Monday, December 23, 2013

Flying Feather Four Miler

Gosh, I'm so behind!!!

Unfortunately, I have no pictures from this race as my paparazzi was also running the race.

The week of Thanksgiving I caught a wicked cold.  It was bad.  I missed two days of work.  The day before Thanksgiving I barely got out of bed.  I didn't know if I was going to be able to make Thanksgiving, let alone do a race.  But Thanksgiving morning I woke up feeling better and wanted to give the race a shot.  Now, I was supposed to do this race as a heart rate test for coach, but since I had been sick I decided to just run. 

This was a family affair: Dave, me, my sister, and my dad.  (Yet, we didn't give our phones to anyone to take a picture of us.  Fail.)  It was colder than cold race morning, but we lucked out an found a parking spot that had a shuttle waiting for us to the start line.  My sister, the newbie, was wearing layers and layers of clothes.  I was wearing half of what she was and I thought I was overdressed.  Either way, we had to wait around at the start line for a good 20-30 minutes before the race started and it was COLD! 

I started off at a fairly good pace, ~8:00.  For once, I actually positioned myself well at the start and didn't have to do a whole lot of weaving to get around people.  My new watch (love it!!!) hit the one mile mark exactly at the one mile mark.  I continued to build speed throughout the next three miles and hit the line exactly at 4 miles on my watch.  I love my Suunto!  I swear, someday I will actually tell you about it.  Anyway, my overall time was 32:10 for an 8:03.  I would have loved to go faster but I had a lot of snot and a lot of coughing so that's all I could do.  And yes, I was totally overdressed.  I had my gloves off by the end of miles one.  My sister said she did too and also took her scarf off.  Who wears a scarf running?  She's so cute.

We collected our wine (you get a bottle of wine at the finish line!!!), found the shuttle, and were back to our car in no time.  Another family Thanksgiving run in the books.  Can't wait until next year when maybe we can get Anderson to do the kids race.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Bobcat Trail Marathon

In the last four years I have trained for two ironmans and two marathons and haven't completed any of them.  Besides being pregnant last year and not doing the marathon I was training for, I haven't been able to complete these events because my head's been all messed up from the DNF at Ironman Louisville.  I knew sometime I was going to have to get the 'marathon monkey' off my back.

And this was the year.

I had trained pretty well for this marathon.  I had done four 20 milers, three of which were on the trails.  I had also done an 18 and a 17 miler on the trails.  I had done some races on trails.  I was feeling comfortable.

I had no idea what I was in for.

This race was so hard.  For the majority of the race I wasn't even sure we were actually running on trails.  I think we were just traipsing through the forest.  There were roots and rocks and mud and river crossings.  Within the first mile and a half I had already fallen once.  I had forgotten to start my watch.  My food and hydration were already off.  I had planned on running with Megan and Bridget and within the first mile they were gone.  I was not having fun.  Dave told me after the race that he could tell I was not having fun. 

But after 10 miles things started to get better.  I had been trailing a girl that was going a little too slow for my liking and I was able to get around her finally.  I was by myself and feeling comfortable for the first time. I was gaining time and was feeling better about getting this done.

Around 13 miles was another rest stop.  I took a bathroom break and found Megan.  Yay!  I had someone to run with. Although the path was not big enough for us to run side by side, she ran in front of me and we were still able to talk.  We were able to hunt blazes together and keep each other going.  The course was relentless - full of steep climbs and descents.  It was good to have to someone there to keep me company and to keep the spirits high. 

At the 18 mile rest stop we found Bridget.  She had rolled her ankle badly, the ankle she broke earlier this year, and needed to drop out.  Too bad.  She was in the top 5 when it happened.  My stomach was a little indifferent at this time so I took some Coke at the rest stop.  It was the best tasting thing ever and certainly helped settle the stomach.

Mile 21 was our last rest stop before the finish.  Megan and I had been catching quite a few people at this point and this rest stop was no different.  I was amazed how long people spent at the stops.  I mean, we were all carrying our own supplies, why do you need to stop so long?  Anyway, we got out of there quickly and it was a long 5 miles to the finish.  We had been told that the last part of the race was really tough and that was no lie.  The climbs may not have been any different than the rest of the race but because you had already done 21 miles, they were tough.  We mostly hiked the hills and I got to the point where I was using my hands on my knees to push my legs up the hills.  I took two more falls in those last 5 miles and Megan took one really bad spill.  By the end I was toast and Megan got ahead of me.  Finally we broke out of the forest and onto paved road and it was only about 1/4 mile to the finish. 

In the end I went 5:39:01.  The time, to me, is irrelevant.  The good part is I got the marathon monkey off my back and I can move on to better things.  Like getting fast....

Friday, November 29, 2013

Wow! What a whirlwind couple of weeks!

As if having a child this year wasn't enough....

The husband is a person who loves his job, is good at his job, and has been super-devoted to his job.  He has worked at the same tirelessly in the same role year after year, change after change, since college.  We have crossed our fingers and rolled our eyes and felt elated and felt dejected at times during his tenure.  Working for a start-up company, in my opinion, has become harder as the years have passed, as we've grown up, as we've welcomed our family.  Unfortunately, about 6 weeks ago, the company's doors were closed and Dave was without a job for the first time in a long time and without much warning.  He worked like a crazy mad man, like it was his new full-time job, to find a new job.  He networked, he sent resumes, he interviewed and a short four weeks later he had several offers.  In the end he took the one that made the most sense to both of us and that would benefit our family.  I could keep my job.  His commute would be only about 15 minutes.  The pay was good.  And on Monday he starts his new job.

A year ago, before we had decided to move to California (and thank goodness we didn't!!!), we had started looking for a new house in the same city we live now.  We had wanted to downsize a little, have a bigger yard, more privacy.  We have been living in the same house for 10 years and just wanted something different.  We were ready to move on.  But then we had decided to move to California, then I got pregnant, and everything changed.

When Dave accepted his new job just a few weeks ago, I popped on Zillow for fun to see what was out there.  I was actually looking out a town just east of here that we have drooled over for a long time.  But after spending a time chauffeuring my son to and from my sister's house (who lives in the middle of NOWHERE!!!) we decided, no, we do not want to move that far.  So I started poking around in the current town we live in.  I was searching only by a certain dollar amount, but Dave clicked on one that was just outside of that range.  By the pictures it was cute and had potential.  We talked to our realtor and had him arrange a showing.  We viewed it and it was immediate: we were home.  This was the house in which we were supposed to raise Anderson.  It's a ranch, with a partially finished basement.  It has a big yard (almost an acre) with part of it fenced in.  It needs a lot of work but has tons of potential and all of the work is cosmetic.  And maybe my favorite part, it is on the bike trails through the town so we will be able to bike commute everywhere including work, which is less than 2 miles away.  We set up a second viewing with the realtor and took my parents with us.  They saw things that we didn't, but again, totally doable.  We thought about it for a weekend, called up on realtor on Monday and put in an offer.  By Tuesday afternoon, we had a counter offer.  We countered again on Wednesday, and this evening we found out they accepted our offer and we're in contract.  Holy cow!!!  Two weeks ago I looked at a house on Zillow and today we are in contract. 

Part of buying this house is the contingency of selling our house.  We only have 45 days to do so or the contract is void.  We have a great realtor and live in a neighborhood where houses sell quickly, so it's looking good. 

We are so excited.  It feels right.  It feels like fate. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Columbus Half Marathon 2013

Where to start....where to start....???

This was supposed to be my "A" race where I was going to try for a 1:35 or better.  But I quickly found out that I wasn't getting my speed back post-baby any time soon.  Then I got injured and actually thought of pulling out of the race.  Finally I decided I would just do it for fun.

Because of increased security, the pre-race instructions asked all participants to be in the corrals by 7:00am for the 7:30 start.  We left the house at 6:00.  It usually takes 15-20 minutes to get downtown.  We knew exactly where we wanted to park and there were a couple different exits we could take to get to the parking garage.  We were a little nervous about some road closures so we took the most obvious exit, as did every one else.  For 45 minutes we sat in traffic at that exit, past 7:00am.  I knew they weren't going to shut out all those people, but I was nervous and antsy.  Once off the exit, Dave took a side road and I urged him to let me out so I could walk to the start.

And then I got so lucky.  I was walking to the start, found an open Subway, which had a clean bathroom with no line.  Score!

I got into a corral as close as I possibly could.  The starting gun went off and no one moved.  At all.  But there seemed to be commotion on the side of the corral.  I found my way over there and I see that I'm in the wrong corral.  I was in corral B and I was supposed to be in A.  So they let me in and I was one of the very last people to start in corral A.  I never saw Dave or Anderson before I started the race.

It was cold race morning and I went back and forth about what to wear.  I eventually went with shorts, a t-shirt, light long sleeve shirt, and gloves.  I have the gloves off by mile one.  I had the long sleeves off by mile 3.  I saw a lot of overdressed people.  Or I just overheat quickly while running.

I got a new watch a few weeks ago (I swear I'll blog about this sometime) so I wanted to test out it's GPS abilities against a measured course.  For the first 5 miles it was dead on.  After that it got a little off.  In the end I was at 13.2ish miles.  Not bad.

Anyway, against the GPS I wasn't really gaining any speed and wasn't really losing any either.  Really consistent but not really as quickly as I wanted to go.  I was having fun, though, and that's all that mattered.

Around mile 9 I saw Dave among the throngs of people and was able to toss my shirt to him.  It's hard to tend to the baby, grab my shirt, and take pictures.  Thanks for the effort, Dave.

Despite not going all that fast, I felt like my form was good and the effort seemed easy.  The miles never seemed to drag on.  I've done a lot of running since Anderson was born and it shows.  Before I knew it I was back on High Street, mile 11, and heading to the finish line.

My overall time was 1:47:08.  Eh, it is what it is.  I had hoped to run faster but I'm just not there yet.  It makes me a little sad that a year ago I was 11 MINUTES!!! faster, but I have done zero speed training this year and have spent most of the last couple of weeks on the elliptical machine.  I'll get my speed back.  Patience.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Decisions....ugh, I hate them

I have two more races on the calendar this year: a 4 mile fun run with the family on Thanksgiving and the big giant 50K in December.  I have been internally debating the 50K every day for weeks.  During the marathon and immediately afterward I said absolutely NO WAY!  That shit was hard!  But a few days later I thought, it can't be any harder right?  What's 5 more miles?  Sure, I can do it. 

But really what's holding me back is my shin.  Ugh!  That damn shin!  I have babied the heck out of it - icing, PTing, moving most of my workouts to the elliptical.  Then when it's feeling good I do one run on the treadmill or the trails and BAM! It hurts again.

I threw it out to Facebook a while ago about deferring to next year as that was an option for this race.  Every single person who responded said to defer.  I didn't want to defer, though.  Who knows what I'd be doing next year?  Plus, I'm already registered and already trained.  So, I didn't defer.  The money's already spent.

This is my last big week of training I could put in before the 50K.  I had hoped to put in a solid week of training including another 20+ miler on the trails this coming weekend.  Right now, though, I'm hanging out on the elliptical and doing some pool running. 

Truthfully, I'm really torn about this race.  I guess I'll just see how this week unfolds.

Monday, November 11, 2013

2014: The Year of FAST!!!!!

As the 2013 season comes to a close I've been thinking about where I want to go with my running next year.  I enjoyed the challenge of trail running this year and it was nice to get the monkey off my back with running a marathon (race report soon), but truthfully, I love to road run and I love to run fast.  I haven't done a whole lot of that this year and I want to get my speed back.

I declare 2014, The Year of FAST!!!!!

No more marathons, no more trail racing (maybe), no more long trudges.  Everything will be a half marathon or less.  I want new PRs in the 5K, 10K, and half marathon.  I want to get lean, get muscular, get fast, and be one BAMF!

And to do this I'm going back to working with a coach

Now if I could just get my stupid shin to heal...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Priorities, Perspective, and Good Decisions

Dave did a half ironman back in September.  This race was brutal for him as he wasn't expected the hilliness of the bike course and then it was super hot for the run.  It was an equally unpleasant day for me as spectating this race was pretty boring plus I had to entertain the baby all day in the heat.  And he was too young for sunscreen so I was finding creative ways to keep him out of the sun.

At the end of the race, just at the other end of the finisher's chute, Dave picked up Anderson and held him.  One of the volunteers said, "and just like that, you're back to being dad."

I loved it.

Obviously, my whole world has changed since I had a baby.  And I truly love it.  My world seems more complete, more meaningful, more everything.  Waiting to have a baby until I we (were) was ready was one of the best decisions. 

I love coming home every day from work and seeing his smile.  I love watching him peacefully sleep.  I enjoy feeding him new foods and watching him discover the world.  But mostly I love how he has made everything else in my life less of a big deal.

Running has been meh since I had the baby.  Not good, not bad, just meh.  I've had some surprisingly good results, but I've been fighting injuries and haven't been able to run the way that I use to.  But every run I come home and it's baby time.  No time to dwell on the bad run; no time to bask in the great race.  It's time to be mom.

Jamie and I had a small Twitter conversation about mental health the other day.  I told him I am not ashamed that I needed help for my mental health issues.  I have suffered long enough and started medication in March and it was the best decision I could have made for myself, my baby, my family, my marriage.  I am so much happier now.  Things don't bother me the way that they use to.  I can cope with the stresses of life and having a 6 month old is certainly stressful.

My world has changed and it is so much better. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Injuries Updates

Yep, it's been another two weeks since I've blogged.  Life with a baby is busy, obviously.  Throw in working and working out on top of that and there's barely enough time to get to the grocery let alone blog.  I used to do most of my blogging at work and then fill in the gaps at home, but I got moved to the "big boys" table and now I sit right next to my boss.  So, it wouldn't be exactly a great idea to continue blogging at work.

Anyway, here's a quick update on my endless list of injuries that are plaguing me this fall.

My left hip is doing much better.  I continue to do some of the physical therapy exercises assigned.  Except for when I do a big run, it really doesn't hurt anymore.

My right shin, on the other hand, is just a mess.  It has continued to hurt more and more, to the point where I saw the doctor because I had a stress fracture.  (I didn't really think it was fractured as the pain got better when I ran and the pain wasn't pinpointed on the bone, but I didn't really know what else to do.)  The doctor diagnosed it as posterior tibial tendonitis and assigned me more physical therapy, specifically ultrasound.  I scheduled my appointment and hoped for the best.

But I got the worst.  The office called me and informed me that my insurance claim was denied because I had just had a PT evaluation and they wouldn't pay for another one for six months.  Shit.  So I got on the internet and googled the heck out of my diagnosis.  I found some exercises and even found some ways to tape it up to make it feel better.  I tried both and it felt better for a while but it was still too painful to run.  I was starting to wonder if the rest of my season, the big races I've already paid for, was going to be awash. I sent my doctor an email rambling on and on about insurance, and my pain, and what can we do????  He quickly responded and I had an appointment the next day for ART (active release therapy).

ART is pure torture and hurt so badly I had to hold on to my head to keep from screaming while it was being done.  And immediately after it felt terrible.  The next day, though, the calf/shin had loosened up quite a bit.  I stayed on the elliptical for the rest of my short runs during the week and was able to get through a 17 miler on the trails on Sunday (I had hoped to go 20 miles but ran out of time due to a family commitment.)  Monday everything hurt really bad again and I was limping around like my leg was cut off.  Tuesday I felt good enough to run the 7 miles from my house to my parents for dinner.  Wednesday I was in terrible pain again and today was a little better.  I had ART again this afternoon which loosened my shin but my calf still feels really tight.

This weekend I am running a road half marathon which is going to hurt like hell.  As for the trail marathon and 50K I still have on the schedule, well, I hope to keep them on the schedule.  After this weekend I can switch to all trails, treadmill, and elliptical with no road running.  Once the 50K is done at the end of December I am going to take some time off and let the body heal and SLOWLY return to running.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Busy Babes Half Marathon 2013

My sister, who recently got into running, sent me the link to her 10K for which she had been training.  The race also had a half marathon and it was only $20.  TWENTY DOLLARS!  How can you not sign up for a race when it's only $20!!!

But things got complicated leading up to the race.  First, I found out Dave was going to be in San Francisco for work this week and would not be back in time for the race, which meant I somehow had to figure out how to run it and do something with the baby.  Luckily, my parents were going to spectate my sister anyway and agreed to watch the baby.  And because it was such an early morning, I just spent the night at my parents house.  Secondly, I had a really tough time recovering from the 40K last week.  I was so sore at the beginning of the week I could barely walk.  And by the end of the week I was still hobbling.  Lastly, I have been battling really, really bad shin splints that may or may not be a stress fracture.  Running on pavement was probably not a good idea.

I put on my big girl panties, sucked it up, and did the race despite all that.

The race was small, maybe about 30 people and totally laid back.  Like, the start finish line was a chalk line on the path.

But, for a small race in only it's second year, I thought it was pretty well organized.  The miles seemed spot on, there were a good amount of water stops (though understaffed and not at regular intervals), and pretty good swag (shirt, medal, grab bag).  The only down side I saw was there was only one port-a-john on the course and it was only at the turnaround for the half marathon course.  This was an all-women's race.  There needed to be more port-a-johns.

Anyway, the start of the race was almost a little too casual.  They didn't give us any countdown or any warning.  We were all just standing around talking, back from the start line, when the DJ (yes DJ) said, "3,2,1, go".  Oh!  Okay!  And then we were off. 

I ran with a girl for about a mile, who eventually won it, and then I was all by myself for the rest of the race.  Like really alone.  The girl who won it went about 2-1/2 minutes faster than me and then the girl behind me went 5 minutes slower.

I hit the first mile in 8:30, which is right where I wanted to be.  Having done no speed work and having shown in my training that I still have no speed post-baby, I expected to be around a 1:50 for this race.  But then my second mile was low 8:00s and then I started flying.  I was actually dropping 7:30s pretty easily.  I was ecstatic!  I haven't hit paces like that since I had the baby!  This pace continued until maybe mile 9 or 10 and then I started getting tired.  My pace slipped to around the 8:00 range, but I was still doing good and knew I would be around a 1:45. 

My finish time was 1:44:19 for second place overall.  While I am happy with my placement, I am even more excited with my time.  I have had a hard time getting my speed back post baby, but this race was a great improvement.  Not where I was before baby, but certainly getting closer.

My sister and her friends had a great time at their first 10K and even invited me into their pictures.  I am so excited that my sister is enjoying running.  She has even hinted at maybe doing a half marathon next year.  It's so fun to share this experience with her and I hope we have more races together soon.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hocking Hills Indian Run 40K 2013

We watched the weather all week.  It looked like it was going to rain overnight on Friday and maybe on Saturday morning.  What should we do with the baby?  Sure the race started at the lodge, but what fun would that be for either Dave or Anderson to be stuck inside the lodge during my race?  We would have to leave for the race around 6:00am; could we get Anderson over to my parents' house before we needed to leave?  Could we make a morning decision?

The day before the race I checked the weather one last time and it said 70% chance of rain race morning.  All morning.  Crap!  I called my mom and before I even asked her anything, she giggled.  She already knew that she and Dad would be watching the baby all night long.  We were leaving the baby all night at Grandma's and Grandpa's.  This was a big step for us and I wasn't sure I was ready, but it was really, the choice we needed to make.

And what a good decision it was.  I was awoken that night by POURING rain.  It didn't stop either.  I woke up and it was raining.  We drove to the race site and it was raining.  I lined up for the race and it was raining.  And it kept raining the ENTIRE race.

I mean, if you're going to do a trail race it should be in the mud, right?

 This wasn't a big race, maybe 40ish people, so I started conservatively in the middle of the pack.  But not a mile into the race I discovered I was running second female with first place right in front of me.  For the next couple of miles we traded places until we struck up a conversation around mile 5 or so.  And she was nice and I thought, "you know Meredith, you haven't made a whole lot of friends being super-competitive".  So we talked and we ran and talked and ran.  And before we knew it we were done with the first lap, refueling our packs, heading back out for our second loop, and sharing first place.

As I mentioned before it rained this entire race.  The ENTIRE race.  There were several races going on too: 60K, 40K, 20K, 10K, 5K, all of them sharing the same course.  So the second loop was more congested and more muddy.  This course had a lot of road running, something I was not expecting.  Mile 3 and 15 go down, down, down, down, down to the point it hurts and you'd rather walk downhill.  Then you make a left onto Steel Hill which goes up and up and up.  I hiked this hill both times.  You stay on the trails for a while which are fire trails, nice a wide, and my new friend and I could run beside each other and talk.  The last part of the loop is pretty technical with lots of single track and roots and switchbacks.  The second time around this was messy and around mile 21 I just kept sliding down a hill until I fell.  Thank goodness it wasn't a hard fall this time and my new running friend waited on me.

We ran the whole 24+ miles minus two uphills two times.  We crossed the finish line together in a time of 4:05:19 (9:54 pace) for first and second place females and 6th and 7th overall.  I asked if they could give us a tie, but they said no.  In the end I guess my time was a fraction faster, so I won the race.  But, really we tied. 

With the win in this race I set one of my "super secret running goals" from my 13 in '13 list, which was to win a race.  I'm kinda liking this trail running stuff.  It really suits my running style.  I'm looking forward to a few more longer trail races this year.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Tunnel to Towers 5K 2013

I have a goal to run a race, regardless of distance or type, in all 50 states plus DC.  Before we went on vacation this year we scoured the internet to find a race.  Of course, in Hilton Head there was a race the week before and the week after we were there.  But I was able to find a 5K in Savannah, Georgia, which was somewhat close by.  So, Dad, Dave and I signed up in advance.

As it turns out, Savannah might be close in miles to Hilton Head but it takes a whole hour to get there and you have to cross this monster.

This was a pretty big 5K, in a state and place I've never raced, but wouldn't you know I was lined up right next to a former Trakkers teammate?!  What a small world.

As soon as the race started my legs said no.  It was like my brain was saying run and my legs were saying, "are you crazy!"  But things started moving and I was feeling okay.  I missed the first mile mark so I have no idea what was my pace.  The second mile was so cool.  You ran down this really long road and there were tons of boy scouts and girl scouts out there all holding pictures of firefighters who had died in 9/11 and everyone was waving little American flags.  Because I wasn't taking the race all that seriously, I made sure to slap high-fives with all the kids.

The third mile was full of twists and turns through the cobble stone streets and all the different squares.  Somehow I made it back to the start line where Dave was waiting for me and we waited for Dad.  My finish time was exactly 23:00. 

There was quite a good (not nutritionally) spread at the finish: hot dogs, beer, soda, etc. Of course, at 8:30 in the morning it tasted amazing.  The results were quickly posted.  Dave finished 5th or 6th in his age group.  I was fourth, and dad won his age group.  We stuck around for the awards.  I thought I might have a chance to get pulled up into the age group awards since the winner of my age group finished second overall.  Wouldn't you know they only gave first overall and nothing else overall?  So, I finished 4th in my age group.  Shucks!  And my dad, well, he didn't really win his age group.  I guess when I signed him up I accidentally signed him up as a female.  Woops!  We waited an hour for the awards and got nothing.  We could have been sitting on the beach.  :) 

Overall, it was fun and I picked up my 16th state!!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Running on Vacation

No rest for the weary when training for long races and on vacation.

Our very first full day of vacation I wanted to get in another 20 miler.  My only rule for vacation is that I got to sleep in and well, that was pretty stupid as I didn't start the run until after 10:00am and it was already hot!!!

 This is my, "I'm hot and it's only 8 miles" look.

Dave was my navigator and carried all my water and gels for me.  (My parents were watching the baby.)  It was so nice to have company.  I miss him riding with me during my long runs.

Lots and lots of refreshments.  Late in the run I actually stopped at McDonald's and added a lot of ice which I put down my shirt and into my water.

The run was long and I suffered through a lot of it.  I might pacts with myself that I could drink every half mile, or that I could stop when I reached the next mile marker.

When I reached the unexpected bridge I stopped, turned around and declared, NO!  I'M NOT GOING!!!  But I sucked it up and went anyway.

At 18-1/2 miles we were in Coligny Square where there were dancing fountains, and well, I joined all the kids in a refreshing dance through them.

Finally we were back in the neighborhood where we were staying.  We got a little lost, I finished the run, and then jumped on the back of Dave's bike to ride back to the house.  I did not want to walk one more step.

Jen Harrison-ing after the run.

I did a 10 mile run a few days later and had a great run.  At least it was redeeming from this sub-par 20 miler.  And then I ended the week with a 5K race.  More on that in another post.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

TFL and Shin Splints

You would think after 12+ years of endurance racing that I would be a little smarter.  I thought because I ran through my pregnancy and kept myself mostly in shape that I would have no trouble transitioning back to running.  I guess I forgot that my body had changed shape; I'm still carrying around 10 extra (stubborn) pounds; and really I was walking 10 miles a week, not running.  And for a while I took it slow, but then I quickly ramped up my miles and I started to get aches and pains, niggles and jiggles.  The pains have not gone away and my mileage has started to slip.  I've got big, long races coming up and I'm a little nervous.

I first started noticing some pain in my left hip.  This pain is pretty usual when I reach higher mileage (40ish miles per week, for me) and I had been to the doctor and PT before about it so I kinda knew what to do.  I would ice and do some exercises, but the pain wasn't going away.  So I went to the doctor who sent me to PT (duh) who told me I had a weak TFL muscle.

I went to a session of PT and was given a better explanation of exercises and stretches.  I've been doing them and the old hip seems to be getting better.

However, I kept running through the hip pain which means I was favoring one side, which of course means things started to hurt in other places.  And that's how I developed some bad shin splints in my right leg.  Further complicating the pain in my shin is the fact that I got a bad calf cramp in the same leg while I was running on vacation.  So, I basically have pain from my ankle to my knee on my right leg.  Awesome.

I'm taking my running slowly and carefully.  I'm icing and stretching and strengthening and doing some cross training.  My running has moved to the elliptical and treadmill for softer surfaces.  Hopefully things will improve soon so I can keep up with my training and racing schedule this fall.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A&F Challenge 5K 2013

My sister has recently taken up running.  This, of course, makes me so excited!  So when she asked if we were doing the A&F Challenge and if she could run it too, we jumped at the chance.  The thought was that I would race it, Dave would run with the stroller since he had just done his half ironman, and Amy would probably run with Dave.  But when it came time for the race, I was just feeling like I wanted to have fun, so I decided I would run with the stroller and with Amy. 

I didn't wear a Garmin and there were no mile markers, so I have no idea how we were doing.  I was talking Amy's ear off and in her own way I think she was telling me to shut up.  :)  We stayed together until maybe a quarter mile left.  I tried to get her to race me to the finish, but she was not having any of it.  I finished the race in 29:05, which was just fine and fun to push the stroller and hang out with my sister.  Amy finished closely behind me with a new PR of just under 30 minutes.  And Dave, that daggone Dave, went out and blasted another PR of 20-something.  Anderson just hung out in the stroller feeding himself a bottle.  He's a pro at racing already.

Monday, September 16, 2013

I'm Back

Because of the nature of my job, I spend a lot of time on social media and can easily get sucked into it.  I try, very hard, to watch what I say online as you don't know who is reading it and how it might affect others.  However, social media is a tricky thing as everything is written/typed and sarcasm, anger, happiness, etc. cannot always be easily interpreted.  A few weeks ago I put a comment on a Facebook status that was meant to strike up conversation and not controversy, but instead I got a nasty little email from the person basically, in a word, bitching me out for everything I've ever written.  What was said was very hurtful and kinda shook me.  I needed a break from social media.

I had planned to write every day in September.  I had/have lots to talk about.  I needed a little break and I think I will continue to kinda stay away from Facebook and Twitter (although I love me some Instagram), but I love my blog.  I love to write about my adventures and my little peanut.  So, I'm back.  And I have lots to write about.  Stay tuned for race reports (I'm running 4 races in September!!!), something I'm calling Operation: BAMF, a little injury I'm nursing, and pictures and stories from our vacation.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

He Blinded Me With Science

Confession: Dave and I are big Mythbusters fans. 

We are so lucky to have an amazing science museum in our town, COSI.  We don't go very often but every once in a while there is an exhibition there that we really want to catch.  Last year it was the 3D movie about tornadoes that was filmed during Stormchasers.  Unfortunately, we didn't go and see it.  This summer COSI hosted a Mythbusters exhibit and gosh darn it, we were going!  Luckily, I won tickets through a contest at work, Dave took the afternoon off work, and we spent Thursday at the science museum.

The Mythbusters exhibit was pretty awesome as we got to see the actual props and experiments used in the show.  There were 11 experiments that you could try yourself.  I really sucked at dodging a bullet.  My brick house I built was blown over by the winds.  And I couldn't change into a super-hero in a phone booth under a minute.  We did enjoy the experiment in which the myth was if you getting wetter walking or running in the rain.  Our results were you got wetter by walking.

You can't really see it in the picture.  Dave and Anderson walked through the rain and I ran.  They had more wet spots on them in the black light.

Dave and I did some experiments in the human body exhibit.  We got to measure our resting heart rate, active heart rate, flexibility, and strength.  I absolutely crushed Dave on the active heart rate.  This is why long distance running is a great sport for me!  I also crushed him in the flexibility (I guess those 8 years of gymnastics were good for something).  And I utterly failed on building a nutritious meal.  More on this in the weeks to come.

Another exhibit we did was called "Gadgets" and involved a lot of physics.  Being that we were at the museum late in the day, on a weekday, on a school day meant we practically had the whole place to ourselves.  We basically went wild in the Gadgets area and Anderson loved it.  Admission, I did cry when I watched do the experiments.  

Anderson absolutely loved this.  We might have to get a smaller version for his room.  Our little mad scientist.

Our last stop was the Water exhibit.  Anderson absolutely loves water.  Bath time is actually quite enjoyable for us (minus getting peed on nearly every time).  We let Anderson play and play without letting him get too wet.  And yes, I cried then too.

When Anderson gets bigger we're definitely going to have to get an annual membership and enjoy all the fun stuff more often.  Plus, COSI has programs for kids beginning at 6 months old.  I participated in a Young Scientist program there when I was a kid and learned a lot.  We will most definitely be enrolling him in these programs.  I still have two more free passes to COSI that we are going to use at later date and try more experiments.

Do you have a science center in your town?  Do you watch Mythbusters?  Did you enjoy doing science experiments when you were a kid?  How about now as an adult?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Foto Friday

The Bug turned 5 months old this week (and I swear I will take some pictures and post those soon).  We decided it was time to start introducing some new foods.  I had purchased some rice cereal awhile ago but hadn't used it, not even in a bottle, because the baby sleeps like, well, a baby.  The doctor suggested feeding it to him using a spoon so this week we tried it.  He didn't love it; he didn't hate it; he didn't eat much. 

Without giving too much information, because our child is formula fed we battle some constipation issues.  Yeah.  We have tried giving him some water but haven't had a whole lot of success.  I had read that apple juice was good (read it on the Mayo Clinic website), but was made nervous about it after reading crazy mom forums (stay off the internet!!!).  Instead we decided to introduce fruit straight up.  I'm not ready to give him food "meals" but instead I got one of those mesh food thingies that I've heard good things about.  We started with a peach, which he enjoyed, and we've done a cantaloupe, which he liked too.  Fingers crossed that it helps his belly.

Tune in tomorrow for more baby awesomeness.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


This morning my phone popped up the password verification for my Apple ID.  I didn't really think anything of it until I opened my email and had two emails from Apple.  One said my Apple ID had been changed and the second one was a notification that a purchase had been made on my account.  Now, I get a lot of junk and phishing emails so I sent those emails to Dave to see if they were legit emails.  He called me right away and they were.  It seemed my account had been hacked.


So yeah, I had $90+ in gift cards in my account along with my credit card tied to that account.

I called Apple and started talking to a customer service rep.  She wasn't very understanding of what was going.  She thought my phone was stolen.  No, I was talking on the phone.  I, luckily, had the email of the hack as it had been sent to me when the fraudulent purchase was made.  She saw that it was my account but with a different email but was didn't really know what to do from there.  Thank goodness she transferred me to a supervisor who spent the next hour on the phone with me trying to get everything straightened out.

In the end no money was taken from my account.  The fraudster couldn't access my credit card because he/she was outside the country and needed the CCV code to use the credit card.  He/she was trying to use my gift cards but somehow only managed to download a free app, which I had the customer service rep deactivate.  I got my account email changed along with my password which I made way more difficult.  In addition, we created a two step verification where questions would need to be answered exactly for any purchases to be made. 

I don't mention what I do for my real job very often.  My title? Fraud Analyst.  Dude messed with the wrong bitch on this one.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Week in Review

Lots of miles; not many days.

Monday - 5 miles, 0.25 hours strength training
I started this run on the road and finished it on the treadmill.  In between I did five rounds of 5 squats on the BOSU with 45 pounds, and 100 jump ropes.

Tuesday - Off

Wednesday - 13 miles treadmill

Thursday - 0.25 hours strength training
Warm up of 100 jump ropes
21-15-9-9-15-21 of deadlifts (85 pounds), mountain climbers, BOSU situps (10 pounds)
Cool down of 100 jump ropes

Friday - Off

Saturday - 20 miles trails
I met up early with Bridget and ran the first loop with her.  Then the rest of the group came and I was all alone for the next lap and a half.  Bridget finished out the 20 miles with me after everyone else had left.  I did this 20 miler 6 minutes faster than the previous one.

Sunday - 2 miles treadmill, 0.25 hours strength training
Strength training was 5 x clean and jerk (45 pounds), bicep curls (10 pound dumbbells), 10 knee pushups, 15 squats on BOSU (45 pounds).

Run - 40 miles
Strength Training - 0.75 hours

Friday, August 23, 2013

Foto Friday

I ran a 13 mile run on Wednesday night and had horrible mommy guilt about spending that much time running and not with the kiddo.  So, I made it up to him by taking him to the park during lunch on Thursday.  We did a little swinging, a little sliding.  He didn't necessarily love it, but he didn't hate it either.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Epic.  I'm thinking I need to do something epic.  I can't get it out of my head that I want to try ultras...50K, 50 miler, 100 miler???? 

What's one epic adventure you'd like to do? 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Chippewa Creek Trail Challenge 10 Miler 2013

This was a real trail run: roots, rocks, mud, single track, sharp downhills, steep uphills, and horse poop.  :)

The Chippewa Creek Challenge was held in Dave's hometown, so I decided to do this race so Dave's family could visit with the baby and I could get in some trail training.  Dave's family, though, is on vacation in Alaska so I kind of felt dumb driving all the way to Cleveland for a 10 mile race.  On Friday I had a rough day and basically threw a fit.  Idon'twanttogo!  Idon'twanttogo! Idon'twanttogo!!!  But I did.  And surprisingly slept really well the night before.  The morning of, though, I was nervous.  Trail running is all new to me and it freaks me out.  I do not like new things.  Bah humbug!!!

I ate a bagel for breakfast (yay, for actually being able to eat something despite being nervous) and then we headed over to the park WAY to early.  I picked up my packet (t-shirt and number - just how it should be) and waited it out in the car.  It was chilly and I didn't have anything long sleeved.  Finally, I came out, took my finally bathroom break, and got ready to race.

 It was cold at the start.

What a mixture of people.  Everyone was talking about their fancy trail shoes.  Some had backpacks, some handhelds, and I went with my water belt.  I saw people wearing gaiters. And funny enough, lots and lots of running skirts were worn.  To my surprise, it was about 50/50 men to women.

They told us about the course beforehand.  Follow the Burning River arrows or orange flags.  Don't follow the orange streamers in the trees.  Challenging.  Dry (yeah right!).  Good luck.

And we were off.  There was a little section on the paved path and then we turned left onto the trail.  From there it seemed we were uphill, uphill, uphill. I was doing pretty well on the uphills.  And then we went downhill.  Steep downhill, on very narrow trails, with lots of roots.  I found myself grabbing trees just to slow down and stay upright.  Because I suck so bad on the descents I fell back of the people I was following.  Suddenly I was alone in a valley with several switchbacks.  And I thought I was lost.  I yelled at the people behind me, "Am I going the right way?"  They said, "I don't know.  We're following you."  Great.

 This was a tame downhill, comparatively.

I didn't wear a Garmin so I have no idea what I was pacing.  I felt fast on the flatter surfaces and did okay other places.  Some of the downhills were so sharp I was basically walking.  And there were two uphills that were so steep I had to hike instead of run.  By the end of the race I was gaining confidence and then BOOM!  I was down.  I guess I had tripped over a root or a rock, but I came down hard on both knees and skidded on my hands and left side.  I was up in a flash and without even dusting myself off I continued running.

This is what I looked like after the fall: lots of dirt and blood.

And this is what my knees looked like all cleaned up.  I also have scrapes on my upper left thigh and a huge bruise on my left thigh.  I must have landed on a rock.

When I finished I was a little disappointed with my time, 1:37:31, which is a 9:45 pace.  But the overall female winner only averaged 8:30s so I guess it's all relative.  With trail running you have to throw pacing out the window.  I had a lot of fun and found it difficult.  Not difficult like I'm going to puke my lungs out, but difficult on the mind.  You always had to be thinking about where you were going to step next and be willing to change anything in an instant.  I'm really looking forward to continuing with trail racing and seeing the results get better.  But first I need to let my wounds heal....

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Shuffle of Shame

I struggle with high weekly mileage.  For me, that's 40 miles per week and beyond.  I get lots of aches and pains - hip, hamstrings, calves.  I can take ice baths, wear compression gear, use the foam roller, stretch, but nothing seems to help it.  My body does not like to run that many miles.  The problem is that I'd like to get into ultra running and I'm just not sure I can do it.


I've been hurting after the 20 mile run on Saturday, but training doesn't wait for soreness to go away.  Because I'm running only a 10 mile race this weekend, I needed to get in my weekly long run of 18 miles during the week.  I found time (and good weather) to do it on Tuesday.  I was gimpy right from the start.  I figured the soreness would fade as the miles went on and for a while, say between 4-7 miles, that seemed to be okay.  At 8 miles I turned around and figured 16 miles would be enough.  By 10 miles I was in trouble.  I was really suffering and I was starting to worry I was not going to make it home before the sun set.  I was going to need to do quite a bit of walking.  At 11 miles I took a detour to my parents' house.  I approached their driveway in my "shuffle of shame" and had to ask if they could drive me home.  In total I got in 12.6 miles.

This week I need to step back and let my aches and niggles take care of themselves.  Or else, I'll be doing another shuffle of shame in this weekend's race.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Week in Review

The miles are starting to catch up with me....

Monday - Off

Tuesday - 5 miles, 0.25 hours strength training
Strength training was 4 rounds of 10 snatches (45 pounds), 10 side crunches (10 pounds), 10 BOSU crunches (10 pounds), 10 oblique crunches (10 pounds).

Wednesday - 12 miles
Started this run with Dave and the baby.  We did 4 miles together and then I did the remaining 8 by myself.  It was HOT and HUMID outside and I could only manage to average 9:00/miles for the entire 12.

Thursday - Off

Friday - Off

Lazy much???

Saturday - 20 miles trails
I hit the trails early knowing this was going to take me a while.  The running group was meeting at 8:00am so I started at 7:00 to get in about 6 miles before anyone else showed up.  I started REALLY conservatively, nearly 11:00/miles.  Around the 3 mile mark I ran into a friend running the opposite direction who was also starting early as she wanted to get in three loops of the course.  I turned around and ran with her.  She was running quite a bit faster and I was already suffering.  It's a long day, Meredith.  Chill out!  So, I told her I needed to slow down and she slowed with me.  We met the group at 8:00 and there were some fastiest there and others who might be running about what I was.  We started out and almost immediately I got dropped by everyone.  For the next 15+ miles, I ran alone.  I just kept running and chugging along.  I finished the run in 3:17:07 for a 9:51 pace.  This was tough.  I can't believe I have 4 more 20 milers to go.

Sunday - Off

Running - 37 miles (in only three days!!!)
Strength - 0.25 hours

Saturday, August 10, 2013


**I swear there is more to this blog than just pictures of the baby and weekly running updates.  I will be running several races in the next couple of weeks.  Get excited!!!**

Last week I posted on Facebook about my 12 mile run I did on a weeknight.  A friend left a comment saying, basically, that she didn't know how I balanced my time having a new baby and training.  This was a little, tiny punch to the gut for me as I've had a bit of 'mommy guilt' about training as much as I have, but there are several reasons why I shouldn't feel guilty and am finding balance in my life.

We spend a lot of time with the baby.  Dave and I both work, but the baby does not go to a sitter or daycare.  I work part time and I work really early in the morning: 6-10am.  Dave starts work after I come home from work (he works from home).  So, the baby gets daddy and mommy all day long.

We will sometimes include Anderson in the workouts.  We will either put him in the stroller and push him while we run or, if need be, he will sit in his swing while I am on the treadmill.  We also have a membership to the Y which has baby sitting, although we have yet to use this.

Dave and I split our workouts.  On our long weekend workouts, he gets Saturday mornings and I get Sunday mornings.  During the weeknights, if our workouts are short enough, I will do one and then he will do one and we will eat dinner after the baby has gone to bed.  On days we one of us has longer workouts, we will either do part of it together with the baby or use the treadmill/trainer for part of it and then when the other person is finished they will take care of the baby. 

All of this, currently, works for us as the baby is not mobile.  I'm not sure how we'll have to adjust once he starts crawling and walking.

I was talking to a friend about my mommy guilt while working out.  She said, "running helps us be the best version of ourselves - that will help you be a better mom, and a great role model for him."


Friday, August 09, 2013

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Country Boy and Girl Getting Down on the Farm

My sister and I live in two different worlds.  I am hands-down a suburbanite.  I live in a cookie-cutter house, on a postage stamp lot, in a neighborhood of over 300 houses.  I live within a few miles of everything: grocery stores, gas stations, malls, schools, etc.  We are an all-American family: college education, dual income, one child, one dog.  My sister, on the other hand, is 180 degrees the other way.  She lives out in the sticks with neighbors who live acres away.  The houses around her are a pig farm, a chicken farm, and a dairy farm.  Her closest grocery store is over 10 miles away.  There are no stoplights in her town.  Her husband drives a combine. 

Our worlds collided this week at the Hartford Fair.  My oldest niece and nephew were showing their pigs at the fair, so Anderson and I came along to watch (cheer them on?  congratulate them?  what is protocol for a pig show?).  We check out all the animals: pigs, cows, horses, goats, sheep, turkeys, ducks, roosters, and frogs.  We looked at the big tractors.  I also finished off the day with some delicious Velvet ice cream. 

Here's a few pictures from our time at the fair.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Week in Review

So. Many. Miles.

Monday - 5.5 miles, track workout
You can read about this workout here.

Tuesday - 10 miles, treadmill
Why do I keep torturing myself with these long runs on the treadmill??

Wednesday - off

Thursday - 2.25 miles treadmill, 0.25 hours strength training
We started this as a much longer run on the roads, but then my parents called and asked if we wanted dinner so we stopped the run 0.25 miles into it.  After dinner and dessert, though, I felt like I needed more working out, so I ran two miles on the treadmill and did 5 rounds of 5 shoulder presses at 55 pounds and 100 jump ropes.

Friday - 7 miles, tempo run; 0.25 hours strength training
I started this run on the treadmill because I had the baby (he was in the swing) and Dave was working.  But Dave finished up work and took the boy, so I finished this out on the roads.  I also did 15 minutes of core work which just about killed me.

Saturday - off

Sunday - 17 miles, trail
I was barely a mile into this run when I ran into some women I knew.  They asked me to join them and of course I was totally down for running with others.  They were running a little slower than I had planned, but so what.  A mile is a mile is a mile.  I wound up running about 9-1/2 miles with them before they called it quits.  Then I was on my own for the rest.  And it went well.  I saw a snake at 14-1/2 miles that was stretched clear across the path.  I jumped as high as Michael Jordan to get over the snake and let out a loud shriek!  I hate snakes!  I did the total run in just under 3 hours.  A little slower than I should probably be going and am capable, but who cares.  I got the run done and feel pretty good about my distance and trail running right now.

Running - 41.75 miles
Strength Training - 0.5 hours

Friday, August 02, 2013

Foto Friday

Your weekly dose of cuteness.  Follow me on Instagram: @meredithgordon

Ready to measure out his run.

 Honestly, this is how happy he is when he wakes up most days.

And he's absolutely precious when he's sleeping.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Getting Faster

After a long break, because frankly I don't like the workouts, I headed back to the track this week.  I'm only going to get faster if I do faster workouts, right?  The workout this week was 2 X 1200 and 4 X 800 with 2:00 rest interval in between each.  Ugh!  Anything longer than a 400 is too long, in my opinion. 

I had barely started my warmup and my iPod said to me, "battery low."  Crap!  So, I turned it off to conserve battery and use it during the actual workout.  The workout started, turned on the iPod and again, "battery low".  Not even 100 meters into the first 1200 and the iPod died.  Shoot!  I would be doing a track workout sans iPod.  This was going to suck. 

But it didn't suck, too badly.  I mean, I didn't enjoy it, but I was turning pretty good paces.

1200 - 5:08 (6:51 pace)
1200 - 4:58 (6:37 pace)
800 - 3:17 (6.34 pace)
800 - 3:17 (6:34 pace)
800 - 3:21 (6:42 pace)
800 - 3:18 (6:36 pace)

Guess those 53 days of running in a row did me good.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The baby is 4 months old, already!!!

"It's my birthday, bitches!"

We had our four month checkup at the pediatrician today and The Bug is doing great (despite getting 4 shots!!!).  His head is still gigantic at 90th percentile.  He is super long - 26 inches - in the 75th percentile.  His tiny on the weight size, though.  Only 25th percentile at 14 pounds 2 ounces.  The doctor didn't seem concerned though as he's gaining weight and seems fine.  I was a tall, skinny child (yes I once was tall), so I guess he's taking after me.

What else?

Anderson has reached a fun age.  He smiles, he laughs, he tries to talk to you and talks often.  He can roll from his back to his front all the time and sometimes can manage from his front to his back.  Although, he does it using momentum instead of using his feet and hands.  He's starting to hold his bottle all by himself.  He sits in his high chair while we eat or do things in the kitchen.  He's grown out of most of his clothes and is already fitting in 9 month clothing because of his length.  He has kept all his hair and looks more and more like a little boy every day.  People are surprised all the time when we tell them how old he is because he looks so much older.

Anderson is just awesome and I love him a little more every day. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Doing what a mother runner has to do

Dave had a race this morning.  What a cluster that was!  First of all, packet pick-up was only for five hours downtown at the Health and Fitness Expo.  So we hurried back from Michigan so he could make it on time.  The race was point-to-point starting up in Delaware at Alum Creek and finished downtown.  So he had to drop off his bike way up in Delaware also on Saturday.  When he got there he discovered that none of his gears would work.  Hoping that he could hook up with the bike mechanics in the morning, he left his bike racked.  By this point it was after 9:00pm and he picked up a pizza on his way home.  I put the baby to bed by myself on Saturday.  After dinner at 10:00, Dave did a little bit of work.  Then his alarm went off at 3:00am (!!!!!) today so that he could make it downtown to catch the shuttle at FIVE FREAKIN' AM!!! to get up to Alum Creek for his race start before 7:00.  Oh my stars!  Needless to say, Anderson and I stayed home and wished him luck on Saturday.

But that had nothing to do with the title of this post, sorta.

Um, I didn't run while I was in Michigan.  Like, at all.  Going into today I had a whopping 2 miles for the week.  That's not very much considering I'm supposed to be training for an ultra.  :)  Today I was supposed to run 15 trail miles, but really wanted to get it done early and not have to wait for Dave to get home from his race.  But, um, I have the baby.  What did I do?  I decided a mile is a mile is a mile so I hit the roads with Anderson in the BOB.  I had planned on the full 15 miles.  I had gels packed, water, diapers, etc.  What I didn't pack was a bottle and the run was dragging on a little longer than I intended.  So, I turned around at 4 miles to make it 8 miles instead of the full 15.  I planned on doing the remaining 7 miles later in the day on my own.  A mile is a mile is a mile, right?  (Those 7 miles never happened.)

By the way, I averaged sub-10:00s with the stroller for 8 miles.  Nice!!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pure Michigan

Although we were not at the beach, there was lots of water and lots of sand.  Here's tons of pictures of the adventures of our short, unplanned, vacation.

Let's just say, I'm not so good at kayaking.  Or I wasn't very good at kayaking on this try.  Our house was right on the Platte River so we loaded up the kayaks into the van, drove aways down the road, and dropped ourselves into the river.  Then we followed into until we got to the house and got pulled out of the water.  The river had a current and we went with it.  It also had a lot of trees and sometimes those trees got in the way.  I ran into many a tree but stayed afloat.  My sister on the other hand, was not so lucky as she got flipped three times.

On the pontoon
My family rented a pontoon boat one of the days.  Unfortunately, Dave didn't get to go with us as he had to work, but I rearranged my schedule so I could go.  It was cold that morning.  I was on the boat in my sweatshirt and jeans.  I was on vacation, damn it, and I climbed in the water to try out some tubing of my own.  Everyone did some tubing and some swimming during the day, including baby Anderson.  He really did not like his lifejacket, though.

More Tubing
After hanging out on the pontoon all day and doing a little shopping around Glen Arbor, we came back to the house, grabbed our intertubes and headed out to soak up the sun on the river.  This time Dave joined us as we floated down for a while.  I was only slightly better at this than kayaking.  At least I could get out and touch and move the tube if needed.

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes
The last day of our trip we headed to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park to take the scenic drive and catch some sites.  Dude, those dunes are tall and windy and sandy.  Here's a cute family photo.