Friday, December 31, 2010

December and 2010 Totals

It has been another great month of training. I've lost a little mojo, but I've stayed mostly on target and have done the workouts to the best of my abilities. I missed all of three workouts. Two of them being in the same week when I just lost focus. And the other one I missed for a funeral. Other than that, I'm still on. Monthly totals:

Swim = 20,500 meters (~12.8 miles)

Bike = 117.75 miles (I missed two bike workouts)

Run = 97.62 miles (that's nearly as many miles run this month as biked, and until last week, that was on only 3 days a week of running)

Strength = 4.75 hours (I missed one strength workout)

Now on to the grand totals for 2010. Overall, I think it was a great year in terms of numbers. I put more miles on my bike this year than I have in the last three years combined of owning my bike. Hopefully next year, these numbers will be even better as I'm more motivated to stay on task with my workouts.

Total Swimming = 228,185 meters (nearly 143 miles of swimming!!!)

Total Biking = 2,446.63 miles

Total Running = 756.05 miles

Total Strength = 20.25 hours (and most of that was in the last two months)

Watch out 2011!!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tough Enough

I think a lot about whether I'm tough enough for the goals and races I want to achieve.

Last week I had a run test on the schedule. I had already rocked my swim test and done well on my bike test back in November. To me, though, the run test is the most important. I've seen a lot of improvement on my run in the last month and I wanted it to shine through during my test. However, it's been a long time since I've done a run test and I've not done one without a race or not in warm weather. Thusfar, this has not been a kind winter so I decided to move my test to the treadmill. My goal for some time has to be able to run a race of any kind (except a one mile race) at a sub-7:00 pace. I thought the run test would be a perfect opportunity to give it a try. When I started the test, however, the treadmill seemed to be flying at a 7:30 pace and just six minutes into the test, I began to panic. How in the world was I going to be able to hold this pace or faster for 20 minutes? And just like that, I hit the stop button and data was lost. Crap! I restarted my watch and tried again. This time I made it a whopping two minutes. At this point there were tears and the day was done.

Two days later, the weather was still not kind, but I decided to give the run test a-go outside. It was bitterly cold with a wind chill around 11 degrees and wind at 15-20 mph. I started my warm up and I immediately knew it was going to be a challenging day. I don't know if it was the days of travel for Christmas, or sitting around a lot during the holiday, or just all the extra clothes, but I just felt like my legs wouldn't "fire". Every step seemed to be work. I chose the flattest part of the neighborhood to do the test, but in all honesty, it wasn't that flat and the wind made it seem like I was constantly running uphill. The first 5+ minutes of the test went okay and my pace was hovering around 7:05 and my heart rate was high. But soon I started to panic again. The pace was dropping, my legs weren't cooperating, and I just didn't feel good. As I came by the house I actually thought about stopping. I finished the test, but I didn't find it successful. The results, to me, were disgusting.

Coach agreed that this wasn't a good test and now I've got to try again. And this time she mandated it be on a treadmill. Although I know this is a heart rate test and pace isn't that important, I still feel I should be doing better than the last two attempts have been. All of this lead to a discussion with Dave. Am I tough enough?

Since August 29th, when my attempt at Ironman ended with a trip to the medical center, all I have thought about is "did I sabotage my Ironman?" Did I give up? Did I really work as hard as I could have to finish the race? My parents, my friends, my teammates, Dave, and Coach have all stated it was the circumstances of the day and the weather, but I trained all summer in that heat, and I honestly believe I was well hydrated coming off that bike--7 bottles of sports drink and 5 bottles of water.

Dave asked me when I was struggling on the treadmill last week, when was the last time I had to work for a race? I really had to think about that. The last time I remember really working for a race? Probably the Columbus Marathon 2003 when I was trying to qualify for Boston for the first time, I fell behind the pace leaders, threw myself a pity party, and then finally pulled my shit together and caught back up with that pace team to qualify. It's been a long time since I've had to be in that position. Don't get me wrong. I work really hard in practice. But my races have been easy. Boston 2009 when I ran a 3:29 might have been the easiest marathon I've ever run. But when things haven't been easy, I've given up. The Nike Women's Marathon in 2009 is a prime example. I'm just not sure I know how to be tough anymore.

I've set my sights very high in 2011. It's an important year for me. I've got big goals and big dreams and I have to achieve them. Physically I know it's possible. Mentally, I might need a little work....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Books 2010

Every year I set a goal for myself to read 12 books. This year I failed big time. I would blame it on Ironman training, but the honest truth is it's the daggone handheld solitaire game my mom bought me. That thing is ruining my life!

Here are the books I read in 2010:
  • Born to Run by: Christopher McDougall. I loved this book, but I think I am the only person who read this book who did not think it was about barefoot running or even advocate it. I thought it was about our physiological natural abilities for running. I found the book to be motivating and dreaming of venturing into ultras.
  • My Horizontal Life by: Chelsea Handler. Funny. Lighthearted. Cute.
  • Angles and Demons by: Dan Browne. Love, love, love. I can't wait to read the next adventures of Robert Langdon. Of course, I spread out the books so I have something to look forward to if Dan Browne continues the stories.
  • Eat, Pray, Love by: Elizabeth Gilbert. That damn Oprah! She sucks me into her book selections and then leaves me with crap! This book started out so promising. I loved the parts on Italy. But then I got to the second section on India and it dragged on FOREVER! Finally I gave up once I reached Indonesia. Yep, I didn't finish this book. Nor have I seen the movie.
  • Running Dark by: Jamie Fravelleti. Somehow I got on the publishers' list and they have been sending me Jamie Fravelleti's books to read and review. This one continued the adventures of Emma Caldridge but moved the story to Africa and a cruise ship. Her stories read really well, almost like you're watching them on a movie screen. This was a great read, but I liked the first one better.
  • 90 Minutes in Heaven by: Dan Piper and Cecil Murphey. This book was given to my grandma from a friend who was dealing with grief and found this book reassuring. I found this book boring, monotonous, and poorly written. This book is less than 200 pages and, I kid you not, it took me nearly four months to read.
  • I'm Proud of You by: Tim Madigan. This is a true story about the author's personal relationship with Mr. Rogers. It's a beautiful story and I might have shed a tear or two.
  • Devoted: The Story of a Father's Love for his Son by: Dick Hoyt. My brother-in-law got me this book for Christmas. I'm half way through it already. I was very fortune to have an up-close-and-personal moment with Dick and Rick Hoyt when I passed them in Boston 2009. It was magical, as is this book thusfar.
My solitaire game is almost out of batteries. I'm going to let them run out and not put new ones in. Hopefully I can do some more reading in 2011. Any book recommendations?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Gots and Didn'ts of Christmas 2010

It was a good Christmas, Charlie Brown. Dave and I had wonderful times with our families and gave great stuff and got great stuff.

Reviewing the Christmas list I put out there the other day, I got:
  • A new Splish swimsuit. It's blue and black and does not have anything written across the butt.
  • A pink wrist Road ID. I got one for Dave and so did my parents. He's now got one for each wrist and his running shoe.
  • A pair of Belega running socks.
  • A rear view mirror for my bicycle helmet.
  • Cash. I'm paying a race entry fee with it this week.
  • Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector. I've been using it since Friday and I swear I can already tell a difference.
  • A Limited gift card.
  • Dave got me three new bikinis for our trip to Mexico in a few weeks. I haven't gotten a new bikini since our honeymoon 8+ years ago. Surprisingly two of the three actually fit and look nice.
  • Dave's parents got us both new masks and snorkels for our trip to Mexico. Mine's pink, of course.
  • My parents got us an electric fence so that Sloopy can now run around in the yard. Of course, I'm still going to be out there watching for her to make sure no hawks, coyotes, or owls come and get here. You'd think we'd live in the wilderness. No we live in the suburbs, but I've seen all three of those in this neighborhood.
  • I gave Dave a Nook (Barnes and Noble electronic reader). He was REALLY surprised with that one. He hasn't put it down yet.
Things I'm going to buy myself:
  • I actually got two rear view mirrors for my bike helmet. So I'm going to return one and get some chain lube instead. I had this one on my list, but I don't think I told anyone.
  • Dave and I have asked for the waterproof case for our camera for a couple of years now. It's really too expensive to put on a list unless you're getting married and your friends can chip in for it. We're just gonna go ahead and buy it ourselves TODAY so we can get it in time for our trip. Plus, we'll totally use that during triathlon training.
  • Surprisingly I didn't get too much training/racing gear. I'm still debating if I'm going to buy myself some calf sleeves. Everyone I know who has used them has said great things about them. I just don't know....
I hope y'all had a great holiday too!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Miscellany for Wednesday

Today is about a lot of random stuff going on in my head....
  • Did you watch the coverage of Ironman Hawaii on NBC this past Saturday? At first I hated the broadcast. If I had to see one more product placement of Ford or Road ID or if I had to watch that A-Hole Macca yammer on about how he's the most awesome athlete ever, I thought I might hit something. But then I watched it again on my DVR and was able to fast forward that stuff and the broadcast was a lot better. Now that I've attempted the distance, I'd like the broadcast to be different. I think it's a little "fluffy." I don't think they really show how difficult and draining the day can be nor do they really articulate what is put into the training to get the result. Someday I'd really like them to cover the "everyday" triathlete and not just the athletes there on a media pass.
  • I have suddenly started snoring. SNORING!!! On Sunday after spending a day with my sister, her boyfriend, and their gazillion kids, I fell asleep around 9:30pm. Dave was not so tired and played on his phone while I slept. He said I was snoring. Loudly. I totally denied this until Tuesday morning when I woke myself up snoring. Usually people start snoring as they put on the pounds, but I've lost 3 pounds in the last 6 weeks so...what's the deal?
  • All my Christmas shopping is done and wrapped. Hallelujah!!! And I'm so excited to have others open their gifts. I think I did really well this year.
  • I haven't been on Facebook or Twitter since Friday morning. I didn't check my email all weekend and have limited myself to checking it only three times a day since Monday. It's liberating.
  • I cut my bangs again. Did I mention that? I have absolutely no willpower when it comes to growing them out.
  • Training is continuing to go well. Updates next week and a end-of-year wrap-up.
  • I'm going to Mexico in less than a month!!!!
I hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Coldest Run EVER!

Last week I agreed to meet a friend early on Saturday to begin our run before the rest of the group showed up. This way I could get in a good 5 miles and finish my 12 mile run when everyone else would be finishing too. I knew it would be cold on Saturday, but I had no idea.

The weather read 11 degrees when I woke up Saturday morning with a wind chill of zero. Good grief. Why do I not have anyone's phone numbers?! So, I bundled up and headed out. This is what I was wearing:
  • Long sleeve base layer
  • Arm warmers over the base layer
  • Cotton t-shirt
  • Jacket
  • Tiny, tight running shorts
  • Tights
  • Leg warmers (cut off tube socks, laugh if you must, but they work)
  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Yak Traks
  • Glittens (half gloves, half mittens)
  • Winter hat
I arrived at Antrim Park around 7:10am and no one was there. I've never seen that before. And my friend showed just a few minutes after me. Game on. My friend is A LOT faster than me, but said he would run with me. After adjusting my Yak Traks, we were off. We chatted the whole time. It seemed to be a little rushed, but I was still talking comfortably so it couldn't have been that bad right? The snow was slowing us down, right?

Nope. That first five miles was in 41 minutes. That's pretty darn fast for all that clothing, the Yak Traks, and the snow on the ground. I still had seven miles to go!

I mentioned it was cold. It was cold!!! As we approached the end of the five miles I pulled out my water bottle from my belt and couldn't open it. It was frozen shut. That has NEVER happened to me before. And the bottle was underneath my coat, next to my warm body. Luckily, the other water bottle was still working.

We met the rest of our group at 8:00am and continued on our way. Now I was running with my "regulars" including my dad. The pace had slowed way down (thank goodness). Another 3 miles into our run I had had enough. I had started my run too quickly and I just didn't want to run anymore. My dad, Mr. Take No Prisoners, of course would not walk with me so neither did I. I kept shuffling along. I reached to get some more water and my other water bottle was frozen. No more water for me. :( That last seven miles took me over 65 minutes. Obviously, considerably slower than the first five miles.

When I finished I had icicles on my eyelashes. Cool! I looked like Lady GaGa. I wish I had brought my camera. My water bottles were still frozen and so was I. My jacket has a velcro pocket where I had stashed my car key. My fingers were so frozen I didn't think I was going to be able to open it. I had to take my glove off, which made things worse. I got my key out but then had to use two hands to put the key in the car. My hands were blocks of ice.

Here's the kicker about how cold it was. I drove from the park to Starbucks, picked up a hot chocolate, and drove home with the heat on high. In total, this was probably a half hour trip. I got home and hopped immediately into the a super long, super hot shower. As we headed to lunch an hour later, I took my water bottles out of my backpack. It had now been an hour and a half since I had left the park. My water bottles still had big ice chunks in them! Daggone it was cold!

Our weather man, with a grin on his face, keeps telling us about the -50 degree weather in Alaska that is coming our way. I chose the wrong winter to train for a marathon.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday's Menu

Each week, I will feature a recipe on Monday that Dave and I cooked the previous week. If you'd like to contribute a recipe, please leave a comment below or send it to me via email:

Before Ironman Kansas Dave and I visited this kinda yuppy restaurant just off the campus of Kansas. The menu had me a little worried. I'm a carb-loader before a race and I like what I like--spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, etc. But I picked this off the menu:

It's chicken and linguine with pesto sauce. And it was GOOD!!! Since I raced to a HUGE PR, it's probably lucky too.

This weekend Dave and I decided to make our own chicken and linguine with pesto sauce with our BRAND NEW MINIATURE FOOD PROCESSOR (think The Price is Right for that one)!!!

Dave started out by mixing the ingredients for the pesto.

Then he fixed the chicken while I worked on the whole grain linguine (did you read that Coach?!?).

And here is the finished product that we served with a salad and a tall glass of water.

It was really yummy. Maybe a little heavy on the bread crumbs and cheese, but otherwise very good. I would have liked the pesto to be a little creamier, but maybe taking out some of the bread crumbs and cheese will help with that. Unfortunately, after looking up the calorie content of this, we're a little more disappointed, but now we're looking for more calorie conscious options for this meal. Bon appetite!

Friday, December 17, 2010


I've decided to get offline for a few days. It's been a pretty weird week. I've said stuff that was inappropriate. I've been hurt by what others have said. And of course it was all done online which means no one has any idea what is REALLY being said.

That being said, I'm unplugging. No email (except work email), no blogs, no Facebook, no Twitter, no websites. I need to get some stuff done. I need to live in the real world.

See you in a few days.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I have been running with the same crew for maybe eight years. We're a close-knit, rag tag bunch. The group started as a lunchtime running group of the same employees of a business downtown. But over the years the group has gotten a little bit more "inbred", if you will. We are now a group that has dated, or is married to, or is the son or daughter of someone else in the group. This weekend we lost one of our own. Today is the funeral. It's going to be a rough day.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Christmas Wish List

Here are some of the things that were on my Christmas list this year:
  • Swimsuits -- Seriously I go through swimsuits like candy. I can never have enough. I am in love with Splish because they're cute and they last a lot longer than any other swimsuits.
  • Road ID for wrist or ankle -- As a runner I've been wearing a Road ID on my shoes for years, but now that I also bike, it's time to have one on me at all the time.
  • Running socks -- My favorite socks to run in are Balega. I like the short ones with the cushioning on the achilles. Now I've tried Zulu, which is also by Balega and do not like it as much. I'm kinda picky about my running socks.
  • Rear view mirror for bike helmet -- Make fun of me if you want, but it's scary out there on the streets. Where I ride my bike involves a lot of BIG farm equipment and I want to see if coming before it scares the crap out of me! I will also be doing most of my bike riding by myself this year and I want to stay safe.
  • Energy wrist band -- Hey if it's good enough for Kara Goucher, it's good enough for me.
  • Cash -- Seriously peeps, races are expensive and owning your own business doesn't mean you're rolling in dough. I'm hoping for a little help paying for a few races.
  • Waterproof case for our camera -- I haven't mentioned this yet, but Dave and I are going on a cruise next month and will be snorkeling. It would be fun to take the camera in the water.
  • HED3 crack pipe -- Because it's hard to pump up my race tires with a regular pump.
  • Compression calf sleeves -- I'm totally torn on if I really want these or not. I consider myself an organic runner - shoes on and out the door. But, I do run mostly mid- to forefoot and my calves get tight. If I don't get these, it won't be the end of the world.
  • Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector -- I have so much sun damage from baking in the sun when I was a kid. I've had many treatments to my skin but I really can't afford those anymore. I might as well try something that's a little more in my price range.
  • Gift cards -- When I'm not working out, I like to dress nice. I do own a business, after all. My favorite place to shop is The Limited. And you can never do wrong with an iTunes gift card.
  • Running tights/capris -- I only have two great pairs of winter running tights. Now that I'm training for a late winter/early spring marathon, I think I'd like to have at least one more pair. I've also been debating running capris. To be honest, I make fun of people who wear these. No self-respecting real runner would be caught dead in them. But, it would also be nice to have some for in between weather like 35 degrees. Don't publically disgrace me if you see me in them. :)
I gave this list to my mom and she said, "huh, I had a list for you already and nothing on this list matches my list." So, who knows what will be under the tree next week. Hope Santa brings all my running and triathlon friends awesome stuff next week (or already did for my Jewish friends).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Identity Crisis

I'm going through a bit of an identity crisis right now.

Coach has given me the green light to train for the National Marathon in March and things are going smoothly. Right now I'm running 3 days a week, mostly geared toward the marathon, and the rest of the week involves swimming, biking, and strength all for triathlon and the big iron distance race in 2011. All of my training is going great. I'm feeling focused and strong. So what's the problem? I love to run. I don't think you heard me right. I LOVE TO RUN!!!!!!! Running right now is effortless, almost poetic. The paces are swift but gentle. I'm absolutely loving every minute of it. And it makes me think, what am I doing messing around with triathlon?

For years I've dabbled in triathlon. I would tell people I'm a runner pretending to be a triathlete. But when I started to do better and place in my age group at races and having spent a year training for Ironman, I guess you can't pretend to be a triathlete anymore. I promised my coach that I would not pretend this year. I would stop saying I'm a runner and instead I would tell people and myself I'm a triathlete. But I'm having a hard time identifying.

One of my first times I did Boston I saw a girl I knew from the blogosphere, Elizabeth. At the time, Elizabeth and I were pretty similar runners. Not too slow, not too fast, but good enough. I even think we had similar experiences at Boston. Over the years I kinda lost track of her until this fall when I found out my teammate Janet and my real life friend Mandy were friends with Elizabeth. While reading Janet's race report from the Columbus Half Marathon I saw she had mentioned something about Elizabeth running the full marathon. I clicked on Elizabeth's race report only to be totally floored to see she had finished 2nd at the marathon. SECOND! What the heck happened? As Mandy puts it, she has a goal and will work for it.

So it makes me think, what is my potential at running? Since I started working with a coach I've dropped 6 minutes in the marathon (3:29), 3 minutes in the half (1:38), I've set new PRs, and have even won a race. Again it makes me think, what am I doing messing around with triathlon? If I can do that in just one year of working with a coach, what can I do in two years time? Three years? Four years? Can I qualify for NYC? Can I break my dad's PR (3:21). Can I finally run a race where I average in the 6:00s?

I know I have unfinished business at the iron distance. And don't get me wrong, I plan to get my revenge. But I just wonder if right now is the time? If the goal is just to finish, am I wasting running potential in the years that count? I just don't know.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wardrobe Malfunction

My running shoes seemed to be the only thing that went right with my run yesterday.

(Actually, that's not true. My run was FANTASTIC! But my wardrobe was a different story.)

I looked at the temperature when I woke up. Thirty degrees. Crap! What do I do with 30 degrees? Mid thirties, I consider shorts weather. Under thirty I consider tights weather. But I never know what to do with 30. And this was a longer run (10 miles) so I needed to consider the warm-up factor. I put on a pair of ankle socks, tights, a base layer shirt, a light zip-up top, and knit gloves. I had my winter cap in hand, but walked outside and decided on a ballcap instead. That was a good choice. Throughout the run I was warm, but got cold multiple times when the wind would get whippy (yes it's a word). The gloves came off and went back on about four times throughout the run.

Here's the real kicker. I was wearing a water belt. See, I have a rule. Any run one hour or less, I will carry a hand-held water bottle. With a long run, however, I like to wear a water belt to have plenty of water and to be hands free. I have had my water belt for nearly 10 years and it really is starting to show it's age. Two of my four bottles leak. I only wore two bottles yesterday and somehow managed to get one of the leakers. My left side was wet for the entire run. The real problem with my water belt is that the elastic is stretched and the water belt does not stay put anymore. It's even worst when I'm wearing shiny, slippery clothing, which is pretty much all running clothing. So yesterday I fought with my water belt for the entire 10 miles. It was driving me nuts. When I was supposed to be picking up the pace, my water belt was around my ribs. Seriously. I looked and felt like a total tool bag! I met Dave after the run for some hot chocolate and told him if he wasn't finished Christmas shopping for me, I'd LOVE a new water belt.

Here's what I'm thinking. I currently have a Fuel Belt brand and it has served me well. I know they have newer options, especially ones you can adjust so there's no way it could ever ride up to my ribs. But, I've fallen in love Amphipod products this year. I have the small handheld and a waist pack and they are both terrific. I wrote about my the waist pack here. I was checking out the website yesterday and there are all kinds of options for water belts, but this is the one I think I like the best. It's their trail runner's water belt, and although I never trail run, I think it would be a good option for me because it's adjustable, it's got a BIG pouch on it so I can carry all my nutrition without having to stop at my car halfway through a long run, and the two water bottles are the same volume of four of my current bottles. (I haven't determined if that's a good thing or a bad thing because I like to spread out the weight of the bottles front and back and this might be a little more than my back can handle. Although I think you can reposition where the bottles go.) I really like the bungee cords on the back too which allows me to stash things I may need again, like my gloves in the winter or a shirt in the summertime. Plus, Amphipod has this no bounce guarantee so I know this sucker is not gonna move all over the place.

Anyone have this or any Amphipod water belt? Thoughts?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Foto Friday

I posted this a while back on Facebook. But if you're not my friend on Facebook you're seriously missing out on the cuteness that is my dog Sloopy. Seriously.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Battle of the Bulge

"You don't look like them." That's what my dad kept saying to me at Dave's FullRev race this past September. And by "them" my dad meant triathletes. Yes it's true, triathletes and runners look nothing alike. Triathletes are what I call triangle people--broader shoulders, smaller waists. Triathletes tend to be taller, and muscular, and a little less concerned about bulk. Runners, on the other hand, are what I call rectangles--everything is proportional. Runners are a little shorter (or in my case, way shorter), super lean, and almost too skinny, like emaciated-skinny.

I most definitely have always been a rectangle:

Nice picture!

But now that I've moved primarily to triathlon (except for that marathon I'm doing in March) I'm trying to transition my body to be more triangular. Now, I know I'll never be tall (dang it!) so bulking up has always scared me. Being that I'm 5'1", every pound that's added on, shows in all the wrong areas. So this time around I'm trying to build lean muscle while not putting on any extraneous weight. I've been tracking my body fat and my weight along with my calories and nutrition. Since my first big race of the season is a marathon, I'm trying to drop a little bit of weight but I'm also trying to bulk up my arms (swimming) and legs (biking). I'm hoping by the time the BIG race of the year rolls around I'm going to look like a solid triangle (and hopefully with abs like Michelle)

Friday, December 03, 2010

2011 Racing Schedule

Since my wedding and event schedule is starting to fill up for 2011, it's time to put my racing schedule together also. The big races are planned but I'm still ironing out everything in between. So all of this is tentative and will remain that way until about a week before each race. :)

February - Winter Run 15 miler or Last Chance half marathon. The Winter Run is cheaper but it starts at 1:00 in the afternoon which I don't like. The half marathon is a one mile course you do again and again. I'll keep thinking about this one.

March - National Marathon. Yeah, you read that right. I'm heading back to my roots!

April - Miami University Student Foundation Triathlon

May - Rev3 Knoxville Olympic Triathlon

June - Racing for Recovery Half Ironman. This is an "A" race for me and I plan on rockin' it!

July - JCC Independence Triathlon. I better sign up for this soon before it sells out.

September - Rev3 Cedar Point FullRev. What I've been looking forward to for a year. Bring it!

And it looks like as of right now Dave and I will be heading to Hawaii to spectate the Ironman World Championships as a finish to our season. 2011 is going to be epic!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November Totals

Taking two months off (basically) was the best thing I could do for myself. I have come back feeling refreshed, reinvigorated, and focused. I have had possibly the best month of training EVER. I did not miss one single workout and I did them all in order except for two. I feeling stronger, look leaner, and am faster than I've been in a long time. November was awesome!

Swimming - 21,800 meters (13 - 1/8 miles)

Biking - 110.68 miles

Running - 60.34 miles

Weight training - 5.75 hours

Total hours - 25 hours 16 minutes

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday's Menu

Each week, I will feature a recipe on Monday that Dave and I cooked the previous week. If you'd like to contribute a recipe, please leave a comment below or send it to me via email:

My favorite thing as part of a holiday meal is deviled eggs. And I make the best. :) Today I'm going to share my recipe with you.

6 eggs
3 tbls mayonnaise
1 tsp vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp Worcestershire sauce

I did my recipe with 12 eggs (big family). For this case, I just doubled the recipe.

Begin by putting the eggs in a pot, fill it with water, and bring it to a quick boil. Once it comes to boil, turn the burner off and let the eggs sit there for 20 minutes. At the end of the 20 minutes, remove from heat and immediately chill the eggs under running water. This keeps your eggs yolks from turning green.

Once cooled, peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and mash them with a form until fine and crumbly. (Yes, I have a deviled eggs dish, from Pampered Chef.)

Here's my dog trying to get the yolks....

Once the yolks are finely mashed, add in all the ingredients and blend until smooth.

Fill the white halves with the yolk mixture. Be generous in making the halves slightly rounded. Sprinkle with paprika to finish.

Luckily, we got to enjoy a few of these before my mom accidently dumped them all over the floor. :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Foto Friday

No children were harmed in the making of this picture. :)

This is my niece. She put herself in Sloopy's crate.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pilgrim's Progress 4 Miler

This might be the first and possibly the last time I will ever get to do a Thanksgiving race in a pair of shorts, no gloves, and a ball cap. Surprisingly warm for Thanksgiving but we also woke up to POURING rain. I did not want to race in the rain. We ate breakfast, packed up dry clothes for after the race and headed out.

We picked up our timing chips, hit the port-a-johns and then the rain stopped. Sweet! We did a little warm up and then we were ready to go. This was our first time doing the Pilgrim's Progress race having done two of the Thanksgiving races in town. To date, this one ranks high. Ample parking, good swag (more on that in a minute), decent course, and my favorite, a small racing field.

Side note....I had worn a lighter pair of socks because I didn't want to have heavy wet socks during the race. But, during my warm up my shoes kept "eating my socks" and one pair even wound up only around my toes. So, I decided to do what I've never done and what I'll never do again: race without socks.

I mentioned the swag before. Each entrant got a nice race shirt and a pair of socks in their grab bag. Both of mine fit. YES!!! Then for each age group there were awards which were a $75, $50, and $25 gift certificate to the Polaris Mall. I knew it would be hard to get since each age group was ten years instead of five, but I wanted one and I was going to work to get one.

I'm not daring nor fast enough to line up in the front, so I lined up in the second row of people. The gun went off and so did I in what I thought was a conservative but quicker pace. When I hit the first mile in 7:04 I knew it was not conservative. The second mile was also moving but then I got a stitch under my right ribs that was really making breathing difficult. I tried to breathe it out. I slowed down (a smidgen). I put my arms above my head while running. Nothing was making the stitch better. I hit the second mile mark in 7:33. Right after the water stop at mile 2, I pulled to the side and stretched my belly. When I saw a woman go by me who drives me batty with her running style, I knew it was time to take off. I pulled beside her and around her and kept on building the pace. The stitch was not gone, but I was not going to let it ruin my race. Mile 3 was 7:40 (even with the stop). In the last mile I was ready to conquer the people who I was previously running with. I knew who was in my age group and darn it, I wanted a gift certificate. The last part of the race is a little uphill and then goes through the parking lot of the mall with two 180 degree turns in it. Not exactly ideal, but I like a challenge. I'm flying up the hill (that's what I do) and I catch a girl I know I'm competing with. As we come down the hill to make the second 180 degree turn she smokes me. I hate downhills. I try my best to hold on but she gets me in the end. Mile 4 was 7:11.

I didn't get a gift certificate. But neither did the girl in front of me either. I was 17th female overall and, get this, 8th in my age group. Seriously, the thirties are a tough age group to race! In addition to the nice bloody heel I got from running without socks, I got a new PR by a minute: 29:30 (7:22 pace) and a very cool mug. I love races that are innovative and think of race swag beyond a finisher's medal. A mug is so much more useful.

The best part of this, for me anyway, is that I'm still gaining speed. I have been racing now for nine and a half years and have spent the last year on nothing but aerobic pace in swimbikerun. Yet, I've had some very fast races recently. This gives me hope that there's still many more PRs to come.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


This is fall back week for my training so that means tests, tests, tests. Doesn't seem right, does it? Today's test: swimming. Dave met me at the gym during his lunch break to time my sets. After a short warm up the test worked like this....10 X 100 with exactly 10 second break. Record each individual time and the total time. This is how it went (oh yeah, I swim in a 25 meter pool):

1 - 1:28
2 - 1:32
3 - 1:33
4 - 1:32
5 - 1:34
6 - 1:36 (this is where I thought, "oh no, I'm losing it!")
7 - 1:34
8 - 1:34 (and this is where I thought, "I'm going to puke!")
9 - 1:34
10 - 1:34

Total time - 17:07

My previous swim test had an average of 1:38 per 100 meters. This swim test kicked that swim test in the junk! My slowest interval was faster than my previous average. This swim test averaged 1:34 per 100 meters. Yeah, 2011 is off to a good start.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Harsh Reality

I knew that ball would drop....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday's Menu

Each week, I will feature a recipe on Monday that Dave and I cooked the previous week. If you'd like to contribute a recipe, please leave a comment below or send it to me via email:

Since my grandmother is not in the best health, this will be the first Thanksgiving in recent memory where my grandma has not made the pies. So, Dave decided to take it upon himself to make dessert. Problem is, he's never made a pie. Martha Stewart to the rescue! Last night Dave had a test run with pear and cranberry pie.

Dave made this dessert while I was at the gym, so I had no idea what was going on. The presentation looked great, but I have to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of pie, so I didn't really think I would give it a try. Dave made me, though, and it was good. Now here's Dave's take on the pie...

When we volunteered to make dessert, I wanted to give a shot at doing a homemade recipe. And I didn't want Thanksgiving dinner to be the first try. So, a test run was in order...and the verdict? I win at pie. Seriously, could this have looked better? And it tasted fantastic too. It was just the right blend of sweet from the pears and sugar and tangy from the cranberries. Since Meredith's family aren't big on fruit pies, I'll be re-making the same crust but putting pumpkin in it for Thanksgiving, and Meredith is putting together a chocolate pudding pie.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pinch by Pinch

Last season when I started training I tried to take body measurements every week to see how my body was changing with the training. Things got busy and I didn't continue with the measurements, but I can definitely see and feel in my clothing that my body has changed. This time around, I wanted to do a better job of tracking weight and body fat. For the last couple of weeks we've been sneaking over to my parents' house and using their scale which has body fat as part of it. Each week I watched my weight stay pretty consistent and my body fat go up and up. I started to think that maybe the scale wasn't so accurate. So, I bought this...

Then Dave and I found some online information, mainly, how to use it and how to calculate body fat percentage. Here's the website we used for instructions (you can easily switch to female) and here's the website we used for calculations (again you can easily switch to female).

So what were the results? On the scale this week I came up with 25.4% (don't judge), which is about what I've been averaging the last four weeks. Using the calipers and a 7 pinch test I came up with 22.17%. My friends on Facebook told me it's usually about a 5% difference, so the scale and the calipers are right on. Many, many more weeks to come...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Something's Not Right

A while back I signed up for a triathlon and in the process had to renew my USAT membership for 2011. In the meantime, that race was postponed and my money returned. Soon enough I got my USAT card in the mail along with a second mailing from USA Triathlon. Lo and behold, it was a second membership card, this one expiring in 2012. Just last week I went out and got the mail and there was a third mailing from USAT. Wouldn't you believe it, it was a third membership card, this one expiring in 2013. Now, according to my records I only paid for one of these, but I also haven't checked my credit card statement to see if I'm the one getting screwed. For now, I'm set for YEARS!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday's Menu

Each week, I will feature a recipe on Monday that Dave and I cooked the previous week. If you'd like to contribute a recipe, please leave a comment below or send it to me via email:

This week's recipe is courtesy of Colleen and is chicken divan:

I bag frozen broccoli cooked
3 chicken breasts cut into small cubes and cooked
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 cup of sour cream (mix with soup)
1 cup shredded 2% mild cheddar cheese (or more!)
fried onion straws (optional)

In a casserole dish, place the broccoli, then the chicken, then the soup and sour cream mixture, then the cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. In the last 5 minutes, top with onion straws.

I was quite excited to get this recipe. Chicken divan was a staple of my childhood diet as it's my dad's favorite meal. However, this recipe was different (very different) and I was excited to try a different chicken divan.

We started by boiling the chicken. Don't know how to do this? Take your chicken breasts put them in water with a bouillon cube (or not), bring to boil, then turn back down to medium heat until cooked. Simple!

After the chicken was done we began to assemble the casserole.

In the meantime, my dog Sloopy figured out how to jump up on the kitchen table all by herself.

Finished product:

Conclusion....this was very yummy. It didn't get as hot in the cooking time as indicated. We had to put each piece we ate in the microwave for a few minutes. That's probably because we didn't thaw the broccoli. My favorite part of this recipe was probably the fried onion straws. It gave it a nice crunch. My mom's is more creamy, almost soupy, so the crunch was an unexpected surprise. We will definitely be making this again and will probably find a recipe for my mom's too so we can compare.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Sometimes I think this blog is a bunch of bull. For six years I've been blogging about superficial stuff that means absolutely nothing and is not an honest reflection of myself. Today will be different.....

Truth be told, I don't like myself very much. Let me rephrase that. I hate myself. I hate myself about 99% of the time. I have pretty much hated myself for as long as I can remember. I'm sure you're reading saying "woah, that girl is depressed" and maybe in a way I am. But really I see it as a series of unfortunate events that have lead me to this place, to this person I've become. These unfortunate events have caused me to be a very cynical and opinionated person. And it's not as easy as 'just letting go'. I am constantly reminded that I've "chosen" to be this person or no matter how many times I try to be someone different, I'm still this person, this monster.

I've had a rough week, couple of months, this past year. The workload and training for 2010 stripped me to the core and revealed my true colors to everyone around me. I knew this person; most people did not. Now I feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle to save face, to try to win back people. I'm fighting with my own inner demons, though, knowing that this is the real Meredith and now people know. I've never felt lonelier. I tell people I nap every day for recovery from my workouts, but in all honesty I do it just to get through the day. Part of the day goes away and I just get one step closer to the next day. The next day has got to be better, right? Yet, it never seems like it.

I often wonder 'why' about a lot of things. Rolling into my second week of training I'm wonder 'why' I am doing all of it again? Do I really have anything to prove? Am I proving it to myself or to the people that I feel I need to prove it to? Do those people even care? And then I think about my business. Why do I put myself out there only to be judged, which I take very personally? Why am I trying to expand my business when it seems I can't get anyone to rally behind me? When is the dam going to break and people will figure me out and turn against me? Seems like it always happens. The question I've asked a lot this year "why don't people like me?" And really I wonder, why am I like this? Why can't I let go? Why?

Don't read more into this. Yes I probably need professional help. Doesn't everyone? No I'm not going to do anything drastic like harm myself or others. I just want a new me. I want to replace the me that's there and finally be happy with me. I just want to be happy with me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

Last week I was watching Jeopardy and I swear Coach's husband was a contestant on it. A quick text message sent and received, and it wasn't. But, a flurry of text messages later I let her know how to test for Jeopardy. Yes I have taken the test to get on Jeopardy. It was hard, I sucked, and I don't know if I'll embarrass myself like that again.

Confession, in college I also applied to get on MTV's "Real World." Oddly enough, I made it to the second round of questions where they called me at 2:00am (I kid you not) and asked me dumb questions like, "would I ever beat someone up who called me a bitch?" Needless to say (and thankfully) I didn't get on that show either.

So it got me thinking...have you ever applied to be on a game or reality show? Have you ever gotten on a game or reality show?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I need your help!

Yes, it's true. I don't know anything about being a triathlete. :) I need your help. I've got two problems this week.
  1. My bike is a mess. I mean, it's sticky, it's dirty, the chain is making noise. I'll admit, I don't know the first thing about cleaning my bike/chain. How do I clean my bike? Do I just use soap and water? What about my chain? Do I have to remove the chain? Do I have to relube (he he!) the chain afterwards?
  2. In an effort to get stronger and be a better swimmer, there seems to be a lot of butterfly popping up on my workout calendar. Although I took TWELVE!!! years of swim lessons, I was never taught how to do butterfly. What I know I've learned on my own. I can make it a good 3-4 strokes before things start to go downhill and I start sinking to do the bottom. I don't know if I don't have a strong enough kick or my lack of flexibility in my shoulders is keeping me from doing the stroke correctly. How many out there can actually do butterfly? What are some tips that can help me? Do you have any good drills to build into a better fly? Do you do butterfly as part of your workouts?
Thanks guys, for your help!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Monday's Menu

Each week, I will feature a recipe on Monday that Dave and I cooked the previous week. If you'd like to contribute a recipe, please leave a comment below or send it to me via email:

This week's recipe is courtesy of my coach. It is something we had no idea what it was and took forever to find at the grocery. Today's recipe: Vegetarian Pumpkin Polenta with Spinach and White Beans.

I have a confession. Although I've been the one writing these "Monday's Menus", Dave is the one who does the majority of the cooking. This recipe was all on him and honestly I had no idea what was in the recipe. Maybe I should have paid closer attention because this recipe did not meet my requirements: has to include things I like. See, I don't like pumpkin and I don't really liked cooked vegetables, especially spinach. Nonetheless, I continued to help with dinner.

I worked on the polenta:

Dave worked on the vegetables:

In the end it looked like this:

Honestly, I couldn't do it. I couldn't eat it. To me, it looked like CoCo Wheats covered in a wet salad. It just made me a little nauseous to even think about eating it. But, Dave did eat it and he liked it. Today, you'll get his take on this meal.

Dave, you have the floor....

Well, I agree that the texture and appearance wasn't much like any of our other dishes. When I tasted the polenta by itself, it was a little on the bland side. But I think the spices and cheese in the topping gave a nice contrast between the slightly sweet taste of the polenta and the tanginess of the Romano cheese. So, I thought it was pretty tasty. And I have LOTS of leftovers all to myself. :)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

November 1st Weekly Goals

One thing I'm going to do for accountability reasons is to create weekly goals for myself to help me attain my "big picture" goals. The goals will be written in my notebook and will get gold stars when completed. Yeah, I'm a 12 year old girl. :)

This week's goals were pretty simple, kind of:

1 - Go to bed by 11:00pm every night. You'd think this would be easy because, man, was I tired from the first week's workouts. But, 11:00pm is quite a bit earlier than I normally go to bed and it's hard to teach a old dog new tricks. I did good the first part of the week but fell into old habits by the end of the week. I was still asleep by midnight each night. This one is going to take some work.

2 - Get up to an alarm no later than 7:00am. Same thing as above. I usually don't get up until after 8:00am, so this is just relearning. When I went to bed before 11:00, I easily got up at 7:00. When I didn't, I didn't. This one's hard as Dave doesn't get up this early and I have to remember it's my goals, not his.

3 - No eating after 9:00pm. This goal is inspired by my teammate Sonja and is a challenge because we usually don't eat dinner until after 9:00pm. But surprisingly I did really well at this one. I actually gave myself a gold star for this one even though I did crack one night and have a 2-bite cupcake around 11:00pm. I was STARVING!!!

4 - Eat EVERY meal in. Man this was a struggle as I was CRAVING pizza and Mexican and Wendy's and everything bad for me. Instead I made tacos at home and pizza at home. I feel better both mentally and physically having eaten in all week. Plus, we're saving ourselves mad money by eating in.

5 - Do all workouts. Check and mark. It was important to me to start the season off right. This week was a struggle. I'm not going to lie. In my opinion, it was a big first week back. Sure it was a lot of drills and therefore not a lot of mileage, but those drills put a little more strain on the body than just miles. My body is sore. This goal will stay as a goal for many weeks to come.

It was a good first week back. I'm still feeling positive and excited about all that is to come.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Your Questions Answered

Yesterday I asked you to submit questions for Thursday Thoughts and I would answer them today. Well, I only got a few, but your answers are here!!!

Big Daddy Diesel asked: Why triathlons?
This seems to be the million dollar question that I'm not sure I have an answer for yet. I started marathoning because it seemed like the thing to do. I grew up watching marathons as my dad has run, like, 25, and when I graduated college I signed up for one. Over the last 9+ years I've run 13 marathons, including 4 Bostons, and PRed in 2009 at Boston with a 3:29. So with that success, why pause and move into triathlons? Well, I've become a little disenchanted with marathoning. Not that it was easy, but I felt like I had accomplished what I wanted. I had qualified and run Boston and run it well. My goal for years was to break 3:30 and I did. Honestly, I only have a few goals left to accomplish in marathoning: breaking my dad's PR of 3:21 and qualify for NYC marathon (with a 1:37 half marathon or 3:23 marathon), although I have no plans on running New York.

I know, I haven't answered the question. For years in between my marathons I dabbled in triathlons. I did sprints off and on and even did two half Ironmans training on my own. Honestly, I did not like triathlons. I would go to the races and people would be warming up on trainers and wearing fancy gear. I thought everyone was snobs. And I struggled to understand why I could be okay at swimming (I've been swimming my entire life) and obviously decent at running (I often posted the fastest run splits at many of the triathlons), but I would get my ass handed to me in the bike and therefore, I would have terrible overall results. So every year I would give up and just go back to what I was good at: running. But after my 3:29 at Boston in 2009, I thought it was time to tackle my biggest life goal: finish an Ironman. Coach had been encouraging me to reach for my goals and she knew I could do an Ironman and do it well. I signed up and decided to put running aside for a year and concentrate on triathlon. And here we are a year later having not finished the job and looking toward another year of triathlon.

Velma asked two questions: (1) DId you apply for the Trakkers team again? (2) Are you working with a coach again or are you going solo?
Yes, I will be a member of Team Trakkers again in 2011. Team Trakkers is awesome and I'm so glad I got to be a part of it in 2010 and I'm looking forward to representing the Green Machine again in 2011. As for working with a coach, absolutely! Coach has transformed me into the athlete I've always wanted to me. She's taught me to believe in the abilities I have and reach for the stars. I don't think I would have reached the goals I have without her.

Jeff asked about a million questions. Question 1: For you, which smells illicit the strongest response?
Interesting question. I'd have to say that a lot of smells don't bother me. Gross trash. Okay. Dead animals. Okay. Skunks. Okay. Remember, I grew up in the sticks so those were daily smells. :) Personally, I love the smell of a swimming pool and bleach. Those are my favorite smells. As for the strongest response....I had a boyfriend in high school who wore a lot of cologne and to this day if someone is wearing that cologne it always makes me think of him. Not in a "ahhh, high school love" way, just "huh, that smells like so-and-so."

Question 2: What has been your biggest hurdle with the VIP Photo Booths and how did you overcome it?
This sounds like an interview question. :) When I started working as an engineer it because clear very quickly that I could either become a career engineer and do the same things forever or go into management. I had absolutely no desire to go into management. When Dave and I started the business we had planned on just having one photo booth and working it ourselves. After working our first bridal show just four months after starting the business we quickly discovered we were going to need two photo booths STAT and that we would need some help. Just nine months after our first paying job in August of 2008, we had two photo booths and two other employees. Now 2-1/2 years into the business we still have two photo booths, four employees, and we're hoping to expand in 2011. So, what's the challenge? I had no idea how hard it would be to grow the business as quickly as we have. Honestly, we were going to give it a few months and then reevaluate and decided if I would be going back to work. And during the first 2+ years I also held down a part time job. This year, 2010, we just exploded. We set our goals very high and exceeded all of them. We went from scheduling the booth around our employees' schedules to scheduling the booth every opportunity we could. Having hired people I knew from my "inner circle" it's been difficult to separate friend/family from employer. It's often created tension and conflict when there should have been none. Dave and I have worked very hard to come up with creative solutions to keep our employees interested and fulfilled. So far, I still have them all and really appreciate what they do for us. Hopefully 2011 will continue to be amazing for the business.

Question 3: As a couple with both parties training for long endurance events, how has that affected your 'sexy time' and how do you overcome the scheduling/fatigue?
Since I know that both our families read this blog I really debated if I wanted to answer this question. But Dave and I talked about it together and decided to answer it. When training for Ironman you are always tired and hungry. And you can never get enough of either sleep or food. I was probably sleeping 12+ hours each day and eating upwards of 3000-5000 calories a day. Seriously. I had the luxury of being at home every day so activities always took place before Dave got home from work. But Dave, not being a morning person, did all his training after work so dinners were always after 9:00pm and sometimes after 10:00pm and most nights he would fall asleep on the couch while we were watching TV. Honestly, if I did not wake him up to go to bed most night, I think he would have spent more nights sleeping on the couch than in the bed. So did it affect our "sexy time" as Jeff put it? Most definitely. Don't be propositioning me at 11:00pm when I have to get up in the morning and do yet another three hour workout! I mean seriously, aren't you tired? :) BUT, our relationship goes a lot deeper than "sexy time." Dave and I built our relationship on years of friendship before we ever went on a date. And that has continued as we dated, married, and years later we are still great friends. Two years ago when Dave trained for Ironman and I didn't our relationship began to unravel. We fought A LOT. It was a lot of time apart and when we were together, Dave was too tired to be present. But last year we spent a lot of time together training and our relationship did much better than the previous year. So we may not have had as much "sexy time," but we did have a lot of "Dave and Meredith" time and it was a lot of fun. Time will tell how this year (2011) will go as Dave will not be doing an Ironman.

If you have a question you'd like answered, feel free to leave a comment on yesterday's Thursday Thoughts or leave a comment here and I'll add the question and answer on to this blog post.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

I have been doing "Thursday Thoughts" for years and I'm starting to struggle to come up with questions to ask. Since there are so many new readers as of recent, I'm going to let you guys ask the questions today. Feel free to leave a comment and ask me a question, any question. I do reserve the right to answer discreetly. Remember, I am a business owner and don't want to say or do anything to jeopardize my business.

I'll answer the questions tomorrow so make sure you submit your questions TODAY.

Ask away!!!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Monday's Menu

Each week, I will feature a recipe on Monday that Dave and I cooked the previous week. If you'd like to contribute a recipe, please leave a comment below or send it to me via email:

This week's recipe is courtesy of Julia.

California Quiche

8 Eggs beaten
1 Cup grated Swiss cheese ( not lowfat)
2 C grated Zuchhini
1 small onion diced finely
1 Tbs Oregano
salt to taste

Beat the eggs( I do it by hand) saute the onion and the zuch until soft, not too well done unless you want them mushy in the quiche. Add the veggies to the quiche, add the oregano and salt to taste.
Stir in the cheese.
Put in a casserole ( covered) at 350 for about 45 minutes.
Keep an eye on it and towards the end take the top off to brown it.

The only thing we changed in the recipe was the swiss cheese. I don't like swiss cheese so we changed it to monterey jack. Here's some pictures of ALL the eggs and the sauteing vegetables.

Here's what the assembled product looks like:

Our finished product was served with biscuits and a salad:

Overall this recipe was not bad. I think Dave liked it more than me. I would have liked it with less onion. Personally, I like my quiche with some sort of meat in it and with a crust. I guess that makes it a soufflé. :) Next time we make this we might make a few changes. Thanks Julia for the recipe!!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October Totals

'Twas the night before the new season
And all through the house
Meredith was hydrating
Plans were being laid out.

But enough about what's to come. Let's talk about what I did (or did not do) in October.

Swim - 11,100 meters (just shy of 7 miles of swimming)

Bike - 0 miles (last month of zero miles)

Run - 35.99 miles (I should have run a few more steps and come up with 36 miles)

Strength Training - 3.25 hours (lots more to come in this department)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Foto Friday

If you don't think this is cute, well...then....

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


My two months of gluttony off season is coming to an end. Monday, November 1st I return to organized training. Frankly, I'm ready to return. After two years of being coached, I have no idea what I'm doing on my own. The last two months I have been wandering aimlessly, running here and there, doing the swims posted at the pool, and not biking at all. I have big goals next year and I'm ready to focus and dedicate. But, I also know it's going to be a long, long journey towards 140.6 again. It takes a lot to stay focus, dedicated, and motivated. This week I've been prepping.

On the drive down to Louisville for the race, Dave handed me a big envelope full of encouraging cards and emails from friends and family. When things went bad in the race, I put them all back in the envelope and kept them there sitting on my bedroom floor. This week I got them out, reread them, and decide to use them as motivation. With most of the cards, letters, and emails I made this, which will sit in front of my bike this winter.

For years I've kept a journal about my running and racing. As the blog has progressed, I've gotten a little lazy about keeping up with that journal. I still write my race reports in the journal, but that's about it. My coach uses Training Peaks to communicate the daily workouts and therefore, I no longer keep a training log either. I really wish I had all my Ironman training workouts written down in a log so I can look back at that one day and say, "Wow, look what I did!". So, this week I bought myself a composition notebook and wrote down my first week's workouts and my weekly goals I've established for myself. I hope to continue to build this log and have something that's really interesting to look back on and be amazed.

The season's coming. And I'm ready.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Bourbon Chase 2010

It's that time of year again. Time for the running adventure. Time for the 24 hour relay. After running Reach the Beach five times, it was time to try a new relay: Bourbon Chase. The Bourbon Chase is a 200+ mile, 12 person relay that travels from Louisville to Lexington, KY traveling along the Bourbon Trail. My previous teams for Reach the Beach expanded and created two teams: 3 Old Crows, 9 Spring Chickens and our master's team, The Flying Anvils. With a week of rearranging people and vans, we somehow only wound up with 11 on our team and thus we set out to beat our master's team.

The race began at Jim Bean and would basically travel from distillery to distillery, including Maker's Mark, Heavenly Hill, Four Roses, Woodford Reserve, and Wild Turkey. Waves started early in the morning, 8:00am, with the slower teams and the last wave left at 6:30pm with the fastest teams. Both our teams started at 3:00pm. Here's a picture of our two teams together:

I was the second person to run for our team and this may have been the last time our team was in front of our master's team (thankyouverymuch!).

There I go....

Each person ran somewhere between 12-20+ miles on this journey. I personally ran just under 15 miles. Because our team only had 11 participants I was runner 2, 13, and 24. My first leg was 6.2 miles which ran mostly on a freeway. Talk about scary! The second leg was 4.2 miles and I finished exactly at midnight. The first two legs I ran felt great. I was cruising along, had a great pace, and felt good. My third leg started around 7:00am and was also 4.2 miles. I said to my legs, "get moving." And they said back, "Um, no." My first 4.2 miles was 33:46 and my second 4.2 miles was 36:14. Yeah, I was toast. That's what happens when you don't run for like two months. :)

We didn't get a whole lot of rest on this trip, not that you ever do on these relays. I was in a van with 6 people, but the other half of our team only had 5 people and was the fastest of our 5 people (including one who recently qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials). So our van might have taken 4 hours to run our legs but the other van probably only took 3 hours. I might have gotten about an hour and a half of real sleep during the entire 26 hours.

So, we lost to our master's team. They're pretty fast. They beat us by an hour or so. Of course, my dad was on that team so I've heard nothing but gloating for days. Our master's team came in 13th overall and third in the men's masters division. The team I was on came in at 25:52:04 (7:46 pace), finishing 20th overall, and 10th in the men's open division (we only had 3 women--you need 6 for a mixed team).

Now the good stuff...
  • I did a bourbon tasting at Wild Turkey where I had some American Honey, which coincidently is my favorite song by Lady Antebellum. Yummy! My second tasting was at Woodford Reserve. That sucker burnt all the way down!
  • I finally got to meet super blogger, Amy, from Twenty Six Point Two. She has the cutest accent. Being that I was so tired I forgot to get a picture of us. Next time, Amy.
  • I wore my finisher's shirt from Rev3 Knoxville for a majority of the race. Man, I got asked from tons of people about the race and lots of people said they were going to do it next year. Rev3 is totally going to blow up (especially after this crazy news)!
  • And the weirdest thing of all...while wearing my Rev3 finisher's shirt I had a gentleman say to me, "I ran that race." He then really looked at me and said, "I ran that race with you." Turns out it was Chuck, who did run many miles with me during the 10K running portion of the race.
I had fun. I met new people. It was fun to be reunited with some of my old running buddies. It was good to see Andrea again. We haven't seen each other since Boston 2009. I think I ran decently. Maybe next time I'll do a little more training...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday's Menu

Each week, I will feature a recipe on Monday that Dave and I cooked the previous week. If you'd like to contribute a recipe, please leave a comment below or send it to me via email:

This week's recipe is courtesy of my high school friend Mike. After high school Mike went to culinary school and became quite the chef. He suggested I might like pistachio-encrusted tilapia. He was right.

The full menu was tilapia, garlic potatoes, green beans (which we forgot to make), and bread pudding for dessert. (Make sure to click on the links for full recipes and descriptions.) We started with the bread pudding actually (it would take a lot longer). First we cooked the bread to make it stale.

While I was working on the pudding, Dave began working on the potatoes. Here's what they looked like after he washed and peeled and them.

From there they got a treatment of garlic and olive oil and whatnot. Did I mention we used the leftover potatoes we had from last week's Monday's Menu. Yay for using all our food before it went bad!

Next it was time for the tilapia. Dave prepared the "bath" for them. We seriously need to find a better way to grind the pistachios. I think next time we'll use the blender.

We dunked the tilapia in the "wash" then in the pistachios and then put them in the electric skillet to just seer both sides. The cooking would be in the oven.

While the fish were cooking we finished up making the bread pudding. We added a whole bunch of really good smelling ingredients...cinnamon, nutmeg...and then we put in zucchini. I don't understand the zucchini but Dave's swears it was necessary. This is what the pre-baked bread pudding looked like:

The bread pudding went into the oven; the fish and potatoes came out of the oven. It was time to eat. This is what the prepared meal looked like:

The result was YUMMY! Now, I haven't eaten fish in like 20 years and I've been really nervous about adding fish back into the routine. I don't know....I just don't like fish. BUT, this tasted delicious. In fact, I wish I had more to eat. It was so easy to make. I highly recommend the tilapia. The potatoes were okay. Just okay. I didn't think they had a lot of flavor to them. I wound up cutting them up and putting some butter and salt on them.

After dinner it was time for dessert and bread pudding.

It smelled terrific. Dave dipped us both some and I took the first bite. Um, what's the best way to describe it....DISGUSTING!!! It tasted like wet bread. I've had some really good bread pudding before but this was nowhere near good. Dave took a few bites and he too agreed it was not good. We threw it all down the drain. Oh well. We're trying to become better cooks and improve our eating habits, but they can't all be winners, right?

Next week's recipe has yet to be decided. If you'd like to submit one, we'd love to give it a try. Happy eating!