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!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Columbus Marathon Wrap-Up

If you didn't know by now, I decided not to run the marathon this year. I really wanted some downtime and I knew that my goals would be greater than what I'd actually be able to achieve so I decided to sit out. Despite getting home at midnight from a photo booth event and turning off the alarm, Dave and I did get out of bed with barely enough time to make it down to the marathon to cheer on our friends.

Congratulations to our many friends who ran the half and full marathon:

Janet Edwards - Trakkers teammate who had a BIG PR in the half!
Jeannie Ritchie - 3rd in AG for the half!
Brandon Bauer - 4th place overall finish in 2:22!!!
Maria Troutman - I coached Maria in high school. This was her first marathon and she qualified for Boston!
Tom Kingery - new PR!
Colleen Kingery - new PR!
Jennifer Hansen - first marathon and ran a 4:10 (that's better than I did my first marathon)!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday's Menu

I'm starting a new segment on the blog that I'm calling "Monday's Menu." As I stated before, one thing I hope to change in my triathlon training for 2011 is my diet. So, last week I put out a call for recipes on my Facebook page. And I got a lot of responses. Dave and I have decided to give at least one new recipe a try each week until we can totally redo our weekly menus and totally revamp our nutrition. Last week we gave Andrea's pork tenderloin (via Martha Stewart) a try.

Pork tenderloin all prepared to be cooked.

The recipe is simple (you can click on the Martha Stewart link above for the full recipe) but basically you season the tenderloin, put it in a baking pan, put your other "stuff" around it (we used squash and potatoes) and get to cookin'. After the initial cooking, you take the pan out, smear some Hoisen sauce on the tenderloin (yum) and put it back in the oven until the pork reaches a temperature of 140 degrees. (We got to use our meat thermometer for the very first time!). We had a little trouble getting our pork to reach the correct temperature, but after pumping up the oven to 400 and cooking it a little longer we were good to go.

And.....good it was! It was delicious. The meat was moist and had great flavor. The potatoes could have used a little salt, but otherwise yummy, and the squash might have been the best tasting part of the whole meal (I had never had squash before). This recipe was easy, yummy, and we will definitely be adding it to our menu.

So now it's your turn to help. We DESPERATELY need help revamping our menu. I would love your nutritious recipes. Please comment below or send me an email ( with your recipe. Dave and I will be trying something new each week and then it will be featured on Monday's Menu. Thanks, in advance, for your help.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

Seems I stirred up a firestorm on my Facebook page yesterday. I mentioned that the local mall was opening a Lululemon and that I thought Lululemon was overpriced for what they offered. I had some people who agreed with me and wondered what constituted a high-end sweatshirt :) and others disagreed with me as they claim it's high quality and worth every penny. Personally I tend to buy sports bras from Target, get no-named brand shorts from Dick's Sporting Goods, and why would you ever need to buy a technical shirt when you get one from every race you do and do many workouts in just a sports bra?

Truth be told, I try not to pay full price for anything. I use coupons for EVERYTHING. I recently went shopping at the mall and bought a long sleeve shirt, two sweaters, a skirt, one pair of dress pants, and two pairs of earrings for about $100. How did I do that? Sales, a Groupon, and two coupons. Score one for the good guys.

So, what are you willing to pay full price for? What will you absolutely NEVER pay full price for?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Product Review: Amphipod Hydration Handheld

I'm a girl who always runs with water. If I'm going out on a long run I wear my fuel belt. For anything less than an hour I like to carry a handheld. For the last couple of years I've been running with a Nathan handheld.

In the beginning I really loved this handheld. But then one day the strap came undone and I haven't been able to redo it the same way no matter how many times I've tried. I finally just tied a knot in it but it's still looser than I'd like it to be. I now carry it with my thumb through the top and pretty much hold the bottle by the lid.

For our anniversary this year, I got Dave his own handheld, an Amphipod 20oz. handheld.

I tried it out on a short 5 mile run this past Saturday. And overall, I like it better than my other one. The only thing I like better on the Nathan handheld is the waterbottle nozzle. The Amphipod one, though,fits really close against the hand and it's hard to notice it's there. However, it's still a lot bigger than what I'm looking for. Amphipod also makes one that is 12 oz. which might be closer to what I'm looking for. I'd really like something that's more the size of my hand (tiny), stays snug against my hand without clenching it, and doesn't have to hold a whole lot of water. Any ideas?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Offseason

My triathlon friends seem to enjoy their bikes WAY more than I do and thus are enjoying their off season cyclocrossing. Is that a word? Myself, this is running season. But since I don't have a fall marathon ahead of me, I've decided to do some other things besides running and swimming. I've decided to give weight training another chance. For the last two Mondays Dave and I have been attending "Strictly Strength" at our gym. It's sort of aerobics-meets-weight training. It's small weights, high reps, and it's all set to music. Sure it's kinda a "chick" class, but if it will get me stronger then I'm in. The first week was killer since I haven't lifted a weight since maybe May, but this past Monday I totally kicked that class's butt. For every squat and lunge I kept thinking "this is going to make me a faster biker." And for every fly, pushup, and shoulder press I thought, "I'm going to be a faster swimmer this year." I'm not nearly as sore as I was the first week. I hope to keep Strictly Strength on the schedule for many months to come.

Tonight I tried something completely new: CrossFit. Some friends of ours from college have recently started doing Krav Maga (kinda mixed martial arts) and CrossFit. I have absolutely NO desire to do any contact sport so we said we would join them for a CrossFit session. While filling out the information sheet I said my goal was to have "Big ass muscles!" I don't know if the leader understood that as big muscles or ass muscles, but he set up the workout to be strength, strength, strength tonight. After a short warmup we got started.

4 X 50ft walking lunges with weight overhead: I joined the other girls in the class with the small bar--30 pounds. I did three sets at 30 pounds overhead and then moved up to the 45 pound bar for the last set. Thank goodness I would say lunges are a strength of mine.

4 X 2 each side Turkish get-ups with increasing weight: What the hell is a Turkish get-up? Well, it's part sit up, part squat, part don't drop the weight on yourself. :) Start laying on the ground with a kettlebell in one hand straight up above. Take the leg on the same side as the kettlebell and bend it with your foot on the ground (to push off of). Then roll to the opposite side onto your arm, pushing up to your elbow and then onto your hand. The weight is still up in the air and is now above your head. The whole time you're looking at the weight. Now push off your hand on the ground and take the leg that's not bent and sweep it under you until your kneeling. The kettlebell is still overhead. Now push off the leg underneath you until you are standing up, keeping the weight overhead. Now reverse everything...down into a kneel, hand on the ground, leg sweeps underneath and is put in front, elbow on the ground, roll onto your side, and onto your back, of course keeping the weight above your head. I started with 4kg (~8.8 pounds) for the first set and then went up to 8kg (~17.6 pounds) for next three sets.

5 X 5 front squats with increasing weight: After adjusting to the technique of holding the bar in front (see picture), I totally rocked the squats. Squats have always been a specialty of mine. I started with a 30 pound bar, then 45 pounds, 50 pounds, 60 pounds, and I maxed out at 80 pounds. It gave me great pleasure when the total stud of the class said I did really great on the squats.

4 X 100m sled pulls with increasing weight: Finally the last workout of the night. I started with 95 pounds on the sled and then the instructor went crazy with the weight. I have no idea what the middle two weights were but the last weight was 195 pounds. People, that's nearly two of me I was pulling! I felt like such a cartoon character. My feet were going so fast and I was going nowhere. I was leaning at a 45 degree angle. Had I stopped, I would have fallen over. And I felt like such a fool as Dave and our friend Dave were walking beside me giving me encouragement as I was "running" with the sled. Seriously, though, I was pretty impressed with myself with all that weight.

Well, we gave it a try. It was fun and I think we did well at it. Unfortunately it's a little too heavyweight for our triathlon training, but it's certainly good to have learned some techniques that we can incorporate into our regular weight training at lower weights, higher reps. I'd say CrossFit was a success.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Miscellany for Sunday

Registration is now open for Rev3 Cedar Point at a steeply discounted rate. This rate does not include tickets to the amusement park, but if you're a no-frills person like myself, this is a great opportunity. OR, if you'd like to have tickets to the park, it's cheaper to buy them than the regular price of the race. Head on over to Active to register today. Come join me at Cedar Point in 2011. *wink, wink*

My husband is tweaking his running form. Hop on over to his blog and tell him what you think.

And on the subject of running form...I've been thinking about the compression calf sleeves. Research has been conducted on compression gear and has found it to be effective post race/workout but the jury is still out to determine if it actually does anything during racing/working out. I have three pairs of compression socks and I only wear them during recovery. But, I've been contemplating the use of compression calf sleeves during running. See, I'm a prancer when it comes to running. I run mostly on my toes and forefoot with very little heal strike. This has helped me to become a lot faster, but it has also made my calves hurt all.the.time! While I run I will often stretch them out by throwing in a series of heal strikes to elongate the leg. I've been wondering if the compression sleeves would help this. Honestly, I'm so vain that I just don't want to wear them and look like all the other triathletes. I'm a runner, dang it! :)

Splish is 2-for-2 on sending me good looking grab-bag suits. What's a grab bag suit? Basically, you're picking blindly. You say "I want this style and this size" and they send you a suit. This one I adore.

I'm in the market for a new bike pump. See, I've got HED3 racing wheels that I've dubbed my "magic wheels". I love them, except I don't love pumping them up. Because they're tri-spokes, they've got a little notch cut out where the valve for the tube comes out of. It's nearly impossible for me to use my pump in this little tiny notch. I have a pump that is good for both presta and schraeder valves. I figured if I bought a pump that was only for presta valves this would solve my problem. Not only am I having a hard time finding this, it doesn't look like it's going to help. Then I went searching online and found this solution: a Hirame/Kuwahara pump head adapter. Problem is, I'm having trouble locating it and it's like $60. I can't guarantee it would even work with my pump which could cost me another handful of money to replace. I know HED makes pump adapters and valve extenders, but reading online there wasn't much good said about them. Anyone used them? Any thoughts?

And finally, I just finished a project that took me four years to compile and only 15 minutes to put together. I know, pathetic!

I hope this week was great for you. I took it as an off week. Back to some tri training next week and my first go-round with Cross Fit.

Friday, October 01, 2010

September Totals

September was sort of a down month after deciding not to do Cedar Point. But, I did race a 20 miler and did another sprint triathlon. And I introduced myself back into weight training, very slowly. Despite two races in October, the mileage is really going to cool off for a while.

Swim = 12,260 meters (over 7-1/2 miles of swimming)

Bike = 35.35 miles (I'd rather stay off my bike for a while)

Run = 57.47 miles

Other = 1.25 hours (just started weight training in the last week of the month)