April 29, 2012

Lacking motivation?

What's a runner to do when she lacks motivation?  Why sign up for a race, of course!  My dear friend sent me a text message about a Cinco de Mayo race this upcoming Saturday.  Perfect!  Just the ticket I need to get my act in gear.  It's only a 5k, but a good exercise in putting on a race bib again and getting comfortable with the race environment. 

If you live close to South Hampton Roads, you should join us for the Oceanfront Jaycees Cinco de Mayo 5k.


April 27, 2012

Hey Princess!

I couldn't resist this photo after finding it in my inbox the other day.

Since the 2013 Princess Half Marathon is the 5th anniversary, I'm pretty sure you can expect to see us at the starting line for our 3rd princess.  Hope to see you too!

Happy Friday!

Magic Kingdom - It really is magical

Mom and I love Magic Kingdom.  I have even better memories of the park now that I've run down Main Street twice, as part of the course for the Princess Half Marathon.  It's definitely the highlight of the race and holds special meaning in my heart.  
Celebrating our 2012 Princess Half Marathon finishes with my
Mom's lifelong friend, Kymberlee
So let's talk about what makes Magic Kingdom...well, magical.  If you've never been, my goodness, get thee to a travel agent and book a trip immediately!  It's a great park that's very manageable for the whole family...not as much walking as the other parks.  There are 6 main areas in the park - Main Street USA, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.  By area, here are We Run Disney's favorite attractions.

Main Street USA
Christine: You can meet the Disney Princesses at Town Square Theater and get some cute photos. We made a special stop on our way in the park after the Princess Half Marathon in February.  Enjoy lunch at The Plaza Restaurant, which reminds me of a Victorian tea house. 
Pam: Enjoy the view of the castle and make sure to get a photo.  Shopping in the Emporium in the evening before you exit the park is always a great end to the day.
Visiting with Belle after our 2012 Princess Half Marathon
P: Jungle Cruise is my favorite!
C: I like Pirates of the Caribbean, although I have to admit that I liked it before they added the recent upgrades with pirates from the movie. 

P: It's a toss up for favorite ride in this section of the park - Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad are both great bets. 
C: Yes, I agree.  And then hit up Pecos Bill cafe for a taco salad for lunch.  Their "fixins" bar is awesome!

Liberty Square
C: Even though I was scared when I was a little kid, I love The Haunted Mansion and the "ghost hosts."
P: Me too - my favorite is Haunted Mansion.
C: The Columbia House has a good selection of food - some different options like fish and salads which is a good change up.

C: I think Fantasyland is my favorite section of the park.  I really like the rides that feature Winnie the Pooh and Peter Pan.  And It's a Small World is a classic.  Can you imagine how often they must have to dust all the dolls?! 
P: I love It's a Small World.  I love ALL the rides in Fantasyland except the Mad Hatter's Tea Cups because they make me sick.
C: The new Fantasyland addition looks amazing and begins opening in phases this spring.  I can't wait!
Prince Charming's Carousel in Fantasyland
P: I like the People Mover and I love Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, but I'm not very good. 
C: Space Mountain!  And Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin.  If you're not familiar with this ride, I dare you to challenge me in my alien shooting abilities.  I'm awesome.  In fact, I once got a perfect score on the ride and I have a photo to prove it! 

Dancing with Dale near Space Mountain in Tomorrowland
What's your favorite part of Magic Kingdom?


April 24, 2012

2012 Wine and Dine registration update

Registration is just over half full (51%).  Registration fees go up after May 22nd, so you have just under a month to register for the 2012 Wine and Dine half marathon at the lowest rate.  It's $155 until May 22nd and after that, the price goes up to $170.  Give it a whirl - we hope to see you out there running!!  You can find more info on Wine and Dine half marathon here.


Surprise Sighting....Mickey and Donald

Imagine my surprise, while touring Keukenhof Park last week, to see tulips named after Mickey and Donald in the "Walk of Fame" of flowers!  Yes, I was lucky enough to be able to attend Keukenhof, an annual spring flower festival in Lisse, Netherlands.  Each year, they have more than 7 million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths in bloom as well as other flowers. Towards the end of our lovely day, we meandered past the "Walk of Fame" flowers and spotted the Disney named tulips. 

Should you have the opportunity to visit this lovely park, be sure to look for your favorite Disney characters.


April 23, 2012

Speed Training

I end up doing most of my runs on the treadmill for a few reasons - easier mileage tracking and when I do get the time away from the office, it's usually dark and I don't love running in the dark.  Hmm...guess I'll have to get used to that for Wine and Dine huh?!  In any case, for my last run at the Disney Princess Half in February, I was much more focused on balanced training.  When I ran my first half, I basically only ran for exercise...and it felt like I was running all the time. 

This time, I changed it up a bit, focusing on more cross training to include elliptical, weights, and classes at the gym - Zumba and boot camp.  My body was probably more ready for my 2012 race, physically speaking, despite the fact that I only did one "long ran" (i.e., greater than 6 miles) pre-race.  I was toned and in better all around shape.  So for Wine and Dine, I'm following a similar routine, but this time, I'll do some longer runs since I've planned a bit better for this race (side bar - I signed up for the 2012 Princess a mere 14 days in advance...umm yea...). 

One of the ways I'm beefing up my training is speed and hill work.  On the treadmill, it's pretty straightforward and easy to track.  I did a speed workout on Sunday that I figured I would share - it definitely got my blood flowing.  Another sidebar - I'm a convert of the run/walk method and helpful to know my run/walk schema/pace is a mile running (about 10 min) and 5 min walk. 
  • 1 min walk - warm up
  • 10 min run at comfortable pace - for me, 6.0mph (10 min mile)
  • 5 min walk at fast pace - for me, 3.7mph
  • 15 min run, increasing speed every 2 minutes for first 10 minutes and then every minute for last 5 minutes as follows: 
    • Minute 10: 6.0
    • Minute 12: 6.3
    • Minute 14: 6.7
    • Minute 16: 7.0
    • Minute 18: 7.3
    • Minute 20: 7.5
    • Minute 21: 7.6
    • Minute 22: 7.7
    • Minute 23: 7.8
    • Minute 24: 7.9
    • Minute 25: 8.0
  • 5 min run/jog, slowing pace every minute
  • 5 min cool down
  • Total - 37 minutes, about 3.5 miles
How do you do speed training, whether outside or on the treadmill?


April 21, 2012

Outfitting your feet

Given that I have been plagued with knee issues since I was about 16, I've become highly conscious of getting the right footwear for running.  I went through years of buying sneakers at any old store until I was properly fitted for sneakers and had a noticeable difference in the way my knees and feet felt during and after workouts.  When you go to a full service running or sporting goods store, you get a full service fitting, based on your physical needs.  Many running stores have a treadmill so that they can watch your stride and identify things like pronation or stability support that you may need.  I know I need a strong arch support because I pronate.  I've found a New Balance shoe that works well for me.  Yes, they're expensive...but you wouldn't buy plastic golf clubs to help your tee shot or a see-through bathing suit for a triathlon to save a buck would you?!

Mom and I both have great local stores that we patronize.

In South Hampton Roads, VA, check out Running Etc, which has a great selection of running shoes and apparel.  You'll get attentive service and proper fitting.

In Wilmington, NC, check Try Sports, another great local store that carries great running shoes.  They also carry a lot of triathlon gear as well, if that's part of your race repertoire.


April 17, 2012

Training Day Blues

We have all had them.  The day you are scheduled for a 5 mile tempo run and you can only run it at a long run pace.  Or worse, the long run that is supposed to be 10 miles and at 8 miles you hang up your shoes for the day.  While this can be unsettling, the way you recuperate and handle your next training run is more important.  Put the bad day behind you and focus on good eating, adequate hydration and plenty of sleep so that you are well prepared for your next run. A few less than perfect training runs will not spoil your chances for a PR in your next race.  Stay positive and your goals will stay within your reach.

April 14, 2012

Running Magazine

One of my favorite things to find in my mailbox is the latest issue of "Runner's World" magazine.  Last year, as a new runner I found myself looking at this magazine at the grocery store and purchased a single copy.  Now I subscribe so I can enjoy each and every issue hot off the press.  They feature information on many different aspects of running: gear, staying healthy and injury free, training, tips for beginners, fueling properly etc. 

At the back of each issue, they include a races and places calendar and description of upcoming races around the country.  Best of all though are the wonderful color adds for the RunDisney races.  I tear those out and post them above my desk to keep me motivated during hard training weeks.  Runners World also has a great website with loads of information, training tips,forums for asking questions and other interesting stuff.  Take a look at http://www.runnersworld.com/


April 10, 2012

Training Tuesday: Running with a Dog

There are nights when I can't fathom the time or energy to exercise both myself and my dog.  So sometimes I combine the tasks.  I've taken Paddy out running with me on a few different occasions, with good success.  I guess you can assume that Paddy is my dog - she's a 60 lb Old English Sheepdog.  As you can see from her pic below, she's pretty shaggy so I don't take her out when it's too hot. 
She's pretty stinkin' cute, huh?!

While I love an evening jog, I'm cautious on a few things.
1. I don't go out after dark...only before dark or dusk.  Running with a dog requires additional alertness, so I don't risk it after dark.
2. I don't go on super-long runs.  I usually do 3-4 miles with Paddy.
3. I don't wear headphones.  Back to the time of day thing, I figure I need to be more alert to cars, my neighbors and surroundings to keep us both safe.
4. I bring an extra dog poo bag...sometimes all the extra exercise/excitement warrants it!
5. Take it easy - I maintain a pace that Paddy and I can both maintain.
6. Be patient.  I know that on my runs with my pup, I may have to take some breaks or take it a bit easier if Paddy isn't moving quickly.

Above all else, I enjoy the extra bonding time with her and the time to exercise together!

April 9, 2012

WDW Marathon Registration

Don't forget - registration opens tomorrow at noon!  Information is available on the runDisney site

The marathon events comprise an entire weekend from 10-13 January 2013.
As they say...every mile is magic!


April 8, 2012

Disney's Marathon Weekend

On April 10, 2012, registration opens for the marathon weekend! The schedule is as follows:

5K race: January 11
Half marathon: January 12
Marathon: January 13

2013 will be the 20th anniversary of the Disney marathon, so it will be a special time to run a first marathon or second or third! Already Disney has announced a "surprise" at mile 20 of the race. The variety of race choices is wonderful, with the bravest runners trying to complete the Goofy Challenge, running both the half and full marathons on consecutive days.

While neither Christine or I have completed a marathon, we are eager to attend marathon weekend and try our luck at a race or two. The Goofy Challenge is on my "to do" list and 2013 seems like the perfect time to try! Of course the race bling from Goofy is the draw....three medals for two days of torture....seems like a plan!


April 5, 2012

The health issue

If you've been following this blog or reading our posts about the recaps of the 2012 Disney Princess Half, you've probably picked up on some comments about my (Christine's) health.  In the 2011 race, I barely finished...I was suffering from a pretty serious sodium imbalance that resulted in scary vital signs, being overheated and a less than lucid mental state.  After crossing the finish line, I remember asking for water and to get help with my blisters (literally golf-ball sized on the bottom of my feet).  After getting an ice bag to throw over my neck, my Mom realized something was wrong and I was quickly admitted to the medical tent and hooked up to all kinds of monitors. 

I was scared.  All I knew was a doctor was yelling at me wondering why I didn't hydrate along the course.  But I did, I proclaimed!  At every water stop!  And at the end of the race, I consumed multiple cups of water or Powerade - whatever was in the cup that was handed to me.  There were at least a half a dozen people around my "bed" (a chaise lounge) and they were shouting out my vitals, throwing bags of ice all over me, putting them under my neck and shoulders.  A female nurse graciously confirmed that I was wearing a sports bra and they stripped off my race top to help cool me down.  They force-fed me red Powerade through a straw.  As much as I could drink they told me.  2 bottles down.

A little while later, when my vitals were stable, my Mom was allowed to come into the tent.  I was resting with the really kind nurse who made me laugh.  She made me feel good and reassured me that I would be ok.  Gosh, I felt awful.  They gave me an anti-nausea tablet to dissolve under my tongue....and then it hit me.  I'm going to be sick!  Get me a bag and quickly!  No TMI intended, but throwing up red PowerAde in a clear ziploc bag is gross...I'll never drink the stuff again.

After about an hour, I was discharged with normal vitals - blood pressure, pulse and temperature.  I was so grateful for the caring, competent medical team that got me back to "normal" quickly.  I didn't feel great and was really stiff since I never had a chance to stretch or work off any of the lactic acid build-up in my system.  But I posed for a photo with my medal and new tshirt (on the back it says "Medical" and yes...it's size 2X and it proudly sits in the bottom of my tshirt drawer) with my Mom and my Aunt. 

Me, My Aunt (she won her age group!!!!) and My Mom (Pam)
Even if it wasn't my finest hour, I'm still really proud of that race...and you better believe I will always figure out a way to down a salt packet or two the night before a race to make sure I don't end up in the medical tent again!


April 3, 2012

Training Tips from Pam

Training for races takes self discipline and effort.  For most of us, life can get in the way with jobs, children, family obligations and other activities.  One of the best ways to keep on track is to keep a journal of your efforts.  I write down all my running details as well as cross training, and other sporting activities (golf, tennis).   At the end of any week, I can see my total mileage, hours of activity and if I am "on track" for whatever race is on the horizon. 

The other advantage to logging your miles is the ability to tell when your shoes need to be replaced.  The rule of thumb varies, but I am a hard striker, so 300 miles is about right for me.  For others, 500 miles is probably the correct amount before shopping for a new pair.

Another training tip that has helped me tremendously is being properly fueled and hydrated prior to your runs.  I eat more than most before racing and training.  On the other hand, my sister, ran and won  her age group at the Disney Princess half marathon (ages 60-64 by 7 minutes) with not one thing in her stomach prior to the race.

Having a training buddy is a super way to keep focused on your goals.  Running clubs are available in many towns and cities and are a great way to meet others at your pace that can challenge you and motivate you.  Disney offers the Clif Pace Team during their races and they have an excellent website.  Enjoy your training and most of all, get out there and move!


I'm going Goofy!

Today, I received a special surprise email from Disney. Disney Visa cardholders are offered early registration and a discount too for the January WDW Marathon races. I took the plunge and will try for the Goofy trifecta of medals next year. This will be my first marathon and I hope to stagger across the finish line and claim those two beautiful medals, having gotten the Donald medal the day before! It will be the 20th anniversary of the Mickey Marathon and Disney has already mentioned there will be a surprise at mile 20. There is now lots of time to plan and train for the weekend of racing in January.


April 2, 2012

Disney Princess Half - Room Decor

Last year we were new to the Disney Princess Half Marathon so we weren't sure of all the ins and outs.  Since Disney Princesses are very popular these days, it's not all that hard to find themed merchandise.  I found some cute plates and napkins at Target for breakfast in our room to help get us in the spirit.  But little did we know that other racers would publicly show their spirit by hanging signs on their room doors and on the inside of their windows.  In that respect, we were woefully unprepared to revel in our Princess-ness!

So last year we were unprepared, but this year was a different story!  
We had signs for both of the rooms with gals from our group and a "shh" sign for each room.  When your wake-up call is 3AM, I think it's ok to let neighboring guests know you're sleeping and are appreciative of the quiet.  We reveled in our princess fun and enjoyed the Disney spirit.


April 1, 2012

Road Identification

While out for a run yesterday, I realized that we had not posted about identification while out of your neighborhood.  For those who train for half or full marathons, you probably run quite a few miles away from your home or apartment.  It is so important to have identification in case you have an accident.  I bought my "RoadID" online after finding a coupon on the bottom of a 5K race bib.
My choice was the pink rubbery bracelet called the Wrist ID slim that has a metal band attached to it.  The medal piece is engraved with my name, contact details in an emergency and a list of allergies.  Check out their website at www.roadid.com  It is a small investment for your peace of mind!