Tag Archives: Half marathon

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend!!!

23 Jul

First of all…you’re probably thinking “Hey! This is not in the correct order!” and you are absolutely correct.

Also, this is likely going to be a two-parter cause the timing is pretty expanded!! If you were there, you know!!

But first, take a trip with me back to January…and let’s go to Walt Disney World for Marathon weekend where I was all set to run a 5K and a half marathon and hang out with my awesome Disney Ohana.

This trip involved a couple of travel plan changes but eventually it was all straightened out and me and the Phred got to Orlando  Tuesday morning and after some confusion I found where I had to pick up my rental car and was on my way! Eventually I made it to Celebration and was able to relax. Or…get to work since I had work to do!

As we were running the 5K on Thursday – and I was volunteering on Friday –  we would have to brave the expo on Wednesday to pick up bibs and shirts and credentials. I drove in the red Kia that I had rented (it’s the one in the hamster/rat/gerbil commercial!) and we blasted …um Christmas music on our way to ESPN Wide World of Sports.

The Disney expos have been come a bit of a cluster in the last few years…seems like way too many people in one place at one time! Fortunately,  the building for picking up bibs was not too crowded and the 5K shirts were out in the stadium. Don’t even ask about picking up the other shirt – that building had a massive line to get in so we decided to pick up the Half Marathon shirt after the half on Saturday figuring the crowds would really have died down!

Then I had to hunt down where to pick up my volunteer credentials. After getting mis-directed SEVERAL times I finally found the door to go in and grabbed my things!

The plan for the 5K was to run as a group – we had gotten some awesome wigs and we had matching skirts (not my favorite Skirt Sports but we’ll call it Brand X). Angela and I had Fellow Flower tanks -“Progress Not Perfection” since this is something I need to remember!

As usual I was in a farther back corral than my friends. Happily, for me, Vanessa and Angela dropped back to start out with me. As we got into EPCOT we were joined by a couple of others and eventually, while waiting in line for a picture, we gathered our whole group for an amazing rainbow finish!!

Since Disney races are early enough,  I had time to do a little work after my shower and before we headed over to the Grand Floridian for afternoon tea with the ladies!

I was volunteering the next morning, bright and early, at the start corrals for the 10K so we headed home fairly early…after all, a 2:00 am check-in comes REALLY early!! 🙂

I do love volunteering at Disney — it’s always easy to find the fun and the magic! For this race, I was one of the people leading the corral to the start line. While waiting I met an internet friend, possibly for the first time. Also, watching the faster corrals go past I noticed that not too many of them seemed to be in a very magical mood…More like a dwarves – lots of Grumpy faces! The further back in the race, the more Happy people we saw! Naturally all of them were pretty Sleepy!

Anyway….after getting my group to the start I decide to wait to see more of my friends off. One of the volunteers standing next to me said “wow, you sure know a lot of people!” And I do! Some pretty awesome people!

After all of the runners had left the corrals and were approaching the start, I headed to the meeting area for our group. As I was walking about 3 or 4 runners came speeding past to get into the lines to start – it was a close call for one of them!! We got released early, I headed home for a couple of conference calls and then decided to head over to the parks.

Now, it had been threatening to rain for our Half Marathon on Saturday but the race was “rain or shine”. It isn’t like we haven’t run in the rain before, right?! But…around 5 or so in the evening, people staying onsite started seeing signs go up in the hotel lobbies that the race was being delayed…Okay. But I bet we still need to be there at Dark O’clock. I continued my trip around the Magic Kingdom, texting and checking social media for updates.

And then it happened. Cancelled.

WHAT??!! What??

Seems that there were thunder and lightning expected around the times that volunteers would be setting up and runners arriving and this is no bueno.  Way too dangerous and no where to put 20,000 people if things got bad.

As I was leaving the park I met up with some friends over at the fancy Bay Lake Tower DVC club for a drink. Walking in I was passed by more than a few people who had put on the costumes they had planned for Saturday and were heading out to get their 13.1 in before the storms (this was a trend — the next morning there were makeshift half marathons being held all over Disney property and other guests came out to cheer and provide support!)

I actually did *not* do my half that day. I had gone to bed with a decent head cold so given the opportunity to NOT run in the rain…I took it. Of course, had the official race gone on I would’ve been out there making myself sicker!

I should add here — runDisney took the fairly unprecedented action and actually offered refunds in various forms to those running the half. Which. They did NOT have to do. Rarely does this happen. I’ve personally had 2 races cancelled (one at the very last minute like this one) and got nothing. So… ps – I took the cash – as you should know I would.

I did plan to run a half, completely separate from another registered race (no double-dipping for me!) And I did eventually get it done even if it took me a few months…

But first…there’s other stuff going on that I need to share 🙂

I May Have a Donut Problem: Myrtle Beach Half Marathon – Race Recap

10 Mar

Well, here we are again!! Time for the first recap of the year!!

I’m not sure exactly why I registered for this race…it could’ve been the fairly low cost, it could’ve been the 20th anniversary medal, it could have been that I just needed a change of scenery – even if only for a very short weekend.

Probably all of the above actually!

Anyway…

As is my habit, I waited awhile to make my reservations and was lucky enough that one of the host hotels not only had rooms available but was also Phred Phriendly (this is huge for me!). My plan was to do an overnight drive since it’s about a 13 hour drive.

Gratuitous shot of Phred lounging on the bed in his room…

I worked at home that Thursday thinking I could wrap up early and then hopefully get in a nap. This did not happen. But I did get packed, gt the car fueled up and relaxed for a few hours. After a false start (in which I actually left my bag with my wallet at the house…) I grabbed a cup of Dunkin – for free ya’ll, guy couldn’t open a register! – and hit the road. Using trusty Waze AND Google Maps I hit the interstate around midnight.

By the time I got to New Jersey I was TAHRED!! So very tired that I pulled into a service area figuring I could get a short 20 minute nap in. This did not happen. But I did close my eyes for a bit and that seemed to help. Potty break for me and the Phred and we were heading south again!

Whenever I would see ‘cheap’ gas I would stop and top off…which always adds a half hour or more. Plus coffee refills plus more potty breaks!

EVENTUALLY….

We made it to Myrtle Beach, around noon-ish, got checked into the resort and hauled all my stuff to the room.

My plan now was to hit the expo, walk the Phred, find some dinner (and, since the forecast was dramatically different than it had been when I packed, try to find an inexpensive running jacket. This did not happen)

Expo was small, but everyone was friendly! Did a quick loop and chatted with a couple of random strangers – what? You don’t do that at race expos?!! Got my gear/swag

Front of the shirt and some 20th Anniversary sox from The Sock Guy!

Back of shirt

Walked Phred around the facility and then headed to Target / Walmart to find something to wear. Only made it to Target and they didn’t really have what I was looking for. I did pick up some headphones since I’d left mine behind.

Then dinner. This could be a problem on account of my usual pre-race meal on the road is meat and potatoes (meatloaf, burger…that sort of thing) and this was the first Friday in Lent. No way was I going to chance fish the night before a race and I didn’t even think – until this morning actually – that I could’ve probably found somewhere to get eggs.

So I said a prayer and grabbed a burger at Sonic. Which…Yum!!!

Got back to the room, laid out my clothes for Saturday

As you can see…not so prepared for mid-30 temps!!

And settled in to my dinner and early bedtime. It was a 6:30 start and shuttles were only running until 5.

Woke up hoping that somehow the forecast had gone back to a mid-40’s temp at the start. This did not happen 🙂 So I threw on my trusty Lioness and my Exhale Bra Tank as well as a throw away long sleeve tshirt and mylar blanket and headed for the shuttle.

We were dropped at a local Minor league baseball stadium where it was windy and cold! But the stadium was open and we could use those facilities. Which was NICE!

About 6:10 or so everyone headed to the start – which caused some congestion but nothing too dramatic.

I had decided on 45:30 intervals. I am not sure why I made this decision but I did. And I pretty much stuck with it the whole way.  It seemed to take a few miles for my Map My Run app to sync up with the mile markers on the course but eventually that straightened out. As much as the app is every matching the mile markers on the course!

I made one important stop shortly after Mile 2

It took so long cause they had to cook my donut!!

Mmmnomnomnom

But then stayed on my intervals for most of the next 11 or so miles. Eventually it warmed up – and then the last 3 miles were in the shade 🙂 By then I realized I was doing pretty okay and didn’t mind.

I *do* think that the cold kept a lot of spectators indoors – my friend had told me that the crowd support was really great when she did it last year. But the folks that were out were awesome!!

I managed to finish in under 3. By the clock I was barely under 3 – that Mile 2 stopped knocked me down by about 4 minutes  or so..I was happy and actually greeted by a kind volunteer handing out  — you guessed it — Krispy Kreme donuts. It would’ve been rude not to take one.

20th Anniversary Medal and some swaggy sunglasses!

After grabbing my bag I got in line for the post-race food , where another kind volunteer had more sweet goodness. And I’m not rude ya’ll.  Post race food was  fruit cups, pizza, bananas, and….yes…more donuts. LOTS more donuts. I may or may not have taken another (spoiler, I *did* take another but couldn’t eat the whole thing…my beer filled me up too much!!) The pizza was pretty amazing too!!

There was a great band playing and I listened for a bit before heading back for the shuttle and a shower!

Spent the afternoon with my friend having a wander and a snack (and a beer)  and getting a tour of Myrtle Beach. By 5:30 I was ready for bed. Again 🙂 Which was fine – took a quick stroll on the beach with Phred then passed out while watching TV.

Up early and packed on Sunday morning – I was meeting more friends for Brunch at House of Blues – which I HIGHLY recommend!

Then Phred and I hit the road for our trip home – I was happy to not be driving overnight again.

Some race stats:
Starting Blood Sugars – not good. I check right at the start and I was at 142 and “falling rapidly”

This is not good…

Finish Line Blood Sugars – around 150.
Note: I think my sensor was out of whack due to the wearing of the mylar blanket so I don’t have much on the road info.
I did consume ALL of the fuel I had with me – 2 Laffy Taffy and 2 Applesauce packets. Could’ve used one more applesauce because I did have a couple of shaky moments.
Per Map My Run– I ran 13.39 Miles in 2:54:17 – average pace 13:01. I didn’t neg split but I did keep all of my splits under 14. So I will conclude that for now the 45:30 is the way to go!

I’m on Auto-Pause on the app so it stopped when I waited, apparently nearly 6 minutes, for my donut!

I’m happy with this…

Bad News– Somewhere after mile…maybe 6? … I lost my flower. I am hoping that some other lady who might have been struggling picked it up and then looked up the the meaning over on the Fellow Flowers website

Also, there was a TON of Skirt Sports out on the course and I accosted a few of the ladies after the race to hear how they love their skirts! So of course I offered them my 20% off code (1SSCAPT20 fyi!)

Coming Up:
March 11 – O’Shenanigans in Cheshire CT (this is a new one so we’ll see how it is!)
March 12 – O’Putnam in Putnam CT (will spend the night at Kathy’s in RI to be close to the race)

Also, I may as well do this week’s training recap right now cause…well…
I have been lazy and eating like crap ever since I got home. That is all.

But I have started Planking again and it’s as if I never have planked before! I’m 3 days in and up to 30 seconds

Happy FriYay Eve everyone — hope you have some great things planned for your weekend!!!

 

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Short and Sweet

28 Feb

Just like me 🙂

Last week’s training did not go as planned or hoped. But I’m not beating myself up about it because all around it was a good week for me and I accomplished a lot – a lot of not running!!!

Plan?

Tuesday – 5 Miles
Wednesday – 6 Miles
Thursday – 4 Miles
Saturday – 12 Miles (I really need to do at least something long this month!)
Sunday – 3 Miles (this must be what they mean by ‘taper’!)

I’m not going to go day by day to tell you what I didn’t do. Instead I will tell you what I *did* do!!

Wednesday – I ran 5 at the gym
Saturday – I ran 11 outside. 

post-long-run

That’s right. Short sleeves and capris the last weekend of February – in New England! It was gorgeous. And, if we know anything we know I hate hills and tend to walk up them. But Saturday, in the first 6 miles I ran up most of the hills I usually walk.

I call that a win!

wonka-win

This coming week – short training week cause the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon is on SATURDAY!!!

Tuesday – 4 Miles (I already can say I likely won’t do this – I have a meeting after work and won’t get home til late…)
Wednesday – 4 Miles
Thursday – 2 Miles
Saturday – HALF MARATHON!!!

I’m pretty excited about this – it’s a new race for me and I love the beach. I will probably regret not staying down there longer but it isn’t like I can’t go back, right?!!

So I will do what I can this week but at this point, isn’t all up to relying on what I know I can do and having a good time!?!

 

WDW Marathon Weekend – The Dopey Challenge: The Half Marathon

28 Jan

So where was I?

Oh yeah! We finished the 10K, we went to the Magic Kingdom for an epic ride on the Jingle Cruise then back to the resort for a sandwich and bed!

Now, normally, I’m a get all by things together the night before a race kind of girl. But…well, I was kind of winging it this weekend.

Not only was Saturday leg 3 of the Dopey Challenge, it was also the final leg of the Na’Cho Challenge! And, Na’Cho himself was planning to be out on the course cheering on his runners!! ***

nacho jazzhands

Na’Cho ready to take on the tough task of cheering on thousands of runners!!

I set the alarm a bit earlier for Saturday – we had purchased the Race Retreat and I wanted to take advantage of the pre-race amenities: warm tent, bagels, fruit, coffee, water, private port-a-potties, and private bag check. Plus character photos!!

Anyway…we got up, got dressed and headed to the bus. Because the weather was much cooler than I’d expected when I planned my outfits, I had to make an adjustment. Unfortunately, that adjustment meant that I had to wear my race shirt. On the day of the race. Something I *never* do! To hopefully short-circuit any bad ju-ju, I wore it inside out!

The line for the bus was a little longer on Saturday and I realized that we could hear the festivities from over in the EPCOT lots! Hopped on that bus and really, as soon as we pulled away realized that I didn’t have my music with me…WHAT??!!! Oh well…that’ll learn me to “wing it” the night before a race, right?!

It was already pretty crowded when we got there,

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You can really feel the excitement — even at 4 in the morning!!

but I found a spot and settled in for a bit. Grabbed a bagel, some peanut butter, a banana and an orange. And a couple of bottles of water. And, of course a couple of pictures!

 

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Bullseye!!!!

 

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What? Oh just hangin’ with my pals Buzz and Woody!

 

We were kind of anxious to get to the corrals – which was quite a walk. But first I was meeting up with my running group again for my dose of motivation before heading to the back of the pack…again.

prehalfrtd

The group was even BIGGER today!!!

Tracy had made her way to the front of the corral, and I really had no trouble finding her! We chatted with the runners around us and made our plan to meet up at the Retreat Tent afterwards. I also wanted to let her know that Na’Cho would be between miles 11 and 12 or so…

Eventually (an hour later, actually) we were crossing the starting line and off on our 13.1 mile adventure!

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Without my music I really focused on the sights and sounds that Disney provides! And stopped for a picture or two!!

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Heading into the happy place!!

 

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Stopping for my honey….well, Pooh’s honey

 

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I was going to have to walk through the castle anyway, so time for another stop!

 

It’s been awhile since I’ve run at Disney on my own — and even though I didn’t have my usual companion to chat with along the way, the time still seemed to go by pretty fast! I was super happy to see these ladies when I came out of the Magic Kingdom!

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Thank you thank you thank you!!!!! And…cured my chocolate craving!!

 

And I must say, except for those few miles through the castle and heading out of the Magic Kingdom, I did pretty darn good!!

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MIles 6 and 7 were through the castle and some tight roads…mile 9 was just…boredom!!

 

Post-race, I ran into our other Pooh — and Tigger Too!!!  I was so happy to see my friends waiting after I finished!! Had to memorialize this!!

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I somehow managed to  miss Na’Cho on the course – I was looking at the wrong side of the road I guess 😦 So my plan was to go to the Retreat and grab breakfast number 2 and my gear bag and head out to pick up my Na’Cho medal (and of course hug the man of the hour!). Though while getting my things it turned out that the road had opened and Na’Cho headed home….

I had no plans for the rest of the day, other than maybe hitting the pool for a bit before an early dinner and another early night to bed! But first, some post race recovery time…

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Ice and snack time!!

 

Three down and one more to go! It was actually looking like I was gonna pull this thing off!!

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The Donald medal!

 

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The super special Na’Cho Challenge medal!

 

And hey! If you want to earn one of these AWESOME Na’Cho Challenge medals, just click on that link back there — all you have to do is run 10K (6.2 miles) and a Half Marathon (13.1 miles) and send in proof of running, like say, a screen print of your running app. Or. A picture of your garmin watch. 🙂

Race Recap – NU Hartford Half Marathon

14 Oct

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Ten years ago I moved to the East Coast. And about Nine years ago I ran the Hartford Half Marathon for the first time. It was (and is!) a great event, best known for the flat, fast course and the post-race Apple Crisp!

The first time I ran this, it was pouring rain at the start, but eventually that slowed to a drizzle and then by afternoon the sun managed to peek out sporadically.

So, since I’m in the middle of my training for #Dopey15, and seriously lacking in personal  motivation, I decided at the almost last minute to sign up for the half marathon that took place last Saturday. I headed to the expo Friday after work – got stuck in traffic and missed the One Miler  which made me feel:

sadbaby

Headed directly to the expo then and after picking up my bib was greeted by the Skechers booth!! Now, I’m not sure I’ve adequately expressed my love for my Skecher performance shoes I got at the Houston Marathon expo last January — they’re light, they’re comfy and…they Glow. In The. DARK!

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I’ve been wanting to get a new pair and when I saw they would have a booth at this expo I was excited! I checked in the the folks in the booth and saw that they had the new, upgraded model available. And, yeah, these will glow too!! (They also come with an extra insert if you need the extra cushion!)

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On my way to grab my shirt I stopped by a couple of other booths — OohRah Hydration: Hydration products that support our armed forces and disaster relief efforts. The flavors and colors of the bottles reflect the branch of service being honored – so pretty cool! And the flavors I tried were nice (Chargin’ Blue -grape, and Fightin’ Green -lemonlime) and Generation UCAN: a great source of energy with a SuperStarch source of carbs which gives energy while helping stabilize blood sugars!

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The Shirt. My only issue is that the Half marathoners have to “share” a shirt with the 5K and the Relay people…:(

After picking up my shirt, and grabbing a new pair of Skechers, I got back in the car and headed home to rest up.

As expected, when I woke up Saturday morning, it was….well, drizzly…and a little chilly. You know the weather, the kind that makes you want to just stay in bed. But too many people knew I was planning on running this so…up and at ’em!!! When I went to bed I told myself “Don’t forget to wear your DryMax socks on account of the rain”…then I woke up and threw on my ProCompression socks. That are not my DryMax socks…and by then it was too late! 🙂 But I love my Compression socks for long runs so I was hoping to not run through any puddles …hahahaha

By the time I got to Downtown Hartford, it was actually raining, not just drizzling. And it was still kind of chilly. I had on a plastic rain poncho that I figured I would throw away when the rain stopped and the sun came out (spoiler — I wore it the whole time!). I dropped off my bag with a dry sweatshirt and some flipflops and tried to find a potty before the start. Success.

There wasn’t a long wait before the horn blew and we were off! Now, the last time I ran this, it was a completely different course. Not a bad course necessarily, but, there were some sketchy sections. This new course is fantastic!!! I love it!! Sure, there were hills…there will always be hills. But they weren’t unbearable! I was cruising to a return to my olden day times until mile 10. I saw a sign and had a delayed reaction and turned to go back and take a picture (which I ended up not doing after all!) and strained my calf a bit. So the last three were slower than I’d been going but I was still definitely going to beat my time from 2 weeks before!

The finish line snuck up on me!! I really was expecting to have to go around a block once we got back into downtown but nope! Turned a corner and we were there! With great support from the volunteers — including a mylar blanket and a new water bottle!!

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A water fountain nearly a block long!!!

 

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Pre-filled for us even!

And the bling!!

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I knocked 20 minutes off of my time from 2 weeks ago too — which was a bonus!!

Up next — Hershey Half Marathon! And the rest of my training week of course!

**My absolute favorite part of Saturday’s run was when we were passing one of the three fire stations on the route. From a couple of blocks back, I saw runners -almost every one of them! – turning up into the station driveway where there were 8-10 firefighters high-fiving every single runner! Amazing!!

 

 

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