Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Scottsdale Half Marathon- A Tale Of Bad Life Choices

I know that I claimed that I was going to be better about blogging, but A) work, riding and life have been super crazy and B) I'm a liar. The WDW Marathon is looming on the horizon like horrible monster with razor sharp teeth and blood red eyes, so there's plenty to write about, I've just been so swamped that I just...haven't.

I've actually been doing a fair amount of consistent running, but I haven't been great about doing long runs. I planned to do the Hot Chocolate Race for the hoodie to get in a 15K run, but I waited until the very last minute to sign up and it sold out. I also planned to do the Scottsdale Half Marathon the next weekend, but I wasn't excited about it and they had race day registration, so again, I waited until the last minute.

This is how my weekend went down and it includes just about every scenario you should avoid before running a half marathon. I am the running equivalent of a D.A.R.E. commercial. Don't drink and run, kids.

If you happen to be stopping by my blog for the first time ever, I will preface this story by telling you that I am an avid rider (as in horses, not bicycles. Ew.) and my barn mates take weekend brunch very seriously. And by "seriously", I mean that we discovered a new restaurant that serves bottomless mimosas from 10am until 2pm for 12 freaking dollars. And it's not even like you have to reorder! They wander around and just constantly refill your glass, so you never really know how much you've consumed until you realize it's now dinner time and you then order yourself dinner.

So last Saturday, I still hadn't committed to the race on Sunday morning by the time we decided to go to brunch, which could probably be considered lunch since it was 1pm with only one hour left of bottomless mimosas.

Don't mind my riding clothes and really dirty nails from being at the barn.


I figured that I couldn't get into too much trouble because we only had an hour. Well, they kept serving us until around 3:00 and then we waited a couple of hours to leave.

I even made sure that I ordered water to counter the mimosas, but I didn't even finish one glass.


This is the conversation at the barn that led to this debacle:

Kelly: we still have an hour left for bottomless mimosas!

Me: okay, but I can't drink too much. I might sign up for a race.

Katie: running is dumb.

Me: yeah, it is. Let's have mimosas.

At some point in the middle of all of this, I decide to register for the half from my phone while completely buzzed. Champagne buzzes don't last too long, but being the professional champagne drinkers that we are, we are definitely capable of putting away more than the average person. So even though we sobered up pretty quickly, it certainly doesn't help your energy or hydration levels when you're planning on running 13 miles in the morning.

Basically, I went home and went straight to bed.

At 5:30pm.

Like a boss.

Then I remembered that my running clothes were dirty, so at least I managed to get a load into the washer and got my socks and underwear out for the morning. Then I went back to bed.

I slept until midnight and woke up with a killer headache. Now I'm kicking myself because I know I'm going to feel terrible in the morning. I get up and chug two glasses of water and pull my running clothes out of the washer to hang up to dry. It then occurs to me that I don't know where my visor is and I'm sure my iPod needs to be charged. And where the hell is my running belt?!

So I was awake from midnight until 4:30am, watching Happy Endings on Hulu, and my alarm was going to go off at 5:45. The race started at 7:30. Pretty sure this is part of Meb's routine, too.

I finally fall back to sleep for about an hour, my alarm went off, and I got ready to race. My headache was much improved but still present and I felt very tired. I think this is why I signed up from my phone while tipsy at the bar. I knew there was no way I'd get up and go register before the actual race, but if I had already spent $85 less than 24 hours prior, there was no way I was wasting that money.

As I was leaving, I realized that I had no fuel of any kind. I stopped at the Circle K and loaded up on Clif Bars, coffee, water and giant Sweet Tarts (Sweet Tarts actually made good fuel!). I was the only one in the store and the lone employee watched me like I was a tweeker on some all night binge buying up all the snacks in sight.

Possible fuel choice for the WDW Marathon.


So off I went. I made it to the Scottsdale Civic Center at 7:10, picked up my bib and shirt, then checked the shirt and remainder of my snacks in the gear bag provided, and made it to the start by the skin of my teeth.


I won't bore you with a mile by mile recap, since most of my race was not monumental. Spoiler alert: I survived my first hung over half marathon and it wasn't as horrible as I imagined it would be.

This race used to be the Fiesta Bowl Half but changed this year to the Scottsdale Half.


It's a fairly small race, but well run. They only had aid stations every 2 to 2.5 miles, which is way less than I'm used to since I usually run really large races, but I can't complain too much about that since it was a small race.

The course was through a pretty nice part of town, which was enjoyable.


The crowd support was pretty much nonexistent, which made it hard to distract myself from the fact that I was trudging along for 13 miles, sweating out champagne though my pores.


I actually didn't do too badly considering my race preparation, or lack thereof. Like I said earlier, I've been running consistently, but I think I survived this race as well as I did because I've dropped about twenty pounds since this summer, which has helped my stamina immensely (but sadly, has not really made me faster). I'll write more about that in another post.


I'm no speed demon, that's for sure, but I still squeaked across the finish line in just under 3 hours. I hit a big wall at about mile 10, but that wasn't a shocker, considering. I walked all of miles 12 and 13. My legs were toast.

Berry champagne is pretty delicious.


But then there were free mimosas at the finish line, so my pain floated away and dissolved into a cloud of happiness. And they were not skimpy on the champagne, either. That drink is like 7/8 berry champagne, which is where the color of this drink comes from, and 1/8 orange juice. Frankly, this is the proper mimosa ratio, in my professional opinion. None of that 'splash of champagne in the O.J.' bullsh*t for this girl.

The irony of all of this is that when I ran the Tink Half in May, I totally did everything right. I ate very carefully the day before the race, I drank tons of water, did a lot of relaxing, didn't use effing Sweet Tarts for fuel, and you know what? I was still sick as a dog for half an hour post race in the porta potty, just like every half marathon (or longer) that I run.

This time, my stomach totally felt great and my headache disappeared somewhere around mile 10 and unicorns appeared in the sky, etc. Maybe I've stumbled upon my new pre-race routine, because once I was in that mimosa garden, I felt like a million bucks. And you're welcome, by the way, for always doing things in the most stupid way possible so that you don't have to. That's public service, right there.


Then I went home and spent my afternoon in the most cliche way possible: as a 40 year old spinster cat lady with Chinese take out. The end.


My selfie skills are seriously sub par.



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (we'll call this land Arizona) there lived a girl. ("Girl" in this instance refers to a recently turned 40 year old spinster cat lady in a mid life crisis.) This girl had a blog and said blog was loosely running themed. (The term "running" is used loosely simply because there was a whole lot of not running happening.) I'm like that person that decides they are going to take up fly fishing so they buy all the books and equipment, but never actually goes fly fishing. I possess all of the equipment - basically two feet and some shoes- and I've even got the blog! But to have a running blog, it's probably ideal that it be maintained by, you know, someone that actually pauses Netflix long enough to run somewhere.

I just spent several amazing days with some friends at a waterfront condo in Panama City Beach, Florida. I was telling these wonderful people (who clearly know I'm a bizarre weirdo but pretend like I'm an entertaining and interesting individual) about this one running experience that I had where this guy was wearing an elevation mask but was all creepy and Darth Vader-like. I couldn't remember exactly what happened, so I looked up the blog entry and read it to them. They thought it was hysterical.

Well, this response fed my narcissistic, ego maniacal soul perfectly. So I read them a few more entries and again, they thought the entries were great. All joking aside about my ego, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed writing some of those entries and how much I missed being a part of the blogosphere.

I even went running on this trip, which rarely happens for me on vacation. Panama City Beach is an odd, eclectic tourist town and right now must be in the off season because the place was deserted. Also, Panama City has the most miniature golf courses I have ever seen in my life. Like, there's so many of them that it feels like maybe it's a cover up for something else. I mean, c'mon, this octopus looks shady as shit.

Pretty sure he was hunting me as I ran by.


Also, wtf with the color of this water? This mini golf course was right by condo and I must have mentioned the color of the water approximately 376485 times. I'm not sure why I was so obsessed with it, but it's certainly suspicious.


And not only that, but it wasn't the only mini golf course with the same color water. That, my friends, is the color of toilet water that is spiked with some sort of non-environmentally friendly concoction. In fact, I can't remember the last time I actually used a toilet with water that color, so maybe there's a chance it has been outlawed as an eco hazard, causing three eyed fish and double tailed squirrels and the perfect place to hide the surplus is at the 4536 miniature golf courses in the small tourist town of Panama City Beach.


I swear I was coming to some sort of point here, but that point has eluded me since boarding my second flight on my journey home and finding out it is SANS WIFI. Why, Southwest, WHY? That's what I love about you! You pay one fee and you have wifi access for the whole day, even after changing planes. Of course, that's assuming all of the flights you're taking that day have wifi on them. I feel so robbed. Anyway, making a point here...

I've struggled on and off over the years since I began writing this blog with trying to define what kind of blog this is. I suppose the original intent was to write a running blog because A) I had found so many blogs helpful when I was training to run my first half marathon and B) all the cool kids were doing it and we all know how cool I am.

If this doesn't scream, "cool," then I don't know what does.


The problem is that as far as training and ability goes, I really have nothing to offer most runners. I am not what some would call educated in really any aspect of running or working out and if we're really being honest here, no one gives two shits what my sets, reps or splits were on any given day.

BUT if you want to know what kind of crazy, outlandish and stupid shit that goes through my mind while I'm trying not to hurl myself in front of on coming traffic during a long run just to end the pain, then I'm your gal. I certainly have nothing to offer any reader as far as a training plan goes, but feel free to use me as an example of how not to do things. I'm pretty open and honest about my stupidity when it comes to my training cycles. I can also justify pretty much any completely insane dream or idea, so I also provide services as an enabler completely free of charge. #communityservice

Regardless, I'm here for you.


There's also a good chance that I reside somewhere on the psychological spectrum when it comes to illusions of grandeur because I rarely believe I can't do something. I might not be ready or capable at this very moment in time, but to me, that is not synonymous with being incapable. There is a difference between being incapable and untrained/inexperienced/unprepared. I don't doubt for a minute that I am capable of training hard enough to complete an Iron Man. I certainly couldn't do it right now, but I don't doubt that I could do it if I wanted it badly enough.

And likewise, I rarely believe that others can't do something. I hear it all of the time; I could never do what you do. And that, kids, is simply not true. Choosing not to do it is one thing, and I'm not being flippant when I say I have respect for that. But if you didn't try simply because you think that you can't, then you're robbing yourself of the victory. There is no victory quite like the victory that stems from a place of conquering fear, doubt, and a lack of faith. It's life changing and the feeling is so potent that when it happens, it's very hard to describe in the retelling.

And maybe that's the point here. Maybe it never was about splits, reps and PRs for me, but rather doing something simply because I had the idea that I could do it and therefore, would do it. I certainly have a flair for the dramatic, but it hurts my heart a little when I hear people say they can't do it, whatever the "it" happens to signify. Your road may be harder/slower/longer/more painful and that applies to so many aspects of life.

This could be the background for a motivation meme, right?


The answer is more often yes than people realize.

I'm running the WDW Marathon in January. Anyone that has crossed a marathon finish line knows what an insanely emotional experience it is. As much as I have a that flair for the dramatic, I think just about anyone that has crossed the finish line of a marathon will tell you that it is a life changing event; the good, the bad, and the ugly. I'm not in horrible shape going into this and I have more to say on that topic on another day, but I will leave you with this spoiler alert: I already have my race shirt picked out. Priorities, my friends.

Wow, I don't even know how this post got so damn serious, but I better put my bitch face back on before you guys start thinking I'm some sort of nice person. I can't go ruining my street cred. Helpful side note: sunglasses and a resting bitch face help keep people from sitting next to you on airplanes.


The point of this post got completely derailed like a runaway train, but I guess what I'm saying is that now seemed as good of a time as any to jump back into the blogosphere with this 26.2 mile trek of life defining misery glaring at me from the upcoming horizon. I follow many of my blogger friends on Instagram, so I've been following many of you and your adventures there. Likewise, many of you are already aware of some adventures I've had this summer that includes a humongous milestone for Louie The Magical Unicorn and myself, which deserves a stand alone blog post. Until next time, bloggarinos.

I should also note that I wrote this on Sunday while I was traveling and am just now getting around to actually posting it. Since I haven't posted anything for like, 4 months, I suppose this is par for the course with me.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Marathon, Marathon, Marathon

I made hotel reservations for the 2017 Disney World Marathon Weekend yesterday for my mom and myself. Luckily for me, my mom likes to travel in style. I did a bunch of research on various resorts like the Polynesian, Beach Club, and Yacht Club but in the end, my mom wanted to stay at the Boardwalk again like we did for Wine & Dine. So that is where we are staying. I'm certainly not complaining because A) that would make me an asshole and B) if I was paying for it myself, I'd only be able to afford a value resort...barely.

I found this on my phone and must have gotten a little carried away with a bokeh app at some point...

Anyhoooooo, my mom and I are both doing the 10K on Friday and I'm going to do the full on Sunday. This is also a bonus for staying at the Boardwalk- the marathon route goes past the hotel. Making that reservation got me super excited.

I really need this on a mug. Or t-shirt. I'm not picky.


This will be my third marathon and official training is right around the corner. Even though I've been neglecting my blog and have been a bad blog reader, I have not been totally slacking off. I'm finally using the gym membership that I signed up for....a year ago. Better late than never, right?


The gym opens at 4:30am and it's on the way to the barn, so I've been going to the gym and then to the barn to ride at 6:30 and then to work by 8:30. Yes, I'm patting myself on the back here, because I'm tired all of the time now.


I'm not sure what he's so cranky about, he only has to work out once a day! Free loader.


I was smart enough to sign up for a winter marathon rather than a fall marathon because I'm super over doing long runs in the summer here. OVER IT.

Nope, nope, nope. This was on Sunday.


My gym has wifi, so I can camp out on the treadmill and watch Netflix. Yes, I can move faster than 3.6mph but I can't do that and take a picture. #priorities

In case you're wondering- that's Pretty Little Liars


I don't necessarily recommend watching something like Game of Thrones while on the treadmill because other people can see and well, if you are a GoT fan, you know there is a lot of violence and a lot of s-e-x.

So yeah. I'm getting pumped for my marathon adventure and making that reservation made me happy.

At the Tink Expo


I hope the medal for 2017 is pretty like this one.


Time to start actually formulating a plan. I'm hoping for a PR since my other two marathons were in terrible conditions and took me way longer than they should have. But I've learned that just because you train really hard, doesn't mean you're guaranteed a PR. We'll see what happens. Is anyone else doing WDW Marathon weekend?





Wednesday, May 18, 2016

PhotoPass versus Marathon Photo

So I gotta say, I'm a total fan of the PhotoPass system for runDisney race photos. I never buy race photos because, without fail, I look terrible every picture.

Thank you, cheapo Wet'n'Wild lip stick for remaining painted on my face for an entire race.


I'm not really sure why I insisted on doing my Tinkerbell Half recap before downloading the official pictures. It is a mystery. I make bad choices. Often.

Look! I'm winning!


I knew before the race that runDisney was making the switch, but I had never done PhotoPass at either resort before, so I wasn't entirely sure how it worked. Turns out, it is not rocket science but it's a bit confusing at first and you have to seek out the information on the runDisney page to figure out how you link your race photos.

Official Disneyland app for iPhone


Basically, PhotoPass is a service where park photographers take your picture in front of the castle or with characters, etc, and they give you a card so that you can access your pictures. You download the app, they scan a card or the bar code on your app and voila! You can can pay for your pictures and download everything for that day.


You can look up the race codes on the runDisney website for each race. You plug in the codes with your number and link them to your photo pass account.


I didn't really investigate the process until I was at the airport on my way home. I wish I had done my homework ahead of time, because for a flat rate of about $40, you can download all of your pictures for one day.


On the day of the half marathon, we took a bunch of pictures with characters in the parks with our medals on. We just used cell phones, but if I had realized how it all worked, we could have had them scan the bar code and gotten a bunch of professional pictures in addition to the race photos for a very reasonable price.

Not the most flattering picture of me but I couldn't resist Caption Jack in it.


So now I know for next time. Also, if you take a photo after the finish, there a nice race banner at the bottom. I think that's really cool. And in general, I feel like my pictures over all were just better than other race photos in the past. Maybe PhotoPass cast members get trained on taking decent action shots.

A little sass for Goth Tink


All in all, I totally approve of this change and I will better take advantage of the process for the WDW Marathon in January.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tinkerbell Half Marathon

I didn't take very many pictures during the Tinkerbell Half Marathon, sadly. I was focused on one thing: a PR. Spoiler alert: No PR for Jaime.

I ran as Goth Tink because I'm way too cool to be regular Tink. Also, black is more slenderizing than lime green.


I really hate when I actually try at something and it doesn't go my way. I can be really bad about training, especially back when I was racing a lot. If you're doing half marathons every two or three months, you're basically semi trained all of the time. Even if you're not super focused on it, you're still getting some regular long runs in. That really hasn't been the case for me for the last couple of years, so I was determined not to show up at Tink untrained.

Adrienne as Tinker Belle and Abby as Fairy Poppins. They're more creative than me.


I decided to focus on a PR at Tinkerbell back in January when I signed up to run 1000 miles in 2016. I have to say, I was definitely trained for the distance but I knew that I was only on the cusp of PR territory. It was possible to PR, but I couldn't give any time away taking pictures, etc.


The only pictures I took were snap shots as I was running a long. No character stops for me!

I won't bore you with the mile by mile recount since I don't have super cute character pictures. Basically, the short version is this: I ran at a pace that was about 30 seconds too fast per mile for 10 miles. I was on track to PR until mile 10 when I got a horrible stitch in my side. I still kept pushing until mile 11 when I started seeing spots. I walked for a bit, trying running again, but I was done. I had pushed a little too hard for two hours and by the time I was at 11.5 miles, I knew I was going to have to walk for awhile to get my heart rate back to normal. I ended up walking until the last mile.

Seeing spots is definitely not something I'm used to. I knew it was stupid to keep trying to push myself.

California Adventure


I had to take a picture of this shirt because it is awesome. #truth

I was a bit sad for a while because, like I said, I actually trained for months for this race. However, since I had hardly run for most of 2015, I was starting from scratch in January. I did build my base back up and if I had had another month or so to train, I'm sure I could have pulled off a PR.

I always get a picture of the mile 10 marker.


All in all, I loved this race and I hope to do it again next year. The weather was fantastic for my entire stay with overcast, chilly weather. There was none of the rude dramatics I've experienced at Princess weekend, from my expo experience (which was shockingly civilized and not at all like a Hunger Games experience) to the races. So as far as girly Disney races go, I think I'll stick with Tink.

I actually got some good official pictures from Photopass but I haven't downloaded them, yet. I'll do a separate post on my thoughts about that later, but in short- they did a good job. Who else ran Tink?


Friday, May 13, 2016

Tinkerbell Half Marathon Expo

Last week, I spent five days with some awesome people in Disneyland for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon. I don't usually recap expos anymore, but Tinkerbell's expo was the best runDisney expo I have experienced for awhile.

I was the first of our trio of awesome to arrive in Anaheim, so I quickly checked into our room, took a weirdly angled selfie for no good reason, put on my iPod, and began the trek across the universe to a land far, far away (a.k.a. The Disneyland Hotel) to participate in the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Expo Hunger Games.

Narcissistic Selfie.

I have to say, I'm really disappointed in the lack of bloodshed at the expo. I was totally ready to represent my district in mortal combat if tiaras and glitter started flying.

Actual picture of me.

But it was so civilized. Can you believe it? I mean, wasn't there an actual fist fight or something at the Princess Half Marathon expo? When I was at the Wine & Dine expo, it was a shit show.

Front doors to the ESPN building at W&D


I arrived at the expo at about noon, so it had already been open for awhile. It was still packed, of course, but the CMs at Disneyland have gotten their shit together since the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare weekend, when all shit broke loose and small children were devoured by merchandise crazed people.

Dumbo Double Dare 2013

When I first walked into the hotel, the merch line seemed incredibly short. I felt a wave of euphoria pass over me as I thought, now I can BUY ALL THE THINGS AND NOT HAVE TO WAIT!!! But no. That was not the case. I was directed to go down to the lower level of the parking structure where the end of the line was.

The Disney Dungeon


So yeah. There was a huge line down there. But. It totally didn't suck. It was calm and quiet and organized. No one got punched in the kidneys or stabbed with a shiv.

Wait, what? We can behave like civilized beasts?! Who knew? I'm across the way in another huge group of people.

This is where I think Disneyland won the expo war. Each taped off line had probably 30-40 people in it. Rather than have a really long line creeping along and wrecking your back for the rest of the weekend, they just moved the groups upstairs by section.


I seriously suck at selfies.

The benefit to this format was that we could sit down and be off of our feet. I was in line for probably an hour, listening to my iPod, and I wasn't in a horrible, cranky mood when we were moved upstairs. That constant creeping along makes me insane. I was perfectly happy to sit down until it was our group's turn to move upstairs.

Finally, it was our turn to head up, and there was another line to get into the merch booth, but it was relatively short.

Once we were finally in the booth, I was expecting a scene similar to one from the Walking Dead, with carnage and weapons.



But again, it was like a normal shopping experience. They were already out of wine glasses, but everything else seemed to be in decent supply.


I bought more than I probably should have. I didn't take pictures of my loot, but I got the jacket, a half marathon tech shirt, a pin and a mug. Here's a picture that Abby took of me wearing the jacket after I got picked "randomly" for the hundredth time for extra security screening to get into the parks.

The other parts of the expo were fine, too. We had some fun photo opportunities.
Me, Abby and Adrienne
Pandora had a booth where they printed pictures with wings

And, of course, the area for the race itself. The lighting is always terrible here.


Adrienne, Abby and Moi


I also took a couple of photos of the WDW Marathon Medal from this year for motivation for 2017. Eeeek!



Crazy hair don't care.


All in all, I actually enjoyed my time at the expo for this race. I didn't feel all ragey and murdery. I did spend more than I planned, but since I have backed way off on my racing, I have a renewed compulsion to buy everything in sight.


Did anyone else have a pleasant experience at the Tink expo or did I just get super lucky with my timing?