Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tower of Terror Mini Report

So this won't be my super long report with pictures and everything because I get to go work.  Yes, that's right... just barely 4.5 hours after I got home from what was an amazing night, I get to go to work... joy (sarcasm).

First, I want to say that my run last night was for my horse.  Not but a few hours earlier did we decide to put her down due to quality of life issues (her arthritis condition had gotten bad again).  Yes, I understand normally that you dedicate runs to people, but Willie was part of the family.  She'd been a part of the family since I was 8 and has taught me more about working with animals, hard work, and life than I think a lot of other contributing factors in my life has.

Now, for the run....

Holy crap was it hot.  Now this was the first time I had worn a costume and I didn't think it would be super hot, but it was.  I was burning up and I'm pretty sure I'm trashing the costume now.  O well, it had an interesting life...

Overall, the run was a lot of fun.  Not as many characters out which kind of disappointed me, but I figured they might have been at the after party which I didn't stay for.  I did get a few nice pictures with some villains which I'll post tonight.  I think the only one they probably really missed is the headless horseman, but I'll see him next week at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.

I felt really, really strong in the run and only stopped for water and then characters for most of the run.  Between mile 7-9 I had a few more extra stops, but overall ran more than I really thought I would, and faster too!  It's going to be fun analyzing everything when I upload it to the Garmin Connect site.

So yes, check back tonight for a longer, more in depth review of the race and for some pictures!!!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Expos... Very Dangerous... For My Wallet

In just about 27(ish) hours, I'll be starting the Tower of Terror 10 Mile race.  Well, the race starts tomorrow, but the event as a whole has started.  Today was the kickoff of the race weekend.  The expo and race registration pick up started at noon and I was there, in line, and making friends just before 12.

The expo itself was about as big as the half marathon, but the whole thing is quite a bit smaller.  This year at Princess they had registration and race merchandise in one tent and then the expo in another.  The Tower of Terror (TOT) event had everything in one tent.  It made it super crowded and I didn't even dare try to get into any of the race merchandise.  They did talk about bringing extra spending cash to the race so maybe they'll have some stuff there tomorrow...

Goodie Bag

However, I did get my goodie bag and did do a bit of shopping.  Seriously, I need to be better about putting myself on a budget during expos...  In all honesty I didn't do too bad with my spending and I have plenty of money to cover what I did buy.  I just could see myself spending a lot more than I did if given the opportunity.  I am still very happy that runDisney has gone to the electronic goodie bag so you're not getting useless papers and flyers that you're never going to use.  Less paper in the trash and more trees standing tall...

My shopping spree...
One great thing they always have and I always have to check out is the medal table.  Most of the medals have already been given out (they don't have the new Princess yet... it WILL be changing for the 5th anniversary though!!), but they did have the medal I'll be earning tomorrow and I can tell you it is AWESOME.  They also have the marathon medal, which made me that much more excited to earn it in January!  Check it out...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tower of Terror Costume... Check!

All runDisney races are super costume friendly.  I actually believe part of the fun of the races is seeing what other people are wearing.  I've seen a girl who had tied Pascal from Tangled into her hair (she was Rapunzel), a man dressed in a head to toe costume as Cinderella (running with his wife and daughter), and numerous other awesome costumes.

While I have always enjoyed looking at all the costumes at the races, I have never actually worn one to a race.  The farthest I got was wearing the 2011 Princess Half Marathon mickey ears during the race.  For the 2012 Princess my friend and I tossed some ideas around, but nothing ever got done.  But that is changing...

Last Halloween I was Angelica from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

This year, I'm breaking out the costume not for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, but instead of the Tower of Terror 10 Mile.  Yup, that's right, I'm finally going to wear a costume!

Considering I already have black capris and I'm not running in my wedge boots (they hurt enough walking around the Magic Kingdom that night), the lower half is going to be my normal running gear.  Luckily, it's already mostly in theme.  The top will be the same sans the sword (I know better to run with a pointy object, even if that pointy object is plastic).

Yes, there's still the chance of me backing out of wearing this costume and just wearing one of my awesome One More Mile shirts, but I will be trying to wear the costume and actually take part in the entire event, running and costumes both.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

1 Last Week

The weather is starting to cool down, it's officially the first day of fall, and there's only one more week until the villains take over the streets around Disney World.  That's right... 7 days from now I'll be lining up to start the 10 mile race...

I'm still not totally convinced about this whole night race thing.  I haven't decided how/what I'm going to eat that day considering I don't like to eat for hours and hours before I run, workout, or compete.  Trust me, it's always bothered my parents and my coaches that I refused to eat before triathlons and other races (and I would NEVER suggest doing it to anyone else... I know I should eat I just can't).

Within the next week I should have the technicalities all figured out and I should be ready to run (fingers crossed it will be a "good run" day).  I am looking forward to the race, and all the fun after.  I have a few friends running it and so we're planning on meeting up afterwards.  The only thing I'm not looking forward to... is working the day after.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Garmin Connect

So a fun part of having the Garmin Forerunner, is the fact I can link it up to the Garmin Connect website and analyze my run.  Yes, this was one aspect I had a bit of an issue setting up, but once I finally got the watch-computer-website to connect and start talking to each other, it's worked pretty smoothly.  

Once I finish a run, I just need to walk by my computer with the ANT+ stick in it and my watch on.  Then it takes a minute or two and uploads to the website.  While I have the map here blown out, it does get closer so you can see your route.  It was all the general information (distance, time, splits, etc...)

Personally, I've had a lot of fun with the heart rate information and the graphs.  Yes, there's nothing but a line on the elevation, but again, I live in Florida... it's flat.  You can definitely see where my walking times were (pretty even considering it's the Galloway plan) and even my heart rate somewhat follows.  What I'd actually love to figure out to do is place the heart rate info over the pace.  That could be cool to see.

I feel like I'm back in all of my science classes analyzing information. Just this time it's information about me and not plants, or ocean tides, or animals.

So yes, after having my watch for a few weeks, I'm still definitely enjoying the watch.  So far, it's been a good purchase (Thanks Dad).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Run To Eat, Eat to Run

Tonight I have a Food and Wine dinner at the Grand Floridian.  It'll be a multi-course meal paired with wines from Domain Serene.  I was lucky enough to go to a Domain Serene dinner last year at the Flying Fish at the Boardwalk and so I was super excited when I got the opportunity to go this year.

While I am excited for all of the wonderful food I'm going to get, I'm also well aware of the calories that I'll be eating today.  So, I decided to hit the high side of my conditioning runs today.  I ran for 45 minutes which equaled 4.51 miles with the Galloway plan.

The run overall felt really good and my watch worked really well.  I'm finally getting used to the pace being calculated a bit slower than my Nike+ app.  Since I start my runs early, before the sun comes up, I found that the light was easy to turn on and off to check my progress.  You just have to tap the Bezel with two fingers and the light comes on.  You touch it the same way again and it turns off or you wait a few seconds and it turns off on its own.

So now I've burned roughly 500 calories that I can give myself for the dinner tonight.  Yes, I'm well aware I'll still be going over my calorie intake today, but I think I can make an exception for this amazing dinner.  In all honesty, I went to another similar dinner last week (I worked it, but still got to eat), and I really didn't gain much.  I think it's because I'm probably getting better nutrients and better food than I normally eat...

Tomorrow I should have plenty of extra energy and calories to do a killer workout, right?

Monday, September 10, 2012

First Thoughts: Garmin Forerunner 410

I recently decided to make up my mind and bought the Garmin Forerunner 410.  I've had it for the last few days and have only just started to really explore what it can/cannot do.  These are my first reactions to the 410:

Watch Size- It is a bit big for me, but then again I have some pretty bony wrists so I was already expecting it to be a bit big.

Watch Set Up- Considering I do have a technical writing background and a minor in Professional Writing for Business Communications, I found a few flaws in their instruction manual.  You usually want to put the note about charging the watch first on the first page, it was on page 5 or 7.  Other than that, both the manual and the watch set up aren't too bad.  It has a bezel that you use to change options and the watch helps you get used to that.  It does get a bit frustrating at times, but I also find it kind of fun.

Accessories- The watch comes with a heart rate monitor, charger, and a wireless USB that connects the watch to the computer (pictured above).  The charger was cool because it came with different wall plugs which I recognized for at least the US and Europe.  While I don't have any immediate plans to travel over seas quite yet (Come on runDisney... Paris race soon???), I could definitely see how helpful the different wall plugs could be.

My heart rate monitor worked well on my first run and it was fun to see how my heart rate changed throughout the run.  I know my Dad has had some issues, but who knows why his isn't working quite well.  The only thing I don't like is that so far I haven't found a way to open up the strap so it's a but of a pain to open up.

The ANT+ USB device is small and I can see how I could lose it so I'm a bit nervous about that.  I'm trying to figure out a way to make sure it's always somewhere I know it will be or some how connect it to my keys or something like that.  Otherwise, the device itself is just a USB stick, nothing super special.

Garmin Connect- So the watch uses this ANT+ software to connect the watch to the server where you can log and analyze all of you runs.  This is what caused me the most pain while setting up the watch.  It took me a few days, multiple times uploading the software and playing with the watch to finally get it to connect.  After that, it was fun looking at all my stats (Although my dad is annoyed that my altitude didn't really change... that's what he gets for still living in CA).  Hopefully it will connect a bit easier after my next run.  Technically all you have to do is walk by your computer if the ANT+ is on and it will upload the info.  Should be cool if there are no more issues.

First Run Review-  Overall, the watch was fine on my first run.  I started it, was able to keep an eye on it, and it worked out well.  The one thing I'm going to either have to figure out how to change or get used to is the pace.  Right now, the pace shows the current average, not the current real-time pace like Nike+ used to.  Again, that should really be something I need to get used to or I might be able to change.

Current Feelings- I like it and hopefully I'll end up loving it soon!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Double Digits!!

I finally broke that double digit barrier for the first time since the Princess Half Marathon in February.  11 miles down, and I'm definitely thanking the Jeff Galloway plan.  This run/walk plan is helping make the training a bit more enjoyable than me trying to muscle my way through it.  This run was definitely a push, but in all honesty, it felt better than the 9 mile run.

That's not saying that everything was perfect.  I was definitely running up hill in the middle of the run, or at least it felt like that, but I got through it.  After the 8th mile, I definitely hit my stride again and the last few miles actually felt decent.  I was tired and I could tell I need to work on strengthening my quads some more, but I was able to make it.

The sunrise was really pretty though.  I started when the stars were out, the moon was shining and I finished when the sun was out and blaring.  One of these days I'll take a picture of the sunrise and sunset I see on my runs.  Part of my run goes around a lake and sunset and its reflection always takes my breath away (well that, and the huffing and puffing from running).

Determination definitely played a part in my run today.  Instead of me running straight out and back like I did on my 9 miler, I made a few loops around my house and the neighborhoods surrounding me.  This way, I didn't have to hold my water bottle for 11 miles, and I was able to get grapes and Powerade on my stops to help refuel me.  There were some doubts that I would be able to continue my run after coming into the house (Thanks Dad...), but I was definitely able to get back out.  Especially towards the end, I HAD to finish.  There was no option otherwise.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Corral A!!!!!

This was just the news I needed today.  I haven't been feeling well, but this evening I saw that the corral placements were up for the Tower of Terror.  I figured I was halfway in the pack like I normally am, but this time I was wrong.

I'm in Corral A!

Ok, yes, there are about 2500 bib numbers (which I assume means people) in Corral A, but still.  I'm usually in Corral C for these races, or even D.  So this is an amazing improvement and wonderful news.  It seems like the race is getting closer and closer and closer... O wait, that's because it is!

With all the improvements I've had in my running since February and my current training for the full Marathon, I'm planning on having an awesome race!

I was actually thinking about wearing some sort of variation on my pirate costume for the race, but I'm not completely sure yet.  I've never really been into costume running, but it is Halloween.  Of course, it depends on if I'm wearing that costume for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party.  I don't want it smelling like sweat if I wear it for the party...