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!


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


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's a cold day for the spectators. :)



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


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


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