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.

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

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


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. :)


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


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 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?


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


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)