Friday, August 16, 2013

runDisney Sense of Timing

It struck me today that runDisney has a very interesting sense of timing.  I think it's only a recent development for most things, but some are always at odd times.

I received my final race instructions for the Disneyland Half Marathon just last week and yet today I had my final race instructions for Tower of Terror tonight.  Two emails were only a week apart, and yet the races are a month apart.  Not that it's really an issue, but it did cause me to give it a thought (and apparently part of a blog article).

runDisney also has their usual pre-race meet-ups, which they post at really odd times of the day... ok the morning.  I tried to get one during the Princess Half, but missed out, and due to my crazy busy work schedule didn't even see the current one for the Disneyland for almost an entire day.  Apparently it was posted pretty early in the morning and filled almost as quickly.

I kind of wish that they would leave it open for a day and then choose by a random drawing.  That's what they used to do for all of the exclusive limited edition pins.  You signed up and then if your name was drawn you got one!  Should be the same kind of deal...

I'd like to go to one of these meet ups, but especially for Disneyland, I have a life around the race that includes spending time with family and friends I haven't seen in a while... and o ya, my parent's work schedule since they're helping me get around for everything.  Maybe one day I'll get into one of these meet ups, but surprisingly, it's not on my "must do" list.

Friday, August 9, 2013

More New Equipment

Having days off is lovely.  It's something that you don't really appreciate until you don't have any.  Today was my first in 20 days and I took advantage of it by actually doing house hold chores that needed to be done like last week and by getting to the gym.  I just had to get my feet on the new treadmills and the new elliptical looking machines.

The treadmills were first and it was like the elliptical last night.  They had readjusted where some of the controls were and had the new ipod connection point.  The TV's weren't connected again, but I just found another Strava playlist and started my workout.  I was happily surprised to see that there was another workout option though.  There was an interval option!

This new interval option didn't have a preset interval, but instead relied on the athlete.  It asked for your jog or walking speed and then your running speed.  Then it started on your jog speed and when you were ready for the run speed you just hit the button and it jumped to your running speed.  This is going to be fantastic since I follow the Galloway plan!  While it's been possible to readjust the pace for intervals, it took time and was slightly annoying, this is just easing that pain and making the treadmill workout much more convenient.

After the treadmill I headed over to the brand new incline elliptical machines.  Once I started I realized they were essentially an elliptical version of a stair master.  I fell in love with these machines almost instantly.  I've always wanted to do stair master workouts, but with my knees I have never been able to.  Since the climb on these machines are still on an adjustable incline, I was able to get that perfect hill/stair workout without nearly as much stress on my knees.

These new options and machines are making me excited to get back to the gym (especially once the TV's work).  Hopefully I'll be able to drag myself in after work more often... although I'm still not holding my breath on that.  However, I am still looking forward to October and November when the temperature drops and I'm able to run outside more.  I think at that point I'm going to look at more classes again to utilize the gym in that area.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

New Gym Equipment!

It was almost like getting a new toy at Christmas, or new running shoes... either way, it's exciting.

My gym was closed earlier this week and I was finally able to get back in today for a nice jog on the elliptical.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was more than just new posters hanging from the walls.  They reorganized the cardio machines and all were brand new.

The machines are essentially the same, but with controls moved to new areas, a new TV screen, and now a spot to connect an iPhone/ipod.  I thought that was pretty handy, especially tonight when most of the TV's had yet to be connected.  I just simply plugged in my iPhone and my music (I was playing a list provided by Songza) and it was piped through the machine.  All volume and other controls were also controlled by the machine which I found to be convenient.  Now I'm just waiting for the TV to be connected.

There were also some other new elliptical machines that could incorporate inclines, which I would have tried, but they were a bit crowded, partially because they were the only ones that had working TV's for the elliptical row.

Tomorrow I'll be checking out the treadmills and seeing if they have any new gadgets or settings that could potentially be helpful for later training...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I'm Still Here

Hello again everyone!

I know I've been gone for a while, but I've had a very hard time training recently.  I've almost completely given up on training correctly for the Dumbo Challenge in a month and have just trained barely enough that I think I'll survive.

I know I haven't talked much about what I do, and I don't really want to talk details about it, but I walk a lot... and if I'm not walking then I'm standing.  It's hard on my knees and thus hard on my training.  I also had some health things I had to battle for a little bit.  Everything is back under control and my running is slowly getting better.  I think I'll be fine for the 10k, but I'm still worried about the half the day after.

I got a 4.2 mile run and .75 mile walk in the other day.  Both felt fantastic, the next day not so much (the worrisome part).  Either way, I'll get trough the Dumbo Challenge, that I can assure you, and myself...

On a side not, I'm now using Strava.  Let me know if any of you are as well so I can find you!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Enjoying The Gym

So far joining LA Fitness has been a great improvement on my workouts and my motivation.  I'm guessing it has something to do with the whole spending money for the membership, but if it's getting me to work out more, then I'm good with it.

I will admit that I'm not the best at going to the spinning class.  I found a teacher I like, but she only teaches at my gym twice a week so its hard to make her specific classes.  I really should get outside my comfort zone and try another instructor, but I like my routines.

Still, I've been hitting the gym 2-3 times a week and I've been running on the elliptical or using a stationary bike.  I have to say, getting an hour in on the elliptical is a lot easier when I have a tv that's working.  I will get through an entire 40-60 minute workout done without the tv, but it is honestly a lot harder without the distraction.  Plus, I enjoy my morning A&E crime dramas and catch up with Sports Center.  Plus, as long as I get a good, decent workout in, I'm happy!

The best case was just the other day.  I got to the gym right before a storm rolled in.  I unfortunately found an elliptical without a working tv, but the rain started pouring and lightening rolled in about 40 minutes into my workout.  So instead of calling it quits (which my lack luster brain wanted me to do), I ran out the storm on my machine.

While I'm not quite there yet, I am getting better at getting up, starting, and getting through my workouts.

Friday, May 10, 2013

More Medals!

I had the sudden realization last week that August really isn't that far away.  I was excited because that meant I would be heading home in just a few short months, but then again I'd also be running the Dumbo Challenge in a few short months.  And my running... ya, it probably isn't anywhere near what it should be.

But you can always count on Disney for releasing new information to keep you excited for any race, no matter where your training is.  Just a few days ago they released pictures of the four medals you could gain at the Disneyland Half Marathon.

In all honesty, i don't really care about the Alice in Wonderland medal or the Dumbo one for their design, but that's more of because they were movies I never really connected with.  I still love the D medal for the actual half, and of course I'll be collecting a fourth medal that weekend, my second Coast to Coast.

Speaking of Coast to Coast, they recently announced a few more races and new medals.  When I say new races, I mean more 10k's and double race challenges.  There will be the Glass Slipper challenge in February with the Princess Half Marathon (another 10k and Half pairing).  Then if you do the Tinkerbell Half Marathon in January and the Princess in February, you get a special Coast to Coast medal.

In all honesty, I'm not a pink kind of girl, so I won't be going after this specific coast to coast medal.  Good luck to everyone who is!  That's a quick turn around, but should be fun!  Now the glass slipper I may do just to keep my running up for all these weekends.  Plus, the Princess Half is the only race I have done every year since I've started running these races.  There are a lot of special memories with the race so I figure I might as well...

So now, coming the the realization I better start training some more.  I have been able to get to the gym for elliptical and spinning training to help salvage my knees and then a few road workouts just to keep that training up.  Speaking of which... it's almost time for spinning!  Enjoy your workouts, whatever they might be today... I know I'll have a sweaty, but great time at mine!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spin Report

Last night was my first spinning class in years and I knew I was in trouble when the instructor started off the class with "This is going to be a hard one, one of the hardest actually."  Ya, I knew I was in trouble at that point.

The class kicked my butt.  Not enough that I couldn't drive home thankfully, but enough that I was pouring sweat and my legs were burning.  There was a lot of climbing and jumping (going from a sitting to climbing position... what I call a squat on a bike) with some sprinting at the beginning and the end.  The sprinting and climbing I had no issues with.  I was able to dig deep down and get through those.  It was all the ups and downs of jumping that were killing me!  My knees were definitely feeling all the ups and downs as well and about 20-25 minutes in they were starting to hurt.  So I simply sat out a few jumps, joined in on most, and they were fine.

Here's the greatest (yet weirdest part)... My legs and knees are totally and completely fine this morning. The only thing sore is my butt and that's from the stupid bike seat.  So overall, I'm feeling great considering how much I worked, how intense of a burn there was in the workout, and how tired I was after.  Plus, my knee that is always tight is looser this morning.  Is it from spinning?  I'd like to think so, but I won't base in massive conclusions on just one workout.

Now I'm not going to kill myself again tonight, at least not at another spinning class.  I'll probably spin 2-3 times a week and do yoga 1 day.  That leaves me 2-3 days for resting and running which should overall workout well.

My body was out of shape last week, but it's about to go through my version of training camp start now.  Hopefully it can still keep up...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Well Hello Again

Guess who's slowly coming back?

It's finally turning into a "slow" season at work and I'm returning to a position where my work schedule is a little more routine.  That means I can run again, and also get into new types of workouts, which I am of course excited for.

Taking March off from running was nice, but I'll admit that I was definitely becoming jealous of other runners by the end of the month.  I wasn't exactly stir crazy, like usual, but I wanted to be out there running instead of just being tired from walking all day for work.  The good news is that I managed my diet enough that I didn't gain any weight so I won't be fighting that battle as much as I was expecting.

Still, March is over, April is almost over, and I am just now regaining my footing in running.  I have a few months to get back into shape and get ready for this Dumbo Challenge at Disneyland.  I've been able to get up to 2.2 miles again and I can tell I'm definitely out of shape.  Luckily that's never stopped me before, nor will it stop me now.

 I'm not going to be returning just to running, but I'm going to go back to some of the cross training I did in college for swimming and triathlon.  I heading to spinning classes and maybe some yoga.

I finally found a gym that includes spinning, yoga, and other classes in the membership and, after checking out the gym in person, I've signed up.  I'm hoping to do my first spinning class tomorrow and I am super excited because I've really missed it.  I had a blast spinning in the off season for swimming.  Plus it will be easier on my knees, get my endurance back up, and should give me that distraction from just running.  Along with yoga for stretching and runs on the other days... this should be a pretty good workout schedule.  It will be a hard one, but if I can keep it up, it'll be a good one.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Goofy, Dumbo, and Dopey?

So I'm sure by now you've heard... there is yet another challenge in the runDisney world... the Dopey Challenge.  The same weekend you can be completing the Goofy Challenge, you can also be attempting the Dopey Challenge.  Andy yes, you really must be dopey to compete in this challenge.

The dopey is not just 2 races... not just 3 races... but 4 races!  A 5k on Thursday, a 10k on Friday, the Half Marathon on Saturday, and the Full Marathon on Sunday.  That's 48.6 miles of running in 1 either very magical or very difficult (or probably both so magically difficult) weekend.

Now the challenge intrigues me and some who know me are already expecting me to give in and sign up on April 9th... or April 2nd for the Runner's World Challenge.  I probably won't do the challenge... it depends on how much the race itself is, but considering the challenge doesn't even offer rooms this time... For more information on the run (and the Runner's World Challenge) visit the runDisney blog and their article on the announcement here.

I will definitely need to get some real help with my knees and ankles if I do decide to take on this challenge, but that's also something that has been a long time coming in all honesty.  But if I train right (and find the time to train) this should be fine.  I still have a few weeks to decide so we shall see...

I'm definitely taking on Dumbo... but Goofy and Dopey too?  This should be interesting...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Running Vacation

No, I'm not going on a vacation where I just run... that would be interesting, but probably a bit tiring.  Instead, I'm actually taking a vacation from running.  It's something I believe my knees, legs, and feet desperately need this vacation.

The vacation is partially physically required and also required because of work.  I'm at work an average 10 hours a day with 90% of that day standing or walking (quickly).  I tried running before work on day and ended up with throbbing shin splints by the end of the night that nearly had me crying.  I've tried to run after work, but considering I get home typically when it's dark and the fact I'm usually asleep within an hour of arriving home... it doesn't always work out very well.  Plus right now, I'll probably be working everyday through the rest of the month.  If I get 1 or 2 days this month to get a few miles in, I'll be happy.

I'm actually looking forward to a bit of relaxing time, but I'm sure I'll be going stir crazy by the end of the month.  That should just help me stay motivated for a while to keep running...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Running Fashion Don'ts

Lets take a break from the run analysis and what not (which by the way I surpassed 100 miles for 2013 today!) and I want to talk about something that we think about at times, but usually don't... Running fashion.  Now these are not rules, they're just my opinions, but some of them are somewhat obvious...

Color Coordination-

All athletes seem to love to mix and match colors (especially if at least one is a neon) just as much as we like to coordinate them.  Still, this does not mean that you should go overboard on the color combinations.

As it has been almost a week I cannot remember the exact details, but I did see a cringe worthy color combination at the Princess Half marathon.  If I am able to spot an outfit that stands out for all the wrong reasons at an event like any of the runDisney events, I just hope the person is trying to stand out and really doesn't wear that normally.  The worst part was there really wasn't anything resembling a costume to the ensemble.  It was normal running gear... In just all the wrong colors.

On the flip side, don't wear all of one color unless it's for a race and that's your uniform.  If you're casually running in all than one color, it looks funny a lot of the time.  I think all black might be the only exception, but thats not completely safe, especially for running at night.

You really can't go wrong in some great running tights, capris, or shorts and a tech shirt or tank top.  Plus that looks is classic... and it's classic for a reason!

Everyday Costumes-

We all have fun dressing up at times.  Heck, I finally decided to wear a costume for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler last year and while it was extremely hot (thank you October in Florida...), it was a lot of fun.

Luckily I can say that I have nor have I ever seen anyone wearing a costume in normal everyday running.  That's a good thing people...

Water Backpacks-

I'm guessing everyone is aware of these little beauties.  I think they're absolutely great... if you're a hiker, mountain biker... um... I'm sure there's another sport that benefits from them without looking dorky.  I've seen this in triathlons with cyclist wearing these backpacks and I've seen my first runner wearing one as well!

For cyclist... just learn to reach down and grab your water bottle like a real cyclist.  Have you ever seen anyone in the Tour de France or Ironman wearing one?  No!  There's a reason.

For runners... you have a lot of other options other than wearing one of these backpacks.  Carrying a water bottle, the great belts from companies like iFitness that have water bottle carriers, if you're doing laps, just leave a bottle somewhere on your route, or if there are parks or anything on our running route, I'm sure there are water fountains then.  See, lots of other options!

I still couldn't imagine doing a long run with one of these things.  It has to become uncomfortable after a while and the back sweat... I gringe thinking about it.

So those are my current fashion don'ts.  Hopefully I won't have to add anymore, but with people constantly inventing different things and certain creative individuals always wanting to stand out... who knows what we might see next!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Picturing the Princess Half

I know I'm late on this again, but it's better late than never...  I really don't have anything different to say about the Princess Half that I've already said in previous posts so I decided that this time I'd just focus on some of the pictures... Luckily they did change some of the characters you were able to meet...

The Ferrari Italia... My absolute favorite car that you can drive at the Richard Petty Driving Experience.

The castle was absolutely beautiful... I actually don't think I've run through it before when it wasn't completely light outside.

King Mickey... always a pleasure to see him.  Queen Minnie was also out, but needed to break for tea time or something along those lines.

Main street and the hoards of people who came out to support the runners.

Princess Tiana and the gang.

Mulan and Mushu.  

I don't think I've ever seen an opportunity to take a picture with Mary Poppins in this costume so I just had to stop and take advantage of it!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Princess 2013- Training Really Does Matter

My third Princess Half Marathon has officially be completed.  That makes my current track record 1 Marathon, 6 Half Marathons, 1 10 Milers, and 1 5K.  Technically I should probably have more 5k's, but hey, I never liked to do things the normal way.

February has always been my athletically cursed month.  Back when I was a swimmer, there was a meet about this time in February I was never able to compete in.  It was when I was first diagnosed with rotator cuff tendonitis (it was so bad I couldn't move my shoulder) and I was usually sick during that meet.  It seems as though that tradition has turned over into running because I did not feel my best this morning and this race was definitely not one of my better ones.  My time wasn't terrible (2:42), but I was in a lot of pain.

I decided not to stop too much this time as I have already photographically documented this race twice, I just took it easy.  I did get pictures a few times and those will be coming tomorrow probably.

I was hoping to get closer to my personal record during this race, but I could very soon tell that wasn't happening.  As soon as I woke up, I wasn't feeling good.  The first few miles was a mental fight between me and my stomach. Luckily I won, but my stomach didn't go down gently.  Plus it was incredibly hot for so early in the morning and by the first mile or two I had a fine layer of sweat.  The nice thing was that it seemed runDisney also adjusted for the heat and set up more water and medical stops than it seemed they had in the past.  I absolutely loved them for it!

The water and sometimes powerade were welcomed at every stop and I did force myself to stop at a medical station.  It was hard since I just wanted to finish, but my knee and ankle were getting tighter and tighter and I knew without biofreeze, they weren't going to last.  I did walk most of Mile 8, but pulled myself back together after that.  I forced myself to get to certain landmarks (the on ramps, water stations, etc...) and that really did help.

I do blame most of the pain and difficulty of this race on not training properly.  I had only gotten to a single 5 mile run during my training and I probably needed more than that.  Up through mile 5 and 6 I actually felt decent (other than the stomach bug).  Now I do have some time to relax, get through a busy season at work and then figure out my training for Dumbo's Double Dare Challenge.

This weekend I did decide on a few things...
1. I am training a hell of a lot better for Dumbo's.
2. I am going to train to run Goofy's Challenge in 2 years... Goofy's 10th anniversary.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I Am A Princess

My parents might die when they see that title considering I've always been anti-princess.  I'm more of a pirates kind of girl, but while that won't be changing anytime soon... my feelings towards the princesses might be softening.

I recently ran across a video of Disney's new definition of a princess... check it out:

Growing up, I always thought of princesses as the damsel in distress that needed the prince to come save her.  Yes they do all have some redeeming qualities, but I never really saw them standing up too much for themselves.  I mean Belle did, yes, but they were still somewhat at the mercy of everyone else and didn't really have too many ideas for the future.

Recently the princesses have been changing.  Tiana wanted to be a chef and run her own restaurant.  She was head strong and helped save her prince.  Then there was Rapunzel who, while still needed help from her prince, helped him as well.  In my opinion she is right there with Belle, but maybe a little higher considering she did do a lot more fighting and sacrificed a lot more than some magical tears.  Finally, Merida who doesn't even have a prince and gets herself in trouble and out of it.  I like the change in attitude and I've talked to quite a few others; my age, older, and some parents who share my same feelings.  It definitely seems to be a welcome change.

So yes, we are all princesses.  We are all strong and can forge our own paths, but we can always use the help of a prince who stands beside us.  We all have dreams we wish upon a start to come true.  We are all our own knights in shining armor.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fit For A Princess Expo

Now, I love expos, but this morning's was a tad bit crazy.  I think everyone and their family decided to be at the opening of the expo.  The funny thing was, even though there was a long line, the crowd didn't seem too bad when I actually got inside.  Part of it was probably because the expo and registration pick up were in the same room.  The room was split, but you could easily go between the two.

A lot of people were going straight to the expo and what appeared to be the race merchandise area.  As much as I love all my t-shirts, jackets, cups, pins, and everything else I acquire from the race merchandise area, I decided to avoid it.

That's definitely not saying that I left the area empty handed.  It wouldn't be a running expo if I left empty handed!

Of course Disney makes sure you leave with something just for registering and showing up. In their goody bag was the race shirt (purple this year which was a welcomed change), a pink bag, button, Luna bar, and I got a pin that I purchased with my registration.

As for my mini shopping spree... I bought a pair of Nike capris and 2 more princess shirts. I guess I really am slowly turning into a princess...



Thursday, February 21, 2013

People Say The Nicest Things...

Ever starting my new job, it's been really hard to train for the Princess Half Marathon and keep up with my personal goal of averaging 12 miles a week.  It always feels like my endurance is completely shot and I'm just not in the shape I was at the beginning of the year... which in all honesty I'm probably not.

Still today I was able to hit the road and I had a pretty decent run.  Not my fastest, not my best, but it wasn't my worst either.  It was in the last mile though that I ran into some people I had met last year and they made me feel a lot better about my running.

I had met this couple at a wine dinner at a Walt Disney World restaurant.  They were very nice and we soon found out that we lived in two communities that were side by side.  Now, I had always looked out for them, but had never seen them.  A few months roll by and I stop keeping an eye out.

Then today I see a couple who look oddly familiar and she waves me down.  Sure enough it was the couple from the dinner.  We talked for a bit and as we were leaving the wife tells me "You're running so well, so fast!  You're looking good!"

That was all I needed to hear really.  Personally I know I haven't been running my best or anywhere close to it, but to hear someone compliment me on my running... that makes me feel as though I'm running my best.

That is one of the reasons I always try to thank people, compliment them, or in the least smile.  You never know when something small like that might help change someone's day.  Today it certainly helped my running.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Moving Up in Corrals!

The Princess Half Marathon is in just a few weeks so all of the last details are coming out... including the corral assignments.  Now, other than the marathon and 10 miler I've always been in Corral C.  For those other two races I was in G and B respectively.  Well, that's apparently all changing right now.

For the 5th Anniversary Princess Half Marathon, I will be moving on up to Corral B!  I am actually pretty excited about this because I was never really expecting it.  I got into running to stay in shape when I retired from swimming.  Swimming and triathlons were my competitive sports, I was never and still never think of running as something I'm going to get into competitively.  So that fact I moved up in a corral, shows that my training is starting to come through!

Now the hardest part will be living up to that.  Guess I have to work harder at getting back into my running stride and endurance before the Princess to keep up with this B corral.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Double Workout!

Growing up a competitive swimmer, doing double practices was something you started doing pretty early on.  One practice before the sun broke the horizon and one where you watched the sun set.  I really haven't done too many double workouts since graduating college (the biggest one was the Wine & Dine Half that I made into a 20 miler), but today I made myself do one.

I had told myself that I was going to run at least 5 miles this morning.  In all actuality, my first mile felt pretty good and I thought it wasn't going to be bad.  Well, then the Mike's Hard Lemonades, chips, and other Super Bowl goodies my roommate and I partook in caught up with me and didn't let me get that much farther.  So yes, I stopped at 2.5 miles.

But I had told myself 5 miles today... and I wasn't going to let myself get by with half of that.  So I rested, hydrated, and got ready to head back out this afternoon.  I actually ran another 3.05 miles this afternoon, giving me a totally of 5.55 miles! So technically I did less, but more... ya I just like to be weird like that.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Double Dared by Dumbo

It's been a few weeks since this actually happened, but there was the whole marathon thingy going on and a new job.  Luckily now I have some time where I get to share some exciting news.

Right before the marathon I was able to pre-register for the Dumbo's Double Dare Challenge during the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend.  It ended up being a good thing considering the challenge and the rest of the weekend sold out within hours of opening.

If you haven't already heard, the Dumbo's Double Dare Challenge is the new 10k race on Saturday followed by the half marathon on Sunday.  Pretty much, it's Disneyland's version of the Goofy Challenge.

Considering 6-7 miles is a pretty average long run for me during training, I'm not too worried about putting these two runs back to back.  Heck, I'm not even scared of the Princess Half which is getting closer and closer.  I'm already gaining the mileage back on a pretty steady basis, which will be good considering I have to average 12 miles a week this year and I'm behind somewhere between 3-5 miles already.

Dumbo might not be one of my favorite characters, but I'm excited to take on his challenge!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Back To Training

It was nice to get a week or so break in after the marathon, but my break wasn't going to last forever.  Especially with the Princess Half Marathon only a month or so away, I had to get back into running.

My knees were still tight and sore, but I'm beginning to think that my knees will ever be completely ok. With the help of some Aleve and Icy Hot, things are looking ok.  I'm not too worried about the Princess Half in all honesty.  I've never had the best race at Princess because I've either been nursing an injury (my ankle 2 years ago) or running with a friend and making sure she finished.  So I guess I should technically run this with something hurting since I'm not running with someone...

This year I've made a goal for myself to run over 600 miles, which is an average of 12 miles a week.  Even with a week and a half off, I'm only off right now by just under 4 miles.  I thought it was going to be a lot worse, but of course that marathon is technically worth more than two weeks.  Either way, not as far off my goal as I could be.

So now the count down is on till Princess.  Then maybe I'll give myself a bit more of a break before picking up the training again.  If anything, running the marathon has given my confidence in running quite the boost... one that I didn't realize I needed, but I'm definitely not complaining now.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

2013 Disney World Marathon Part 2- The Finish

The first half marathon ended at Animal Kingdom and the second started as we headed off toward ESPN Zone.  This part was just like the Tower of Terror 10 Miler and the Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  It was long, there were "hills" and in all honesty probably the most boring part of the race.  There were some interesting characters on the course, like Launch Pad from Duck Tales...

At this point my knees and thighs were starting to hurt.  I stopped at my first medical tent ever for some BioFreeze and that definitely helped... What also helped was the fact that they had sponges soaking in cold water ready for runners at about mile 17.  It was right before we ran into the ESPN complex and I can tell you, those sponges were one of the best ideas ever!

Running through ESPN was interesting as usual.  Got to see a lot of the fields and track.  There were actually some track athletes running on the track which I thought was interesting considering we were all dying and yet they had these college level athletes training right there...  We did run around the baseball diamond just like Disneyland Half.  Disneyland is a tad bit better on this part because they get the boy scouts and girl scouts to fill the stadium while there were just a few people cheering from the seats at the marathon.

As we were leaving ESPN Wide World of Sports, we hit mile 20, which has a HUGE mile marker considering it was the race's 20th year.  They had Mickey, Minni, and Pluto there which was pretty cool and I won't lie, I got an awesome picture!

The course was pretty much exactly like the Wine and Dine Half, but they did make it safer.  At the half marathon there was a line of cones between the runners and cars... during the marathon there was an entire buffer lane with cops inside of it to make sure no one got hurt.  It definitely made me feel better.

Hollywood Studios was pretty normal with Wreck It Ralph as well as Mike and Sully out to take pictures.  I was actually taking pictures with Mike and Sully when I saw one of my friends pass.  After that I saw my Mom and decided to see who could make it back to the finish first.  

After DHS we ran by the Yacht and Beach Club, which have always been one of my favorite hotels.  The only thing that really annoyed me was the trio who decided to take up the entire path to walk and one of them was practically giving a tour to the other two about some of the hotels.  This was a RACE not a TOUR.  Sorry, that is one of my biggest pet peeves and I might not have been the kindest when I passed... blame it on my open water swimming past.

We were ushered backstage behind EPCOT only to emerge in the UK.  From there we ran through the World Showcase and I ran through most of it so I was pretty proud.  I did take a picture with Bell (who really needed to work on her makeup) as well as Mulan and Mushu.  Eventually I made it to the front of the park, around the corner, and hit the Mile 26 marker!

.2 miles left and I was able to finish!

I was alive, I was still moving, and I didn't throw up.  Overall, that was a huge accomplishment.  I started and finished without getting swept.  That medal around my neck has never felt better!  The marathon took me 6 hours and 4 minutes and I was more than proud of that.
My friend and I with our medals... Finished 2 minutes apart!
Will I do another one?  Probably considering I still want to do the Goofy, but I need to train better.  In the days after the race my knees have been acting up quite a bit so I need to do better for them.  Still, I was happy I was able to finish a marathon since it's something I never thought I'd be able to do.  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

2013 Disney World Marathon Part 1- The Start

It has been a few days now since the marathon and I am pretty much back to normal.  The race overall went really well and I finished and received my medal so I am definitely calling it a success.  I had a lot of fun and I'm just super proud of myself for pushing through to the end.

I started in Corral G, the 2nd to last corral.  I've never really been that close to the back and the sweepers were already a worry for me so I decided I was going to just run the first few miles and put some distance between myself and the sweepers.  Yes, I have heard the sweepers aren't too strict at the runDisney races, but I didn't care to find out about that.  So I skipped some of the first few character stops.  That meant I missed my favorite, the Pirates, as well as Jack Skellington, who I really could care less about getting a picture of.   They also had this huge poster up which was really cool.

I took my first break (and only restroom break) at mile 4.  I was able to catch my breath and do a mental check over how I was feeling.  Overall, pretty well, definitely better than what I was expecting considering I really wasn't prepared for the race and hadn't been feeling well the days before the race.  

The race then headed to the Magic Kingdom when we came up to one of my favorite views of any of the runDisney races... running down Main Street.  The castle is just so pretty in the early morning, isn't it?  This was the first place I got to see my support crew, aka my Mom.  I still wasn't really stopping for character pictures, especially considering the princesses and royal Mickey and Minnie both had super long lines.  Luckily, I've already taken a few pictures with royal Mickey and Minnie and I'm not a huge fan of the princesses.  I did finally stop for a picture just outside of the Magic Kingdom with Mary Poppins and started stopping for more pictures.  Here are a few from the rest of the first half:

 One cool thing, was the Disney World Speedway, which hosts the Richard Petty Driving Experience.  For the race, the race track hosted close to a mile of the race as well as a car show.  Of course Tow Mater, Lightening McQueen, and Finn McMissile were all a part of it.  There were some super nice cars there ranging from the classics to the newest sports car.  It was definitely cool to see all of the cars out there.

The race then went to Disney's Animal Kingdom where they actually had some of the smaller petting zoo animals out.  Everything from a hawk and owl to a snake to sheep and goats.  I did spy one of our elephants in their night barn still even!  Of course they had some iconic characters out there... I bet you might recognize a few:


There was also another cool thing that I got to do before exiting Animal Kingdom... I got to ride Expedition Everest!  That's right, I totally rode a roller coaster in the middle of the marathon.  They had just opened the attraction as I was going by so I jumped on it and got a front car seat.  Only at the Disney World Marathon could you ride a roller coaster during the race!

After exiting Animal Kingdom, we headed towards the half way marker, as well as the ESPN Wide World of Sports facility... stay tuned for what happened in the second half of the race!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I Survived!

I think this summarizes my marathon experience:

I'll post a race report tomorrow or Tuesday.  Trust me, I got lots of pictures so it should be fun!

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Week Has Come...

The marathon is only 3 days out.  It's kind of hard to believe it's that close finally.   I won't say I'm ready, because I definitely could have trained better and be feeling better.  I have been getting a sore throat from the weather constantly changing out here and I haven't been feeling my best otherwise, but I think that comes from stress from work and the run.

Still, I'm going to get through this run.

Plus, I did go to the expo today and I bought a lot of stuff... and I mean A LOT.  Check out my haul:

So of course to wear this stuff and show it off proudly, I have to finish!  I also need to add a medal to the picture, but that's coming...  In the race bag I got- The race tech shirt, a 20th anniversary button, shoe laces, cliff bar, pre-bought pin, temporary tattoo and the race info.  Not much, but again, I'm happy not to have all the papers and random stuff that I never use.

At the expo, I obviously bought a few things.  For race merchandise, I bought the white champion's jacket, 20th anniversary mickey ears, limited edition pin at the event, a nice box collection pin, a Dooney and Burke 20th anniversary purse, and a smaller version of the poster.  The artist for the poster was at the event this morning and was signing them as she gave them out.

I also got the Captain Hook shirt I've been wanting since the Tower of Terror run.  It's supposed to glow in the dark, but I just wanted it because it's Captain Hook and awesome.  I don't think I'm going to run it though.  I think I'm going to wear the "I Thought They Said Rum?" shirt I've worn for most of the half marathons.

It was crazy seeing all the set up these last few days.  On Wednesday they were already setting up medical tents and water stops.  Then today there were DJ booths and other areas getting set up.  Traffic signs were up and warning drivers... it was nerve wrecking at the same time as exciting!

O yes, and before I left the race area I signed up for running alerts to be sent to my parents as well as to be posted on my Facebook.  In the same area you could get a race photo for free from HP.  They gave you a hard copy there and sent you an electronic copy, which is great for me to post here!

One more day of work and then it's race time!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 Is Officially Here

I've had my 2013 goals set for a while now.  Mainly to run over 600 miles this year and finish my first marathon.  One of those goals will hopefully be completed in under 2 weeks!

That's right, the marathon is now just a week and a half away.  I'm not in the "Why did I ever sign up for this?  I'm going to die..." mode, but I said I'd do it and so I will.  I did get some great news yesterday... my mom's going to fly out from California for the race.  She's going to help me drive around and be my support crew for the race.

I'm looking forward to 2013. I don't have any weight loss goals since I'm hapy where I'm at, but it's more of I just want to stay fit and active throughout the year.  It could be hard considering I'm interviewing for a position that's not exactly going to have a lot of time off, but we'll see how it goes...

Here's to 2013 and the adventures it'll bring!