Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Marathon State of Mind

I'm in a marathon state of mind, which also means I'm in a New York State of mind because I'm running the NYC marathon and Billy Joel is now stuck in my head which I suppose is better than Soft Kitty. I'm a complicated person.

Last night I did 4 miles, which I will admit was actually a walk, not a run. But miles are miles and I wasn't guzzling wine on my ass watching TV, so I will count that as training.

When I trained for the NYCM in 2012 (which as most of you know, was cancelled), I was part of a local team and therefore, had all of my planning done for me. I didn't have to think about when I should increase mileage or what I should do on what weeks. All I had to do was show up and run. And most of the time, I showed up. At least for the long runs. I did the weekday runs on my own. Mostly. Okay, about half of the time.

I decided on a 20 week plan rather than the usual 16 week plan because I wanted a little more cushion and I have 7 months to train. So that leaves me with about 11 weeks until marathon training starts to work on my base and losing a little bit of poundage. I'm not 100% sold on this particular program because I have plenty of time to make my plan final, but I like it. I like that some weeks have a shorter long run before adding to your mileage the next week.

Currently, I'm still in the making-charts-and-downloading-pictures-and-envisioning-my-medal-rather-than-training phase of marathon training. Plus, the weather is gorgeous here in Phoenix so it's easier to be gung ho. Let's see how I feel when marathon training actually starts on June 15th.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty, Little Ball of Furrrrrrrr....

It's scary how much I identify with the guys on The Big Bang Theory... as far as nerdiness is concerned. I won't even attempt to try and convince you that I am smart like them because that would be far too unbelievable. But I am super nerdy like they are. Or is dorky a better word? Doesn't really matter.

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur...

Any time I think of TBBT, I immediately start singing Soft Kitty. If I have successfully transplanted that into your mind, I will consider myself successful. I'm a meanie.

Anyway, I bring up my nerd side because yesterday I registered for The New York City Marathon and I immediately decided I needed some sort of motivational things to keep me on track.

I'm the queen of making charts and posters, etc, all while not actually doing any training. I think I need to cut out some NYCM pictures to hang in my cubicle to stare at all day long. It doesn't help to hang such things in my house unless I am hanging it directly on the TV screen. At work, however, I'd rather think about running since right at that very moment, I can't. So, that's really the only time I want to run. Does this make sense?

Oh, Sheldon.

I'm pretty excited. I want to make every second of that marathon count. I don't want to wish I had trained harder or wish that I was thinner or any other number of things I could be thinking. I want it to be as awesome as I can make it in the 7 months I have to get ready.

I picked this up at the Princess expo.

So, if you have any super awesome motivational ideas, let me know. I need a good craft project! And I need one of these in my life:

Ermahgerd, how cute is this?


Friday, March 14, 2014

Princess Half Marathon

If you missed my Enchanted 10K recap, you can clickety right here.

Half marathon morning was another early start, albeit not quite has early as the previous morning. I left my room around 3:45 and had a short wait for the bus but it wasn't too long. Runner drop off was about a zillion times more crowded on half marathon morning. Plus they were doing a bag check before entering the runner area. I don't remember if there was one for the 10K, but it was so much less crowded that it must have been pretty painless.

First stop was to meet up with Abby. Don't you just hate when you show up to a party wearing the same outfit as someone else? How embarrassing.

Just kidding. We planned to be twinsies. I ordered the same Minnie ears as Abby on the interwebz but as per usual, I waited until the last minute to order them and so they didn't arrive in time. I was so excited to find some at the parks. Sadly, I bought some more appropriately sized for the Lollipop Gang or toddlers. So it looked like I had chipmunk ears because mine are noticeably smaller than Abby's. Or I just have a gigantic head. Moving on.

We did the pre-race usual: check bags, use the porta potties...gossip. You know, the usual. And then made our way to the starting corrals. It's amazing how much less of a death march that walk feels like when you don't arrive 2 minutes before the start... Or 5 minutes after the start, which I will admit has happened in the past. I was convinced that walk is like 2 miles to the start when you shuffle along at a 40 min/mi pace. Turns out, it's only .66 miles. I clocked it.

So, funny side note: up until this very minute as I am writing this post, I thought that this was my 20th half marathon. This is relevant because the morning of the race, I figured my legs were too tired to PR, but because it was a milestone race, I decided to at least give it a try. Doh. I just counted up all of my half marathons multiple times and it's only my 19th.

So, yeah. Decided to go for a PR and missed the mark so badly I actually ended up with a personal worst. Is there a prize for that? But it also helped me decide that I'm pretty over race challenges. I've done Goofy, Dumbo and Glass Slipper and I think I'm good. It's too hard to have 2 good races in a row and still be able to enjoy the fact that you are vacationing at a theme park.

Abby, me and Pam

I hung out with Abby and Pam in the corrals and my plan was to attempt to PR and if I was too miserable, I would text Abby and wait for her.

After some fireworks, etc, we were off! My run actually started off pretty well. I knew where I needed to be at mile 5 for any hope of PRing and I was on target. My legs felt tired, but not fatigued, so I pushed on. What I hadn't counted on was humidity and fog so thick, I felt like I was drinking air. This desert dweller thinks 50% humidity is unbearable, so 90% should just be illegal. Seriously.

I don't have too much to report for the first few miles. I was doing pretty well and the course is pretty boring until you see the Magic Kingdom sign. And you get to be angry when you're a newbie when you realize that seeing the MK sign is not really indicative that you are anywhere near the Holy Grail.

About the time I was getting near the Ticket and Transportation Center, I started to think maybe I didn't have enough juice in my legs to run a PR. I wasn't quite ready to throw in the towel, but I also let myself sneak in a few pictures instead of pushing harder. Plus, I really needed to document the fog obscuring the view of the castle. We get fog in Arizona like once every five years.

Let's play a game called Find The Castle

I can tell you exactly where I gave up on the idea of PRing. My right leg was getting tighter and tighter and I could feel my Achilles starting to feel tweaked. I tried to stretch my calves for a moment and took off again, but I knew I was not going to be able to do that for the rest of the race. I made it through the castle and around the corner. I saw the castle through the fog and the branches of a tree and decided I was done. I sent the bat signal via text to Abby and still kept jogging, thinking if Abby and Pam were a ways begins me, I might still try for a decent time if not a PR.

Where's my prince, damn it?

By the time I made it to the medical tent outside of the Magic Kingdom, my leg was in pretty bad shape. I slathered bio freeze all offer it and thought about having a medic wrap it, but at just about that time, my stomach got extremely upset and I spent another 10 minutes at least in a Porta Potty. (Don't you just love that runners always feel the need to over share about bodily functions?)

There may or may not have been a few tears at this point. My leg was killing me, my stomach was a mess and I was just plain miserable. I texted Abby that I was just going to wait for her to catch up. If I was going to be a miserable bitchy mess, I was not going to do it alone. Luckily, Abby is used to this side of my personality because it's not attractive.

Just hanging out instead of running. Got a few looks.

Once I saw Abby and Pam, My miserable mood began to improve drastically by the moment. I think the key to enjoying the Princess Half is to be a super fast runner in the higher corrals. Parts of the course get so slow and congested that the race becomes just impossible. If you can't be a super fast runner, I suggest finding running besties to bitch with. I have to quote Abby's recap because she says it perfectly, "This is about when we decided to entertain ourselves with being snarky. Not gonna lie, it helped. Don't have anything nice to say, come run a half marathon with us!"

I was obsessed with the fog.

At this point, my leg felt a whole lot better, so I plodded along with the girls and took character pictures. We ran into Emily and entertained ourselves by bitching. It was awesome.

Hello, boys!
Still a ton of fog!
This guy always cracks me up!

We stayed together until the final quarter mile or so. This lady was hilarious. I'm not even sure who she was supposed to be, but she reminded me of Kathy Griffin...only a PG version of Kathy.

Almost done!

And then we were done. I sprinted(ish) the rest of the the way to the finish line. I got some ice for my legs.


I got mah medals! I do like them and I think they're pretty, but I don't know if it's enough of a motivator anymore to run races multiple days in a row. We'll see how that pans out for me in the future.

My precious...

After the race, my newbies that ran the 10K the day before met up with me and we walked over to Epcot and ate lunch at San Angel Inn in the Mexican Pavilion. It was delicious.

Oooh la la

I'd love to say that the Princess Half rekindled my love of runDisney, but then I'd be lying. Don't get me wrong, I haven't given up on them completely, but the love I used to feel just isn't there. Fortunately, the trip as a whole was really fun and aside from the very muggy race morning, the weather was pretty decent the rest of the time.

I also have to give photocreds to Abby. The character photos are hers. We decided that instead of making the photographer take multiple pics, we would use her phone and share. So thanks, Abby!


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Inaugural Enchanted 10K

My plan for the Inaugural Encanted 10K was simple: make sure my newbies did not get swept. I figured this was a good plan because I had to run the Princess Half the next day, so I figured taking it really slow and steady would be the best plan of action. Spoiler alert: my newbies did not get swept but my plan sort of wrecked my legs for the next day.

Since I haven't gotten to a Disney race really early since probably 2011, I decided this time around I was going to be on one of the earliest buses. The alarm went off at 2:45 and we were on the bus by 3:30 with hardly any wait.

We met up with Abby and took a bunch of pictures. Abby and I became running BFFs when we suffered through the 2013 WDW Marathon together under miserable conditions, so if she and I are at the same race, there's no way I'm not going to meet up with her! I'd be even more thankful she was doing Princess weekend during the half, but more on that later.

Anywho, pictures needed to be taken and so we took them.

Tabatha, me and Kimberlee in our snazzy Rum Runner shirts
Abby always has the cutest costumes.

We were definitely early, which is sooooo not my usual modus operandi, fo shizzle. The place was practically empty and we had plenty of time to sit and chill out. It was a nice change from standing in a stupid long bus line for 30 to 45 minutes like I have for previous WDW races.

Eventually, we checked our gear bags and made our way to the corrals, where we also met up with Pam and Emily. There were 5 corrals staged right in the Epcot parking lot, so it was nice not to have that super long shuffle to the start like they have for the longer races.

Kimberlee, Tabatha, me, Abby, Pam, and Emily

We waited a little longer, heard the national anthem and then we were off!

I didn't really take too many pictures, but I wish I had. Pam, Abby and Emily were planning to stop for a bunch of character stops, but I was worried about the girls getting swept, so I kept them at a really slow walk/jog pace for the entire race. Okay, it was mostly walking. I actually think it's easier to jog really slowly than walk, but we ended up walking a huge portion of the course and I ended up with really stiff legs and hot spots on the balls of my feet.

Elsa was on the overpass and it was "snowing", which was pretty cool.

I have to say, the 10K course is fairly boring. I felt bad that Kimberlee and Tabatha weren't going to get to experience running through the castle, which is the coolest part of runDisney events. We spent most of our time on the roads. Running through part of World Showcase in Epcot was pretty cool and I really liked running around the boardwalk since I had only run that portion during the full marathon last year.

We certainly ended up with the slower runners and walkers and even though we didn't come anywhere near keeping a 16 minute pace, we didn't see the infamous balloon ladies until we were done with the boardwalk and they were just entering. I knew we were safe from the sweepers at that's point.

As soon as we crossed the finish line, I went straight to the medical tent to ice my knees. I've learned that it really helps if I'm going to race the next day.

Try not to focus too much on my derp expression.

After icing up and eating snacks, we headed back to the room to get cleaned up and take a quick nap. I made reservations for us at the Rose and Crown in Epcot for the afternoon using the Disney Magic + app. I love, love, love using that app. It totally rocks if you don't have a ton of people to try and organize.

Anyway, I snarfed down the Cottage Pie which was amazeballs. I also had a glass of wine, which probably wasn't the best decision, but c'est la vie. Carpe Diem. Gimme wine.

Yes, I'll take some wine with my bling.

We spent the rest of day at Epcot where some rodents tried to steal my bling.

I hear rodents like shiny things

Okay, so they were kinda cute and snugly. More importantly, there was no line to take pics with them.

Say cheese!

We did lots of rides and also designed a kick ass fast car that admittedly, did not score high in the green friendly category. I love Test Track. I sort of miss the Crash Test Dummies theme, but designing the car and linking it to your magic band is pretty damn cool.

My ride is pimped.

After that, we decided to head back early. I had another early day tomorrow for the half marathon.

Night, night, Epcot.

Good nite, Epcot, I'll see you in the morning.


Princess Half Marathon Expo

I won't bore you to tears by doing an in depth expo recap because once you've done a Disney World race expo, they're pretty much all the same. Except....

I don't usually get greeted like I'm royalty at the entrance of a race expo. I love the red carpet treatment during Princess Half weekend. It's just makes things a little more fun.

Pretty nice greeting"

I also can't recall any other race expo where I can buy champagne. That needs to be a thing because this girl loves champagne.

Bubbly, please!

I really tried to find something to spend money on at the expo, but nothing really demanded coming home with me. I already have several runDisney shirts I don't wear, so I really don't need another one. That really hasn't stopped me in the past, but this time I used a little bit of restraint. Plus, I had already spent enough money on the Sparkle Athletic skirt and Raw Threads top I was wearing for the 10K.

I was running (I use the term "running" lightly here, folks) the 10K with my newbie runners and we agreed to be match-matchy for the race. We decided last minute to order Rum Runner shirts online from Raw Threads and pick them up at the expo. Yes, I know that breaks the cardinal rule of not wearing anything new on race day, but I like living dangerously. I did try everything on in case the shirt didn't look good on me (I also had a back up plain black shirt if I needed it).

How awesome are my matching sunglasses?

So the expo was pretty drama free. We arrived around 4:00 on Thursday evening and it was a little crowded, but not too bad. Thank God none of us were willing to mortgage our souls for the New Balance Disney shoes, because I was soooo not going to mess with that cluster f***. I got irritated just walking past it. But I'm a grouchy person, so there you go.

Much more to come! We were on Disney property for a week, so I have lots of pictures to share!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Food For Thought

Very few people are aware of this, but my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer the week before Christmas. I don't want to discuss it too much on the blog simply because I don't want to invade her privacy.

The prognosis is good and so we've all kept a positive attitude. She's having surgery today, so that leaves me with many, many hours at the hospital. Thank God for free hospital wifi. Maybe I'll catch up on my Glass Slipper recaps.

My sister, my mom and me during Disneyland Half Expo 2012

The reason I'm writing about this is that once someone you love gets diagnosed with a serious illness, you immediately start thinking of all the petty worries you've had when there's serious things to be worried about. You start thinking of all of the things you want to accomplish but have been putting off. You think of making all the little special moments count. Most importantly, you start appreciating little things gone unnoticed previously.


Make plans for the future. Set goals and achieve them. But most importantly, take a moment to enjoy all that you have right now.

I'm the worst about putting things off. Diet? Meh. I'll start tomorrow. Get serious about running and actually improve myself as a runner? Maybe next race. Every so often, though, I ask myself, what if I simply run out of time?

I don't want to be too heavy in all of this, just some food for thought. We'll see if I follow my own advice. Tomorrow, of course. Ha!