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.