Saturday, February 28, 2009

Crystal Coast Half Marathon 2009

After I couldn't run the Last Chance half marathon, I was really upset. I had worked so hard and trained specifically for a half marathon and now I wouldn't know what I was capable of. So I consulted with Coach and talked with Dave and chose the Crystal Coast Half Marathon in Morehead City, NC two weeks after the Last Chance race. This allowed me to train for another week and then taper for a week.

Thursday, Dave and I left Columbus and traveled to Virginia. And on Friday we finished up the trip. I picked up my packet on Friday and ate some lasagna in the hotel room. Yes, our hotel room has a little kitchenette. It's a great hotel. This morning I woke up and was feeling less nervous and anxious than I had been about Last Chance. Although, I was awake several times last night thinking about the bridge I was going to have to cross. If you don't already know, I have a huge, physical, phobia of bridges. It is real and it is debilitating.

As soon as we headed out of the room, it started raining, A LOT. I mean it was pouring. Look at this picture from the registration tent:

And here I am pretending to look happy that I was racing in the rain:

But, you've got to do what you've got to do, so I laced up The Green Dragons and headed out for a short warm-up.

Then it was time to line up for the race. The wheelchair races were first and then we got to start just two minutes after them.

The race plan was to ease into the first three miles and then let it fly. Well it didn't quite happen that way. I started fast and stayed fast.

Mile 1: 7:12
Mile 2: 7:21
Mile 3: 7:20

Between miles 2 and 3 I was feeling BAD. My stomach was all tied in knots and I felt like I couln't breathe. I worried that it was going to be a long day, but I also reminded myself that it takes me a LONG time to feel good in a race and to just be patient.

Mile 4: 7:23
Mile 5: 7:43 (up the bridge)
Mile 6: 7:21
Mile 7: 7:28

Mile 7 was when I started to feel in my groove. Sure I was turning 7:20s before then, but I felt like I was breathing like I was sprinting and just couldn't get in control.

Mile 8: 7:32
Mile 9: 7:38
Mile 10: 7:28
Mile 11: 7:58 (up the bride on the other side)
Mile 12: 7:36
Mile 13: 7:40 (boy was I feeling exhausted)
Last 0.1: 0:49

Unofficial time: 1:38:36. That's a PR by over three minutes!!! THREE MINUTES! I loved wearing the racing shoes and I loved that not once did I go over an 8:00/mile. The rain actually wasn't that heavy for most of the race, and the temperature was just perfect for me--mid 50s.

I finished 8th overall (women) and finished 2nd in my age group (30-34). I received a medal for finishing and a hat and $15 gift card to a local running company for my result. I'm going to hit the store on the way home on Monday.

And now, it's time to celebrate. :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Road Trip!

While at lunch today Dave and I counted up all the states we are going to visit this year:


West Virginia


North Carolina






South Dakota








New Mexico





That's 22 if you're keeping count. And over the last two days we visited the first 4 on the list. We are now here in North Carolina. I checked in at the race and it looks REALLY small. The race course looks flat, flat, flat, except I have to cross a bridge (YIKES!) and it's a really steep climb and descent over that bridge.

We're watching the news right now...we just found out why traffic was horrific today, President Obama was visiting Camp Lejeune and we also were driving by Camp Lejeune.

Anyway, here's a picture of the two of us on the beach. This year we're going from Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Here's the Atlantic side:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I have always grown up a tomboy, but in the last couple of years I feel like I have digressed to the point where I think I might actually be becoming a dude. One of my goals for 2009, is to change this and work on my wardrobe, my appearance, my overall being and try to become more lady-like.

I've been wearing earrings (I have five piercings in my ears, you'd think I might shove a ring through them every once in a while), perfume, lipstick, I've been trying to not wear my hair in a ponytail. But, I still feel like I'm not cutting it.

So the question for this Thursday is, what do you do, ladies, to improve your overall appearance from jock to goddess? Or if you are a man who reads this, what is something you like that makes a woman more feminine.

Please keep in mind, I'm looking forward outward appearance. Keep it clean!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lost and Not Found

After work today I had to run and swim. The weather was great outside (for winter), so I ran from home. I changed in the bathroom and left all my clothes on the floor. When I came back from my run, I threw those clothes in my bag and went to the gym to do my swim.

At the gym I took my clean clothes out of my bag and put them in the locker and put my dirty running clothes in my bag and put on my swimsuit. I then did my swim.

I came back from my swim, did my thing, and then started putting on my clean clothes. But, as I was putting them on, I couldn't find my bra. I looked in my bag; I looked in the bottom of the locker and it was nowhere to be found. I assumed it was at home. So, I did what I had to do, and put on my wet sports bra.

And then I proceeded to go shopping. Ew!

My assumption was wrong however. I have looked all over the house and I cannot find my bra anywhere. Dude, those suckers are expensive! I want it back! It was one of my favorite ones. Comfortable. Dependable. Darn it!

If you've seen my bra, please let me know. :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Warning

Coach gave me one instruction (warning) for the remainder of my training:


This has been a tough instruction to follow as I work with kids and have always been highly susceptible to getting sick. But, now I'm on new sinus allergy medicine and I've been doing the Neti Pot. I've been washing my hands like a machine and using hand sanitizer like it's going out of style.

Yesterday I noticed Dave sneeze. I asked him if he was getting sick. He said no that he just had dust up his nose since he was sanding some Spackle. This morning when I was talking to him on the phone he sounded congested and I asked him if he was feeling alright. Again he confirmed that it was just dust from the sanding. I get home from work and it's clear that he is not well.

Dave is sick.


Tonight and maybe for the remainder of the week I will be sleeping in a separate bedroom. I will wash my hands like crazy. I will take zinc and continue to follow all my sinus instructions.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday's Merchandise

When I first started running marathons I trained with a fabulous group--Marathoner in Training. I learned tons from the coaches and experienced runners and I loved having people to run with. But maybe best of all, was the water and Gatorade set up along the path every weekend. :)

Okay that wasn't best of all, but if I didn't say that, how was I supposed to get to my Monday's Merchandise?

Now that I do all my training by myself I've had to resort to carrying my own water. I have a Fuel Belt water belt. Now it's great to have to carry water and/or Gatorade and my gel, chapstick, and a key. The truth is....I hate the thing. Maybe it's because I have no hips, but I tighten the belt under my hip bones and just a few steps later it's all the way up around my ribs.

What do the rest of you guys do? I'm not sure I could carry one of those hand-grip water bottles as I think it would get heavy. And I'm not sure about carrying a Camelbak as they look really uncomfortable. Any thoughts?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's My Decision

I've learned a lot about myself since I started working with Coach seven months ago. I've learned that I am capable of a lot more than I thought I was. I've seen paces that I never thought I'd see. I've remembered why I like running. I've found I've still got a hugely competitive monster inside this 5'1" frame. And mostly, I have learned that I need to do all of this for myself.

Last week when I couldn't run the half marathon I was really sad. Not because I couldn't be there with my friends, but because I had worked so hard and knew I was going to turn in an awesome performance and I was going to accomplished something for myself. I have been running with my friends and my dad for years and I always felt like I was running for everyone else. I did the races they were doing. I adopted the goals they wanted. Truth be told, I don't even want to do the New York City Marathon. I have a phobia of bridges--why in the world would I subject myself to running over those HUGE bridges. But, I know I'm fast enough to qualify for it and that's why I've set a goal to go for the qualifying times.

Then when I posed the question of another half marathon next weekend in North Carolina the overwhelming response I received is "why would I travel that far for just a half marathon?" But that wasn't the response I received from Dave or my coach or my heart.

So Thursday night Dave and I are driving to Virginia and on Friday we'll finish the drive to North Carolina. Saturday I am racing just a half marathon. Why? Because I wanted to be more than just a marathoner. Because I am more than just a marathoner. And because it's my decision.

Disclaimer--I love my friends and my dad and I love running with them. The decision to run the half marathon was already made before I posed the question on this blog. I had already sent in the registration by the time the post was published. I am not mad at my friends or the internet. :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Retail Therapy

Dave and I went to the sporting goods store today to pick him up a new swimsuit. While he was shopping, I checked out all the running gear. I totally dig Nike's new cotton-like training shirts (the Columbus Marathon had them as their race shirts this year) and they had these shirts with really cool sayings on them. My favorite said "Strong is the new Beautiful." I REALLY wanted to the shirt, but alas they only had a size medium and I am an extra small.

But then I was thinking, I'd like to create my own saying on one of those Nike shirts. I went out to the Nike website and found you could make your own shirts, but it was very limiting as to how many characters and what exactly you could put on the shirt.

So my friends, I need help. I want a Nike sportfit shirt (grey or red, preferably) that says "Fast is the new Awesome". How might I go about getting something like that done?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fast Twitch

Yesterday Coach gave me a treadmill workout that I was dreading:

15 minute warm-up building to zone 2
Off the treadmill, 3 core exercises,
4 X 3 minutes @ 7:30 pace
2 minutes @ 7:15 pace
1 minute @ 7:00 pace
3 core exercises
6 minute cool down

As much as I was dreading it, I totally rocked this workout. The 7:30s felt comfortable, the 7:15s were doable, and the 7:00s were quite management as I reminded myself to take small steps and have a quick turnover.

If these paces are feeling comfortable on the treadmill, how fast will I be going on the roads?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

In honor of the Academy Awards this weekend (at least I think they are this weekend), what was the last good movie you saw?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fish out of Water

Today I finally got to swim. I LOVE TO SWIM!!!

The workout was this:

3 X (50 swim, 50 drill, 25 back, 75 build pace)
4 X 200 (R:40) odds--pulls, evens--moderate pace
4 X 100 (R:20) odds--75 drills, 25 easy, evens--fast
4 X 50 kick

The swim was so relaxing and I got to swim with Dave. I rarely get to work out with Dave and it's so nice when we can work out together. Plus, I was still really sore from the long run on Monday and I think all the soreness is finally worked out. I'm so glad I have found a running coach who has embraced my love and swimming and is willing to incorporate it into my training.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I have a confession to make....

...I suck at cooking. Dave does almost all the cooking at home. I only make suggestions about what I like and what I'm in the mood for. So pretty much I make the decisions but Dave does all the cooking. It is a perfect world.

But, I do kinda like to bake. For Dave's birthday a few months ago I actually found a recipe online and found a new dessert to surprise him with. And you know what?


So, here's the recipe:

Oreo Truffles

1 package of Oreo cookies (I used reduced fat)
1 package of cream cheese (Again, reduced fat)
1 package of white chocolate bark

Take 7 Oreos and crush them (I used my blender). Put those in a container and put them aside. You'll use those later. Take the rest of the Oreos and crush them. Then mix them with the cream cheese. Make sure that cream cheese is super-soft. I used my hand mixer. Then take that mixture and make one inch balls with it. Put the white bark into a double-boiler (fancy-talk for one pot floating inside of another pot of boiling water) and melt. Dip those balls in the melted bark and cover completely. Finally sprinkle all the Oreo balls with the 7 Oreos you crushed at the beginning. Put them in the fridge and serve cold. They are SOOOO yummy.

You can thank me later. :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

If At First You Don't Succeed..., run again.

And that I did. Today I headed out on a 15 mile run. The plan was this:

4 mile warm-up zones 1 & 2
2 miles of building
6 miles at marathon pace
3 miles cool down

Here's how it went down:

Miles 1-4:
Avg HR-156
Max HR-168

Mile 5:
Avg HR-177
Max HR-184

Mile 6:
Avg HR-181
Max HR-194

Miles 7-12:
Avg HR-177
Max HR-190

I wasn't able to finish the run. After three days of eating very little I just ran out of energy. I really suffered through the last two miles of marathon pace, but I'm pretty excited about how the run went.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


The alarm was set for 5:45. I awoke at 3:00 still feeling really nauseous. The alarm went off and I rolled over. I told Dave it wasn't going to happen today.

Three months of training and I spent the morning laying in bed while Dave and my friends were out on the course. I'm not going to lie, there were a lot of tears shed throughout the day. Dave finished in the top 20 men in the 10K; Helen finished third overall in the marathon; and Andrea finished first in her age group in the marathon. And based on the times I saw today, if I had run what I planned I would have finished 2nd overall in the half marathon.

In all 8 years of my running I have never trained specifically for a half marathon. This would have been my first and I was anxious to see what I could have accomplished. So now what? Coach has the master plan and I know there is a 15 mile run planned in two weeks. There happens to be a 15 mile race in town in two weeks and I've already registered for it. But I'd also like to know what my results would be if I raced a half marathon. I found a half, the Crystal Coast Half Marathon in Morehead City, NC, in two weeks, one day before the 15 miler planned. Coach said I could move the 15 miles to this week, taper for one week, and then run 17 miles the week after the half marathon. But I also don't want to travel eleven hours in a car to run another freakin' 1:45, plus I've already paid for the 15 miler and it's A LOT cheaper than the half marathon.

So internet, what should I do?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bad Timing

At 4:00am this morning I woke with sharp pains in my belly. All I could think is "oh no, not today." After two hours of fighting nausea and taking a Zantac I went back to bed. Around 9:30 I woke up and was still feeling bad. I took an Advil and went back to bed. I woke up just before 1:00pm and was feeling better. I ate some lunch and went to see my niece's basketball game. On the way home I started feeling bad again. I took another two hour nap and didn't feel any better when I woke up.

And that's when it hit me... It's a damn UTI. It's been coming and going for a few months now and off days it picked today. So I'm loading up on the cranberry juice and hoping to feel well enough to race tomorrow. Then it's time to call the doctor and get this taken care of once and for all.

Friday, February 13, 2009


My friends, Dave, and I got together tonight for dinner to carb load for our race this weekend. During dinner we had many interesting conversations. My favorite was by Helen who said when she wins the lottery she was going to continue to go into work and torture her coworkers and bosses until she got fired.

So it begs the question... What would you do if you won the lottery?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Way Back Machine--Prom Edition

Ahhh, my love of Facebook. I FREAKIN' LOVE FACEBOOK!!! I love that all my old high school friends and boyfriends are on there. I love that I can spy on them in such a public setting. :) I love reading all their quirky notes and reminiscing about all times.

Today, we're going old school--prom edition.

When I was a freshman in high school a junior asked me to the prom. I agreed to go, but just a few weeks before the dance the guy said that he loved me and I really thought we were just friends going to the dance together. I decided to cancel the date and didn't go to the prom that year. My sophomore year I was dating a senior so we went to prom together. Now he's married, is the pastor of a church and you can check him out here. My junior year I was casually dating a sophomore and we decided to go together. It was probably my favorite prom because I went with a friend instead of a boyfriend. Sorry Jason. My senior year I went with a junior boyfriend and that night ended horribly. I found out he was cheating on me and I believe my sister's boyfriend took me home that night. Truly, I have blocked out that night entirely. At least I looked killer in my dress.

And speaking of which, let's take a trip down memory lane to those fabulous dresses!
This is from my sophomore year. Don't you just love the teal?! And the totally '80s-ness of this outfit?! Except it wasn't the 80s. It was 1994! My favorite part is the dyed shoes to match. And also, the zit right in the middle of my forehead. I'd love to say that went away, but not so much.

Now, front and back style of my junior prom:

And finally, my senior prom. Seriously, were we pimps? Were we Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers? Could my hair be any taller?

I'm really enjoying these trips down memory lane. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I went running outside today. IN SHORTS!!!

See those big muscles? Those muscles are looking forward to kicking some A$$ in the half this weekend.

Monday, February 09, 2009


Even if I wanted to have a child one day, I'm probably completely infertile. :) I've had at least two dozen X-rays, MRIs, bone scans, and CT scans. Today was my latest CT scan. This one was for my sinuses.

When I was in college I started getting really terrible headaches. I first reported them to my doctor when I was a sophomore and immediately he sent me to the hospital for a CT scan of my brain. I guess because of the combination of medicines I was taking and symptoms I was displaying, the doctor thought it was a tumor. Yikes! Scary! Fortunately, they found nothing.

The headaches continued though and I was being seen by a neurologist/epilepsy specialist who did another series of tests including an EEG and an MRI. Still they found nothing in particular and they just kinda subsided.

After college I started getting really bad sinus infections. My family is quite familiar with the sinus infection as my dad gets sicker than a dog with them and my grandpa has had sinus surgery. I get them a good 4-6 times a year. They happen so often that all I have to do is call the doctor and he'll call in a prescription instead of me having to be seen. These aren't mambe-pambie sinus infections either. Last week I spent three days in bed, and didn't get to hold the baby until the day after she was born. I decided I had had enough.

I e-mailed the doctor (yeah, we're on a first name basis) and I told him it was time to do something more than throw antibiotics at it. Obviously, that was not working. So, we scheduled a CT scan to determine if there might be something we can "fix".

This is my third CT scan and quite possibly the weirdest one I've ever had. I had to lay on my stomach and put my chin on the head rest. I was not allowed to swallow. I had to take my hair out of it's pretty up-do. :( They had to strap my head down. Luckily, the test was also the quickest CT scan I've ever had.

Thursday I have a follow up with the doctor to determine the results of the test. On one hand, I want everything to be okay. But on the other hand I'd really like to know why I get sick ALL THE TIME. I'll update when I know more.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sink or Swim

Coach gave me a swim today. It was scheduled like this:

300 with every third length drill
200 pull
100 kick on back
150 R:15
200 R:20
250 R:25
300 R:30
250 R:25
200 R:20
150 R:15
100 any stroke

For the last couple of months I think Coach forgot that I liked swimming, so I haven't had ANY swims on my schedule. Finally I asked her to put them back into the schedule. I didn't realize the first one would be 2200 meters.

Here's how the swim really went:

300 every third length drill
200 pull
100 kick on back
100 swim
100 pull
Go home

Yeah, the first swim back sucked. A whopping 800 meters is all I could eek out. I've got a few more swims planned in the next couple of weeks. I hope they go better than today.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Maiden Voyage

I have named my new shoes:

The Green Dragons

First of all, they look intimidating which dragons are. And, The Green Dragon is a little pub in the North End of Boston that Dave and I like to go to after the marathon.

Today I took them out for their maiden voyage. The first thing that struck me is how their is NO padding in them. Duh. I felt fast during the fast parts and sore during the slow parts. I had a pretty hard run yesterday and I've been doing most of my runs on the treadmill so who knows if that was the shoes or not. One shoelace came untied while I was running, which is a problem since I ALWAYS double knot my shoes. I made trade laces for my triathlon no-tie laces so this isn't a problem in a race.

Overall, I'm looking forward to letting the dragons fly next weekend.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Ready to Run

As I eluded to earlier this week, I have my first "A" race of the season next week. It's a unique half and full marathon called "Last Chance for Boston." This year it's too late to be last chance. Maybe they should call it First Chance for Boston 2010? Anyway, this race is very unique as it's a 1-mile loop that you do over and over again. You might think that sounds insane to run a race like this, but this will be the 5th time I've run it. I've had great success here too. My current half marathon PR is on this course. I'm hoping to have another PR run this year.

Today was my last solid run before the race. It was a scheduled treadmill run where I started in zone 1 and ended in zone 4. The best part was, I hit all the zones and even had trouble climbing into zone 3. This is a really good sign as I've been known to run a whole half marathon in zone 4.

My current PR in the half marathon is 1:41. According to all literature and people I talk to, I am WAY under achieving. I mentioned to the owner at the Columbus Running Company on Wednesday that I was aiming for a 1:39. He said I should be able to go 1:37.

My game plan: run as fast as I can for as long as I can and hopefully come out with a PR and maybe even a qualifying time to NY.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

Yesterday I talked about my new shoes and how I was thinking of naming them.

My mom bought me my very first car. It was a 1987 Hyundai Excel that was red, except for the driver's side door which was orange. I named the car Lexington, because I knew I wanted to go to Kentucky. When I chose to go to Ohio State, my car didn't go with my and my sister inherited it. That's when the wheels fell off. Literally. I don't think Lexington was really happy I went to OSU>

What have you named your car, bike, shoes, etc.?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Go Speed Racer

After the marathon, Coach suggested I started wearing racing shoes. I kinda laughed it off. Seriously, I'm not fast enough to wear racing flats. But after a few visits and conversations with my favorite local running store, we found the perfect shoe.

Introducing the Brooks Racer ST 3.

These bad boys better get me a nice fat PR next week.

So, what should I name them?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today my family welcomed baby #4, as my sister gave birth to yet another child. :)

Happy Birthday, Ashtyn Claire

I didn't get to hold the baby because I have sinus infection #459,876,849,291, but I'm looking forward to holding her when I get better.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Daytime Columbus Part 2

Today I had my moment in the spotlight. Today I made my television debut in a five minute segment during a daytime tv show. Today, I was a superstar.

No seriously. My phone started ringing as soon as the segment ended. It looks like I may have four more events booked by the end of today. Holy cow!

Here's the video. Go to the bottom of the page and click on the video that says "Take a Snapshot with your Friends at the Next Party." Enjoy!!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Daytime Columbus Part 1

Friday was the big day. Dave and I headed down to the local NBC news station to tape our 5 minute segment for "Daytime Columbus." The segment will air on Monday (and I'll be able to put it on the website) so I haven't seen it but by looking at ourselves in the monitors we looked really scared.

Besides the interview, which was scary city, we otherwise had a blast. The production crew loved the booth and utilized it well. In addition, the intern, Amberly, gave us a full tour of the facilities. We got to meet local celebrities.

Be sure to check out the other blog to see some pictures from inside the booth. And check back tomorrow for the full video.