July 31, 2013

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 411

Tuesday was a very exciting day as all of the final documentation was released for the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend. After spending some time over the weekend working on our weekend plans and costumes, we are getting very excited for this event! So here it is, all of the fabulous details that have kept us waiting with baited breath...

Final Race Program: Contains expo information including the speaker series, logistics for all weekend events, nutrition tips and more.

Half Marathon Course Map

10k and 5k Course Map

Access the igiftbag here.

Final Race Instructions: Includes detailed logistics information for each race
* Half Marathon, 10k, 5k, Kids Races
* Pasta in the Park and ChEAR Squad

Waivers: Your waiver will have your bib number on it (bottom right corner) and from there, you can determine your corral placement.  Make sure you print and sign your waiver and bring it with you to the expo so you don't have to wait in a line to get it there.  To get your waiver for the Pasta in the Park and ChEAR Squad, go here.

Want to try to change your corral?  Bring a proof of time showing that you can meet the pace listed in the corral placements to the Runner Relations booth at the expo.  I recommend having your information all ready so you don't have to print it at the expo.  I've changed my corral a few times and it's very easy!

Runner Tracking: This is a great (and FREE!) tool that runDisney offers for runners to post their split times to Facebook and Twitter or have them sent to specific email addresses or cell phone numbers.  It's a great tool for family and friends to track you and know when to expect you either along the course or at the finish line.

More information is available on the Disneyland Half Marathon page on the runDisney website in the FAQs tab.


July 30, 2013

Training Tuesday: A Different Kind of Inspiration

Inspiration for runners can come in many different forms, but usually it is people who inspire us on our journey to become better runners and better selves.  Training for long distance races can be quite lonely and having something inspiring to read can really lift you up.  At least I can say that is what has happened to me after reading Dandelion Growing Wild by Kim Jones.  This book was recommended by Bart Yasso on Twitter and it caught my eye:

Reply to  
Image will appear as a link
This book drew me in from the very beginning with "Kimmie" as a young child growing up in a family that endures poverty, mental illness and many tragic deaths that would challenge any family with just one of these difficulties.  It is hard not to cheer as the story unfolds and Kim's running/marathon career take off.  Through all of these life struggles, she remains cheerful and manages to become a world class champion and overcome odds that would normally be seen only in a fairy tale.  It is very powerful book and a real page turner.  One small thing to note.  This book will distract you from chores, your children, your husband, your friends.  However, it will make you want to lace up your running shoes so you will not miss any of your training runs!

Here are a few book reviews by some of my running heroes/heroines:

“Stunning! This is no ordinary running story... it's a record of tremendous family struggle and personal triumph. A beautiful story of resilience and perseverance... a journey through a world class career as a marathoner. A hell of a book!” – Bill Rodgers. 4-time winner of the Boston and New York City Marathons

“Beautifully written, Kim's story has given a new definition to the word perseverance... in both life and sport. Inspirational with every turn of the page.” – Joan Benoit Samuelson. 1984 Gold Medal, Olympic Marathon

If you have a great running book to recommend please share!


July 29, 2013

Operation Homefront 5k Race Recap

On Saturday, we ran in the Operation Homefront 5k in Virginia Beach, VA.  We signed up as part of my corporate team, which guaranteed that we would have some buddies on race morning (and also get a great deal on the registration fee).  I was drawn to this race for a few reasons...I hadn't run a timed 5k in quite a while and was looking for a PR in that distance this year; the discounted registration fee was really tempting and hard to pass up; and I was intrigued by and enthusiastic about supporting Operation Homefront.

Operation Homefront is a nonprofit organization that provides emergency financial and other assistance to active duty and wounded service members.  They organize donations based on needs in a local area; for example, they're currently putting together backpacks with school supplies for children of families that qualify for assistance.  In a nutshell, they do great things and given that the military is such a huge presence in my local area, I was excited to participate in a race that benefits this great organization.

So back to the race...we headed down to Virginia Beach early since bib pick-up opened at 6AM and the race was scheduled for a 7AM start.  There was already a line for checking in when we got there, but it moved very quickly.  We got our bibs, race shirt, and a goodie bag (everyone loves a goodie bag!) and headed back to the car to stash everything.  We met up with some of my colleagues and meandered to the start area.
We did a little jog to warm up and before we knew it, they were calling for us to line up at the start.  This wasn't a chip timed race so we wanted to be near the front.  A moment later, we were off and running!  We were running on a wide road so there weren't any issues with initial congestion.  Mom and I decided that we would run the race at our own pace, and I lost her almost immediately after the start.  I settled in to a sub-8 pace pretty easily and was feeling good.  A few minutes into the race, I realized that I had never started my Garmin - oops!  Luckily, I was more interested in focusing on pace than overall time, so I wasn't too worried. 

After seeing mile 1, I was feeling great.  I didn't feel tight or like I was pushing too hard.  I tried to maintain the same pace through mile 2 and then my plan was to push as hard as I could for the last mile.  I didn't have much gas for the last mile, but I did pas a few people which was fun!  As we hit the last straightaway, I could see the race clock and saw it tick from 23 to 24 and I realized that I was about to run a 24-something 5k, which was a HUGE improvement (4 minutes) for me.  I immediately looped back before the finish line and looked for Mom and she was almost to the finish line as well.  It was fun to get to cheer for her blaze across the line as well.
Mom approaching the finish and I'm cheering (off to the right...look for red skirt)
We grabbed water and Gatorade and regrouped with my coworkers and learned that one guy took 4th overall, running an 18-something 5k - wow!  We cheered for others as they finished up and enjoyed some post-race chatter.   
I figured Mom easily placed in her age group so we hung around for the awards.  I was shocked to learn that I took 2nd in my age group, especially since it was a bigger group (30-39 vs. 30-34 like I typically see).  And then we learned that Mom took 2nd in her age group as well.  I'd like to think my silver sparkly headband was a partial contributor to this! 

Overall Experience: A+
Race shirts: D-....ours are way too big even though they were the smallest size offered.
Organization: A
Course: A...fast and flat and we even got some views of the ocean!
Refreshments: A+...they had Gatorade, water and coconut water plus bananas, grapes, granola bars and bagels

I'd highly recommend this race if you're in the area.  Plus it was fun to have a race during the summer lull. 

July 28, 2013

Weekly Roundup: July 28th

We've had a very fun weekend filled with racing, costume crafting and girlie fun.  After our 5k yesterday (recap coming very soon), we spent a little time at the pool and then worked on our race costumes for Disneyland.  It's hard to believe that we'll be on a plane headed out to California exactly one month from today.  This summer has simply flown by.  And as much as I'm looking forward to our end-of-summer race, there is much left to do to enjoy the rest of the summer - beach and pool time, hitting up some Tides games (the local AAA team) and enjoying evenings on the deck.

Sunday, July 21
Pam: Rest day but played 9 holes golf, walked and carried
Christine: 9 mile run (quite possibly one of my worst, but the miles are done)

Monday, July 22
Pam: Speed work at the track, 8 X 400 at 1:53 pace (all well under pace, YAY!) 4 miles total
Christine: 35 min yoga

Tuesday, July 23
Pam:  60 minute yoga class,  walked/carried 9 holes golf
Christine: 5 mile tempo run on treadmill

Wednesday, July 24
Pam: Ran 4 miles in 38 minutes and struggled with heat and head cold
Christine: 1 hour yard work

Thursday, July 25
Pam: Walked/carried 9 holes golf,  45 minute TRX class
Christine: 4 mile run outside (finally it was cool enough!!)

Friday, July 26
Pam: 30 min elliptical, stretching
Christine: Rest day

Saturday, July 27
Pam: Operation Homefront 5k
Christine: Operation Homefront 5k (new PR woohoo!)

How are you planning to enjoy the rest of the summer?

July 26, 2013

WRD Weekend Reunion

This weekend will be a fun one as Mom is joining me in VA for some running and Disney fun.  Saturday morning we'll be running the Operation Homefront 5k as part of my corporate team.  Hopefully we'll do them proud.  I have big plans for a PR since I haven't run a timed 5k in over a year and before I started serious training.  Regardless, it's a great cause and I'm looking forward to rocking some of my patriotic running gear.

We have big plans to work on our costumes for Dumbo Double Dare.  I anticipate a few trips to Michael's for some supplies and some quality time around the sewing machine.  Fingers crossed that they turn out as well in real life as I'm envisioning them!  And two races means double the costumes...and potential crafting disasters!

And of course, we'll log some miles on Sunday for a long run, eat some yummy food and enjoy some quality mother-daughter time.  We haven't spent a weekend together (other than one that was a family event) since easter!

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

July 25, 2013

Running Down Under, More Exotic Race Locales

Some of my favorite trips include places that offer some amazing race opportunities for runners.  When Tom and I visited Australia in 2010, we were excited about hiking in the Blue Mountains and then seeing much of the east coast of the country by cruise ship after a six night stay in Sydney.
Tom with the famous landmark, "Three Sisters" in the backdrop!

If you are really energetic, you can take on a 100 kilometer trail race in the Blue Mountains that takes many hours to complete.  The details can be found here if you are brave! 
After our wonderful visit to the Blue Mountains, we headed back by train to Sydney where we enjoyed all the local sights including a Beach Boys concert at the Sydney Opera House that sits in the harbor!

Sydney has many races for runners and the running festival held in this beautiful city includes a marathon that includes a run across the bridge as part of the course.  This year, the race will be held on September 23 and there is still time to register if you are planning a trip to Australia!

Other fun things to do in Sydney include the climbing the harbor bridge which we did, but with a lot of trepidation from Pam! My fear of heights nearly got the best of me, but I am so glad we scaled this beautiful structure because the views are breathtaking!  There are beautiful beaches to discover, the zoo, a few wild animal parks, not to mention some fabulous restaurants.
Proof that I made it! 
Have you conquered any fears while on vacation?

July 24, 2013

Color Me Rad

Yesterday I received an email confirming my selection as a race ambassador for the Color Me Rad race at the Wilmington, NC location on October 20th of this year. Since this is in my hometown, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out a fun run!

 You're now an official runner of Color Me Rad Wilmington, NC on Sunday, October 20, 2013.

The Wilmington race starts on the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus which I am very familiar with since I use their track frequently!  This should be an exciting race, with hopefully loads of college students participating.  Since the race is held on Sunday.  I think I can talk Tom into being my official photographer.  However, there is no way I could talk him into running!  With a little trepidation about this type of race, I asked a Facebook friend, Megan Biller about her experience with the Color Run last year.  She was very enthusiastic with her comments and will be running the race again this year.  While these are two entirely different race organizers, the concept is the same.  You can read her review here.

From what I can tell, the only necessity for this race is white clothing, glasses, and a happy face! This will be a whole new race experience for me and I look forward to this fun, untimed run.  If you are interested in registering for one of these races take advantage of their pricing of just $30 until August 9th!

Have you participated in a Color Me Rad race?

July 23, 2013

LockLaces Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone that entered our giveaway!  We're excited to announce that the winner is...

Congratulations Kristina (aka @Dork_II)!  Please email us (werundisney@gmail.com). 

My Journey to 26.2: Burnout (006)

Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's the mileage, maybe it's the mental challenge...it's probably a combination of all three, but lately I've been feeling burned out.  I have been doing well hitting the mileage and paces in my training plan, but I feel like something needs to give.  My long runs in particular have left me feeling really drained, mentally and physically.  They've been a challenge.  And to be honest, I've sort of been dreading them.  I knew it was time to take a hard look at my runs and reevaluate so I can still successfully train for and race the races on the calendar...with a smile on my face!

1. Take a break. After next week's long run, I plan to take a step back and chill out on running a bit.  To maintain my fitness, I plan to substitute swimming and biking for running.

2. Refresh my playlist. My playlist is a bit tired so I'm working on a new mix with some new jams and old favorites.  I'm also going to try out podcasts since I hear so many other runners enjoying them.

3. Consult the experts.  I flipped through Jeff Galloway's marathon book and he stresses focusing on a mantra, slowing down and intervening early to avoid major burnout.

4. Make it fun. I have a fun, local 5k on the horizon this weekend.  Mom is coming up to run with me and we'll be running in some patriotic garb since the race benefits Operation Homefront.  I love racing and I think it will give me a confidence boost.

5. Lose the watch.  I plan to take one of my runs without a watch this week so I can run "free."

6. Talk to people. For a while, I've been a bit cautious about talking about how crummy I feel about my long runs but after mentioning it to a few running buddies, I'm learning I'm not the only one suffering this summer and slogging through my runs.

7. Don't beat yourself up.  I'm 1000% guilty of this.  If I have a bad run, I stress about it.  I let it bother me...more than I should.  I'm working on changing my attitude about my runs and taking it for what it is...a fun activity that helps me stay fit!

Want to read more?  A few good articles on running burnout:
4 Rules to Avoid Runner Burnout from Active
To Avoid Burnout, Have Fun from Competitor
Feeling down about your run lately? Time to reenergize mind and body from Jeff Galloway

How do you handle burnout?  Would love to hear your tips!

July 22, 2013

Summer Reading Fun

I normally read more books in the summer than in the winter.  All the pool and beach time I enjoy is usually accompanied by a good book or my latest issue of either Sports Illustrated, Runner's World, or Women's Running magazine.  This summer there have been several books that are standouts that I would like to suggest for those looking for a good read.

The first book is Gold by Chris Cleave, also author of the wildly popular book, Little Bee.  Gold follows the track cycling career of two female athletes who are planning to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games.  The book has so many twists and turns that keep the reader highly entertained.  I would give this an enthusiastic thumbs up to anyone who likes to read about sports and competition.

Another great read is Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell.  This book is the harrowing tale of one member of Seal Team 10 who survived a battle in the mountains of Afghanistan.  The story is riveting and while the end was clear before I picked up the book, you are still on the edge of your seat until you turn the final page.  A new appreciation for what the Navy Seals endure both in training and combat was fully realized by this reader.

My final selection is a wonderful guide to Disneyland!  The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland by Bob Sehlinger is a complete guide with all the information you could possibly need for a trip to the west coast Disney property. They have great maps, detailed cost analysis and hotel and restaurant guide information. This is an older version of the book, from my first trip in 2011, but updates were easily available online at the Disney.com website. We are eager to get on the plane for our trip to California next month!

I have several books on my Kindle ready for my long flight to California and they include a Dandelion Growing Wild by Kim Jones, a champion marathoner and Ken Follett's Winter of the World, my bookclub's selection for our September meeting.  Do you have any good books to recommend?

July 21, 2013

Weekly Roundup: July 21st

This week I traveled to Boston to visit with my Mom for a few days. I needed to keep up with my training schedule but it was far too hot to run outside.  I used the awesome gym at her retirement home every day to keep up with my training.  One of the really fun things at the gym besides the machines, stretching table and great staff is this area:

My favorite drink is the sugar free lemonade....so good!

My trip back to North Carolina was Friday and the weather is just as hot here as the Boston area! The summer heat is really taking a toll on our garden and so far, the cilantro and dill have bitten the dust.  We have been watering twice a day in hopes that the produce will grow and more important, bear fruit!  Lulu is getting fewer walks, but occasionally gets to ride on a float in the pool!

She always  loves a free ride!

Next weekend I am traveling again to spend the weekend with Christine.  We have big plans, including a race and some craft projects to get ready for next month's trip to Disneyland!  Here is what our workouts looked like this week:

Sunday, July 14th
Pam: rest day
Christine: 13.1 miles in 2:26 (hot and tiring!)

Monday, July 15th
Pam:  Speedwork: 3 X 1600 at 8:00, 7:53, 8:00 total 5 miles,  deep water aerobics class 45 minutes
Christine: 25 min yoga

Tuesday, July 16th
Pam: 30 minutes eliptical, weights, stretching
Christine: 1.2 mile run (legs hurting), 20 min elliptical, Abs

Wednesday, July 17th
Pam: 3.25 miles tempo run, rolling and lots of stretching
Christine: 30 min stationary bike, upper and lower body weights

Thursday, July 18th
Pam: 30 minutes eliptical, Abs, stretching
Christine: Hill workout on treadmill - 1 mile warmup and then 1 mile 3x of following: 1 min at 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, 5%, 4%, 3%, 2%, 1%, rest.  Total 4.5 miles

Friday, July 19th
Pam: easy 4 mile run
Christine: Rest day

Saturday, July 20th
Pam: 14 mile run outside!  very hot and humid!
Christine: long walk, weights, Abs

There are still a couple days left to enter our giveaway for free locklaces.  Click on the link and add your name!

July 20, 2013

Leg Cramps

A while ago, I asked for input regarding a recent problem I've been having...terrible leg cramps while I'm sleeping.  Typically my entire calf will seize up and it's really painful.  I can usually still feel a lingering tenderness the following day.  It has happened more than once so I figured it wasn't an anomaly and I needed to pay it more attention to resolve the issue once and for all.  I'm lucky to work in a place where I have easy access to health professionals so I solicited input from several - a dietitian, physical therapist and athletic trainer.  I got slightly different answers from each but the theme was the same...all diet and hydration related.

Do you have any other remedies that work for keeping cramps at bay?

July 19, 2013

My Music Playlist!

Before you start laughing at my playlist, bear with me.  I am probably double the age of most runners who follow our blog.  This is Pam talking, the old lady of the We Run Disney duo!  While running my 8 miles on Saturday I began to realize that many of the songs on my shuffle have life stories behind them.  This gave me something really fun to focus on instead of the extreme heat and humidity making for a very tough run!

Elton John singing Tiny Dancer reminds me of Christine's first dance recital!  At the age of four, she participated in a recital with many girls who did not attend class with any frequency.  Tom and I howled with laughter during the recital and she gave mad eyes to the girls who stood on stage and did not dance!  It was hilarious!

With a smirk like McKayla Maroney!

As the Beach Boys Kokomo came on my shuffle I was reminded of our drive to Newark Airport as we were headed for a spring break trip to Jamaica many years ago.  We all were singing along and the trip was a really fun family vacation!

Pink sunglasses have always been a favorite!

One of my favorite songs on the shuffle is Sweet Caroline sung by Neil Diamond!   As a Red Sox fan since childhood, this one always makes me smile. I loved hearing this at mile 23 of the Mickey Marathon in January and look forward to making more memories as I run the marathon again in January with Christine as part of the Dopey Challenge!  Beware though, if you are near me when this song plays, I will sing and it will be loud and off key!

Do you have stories to go with the songs on your playlist?

July 18, 2013

Running Buddies are Awesome!

You may not know this about me but I tend to be a solitary runner.  I've never joined a running group and generally do 95% of my training runs solo.  Don't get me wrong - I love running with buddies, but I've always worried that pace, planned mileage and the like could get in the way of a successful group run.  Call me crazy.  While I don't have a training partner physically present, I have one mentally and emotionally present...the other half of the We Run Disney duo, my mama.

Last weekend, I really needed her for my long run.  I was struggling early and knew it would be tough. I knew I would need support so cried for help.

Luckily, she gave me a few welcome distractions to occupy my thoughts.  The day earlier, we bought our park tickets for our Disneyland trip later this summer so I was momentarily distracted.  Unfortunately, it didn't last long.  Thankfully she talked some sense into me and urged me to finish my planned mileage (13).

Even if only virtual, I'm forever grateful for my training pal.  We see each other through highs and lows of training and more often than not, we have similar mileage on our training plans, which is excellent.  I know that when the time comes to ramp up the mileage for the marathon and Dopey, I'll need her support even more.  

Who's your training buddy?

July 17, 2013

Lock Laces Review and Giveaway!

The kind people at Lock Laces offered us the opportunity to try out their product via twitter last week! I jumped at the chance since these were something I had wanted to try, but are not available at my local running store, Trysports Wilmington. Friday I received this package of laces and immediately chose the white ones and laced up my sneakers!
Lock Laces to Try!
Saturday morning came soon enough and I put on my shoes and headed out the door for my weekly long run.  Immediately I was excited that I did not have to adjust my laces several times before starting my run.  Especially during long runs, I need to adjust the laces so they are not too tight as my feet start to swell.  With Lock Laces, the adjustment occurs naturally since the laces are made of an elastic material.

new laces in place!
I have already gone to the online store and ordered three more pairs for my other running shoes.  Now to the fun part!  Would you like to try a pair of Lock Laces?  We have one pair of blue laces to send to the winner of our raffle. And if you do not want to wait for the giveaway to try these awesome laces, you can get free shipping by using the Code: TLT4C and 20% of your total will go directly to The Little Things For Cancer fundraiser by Kat over at Sneakers and Fingerpaints!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

July 16, 2013

Training Tuesday: Mind over Body

Every once in a while you have one of those days....we all have them.  You feel tired, unmotivated to work out and can come up with every excuse in the book...I got home late from work, I'm tired, I'm hungry, I'm not feeling it, I can run tomorrow, it's raining, etc.  I was feeling all of these last Thursday but I really needed to run.  I had taken a rest day Wednesday and was planning another on Friday given that I had plans after work so I didn't have much wiggle room, which may have been a good thing.

I immediately walked to my bedroom after I got home from work and put on some of my favorite running clothes - my Brooks skirt, Rock 'n Roll Virginia Beach shirt and some fun green socks.  I didn't even give myself a chance to sit down for fear that I would never get up.  It was raining pretty steadily so I decided to head to the gym for my tempo run.  This was also a pseudo-carrot for myself so I could watch some TV.  I still wasn't feeling it when I got there but just told myself to get started and see what happened.

I found some trashy show on E! to keep me occupied and off I went.  What turned out to be a disinterested training run turned out to be one of my strongest tempo runs ever, doing my run intervals at an average of sub-9:00 mm pace.  I had one of those moments where I looked around and thought to myself 'wow, I really am getting faster.'  I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I was feeling pretty pumped and also proud that I convinced myself to get this run done even when I didn't feel like it.

Despite feeling generally tired last week and in anticipation of that run, I put my mind to work so I could get my run done.  How do you talk yourself into a run when you're feeling crummy?


July 15, 2013

Trying New Things On A Run!

On Saturday morning, I left the house for my long run with not one, but three new items to try out!  The first was Lock Laces which I mentioned on twitter after receiving a nice package in the mail! The other two items were a new Clif Shot in Mocha flavor with caffeine and a new running belt by iFitness.  
The Lock Laces were a huge success, in fact I have already been online and ordered several more pairs for my many different running shoes.  There will be a full review and giveaway on Wednesday so be sure to enter to win!


I have steered clear of gels that have caffeine for a long time.  But the kind people at Clif sent me a box of goodies this week and a Mocha flavored shot that had added caffeine sounded pretty tasty for my run.  I took it after mile four since the weather was super hot and humid.  The flavor was wonderful and it had a great combination of chocolate and coffee, which are two of my favorites!  However, after about twenty more minutes of running, I felt weird, and almost as though my heart was beating a little too fast.  In the future, I will avoid the gels with caffeine which is too bad because this one was very tasty!


The running belt made by iFitness is super comfortable and has ample space in the neoprene pocket for a phone, several gels and keys.  With a wide elastic belt with an easy to adjust length, this is super comfortable and did not move a bit when I was running. It is sturdy enough that I can hook on my dog spray too!  I only wish I had tried this belt sooner.  It will now be my regular running belt!

Have you tried any new running accessories lately?  Anything you just love?

July 14, 2013

Weekly Roundup: July 14th

It's been a really busy week for us following the holiday.  Somehow the weeks following a holiday are always tough...work is busy, there's chores to do and no immediate excitement on the horizon.  It was also a big mileage ramp-up week for me and I had some killer training runs.  With today's run (which is not captured here, but still counts in my mind for my three runs per week mileage), I'll hit 25 miles which may be my longest weekly mileage ever.  And I know it will only go up from here.  Here I come Marine Corps Marathon!!

Sunday, July 7th
Pam: Rest day, but played 9 holes of golf!
Christine: Rest day

Monday, July 8th
Pam:  5 mile tempo run, 50 minute sculpt class
Christine: 30 min stationary bike, Leg weights

Tuesday, July 9th
Pam: 1 hour yoga class
Christine: Speed work 4x800 with a mile warm up and 1/2 mile cool down for 4.4 miles total

Wednesday, July 10th
Pam: Speedwork 8x400 for 4.25 miles total
Christine: Rest day

Thursday, July 11th
Pam:  eliptical 30 minutes
Christine: 7 mile tempo run on treadmill: 1 mile warm up at 9:40 pace, 2 miles at 9:06 pace (6.6 mph), 2 miles at 8:57 pace (6.7 mph), 2 miles at 8:49 pace (6.8 mph) with 9:1 intervals, 1/2 mile walk for cool down for total of 7.5 miles

Friday, July 12th
Pam: 20 minutes bike, 1200 meters rowing, Core and Restore class
Christine: Rest day

Saturday, July 13th
Pam: 8 mile run outside in 1:23
Christine: 30 minute stationary bike, abs, arm work

What was your favorite activity this week?

July 13, 2013

Long Runs Make Me Happy!

When I started running less than three years ago, my long runs were something I dreaded and feared.  As my mileage increased towards that first half marathon race, I struggled with anxiety before every long run as the mileage grew.  That even included wondering if I would make the distance on my training plan, could I keep the moderate pace and most of all, could I make it back to my house in one piece?  Confidence is a huge part of running and frankly, this older new runner did not have it.  My ah ha moment came sometime in mid February, when I ran my last training run before my half marathon debut at Walt Disney World.  The completion of a 12 mile run at a reasonable pace gave me the confidence I needed to toe the line for my first big race.  Finished and happy as shown in the photo below, the running addiction was just beginning!

February 27, 2011
Because my training schedule has me running only three days a week now and occasionally four, the long runs are the easier days.....pace is always comfortable and the time on my feet is something I have gotten used to.  Long run day is now my favorite training day of my week. The beauty of the long run for me starts with the first few steps away from my driveway.  It is very relaxing to run with no really specific goal except mileage. It is amazing what I can accomplish on a long run too.....solving the world's problems as well as my own are some of the thoughts that go through my head.  I'm sure when the long runs turn in to 20 miles I may change my tune, but at the moment they are my happy pace and place!

Do you love your long runs too?

July 11, 2013

Peachtree Road Race Recap

If you've been in the running community very long, you've heard about Peachtree.  60,000 people run this race every year and simply getting a bib can require some exertion.  Many sign up for Atlanta Track Club for guaranteed entry and others enter the lottery.  And then there are people like me who decide to run well after the lottery has closed and all bibs are gone.  But, Peachtree does something amazing.  They have a formal, legit bib transfer system and a friend of mine helped me acquire a bib which turned out to be a seamless process.

The big day arrived with some looming questions about the weather but one thing was for sure...I was out to have fun in this race.  After seeing my race photos from MarathonFoto (40 in all!!), they were a 'must buy' so I immediately knew this would be a video recap.  So here you have it...my Peachtree Road Race.

Have you ever run this race?  What did you think?

July 10, 2013

One of the Hardest Marathons in the World!

Recently, we posted about some favorite destinations and the race possibilities in those locations.  On my run yesterday, I thought of a place we visited about 5 years ago and wondered if there was a marathon offered. The place I am talking about is the lost city of Machu Picchu.   
Most people arrive here by train!
I did discover through an Internet search that there is indeed a marathon that finishes at Machu Picchu.  Located in Peru, this mythical Inca settlement, over 500 years old, lies in the middle of a rain forest.  This marathon is listed with the most difficult marathons available in the world.  It is no surprise given it's remote location and accessibility! The marathon has a Facebook page devoted to the race and it has some fun information including a scary elevation chart!

The people were amazing! So friendly and welcoming to their country.

The breathtaking view when you first reach Machu Picchu!

We nearly reached the summit of Huayna Picchu, but a train schedule kept us from the peak!
Back to the race, if you are interested in details, you will run/walk, crawl over 10,000 feet in elevation, traverse three ecosystems that include forest, mountains and a rain forest. This is one marathon I would never attempt!  Would you consider this race for your bucket list?

July 9, 2013

New Read: My Life on the Run

I haven't read many running books and have been looking to add a few to my summer reading list.  Right now I'm mid-way through a book (The Case of the Exploding Mangoes in case you were wondering), but I can't wait to finish so I can read this...

A friend was fortunate enough to meet Bart at a recent event and picked up an extra copy of his book for me.  He even got Bart to autograph my book.  You'll notice that he even "remembered" our run in at mile 4 during the Shamrock half marathon in March...definitely a major high point in a race for me.  

Thanks for the awesome note, Bart!

Do you have any running books you'd recommend?

July 8, 2013

Healthy Meals (008): Stuffed Chicken Breast

The other night I was a little low on inspiration for dinner.  I pulled a chicken breast out of the freezer and left it to defrost in the refrigerator while I was at work.  Lately I’ve been eating a lot of stir fry and Mexican or Asian-inspired dishes.  But on this particular night, I needed something new.  I was interested in something savory.  And then I started thinking about a sandwich and one of my favorite sandwiches – chicken, brie, apple and mustard.  I didn’t have any Brie but I did have some amazing Dubliner cheese in my fridge which would be an excellent substitute.  So this stuffed chicken breast was born…and boy was it yummy!  So without further commentary, here’s my 5 ingredient savory stuffed chicken breast!
Stuffed Chicken Breast (1 serving)
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
* 1/8 apple, sliced very thinly
2-3 thin slices Dubliner cheese (or substitute brie or swiss)
* 1 Tbsp honey mustard
* 1-2 Tbsp bread crumbs

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place chicken breast on a piece of plastic wrap and top with another piece of plastic wrap.  Using the flat end of a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken until about 1/8-1/4 inch thick.

3. Remove top piece of plastic wrap and spread honey mustard on chicken.  Top with apple and cheese slices.  Carefully wrap tightly and use 2-3 toothpicks to hold together.  Roll in breadcrumbs.
4.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until 165 degrees.
5. Serve with spinach salad.
The final product...not pretty but delicious!


July 7, 2013

Weekly Roundup: July 7th

This was quite a busy week for us. Christine ran her first Peachtree Road Race 10k on the fourth of July and Pam ran her longest run since her half marathon race on March 17th.  In between our training, we made time for lots of fun activities including pool time, hosting a 4th of July party and golf!

The Statue of Liberty is ready to run the Peachtree Road Race 10k!

runDisney announces a 10k during the Tink Half Marathon weekend!

Pam and Christine celebrate 4th of July with our favorite patriotic Mickey shirts!

Sunday, June 30th
Pam: 1500 meters rowing machine, 10 minutes exercise bike, 20 minutes eliptical, stretching
Christine: 30 minutes yoga

Monday, July 1st
Pam:  Speedwork: 6x800 @ 7:53 pace, Total 5.15 miles
Christine: 20 min stationary bike, 35 min elliptical, Abs with medicine ball

Tuesday, July 2nd
Pam:  one hour yoga class, walked and carried nine holes golf
Christine: Treadmill hill workout - 1/2 mile warm-up, 4:1 intervals for 3.5 miles at 4% incline, 1/3 mile cool down. Total 4.3 miles

Wednesday, July 3rd 
Pam: 4 mile run, descending pace, stretching, rolling
Christine: 1.5 mile walk

Thursday, July 4th
Pam:  rest day
Christine: Peachtree Road Race 10k

Friday, July 5th
Pam: sculpt class, 15 minutes eliptical trainer
Christine: rest day

Saturday, July 6th
Pam: 12 mile run outside
Christine: 9 mile trail run

This week was an increase in mileage for Pam and Christine continues to keep her mileage on the upswing. Total mileage for the week was 20.9 miles for Christine and 21.5 miles for Pam.  We are now less than eight weeks away from the Dumbo Challenge and these girls are busy getting dining reservations in place and planning our park visits.  How was your week?  Did you try anything new for cross training?