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.