Friday, November 30, 2012

Fitness Friday: Tri-ing Again!

How crazy is it that the one thing I bought on Cyber Monday was my first race fee for 2013??? Even crazier - it's a triathlon! This one is longer that the tri I finished in 2012 so I'm now freaking out a bit. Longer swim and longer run, but the bike distance is about the same.  Good thing I have until July to train!

If you live in Michigan (or nearby), I've heard great things about Tri del Sol and as far as triathlons go, it's very reasonably priced.  Anyone want to come "tri" with me???  If you click this link, you'll find a very short (3 question) survey and a discount code towards ANY of the races.  The survey will be open until tonight and the code is good until Feb 1st.  Tomorrow morning, I think I'm going to register for a half marathon that's coming up in May in Northern Michigan.  It always sells out and I've heard it's beautiful and FAST.  So much for not training for any distance races in 2013.


(stolen from FB)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday: PT

I'm thankful that I finally took the plunge and started PT for my calf/shin issues.

That's a sexy look, isn't it?
Yesterday I got Active Release Therapy, e-stim (weird), and the recommendation to try some OTC orthotics (which I picked up last night and I'll try running in this afternoon). I've been told to keep running but not add anything new (distance or speed) for the next few weeks. I was expecting to get some exercise or stretching homework but not yet.

Now let's just hope it works.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday: Changes

I had a completely different post all ready to go today. It was full of sunshine and rainbows and unicorns and shit. But the fact of the matter is that I'm not feeling very rainbow-y. Not even a little.  I'm definitely not feeling sunshine and unicorns.

When I started this blog several years ago, it was called "Diary of a Shrinking Chick". I was very involved with The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans and used this space to chronicle my weight loss. It morphed into more of a running blog & that's totally ok. Everyone evolves & changes.

But sometimes we slide backwards.

Sometimes it seems we've forgotten everything we learned about eating healthy and taking care of ourselves.

Sometimes we are very unkind to ourselves and our friends call us out on it.

I need to be called out because right now I'm NOT being very kind to myself. I really don't like the place I'm in. I'm not taking about just my weight (we'll get to that atrocity in a minute). I'm talking about the need to be accountable and the need to love myself again. The desire to love what I see in the mirror and be proud of the work it took to get there.

Today I weighed in at 153.6.

This has been my log for the past 3 months. Yes, I'm posting my weight again and the number really makes me want to puke. Even worse is the fact that I was down to 148 (10 pounds from "goal") just a couple weeks ago and I've gained almost all of it back. The trend that line is taking is scary.

So, this space is changing again.  At least on Wednesdays.  It might just be a picture of my scale or I might talk about what's going on, but in either case, it will be my one day a week to make myself accountable to the world (or at least those of you who follow me here).

Hopefully I'll see that number shrinking again - I figure, it worked before, maybe it will again.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Training Tuesday: taking a break

At the moment, I am on a little hiatus from training which makes writing a "Training Tuesday" recap a tad difficult.  It's taken some time to get my mojo back after tanking at Disney and frankly, I'm not excited about "training" again.  At least not yet.  I need to rediscover what I love about running and working out in general.

No races are scheduled and after knocking my spur-of-the-moment 5k out of the park on Thanksgiving morning, I'm inclined NOT to race again this year (although some think I should try and get in a 10k for a killer PR attempt before the end of the year, but there just aren't any "official" ones close by now that the snow is starting to fly and what if I f*ck it up? I'd rather end the racing year on a high note, thankyouverymuch.).  For the time being, I'm content to run when I want, hop on my trainer (that I finally got set up in my basement - LOVE IT!) and just ride, and throw in a little strength work if I feel like it.  I haven't been a complete slouch.  In the past week, I completed 1 strength workout (ok, major slouch there), cycled 3 times on the trainer for over 2 hours total, and ran twice for almost 10 miles - and both of those runs were the best runs I've had physically and mentally in a very long time.

I'll take it.

Tomorrow I start PT for my calf and shin, something I probably should have pushed for back in April, but hindsight and all. Blah blah blah.  I'm sure the PT will give me some specific exercises, stretches and whatnot to add into my (currently nonexistent) routine. I'm sure it will hurt like a sonofabitch. I kind of deserve it after what I've put my body through this year.

In a couple weeks, I plan on getting back on the scheduled training bandwagon - when I figure out what I want my focus to be in the next year. But for right now, recovery (physical and mental) IS my training.

ps - the original winner of my Chica Bands giveaway from Suddora never got back with me, so I drew again.  Congrats go out to....

Ally!!! (@ali_konu)

Email me your address and I'll get your Chica Band sent out to you :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Motivation Monday: FOUND! aka Turkey Trot 5k Race Report

I've really lost my motivation lately and running (heck, working out in general) is just HARD. In an effort to rekindle my passion with running, I signed up to run a local Turkey Trot 5k Thanksgiving morning.  To say it helped would be an understatement.
I picked up my race number Wednesday afternoon & was excited about running - a feeling I haven't had since Disney. Thursday morning I headed downtown (the family wasn't even up yet) and got some random stranger to take my picture near the finish line inside the arena.

My plan? Pee, warm up for 1/2 a mile (oops - I started out at about a 9m/m pace), stretch, do some strides, pee, and then run like a deer with a target on its back - and front :)

The plan worked like a charm. I put on my playlist from Wine and Dine but on shuffle and all the right songs hit. It's amazing how that works sometimes.

 I freaked a bit at the end of the first mile when my watch read 9:36 and the mile was mostly uphill. I thought I was screwed - no way I'd hold out. By mile 1.5 I knew I had a PR (and I was wondering why there was no water on the course - first race I've ever been in with ZERO aide stations). By mile 2.5 I knew my PR was going to be huge but the paths near the river were hard to maintain a good pace on because they were so crowded and narrow. I saw my friend, Julie in the last 1/2 mile, plus a ton of students from GRPS were high-5'ing people near the Ford Museum. The course got really crowded on this section, too, with some tight curves and I got stuck behind some slower runners. Once I got to the blue bridge I tried counting "kills" - I passed at least 2 guys on the bridge and a bunch more as we rounded the corner to the arena.  There's a special level of satisfaction in chicking dudes and no way was I going to slow down. One of my friends always says, "You can breathe when you're done" and that was my mantra for the last 1/2 mile.  I was sucking wind, but I saw some high 7s on my watch in that final stretch!


My watch lost the signal in the arena & was really bouncing around outside with the tall buildings and overpasses (you should see the Garmin Connect data - it's insane), so the course *might* have been .1 short, but I don't think it was (other people had distances from 2.9 to 3.2, so I figure the course was accurate). I wish they'd had the screens on in the arena, but it was really dark.  I saw a volunteer who I had chatted with before the race and he said "you made it - no one shot you!" He gave me a hug and I headed out to find water.  Outside I ran into a couple other friends and it was awesome to celebrate my run with them (one of them hit a HUGE PR of his own - holy fastness, Batman!).

My official results: 28:15 (9:07 ave pace - who am I?!?!?)
28/94 in my age group - top 30%!
315/920 women
847/1745 overall

I CRUSHED my previous PR by 5 min & 25 seconds!!!!
I guess all that distance work, speedwork & tempo runs weren't for nothing. Want to know how to train for a banging 5k? Train for a half marathon :)

That's one thankful, happy, little deer :)
Did you turkey trot this year? How did it go?

ps - I drew for a winner of my Chica Band giveaway from Suddora on Thursday but haven't heard from her yet. If I don't hear from her by Tonight at 8 pm, I'll draw another winner!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Winner! @SuddoraSports #giveaway

I feel blessed and very lucky to have my readers here - thank you for reading and following this little corner of the bloggosphere. I just LOVE giving away goodies on my blog - thank you to everyone who entered my Chica Bands giveaway & to Paul from Suddora for the opportunity.

Without further ado....

Congratulations Lisa!! DM or email me your addy & I'll get your headband sent out to you!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

(Semi) Wordless Wednesday: mantras

I need a new mantra - care to take a vote :)

I'm running my first official 5k since 2009 tomorrow. I'm actually excited about it - and I haven't been excited about many runs lately, so that's HUGE.  I have no clue how it's going to go or what kind of time I can expect, but I plan to have fun and not stop until I cross the finish line. 

Then I can come home and eat all the things :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Training Tuesday: what's next?

For the past 12-13 weeks, I've used Tuesdays as a day to recap and post my previous week's training. The problem now? I don't really know what's next. I seem to have misplaced my mojo & I don't have any races on the schedule.

This past week, I did a couple good cycle workouts and some strength training, but didn't even run 4 miles total. My shin/calf are still sore and I'm even having issues with my arch (I have an appointment with my doc on Wed). At least the training cycle for the year is over, but I'm afraid of losing all the progress I've made.

I'm toying with running a turkey trot 5k on Thursday & a friend has convinced me to run 6 miles with her Friday night (I'll admit - I'm worried about covering the distance, which is beyond dumb, but she says we can walk and drink spiked hot cocoa, so how was I supposed to turn that down?).

However, in the grand scheme of things, I have no plan. I don't do well without a plan. Do I focus on 5ks for now? 10ks? I looked at the Train Like a Mother 5k Own It plan & holy cow it's intense! This is just the first 3 weeks!

The Run Less, Run Faster 5k plan isn't much friendlier, but at least it's only 3 days a week of running like I'm used to.

I know I need to do something or I'm going to go nuts. Any suggestions?

PS: If you haven't entered my giveaway yet, please go do that.

PSS: It's national Hug a Runner Day (according to Facebook and Twitter - which you know are always right) so go hug your favorite runner today.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Motivation Monday: lacking

I thought some new running shoes (don't get me started on the color - I'm pissed Asics doesn't carry wide widths in the new bright purple) and a couple funny Bondi Bands would help me find my mojo again.  So far they haven't helped.

I've really lost my motivation since Disney and running (heck, working out in general) is just HARD and I'd discouraged and frustrated.  I need to keep reminding myself that I will make it past this - feel free to smack me upside the head with that little nugget of wisdom from time to time as well.

One of these days I'll find that love of running again.  In the meantime, I'll just keep telling myself to "suck it up, cupcake".

What do you do when you've completely lost all of your motivation?  (And please don't tell me to stop running or take a break from running because I've also managed to gain almost 5 pounds since Disney and running is the only thing that has ever worked to control my weight.)

After you help me find my motivation, head over here and enter the giveaway I have going on.  You know you want to!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fitness Friday: a #giveaway from @SuddoraSports

A few weeks ago, Paul from Suddora contacted me about partnering for some giveaways on my blog. You all know I'm all for reviewing fun workout stuff and giving things away to my readers, so I said "Sure!".

Suddora is a growing sporting goods site that sells headbands, armbands, and a variety of other workout gear and accessories from a bunch of different brands.  Paul asked which headband I'd like to try and sent me this adorable Chica Bands Zen headband to review (plus another exactly like it to give away)!

Even on my least favorite machine I look cute & my hair is out of my face. 
I had never tried Chica Bands before and was excited to receive one.  The band is beautiful - I think I could just wear it with my regular clothes - and the velvet on the back side of the band definitely kept it from slipping.  On Wednesday, I tried it out on the ARC trainer and for lifting, then on Thursday I gave it a workout in spin class. No slipping and it kept my hair back.

Now, how do you win your own Chica Bands Zen headband?

  1. Mandatory - visit the Suddora sweatbands page and come back to leave a comment telling me which one you like the best.
  2. For bonus entries, "like" Suddora on Facebook and/or follow them on Twitter (up to 2 extra entries). Come back here and leave a separate comment for each one.
  3. For additional entries, share this giveaway on Twitter, Facebook or your own blog (up to 3 more entries). Make sure you leave comments telling me how you shared - links would even be better so I can give you some social media love :)
That's 6 chances to win a beautiful Chica Bands Zen headband of your own.  I'll choose a winner using my awesome Fruit Machine next Thursday, November 22nd (that's Thanksgiving Day) after 8pm EST and post the winner on Friday morning, November 23rd.  Make sure there is a way for me to contact you if you win!  Good luck!

**the fine print: sent me two Chica Bands for review, giveaway, and promotional purposes but the opinions are all my own**

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Lessons Learned

If you've read my blog this week, thank you for putting up with all the Disney Wine and Dine Half posts.  Now that I've had a few days to process this race experience, I want to list out some of what I've learned this training cycle.  The lessons go beyond just race weekend, but back to the start of training.  I think bullet points might work best for this.

  • Coming back from serious injury takes patience, something I don't have in reserves. Training comprised of a lot of 2 steps forward, 1 step back feelings. 
  • Yasso 800s WILL make you want to puke but they will also make you feel like a badass and make you faster.  I think I proved the faster part on my last long run. Doing 8 x 800s at a 4:30 pace made me a badass :)
  • You can run three days a week and run a successful half marathon, provided you also commit to cross-training on the off days.  Even though I didn't PR this weekend, I finished a half marathon 6 months after being benched with a stress reaction and put in a boot for 6 weeks, on a very tough course, and only 6 minutes off my half PR.  I think that's a testament to my training plan and the encouragement of everyone cheering me on.
  • You can be well trained but sometimes forces outside of your control will negatively impact race day.
    • the weather might be too hot/cold/rainy/windy/sunny/humid/etc/etc
    • the course might be very crowded and full of sharp twists and turns
    • you might be getting sick
    • your injury might start acting up again (ok, maybe that one was in my control)
  • Dressing in a costume, while incredibly fun and cute, can present problems if you end up not dressed appropriately for the race conditions.  I was definitely too warm Saturday night and overheating really killed my time.
  • Expecting to PR because you've had some great runs just makes you cocky.  Nothing is ever guaranteed.  Bad runs can happen any time, any place.
  • GI issues suck big green donkey d*cks.
  • Course conditions greatly impact how you'll run, especially if you aren't trained for those conditions.  In my case, I didn't do enough hill training and the camber of the on/off ramps and bridges really tore up my legs.
  • Fueling for a night time race (or any race outside of your "norm") is hard! I really didn't know what to eat and when.  I'm not sure if my food choices contributed to my GI issues or if it was just a random event.
  • Disney knows how to put on a quality race. I was impressed throughout the entire weekend at how smoothly everything went.
    • The expo was huge and well organized
    • The volunteers rock
    • I loved having the wide-open field to relax in before the race. Much better than the parking lot for Tinker Bell.
    • Bag check was effortless. I'll admit, I was nervous about leaving my bag at Wide World of Sports and expecting to see it again when I got finished at Epcot, but there it was, within minutes of me stopping at the table.
    • They did a decent job of assigning corrals by projected time.
    • There were plenty of water stops and it looked like enough fuel stops too.
    • You can't beat the scenery of running through Disney parks.
    • Disney medals are Da Bomb!!!! Seriously, my Disney medals are amazing - they don't skimp here.
  • There were a couple things about this race that didn't thrill me.
    • The course was too crowded, not just in the parks but at the beginning as well.  I should've expected this since it was the same out in Anaheim for Tinker Bell, but I think it still messed with my head a bit.
    • I think for the price we pay, a ticket to one of the parks or at least a discount for park tickets like Tinker Bell had, should be mandatory.
    • The afterparty wasn't long enough.  I know this seems crazy since it went until 4 am, but for slower runners, there really wasn't enough time to enjoy it.
    • Please, runDisney organizers, offer women's fit shirts for ALL your races.
  • Spending the day before a half marathon walking around theme parks (Tinker Bell) or Downtown Disney and the expo (Wine and Dine) might not be the best pre-race strategy.
  • Unless you were carried off the course on a stretcher, the race was not a disaster.
  • Even if you think you've failed on a run, you really haven't. Take whatever happened and learn from it. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wine and Dine Half: Post-Race Party!

After running my butt off through 3 Disney parks, I got changed and scooted (Ha! very slowly) back into Epcot for the Wine and Dine post-race party. The good folks at Disney were keeping Epcot open until 4am for race participants and my goal was to last to as close to 4am as I could since I hadn't spent any time park hopping before the race.

(I apologize in advance for the somewhat crappy pics - all I had with me was my iPhone.)

With as messed up as my tummy was and as slow as I was moving, I didn't manage to hit any of the rides. Plus, there simply wasn't enough time. I definitely needed some nourishment and real beer so I hoofed it straight to World Showcase and made my way around the lagoon.

Normally I have issues with seeing Christmas lights before Thanksgiving, but I loved all the Christmas decorations I saw during the race and at the after party.

I love Spaceship Earth all lit up at night. I wanted to ride that one since I've heard it's been updated, but I was afraid if I sat for that long (it's a long ride) that I'd never get up again.

Getting cozy with Mulan and Mushu. After not getting any character pics during the race, I needed one here! Mushu asked (with Mulan translating - it was so cute!) if I'd run all the way from the west coast for the 2nd medal. I told him it sure felt like it!

Decided on a seared filet of beef with sweet potatoes and a spicy tomato sauce from South Africa first. Bad, calorie-deprived blogger I was at the time I didn't take pics of my food. I was a bit disappointed in the size of the portion, but it was delicious.

Is that Paris across the pond?

Long lines at some of the booths made me walk by, but I waited for some great German food - Schinken Nudel (a noodle dish with ham and cheese) and Roast Bratwurst in a Pretzel Roll with a spicy/sweet German mustard. (Sorry no pic / total fail.) I was only able to eat a few bites before my tummy said "no more" but it was also delish.

I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of my beer! I tried a Weizen from Germany -  Schöfferhofer Weizen - and it was amazing. Next time, I'll definitely take more food pictures and run faster so I have time to enjoy more of the party and rides.

Have you ever been at Disney for the International Food and Wine Festival?  I'd seriously consider going back just for that, although the sizes of the portions could've been bigger given what they were charging for them.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wine and Dine Half - the 2 day race: part 2

When we left off, I was zonking out on the plane after downing a couple of these babies in my much deserved upgraded seat:

(Seriously, if you can afford to upgrade to business or first class after a destination race - DO IT! Hell, even if you can't afford it, upgrade anyway.)

The fireworks had gone off and I was bouncing along to Eminem as my playlist started. If you haven't read part 1 of my recap, you can find it here. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Glad you're back! All caught up now? Did you grab yourself a beverage? This is going to be another long one.  You know I'm overdressed but feeling really good at the start of this race. I'm not warmed up though, but since I've never started a race with a warm up run anyway, I'm not too worried about it. I've missed the excitement of the starting line and I can't wait to have all my training pay off. I'd taken it really easy on my legs during taper week, swapping out 2 runs for a cycle workout and swim. My last 2 mile run plus strides on Wednesday went great and felt easy at race pace.

Now, onto the race itself.

Miles 1-3
My plan was to start out slow - somewhere around an 11 or 11:30 m/m pace. (I knew from Tink I'd need to weave around people & the start would be crowded). I figured once I got out on the main drag it would quickly open up and I could pick up my pace a little. I was wrong. Right away, I felt bunched in but also like I was running a bit too fast. It felt like I was working to hold about a 10:30 pace but every time I looked at my watch I saw high 11's. My breathing was already feeling off and I couldn't get my groove. It also felt like the first 3 miles were uphill, but I know there was a dip down in the 2nd mile based on my splits. My Garmin was beeping the miles before the course markers, but I figured it was from all the weaving early on or possibly the course markers weren't exactly in the right places. I tried to just get lost in the early songs on my list and find holes in which to get around people. (Side note: I have no issues with people using the Galloway run/walk method since they are out there covering the same distance I am, but their timers should be set on vibrate because the constant buzzing gets annoying fast. Also, they need to learn to watch behind them when the start walking so people running don't run into them.  Really.  If you are walking a race or need to stop for some reason, please, for your own safety, take a peek behind you and then move to the side.) There was a band playing along this stretch and I said "hi" to Mr. Incredible as he passed me (we'd leapfrog for a part of the race). I hit the 5k mat just before I entered Animal Kingdom. My paces were all over the place but overall I still felt ok and my target pace for the first 3 miles wasn't bad.

5k (3.1 miles) in 34:37 (11:08 pace). Mile splits from my Garmin (remember they beeped early): 11:22, 10:45, 10:59.

Miles 4-6
Most of the 4th & 5th miles are run through Animal Kingdom. The paths were very narrow with a lot of sharp turns. This park is DARK. I remember a man working a giant lizard puppet and the smells of animals. Seeing Everest lit up and running through "Africa" was incredible, but mostly I kept my head down. I couldn't believe how tired I already felt and how much I was sweating. As I exited Animal Kingdom around mile 5, I took a gu (Espresso Love if you're wondering). This is a tried & true flavor & I chased it with plenty of water (I was making sure to drink at every mile marker plus a little extra at the water stops). Somewhere in here I switched from water to Nuun since I was sweating so much. The 6th mile was outside of the park and I was able to speed back up a little (but not to nearly the pace I wanted to be at here).  I crossed the 10k mat and was disappointed to see how much I'd slowed down already. I knew my ultimate time goal was gone at this point.

10k (6.2 miles) in 1:10:24 (11:20 pace). Mile splits: 11:28, 11:24, 11:05.

Miles 7-9
Most of this section was parking lot and roads and was wide open but I couldn't seem to pick up the pace. I did some mental math at mile 7 (very difficult for me to do which was a really bad sign) and knew if I could get my shit together and pull off a negative split that I could still PR, but it would be really tight. There wasn't much to see here that I remember, just some cute lighted cars from the Electrical Light Parade doing circles in the parking lot. I do remember one of the green Army men from Toy Story at the curve around mile 7.5 yelling at us to get up the hill.  He made me smile, even though the hill and curve of the on-ramp were kicking my ass.  (To be honest, I don't remember many characters at all and the ones I did see did not have Disney staff taking pictures, just people with their own cameras. Not cool if you were running alone. They might have been there, though, and I just didn't see them.) Anyway, I was getting close to Hollywood Studios and starting to feel a little sick. My stomach was cramping up and this was a totally new experience for me. I've gotten nauseated if I take a gu too fast, but nothing like this. I kept burping & started feeling like I needed to make a pit stop. Did you know, when you think you have to go there is NEVER a place to stop? I kept plugging along but started taking some short walk breaks to see if it would help.  I should've taken another gu at the end of mile 9 but I was afraid if I did it would make things worse, so I really set myself up to bonk at the end.

15k (9.3 miles) in 1:46:48 (11:27 pace). Goodbye PR dreams. Mile splits: 11:10, 11:43, 11:35.

Miles 10-13.1
Miles 10 and 11 are run through Hollywood Studios. I LOVE this park. I ran by Rockin' Roller Coaster and really wished I'd had some Aerosmith on my playlist. The route here was great as far as visuals go - around the hat, thru an area covered with Christmas lights, thru the Imagineer's Workshop. You name it - Disney hit all the highlights. Except port-a-potties. There were none. I walked a lot in mile 10 and was starting to wonder if I was going to be THAT runner. You know the one. The poor soul who craps their pants during the race and then either doesn't finish or finishes with shit running down their legs (sorry if that's TMI, but it's not an urban legend). Finally in mile 11 (I think, my brain is pretty fuzzy at this point) I saw actual bathroom facilities that were open. Woo-hoo!!! I ran in and hit the first open stall.  Only...I couldn't go. Just peed a little and the cramping feeling stayed with me, but at least I was pretty sure I wasn't going to be known as "Poop Pants" for all eternity. I decided then and there that I was ready to be DONE. I felt like shit - literally - and figured I'd run as much as I could to get this race over with. It was all about "left foot-right foot-lather-rince-repeat".  My one regret was not taking pictures at this point.  I knew all my time goals were gone and I was in it to finish and have fun.  I should've gotten my phone out and started preserving the memories. This was by far the most scenic area of the race and I blew it as far as race pictures go. The 12th mile runs along Disney's Boardwalk and here there were a ton more spectators, but it was also more narrow. I wanted to run but people wouldn't move! I got lots of "Go Jessie" cheers and even a few "Go Woody"s. Really? You can't tell the difference? It made me laugh, though, which I really needed at this point.  Finally I was heading into Epcot. I couldn't believe how many twists and turns there were! (This was very similar to Tink now that I think about it. That last .25 never seemed to end either.) Finally, I saw the finish line and busted out my fastest pace for the whole race in the last .26 miles - a 10:15 - the pace that was supposed to be my average for the race. At least I was able to hit it for a couple minutes, right?

Official time: 2:33:52 (pace 11:44).  Mile splits: 12:08, 13:59 (ish-my Garmin stopped when I was in the bathroom), 12:04, 11:38, and 10:15 for the last .26 (my Garmin had the course at 13.26 and a time of 2:33:55 when I added back in the stopped time). Even though my time wasn't what I'd trained for, I was thrilled to see I'd finally broken into the top 50% of a race - in all areas, overall, gender and division!!!

I was DONE!!! and if there is anything that Disney does right it's race organization and medals. I got my race medal, some water and then my Coast to Coast medal - the main reason for doing this race. Clearly I was thrilled to be done.

I quickly got my bag from bag check (totally impressed by this, Disney!) and used the changing tents.  Then, I grabbed my pouch of sangria (the choices were sangria and Michelob Ultra - there might have been others but they were gone) . I drank about half before I had to dump it. My tummy was still pissed. I was also limping at this point.  My left calf was completely cramped up and nothing was going to make the knot go away. I was hoping walking around would help.

A couple weeks ago, I set 6 non-pace goals for this race.

  • Finish with a smile on my face :)
  • Have Fun!
  • Remember the words I have tattoo'd on my wrist and ankle and keep them in mind through the whole race
  • Make my friends and family proud - but mostly be proud of myself
  • Come away from the race with double bling - my Wine and Dine Half and Coast to Coast medals
  • Have enough left in my legs to have fun at the afterparty!

  • I was thrilled with finishing (goal 1) and having fun (goal 2).  I think I made my friends and family proud (at least all the tweets and Facebook messages from you indicate I did - I love you guys, THANK YOU!!!).  I tried through the race to "Believe" I would finish and I found "Strength" to keep going when I really thought the last 3 miles might end up a death march to the end.  Double bling? CHECK! and CHECK! As for energy in my legs for the'll have to wait for the next post to hear about that.

    I finally made it to bed around 5:30 am, feeling more hate for running than love thanks to the agony in my legs and disappointing finishing time, but I was definitely in love with my bling. It was so bizarre to start a race on Saturday and finish it on Sunday.  It was a 2 day race! Maybe if I ever do this one again, I'll get fast enough to finish on the same day that I start :)

    What I didn't post when I talked about race goals were my time goals.  Those of you who know me knew I would have some.  (And please respect my feelings about "racing" this race by not slamming my decision to do so or telling me that my finishing time is something others would dream of or is better than nothing at all.)

    I failed at all my time goals. I had not posted them here on the blog or really anywhere (just a few people helping with my training knew).  My training was designed for a 2:15 half. It would've been a 12 min PR and as of my last long run, I believed I could possibly hit it under the right conditions. My 2nd time goal was for a PR in general - I'd have needed to be under 2:27 and I truly believed this was in the bag.  I'd missed it by a mere 6 minutes. I was incredibly disappointed in myself and I've spend the past day or so trying to figure out what I did wrong.  What I've come up with is that it just wasn't my day (or night). Just like the bad training runs that happen, sometimes there are bad races.  It just sucks out loud that a Disney race was my "bad" one. I was overdressed, the temperature was a full 30 degrees higher than what I'd trained in for the past 2 weeks (and almost month), the course was too crowded and twisty, and I really wasn't 100% healthy with my leg acting up in the 2 weeks before the race.  The issues with my gut? Who knows.  I still haven't figured that out.  I don't know if it was just the night atmosphere, eating the wrong foods, severe dehydration, or what.  I might never figure that piece out.

    I may not have set a PR at Wine and Dine (although I did blow away my previous Disney half time from Tinker Bell in January by 15 minutes!) but I did learn a lot during this race. Those lessons learned will be shared in another post because this one is already too long!

    One thing is for sure, though....3 is definitely better than 1 :)

    Did you run the Wine and Dine Half?  If you did and you wrote a race report, please leave a link in the comments so I can read it!

    Monday, November 12, 2012

    Wine and Dine Half - the 2 day race: part 1

    This is my account, or race recap if you will, of my 2012 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. I'm not really sure where to begin - my training started some 12 weeks ago. If you've followed my blog you've seen the training recaps each week. This was a fairly aggressive plan designed to get me running again after my injury last spring, but with the ultimate goal to result in a huge PR at Disney World. I had some acting up of my shin/calf and a small knee issue that slowed me down a bit, but if my last 2 long runs were any indication, a PR of some sort was definitely in my grasp when I got on the plane to fly to Orlando. The fact I'm starting this recap on my bumpy first leg home less than 18 hours after finishing what was certainly a bumpy race seems a bit ironic.

    Warning - long post alert

    Anyhoo...I should probably get to the race itself. I arrived at the expo over at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex on Friday afternoon and quickly secured my race packet, bib, and got outfitted in my "Coast to Coast Challenge" wristband that would be my companion until I crossed the finish line and a very nice race volunteer exchanged it for medal number 2 of the night. While waiting in the short line for my packet, I ran into Barb! She was my virtual training partner back in the winter for January's Tinker Bell Half and was also going for her C2C.

    After saying "see you later" to Barb, I headed into the expo to shop around and pick up my race shirt. (Note to those doing Disney races, only the Princess Half has women's cut shirts and my size small race shirt, while I love it and am wearing it right now, was a bit too big. Tons of women were trying to exchange for smaller shirts.) The expo was quite similar to the larger race expos I've been too. It was well organized with tons of vendors.

    I did something that I hadn't done at the Tinker Bell expo - I listened to a couple speakers, including the amazing Jeff Galloway. He had tons of practical advice for running a night race and discussed his run/walk method (which many runners used on the course - both to my amazement and chagrin).

    After awhile, I met up with Christie and her friend and we headed to Plant Hollywood at Downtown Disney for a late dinner.

    I was on my feet for quite awhile on Friday. I didn't think this would impact me much on Saturday night, but who knows.

    Flash forward to race day. I spent the day staying off my feet, watching sports and having a healthy chicken pita sandwich with fruit for lunch. Plus lots of water.

    I felt good and tried to take a little nap Saturday afternoon. I might have slept 20-30 min, it's hard to say. Around 5:00, I ate my leftover pasta with a creamy basil sauce for dinner (mistake?) and at 5:30 or so I got ready in my Jessie costume and hit up Starbucks for some last minute fuel.

    It was about 65 degrees at race time (remember it was in the low 30s for my last two long runs at home). I had a jacket that I wore before checking my gear because I thought my arms would get cold, but in all honestly, I was overdressed for this race. My upper body was fine but I think the Jessie hat, capris and compression socks with my cow socks over them contributed to the clusterf*ck that was going to happen. Who knows. Hindsight is 20/20 or some crap like that, right?

    I was able to just hang out in the grass and people watch while I waited for the race to start. I loved all the costumes and was totally blown away to see one woman light a cigarette and start smoking about 45 min before the start. For realz. There wasn't really anywhere to do any warm up or strides though. About 30 minutes before the start of the race, I hit the bathrooms one more time (there were about a million of them) because I'd been hydrating with water all afternoon. I tried to get as close to the start of Corral B as I could because I had some lofty goals for this race. I hadn't trained my ass off (literally, I lost about 6 pounds in the 12 weeks of training) to be stuck behind a bunch of walkers. With a few minutes to go before my corral (B) was to start (at 10:05 pm), I snapped pics of the starting fireworks for corral A.

    I started my playlist and tucked away my phone. Pretty soon, they were counting down the start and the fireworks for corral B went off and the nearly 2400 of us started the slog to the starting line. (There were about 14000 people running the half - bib numbers went up to 14300).

    Remember how I said I was typing this recap on my first flight home? The 2 vodka cranberries I've had are kicking in. Back soon.

    *I wrote the above section on the first of two plane rides home Sunday night. It's now Monday morning and I've decided to publish this race report in two parts. I still need to process the race itself.*

    - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

    Thankful Thursday: Any Guesses?

    Today I'm giving thanks for three things:

    1. That I'm physically able to run the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon on Saturday and hang out with my friends while I'm there.

    2. That I have a wonderful boss who is allowing me the days off to go.

    3. That people on the interwebs have done my job for me and created some pretty great packing lists for out of town races.  You can bet I've been checking and double checking these lists!  Here is one great one I found (click the image to make it easier to read):

    That's it!  I'm packing up and ready to take to the skies, hit the roads and run around a little, magical place called Disney!

    - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    Wine and Dine Half Training: Week 12 !!!!

    Holy crap on a cracker - I made it! 12 weeks of training and I'm *relatively* unbroken.  Last week was another tough but very good week & I'm feeling pretty confident going into taper mode.  I have no doubts I'll finish the race, how quickly remains to be seen.

    Monday 10/29/12 - RUN: 6 mile tempo in 1:00:47 - I was SOOOO freaking close to doing this in under an hour.  

    Tuesday 10/30/12 - XT: Did a couple Nike Training Club workouts for about 30 minutes total.  Arms and abs & I felt it for days afterwards.  Note to self: more strength training is needed.

    Wednesday 10/31/12 - XT: Cycled spin intervals.  My shin has been starting to complain more and more so today I did intervals on a spin bike instead of 800s.  I felt a little like I was cheating on my running though, but giving my shin and break was really the best move.  Covered 20.5 miles in 56:53 (if you are to believe the bike).

    Thursday 11/1/12 - Rest day. Not really intended, but my daughter was diving in the conference prelims and I was at the meet all night.

    Friday 11/2/12 - XT: Swimming 1200 meters/yards (no clue what our pool is) in 33:52.  It felt good to give my leg a little break from gravity, but all the kicking still kicked my butt - pun intended. 

    Saturday 11/3/12 -  RUN: 10.01 miles in 1:46:21.  This run freaking kicked ass! It wasn't my fastest 10 miles ever, but came pretty close.  The amazing thing was running the last 2 miles at my fastest pace - 9:45s.  Crazy.  I recapped the run here. Almost immediately after the run, hubs and I headed to the D (that would be Detroit) to watch the State Marching Band finals.  Our kids finished 8th in the state in level 1 (the biggest schools). It was a very long day & I don't recommend sitting in a car for 3 hours and then a football stadium (they marched at Ford Field) for the rest of the night after running 10 miles. You WILL hurt. A LOT.

    Sunday 11/4/12 - XT/stretching: Mostly I sat in the car some more, including some time on I-696 after our tire blew. Basically, we paid for our AAA membership and barely made it home in time to get the kids.  At one point, their busses passed us as we were driving the glacial speed of 55 mph after we got the donut put on the van. I did some stretching when we got home and lots of walking up and down the stairs doing laundry.  I figure all that counts somehow.

    Now I am officially in taper mode and my last half marathon of the year (this will be number 3 in case anyone is keeping track) is just a few days away.  I'm not sure what I'm more excited about, running the race, running through Disney World, or getting to hang with my friends a bit this weekend.  In any case, it's gearing up to be an amazing weekend.

    Thanks for putting up with the training recaps.  Next week should contain a race report!

    Monday, November 5, 2012

    Motivation Monday: #WineDineHalf Playlist!

    If any of you know me, you know I rarely run without music. I've made playlists for all my races but never posted any of them until now. Music motivates me and keeps me going.  Normally I hit shuffle and let the songs fall as they may, but this time I decided to go with the order I created. Each song is here for a reason, whether it has special meaning or a certain beat (often it's both). I love to start with Lose Yourself & even when I'm shuffling songs, I'll start with that one.

    I tested this playlist on my 10 miler on Saturday & it was perfect. The music started with a great beat to get me in a groove and picked up when I needed it to. My 1:45ish run ended with Little Lion Man by Mumford & Sons, so I figure I have plenty of songs here to get through the half. I'm only posting screenshots of the playlist because I'm writing this post from my phone, so if you want any if the music, you'll have to look them up yourself.

    What about you? Do you run with music? Any standards you need on your playlists?

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

    Something About Me Saturday: Travel

    I have a few more questions to answer before I get to a 2nd completed 20 questions page.  Earlier this week I rewrote the 12 Days of Christmas and today's post is going to deal with travel.

    I can't remember who sent in this question (sorry!) but it was a good one. 

    What's the most interesting place you've visited? 

    I love to travel.  That much is obvious in the fact I picked trips for about 25% of my dream 12 Days of Christmas gifts :) Probably the most interesting place I've visited was in Mexico.  It's hard to pick just one place, though.  I stayed at a resort in Cozumel but driving to and from the airport and town was eye opening.  I couldn't believe the poverty just outside the walls of our swanky resort (and we weren't even in one of the REALLY nice ones!).  I felt a little guilty, to be perfectly honest.  While on that trip, we also took the ferry over to the mainland and went to Tulum and Xel Ha.  They were unbelievably beautiful and I highly recommend going. I wish I had pictures to show you, but they would be on the hard drive that crashed many years ago. I know Cozumel has a Ironman triathlon - if I ever get super crazy ambitious, maybe this would be a good one :)

    My 2nd choice would probably be St. Lucia - this is where I've gone SCUBA diving and zip lining for the first time, and the sunsets were incredible.  I can't believe it's been 5 years.  If there is ever a race here, I'd be totally up for going back.

    What's the most interesting place you've ever visited?

    **fyi -IntenseDebate says twitter sign-ins are working again, but you may need to sign out and sign back in for it to recognize you the first time. Let me know if it says you are @undefined still - please keep commenting!**

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