Thursday, December 31, 2009

December and 2009 Totals

Despite being sick at the beginning of the month and missing a few exercises here and there, it's starting to feel like the workouts are productive. I'm not running as many miles as I'd like but I've had to do runs on the treadmill (cannot get as fast in as lower heart rates) and miss a few to keep myself healthy. I also know that triathlon is not all about the run so I keep reminding myself to be patient. Overall, I'm starting to dig this triathlon stuff.

December...
Swim = 17,950 meters (That's 11.2 miles of swimming!!!)
Bike = 124.13 miles (My first month over 100 miles!!!)
Run = 36.69 miles (I really want to be closer to 100 or at least over 50!)
Other = 2 hours

2009...
Swim = 109,100 meters (68 miles of swimming. Not bad considering I had 8 weeks out of the water with the broken finger.)
Bike = 614.28 miles (I'll probably have more miles by March of 2010 than in 2009 total.)
Run = 852.66 (I was really hoping for 1000. Maybe next year.)
Other = 24 hours (One whole day of doing crunches!)

Tomorrow my beloved Buckeyes play in the Rose Bowl. Of course I'll be watching and I hope you will too, cheering on the Bucks. But even if you're not a football person, try to tune into the parade or halftime of the game. The Ohio State School for the Blind's marching band will be represented and during halftime they will do Script Ohio in braille. If that doesn't bring a tear to your eye, I don't know what will.

Happy New Year. See you in 2010. (And this concludes blogging every day in 2009!!!)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010 Athletic Goals

I'm finding it difficult to set goals for next year. I'm just not sure what to expect since I've never fully concentrated on triathlon. But, I do have some thoughts and goals based on what I've done in the past and what I think I'm realistically capable of doing. Here are my thoughts:
  • Complete a half iron in under 6 hours. I've done 2 in the past, one in 6:10 and one in 6:09. Both of those I only done the minimum biking to be able to complete the distance. This should be an obtainable goal, however, I'm doing a pretty hilly half this summer so we'll see.
  • And speaking of biking, I'd really like to be able to go under 3 hours in that half ironman.
  • For the ironman, I think I am capable of finishing between 12 and 13 hours. I know this may be lofty for a first time, but I base this on current capabilities. I should be able to swim under 1:30 and run around 4 hours. The big question mark is biking. I'd like to aim for 7 hours or better.
  • Qualify for the Halfmax Nationals.
  • Be a good representative for Team Trakkers.
Nothing is set in stone regarding these goals. Who knows how I'm actually going to be able to perform. I've never done the training and I've never taken any of my triathlon races seriously. But, I am looking forward to the challenge and finding out what I'm capable of. 2010 is going to be a great year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Pictorial of Today's Workout

2010 will not be my first year of doing triathlons, but it is my first year of taking triathlon seriously. I really had NO idea how much work would be going into this. I'm starting to feel like I'm living in spandex and swimsuits. And I'm starting to feel really strong. Tonight I put my new Bosu ball to work. Check out some of the pictures from the workout. (And thanks to my dog, Sloopy, for helping me do my exercises.)









Monday, December 28, 2009

Froze my %*@$ off!

Today I had a 75 minute run on the schedule. Last night we got a nice winter storm which left several layers of snow on the ground for this run. Normally I love running in the snow. I find it refreshing and energizing to be the only fool out there getting the work done. But today was definitely not refreshing. The first 37-1/2 minutes were with the wind to my back, which didn't seem too bad. When I turned around, though, the wind was mighty strong in my face and COLD! I was wearing tights that have extra protection in the knees and thighs to keep the wind and cold out but nothing was working. My legs felt stiff from the cold. The wind was gusting so much that on my return trip I could not see my initial foot tracks. Even worse, this run was a heart rate run and some times I had to virtually walk to keep my heart rate down. That definitely didn't help to keep warm. As soon as I got home I jumped in the shower and had a cup of hot chocolate. I didn't get warm again until I took a nap late in the afternoon. I'm very thankful that my next run this week is a scheduled treadmill run.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Four (or three) Christmases

Three Christmases in two days! Wow! I'm wiped out. But, we are all set for quite a while. Dave and I both got two swimsuits, each a bike jersey, each a pair of bike shorts, a BOSU ball, a DVD player and a dongle for our TiVo so we can workout in the basement for the winter and be entertained. I loved it all. The swimsuits are tasteful and my bike jersey is one of the cuter ones I've ever seen (I'm really picky about my athletic clothes). I've eaten enough for a whole army but who cares because I've seen my workouts for the next week and I'm easily going to burn those calories off. There's a few things I didn't get on my list that I'll probably take care of with gift cards I've received. Overall, the parents and in-laws did a great job this year. I don't think I need to return anything.

Now onto my favorite week of the year...right before New Year. I love setting new goals and seeing what horizons will be chased.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

The Gordon's really got into the Christmas spirit this year. If you liked yesterday's video, today's is even better...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Training...You've Done Me Wrong

Happy Holidays, y'all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The End is Near

One of my personal goals for 2009 was to blog everyday. What may not be so obvious is that I actually started this adventure on December 11th, 2008. So technically I have already achieved this goal. However, I'm going to finish off 2009 by blogging every day until the New Year. What will happen next year, I'm not really sure. I've enjoyed blogging and have enjoyed the expansion of readers and interractions. I've found some new great blogs and met a lot of new people by achieving this goal. I have also found it exhausting to try to think of a new topic every day while trying to keep the blog fresh and interesting. I'll probably continue to blog frequently but I'm not going to put pressure on myself to keep this up every day.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

SWIM TEST!!!

This is supposed to be my "rest week." Yet, coach snuck in a swim test. I REALLY didn't want to do it. I knew it would be long and I knew it was going to hurt. Dave and I warmed up together then I did his test while he times. After I was done, we switched. Basically, this was 10 X 100 with 10 second rests in between. The first one was too fast. I knew it and wasn't happy about it. The second and third really hurt. I asked Dave to stop the clock. He said no and told me to go. Then something happened...I got into rhythm and turned out consistently good times. This was a great jumping-off point. I told Dave tonight, I'm so glad I had some swimming skills before starting this triathlon stuff. :)

1:29
1:35
1:37
1:39
1:39
1:39
1:40
1:39
1:39
1:38

Average 1:38. Oh yeah, I swim in METERS!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Athletic Year in Review

My journey to becoming a better runner actually started in July 2008. That's when I hired my coach. I love working with a coach. Even though I don't physically workout with her, she is always in my head pushing me to new levels. I need to be held accountable. I need to be pushed. And it's worked.

In the past year and a half I have dropped my time in the marathon by 6 minutes. I added a new PR in the half marathon by three minutes. I won my first race. I finally figured out triathlon and place in my age group in both the races I did this summer. And probably most important, to me, I got the courage to sign up for Ironman. A lifelong dream soon to be realized.

Sure at times this year I've been totally burned out by running. There are certainly days I have cursed coach, her workouts, and the whole idea of really racing in generally. But I'm so excited that after eight years my running has been totally transformed, that I'm happy to crawl out of bed and put on my running shoes each morning.

And 2010 is going to be the best year yet.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Book List 2009

It's coming to the end of the year which means it's time to reevaluate the past 12 months. One goals I set for myself every year is to read 12 books. I'm almost done with my 12th so it's time for my list.

1. "Talent is Overrated" by Goeff Colvin
Obviously this book didn't appeal to me since I have no recollection of what it was about.

2. "New Moon" by Stephenie Meyer
Yes, I'm one of those girls who has read the Twilight books. But, to date, I've only seen the first movie.

3. "Eclipse" by Stephenie Meyer

4. "Breaking Dawn" by Stephenie Meyer

5. "Running from the Devil" by Jamie Freveletti
I wrote about this one on the blog earlier this year.

6. "The DaVinci Code" by Dan Browne
Probably my favorite book I read this year. I flew through this in a matter of days.

7. "Losing my Religion" by William Lobdell
I used to follow Bill Lobdell's blog when he was a triathlete. I loved him then; I love him now. I have a lot to say about this book, but it's pretty controversial and very personal to me, so I'd rather not do it on the blog.

8. "The Last Amateurs" by John Feinstein
A little too long, but insightful.

9. "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult
This one made me cry.

10. "Push" by Sapphire
Fast read. One long poem. Fantastic. I'd love to see the movie.

11. "Open" by Andre Agassi
When I was in middle school I idolized Andre Agassi. I had posters of him on my wall. I tried to model my game after his. As he grew up and became the champion that he is, I loved him even more. And after reading this book, Andre Agassi will forever be my athlete hero.

12. "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
I've been reading this book for the last 3 months. I think it's stupid, but I'm almost finished so I'm not going to stop.

Now, I've got to start making my selections for 2010. With all the training I'm going to be doing it may be hard to read 12, but I love a challenge. Did you read anything good this year? What would you recommend?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Rollercoaster

This day has been crazy. Again, my puppy does not know how to sleep in. This morning she woke us up at 4:30am and again at 6:40, yet she took a nap with us, at my feet, this afternoon. Dave and I had a great run in the snow this morning. It was quiet and serene. We were he first people on the trails. I love running in the snow. We took Sloopy to get her picture taken with Santa. She was the hit of Petsmart. I'll post the picture a little later. But the craziest part of the day happened around noon when I was fixing my hair. Our electricity went out. Weird considering we're not in that huge storm the East coast is getting. By 4:00 the electricity was still out so we went over to my parents' house to watch Ironman and to get some dinner. This really pissed me off because I've been waiting for months for the broadcast and was looking forward to seeing it in HD and recording it on DVR. Now neither of those happened. I think my parents are the only people on the planet without HDTV. Now it's after 10:00pm and we are heading home from a basketball game. We are hoping when we get home we'll hve some electricity or else we are going to be spending the night t my parents' house.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Foto Friday

Yep, Dave and I are training again...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

It's a week before Christmas and all through the house....well, it doesn't look like Christmas at all. We're too busy training to put up our freakin' tree!

Last night I'm in the pool wearing my backup swimsuit...you know, the one that doesn't really fit you but you wear it because you have nothing else...and I'm thinking, one week and two days until I get a new swimsuit. I HAVE to get a new swimsuit for Christmas or else I'm going on a shopping spree for myself.

So, what's one thing you have to get for holidays or else you're going to buy it yourself?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Break on through to the other side

Although I have never been on a swim team, I have been a swimmer my whole life. My parents thought it was important that my sister and I learned how to swim and we started early. My first swim lesson started when I was six months old and I took lessons every year until I was twelve when I exhausted all the classes. I also took a summer of diving and a summer of lifesaving. My sister took her swimming to the next level and joined the high school team holding the backstroke school record for a year.

For the last year I've been swimming consistently for once or twice a week. Although I've done drills and speed, most swims were for recovery from running. When I tested speed, I would never get below 1:45 per 100 meters (Dave and I are lucky to swim in a meter pool). For the last six weeks I have been doing nothing but drills: one arms, kicks, finger drags, fists, catch up. You name it; I've done it. Today we got to swim for speed. We did 9 X 100 with increasing speed or as it's so apply named: descending 100s. During the last 6 X 100 I was able to drop down to 1:36-1:40 per 100m. Yeah! What a breakthrough!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What's too much information?

Yesterday I stumbled across a video made by Heather Gollnick that was a preview of the Ironman Louisville course. I watched half of it making it to about halfway through the bike. That's when I closed the computer not sure I wanted to see anymore. When Dave trained for his Ironman he devoured information. He read every blog he could find of people who had done the race and people who were doing the race. He studied websites. Heck, he rode the course on the computrainer. That's not really my style. I had never driven a course until this past year. I don't like to read about races. I just want to race and figure it out as I go along. I know that's probably not smart, but what's too much information?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Manic Monday

Today started early. Really early. Sloopy, my dog, woke me up at 3:45am barking. I got up, took her out, and put her back in her crate. At 5:00am she started barking again. This time Dave got up, took her out, and put her back in her crate. By 7:30am she was crying again and Dave was getting up for work. Around 8:30 I rolled out of bed and tended to the puppy. By 9:30am she had eaten through the power cord to my laptop. It was sparking. Despite trying some electrical tape, the power cord does not work. Back to the Apple store tomorrow I guess.

So I've been sick for weeks. Last week I finished up my dose of antibiotics. Saturday I started feeling bad again and by Sunday my throat was hurting, my nose was stuffy, and my glands were swollen. AGAIN! Before even rolling out of bed this morning I had called the doctor and got an appointment for today. Now it's bronchitis. Good grief! Another dose of antibiotics. Hopefully this time I'll feel 100% by the end of it.

The best part of today was finding out Dave will have a job for at least two more months. We've known for a while that the end of December could be the end of his job, but a big contract came through today. Christmas has been saved!!

And now that Christmas has been saved, I have to rush to get through my shopping. So after my appointment this afternoon I did a little shopping.

Finally, this evening ended with a solid, but tough, bike ride.

Hopefully, Sloopy will sleep through the night. I could use a nap!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Base Training vs. College

Unlike most schools, Ohio State is on the quarter system instead of semesters. I loved it! It was only 10 weeks, so if you didn't like a class it wasn't going to last very long. Plus, you didn't have to take as many classes to fill out a full load. Three class and you were a full time student. But there were some drawbacks. The classes moved very quickly, so if you missed a class or got sick and couldn't go to class, you missed a lot. And no matter how on the ball you thought you were, you were always behind. I swear I started the first week behind schedule, made it to the end of the quarter knowing I didn't finish all assignments, and yet still walked away with a strong B.

Triathlon training is starting to feel like being in school again. I'm currently on holiday break from gymnastics so I have the whole month available and yet I finished this week of workouts three behind. I missed a bike and two strength sessions. Next week is a new week and a new opportunity to get in all the workouts. I know they're all important just like attending classes and doing homework, but hopefully missing a few here or there will not mess up the big picture. I'm hoping to walk away from this experience with an "A" or maybe I should say an "IM".

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Together Again

I used to work with my dad at an insurance company for about 2 years. Tonight we worked together again. One of my photo booth employees fell I'll this week and got admitted to the hospital. After searching high and low to find someone to replace her, I had to resort to asking my dad to help me. He did a great job with a big crowd. Thanks dad for bailing me out.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Foto Friday

Here's another one of my Through the Viewfinder pictures I did a few weeks ago on Ohio State's campus:



And don't forget you can purchase this picture or any other of my TTV pictures from my Etsy shop.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

Dave and I received a letter this past week from our homeowner's association. The title of the letter read like this: "Final Notice of Violation - Missing/Wrong Style Numbers on Mailbox." Yes that's right, ladies and gentleman. Dave and I are going to get fined by our homeowner's association because we have the wrong font and size of numbers on our mailbox. Never mind we've had those numbers on there for at least 4 years and we've never received any other notifications. As it turns out, we've never not had our mail delivered either. This whole this is ridiculous and pisses me off to no end.

So, what has happened to you that is just ridiculous?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

All Tied Up

It seems I'm finally getting over being sick and thank goodness, I've gone back to working out. There have been some tough workouts this week! Yesterday I had a climbing bike ride that the climb alone lasted a half hour. By the end of it I had maxed out my gears. Today I had a swim where I literally had to tie my feet together and try to swim that way. Needless to say, my legs sank to the bottom. It was a valiant effort, though. Tomorrow I will try my first run outside in nearly two weeks. The weather has turned here and it is COLD so it may suck. But, I'm so happy to be back.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Come Race With Me (and get a discount)!

Hey friends! Here's your chance to get into the Rev3 triathlon races and get a discount in the process. There are three races scheduled for summer 2010. First it's Knoxville on May 8th and 9th. I will be doing the Olympic distance tri in Knoxville. Then it's the Quassy race on June 5th and 6th in Middlebury, Connecticut.. Finally it's the Cedar Point race on September 12. Dave will be doing the full iron-distance race at Cedar Point, so I will be there too!

And when you go to sign up, please use the discount code Trakkers119 to receive a $10 discount. There is a contest going on for all Team Trakkers members. I need as many people to sign up using my code as possible. So, tell you friends and family about my blog and get them to sign up too. The prize is big and I'd really like to win.

See you in Knoxville in May!

Monday, December 07, 2009

My Dog is a Genius

When we brought Sloopy home two weeks ago we thought we got one dog. As it turns out, there are a whole host of dogs in our house. There's Stove Dog and Fireplace Dog. Bathroom Dog and my favorite, Piano Dog.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Guest Birthday Post

And a-one, and a-two...

"Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me..."

Hi, this is Dave, Meredith's trusty guest blogger and husband. And today is my birthday! Now, I've already gotten one cool new training toy today, a new set of paddles for the pool. And I hear I have some birthday money coming my way. So today's question is:

What is your favorite fairly inexpensive piece of gear I could purchase that would make the biggest impact? Sure, I'd love it to be a power tap or disc wheels, but those aren't really in the budget right now. Let's keep the items less than $100. Help me celebrate with some great ideas!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Back in the (bike) Saddle

Today I finally began feeling like myself. Maybe not 100% Meredith, but probably like 85-90%. So, I decided it was time to get back on the saddle. I programmed my watch, lubed up my legs, grabbed some water and Gatorade, and headed to the basement. First thing that happens: my bike falls off the trainer. Thank goodness I was not riding it! Maybe next time I'll wear a helmet. Problem is that my spindle that goes through my bike wheel is not round and therefore does not sit in the trainer very well. Lucky enough, there was a spindle laying on the floor of the basement (why?) so I changed it out and refit the bike on the trainer. Then it was time for the longest ride of this trainer cycle. The plan said 1 hour, 20 minutes, but no matter how many times I added it up I came up with 1 hour, 10 minutes. I rearranged a few things and came up with 1 hour, 15 minutes.

And then we rode.

My legs were sore, my crotch was ready to be done, but gosh it feels good to be working out again. It's been a long two weeks of being sick.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Foto Friday

I got the privilege of capturing the family photos of my boss last week. For a family with five kids, there was nothing but patience and love and acceptance. No one fought and the parents didn't fret over who wasn't cooperating or paying attention. It was one of the easiest big family sessions I've done.

Seriously, isn't this family the most beautiful family you've ever seen?


Maybe??...

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I've had some conversations today with a couple different people about how often I get sick and how badly I get sick. My mom and I concluded that (a) my immune system does seem to shut down every couple of years and those years I tend to get sick, sick, sick and (b) when I do get sick I get REALLY sick. I'm hoping that last year was one of the years when I got sick a lot, because I did. When I do get sick I try really hard to get better quickly. I almost always go to the doctor and get on meds immediately. Truthfully, I feel like I do a lot to keep myself from getting sick. I wash my hands often, use sanitizer, use my Neti Pot, recover from my workouts, etc. There are concerns that I'm not going to be able to stay healthy enough to train for Ironman, and frankly, that scares me.

So, what are your secrets to keeping healthy?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Suckerpunched!

It hit me with a "one, two!" It started about three weeks ago with 8 days in a row of headaches. Then it was one day of sore throat and four days of feeling great. Tuesday of last week the sore throat returned and the head started to get foggy. By Thanksgiving and for the four days following it I had a mean case of laryngitis. Monday I felt great. So great I ran and swam and thought I was returning to normal. Yesterday I woke up feeling terrible. My throat was on fire! I took a deep nap in the afternoon and still felt bad when I woke up. This morning was the worst I had felt. My glands were so big I could not turn my head. My ears were clogged because of all the swelling. Everything in my throat had swollen and it was hard to swallow. Before even getting out of bed I called the doctor. The doctor served me up a double whammy--strep throat and a sinus infection. She also said I had a canker sore down in my throat. That's certainly not making things feel better. She gave me a dose of antibiotics, told me to take the Mucinex I had been taking, gargle with salt water, and spritz some Cloreseptic. Dave even helped me out by working from home this afternoon and taking care of the dog while I slept all day.

With two doses of antibiotic already taken, I'm hoping tomorrow will be a much better day. For now, at 10 until 9:00, I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

One Month Measurements



One month into triathlon training and I'm starting to notice some changes. Mostly, I don't totally hate to bike and I'm starting to get stronger at biking. But I'm also starting to notice my body changing ever so slightly. Here's the measurements after one month.

Weight = 116.8 (+0.9 pounds)
Quads = Left 19-1/2" (no change)
Right 19-1/2" (no change)
Biceps = Left 10-3/4" (+0.25)
Right 10-3/4" (+0.25)
Waist = 27-3/4" (-0.25)

Monday, November 30, 2009

November Totals

The first month of triathlon training has come to a close. I missed almost all of last week being sick, so my numbers are lower than I thought they would be. I'm having a hard time letting go of running a lot of miles. It seems weird to have a month where I've only run 30 miles. I'm hoping the running comes back! This was a big month of weight lifting. I haven't done that much since high school. It worked back then and I think it's going to work now. On to December!!

Swim = 15,500 meters (That's over 9-1/2 miles of swimming!)
Bike = 87.46 miles
Run = 33.55 miles
Other = 4.75 hours

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Purchase a Piece of Meredith

It has taken me all day, but I finally got my Etsy shop, "Mostly Square Photos", up and running. Yep that's right! If you love my photography, and hopefully you do, now you have the chance to purchase a select number of my through the viewfinder prints. I don't have everything I want available for sale yet, but more prints will be added in the next couple of days. And because I am celebrating the grand opening of my shop, all purchases between now and December 11th will receive free shipping. Check out my Mostly Square Photos here. And happy shopping!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Miscellany for Saturday

A little miscellany for this Saturday:
  • This has been the weirdest Thanksgiving. We had one with my family, one with Dave's family, and I'm yet to have any turkey. Not because I didn't want turkey, because there wasn't any turkey. My family's never got done and we had roast at Dave's family. Weird.
  • Our puppy Sloopy is starting to come out of her shell and develop a personality for us. She's a bit feisty. We're also struggling to come up with a signal to let us know when she needs to go out. We've had a few accidents. She did really well, though at the vet. She didn't cry at all when she got her shots.
  • I've been sick all week. It's starting to tick me off. I don't feel horrible, but I've got a mad case of laryngitis. At Thanksgiving I was only able to whisper. In a family of 12, whispering was worthless.
  • I've had two inquiries to take some pictures for Christmas. Although I've shut the business down, officially, I'm still interested and am really excited to do these portraits.
  • Good luck to my friend Niels and Miss Bree Wee racing in Ironman Cozumel tomorrow.
  • Big announcement coming in the next few days!!
And because how cute is a picture of my dog, check her out blogging:

Friday, November 27, 2009

Exciting News for 2010

I got some great news last week. I found out that I got sponsored for 2010 by Trakkers. Trakkers is such a cool device. It is a GPS worn during races and workouts that allows your family and friends to track you. It uses a map interface that can be zoomed into the street level and can even allow your family and friends to tell what side of the street you're on. Although the device does not give feedback to your during your event, you can download the performance information afterward and see how good or bad you did. Although the Trakkers GPS is not currently available for the general public, it has been successfully tested in many races and should be available soon.

Not only is Trakkers a cool device, the sponsorship is a fantastic opportunity. Trakkers has paired with Rev3, a series of races that aims to offer a fun, first class racing experience. As a sponsored athlete I get the opportunity to race in a Rev3 race and be part of all the team events at the race. I'm hoping to do the olympic distance race in Knoxville and Dave is planning on doing the full iron-distance race at Cedar Point.

There are several other sponsors that I will discuss in the future. They're great companies and I'm excited to try out their products.

Thanks Trakkers for choosing me. I look forward to being part of the team in 2010.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Flying Feather 4 Miler 2009

Hey, this is my 900th post! Let's celebrate with a race report!!

I've had laryngitis since about lunch time, so I've had no speaking all afternoon and evening. If you know anything about me, this is killing me! So, it's great to type and feel like I'm communicating.

Anyway, the Flying Feather 4 Miler is my favorite race of the year. Not only is it a family tradition to run a race on Thanksgiving, but this race gives away a bottle of wine to each finisher. Score! Our blogger and now real-life friend Carrie was in town for Thanksgiving and joined us for the race. Since she has a torn labrum and a possible herniated disk in her back and because I've been sick, sick, sick this week, we decided to dog the race and spend the time jogging and compare training notes.

Pre-Race

Carrie and I ran negative splits, starting at a 9:41 and ending somewhere around 8:08. It was fun to get faster and faster and faster and pass more and more people. If we were racing we would have ran the perfect race.

Post-Race

Unfortunately, we got beat by my dad and Dave. Buggers! Either way, we win!

Celebrate!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thursday Thoughts (on a Wednesday)

Tomorrow there will be a race report as we're all running in the annual family Thanksgiving Day race. Unfortunately I'm sicker than a dog, so there probably won't be a whole lot of racing.

So the obvious question, what are you thankful for this year?

I am thankful that I took the leap and tried out running my own business and so happy we've been as successful as we have. We started this year with two paid events and ended the year with nearly 40. For 2010 we already have 11 confirmed events on the schedule. We even got interviewed for Columbus Bride magazine. I'm excited for what's to come.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We Are Parents!

Please welcome the newest Gordon to the family. We named her Sloopy.



Monday, November 23, 2009

It Was Fate

A few weeks ago I mentioned Dave and I were thinking of getting a dog. We talked about it and decided to wait until at least the new year to make a decision. Last week my mom sent me an e-mail letting me know a friend of hers had a puppy Morkie that she had just adopted that she wasn't going to be able to keep due to allergies. She wanted the dog to go to a good home. Tomorrow Dave and I are going to meet the puppy and see if it might work out. Everything happens for a reason and we're so excited to potentially become dog parents this week.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week's done; let's celebrate!

Another week of triathlon training has come to a close. This week was tough for me. Last week I had terrible headaches and this week I woke up with sore throats every day. At first I thought I was catching a cold, and therefore didn't do any workouts on Tuesday, but every day the sore throats would subside later in the morning. I also struggled to complete one of the weight lifting workouts as it was like 900 degrees in the gym and I was beyond hungry. I left the gym after only six exercises as I thought I was going to get sick. After dinner I felt much better.

The workouts themselves are getting easier and better. I don't dread slipping into the pool, straddling the bicycle, and because of some unseasonably warm weather I have gotten out to run without any problems. Obviously the excitement will wear off, but right now things are good.

Next week is a fall back week. There are less workouts but still complete workouts. I will be racing with Dave and my dad on Thanksgiving in the Flying Feather 4 Miler and looking forward to seeing Carrie and her husband there too.

Now, I am going to toast the week with a yummy dinner and perhaps a beverage. :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Six Years in a Row!!!

I have lived in Columbus, Ohio my whole life. I have no idea what it is like not to live in a college town. This town in CRAZY in the fall. It's football, football, football!!! This week was no different as we clenched the Big Ten title and the Rose Bowl bid last Saturday. Then we geared up all week for the big game, Michigan. Or should I say, "the state up north." Game day in Columbus is a sea of scarlet. Everywhere you look people are wearing jerseys and sweaters and t-shirts, all Ohio State gear. If you go to the grocery store before the game, there are tons of people buying food for parties. If you go to the grocery during the game, it's a ghost town. Not a sole in sight. After the game, people high five perfect strangers. You can hear cheers of O-H...I-O across the street or any public place.

I love living in a college town. I wouldn't want it any other way.

Go Bucks!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Foto Friday

I'm kinda a camera collector. I've got my big, fancy camera, but it's too cumbersome to carry every day. I have my point and shoot which I do carry with me frequently. I love to take pictures "through the viewfinder" of my old non-working cameras. But today I'm talking pictures taken with my iPhone. There are a lot of great photo apps out there for the iPhone. My new favorite is called ShakeItPhoto, which basically takes your photos and turns them into Polaroids.

Here's a few of my favorites:







Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

The time has come. Yes friends, it's "Twilight: New Moon" weekend. I must admit, I am a fan. I've read all the books and saw the first movie. I will be seeing the second movie. I got asked to go at midnight tonight, but I just cannot stay up that late. I'm not sure if I'm going to see Twilight this weekend because of how crazy it's going to be and also because I'd like to see The Blind Side and Precious which both open this weekend.

So, will you be seeing Twilight?

By the way, I'm totally Team Jacob. Have you seen that kid (and kinda gross that he's still a minor)? He's HOT!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tsk, Tsk

On the Today show today, Matt Lauer and a panel of experts discussed spanking children. Yes, I was spanked as a child. A LOT. My parents would say that's not true. They obviously are going senile in their old age. ;) Anyway, I got spanked again today. This time by Coach. I was bad.

You see, I've been attending a core class at the gym every Wednesday since I broke my finger. That's 12 weeks ago if you're keeping track. And some day it may stop hurting. Getting back on topic, I didn't think it was a big deal I was going to this class. It wasn't aerobic and only a half hour so I didn't figure it was any different than doing crunches on my own at home. But when I discussed on my Facebook page today that I enjoyed my workouts this morning and was looking forward to my swim this afternoon, Coach pulled out her paddle and gave me a public lashing. Yikes! She didn't realize I was going to core. I guess it was a bigger deal than I thought it was.

No big deal, though. I postponed the swim until tomorrow. I recorded the core workout. Hopefully we can find a way to work it out that I can keep going to core and still get in all my workouts in a week. I have to admit, when training for my marathons I would often vary the training schedule to match my mood or my daily schedule and still got in all the workouts in a week, but I'm finding the triathlon training is not that flexible. Maybe I'll have to be the flexible one.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tomorrow will be a new day

It was inevitable. It started last week. The headaches came around 2:00 in the afternoon and would stay until I went to bed, no matter what I took. Every workout felt sluggish. I was tired all the time, took some great naps, and went to bed early. This morning I woke up with a raging headache and a sore throat. Oh crap! I thought I would make it through the whole quarter of gymnastics without getting sick. This is week 9 of 10. Almost did it.

I don't feel horrible. I feel about 85-90%. I probably could have worked out today but decided to take a nap instead. Tonight I will put some medicine in me, drink some cranberry juice, and get some great sleep. Tomorrow will be a new day.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm here to pump *clap* you up!

Coach has been putting weight training on the schedule. And I have been doing it as assigned. Today, though, I decided to mix it up a bit. Dave and I attended a class called "Strictly Strength." A few years ago we went diligently to the class, but dropped off as I got more and more into running and less and less into triathlon. Now the sports are reversed and I decided to give it another try.

Holy mackerel, that was a hard workout! My arms quivered, my buttocks clenched, my body said NO. Yet, I did all the sets until we got to planks. Eight years of gymnastics has hurt my wrists and shoulders too bad for planks. Tomorrow I will be very, very sore.

I'm totally going back next time it fits in the schedule. :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Week 2 in the Books

Week 2 of triathlon training has come to a close. Eight days in a row, and I am fried! There was three bike rides, three swims, three runs, and some weight training. The goods: my lady bits are feeling much better. I could ride my bike wearing only one pair of bike shorts. The weight training didn't make me feel like I needed to crawl across the room just to move. And, I had a great quick run even though it didn't feel fast. The bads: I was extremely exhausted with the training this week. In the pool on Saturday, Dave was swimming circles around me. I went to bed Friday night at 10:00. That's early for me. The hungries have subsided but I probably should have been eating more to not feel so excited. I need to do a better job of following my calories to make sure I'm getting enough.

Next week looks very similar except with one more weight workout. Physically I can already see changes. I'm still excited about what lay ahead.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Stopping to Smell the Roses

My Buckeyes have done it again. For the FIFTH year in a row, my beloved Buckeyes has clenched the Big Ten and punched their ticket to a BCS game--probably the Rose Bowl. The last time we were at the Rose Bowl was my freshman year at OSU. A long time ago! I am so excited! I have never been to a bowl game. I'd REALLY like to go. Hey all my SoCal friends, how can I get tickets? Who's going to put us up for a few days? :)

Gosh, I love being a Buckeye. Bring on Michigan week!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Foto Friday

I mentioned yesterday that I bought myself a present. Well here it is:


It's a Polaroid PoGo photo printer. It's a little bigger than a digital camera and prints via Bluetooth from computer or cell phone. Of course, it doesn't work with my iPhone, although I have found some evidence that it does. Or, you can plug your digital camera straight into it and print. The quality is not high, but who cares? It prints 2 X 3" stickers. So much fun!


I really like it because I keep a journal about my running. triathlon, and races and it will make it so much easier to include pictures now.

Maybe I'm a teenage girl, but I just think this is the best gift (to myself) ever!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I did a bad thing today. I bought something for myself that should have been on my Christmas list. It's something I do every holiday season. When I find things I want, I want them NOW. This was too much fun to pass up. I'm not going to say what it is now, although if you're friends with me on Facebook you know what it is. It will debut tomorrow on the Foto Friday.

So I want to know, what are you most likely to buy yourself before the holidays?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nodding Off

Thanks for all the suggestions about the swimsuits. As much as I like the Splish suits, even with the discount they are more expensive than the swimoutlet.com suits. I'm just going to wait as long as I can and hopefully Christmas will come before the suit falls apart.

I mentioned last week I was already getting the munchies. Thank goodness this week they've subsided. I think it was more about getting back to training than anything else. This week I'm suffering from the sleepies. Holy Toledo, I am tired! I've been comatose at night, taking LONG naps in the middle of the day, and nodding off while watching TV at night. At 8:00! Man, I hope I get used to this. I've got things to do.

Speaking of things to do..it's 10:15. Time for bed!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Crack" Me Up

Yesterday I went swimming in my favorite suit. And it was starting to show its wear. The edges were stretched and everything was fading. Yikes! I'm the owner of ONE swimsuit that fits me and that was it. I've got swimsuits on the Christmas list, but I'm not sure this one's going to make it until the holidays. I've blown my budget already this month. Yes I know it's only 10 days into the month but I needed to pay for some race entries. Triathlons are WAY more expensive than running races.

Cross your fingers. I've got another swim tomorrow. Let's hope that swimsuit holds up.

Monday, November 09, 2009

I've Been Slimed

I have impeccable timing. As I came into the locker room after my swim today a woman dropped her expensive, glass jar or lotion on the ground. It broke and splattered lotion everywhere including my ear, face, and arm. I had been slimed!! But at least my left ear and left arm are now smooth and smell delicious. :)

Speaking of swimming, it was drill day in the pool. OMG! Drills kick my butt! I once thought that fist drills were the worst, but I've decided that head-out swimming is awful. And swimming next to Dave while watching him swim away from me, yeah LOVED that. But I know that these drills are good for me...blah, blah, blah. :)

Love you Coach!!! :)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Week One is Done

You know, I've trained for 13 marathons and they've all been hard. Throw in that mix two half Ironmans I've done. Yeah, that was hard too. But triathlon training with a coach is a whole different ball game. Today I completed week 1 and I've got to say, I'm exhausted. I've done almost as many hours this week as I've done in peak weeks of marathon training. I am so sore I feel like I've raced a half or full marathon. I'm so tired I've napped almost every day for 2 hours and then slept 8 hours at night. I've been trying to pay attention to what I eat and keeping it good food, but holy cow am I hungry All THE TIME!!

If this is week one, what the heck is yet to come?

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Beat Michigan/Beat Cancer 5K

A week ago I got a text message from a girl I work with. (Side note, yes I own my own business and that's my full-time job, but I also teach gymnastics part-time.) She let me know there was a 5K that the gym was a sponsor of and we wanted to surprise our boss by signing up as many staff members as we could. Well crap! First week of triathlon training and I had to ask Coach to rearrange my workouts and promise her I wouldn't race. I'm sure reluctantly, Coach agreed.

After getting home from an event at 1:30am this morning, Dave and I got up a few hours later to meet everyone for the race. It was a brisk morning with a temperature that was on the edge of shorts or tights. I went tights. I should have gone shorts. We met at Gini's house. She was so excited to be having everyone over. She had cinnamon rolls and fruit, juices and water. She made me giggle. We went to the race early to watch Wendy's daughters participate in the 1-mile fun run. It was super-cute to watch all the little kids run around and around the track.

Then it was time for the 5K to line up. We met up for a before-picture:



The gun went off and Dave and I ran together. I let the little kiddos dash off. I held back and ran comfortably. First mile: 8:18. Hmm, a little faster than I should be going. I felt like I was keeping the same pace, but I started to notice Dave breathing a little heavy. And then he wasn't there at all. Mile 2: 7:42. I SWEAR I was not running hard! The race was a two loop course. Just after mile 2 I started to catch up with the people walking. I moved outside the cones just so I could get some running room. Then there was a bus right beside me. Yikes! That was close! I then moved back inside the cones. Finally I turned inside the track. Mile 3: 7:24. Yes it might be faster than I should be going, but I swear I was not running hard. Final time: 24:10.

Soon after Dave came in (I didn't see him) and several other girls that I work with. After everyone finished, we took another group picture:



It was a fun race. It's nice to do a race with no pressure and to be out there with great friends.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Foto Friday

I'm not used to biking more than one day a week. I've got to be honest, my bones "down there" are killing me. For yesterday's ride I had to wear two pairs of bike shorts just to get through a 45 minute ride. I'm still in the process of adjusting to the new seat and adjust the new seat so I'm hoping with giving it a little time, things will be comfortable. In the meantime check out my totally awesome cycling outfit:



I think the Uggs make the outfit. :)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

Let me first say, it was not my intent to stir any controversy yesterday about which marathon is better than another. Personally my favorite is Boston and always will be. I'm sure NY is a fantastic marathon and maybe someday it will make my schedule.

Moving on...

A few weeks ago I put together a more complete racing schedule for 2010. I really want to race more so I chose one race a month, with most of them being extremely short sprint races. One of them is an indoor triathlon which is about 3 miles from my house at the YMCA. My sister happens to be a member of that Y. You can guess where this is going...I asked her to participate. My mom called me a few days later and said she didn't think Amy was going to do it. Really, Mom? Then why did she call me and ask me when it was? :) Today Amy called me to confirm that she and two of her friends are going to be doing the race. Nice! I've already started talking up the Tri for the Cure in the summer with her. I'm such a devious and proud older sister.

So, how do you convince your friends and family to participate with you?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Very Proud

I have to admit, I think the NYC Marathon is overrated. I had a close, personal friend run it several years ago and he said it sucked. (His words; not mine.) And although I'd love to qualify for it, I'm not sure I'd want to run it, mostly because of my fear of bridges. Lastly, it angers me that it gets so much media when there are other great marathons (Boston, Chicago) that should get the same amount of coverage.

But there was some force that drew me to tuning in this year. Sunday morning I got up and logged onto universalsports.com. The website, for us, is hit or miss if it's going to work. Luckily after a few tries, the marathon was live. Both the women and men's race were so excited that for 2+ hours I sat in front of my computer without moving. And with about two miles left in the men's race the tears started to roll down my face. An American was going to win. It was beautiful.

There was a lot of conversation about Meb in the following days. Unfortunately a lot of it was incorrect and downright hurtful. Meb not really an American? His win doesn't count because he's "naturalized"? That's just crap. And luckily those idiots have taken back their stupid words. Maybe Meb wasn't born here, but damn right he's an American. He proudly wore his USA singlet; none of the other 5 Americans who finished in the top 10 did.

As a runner I am so excited about what I saw on Sunday. It has inspired me to work harder. As an American I'm excited to see the future of our distance runners.

Thank you, Meb!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Buckeye Bike

Man that swim wiped me out today. Not only did I sleep a full 8 hours last night, but I also took a 2-1/2 hour nap this afternoon. I was beat! But, no rest for the weary. Today was a bike workout with lots of drills--one leg drills. Geesh, these are hard!!! Both Dave and I were grunting towards the end. The best part about the bike workout was the new bike seats. Check out my flashy red one. I'm now building my Buckeye Bike!



And check this out! I got asked for my thoughts on marathon recovery. Head on over to That's Fit blog and see my advice.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Day One

Let's start by saying this...it's been a long 9 weeks since I've been in the pool. By the end of the first 100 my body was already tired. And I had 2100 more to go. :) There were one arm drills, which I suck at (especially on my left side). There was a lot of pulling. Dude, seriously, my arms are weak. There was backstroking, which I am better than Dave is. It felt like a very long workout and I am very tired now. Day one is done. Ten more months to go.

By the way, swimming really hurt my finger. This has been the LONGEST recovery!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Triple Crown

Today is the triple crown of perfect days...end of daylight savings, first of the month, and beginning of Ironman training. I love days like this. It feels like everything can be a do-over. And that's how I'm going to start the beginning of my training. It's time to take my training seriously and learn how to be the best triathlete I can be. I need to have patience and really focus on the fundamentals.

Not only am I going to track my progress in meters, miles, and countless hours, I want to track my progress physically. Let's face it, I am a scrawny runner. My arms look like they could hold up about two pounds. I'm hoping that's going to change. So, I got out my tape measure and took some stock of my stock. He he he! Every month I'll check in and see how things are changing.

Starting weight ~ 117 pounds (I'll be weighing myself at the gym tomorrow morning)
Quads - L: 19-1/2"
R: 19-1/2"
(By the way, my quads are only one inch smaller than Dave's.)
Biceps - L: 10-1/2"
R: 10-1/2"
Waist - 28"

I took some pictures but I'm not very happy with the way I look so I'm not going to post them. Hopefully as the body gets tighter I will show comparison, but for now I'll use them as fuel for success.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

October Totals

Considering my month of working out ended on the 19th, I think I had a pretty good month. Just wait, though. There will be LOTS of working out starting on Monday.

Swim = 0 meters (not for long!!!)
Bike = 24.22 miles
Run = 65.9 miles
Other = 1.25 hours (stretching and core)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Foto Friday

Despite the warm temperatures this week, it's no secret, winter's coming. With the start of November and my new training schedule there are hours and hours of indoor training ahead of me. This year I vowed there would not be bikes in the living room like last year. So, Dave and I have spent the whole week cleaning out the basement and have put together our workout area. We're not done with the space yet as we hope to make it not seem so "basement-like" but for now it will have to do. Check out our set-up:



Our treadmill is so old it doesn't have buttons; it has sliders. But, it works and we only use it when the weather is too awful for running outside. Usually I try to run outside in the winter. My bike is in the middle, in case you couldn't figure that out based on the fact the bike looks like it would fit my 6 year old nephew. Dave's "Charlie Brown" bike is on the right. There's more to the room too with weights (although I prefer to do weights at the gym) and we're hoping to bring down our exercise ball and roller. The television is hooked up to cable and we hope to get a DVD player so we can watch movies while riding.

I think it's a pretty good set-up!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

In honor of Halloween, I want to know what is your favorite candy?

Mine is Reese's Cups!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Freakin' Halloween

It's not officially Halloween, but tomorrow is beggar's night around here. I have an admission to make: I don't like Halloween. I have been trying to come up with a way to get out of handing out candy this year. I was hoping that beggar's night would be on Saturday like I thought it would be, so I could make plans for Saturday night. But alas, after reading my local paper, I discovered beggar's night would be on Thursday. Begrudgingly, I dragged myself to Meijer and bought three bags or Reese's Cups. We live in a neighborhood of 300 houses and yet we rarely get more than 20-30 kids. I probably bought too much candy but I'll take it into work and get it out of my sight if we don't hand it all out. I'm glad I bought the candy today, though. I've already eaten two pieces and if I had the candy for longer, I probably would have eaten a lot of it. Let's hope we don't have any teenagers trying to come in and take the candy they don't deserve tomorrow. Bah humbug! Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On the Horizon

Every day for the last week in the half I've been looking in Training Peaks to see if Coach had put any workouts in yet. Nope. Nope. Nope. And then today...YES!!!! There are workouts starting next Monday. Thank goodness. I've been going absolutely stir crazy in this break. I don't know how to organize my life when I don't have a workout to start the day. The first workout: a swim. It will be a full 9 weeks from my last swim to my next swim. Oh swimming, how I've missed you! You know what else I noticed with my workouts? There is usually more than one a day. Yikes! I'm 10 months out from my race and there are already two workouts a day. This is going to be a BIG change. Patience, Meredith. Patience.

Monday, October 26, 2009

On Second Thought

Sure we talked about getting a dog yesterday on the blog as sort of a joke, but there's actually been A LOT of discussion and research between Dave and I about getting a dog. We'd really like one. We'd think it would be fun and comforting. We're also kinda picky about what we want and know at this time that we just can't afford it, even if we adopt it. Plus, Coach is right, we shouldn't be making decisions right now coming off the marathon and heading into Ironman training. You CANNOT make decisions while on a rest period. Your world is upside down. And my world right now is upside down and inside out right now.

So, Dave and I are going to put the dog talk on hold and wait until the new year to revisit the issue. At that point we'll both be training, we'll be in a better place financially, and we'll have a few more questions answered.

Thanks for all the thoughts and ideas on the blog and on Facebook. In a few months, we'll check back in and let you know how it's going.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

If you thought Cujo was cute...

Dave and I have been talking about getting a dog. Sure we couldn't keep our fish alive, but if we want to have kids before we turn 50 we might want to learn how to care for something other than ourselves and fast. So, we've been talking about getting a small dog. We've picked out a name, Chewbacca, and are looking for dogs that match that name. We think this looks like a Chewbacca:



Honestly though, we can't afford a dog, but if we ever get one we are definitely making one of these:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Nicole Caldwell's Photography Blog

Check this out! Here is a blog entry of the wedding I was in back in September. Especially check out the very last picture. Dave and I know how to work a photo booth.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Foto Friday

Molly has some BIG dogs! Check this out:



Cujo's head is like 6 times the size of mine!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

Dave and I just went to see "Ride Across the Sky", a documentary of the 2009 Leadville 100 mountain bike race. All I've got to say is Lance Armstrong is a beast!

Would you ever consider doing an "unconventional" race, ie-ultra, mountain bike, etc.? And if yes, which race?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Beauty that is Me

Seriously, I take the best running pictures, EVER!!!



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Final Thoughts

There have been many, many emails exchanged between Coach and I since the marathon and I have some final thoughts.
  • I wasn't upset with the fact I could not run the time I thought I should be able to run. I was upset that my body would not go and I could not keep it together mentally.
  • But, I need to let that go and be okay with the fact that the course was REALLY hard.
  • I need to stop competing with others even if really the competition is only in my head. I am only responsible for myself and only how I can perform against myself.
  • I have a lot of mental work to do before "the big one" next year. Coach and I have also learned some physical weaknesses that were exposed this weekend that will need sharpened before Ironman.
  • I want to race more.
And now, I'm letting go. The soreness is still strong but subsiding and I'm starting to get hungry for what's ahead. This will be the first time since I got injured in 2004 that I will not be training for a marathon during the year. Sure, I still have some goals I want to achieve in the marathon but doing something else for a while will only make me a better marathoner. It's going to be a long two weeks without any workouts, but I'm excited for what's next.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Heading Home

No blog post today. I'm sitting in the airport and my computer is out of batteries. Expect a wrapup of the marathon tomorrow.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nike Women's Marathon 2009

I never imagined a race that had 20,000 women in it would be as hard as it was. I've run the Boston Marathon four times, and this was much harder than Boston. To say there were hills in this race is to grossly underestimate the severity of the hills. I swear to you, this race felt ALL uphill. And the points that weren't uphill were sharply downhill.



I really felt like I started conservatively. The first couple miles were in the city and downhill heading down to the piers. My splits were right around 8:00. The run along the piers was flat and easy and helped me to settle into my run. After the piers there is a left turn and a climb begins toward Lombard street, but it's only for a block. Then we cut over heading towards the Golden Gate Bridge. This is where the steep climbing begins. At mile 4 the run is on a trail that goes straight up and straight down. It's short and steep but nothing compared to what's coming up. Mile 7 is a LONG, one mile, steep hill up toward the Golden Gate Bridge, followed by a steep downhill, and then another build in miles 8 and 9. This is where I saw Dave and I knew it was going to be a long day. I told him the hills were relentless and that I was struggling to keep my splits in the 8:00s. Here's a video he shot. It was also really windy out on the course as you can hear from the video.



After mile 9 there is this long, sharp downhill that got us down to the beach area on the other side of the bridge. You run a long here for only, like, two miles where you can see the finish line. Then it's into Golden Gate Park where another climb begins. This one is not as steep but definitely long--like three mile long. In this park the half marathoners break off only to be reunited with the full marathoners right before their finish. For the marathoners we have a turn around in this park where you can see where you are. To my amazement, I'm doing better than I feel, but I also know there is a long way to go. I see Dave a couple times in this park and let him know that I'm struggling. Cardiovascularly, I felt great, but my legs just would not go.








Around mile 14 I start running with a girl who I run with for the next 3+ miles. I told her I was jealous of the half marathoners who were almost done with their race. She says to me, "don't look at the finish line when we pass it." I didn't. I tell her I'm struggling; that I thought the race was harder than anticipated. She says she is too. We say we'll get to mile 16 and see what happens. We get to 16 and then we shoot for mile 17. At 17, I had had enough. Right at the mile marker I stop to walk. She says,"NO! NO! NO! Run until the next water stop." I tell her I hate her but keep running until the next stop. She says, "You're going to pass me anyway because there is a hill up there that I'm going to throw up before going up it and then throw up again after going up it." I giggle. We get to the water stop. She stops to walk, I keep going. That was the last time we saw each other. I hope she didn't get sick on that hill.

I think I made it to 18 before I totally lost it. Once the half marathoners broke off, this race got really lonely and it continued to be a rough course. Pass the zoo, we turned into another park (which I can't remember the name of) and go around a serious of lakes/ponds. Again, climb up to the top of this park, and then come down the other side. Except this time there are NO spectators and there is traffic on the left. This was the longest point of the race. At one point I stopped, started to walk, and started to cry just as runners were coming the opposite way on their Sunday run. They yelled to me, "NO! NO! NO! You can do this!" I picked it up to a jog again but crying made it tough to breath and I had to tell myself that I had to get my head in the game.

I tried to do everything to keep myself entertained and take my mind off the horrible marathon I was having. I counted. I sang. I told myself that I would run 5 minutes and then take a 1 minute walk break. The miles began to get longer: mostly 10:00s but I think I even through in an 11:00 in there. Things were going on a downward spiral and fast. It seemed like forever before I was back on the Pacific Coast Highway and heading toward the finish line. Despite how horrible I felt the race was going, my time really wasn't reflecting the way I was feeling. Around two miles to go, an official tells me I'm #180. And he gave a number to the gentleman in front of me, so I was obviously placing higher than that. (I was surprised how many men ran this race.) A few people passed me after that as I continued to run and walk all the way to mile 25. In the last mile I saw Dave and Molly. Finally the finish came into view and I was done--3:49:XX. Not spectacular, but it was over. I got my necklace (cute), my finisher's shirt, some water and chocolate milk, and my mylar blanket. I found Dave and Molly, hit a port-a-john and then it was a long walk back to the car.

It's been a few hours now since the race and I have a few reflections. But, I'd like to wait to talk to coach and then save them for another post.

Marathon season has come to a close.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

You Call Those Hills?!

Sorry about the lack of the post yesterday. I felt like I had been hit by a bus! I love to travel and see things but I HATE the traveling part. After getting up at 4:00am and being up for umpteen hours, I couldn't see straight, I had a sore throat, and my head was stuffy. I slept 10 hours and feel like a million bucks.

Friday after we arrived, Molly picked us up and took us downtown to the Expotique. What a disappointment! I'm not a huge fan of expos to start with but there was NOTHING at this expo....unless you're girly, girl and want to get your nails painted. That's not me. I picked up my packet, got my corral wrist band and we headed to lunch.

After lunch we drove the course. Why does it always feel like it takes FOREVER to drive the course? The course? Well, it's hilly. A lot hillier than I anticipated. The hills are short and steep and mostly in the first half of the race. The second half where it will only be marathons seems like it could be a little lonely. But, that's never bothered me before so who cares.

The rest of the weekend has been filled with eating, hydrating, and resting. It's a little weird not to be staying close to the action. I don't really feel like I'm running a marathon tomorrow, but then again, I'm also feeling really relaxed going into this race. The last two races I have not posted any time goals on the blog and it's really taken a lot of pressure off of me. Tomorrow, my plan is to go out there and run.

Check back tomorrow for the race report. It might be a little sloppy, though...the dinner menu includes margaritas. And since I've been holding off for several weeks, the margaritas will be had and Hall and Oates singing might commence.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Check back later

I have been awake for 16+ hours, fighting a bit of a head cold/allergies, and just want to konk out. Check back tomorrow for some adventures from NoCal.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I was talking to Molly earlier this week about my superstitions with food pre-race. I have to have ravioli the night before the race and toast the morning of the race. Do you have any food superstitions before your events?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Happenings at the Gym

Today I went to the gym as I do every Wednesday. Wednesday is core class so I incorporated it with a 30 minute run on the treadmill (it was raining outside). I have been going to this gym, a national-chain, high-profile gym, for five years now and have pretty much been able to stay in the background. There's usually only one person who talks to me there, besides Dave, and it's a guy who I went to high school with who works at the gym. Today, though, I must have been wearing a sign that said "TALK TO ME!!!" It started when I walked in and the front desk guy noticed I was wearing a Chicago Marathon jacket. He asked me if I was doing the Columbus Marathon this weekend and I began telling him about the marathon I am running this weekend. Then during and after my workout I had lots of other people talk to me. I think it may have had something to do with the fact I was wearing tiny, spandex running shorts. :)

I also saw some things at the gym today that really bothered me. The first was a personal training session with a male personal trainer and a female pupil. (That's how they do it at my gym--so shady!) Anyway, the girl was doing standing shoulder presses and they were all wrong. First of all she was walking around. She should have had her feet planted with her knees slightly bent. Secondly, the weight was too heavy for her. She couldn't get her arms straight and she was arching her back to get the weight up. She was asking to get injured. And what was the personal trainer doing while he should have been helping her? He was watching ESPN. Seriously. I believe personal training is somewhere in $150/hour range. There should probably be some PERSONAL training in that charge. Give me a break!

The second thing I saw that wasn't so shady as something that just really bothered me happened in another personal training session. One of the female trainers was working with an overweight woman. The woman was doing good work but really being challenged. The last part of the session was on the treadmill right beside me. The trainer had her walking on the 'mill with the incline at a pretty good percentage. It was all the overweight woman could handle. The trainer had her stop. The thing that bothered me about this was that the trainer had her stop. I wish she had changed the workout to keep the woman moving and finish the workout on a high note.

Ah, just another day at the gym.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Did somebody say hockey?

You guys are going to hate me. Being that I am racing this weekend and then have to take the next two to three weeks off, I just don't have a whole lot to talk about regarding my running and Ironman training. Today's topic has nothing to do with either.

For those of you new to the blog, and I know there's quite a few of you, I live in Columbus, Ohio. Cow Town, USA. Columbus is also College Town, USA with the largest university in the US right downtown. Our world revolves around the university and especially Ohio State football. The world shuts down on Saturdays to watch the game. You may laugh, but I remember in 2002 when we made the national championship game, high school basketball games were rearranged so that people could watch the game. Yes, that's how serious we are about our Buckeyes. And being that I am alumni and lived here my whole life, I LOVE IT!!!

But, we have two emerging sports in Central Ohio that are doing great and no one knows about. The first is our professional soccer team, the Columbus Crew. Last year our team won the MLS Cup and this year we have clinched a spot in the playoffs yet again. And being that my company has worked with The Crew many times this year, I cannot say enough good things about this organization. They are grade "A" and are very good to their fans. I am now a fan for life.

Another team gaining respect in town is the Columbus Blue Jackets, our professional hockey team. I have to admit, for a while I was quite skeptical. I grew up a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Mario Lemieux. But, they kept getting better and better and last year we finally made it to the playoffs. This year we are in first place (for now) and 4-1 overall. Tonight I attended my first regular season game. We were in the second to last row, but we were center ice and could see all the plays open up. Jackets won 2-1 with two awesome goals in the second period. Frankly, the score should have been 6-1 as we had three pucks hit the posts and one goal that went in but I guess the referees had already blown the whistle. What a crock! I had a lot of fun. I hope to go again sometime in the next ten years. :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Horrible, Too True Nightmare

It's no secret that I am horribly, horribly scare of bridges. No, no; it's a phobia. I freeze up. My heart races. I sweat. I think I will die. Seriously, it's bad.

In four days I leave for San Francisco and they kinda have a very famous, very big bridge there. Dave says I HAVE TO go across it. I vehemently say no. NO!!!! Not walking, not riding. NO!!! Molly, do not let Dave talk you into this. Just say NO!!!

Last night I had a dream, nay, a nightmare. I was being forced to go across the Golden Gate bridge. It was awful. I woke up in full panic.

Seriously, I'm not crossing that bridge.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Miscellany for Sunday

A little miscellany today...
  • Watching Ironman yesterday scared the devil right out of me. People looked like HELL crossing the finish line. Louisville has the possibility to be as warm as Hawaii. Yikes!!
  • Generally I don't get involved in politics (yeah right) but seriously, Ohioans, we have a big scheme on our hands with Issue 3. Do your homework. This article is an editorial, but it sheds some light on the things the casino companies are hiding.
  • I've been filling out some sponsorship applications and going back through my last couple years of racing results. Holy wow have I made improvements in the last year! Seriously, I was bad.
  • I hate to shop. :) I spent an hour and a half in one store today, tried on several, several things and walked away with nothing. I love how fast I've gotten, but my body has totally changed into total athlete. Clothes look horrible on me now. Damn you Anthropologie.
  • Last week before the marathon!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Log on

No new blog post today. I'm watching Ironman today. You should be too. I have even tried pausing it while we are working our wedding tonight.

See ya tomorrow.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Kick Some Kona Butt!!!

Good luck to all the athletes racing in Kona tomorrow. A special shout out goes to Marit and Bree. Kick some major a$$!!! Dave and I plan on following along as much as we can tomorrow, but we do have a wedding (and there is also college football). Next year, I'll be there. Ha ha ha!!! :)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

Ugh, it's been a week of painting. The room is a burgundy color which means layers and layers of paint. Hopefully it will be done tomorrow. In the mean time, it's chores I don't enjoy.

What are the chores you despise doing and why?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Feeling a Little Bloated or Swollen

It's been 6 weeks since I broke my finger and it is starting to feel better. I can finally bend it and can almost get it into a fist. It's still super-sore, but definitely better. I have to wear the tape for one more week and will probably wear it through the marathon just for protection. Today I tried on my wedding rings just to see. Luckily I was not wearing my rings when I fell and did not have to have them cut off. But I've been worried if they'd ever fit again.



I'm hoping I'm still really swollen. I'm going to wait several months and then make a decision if I need to get my rings resized.

I really did some good damage when I took this spill.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Total Destruction of my House

I might have mentioned previously that Dave came home from Yellowstone with thoughts about how he wanted to redo our master bedroom. I have tried to lay low and let it blow over, but he keeps persisting!! He cleaned out his half of the closet and put his dresser in there, which of course meant I had to clean out my half of the closet. Then he decided he wanted to paint the rest of the walls (we had one accent wall and hadn't painted the other ones). Instead of having an accent wall, all the walls would be the same, BURGUNDY! color as the one wall. Again, I laid low, didn't help and watched as my bedroom began looking like a cave. This past weekend we made a trip to Homegoods and that's when things took a serious turn. After dropping a whopping $500!!! we came home with a new set of awesome chairs and a set of new bedside lamps. Game on! Of course, the stuff is sitting in my living room right now. Or maybe I should call that my storage closet--bikes, photo booths, chairs, ugly couches. The only thing I like in my living room is my HDTV. Anyway, Dave and I are now working collectively on finishing the painting. We have 12 foot tall ceilings so it takes A LOT of work. Hopefully we'll have it all done by the end of the week and will have the chairs and my dresser in place. I'll post pictures when there is more progress.

Monday, October 05, 2009

I'm Feeling Fast (and my legs are fried)

I did the hardest run of my life this weekend, races not included. Coach had a LONG interval workout on the agenda that was 15 to 30 seconds faster than race pace. I thought my lungs were going to explode. I kept telling myself, "Meredith, if you want to achieve X:XX in the marathon" (seriously, I'm no longer talking about my goals on the blog) "then you have to be able to do this run." And, "Meredith, Ironmen work hard!!!" It worked. I killed this run! First interval, 7:19 average: second interval, 7:12 average. I remember when those paces were full-out sprints.

One more key workout to go and then I'll be shutting it down. Taper time!!!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Don't Tell Anyone

Ssshhhh! I've got a secret to tell. This biking stuff...it isn't so bad. Ssshhh! Don't tell anybody! Especially not Coach. I've been riding now twice a week, with most rides being between 30 minutes and an hour. The soreness is going away. I've been able to increase my RPMs comfortably. And my mileage is coming up. I think the thing I like most about it is it's a nice respite from running. Marathon training has been extreme and I'm ready for a break.

Speaking of break, after the marathon Coach is making me take a mandatory 2-3 week, absolutely no working out, break before Ironman training begins. I think I might die during that time.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Achy Breaky

I'm not a fan or tapering. Others talk about feeling bloated or like they need to train more. Tapering for me always makes me feel achy. And by achy, I mean my body hurts and I wonder what happened and how I will get to the start line. Right now my right hip is bothering me, which somehow is also causing a pin-pointed pain in my right inner thigh. My left achilles hurts. And of course, my finger is NEVER getting better (okay, that has nothing to do with running). Somehow in two weeks all the pain will go away and I'll feel nothing for 26 miles. I'm so excited!!!

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Plans are Set

It's two weeks until we leave for San Francisco and our plans are coming into place. We're staying with Molly. We're so thankful she's taking the crazies in for a weekend. She'll be just a few weeks away from her Ironman and will have tons of training to do. Dave's going to join her on an ocean swim. I'm going to watch from the sidelines. We've found a bar to watch the Buckeyes' game if we can't get the channel at the homestay. We'll be attending the expo on Friday and driving the course. Speaking of the course, I checked out the profile online today. Yikes!!! But, if I can conquer Boston, I can conquer this one.

Two weeks!!!!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I mentioned in August that I got a parking ticket and I was upset that I got it because I did pay for my parking I just couldn't read the parking spot number. The next week I started making some phone calls and it seemed like everything was going to be taken care of. I kept my cool; they kept theirs and I waited to hear the outcome. Unfortunately no one called back, so I decided to just pay the bill. When I sent in my check, I added a letter explaining the situation and who I had talked to. This morning I checked my PO Box and to my surprise I had received a letter back from Parking Solutions and to my utter shock, they sent my check back and told me the ticket had been voided. WOW!!! I am so impressed. Thanks Parking Solutions!!

What has been a good deed you have done or received recently?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September Totals

Wow!! September was HUGE!!! I can't believe it; I didn't miss a workout this month. This might be the first time since I started working with Coach a year ago that I haven't missed a workout in a month. September included two twenty milers and for the first time in six years, September did not include Reach the Beach. :( There was no swimming since the finger may be broken forever, but that gave me the opportunity to start working on my biking. And I also started attended a core class.

Swimming = 0 yards/meters
Biking = 60.24 miles
Running = 128.91 miles
Other = 3.25 hours

Surprisingly, this is not my biggest month of running. That would be in March 2006 when I was running nearly 50 miles a week every week.

Next month will be marathon time and then it's on to Ironman training.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Inquiring Crotches Want to Know

Today I returned the demo bike seat we've been testing out for the last week. Dave loves it and is ready to order is. I am a little more torn. There were things I liked about the ISM Adamo like it didn't hurt me in certain areas, it made it easier to stay in aero, and it didn't rub me in ways that would cause rashes. But there were certain things I didn't like, like it was slippery, I adjusted it like a hundred times and never found that sweet spot, and I thought it was really hard. Tomorrow I have an hour long ride and have my other seat on it. Tomorrow will really determine if I like what I have, decided on the other one, or keep looking.

For those of you out there, especially the women, who ride on the Adamo, what do you like about it that made you switch to it? If it's more personal that putting it in the comments, please send me an e-mail. I REALLY want to know.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Finish Line has GOT to be around the corner.

You'd think after the last long run, my second 20 miler on Saturday, I'd be tapering for my marathon. But alas, this week looks ugly. Sure I don't have a super-long run (although there is a 12 miler on the schedule) but there is tons of speed work. Today I had short intervals, which were hilarious. I am still SOOOO sore from the 20 miler just two days ago. My hip flexors could barely lift my right leg up to turn it over. Even keeping my arms in the correct position was difficult. Come on, y'all know what I'm talking about--when your body hurts and you pull your arms up and out to take the pressure off yourself, yet you're only making things worse?

In addition to the running, I've got more biking. It's starting to become a theme. I can't wait for this swimming hiatus to be over!! I really should have gotten a new tattoo during this time. :)

Hopefully this will be the last week of hard workouts. I'm looking forward to the taper.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

2010 Races

Bummer. If I had run the Homestretch 20 Miler race this morning (although it was pouring rain and I didn't get home from the wedding last night until 1:15am) and had run the same time as my training run yesterday, I would have won my age group. But, you learn more by pacing yourself and being in your own head, so I think I made the right choice.

Anyway, I'm trying to put together a race schedule for next year and all I have on it is Ironman Louisville on August 29th. I would like to have a half Ironman in early summer like mid June. Do you guys have a favorite race around that time? I'm looking for one that has a somewhat hilly bike course, one that I could swim in a no-sleeve wetsuit or no wetsuit at all. And I don't want to be swimming in the ocean and preferably would like to stay in the Midwest so I could drive to the race. I'm looking to compete but also simulate race conditions for Louisville. I'm also looking for other races like Olympics or sprints around the same time. Any ideas?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ready to Roll

Today was the last long run leading up to the marathon in three weeks and I kicked it's a$$! I had hoped to run the 20 mile race tomorrow, but due to our wedding schedule tonight, it was unrealistic. So I set out to do 20 miles on my own. Makes you tough! I was supposed to do everything like I would in the race: fueling, food, and mostly descending pace (except the last two miles were cool down). And I nailed it.

Mile 1: 9:20
Mile 2: 9:19
Mile 3: 8:58
Mile 4: 8:39
Mile 5: 8:33
Mile 6: 8:26
Mile 7: 8:08
Mile 8: 7:57
Mile 9: 7:56
Mile 10: 8:08
Mile 11: 7:52
Mile 12: 7:47
Mile 13: 7:34
Mile 14: 7:30
Mile 15: 7:45
Mile 16: 7:46
Mile 17: 7:49
Mile 18: 7:55
Mile 19: 9:40
Mile 20: 8:56

I struggled through miles 15-18, although I think it was more mental than physical. I was still a long way from being done and was running all by myself. And did I mention it rained almost the whole run? It's too bad I didn't get to run the 20 mile race as I would have PRed and probably would have placed in my age group. I'm ready to roll!

Friday, September 25, 2009

I'd rather be at the gyno

Today I did something I don't like to do. Yep, I rode my bike, but that's not what I'm talking about. :) I went to the grocery store. I HATE going grocery shopping. Seriously, the last time I did a full trip to the grocery store was in June. But Dave and I really would like to go to Phoenix to watch our friends in Ironman Arizona so we're trying to save some money and eating in will certainly help.

Why do I hate the grocery store so much? It is not the place for a type-A personality like myself. I can't just go to the grocery and pick up food. I have to start with a meal list. Then I turn that meal list into a list of ingredients and other things I need at the store. From that list I number the aisles that each item comes from. (And, wait for this, I do this in Excel.) I then sort the list and put it into order of the aisles and the way I walk through the store. Finally I find coupons for the items and then I put them in order that matches the items. Seriously, this takes a whole day to do and I HATE doing it. Today I took that list to the store and put it in action, with the aid of some music on my iPod, and did this all by myself.

I need a drink...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I own the book To Our Children's Children which is a book that helps you create an autobiography to pass down from generation to generation. My mom owns a copy and I own a copy and I've really tried to keep a journal that I can pass down to my kiddos, or if I never have any, my sister's kids.

The book is a series of questions each within a topic like family, community, etc. Today's question comes from the chapter of politics and history.

Is there a time in history you think it would have been fascinating to live in? Why?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Stinkin' Review

I wash all my running and biking clothes (along with Dave's) separately from the rest of the clothes. I began doing this because it was easier to just take all those clothes and hang them on our drying racks, but recently I've been using specific sport wash on these clothes. The detergent I'm using is the Penguin Sport Wash, which is supposed to sustain workout clothes and get the stink out of them. I must admit, I'm a stinky sweater. Ever since I ran my first marathon, I sweat at the first step out the door. And, I'm assuming, because I eat like crap, I smell badly too when I sweat. Subsequently, my workout clothes can get really stinky. I've been using the sport wash for a few weeks now and I don't think it works at all. My workout clothes already stink when I put them on. Today I was folding them and they smelled. Gross!

What do you use to wash your workout clothes?