Saturday, June 17, 2017

In a Corral Far Far Away - Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon

I mean this race only happened on April 23rd and I'm just now writing about it...yikes!

I normally do not run long distance races at this point in the year because a) it's hot b) it's humid and c) it's hot and humid. However, this year the half fell on my birthday  so I had to have the bling. I had to!

My sister met up with me for the race and we hit the expo on Saturday, which is the last day. I have never gone to the expo this late and was shocked at how empty it was. Y'all, it was so empty that I was basically making rapid purchases to the point that my bank froze my account. Whoops!

We spent the afternoon at Magic Kingdom and got our carb on over at Tony's, which tends to be our go to carb loading place.


I have to admit, we are pretty friggin' adorable.

Race morning came and the humidity hit me when I opened the door. I was super pumped....or whatever.  The cool thing with this race was that one of my run the year teams was racing.


Plus, this would be the first half marathon Tanya and I would run together. We make a pretty good running duo. Coincidentally we also make a kick ass wine drinking duo.

The humidity sucked from the word go and I know at one point I looked over at Tanya and said "Don't ever let me sign up for this race again." Now Tanya runs at lunch time when it is 90+ degrees with 100% humidity so she was just trucking along and I was like....


I was struggling around the 7 mile mark. It was gross outside, I started to cramp and I was just done, unless there was a camera, then I was all...


I sent Tanya ahead once we hit World Showcase. I knew she would kill it and I knew I was holding her back. I kissed my goal of 2:30 goodbye and settled on as close as possible to my previous PR (2:37). I came in at 2:40 and all I wanted was that damn cheese and chips from the snack box and my medal. 


Seriously, this photo encompasses my entire experience. And do we walk to talk about salt in an open wound for a second???? The medal didn't even have the date on it! That was the whole reason I ran the race was to have a medal with my birthday on it!

Overall the race was hot, humid and gross, but if it was in a cooler month I would totally run it every year. I love Star Wars and to see the characters on the course was pretty fantastic. 

Thanks to my team rum mates and my seeeester for making it a birthday to remember!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Therapy Running

This past year has been, by far, the most challenging year I have had as a wife, mother, and well, quite frankly, as a human being. I'm not even being a little dramatic, this past year just killed me mentally.

I honestly don't know how I coped with things prior to running because this past year that's the only way I coped. I cannot tell you how many miles ended in tears, moments of satisfaction or just moments that told me it was going to be okay.

A couple weeks ago I laced up my shoes after quite possibly one of the worst mornings of my life. I had to run it out. I had to get myself in a zone that focused on nothing but getting from point A to point B. I pushed myself, hard. And surprisingly, when my run was done, the worst morning of my life was the best day of my life. The hardship was behind me. The frustration was gone.

Find whatever it is that will give you that release, because to have that moment of bliss after pure shit is one of the best moments in the world.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Princess Weekend 2017 - 10k and Half

So it's been a while since the race...a long while...I know....

Here's a quick photo recap and some thoughts on the races.

For the past couple of years we have kept with our Alice in Wonderland theme. Lorren and I typically run this race together and usually at some point she curses me out. 




We had our own cheering section on the Boardwalk this year. The whole crew came down in their jammies to cheer us on. I cannot tell you how many friends of mine that were running the race said they saw my crew. 


It was a good race, we pushed but not too hard since the half would be the following morning. 


Now onto the half! For the past few years there has been a group of guys that run dressed as princesses. They are total studs and we have had our eyes set on finding them and taking a photo with them. I knew they were going to be in my corral so I would be able to sneak a photo, but they were hanging near the front when we first arrived. Lorren and I jumped at the chance to score a photo with our favorite, Jasman. 


I knew it was gonna be a good race.

The race started a little late because traffic was awful, but when it did, I was good to go. I took off nice and steady and kept the same pace for the first 10k of the race. 


Then it was game on. For the last half of the race I kicked it into high gear and pushed. I had a goal and I wanted to hit it. I wanted to be under 2:40 and my ultimate goal is 2:30. I came in at 2:37 and change. It was huge!


Best part of hitting your goal? Having those you love at the finish! Scott met me to give me my medals and my parents and kiddos were there too. After Lorren and Cathy finished we all had our celebratory beers. 


This is the first time my Dad was at the race and I loved having him there. Even though he was a little peeved about the shirt we picked out, I adore this photo. 



Next up is Star Wars this weekend. If you follow me on my Facebook page check in for photo updates! 

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.

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? No...no 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! 
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