Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December Totals

December 1st was the start of my new training cycle and so far, I've been smashing it.  Sure, I haven't done all the workouts or done all the workouts as assigned.  I've been consistent, though, and it's making a difference.  I feel confident, strong, and powerful.  Bring on the new year!

Swimming - 15,550 yards
Biking - 43.42 miles
Running - 67.43 miles
Strength - 3.5 hours
YMCA Visits - 16
Cost per visit - $5.33

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Super Cool Christmas Present

A few days before Christmas Dave said to me, "do we have any spray adhesive?"  What?!  And then a little while later, "do you know where you quilting cutter-thingy is?"  "Do you know where your fabric mat is?" 

What the heck are you doing??

I started to wonder if Dave had gotten one of our family pictures blown up for a gift and was doing something with it.  What that something was, I had no idea.

The last present I opened for Christmas was the big one; the gift Dave had been crafting.  It was a giant map of the United States.

What the heck??

Then he explained it to me.  It was a map glued to a push pin board so that we could mark where we've raced.  Yes, we have a goal to race in all 50 states.

So we started to mark it up.  We used big-balled pins to mark our major races - red for my marathons, blue for Dave's marathons and ironmans, and white for major races we have both done.  The smaller-balled pins are for more minor races like 5ks, half marathons, and triathlons.  The picture doesn't make the pins very prevalent but it looks so much better in real life.  I plan to hang it up in our entry way, with hopefully a homemade "Oh, the Places You'll Go and Race" sign so it's a great conversation piece for our guests.

In 2015 I will be picking up Wisconsin and hopefully Oklahoma.  Maybe we can even find a race in Florida.  I can't believe we don't have Florida.  We go every.single.year!

How many states have you raced in?  Do you want to race in all of them?  Do you plan on becoming a 50 state marathoner?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Kalahari Fun with the Fam

My sister surprised us all for Christmas with an impromptu weekend getaway to Kalahari, an indoor water park in Sandusky. This place is massive and a little overwhelming - water slides, wave pool, kiddie areas, bars, restaurants, arcades and games, and a huge hotel.  It was a little like Disney World on a smaller scale, but still, people EVERYWHERE!!!  We started off the afternoon with some family fun.  The older kids hurried to the water slides.  Dave, Anderson, and I took our time with a little lazy river, wave pool, and kiddie areas.  My mom held Anderson so we could take a trip down a water slide.

We went to dinner at Chet and Matt's (seriously the best pizza in Sandusky or maybe anywhere for that matter) and then everyone turned in while Dave and I hit up the water park again until it closed.  In about 45 minutes we were able to do five water slides.  My favorites were the ones with the individual inner tubes.  You betcha, I slept well that night.

Sunday, yesterday, we got up, had breakfast and started all over again.  Dave and I added some attractions to our list.  He went down a body slide, while we both did the boogie boarding.  Yeah, I got a lot of water up my nose with that one.  And some serious wedgies!!!  Most of the day was spent chilling with my homies and making sure Anderson didn't turn into a human Popsicle. 

The ride home was quiet.  Needless to say, we turned in early last night.  I'm still really tired this morning.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Week in Review

I'm now four weeks into my new training plans, and I tell you, I've been working harder than I have in a long time.  And consistent - I'm really trying to do things in order and do all the workouts.  This week was pretty good, even with Christmas and a surprise trip out of town this weekend (more on that Monday).

Planned: 2300 swim with a long set in the middle; strength training
Actual: The long set of the swim was near the end and I was tired by the time I got to it.  I really had to concentrate on my form throughout.  2300 yards; 30 minutes of strength.

Planned: track workout with a zillion 200s.
Actual: I felt like a rock star with this workout.  My 200s were fast and consistent with all but one with the same time and that one was one second faster.  Boom!  5.75 miles.

Planned: 2000 swim; 30 minute easy run
Actual: Unfortunately, I didn't get the swim in, but I did do an easy run on the treadmill.  3 miles.

Planned: 45 minute bike; two different strength workouts
Actual: Yeah, I didn't get to the bike ride this week.  I probably shouldn't be skipping my bike rides.  I did do one of the strength workouts - short and sweet.

Planned: short run with hills
Actual: I just did an easy run on the treadmill as the long run I had planned this week was going to be plenty hilly.  3.5 miles

Planned: Long run; strength training
Actual: I got to run with Amanda as she was home for the holidays.  We ran at a local metropark that has a hilly, rocky trail.  She and my friend Bridget really took it to Dave and me; I ran paces I haven't hit there maybe ever.  I wasn't able to do the full long run, but did enjoy some social time with Amanda before heading out of town with the family.  5.72 miles; 30 minutes of strength

Rest Day

Swim - 2300 yards
Bike - 0 miles
Run - 25.23 miles (this included some extra mileage that was not part of the plan)
Strength - 1.25 hours

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmases #2 and #3

Christmas #2 was at my parents' house on Christmas eve.  It was CRAZY TOWN!!!  I swear my sister's kids must have had 10 gallons of soda each!  After the wrapping paper was flown and all the boxes were cleaned up, we had a great Christmas with the family.  Dave and I were gifted a new chest freezer which is great because our 27 year old fridge/freezer doesn't exactly have a lot of room, plus we had to leave our previous freezer at our old house.  We were also gifted six months of drinking water supply.  Great gift!  Personally, I got a new pair of Oiselle running tights.  Anderson got a billion matchbox cars.  The biggest surprise was a family trip THIS COMING WEEKEND!!! to a very large indoor water park.  More details and pictures next week.

Christmas #3 was our personal Christmas with just the three of us - well, plus my parents who came over to watch Anderson open his gifts.  I got a new reflective vest that also has flashing lights in it.  I also got a new training log.  And my coolest gift was a large map of the US.  Weird?  I'll explain next week.  Anderson got some cool toys and lots of camping equipment.  Yep, we're planning on camping this summer.  Well, maybe.  Maybe it will just be Dave and Anderson in the back yard.  I got Dave a new tool for our renovations and an entry into a local half marathon.  Is that a good gift?  I would have loved it.  I'm not so sure Dave was excited.

It was a great Christmas with fun family and cool gifts.  I enjoyed watching Anderson open his gifts and get excited about his toys.  Christmas has a whole new meaning with the little one.  I enjoy it so much more.  I hope you all had a happy holiday.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Foto Friday

Christmas was so awesome this year with Anderson.  With each gift he figured it out more and more and was totally an expert by the end.  I didn't take a whole lot of pictures because I wanted to experience Christmas with him, but here's a few I got.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Grandma

We were part of one of the sweetest things last night at the local supermarket.

Of course, we were last minute Christmas shopping - presents for the dog.  Yep, we're those people.  Anyway, there was a sweet old woman in the dog treats area with lots and lots of coupons.  She turned to us and said, "do you have a dog?"  Why yes we do!  She started going through her coupons and helped us pick out some treats and use her coupons.  She said she was 83 (I love that old people brag about their age) and she didn't have a dog but she cut the coupons for her 89 year old sister who has two dogs.  After we picked out our treats she said, "I know they don't like people to leave coupons for others, but I don't care what they think" and then she just left the coupons laying there for others to use.  Beautiful.  I might have cried.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Chickened Out

Let's just say, I'm socially awkward.  Well, socially-don't-want-to-participate?  I have a friend who is the most BEAUTIFUL woman ever and has this very put together life and family and she used to invite me to everything.  I would always accept and then find a million excuses to get out of it.  I love to be invited to things, but I don't actually want to go.  I figure I'm going to be awkward and weird and I'd rather just stay home in my sweatpants.

A few weeks ago, I contacted the local swimming masters program.  I knew they met early in the morning, which would work for my schedule, and I knew that they were good and had good participation.  I have been interested for years but never did anything about it.  Over the weekend, I heard back from the group with a very detailed email.  I was excited and returned the email with plans to attend this week. 

Last night I was crazy tired.  I had gotten up at 5:30am to work out; spent the day running around trying to get last minute Christmas stuff done; and then finished the day with yet another workout (seriously, am I training for a marathon or an ironman??).  I was exhausted by 8:00pm and crawled into bed at 10:00.  That's pretty early for me.  I was so tired that I was like "well, if I wake up at 5:00, I'll got to masters at 5:30" but I did not set an alarm.

Wouldn't you know I woke up on my own at 4:45 this morning?

I didn't go.  I don't want to go alone.  I feel like that new kid at school and everyone's staring at you.  I don't want to be awkward.  Plus, I just can't justify the cost of it when I already pay a coach who writes swim workouts and have a Y membership where I do my swimming. 

Do you all swim masters?  Do you do separate swim workouts from your triathlon coaches?  Do you have a separate gym membership in addition to your masters program?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas #1

Due to work and vacation schedules, we celebrated Christmas with Dave's side of the family this past weekend.  We were excited to share this Christmas with our little guy as now that he is almost two we figured it would be fun to see his joy and happiness.  Well, that lasted all of about three gifts and then we started to wonder away.  Truly, I think our dog was more excited about the gifts than Anderson was.  Regardless, Anderson got some fun stuff that he has been playing with.  He got a miniature basketball hoop, a giraffe tricycle (starting him early in triathlon), and one of those popper vacuum-type toy.  He especially loves that one which his momma can attest to is LOUD!!!

Myself, I got a lot of great running and triathlon stuff.  I got a new bike helmet which was needed as mine has a crack down the middle and probably isn't very safe.  I got a winter running vest from Saucony.  I've never worn a vest while running but there are certainly days where I think "too warm for a jacket, not warm enough for just a long-sleeved shirt".  I got a new pair of running shoes.  Stockpile, baby.  And I got a pull-up assist strap.  I am going to learn how to do a pull-up!!!

Dave got some electronic stuff that I don't understand and he's already put it to work in the house, which I don't understand either. 

Christmas #2 is Christmas Eve at my parents' house and then we will have a simple Christmas just Dave, Anderson, and me on Christmas morning.  I hope your holidays are off to a good start.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

New Toy!

When I found out I qualified for USAT Age Group Nationals, I had a serious conversation with my coach.  We discussed my thoughts on all the running goals I had and if I would still be able to go after those.  For real, my running is my love.  Triathlon is just a sometimes hobby.  And then we discussed my suckage (it's a word) at biking.  I suck at biking.  SUCK!!!  And I don't want to suck.  I would love to be able to hold my own and then catch those chicks on the run.  I shouldn't suck as bad as I do.  Coach has been gently nudging me for years to get a powermeter so we can get down to the bottom of my biking suckage.  A few years ago I saved enough money to get one and then spent the money on new carpet.  Priorities.  But this year I decided to get serious about this.  I'm not going to go into Nationals and hope to not finish last.  So on Cyber Monday I found a good deal and purchased a new powermeter.  Yesterday it finally arrived.

After searching for tools for nearly a half hour, I was able to get the chainrings off my bike and onto the powermeter. 

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to remove my crank as don't have the tools to do that, plus I wouldn't be able to install the new bottom bracket as I don't have the tools for that either.  Now I have to figure out how to get the baby and my bike into the local bike shop today...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday's Menu

I'm on a quest to get healthy, fit, and fast!  I would lovelovelove to get Whole30 a-go, but I've tried and tried and can't get past the first few days of cravings.  I always cave and wind up with cake or a martini.  So, I'm slowly starting to build my nutritious meals in hopes that some day I can actually make it through a whole month (and training cycle).

My new favorite breakfast is actually courteous of The Biggest Loser tv show and is Whole30 approved.  It's very simple too (although clean up is a different story).  Basically, you cut open an avocado, crack and egg into each half of it, and then cook it at 350 for 20 minutes.  Then we eat it with salsa.  It is so yummy!

As I've said, clean up is a different story.  The egg usually gets all over the pan and then is baked on.  Our dishwasher and terrible water does not do the job.  I try to remember to immediately put water and soap into the pan and let it soak.  Then I usually have to use a spatula to scrape it all off before actually washing.  If someone has a better idea, please let me know.

What's your favorite healthy breakfast?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Week in Review

I did better this week of getting the workouts done, although I still fell a little short.  Baby steps.

Planned - 30-60 minute run with a few drills
Actual - 40 minute run; 4.62 miles in the dark.  Only rolled my ankle once!  I also made up last week's missing swim workout.

Planned - 2300 swim with a lovely progressive ladder in the middle of it; 30 minute basic strength
Actual - 2300 yard swim in 45 minutes; did one mile of run before strength and one mile after; 30 minutes of strength.

Planned - 45 minute track workout (30 second pick ups)
Actual - Hit the track at 6:00am in the cold and rocked out this workout.  My picks varied from a 6:44 pace to a 7:06 pace.  5.35 miles.

Planned - 2400 swim with lots and lots of drills; 15 minutes of core work
Actual - Unfortunately, I never made it to the pool but I did do the core work and made Dave do it with me.  He loved it.

Planned - 40 minutes of biking with specific drills
Actual - I didn't get to do the drills as Dave kept talking to me and asking me questions and then my mom called in the middle of the workout.  Regardless, I still rode my bike on the trainer for 45 minutes.  8.28 miles

Planned - 55 minute long run with holding a sustainable pace after a short warmup; hip, arm, and ab strength
Actual - Rocked this workout holding a steady pace without using my Garmin as a guide miles 2-6 were 8:53, 8:53, 8:50, 8:46, 8:56.  I call that consistency!  55 minutes, 6.13 miles.  Unfortunately, I didn't get in the strength.  Hopefully I can do some of that next week.

Rest Day

Swim - 2300 yards
Bike - 8.28 miles
Run - 18.1 miles
Strength - 0.75 hours

Friday, December 12, 2014

Foto Friday

Dave took the day off work today and we took a family adventure.  First we set out for COSI, our local science museum.  Then we had lunch at the Spaghetti Warehouse (where my son ate every bit as much as I did).  Finally we wrapped up the day at the Columbus Main Library downtown where we met some friends.  There was a huge multi-level model train exhibit (remember, my son is OBSESSED with trains) in addition to a HUGE room for little kids where they could play with toys and read.  We spent about two hours at the library just hanging out.

I didn't get to take many pictures as I was either carrying Anderson on my back in the Ergobaby or I was wrangling him like a herd of cats.  These are my two favorite pictures of the day, though.

Both these pictures are from COSI, although the one with the trains was also what Anderson did at the library.  COSI has a space just for small children where they can play and learn.  Anderson loved the water and got mighty wet in the process despite wearing a smock.  And then we found the train table and it was full-on meltdown when we had to leave there.

We had thought about ending the day at the zoo lights but we were all just too exhausted.  It was fun to have a day to play as a family.  I wish we could do this more often.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

We all have smart phones (except for my mom who refuses to get one) and we all have favorite apps that make our life easier or just more fun.  So this week I want to know what your favorite app is?

One of my favorite apps is called Lose It! 

Yep, I'm a calorie counter.  Counting calories has been the only effective way for me to lose weight.  I'm still on a mission to lose all those pregnancy pounds (seriously, it's been two years, are they ever going away?!).  There are several things I love about this app.  First, it works both on my phone and on my computer without ever having to sync anything. 

Another thing, I love that I can just scan a bar code and it pulls up the nutrition information for me.  One thing that bothers me, though, is that I don't think the calorie counts for exercise are entirely correct. 

For example, if I run 6 miles at a 9:00 pace it tells me I've only burned like 400 calories.  That's it?  Really?!

I also have the obvious favorites in apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, but LoseIt! has to be the one I use most often.

Help me out!  I am always looking for apps that are going to make things easier or just make things more fun.  What's your favorite?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Oh Black Water

It's been eye opening to have purchased an older home that needed some work.  We have uncovered termites and mold and lots and lots of pink/peach paint.  One of the hardest adjustments, especially for Dave, has been well water.  I grew up on well water, but overall our water at my parents' home is/was pretty good.  I remember my dad putting salt in the water softener but otherwise the water was good.  Here, it's been a little different.  We have put salt in our water softener but our water has continued to be disgusting.  We have rust stains everywhere.  I cannot keep the toilets clean no matter what I do.  Our laundry has been ruined with orange rust.  And the bath water for Anderson looks dirty and gross.  A few weeks ago we discovered there was a filter in the water system.  Dave took hours to figure it out and let me tell you, NASTY!!!  We put in a new filter, it helped for two days, and then it was back to gross.  Needless to say, I've been buying gallons and gallons of water for drinking.

As we've started the remodel on our bathroom, I've stated that I will not put in new fixtures until our water problems are solved.  Dave is busy all the time, so I took it upon myself to contact Culligan to hear about our options.  The Culligan Man checked out our equipment, smelled our water, looked at our fixtures, and inspected the back of our toilets (ick).  Then he did a bunch of tests on the water, like hardness level, iron levels, and drinkability.  As it turns out, our water is incredibly hard.  And that's before and after the water softener.  So basically, our water softener is doing absolutely nothing.  The problem we're having with iron is not actually the iron level, it's the bacteria that feeds off iron (ick). 

The recommendations were a new water softener, an iron-specific water softener type thing, and a reverse osmosis system since we drink so much water.  Unfortunately, that totaled up to over $6K, something we don't exactly have sitting around.  We've begun looking around at different companies and options and it looks like we may be able to do it ourselves for much, much cheaper.  Hopefully it is something we can fix and fix quickly.

Any of you out there on well water?  Anyone else have these same problems?  Found any good solutions? 

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Momma Drama

The boy is quickly approaching the age of two and with that "the terrible twos".  He has certainly been asserting his independence and letting others know who is boss.  While I am totally behind this (I am woman, hear me roar!), it has caused us a bit of drama that I haven't been prepared to handle. 

We have been going to the library for Baby Story Time for several months now.  The age groups are broken down from 6 months to 18 months and 18 months to 3 years.  Anderson turned 18 months in the middle of this fall session.  Even at 18 months, he was bigger than the other kids.  The kid is a giant!  Anyway, at the end of each story time the instructor gets out toys for the kids to play.  As Anderson has gotten older, he's gotten a little more possessive of "his" toys.  He will yell at kids and at times has even pushed or hit the kids.

Twice this fall another mother has gotten a little snippy with ME about this.  This has been a bit of a surprise to me and I haven't known exactly what to do.  Usually I tell Anderson no and then remove him from the situation.  I've asked others for advice and so far, I guess I'm doing the okay thing.  The interesting thing is, it is only at the library that this happens.  At the Y he plays by himself despite there being often many kids in child care.  And at home, he is very creative about keeping himself entertained.

Let's be real, Anderson is most likely to be an only child.  I really don't see myself having another child.  I feel complete with Anderson and I cannot imagine spreading my love to another child. 

So moms I need your help.  How do I teach my child how to share as an only child?  How do I teach him to be polite to other kids and be giving?  Any advice is appreciated.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Dear Santa

Yesterday we attended a family holiday party for Dave's work.  It was crazy, loud, and crowded, but we still tried to have a good time.  We started with brunch, did some crafts, and then got Anderson's picture taken with Santa.  Anderson wasn't too cool with Santa this year.  He didn't like being with someone he didn't know and he DID NOT want to sit on his lap.  As you can see from this series of pictures, there was no trust with the old man.

And that's as good as it got.  I don't think we'll be trying out "mall Santa" this year to see if we can do better.  I think we'll leave this as a humorous memory and try again next year.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Week in Review

Alright.  First week back to training.  I started so well with the week and kind of faded out by the end.  There's a part of me that was so excited to get back to training and another part of me that was like, "uh, I just want to stay in bed."  Really, I didn't do that bad, but I'll try to do better next week.

Planned - 40 minute run with drills
Actual - I was on the track by 6:30am in the rain/snow and no, I was not the only crazy out there.  Got it done.  I was home by 7:30am and still had to wake everyone up.  4.5 miles

Planned - 1900 yards swim with drills, pulling, and fast stuff; 30 minutes of basic strength
Actual - That was a rough re-entry to organized swimming.  My arms felt like there were going to fall off.  Loved the strength workout.  1900 yards and 30 minutes of strength with 1/2 mile warmup/cool down.

Planned - 45 minute easy run
Actual - Ugh!  Some days you have it; some days you don't.  I had procrastinated all day and didn't get on the treadmill until after dinner.  I felt fat and slow and unmotivated.  I only did 3 miles in 28 minutes.

Planned - 2300 yard swim with lots of pulling; 15 minute core workout
Actual - Um, yeah.  We'll move this to next week.

Planned - 30-60 minute spin
Actual - I'd better get used to riding my bike.  There will be a lot of it in the next year.  45 minutes of easy spinning (8.34 miles) while watching "The Wonder Years" on Netflix.

Planned - 50 minute progressive run; hip strength; ab strength
Actual - Again, lazy.  I'll move this to next week too.

Rest Day

Swimming - 1900 yards
Biking -  8.34 miles
Running - 8.5 miles
Strength - 0.5 hours

Friday, December 05, 2014

Foto Friday

It's going to be a random Foto Friday.  I get so lazy in the winter about taking pictures; it's hard when there are days you don't actually ever leave the house.  So, here's what I've got this week.

First up, the dog.  In Anderson's first year, the dog and the boy were not really friends.  Sloopy was insanely jealous of the baby.  She would snap at Anderson and bark.  I was so worried about it that I asked the vet for advice.  The last couple of months, though, Anderson and Sloopy have begun to play with each other a little more.  I'm not exactly sure Sloopy is really pleased about it, though:

Doesn't this looks say, "Are you kidding me, mom?"

Finally, we put our Christmas tree up this week.  Anderson "helped".  He doesn't quite understand "look, don't touch".  Most of our ornaments have migrated north.  There's about a two-foot gap at the bottom of the tree with no ornaments on it.  Maybe because of this:

Happy Friday.  Have a great weekend, y'all!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

New Car!!

I didn't even have my Honda Element listed on Craigslist for three weeks when I sold it for nearly full asking price.   Quickly, we found ourselves down to one car.  It wasn't going to be a big deal.  We live right next to Dave's work (seriously, he rides his bike in the summer) so I was going to drive Dave to work and then have the car in case Anderson and I wanted to go anywhere.  

We had test driven everything - Toyota Rav4, Hyundai Santa Fe, Subaru Outback and Forester, Audi Q3, and the Honda CRV.  We had narrowed it down to the Subaru Outback and the Honda CRV, but we had test driven the 2014 CRV and really wanted to check out the 2015 as it was starting to hit dealerships.  Upon one test drive of the 2015, we were in love and knew we had to have that car.  Because the car was brand new and the dealership only had a few colors and models of it, we decided to go the morning we were leaving for Chicago for the Naperville Marathon and check out the choices, make a selection, and put it on hold.

Five hours and thousands and thousands of dollars later, we walked drove out of the dealership in our brand new car.  We didn't expect to have a new car that day, but oh my gosh, I love this car.  I LOVE THIS CAR!!!

It's all pimped out with leather and seat warmers and dual climate controls and back up camera and blind spot camera and Sirius XM and bluetooth stuff and and and......

The best part?  Somehow I roped Dave into letting me drive it every day even though he's the one that actually has to leave the house every day.  I flippin' love this car!!!!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Isn't This Interesting?

Thanksgiving morning I woke up to this email:


You have got to be kidding me?  I did ONE triathlon in 2014, which shouldn't even be eligible as a qualifying race, and I qualified for the national championships???   Well crap!  This puts an interesting twist in my 2015 plans.  I mean, how can I NOT do the freakin' NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS!?!?!

But, let's be real, I suck at biking.  And for me to get acceptable enough to even make a decent showing at a national race, I am going to spend every day between now and the race on my bike.  And even then, I'm still gonna suck at biking.  This causes concern for me because I still have big running goals for 2015.  Honestly, I moped around the house for a few days conflicted about all of this.  I really want my running goals, but how can you not do the national championships?  Finally, I sent an email to coach who straightened me out and let me know we can do both.  So, for now, the age group championships is on the schedule.  Guess you'll be seeing me on my bike a lot this year.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

November Totals

After my marathon, I pretty much shut it down for the next couple of weeks.  I think I only ran twice the rest of the month.  To keep up my fitness, though, while giving my legs a break I got on my bike a couple of times and did some strength training.  Here's how November shook out:

Swimming - 0 yards
Biking - 33.18 miles
Running - 49.7 miles
Strength - 1.5 hours
Visits to the YMCA - 12
Cost per Visit - $7.11

Monday, December 01, 2014


I've taken a few weeks off from running, a few weeks off from blogging, and now I'm back.  2015 starts today.  Well, training for 2015 starts today.  2014 was pretty good.  I spent the year getting back into shape and throwing down some good races, but I was left a little unsatisfied.  2015 is going to be epic.  I'm ready to give it my all and get after it!  I want PRs, I want podiums, I want scary paces, and I'm ready to put in the work.  2015....I'll see you at the start line!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Foto Friday

Sloopy (our dog) had a vet appointment yesterday and for the first time I had to take the baby and the dog all by myself.  It was a bit crazy, but manageable.  And, they took a family picture.  How cute!

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Dave and I purchased our new iPhone 6 Pluses at the end of September directly from a local AT&T store.  They were having a deal where you could turn in your old iPhone and receive money off your new iPhone.  By doing this we were saving about half off the new phones.  This was a great deal that we could not pass up.  The iPhone 6 Pluses were not available at the store and so we had to order them, being told we would have to pay for them up front and then we would receive a gift card for the return of our old phones (foreshadowing).  We were told they would be available in November or December.  A long time, but it's not like our current phones didn't work.  We could wait.

At the start of October I received an email stating the phones were on schedule to ship between November 7th and 14th.  Cool.  But the start of November came and I didn't receive an email stating the ETA on the phones.  This past Monday while driving back from Chicago we checked the status of the phones and they still said they were to be shipped between the 7th and 14th.  Patience, Meredith.  My head was all screwed up this week and I thought for sure that the 14th was Thursday.  When I still hadn't received an email from AT&T I went onto their website and saw our order had been cancelled.  WTF!!!!

Dave called AT&T.  (He's like my spokesperson.  I'm never calm enough to handle these situations without making it worse.)  They were unable to tell us why exactly our order had been cancelled but we could reorder the phones, still receiving our half off deal, but they wouldn't be ready for another month.  They also gave us another $25 for the hassle we had been through.  I was pissed.  I had waited long enough.  They told us we could check at local stores to see if any of them had them in stock.  We checked and some stores had the 6 Pluses but they weren't the storage size we had initially ordered.  But, our local Apple store had them in stock.  Dave got on the phone and started working his magic.  He's so good at customer service.  He called a local AT&T store, explained the situation, and they allowed us to buy the phones directly from Apple and then return our old phones to them still giving us our half off deal.  Sweet!

So, on Thursday evening we headed up to the mall to get this all worked out.  First we went to the AT&T store to check in and see if anything else was needed to be done before we went to the Apple store.  Nope.  Then we went to Apple.  Wouldn't you know they cut the line off for purchasing the phones 5 minutes before we got there?  Son of a bitch!  The mall was still two hours from closing!  At this point I was too angry to deal with stupid salespeople, so Anderson and I went down to the play place.  Dave started working his magic again.  First we consulted AT&T to make sure we could still do this dance tomorrow or a later date.  Then he went back to Apple to order the phones so they would be ready on Friday.  This time he spoke with a different salesperson who said that MAYBE if we ordered the phones that evening that they might be ready by the time the store closed.  So we waited.  We took Anderson to the food court and got him some dinner.  It was after his bedtime, he hadn't eaten, and we were still waiting.  Nine o'clock came and went.  The mall closed.  Our phones were not ready.  We were headed home empty handed.

Not even an hour later we received the email notification that our phones were ready.  Didn't matter.  We were waiting another day.  Friday after work, still with a sick baby, still without a babysitter, we headed back to the mall.  Our phones were ready, we set them up, went to the AT&T store and got our gift cards, and we were out of the mall in 20 minutes.  A big ol' mess but in the end we got what we wanted for the price we wanted.

Here's what happened.  The original AT&T salesperson was incorrect.  We were not charged up front for the new phones.  Our credit cards were charged when the order shipped.  Except, our bank had changed our credit cards in October and the credit card the order was under was our old one.  Instead of alerting us and asking for a new credit card number, AT&T just cancelled our order without warning and without notification.  Poor customer service, but in the end, I think we won.

Have you ever had a nightmare customer service/buying experience?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Foto Friday

Mr. Independent

Sadly, right after this picture was taken, he put down the spoon and started eating the mashed potatoes with his hands.  Utensils: It's a work in progress.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pictures from the Naperville Marathon

Somehow there were only finisher pictures captured of me last Sunday.  Or at least, so far, those are the only I could find.  I'll keep looking through the lost and found. 

So here's my best finish line picture.  Gosh, this picture makes me look chunky.  (Yes I was wearing a water belt that squeezes the hell out of you, but no excuse!)  I've got some work to do this winter. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Happy Anniversary!!!

It's hard to believe today is the 10th anniversary of this blog.  TEN y'all!!!  My very first post was written about how I got started in running and a basic introduction of myself.  In that time I've written something crazy, like, 1600 more posts, run about a million more races, introduced the husband to running and triathlon, oh and had a baby.  I know there are lots of people who read this blog and a few who comment - thank you for following my journey.  Here's to the next 10 years.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Naperville Marathon 2014

I don't know what to say about this race.  I executed a great race.  I had the kind of race people dream about.  I ran every step - didn't walk once.  I ran tangents.  I tucked in behind people in the wind.  I paced very well.  Unfortunately, though, I came up short of my goal.  It has left me sad, frustrated, angry, disappointed, and motivated.

Race morning started well.  I woke up before my alarm; I got myself ready; I ate a small, nervous breakfast; and we were out the door early.  We found a parking spot close to the start/finish and we were there in plenty of time for me to use the bathroom twice, get off my sweats, and spend very little time cold in the corral.  I lined up around the 3:55 pace group as I like to start slow and then we were off.

I got into my race plan early - start slow, stay relaxed, move into race pace, drink/eat.  I didn't feel really great, but I was doing okay.  The miles were not ticking off quickly but I didn't feel really panicky either.  My low point of the race actually came early, around mile 9, when I thought about dropping out at the half, but I got my head back in the game quickly when I saw Amanda at mile 11 and Dave at mile 13.

Mile 1: 8:59
Mile 2: 8:29
Mile 3: 8:25
Mile 4: 8:12
Mile 5: 8:16
Mile 6: 8:11
Mile 7: 8:17
Mile 8: 8:20
Mile 9: 8:18
Mile 10: 8:24
Mile 11: 8:15
Mile 12: 8:18
Mile 13: 8:23

After the half marathoners turned off I noticed how windy it was.  I found a guy running the pace I wanted and shadowed him like I was his Siamese twin.  I really pissed him off.  At one point he looked at me and said something (I didn't hear it) and all I said was "Sorry.  I'm using you to block the wind."  Really I was unapologetic.  This was my race.  He must have felt like I was pushing him as he dropped off the pace.

Mile 14: 8:18
Mile 15: 8:13

Then I saw Amanda again.  She let me know the 3:40 group was right ahead of me and that I needed to move up to the next group to block the wind.  I caught them and kept behind them for the next two miles.

Mile 16: 8:31
Mile 17: 8:33

But, they weren't running fast enough for my goals, so I let them go.  And for the rest of the race I was in no-man's land.  I was feeling strong and really pumping but the paces just weren't falling.  I would try to use others to block the wind but I just couldn't find any consistent runners.  I kept looking for the 3:40 pace group as I knew if I could just get up to them I could hang on and use them.  Unfortunately though, I never saw them.

Mile 18: 8:20
Mile 19: 8:25
Mile 20: 8:27
Mile 21: 8:24

In the later miles, I was getting tired and I wanted to walk, but I was so close, SO DAMN CLOSE to hitting my goals.  I kept saying, "NO!  ONE MORE MILE!!!"  I saw Dave at mile 22 and told him it was going to be close.

Mile 22: 8:27
Mile 23: 8:44
Mile 24: 8:30

And at some point I knew I wasn't going to get that 3:40.  I was at peace with it.  I had run Boston several times before and really I just wanted to go in 2016 to see Andrea and Danielle.  There are other races; there are other goals.

Mile 25: 8:43
Mile 26: 8:39

Finally, I made the last turn, headed uphill (cruel joke) and dashed to the finish line.

Total time: 3:43:08
Place: 9/101 in my age group.

I'm not going to lie, I cried after the race.  I had a GREAT race and just came up short.  Looking back there isn't a whole lot that could have been done differently during the race.  Sure, there are many things that could have been done differently with my training and nutrition, but what is done is done.  And IF I decided to do another marathon in the spring I will certainly try a little harder with those pre-race items.  For now, I don't know what the next planning stages will bring.  I was not intending to run a marathon in 2015.  I have other goals and races I wanted to run.  I will admit, though, that I'm hungry to get back to my marathoning form.  I'm better than a 3:43 and I want to prove that to myself.  These next few weeks I'm going to rest, enjoy the holidays, and spend time with my favorite little boy. 

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Things I Love...My Apera Backpack

I admit it.  I'm a bag whore.  I love purses and backpacks and satchels and whatnot.  I used to buy lots, but honestly, I don't carry any of them.  So now I don't waste my money.  I now just carry my cell phone and a credit card.  For the last 5ish years I've been using a Saucony backpack as my running/gym bag.  It was alright.  It didn't have all the compartments I would have liked - like a water bottle holder, but it made do.  For some time, though, it's been falling apart.  One of the should straps came unsewn and the interior lining was ripping out.  It was time for a new backpack.

I don't like to spend a lot of money, on anything, but I had been admiring Apera and their line of backpacks for some time.  I debated and debated and debated and finally I just bought it.  I chose the Active Pack as it had shoe compartments, water bottle compartments, a place for my phone, a separate area for wet clothes, and a smaller bag included for wet swimsuits.  This bag was made for me.

When the delivery finally arrived at my house, however, they had sent me the wrong pack.  I was disappointed.  I tweeted them and sent them an email and they immediately responded.  They sent me a label to use for free shipping and sent me the correct pack before I had even sent the incorrect one back.  Their customer service was amazing!

Now I am in love with this backpack.  It's perfect.  It's compact but holds everything.  I regularly hold my swimming and running clothes at the same time in there.  In addition, I use the iPad compartment to hold diapers and wipes which keeps me from having to carry two bags to the gym.  I love having a separate compartment for my phone and keys at the top of the bag.  I use the shoe compartments and the water bottle holds simultaneously and it does not add volume to the bag.  And I LOVE the separate wet clothes bag.  I use it all the time for my swimsuits and/or sweating running shirts. 

This bag is terrific.  I love it.  I hope it lasts forever!

Monday, November 03, 2014

October Totals

October came and went so quickly.  I thought I would have done a whole lot more training but a small injury, life, and frankly a little burnout took hold of me.  I still had good training and ran a half marathon.  Here's what happened in October.

Swim - 5800 yards
Bike - 16.78 miles
Run - 88.05 miles
Strength - 1 hour
YMCA visits - 17
Cost per visit - $5.02

Friday, October 31, 2014

Foto Friday - Halloween Edition

Last night was trick-or-treating in our community.  Being that our neighborhood is only 12 or 14 houses, the neighborhood coordinates to get all kids together at once, exchange candy, take a group picture (didn't happen), and go together to the rest of the houses without kids.  This is all done before the "official" start time of beggar's night so the kids can go to other neighborhoods with their friends and family.  We also learned a lesson in our first Halloween at the new house: a regular bag of candy just will not do.  Because there are so few kids the neighbors go way out with prepared bags and giant candy.  We had just bought a bag and split it among the kids.  Next year we will be better prepared. 

After the neighborhood festivities, we went and surprised our old neighbors and also spied checked out our old house (they ripped out all of our carpet!!!).  Finally we ended the evening in my parents' neighborhood hitting up 6 or 8 houses.  Anderson got a ton of candy (that Dave and I will be eating) and looked super adorable in his costume.

Yes, I already owned the crab hat.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Long October

It's been a long and sad October for my family. 

At the beginning of the month my parents' neighbor, Sue, passed away after a short battle with Leukemia.  Sue has been our neighbor since we moved there 30+ years ago.  Sue was like a second mother to my sister and me.  She was our regular babysitter.  I remember good times of eating spaghetti-os, playing with all her cats, and having the bajeebers scared out of me watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  Walking past her house tonight while trick-or-treating with Anderson made me sad.  Her funeral is this weekend.  She will be missed greatly by my family.

Just two weeks ago we lost my paternal grandmother.  My grandparents live in Kentucky, about 5-6 hours from home, so we don't get to see them very often.  Therefore, I am not as close with my paternal grandparents as I was with my maternal grandparents who just lived a few miles from us and we saw all the time.  Saying goodbye, however, was not easy.  The funeral was filled with tears and great stories.  Mostly, I'll miss my grandmother's laugh.  She had a great laugh.

Yesterday, two years to the day that my beloved grandmother left us, my uncle passed away.  It wasn't unexpected; he has been sick for quite a while.  My mom and her sister are very close and I spent a lot of my childhood with my aunt and uncle.  They are big sports fans.  They used to take me to many Cincinnati Reds games when I was really young.  Then in high school they would take me to the summer league basketball games where I got to see many college and professional basketball players play on small high school courts.  The last several years my aunt and uncle had a seat license at the Schottenstein Center and would invite us to many Ohio State events including all of the women's basketball games.  We will say our final goodbyes this weekend.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

An Unexpected Monday

I texted my mom early yesterday hoping they were or had gotten home from vacation early so that I might get an hour to grocery shop on my own.  Instead we had a fantastic day at the pumpkin patch.  We went to Pigeon Roost Farm in Hebron, which is about a 30 minute drive from our house.  This place was much more than just a pumpkin patch (in fact, we didn't even come home with a pumpkin), it was a giant farming playground!  There were slides and farm animals and farm equipment and mazes and all kinds of things.  Anderson's favorite thing was a covered wagon that was filled with corn kernels (instead of sand).  He played in there for at least a half hour until I had to physically remove him from it.  After our time on the farm we enjoyed a great lunch at Clay's Cafe also in Hebron complete with ice cream.

Here's a few of the pictures from the day.

This was like a giant hamster wheel.  I was terrible at it and Anderson hated it.

Yes, my child has Hand, Foot, and Mouth.  We've been to the doctor already.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Good Job, Columbus Marathon Peeps!

I had my half marathon medal within a week of the race.  It arrived in the mail last Friday.  Good job, Columbus Marathon.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Foto Friday

As I mentioned yesterday, we attended the Creepside Festival last night.  Our little guy dressed in his Halloween costume - a crab or a lobster.  Whatever.  He was cute.  Expect more Halloween costume pictures next week.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

Last night we went to the Creepside Festival at Creekside in Gahanna.  (Pictures tomorrow for Foto Friday.)  Basically, it was a community-wide trick-or-treat and Halloween festival.  It was nuts.  There were people everywhere!  We waited in line for trick-or-treating for a good hour for just a few pieces of candy.  And my boy doesn't even eat candy!  I noticed that most vendors were giving out Tootsie Rolls.  Not bad, but not a great candy either.  My favorite Halloween candy is probably Reece's Cups.

So, what's your favorite Halloween candy to steal from your kids?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pictures from the Half Marathon

Dave was unable to get any pictures of me as he had the baby and didn't know where the new course went to be able to get in any position to get any action shots.  So, I "borrowed" a few from the official photographer.

Does this face say, "I'm squeezing my buns so I don't poop on myself"?  You can read about that here.

I'm going to be completely honest here.  It's my blog and I can.  I hate this picture.  This picture makes me mad.  This picture screams, "I'm 10 pounds overweight; I'm not even trying to lose the baby weight; I am never going to be the runner I once was or should be."  It's just gross.  It makes me sick.  I want to try harder.  I've got to try harder.

I wish I had more pictures from this race.  I wish I had more flattering pictures.  I wish I felt better during this race and then maybe I would have looked a little better.  :)