Sunday, March 12, 2017

Princess Weekend 2017 - Expo & 5k

Ah Princess weekend. The weekend where my sister, niece and I descend upon WDW for a weekend of running, popcorn, and shenanigans. This year my parents joined in on the fun and my brother happened to be there as well for a golf trip. 

Day 1 of our journey happened to coincide with Cathy's birthday. To celebrate we enjoyed some southern fried goodness and hummingbird cake at Art Smith's Homecoming in Disney Springs. The food here is beyond delicious and I am still slightly traumatized by the speed in which my niece consumed deviled eggs. 

After dinner us girls headed to the expo to pick up our packets and shop (naturally). This is the latest we have ever gone to expo and it was fabulous. There was nobody there. We literally walked right up to everything. 

We didn't even wait to take our picture with the sign. Whaaaat???? The three of us are perfect glass slipper by the way, just in case you wanted to know that fun fact.

The theme this year was Beauty and the Beast so naturally Lorren and I had to snag this pic....

To tell you how empty the expo was, we were able to get a photo with Rapunzel...

...and the rose from Beauty and the Beast...

It was early to bed though because we had the 5k the next morning, but that didn't stop Lorren from challenging me to a plank off...

Guess who won? Hint: not Lorren.

The 5k is a favorite for us because it is just really chill (not timed at all) and we just walk and have fun.

We also wear our Peggy Sue shirts for this race. If you have been with RunDisney for a while you know all about her. She was our favorite spectator and it is just not the same without seeing her on the course. 

After the race we met up with everyone for breakfast. I was even able to snag a rare photo of this guy smirking.

I cannot even begin to tell you how much it meant to have my Dad there for race weekend. The three of us have been raising money for Alzheimer's research in honor of him and it just means so much to have him there. 

I'll have more posts covering the other races in the coming days. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Find Your Tribe

Yet again I have failed in the world of blogging. I have not posted since the marathon and there has definitely been a lot of exciting things happening. I will post about my run streak as well as Princess weekend, but right now I want to write about finding your tribe.

Your what?

Your tribe.

Something I have learned throughout this crazy running experience is that you only get stronger when you surround yourself with strong and encouraging people. You need people around you that push you to be your best self. You need the challenge.

My tribe is pretty big and pretty kick ass if I do say so  myself. My Mamas from MRTT are always pushing me and always challenging me. It is so refreshing to have a group of women who constantly build each other up. 

My running buddies are equally amazing. Sometimes you just need a run with one other person. Sometimes those runs are filled with conversation (maybe more conversation that running) and sometimes they are quiet, but words are not needed. 

My family is fantastically supportive. My sister is constantly cheering for me, my niece is as well. My parents came out to cheer us on in their pj's for goodness sakes! It doesn't get much better than that!

My kiddos are so proud and honestly it means the world. They get excited when they see me on a course and they tell me how proud they are of me even after a weekend run. 

Of course I cannot talk about my tribe without mentioning the chief himself. I'll tell you what, I lucked out. Scott is one of the most supportive members of my tribe. He pushes me, supports me and keeps me going. This past race weekend when I knew I was close to a PR my phone was blowing up with texts from him telling me to "GOOOOOOOOO!" Not everyone gets this kind of support from a spouse. I mean, really, this distance running is a total time suck and kills most date nights (Oh you wanted to eat cajun food tonight, yeah I'm running 10 in the morning that won't end well), but he gets it. As he enters the world of duathlons and triathlons I can only hope that I am as much of a support system as he is for me. 

Everyone needs a tribe. Everyone needs a support system in this world. I will happily join your tribe and help cheer you along the way! 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

WDW Marathon 2017: Non, Je ne regrette rien

Well another marathon weekend has come and gone. I was signed up for the Goofy Challenge which is where you run both the half marathon and the full marathon...back to back like a totally and completely insane person.

I'm gonna be honest, I was not ready. I got some miles in, but not nearly enough. I was sick to my stomach going into the weekend because 39.3 miles is a lot. My plan was to run the half with my friend Carrie because she was coming off an injury. I knew we would be slow and I was good with that. 26.2 after that though? Oooooh Lordy.

Then mother nature was like....

The radar was tracking heavy storms with a ton of lightning for Saturday at race start. The decision was made by runDisney to cancel the half.


Yes. That happened.

Since the decision was made that night Cathy and I were able to sleep in, and by sleep in I mean I woke up at 6:30 and started tracking the weather to see when I could sneak in a run. I found a window and took my chances. I am so glad I went because what I saw was the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed.

Runners, running and cheering and celebrating. Disney may have canceled the half but these runners were out there earning their bling. They had on their bibs, they were in costumes, you name it. When I made my way to the main building of Riverside there was a group of people handing out water and Powerade. It was amazing.

I only ran 2 miles because I knew the rain was coming back and I really did not want to get stuck in it. Plus, Cathy and I were going for breakfast!

Heck yes we were matching, you wanna say something? 

After breakfast we headed back over to the expo because Cathy needed to pick her race reimbursement option (yes, they offered 4 options which is completely unheard of!) and I wanted to swap out my Goofy Challenge stuff for marathon gear. 

Literally everyone was doing the same thing as us. It took forever to get there, five seconds while we were there and a lifetime to leave. Seriously we waited longer on the bus than most people waited to get on the new Frozen ride. But did the people on the Frozen ride have this kid photobomb their selfie? they did not.

The whole expo debacle really screwed up our day because by the time we were done it was time to head back for dinner and get some sleep.  There was no time for popcorn OR cotton candy. Ridiculous.

Before I knew it, it was upon me....

Marathon morning was cold. And I'm not just being a Florida wimp, it was 30 with a windchill in the 20's.  Thankfully I was layered to the high heavens and had some hand warmers. 

I was pretty okay going into the full since I saved my legs the day before, so my nerves were pretty good when I started. My only issue was that I was cold. I finally started to warm up around mile one and a half and decided to shed a layer. This was all fine and dandy until I turned the corner and hit a head wind. Yeah, that was awesome....NOT.

I had to just keep moving, it was the only way I was going to stay warm. I made it to Magic Kingdom not long after the sun came up and it was a much welcomed sunrise. I was still feeling pretty good and tracking to finish in under 6 hours (for reference last year I finished in 6:38). 

How fun is this security cast member? I went to take my selfie and saw him walking up to me, he asked if he could take the photo and I said, no you should be in it!

Have I mentioned I love running through Magic Kingdom? It's my favorite and one of my favorite parts is usually the mile 7 mark. Last year the mile marker was Bambi and I lost my mind (I LOVE Bambi and I love the song "Little April Showers" which was playing). This year I almost lost my mind because who was at mile 7?

Sam Motha Lovin Eagle.

I love Sam Eagle. You don't even know. If I could have scaled Hall of Presidents and kissed his beautiful blue beak, I would have and then run from my security friend.

Sam Eagle y'all! Ah!

Okay, I'm back...(SAM EAGLE)...

I was still clipping along coming out of Magic Kingdom and heading towards Animal Kingdom. This stretch was a little different as far as entertainment this year. For instance, they had this gem:

No, not the woman dressed as Dory, the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride vehicle. It is my brother Kevin's favorite ride. Okay, marathon detour...on one of the first trips to the World (maybe it was the first, I don't know, I wasn't there) my family waited some ungodly amount of time to ride this ride because Kevin wanted to ride it. Upon arrival at the front of the line my brother said he was not going on the ride because it looked stupid. My father being the calm cool and collected person that he is threw him into the submarine and the rest is history.

The course changed a little before heading into Animal Kingdom, which I anticipated because of the construction at Hollywood Studios. But LORD is it boring on that stretch of highway. Thankfully we had some entertainment in the form of barnyard animals when we entered the park.

I was still doing pretty well in Animal Kingdom as is evident by this photo:

Look at my jazz hand smiling face behind this poor woman. 

Once we left Animal Kingdom the stretch of highway I despise was upon me...Osceola Parkway. Snoooooooze fest with a head wind because that sounds amazing. 

After what felt like forever I made it into Wide World of Sports. Last year this is where my stomach gave me the middle finger and I had to do a lot of walking. This year I was doing pretty well and met up with the 6 hour pace group. 6 hours was still better than 6:38 in my book. 

Except I hit my wall. Mile 21 my body and mind were like, "Oh, this is cute." 

Then I saw Shelly (MRTT ROCKS) around mile 22 or 23 and all was right in the world. We walked and talked our way through the final few miles. We even ran the last .2 and I didn't look like I was dying, so bonus.

I came in at 6:14 which was a 24 minute PR. That's huge and I should be insanely proud, but part of me thought if I trained a little better I could have been sub 6. But no matter what I had this waiting for me at the finish:

Something about getting my bling from him makes it that much sweeter.

This marathon went a lot better than I could have imagined and I am eager to actually complete Goofy next year.

A huge thank you to my sister who also braved the cold to cheer me on and who wrote encouragement signs in French, a language neither of us speak. This is our jam though and throughout my training Cathy constantly sent me this as encouragement:

I am thrilled this marathon is behind me and like I said, I cannot wait to really commit to next year. I pushed myself harder this year and it totally paid off. 

Now I will leave you with this...proof that no matter how old you are you will always be the baby sister that the older sister photobombs at Cinderella Castle.

So...Goofy 2018 training starts now, right?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2,017 in 2017!

2016 was my lax year for running (and for posting on this blog too, am I right?). I did so much in 2015 to get ready for my first full and then after completing both that and princess, I hit a wall. I thought signing up for Goofy would light my fire, and it did, until it was Shanghaied.

I can't blame the lack on miles on Scott's four months in Shanghai. I checked out, plain and simple. Thankfully, I did start running with my local Moms Run This Town (MRTT) and I have been conquering things I never thought possible.

I always knew I could run a little faster, but they made me do it.

I always knew I could up my intervals, but they (they meaning Tracy) made me do it.

I always knew I could conquer the hills and still keep going strong, but they made me do it.

I have some ambitious goals for 2017, but hey, why not? I have a team set to run 2,017 miles in 2017 (our team name is We Thought You Said Rum, because obviously...). I am personally challenging myself to run 1,000 miles this year. Yeah, I know, that's crazy, but I am running two marathons this year plus who knows what other races. The training will get me there, I'm sure of it.

I'm also streaking...

Okay, not that kind of streaking. I'm doing a running streak. Basically I just need to run 1 mile a day for as long as I can. I was going to officially start today, but I've run every day since Thursday, so happy day 4 for me!

I will try to do a better job posting about my trainings on here. I wish all of you a very happy and healthy new year! 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

What I've Been Up To...

It's been busy over here...

We raced for cinnamon rolls in Memphis over Thanksgiving.

My little Miss ran with Girls on the Run and I got to be her running buddy!

I ran with my wonderful MRTT ladies around the Boardwalk.

And then did it again and shaved an HOUR off my time for this distance from a year ago. 

Goofy is right around the corner and I'm getting anxious. I hope all of you are well!

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Great Chocolate 10 Miler

I am way behind on posting about this race (almost a full month, yikes!). My friend Carrie got me to sign up for the Great Chocolate 10 miler because...chocolate. Yes, they give you a box of Godiva at the finish, so of course I was in.

The course ran through downtown Orlando and I have to say, I love running through the city when it is still quiet and the sun is just rising. There is nothing prettier than running up South Street and seeing the sun peeking over City Hall. Nothing beats it. 

The race itself had a great course, but in all honesty that's where it ends. Water stops were never set up (I think we went almost 5 miles without water, which is why I always carry water). When we finished we were just handed our stuff, that was it. All of the advertised vendors and extras never happened. It was a big let down for sure. However, Carrie did bring me a bagel smothered in cream cheese, so that made up for the lack of vendors. 

I was pretty pleased with my time for this race. The weather was perfect and made for an easy run. I did start to lose some steam at the end and I know it's because my training has been less than stellar lately. With the kiddos activities on hiatus until after the new year (and after that Goofy Challenge I thought was a good idea at the time) I can focus on strengthening for the remaining races. 

More belated race updates coming! 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

It Just Wasn't My Race....

Last weekend Scott and I got away to the coast for the Lighthouse Loop 5k and Half Marathon. We have not had a weekend away in...a very long time.

We spent our afternoon walking the beach. It was so peaceful. After some dinner it was early to bed because we had to be on the shuttle at 5:40.  

Scott was running the 5k and I was in for the half with some of my ladies from MRTT. The weather was smack you in the face humid and I was still experiencing some delicious post nasal drip. Recipe for success people.

We took off at a pretty fast pace, I knew we had to slow down and switch intervals. We switched to 2:1's and slowed down. By mile four I was dripping and chugging water. Why hello dehydration, welcome to the par-tay. 

Every once in a while we caught a nice breeze between the houses. Then we rounded a corner and there she was...the lighthouse...

I want to go back with the kiddos so they can see it and we can learn more about it. 

By this point the sun was beating down and there was minimal shade. The post nasal drip was very real and by mile 9 my stomach was sloshing. As we approached mile 10 I told my friend to run ahead, I was walking. This was not going to be my race, but I had to finish. So I walked....and walked...and walked.

I had one more giant obstacle ahead of me and that was the bridge at mile 12, because when designing a course a bridge at mile 12 sounds like fun.

As I hit the top of the bridge I pushed myself and ran down. Once I hit the bottom another one of my MRTT ladies saw me and yelled across the road. I needed that boost. I pushed forward and ran in the last little bit. 

I was not happy. I was not proud. I was defeated.

I am happy that I ran across the finish and I am happy that I can in just under the time on the clock. It has been a few years since I have completed a half in that time, but I finished. It wasn't my best, but it wasn't my worst.

Plus I had this guy waiting for me...

It was not my was not my race. I spent the next few hours...okay days...letting this race mess with my head. I have the Goofy Challenge coming up in January and this was not what I needed mentally. Then on Monday I dropped a full can of cooking spray on my toe and bruised it pretty good. No, really, stuff like that happens to me.

I took the week off. I need to rehydrate. I needed to clear the cobwebs. I needed to refocus. 

I will return... I will make this course my bitch, maybe not the bridge, but the other 11.5 miles are so mine. 

Until next time Lighthouse Loop. 

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