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 fiancée 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!