's a given. But what else should I be doing? Do I need to be doing squats and lunges? Are there other exercises? Is this because I'm a runner and my hamstrings rock but my quads are toast? Am I doomed to just be mediocre?

I've got another ride today and based on the weather, it's going to be inside. Maybe with no wind, it will go a little better.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Boston Marathon 2008

I believe it was Dickens who said, “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”

Or I’d say it as, “Sometimes The Beast kicks you squarely between the legs.”

Boston did not go at all as I hoped, but exactly as I anticipated. And I don’t really know what to say about it. It was what it was.

The day of the race started off roughly as we went out to catch the bus and the lines for the buses wrapped all the way around Boston Common. Luckily we found the shortest line possible and got on the bus fairly quickly. However, it took the bus over and hour and a half to get to Hopkinton. We arrived in Hopkinton at 9:00am. That gave most of our group enough time to go to the bathroom and head for the starting line. I was starting in the second wave and had enough time to scarf down my bagel, go to the bathroom twice, and head to the start line. I was in corral 14, which was the first corral in the second wave. There were so many runners that I never made it to corral 14. Instead with less than three minutes to spare before the starting gun I was able to make it to corral 22. Seriously.

The race started fine. Doug, Grace, and I ran together for the first six miles and then I could no longer keep contact. We spent a lot of time dodging slower runners and big groups and it was already taking a toll on me. By mile 10 I knew it was going to be a long, rough day. I committed to myself to at least run to the halfway point. Because I knew things weren’t going to go really well, I decided to have fun. I slapped every girl’s hand in Wellesley. I took cups of water from the little kids. And my favorite was the Flav-o-Ice popsicle I grabbed from some woman. At the halfway mark, I decided to keep up trucking until mile 16 and then I could start walking since there would only be 10 miles left. And that’s exactly what I did. At mile 16 I enacted a plan that would keep me together and help me finish the race. I would walk one minute and run 4 minutes. That’s what I did for the last ten miles.

Here’s the weird thing. Those who know me in real life know that I have not had a single can of any type of soda since I was 14. Midway through this marathon I started craving Coke/Pepsi really badly. I mean REALLY badly. I looked all over the course for a spectator who was drinking soda and finally in the last couple of miles I found one. I stopped and ask the guy if I could have a sip of his soda. Wouldn’t you know he had whiskey in it?! Good grief! I passed on the offer and kept on searching. I never found one, but I did get Dave to buy me one after I finished and I drank half of it. Obviously I needed something in that soda because I felt a whole lot better after I drank it.

By the time I got to the later miles in the marathon I was really suffering. My feet were on fire and my legs just would not go. At mile 24 a medic asked me if I was okay. You know you’re looking bad when a trained professional thinks you need help. I kept trucking on though and saw Dave at mile 25ish. I was crying by this point. He gave me a hug and that’s all I needed to make it to the end. I shuffled my way to the finish line with a 4:01:42.

Really, that’s not a bad time. And I only lost 11 minutes between the first and second half. But I felt so badly the whole race that it’s hard to be excited about that.

Now it’s on to the half Ironman this summer and I’m going to work much harder for that than I did for this marathon. And if I happen to do a fall marathon, I’ll be ready. Thanks for all the nice messages and e-mails I received since the race. I really appreciate it.

Friday, April 18, 2008


If you want to follow along with the marathon on Monday, my number is 14061 and my start time is 10:30am.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Many Thanks

Thanks to all you out there who left me birthday wishes, sent me e-mails, and wrote on my Facebook wall. It was a pretty good birthday.

My parents "surprised" me with tickets to the Michael Buble concert last night. It was everything I hoped it would be. He was funny, charming, and HOT! And oh yeah, he can sing too. :)

Dave got me a new point and shoot camera since mine went belly-up a few months ago. He got me the Canon SD 870 IS. It's a monster and takes great pictures. I'll have it with me in Boston this weekend and plan on using it, A LOT.

My in-laws got me a gift card to Dick's Sporting Goods which I already spent on a new pair of bike shorts and a medicine ball. Those two things are going to get a lot of use in the next year.

I'm having a party for my birthday in May. I've rented out a bowling alley. Yeah, a whole bowling alley. It should be a whole lot of fun.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

April 16th, 1978, 12:18AM

Goodbye I am 30!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Because you'll find out tomorrow, but today we'll celebrate. :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

What am I doing?

It's funny how motivation works. Back in the day, when I was a gymnast, my coach struggled to find ways to motivate me. His poison was always yelling at me, which never worked. Instead I would cry, but try not to cry, thus hyperventilating and every time he would kick me out of the gym until I could control myself. After 4 years of our relationship, he finally figured out that I would need something different. Being that I've always been a rewards person, he would reward me for each trick landed or series of tricks landed instead of yelling at me for being too frightened.

When I coached I would not yell but would also use the reward/consequence system. This worked pretty well and only a few times did I have to pull a kid aside and discipline or work with an kid individually to find out how to motivate him/her.

As an individual athlete with no coach, I have struggled with motivation and this year has seemed exceptionally difficult. I used to reward myself for things like running all my miles in a month, losing a few pounds, etc., but being that I haven't followed my training plan whatsoever for this marathon, that hasn't worked. Being that I am extremely competitive watching my friends kick my butt used to motivate me but now I've kinda said, "What does it matter anyway?"

There were two events that I followed this weekend. The first was the Columbus Distance Classic, which is a big half marathon here in Columbus. A girl who I have trained with for a few years and who recently I gave my training plan to ran a 1:39. This is awesome! But, I've wanted to go under 1:41 for years now and I'm not even close. My old self should be motivated by this, but I'm not. It almost makes me want to stop running with my group. They're not helping me get faster anyway. The second event I watched was Ironman Arizona. All day long, Dave and I were checking the websites to watch Carrie complete her first Ironman. And she totally smashed it! I truly am so proud of her and can't wait to read her account of the race. Since I am about to start my training for the half Ironman and Ironman this should motivate me as a first timer, but truthfully it scares me to death. And why should I even try?

I have been looking forward to this weekend for a while. I am excited to get a few days off; I am excited to spend the weekend with my running friends; and I am excited to run my 10th marathon. There is a part of me, though, that can't wait for this weekend to be over. My training has, in a word, sucked. I ran 15 miles last week. FIFTEEN! Dave has been training consistently for the half Ironman and it is starting to show--not only physically but he's starting to get faster and it has me worried a little (seriously, I have to beat him). I am ready to start training for triathlon. I just want the marathon to be over so I can move on.

And yet, I want to do better. I want to beat that elusive 3:30 that I cannot seem to break. I was really disappointed when I didn't get into the Nike Women's Marathon. I had decided that this was going to be a one marathon year and that I would just concentrate on triathlon for the next year and a half. What did I do this morning?

I put myself in the lottery for the St. George Marathon on October 4th.

What am I doing?

Friday, April 11, 2008

And now an announcement

Since there are a lot of you that read this blog and a little of you that read my photography blog, I will make my spring portrait announcement here too.

Introducing Meredith Gordon Photography’s Spring Portrait Days!

Here are the details:
  • Who–You and your family, you and your friends, you and your significant other
  • What–A full portrait session
  • When–April 26th and 27th
  • Where–To be determined by the photographer and the client
  • Why–Or a better question, why not?
  • Cost–Only $35!! Print prices and options can be found on the website.

There are only eight time slots available (4 on Saturday, 4 on Sunday) so don’t delay. Contact me today to reserve your spot. E-mail me at or call me at 614-314-4794.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday Things I Shouldn't Admit

I don't sleep very well almost every night of the week. I would say mostly it's because I'm not in love with my job and I get really anxious and angry that I have to go to work the next day. Most nights I'm really tired, but I can't close my eyes and actually fall asleep.

I shouldn't admit that most nights I do not sleep in the same bed as Dave. He sleeps like a rock. A snoring rock! Instead I go upstairs to our twin bed and sleep in my sleeping bag. Yes, I sleep in my sleeping bag more nights of the week than I sleep in my own bed in my own sheets.

I'd ask for suggestions to help my insomnia, but I've been this way since I was a child and I've tried it all. I used to do Benadryl to help me fall asleep but now I can't fall asleep with it and it makes my restless leg syndrome much worse, which of course, keeps me from sleeping.

So, my days are spent in a sleepy state and after 30 years of it, I've pretty much gotten used to it.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Rat Tat Pooey!

Much to my mother's dismay, to celebrate my 10th marathon I am planning on getting a tattoo. But after doing some reading I realized that I am going to have to wait a whole lot longer because you can't swim with a fresh tattoo for two weeks.

Now I'm not going to be swimming again until after the marathon. So the questions becomes do I wait until later this summer when the half Ironman is over or do I get it now before the 10th marathon? Would that be like wearing your race T-shirt before the race?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Athens Half Marathon 2008

WARNING! This post might be too graphic for certain people. If you are a runner or triathlete, you will be fine. The following post is rated PG-13.

It’s two weeks until the big marathon and usually I like to do a half marathon race two weeks before. This year it was the Athens Half Marathon. I had heard good things about this race. First of all it’s small. And it’s flat. So, in my head I decided I wanted to go hard and see what happened.

What happened is that I caught a cold on Monday and I have felt like crap ever since. If only this is the worst thing I was going to talk about today. :) Because of the cold, I really didn’t prepare for the race really well. I didn’t hydrate AT ALL. I ran a hilly 6 miles the day before the race. And I was taking lots and lots of dehydrating decongestants. Again, if only this was going to be the worst part.

The smallest marathon I’ve ever done was the Towpath Marathon in Cleveland, but the Athens Half Marathon and Marathon might have that one beat. This sucker was small! So small, in fact, that there were real bathrooms before the race. You could walk up and register the morning of the race. There were no timing chips, for crying out loud. It was small. With five minutes until the race, I walked to the starting line and waiting. The canon went off (holy cow was that scary) and I found my pace quickly. I like to take the first mile or so slowly and then build my speed. And I did. The first mile was 8:31. But then I was feeling good; I was passing people like they were standing still. My second mile was 7:35. Third mile 7:44. It was then that something started going wrong.

A friend had recommended a vitamin to me called Acidophilus that is supposed to be the good germs that your body needs. It’s supposed to be good for your digestive system. What they should have put on the label is that this vitamin is going to totally mess up your insides. Let’s just say I’ve been a pooping machine since I started taking this vitamin and that is a category I already had first place in, thank you very much. So at mile three my stomach revolted. I passed a port-o-john at mile three and wished I had stopped. Mile 4 was a 7:38. Dude, you can only prairie dog it for so long. At mile 5 I had to stop. I have been racing for 7 years now and this was the first pit stop I was going to have to make during a race. Even with the stop, mile 5 was an 8:57.

Then I got stupid. I felt like I had to make up the time I had lost.
Mile 6—7:33.
Mile 7—7:45
Mile 8—7:51
Mile 9—7:57
The wheels are falling off now. And I’m starting to wonder why I’m doing this stupid race.
Mile 10—8:15
Mile 11—8:25
Mile 12—8:22
I’m so parched I can’t even lick my lips.

Finally we reach the track where you have to do 1-1/2 laps until the finish. I see Dave there taking pictures.
Mile 13—8:07.
I sprint with all the might I have toward the finish line. My time is 1:45:XX (final results yet to come out). I was so disappointed. I was on pace to break my PR (which I may never break another PR again) and failed. In my head, I ran a stupid race, but on paper with all I went through during that race, I still did pretty well. I crossed the line, they yelled out my age group and lo and behold, I had won. Seriously? What a rotten time to be winning an age group. But, I’ll take what I can get. Plus, this is my last race in this age group and I think my first win in this age group.

Did I get a shiny medal or cool plaque? No, my prize was a mug. I don’t even drink coffee! And, it wasn’t like it was green and white, Ohio University’s colors. It was purple. PURPLE!

Needless to say, I am not going to take the acidophilus anymore. And even with the troubles that I went through during this race, a first place finish certainly wipes away the stomach pains.

Pictures to come later today. I need to download them at home.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Damn Skybus!

*Shakes her fist!!!*

Last night my parents called around 9:45. They were leaving today on a vacation to Florida. But, the airline they were traveling, Skybus, folded last night at 9:30pm and all flights starting today had been canceled.

Why is this an issue for us? We were flying Skybus to Boston for the marathon. Now we have to pay TWICE as much to get to Boston. Luckily we were able to find a flight. My parents toiled all night whether to drive or fly down to Florida and finally in the middle of the night got a flight today costing nearly $800 when they had purchased two tickets on Skybus for a price of $10 per person one way. I had another friend that canceled his vacation to San Francisco next week altogether.

Skybus was unique in the airline industry in the US. They modeled themselves after Europe's RyanAir where 10 flight on every flight was $10. Skybus flew to smaller airports but airports that were positioned close to major cities. They were a no perks airline where you had to pay to check your bags, pay for drinks and snacks, and pay for priority seating. But it was an airline that brought a lot of money to Columbus and it's airport. They blame the cost of fuel and the weak economy for the demise, but personally, I hope they can figure out a way to rework their business model and go back into business. It was really revolutionary and I'm sad to see it fail.

None the less, we're getting to Boston.

Friday, April 04, 2008

April Showers....

...bring running in the rain. And since Dave and I both had an interval run and there is only one treadmill, running in the rain it was.

We ran two miles together and then started our intervals. Dave's workout called for 3 minutes on, 2 minutes off and my workout was 5 X 600 at 5K pace with a 400 jog in between. A 5K pace for me is right around a 7:00 mile, which would equate to a 2:37 600. I absolutely suck at pacing these intervals. My intervals were this:
By the time I finished I realized that I hadn't done enough warm-up to equate to 8 miles total (including my cool-down) so I had to do an extra long cool-down. My cool-down was WAY faster than my warm-up as it had started to rain heavily and being that I already have a head cold, I just wanted to get finished. Overall, it was a great workout and I am psyched for my half marathon this weekend and Boston in 2 weeks.

And did y'all see my beloved Buckeyes rip it up in the NIT final? Yeah, it was awesome!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thursday Thoughts

Even though I'm two weeks away from the marathon and only two weeks away from really digging in deep to the triathlon season, I'm finding it increasingly hard to stay motivated. I have found that after 9 marathons the fire isn't there to train properly or maybe even care. And even though I don't have a whole lot of experience in triathlon and I'm really looking forward to the coming two years of triathlon, I can't quite get my butt in the saddle or my goggles strapped on to get my training going.

Maybe it's because it may be winter here FOREVER!

Any way, I'm not very motivated. So, what keeps you motivated? What helps you stay motivated?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

This Sucks

I checked the website today and it appears I did not get into the Nike Women's Marathon in October. I really had my hopes up for this one and I have to admit that I'm deeply disappointed.

Here's the thing that gets me...I had a 66% chance of getting in and I didn't. And looking at the results from last year, I would have placed in the top ten of my age group, which means I'm faster than like 85% of the women who are going to run this race. Shouldn't you be able to send them your running results and they should be able to select you based on your performances?

Now I'm without a fall marathon. Any ideas? Any suggestions? No offense to my friends, but I really wanted to run a different marathon than them this fall. I wanted to experience a race on my own. Or maybe I'll forgo the fall marathon all together and dig deep into the pockets and go see the Ironman Hawaii.

I'm really blue. :(

I wrote this post right after I found out and I was disappointed to say the least. Usually I thoroughly think out what I'm going to write so that I offend the least amount of people. I did not intend for this post to come across as "I am fast and therefore, should have gotten into the marathon." Frankly, I'm not even that fast. I hope I did not offend all of you out there. Everyone should have the chance to run a marathon no matter what their finish time is going to be. Finishing the race is reward enough.