Thursday, May 29, 2008

Blogger Crush

I'm laying on the couch Tuesday evening watching baseball and swimming (and wouldn't it be cool if that was a combined sport) when Dave turns to me and says....

"Dude, Steve in a Speedo commented on your blog!"

I was all like, "Who?"

Dave went on to explain that Steve is, like, famous online and gets like 50 comments on each of his post. I think Dave has a man-blogger crush. :)

Today I went out and read Steve's blog. It was awesome. I read both his and his wife's Ironman stories and cried. At work. I'm such a little girl. I laughed out loud to several of his entries. I'm a fan now. And Steve, I really want to call you Scuba Steve. Oh, and your photography rocks. Next time we cross paths we'll totally going on a running/biking adventure with our cameras.

Thanks for the love, Steve. And thanks to those who comment (and the tons of hits I get without comments). Y'all are my biggest distration, my biggest motivators, and the reason I have continued to grow as an athlete, a writer, and a photographer.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

...You might be a redneck (or in the middle of nowhere)

Remember Jeff Foxworthy’s routine, “You Might Be a Redneck?” Here’s one for you….

If the street sign says Mill and doesn’t say Mill Road or Mill Drive, you might be in the middle of nowhere.

And so we were in the middle of nowhere on our bike ride on Sunday. Originally this was supposed to be part of a big ol’ brick on Saturday but after some people slept in (not me) and some arguing going on (definitely me), we postponed the ride and run. So on Sunday mid-morning we set out to try again. We started at my parents’ house and Dave had routed out a way to get to Croton where my parents are renovating a house.

To say we were in rural America would be an understatement. It was us, the smelly cows, and the farm equipment and that was it. Most of the time we were able to ride side-by-side and we would go many miles of stretches without having to change our position to let a car or farm equipment pass us. We were able to shift into big gears. We were able to practice passing. It was a great training ride.

Once back from our ride we only ran about a mile and a quarter just to shake out the legs. Jared, our nephew, joined us on the run by riding his bike and TALKING OUR EARS OFF!
Here’s my favorite part of the ride. I always carry a camera with me during my rides and would make Dave stop several times to capture a cool image. While in Croton we stopped to take a picture and my bike was falling as I was holding my camera. I said I needed help and Dave turned to help me. I then got things under control, looked over to Dave, and he was on his back, with his bike on top of him, shoe still clipped in, and his water bottle dumping all over him. He wasn’t hurt—just a small bruise on his hip and a cut on his hand. His pride was hurt, but boy was it funny.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

UA Memorial Day 5 Miler 2008

There are plusses and minuses to the way I run. One of the plusses…I’m a very good pacer. I can run pretty much the same pace for every mile run. While this is great for races like marathons, this is bad for shorter races like 5 milers. One of the minuses…I have to start slow in races and build up to pace. Again, this is great for marathons, but very bad for shorter races.

Yesterday I met my friends (Mary, Helen, Andrea, Dave and myself) for the Upper Arlington Memorial Day 5 Miler. I run this race every year in celebration as this was the first race I ran. We all started in the corral together. When the gun went off, Andrea quickly dashed to the front, Dave stayed behind a little, and Mary, Helen, and I took off at a fast pace. It was too fast of a pace for me. I hit the first mile at 7:40 and fell behind. I just can’t start a race that quickly! My second mile was 7:23, but that’s deceiving as it is mostly downhill. The girls were still in sight. At mile three I was really starting to hurt, 7:59. And in mile four I just fell apart, walking twice. WALKING! IN A 5 MILE RACE! Even still, my 4th mile was 8:31. Once I hit one mile to go, I just did what I could to get through. My last mile was a 7:50. I finished in 39:28, which got me fifth in my age group. Helen got 2nd in the 30-34 age group; Andrea got 3rd in the 30-34 age group, and Mary got 2nd in the 25-29 age group. Dave ran a 41:XX and set a PR.

In 2005 I ran this race and kicked its butt with a 36:49. That same year I was training for this very same half Ironman I’m currently training for. My training back then was different, though, as I only did about 1 bike a week, followed all my swimming plans, and was still running 30 miles a week. Now I’m doing a little more varied training with 3-4 runs, bikes, and swims a week. I’m not even running 20 miles a week, though. I need to be doing more running and I haven’t the foggiest how I’m supposed to be doing it. The schedule is crazy! Tomorrow I am supposed to do 3 workouts! How am I supposed to fit that into a normal day?!

I am tired of writing race reports saying how disappointed I am. But I am disappointed. I want to be faster. I want to be a totally badass runner and triathlete. What more can I do?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Painting a Picture

I’ve been noticing it around town. It must be late May. All of my former track kids who have graduated and are now in college are back for the summer.

Today I ran into a former graduate at lunch. I sat with her a while and talked to her about school and her plans and running. She goes to a great school, is doing wonderfully there, has a fantastic summer internship lined up, and she has big plan for the future—even running the Marine Corp Marathon in the fall.

I once was in a women’s Bible study where I was the only married woman in it. The other gals talked about their plans to meet and marry their dream guy and live happily ever after. Being the cynic that I am, I brought that dream crashing down. No lie, they kicked me out of the study.

As I listened to my former student today telling about her plans for majors, Peace Corp, and graduate school, I wondered what life will really be like for her in 2-3 years. When I was a sophomore in college I was majoring in mechanical engineering and wanted to become an Imagineer for Disney. There was no room in my plans for husband or serious boyfriend (instead I just kept boys on the side!). But I had this grand plan for the big picture. Now at the age of 30 my big picture is rarely in color and usually the size of a postage stamp.

Often the perception of high schoolers is that they’re slackers and into drugs, drinking, and sex with no respect for anything. I have been so lucky that I have coached the cream of the crop. Sure, kids will be kids, but these were also kids who were taking accelerated classes, got into premier schools, and even had MySpace pages that were safe for the whole family. Their grand plans may be grand in nature, but I would be surprised if they didn’t achieve their big plans.

Honestly, I may never have kids of my own. I’m just not mother material and I don’t have the yearning that most women my age (or younger) do. But, every young woman and young man I have coached has brought something special to me. And to hear them talk about their achievements and their dreams makes me very proud that I could have ever been a small fraction of that. My picture in front of me may be small and dimly lit, but the picture behind me is filled with beautiful smiling faces of those facing their futures. And for them and the impact they’ve had in my life, a small hug and a thank you brings warmth into any picture.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Like a Baby

Dave and I are 8 weeks away from the big race and the workouts are getting long and intense. It's only Wednesday morning and I've done 4 workouts since Monday. I don't know if it's the fresh air or all the working out, but I have slept like a baby this week. And that's highly unusual for me. These past two nights, I don't even remember turning out the light. I can't get enough food either. I'm burning almost every nutrient I put into my body.

What's going to happen when we start training for the Ironman?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Race for the Cure 2008

As a runner, I don’t like to run the Race for the Cure. It’s too crowded and you never get up to pace and it’s just not an event you do to run. As a human being, I understand the Race for the Cure and its purpose. The last several years I have not done the Race for the Cure because I am a runner and have a hard time justifying spending nearly $10 per mile to run it even though I know it’s going toward a good cause. Since I now work for one of the title sponsors, I got my admission for “free” and decided to run it.

The race had over 40,000 entrants this year. That’s as many as the Chicago Marathon! But this year they actually separated the running and walking participants. Yay! Still, I lined up at the 7:00 pace and saw that many people around me didn’t look like those who would be running a 7:00 pace. So, I just thought I would treat this as a training run. I saw a friend of mine from Nationwide and we spend the majority of the run talking about Ironman.

Even so, I set a PR in this race…quite possibly for my slowest 5K ever.


But, I’m glad I did it, appreciated what the race represents, and reflected a lot on those I personally know affected by breast cancer.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Swimming Time Trial

Last Friday we had our second (my first) 1000 meter/yard swimming time trial. I recently set my goals for Muncie (and they will remain private), but I knew I needed to swim 18:55 to be able to have a chance to reach those goals.

I took a small warm-up in the pool and did it with limited breathing to get my heart rate up. I struggle a lot at the triathlons because I can't relax and have a hard time getting my face in the water and breathing correctly.

I swam HARD in my time trial. I pushed until I couldn't push anymore. I breathed when I needed to and kept reminding myself to stroke long instead of hard. And it paid off. My time:


Awesome! We still have one more time trial before the race and I'm going to try to get until 18:00. Everything seems to be falling into place right now.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tri-ing to Push, Lovingly :)

The cover story on this month's Runner's World is all about world class running couples. Now Dave and I are now world class, not yet anyway :), but we do tend to pick the same races. As runners we rarely train together as he prefers to work out in the morning or during lunch and I run after work, he doesn't like to do high mileage and I do, and we do not run the same paces. But now that we are both doing triathlons, we're actually doing a lot of our training together (except for the running). He pushes me on the bike since I hate to bike, and we do a lot of our swims together because it's nice to share a lane with someone you know.

Wednesday as I was leaving for work I saw Dave putting his swim stuff into his bag. I figured he was heading straight to the gym to get his swim done before work and then he'd be doing his run at lunch. That's usually his schedule. When I talked to him later in the day he said that he had just gone straight to work, did his run at lunch, and it went horribly. He wasn't planning on doing his swim and just wanted to go home and nap. I told him I would be home late because I still had to do my run and swim. He kept going on and on about being tired and so I said...

"You don't have to do the swim, but I'm going to. And just remember, I'm going to kick your butt in Muncie because I'm putting in the effort."

He was mad, but it was the motivation that worked. At 5:15 after I finished my run and made my way to the pool, there he was in a lane doing laps. Now, he was doing "drills" which looks a lot like floating but it go him in the pool.

Guess next time I want to skip a workout I should just not tell him. :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008


As I approached my 30th birthday this year, I knew I wanted to have a really great party. I wanted to invite a lot of people and I wanted it to be interactive and fun. I wanted people to be talking about it and remembering it for a long time. My first thought was to rent out a hall and have a Mexican fiesta complete with tacos and margaritas and sombreros. We would bring over our fussball table and the Wii and have a great time. But the halls all seemed very expensive and I would have to do a lot of the work myself regarding the refreshments. It all seemed like a lot of work. Then I was on Craig's List one day checking out my own add for our photo booth and lo and behold an ad spoke to me. The ad was to rent a bowling alley for private parties. It was perfect.

Immediately I contacted the bowling alley and picked a date. We would get free bowling, have a cash bar, and there would also be billiards. We could bring in food. And the best part is, they would close the place to the public and it would be all ours.

The party was last Friday and it was awesome. I had about 30-40 of my friends come by, bowl lots and lots of games, enjoy food and beverage, and the best part....take part in the photo booth. Yep, we had our photo booth there and people made great pictures and even put them into a guest book for me.

I truly loved the party. I wish I could do it every weekend. It was old school and fun and perfect for a bunch of 30-somethings. Thanks everyone who helped out and who attended. I love all of you. And for those who couldn't make it, you missed out on a great time. You'll just have to wait until my 40th birthday!

Check out some of the photo booth pictures. What a bunch of hams!

Monday, May 12, 2008

What To Do Now

Now that I've been shut out of two marathons I'm starting to wonder if a fall marathon is in the cards. Maybe it's a sign that I should be starting the Ironman training ASAP. But, I really wanted to run a fall marathon because I've lost my qualification for Boston and I wanted to secure that in case (a) the coach let's me run it in the spring in the middle of my Ironman training (not likely) and (b) after the Ironman is over I may want to go back to being just a marathoner and run it in 2010. Either way, I was really looking to redeem myself and really go after the elusive 3:30 that's been haunting me for three years.

It was mentioned in the last post to try Top of Utah, but that race is in September and I have already signed up to run Reach the Beach in September and I don't want to compromise either race. So, I'm really looking for a marathon between October 1st and the end of the year and something that's not going to cost me a whole lot as I'm going to be spending a small fortune in the quest for Ironman next year.

I had breakfast/lunch with Mary on Saturday and she discussed giving the marathon another try this fall. She mentioned she might want to enter the lottery for New York. Will a third lottery be the charm? I've always been a little leary about entering New York. I had a friend who ran NY a few years ago and hated it. He said he'd never run it again. Plus, I also happen to have that deathly fear of bridges that might be a little hard to overcome by the race. In addition, it's not exactly an easy course and probably not any place I could shoot for a 3:30. Dave and I have also been talking about the Honolulu Marathon, but financial restrictions might limit us. We also threw the Portland (Oregon) Marathon in the mix, but we've vacationed in Portland before and really wanted to go someplace we haven't (although we've spent a good amount of time in NY too).

For right now, I'm without a marathon and without a vacation as they were going hand-in-hand this year. Maybe this just is going to be a one marathon year and I can concentrate on saving money, doing half marathons, and saving for Ironman.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

0 for 2

We did not make it into the St. George Marathon.

The search continues...

Friday, May 09, 2008


Patience is not my strongest suit, and I'm really being tested this week. Dave, Dad, and I entered the St. George Marathon lottery together and results were supposed to be announced yesterday, then by today, and now by today at 5:00pm. Come on St. George! There are vacation plans riding on this!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Ranting, Raging, and Raving

I get a lot of hits on this blog. Not as many as I'd hope (to be the super-star I want to be), but definitely a lot more than I can actually could have conceived when I started this blog. Most people who are reading this blog I don't even know either because they don't comment or I have never met them. But I also have some of my real family and friends who do read this blog. The title of this blog is "This Runner's World" which I've always meant to be writings about my life as a runner, whether that meant running adventures or real-life adventures.

My real-life friends really like it when I pull out the soap box and go to town on the blog. But, most things I would love to do rant, rage, and rave about I simply can't because I'll (a) lose my job and (b) lose my friends and (c) look like the most horrible person ever. It's no secret that I am opinionated. You give me a topic and I've got an opinion on it. And, let's just say that my speech in real life is quite colorful. But, on the blog, I really try to refrain.

This week has been kinda hectic. We're throwing a totally awesome birthday party for your's truly tomorrow, we've cranked up the triathlon training, and I might have gotten reprimanded for something at work in which I was doing nothing wrong in the first place. So, I have a lot for which I could probably pull out the soap box. But let's just leave it as I'm stressed, I'm cranky, and I'm looking forward to Friday.

My dear friends, that's as much soap box as there will be today. Sorry for the disappointment.

Monday, May 05, 2008

OSU Triathlon

Just like the Olympic flame currently in Asia, there was a passing of the torch yesterday. Yes, yesterday, I lost to Dave.

Sure there are a lot of excuses I could make, but hands down he’s a better biker and that’s going to make all the difference. Of course, my sister says that Dave should put a big sign in the yard proclaiming he beat me and have people honk as they go by. Such a nice sister!

It didn’t start well for me. I don’t know what it is about a triathlon swim, but it just freaks me out. And this was in a pool! I couldn’t get my heart rate down and therefore, backstroked half of it. HALF OF IT! Funny part is, I’m a really strong backstroker and I started catching people, so I turned over and stuck my face in the water just went. I caught Dave and was right on his toes. We got out of the water at the same time and I beat him to the transition. And I beat him out of the transition very quickly.

I actually thought the bike was going pretty well. I probably only had about 10 people pass me—much better than normal. One of those people was Dave and he passed me within the first three miles. But I should have known I wasn’t doing that well as the only people I passed were mountain bikers. Finally the bike was over and I made a good transition to the run.

I got shoelace clip-thingies for my laces, but I like my laces pretty tight and had plenty left over so I had to stop a few minutes into my run and tuck my extra laces. That’s when the one and only person passed me on the run. I caught him again later, but he passed me back up. Anyway, I had a great run even though I think the miles were short. My first mile was a 7:47 and I thought that was good. HA! My second mile was a 6:58. It was in that second mile that I saw Dave. I gave him a high five and said, “You proved you’re more superior.” The woman behind him (his dentist, by the way) smiles. I kept catching people and getting faster. I sprinted my way to the finish. My last mile was 6:42. I was cooking on that run!

I must say, it was a bit discouraging. I gave up trying to tri three years ago because I couldn’t figure out the bike mystery and wasn’t willing to put in the time to solve it. This time I’m a little more willing to put in the work on the bike, but I don’t want to sacrifice my running. A longer race, and I would have done pretty good, but the truth is—I’m a runner trying to fake it as a triathlete. We’ll give it the summer and then really decide if I want to try Ironman.

Oh, but I did beat my goal yesterday which was 1:30. I ran a 1:19:51.

Swim (400m) = 9:32
T1 = 1:33
Bike (20K) = 45:45 (16.3 pace)
T2 = 1:27
Run (3 mi) = 21:34 (7:11 pace)
Total = 1:19:51

Friday, May 02, 2008

April Totals

Now that I'm getting into the swim/bike/run of things, here are my totals for April.

Run: 82.55 miles
Swim: 12,950 yards
Bike: 4 hrs 45 minutes

Expect A LOT more of that coming soon.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

And now the rest of the story

You don’t think I spent four days in Boston and the only thing I have to talk about is the actual marathon? Heck no! There was a lot of fun that went down!

We started in the airport at Columbus by shaking our fists at the Skybus airplanes, but then smiling because we didn’t have to get up at four in the morning to catch our plane either.

Our plane ride was made fun by our flight attendant. We got lucky and sat in the front row and held great conversations with her. She told us all the stuff she doesn’t say in her speeches and even told us about her professional wakeboarding boyfriend.

Once in Boston we met up with fellow blogger Meredith, who has a husband named Dave, who has a brother named Jeff. So weird! We had a fantastic pasta dinner and chatted much about running and triathlon. I hope we get to meet them again because I didn’t get a picture. What was I thinking?!

Sunday morning we watched the women’s Olympic trials. It was magical. I especially enjoyed cheering for some of my favorites including Deena Kastor, Desiree Ficker, and Joan Benoit Samuelson.

After the trials we hit the expo which was a mistake. For those of you who don’t know me in real life…let’s just say I have some personal space “issues.” As in, I don’t like to be touched, but I don’t like crowds either. It was absolute chaos just trying to get my number. I yelled at the women handing out the shirts because for the second time in 3 years I was denied a size small because they were out. Come on, BAA, get it right?! Put the shirts in the bags and give people what they’re assigned, not what they ask for. I did apologize to those women but it was also nice that they agree with me. From what I hear, they ran out of mediums too. I would have been pi$$ed had I received a large when I ordered a small. I must say, though, I got a medium and it fits me pretty well. I ran in it yesterday. Although, Andrea, if you’re still interested in switching, I’m willing to switch. The expo was so crowded that I never saw all the merchandise (didn’t matter—I had purchased mine online before the event) and I never found the posters. I really wanted a poster since they usually have all the participants’ names on them. Next time, I’m making sure my flight gets in earlier enough to go early on Saturday.

After a nap, we met our friends for dinner. All 27 of them! The restaurant handled our big crowd very well and dinner was fantastic. Dinner was followed by a trip to Mike’s Pastry where I got a canolli and a Boston cream puff. Riding back on the subway a woman asked me if those were for tomorrow night (Monday after the marathon). I laughed and said no. I was going to have them tonight (Sunday before the marathon). Shoot! The whole race was a celebration and I was going to eat my canolli. Helen and I were a little put off by her comment.

Monday after the marathon we all met up for a pizza dinner. It tasted like a small slice of heaven. Or a small slice of pepperoni and sausage pizza. :) The group dispersed pretty early in the evening as many had early flights to catch the next day and we were all really tired from running the marathon.

Tuesday morning Dave and I spent together. We had breakfast at a wonderful Greek restaurant we found in 2006. The French toast tasted so good. I love eating after a marathon. J Then we went to Niketown where I debated long and hard about getting a new running hat. I always run in a hat and I almost always run in my Boston 2006 hat that my parents got for me that year to celebrate my marathon and my birthday. In the end, I didn’t get the hat and I’m still kicking myself about it. I did sign the wall and wrote: “Meredith just finished her 10th marathon” and scribed it with what I hope my tattoo will be.

Dave and I took morning naps (gosh I love to nap) and then treated ourselves to an ice cream lunch (who doesn’t love ice cream as a meal) while sitting in Boston Common watching the people and enjoying the great weather. Finally it was time to head home and did ourselves good by working ourselves into an earlier flight since ours was delayed and we were going to miss our connection. Dave is so good at customer service.

I had a great time in Boston and thoroughly enjoyed my vacation. I don’t know if I’m going to get to go again next year due to the Ironman training (and I have to requalify) but I love Boston and will go again.