Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I haven't had a subscription to Runner's World in two years and I didn't realize how much I miss reading it until I picked my dad's up this evening.  I always enjoy reading the professional runners and their favorite workouts.  So today's question, what is your favorite workout and why?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bob the Builder and Handy Manny

AKA-Dave and Mer.

Wedding season is quickly approaching.  We started with an event last weekend, have another low-profile one this weekend, and there we're off being double-booked for the rest of May.  For the last several weeks we've been hard at work building our second photo booth and it's turning out to be totally awesome.  Only problem is, besides one part we broke on it, we somehow seem to really be pushing our deadline.

We're doing a skating party for my sister this Saturday to help her fundraise for her 3 day walk.  We wanted to debut the brand new booth there to work out any kinks we may have before next weekend's wedding where we NEED the booth.  I've been sewing like it's my job and Dave's been pounding in the basement starting early in the morning and ending late at night.  Our house looks like a construction zone.  And to top it all off, I threw out my back tonight while picking up trash off the floor.  

But, it's going to be totally awesome and I can't wait for the season to start.  Photo booths are awesome!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Featured

Check it out!  I'm May's Featured Athlete at Multisport Mastery.

And if you'd like to see our photo booth featured on a blog, check this out!



Monday, April 27, 2009

Bad Boys, Bad Boys (or should I say Bad Girl!)

I had just left the grocery store this evening and had put the bags in my car.  I was sitting in the driver's seat adjusting everything when I saw a homely woman walking very fast out of the store, with something obviously stuffed under her shirt and she was pointing at a car and pointing behind her.  Then I saw a grocery store employee fly through the parking lot stopping in front of the car.  He came around to the side of the car and the car went tearing off.  Then he pointed to another employee and started rattling off the license plate number.  He was running back inside the store, I assume, to call the cops.  And I saw all of it from inside my car.  Who knew I lived in the sketchy part of town?!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Walk Like An Egyptian

My workout today said 45 minutes of cross training.  Yes, I'm still in recovery mode and have another week of it before I will get back to the running.  Sometimes I wonder what's worst--taper or recovery?  As I mentioned in a previous post, my sister is training for her 60 mile walk in July so I thought I would tag along today with her and her friend Jennifer.

The 45 minute walk turned into an hour and a half walk as I went the entire 6 miles with her.  Seriously, mad props to the walkers!  I made it through the marathon unscathed, but after a 6 mile walk today I have blisters on both of my heels.  I think the next time I help her with her training it will be on my bike or my in-line skates providing support.  

I'm still counting the miles towards my running for this month, though.  :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Food for Thought

I'm at a fundraising event with the photobooth right now at a private school. When a priavte school is not a faith-based school, how does the curriculum differ from higher quality public school? I just wondered.

Friday, April 24, 2009

King Pin

Dave is really good at finding local things to do when we're traveling.  The day after the marathon it was raining in Boston and since we had to check out of our hotel by noon, we had to find something to do that wouldn't involve us getting wet.

So we decided to do a New England favorite: candlepin bowling.

What is candlepin bowling?  Here's the Wikipedia page for it, but it's basically bowling with tiny pins and tiny balls.  You get three balls per frame and the pins are not cleared after each ball, only after the last ball of the frame.  The scoring is very similar, although you can only pick up a spare on the second ball.  If you wipe out all the pins on the third ball, the score is only 10. 

It's not that easy.  I would say Dave and I are pretty good bowlers, but we were not very good candlepin bowlers.  Maybe it had to do with the fact I could not bend my legs after the marathon.  :)

video

And as you can see, Dave is not any better.

video

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Official Marathon Photos

I got the official marathon photos today.  And....I don't look like crap in all of them.  Yay!  

This is from the Athlete's Village in Hopkinton.  I think we would title this "Doug and his Angels."  Or at least that's what we were calling ourselves.  :)


And several from the race...


Look at that woman's gigantic boobs. That's got to hurt!



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Boston Marathon--Expose

For my birthday last week, Dave got me a Creative Vado HD video camera.  It's one of those small ones like the Flip Video and it's awesome.  We took it to Boston with us and Dave recorded every moment.  There's a lot more I'm not going to show you including my not-so-nice-swear-word-ridden moment in the airport, but this is pretty much my world from the day before until after the race.

So, we'll start the evening before the marathon where I'm chilling out and staying off my feet.

video

Next is about 5:30am on race day when Dave interviews me about how I'm feeling about the race.

video

Because Boston is a point-to-point race, Dave only stands in one place during the marathon: about mile 25-1/2.  I spotted him first before he found me.  The funny part is we said exactly the same thing.

video

Finally, here's my interview post race on my thoughts about the race.

video

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Boston Marathon 2009

Congratulations to Michelle for being the closest to my finishing time.  I would have gotten her something Boston Marathon related, but Michelle and her husband Brian just had their third baby on Sunday, so I have decided to get something for their little bundle of joy.


Now on to the marathon...........


Some marathons you run to run and others you toe the line to race.  Monday I was ready to race.  I have never felt as mentally prepared for a race than I was for Boston this year.  I was nervous about my training as there weren't that many miles, but I was ready to handle the course and the spectators and the challenges that lay ahead.  And when the weather forecast came in saying it was going to be in the 40s, I knew the stars were going to align.


We hopped the bus to Hopkinton around 6:30am and got to the Athlete Village in good time.  We port-a-johned twice (yes it's a verb) and did a little eating and hydrating.  9:15 rolled around and it was time to drop our stuff at the buses and take the long walk to the starting corrals.  I was in corral 12, the second to last one of the first wave.  There was a fighter jet fly-over, the National Anthem was sung, and the starting gun sounded.  Being as far back as I was, I made it to the start line probably about 10 minutes after the race actually started.  I started my watch and I was off.


The very first mile of the race is so steep downhill that they don't even let the wheelchair racers start at the regular start line.  I tried to run conservatively, in control, yet making sure not to pound my quads.  It would be a long day.  My first mile was conservative; one of my slowest of the race.  Then I got into my groove and pushed the pace comfortably.  The only times I pulled back was more emotionally than physically as I needed to control my breathing, yet my turnover continued at a fast clip.


The miles ticked by and before I knew it, I had entered my favorite part of the race: Wellesley.  There was a gentleman running beside me who was wearing headsets.  He turned to me and said, "what's that sound?"  I said, that's Wellesley.  Take off your headset and listen.  He said, "we're like minor rock stars."  I said no, we're major rock stars.  I cruised through Welsley, pushing my fastest mile of the race.  


I kept pushing my pace comfortably fast and I saw the sign that said we had entered Newton.  Four hills and then we were back in Boston.  Coach had told me to be hungry on the hills and I thought of that as I took it one step at a time powering up the hills.  The heart rate didn't get out of control, but I certainly made it a point to push the hills, even if it really only was baby steps.  In between the hills were stretches of flat and some sharp downhills.  Mile 19 was a long downhill and I could really start to feel the day taking it's toll on my legs.  This was the first time I had worn my racing flats for a marathon and my knees were getting achy.  Every mile I made sure to change my stride--do a butt kick or pick my knees up--just to keep my legs feeling fresh.  After three hills, I knew which one was left: Heartbreak.  The thing that makes Heartbreak so bad is where it is.  It's mile 21, it's long, it's the fourth of four hills, and it's after 14 miles of downhill.  I knew it was the last one so I took it one step at a time, putting one foot in front of the other, and made sure not to walk up the hill.  There would be time to relax after the hill was over.  And the hill was over quickly.  I had made it through the hills in Newton and now it was time to cruise home.


My body was really feeling fatigued and now it was a mental battle to keep moving forward, picking up my knees, and not to give up.  I was so close to executing a great race.  I took my last gel and salt cap at mile 23 and I choked really bad in the process.  It was the only time I had to really slow down, yet I didn't walk.  In fact, I didn't walk the whole race.  Finally I looked up at mile 24 and could see the Citgo sign.  That Citgo sign is where there is one mile to go.  I kept my eye on the sign and pulled myself into the city.  Dave would be at 25-1/2, two turns and I was done.  I found Dave before he had found me.  I pointed to my watch saying I had made great time and started to pick up the pace going up Hereford.  I turned on Boylston and ran as hard as my little legs would take me.  I put my hands up in the air and crossed the finish line in a new PR-3:29:28.  I was overjoyed!  I'm still overjoyed!


A year ago I had decided after Boston that I was done with the marathon and it was time to move on.  But really I needed to refocus.  And I'm so glad I did.  Since I started working with Elizabeth and focused my running solely on myself and my own goals, my running has excelled.  I am ecstatic about the last three races I've run and I'm looking forward to the races that are yet to come.  Thanks everyone for coming along on this journey with me.


By the way, I am WAY sore!


Mile Splits:

Mile 1-8:20

Mile 2-7:59

Mile 3-7:54

Mile 4-7:50

Mile 5-8:02

Mile 6-7:46

Mile 7-7:46

Mile 8-7:49

Mile 9-7:44

Mile 10-7:50

Mile 11-7:46

Mile 12-7:38

Mile 13-7:44

Mile 14-7:40

Mile 15-7:47

Mile 16-7:46

Mile 17-8:01

Mile 18-8:04

Mile 19-7:54

Mile 20-8:14

Mile 21-8:38

Mile 22-8:01

Mile 23-8:19

Mile 24-8:27

Mile 25-8:24

Mile 26.2-9:59 (I never saw the sign for mile 26)

Official Time - 3:29:28


Come back tomorrow for pictures and videos from the weekend.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Boston Marathon- Small Recap

I had a great day today and a new PR-3:29:28. There will be a full race recap coming tomorrow.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Last chance!

Head on over to the previous atgursday Thoughts and predict my time for tomorrow's marathon. You have until 8:00am EST Monday morning is the cut off. The closest time will win a prize! And there haven't been a whole lot of entries so the odds are in your favor.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

We've arrived!

We have arrived in Boston! And despite getting text messages from my friends, I have yet to see anyone I know. That is so weird! There's usually people you recognize and I would have expected it in our tiny airport in Columbus but no, I've not seen anyone.

We got here too late to do the expo today but we did enjoy a nice Italian dinner in the North End, just the two of us. Then I resisted the temptation of Mike's Pastry while Dave did get some gelato.

We are now back at the hotel and I'm feeling water logged. Running a marathon is fun but everything that goes into it is not. Today the hydrating has left me feeling bloated and in constant need of a bathroom.

Some awesome stuff from today:
During our layover in NY, the woman walking in front of us tripped and didn't catch herself or land on her knees, she totally face-planted. And then promptly blamed it on her shoes. :). Then when I was resisting temptation of pastries we saw a woman who had spaghetti all over her. While Dave was waiting in line for his gelato two ambulances and a fire truck came down the road (I always wondered how they manuvered in those tight streets) and it stopped right in front of us. They took the spaghetti woman and placed her on the stretcher and placed her in the ambulance. Awesome!

That's all from day 1 in Boston. I'm taking a lot of pictures and videos but I'm without wifi so I don't know if those will be posted before we get home. For now I'm updating from my phone.

See ya tomorrow.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Follow Me

I leave tomorrow for Boston.  I hope to be able to post from there but no promises because of course I'm staying at the most expensive hotel in Boston and they make you PAY for WiFi.  Good grief.

Anyway, if you want to follow along on Monday, my start time is 10:00am and my number is 12351.  And to all my homies, see you in Boston.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

Welcome to the Boston Marathon edition of Thursday Thoughts. Do a little research, my friends, sharpen your pencils and pull out your calculators. This Thursday Thought is going to take some thought.

On Monday, the Boston Marathon will be my 12th marathon and my 4th Boston overall. You can read about my other Boston experiences here, here, and here. You've also seen my HUGE improvements since I started working with Liz in July--I dropped 5 minutes in the marathon and 3 minutes in the half marathon.

So today's question, what is your time prediction for me in the Boston Marathon?

What's in it for you? A PRIZE! The person closest to the correct answer will receive a Boston Marathon-related prize. The winner will be announced next week after the marathon.

The fine print. Dave and Liz are not eligible. :) All entries must be submitted by 8:00am Monday April 20th.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Breast Cancer 3 Day

When I decided to do my first marathon, I was no stranger to the sport.  My dad had done several marathons including Boston and my mom had taken on the ultimate challenge and walked the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego (my dad did the training with her and said it was way harder than running).

I have a younger sister who has like a million children (or 4) and we've always thought she would walk a marathon like my mom.  Well, she's gone bolder than just a marathon: she's walking The Breast Cancer 3 Day, which is 60 miles in three days.  She's begun her training and has even asked for my help and advice.  If you know anything about the relationship between my sister and I, this is a MAJOR step.

So why did Amy choose this event instead of doing a marathon?  Because breast cancer has been a major part of our lives.  Our grandmother died from breast cancer and Amy and I both have friends who have or are currently battling the disease.

Amy needs to raise $2300 to participate.  This is where I need your help, Internet.  You guys have always been good to me and others.  Won't you help her?  Even a small donation goes a long way.  Please check out her donation site and please consider donating.

I'll be posting a link on the sidebar too.  Thanks, in advance, friends. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Final Countdown

A week before the marathon Coach likes me to check in with my thoughts and race plan.  With one week until Boston here are some of my thoughts.

Positives:
  • I've done this race three times before and know what to expect emotionally and physically.
  • I've had a great race at Boston before and know how to do it.
  • The weather is looking good.
  • I've run some super-fast times whenever Coach lets me kick up the pace.
  • A very positive marathon in the fall and an excellent half marathon just a few months ago.
Negatives:
  • Longest run was 18 miles; most miles in a week was 38; most miles in a month was less than 80.
  • Haven't stayed healthy enough to stay on track and complete most weeks of training.
  • All the training has been in the winter and you never know how that's going to translate in the fall.
Thoughts:
  • I'd like to find a consistently fast pace that will not go over 9:00/mile even when attacking the hills.
  • I'd like to not walk any of the course.
  • I'd like to, at least, have a Boston PR.
I sent this information onto Coach and she told me if I walk any of the course Dave is allowed to throw things at me while running.

Monday, April 13, 2009

U-G-L-Y You ain't got no alibi

I was reading the 26.2 girls last week (Hi Amy and April! Love your blog!) and laughed my buns off with the post about the ugly running shirts. So as I was spring cleaning this weekend, I decided to pull out the ugly of the ugly and do a post for myself. No need to adjust your screen--these suckers are this ugly.

Last year I did the Muncie Endurathon and instead of receiving a medal or certificate, we got finisher's hats. Usually I wouldn't mind as I like to wear hats when I run, but this will never get any wear from me.


It seems that a lot of the triathlons I've done, which really isn't that many, had the ugliest shirts. The following are both from the Wendy's Triathlon. The first may be the greenest green there is. Funny enough, I have a shirt from a running race that is that same color. I don't wear that one either. I especially love the pictures of people on the shirt.


Also from Wendy's....it has a better design but the ringer T is extreme.


Dave and I took a vacation to NYC and ran a half marathon while we were there. The shirt doesn't haven't have a terrible design, but the funny part is that it is cotton and it is a tank top. A cotton tank top. He he he!


Every year for Thanksgiving my mother sends us out of the house to run a race. We used to run the Turkey Trot every year and ALWAYS their shirts were ugly. Here's an example of one:


And finally, I ran the Towpath Marathon in 2005. This shirt tops the ugliest shirt of all time. Seriously, that's a shoe with a face and a tongue and it's sweating (although I think it looks like it's crying).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

To Blog or Not to Blog

This is my 123rd day in a row I've blogged and I'm starting to wonder if it's worth it and why I'm doing it in the first place? I don't want to blog about my running specifically because I pay someone to come up with my workouts and I'm not going to undermine her by posting them here. Plus posts that only talk about workouts are boring. But, I'm pretty boring. I spend most days at home doing nothing. And nothing is boring to blog about. I have really been struggling the last couple of weeks to come up with interesting blog posts and between next Monday when Boston is and next October, I have absolutely no races on my schedule.

So I guess I need to know, should I keep blogging every day? Leave me a note or become one of my followers on the side and let me know if you'd like to continue to see the daily blog updates.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chicken Egg Run

The weekend before a marathon, our running group gets together for one last run and then we cool breakfast for each other over a charcoal grill. And since today is the last weekend before Boston, the tradition continued.

It was a large group this morning, probably about 20 people, and we all ran between 6-9 miles. Myself, it was the first time I had run all week since I got this flu. I had 6 X 20 second intervals that went really well, although now I've got a nagging pain in my hip that it's bugging me. Otherwise, I'm feeling like the workouts and the tapering is working.

Anyway, afterwards we all put on some warm clothes (it was like 40 degrees outside), set the charcoal on fire, and started making eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and other assortments. It was almost too cold to enjoy the food. We all huddled around the grill trying to keep warm and almost in a trance by the smells of the food. So much so, that the potatoes and the bacon got burnt to a crisp. People ate quickly and then headed out to get warm.

I don't get to run with the group often and ever since Andrea moved away I feel no purpose in running with the group unless I'm going to run with my dad, but I do enjoy seeing them and enjoy their support. Andrea, we miss you, but we found out today we're losing two more members of the group to Denver--Niels and Asia. Guess you'll have a few more people to run with.

Hope the Easter Bunny pays you a visit tonight.

Until tomorrow.....

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday's Fun Foto

What do you think the caption to this picture should be?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

What's your favorite job you've ever had and why?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

You Give Me Fever

Isn't there some scientific research that says married people get sick less often than single people? And isn't there also research that says athletes get sick less often than those who aren't actively involved in sport?

Well that's just a bunch of crap!

Dave and I have been battling a war of germs for months and we're definitely losing the war. I'm sure it has more to do with the fact I spend all day with kids and we're around A LOT of people with the photo booth, but COME ON, some time this has got to end. Last week Dave was sick. Tuesday morning I woke up at 3:00am thinking I was going to be sick to my stomach. I hurt everywhere. I felt like there was poison running through my veins. I had an intense headache. I took two Advil and went back to bed. I called the gym when I woke up again and told them there was no way I could teach. Throughout the day I battled fevers and aches and pains and unbelievable headaches. After waking up from an evening nap, I could no longer see straight. That's when things got intense. The headache had worsened and now I was seeing double. I called my sister who called her husband (he works in the ER) and they got the paperwork started on me. I took another Advil and waited a little bit. That's when my fever broke, I started sweating, and I could see straight again. I didn't go to the ER.

Today I feel almost back to normal. I'm hungry and I have only a little headache.

I'm so sick of being sick. I have been nothing but sick since September. I like my job as a gymnastics instructor but I care about my health a little more. And I have been washing my hands like a crazy person and eating well and getting plenty of sleep. I'm just apt to sick. And I'm sick of sick.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Guest Post

And now for something completely different.  Hi!  I'm Dave, the husband.

Meredith is currently down for the count.  She's in bed with the flu that I had last week.  So, she asked me to guest blog.  Sadly, if she gets this as badly as I had it, she may be out of training for a few days.  The fever currently stands at 101.  :(

So I'll just leave you with a little entertainment.  It may not be the usual quality post by the proprietor, but she's been sent to bed, and I won't take any arguing.  At least unless I'm paid for it.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Office Space-Part 1

Five and a half years ago, Dave and I bought our first house.  It was a new build.  We fell in love with the model because it had open spaces, a first floor master, and a fantastic loft that we were looking forward to using as an office.  During these last 5-1/2 years we've done very little decorating.  It's kinda like this....Guess which ones we are...



About two years ago we made big plans for the loft to make it a totally awesome workspace.  After installing the hard wood floor, we made new desks, and then our plans stalled out.  We had painted all the walls except one because our plans were to put in a brick wall and make it look like a loft.  Well, that stuff is expensive and we never did put in the wall.  For the last several years our loft has just become a holding place for stuff.

Then we were watching HGTV a few weeks ago and saw a really cool wall we liked and we started to make plans.  Now that the loft is the office of VIP Photo Booths, I had visions of really cool photo booth artwork on the walls, and a glass door, and really great organization.  The wall vision was all part of this.

For Christmas my mother got me a subscription to Better Homes and Gardens.  She also gave me $150 towards landscaping.  Think she's trying to tell me something?  Anyway, I was actually reading through the Better Homes and Gardens and saw that there was a such thing as magnetic paint.  How cool is that? 

And the decision was made.  We bought the magnetic paint and started painting the empty wall.  Here's some pictures of the transformations taking place.

This is what our loft actually has looked like for the past couple of years.  Holy messiness!



See that mess of papers on the floor?  That's stuff to be shredded.  See that shredder right beside it?  Yeah, I broke it, like, a long time ago.  Today I went and bought a new shredder and basically spent the whole day shredding.  Look what I produced...


Finally, the magnetic wall.  It's actually a primer that you have to put two to three coats on to make it really magnetic.  And it looks BLACK!  Here's the first coat:

And here's what it looks like after two plus coats:

Keep an eye on the blog for more updates about our room.  Hopefully, there will be many more to come quickly (as I am tired of the mess).  

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Week in Review

This was a big week of training for me.  For the first time in a long time, I did all the workouts this week including following through on written recoveries, stretches, and weight training.  I swam over 4400 meters and ran over 35 miles.  I finally got in my long run, 18 miles, at Highbanks which is uber-hilly.  I rocked a marathon pace run today at 7:36/mile.  

I'm pretty happy with the way this week and now I'm excited for the upcoming marathon.  Only two weeks!!!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

I'm gonna need a pedicure

I wrote a while back (of course, I can't find the blog post about it...I'll keep looking) about wanting in 2009 to work on my femininity.  I didn't know that I was going to be pushed by others in this direction. 

My best friend from college is getting married this year and asked me to be in the wedding.  At first I was reluctant: it's a second wedding, it's in California, but I knew it was important to her so I agreed.  She picked out cute dresses from J. Crew.  Of course, she picked pink (tea rose).  Good grief.  Then I was told to pick out any shoes as long as they were gold.

Today I went to DSW looking for gold shoes.  There were like 1000 pairs there and 999 different colors of gold.  First I picked up a pair of wedge sandals, because I wanted to be comfortable.  But after talking with her on the phone while I was in the store, I realized I would be the most dressed down.  So I picked a pair of shoes that will be the fanciest pair of shoes I will ever own.  




Thank goodness my feet don't look like real runner's feet.

Friday, April 03, 2009

I almost forgot...

It's 11pm and I almost forgot to blog. I have. Really great story to tell from last night. This entry is just going to be used as a placeholder for that story.

Foe now, I'll sip my margarita at Adobe Gilas. :)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

Today is the day I've been dreading since September.  Today is the final ER.  

I started watching ER when it first started as my parents watched it and I got home from ski club at 10:00.  I then got addicted to the show and even sacrificed my college social life to stay home on Thursday nights and watch it.  That was during the glory days of the show and my mom and I would call each other each Thursday after the show to discuss.  The show has since lost some of its luster, but I continued to watch it religiously every Thursday as I wasn't going to turn my back on the show.  

This year has been a long, slow painful goodbye for me.  I've cried a lot at most of the episodes.  I know...don't judge me.  :)  This week I can't even get through the previews without tears.  I'm a freakin' mess.  And tonight, I might just die.  But, I've been a fan from the beginning and I've loved the show and I'm glad it's going out with a bang.

So today's question for Thursday Thoughts is, what is your favorite/the best series finale of a tv show?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Going Big

It's the last big week of training and I'm going big.  Monday was a 2000m swim, Tuesday was approximately 8 miles of speed intervals, today was core workout, and tomorrow is the monster run--3 hours of hills.  Yep, you read that right.  THREE HOURS OF HILLS!  Andrea, I'm taking on a new challenge of Highbanks for three hours!  Yikes!!!

And I've also been recovering, recovering, recovering.  I have taken ice baths, drank fruit smoothies (yuck), napped (yeah, I gave up that no-napping crap a few weeks ago), and worn my compression socks.  Plus I've been drinking tons of water.  If I can't git'r'done, I don't know what's going on.  

Less than three weeks, though, and I just have to get through the week.  :)