July 31, 2012

rundisney needs Help!

Posted on the runDisney Facebook page are several photos and a video telling us that Donald made off with the design for the Mickey Marathon 20th Anniversary Medal.  Be sure to watch the video and "like" the story so new clues will appear.  This should be fun watching the duck, who is sure to cause trouble on his journey.  Stay tuned for more clues.


July 30, 2012

Running Tanks - the good, the bad, the ugly

With all the running I've been doing this summer, I've beefed up my workout wardrobe, namely tank tops.  I'm a bargain shopper so I've picked up a few from the C9 line by Champion at Target and some randoms from TJ Maxx/Marshall's.  I assumed all tops were made the same.  No, ma'am!

1. The long and lean running tank (pictured below) from the C9 line at Target , which is $14.99, but I'm pretty sure I got it for $12 on sale.  This is my favorite by far.  It's a little more fitted and it doesn't stretch out.  I like racer back tanks a lot especially in the heat. 
My long and lean running tank in "blue"...could there be a less
descrptive color name?!
2. The seamless tank from the C9 line at Target for $19.99, and I'm about 99% sure I got this one on sale as well.  I like the cut of this one best, but if I wear it for a long workout when I sweat a lot, it stays soaked and stretches out a lot!  On one long run, the straps basically stretched so you could see my entire sports bra....no bueno.

3. Nike Legend Tank from Dick's (or other sporting good stores) for $22.  This is the most expensive on my list, and by far my favorite.  I took this pretty gal for a test drive this weekend on a 10 mile run down the Oceanfront and Boardwalk area of Virginia Beach on Sunday morning and it was nearly dry at the end.  Ah-ma-zing!  Very affordable too.  I know what I'll be using my Dick's coupons for.  They also have a gazillion colors.  And my last praise - it's not too long for me as I'm kinda short so this is a common problem and I also like that the neck isn't too tight.  My only complaint...they don't have a pink one. 

4. New Balance tank from TJ Maxx at $15.Unfortunately I don't have the specs on this one (thank you TJ Maxx for removing all the useful info from the New Balance tags).  I like the fit - again, it has a short body and is nice and light for summer runs. 

5. Running Tank from the C9 line at Target.  Now this one is u-g-l-y (you ain't got no alibi!).  Some of the other colors aren't bad, but really neon yellow isn't all that cute unless you're a school crossing guard.  The top is light and loose, but maybe too much so.
Oh yea, you can't miss me!  Also, what is UP with my turned in left knee?  No wonder my knees ache!
My main criteria for a "great" running tank is a good fabric that is light but also wicks away sweat and a comfortable fit.  No one wants to mess with their outfit on a long run.

What are your favorite running tanks?


July 28, 2012

SOLD OUT!! Wine and Dine Half Marathon

This morning I noticed that the Wine and Dine Half Marathon is sold out for regular race registration.  There are still some entries available through a couple travel companies, Get Travel or Marathon Tours and Travel and through charity organizations, listed on the RunDisney website.  Be sure to register soon as these groups will have a limited number of entries.  Only 15 weeks until race weekend.  Are you training?


July 27, 2012

Olympics....Are you Excited!

The opening ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics can't come soon enough!  You see, I am an Olympic junkie.  Every two years, be it summer or winter, I am glued to the TV for every possible event:  track and field, gymnastics, figure skating, skiing.....

One of my favorites is the swimming and I just discovered this adorable video made by our very own US Olympic Swim team.  This will bring a smile to your face....Enjoy!

Team in Training! Time to Decide......

Last night I attended an information session for Team in Training here in Wilmington, NC.  Team in Training started in 1988 and has grown substantially over the years.   Their focus is to raise as much money as possible for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, an organization that is committed to finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma by doing research and helping families dealing with these illnesses. Since the start of TNT, they have trained more than half a million athletes and raised more than 1.2 billion dollars.

By becoming a member of TNT, you choose an endurance event, such as the Disney marathon weekend races, a triathlon, or a 100 mile bike ride.  Local coaches and mentors will assist you in your journey to complete your athletic challenge and help with fundraising.

 I am trying to make up my mind if I can make this commitment.  Are you a member of Team in Training?  Can you share your experience with us? 


July 25, 2012

Wine and Dine Medal!

Here is the beautiful medal that you will earn if you run the Wine and Dine Half Marathon!  A special thanks to Kayla, a  Disboards poster who shared her photo with me.  

The race is 97% full so register now if you would like to be part of the fun!

July 23, 2012

The Perfection Trap

Hi, my name is Christine and I am a perfectionist.  It's part of everything I do in life - at work, running, the cookies I bake, the decor in my home, parties I throw...you name it, I try to perfect it, often at the expense of my personal sanity.  
That's me pouring champagne before my 30th Birthday party that I not only threw
but entirely catered, for myself.  Crazy?  Totally!!  And the food was all on my china...so not
exactly simple to clean up! Oh yea, the flowers?  Arranged those myself too.  All 4 arrangements.
 It was a fabulous party with dear friends and family, but the effort wasn't worth it!
While at times my perfectionist tendencies serve me well, like in the case of a high-visibility presentation at work.  But at times, it is my own worst enemy.  I've had to battle this part of my innate personality quite significantly since I started running.  And I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of distance runners struggle with this in some capacity.

Long distance running requires a lot of diligence.  To train for a long race, you have to be willing to invest time and energy and more time and energy.  It's exhausting at times and trying at others.  To have a 10 mile run on the docket and only be able to finish 7 kinda sucks.  It's easy to beat yourself up and doubt your training, or even worse, your ability.  I'm guilty of all of these things.  When I can take a step back from the temporary frustration, I remind myself that I do this for recreation and my ability to pay my mortgage or be a good puppy mama doesn't depend on how fast I ran my tempo run.  At the end of the day, I'm grateful that I have the time, health and resources to do these races that require diligent preparation.

I learned in my very first half marathon, that no matter what the preparation, things can go wrong.  In some cases terribly wrong!  It was a good lesson for me.  And ever since that race, I take things a little more lightly and am grateful for a happy finish, even if my time isn't all that great.

Even though I often don't take my own advice, I'll dish it out!  It is fun to enjoy the journey of training for a long race and see how far you've come, whether it's running half a mile in between walk intervals, hitting an 8mm pace, or running mile repeats faster than you ever have.  I encourage you to do as I say, not as I do, and enjoy the training phase and to revel in the fortitude that comes with training for long races.  Regardless of how fast or slow you run, you're still an amazing athlete for even considering the feat, let alone completing it!


July 22, 2012

Local Races....do you participate?

Local races can be alot of fun and are a great way to keep race ready for the big races at Disney that we love to run.  The price tag is usually low and you also get to sleep in your own bed the night before you run!

Our first race was the Onelife Fitness Turkey Derby 10K in 2010.  We had already registered for the Princess Half Marathon in February of 2011, so we decided to get a time for corral placement.  We received great swag for this race and as an added bonus, both Christine and I placed in our age groups and received medals.  

I have since run three 5k's and three 10 k's.  One of things I like best about our local races is that many raise money for local charities.   These are my favorite tee shirts below....

This shirt and medal are from the Toys For Tots 10K on Thanksgiving Day 2011.  We donated toys for kids some Marines came to run with the children in the kids race.

This was a fantastic race with many runners in costumes.  My favorite was the Santa and eight reindeer who of course won the prize for best costume.

These last two shirts are from charity races, one for an organization called Big Buddy that helps local kids 6-16 that are at risk and the other for a local farmers market.  I received this cool paperweight for placing first in my age group and also won a $10 raffle to a local running store!

Do you run local races to keep sharp for your big events?


July 21, 2012

Spirit of the Marathon

This week was a little nutty, hence my MIA-ness.  I was so looking forward to having a relaxing evening on Friday after work.  After I got home and greeted the pup, I promptly plopped on the sofa and fell asleep for an hour or so.  After reheating some of my homemade jambalaya leftovers (yum!), I started looking for a movie.  It's been a while since I've actually watched a movie I haven't seen.  I'm totally that girl that re-watches the same movies rather than branching out.  I'm often too tired after work, cooking dinner and working out to invest in a 2 hour movie.  But this Friday night, I was up for it!

I perused my Netflix instant queue and nothing sparked my interest.  So I started browsing through some of the sports movies and stumbled upon the Spirit of the Marathon.  I clicked on it and read the brief synopsis and immediately started it.  It's a documentary of six runners training for and competing in the 2005 Chicago Marathon.  It includes 2 elite runners, experienced marathoners and some first timers.

The movie also features some great commentary from the cream of the crop in running - Katherine Switzer, Paula Radcliffe, Bill Rodgers and a few others.  I'm a bit of a documentary buff to begin with, so the format was enjoyable for me.  I loved some of the discussion on why people run and how it can (and often does) change your life.  For anyone with a passion for running, I highly recommend it.  It's definitely motivational!

July 19, 2012

Disney dining plan, first timers!

We managed to score free dining during the Wine and Dine half marathon weekend in November. The hotel we chose for race weekend is the Caribbean Beach Hotel, and specifically, a pirate room since they are in the renovated section of the resort. This will be our first time to try the free dining as we usually get a room discount instead. I am looking forward to this option and now am busy trying to figure out where to make our ADR.(advance dining reservations). We are generally the eat quick so we can get to the rides type of park visitors, so this will be a new experience spending time at a sit down restaurant. At the moment, we have the following restaurants on our radar: Hollywood and Vine at HS, Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Hotel, and the Biergarten at Epcot. ( post race of course!). Please let us know if you have a favorite restaurant "around the WDW world"


July 17, 2012

Training Tuesday....Hot Hot Hot!

Today I had a scheduled tempo run of 4 miles and I knew when I took the dog out at 5:45 am that it was going to be a tough day to run.  So, I laced up my shoes after having a banana and Gatorade to attempt to deal with the heat (78 degrees) and high humidity (82 percent).  Knowing my pace would be slower, I warmed up with a mile at 10:20 and knew that it would be a big struggle to hit close to my goal pace for the next 3.  With optimal conditions, my tempo should have been at 8:29.  Today I managed 9:00 and was thrilled that I finished.  As soon as I got home I jumped in here:

 How do you stay cool in this heat?

July 16, 2012

Weekly Meal Roundup

After I mentioned that I was planning my weekly meals on Facebook, a reader suggested I share them.  In addition to planning out my workouts each week, I also plan my meals.  I have a demanding consulting job and I manage my diet a lot better if I plan things out in advance.  I'm also a convert of the 'cook on Sunday' idea.  It makes the week so much more manageable when there are lunches or dinners already cooked.  So while I didn't cook a big meal on Sunday this week per se, I washed and chopped veggies and fruit so it was ready for the week.  I also hard boiled a few eggs for egg salad* or as a protein on a green salad.  So for lunches I've got carrot sticks, blackberries, bananas, cherries, hard boiled eggs and Greek yogurt...all healthy choices that are easy to grab from the fridge and head out for the day. 

*A note for those who don't like the liquidy, icky egg salad that you often see in lunch cafes...I used to be repulsed by the thought of egg salad because of that stuff.  Then one day I decided to make my own.  I make mine with 2 eggs, a small spoon of mayonnaise (probably about 1/2-1 Tbsp, basically enough to bind it), a small squeeze of lemon juice, salt, pepper and as many fresh (or dried) herbs as you like.  I usually go with parsley, basil and a healthy shake of dill.  I typically eat it on its own, but I also like it on a slice of thick, toasted French bread (open-faced).   It feels much more mature than the stuff you ate as a kid. 

So without further adieu, here's my weekly Dinner Menu:
Monday: Jambalaya with brown rice...and The Bachelorette!!

Tuesday: Baked eggplant Parmesan with a side of pasta

Wednesday: Leftovers or a salad

Thursday: I volunteer after work this week so I usually grab take-out sushi or a sandwich on my way home

Friday: Chicken with veggies

Saturday: TBD

Sunday: I have a pork tenderloin in my freezer that looks like a good Sunday night meal

Do you plan your meals for the week?

July 15, 2012

My Weekly Recap

Some weeks I like to look over what I did in training to decide how to approach my next week.  This did not seem like a super duper week, but I did manage my scheduled running workouts despite many hours in the car going to see my parents.

Monday  rest day
Tuesday  tempo run 5 miles
Wednesday  rest day, car ride
Thursday  treadmill speedwork 6 X 400  total 3.5 miles
Friday  LONG car ride!
Saturday  treadmill long run  9 miles
Sunday  bike 9 miles  43 minutes
Total mileage 17.5 running,  one day cross training

This week is already planned starting with my track work out bright and early tomorrow morning.  How is your summer training going?


July 12, 2012

Wine and Dine Update

As of this afternoon, the Wine and Dine half marathon is 86 percent full. Next week, on July 17th, there is a price increase to $170.00. Hurry up and register before the race is full and the price goes up. We hope to see you all there!


July 11, 2012

W&D Course Map Update

OMG did you see there's a new course map for Wine and Dine in November?  The primary change is that we finish with a quick jaunt through EPCOT?!?!  I am SO stoked, y'all!  That means we hit three parks on the course - Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.  Amazing! 

It seems like it will be a great high on which to finish the race, which previously ended in a parking lot behind EPCOT.  Big improvement, if you ask me.  I love the moment in the Princes Half when you descend the last overpass and into EPCOT - fabulous. 

As of this evening on the 11th, the race is now 86% full.  I bet with the new course map, registration will take a jump.  If you haven't signed up, get thee to a computer and register now!  While I am excited about the race itself and experiencing a night race at Disney, I am probably equally excited about the finish line party in EPCOT.  Hopefully I'll be feeling great post-race and can indulge in some of the Food and Wine goodies.

I am so looking forward to this race and sharing another runDisney event with our girl group (now 8!!). 


July 10, 2012

Are you in???

The 5th anniversary Princess Half Marathon registration opens today at noon eek!!  That's right, get your credit cards ready because the most princessy race on earth that is sure to be calling your name!  The starting price is $140 until September 25th, after which time, the price continues to increase until you get close to race day.

Here are some of the basic details...

Date: Sunday, Feb 24th at 5:35 AM

Course: The race starts outside EPCOT, takes you up World Drive into Magic Kingdom, past the Polynesian and the golf course, into EPCOT and shoots you out past the gospel singers (my personal fav) and into the finish shoot!

Host Resorts: TBD at this time, but last year they included All Star Movies, Music and Sports, Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans, Saratoga Springs, Animal Kingdom Lodge and Polynesian

Other Deets: The Expo is Friday Feb 22nd 9am-7pm and Saturday Feb 23rd 9am-6pm. Registration fee includes transportation from host resorts, a finisher medal (gosh, they're awesome) and a goodie bag with a tech shirt.

Doesn't it look fun?!?!?  Are you signing up?  Oh pretty please come join us, I promise you'll have the most fun time!


July 9, 2012

Jump start your day

Happy Monday!  I always struggle after a holiday weekend, so I figured this post was apropos.  I'm usually out the door pretty early for work, so I often eat breakfast at the office.  Due to office location, proximity to food and my general schedule, I pretty much  brown bag it all the time and that includes breakfast.  I'm generally a pretty healthy eater, balancing lean protein with healthy carbs and lots of fruits and vegetables.  So without significant explanation, here are some of my favorite breakfast choices which offer a good mix of protein, carbohydrates and fruit.

My favorite pre-race or training breakfast is toast, english muffin or waffle with peanut butter and a banana.  It's the perfect small meal for me and what I ate before my happy finish in this year's 2012 Princess half. 

How do you jump start your day?


July 8, 2012

The next Disney artists?

You be the judge...

We went to a nifty little place called Wine and Design for a girl's night.  The concept is you bring your own snacks and beverages and attend a 2 hour class to paint a selected design.  The design for our class was a beach umbrella.  Overall, I think they came out okay, but not great. 
Pam's Painting on the Left, Christine's on the Right.
Christine: Mine certainly won't go over my mantle.  I wish I had been able to pick my colors, because I would have picked softer neutrals to match the decor of my bedroom, which currently needs some art.  I enjoyed monogramming my umbrella, but it required some touch-up after I slopped some black paint when I wasn't being careful.

Pam: Mine is going in my closet, next to my race bling from smaller races (10K and 5K age group medals).  It was a fun night out with friends, but it really was a paint-by-number exercise.  Do look carefully to see if you can find anything unusual about my canvas. :)

We thought it was a fun night out with friends but were disappointed in the steep price ($35 per person), the overcrowding in the studio (close to 40) and the lack of help from the staff.  Cute idea, but maybe a little poorly executed.

Have you ever done something like this? 

Disclaimer: We were not compensated or asked to provide a review by Wine and Design.

July 7, 2012

It's cross training time!

We headed out for a 7.5 mile bike ride this morning.  It was a nice change from running we enjoyed seeing all of the remnants of 4th of July decor at all the houses in the neighborhood.  Think lots of American flags!

On our agenda today - watching Serena (hopefully) win Wimbledon, a little pool time and dinner out at a nice Italian restaurant in Wilmington.  What's on your Saturday agenda?

July 5, 2012

RunDisney updates

The runDisney races are filling up faster than I can remember in past years.

Wine and Dine Half: 82%
Walt Disney World Marathon: 66%
Donald Half Marathon: 59%
Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge: 84%
Tinkerbell Half Marathon: 85%

And don't forget registration for the 5th anniversary Princess Half Marathon opens this Tuesday (July 10th). Are you signing up for the most princessy race in the land?! We are!!


July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, America!

We hope you had a wonderful 4th!  We spent our day with an early morning workout, to try to beat the NC heat and humidity.  We hit the track for some 800s and we both hit our intervals woohoo! 

We finished the day with lunch by the pool and a barbecue with copious amounts of delicious Southern food with Pam (and Tom's) friends.  We think it was the perfect summer day!

July 3, 2012

Training Tuesday: Training Plans

Most people that I know who run distance rances don't have one plan that they follow completely  There are three key plans that most seem to follow.

1. Jeff Galloway: Most of you know that Jeff is the runDisney training consultant.  In case you don't know much about Jeff, he's kind of a big deal.  He was on the 1972 Olympic team and broke the American 10 mile record.  His training programs are centered on 3 runs each week - one long run and two 30-minute weeknight runs.  He publishes a tailored plan for each Disney race.

2. Next is Hal Higdon: I wasn't terribly familiar with this program until recently.  Hal is a longtime contributor to Runner's World.  Hal's plan includes five runs per week, one strength and stretch day and one rest day.  His plans mix tempo, speed and long runs.  He has quite a few different training plans, starting at 5k all the way up to marathon.  And there are varying degrees of experience within each distance.  His site is a great resource!

3. Run Less, Run Faster from Runner's World: This book focuses on a 3:2 method, which is three runs per week and two aerobic, non-weight bearing cross training workouts.  This is the plan I'm following for the Wine & Dine Half in November.  I like the added cross-training.  I'm definitely a gym rat, but I usually get bored with one workout, so this should keep me interested.  The three runs are speed work, tempo work and a long run (similar to Hal Higdon).  At first it seemed quite complicated, but I'm getting used to the terminology and I've made notes in the page margins to help me figure out my various paces. 

There are quite a few  12- to 16-week basic (read: beginner) half marathon training plans.  I used one of these for my first race. 

At the end of the day, each runner should pick a training plan that matches their goals, abilities and available time.  I know that I struggle to find time to fit in workouts longer than an hour after work.  I find that scheduling my training runs and workouts for the week against my work schedule helps. 

What training plan do you use?


July 2, 2012

You gotta be

One of the songs that I've always liked is Des'ree's You Gotta Be.  As I was driving home from my vacation a few weeks ago, I started contemplating downloading this to add to my running mix.  So many of the words resonated for all of the qualities that one needs to make it through a race, a training run, heck maybe even a basic workday!

You gotta be bad - As in bad a$$!  Not just anyone can run a half marathon.  I learned that the first time around; it's hardcore!

You gotta be bold - Simply registering for a long race can be daunting, especially the first one! 

You gotta be tough - Isn't this obvious?! 

You gotta be calm - In trying moments in a long race, it can be challenging to keep your mental cool.  For me, those are the moments to find a REALLY good song on my ipod and try to get back in the zone. 

You gotta stick together - give you fellow runners a pick me up.  Yell a cheer or grab someone struggling.  In my last 10k, I found another guy wearing the same color as me (neon yello) and told him to race me to the finish...he beat me for sure, but it gave me a good goal! 

On a totally unrelated note, We Run Disney will be reunited this week for the 4th!  We're looking forward to doing some training runs together!