Friday, January 20, 2017

Walt Disney World's Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge Part 3

If you missed part 1 here, and then onto part 2 here.

Part 3 and I promise the last one.

The lovely thunderstorms that canceled the half Saturday morning brought a nasty cold front through central Florida on Saturday afternoon. The forecasted temperature for start time Sunday morning was 36 with wind chill in the 20s. I grew up in Missouri, but I lost all that toughness when I moved to the South. E and I decided to find a Wal Mart Saturday morning to stock up on hand warmers, gloves, hats, and ponchos. We woke up at 3:15 Sunday morning, grabbed our stuff, and dashed to the car to head to the race. I am so glad we drove to the race instead of staying on property and taking the shuttle buses. We sat in the warm car as long as possible. Plus we parked right next to the staging area. It was sweet. Finally around 4 we made our way out of the car. The race didn't start until 5:30, and our corral wasn't scheduled to start until close to 6, but I had to pee. We still had to make our way through security, meet with a few people, and then hit the bathrooms before the long walk to the corrals. Disney advises to give 20 minutes to walk to the corrals from the staging area. I don't think it took that long, but it is still a pretty long walk. After we met with some friends, and hit the bathrooms, we took our place in the corral. It was on the long walk that E realized he lost his watch. He had it in his hydration vest, but it was gone when he went to put it on. Luckily, he didn't plan on using intervals so he decided to run by feel. He likes doing math while running so calculation his pace every mile helped him pass the time.

We were in corral H so we had a bit of a wait before our start, and I was so happy when we finally started running. It meant that I could try to warm up a bit. I had decided to use :90/:30 intervals for the race. Disney races are very popular with run/walkers so it can get crowded in spots when a group of friends or a pace group is near you. I ran in the grass a lot the first few miles. With such short intervals, I was afraid to venture to the middle too much so I stuck to the edges so I could move over during the walk break. So many people would just stop in the middle for their walk break, and it would cause such a bottleneck. I was feeling pretty good that day even with the frigid temperatures. I have always had an issue with fuel and nutrition for a marathon. I decided to suck it up and wear my hydration vest filled with Tailwind. I had tried it on short runs and knew it didn't bother me, but I had never tried it on long runs. I hate wearing my vest because it rubs my neck, but I was tired of vomiting during marathons. Let me tell you, the Tailwind was amazing. I would sip it whenever I was thirsty, and trying to make sure to take a big gulp every mile marker. I didn't use any gels or chews. I ate 2 bananas that were given on the course, and would take some water the second half of the race to balance out the Tailwind. I never felt sick. I was thrilled. I found myself running the miles a bit faster than I planned. At about the halfway point I decided to go for it. I was going to attempt my ultimate goal for a marathon which I had never achieved. Running through the parks is so exhilarating that I never felt tired during those parts.

How can you be unhappy when running down Main Street?

He had no line so I jumped right in

I crapped out a bit around mile 18, but I realized if I hustled I could still make my goal. I kicked it into gear, then had a mental breakdown at mile 20, kicked it up again, and then lost it at 22. By mile 22 I was spent. I switched my intervals to :60/:30 and that helped. I was able to get some energy again as I went through Hollywood Studios, but I wasn't moving as fast as before. I lost a minute per mile for the last 4 miles. Plus I had a 5 minute bathroom break at the halfway point in Animal Kingdom. (Thanks to Mother Nature for giving me that lovely time of the month issue the day before a race.) I was still really tired those last miles, but I kept going. I didn't stop running during my run intervals. I was shuffling at times, but I was still moving.

Nothing like giving Mickey a high 5 at the finish line
Despite my best effort I didn't make my goal time. I missed it by 7 minutes. If you take out my bathroom break it was only 2 minutes. I hate that I have to count that time, but it is what it is. This was a PR for me. It was my third marathon in eleven months. From my first to this one, I took 35 minutes off my time. I took 12 minutes off from my MCM time. I was pretty proud of myself. It is easy to run and have fun at Disney. The crowd support is great. The signs were funny, and people were giving away food along the course. I really had a great time. I have said this would be my last marathon, and it will be for now. With everything that is going on this year, training for one would be difficult. I have told myself to take a year off from that distance and consider it again for 2018. I really want to get my half time to under 2 hours which will be my goal for 2017-2018. Oh yeah, and run healthy again. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Walt Disney World's Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge Part 2

If you missed part 1, you can find it here.

I left off on Friday night. E and I were preparing for the half the next day when we started noticing rumors floating around social media that RunDisney was going to cancel the race. There was a chance of storms Saturday morning, but the chance had gone from 100% to 50%. Sure enough RunDisney started releasing information about the weather, and they would have an update at 7pm. E and I kept refreshing everything as we watched pictures roll in from the resorts showing signs stating the race was canceled. Finally around 7:15, the announcement was made. Race is canceled. Social media exploded. Everyone starts asking questions and freaking out. People were crying. I was pretty disappointed when I heard the news, and honestly, a bit pissed. The weather didn't look that bad, but I guess they had enough reason to think it would be. As the night went on, I started hearing stories about how people were going to run their 13.1 miles anyway. They would head out on Saturday and run around their resort to complete the miles. I was going to join until my head hit my pillow and I decided that sleep and rest would be better for my angry legs. A nasty storm did move through during the night when the first of the volunteers were scheduled to be out. I was out at 7am, and there was lightning. They did make the right call. Lightning in Florida is horrible, and I can understand  they did not want to endanger volunteers, employees, and runners. As for the ones that ran their own race Saturday, it was awesome. I saw so many pictures of hundreds of people doing laps around hotels to finish their miles. Spectators lined up to cheer. Employees set up water stations and snacks for the runners. There were even toilet paper finish lines. It restored my faith in people and reminded me that runners are awesome.

Now all of this caused an issue of people claiming that it wasn't the race so the miles didn't count, and so on. I am in the camp of it was great that people went out there, they did not complete the course so the challenges weren't true. It became quite the debate all weekend. Despite the lack of race, E and I still made the day fun. We fixed our half marathon shirts to reflect the true mileage for the day.

 We also made sure to find Donald while at Epcot so we could take a sad picture with him. He was pretty sad, too, that his race was canceled.

Ignore my face. Apparently I can't make a sad face.

We finally called it a day in the late afternoon. E and I knew that we would be running the next day, and it would be the big one. We made our way back to the condo to prepare for the marathon. It was going to be a cold one. To be continued...

***Sidenote: I have never experienced a cancellation of race. It is pretty disappointing to train for so long only to be told you won't be running. I will give RunDisney some credit. They provided runners 3 great options as an apology for the cancellation. Legally they didn't have to give us anything. I was impressed with how generous they were.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Walt Disney World's Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge Part 1

I am breaking this into a few parts since it was a crazy weekend.

Many months ago I registered for Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge. For those not familiar with RunDisney, it is a challenge where you run the half marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday. 39.3 miles over 2 days. It used to be the only challenge for the weekend until they introduced the Dopey Challenge a few years ago that includes running the 5K, 10K, half and marathon over 4 days. 48.6 miles for those dopey people. I didn't think it would be that bad until I started my back to back long runs in November. It took a bigger toll on my body than I realized. My legs were already sore after coming off MCM training. Then I throw in back to back long runs, and my legs were pissed. I have been suffering from shin splints since July, and then I developed some odd foot pain that I can't diagnose. I was completing my runs, but much slower than I anticipated. I knew I would finish the challenge, but it was probably going to be my slowest half marathon and marathon to date. After I finished MCM I said that Goofy would be my last marathon so I was going into it looking to have fun. My plan was to use run/walk intervals to save my legs for the marathon. During the half I was going to use a :60/:60 ratio and take all the pictures I could. For the marathon I planned to use 2/:30 because I didn't want to be out there forever. I had my plan in place, and now it was time to use it.

We went down Thursday afternoon so we could hit the expo and pick up all our stuff. The girls were running the kids' races Friday and we didn't want to be rushed in the morning. My brother and niece were flying in from Kansas City to vacation with us and watch the girls while we ran. Their flight was supposed to arrive at 11pm, but thanks to delays did not arrive until 3am. It was a short night of sleep for them. Thankfully they were troopers the next day, and we didn't have to get up too early Friday morning. Our plan was to hit the kids' races and then head to Hollywood Studios for a bit. E and I wanted to get to bed early Friday night since we would be waking up at 3am Saturday morning for the race. Plus everyone was tired from the delayed flight fiasco. The girls had awesome races. Meeghan ran the 200 meter race, and Hannah ran the 1 mile.

 Yes, they had matching outfits except for the skirts. I wish I looked as good as them when I run.

After our afternoon at Hollywood Studios, we went back to the condo to enjoy some pizza and prepare to run 13.1 miles the next morning. As we would find out just an hour after eating dinner, our plans would change dramatically.

To be continued...

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Marine Corps Marathon

I am going to skip over the formality of why I haven't written. Life. I think that can sum it up perfectly.

I did want to write about my experience at the Marine Corps Marathon this past weekend. I had never been to Washington, D.C. before the race so I was excited to see new sights, and take in the People's Marathon.

I flew on Friday, and went to the expo after checking in to the hotel. It was smooth process to pick up my bib and shirt. It wasn't as big as I thought it would be, but it was nice to look at the different booths.

After dinner we checked out the White House at night.

Saturday I didn't want to walk too much so we kept it pretty easy by sleeping in, and then heading to the Mall. We visited the Air and Space Museum (of course),

My brother loves Star Trek so I took a picture for him.
The rest of the day was spent resting and contemplating the race. 

Sunday was the day. I was up at 4:30 for an 8am start thanks to the Metro issues. I am glad I left when I did because I heard it was pretty crowded about an hour after I left. I walked right on the shuttle and was whisked to the Runner's Village. The weather was not the best. I never have good luck in the weather department. I was hoping for cooler weather since it was D.C. and the end of October. However the forecasted high for that day was 80. 80! I was pretty worried about the heat bothering me. I trained in the heat here in Florida, but I was never out there in full afternoon sunshine. I had a time goal for the race, but decided to not worry about it when I saw the temperature. Also, I was worried about the hills. Florida is flat. Very flat. The first 3 miles of the race is up, and then the end is hilly. I wasn't sure how I would respond to the hills. 

That is the elevation map for the race
I wanted to go out slow and speed up for the second half. Unfortunately I went out fast. I thought I would be able to maintain it, but I eventually died around mile 21. Considering I only had one 20 mile training run I was pretty pleased I lasted that long with the conditions. I took one break to fix my sock that was rubbing on my toe and caused a blister. I also had one bathroom stop that cost me a few minutes. I noticed at the end that I wasn't really sweating and I knew I was in trouble. I started dousing cups of water on me at the water stops which I would regret later. I really wanted to quit, but knew that if I switched to walking it would take forever to finish, and I was done. I just put my head down and kept going because I needed to finish. I crossed the line 19 minutes after my time goal, but it was a 13 minute PR so I will take it. I was proud that I conquered the hills, the weather, and my brain. 

I had some medical issues when I finished. I made it halfway out of the chute when I vomited. Another runner took care of me since the medics were busy with more serious cases. I saw a lot of people on stretchers. After a few minutes of resting and some liquids I was ready to head back to the hotel. When I finally made it back to the hotel I realized that I chafed everywhere. My chest, arms, back, side of my body, my forearm, and my knees all were chafed. It was horrible. I am guessing when I dumped the water on me, it caused friction. 

My side

My back

My chest

Monday we decided to head back to the Mall and the Capitol. We took a tour of the Library of Congress, and then of the Capitol. We also visited a lot of the memorials on the Mall. The steps in the buildings killed me. I was moving pretty slow on Monday. I loved seeing all the monuments even if I was in pain.

I was very impressed by Washington, D,C and I would love to visit the city again. There is so much to do, and I definitely couldn't visit it all in the short time I was there. As for the race, if you ever get a chance to run it, do it. It was amazing. The Marines are great. The crowd support was unbelievable. There was only one real stretch that wasn't lined with people and that was a bridge. Even the Pentagon parking lot had people cheering. You run past so many of the famous sites of the city. Between mile 10 and 11, they have the Blue Mile where they have pictures of fallen service members, and then family members holding flags. I almost cried running through this part. So many faces that left this world too soon made you realize that running 26 miles isn't that big of a deal. I wish I had taken pictures during the race. I didn't want to keep messing with my phone so I left it in the armband. It has been my favorite race so far. It is a lottery which typically opens mid to late March. I never want to run a marathon again (except I have that pesky Goofy race in January). However, if I choose to run a fifth marathon in the future, this one would be at the top of my list. Oh, and I would train for the hills next time. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Lazy summer days

I keep neglecting this little blog. With summer here, it is hard to do anything while the girls are awake. If I sit down I become a jungle gym for Meeghan. The summer has been a typical one. We are camping when we can. We spent a weekend at Cocoa Beach so we could check out Kennedy Space Center. It was pretty neat to see. E has always wanted to be an astronaut, and so he was pretty happy to see the shuttle. We camped at Patrick AFB, and our spot was along the river. It was really pretty to look out the window and watch the water. We are gearing up for a trip back to Kansas City. We are going to take the RV so we can camp along the way, and then camp while we are there. Usually we stay at my brother's house, but I always feel bad doing it. When we stay with them it is 8 people living in a house that is built for a family of 4. We are losing our free lodging, but this should give us some space and allow my brother's family to keep theirs. I am not looking forward to the drive. 17 hours of driving over 2 1/2 days (one way). The girls get antsy on a 20 minute drive around town.

I have also started marathon training. This time I am going full throttle. The Navy sent E out of town during the holiday weekend, and of course this was the first long run of the training plan. I sucked it up and ran 8 miles while pushing the girls in the stroller. It sucked. I was looking to get the miles on my legs, and I wasn't too worried about time. The heat doesn't help either. It is still in the upper 80s at 8 o'clock at night. I am looking to buy a treadmill for the days where getting outside is not feasible. 17 weeks until the race. This time I will hit my goal time.

Another thing has taken up my time is I have become an ombudsman for E's squadron. It is a voluntary position, but it comes with a lot of commitments. I haven't gone through training yet so I feel a bit lost about the job. Essentially, I am the line of communication between family members and the triad of the squadron (the people in charge). It is only for a year, and luckily most of that year falls during home cycle when nobody really needs us. Deployments bring about more questions and concerns.

The girls fell asleep during my shorter run Sunday night

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Playing Catch Up...Again

Once again I have neglected this space. I blame the kids. Again.

Speaking of the kids, they are definitely keeping me busy. Hannah is in girl scouts and soccer which means a lot of running around for her. She is about to finish kindergarten, and she is ready for first grade. We are still waiting for the gifted program testing to see where she will be placed for first grade. She lost her first tooth last month. She had been waiting to lose a tooth since the second day of kindergarten.

She also learned how to ride her bike without training wheels and how to tie her shoes. I can't take credit for those because E tackled those after he came home. 

Meeghan is the same old Meeghan. She is still a quiet mouse at school and a nonstop talker at home. She is still pretty tiny, but the terrible threes have hit. Many meltdowns and power struggles lately. 

I haven't been doing much lately. Basically I try to survive the days without eating all the chocolate in the house. Hopefully I will have a review of the Disney Star Wars Dark Side Half coming soon. Oh, I also registered for the Goofy Challenge at Disney in January. I will run the half on Saturday and then the full on Sunday. I told myself no more marathons after Marine Corps, and E said no more marathons period. Somehow we talked each other into, and now we are both running it. 

The last big thing is we bought an RV. We went to look one afternoon, and somehow we walked out of there the owners of one. We have wanted one for years, but financially it was never a good decision. Now that we are more stable, we decided to look again. I never thought we would buy one this quickly. It is a little travel trailer. It isn't huge. Our minivan can't pull anything too large, but I think it is a good start. If we like it, we may upgrade in a few years. 
Yes, I am already looking for lights and fun curtains to decorate it. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Stitch Fix

I am slowly crawling out from the hole that is the flu. I figured I could write a quick post about the Stitch Fix I received a month ago. (I know I am a slacker.) I apologize in advance for the crappy pictures. It turns out the only place I have a full length mirror is in my dark closet. Please ignore the mess in my closet. It has been cleaned since these pictures.

Pieces 1 and 2:

I liked the fit and feel of the capris, but the white scared me. I am pretty clumsy. Add to that the dogs and kids, and I felt like they would be ruined pretty quickly. The blue top was very soft, but I felt like it showed my pooch too much. Plus with the lacy shoulders I couldn't decide if I could wear a regular bra with it. Is it okay to show bra straps now?

Piece 3:

I really liked this top. I felt it hid my pooch without being too frumpy.

Piece 4:

I loved the color of this top, but I didn't like how it looked on me. I felt it was too low cut. (I used to wear stuff that showed a lot more. I guess I am old now!)

Piece 5:

I liked this top because it covered everything, and it was a bit different than other pieces of my wardrobe. I didn't feel too frumpy in it either.

So in the end I kept 3 and 5. I was torn on the blue shirt, but in the end I sent it back. I am excited to see what the next box will have. I went with the every other month subscription so hopefully in about a month I will have more clothes to share. (I didn't realize how bad these pictures are. I will try a new way next time.)