Sunday, August 24, 2014

Running the CRIM for the first time

Last year when the CRIM was over, I just kept reading how amazing the race was. So when it opened I registered right away. Then I promptly didn't think about it again for about 7 months. The week of the race, I realized I was registered AND I was supposed to run 12 miles as my long run that weekend. Initially I planned to just not make the drive to Flint since it was not in my plans but I figured that was silly so my mom and I made plans and off we went.

Now, I have never been to Flint except driving through on 75 so I had no real idea what to do. My mom had printed so directions so we managed to get off the expressway at the right exit and we ended up parking at the YMCA which was perfect! It was only a few blocks from bib/shirt pick up and the start. We parked, got our race stuff and headed back to the car to get ready. We then stopped in the YMCA to use the restroom (this was so nice that they opened their doors to the runners). The MTA station also did too which I thought was great.

The start area was very crowded but super well organized. There were 8 corrals and I was in E (my mom was in F). My plan for the race was to try and maintain my marathon goal pace, despite the hills. Now, I knew very little about this course. I had read it was hilly and that it had great course support. In my head there was a hill at Mile 5 and otherwise I had no idea.

I was not ready for everything this race had to offer. First, it was HILLY and I mean the whole course. Not crazy hills like Kentucky but there were a quite a few. Also, at Mile 5 there were 3 hills in a row. Now for the course support, oh my, it was amazing, beyond anything I had expected to have at a race. First from the race there were water stops every mile and Gatorade at Mile 5 and Mile 8. Then there was all the rest of the course support! A lot of the course went through areas where students from U of M Flint and Kettering University lived. The frat houses had music and sometimes beer, shots and just out there cheering. People and businesses were out cheering, watching, offering cups of ice, champagne, more beer, Jell-O shots and more music. It seemed like the entire city came out for the event and it was the most welcoming feeling ever. I also loved the mile markers and I wish I could have taken a picture but each mile was painted on the road! It was so cool.

I am so glad we went and I think this race is going to be a must run for me each year from now on. I loved it!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon 2014 Recap

Like I have mentioned previously, I have been really bad at updating my blog about my races and training so I am trying to do better. With that in mind, I am heading back in time to recap my race from the beginning of June (oops).

I had done this race last year for the first time and I had really enjoyed it. I had signed up the week after for a super discounted rate and I was looking forward to it. I even had convinced my mom to do it as her first half marathon. We made an entire plan of it, with my sister and niece coming with us (so the kids could sleep in) and my mom and I running. Then I found out my BRF (Best Running Friend) was getting married the day we had to leave to get to the race. There was no way I could make the wedding and get to Niagara Falls for the race so I knew I had to skip the wedding. I think this was the hardest running thing I have had to ponder. I would have let the race registration go but with passports being ordered/paid for and my mom ready to complete her half, I needed to be there. (We did make it up to them with a dinner out to celebrate, though even 7 weeks later I am still so sad I missed their special day).

So back to the race. We left Saturday morning for the trip over. It was uneventful which is GREAT when traveling with 3 kids under 6. We got to the race expo at the mall. Now this was different than last year. Last year it was just a tent in the parking lot where the race was held. I was excited for the bigger location until we got there. It was about 3pm and the expo had a couple hours to go and the line was NUTS. It was wrapped around and back to the center of the mall. We ended up waiting in line almost 45 minutes, which after a 5 hour car ride was not the best for the kids but they did great.

Again this year the swag was AWESOME. Included was makeup, bubble bath and WINE, yes, a full bottle of wine.

We went to check into the hotel and get settled. We had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe (never again, just too slow and overpriced) and went to see the falls. Then it was bedtime.

Sunday we got up bright and early and met a running friend in the lobby to head over to the race. It was smooth as could be from our hotel (we stayed at the Embassy Suites this year instead of Great Wolf Lodge like last year and it was SO MUCH closer). We parked and headed to meet up with some people from the Posse!!

When it was race time we all headed to our starting spots. My mom was a little worried, as is normal before your first race. I just knew I was hoping for another PR this year but I wasn't sure how it would go. As we were waiting to start I realized I was lined with with the same two ladies that I had lined up with the year before! What are the chances of that. It was so fun and a great start to the race. It is always nice to hear everyone singing the Canadian National Anthem too!

And we were off. I really did not have a plan for this race. In the first 3 miles I took 2 walk breaks then I switched to a 5:1 interval but sometimes I did 3:1. I really just ran more on feel this race. I did have in the back of my mind that a month earlier I had my best time in the hilly Novi half, so since this race was flat I was hoping to do better. I did, though not by too much!

I came in, got my food (boxes from Tim Horton's with cookies and fruit) and went to watch my friends and my mom finish. I have to say, it was awesome to be able to cheer people in and to see my mom cross the finish line. It really was wonderful.

Once my mom was done we met up, did a finishers picture and then we went back to the hotel to get showered and checked out. That was smooth as can be and then we were heading home.

Overall, again this was a nice race but I am not registered for next year. The expo was kind of a bummer with the long wait and also the drive is a bit long. Not horrible but there are a lot of other races the same distance away that I want to check out. I do like this race a lot though, just having done it twice it is time to explore others!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Escape to Belle Isle 10K

I know I have been slacking in my race reports so I am committing to getting better. Along those lines I am going to share about last weekend's race on Belle Isle.

I had noticed this race a couple months ago and since I love Belle Isle it was in my plans. Now, I knew we were coming back from Hawaii a couple days before and I wasn't sure how things were going to go so I held off registering since there was no price difference for registering day of.

June 1st I started a new training program. I am working with a personal running coach. This training has really changed how I train and how I run. At the most basic level, I am moving away from intervals for now since I have been using them as a crutch and I am also adding a lot more miles to my weekly runs. It has been a lot of work but I have honestly been enjoying myself. Now I know, what does this have to do with THIS RACE. Well, this 10K was going to be my first race with no intervals. Now remember, 7 weeks before I was using 2:1 intervals and enjoying it so this was a HUGE chance for me. Also, I usually averaged about 12-20 miles for a week with a race. This week the race would bring me to 24 miles for the week and it was a 10K!!

The day before the race, Abby decided she wanted to run with me. She has done 2 5Ks and I knew she could do the 5K. Problem was, I wanted to run the 10K for time. So what's a mom to do? Easy, I called my mom who said right away she would do the 5K with Abby and I could run the 10K for time!!! There were several other ladies from my running group (Posse Power) running so we all decide to wear our matching group skirts since Abby has one too!

Race morning was perfect weather for me! We were having another Polar Vortex (which is much better in July than in January I might add). We got to Belle Isle about 7am because I had to do same day registration. We registered quick and got our bibs and went back to the car to hang out. Everything was at the casino. The bathrooms there were open but there were no Porta Potties which was strange, I was really surprised. Didn't matter to us but I am sure the lines were a problem for some people.

It did start to lightly rain but since it was mid 60s it was fine. There was some slight confusion since when we registered Abby and I were given the wrong bib colors for our races but Running Fit Timing straightened it right out.

At 8am we headed for a picture at the fountain. Imagine my surprise when the fountain was ON. I cannot remember seeing it with water. It was clean and beautiful. It made me smile. I did a short warm up as I was instructed to do on my way back to the start line outside the casino.

Then it was time to start. I lined up and off we went. No national anthem or anything which was a little weird. Maybe they did it and I missed it but I don't think so. I was were I thought I should be and as usual I went off too fast. I was watching my pace and I knew I needed to slow down. By mile 2, I was in a rhythm and more comfortable. As we ran around the island it was like life had come back to it. They were putting new picnic tables out in one area, people were lined up for the Nature Zoo to open, sprinklers were turned on at the golf course and people were around fishing, playing with boats, biking and running.

I had made a deal with myself that I was only going to stop for 1 water stop. Well, around mile 4, I just needed to rinse my mouth so I grabbed a cup and kept going (I was so glad it was not a crowded course so I could just keep going). I promptly spilled a ton down the front of myself. It was warm out so it was fine but I had to smile. The next stop I had just taken a GU so I tried again. Well, this time it went up my nose. Oops but I didn't slow down. After Mile 5 I knew all bets were off and I needed to go as fast as I could and not pay attention to pace. As I came around the corner I saw the clock and it was at 59 minutes. WAIT WHAT?? I was going to go sub 60 so with a smile I pushed forward and finished. The end was great and my mom, Pattie and Abby were at the finish line cheering and waiting for me. I was just so happy. I had cut over 7 minutes off my best 10K time ever. The training had paid off (thanks Coach).

After we waited for my friends to finish so we could cheer them on. I love seeing people I know complete a race!

Overall, wonderful race. Flat, fast course and Belle Isle is so nice to run on. Good event. Nice medals (though they did run out for the final 10K finishers but they are mailing them out). I would do this one again!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mary Kay and Influenster

WOW, I got selected for the Mary Kay box and I have to admit, I was not thrilled. I had tried Mary Kay in college and to me it just was not worth the cost. Maybe it was the high pressure sale but I just was turned off to the brand. This box changed EVERYTHING.

I was impressed with every single thing I received. By far my absolute favorite thing ever is the gel eyeliner and eyeshadow. I got so many compliments when I used it!!

I have even ordered more eyeshadow colors since receiving my samples.

Thank you Mary Kay and Influenster!!!

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Novi Half Marathon--

Who decides to run a race less than 24 hours before the race starts? That would be this girl. I had been going back and forth about races for this last weekend for a couple months. I had really wanted to do the Hightail to Ale downtown, Run with the Cops, not from them and the Novi Half. For some reason I just kept putting it off. Hightail to Ale sold out (and I am still mad at myself about this one) and the weather was icky so I skipped Run with the Cops but I wanted to run.

Saturday morning I talked to my mom and we decided to head out to South Lyon and see if we could still sign up for the Novi races (Half and 10K). Kona running company was running this so I knew it would be well run. I am not in love with the repeat square medals but this one was cute. My plan was if the half was sold out, I would go for the 10K for time for Wine & Dine placement.

Well, luck was on my side and I was able to get in for the Half (mom went with the 10K since it fit in her training plan). Now, I had not planned this well. I didn't know a lot about the course, what was going to be available on the course or even the area. I was just going to run for fun and not worry about time.

We got there early and were able to park right at South Lyon East High School so no need for the shuttle bus. We got ready, went inside to use the bathroom and then it was time for me to head to the start line. I got there as they were talking and it was neat to hear that a local athlete was trying to qualify for the Olympic team. He needed a 1:04 half time, YEP 1:04, that beats my 10K time!!

I got lined up and somehow I thought I was further back than I was. About 1/2 mile in I realized I had not used my inhaler and I did not even have it with me. Oops, this was not good but it was cool, no humidity and it wasn't like I had a lot of choice so I pushed on. The beginning of the race was on road but moved quickly to packed dirt roads. I knew some of the course was like this and I also knew that the rain had made potholes but I was not ready for how it was. The roads were in bad shape though Kona did a good job of marking bad spots and it was not a problem for me, not ideal but not an issue and it did not last too long.

At mile 1 I looked at my watch and realized I had just done an 8:45 mile. Another oops, I have never done a mile in under 9 minutes and I still had 12.1 more to go. I was in trouble. At this point I switched to intervals since I knew I had to slow down. I stuck to a mix of 5:1 and 2:1 based on where I was on the course. There were some cramped areas on the sidewalks but not too bad.

Overall I did not love the course. The paved parts were through neighborhoods around Island Lake which just didn't do a lot for me. There were some people out but not many and it was boring. I was just focused on me. At the 10K mark I realized I was at 1:04!! 1:04? WHAT, if I had done the 10K it would have been a PR. I was kicking myself a little but I had another half of the race to go.

Now, with hydration I have been trying to cut down on how often I stop for water. I skipped the first 2 stops since they were really close to the start. By mile 6 I realized that I had not had any Nuun which was supposed to be on the course. Not sure how I missed it but I got a small cut and kept going. At Mile 8 we got back on the dirt roads and I actually preferred this part of the course even though it was HARD on me.

At mile 10 I realized I had a great chance to PR. This was not what I had set out to do but I was super excited. I will say the rough roads took a lot out of me but as we hit the paved road to head back to the high school and the finish I knew I could do it!!!

I finished strong and came in at 2:23:36!!! I beat my Detroit Women's Half time by 3 full minutes and this was a harder course. I got my medal and headed back across the field to grab some water, a banana, a cookie and to head home.

Overall this was not my favorite race. I think I am spoiled with races with perks. GU on the course, Sports Drink at every stop (or every other one), entertainment on the course, even a better medal instead of one that looks a lot like the ones from other Kona races. I mean it was not horrible but I guess I just expected more and I am not even sure what I wanted. I just know when I left Niagara Falls Women's Half, RunTheBluegrass and the Detroit Women's Half, I felt special and like I had a great time (this is even taking Disney Races out of the mix). I could not stop talking about them and I was eager to sign up again. This one just left me blah though I am over the top excited about my PR!!!

I know the speed work is helping and I am ready to get better! Now time to take it easy before my first 25K on Saturday!!

Monday, April 7, 2014


A few months ago, one of the groups I follow posted a discount code for this race. I googled it and Lexington, Kentucky was only 5.5 hours away and the race was a Saturday. I was able to get a cheapish room and on a whim I signed up.

Not long after I signed up, the race director posted this on the Facebook page:

What did I get myself into? I don't even know what an incline of 9 looks like, I feel like I am going to fall off at 3!!! Based on this I made a real effort to train on an incline. Since the weather has been so horrible here, I have been spending a lot of time at the gym so at least I could do some practicing though I know it was nowhere close to enough.

All along my plan was to leave right after work and head down alone. About a month before the race, they opened more spots for the 7 miler opened up and my mom decided to come with me!! We were able to go down together.

I was really looking forward to this race. The race director is amazing. I was blown away time and time again by the race communication. I have done 10 half marathons and this was by far the most welcoming race ever! Since my mom was going to finish about an hour before me, I signed us both up for the VIP race experience so we had a place to be inside and so we could get something to eat before heading home.

The week leading up to the race, the weather was looking worse and worse. While we had some BEAUTIFUL days leading up to it, rain kept popping up in the forecast. As we drove down on Friday it was beautiful and mild. We hit construction/an accident/rush hour, in Cincinnati that really slowed us down but we made it to the expo with about an hour to spare.

I picked up the special edition bourbon I had ordered for Jeff and we got our race stuff. We checked into the Marriott Maingate. It was an OK hotel. Nothing special but it was clean and fine. We ordered hamburgers from room service (have to have my meat and potatoes) and it came quick. After we ate, it was off to bed. Since the race was not a super early start (9am) we did not have to get up too early which was nice.

The morning of the race, it was overcast and cloudy. Not raining and the forecast was saying it was going to start about 11am or 12pm. It was also about 49 in the morning. We drove the 10 minutes to the race and got parked smooth as can be. Tons of port a potties around the parking lot which was awesome. I got to see an awesome running friend and then we headed back to the car to wait since it was a little chilly.

As we headed to the start line, I ran into 2 more wonderful people I met through my running groups. It was so special to get hugs and pictures with them (though not on my phone so I don't have them).By the time we got to the start line it had started to "mist". Not really raining but not dry either. We did get to see 3 of our running friends as we started but there was no time to start because we were off!!

Halfway point
Now, I knew there were hills, I saw the elevation chart, I saw the treadmill training. Basically we started and as we came around the first turn, there was a hill, then another hill. It was hill after hill. I had set my watch to 1:1 but my plan was to start with 3:1 and see what happened through the first half. As you can see from behind me, that was just one of the hills.

Honestly the miles really just ticked by quickly with the hills. I really enjoyed it. The longer the race went on, the more it started to rain. By mile 8 it was pouring rain. Around mile 7 I switched to 2:1 intervals BUT I switched them up based on the hills. I tried to use a minute to walk up and run the rest and down and in between.

Mile 8.5
People on the course were amazing!! The volunteers, the other races, everyone. I always appreciate the volunteers at races but never more than this one. They had been out longer than we had and had more time to wait but they all had a smile, a cheer, a cup of water, a kind word. It was over the top.

Mile 11
Going in, I had registered for the Director's Challenge which meant I submitted my best time (Detroit Women's Half Marathon on flat old Belle Isle) of 2:26. If I beat that time, I would earn an extra award. Also remember, Detroit is rather flat. Belle Isle had an elevation change of 79 feet, (this one registered 840ft on my Garmin).  As the winter went on training was hard. I had only 1 outdoor training run between November and this race. I was just hoping for a sub 2:35.

At mile 12, I realized if I could pull off an 8 minute mile I could beat my time! Since that was not happening I settled for my 2nd best time! I have never been emotional when I run. Even finishing Detroit, I didn't cry. I wanted to cry when I finished this race. I was so proud of myself and I felt awesome. Frozen but awesome. My skirt was even dripping when I was done.

Because of the rain, the indoor area was opened to everyone (completely the right thing to do) but it made it hard to find and get to the VIP area. I was also freezing and dripping wet. I got in, met up with my mom and some other people from Michigan which was awesome. I went to get food and I was underwhelmed for the first time in this race. It was grapes, cold cuts, cookies and brownies. They did have a soup but I did not try it. Just a lot of money and not a lot of food choices but it was OK, my mom had a place to be while she waited and that was great.

We got out of parking, to the hotel, got showered and on the road before 2pm which was awesome. Even though we did not get to run together, I was so thankful to have my mom there with me. I am so proud of her and how far she has come. I can't wait until our next race together!!

I loved this race. It was the worst weather I have run in. It was 42 at the finish and pouring rain but I LOVED THIS RACE. I came home and registered for next year. I cannot wait to do it again. Hard or not, raining or not, it was so neat and I loved it. I will do better next year and maybe there will be sun and horses on the course!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Kona St. Patrick's Day Run--Dublin Double

This was another race put on by the Kona Running Company. I had planned to do it since I did the Chocolate Run last fall but I waited to sign up until about a month or so ago. Actually I ended up signing up when they said that runners signing up would get a beanie. Now I don't really wear hats but after the one from the Super Bowl 5K, I wanted another one!!!

I don't know why I waited because I really enjoyed the Chocolate Run and I like how Kona communicates with runners. While Plymouth is not right around the corner, it is also not hard to get to. One "problem" was, Corktown is the same day and some people I know were doing that race. What pushed it over was that Kona was offering the Dublin Double which was the 10K and 5K. Since this was a long run weekend, it just worked out well.

Heading into this weekend, I was really hoping for at least mild weather. Even though we had a snow storm this week, we had so really mild days which were so nice. Even Friday and Saturday were not bad (mid 30s). As luck would have it, the weather did not hold out for us today. It was 12 degrees when I left my house and with the wind it felt like 2 degrees.

I picked up Jennifer and we parked downtown and got all ready in our layers. We went over and spent a few minutes in the warming tent before heading to the start line.

Since we were doing the Dublin Double, we were suppose to start in the first wave of the 10K. Problem was, we were not really sure where that was so all of a sudden we had to push our way up to the start to go. Not a big deal.

Since the weather was so cold we decided to take it easy and we went with a 1:1 interval. It was actually a perfect pace for this race. At 2 miles we were maintaining just around a 11:10 pace and I was feeling awesome. Now, I was not feeling the toes on my right foot at all but running wise, I felt great. After about mile 4, I got feeling back and it was not bad as long as we were not heading into the wind. We did slow down a little at the end due to the cold and breathing and knowing we still had a 5K to go but overall it was good.

Once we finished, we had about 10 minutes before the start of the 5K. We went over and wished good luck to an elite runner we knew and then it was time to start again! The 5K was much more crowded and after that small break it was hard to get back into the grove but we did OK. Overall, the race was good. FREEZING but good. Even the water at the stops was slush and the bananas at the finish were frozen. I am looking forward to some spring races. I can handle 30-40 but this was just too cold!!

The medals were cute too! always seems to be at races and I love it. They caught a couple of me from this weekend.

Here is the 10K finish area.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2014--Part 1 (Arrival and the 5K)

This trip, my runniversary of my first half marathon, was going to be very different than the first year that was for sure. We were making it a whole family trip this time! After we had made reservations but before we had our flights A decided she wanted to run the 5K really bad, we with some work on things, we were able to make it happen. The only issue was we could not get all the nights we needed at Bay Lake Tower (because of lack of points and available 2 bedroom units) so we decided to try another split stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge/Bay Lake.

Our flight down was interesting. It was supposed to be warmer that day but some how it wasn't and it snowed, sleeted and was NASTY that afternoon. We even had ThunderSnow (a thunderstorm but with snow). The drive to the airport was horrible and I was so stressed until we got to the gate only to discover the flight was delayed. Then we found out we had to move to the other end of the airport because our original plane had been hit by lightening and they needed to check it out! After deicing we were on our way.

Of course we were the last drop off from the Magical Express and we were all so hungry. Check in was quick and we got to the room. While I got the kids settled, my mom and Jeff went to get food in the other building (we were at Kidani and the food was at Jambo). A wonderful friend had picked up all our race stuff and dropped it off and while we were downstairs for that, my secret Princess showed up with an amazing bag of stuff for the weekend! Things were off to a great start!

Our room was amazing! We were at the end of the Savannah and the first night we saw a zebra off the balcony and then other animals throughout the weekend. Also, a dedicated two bedroom is so nice, even nicer that a 2 bedroom lock off!!!

We ate fast since we had an early morning and it was off to bed for us.

I was up by about 3am because I was excited and I slowly got up and ready. I got A up at 4am and rushed her through so we could be on the bus at 4:30am, she did awesome and was in a great mood. We made the quick bus ride to Epcot and met up with some friends for fun and pictures. We danced and had a blast before heading to the corrals.

When we were deciding on costumes, we let A pick and she wanted to do Minnie Mouse. With some help from an amazing friend (who made the skirts) we were coordinated and ready to run!

We were in Corral B and we started off good. On the bus over, A had said she wanted to stop for every picture. Well the first stop was the Bugs from Bugs Life and she had NO INTERESTED! We joined up with a running friend at this point who stayed with us for the rest of the race. She has little ones too so she knew what it is like to run with littles. We sprinted, we walked, we ran, we sprinted again. It was just fun.

As we got into the World Showcase, Dopey was in Germany and we had to stop!!! Dopey is never out. A was complaining she wanted to run but she smiled and had fun.

Not a lot further and we were in Morocco and Jasmine was out with the Genie, another must do even though at this point A was ready to go!! We skipped the rest of the stops (I think there were 6 total on the course) but she was OK with posing in front of the ball with me!
It was not a fast race and I did not even wear my watch but it was one of the most fun races I have ever done. To be able to do it with my mom and my amazing daughter made it great. Seeing her get her medal at the end and how happy she was made the extra early morning completely worth it. I hope she continues to love these kind of experiences.

After the race, we went back and got the boys and headed to the Magic Kingdom (where else would we go) for some fun. We had a great time as usual. We kind of missed the old Fastpass system but I will admit the new system was not bad for us and worked out well. By the time we left, A was exhausted and I was glad we had the stroller with us!

After lunch my dad arrived and we met back at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, swam and then had dinner at Cape May. Then we took a trip through Epcot before calling it a night. Tomorrow was the 10K and day one of the Glass Slipper Challenge. Let the fun begin, again!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Tinkerbell Weekend Part 3 (the Half and saying goodbye to Disneyland)

Sunday morning was the half. I convinced my mom and Holly that there was really no reason for them to get up super early and come to the start. After seeing how fun it was and how many people were around they agreed there was no reason. I met my local running buddy at the corner and we went to the start line. Due to crazy work schedules we have not had as much chance to run together as usual so I was totally looking forward to being able to do this race together. Local ones are fun but there is something special about Disney with a friend.

We had the usual fun at the staging area and had our group picture. Then we headed to the start. I love how Disney starts races. Each corral was a different fairy and it was just so fun. Since we were in B, it seemed to be so quick and we were ready to start. It chilly at the start so I was glad I had a jacket

The Tinkerbell course was really fun. The entire first part is in the parks and there are just so many fun things to see and experience. It was not too crowded and we even had fun running behind some guys who were wearing SparkleSkirts they had bought the day before!! We had talked before we started and Jennifer and I had decided we were going to stop and take a ton of pictures. We did have some we skipped but not many. Because of how the course is set up, the character stops are at the beginning of the course so seeing our 5K/10K splits, we were SO SLOW but it was SO MUCH FUN!!! As we ran through Downtown Disney we got to see my mom and Holly waiting for us! I was also able to hand off my jacket so it survived 2 races without getting tossed!!

We had really been looking forward to some of the pictures. As you can see, the Monsters Inc group was the #1 stop we knew we had to get. There are also some at Disneyland that are just so special. The picture in front of the World of Color area is just so pretty. That area is all lit up and the music is playing. I think out of all the places at Disney (both World and Land) this one is one of my favorites. In some ways, it is even better than Cinderella's castle since it is not as busy!!!

I will admit once we got out into the streets of Anaheim it was a little harder than with the Disneyland Half. We ran through some neighborhoods and they had the cutest signs up reminding up to be quiet that people were sleeping. It was just a cute Disney thing.

We also went through what I think is more their downtown. It was a nice course. The Disneyland one takes you a different way so you go through Angels Stadium which is special but this was more peaceful.  Now, I made a rookie mistake, for the 10K I had worn a new pair of shoes. Not only a new pair but a new style. I love them but they were not something I was used to. I had switched to my old ones for this race. I think that was a mistake because by mile 9 or so my foot felt bruised. It was OK but annoying.

Now I had a brilliant idea that I was going to do a leap before the end of the race. I did one about mile 5 and then another at 12.5. Not as spectacular as some but it was fun and I am surprised I could even go it.

Once we got back to Disney it was a quick bit to the finish. The end was awesome. First we saw my mom and Holly and then not far away, we saw Scott.

I have to admit, I LOVED getting the space blankets at the end of the race. It was so nice and super helpful

After the half marathon we had met up with my mom and Holly and Jennifer's fiancĂ©e before heading back to the hotel. We had brunch reservations and we had to make sure we packed a lot into the few hours we had left. 

We had brunch at the Plaza Inn. Overall, it was another very disappointing Disney meal. I had fun with the people and they had a LOT of characters but it was just OK, nothing special and probably one of the worst Disney buffets I have experienced. Oh well. The characters were great!!!

We made sure to stop and get some castle pictures though I will admit the castle down not have the same backdrop as it does at Disneyworld.

 It was fun to get to show off my medal here and Merida made a fuss over seeing it!

At this point I think the 2 early days, a cross country flight and 19.3 miles had caught up with me. I left my mom and Holly and I headed back to the hotel for a short nap. I was really exhausted and just tell asleep for 30 minutes. It was exactly what I needed before heading back to meet them.

Our last stop before leaving was to watch the Mickey show and pose in the teacups.

It was so hard to believe this was such a fast trip. I mean we were on the ground in California for 52 hours. I think that hardest thing about getting on the plane was knowing that when we landed I was heading right into work. Oh well, made for an amazing girls weekend with some of the most important people in my life.

I really am so lucky to have such great friends and such a wonderful mom!