Saturday, May 31, 2014

May Totals

It's been a long time since I've written a monthly total post.  I haven't exactly had months to be proud of this year.  I've had a hard time doing the work, but May was a pretty good month and although I still have a long way to go to have an awesome month, I'm happy with the results.

Swim - 2500 Yards
Why yes, I did swim this month - two whole times!  There might be a small triathlon later this summer so I suppose I need to get into the pool and do some work.

Bike - 0 Miles
Um, er, sure there is a bike on each week of workouts.  Obviously, I didn't do any of them.  I did ride my regular bike a few times pulling the baby trailer.  That counts for something, right?

Run - 72.77 Miles
I'm not exactly breaking records here and I didn't even have a week over 25 miles, but this is the biggest mileage month I've had all year.  I ran two races this month, a half marathon and a 5K, and both of them were pretty quick.  I'm starting to get back to form!

Strength - 0.5 Hours
There's more than a half hour of strength in every week's schedule.  Unfortunately, that's usually the first thing to go.  No more!  Watch out June!

Trips to the YMCA - 15
Cost Per Visit - $5.69

May was a turning point for me and I took advantage of my Y membership.  I like to run in the morning and the only way I could do that was after work, taking the baby with me to the gym.  He would go and play in the child care room (I hope to write a whole post about that sometime) and I would hit the treadmill.  It wasn't ideal, but it got the job done.

Summer is here, I am no longer employed, and I have big plans on the horizon.  Come on summer!  Let's do this!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Field of Heroes 5K 2014

5Ks are like childbirth.  It hurts like hell during the experience but just a little while later you forget all about it and are ready to do it all over again.  In the middle of every 5K I think, "this sucks!  Why do I keep signing up for these?"  And yet, I do keep signing up.  Why?  I don't know.  It'll make me faster.  It's only a few minutes of suffering.  You don't really have to train for them.  They're fun?

Yesterday I did yet another 5K.  Memorial Day is always a celebration of my running.  One of my first races was on Memorial Day in 2001.  Last year this 5K was in the first race I did after I had the baby.  This year I continued the traditional Memorial Day celebration by doing the Field of Heroes 5K again.

After a short warm up, I lined up near the start and took off like a bat out of hell.  To make sure I was actually racing, I put a sticker over my watch so I could not see the pace.  Regardless, I knew I was running fast, faster than I was probably capable of holding for a full three miles.  Frankly, it doesn't matter.  The 5K is hard to negative split.  I'd rather go out hard and see how long I can hold on. 

Turns out, it wasn't that long.  Not soon after the one mile mark I was hurting.  And I should have been.  My watch clocked me at a 6:52 first mile.  The second mile had many twists and turns in it and I used it as the opportunity to slow down a bit.  I caught a girl in the second mile to get into 5th place female, but I was also passed at the same time by another chick, so I stayed in 6th.  One of the turns was 180 degrees down a bridge ramp.  Looking back I saw that I was not catchable by another woman so I slowed down some more.

Mile 2 - 7:17

Finally the last mile and I was hating this race big time.  I kept thinking, 'I'll take a half marathon any day.  This sucks!'  Around another curve I looked back to see a girl in a pink shirt gaining on me.  Shoot!  Get moving Meredith!  At this point I knew where I was as I had warmed up on this part of the course.  I dug down deep, as deep as I could without yacking (coach would have been so proud). 

Mile 3 - 7:19

The last 0.1 of the race I was screaming hard to the finish line.  I saw the clock just click over 22:00 as I crossed the timing mat.  Wow!  I didn't expect that.  My PR is in the mid-21:00s so I did alright.

Total 22:02
6th place female

Just a few hours later I was already thinking about my next one, which is probably in a few weeks.  I have many on the schedule this year.  I am so stupid.  :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Chicago Marathon 2006. My dad and I ran the first 14 miles together until we lost each other through a water stop.  I set a 4 minute PR at this race, while my dad suffered a HUGE blister that hindered him from a good time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It's On Like Donkey Kong

What is it with dudes and their inability to have a girl run faster than them?

I was at the gym today doing my run on the treadmill.  Now that the half marathon is over and my slothness (sure it's a word) from my "recovery" week is over, it's time to get back to work.  Being that I still have a little bit of time before I am done working, I have committed myself to doing whatever it takes to get my workouts in, even if that means doing them on the treadmill at the Y so I can put Anderson in child care for a little bit of time. 

Anyway, I had an interval-type run and it was being done on the treadmill.  I had a man on both the left and right of me during this workout.  I started out with a long warm up and then I had some intervals at a comfortable pace.  For me, this was around an 8:00 mile.  I noticed as soon as I bumped up the speed, the dude on the right of me put his speed up to the same pace.  Okay, cool.  My next set of intervals, which were longer intervals, were at a 10K pace.  I set the pace at a 7:30.  Again, the gentleman to my right set his treadmill to the same pace.  I was pretty comfortable with this pace, but it was apparent that he was suffering.  He kept making groaning noises, and huffing and puffing, and putting his hands on the rails.  Plus he kept looking at me and looking at my pace, like, "you're crazy!"  I think I broke him with these intervals because he soon stopped, walked, and got off the 'mill.  My last set of intervals were shorter intervals at a fast pace.  I had the pace up to a 6:40 for these.  The gentleman to my left looked in better shape than the one on my right, but he was clearly a meathead and not a runner.  I started my interval and he actually turned his treadmill up even to a faster pace than mine!  I was only on each interval for a minute, but he only had his for 30 seconds or less.  I don't know if it was part of his workout, but I found it quite suspicious that his intervals started at the same time as mine and were every bit as fast as mine.

Have you experienced dudes who do not want to be chicked, even on the treadmill?
Do you say anything?
Do you ever race others at the gym or out in the wild?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Taking Giant Leaps

Last Monday I put on my big girl panties and did something I was dreading.  I resigned from my job.

I have a great job.  It's all busy-work, which I love.  I can set my own hours.  I'm only part time.  My boss allows me to work from home.  It worked out that Dave and I could both work at the same company and not put the baby in child care.  So, why did I quit?

For us, it was the right decision. Working from home has become very difficult.  When Anderson was a baby I was able to put him in the swing or in the high chair and he would be content while I work.  Now he runs (crawls) around as fast as lightning getting into this and that.  And worse, he will often stand at my legs while I work and cry.  I just cannot do it anymore.  I waited a LONG time for a baby and he deserves my full attention.  My time at home is for Anderson.  When Dave comes home from work, it's family time.  The weekend's are family time.  And any time I may have for myself I want to spend for myself, not working.

So, I have two more weeks of work and then I'm official a stay at home mom.  I am both excited and terrified.  Financially I think we'll be okay.  The thing that frightens me most is the possibility that I could totally become a recluse and never leave the house.  Honestly, I am a terrible friend.  I don't feel comfortable calling people and setting up play dates or asking them to come over.  I'm way too shy for that crap.  :)  And I haven't quite figured out how to keep Anderson and I both entertained this summer.

Are you a stay at home mom or dad?
What are some activities that you and your kids enjoy doing?
How do I get my child out and about and keep him from becoming a recluse too?

I think it will be okay.  I believe we've made the right decision for our family.  It felt like a no-win situation.  I love my job, it affords me great flexibility, but I don't make enough money to put the baby in day care (nor do I want to) and I cannot continue working from home.  My job now is Mom.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Official Pictures from the Half Marathon

I borrowed a few official pictures from this weekend's Capital City Half Marathon.  Although I'm not exactly happy with what my body still looks like post-baby, I'm excited that my running pictures look at least half way decent.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Capital City Half Marathon 2014

I spent all of last week on vacation in Florida.  The weather was crazy hot and humid.  Our flight home was delayed by four hours.  Not exactly ideal conditions for preparing for my "A" half marathon just hours after returning home.  But such has been the case this entire training cycle.

Like the Columbus Marathon in the fall, the traffic and parking were atrocious for this race.  Luckily, we know downtown pretty well, took some off streets, and found some parking.  We had to walk a little bit to the start; I just called that a warm-up.

I lined up pretty close to the front which seems stupid for a race of 16,000+ but the 1:45 pacer was way up there and that's about the time that I wanted to run.  The gun sounded and we were off.  The pace group quickly got ahead of me, which I found odd because I was averaging under an 8:00.  For the next couple of miles they stayed ahead of me, until I caught them around mile 4 and got ahead of them.

(Paces are based on my GPS which was a little faster and longer than the course.)

Mile 1 - 7:47
Mile 2 - 7:54
Mile 3 - 7:47
Mile 4 - 7:50

By mile 5 I was feeling good and running hip to hip with my friend Mary.  I used her and my mantra as my inspiration for staying consistent and chasing the race.  I didn't know if I could actually hold the pace but I was willing to try and go for it.  After mile 5 there is a long downhill for miles, although it was into the wind.  I was able to pick up the pace a little.

Mile 5 - 7:47
Mile 6 - 7:41
Mile 7 - 7:38
Mile 8 - 7:38

We were now back downtown and the course was crowded.  This race has a "quarter marathon" which starts with the half marathoners, breaks off, and then comes back on course.  The problem is, because the half marathoners run further, when the quarter marathoners join back up, it is not the same pace.  I was strolling sub-8:00s and the quarter marathoners were strolling and walking and taking up lots of space.  I really wish the race directors would do something about this.  It was like playing Frogger with other runners.

Anyway, around mile 9 I was starting to feel tired.  My training really only went to about 11-1/2 miles at a much slower pace and I was starting to feel like maybe 9 miles was my limit.  I thought a lot during this time about "Being Willing", about my friend Jeff who recently passed away, and about my son.  Mostly I said, "do this for you."

Mile 9 - 7:37
Mile 10 - 7:39

Around mile 11 I caught a second wind and was ready to roll.  Unfortunately, the course got complicated around this point.  We were on High Street heading uphill towards the center of the city and the finish line, but for some reason the course took several turns, went across a bridge, back around the Scioto Mile (which would have been nice except it was so close to the finish line that no one was spectating there), up a hill, and finally another turn to the finish which was on High Street.  Can't the course go one more mile in any direction to keep from having to run this maze at the finish?

Mile 11 - 7:41
Mile 12 - 7:40
Mile 13 - 7:49
Last 0.28 (0.1) - 7:25 pace

Overall: 1:42:37

I am so excited for the results.  Honestly, I didn't think I had a 1:42 in me.  I'm out of shape, overweight, and unmotivated.  But having done it, I feel like I could give more.  I know I can go after my 1:36 PR now.  And I'm excited to tackle the challenges of the rest of the year.

My cousins ran their first half marathon.  I think they're hooked.  Suckers!