Tuesday, June 26, 2012


It's twelve weeks until the marathon and two weeks post toe break, so I figured it was a good time to get back to the training grind.  Yesterday was a track workout that on paper looked like something I could handle given my small hiatus from running.

1 mile warmup
3 X 1600 at 6:30 pace with 1:00 rest interval
1 mile cooldown

1600s by 400.

Everything started fine with my one mile warmup.  I hit it at 8:41.  I was back and feeling good.  Then I started the repeats.  I struggle on the track, I have to admit.  It's so easy for me to stop.  I mean, you're just going round in circles.  Just stop and take a break when you need it.  And of course, stop your watch too.  So easy.  The only really successful track workouts I've had is when Dave is running shoulder to shoulder with me.  Dave loves track workouts, so I know he's not going to stop.  But, yesterday I was on and it was just too easy.  No my toe was not hurting, but I was huffing and puffing and feeling completely out of shape.  It was a bit embarrassing, to say the least.  I was able to get through my miles by doing some 300s, 400s. 600s, 800s - whatever I could do to get it done.  I was counting my steps or counting down the 100s left in the interval.  I was singing with my music.  Nothing was helping.  At one point, I even took off my watch during the interval while it was still running so I couldn't stop during the next lap.

Regardless, I still hit my intervals:
1 - 6:26
2 - 6:25
3 - 6:25

I can do a 6:30 mile in my sleep.  I'm not sure why I freak out about it so much while on the track.  Next time Dave is coming with me and either pacing me or timing me so I HAVE to get the workout done.

Onward and upward.  Welcome back.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Week In Review

Despite the broken toe, I got back to work last week.  Sure, it wasn't a whole lot of miles and many of them were done on the elliptical, but I felt that if I could handle the pain (and the toe was more sore than painful) that I should continue with my training.

Monday - 4 miles elliptical

Tuesday - 2 mile walk on treadmill at 15 min/mile  Yeah, tough workout.  I
                Core work - 45 crunches, 45 supermans, 45 obliques

Wednesday - 4 miles elliptical

Thursday - 10 minute walk/10 minute jog/10 minute walk = 2.17 miles
                  Core work - 55 BOSU crunches with weights, 55 TRX pushups

Friday - 5 minute walk/20 minute jog/5 minute run = 2.51 miles
             5 X 5 bench press at 50 lbs.

Saturday - 3 mile neighborhood run with Dave

I hit 17.68 miles of "running" this week and did about 45 minutes of core/weight lifting.  Next week (today) I plan to jump right back into training and see how it goes.  As I mentioned, the toe is sore - mostly in the muscles at the base at the toe.  I'm sure that's from having to reset the toe and really working those muscles.  But the toe, specifically where the break is, does not have any pain.  The swelling is a little bit annoying as some shoes feel very bad and some are just fine.  The good news is that my running shoes fit really well and I have no pain.  We'll see how getting back to training goes.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

When you're in the wedding business, you have to plan your business a year in advance.  Right now we're working on bridal shows and advertising for 2013.  We are currently reevaluating our advertising tactics and I'm looking for input.  We have done bridal shows, advertised in print media and online, and obviously do a lot of social media (be sure to like us on Facebook).  Not too surprisingly, we get a lot of our business from referrals.

When you got married, if you're getting married, somewhere in the future/someday wedding....

....how did you do your research for planning your wedding?  Did you go to a bridal show?  Did you use internet or social media?  Did you use any print media?  How influenced were you based on referrals your friends gave you?  What type of businesses did you meet with face-to-face?  Lastly, if you were interested in hiring a photo booth business, where would you look for information regarding services and business?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Well, I did it.  I went shopping, to Victoria Secret, and came out successfully.  I only had one small nervous breakdown where I told the associate that I likened bra shopping to getting a root canal, but she took me through all the steps and I left that store with two new bras and many, many dollars poorer.  Introducing the Body by Victoria bra: one in demi and one in racerback.

And my favorite part of all of this was the associate handed me a card at the end of my time that had my size on it and had checked off all the ones I tried on that I liked. That way, next time, I can go into the store or shop online and know exactly what I'm what I want. Great customer service Victoria Secret!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Girls Need a Lift

My friend posted this picture on my Facebook timeline. Nothing like seeing yourself from behind to let you know you desperately need a new bra. Unfortunately, I already knew that. I mean, look at my lats hanging over the top of my bra strap?!  (We'll pretend that's my lats and not some far.)  But I enjoy going bra shopping about as much as I enjoy going to the gynecologist. I know I've blogged about bra shopping before and how I absolutely hate it, but I think it was back in 2009 when I blogged every single day and I just can't find the post.

Anyway, today is the day I am going to go bra shopping. I'm dreading it with a passion. Why is it that retail stores carry ginormous bras for the overly endowed, but don't carry a thing for the itty bitty titties? Last night I tried to shop online but if you don't know exactly what you're looking for it's hard to buy a bra without trying it on.  I think that this is going to be a waste of my time.  I've tried Macy's.  I've been to Victoria Secret.  Kohl's gives me hives.  The best bra I ever bought was Wacoal.  It was expensive but fit well and besides my boobs looking fake in it, I still where it on occasion.  But, I think that was a lucky find at Macy's.

So I'm asking for help from you all.  I knew there are tiny runners/triathletes who read my blog.  And I know you where a bra.  Where do you shop?  What brands/styles do you like?  Help me, help me, help me!  I'm desperate!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bits and Pieces

(Yeah, that's a totally inappropriate title after last post.)

Okay, I totally do not like bulleted blog posts, but you all have asked a lot of questions in the last couple of blog posts so I'm going to give some updates and answer some questions in this post.

  • Toe update.  Well, there's not much to update.  I'm in a bit more pain now than I was in as the swelling has gone down.  The bruising is looking better and I am starting to walk a little better.  I've been icing every day and sleeping with it elevated.  The doctor has cleared me to do some stationary biking.  My least favorite thing to do in the world, but I'm going to do it to keep my fitness up in hopes that I will get to return to running really soon.
  • Olympics update.  I had several of you ask about what we are planning to see at the Olympics.  Tickets are hard to come by and as you can imagine, super expensive.  With the help of a friend in London along with my husband's brilliant computer skills we have secured tickets to women's 75+kg weight lifting (we have a local girl who qualified so this is exciting to us), rowing, and tennis (OMG! I'm going to the All England Club!!!!).  In addition, we are going to be able to view many free events like men's and women's triathlon and the women's marathon.  I'm so excited!
  • House hunting update.  We actually really loved that house discussed a while ago.  It had some quirks: 
    • The electrical outlets in the second bedroom were not grounded, which worries me a little about inspection.
    • The master bathroom had this HUGE weird box that was drywall directly to the wall.  I'm not sure what it was hiding.
    • There were two fireplaces in the house and neither of them that were really useable.  One was in the basement and one was in the garage.  Yeah, the garage.
    • There was no food pantry in the kitchen.
    • The second bathroom had a tiny, tiny shower in which the shower door was hung crooked and it was hard to open and close.
    • The neighbors looked like they have a hoarding problem as the very back of their property looked like a junk yard.
  • But there were a lot of great things about the house.  
    • The kitchen was totally redone and really nice.  It included new granite counter tops and new cabinets.  It also had a built in eating area and some of the appliances were already upgraded.
    • It looked like the living space had some nice new carpet.
    • The yard space was amazing!
    • The basement, although not finished, had separate rooms including one that would work really well as a pain cave.
  • So, we also saw some other houses too and frankly they were awful.  And surprisingly they were in a higher price point than this one.  I don't even need to say anything about these.  We have another one we'd like to take a look at soon.  As far as putting our house up for sale, yeah, I'm just not sure.  I'm afraid to find out what it would be listed at and I also worry that it might sell quickly and then we'd be without a house when we're not really all that serious about finding a new house.  I don't know.  I don't know.
  • What else?  I got yelled out by a grown man in a car today while riding my bike with Dave while he was running in my neighborhood today.  I was riding on the wrong side of the street.  Yes, I know I was in the wrong there.  But I also also going, like, 6 mph and off to the side IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD and he had the WHOLE DAMN ROAD to get over.  He actually stopped his car to scold me.  Oh yeah, I gave him a piece of my mind too.
  • I've been debating a lot about closing my business.  It's not that we're in financial trouble because we're not, we're just kinda wanting our lives back.  When you own a business there is no downtime, no vacation, no saying no.  When things go wrong you have to be responsible.  And when you break a toe in the middle of a reception, guess what, that photo booth has still got to stay open.  For the last three years I've been doing this as my only employment.  Now that I have other employment, it's really exhausting to work five days a week and then again on the weekend.  At least I'm part time.  Dave works A LOT more and rarely complains about it.  I don't know.  I just would kinda like to know what it's like to have a weekend and go out on Saturday nights and actually get to do normal grown up things on the weekends besides work.  We've been debating it for quite some time and still haven't come up with an answer.
I guess that just about wraps it up.  Obviously there may not be much content on the blog for a while I heal and don't have any running to do.  Hopefully with my doctor's appointment on Friday I will have better and more concrete news about when I can get back to training.

Monday, June 11, 2012

How I Started my Evening at a Wedding and Finished it in the ER

***WARNING!!!!  If you are squeamish, do not read this post!  Graphic pictures and detailed descriptions.***

Thank goodness I did my 15 miler on Saturday morning because I won't be doing any running for quite a while.

Saturday was like any typical Saturday for me.  I ran in the morning, napped in the afternoon, and then had to work the photo booth in the evening at a wedding.  Halfway through the wedding, though, things went bad.  For the first time in like 150 weddings, we had a customer spill her drink on a scrapbook page.  The page was completely ruined, but luckily that picture was the only one on the page and we could easily replace the page.  (And people wonder why we do not allow drinks in our photo booth.)  The problem was that the drink also got the entire table cloth wet.  So, I was in the process of taking off the table cloth and putting it into another room when I stubbed my toe on someone's shoes (and yes I was stupid and wearing sandals).  I immediately was in a lot of pain and thought right off the bat I had broken my toe.  I hopped on one foot to the other room while telling Dave I thought I broke my toe (all while carrying the tablecloth).  When I got in the other room I looked at my foot and my toe was pointing in a different direction.


I immediately went into hysterics.  OH MY GOD!  OH MY GOD!  OH MY GOD!  I was crying and sorta yelling and wondering what the hell I was supposed to do with my toe sticking in the wrong direction.  Luckily the wedding coordinator and another person were sitting in this room and got me a chair and some ice and made plans to get me to the hospital.  Without evening saying goodbye to Dave and hoping he knew to continue with the photo booth, the coordinator put me in her car and we were off to the hospital.

I was dropped off at the hospital where they immediately began intake and registration and no lie, within 15-20 minutes I was in a bed.  Sweet!  This isn't going to take very long at all!  (Read: ironic)  Before I went back I texted my mom and told her what happened and where I was and then sent the coordinator back to the wedding letting her know that Dave was going to need help and that he could come pick me up when he was finished.  My first few minutes consisted of pregnancy test (negative), doctor saying the he would take an x-ray, numb my toe, put it back in place, re-x-ray, and that I would be out of here in no time.  Let me set up a timeline: The doctor came in and told me all this around 11:00pm.

At 11:30 the PCA came in and told me how to work the TV.  I decided to just read my Nook on my phone anyway.  At 11:45 the nurse came in with her phone saying my mom was on the phone.  Funny.  My mom had called the hospital directly and the nurse somehow got the call and was able to talk to me.  At 12:30 my parents showed up and I still had not gotten any X-rays or anything done.  The PCA said he was really surprised as he thought the doc would have just put it back together.  It was obviously just a dislocation.  Somewhere around 1:00pm I think I finally got the first X-rays.  Results...



The doctor came in and this is when I started to go a little crazy.  See, he took out a needle that was long and thick and promptly jammed it into one side of my toe.  (I did not watch any of this.)  I swear to god, he must have touched the other side of my foot with that thing.  It hurt so bad.  Then he did it on the other side of my toe.  My dad, the eloquent one, said "woah, your foot is really getting big from all that medicine".  Awesome.  We waited about 10 minutes and then my whole upper foot was numb.  Again, for the next part, I did not watch.  And luckily the doctor was blocking my view anyway.  The doctor took my toe, like a joystick, and maneuvered it back into place.  He would stop every once in a while, look at the other foot, and then ask me if it looked normal.  Cool.  Finally he said he thought he got it as best as it could be.  I was x-rayed again.  Finally the doctor said the x-ray looked perfect.  My toes were taped together and was given a very lovely half boot/half sandal to wear.

I was discharged and sent on my way with strict instructions of no running for 4-6 weeks.

Double shit.

This was around 2:15am.  My poor parents, but thank goodness they were there.  In case you were wondering about Dave...I sent him home after the wedding since my parents had already decided to come down to the hospital.

Once I got home, the numbing agent was starting to wear off and I was in pain, hungry, and not really all the tired.  Dave went to bed but I grabbed some food and took a bath.  Finally around 5:00am, I fell asleep.

Sunday I got up around 8:30 (yes you read that right, 3-1/2 hours of sleep), ate some breakfast, and promptly went back to bed.  Finally awake after noon, we had to prepare for our next photo booth event in a few hours.  The pain was pretty bad on Sunday.  I was swollen and the bruises were starting to appear.

 Nonetheless, I got through it all and worked for another 5+ hours Sunday night.  Once finally home for the night, I took off the boot to see my foot lovely shades of black, purple, and pink.

Today I went to see my regular doctor (actually another doctor in the practice as my doctor is on vacation).  The news was mixed.  The toe is still very much in place (good news).  The bad news was that there was no dislocation in my toe.  My toe was pointing sideways because of the break.  This all means that there will be a long recovery time, which means there's a big question mark with my marathon in September.  If it's only 4 weeks recovery I would still have 11 or 10 weeks to go until the marathon.  Frankly, that's doable.  Sure it may not be the 3:25 I was hoping for, but maybe I can squeak in with a Boston Qualifier anyway.  The doctor did tell me I could begin riding a stationary bike now (good news) but that my foot was probably going to throb (bad news).  He taught me how to better tape my toe.  I will be going back again on Friday to be re-x-rayed and see how everything's progressing.

So....um...yeah.  I don't know what else to say.  I'm so mad about it all.  I'm mad that I was stupid and wearing sandals.  If you know anything about me, you'd know that I absolutely can't stand sandals or flip flops.  I'm mad that my running has come to a screeching halt and that all the work I've put in this year may be thrown out the window.  I'm mad that I can't run the Relay Around Columbus this weekend with my friends.  And I'm starting to wonder if all this is going to affect my trip to London.  But, accidents happen and there's no other way to describe this than a complete accident.  I'm just going to follow doctor's orders and go from there.

Thursday, June 07, 2012


Later this year Dave and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary.  All together now....ahhhhh!!!  For our fifth anniversary we threw caution to the wind and took a whirlwind trip to Europe.  Dave has been talking for quite a while about what we want to do this year for our anniversary...

Tuesday Dave sends me a text while I'm at working asking if we have any photo booth events in September.  Being the responsible businesswoman, I, of course, do not keep any of that information with me.  (Sarcasm intended.)  On my way home from work he calls me and explains to me why he was asking.  I guess he found great airline tickets to Zurich and that we could spend 12 days in Europe on vacation.  Well that's all great and all, but I just don't care.  Sure it's not just another day, but there are ways I'd rather be spending my money and time than taking some big adventure.  I've been to Europe.  I've been to Switzerland.  In the last few months I've mentioned to him New York, Chicago, California, Portland, etc., but not Europe.  I told him I wasn't interested.

Wednesday morning he calls me at work (I don't know why he does that.  I sit in open seating with about a million other people.  It's not exactly conducive to talking on the phone.) and tries to entice me again on a big vacation.  Before he even makes the offer I turn him down.  If we've got that money then I don't need to literally be saving my pennies and quarters for a treadmill.  But he continues anyway and gives me an offer I couldn't refuse.

And my friends, I have the most absolutely exciting news in the history of this blog to date.  Seriously.

I am going to the Olympics.

There are not enough exclamation points for my excitement.


Now the real question....do I get the US or UK version of these shoes?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Product Review: Zoot CompressRx Tights

The Run Less, Run Faster training plan is no joke.  Even though the plan is only three days a week, I'm finding it more difficult to recover from these tough runs than it was to recover from the relentless ironman training.  I'm doing all the things I should...chocolate milk, ice baths, lots of napping, compression socks.

Compression socks.  I love me some compression socks.  I have three pairs of them and two pairs of compression calf sleeves.  I wear my socks after ever workout.  I wear my compression sleeves for all my long runs.  I truly believe in the recoverability (sure, it's a word) with compression socks.  And while my calves love compression socks/sleeves, my quads and hammies and knees are crying for some relief too. 

Two weeks ago I threw it out to my Facebook friends if they had any thoughts regarding full compression tights.  I got a few responses back.  Then I started doing some research of my own.  Dang, those suckers are expensive.  Finally, with coupon code in hand, I ordered a pair of Zoot CompressRx tights from Running Warehouse.  A few days later I received them and have worn them pretty much after every hard workout I've had sense.

Here's what I think about them:

  • They are absolutely hideous.  I was hoping they'd look a little more like plain tights.  There's no way I could wear these with a tunic or long shirt and get buy with them in public.  

  • I ordered the smallest size as I am tiny.  However, for a short person I have long legs and a short torso.  I've had a hard time getting the tights up into my crotch (that's what she said, Jamie) so I'm not sure how effective they've been high on my hamstrings and hip flexors.
  • Despite not being able to get the tights all the way up and looking like I dropped a load, they are really high waisted and come way past my belly button.  I roll my down onto my hips usually.
  • They are super tight and hurt my fingers like crazy to struggle to get them on.
  • I like that my toes are not covered which has allowed me to sleep in the tights and get full benefit out of them.
  • THEY WORK!!!  Do I really need to say anything else about them?
I have been minimally sore after wearing the tights after my difficult workouts, which is pretty much every workout.  I'm so glad my friends recommended these to me.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

May Totals

I know I'm a little late on this posting, but better late than never, right?

Swimming - 0 meters
This was the month I officially quit the gym so there probably will be no more swimming for the time being.  Right now I have no desire to go back to triathlon and since I've been healthy (knock on wood) I don't really want to add any swimming to the mix.

Biking - 65.6 miles
Most of this biking was done riding around 7 mph right next to Dave while he did some running.  He rode quite a few miles while I ran too.  But, I did ride to work one day this month too (and probably will be quite a bit in June as the road I usually drive to work will be closed for the entire month and some of July).  Since most of the miles ridden on my bike were not replacing my driving miles, I only saved a whopping $3.17 in gas.

Running - 103.55 miles
Gosh, I'm not sure I missed a run in May and even threw in a few extra.  That's a pretty good chunk of mileage considering this is not marathon training.

Other - 0.5 miles
So, I didn't do a whole lot of weight lifting and got tired of doing all those pushups.  But, I hope to return to lifting now that the half marathon training is over and marathon training is beginning.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Deckers Creek Trail Half Marathon 2012

A few months ago I wrote on one of my former track athlete's Facebook page that I needed her to move back to Ohio so we could be friends in real life.  She replied, "how about we meet and run a race?"  Well, don't tempt me with a good time!  She is a law student at University of Richmond, so we chose a race sorta kinda half way between us: Deckers Creek Trail Half Marathon.  For me, I made this an "A" race and actually trained for it following the Run Less, Run Faster program for the last nine weeks.  I had no goal time in mind, but I knew a new PR could be in play.

But let's back up a minute.

Friday morning I woke up with a terrible headache and a bit of a sour stomach.  I took two Tylenol and headed off to work.  A couple hours later I was still feeling bad so I left work early.  I popped two more Tylenol.  Nothing seemed to be working.  We left Columbus and I was still feeling awful.  I couldn't see straight, my head was pounding, and my stomach was just off.  I barely ate any dinner.  Come on, Meredith!  Are you really getting all worked up over a half marathon?  You've run, like, a hundred of these!!!

Saturday morning we woke up and I was still not feeling great.  This is stupid.  I don't want to run anymore.  I'm so over feeling like this.  Luckily, we were staying only two blocks from the race site, so we basically got up, went down there and picked up our packets, and then went back to the hotel room to get ready.  After seeing there was nothing to get worked up about, I settled down a bit and was able to get down some breakfast.  The race finish was at this park close to our hotel.  You met there and then they bused you to the start of the race.  It was a point-to-point race that was on a rails to trails limestone trail that was touted as being downhill.  We boarded our bus and immediately struck up conversations with others around us.  Everything was really casual and I was feeling better.  The ride only took a few minutes and then we were left for last minute preparations.  Then it was about a quarter mile walk down the trail to the start line, or as it was, a stick in the ground with a sign on it reading "Start Line."  I do love a casual race!

The race started and immediately I knew we had lined up too far back.  The trail could only support, maybe, three people across so it was a struggle to get around in the first mile and get in the position I needed to be.

Mile 1: 8:00

By mile 2, though I had found my position and was cruising.  Being that it was a small race and I wasn't wearing my Garmin, I assume that the mile markers were a little off in places.

Mile 2: 7:04
Mile 3: 7:43
Mile 4: 7:29

I've got to be honest.  I felt like crap for the first four miles.  I felt like the trail was zapping my energy and I just was not interested in running.  But, the pace was somewhere around a 7:30 so I knew a PR was still possible.

Mile 5: 7:27
Mile 6: 7:14

By mile 6 I was feeling great.  Yes, it takes me a long time to warm up.  And as you can tell from the picture below, I obviously thought things were going well.

Mile 7: 6:57

I actually said out loud to myself when I saw that split, "Shit Mer!  Slow down."

Mile 8: 7:36

Obviously the previous mile marker was a little off.  :)

By mile 9 I had had the same gentleman following me for a couple of miles.  I told him, "If we were biking I would tell you to stop sucking my wheel."  He told me I was setting a good pace and I asked him what it was.  He said about a 7:20.  Alright.  It could be a PR day.  I told him he could keep running with me.

Mile 9: 7:09
Mile 10: 7:06

Around the 10-1/2 mile mark the trail goes from crushed limestone to pavement.  And it hurt.  It felt like you were running through jello.  My legs did not want to go.  Still I was catching women and I was hoping this race was going to be enough to get me an age group award.

Mile 11: 7:04

And then I got tired.  Like, where the hell is the finish line tired.  I was hot on the heels of another female runner and I just didn't have anything left to run her down.

Mile 12: 7:30

I screamed at my legs to get moving in the last mile.  I had hit mile 12 at 1:28 and my brain was so fried that I had no idea if that would get me a PR.  I kept trying to add 1:28 plus 8 and just kept coming up with 1:40.  Yeah, I don't know either.  I pushed and pushed hoping there was a PR in me.

Mile 13: 7:27
Last 0.1: 40 seconds

When I could finally see the finish line, I saw the clock was 1:36.  Obviously I couldn't do math and obviously I was getting a BIG PR!

1:36:31 (7:22 pace)

Afterwards I waited for Dave and my student, Brittany.  We all had lunch together and then went to the awards ceremony.

This race was my kind of race too.  There was little to no swag - cotton t-shirts, no medals, no chip timing, and the price was right.   But the awards were amazeballs.  The overall male/female winners received trophies that were shaped like runners welded out of old railroad spikes.  The age group awards (10 year age groups) were also railroad spikes with plaques on them with the placing.  I really wanted an award!  I had looked at last year's results to give myself an idea of what it would take to get an age group or overall award.  Based on last year's results, a 1:37 or better would get me an award.  But, a small race with little to no swag tends to bring out the real runners.  They don't care about all that crap.  They just want to run for a cheap price.  And there were some fast chicks out there!  The overall female winner went 1:17.  The age group winner in my age division went 1:27.  Third place in my age group went 1:34.  My 1:36 got me 6th in my age group and a big fat nothing to take home.  Gosh!  That's fast!

Overall, this was a great race.  Definitely a race I would consider again.  The course is fast.  The weather was perfect.  The price was right.  And I'm super happy with my performance and excited to start into marathon training.