Thursday, August 4, 2016

50 States Challenge: Year 3 Recap

Since we just passed my half birthday, I figured it was a good time to get my recap for Year 3 of my 50 States Challenge. Better late, then never, right?!?

Year 3 was a good year for the challenge - I got 5 states completed! Those 5 states were:

- North Carolina: Rock n Roll Raleigh
- Wisconsin: Madison Half Marathon
- Washington: Rock n Roll Seattle
- Maine: Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon
- Oklahoma: Route 66 Marathon

These 5 states put me at a total of 24 states - so close to being half way there (47%)!

In 2016, I won't be able to complete as many states. I knew I'd be having surgery at some point during the spring and I didn't know what the recovery time would be. I didn't want to register for too much until I knew how long recovery would be.

I am currently registered for 2 states and I have a 3rd I am planning on. The two I am registered for are:

- Michigan: Detroit Half Marathon
- Nevada: Rock n Roll Las Vegas

I am also planning on doing the Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon in December, which will check Delaware off the list.

I am already starting to think about 2017 states, I'm hoping to get 5 done again in 2017.

I've updated my completion map as well. Still a lot of blue on that map (orange means I've done the state).

As I think about 2017 races, any race you'd recommend? A great race in your state that I shouldn't miss? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

runDisney Star Wars Dark Side Course Changes

This past spring I ran the Inaugural Star Wars Dark Side Challenge (10K + Half).

My race recaps are still coming, but as I said in my post from April, there were definitely some things that needed to be improved - number 1 being transportation after the race. Getting to the race was easy - it was Epcot so same as usual. But after, getting out of ESPN World Wide of Sports was another story... The area for buses was so small, only a few buses could load at a time. I didn't have issues after the 10K, but after the half I waited close to 1.5 hours to get on a bus to my resort. It was hot and humid, and just not ideal. In addition to the small loading area, the buses kept getting stuck in the mud (they were basically on a muddy field). Not good all around. We actually spoke briefly (as we were waiting at the front of the line to board) to the director of transportation for the event and he was super annoyed at the whole situation. He told us that when they shared the course with him, he said this (the bus situation) was going to be a problem, but they assured him it would be fine. Guess who was right?

Also, because WWOS is in a different county, they couldn't sell beer in the post race area like they do at Epcot (county regulations prohibit selling alcohol before 11a or noon). I personally always like to have a beer while hanging out after the races (and I think other people do too, as I heard lots of people complaining). This might not have bothered some people, but it definitely changes the post race atmosphere. Plus I have to image they loss some money from not having beer sales.

Even with the issues, I am doing the Challenge again in 2017. And my sister-in-law wants to do the half (her first!). I'm so excited for her and it should be a good time! I personally didn't notice this on the runDisney website, but some eagle eyed folks on some of the Facebook groups I'm in did: they've changed the start/end dates for both course. I repeat, they learned from their mistakes and changed the courses.

Both races now list the start as Floridian Way and the finish at Epcot (yay for post race beer!). We don't have official course maps yet, but Floridian Way is near the monorail resorts outside the Magic Kingdom.

For the 10K, I am guessing it will be similar to either the second half of the WDW/Princess Half courses or a modified version of part of the marathon course? Should be interesting to see.

For the half, I am wondering if they are using the original Princess half course. When they first announced Princess and the course, it started outside of the Magic Kingdom and ran towards Hollywood Studios, finishing at Epcot. It did not go through MK or the Castle. People freaked out. I mean, I understand not wanting to repeat the same course, but I also want the Princess race to go through the castle. So they changed it to be the same as the WDW Half in January. My guess for this, is they are finally going to use that course.

I'm excited that they learned from the problems this year and are making changes.

Anyone else planning on running Star Wars Dark Side this year? What to you think of the changes?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

2 on Tuesday

It's my favorite time of every two years - the Olympics! I've talked about it a little before, but I love the Olympics. I grew up loving the Olympics and still do. Going to the Athens games was (without a doubt) some of the best weeks of my life. Yes, there are some issues with the system (athlete pay/support, issues with sponsors/non-sponsors), but I still love watching them and supporting the athletes. Oiselle has 3 athletes going to the games, including the awesome Kate Grace who won the 800M at the trials. So excited to cheer for everyone starting on Friday!

This weekend, I got to go to one of my favorite New York things - Shakespeare in the Park. I say one of my favorite things, except 11 years in NYC and this is only my third time going. In case you don't know what it is, it's a summer program The Public Theater puts on at an outdoor stage in Central Park. It's almost always Shakespeare, although occasionally they do non-Shakespeare (Hair made it's debut here years ago before moving to Broadway). Tickets are free and distributed day of to people who wait in line (from about 7am until noon when they give out the tickets).

Luckily, a vendor we work with is a sponsor and they have some tickets to distribute. So I got to go this past Saturday. The show was Troilus and Cressida. I had honestly never heard of it before, but it was so good. We brought some wine (you can bring in alcohol as long as its not in glass) and snacks and settled in to watch it. In the rain. Did I mention it was raining? It started light, but got so heavy they had to take a 20 minute break. But they came back and finished the show. And it really was so good. The staging was modern (modern clothing and furniture), but even in Shakespearean language, it still made sense. This also might qualify as one of the few times I have ever been to a show where the actors applauded the audience for sticking around in the rain.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Training recap week of 7/25

Oh, another 4 weeks without a post. Ugh, sorry. It's much harder then I expected it to be to get back into a regular swing. I really am trying, I promise.

I've been running regularly-ish. I have races I am working towards (see below), but since I'm not following a specific schedule, I am kinda just running on how I feel (the scheduled runs I list below are based on what I wanted to run that day). I am fully healed and running, but I'm trying to be kind to my body.

I have to admit, it's taking longer then I would have expected for my fitness to come back. I want to be back to were I was pre-surgery, but I am not yet. Like I said, I am trying to be kind to my body. I don't want to push too soon and risk an injury. It's hard though, I want to be doing more. Even so, this was my highest mileage week post surgery!

Also, as I mentioned, I do have some races coming up. I used to list whichever race I was currently training for and the current training week in the title of each training recap. Moving forward, I am just going to include the next 3 races on my schedule.

Currently training for:
  • Disneyland Half Marathon
  • Rock n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon
  • Detroit Half Marathon

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 4 miles
Actual: 4.02 mi, 41:09, 10:14 pace

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 4 miles
Actual: 4.34 mi, 42:32, 9:47 pace

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 9-10 mile long run
Actual: 9.01 mi, 1:31:15, 10:08 pace

I really wanted to do 10 this week (my previous long run was 8), but it was ungodly hot out and I stopped at 9. Like I said, trying to be kind to my body and not overdue. 9 is still my longest run post surgery, so I am good with that!

Scheduled: 3 miles
Actual: 3.25 mi, 33:41, 10:22 pace

Total Miles: 20.62
Total July Miles: 78.28
Miles to Goal (1,000): 561.65

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Training recap week of 6/20

I don't know why it is so hard to get back into blogging. I could blame work (we've been crazy) or other things, but honestly, I've had time. I find myself sitting on my couch and thinking, oh I should go write something at 10:45pm. Which is not ideal because I am trying to be better at getting sleep and go to bed at 11pm. I feel like I am still exhausted from my surgery and really trying to get a solid night of sleep.

Anyway, let's at least get to this weeks recap. Hopefully I'll get back on track soon!

In terms of training this week, it is going better. Some days I feel *almost* normal and other days I feel like I am dying. Right now I'm trying to rebuild my base vs. building distance, but I'll start to slowly add in miles soon.

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 3 miles
Actual: 3.06 mi, 29:59, 9:49 pace

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 3 miles
Actual: 3.00 mi, 30:48, 10:16 pace

I had to go to LA for work on Wednesday-Thursday and got to do this run along the beach in Santa Monica. I can totally see how people get used to that!

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 5 mile long run
Actual: 5.0 mi, 52:08, 10:25 pace

Scheduled: 3 miles
Actual: 3.0 mi, 28:54, 9:37 pace

Overall, not a bad week! I got 4 runs in, one of which was longer. I am slowly getting back to normal.  Plus, Sunday's run was one of my fastest yet (post surgery)!

Total Miles: 14.07
Total June Miles: 42.76
Miles to Goal (1,000): 647.43

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Training recap week of 6/6

Before I go into my regular post, I just want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Orlando. As you know, Orlando is one of my favorite places (Disney) and some of my favorite people live there. This is a horrible tragedy, but seeing people come together in the aftermath reminds me that there are good people in this world.

Yay! I have a training recap to post! It's an exciting time folks :) I was cleared to start running on May 31st. And start I did!

I kept it very easy the first week, starting with a mile at a time using a run/walk model. I know it was only two weeks (that I wasn't running), but it was still a little surprising to see difficult the runs were. I guess I thought I'd bounce right back.

This second week of running was also more easy running. I am really working to listen to my body and take walk breaks when/if needed and not push myself about the pace. It's been tough, but I know I'll get back to my "normal" running eventually.

This week was especially fun as it included the Oiselle Volee Northeast Bird Camp. What is Bird Camp? It's a 4 day running camp for the Oiselle Volee members. This was the first year I attended a Bird Camp and it was amazing! There is a ton to share (and there will be upcoming posts on everything!), but in short, it was better then I could ever have expected. More to come on Bird Camp!

While waiting for my recaps, you can check out the Oiselle blog recaps here (short side note, two of those photos in the NE section are mine!).

Now on to the recap!

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 3 miles
Actual: 3.13 mi, 35:25, 11:19 pace

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Thursday (Bird Camp Day 1!)
Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

The original plan was to go on a short 1-2 mile run upon arriving at camp, but it took us longer to get there then expected and we didn't have time after checking in, unpacking, etc before dinner.

Friday (Bird Camp Day 2)
Scheduled: 2-3 mile easy run
Actual: 2.53 mi, 28:37, 11:18 pace

This was an easy early morning run. Felt good to run! The day also included a cross training session and a hike.

Saturday (Bird Camp Day 3)
Scheduled: 5 mile long run
Actual: 5.10 mi, 56:38, 11:07 pace

Longest run post surgery! I had some wonderful company with fellow Volee members. And let me tell you, NH is hilly! There was another cross training session in the afternoon.

Sunday (Bird Camp Day 4)
Scheduled: 2 mile walk
Actual: 2.0 mi, 42:08, 21:02 pace

This morning included a run, but I didn't want to push it since I'm still coming back to running post surgery. But I still wanted to do something, so some of my cabinmates joined me for a 2 mile walk on the trails.

Total Miles: 12.76
Total June Miles: 19.21
Miles to Goal (1,000): 670.99

{Side note: I picked my total yearly mile goal as 1,000 back in the beginning of the year. I knew I'd be having surgery so knew 1,250 (which I've done for the past couple of years) wasn't possible, so I went with 1,000. I definitely underestimated the recovery time and how I'd feel after surgery. I'm leaving it as my goal, but am totally okay if I don't make it.}

Thursday, May 26, 2016

What's been going on...

No training recaps this week or last (mainly because there is nothing to recap). But I did want to provide a bit of an update on things with me. The lack of upcoming races and my recent level of training will probably make a little more sense after this.

Yes, I am wearing a hospital bracelet in the photo above. Last Monday, I had surgery. If you remember from my check in, I mentioned I had some personal stuff going on. Yes, this was the personal stuff.

I am not going to go into too much detail about it (somethings should remain personal), but just give a topline.

Last fall, during a routine GYN appointment, they found a mass in my stomach. It turned out to be a fibroid, which are benign tumors that grow in your uterus. Long story short, mine was large enough that it had to be removed. I was very lucky in that it was not causing me pain and I could (mostly) run as usual. The only issue was having to pee all the time. It was sitting on my bladder (I have an increased respect for what pregnant women deal with). Otherwise, no side effects or issues.

I worked with a wonderful surgeon here in NYC (at NYU Langone) who was able to remove it robotically. The traditional way to remove these is through a procedure similar to a C-section, which I would have done if needed, but the recovery time is 6-8 weeks. The procedure my doctor was able to do only has a 2 week recovery time.

The surgery went very well and they removed the fibroid. There was also no signs of endometriosis, which sometimes occurs alongside fibroids. They also tested the fibroid for cancer (even though they are almost always benign, always better to be safe then sorry) and the tests all came back benign.

I am recovering now and every day is a bit better. Last week was rough - everything hurt and I was exhausted. I basically lived on my couch for a week (my fitbit totals looked sad).

This week, I am still slightly sore, but feeling so much better. I am going to keep resting this week and letting my body heal. I had my post-op appointment this AM and everything is healing nicely. The doctor even gave me the OK to start running again next week (slowly). I am going to ease back into working out and running, taking it one mile at a time.

So that's whats been going on with me and why I've been a bit MIA this winter. I needed to process all of this one my own, and to be honest, I was a bit in denial at the beginning. But now it's all in the past and I am looking forward to getting back to training (and racing eventually!).

What's been going on with you?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

2 on Tuesday

Where is Spring? It's slightly warmer here, but still not the correct temp (at least in my opinion). This past Saturday it was so cold! We had a Oiselle Volee group run and it was only 42 degrees when I left my apartment. Although, my allergies are going crazy, so I guess it is spring after all.

I am very excited for tonight - we are going to see Aladdin on Broadway! We all know I love Disney and I have been wanting to see this one for a while. One of the perks of my job is we occasionally get tickets to Broadway shows (very occasionally) and this is one of those perks. I am going with some girlfriends and am so excited. Not just for the show, but also for a girls night out.

I don't know if you know this, but I have a serious love of donuts (or is it doughnuts? I like donut). Fortunately, so does my friend Michelle. Whenever we travel for races, we always seek out a local donut place. I found this list of the 22 Most Amazing Doughnuts in NYC a while ago and Michelle and I have decided to do an "unofficial" donut crawl to try them all. It's going to take a bit (I mean how many donuts can one eat in an afternoon?), but we checked two places off the list this weekend. Look for full posts to come on all the yummy donut-y goodness!

What's your favorite donut shop in your town?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Training recap week of 5/2

Happy Monday everyone!  Another week of training in the books. I'm fully recovered from being sick, but I'm still taking it easy as I don't want to get sick again (or build too slow). And since I don't currently have anything on the schedule, no reason to not take it easy for a bit.

I did get some solid cross training in this week, so that was good!

Scheduled: Cross Training
Actual: Cross Training, Tone It Up - HIIT Me Up and Toned Arms

Scheduled: 4 miles easy
Actual: 4.09 mi, 40:01 min, 9:47 pace
Cross Training: Tone It Up - Kettle Flow

Scheduled: Cross Training
Actual: Cross Training, Tone It Up - Rock Your Body

Scheduled: 4-5 miles easy
Actual: 4.55 mi, 45:07 min, 9:55 pace

Scheduled: Cross Training
Actual: Cross Training, Tone It Up - Booty Workout and K+K Slay

Scheduled: 6 miles long run
Actual: 6.10 mi, 55:46 min, 9:08 pace

Scheduled: 3 miles easy
Actual: 3.04 mi, 30:39, 10:05 pace

Total Miles: 17.78
Total May Miles: 20.79
Miles to Goal (1,000): 694.16

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

2 on Tuesday

How is it already May 3rd? Where has this year gone? I am glad we are finally in the "warmer" months, but it is still chilly here in NYC. Seriously, were is spring? Anyway, it's been a while, but let's get to this weeks 2 on Tuesday.

I have recently gotten into podcasts (I know - I'm really behind in the times!). They are perfect to listen to on the train/walking to-from work. I am totally loving Anna Faris' podcast. She is hilarious and she has great guests on. She does 1 episode a week (very occasionally 2 a week) and it's definitely a podcast I look forward to each week.

This came out a while ago, but since it was during my "break" from blogging, I am covering it now. I was so excited when they announced this series. I grew up watching Full House every Friday night - it was appointment TV (in the time before DVR's). I always identified with Stephanie - I'm not sure why as I was not the middle child, but she was my favorite. I know there were mixed reviews about the show, but I loved it! It was cheesy and slightly campy, but it was everything I wanted it to be. I can also see myself re-watching the entire season over the summer. They've already announced a Season 2, which makes me excited.

Any podcasts you recommend?