Saturday, January 28, 2012

The dumbest thing I've ever heard

*Soapbox out*

Last night Dave and I went to Giant Eagle (big-box grocery store) to pick up some salads for dinner. Blame Pinterest but I also had a hankering for a fruity alcoholic drink too. After spending about a half an hour trying to decide if we could actually mix and make our own beverage, we just decided to pick up a pre-mixed Cosmopolitan (don't judge). We then went to check out. The woman working the register asked us BOTH for our IDs. Well, I don't like to carry a purse and we weren't going out to dinner so I didn't have anything with me. I told her that and she said she couldn't sell it to us then. W.T.F.!!!!!! I told her that she and her store policy were ridiculous. Neither of us look remotely 21 or younger anymore. And then we told her screw her and that we'd be taking our business elsewhere.

Here's the thing...what if I were Dave's child and he was buying himself a drink. Would they not sell it to him. What if I was younger than 16 and didn't have an ID yet. Would they deny the sale then? What if I went out to the car and let him finish the transaction. Is it okay then? This is the dumbest store policy I've ever heard. You'd better believe I'll be sending a letter.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Houston Half Marathon 2012

Despite trying to calm my nerves by not participating in most things in Houston, I was still a wreck when I woke up Sunday morning. Why? I could run a half marathon in my sleep? I knew it wasn't going to be fast. But who cares? Well, I guess I do. I decided to help with the not-caring to NOT wear a watch in the race. I don't know if I've ever done that. I just wanted to run comfortably, enjoy the day, and learn to have fun in racing. 2012 for me is all about enjoying the experience and relaxing. Do races to do races.

Dave was just as nervous for his marathon so neither of us were able to get very much breakfast down. He had a bowl of cereal. I had half a banana. Mom and Dad met us in the lobby and we walked to the starting corrals.

Houston's starting corrals were neat. There were different half marathon and marathon corrals and then those were split based on pace. So, I had to say goodbye to Dave early and then I was all alone. Except I made friends who helped me feel more secure - two old dudes and a pregnant chick. If they're doing it. I can do it. I lined up with the 9:00/miles and before we knew it the starting gun sounded.

Because I wasn't wearing a watch, I have no idea how long it took me to get to the starting line. When I hit mile one it was 12:XX so I figured it must have been about three minutes off of my starting time. Each mile was comfortable. I didn't care that people were rushing by or that it seemed I wasn't getting any faster. Some good things Houston did....the half marathon and full marathon were separated for a couple miles until things thinned out; the miles were well marked; the water stops were well organized and easy to maneuver; etc. Before I knew it I was at mile 8 and the race was coming to a close. The marathoners broke off and I was on my way back towards downtown. Surprisingly I hadn't walked at all and I was still feeling really good. Two years of ironman training will give you SERIOUS base training even if I'm not as fast as I used to be.

Finally I was in the last mile. I saw my parents and yelled, "I think I'm going to be under two hours (I hope to shout!)" and the girl beside me said, "We'd better hurry then." I rounded the last corner, saw my friend Cat, waved, and crossed the finish line. The race clock was 1:59:59. Ha! My chip time was 1:56:26. That is 18 minutes slower than my PR but who cares. Another half marathon, another state, another race for 2012.

(That's me in the red hat.)

Now here's one thing I did not like about the race. After the finish line they give you your medal, take your picture (mine was uber-cute) and then herd you into the convention center for everything else. Coming from winter Ohio, the weather was already a bit warm for my liking, but for southerners I'm sure they thought it was chilly (evidenced by the fact I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and others were wearing tights and long sleeves). So when they got you into the convention center it was like 90 degrees in there (not really, but still quite warm). Being that my stomach was upset all weekend, I went from feeling alright to feeling very badly very quickly. Instead of soaking it all in and getting food, beverage, etc. I just wanted to get the heck out of there. I did grab my finisher's shirt (cool) and got out of there. I wish I had taken the time to enjoy the ice cream. :)

I went back to the hotel, took a shower, and came back out to watch Dave finish his marathon.

Overall, this was a great race. The organization was top notch, the course was flat and fun, and the finisher's swag was awesome. The marathoners got a shirt and a mug which I thought was super-cool. Would I do this race again? Maybe. It is in the middle of winter which poses a problem for training plus it's a big swing in weather when you do go down to do the race. And there's lots of other races and states to still race in. But, I would recommend it to others.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Houston (or the parts I actually left the hotel room for)

First, thank you all for the nice comments in the last post. It means a lot that people care and are willing to be there, even if it's just virtually. I'm working really hard to get and stay well. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was really anxious about our trip to Boston, which caused me to be quite sick before and during our trip. My parents and Dave were especially supportive on this trip and didn't force me to do anything I wasn't comfortable with. So, even though we were there as part of a larger group I skipped out on almost all of our group festivities. This was the only way I could stay calm enough to make it through the weekend. But, I did venture out of the hotel room for a few things.

Friday we got to Houston in the morning and after checking into our hotel and getting some lunch, we headed to the race expo to pick up our stuff. Dave and I are not huge fans of crowds and expos, so we got in, got our stuff, did our thing and got the heck out of there. In contrast my parents spent FOREVER in the expo looking, checking out, and grabbing everything.

Because of the Olympic trials going on, the US Olympic Committee had set up a little village outside of the expo where you could try out different sports. Dave and I got our "credentials" and tried out weightlifting, boxing, table tennis (which kicked our buns), biking, and wheelchair basketball (the hardest thing EVER). Check out our awesome pictures from the Olympic Village.

Saturday morning we watched the Olympic Trials, obviously. We were stationed at the 2,10,18, and 26 mile marks. Our friend and many time relay teammate, Mandy, is supa-fast! and earned her spot to run in the trials. We cheered very loudly for her.

And I love me some Meb. I'm so happy for him.

After the trials we headed back to the Olympic Village where I was super excited to get my picture taken with the one and only Doc Patton.

The rest of the day was spent resting and preparing for the race on Sunday...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Coming Clean

Having a blog is a lot like going on a first date. I'm not exactly sure who's reading it so I always put my best foot forward, wear my nicest outfit, and present myself well. Now that I've been in therapy for the last few months I'm realizing I do this in real life too. I'm not living transparently and letting people in to the real Meredith.

I think it's time to come clean.

I mentioned last year my battle with depression. It's been an ongoing thing for the last 16+ years. It comes and goes. Mostly I've been able to fight it on my own, knowing that it will pass.

This time it's different. This time I feel like I have absolutely no control over my depression and no idea why I am so depressed. I hate the word suicidal, because I'm not going to kill or harm myself, but I guess that's where I am. For the last few weeks I have been hoping every night when I go to bed that I won't wake up in the morning. It seems like the only way out. I just want all of this to go away. I don't want to be me anymore.

On top of all that, I've developed horrible anxiety. Involuntarily I can go from feeling okay to having this overwhelming feeling and horrible nausea. It's ridiculous. It's exhausting.

It's affecting everything. My running has gone to shit. It's not that I don't have the speed or the stamina. I just can't believe in myself and my abilities. It's affecting my abilities to be human, to interact. This weekend we went down to Houston for the trials and to run the open half/full marathon. I was sick from the night before we left until we got back yesterday. More on Houston to come in the following days.

I just felt like it was time to stand on my rock and let others in on my struggle. I cannot pretend anymore.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Week In Review

With all the craziness of the bridal show, I didn't get a whole lot done this week. But here's a small list of what I did.

Monday: To begin the pursuit of 100 pushups for the 12 for 2012 goals, I researched the One Hundred Pushups training program. Initially you are supposed to do a test to see how many pushups you could do without failing or stopping. Today was my test and I did 21. Technically, that means I should start in week three of the training program, but because I was right on the cusp, I decided to start at week one.

Tuesday: Today I went to the gym and ran three easy miles on the treadmill and followed it up with an hour of yoga. This was hard. I was tired and unbalanced and generally did not want to be there. It took me a long time to calm the eff down (CTFD) and just relax into the poses.

Wednesday: Too sore from yoga to do anything (or at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

Today I actually started the pushup training program. In total I did 51 pushups today.

Friday: I took the day off of work today and got out for a longer run. My stomach has been feeling much better (after I STOPPED taking the Nexium) and with the cold finally gone, this was a great run. I was so surprised to look down at my watch and see consistent sub-8:30 miles as everything felt really easy. In total I got in 9.25 miles at an 8:43 pace.

Saturday/Sunday: Working a bridal show is a lot like running a marathon. Saturday night I went to bed at 9:00pm. No lie! It's exhausting and I was worn out. Dave got up early and ran before we boothed on Sunday, but I just didn't have the energy. Let's just call this the taper. :)

Miles run - 12.25
Yoga - 1 hour
Pushups - 71

Saturday, January 07, 2012

How I Am Spending My Weekend

This weekend is the Columbus Bride Show, the biggest bridal show in Central Ohio. We only work one bridal show each year (thank goodness) and this is it. It is expensive, it's exhausting, but it's totally worth it. This year we didn't change much from last year so instead of going to bed at 2:00am every day the week before the show trying to get things done, we were able to rest and have things prepared well in advance. Yay! Here's what our booth looked like:

Based on events I've already booked for 2012, it's looking like a great year. Let's hope the bridal show goes well...

Friday, January 06, 2012

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

This weekend is the biggest weekend of the year for my business: the Columbus Bride Show. We probably book nearly half of our year's business on this one bridal show alone. And this year we are going in with the highest number of dates booked already for the year which makes me even more excited. 2012 is shaping up to be a great year for weddings!

I attend over 40 weddings a year and each one is special. After seeing all these weddings I often wonder what I would differently knowing what I do now about weddings and the wedding industry.

So my question is, what would you do differently if you were to get married again (or if you're not married what would your wedding look like)? What would you add that would make your wedding unique? What you not change anything?

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Books Read in 2011

I like to read. I'm not a voracious reader, but I like to read. Each year I set a standard to read 12 books (one per month-as the library allows you to check them out for only 4 weeks). With training for ironman again in 2011, I came up a little short of 12 books, but still did much better than last year, finishing the year with 11 books read. And they were...

1. Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer. I knew Kathrine Switzer was important but I had no idea HOW important she was for women's distance running. This book was inspiring.

2. 50/50 by Dean Karnazes. And on the other end of the spectrum is Dean Karnazes. I don't know what it is about him, but he bothers me. Gets under my skin. I think he's arrogant and I found this book to be arrogant.

3. The Lost Symbol by Dan Browne. I love me some Robert Langdon adventures. I wish there was another one to read.

4. Beautiful Boy by David Scheff. I had been eying this book for a long time and I'm so glad I read it. I found it to be insightful and wondered how my parents and Dave have felt dealing with my depression, mood swings, and self violence.

5. Something Borrowed by Rachel Giffin. I want this four weeks of my life back.

6. Tweak by Nic Scheff. This is the son's account of his drug addiction from "Beautiful Boy". I'm not sure how I felt about this one. Some parts I identified with but there were certainly other times where it felt hard to root for him.

7. The Long Run by Matt Long. Wow! WOW!!!

8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. This was easily my favorite book I read in 2011. My sister, who is not the reader of the family, devoured the book in just a few days so I knew I had to read it. And I FLOVED it! I then saw the movie and loved it too even though it left a lot of the details out. I was so glad I read the book in conjunction with seeing the movie as I feel like I got the rest of the story. Loved it!!!

9. Bossy Pants by Tina Fey. Ms. Fey, you are so funny.

10. You Are an Ironman by Jacques Steinberg. I read this between my failed attempt at Cedar Point and my non-attempt at Beach2Battleship. I don't know. I think I was just over ironman at this point.

11. You Had Me at Woof by Julie Klam. My dog Sloopy has been the best thing that has happened to me in a long time and seeing the cover of this book with it's cute little doggy made me want to read it. Unfortunately, the book was not as good as it's cover art. It was just okay. I expected a lot better.

I've already started my reading adventures for 2012...

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

12 for 2012

I'm one of those people that loves the new year. It's a chance to start over, to set new goals, to restart. Unfortunately, the last few months have been really rough on me and I can easily say that I'm at the lowest point that I've ever been. I'm really struggling and although I'm in therapy and working through it, no day is easy. As the calendar changed this weekend, nothing really changed for me. I'm facing a year of uncertainty with nothing really to look forward to. That being said, I wanted to establish 12 goals for myself that, although they're not the goals that I've gone after in the past, they're unique and something to focus on.

Here's what I came up with (in no particular order):

1. Three hanging pull ups
2. 100 pushups (girl style)
3. Stay on the balance board on a smooth surface for more than 5 minutes
4. At least 3 squats at 135 pounds (Dave said this goal is soft)
5. Be able to bench press 100 pounds at least once
6. Be able to touch my nose to my legs in a pike position
7. 3 hanging V-ups
8. Run streak for one month
9. Do 12 races
10. Do at least one item on the Life List or contribute to items on the Life List
11. Read 12 books
12. Set a PR

Monday, January 02, 2012

December and 2011 Totals

I decided I don't really want to do an end-of-year wrap up. Sure there was major disappointment in 2011 but I don't want to dwell in it. Despite not finishing ironman again, I had successes this year including a new PR in the half ironman distance and winning my first triathlon. 2012 is a new chapter and it will be different and most importantly, FUN. I have done the hard-core racing thing. I have won races, set PRs and ran my dream races. 2012 I'm going to let my legs guide me through adventures at whatever speed they want to travel. I'm excited to be entering a new era without a map to follow.

December totals:

Run - 60.6 miles
Other - 1 hour (yoga)

2011 totals:

Swim - 193,625 meters

Bike - 2921.68 miles

Run - 935.25 miles

Other - 14.5 hours

Sunday, January 01, 2012

River Run 5K

Let me preface this race report by saying the 5K is not really my race. I tend to get faster the longer the distance. There's not a huge difference in my paces between the 5K and the marathon. On top of all that, I have been sicksicksick this week with a terrible cold and as late as yesterday I was not sure I was even going to do this race. Nonetheless, I woke up feeling well enough to give it a try and knew it would be far from my best performance.

No, I'm too sick to run!!

And it was.

Perking up

This was a small race, about 400 people, so I started just a few rows back. I took off at a pace I thought would be okay and hit the one mile mark at 7:45. Yeesh!!! Where has my speed gone??? But I was hacking and coughing and snorting with each step. I was okay with how slow the pace was going. I hit the two mike mark at 8:07. Oh my stars!!! I am so far out of race shape it's not even funny. Finally I was in the last mile and I was just getting by. I finished the race in 25:02 (watch time) which is about 4 minutes slower than my PR.

Here's the cool parts of the race.

Because it was so small, I walked away with third in my age group, which I think nets me a gift certificate to the local running store. I'll be checking into that tomorrow. And they also had a contest with the race director of the Columbus Marathon, Darris Blackford, where he started as the very lasts person and whomever he passed would be entered into a drawing after the race for one of 20 free race entries. He passed all but 15 people and blew by me in the first mile. I haven't heard anything but fingers are crossed.