August 31, 2012

Rock 'n Roll VB Expo - Part 1

We planned to hit the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon Expo in Virginia Beach on Friday as we figured it would be less crowded and we would get first pick of all the merchandise...definitely one of the best parts of the race experience!  We arrived about 40 minutes after it opened and easily got through registration to get our bibs and whatnot and then it was onto the fun stuff.

We perused the race merchandise and settled on the cute "rock on" tanks in a light purple color.  I decided to try out one of the famous Moving Comfort sports bras and then we were into the main part of Expo (all the race merchandise was in its own section before you got to the vendor booths).

Well, I can dream about this time...for now, the finish line will do!
We walked through every booth and were quite pleased to see a very manageable crowd.  We were able to spend time with all the booth workers and learn about various products, play games and chat about the upcoming race.

Almost the same time as Pam's PR!

One of our favorite booths was PF Chang's.  Apparently the dragon "runs" in select Rock and Roll races and if you beat him, you win free lettuce wraps.  The guys we spoke with said the dragon ran a 2:05 in San Diego so we're not so sure we'll be getting those lettuce wraps!

Too bad this is blurry, but still cute!
Much to our delight, we scored some pretty awesome swag.  We couldn't decide if it was the expo itself or just because it was the first day and pretty empty.  But regardless, we were psyched!  When we got home, we went through our bags and realized we forgot about most of the fun goodies.  Check it out!

Seriously, check that out!!  Here's a run down of what we picked up, all for FREE, as we walked the Expo floor.
We left with lots of excitement about the race on Sunday and tired shoulders from carrying all of our loot!  In our nex post, all about our fun at the runDisney booth!


New Reading Material for this Runner Girl!

While at the Glasgow, Scotland airport waiting for our flight earlier this week, I perused the magazine stand and found the following:

I thought it would be fun to read about women's running from the British perspective to see what new ideas I could find.  They have terrific runners such as Paula Radcliffe, and Kelly Holmes to name a few.  The magazine is jam packed with interesting articles from coaching tips, last-minute half-marathon training tips and nutrition.  The story about 7 simple superfoods (sweet potatoes, wholegrain cereal, watercress, salmon, beetroot, bananas and quinoa) was especially useful for me.  I try to eat a healthy diet, but processed foods sometimes get in the way!  There are some delicious sounding recipes at the back of the magazine such as char grilled chicken in pita with salad (mixed greens).  However, I will need a conversion chart since the quantities are all listed in metric.

Today I made a trip to the book store to see if I could find a marathon training book.  After spending at least 30 minutes looking at all the options, this was my choice:

Hopefully I will be able to complete the Goofy challenge in January with a combination plan of Galloway and Higdon.  This book should give me additional insight into my daily workout schedule as well as nutrition and relaxation.  Do you have favorite running books that you could recommend?


August 29, 2012

Princess Bling

The medals are a big part of the race experience.  I love my Princess medals!  After receiving my first medal, I immediately knew I was going to hang it on my necklace hanger (which is actually a tie rack) in my closet. 
As you can imagine, I'm in and out of my closet at least once each day, so I've tried hard to make it cozy and enjoyable, despite the fact that it is a mini walk-in and is crammed with clothes!

On top of my tie rack jewelry hanger, I have a small vase that I was given as a gift and a little frame with "Dream big" on scrapbook paper. 

Just a little something extra and decorative to make the closet feel a little more homey.  And now to the important things...

The bling!  I love it!

The main difference in the two medals is that 2011's had a grosgrain, embroidered ribbon, while 2012's is a satin, stamped ribbon.  I like the embroidery a bit better, but I definitely prefer the purple ribbon - my favorite color!

I don't know about you, but I haven't really gotten into the pin trading at Disney.  I always enjoy looking at the pins, but it's never been a hobby.  It's expensive for one, and just something I don't really need.  That being said, my dear Aunt surprised me after the 2011 Princess with this adorable pink Mickey ears pin with a gold crown.  I love the way it looks on the green ribbon (pink and green are my fav color combo) and it was really thoughtful!

At the 2012 Princess expo, they had the race pins with the race gear, so Mom and I picked them up.  And she surprised me with the princess pin to go on the medal ribbon as well.  I really like having the pins on the ribbon to jazz it up a bit more...not that it really needs it though! 

With all the races on my agenda, I may need to upgrade to a real medal hanger and include the ones from other races as well. 

And then there's always the moment to cherish when it's around your neck post-race!  Where do you display your medals?


August 28, 2012

Training Tuesday....Running in Scotland!

During our 10 day trip to Scotland,  I managed only 2 runs, and both were on treadmills at a hotel in Glasgow.  Short tempo and a speed work run kept these workouts to a minimum so we could enjoy the city sights.  The day of departure I managed to get in a long run of 9 miles which helped keep me on my Goofy training schedule!

The purpose of the trip was to hike the Western Highlands of Scotland and so that is what we did!  The first day started with a hike in the Kinlockleven Hills of just 7.5 miles and 1775 feet of ascent as a way to give the leaders an idea of the group's conditioning and  ability.  We were quite fortunate with the weather and actually saw the sun during our hike.  This area of Scotland is typically rainy, so my wish for the week was for one day of really nice hiking with pleasant weather. Check!

 At the end of our five days of hiking, we had  managed to cover over 43 miles with over 7,000 feet of ascent.  This is not a huge amount of elevation change, but considering that these walks were through bogs, heather filled fields and river crossings (over stones not bridges) they were challenging. The best walks ended at a pub where we could indulge in a drink and a bowl of chips (french fries).  As for the weather, we did encounter rain, but we had far nicer weather than we expected which was a real bonus.  It was a great way to escape the heat of North Carolina and we enjoyed the break.


August 27, 2012

Free Disneyland Half Poster!!

If you don't follow runDisney on Facebook, you're really missing out.  They recently announced that any of the Disneyland half runners can get a free poster, commemorating this year's race.  How cute is this?!

I just love this poster and really hope that they'll do these for more races!  So how do you get this poster, you ask?  Simple!  Go to this link and enter your email.  You'll get a printable coupon for the free poster to be redeemed at the booth at the expo on August 31st and September 1st. 


August 26, 2012

Race Day Prep

The Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon is exactly one week away.  And so is the Disneyland Half Marathon.  Labor day seems to be a big weekend for "destination" races.  And with a week to go until our debut on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, I'm hunkering down to be prepped and ready to go.  Race prep is individual for everyone, so I'm sure my plan may not work for you.  But regardless of your mantra, I figured I would share how I get ready for a race.

1. Early to bed, early to rise.  I pay extra attention to getting enough sleep by setting an early bedtime for the entire week before the race and continuing to get up early.  As we all know, those race morning alarms are usually painfully early!

2. Lay off the sauce.  I stay away from alcohol and a lot of caffeinated beverages.

3. You are what you eat.  I pay special attention to my diet and focus on lots of "good" carbs, lean protein and plenty of fruits and vegetables.  I try to cut out what I call "crappy calories" like snack foods and sweets.

4. Routine.  On race mornings, I will have tested my outfit and my pre-race food and drink.  I don't want to learn that something about my outfit bugs me or my breakfast upsets my stomach.

5. Get your affairs in order.  I review all the race information thoroughly and print any of the documents I need for the race expo.  Sometimes the expos have a print station, but who wants to wait in an extra line?!  Not this girl...

6. Pump up the jam.  I usually download a few new songs just for the race to add some diversity to my play list and as a little treat to keep me pumped throughout the race.

7. Chill out.  Do something that will put you at ease the night before the race.  Watch a movie, review your race plan, take another look at the race course, watch YouTube videos of the race, etc.  I like to watch videos of all the Disney races since they're usually so upbeat and there are tons of them online.

Happy racing,

August 24, 2012

Race Bibs

What do you do with your race bibs?  Most of mine sit in a file folder in my desk, but I have one special one on display in my office.  I also have affectionately named my office my "I heart me" room in my home.  I have some of my race paraphernalia and some awards on display.  It's a cozy little nook that I really love and reflects my life. 

After the 2011 Princess and my ridiculous ordeal, I wasn't sure what to do with my bib.  I thought about shoving it in a drawer, never to be seen again.  But then I decided I wanted to be reminded of my mini personal triumph in that race.  But how best to display it?

I dug through my stack of unused picture frames and ran across an old document frame that fit the size of the bib.  I "matted" the bib on plain white card stock and put it in the frame.  Then I needed a home for it...why my office bookcase of course!

 It's the perfect spot.  I see it every time I'm in the office and with it being a large frame, it's bookcase home means it doesn't intrude on counter or table space.  It's nestled in between my books, and other meaningful mementos including a photo of my sorority sisters at our college graduation, a paperweight from the mother of two children to whom I taught swimming for an entire summer and a Junior League award I won.  I love the race bib hangers I've seen on etsy but this seems to suit my current decor best. 


August 23, 2012

Sensing a run

I had a really crummy day at work today and was aching to get outside into the (cooler) sunshine all day and hit the pavement a bit and clear my head.  I got in a nice 3 mile run this evening after I got home and settled down a bit.  As I was taking in my neighborhood, I realized that summer is waning and I decided to make every effort to take it in.

The sights:

  • Bunnies hopping between yards
  • Fireflies dotting the landscape
  • Freshly planted rose bushes in my neighbor's yard
The smells:
  • The creek behind some of the houses was extra stinky
  • Honeysuckle - yum!
The sounds:
  • The bugs in the trees at night...even though I hate bugs, that sound is soothing
  • Lawnmowers franticly trimming before the weekend
  • 3 little girls stopping me to ask if I'm running a marathon (melt!).  And of course I told them all about the Princess.  One of them ran inside to tell her Mom about it.  

August 21, 2012

Training Tuesday....Speedwork at the track!

Here is the local track at UNCW on a sunny Tuesday morning
My workout last Tuesday was to include 4 X 800 at 3.50 pace and with the temperature hovering around 80 degrees and high humidity, it was a tough challenge.  I ended up managing just 1 X 800 and then 5 X 400 at 1:47 pace.  Somehow, I find the shorter speed work easier on the very hot days.  In any case, the one mile warm up and cool down were easy and the job was complete.  Check!

           After my run, I decided to stand near a does anyone manage to jump over those?


August 19, 2012

Weekend photos

From Pam: This is me sitting at Philadelphia airport waiting for my flight to Glasgow on Friday night.

We will be hiking with a group for a week and hopefully I can manage to fit in a few runs on the treadmill at our hotel.  We will also have a pool and laps will be also on my agenda.  Since Christine and I are registered for a race Sept. 2 in Virginia Beach, I need to keep up with training.  Hopefully I can avoid haggis and other unusual Scottish food!

And now from me, Christine:  I am IN LOVE with my newest running skirt.  This is the pink Minnie tech from Sparkle Skirts.  It's beyond fabulous!  I took it for a test drive on my long run this morning and was very pleased with it.   
We're getting super excited for the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach over labor day weekend and our outfits are almost complete.  We have specially printed tanks (white, since we will basically running on the surface of the sun, aka the Virginia Beach Boardwalk) that should be coming soon from OneMoreMile (they'll be at the Expo as well - woo!!).  This will be the first race I've run with a costume or special outfit.
Final race instructions and information went out via email (also available via link) for the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach.
We're running the relay -I'm the first leg and Mom is the 2nd leg.  Should be really fun...we even carry a drumstick as our baton!

And finally, the creme de la creme of my weekend running news - my new Garmin Forerunner 210!!!  I finally bit the bullet and bought a good pace watch and I couldn't be happier.  I just wish I hadn't waited so long to finally snag one!

Hope you guys had a great weekend!

August 18, 2012

Bondibands....I love them!

Do you run with a bondiband?  I discovered these only within the last 6 months and love running in them.

 My collection is small, but I intend to fix that problem at the Expo for the Rock and Roll Half marathon in Virginia Beach early next month.  My eye is on several of the fashion headbands, specifically the red with white dots and the hot pink with white dots.  As you may have guessed, Christine and I will be dressing up  as little Minnie's for our next race. We have two skirts, one pink   and one red so we will probably just get both headbands.  My favorite so far is the blue one from the  Princess Half in February.  The lettering was a perfect match with my lime green running shirt.          

Do you wear headbands or hats when you run?


Disclaimer:  I received no compensation or goods from Bondiband for this post.

August 14, 2012

It's Been Revealed! The Mickey Marathon Medal!!

Here is the latest from runDisney Facebook:

It looks like a real beauty and I can't wait to receive mine.  Now I am wondering if Goofy will be the same medal as last year?

Training Tuesday....Injury Time Out!

Nearly three weeks ago, I had an injury while playing tennis.  I bent low to hit a ball and the torque made a mess of my lower spine.  After nearly a week of being uncomfortable, a visit to the doctor was necessary.  She thought that it might be a disc issue, or Sciatica so I started my first bout of medication that included muscle relaxants and pain killers.  Restricted activity of only walking was imposed for 10 days but with strong medication, that was no problem. I also was given stretching as a option so that kept me entertained while watching the Olympics. My little Lulu tried to help too!

 Finally, at the end of 8 days of no improvement I called and made a follow up appointment.  This time I had an Xray and my spine looked good for an older far so good.  My doctor recommended physical therapy and I managed to get an appointment that afternoon.  The PT expert put my legs and back through a battery of tests and concluded that I had messed up my muscles from the torquing motion.  I was given ultrasound therapy on Friday afternoon and lucky for me, he said I could run.  So, after nearly two weeks of just a small amount of activity I ran Saturday morning.....and it was a 10 mile run!  It felt wonderful to be back out on the road and the hot weather did not bother me too much. It was a thrill to know I would be back to normal soon and running my next race in just three weeks!  The countdown is on for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon too....just 13 weeks!


August 13, 2012

AM or PM?

This is a topic that definitely intrigues me...what's your preferred time of day for working out?  I know that for most, this will largely be dictated by external factors - work hours, family commitments and the like.  While I don't have children (except for my wild and crazy Shaggy dog), I do have a demanding job that also entails a pretty long commute.  I very diligently plan out my workouts based on my work schedule and personal commitments each Sunday night.  I often consider if I have a late afternoon/evening meeting or how many consecutive workouts I've had to figure out when I'm going to work out.

If given a blank slate each day, I would most certainly pick a morning workout routine.  I'm usually less likely to skip a workout and I like getting it out of the way.  I typically hit the gym 2 days a week in the morning.  This usually includes speed work and cross training.  And you may gasp when you learn I'm here when they open at 5AM.  You see, I leave the house for work between 6:45 and 7AM to beat the tunnel traffic (yup, I drive through one of those each day) and so I can also get into work before most of my team....I like a little quiet time before the office gets busy.  So you can imagine that this creates a bit of a morning crunch for me.  I can really only squeeze in an hour long workout, at the maximum, so that I can get home in time to shower, feed the pup, get ready, grab some coffee and run out the door to try to beat the AM rush hour.

Conversely, if I workout in the evenings, I often don't hit the gym until 7:00 or so.  I usually get home around 5:30 or 6 and spend some time with the dog, get settled and all that before I head back out.  This, of course, means that I don't eat dinner until about 9:00, thus moving my bed time back later than it should be, meaning I'm too tired to hit the gym in the morning....wait, what just happened?  Did my whole workout routine just get interrupted because of the timing of another workout?  Sigh...the life of a runner/consultant  How do you manage your training schedule?


August 12, 2012

Back to School Shopping Disney Style!

I am obsessed with school supplies despite being done with school for more than 35 years.  However, that does not prevent me from buying supplies to replenish my desk each year in August.  This year, I needed folders and a notebook, specifically for tracking my training for upcoming races.  Here is what I found:

The mini notebooks came from Staples and the folders and composition book came from Target.

This Minnie pencil case came from could also be a makeup bag!

Have fun back to school shopping and be sure to look for all the fun Disney items at your favorite stores.


August 10, 2012

Random musings on a training run

Thursday night I was scheduled for a 5 mile tempo run.  I got home from work and just felt pretty lazy.  (I'm not gonna lie, it's been an exhausting few weeks at work, so I generally feel like putting my feet up, opening some wine and plopping myself on the couch once I get home.)  It was one of the first evenings without rain and insane heat in a while so I figured a nice outdoor run was perfect.  I chilled out for a bit, read my mail, paid a few bills and the like.  At around 6:30, I set out on my run and had a few observations...

1. I opted to run without my watch and instead used the My RunKeeper app on my iPhone to "coach" me on my run, walk intervals (4:1).  It was nice to be a little more carefree and be running without regard to pace.

My thoughts on this run...
2. I hadn't been out for a run in the evening outside in a while for various reasons - weather, timing, laziness...  I find that running outside is always more refreshing and a bit cathartic, which I greatly enjoy after a long day at the office.  

3. I'm a very consistent 10 mm pacer.  I can run a flat 10 mm in my sleep.  So I was quite surprised to see that after my first mile when I twisted my head to read my iPhone and see that I was running an 8:30 pace.  Holy smokes!  What is going on here?  No wonder I was tired.  For the rest of the run, my pace was all over the map and I had the fatigue to prove it.  Although this did make me wonder if I was finally starting to improve my pace even if my run was pretty erratic that night.

4. Yowzers, I under-estimated the heat!  I ran out of water after a mile and a half.  

5. Hmmm...housing half a bag of Goldfish for my pre-run snack was probably a bad idea.  But on the flip side, I learned that my dog, Paddy, also loves the Parmesan flavor. 

6. I really don't do well with a headband to hold my hair back.  They always seem to slide right off my head. :(  I really need to try a Bondi band someday.

7. Even if it didn't feel hot at first, it most definitely was!  Next time I'll be more prepared with more fluids.


August 9, 2012

Donald, found in Chicago

If you've been following the Great Medal Caper on runDisney's Facebook page, you've seen Donald trek around the globe with Mickey, Goofy and pals closely following him to return the medal design.  And thank goodness the new Donald half medal design was revealed when they finally tracked down the duck in Chicago.

What do you think?  Pretty slick, eh?

And today is definitely Donald's day.  Did you know that 8 years ago today Donald got a star on the Walk of Fame?  Today really is his day!


August 8, 2012

Get Ready to Shop! WDW 2013 Marathon Clothing....Available Now for Training!

As you know, we are crazy about the Expos at the Disney races.  When looking around the Disney store online today, I discovered that they are offering clothing for the upcoming January 2013 races.  They have tech shirts for the three races, Donald, Mickey and Goofy as well as some jackets and sweatshirts.  Take a stuff for training and preparing for a wonderful weekend of racing.

Here is the sweatshirt that I might have to order......

2013 Walt Disney World Half Marathon Donald Duck Performance Tee for Women by Champion®

Adorable Donald shirt......Christine may want this cutie......

Go take a peak, but may end up spending money!


August 6, 2012

Running through London

I woke up bright and early yesterday morning to watch the women run the marathon in the London 2012 Olympics. They're fast! I have to admit that I always forget just how fast they are.  In any case, I was thinking how fun city races are in terms of a fun and exciting course. I've never done a city race per say and that is definitely on my list.

Back to's one of my favorite cities, at least of those I've had the opportunity to visit. I was lucky enough to get to meet my parents there while my Dad was working in England. In this London race, they run by so many of the best sites in the city so I figured we would share some of our favorite London memories and things to do.


Buckingham Palace and Victoria Monument: While you can't see the entire palace, it is definitely worth the wait to tour it.  It's typically closed certain parts of the year, so you'll definitely want to check a tour book if this is on your list. 

London Eye: It's expensive and amazing at night when you can see the city lit up.

Tower Bridge: This bridge is as gorgeous in person (maybe moreso) as it is on TV. 

Tower of London: By far my favorite site in London.  The ravens that roam the grounds are really intriguing and the jewels (of course!) are incredible. 

Hmmm now I'm day dreaming about my next vacation.  London calling...

August 5, 2012

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon.....Parlez - Vous Francais?

Is anyone else dying for runDisney to schedule a half marathon across the Atlantic at Disneyland Paris?  It would be fun for them to offer a special race there and to include the option of a dual continent medal, similar to the Coast to Coast.  I can only imagine what those creative designers at runDisney could come up with for a medal, particularly since both countries have red, white and blue in their flag colors.

Park Entrance...circa 1997
Disneyland Paris is located approximately 20 miles from central Paris and consists of two theme parks and seven Disney owned hotels.  When the first park opened in April of 1992, it was called Euro Disney resort.  It was renamed in 1994 to Disneyland Paris.  The second park, called Walt Disney Studios Park, was opened in March of 2002.

During August of 1997, we were fortunate to be able to visit the park during a trip to Paris.  After visiting numerous historical sights and museums for over a week, we were thrilled to have a day at a Disney park, especially one so far from home!  It was time to have a relaxing day and we enjoyed seeing our favorite characters in a new park.

Come on runDisney schedule a race in France - Christine and I will be the first to sign up!


August 1, 2012

Y'all ready for this?

Da na na...ah one of my fav 'get pumped' sports songs.  And it is fitting that it is part of my thoughts about the medal for the 5k during the Wine and Dine weekend.  We've toyed with signing up...if nothing else, for the medal.  This might just do it for me...

Come to mama!  I mean really, how cute is that thing?  It's a well-known fact that Mom and I are obsessed with Christmas.  Her family calls her the Christmas Queen (a la Lucy in A Charlie Brown Christmas).  I'm not sure I can hold back on this one, even if I am looking for a solid PR at the Wine and Dine Half.  And we can rationalize it as a back-to-back race training for Goofy (her, not me).  Registration is still open, so it's definitely on the table for us.

So who else is doing the 5k that weekend?