Saturday, April 27, 2013

Some days are just better than others

Today was perfect! It was a beautiful day. It was about 67 and a clear blue sky. Perfect running conditions one would think. I was so excited. I had to wait until the afternoon to run so someone could stay with the kids but I was ready. I had on my purple SparkleSkirt and my new Princess Posse Bondi Band that we just got and I was psyched.

Needless to say, about 1/2 mile into my planned 10 miles I knew that this was not going to be the perfect run. I was feeling slow and I was dragging. I was just off. My pace was slow, my legs were like lead, my right shoe felt too tight and my left too loose. I was warmer than I was used to and EVERYONE was cutting their grass since it was the first nice day in forever.

I fought through a really ugly 3 miles before I finally just said that today was not the day. I am going to try and get out tomorrow if it works with the rain and with Jeff playing golf (which was why today was MY DAY to run). I want to improve my speed but if I am fighting through ugly runs how am I going to do that?

And add to that, my run on Thursday was AWESOME. It was one of those that just felt right from start to finish and I wanted to do more.

I have to get mentally into this and make sure that I am hydrating and eating each day like I am going for a long run. I have to give 100% to this because I have a lot of amazing races coming up and I want to do better.

Friday, April 26, 2013

And runDisney does it again!!!

Last month runDisney announce a new challenge. This one takes place during the Marathon Weekend in January. It involves 4 days of running and over 40 miles (actually 48.6 miles to be exact). It is called the Dopey Challenge and involves a 5K on Thursday, 10K on Friday, 1/2 Marathon on Saturday and a Full Marathon on Sunday. It encompasses the Goofy Challenge that has been around for awhile that is the 1/2 and full in the same weekend.

The announcement of the Dumbo Double Dare for Disneyland weekend was new and exciting. It was exactly 1/2 of the Goofy Challenge and it was something most people can image doing whereas Goofy is just Goofy. Some have questioned if the Dopey Challenge is too much. For me while I hope one day to be able to do at least part of this challenge, it is just not possible for me to miss 3 days of school at one time in January, well actually to miss that amount of time ever.

Well today runDisney just announced the Glass Slipper Challenge. This is a 10K on the Saturday of Princess Half Marathon Weekend and the 1/2 Marathon on Sunday. In addition to that, if you are able to complete the Tinkerbell Half Marathon in January and the Princess Half Marathon, you will earn a special Coast to Coast medal that runDisney released today. The old Coast 2 Coast will still be available but you can only get the special one if you do Tink and Princess.

This was the announcement that appeared on the runDisney Twitter feed today. It has created quite a buzz in the Disney running community.

I am so excited to do the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge in August/September and earn my Coast 2 Coast medal for doing Princess. Now this has added one more thing that I want to do. I am afraid that it is not possible to do everything but I do not want to miss out on the chance to do something special that is happening now.

The first good thing is that Tinkerbell weekend is MLK weekend and again in 2014 we have the Monday off so it would be possible to travel to Disneyland to complete the race weekend. I could also do Princess again in the same way I did it this year. It is going to require me to depend on my running friends since it will be impossible for me to get into town early enough to get to the expos to get my race stuff. Missing the expo will be sad but the races are the most important right?

Now there is the cost. These are not local races and it involves travel expenses. I am glad I have about 40 days to decide anything. I am also glad I have such a supportive family.

I am going to be dreaming of this for now though.

For more information here is the official runDisney Blog Post

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Running for Boston

After the events of in Boston the running community seemed to come together and Run For Boston. Most people will never qualify to run in Boston but we can all run at home for them. It is small and it won't change anything but it does make you feel like you are doing something that is for sure.

There were two main run distances out there to complete. First is the 2.62 (which is 1/10 of a marathon--WOW, now that put my distance goal for Detroit into a new light). The second one was 4.09 which was the time shown on the finish line clock when the first bomb went off. I cannot imagine ever being able to complete a marathon in 4 hours but it is still a major time goal for many which was why it was so crowded at the finish line at that time.

This week was kind of crazy with rain and a lot of things going on in the evenings plus I was trying to rest my foot/ankle after last weekend. Today it was BEAUTIFUL out and I knew I needed to get at least a decent run in. I was not sure of how far to run so I decided that the 2 run distances together would make a great recovery/restart run.

I did the 2.62 first because I am working on my need to hydrate. I am finding that I am very focused on water during races and based on talking to more experienced runners, I should be able to do a 5K or longer without a water/drink break. I felt awesome today!! I did a really fast first part and came in at under 11 minute miles! Plus, NO KNEE or ankle pain!

Now the next part was not quite as fast and I am not sure if I slowed down that much or if my Garmin lost some accuracy in the nature center. My pace dropped HUGE while in there and I did not feel that much slower. At the end, I really still felt great and while I ran with music (some people were running 26.2 minutes of the work out in silence) I did use this time as a time to contemplate things and look inside me. It was a good personal time and I felt mentally more centered when I was done.

I have completed a half marathon and I have the Detroit Full in my sites but I want to improve my times, I really want to get below a 2:30 for a half. I know I can but it is going to take FOCUS and renewed commitment. Now just to figure it out.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston 4-15-13

As I sit here writing, I don't even really have the right words about today. This morning I was so excited to watch the Boston Marathon streaming. I was able to catch the 2nd-4th place women cross and it was so amazing. The energy and knowing what people did to get there. Boston is not even on my bucket list because to qualify at my current pace, I would need to be over 80 years old but I have respect for those there.

Then as the afternoon continued the horrible news came out of Boston. Two explosions rocked the finish line. As of now there are 2 people deal and over 100+ hospitalized with about 20 critical. People watching the finish were in the direct line of the explosions and runners who had dreamed of crossing the line in Boston will forever remember today instead of the joy they should be feeling tonight.

The people who were crossing the line were average people, people who run for fun and are dedicated  People who trained hard and qualified to run in the oldest marathon. They were there to earn what they had worked so hard for.

Someone evil has taken that dream from many people. The loss of life, the injuries and the scars to the psyche of runners and American people alike.

Over the last year I have met some amazing people through running. I love how I feel when I run and what I get from it. I never will have the chance to run Boston but not because of the events of today but because I will never qualify. That is OK for me but I will not let this stop me from running. While I will have fear in the back of my mind at large races, sick people will NOT take this away from me.

2013 Martian Invasion Recap

I just completed my 2nd Half Marathon. This week, as the race approached I was having a hard time with this for some reason. I was a ton more nervous and anxious about the race. I was not as well trained as I wanted to be and I had set some pretty hard goals for myself, doable but hard.

One Friday night, I learned that the Half and Full courses were flooded. It was not a huge surprise since it had been raining most of the week and Hines Drive seems to flood if too many people spit on it. So I got up knowing it would be an alternate course but I didn't know anything else.

My mom, Abby and I headed out about 7:20am. After a quick pee stop at Walmart since I was unsure of what it would be like at the start, we got there and parked a little after 8am. I felt bad since I had wanted to see Andrea start but we had to park almost a mile away and Abby walks really slow sometimes plus we had to have a comic break on the walk. While we were there, Abby saw 2 dogs and she asked "are those real?", she just could not believe this pretty walk dogs were real. The owners had quite a laugh!

The other big "issue" with this race was what to wear. I was afraid of being too cold but I was also afraid of getting too warm. I ended up deciding on my long pants (not my lined ones), SparkleSkirt, long sleeve shirt, RawThreads T-shirt and my running jacket with my gloves.

Here we are at the starting area. I have no idea why the BondiBands did not show up better here but oh well. Abby was freezing and of course hungry while we waited so I gave her my heavier coat I was not wearing to run in.

She was cute and so excited to be able to go to another "BIG" race with me.

From there we heard the announcement about the course. The first one was flooded (as I already knew) but the alternate course had construction on it so we were running on the alternate's alternate. The marathon runners had to do the course twice and I felt bad for them.

We lined up kind of middle of the pack and waited. For some reason the race started about 8 minutes late!!! We came out FAST and did Mile 1 in under 10:30. It was also really hilly which shocked me because I had no idea there were hills in Dearborn. Kind of like being surprised by the hills in Rochester last summer, oops!

We settled into a good pace and focused. They had a couple later stops close together but then we went into a subdivision. Since I have no idea what was the old course and what is new, I just went with it. Mile 3-5 (or so) were around houses. The roads were pretty pot hole filled and you had to watch your footing but it was OK. There were no water breaks in there though which was OK but it messed with my fueling. I usually fuel by distance and since I could not predict the next stop it was odd.

At the half way point we were on track for the 2:30 finish we both wanted. Problem was, it was windy and it made breathing weird the whole time. I wasn't sure we could keep the same pace for the end but we tried and I think I would have made it but around Mile 11, my calves felt pregnant. And by that I mean they were moving like my stomach did when I was pregnant. Totally weird like I had aliens. Not painful but not great either.

Then the last mile was basically dead on into the strongest wind of the race. It was ROUGH! Jennifer and I stayed together until the last .30 miles. I told her to go ahead since I wasn't sure what I had in me. When we turned the final corner she was right ahead of me and so I should have pushed harder.

At the finish line Abby and I mom were there with a sign they had made! It was so wonderful to see. Also, a teacher from work was volunteering at the finish line so I got to see him!!

Overall, I am disappointed in myself. I should have trained harder and done more and I will!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

2 Days and Counting

Well, this race is not like Disney in a lot of ways but most importantly is the WEATHER. About 8 days ago the weather was showing that it would be sunny and about 54 as a high. As the last week has gone on, the weather predictions have gotten worse and worse.

Right now here is what it is showing:

So, Princess was HOT and humid and now Martian is going to be cold and windy. I think I am going for running extremes this year or something. I am not completely sure.

My last long run was so beautiful and I was really hoping for a great day to run this weekend.

To add to this, my mom and Abby are coming out with me and I feel horrible. It is going to be a long day and it is going to be cold. I want them there but I do not want them to be miserable. I feel bad and it hasn't even happen.

To add to this, it has been raining this week. Unfortunately the half and full courses run along a local flood area. In 15 years, flooding has not been an issue for the race, but this year it might be. Here is the latest update from the race officials:

As of tonight, the half course is still OK but with more rain tonight, no one can be sure. We should know more tomorrow.

Finally, I have not run as much as I should have. I know I am not trained well and I am not at myself. It has been cold and my foot has been bothering me so I was focusing on rest and not making it worse. I did go for a massage last night and it really relieved a lot of the tension so I feel better but that does not mean I have run enough miles.

Overall, I have my goals set for this weekend but I am still not sure where I will end up race morning.

A Goal---Sub 2:30
B Goal---Sub 2:45
C Goal---Sub 2:52 (PHM time) and to have fun with Jennifer on the course

I hope the alien invasion is good for all of us. Wish me luck and warp speed!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Race Nightmares with Disney memories added in

My next Half Marathon is exactly 1 week from today. Hard to believe that in terms of knowing if I can do it or not, I am OK but now that I have one under my belt I think it is time for me to panic about other things. Last night I had way too much to eat at the Melting Pot so maybe that was what led to my nightmare or maybe it is just early race jitters, who knows, either way, I am going to make sure my dream does not become reality.

My dream was set at the Martian Half which was strange since I have never been to the course. In my dream it was actually the corrals at Princess. As I was waiting for the race to start in the dark (this race starts at 8:45am so it will NOT be dark), I looked down and saw I was wearing black shorts and my Princess in Training pink shirt. That was not right at ALL. Jennifer and I had carefully coordinated our outfits for the Martian purple and green theme. So I told my mom that I had to run home to change since it was only around the corner (don't I wish).

So I ran home, changed and got back only to discover I did not have my race bib or any of my fuel. Actually there was NOTHING in my SparkleSkirt pockets. Who wears a SparkleSkirt without taking advantage of the pockets? So I did what every normal runner does in the middle of the night, I went home a 2nd time to get everything.

By the time the race started/I woke up, I was so stressed out and flustered that I was completely unsure how the race would go.

Now, I will make sure that I have everything out and ready for the race, especially since it is a good 30 minute drive to the start. There are so real things I am slightly worried about but I really cannot control them so I am trying to not worry. First, I have read parking SUCKS and since the half is the last race of the day to start we will be getting there after the Marathon, 5K and 10K runners. Second, it is supposed to rain a good part of the beginning of this week. Most runners would say "So, that isn't race day" except this race goes along an area that is quite often closed for flooding (someone though building a road below the water table made sense) so I have no idea what happens if the road is flooded. If cars can't use it, how in the world can we run on it? Maybe it will turn into a swim instead? Finally, Abby and my mom are coming out and they are planning to come with me and stay the entire time. I am worried they will be cold, bored, lost, unhappy, frustrated and a whole bunch of unpleasant things.

And I am also slightly concerned because I have not put in as many miles as I had wanted to. My foot was really tight and I figured rest would be better than miles at this point. I hope I am right come next weekend!!