“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Faster than Sasquatch?

So, last night, despite soreness from my strength training on Tuesday, despite the torrential downpour, I headed out for the MIT speed work session.

Like most people there, I sat in my car until the start, avoiding the torrential downpour as long as possible.  Then, like magic, the rain paused.  Everyone got out of their vehicles and we gathered up for the talk.  One group split off to run some miles without speed work.  The rest of us, started a 1.35 mile warm-up by running from the high school meeting place to Antrim lake.  I actually went slower than LSD day, just hanging out with the rest of the group heading out.
Photo courtesy of Fleet Feet Sports Columbus Facebook page.
Once at Antrim Lake, our fearless leader gave us the speech about what we were doing for speed work.  Fartleks.  Sort of.  The plan was to run loops around Antrim Lake (about a 1.2 mile trail) as a continuous run.  We were supposed to start the first minute slow, the second minute as fast as we could sustain, then repeat for as many laps as was on your schedule mileage wise (some people are training for a half, some are training for a full marathon).

At the start of the first lap, Lynne and I split up, she realized early on that she just didn't like the hellbent pace of the fast minute.  During the first lap, I actually had some issues.  A minute really isn't that long of a period of time.  We were on a trail.  Granted one with minimal roots and rocks.  In the dark.  I was really nervous about falling flat on my face every time I looked at my watch to see if a minute had passed, particularly during the fast minute.

So, I stopped at the starting point (where hydration was also provided), and spent some quality time with my Garmin, trying to figure out how to get IT to measure out the intervals for me.  I knew it could be done because I know enough people that use it for run/walk intervals following the Galloway method.   Embarrassingly  it took me a few minutes to figure it out.  Then, I couldn't figure out how to display my distance during the intervals.  So, I paused again after the second lap around the lake to see if distance was actually being measured while during the interval workout.  Since I wasn't watching speed or anything (I'm not sure if you can during the interval workout on the watch?), I wanted to make sure the watch was still recording it for me to look at later.  It was.
Wow Mommy.  This is getting really boring.  Get to the Sasquatch bit.
Anyway, my Garmin cluelessness is not the point of this post.  During the second lap, an amazing thing happened.  Our fearless leader is about 7 feet tall.  We lovingly refer to him as Sasquatch because he has been known to dress up in a Sasquatch costume and ride his bike along the sidelines during races to cheer us all on.  In the local races he runs in, he often wins or finishes in the top 10.

In other words, he's a really FAST and tall Sasquatch.  Well, for about 2 seconds, I was faster than Sasquatch during my second lap.  That's right, this gal PASSED Sasquatch during one of my intervals in the second lap.  I know, you are all floored by how fast I am.  Ok, maybe not.

So, to be fair to Sasquatch.  I was on my hard minute interval.  He was on his slow interval.  (And, for the workout, our slow intervals were supposed to be slower than LSD pace).  In addition, a few seconds later, he blew by me like the wind and I never got close enough to even SEE him again until we were standing around the water cooler and chatting after the speed portion of the workout.  Regardless, I had my two seconds of glory and can now say that I have passed Sasquatch.  Once.  And, it was awesome.
I completed two more laps around the lake, definitely getting slower on my slow interval as I progressed.  I actually used my heart rate monitor!  I then chatted with Sasquatch and his fast minion at the water cooler while I waited for my running wife to complete her last lap.  To finish off the workout, we ran a cool down of 1.35 miles back to where our cars were parked.  That cool down was almost harder than the workout.  My legs had time to get cold, and the soreness from my strength training workout came back.  By the time we got back to our cars though, they were loose again.  Nice.  I rewarded myself for speed work with a $1 vanilla cone on my way home.  My first and only sweet for the day!  Go me!

I was in Mandy-heaven when I got home.  When set to an interval workout, my watch records each interval as a lap.  I had all this really cool data in one minute intervals on how well or not I'd done.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of my hard intervals were within the 8-9 minute range, and a couple were faster than an 8 minute mile!  (I know, I know, anyone can do fast for 1 minute, but I still passed Sasquatch dang it!)

I think my first speed session was a success, and I also now know how to do an interval workout with my Garmin.  Winning. Oh, and the torrential rain returned right AFTER we finished.  More awesome.

Have you ever done speed work?

Do you still head out to workouts if there is a torrential downpour?
If it's a group workout, I always go, unless there is lightening.

Have you ever had a silly proud two-seconds of glory moment?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Training Update: Lessons learned

Week of January 21-27, 2013:
Current Weight: 157.0 (No change from last week)
Total Lost to date (since September 2011): 63.8 lbs
Waist: 32"
Hips: 42"

Still in reverse taper this past week, so a lighter week overall.  I also never do well when my runs are mostly on the treadmill, so I took an extra running rest day and an extra entire rest day to finish off this reverse taper.  So what did I actually do this past week?

Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: Strength training with Brandon, 60 min.  Slow pace between sets, low weight.  Ran 4 miles on the treadmill.
Wednesday:  Running rest day.  Rode 8.77 miles on my bike trainer.
Thursday:  Ran 2 miles on the treadmill.  Strength training with Brandon.  No leg work.
Friday:  Complete Rest day
Saturday:  Ran 6 miles on the snow on hills.
Sunday:  Unplanned complete rest day.

My trainer strongly hinted to my husband on Thursday night that a full rest day on Sunday would be a good idea for me.  In fact, his words were "if you see her getting ready to get on the trainer, hide the trainer."   So, when I felt a little tired on Sunday, I listened and took the entire day off.  I also ate my weight in sweets at Book club, but that's another story.
Lining up all of my purses is a workout too Mommy.
Another new update week, another post delayed until Tuesday....yesterday was Mark's birthday.  I decided to go all domestic.  I tried a new recipe for dinner with a new (to me) cooking method - using the broiler.  Yes, I called my best friend to ask her whether the broiler was at the top of the oven or the bottom of the oven.  But, then I figured it out on my own using the scientific put-your-hand-in-the-oven-and-see which-side-the-heat-is-coming-from method.  (the top, for anyone that doesn't know).  I made hoisin ginger glazed top sirloin steaks with a side of asparagus and rolls.  I also made a pear gorgonzola salad.  (I cheated and used a kit for that - it is delicious).
For some reason, blogger thinks this picture should be vertical.
During the limited nap time Avery took (darn coughing that woke her up!), I baked a carrot cake.  The kind where you bake two rounds and put it together.  
Fresh from the oven.
Then, after some text messages about icing, I went truly domestic and went to the store to buy ingredients to make homemade icing.   In my defense, I did say no to the French maid outfit.  (A girl can only go so domestic in one day.)
And I used my mixer!  Unused no more!  :)
For those that don't know - I don't cook.  Except my homemade chili.  So much so that a good friend told me at book club, "I wouldn't ask your advice about cooking," and I laughed, agreeing with her 100%!
Granted...the cake didn't look super pretty...but I can just say that Avery helped, right?
I helped, she just didn't like my suggestion.
It was risky trying so many new stuff for a birthday present - but it all worked out.  The steaks were delicious, the cake was delicious enough that I had two pieces.  Mark said the icing was better than store bought.

And here is the problem.  For the last three days, I have had about 1000 calories worth of sweets each day.  And, 2 of those 3 days were rest days.  It is amazing that I did not gain weight this week.  When I started this process, I was great about moderating sweets. After all my Goofy miles, I allowed more and more sweet intake.  When I started, I'd eat one small candy bar and say "that's my candy for the day - delicious." The past three days? I'd eat a small candy bar and say "that was delicious, I should have another."  And another, and another.  I think my brain thought I said "eat more sweets" not "eat less sweets" as a week goal.  On the positive side though, I was better about protein!

This week - my goal is to cut out all that extra garbage.  Lesson learned, apparently, moderation isn't working right now.  Time to change it.  I want to start introducing menu planning and shopping based on that next week.  My trainer is coming up with some ideas along those lines and the science behind them.  (He's already learned how I think.)

I enjoyed my venture into domesticity, especially since the meal I cooked seemed fancy and was actually quite easy.  I'd love to start trying a new recipe each week.  Any awesome (and not too hard) recipe suggestions?

How was your training this week?

Have you ever had a wake up call with your diet/exercise plan?  What did it take for you?  (for me, it was charting my food and seeing the 1000 calorie change each day).

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Experiments in Cross Training

I am not a cyclist, but I do own a bike.  Granted, it's a hybrid, just for fun type of bike.  Nothing fancy, but it is purple, so that makes it awesome.  (If that doesn't make it awesome, I don't want to know.)
Not as awesome as these shades Mommy.
Pre-kiddo, I enjoyed riding my bike recreationally with my husband.  We'd tour the neighborhoods and comment on all the things we did and didn't like about the different houses.  (oh come on now, we all do that!)   Post-kiddo, I wanted to add something to my bike to let her ride with us.  We bought her a cute purple bike helmet and debated our options for bike add-ons.  Then, somehow, we never settled on an option before the weather turned to be less bike friendly.
I can't believe we never went biking!  I'm ruined for life.
With my attempt to reverse-taper post-Goofy, I was really wishing I could take my bike for a spin around the block, but the extreme cold temperatures we're experiencing at the moment makes that a "hell no" kind of concept.  Several of my friends own trainers for their bikes, and I've always been a little jealous.   For those that don't know, a trainer is what allows you to ride your bike in your living room without the normal crashing into things that kind of statement might imply.
But crashing into things is what makes it fun, right Kitty?
Your back wheel is elevated with a trainer onto a roller, so that it spins without going anywhere when you pedal.  Depending on how fancy your trainer is, this roller/trainer thingee will also add resistance.  You then have the option whether or not to prop your front wheel on a block so that the whole set-up is level.

I'm cheap when it comes to non-running workout stuff, so I started doing some research on costs.  I found one with a ton of good reviews on amazon that cost about $100.  (as opposed to the $300-400 some of them cost).  I inquired of my Facebook friends about their trainers as well.  Ultimately though, I wound up buying the one I saw on amazon.  It was cheaper, and prime eligible.  So, free two-day shipping.   I also got the front wheel block for $11 and a bike computer that was rear-wheel compatible.  (Be warned - many bike computers are set up to attach to your front wheel.  When your bike is in a trainer, the front wheel never turns, hence, no readings if your sensors are on the front wheel.)
My fancy set-up.
The extension chord actually goes to some other equipment and is not needed for the bike.
I could have skipped the $30 bike computer, but this is me we are talking about here.  Do an exercise without having data about how far and how long?  Pfft.  Like that'll happen.
Funniest thing I've heard all week!
Last night, with the single digit temperatures and a lingering cough from the head cold that my husband and daughter shared with me, I opted out of my outdoor group run and stayed home to set-up the newly arrived bike trainer instead.  The trainer part was EASY, just as all the reviews had said.  The bike computer took a bit longer to get the sensors right.  Then, of course, I had to test the whole thing and make Mark take pictures.
He had to keep telling me to look up, because I kept messing with the computer.
At the end of the evening?  I biked 8.77 miles in 40 minutes in my basement while watching Criminal Minds. Not a bad cross-training option.  Not at all.
While you were messing around in the basement, I did this puzzle 5,342 times.   Beat that Mommy!

Do you cross-train???  What is your preferred cross-training activity?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Training Update: A New Me!

Week of January 14-20, 2013:
Current Weight: 157.0 (Up 1.0 lbs from previous reported week of Nov 5-11)
Total Lost to date (since September 2011): 63.8 lbs
Waist: 32"
Hips: 42"

I'm bringing back the Monday training updates to keep me accountable on the weight loss goals again.  Of course, I restarted by failing to post it until Tuesday, does that mean that I need a time out or a slap on the wrist? 
Behind the couch is a good place for time out Mommy.
I stopped reporting weight, etc. back at the beginning of November to focus fully on Goofy.  Well, that excuse stopped flying once I completed it, right?  Technically, since that last reported weight, I've gained a lb.  However, I weighed myself the Tuesday after I got back from Florida and my weight was 161.0, so I'm okay with 157.0 I weighed yesterday morning.

I never hit my 150.0 by the end of the year from 2012.  New goal is to hit 150.0 by my Colorado ski/climb trip tat the end of February.  I'm actually finally making some dietary changes as well, as much as it pains me to admit it.  LOL.  A good friend pointed out the benefits of making a change at a time, rather than trying to do everything at once.  So, my primary goal for the next month and half is to up my protein content.  I do have two secondary goals: drink more water, eat less candy.  For now, that is all I'm focusing on from a diet stand point.   When I first started working with my current trainer and discussed how I was hungry all the time he told me that I was not eating even close to the amount of protein I should be with the amount of working out I do.  We didn't want to make any diet changes so close to Goofy, so the time is now.
But, Mommy, tortillas are delicious.  They're still allowed, right?
This is where companies benefit from donating to races. There were Clif Builder's Bars in the post-race food pack at Disney.  Loved them!  First protein bar I've ever tried that didn't taste like cardboard.  My trainer isn't a fan of the amount of sugar they have though, so they'll be a more limited use item.  I've also ordered a protein powder he recommended.

But, the new me title actually comes from my new hair cut last night.  First haircut in about a year or so.  LOL.  I told the hairdresser I wanted a lot cut off, but it had to be able to still be pulled into a ponytail.  I think I told her the ponytail requirement at least 15x, but I wasn't counting.  
It'll never look this nice again.
My workouts last week were pretty light, and I'm actually proud of that fact.  I managed to take 3 whole rest days post-race!  HAHAHA!   I did a light strength training (30 minutes) and a 3 mile easy run on Thursday.  I took Friday off.  Then, cough, I ran 9 miles on Saturday.   I'd intended to run with a slower pace group and run less than the scheduled 9 miles for Pig, and somehow I did neither.  Oops.  I felt fatigue settle onto my shoulders after the first 6 miles, and knew I should have stuck to the six mile plan.  It was an out and back, so I still had to go back.  Luckily, it was LSD pace and only a few miles, so I didn't pay a huge price for that mistake.  I took Sunday as an extra rest day as compensation.  (I actually kept Monday as a rest day as originally scheduled as well.)   Look at me all nailing the rest day!

Other changes in my workout schedules in the future?  My trainer and I are moving to 60 minute training sessions (as opposed to 30 minute) twice a week.   I also ordered a bike trainer to give me a cross train option at home.
You mean these don't do anything special Mommy?

How was your training last week?

What do you do to change things up in your workout routine?

Do you find it easier to make drastic changes or one thing at at time?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Goofy Extras and Other Random Tidbits

Hopefully, this will be my last post dedicated to Goofy, as I'm sure you're all tired of reading about it.  To see the recaps go here:
Gone Goofy: The Mickey
Gone Goofy:  The Donald

While reading a few other blogs recapping the Disney Marathon, I realized a something I left out.  And since, I actually thought about mentioning it in my blog while running, it must be said.  It's in the rules, I checked.  At one point on the ESPN Complex, the course went around a track.  A bunch of track athletes were running sprints.  This was around mile 18-19 or so.  At the time, I remembering thinking, that's just mean.  Albeit, while laughing at the thought.
This is probably how I looked in comparison...
Originally, we'd talked about going to one of the parks after the marathon, but after all that running, none of us wanted to (Although, we did go to Downtown Disney for dinner).  As a result, I had an extra $100 worth of Disney Gift cards to spend.  Naturally, I spent it on Avery.  Here is her haul:
She may or may not be spoiled.
Surprisingly, her favorite is the Monsters, Inc. doll.  I actually bought that in the second store, and almost didn't get it at all since she has only recently started showing an interest in dolls.  Shows what I know!
If you hold my hand, the giant teddy bear won't eat you.
This is how the cool people get onto the couch
We went to dinner at the T-Rex cafe.  I had to text a bunch of pictures to Sarah for her husband.  I even videoed the "meteor" shower too....such as it was...
I may have issues.  I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty the food was.  I'm not used to tasty theme restaurant food.  This is also where I built Avery a dinosaur in the build-a-dinosaur section.  I may or may not want to keep the dino for myself.  The dinner may have been one of my favorite parts of the weekend!
I mean - who wouldn't want to go in here?
Plus, the directions to the bathroom were as follows:
Walk to the big fire, turn and proceed to the ice cave.  The bathrooms are in the ice cave.
My original post-Goofy plan allowed me to take the entire week post-Goofy as a rest week.  On Monday, I actually felt back to normal, which surprised me, but was nice with the flight home and all.  By Wednesday, I texted my best friend to tell her "If I run today, I owe you $50." as a means of keeping myself on a running rest day for at least one more day.   Thursday, I fell off the wagon.  Considering I've felt fine, and took three complete rest days, I'm okay with that.  I ran a mile before my light strength training session and got the okay from my trainer before running another two miles after the session.  It was GLORIOUS.  It was also on a treadmill, and I hate treadmills.

I think I am officially addicted to running.  Three days off was enough to make me giddy when I ran a mile on the treadmill.  I actually texted my husband to tell him how glorious that first mile was.  (and yes, his response was "Hello my name is Mandy, and I'm an addict."

To be fair to myself, if I felt anything less than 100%, I would have taken another day off.  What was so challenging about the extra rest days was that I didn't feel sore or bad at all.  Nonetheless, I am taking today as a rest day per usual Friday=rest day.  I'll return to normal next week since it's a fallback week for Pig training anyway.

This whole thing is funny to me though, because when I trained for my first half marathon, I often skipped runs because "I just didn't want to."  And, now, I'm addicted.  What a difference a few years makes!

Anyone else have trouble taking a rest day when your body is telling you that it doesn't need it?

Anyone else enjoy dinosaur-themed restaurants?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Gone Goofy: The Mickey

First things first....I love this medal enough that I am posting the YouTube video of it in all it's spinner glory.  (Tip, you can skip to 1:15 if you don't want to see anything other than the spinner, like I didn't.)
Race: 20th Anniversary Disney Marathon
Distance:  26.2 Miles
Date:  January 13, 2013, 5:30 am start time
Finish time:  4:58:54, 11:24 min/mile
What sets this race apart:  Running through the Disney parks, character pictures, crowds.

The second day in a row of waking up at 2am to run a race is infinitely harder.  On Saturday, when my alarm went off, I was up alert and excited.  On Sunday, I was tired and slow, and thought "crap, I'm going to run a marathon today?"

I did all the proper chafing prevention stuff because of the expected high temperatures, dressed and went down for breakfast.  Half way through my normal pre-run cereal, I just couldn't stomach one more bite.  

We left the house at 3am again, and stopped at the Galloway tent again.  I didn't use those bathrooms, planning to stop just before the start line as I did the day before.  I tried to eat my second breakfast because I knew I would need it.  The PB&J felt like it was sticking in my throat.  The orange went down a bit easier.  Ultimately though, I couldn't eat the whole sandwich.  My stomach just wouldn't take it.  I told my friend Melissa, "I really hope this is just nerves."  Spoiler alert: It was.
4am is not complete without a flasher photo.
Moving towards the corrals while crowded, was not quite the wall of unmovable masses that it was the day before.  The downside though?  The port-o-potties that had no lines at the half marathon - LONG lines.  It turned out to be really good that I left for  my corral a lot sooner this time around.  I also moved towards the front of my corral this time.  Once again though, I ran into Leana, which was pretty awesome!  We went our separate ways before crossing the start line though.

While crowded, I didn't feel nearly as hemmed at the start of the race as I did for the start of the half marathon.  That was the good part.  The bad part?  Before the race even started, I was sweating.  And the humidity in the air was making my lungs hurt.  I had forgotten my asthma inhaler at the house, but didn't panic because I haven't needed it in a long time.  I would just have to take it easy until I warmed up.

The first few miles were slow.  And felt a little on the hard side.  I knew right away that the heat was going to take a toll and make hitting that goal time during a Goofy weekend a completely ludicrous idea.  I also really had to pee all of the sudden.  By the time we entered the magic kingdom, I decided to throw out any time goals, stop for pictures if I wanted to, and that I would stop at the first potty without a line.
Miles 1-5: 11:34, 11:13, 11:27, 11:06, 11:28

The trumpeters started playing just as I hit the castle entrance, which made me smile.  There were lines in front of the castle again, and this time, I stopped and waited in line to take a picture.  I even took a self-photo with my cell phone.  Then, I dropped a GU as I took off, and had to double-back.  This was not the last time I did that after pictures either.  LOL.  Around the corner, there were some potties with a volunteers staffing and directing the line.  It wasn't that long, so I stopped and peed.
Miles 6-7: 12:07, 12:18
The professional one is even better...maybe I'll buy it to share later.
After the pee stop, I felt like a new runner had slipped into my shoes, and my pace reflected it. This despite the major slow down (to the point of stopping) on the way into the motor speedway.  The motor speedway was one of the coolest parts of the course.  Lots and lots of really awesome cars lined the track.  I even stopped for a self-picture with Lightening McQueen for a friend's kid.
Miles 8-11: 10:45, 10:30, 10:40, 10:29
Me and McQueen go way back.
We entered the Animal Kingdom around mile 12.  They had animals to pose with, but since they had no Llamas for Sarah, not worth waiting.  Ha!  When I saw signs for Dinoland and Everest though, I started looking for good photo opportunities given my upcoming climb and my friend's husband's obsession with dinosaurs.  Alas, no good dinosaur picture ops, but I did get a volunteer to snap a photo of me and Everest.  Of course, it took her a few tries to figure out my phone.  Then, I dropped a GU, again.  I also starting dumping water over my head at every water stop from this point on in an effort to combat the heat.
Mile 12-14: 11:12, 11:58, 10:24
Next stop - the summit!  Oh wait, that's in August.
Somewhere in the 15th mile, there were signs warning of a deadzone.  I came around the corner to see a graveyard.  It was too funny not too wait in line for an official picture.  I also got a volunteer to take one with my phone.  I even stopped long enough to upload it to Facebook before running on.
Mile 15: 12:33
Uh oh....this could be a problem...
Then we ran along the highway to the ESPN Sports complex.  The one cool sight here was the runners on the other side coming back from the Sports complex.  They had cold sponges at mile 17.  In a word, AWESOME.  I took some time to thoroughly utilize that fantastic little piece of white goodness.  We also ran through the field here and there were photographers everywhere.  The field ground cover was a little strange on my legs at this point in the race.  

After a few more twists and turns, we hit the 20th mile spectacular.  The had these cool giant puppet thingees.  I'll be honest though, when I saw them - my thought was "this was the special celebration they advertised for mile 20?"  Apparently, my brain after 33 miles is not easily impressed.  :D  The next couple of miles were on the highway, where I actually caught a glimpse of Melissa on the other side.  We waved and yelled.  It was a nice pick-me-up.  I also got to see our friends that were out there spectating, and THEY had a cold washcloth for me.  I love them.  

Then, when we hit the overpass, it felt like I was the only person around me that actually RAN up it.  Lots of walkers at this point. 
Miles 16-22: 10:44, 10:51, 11:23, 10:59, 10:48, 11:21, 10:40

Then we entered Disney's Hollywood studios.  That was pretty stinking cool.  New York, New York was playing against a scene straight from the city.  I thought about taking a picture, but for some reason didn't.  There was more stoppage here when we hit the park and the river as walkers completely blocked the entire sidewalk.  (The course was an a sidewalk briefly through here).  I actually at one point said out loud, "please don't block the entire pathway," and was largely ignored except for dirty looks.
Mile 23-24: 12:15, 11:57

Somewhere around the 23-24 mile point, I switched my watch to display total time.  I started doing the math, and realized if I didn't wait in any really long photo lines and maybe even push a bit, I could still finish in under 5 hours.  There is nothing that I like more than a goal to aim for.  I was trying to calculate pace and miles remaining for much of the remaining miles...and have to say that it felt like the longest 4 mile run of my life.  LOL.  I kept saying to myself "this is like a midweek run distance, easy peasy, imagine Lynne with you."  It was different running through Epcot this time than it was during the Half, because the park was open and people were having to wait on runners to get to parts of the park.  Still, I enjoyed this part of the course.
Mile 25-26.61: 11:04, 10:56, 10:04

I knew early on that I was going to go long by almost half a mile.  I honestly think it is impossible to run the tangents on a Disney course unless you are an elite athlete.  At the same time, people that run these races typically aren't the ones that necessarily care about running the tangents.

So, as it turns out, with all my extra through both races, I ran nearly 40 miles instead of the official 39.3.  I admit to doing some fist pumps as I crossed the marathon finish line and almost getting emotional for finishing the Goofy.  

I then went through the series of post-race stops.  Disney has this stuff down to a science.  I got my AWESOME marathon medal, then stopped at the Goofy tent for my Goofy medal.  Got a couple of pictures and then went through the post-race food stuff.  I neglected to mention the post-race food in the Half, but it was the same stuff after the marathon.  Bottled water, bottled powerade, a box of goodies (including crackers and cheese, chocolate and protein bar).   For the marathon, they also gave us a bag to put it all in.  

Because of the heat, they had volunteers stationed at the exit of the chute.  They were yelling, "if you haven't started drinking something by the time you get to me, stop right now and open a bottle and drink."  I listened.

For the record, it was my experience that Disney is the master when it comes to race organization.  Getting in and out of parking took mere minutes.  Water stops were all well stocked.  There were two banana stations on the course, a chocolate station and a cold sponge station.  The finish chute was perfectly organized.

I made my way to my meeting spot for my friends and checked my official time on Facebook.  Under 5 hours, despite my photo ops.  Sweet!  Then, I started making phone calls.  My husband first, then my parents.  Both calls were awesome.  They were all so excited for me.  Although by the end of the conversation my dad said, "At one point I thought I might do this Goofy thing, after talking to you, I think I'll skip it."  Gotta love it.  I managed to run into Leana again at the end, and all of us bloggers posed for a photo.
Me, Laurie, Amanda and Leana
Someone asked me if I would do it again at some point, and I immediately said no.  I said that I would rather run a 39.3 mile race in one go.  That, and it was just too darn crowded for me personally.

After dinner out with my housemates though, I was willing to say I could be convinced to come back with one of them who hadn't been able to do it this year due to injury.  Craziness.

My husband asked me if I was disappointed in my marathon time, and I said no.  With the heat being what it was, I made the right call, and I'm not second-guessing it now.  I met my primary goal:  I ran the entire thing, with minor exceptions.  I walked through every water stop as a nod to the heat.  I also had to walk whenever the crowd blocked my way.   Regardless, I'm happy with the whole experience, and proud to display my 39.3 magnet on my car.
Me and the Goofy portion of my housemates!
Note:  I don't think all the official photos from the event are sorted yet, but once I see what I have to choose from, I may post some of them in a later post.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Gone Goofy: The Donald

Okay, Recap time.  I am not even going to try to recap 39.3 miles in two days in one post.  I am going to break it down by race, because that makes sense.   I'll also sum up the expo, etc, in this post where I cover the half marathon.

Race: Disney Half Marathon
Distance:  13.1 Miles
Date:  January 12, 2013, 5:30 am start time
Finish time:  2:19:57, 10:40 min/mile
What sets this race apart:  Running through the Disney parks, character pictures, crowds.

Crowded doesn't really cover it.
Disney Marathon weekend is INSANE.  67,000 runners in three races.  Crowded doesn't begin to cover it. The expo could have been awesome, but the first day we went, it was just too crowded to do anything other than walk through and look.  Although, I did manage to buy a 39.3 magnet for my car on the chance that I finished it all!  Almost all the Goofy merchandise was already sold out.  I did buy a long-sleeve cotton finisher shirt.

We picked up our packets, all the girls realized our shirts were too big and made plans to stop by on Saturday afternoon when the released the Goofy shirts that hadn't been picked up.  I was doing the Goofy Challenge, so I got three shirts in my packet, one for the half marathon, one for the full marathon and one for doing both.  Here they are with some extra stuff...
Three shirts, a button and shoelaces in the packet.  Plus, an early preview of all three medals.
I'd rented a house with some other people from my running group.
Posing sexy at the Expo entrance!
I cooked spaghetti for all of us the first night.  It was delicious!  Unfortunately the beds in most of the rooms were rather uncomfortable.  This made getting up at 2 am the first morning rather easy.  LOL.  I ate my normal pre-run cereal and packed up my fuel belt and second breakfast.  I put Lemon-Lime Gatorade in one bottle and water in the other.  I packed 3 GUs for on the course, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and orange slices for second breakfast.  We were out the door and on the road by 3 am.  Once we'd parked, we hung out in the Galloway tent pre-race before heading to the corrals.  We were able to use the port-a-potty a couple of times, drink water that was provided and eat our packed second breakfasts.
Oh, and we posed with Jeff Galloway
Then came the madhouse of getting to the corrals.  It was like a massive herd of cattle trying to squeeze it's way through a pin head.  Somehow, I ran into felllow blogger Leana in the mass of humanity and discovered that we were in the same corral, which was great because I was in a different corral than all of my housemates.  We hung out in the corral until race start. I don't have a copy of the picture we took together yet, but I do have one for my Marathon recap post, promise!

If you are not an elite and in the first corral, plan to go VERY slow for the first two miles in a Disney race. It was wall-to-wall people.  I'd intended to start slowish at an 11 min/mile pace, but it was impossible to even get to that pace, despite being in the corral assigned for those planning a sub2:30 half.  It was actually slow enough that my ankle started to hurt from the clipped strides.   I watched one runner yell at someone else that complained about the pace saying that "some people are here to have fun."  I actually couldn't resist saying to the yellee, "maybe we just have different definitions of fun."

The downside of the slower start?  Once I saw an opening after mile 2, I took it and tried to race ahead of the crowds.  I had my watch displaying average pace and didn't realize until post race how fast I took miles 3 and 4.  At which point, I got concerned that I sabotaged my marathon.  Silly I know.
Mile 1-11:36
Mile 2-11:11
Mile 3-10:06
Mile 4-10:05

Then we came into the magic kingdom and the castle.  It was still dark (my corral started at 5:56am), and the castle was all lit up.  It was amazing.  I had to pull over onto the sidewalk and have one of the volunteers take a picture of me in front of the castle.
And yes, did I forget to mention I dressed as Minnie?
The trumpeters were playing as we ran into the castle.  Awesome.

And then the entire race course came to a complete halt.  I mean.  We stopped.  Completely.  There was a line for one of the pictures that was holding up the entire race.  I finally pushed through on the side and got going.  For the line, they were taking pictures of each runner running alone in front of the castle.  Once I realized what the line was for, I kind of regretted not getting in the long line for a bit, but I was already past and kept going.
Mile 5 - 10:47
Mile 6 - 11:43

There were lines to take pictures with characters throughout the course, but most of the lines were long enough that I just didn't have the patience to wait.  Even if it wasn't mid-race, I am not a fan of lines.  I did manage to wait until the last mile to really just run without consciously holding back though!  (I had to save something for Marathon day!)
Mile 7 - 10:44
Mile 8  -10:38
Mile 9 - 10:22
Mile 10 - 10:18
Mile 11 - 10:14
Mile 12 - 10:18
Mile 13 -9:36
Last 0.28 -8:15
1 race down!
It was above average temperatures for Florida and fairly hot, but I finished the half early enough that I didn't really feel the effect of the heat until I was finished and waiting for the rest of my friends to finish.
In fact, this lovely sign was EVERYWHERE.
I did make sure to walk through each and every water/Powerade station though and took my GUs and hydration on a regular schedule.  I drank the entire bottle of water given to me at the end of the race before doing anything else.   All smart things.  Of course, then I called my husband at work (He doesn't work on Saturday) and left a message on his work phone that I was done.  Not so smart.  LOL.

I called my Dad and Stepmom while waiting for friends, and got lots of words of encouragement from them.  I'd had all my split times post to Facebook, they'd followed my progress that way, and were very proud.  That was a great moment for the day.

After the race, my housemates and I went out for burgers (perfect recovery food), then hung out by the house pool until we needed to go back to the expo.  Around 3:30pm, we went back to the expo to exchange our shirts, and I bought a couple of cool things.  A shirt made out of bamboo that is so stinking soft, I could wear it every single day (although that might get stinky), and a beautiful necklace.  I've wanted a running necklace for a while, but it wasn't something I wanted to buy online.  This one says "Run." and the little period is a tiny diamond.  They also engraved 39.3 on the back of it for me.   I love it.  This picture shows those items plus the magnet I bought the day before.  I got the cute sticker for free for wearing my One More Mile shirt when making a purchase at their booth (the magnet).
I know, the picture doesn't really show the necklace very well.
Once again we made Spaghetti for dinner and then had a surprise visit from a couple of running friends from home.  They flew in to spectate at the marathon.  So. Awesome.  Then, we all went to bed semi-early to prepare for a second day of the 2 am wake-up call!

The first race of  the Goofy Challenge was DONE!  One medal earned, the Donald.
Me, Amanda and Laurie posing with our medals and our 20th Disney Marathon temporary tattoos.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Gone Goofy

Just a quick update from Florida, I promise full recaps when I return home.  
Goofy was a success!

Disney Half Marathon
A pose mid-race in front of the castle all lit up!
Chip time- 2:19:57

Disney Marathon
Somewhere around mile 15 things got iffy...
Chip time - 4:58:54

39.3 official miles later... (Garmin is closer to 40!)
And yes, I'd ditched my shoes.  I did wear them for the race though!

Medal count: 3

Thank you for all your encouragement and support!  Now, food and rest!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

If found, please return...

If you are out and about today and happy to find the rational side of my brain, I would really appreciated it being returned to me ASAP!

I went for what was supposed to be my last short and easy run pre-Goofy with my friend Lynne this morning.  A front is coming through which often throws my asthma and allergies out of whack, or that's the excuse I thought of later.  I woke up this morning sluggish.  This feeling continued throughout the 5K run.  Originally we were going to run 4 miles, and with how sluggish I was feeling....I began to panic.  OMG.  I didn't taper enough!

Seriously?  I mean, SERIOUSLY???

After my morning shower, I was brushing my hair and Avery was going through the bathroom drawers as usual.  I saw my makeup and thought - "I should put on makeup.  And I should pack some to bring with me. Do I have enough makeup?"

Seriously????  For those that don't know...I wear makeup MAYBE once a year.  I usually only have to buy new makeup because the old stuff is starting to smell funny.  In fact, I didn't even wear makeup for my husband's fancy work Christmas party this year, and that's the one time that I usually do wear it.

Then.  I decided to blow dry my hair straight.  And, while doing that, I thought, I should buy a new hairdryer.  I loved that one I had back in college that was a brush and a hairdryer all in one.  When I go to the store for my last minute trip items, I should look for it.
An older version of this sweet machinery.
Seriously???  I blow dry my hair MAYBE once a month these days.  More often than I wear makeup, but still, I normally am way too lazy to go to that much effort.  I know, by now, you're all thinking - wow, you're husband is a lucky man.  LOL

I don't think I've had this many completely irrational (but seemed rational for a split second) thoughts since I was pregnant with Avery.  And no, SARAH, I'm not pregnant.
Don't worry Mommy, I'll help take care of any new babies.
I'm already using a full sized suitcase for this 5 day trip, and for a moment wondered if I was using a BIG enough suitcase.

Someone, please take my keys.  I am not sane enough to drive.

Oh, and runner tracking is now up at Disney, for those interested.

When was the last time YOU lost your mind?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Would you like some memory loss with your taper?

As a runner, you hear all kinds of fun things about taper madness.  The folks at Runners World call it the taper tantrum.  I kind of like that.  According to them, the tantrum includes phantom pains and panic attacks.
Uh oh.  Mommy's tapering again.
Prior to running a marathon, I always thought taper madness was a myth.  It just sounded like something all the cools kids said because they were training for a marathon.  Last October, for my first marathon, I experienced it for the first time.  For me, taper madness equated to the feeling that anything anyone did was extremely annoying.  In addition, sugar in the form of candy and sweets was the only food group that counted for anything.

As Goofy got closer, I told friends that I dreaded how bad I would be for this taper, being that it was more miles.  Until today, I actually thought I was doing pretty well.  I mean, my child spent several hours in the middle of the night puking Saturday night, and I actually canceled my Sunday run rather than freak out and assume the world was out to get me and ruin my race(s).

I have noticed, though, that I am rather PMSy lately.  My husband bears the worst of it.  He might say something just wrong and I snap a bit in reply.  Many things that normally wouldn't phase me are really rather irritating.
The big thing I have definitely experienced is LOTS of phantom aches and pains.  It actually was freaking me out.  I have told several people that "my feet and legs hurt so much more after two days rest than they did during my 48 mile week!  Should I call the doctor?"   After reading a few blogs and articles mentioning the phantom ache thing though, I feel better.  Apparently it's normal and a sign of your body healing from training stresses or something.  Who knew?

But, today.  Today takes the cake.  Apparently, my taper madness comes with memory loss or something.  At least, that's the story.  I put the dog out to go potty before leaving for my moms group with my kiddo.  When I got home from moms group 3 hours later, I didn't even notice that my kiddo and I weren't experiencing the happy dog greetings when we first got home.  I started making the kiddo her lunch.  As I was putting her plate on the high chair, I noticed the dog standing outside on the back patio by the door.  I may have swore a bit in my head as I realized I had not put her out since coming home.  To top it off? My back door was left unlocked too.  Luckily, I have a lab that can tolerate cold, and today was a much warmer and sunnier day then it's been in a week.  Her coat was slightly cool, but she was completely fine and happy to see me.  It's possible I bribed her with a bone to forget the entire incident.
I knew she had a bone hidden somewhere!
The funnier part?  I'm not excited or nervous yet, and most everyone else I know that is going is.  I think I'm broken.  Or in denial.  Or both.   LOL.  The good sign is that when I talk about it, I do start to get a little flutter of excitement deep in my tummy, you know the one I'm talking about.  The one that says "Let's DO this."

I leave for Florida in 2.5 days.  Let's hope my family survives that long!  LOL!

Have you experienced taper madness?  What types of things did you experience?
Please tell me that I am not alone!