Friday, March 18, 2016

The Need to Justify Me

Yes, this is going a little deep.

A few weeks ago when I was running the Hot Chocolate 15k, I spent half the race wishing I had worn something that indicated "Hey, I'm slow because I just had a baby!" It got me thinking...why do I feel the need to justify my slowness?

I'm the biggest cheerleader when it comes to people starting their fitness, weight loss, or running journeys. I love new clients in my business. I love January, when my classes at the gym are packed with bright-eyed participants ready to take on their resolutions. Somehow, though, when it comes to me, I don't allow myself to be cheered on when I'm not at my best.

I mean, really, what does THAT even mean? It's not like I've always beat me previous time when running a race. In fact, I held onto my half marathon and marathon PRs for YEARS before I was able to beat them. It's not like I never gain and lose, gain and lose, and gain and lose weight again. Fitness and running, like everything else, is a journey, not a one-way street.

Me...trying...sort of...
My confidence has been in the toilet since having Robby. Why? In some ways I feel like I'm letting everyone down. People who thought I'd just bounce right back after giving birth. All those moms who preached about breastfeeding and how that would just melt the weight off. Clients, readers, everyone. I know I'm putting this pressure on myself, but I can't help but feel like I somehow failed at leading by example.

This is the part of the blog where I'm supposed to promise to change or something, right? Well, I'm just not there yet. I'm trying. A little. But not really that much. I try to workout, but I'm exhausted. I try to eat right, but cookies are so good. I try to stay motivated, but sometimes it's easier not to be.

So when you see me and my loose belly is flopping around while I attempt to run, please just be kind. I don't know the right words, but just know that I realize that my pants are too tight, my back is flabby over the top of my bra, and I have a long way to go. I could lie and say that today I'm going to change, but let's just see how tomorrow goes. Maybe if it goes okay, then I can work on the next day. Until then, I'm going to avoid mirrors and scales.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

My Thoughts on the New (Improved?) Wine & Dine

About a week ago, speculation began when the registration link went up and showed the Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend starting a day early. Most people guessed the addition of a 10k, but what actually happened was a bit shocking (at least to me!).

2014 W&D
If you hadn't already heard, starting this year, Wine & Dine is a totally new race. Gone is the nighttime half, a 10k was added, and, of course, runDisney added in a challenge. The half now starts at 5:30 a.m., just like all the other events. Since the Tower of Terror 10-miler is gone (or at least on hold) and the Everest challenge is too, there are now a whopping ZERO night races on the runDisney calendar. They are still planning on the after party, but it's the night of the race, 10-12 hours after running the half.

What do I think? You all know I'm a runDisney cheerleader! I pretty much love or forgive everything they do. But this? THIS is where I have to draw the line. This is a big mistake. Huge. I would like to know how this even came up as an option! Was the conversation a little like, "What can we do to really piss off everyone who calls Wine & Dine their favorite weekend?" To me, it just doesn't make sense. I can guess that the major renovations at Hollywood studios might have had something to do with it, but still--no excuses!

After Party FUN!
I've run the race twice: 2013 & 2014. Yes, 2014 was kind of a mess with the rain, but this weekend was still my fave at WDW. If you want to know about those races, check out my 2013 & 2014 race reports.

By making the race in the morning, you lose the uniqueness of running with the lights, the glow, and the different views. You lose the buzz before the race start, which was so much fun because, unlike at 4 in the morning, everyone is awake. You lose the opportunity to enjoy the parks at night the nights before the race (because if I'm waking up at 3, I need to be in bed before fireworks). Most unfortunately, you lose the after party right after the race. Yes, it smells. Yes, you're sweaty and uncomfortable. BUT there is nothing like partying with your racing friends! I have to assume that the after party will lose it's luster. Runners will have been up early, ran, then what? Go nap? Then are they really going to stay up until 4 a.m. at a party 24 hours after they started the Wine & Dine journey?

runDisney, I just don't agree with you this time! You stole the best parts of this race, and I'm just not buying it. We'll be skipping it this year. I have to admit, it was on my list for a "maybe" race, but now it's not worth the trip for me. I'm disappointed, but I'm holding onto some hope that with all the negative feedback, maybe things will go back to normal in the future.  Wine & Dine 2017? Maybe...

Friday, March 11, 2016

Meet the Family: Robby

Hi, I’m Robby!   I was born on January 7, 2016 to a wonderful Disney obsessed family.  

It seems I already have a deep seeded history at Disneyland.   My parents found out about me at one of their trips there.  They proceeded to announce it to my Babci when she joined them for a race weekend, and my close family found out  that I was a boy at Carthay Circle during the Disneyland Half Race Weekend in 2015.  My Mom had me with her when she ran 3 half marathons  and challenges.   She also “rocked me” as she taught her classes at the gym (I think I like Hip Hop and Zumba, whatever that is!).

Races completed:   Diaper Dash 2016 at the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend. I was the official last finisher!

I’ve already had plenty of ChEAR Squad experience at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend and at the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend. 

Inspiration for Running:    This is easy. It's my family.  How can I not be inspired by Mom, Dad, Babci, Aunt Katie and Uncle Chris.   They all show me that running can be fun at all different levels.

My favorite character:  I really haven’t been exposed to all the Disney characters yet, so this is one is hard to answer.  I think someone is trying to tell me that it is a monster from Monsters, Inc.   Everywhere I look in my room, I see a Disney Monster.   On the other hand, I have a big variety of other characters in clothes, toys and books.  I guess you could say I haven’t made up my mind yet. Stay tuned, though, I’m sure I will have a favorite eventually.

Why I love to run Disney:   I like the medals and the vacations that we get to take as a family.

Running Advice:   Have fun! I've had the experience now of being the last finisher, and runDisney makes you feel like the winner no matter where you fall in the pack. In fact, being last is almost better than being first. I can't wait for my next races coming soon!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Race Report: 2016 Las Vegas Hot Chocolate 15k

On Sunday, February 28, 2016 I laced up my running shoes to participate in the inaugural Hot Chocolate 15k in Las Vegas. I had heard nothing but great things about this race series in other cities, so when they were coming to Vegas I knew I had to run. Of course, I registered before I knew how my body would do after baby. Luckily I'm way too stubborn to quit, so I just got up and RAN!

First, I have to say that I always give a race a pass on year one. They have to get out there and let it ride to see where they need to make improvements. I hope this race comes back to iron out all the kinks.

Bag FULL of swag!
The "expo" was well organized, but it was only a packet pickup. I don't think there were enough participants to warrant a big expo, so that's totally understandable. For locals, though, getting to the strip, parking, and walking through a casino to pickup packets is kind of a pain. The swag for this race is awesome! I love my jacket and buff! One word of caution though--if you plan to exchange your size DO NOT open your jacket! They have ones set aside for you to try on. Luckily the size I ordered fit perfectly.

The morning of the race was a little confusing. The parking and transportation information they provided was not specific; it was general information about parking in Las Vegas. We parked at the LINQ and walked to the start. If you've never been in a Vegas casino, it's very easy to get turned around and lose where you are in relation to other locations. We spent at least half an hour trying to figure out where to go to get to the start. A few signs would have been nice.

We got to the start as the 5k was getting off. They were running about 15 minutes behind, which then pushed our race start back. Add in a motorcycle that broke down and we were very late starting. Normally that wouldn't be too big of a deal, except that it was already getting very warm and the sun was getting strong.

Finish Line Treats!
Once we were off, we ran down the LINQ promenade and did a short stint on the strip. That was the end of anything scenic. No high school bands, no music, no cheerleaders, nothing. It was a good thing my i-Pod was fully charged! The water stops had water (duh!), Nuun, and a chocolate treat (either chocolate chips, M&Ms, or chocolate marshmallows). The miles were well marked and the streets were blocked off with plenty of room to run. Other than being pretty boring, it was organized and well-done.

The finish line party wasn't so party-like, but the medal and goodies were great! Unfortunately, the last thing I wanted after a very hot run was hot chocolate and fondue. I wish it was cold out--I would have scarfed it down! I noticed afterwards that our mugs said "Frozen Hot Chocolate 15k"; I wish it was frozen. That would've hit the spot.

After the finish, we headed back to go home. We made the fatal mistake of trying to leave the hotel at 11 a.m.--checkout time! We ended up spending an hour trying just to get out of the parking garage. What a rookie Vegas mistake! We should have just went out to lunch down on the strip.

Unfortunately, this was just an okay race. Unless there are big improvements, it's not one that I'd likely do again. I might travel to a different city to run, but it just didn't do well in Vegas. Also, this is a group race, for sure. The next time I'll definitely be recruiting my running family to run together.

Have you ever run a Hot Chocolate race? What did you think?