Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Race Report: 2015 WDW Half Marathon (Goofy Part 1)

I'm on my way home from the 2015 WDW Marathon weekend, and it was a complete whirlwind of a time!!!!  For any new readers, I only registered for the Goofy Challenge 8 weeks ago at the Wine & Dine expo.  Throw in the holidays with the short training timeline and I knew this weekend was going to be a challenge.  Not to mention that we are starting our house hunt and work is nuts, so extra time off wasn't an option! 

Normally, I'd break off the expo into it's own entry, but I literally dragged my suitcase straight from the airport, pre-ordered anything I wanted, and was in and out in a matter of minutes.  Well, except for forgetting to take my picture to verify I was running both parts of Goofy--but I was only $8 into the cab ride to the hotel before I made him U-turn it back to the expo.  (I was so rushed I totally forgot, but in my defense, someone should have been reminding the runners that they had to do the pictures.  I'm guessing since it was fairly empty, they just got out of the habit of filtering traffic).

Friday?  Or Saturday?
We stayed at Hilton Bonnet Creek (review of that coming soon too).  They had race transportation, so my very, very, very early morning started with a 2:10 am wake-up call.  Mind you, I had only arrived the evening before, so it actually was 11:10 pm Friday in Vegas.  BTW, yes, my hubby was still awake from the night before and my Garmin did still say "Friday".  I dragged my tired tush out the door and we arrived at the starting area a bit after 3.  I think we were the only people there!  Too early, for sure, and it was FREEZING!  Okay, not quite, especially compared to the 5k a few days earlier, but it was very, very cold.  We sat by the concession booths and my mom got some hot coffee.  Pretty soon, people started arriving and I met up with some other Mickey Miler Running Teammates.  It was great to meet new people and huddle up for some warmth.  Side note: I really need to get to know these people better--what an amazing group!!!!

Do I look cold?
I headed out to my corral (G...for Goofy!) a little before 5.  If you're new to marathon weekend, this long, boring road that you walk to get to your corrals is so annoying, but it at least got us moving.  For the half, I started with my corral.  I just wanted to get it over with!  I didn't take pictures on the course, either. 

We started out near Epcot, and headed straight for the Magic Kingdom.  We passed by the Contemporary, then through the TTC, and into the park.  I'll say it a million times: running down Main Street USA never gets old!  It got crowded through the park, but it's to be expected.

Quickly we were back on the road headed to Epcot.  It's not the most exciting part of the course, and there are a few tight squeezes on the roads that have to remain open (commonly known as "cone alley").  Somewhere around mile 10 I ran into a friend I had met at an expo in Vegas (she owns the super cute shoe bling company Shoe Frosting--check it out!).  So random!  She was running Dopey this weekend.  We ran together the last 3 miles, and they just flew by.  We entered Epcot in Future World, then did the quick switchback at the gateway area.  Gospel choir, then finish line!

It was pretty quick and simple--that's what happens when you run a half marathon when you've been training for a full.  Those 13 miles just fly by!  I finished in 2:39:17.  Not bad considering I intentionally took it slow knowing I had a marathon the next day.

I collected my bling, my snack box, and walked through a pretty nondescript tent.  I later learned that this is where they would verify I was who I was the next day.  Guess it was like a training for marathon day :)  My mom met up with me at the finish area--I was freezing!  It never really did warm up too much. 

I run for the bling...let's be honest!
Overall this is a great course (I hear it's exactly the same as Princess Weekend, just FYI...I'll let you know in a few weeks).  I do prefer the marathon course over the half, but hey, it's not a bad way to spend 13.1 miles!  I was definitely tired from my whirlwind trip (remember, I only arrived about 12 hours earlier), and do not recommend doing that for this kind of race.  No regrets, though!  YOLO (isn't that what the cool kids are saying these days?).  Part 2 coming soon...

Have you ever run the WDW Half?  Is it on your "must-run" list?  Tell me about it!

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Procrastinator's Guide to the WDW Marathon

I'm on my way to WDW, and thought I better at least post something about the upcoming WDW Marathon weekend.  Yes, I realize half of you are already there, the merchandise is all gone, and Dopey runners have already woken up way too early 2 mornings in a row.  BUT, this is the time the procrastinator runners are arriving and some first time marathoners who are coming "only" for the full or the half. 

First, remember you have to go to the expo in person to pick up your bib.  No more friends & family picking up for you.  We are down to the last few days, so here are your hours: Friday 9-7 & Saturday 10-4.  I'll be jamming to the expo straight from the airport, so if you see me dragging around my obnoxious hot pink luggage, you'll know why :)

Also new this year, all of you Dopey & Goofy runners need to have your picture taken at the expo to verify you are you when you cross the finish lines.  This always boggles my mind, because you know they do this out of necessity.  Who are these people who are cheating the system for a medal?  I just don't get it.  Why would you want the medal if you didn't complete the challenge? 

The races each start at 5:30.  Be sure to check with your hotel to verify bus schedules and pickup locations if you are taking a bus to the start.  It's early--you might not be awake enough to figure it out in the morning!

Finally, here are some tips for the night before to be ready to go!
1.  Plug everything in and make sure they are charging (I-pods, cameras, phones, Garmin, etch)
2.  Set a few alarms.  This just helps me sleep better knowing if one fails, I have a back-up.
3.  Lay out your clothes--you may not even know what your underwear is that early!
4.  Pin your bib on your shirt.  Again, your eyes will barely be open.  Try to get that bib straight at 2:30 am... good luck!
5.  Get to bed early!  I try to plan for 8 hours of sleep.  Even if I don't end of falling asleep, I'm in bed, face washed, in my jammies, and resting. 

Good luck runners!  I hope to meet many of you on the course this weekend. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Friday Five: 5 goals for 2015

I'm so happy that the girls from & decided for this Friday's post to be about goals.  I love New Year's Resolutions.  I don't always stick to them, but I love the idea of a fresh start.  So, without further adieu, here are my 5 goals for 15!  (Be sure to check out these ladies' sites too for tons of great bloggers who link up weekly.  I've found AWESOME blogs to follow from the Friday Five Linkup!).

1.  Get my knee back to as close to normal as possible.  I have not seen a doctor since 10 days post surgery.  (BTW, I was discharged at that time, this was not my choice).  I need to get a new doctor, perhaps one that will offer solutions, and get my knee taken care of.  I also need to do things, like strength training, to help it along.

2.  Run a 2:15 half marathon.  I've been chasing 2:00 for so long, but I've got to be realistic.  Since surgery, I haven't been able to run fast...not at I need to set my sights on a realistic goal.  I'm thinking Tink in May will be my goal race.

Okay...whining about my knee is over :)

3.  Get certified as an RRCA running coach!  This is probably the most exciting thing I currently have planned :)  In March, I will be traveling to Denver to complete the 2-day training, then plan to quickly finish the rest of the requirements so I will be fully certified by the end of spring.  I cannot wait to add this to my growing list of fitness-related skills.

4.  On that note, my next goal is to build my home-based fitness business as a Beachbody Coach and an online running coach.  Don't worry, this blog is not turning into a sales pitch 24/7!  I'm finally willing, though, to take a leap of faith and make a career out of helping others get fit and healthy.  It will undoubtedly be hard and I will have to work long, hard hours (while still at my day job), but I know that if I follow my heart and passion, things will work out.

5.  Adopt one healthy habit a month.  I thought this would be a good goal to get healthier all around.  Each month I'm going to focus on adding one thing to my routine and then build as the year goes on.  Hold me to this!  So far, I've come up with my January habit: I'm going to improve my oral care routine by flossing daily, using my Sonicare (my Christmas gift to myself) twice a day and using Pro-Health mouthwash twice a day.  I hate teeth, but I've been trying to get better.  I've been really good the past 2 years about the dentist, and my 6-month check up is this month, so I thought this would be a good place to start.

I probably could come up with 5 more, but I'll leave it at that for now.  Don't forget to check out the Friday Five for some inspiration for your own goals :)  If one of your goals is to lose weight, be sure to check out the Diet Bet I'm hosting for extra "inspiration" (money as an incentive)!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Plan to Get Back on Track for 2015

Happy New Year Everyone!  2014 was so crazy I barely have had time to get a list of resolutions together.  Luckily, tomorrow's "Friday Five" is about goals, so I'll save that post until tomorrow.

Today, though, I'm planning how I'm getting back on track after a bit too much of indulging over the holidays.  Of course, it won't be a straight path, since I have 3 race weekends in January that include travel (it sounded so good when I planned the races). 

I have a ton of friends who have had great success with the 21-Day Fix program.  Since becoming a Beachbody coach, I've been wanting to try this program, but knew I wouldn't do the workouts.  Between teaching classes, doing PiYo at home, and running I don't know when I'd fit in another home workout.  Then, as if it was made just for me, Beachbody came out with Portion Fix, which is just the nutrition part of the 21-Day Fix.  Perfect!  My kit arrives Wednesday, along with the 3-Day Refresh.  I'm super excited to get started.  Nutrition has always been my struggle, and I know that losing some pounds will definitely help my knees and my running.  I want to get back to running faster, and this is definitely a key component.

In addition, to keep me motivated, I've organized and joined another Diet Bet.  It's worked for me before, and I get to help others while doing it.  It's seriously a win, win (and lose).  Love it!  (By the way, if you want to join, here's the link: I'd love to have blogging friends join me--invite your friends too!).

The hardest part, for sure, is going to be NOT going crazy during my two Disney trips.  For the Goofy Challenge, I'm only there for 3 days, but I'm sure I'll have a treat or two.  The following weekend I'll be traveling to Disneyland with my hubby and friends for Star Wars.  This trip will be harder!

I'm not setting a strict number goal, because I know that it's not just about weight, but I know I have at least 20 pounds I can lose.  I'm going to focus more on eating whole, clean foods, cutting out the quick and easy solutions like the occasional fast food or the more frequent frozen lunches.  Who knows...maybe I'll learn to cook in 2015! :)

Happy 2015!  I can't wait to see what this year has in store for me...and for you!