Friday, July 5, 2013

Peachtree Road Race 2013 (w/ Lex)

Lex finished her first Peachtree Road Race!  I am so proud of her.  I had a lot of issues getting her to train with me.  She never wanted to go out and when we ran, she complained a lot.  We even got to the point where I was going to give her number to someone else.  But we stuck it out and she was able to complete the race.

My main worry going into the race was actually the rain.  The forecast was calling for rain and I kept checking to see how it looked around 8am (since our start time was 8:05am - I was in Corral D but she was only in H so I moved back to hers)  I wasn't actually that worried about her finishing since I knew she could walk if she got really tired.  It was just a matter of whether that would be with or without crying!  (Her first 5k, the last mile or so was me trying to get her to finish and her crying - she did finish in ~32 which I thought was great for a first 5k)

We got to Lenox around 7ish and it felt very subdued.  It definitely wasn't as crowded.  Of course, it was drizzling as we made our way to the start.  We had our picture taken several times - I think because the photographers were just looking for people.  

Coming out of Marta

Then we took some silly shots.

Not sure what we were doing here

And one that I liked of the three of us.
Father-in-law, Lex and me

We got close to our corral right around 720 and went to find the restrooms.  We listened to the National Anthem and then waited - but the wait for the restrooms was like nothing.  There were two long lines in two spots but then just a bit away was the huge area of porta potties and no wait there.  That is the first time I've ever been at a race where I didn't have to wait forever! 

Went to our corral - and waited for the start.  I was looking around for anyone Lex's age.  We did see a couple of younger girls near us but not a whole lot.  I think there were about 900 or so 14-younger girls who finished.  

It was strange for me to be at a big race like this with other people.  Kaiser is the only race where I actually run with another group of people.  Most of time I start alone and run alone.  And most of the time, I get really nervous right before the race starts.  I had none of that nervousness.  And by that time, it had stopped raining so I was pretty happy about that.  I think the fact that I knew I wasn't trying for a PR helped too.

We started at 8:05 and had a good pace for the first 2 miles.  Lex did have to go to the bathroom again and I told her we'd have to wait for mile 2 since I knew they usually were there.  But even that was awesome since no one was waiting for those either.  We got done and back on the course super fast.  However, I was having issues since I realized my GPS wasn't on!  I had started it but it didn't have the satellites - so I spent the next couple miles waiting for it locate them!  It was way after mile 3 that they finally came on - I wish I had my times for the first few miles though.

Once the hills started, Lex had to slow down - we started to do more run/walk combos.  But she really impressed me since she would walk but then come on strong again with the running.  She had a lot of encouragement from other runners too - I think that really made her feel good.  

When we got to 17th Street I told her we didn't have that far to go as the turn was at 10th Street.  She said she was going to try to run all of mile 5 (she did end up walking some but not much).  At the turn, I think she finally realize how close she was. 

Shot down 10th Street

Then it was not much to the finish and we ran in - holding hands - it was kind of my goal to finish that way!

Official time was 1:10:29 (it was cool since we all finished at the exact same second)  I think that is a pretty good time for someone who never trained.  I want to say that my first 10k, I only finished in 1:05 so she's already doing pretty good (not that I am very fast)

Only issue after that was walking through the muddy park.  We even got to sit on Marta.  I really think the rain kept some people away but they missed out on a great race since the weather was cool and it didn't rain.  I really think had I run alone, I would have PR'ed just for the fact that it was so cool out.  But I wouldn't miss running with my daughter.   I hope to run other races with her soon!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mommy of a 10 year old...

Yesterday was my oldest daughter's 10th birthday.   It has made me think about how old I've been feeling lately.  I know there are others out there who are twice my age still running races but I don't know if I'd be able to keep it up.

Since Goofy - I really have struggled to keep my mileage up.  I had contemplated running Publix again this year but due to schedule conflicts was unable to fit it in.  Also wanted to run Pi Mile again and try a Tough Mudder - but just wasn't able to work it out.  Though after hearing about Tough Mudder - I think I'd have to do something a little cleaner.  I'm not a fan of THAT much mud.

I am signed up for Peachtree again and my 10 year old will be running it with me.  This will be her first 10k - she has run 3 5k's previously.  I've only gotten her to run one training run with me so far - but that was 3+ miles and she did well.  She is in softball currently so it's a little tough to get her to go out with me - though I do keep asking anytime we have extra time at night or on the weekends.  It helps me as well to get myself out there.

I ran the other 5ks with her but didn't really notice it then - but she has a similar running style to my own.  She will go out fast and then tire out really quick.  I notice I have a tough time keeping a nice steady pace so I tried to get her to do that with me.  Though I am definitely not the authority on good running at all.  

So this past few months have been hard.  I have a goal to get another 1k miles this year (last year I topped out around 1500 - which I will not reach this time) so I need to get myself in gear if I wanted to make that.  I had wanted to run more shorter races this year but so far have not signed up for anything new. I'm finally getting back into the groove of things and the last two weeks have gotten in more miles.  I really hope it continues.

On another note we got a new puppy - he isn't much of a runner yet.  When we first got him, he would barely walk on his leash.  He's not much better now - he tends to stick really close to Mollee on our walks so I don't think I'll be taking him out for any runs like I do with Mollee.  He's a lab/beagle mix (his name is Mooch Monster).  It's funny that both he and Mollee have similar coloring - he kind of looks like a mini version of Mollee right now.

(Was going to say something about Boston but not much to say that hasn't been said by others - just a scary thing.  Peachtree has a ton of racers - and since I'll be with my daughter - it kind of freaks me out - we'll see how things go.  Just hope they are able to figure out who did it.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Goofy Challenge (Day 2)

Goofy Challenge (Day 1)
Getting Ready/Expo  

The one thing about these Disney Races isn't so much the race but the start of the race.  The fact that we had to be at the buses before 4am is insane and add in the inability to sleep - a 2:45am wake up is just tiring.

I was up and ready by 3:30am and made sure to eat more this time.  I had more to drink and my Sports Beans with me.  Allen walked with me this time to get to the bus and there was actually a line today.  I was scared this time that we would be late since I knew how long it had taken the day before to get to the corrals.

 Finally the bus came and we were on our way.  On the way to the bag check, I talked with another Goofy runner who was actually running his first marathon.  I wished him good luck and went to get my bag checked.  At that time I heard them saying Corrals C and D were making their way to the start.  So I thought maybe the walk to the corrals would be better.  I checked my bag and started out.  It was much faster and we were near the corrals by 5am this time.  I was actually in my corral before the start.  They played "Go the Distance" while showing pictures and it got me pretty choked up.  

My plan for the race was to start out slow again, take plenty of pictures and allow myself to walk when I needed.  I already could feel my feet and I just wanted to run at least 1/2 and finish standing.  The first 6 miles were pretty easy and I maintained a good pace.  Because of the course changes, the first part of the race was exactly the same as the half.  But then my feet were hurting more. 

I was starting to wonder what I had gotten myself into.  Mile 8 we veered off and went into the Speedway. 

It was awesome seeing everyone running on the track:

I took way too many shots as there were cars lined on both sides.  I couldn't pass up a shot of Mater and Lightning McQueen however:

This put us at mile 9 and it was at this point that I seriously doubted my ability to finish.  My feet were aching and I kept trying to figure out how much I could walk and still finish.  Finally around mile 11, we made our way into Animal Kingdom. Got a bunch of shots of the animals including a scary snake shot:

At mile 12 we really made our way into AK park and winded through - past Everest.  I was starting to remember more of this from the previous year.  I ate some beans and started making sure to grab water/powerade at the stops.  It was starting to get pretty hot.  Miles 13 -16 were probably the worst 3 miles of the entire race as it was on Osceola Parkway and it was on our way to the Wide World of Sports.  Mile 17 came as we made our way in and we ran past the complex and by Mile 19 we were in the stadium. 

 This was very motivating as there were people cheering for us and it's also nice knowing you have single digits until the end.  I knew Mile 20 was close.  Finally under the Mile 20 sign:

10k left!  I knew at this point we just had to get to Hollywood Studios, run past the Boardwalk and through Epcot so I knew I was going to finish.  The run to Hollywood Studios was bad however.  Again it was very hot and I took several breaks to stretch.  Mile 22 and we were on our way into HS!  Again the park was open by now and just tons of people cheering us on.  My feet were still hurting but I definately had a lot more energy and was able to start running a lot more. After mile 23 we made it past the Mickey hat.  Could the finish really only be 3.2 miles away?? 

Outside Hollywood Studios we ran past the BoardwalkMy energy was way up by now and I was running more.  The crowds were out and I was in such a better mood.  With only 3 to go, I knew I was close to finishing and again got super choked up.  Had to get a shot of some of them as I don't know if they realize how helpful they are.  Each one put a huge smile on my face. 

Finally made our way into Epcot.  I don't know if it is the normal music that plays at the World Showcase but whatever it was, it was awesome.  As you make your way in, you hit Mile 25.  Looked around and finally saw what I had been waiting for:

Less than a mile left until I completed something I never in a million years thought I would do.  Passed Mile 26 and onto the home stretch.

The previous year when I crossed the finish line I high-fived Goofy.  I searched for him but only saw Donald and Mickey.  Donald was on the right side so I gave him a half-five and I was DONE!  Got my Mickey medal and then made my way to the Goofy medals.  I hated that I was almost crying as the lady put my medal on me.  Made my way to bag check and Allen was already there waiting for me.

It's not apparent but I was so overcome with emotion that I was crying as soon as I reached him.  Got the awesome three-medal shot:

Official stats -
Overall: 10781/20679
Gender: 4623/10618
5M: 1:01:48
10M: 2:03:04
13.1: 2:48:20
20M: 4:17:34
Finish: 5:39:39

A little slower than I had wanted - I wanted to finish in 5:30 but I am still pretty proud of my time.  We made our way back to the hotel again and I rested for a bit before getting lunch.  At this point it was as if a huge weight had been lifted and I was not feeling bad at all, not tired, but my feet did hurt quite a bit.  

We went to Epcot and rode a bunch of rides there.  Got a fast pass for Soarin' but it wasn't until 6pm so we rode several others - like Test Track which took forever.  Had dinner, did Soarin' and then went to Magic Kingdom again.  It was fun walking around with the Goofy medal as it's almost as if you have joined some sort of club.  Everyone is congratulating everyone. 

The parade was about to start so we were able to ride a few rides - Thunder Mountain, Pirates and then Haunted Mansion.  My feet were in agony so we made our way back to the resort.  Still a little wired but went to bed.  Woke up, had breakfast and drove home.

Final thoughts about Goofy:  it's definitely not something I ever saw myself doing.  I probably won't do it again as it was such a struggle to finish.  It does put things into perspective a little however.  It makes me realize that a marathon isn't quite as hard as you originally thought.  Adding an additional 13.1 to it however, makes it more difficult.  This will more than likely be the last time I race at Disney.  It'll be very strange next year not going down as I've raced there since 2011.  

It's always a let down after such a big race since prior to the race, that is all I can think about and everything is in terms of pre-race and post-race timing.  Now I actually have to start thinking of the rest of the year.  But I will always have this.  When they unveiled the 20th anniversary Marathon medal I loved one of the quotes that is engraved on it: "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."  And that's exactly how I feel now.


Goofy Challenge (Day 1)

After a restless night, the alarm went off at 2:45am.  I took a shower (I always take showers before races) and got myself dressed, ate a little and was out the door by 3:45am.

The bus ride over to Epcot was quiet and I tried to rest some as we drove.  Checked my bag and it was probably a little after 4:30 when we started to make our way to the corrals.  It is maybe a little under a mile to the start and we didn't make it to our corrals until after the race had started - that is how slow we moved.  I was able to make a pit-stop prior to getting to my corral so I was feeling okay by then.  I was hungry however and I had not brought anything with me.  But I knew it was only ~2hrs so I'd be fine.

I was in Corral D and we started about 5:56am.  I crossed the start line just around 5:59 and was on my way.  The first mile flew by as it generally does.  We were all moving pretty slow as it's always congested to start.  I took pictures at every mile marker so that slowed me down some but maintained about ~11min/mile most of the way. 

 I wanted to continue an even pace until we left Magic Kingdom and then I would start walking to make sure to not overdo it.

Mile 4 came...

...and MK was coming into view. After mile 5 we made our way into Magic Kingdom.  I tried to get a good shot of the castle as it was lit up but the IPod camera isn't great for dark shots.  Did manage to get a somewhat good shot however. 

After heading out of the castle, we came up on miles 6 - 8 and by this point I was starting to do more walking so my feet wouldn't hurt.  We started to head into Epcot again after mile 11.  Made it in and saw Spaceship Earth which is one of the best things to see in the race as it means the end is near. 

Before mile 13, as you make your way out towards the parking lot, you get to hear the choir.  I don't know how they kept up singing during the entire race!

Finished under my goal time of 2:30!

Official stats - 
Overall: 8288/23126
Gender: 3471/13128
5k: 34:35
10k: 1:10:51
15k: 1:46:38
Finish: 2:28:18

It was still early in the day so we went back to the hotel and I showered, got breakfast and went out to Magic Kingdom.  Got the obligatory shot in front the castle: 

We rode Space Mountain and other rides where I could just sit.  But my head started to hurt and so we just went back to the hotel where I took some medicine and tried to nap.  Grabbed dinner around 6 and went back and I was in bed again by 8pm.  I was able to get to sleep a little easier since I was just tired but again - very nervous.  I knew the big one was coming up...

Heading out to Goofy

Thursday morning, I woke up and did my last two miles and a spin class and felt okay.  I was starting to feel really tired and not well and ended up taking a half day from work to go home and rest.

My mom came over and we went to dinner.  After dinner we bought some medicine to see if that would help since both Allen and I were feeling bad.  Took NyQuil and went to bed.  After seeing the girls off to school on Friday morning we finished packing.  By that time I still felt pretty bad but hoped that eating breakfast would help.

Once we made it into Florida I tried sleeping and woke up just as we were getting on the turnpike.  Finally got to Disney World and made our way to the Expo.  

It was around 5pm when we got to the Expo so there were still a lot of people but the room to pick up the Goofy bib was almost empty.  It wasn't even on the same floor as the Half and Full.  Still had to go downstairs to get the B-tag verified.  We looked for some Goofy shirts but couldn't find any and left for the actual Expo to get my bag.  

On the way in, there was a wall that had everyone's name on it.  Found my name and of course took a picture (like everyone else):
Found a Goofy shirt - there wasn't much to find however.  On the way out, we took a picture next to the Goofy medal:

Got checked in at our resort - we stayed at the All Star Music Resort - and took everything to the room.  By then it was after 6 so we went to get dinner at Melody Hall.   I was feeling very nervous but tried to eat enough food to make sure I'd have energy in the morning.

Finished up and went back to the room to get ready for bed - I wanted to be in bed by 8pm since I knew it was going to take me a while to get to sleep.   Took a shot of my shirts and bib, got my clothes ready for the morning and got in bed. 

Sleep did not come easy and I am pretty sure I did not get very much sleep that night as I was so nervous.  More to come...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Last thoughts..

Goofy is less than 2 days away!  Waiver is printed out and ready to go.  In exactly two days from now, I will hopefully already be finished with the first part (the half-marathon) and on my way back to the hotel.  

My goal is around 2:30 for the half.  This is a good 20 minutes slower than my PR but I don't want to overdo it and not have anything left for Sunday.  

When I ran my first marathon, I was very worried about not finishing in the time limit.  I have this fear that I'll have to walk and then just get way below the 16min/mile pace requirement.  I didn't have any issues with that last year but it's always in the back of my mind.

Same thing for this year.  I finished my 22 miler in about 4:20 and this included a LOT of walking.  My 22 miler was kind of a miserable run for me as it was the coldest I had run in all year.  I had so many thoughts of not finishing it and because it was so cold too, it made me walk more.  Cold weather won't be a problem this time as it may just be too hot.  So my goal for the marathon is to at least run 1/2 of it completely.  I was able to do that last time - I didn't even really slow down until mile 12 to take a bathroom break.  And it wasn't until maybe mile 18 that I started doing run/walk combos.  

Two issues I'm struggling with right now however:
My left foot is very sore - it hasn't really affected my running but it's just lingering and annoying.
There has been sickness going around and either I'm super tired or I'm coming down with something.  It also just could be nerves - I'm hoping it will disappear come Saturday morning - and race jitters will take over.  I haven't been getting a lot of sleep this week but I'll be able to sleep in tomorrow (until ~6:30am..whoo) so that might help.   My goal is to be in bed by 8ish and hope to be asleep by 9 on Friday.  

Wow - I really do ramble.  This will probably be my last post until at least Sunday or Monday - hopefully I'll be back with a full race recap and pictures.

Work is going to be slow today...

Monday, January 7, 2013

Getting ready for Goofy

My Goofy training started in August.  I had been running steadily all year so the first part of training was actually less miles than I was used to.  I continued at my current mileage and the training plan increased weekly.

I had just come off a PR at Peachtree and had a couple other 5ks on the schedule for September.  I had thought of signing up for the 13.1 again but other things on my schedule prevented it.

I was worried about fitting everything in as both daughters were in sports each weekend.  Lex had cheerleading and Lana was in Softball.  So games on Saturdays, including practices during the week.  My LRs were set for Saturdays with a follow-up run on Sundays.  Luckily my very long runs were scheduled after SB and cheerleading finished.  

The first half of training wasn't bad.  During my marathon training the previous year, I had a long run on Saturday and a recovery on Sunday (which I never did..).  This time around my Sunday runs were not recovery and I felt one of the more important things for me to do.  So I made sure to get both runs in and my weekly runs weren't bad at all.  

This time around my "long" run was 22.  A high point of my training was getting my 20 and 10 done.  I was very worried about this weekend as I felt it  was the closest I would get to what I might feel at Goofy.  Granted the mileage was in reverse but I felt really good doing the 10 and this was very encouraging.  My 22 was hard as it was one of the coldest days I had run and I had to really mentally play games with myself to finish it.  

Now Goofy is less than a week away.  My training runs have mostly been pretty cold and I've been wearing a running jacket and it holds my Ipod and anything else.  I've been carrying Cuties to eat - as I don't carry any water with me.  

When I checked the weather in Orlando, the high/lows are 79/61 so I'll be dealing with much warmer weather.  I'm less worried about the half as I don't need to carry as much with me.  During the full I'll probably only carry my beans and Ipod so I may be able to forego the jacket.

I've become extremely nervous but I feel like once I finally get started, I'll feel better.  My training calls for another 4 and a 2 which I'll get in at the gym and that's all the running I'll do until Saturday morning.  

The countdown begins....