Saturday, May 31, 2014

Race Recap: Expedition Everest Challenge Part 2: Scavenger Hunt

Don't miss my recap of the Expo and 5K.  Now on to the Scavenger Hunt recap!

Expedition Everest Challenge: Scavenger Hunt
May 3, 2014

When I last left off, I had crossed the finish line of the 5K.  Up next was the scavenger hunt.  Shortly after crossing, they had volunteers waiting to hand you your first clue.  You got a bottle of water and then your clue with a mini Sharpie and light.

Love the baby Sharpie!
After I tried to read clue #1 and run to the first stop, but since I was afraid I would break my neck, I walked while reading it.  Here is clue #1:

The answer was tied to your bib - the green flag was on the right side of the bib.  It took me a minute to get it, but once I figured it out I started running again to the clue stop.  It was located right outside the security gate for Animal Kingdom.  After telling the volunteer my answer, I got clue #2.

I have to admit this one stumped me.  So instead of trying to figure it out, I headed to the next stop first.  On the way to clue stop #2, I saw Donald hanging out where Chip and Dale had been during the run.  I decided to stop for a photo.  Loved the sailor outfit!

Back to the clue, I knew what I was looking for - numbers in the first clue - but I was still trying to figure out the whole thing when I heard some people next to me solve it.  The answer was 4 (which still doesn't quite make sense to me), but since I knew it, I told the volunteer and got clue #3.

This one was easy to solve!  I love these types of puzzles so I did it while I walked to the next clue.  On the way there, I stopped for a photo with Timon, who was hanging out where Rafiki had been.

At the next clue stop, I gave my answer and got clue #4.  This one was also pretty easy to solve since it was tied to clue #3.  I ran to the next stop and punched out the correct items.

Upon showing the volunteer I had punched out the correct items, I got clue #5 (the final one!).  This one was tied to clue #5 and was very easy.  

Just overlay clue #4 with the items punched out and see what it said.

That was the final answer!  I headed straight towards the finish line.  Right before the finish line, they had some volunteers and I had to hold up the answer to clue #5 - the number 4 (I just held up 4 fingers).  After I got approval on my answer, I headed to the finish line!

My final time (5K + Scavenger Hunt) was 49:44.  Took me about 22 minutes to do the Scavenger Hunt.  I ended up the 21st women and 7th in my age group (30-34).  Not bad at all!

Oh, and don't forget about the medal!  I have to say, this medal is definitely one of my favorites.  It ties into the theme of the race perfectly and is just plain fun!


Even though the race was over, that doesn't mean the night was!  Up next, I'll share some of the post-race party!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Race recap: Expedition Everest Challenge Part 1: 5K

Don't miss my recap of the Expedition Everest Expo!

Expedition Everest 5K
May 3, 2014

Unfortunately, the weather didn't really cooperate on Saturday either.  During the day it rained on and off, but was predicted to stop by the time the race started Saturday night at 10pm.  When we headed to the race start at 9pm, it was only misting.  Since it was only in the 60's, this was not really ideal weather.

We got to the start area pretty quickly - staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge was so convenient!  After checking our bags and using the bathroom one last time, we headed to the start area.

This was were the race got not so fun.  Since the theme is Everest they had it set up like the race.  And someone (not so brillantly) decided to create fake snow.  When we started walking towards our corral it was misting, but the time we got to the corral it was pretty wet.  The combination of the fake snow and rain made it really rainy.  And since it was so cold, waiting for the start was freezing.  I get the idea, but if it's not 80... maybe don't do it?

Can't really tell, but it's raining.  A lot.
We were in corral B, so we didn't have to wait long.  I said goodbye to Pam and her mom (who were doing the challenge together) and headed off.  Once we cleared the start - it was not raining.  At all.  So in other words, all the rain was from their "fake" snow.  So annoying!

The first obstacle was just under a mile in.  We had to jump over hay barrels.  I can't remember exactly how many there were, but my guess is 6 to 8 rows.  They were pretty low to the ground, so not too challenging!

Following the hay barrels, the course headed into Animal Kingdom.  We headed in through the front gates and then went towards Asia.  Just past Discovery Island I spotted Chip and Dale in their camp gear finest!

We made a right hand turn at Asia and I spotted Rafiki.  No line, so I quickly stopped for a photo.

After Rafiki, the course took us towards Everest and past the Finding Nemo theatre.  We took a hard left turn and headed out of Animal Kingdom.  Just outside the gates was Baloo.

Just Baloo was Mickey!  He had no line, so I had to take advantage of a photo.

After Mickey, we headed for a short out and back behind Everest.  This is where obstacle #2 was located.  It tires! They were pretty easy since it just involved hopping through them.  Although I did almost trip on one of them #thatwouldhavebeenawkward

After the tires, the course turned around and we headed back to the parking lot where the finish was.  Shortly before the finish was the last obstacle - crawling under a net.  Since it had rained earlier, it was kinda wet, but they had put down a tarp so you weren't crawling on mud.

After that, I headed towards the 5K finish.  I wasn't doing this one for time, so I wasn't really watching my pace or anything during the 5K.  It was nice just to enjoy it.

My watch did put the course at 2.9 miles - definitely short of the 3.1.  Usually are long, this is the first time (at a Disney race) where the course has been short.  Since it was a fun run for me, didn't really bother me!

Official: 3.1 mi, 27:53, 8:59 pace
Garmin: 2.9 mi, 27:53, 9:41 pace

I'll be pack with Part 2 soon - the Scavenger Hunt!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Expedition Everest Challenge: Expo

Earlier this month (it's still May so I can say that), I headed down to Disney to participate in Expedition Everest.  Since I'd like to get these recaps done before Grandma's (fingers crossed!), let's get started with the expo.

We arrived in Disney on Friday and after checking in and getting settled at the hotel, we (planned on) headed to the expo.  Unfortunately, it was pouring, so we grabbed some food and then went to the expo during a rain break.  It was still raining slightly, but no longer monsooning, so that was good.

This was my first during Everest and let me just say it was a bit different then other Disney expo's.  The entire thing was contained within the stadium.  Which would normally be fine if it wasn't raining.  But since part of the expo was outside, the rain put a damper on things.

First we headed into to the packet and shirt pickup.  It was located right in the stadium, under the stands (on the outside if that makes any sense).

They did have the entire area decorated very well and totally in the theme of Everest.  I've always loved the theming of Everest so this was a big hit with me!

The lines at packet pickup were non-existent and we quickly got our numbers.  After that we headed to the separate t-shirt pickup.  The shirts seemed to be running really small, but fortunately they were doing size switches so I was able to change my size.  The shirt is a great orange color and I love the design.

They had a very small section of merchandise, really just an 'I Did It' shirt as well as a bunch of runDisney merchandise.  It was nice not to be tempted to spend money!  I had pre-ordered a pin so I did have that.

They did have an area right outside the stadium that was supposed to be the speaker area as well as a few vendor booths (I know Raw Threads was supposed to be there) but because it was raining all the booths were closed.  The New Balance booth was inside, but since I didn't want the sneakers (there was no line and plenty of sizes so if you want them, this event would be a good one to get them at) we didn't really stop there.

After that we checked out the course map and headed back to the hotel.  We managed to miss the hard rain while waiting for the bus, but it started raining again when we got back to the hotel.  Which would be the theme of the weekend (rain).

While definitely a different and smaller expo then other runDisney expo's, I really liked this one.  It would be a great one for a new runDisney participant because the expo is more manageable and not so overwhelming.

Up next - the Expedition Everest 5K!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

2 on Tuesday

I don't know about you all, but I can't believe yesterday was Memorial Day already.  I am happy it's summer, but since we had such a cold/long spring, it feels really early.  Is it just me?

I know I am so behind the times, but I have just purchased my first Alex and Ani bracelet.  I have been looking at them for a while, but couldn't decide which one to get so I just didn't get any.  I decided to start with a Syracuse bracelet and I am in love with it.  Now which one to get next?

I didn't go anywhere this weekend (19 miles makes it hard to go anywhere), but I made the most of my staycation.  I was really productive in my apartment (laundry, cleaned, etc) and took a long walk/hike through Central Park.  I spend a lot of time there while running but it was nice to be there and not be running for once.  I did a mini hike through the North Woods section of Central Park and it was so nice.  Need to remember to do that more often!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Training recap week of 5/19 (Grandma's Week 14)

Holy cow - there is only 4 weeks to go until the race!  Whoa!  I am going to try not to stress about the race.  I feel like I do better when I have no expectations so really going to (try) not over think it.

This week was a low intensity week - all easy runs.  It was so nice - my body definitely needed it.  With only 4 weeks to go, not much speedwork left so going to give it my all for the next 4 weeks!

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 4 miles easy
Actual: 4.00 mi, 40:16, 10:04 pace

Scheduled: 5 miles easy
Actual: 5.05 mi, 51:26, 10:12 pace

Scheduled: 5 miles easy
Actual: 5.01 mi, 50:30, 10:04 pace

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 5 miles easy
Actual: 5.00 mi, 49:44, 9:57 pace

Scheduled: 19 mile long run
Actual: 19.00 mi, 3:07:25, 9:52 pace

Only 1 long run to go!

Total miles: 38.06
Total May miles: 117.27
Miles until goal (1,250): 713.11

Friday, May 23, 2014

Book Club Friday: A Year in Provence

I've been on a reading kick lately, which I've been enjoying.  This week has I'm sharing A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
In this witty and warm-hearted account, Peter Mayle tells what it is like to realize a long-cherished dream and actually move into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in the remote country of the Lubéron with his wife and two large dogs. He endures January's frosty mistral as it comes howling down the Rhône Valley, discovers the secrets of goat racing through the middle of town, and delights in the glorious regional cuisine. A Year in Provence transports us into all the earthy pleasures of Provençal life and lets us live vicariously at a tempo governed by seasons, not by days.

My thoughts:
I really liked this book.  I love to read books about travel (of any kind) and this one did not disappoint.  It reminded me a lot of Under the Tuscan Sun (the book, not the movie.  Both are some of my favorites, but the book is very different from the movie).  I loved the premise of going through a year with Peter and his wife.  It really showcased the different seasons and what goes on in those seasons.  Made me want a glass of wine and to take a trip to France!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Race Recap: Nike Women's DC Half Marathon

Don't miss my recap of the Expotique.

Nike Women's DC Half Marathon
April 27, 2014

State: #16 (Washington, DC)
Lifetime: #45

The morning of this race did not go well for me.  I got up my standard 2 hours before the race, but as soon as I woke up, my stomach did not feel great.  I ate my standard breakfast and got ready hoping the stomach would settle.  I had always planned on racing this so I knew I'd be nervous, but had no idea if the stomach was nerves or not.  It felt a little better by the time we had to go.

Our hotel was only 2 blocks from the start line which was amazing.  We meet the girls downstairs about 30 minutes before the start and headed over together.

Photo courtesy of Abby
The walk was short and simple.  Megan and I were in the same corral so once we got to the start, we all separated and headed to our respective corrals.  My stomach was still not feeling great and I was starting to worry.  Megan asked me what my plan was (since I wasn't feeling great) and I said "To start running and hope I feel better".  I figure I have no idea how I'll feel on race day so I should learn how to deal with it.

The race started promptly and off we went.  It was cool to run towards the Capital building as it started.  Once I started running, my stomach immediately felt better.  The stomach pains must have been nerves, but I definitely had never felt that before.  I'm glad it went away though!

The plan was to start at 8:30 and then pick up to 8:20s.  I was so focused on my pace that I unfortunately didn't take in a lot of the sites.  From what I do remember it was really pretty.

It's mostly flat, which worked in my favor.  Once we left downtown there were not as many spectators but those that were out where pretty great.  The lack of spectators didn't actually bother me because when there are no people I can dial into my head and really be in the zone without distractions.

There is a section in the middle that goes around a park and was really great.  It was on the water so it got a good breeze and was wide enough that I was able to run the pace I wanted.  After the island, we headed back into downtown to the finish.

I stayed in the 8:30 range (some slightly higher, some slightly lower) until about mile 8 when I really started to pick it up.

When I was in the park and passed mile 10, I started doing some mental math.  I knew my PR was just under a 1:52 and realized that based on my pace through 10 miles, I would most likely PR.  I picked up the pace a little more because I really wanted that PR.  The last 4 miles were my fastest so that made me happy - I really like negative splitting!

{Sidenote: My splits from the race (on my watch) are kinda screwy because near the beginning/end (it's a circle) you go through a big tunnel and I lost GPS tracking.  I tried to manually split it at the marker, but it still got all screwed up.}

After the tunnel there was only about a mile left and I was giving it all I could.  My legs were burning but I kept pushing.  As I made the final turn to the finish, I realized I was really close being sub-1:50.  I was really pushing it because I wanted to know that I had left it all out there.

Crossing the finish line felt amazing.  I looked at my watch and knew I hadn't broken 1:50 (so close!), but I had still PR'd so I was SUPER happy.  My PR had been back from 2010 so I was so happy to have a new one!

After finishing, I made my way through the finish area.  First we got a cute water bottle (filled - loved that they were being green and using reusable bottles), a bag of food and then the best part: the Tiffany's necklace!

The necklace is a big sell for this race and it did not disappoint.  I really loved the design this year.  I posed with the nice kid (jailbait) for a photo opp and made my way to the finishers merch.  They also had a finishers area with changing stations, charging stations, stretching areas, etc.  I did merch first and then made my way back to that.  It was really nice to sit and stretch for a while (and I ran into Nadia so it was nice to hang with her!).

Originally I hadn't planned on buying any finishers merch, but after PR'ing, I could not resist!  The shirt was really cute.  #ihaveaproblem

Overall, I really loved this race.  The course is pretty and flat.  I never felt over crowded and was able to run the race I wanted.  The finishers necklace was gorgeous and well worth the entry fee.  This is my third Nike Women's Race and I have to say they really do know how to put on a good show.  The merchandise is always pretty, the race is well organized and of course - the Tiffany necklace!

Plus, new PR!!!

Official: 13.1, 1:50:01, 8:23 pace
Garmin: 13.31, 1:50:02, 8:16 pace


See?  A little screwy...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

2 on Tuesday

Just 2 weeks ago I shared the Tasty Table best donuts in NY.  And then Buzzfeed came out with their donut crawl.  My god, I can't wait to eat all these things.  Holy gluttony.  Yummy.

A couple of weeks ago I got to go to a work event in which we made custom Nike's (sometimes I really love my job!).  They just got delivered last week and I am so happy.  I don't run in Nike's anymore, but that doesn't mean I don't love them!  These amazingly neon beauties will be my new 'kick around' shoes.  The pink actually has a zebra overlay and the white sole is speckled.  I am so excited to wear them!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Training recap week of 5/12 (Grandma's Week 13)

Sorry for the bit of radio silence this week - it was a busy week at work and training pretty much took up all my free time.

I can't believe there are only 5 weeks to go - holy cow!  This training cycle seems to be going by really fast.  Actually, this year seems to be going by really fast - how is it Memorial Day already?  Where is the year going?

Anyway, let's get to the recap for this week.

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 5 miles easy
Actual: 5.03 mi, 50:26, 10:02 pace

Scheduled: 6 x 0.5 mi @ 10K pace (7:52) with 0.5 mi recovery, plus warm up and cool down
Actual: 6 x 0.5 mi repeats, 8.00 mi total
Paces: 7:57, 7:51, 7:46, 7:51, 7:49, 7:42

Pretty pleased with how this workout went!  Speed is coming along :)

Scheduled: 4 miles easy
Actual: 4.01 mi, 41:49, 10:26 pace

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 4 miles easy
Actual: 4.02 mi, 39:54, 9:55 pace

Scheduled: 18 mile long run
Actual: 18.00 mi, 2:54:21, 9:41 pace

Total miles: 39.06
Total May miles: 79.21
Miles until goal (1,250): 751.17

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Training recap week of 5/5 (Grandma's Week 12)

I can't believe I am 2/3 of the way through training.  I think last weeks down week was really needed as I feel so much better.  I haven't been as diligent about my schedule as I would have liked this time around.  Yes, some of it was needed, but I am going to be much better about my schedule for the remainder of the training.  Only 6 weeks to go!

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 5 miles easy
Actual: 5.02 mi, 51:23, 10:14 pace

Scheduled: 5 x 1M @ Half Pace, plus warm up and cool down
Actual: 4 x 1m repeats, 6.56 mi total
Paces: 8:51, 8:56, 8:50, 9:04

I got to the park later then hoped for, so I could only get 4 repeats in.  I also scaled the pace back since it was my first hardwork and didn't want to do anything too much.

Scheduled: 4 miles easy
Actual: Rest (10 miles running around Manhattan)

I have all intentions of doing this.  We had a work scavenger hunt around Manhattan and the woman who organized it said it was 10 miles.  So yes, we were those crazy people running around Manhattan doing strange things with bandana's on our head and face paint.  

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 5 miles easy
Actual: 5.5 mi, 55:19, 10:04 pace

Scheduled: 16 mile long run
Actual: 16.00 mi, 2:36:54, 9:48 pace

Total miles: 33.08
Total May miles: 40.15
Miles until goal (1,250): 790.24

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Nike Women's DC - Expotique

Since I was going to be racing this race, I knew I would be stressed out and anxious.  To make it easier on myself (and save everyone from my freak outs), I decided to take the train down and back.  It was definitely a little more money then I would have liked to have spend, but it really worked best for my stress levels.  Megan joined me on the train in Philly and we both relaxed until we arrived in DC.

After arriving in DC, we headed to the hotel, dropped our backs off (rooms were ready, yay!) and headed to the Expotique.  It was held in Georgetown not far from the Nike store, which I get, but was really not convenient.  We took the subway as close as we could, but then it was another 10-15 minute walk.

Upon arriving, first thing we did was head to number pickup.  Megan had done the race the year before and said number pickup was a disaster - she waited over an hour!  They seemed to have gotten the kinks out because this year number pickup was smooth as butter.  There were maybe 30 people in line when we got there and it moved quickly.

Not too bad of a line
After picking up our numbers, we headed to the shirt pickup.  In a change from previous years, they did not give your shirt at the finish line, but instead pick them up at number pick up.  I have to say, I really liked that you got them at the finish line.  I really liked the shirt, but wished it would have been a finishers shirt.  We also got a nice goody bag with same Luna Bars and shampoo samples.  The shampoo smells amazing!

The goody bag.
Following shirt pickup, we headed to Niketown to do some damage.  It wasn't too crowded and they still had plenty of merch left.  Megan had said last year it was really picked over by Saturday afternoon, so they seemed to have learned their lesson.

Lots of ladies shopping!

I really had hoped not to buy too much, but of course I have no self control.  I really loved the branding this year and could not resist!  Here's what I picked up.

A cotton short sleeve top (grey one on left).  I had absolutely no need for this, but I love the saying! On the right, a DriFit long sleeve run top.  Could not resist this color. Holy cow is it bright!

And my collection of waterbottles and headbands grows!  Seriously, I have a problem.  #someonehelpme

I also picked up a new pair of running socks.  My socks are all getting to the end of their lifecycle, so these were needed.

I had also picked up the above 2 items prior to the race.  I just loved them both!  Was hoping this would be all I got... but no such luck.  I love race gear, what can I say? 

After doing all our shopping, we headed back to the expo.  Since the race is all Nike focused, it's not a huge expo.  They finally added in a running shop so if you forgot gu's or something you could pick it up (I don't remember that from my two SF events).  They also had Nuun sampling (they'd be on course), sign making and hair braiding.  

I picked up two tubes of Nuun, which I did need, but really just wanted the adorable water bottle.  #seriouslyhelpme

After that, we headed back to the hotel.  Both Megan and I really wanted to get off our feet and relax a bit before loading up on some pasta!

Up tomorrow - the race recap!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

2 on Tuesday

It is no secret that I love sweets and doughnuts are pretty high on the list of sweets I love.  Tasting Table recently did a post on the "10 Best Doughnuts in New York".  With the Whole Life Challenge going on right now, these (obviously) aren't allowed.  But, when it ends at the end of June, I plan on making it my mission to try each one.  I think it's a solid plan for summer.  1 per week sounds responsible right?

Here's a little known fact about me.  I love nail polish.  Like seriously, seriously love it.  I always have.  My nail polish collection in high school tended to be Wet 'n' Wild or Cover Girl, but now it's mostly Essie and OPI.  Or my new favorite line - Julep.  It is really great stuff.  The polish is a high quality, goes on smoothly and last for a while.  They have a monthly subscription program as well called Julep Mavens.  For $19.99/mo, you get either A). 2 polishes and a beauty product (has been eye shadows, blushes, lip glosses); B). 3 polishes; or C). 2 beauty products.  They have different style profiles and each month the boxes for each profile are different.  When you join, you do a quiz that recommends a profile for you, but each month you can change to a different style (if you don't like the colors in your box) or skip a month if you don't like any colors (or need more polish).  It's made my polish collection grow quite significantly, but I love it!  If you are interested in joining yourself, you can click here.

Full disclosure, the above link is a referral link and if you join using it, I earn Jules (which are Julep reward points).  I was not compensated by Julep in anyway for this post, I just really love their product and I hope you do too!  And thanks in advance if you do join via the link!