Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lessons Learned

I'm so confused...I posted a blog Friday morning (at 2:20 when I couldn't sleep), but just realized it's not here. I guess it is lost in Blogland somewhere, if you happen to see it, please send it home. It was titled Awkward and Awesome and had a lovely tribute to my friend Sarah and this fabulous blog The Daybook. I didn't feel like writing about my training so it was just some rambling about the awkwards and awesomes of the past week. Maybe I'll try again this Thursday. And I'll remember not to blog at 2 a.m. since apparently I don't know how.

Saturday morning I was awesomely greeted by Maureen as I walked in Mojo with a "Bethany, you beat me" high five. Let's be honest, she beat me in the swim, I beat her in the bike (my legs are about twice as long as hers) and there was only a slight difference - maybe .3 miles - on the run. Nontheless, it was a nice greeting at 7:40 on a Saturday morning before embarking on an 18 mile run. A run that would teach me a lot of lessons.

First, let's keep in mind this is not my first marathon and I should know better. However, I failed on 2 huge aspects of long runs. 
  1. Body Glide, Body Glide, Body Glide. I totally and completely and stupidly forgot to apply it before my run. I typically slather my feet in it and also under my bra band and straps,  This stuff works miracles - unless you forget to use it. As the miles increase, so does the chance for chafing. An unpleasant, yet avoidable aspect of distance running. My feet are blister-free, however I have a 2.5 inch reminder to wear body glide next week on the front side of the band of my sports bra. Ouch!
  2. Fuel while running. Once again, totally forgot. I was out of GU and didn't realize it until I was about to leave my house and head over to Mojo. I meant to buy some at the store before running, but was distracted by all the people, the routes, and checking out the yummy food that would be welcoming us back to the store a few hours later. 
That all being said, I had a decent run - at least for the first 15 miles. The last 3 felt like a marathon itself. I struggled. A group of 6 of us stuck together for most of the run and the last 4 or 5 miles we broke off into twos. My partner wouldn't give up on me in the last mile and refused to go ahead even though I kept telling him to. "We've stuck together for 3 hours, I'm not going to leave you the last 3 minutes." I had not rebuttal to that.
A group of 5 or 6 runners were stretching outside the store when we got back and they all warmly greeted us with high fives and a congratulatory "great run!". Once inside I grabbed some fruit and crumb cake and fell into the chair next to the massage table. I was spent.

Once home, I took a nice hot shower to feel human again and when I got out Marc had a wonderful pancake breakfast waiting for me. I scarfed it down and then took a 2 hour nap.

Looks like I'm registering for a sprint triathlon tomorrow...

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Deans

My #1 Dean
I have two favorite Deans in the world...and apparently the stars are aligned as I get to see BOTH of them in the next 2 months. Crazy, huh?

Here is Dean #1. He's pretty stinking cute, eh? Dean is bringing his new little brother, mom and dad for a visit in March. Since I haven't seen them since May - and have yet to meet the new little nugget, I'm pretty freaking excited. Like, so excited I started a count down clock on my computer. Yes, I'm THAT dorky excited.

And Dean #2...none other than the Ultra Marathon Man himself.....Dean Karnazes. Not only do I get to meet him, I get to run with him. As part of his fight against childhood obesity he is  running across America.

My #2 Dean

I am pretty sure the next two months are going to be pretty incredible.  So, what does one wear to run with one of the most elite (and possibly insane) runners ever? Oh my, I better start planning the outfit right. this. second.

I think I need to sit down.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Run. Bike. Swim. Nap.

I did a triathlon.        

And I am still alive and breathing!

I arrived at Lifetime Fitness an hour before my wave started. I just wanted to check out the lay of the land and make sure I had plenty of time to get ready. Of course this also meant plenty of time to freak out. I wanted to see the swim start and see how some of the other (ahem) triathletes (!) were doing. Basically I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to be the worst swimmer. The majority were rocking the freestyle pretty well, but there was a fair amount of breast stroke, some back stroke and even some walking going on. This made my heart stop racing a tiny bit. 

I knew Maureen (or Mrs. Mojo) was going to try to get in my wave, but I didn't know if she had. I saw Mr. Mojo who was working at the tri and he assured me Maureen would arrive soon. It was nice to have someone to help calm the nerves. Since everyone had to share lanes we shared so at least we would know who we were kicking or getting kicked by. 

The set up for the indoor triathlon is a 10 minute swim, 30 minute bike in a spinning studio, and 20 minutes on the treadmill. We had 10 minutes between the swim and bike to get dried off changed, and up the stairs to the studio. The another 5 minutes between the bike and run. Honestly, my worst fear was slipping on the wet floor in the locker room or pool deck and cracking my head open. Or flying off the back of the treadmill at the end Biggest Loser style because I have jell-o legs. That is totally something that would happen to me.

It all went pretty smoothly. I didn't drown. I didn't crack my head open. I didn't fly off the back of the treadmill. I would say it was a success! I'm pretty sure I did not set any world records. But I did it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


After a fabulous Friday night meeting the Pioneer Woman with my friend Sarah, I ended up with a horrible headache. By the time I got home I was so dizzy nauseous I couldn't even eat. This was a major bummer since Marc had made some fabulous Pad Thai for dinner.

I woke up this morning for my long run and was still feeling just as horrible, so I didn't run. This is not like me and I was very unhappy, but I was afraid the pounding of running and increased blood flow from exercise would make it even worse.

So hopefully I survive tomorrow morning's adventure and am not too exhausted to at least get some double digit mileage in.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I used the fabulous weather yesterday as an excuse to get out for another speed workout with Sidney. We went for a run down by the river. Every half mile is marked off on the pavement so it's a great place for a speed workout. What I failed to think about is that Sid doesn't know the difference between the half miles that were to be faster and the ones that were supposed to be slower. She has one speed - FAST.  She is my BFLFF - Best Four Legged Friend Forever - though, so I'll forgive her for making me sprint the whole time with no recovery.

Sidney at Wags park this fall
I just realized Sid could be my swim coach...she actually LOVES swimming. We usually have to make her get out of the water. She probably wouldn't charge me much being my BFLFF and all!

It's supposed to be gorgeous again today so I'm hoping to get several miles done after work before I watch the girls. Hopefully there are no ambulances or threats of running away tonight.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day O' Love

Happy Valentine's Day! I love each and every one of you!

Today I am going to share something that is near and dear to my heart. (that isn't running!)

I shared with you a few weeks ago that Marc and I registered for the MS 150 Pedal to the Point from Cleveland to Sandusky this summer. We are proud to be a part of the team Spinners for a Cure.  My friend Andrea's mom started this team a few years ago in honor of Andrea's father who has MS. Andrea and I have been friends since college and I love her family just as my family loves her. 

Please take a minute to check out this page and donate if you can. Or if you prefer, Marc is also doing the ride. Every little bit helps. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Catching Up

My weekend started out amazingly with my friend Erin. It had been WAY too long since we'd really hung out - since I don't count helping her husband pick out glasses as really hanging out. We had a great time, fine food and a tasty a beverage at Brazenhead. It helped me feel refreshed from the work week. Every time we hang out I always walk away feeling so blessed and lucky. 

Our long run this Saturday was a bit of a down week for most of the group, but not for me. I had been a few miles behind every week since the frozen run so I used this opportunity to catch up with the group. We ran the first part of the Flying Pig course. For the last half I ended up with a group of 3 guys and 1 girl - none of them had run the Pig before. It was fun helping through Eden Park and reassuring them that no more hills like that existed for the remainder of the course. I was feeling really good and had a pretty good run until mile 12.5. The last 1.5 miles were the bridge back to Cincy and Second street. My legs were sore, I was tired and the bridge was making me dizzy. I thought about closing my eyes to finish getting across the bridge, but my fear of falling over the side and into the Ohio River kept me from doing that. I ended my run with Joan, Jeff and Joe -I felt like I was with my sis and cousins - the lonely B(ee) among all the J's.
        (the cousins minus one J)    
Unfortunately I was not able to go with the group to breakfast, so I headed home and got ready to get my hair done. It's different...and I think I like it!

It feels good to be caught up on my mileage (and with a great friend)...and ready for this week's 15-17 miles. My legs definitely need hot yoga today and I will also most definitely be rolling around on my fabulous foam roller that I invested in a few weeks ago. And a nap today would totally rock, however my to do list in my head keeps getting longer longer...better get to it!

Friday, February 11, 2011

It's a good night for a 5K

Yesterday was a stinky day at work. I only had a short time to run and shower before coaching GOTR, so I decided why not challenge myself to a 5K? 

So I did. And I won! (yes, I was the only one running, but who cares?!)

Negative splits again...which was my goal. This made me happy. It was only about 17 degrees outside, but the sun was shining and it felt so good on my face.

And of course so did the 15 smiling 8-10 year old girls, I mean, how can they NOT make you happy? They have so much energy, such enthusiasm and such amazing smiles.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I successfully completed my first indoor brick workout. I really dislike working out indoors, but I had my marvelous Kindle decked out in it's beautiful pink cover to keep my company and help pass the miles. I was only interested to see how far I could go in a set amount of time. So, of course, first came the spin bike then the oh-so-dreaded treadmill. I really don't know how people can run on these things regularly. I was very grateful for being able to run outside in any crazy weather if I choose to.

The next Tri adventure will entail swimming then biking in the same workout. This will take a serious pep talk (given by me to me). Hopefully it will happen this week, we'll have to see how my schedule looks. This has been a very busy week!

This week I started coaching GOTR again. I made the decision to step down as head coach (after how many seasons?!) after the fall, so I am only an assistant this season. It definitely feels weird. The new head coach was one of my assistants last season and she is fabulously amazing. I can only hope I was half that good! Coaching GOTR is such an incredible experience. I learn something every session and have met some absolutely fantastic people because of GOTR.

Rumor has it we are supposed to hit 40 degrees this weekend...and possibly 50 next week? Could it be true???

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mermaids and Neck braces

I hope you are sitting down, because I have a MAJOR announcement!

I am NOT a mermaid. (You are totally shocked, aren't you?)

Nor do I believe I ever was one in a previous life. (If I had previous lives)

Yesterday morning's goal was to see how many laps I could swim in 10 minutes. I did make some progress - I only had to give myself a 60 second pep talk this time before I dove under the water - but mostly it was just embarrassing. Especially when my second worst nightmare came true - not just one, but two people showed up to swim once I was already in the water. The good thing about that is for all they knew I had been swimming laps for hours instead of minutes. Pacing has come fairly natural to me in running, but with swimming it is another story. I think once I figure that out I'll be ready to try out for the Olympics!

After my 10 minutes was up I stayed in the water for some victory laps. Then I was off to shower and get ready for work.

Last night was a long night. Ambulance, stretcher, neck brace, Children's hospital. Ugh, I could just feel the germs leaping on me in the waiting room at Childrens. Luckily it appears she is ok and only needs to wear a hard neck collar for a week - 24 hours a day. Thank you to my dad for picking her sister and I up and taking us home so their mom could have the van and we were only there a few hours instead of all night!

Tonight's running may be altered to become an indoor brick run. At least that's the plan.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hansel and Gretel

Another Saturday with less than ideal running weather, but I figure the more I can take during training, the more I can handle on race day!

A nice mixture of rain, sleet, hail and snow was coming down for most of the 11.25 miles I completed. The first 5 I ran with Kelly. Hilly. Wet. Slippery. Hard. Then something happened for the next 6 that I can't explain. I don't know if it was less slick or I gained confidence in my stride, but I was feeling good. After some prodding from Kelly I went ahead and took off. 

Then I found myself alone. Luckily I had my mangled, wet piece of paper with directions on it, but I'm still very unfamiliar with the roads in the area. I tried to read the paper while running and not slip on the rainsleetsnow covered roads. Then I saw them. Footprints! Footprints in snow are to this directionally-challenged-not-going-to-admit-I'm-lost-runner what bread crumbs were to Hansel and Gretel. Then I knew I had to leave more footprints for Kelly because she didn't have written directions like I did.

Kelly and I both made it back safely. I ran the last 6 miles all under 8:30 pace and at least  half of those miles at 7:54 pace. That's a pretty good pace for me - especially for the end of a long hard run. I couldn't help but feel proud and excited. I was happy I had worn my Garmin today!

We had a nice surprise from the Brooks rep today at the store - pancakes! I was one happy girl after changing out of my soaked running clothes with oatmeal in one hand and a pancake in the other!