Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Running In Review

In just a few hours it will be 2017, a new year and one more year closer to the Dopey Challenge.  The last year was my return to running events.  I was getting healthier and getting more medals again.  I signed up for a challenge as my first race back, and signed up for two more races at the beginning of this new year.

Overall, 2016 has been an interesting year when it comes to running.  I have been able to get back into it, my knees and body have held up, and I was able to complete a challenge again.  The beginning of the year I was able to train like I wanted, but when summer hit I definitely hit some road blocks.  I forgot how hard it is to train in humidity.  Luckily I found my way back into the gym where I continued to train on ellipticals and treadmills.

I had a few instances of illness that held me back as well, but overall I was able to fight through and make it to my goal of running the Wine and Dine Half Marathon and Remy's 10k.  I ran them even faster than I thought I would as well, beating my own expectations.

I was also able to inspire my roommate to start running and sign up for her own race.  In just a week she will be completing her first half marathon during the Walt Disney World marathon weekend.  I'm excited to share this with her and hopefully she will sign up for more races with me.  I had another friend decide to start training for a half marathon, but she was inspired by her boyfriend.  Luckily, that means we're getting the opportunity to run together in 2018... but that's for next year and the year after.

I'm excited for what 2017 has to offer.  So far, 1 more half marathon, 2 more challenges, and probably a handful of 5ks... before I know it 2018 will be here and so will the Dopey Challenge!

Christmas Week Workouts Part 2

The holidays are coming to an end tomorrow and training has been pretty good.  I didn't get a ton of runs in, but I found other ways to workout.  I really enjoy pairing holidays with workouts.  Maybe it came from my years on a club swim team where we had special workouts for the holidays (like 100x 100s on New Years Day).  I was able to get a run in on Christmas Eve that felt ok, not the best, but ok.  I missed Christmas Day because I had work, and my parents were leaving so we did a very early Christmas celebration and breakfast before returning to our normal lives.

The last week has passed in what seems like a blur.  I found a new workout program, SWORKIT, which I am really enjoying and I was able to drop all of my Christmas vacation weight even while we had a ton of junk food in the office.  The week has felt good, I've felt good.

This morning I hit the streets again and I was able to get 4 miles in.  I wanted to go longer, but it was pretty cold for Florida (it was our one day of winter), and I didn't use my inhaler so my lungs weren't the happiest.  Still I was really encouraged with how good I was feeling!  Especially since I have the Walt Disney World Half Marathon next Saturday... 1 week away.  I haven't had any decent long runs in since the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, but if I'm still feeling as good as I am now then I'll be fine.  The end might be rough, but I'll get there!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Week Workouts Part 1

Christmas is close, which means I am with my family staying at Disney... which means I get to workout at the Disney as well.  This whole week I don't have much planned in the morning except for some fastpasses in the parks, but those are all later than I would plan to run or workout anyway.

Recently I have been feeling a little tight and creaky so I decided to do some yoga the first morning.  I had a beautiful view to admire as I stretched out.  I don't think I have mentioned it before, but I found a new yoga website called Do Yoga With Me.  It's fantastic! You can pay for some of the features or if you want to donate and otherwise the videos are all free to stream.  I have really enjoyed following some of the different videos in the last few months since discovering the site.  So yes I did one of their videos while watching everyone wake up and start moving around the Boardwalk on a pretty foggy morning.

This morning I did my absolute favorite workout while staying at the Boardwalk... I ran.  I wasn't sure if I was going to have the time because we had to pack to move rooms, but I still managed to find the time to get out there and run.  It was foggy and cool and perfect.  I got a lovely 3.1 mile run in that took me to Hollywood Studios, the Swan and Dolphin Hotels, Yacht and Beach Club hotels, EPCOT, and of course the Boardwalk Hotel.

Recently I haven't been feeling good when running, but today I felt great.  Whether it was a bit of that Disney Magic sinking in or just me feeling a lot better, I don't know nor do I care.  I ran at my normal faster pace (I'm still impressed with how my pace has dropped this year) and I ran farther without walking for longer.  It helps that a good morning helps influence a good morning and good day.

To top it off, race waivers for marathon weekend came out today... which also means that bib and coral numbers are out.  I will be in Corral M of P... 14 corrals in total (counting the elite corrals as well).  There will definitely be a lot of people out there!  I'm still excited for the race, especially since I have a lot of friends running it!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Reindeer Run 2016

One of my favorite races... a race that I was not able to do for one reason or another last year.  The Reindeer Run is a quick 5k at SeaWorld Orlando.  The morning was cold and crisp, but ended up being perfect for the run.

Of course a cold front had to come in right before the race so it was pretty cold in the morning.  I love getting to races early, especially these 5ks where you have to pick up your packet and what not.  It was far too cold to linger around outside so I sheltered in my car for a bit.  Eventually I got ready for the run and made it outside to watch the sunrise come over the park.

The race was set up well, with markers for different running paces set up so people could judge where they should start.  There was a second wave of walkers/strollers that would start after the runners and a few strollers tried to make their way to the front of the start... they were promptly told about the second start.  I don't understand people sometimes, why do they have to start in the front just to be in the way of people who are faster?  When the race actually started, it actually seemed like everyone had gotten into the right spot.  There is of course the initial moving around and finding your spot, but we spread out and everyone found their spots pretty quickly.  There was the occasional person you passed and the occasional traffic points, but overall there was plenty of room to actually run.  It was quite refreshing.

I didn't know what to expect since only a week ago I was in bed too sick to do anything.  I ran on the elliptical and on the street, but I knew I wasn't 100%.  Yesterday I ended up doing a weight workout and that didn't go over too well either, but more so because I hadn't worked out like that in a little while.  So I went into this run knowing I wasn't going to run my best, but I was going to finish.

I was definitely sore, but I could run through that.  It was more of my stomach and just my overall feeling that felt terrible.  One thing would act up and then another one.  Still, I walked when I needed to.  I still pushed myself when I could and I came in sub- 30 minutes!  Which was a first... Regardless of how I am feeling from whatever hit me last week, I have definitely gotten stronger and my times are definitely getting faster.

I did forget one thing about this race... No medal.  It was a bit disappointing, I had gotten used to getting some bling.  However, at the end they have a few local businesses (and the local hospital) have booths and I was able to get a swag bag that way.  Everything from a lion stress doll to a new bag... Oh, and of course a race shirt... one that I will actually wear!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Being Busy and Running

I am still around, I promise.  Life has just gotten pretty busy with work, vacations, the holidays, etc... I'm sure you all understand.  I also spend most of the year at work and take most of my vacations around now so I'm in and out of the house and town.  Luckily, I have been running whenever I can.

I recently went back home to California, which meant I went from 80 degrees to 40-50 degrees, which is not fun for someone who likes it around 70 degrees.  And I know some of you get snow and think 40s are great, but I have avoided snow for a reason... Still, I managed one, cold outside run while I was home.  It gave me an excuse to wear long running gear!  I have to say, I love my Nike running pants.  They're soft, warm, and super comfortable to run and walk in.  The only problem is I forgot them back home and have to wait a few weeks for my parents to come out here before I get them back... Luckily, it's warm enough to still be running in capris in Florida.

I also manager to get sick... the worst I've been sick in a few years.  I was forced to be in bed for over 12 hours, only managing to get up for a trip to the restroom.  Luckily whatever it was (which is still debatable) only lasted less than 24 hours and I was back to working out two days later. That's the good thing about when I get really bed-ridden sick... I'm miserable and feel like I'm going to die, but for me it is typically quick.

I've been back in Florida for a few days now and I've been able to get back on the elliptical as well as get outside and run.  The 60-70 degree mornings have been perfect, although they are expecting a cold front for the end of this week... right in time for my Christmas themed Reindeer Run 5k this Saturday!

The Reindeer Run is one of my favorite short little races and I haven't been able to do it for the last few years.  But luckily this year I have the day off and I signed up for it as soon as I could.  So far none of my usual 5k companions are going to be able to make it, but that's fine, I love this race regardless. More updates about the run to come!