Saturday, March 31, 2012

12 for 2012 - 100 Pushups

So after a long 6+ weeks of training (closer to three months than six weeks), I finally completed the pushup challenge. Again, I did "girl" pushups (on my knees). No I did not touch my nose to the ground, but {mostly} I bent my arms 90 degrees.

Count with me now..


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gas Savings

Wonder how we're doing our cost savings based on where we are biking instead of driving?

1. I use MapMyRide to calculate the number of miles we would DRIVE if we were taking the car to the location. Even though we might use alternative, safer, perhaps longer routes for biking we want to know the savings based on how we would drive to the location. Please note, I kinda hate MapMyRide as I don't think it's exactly user friendly, but I don't know of a better option. I hope to kind of build up a database of places we travel frequently via bike so that I don't have to use the website.

2. I use another app, GasBuddy, (or online) to determine the price of gas based on where we normally fill up specifically for the day we rode our bikes instead of drove.

3. I have put together a spreadsheet (shut up, I'm an engineer!) with two different pages - one for savings based on driving the Honda Element and one for driving the Toyota Prius. This makes a huge difference because the Element gets about 20 mpg and the Prius is about 40 mpg. We generally drive the Prius everywhere so any time it's the two of us riding our bikes or just Dave riding his bike, we do the calculations based on the Prius. Now, when I start riding to work, because I drive the Element, the calculations will be based on that car. Here's how the calculation works:

(Miles X Cost of Gas) / Miles Per Gallon = Savings

At the end of the month I plan on adding up both spreadsheets and then keeping a master spreadsheet with these total savings to see how much I can save in a year.  It would be nice if it was actual money and we could reinvest it back into savings for a new car or something else.

What are ways that you are saving money as the gas prices hit new highs?  What are some of your general savings tips?  What are you willing to splurge on?  Do you make spreadsheets for things?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Week In Review

Good grief these reviews are boring! I'm still going strong with the run streak (well, strong is a subjective word) and this week I completed the push up challenge. More to come on that another day. Here we go...

Monday - Today was a speed/strength workout at the track. Dave and I warmed up with an easy mile and then did 5 X 400 sprints with 15 Turkish get-ups in between. I finished up with another 1.75 miles of cool down for a total of 4 miles. I also did the last exercises of the 100 push up challenge before going to the track. Push up total was 274.

Tuesday - Just a 4.5 mile local run from home that was a bit hilly and a bit quick: mile 1 - 9:01, mile 2 - 8:28, mile 3 - 8.38, mile 4 - 8:30, mile 0.5 - 8:29 pace.

Wednesday - A total of 4.3 miles as one mile with Dave and Sloopy and then the remaining 3.3 by myself. I got myself in trouble as a girl passed me at the turnaround spot and then I spent the next mile chasing her down and keeping her in my rearview all the way home.

Thursday - By Thursday I was just spent and didn't want anything to do with this running streak anymore. Yet, I went out and had a good 5 mile run with numb legs all the way.

Friday - Today was rough as I met Dave immediately after work and went to see The Hunger Games. Then my mom texted and wanted to see if we would have dinner at a local restaurant. By the time I got home, I was just not in the mood to run. And Jeff
had to make the decision to bow out (injury) of the March Run Streak, so now I was on my own. Regardless, I got my buns down to the basement and hopped on the treadmill for a whopping 1.2 miles.

Saturday - I woke up on Saturday not feeling so hot and just laid around most of the day. Soon it became afternoon and I had to run to get it in before the wedding we needed to work that night. Dave drug me around the neighborhood for 3 miles. Dave and I also rode our bikes to breakfast this morning for a total of 1.8 miles and a savings of 18 cents.

Sunday - I had intended to do a long run this week, but after thinking about it I just didn't care. This week has been a tough week of motivation, but I still got in all the runs. Today was another 3 mile neighborhood run that turned out better than expected. Now I kinda wish I had done the long run. Also on Sunday I conquered the 100 pushup challenge by easily getting through it. I have video evidence and will post it another day this week. Dave rode his bike to pick up breakfast and to pick up something from the Home Depot. He rode a total of 2.52 miles (we live really close to everything) for a savings of 25 cents. Sure these are not my miles but I'm keeping them to calculate how much money we're saving by riding our bikes.


Bike - 1.8 miles for me; 4.32 miles for Dave.

Run - 25 miles (not terrible considering I didn't do a long run)

Pushups - 374

Friday, March 23, 2012

March Run Streak

Today is day 23 of the March Run Streak. Last week I had a totally kick-butt week.. But this week has been a little tougher. Now granted, I wasn't so smart and did a speed workout on Monday, the day after my long run. And the weather has been in the mid-80s all this week (in March!!!). So the other three runs of the week have been kinda crappy. My calves, shins, ankles, and feet are starting to hate me for doing all this running. I've now completed over 100 miles for the month which means I'm averaging just under 5 miles per day. I know there are only a few days left, but I'm really lacking the motivation.

What do you say to yourself to get yourself out the door? Any suggestions for motivation? How many miles is your maximum for a single month?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Little Off The top

God (or my parents) blessed me with good teeth. I have never had a cavity; I never had braces; and I never got my wisdom teeth which means I've never had a tooth pulled. But, I tend to carry all my tension in my jaw and grind the h-e-l-l out of my teeth. So much so that I have grooves and channels through most of my teeth and have been wearing a protective guard to sleep in for most of my adult life. And frankly, I should be wearing it all the time as I involuntarily grind my teeth a good 23 hours a day (the other hour I'm eating).

This constant grinding has basically worn away all my enamel and now I am left with super-super sensitive teeth. In the last three weeks I have had a very painful molar that no matter what I tried I couldn't make it feel better. Yesterday morning I couldn't take it anymore. I called the dentist at 10:30am and they asked me to come in a half hour later. Wow! Talk about customer service!

At the dentist they took an x-ray (good grief, I have got to be sterile from all the x-rays I've had) and then a whole bunch of other tests. Twice now they've believed that my tooth is fractured. And I specifically remember a time in the last couple of weeks where I had a very sharp pain while I was eating and turned to Dave and said, "I think I broke my tooth." But since I've never had a filling, the dentist said a fracture was unlikely. Instead she said that this tooth was one of the first to touch when I bite down and the nerve in my tooth was likely bruised from all the grinding. Ouch! So she took out her sander and ground my tooth down, just a little off the top, so it would be more even with the rest of my teeth when I bit down.

Yesterday it was quite painful for most of the day. Today it's grittier but certainly feeling better. Of course, my favorite part of all this was calling Dave and freaking him out when I said they were going to have to pull it. :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Week In Review

I know you all probably don't care about my "Week in Reviews" but I'm really excited I've been keeping to a consistent running schedule and want to post about it. So without further ado...

Monday 3/12 - 5.25 miles treadmill run. I did 1.25 miles as a warm up and then did a crossfit workout with Dave of reps of 21-15-9 of handstand pushups, dips, and pushups. Then I hopped back on the treadmill and did another 4 miles.

Tuesday 3/13 - 4.25 mile neighborhood run with Dave. We then rode our bikes a whopping 1.16 miles to Meijer (grocery store) to pick up some dinner. Cost savings of riding our bikes instead of driving was 11 cents.

Wednesday 3/14 - Another crossfit workout, this time at the gym. The workout was supposed to be 1 mile run, 2000m row, 1 mile run. But I didn't want to run just two miles so I did 1 mile warmup, 1 mile run fast (7:57), 2000m row (9:36), 1 mile run fast (7:50), 1 mile easy, 0.29 mile cool down.

Thursday 3/15 - I had intended to do my long run today and wanted to do it on the treadmill, but I was struggling. I stopped every 3 miles to take a bathroom break. At my 6 mile stop I got a phone call that had some news I wasn't very happy about and made my stomach just drop. The workout ended there with 6.03 miles. I did my pushup set before the run maxing out at 246 pushups.

Friday 3/16 - 4.18 miles on the treadmill because I wanted to watch basketball.

Why do I want to do all these weird distances? Well, I wanted to be able to make the miles for the week an even number.

Saturday 3/17 - I had wanted to run with the group this morning, but after a late night (later than I had planned), I slept in and just ran a few miles on my own. I made up my route so I think I got in around 4 miles. I also rode my bike to Kroger (another local grocery store) to pick up some things for a total of 2.85 miles and a fuel savings of 53 cents.

Sunday 3/18 - Long run day - 12 miles. I didn't start this run until later in the afternoon and it was hot. Too hot for March; I certainly am not acclimated to this type of heat yet. And if I wasn't wearing a pink sports bra and red shorts, I probably would have run in just those. Dave accompanied me on the run by riding his bike and carrying my water and gels. About 6 miles into the run it started to sprinkle a little. And at 8 miles when Dave stopped at a food truck for a pita (yeah, he did) it was pouring. The rain only lasted a few minutes, though, and I finished up the run quickly. My first mile was 9:34 and my last mile was 8:03. I am loving running right now! Of course, not even an hour and a half after we returned home we were under a thunderstorm and tornado warning, lost power, and sat in the basement in the dark comforting our dog who is scared of storms. What an eventful day!


Biking - 4.01 miles, savings 64 cents
Running - 40 miles!!! I haven't run this many miles since training for Nike.
Other - 0.50 hours
Pushups - 291

Monday, March 12, 2012

A New Way of Commuting

While I have not been on my bike since October and have zero plans to get back on it, does not necessarily mean I've ruled out biking all together...

All the riding I've done in the past several years has all been for training which means I haven't necessarily enjoyed the rides, or gotten to ride for leisure or transportation, or stopped and taken pictures of cool things I've seen on my bike. No, biking was work. But as the training went on I didn't find that I necessarily hated biking, I hated bike training.

Fast forwarder to this past September and I got a job that is only a few miles from home. A location that I biked by countless times during my ironman training. When I was hired I inquired about being a bike commuter and our company totally supports it (yet we don't have any bike racks). We have a gym onsite so shower facilities are available. The problem for me was, because we don't have bike racks (the people here just leave their bikes tucked into nooks in the buildings) and my only bike was my fancy triathlon bike, I didn't feel comfortable leaving my bike laying around. I had an old bike in the basement that would work well for commuting except all the components are rusted out and it needs new, basically, everything. With all the money I would put into it, it would be better to buy a new bike.

So on Sunday I made my way to Roll, my favorite local bike shop, to search for a new ride. I had a list of requirements:

1. Will be commuting between 16-20 miles a day.
2. Want a road-type bike but do not feel comfortable in drop handlebars nor do I like the geometry of a road bike.
3. Want to be able to carry things or attach a cart to it.
4. Needs to be comfortable and dependable.

Chris, my favorite bike person salesperson in the whole world, knew exactly what I was looking for and came out with this....Giant's City Escape. It was perfect - road-ish bike but able to handle rough terrain, sat upright, no drop handlebars, came with a rack and elastics, fenders, and it even had a bell. And before I knew it, it was mine.

There's a few more things I have to work out before I can actually commute to work but I am so excited to be able to be a bike commuter. I am sooooo excited that I've already created my spreadsheet to see how much money I'm saving by replacing my car with my bike on trips.

Would you ever bike commute or do you bike commute? What's your limit in terms of gas prices before you'll make a change to the way you commute? Does your city have public transit options? My new bike needs a name. Any suggestions?

Week In Review

Wow! I jumped on the running bandwagon hard this week and I can't believe I wasn't thrown off. Halfway through the week I was worried I'd be doing some huge running numbers, but soreness, tiredness, and photo boothing slowed down those numbers. That's a good thing, though, as my body is not ready for high mileage yet and I don't want to get injured for a silly run streak.

Monday - 5 miles on treadmill. Middle three miles tempo at sub-8:30s.

- 4.25 mile neighborhood run.

Wednesday - Today I was planning on doing my long run as I wouldn't have time for it over the weekend, but it was super-windy and I was pretty sore and only got in 8 miles. But still, it was at an 8:40 average. I also did my week 5 push up test today and maxed out at 60.

- 3 miles on the treadmill as 1.5 miles before weight lifting and 1.5 miles after weight lifting. Weight lifting (cross fit) was 18 miles AMRAP (which I learned means "as many reps as possible" of 15 box jumps (we did tuck jumps), 9 toes to bar, and 12 push presses (I did 55 pounds). We forgot to count, but I think we did 5 sets of those. Yeesh!

- 3 mile easy treadmill run

- 4.25 mile neighborhood run.

Sunday - 3 easy miles with Dave in the 'hood. Also, week 6 day 1 of push up challenge which came in a whopping 220 push ups. I'm hurting.


Running - 30.5 miles
Other - 0.25 hours
Pushups - 280

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

New Racing Shoes

A few years ago, Coach told me I should be wearing racing flats when I ran. What?! There's no way I'm fast enough for that. But sure enough I bought a pair, did a few practice runs in them, and wore them for both Boston 2009 and the Nike Women's Marathon 2009. Although they didn't have a lot of support in them, I absolutely loved how light they made my legs feel during a race - light and fast!

Then once I made Team Trakkers (now Team Rev3), I was so excited to get sponsored by Saucony. Saucony is, in my opinion, the best running shoe manufacturer out there. I FLOVE their shoes! My training shoes has been and still is the Saucony Omni. I also selected a new racing shoes, the Saucony Fastwitch.

During the time I was sponsored by Saucony (Hi Saucony, I love you!!!) my teammates were raving about the Kinvaras. But most of them were wearing them as training shoes, and I'm sorry, I'm not going to be part of the minimalist movement. However, these shoes have continued to be on my radar. Both my Brooks racing flats and the Saucony Fastwitches were a little too racing flat for me. I think they were meant to be more for 5Ks and 10Ks than half and full marathons. A few weeks ago I was at DSW and slipped my foot into a men's pair of Sauncony Kinvaras (they didn't have women's) and fell in love. This shoe had to be my next racing shoe. It was perfect for the longer distances. So I started to save my money and had talked to my local running store about them.

This morning I got my daily email from Road Runner Sports (I love you too!!!) and they were having a big sale on discontinued shoes. Not only that, but I am a VIP member, of course, which got me an additional 10% off and rushed delivery. These puppies will be on my porch this week. And I only paid $80 for them!!!

I had wanted the pink ones, but they didn't have them in my size. But these have green on them and allows me to continue with the Green Dragon theme.

What do you think? Do you wear different racing and training shoes? Have you worn the Kinvara?

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Virtual Running

I have "met" a lot of good people through blogging. Some I've met in real life. Meet Jeff.

I met Jeff through our blogs and then met him in real life while on vacation in California. Since that initial meeting way back in like 2005 we have met up again in Boston 2006 and again in California in 2010 where we ran about 16 miles together. Jeff and I became fast real friends. He texts me when I'm having a bad day and I text him to let him know he's an awesome dad. Jeff is the big brother I've always wanted. I just wish he lived closer.

Jeff and I have taken on the March Run Streak together. Every day after our runs we Tweet the other one about our run. It's great to have accountability and a partner in crime. When I get that tweet, it puts a smile on my face.

Do you want to participate in our virtual run streak? Of course you do! Just make sure to hashtag your tweets #MarchRunStreak and then I'd love it if you let me know, @meredithjgordon. Come join our virtual running fun!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Week In Review

March has come and the page has turned. I got back at it HARD this week. This week was awesome. I ran more than any week (maybe) in February. I even started lifting weights. This spring is going to be awesome.

Run - 22 miles
Other (yoga and weight lifting) - 2.75 hours
Pushups - 555

Thursday, March 01, 2012

February Totals

The original plan was to run everyday in February. Unfortunately that did not happen as I caught a horrible stomach bug at a week or so ago. Despite not being able to run all 29 days, I did run 21 days. I took several days off for being sick, took Monday off to recover from my race, and took yesterday off to prepare to try the run streak again in March. Here's what February looked like:

Swim - 0 meters
. This is unfortunate because I did have it on my list of goals to get back in the pool.

Bike - 0 miles. Right, like you thought I was getting back on my bike.

Run - 72.33 miles. I would have thought this would have been a lot higher considering I was trying to run every day. But I wouldn't have imagined an injury and then getting sick.

Other - 4.25 hours. This was yoga and strength training.

Pushups - 1250. The pushup challenge continues. {Supposedly} one more week to go until I test!!

And yes, I did mention I'm going to try the running challenge again in March. Hopefully it will go better and will include more miles than February. And I've decided to incorporate it with a little bit of a virtual challenge. Details to come soon....