Wednesday, January 28, 2015

50 States Challenge: Year 2 Recap

As I mentioned briefly in this weeks training recap, my birthday was this past weekend.  As I get another year older, year 2 of my 50 States Challenge comes to an end.  Which means, it's time for my annual recap.

I started this year with 14 states done and was able to get 5 more states completed in 2014.  Those five states were:

Kentucky - Run The Bluegrass Half Marathon
- District of Columbia - Nike Women's Half Marathon DC
Minnesota - Grandma's Marathon
- Oregon - Eugene Half Marathon
- Maryland - Baltimore Half Marathon

With the completion of these 5 states, I am officially 38% towards my goal.  So close to being half way done!

Per my 2015 goals, I want to complete another 5 states this year.  I already have 2 states on the calendar (North Carolina and Washington).

This feels about as good as a time as any to announce 2 more states.  I'll be running the Madison Half Marathon (Wisconsin) during Memorial Day weekend.  My cousin and her husband are living in Madison right now, so it will be a fun weekend for sure!

I am also going to be running the Route 66 Marathon (yes, marathon) in November, which is in Oklahoma.  I haven't registered yet - registration doesn't open until February 9th, but as soon as it does, I'll be signing up.

Still have 1 more state to go for this year.  I have a couple floating around and my Rock n Roll Tour Pass still has 1 state on it, so would like to combine those if possible.  I'll let you all know once it's decided!

Completion map has been updated as well!  Definitely need to work on my states in the middle of the country.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

2 on Tuesday

I have made no secret of my love for Oiselle.  So imagine my sadness when I saw on Friday they would be having a sample sale at their HQ in Seattle.  Everything would be $10 except for jackets which would be $20.  Why is Seattle so far from NYC?  I (obviously) wasn't able to get out there for it, but I am very lucky to have a friend who lives in Seattle and was able to pick me up some goodies.  I could 2 tank tops, 1 hoodie, 1 pair of pants and 1 vest.  I can't wait for them to arrive!  Thanks Megan, you are the best!

If you live anywhere in the Northeast, you know that we were supposed to be getting it with a "historic" snow storm.  Our mayor told New Yorker's to prepare for something we had never seen before.  20+ inches.  And we got 7-8".  This was the sidewalk in front of my building this AM.  I understand it's better safe then sorry, but I'm pretty sure this storm got blown a little bit out of proportion (before it hit us).  Oh well, maybe another time.  Is it sad that I'm just hoping the park is clear for my run tonight?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Training recap week of 1/19 (Pixie Dust Challenge Week 3)

Happy Monday everyone!  Hope you all had a good weekend!  This was a good and a bad week for me.  I missed my long run over on Saturday due to weather and though I debated making it up on Sunday, I felt like sleeping it.  It was my birthday after all :)

I did really good with cross training this week, getting in 6 workouts!  Saturday, Dori had organized a Refine class for the NYC area Oiselle Flock members.  I did them a couple of years ago and they are great workouts.  I'd love to incorporate them more often into my schedule because man, am I sore today!

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest
Cross training: Love Your Total Body (Tone It Up)

Scheduled: 3 miles easy
Actual: 3.00 miles, 29:24, 9:50 pace
Cross training: Love Your Arms and Abs (Tone It Up)

Scheduled: 5 miles easy
Actual: 5.00 miles, 47:46, 9:33 pace
Cross training: Love Your Booty and Malibooty Routine (Tone It Up)

Scheduled: 3 miles easy
Actual: 3.05 miles, 30:17, 9:55 pace
Cross training: Love Your Abs (Tone It Up)

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest
Cross training: Love Your Body with HIIT and Love Your Arms (Tone It Up)

Scheduled: 6 mile long run
Actual: Rest
Cross training: Refine Method class

It was snowing/icing today, so for safety's sake, I skipped this run.

Scheduled: 2 miles easy
Actual: 3.2 mi, 31:08, 9:44 pace

3.2 miles in honor of my 32nd birthday!

Total miles: 14.25
Total January miles: 57.92
Miles until goal (1,250): 1,192.08
Cross Training: 6/4

Friday, January 23, 2015

Race Recap: Disney Half Marathon 2015

Sorry in advance, this is a long one... but it's mostly photo's if that helps :)

Disney World Half Marathon
January 10, 2015

State: repeat (Florida)
Lifetime: #51

This race has become basically second nature to me.  This was my 8th year doing this race, so I basically have it down by this point.

Race morning always comes bright and early at Disney and this was no different.  I got about 3am (so early!) and quickly got ready.  I had laid all my clothing out the night before (I was going as Winnie the Pooh) and prepped my bag to check.  So it was easy to get ready half asleep.

I'd been watching the weather all week and knew it would be cold race morning so I came prepared.  I had brought a pair of throw away sweat pants, a shirt, $1 store gloves and an old heatsheet.  They were lifesavers, let me tell you.

I headed to the buses just before 4am and was able to board almost immediately.  There was only a little line and they had tons of buses ready to go.  Traffic wasn't too bad to Epcot, but even so, I didn't mind as I was happy to sit in the warm bus instead =)

Once arriving in Epcot and venturing back out into the cold, I headed to the pre-race area.  The security check went quickly and then I had time to kill.  I used the bathroom one last time and made sure all my stuff was ready for the race.  About 45 minutes before the start, I checked my bag and headed to the start.  The walk is long, but it was cold so I was just trying to stay warm.  I was so glad I had packed all the throw away gear!

Once inside the corral, I basically tried to stay warm.  I lost the heat sheet and sweat pants when Corral B started (I was in C).  They only had about 2 minutes in between waves so I didn't have to stand around long.

I didn't really have a plan for this race, just run comfortable and take it easy.  I was planning on stopping for photo's only for characters I had never seen out before.  I did pretty well, but did stop for some repeat photo's (only if they had no line).

The first miles were basically about regaining feeling in my toes.  I was warming up quickly, but my toes always take the longest.  I removed the extra shirt I had on at about mile 3, but kept the gloves on still.

The first couple of character stops were all ones I had before - Captains Jack and Barbossa and Jack and Sally (from Nightmare Before Christmas).  The lines weren't long, but I didn't stop.

Right before hitting the Magic Kingdom parking lot, they had out Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope.  I've gotten a photo with Ralph before, but never Vanellope so I had to stop.  Luckily there were only about 3 people in line before me!

Vanellope and I tried matching poses.

After my picture, I quickly got going again.  I didn't want to get too cold standing around.  As we made the turn into Magic Kingdom at mile 5, I remember thinking how quickly the race was going.  Those first 5 miles had really gone by fast.  By this my hands were really heating up so I lost the gloves.

Running down Main Street never disappoints and this year was no different.  No matter what, I always love that stretch down Main Street.  As we made the turn into Tomorrowland, I tried to take a selfie, but clearly I need to work on my selfie skills.

As normal, they had Buzz Lightyear out in Tomorrowland and the Queen of Hearts in front of the tea cups.  Neither had a line so I stopped for both.


As we came around the corner, I was keeping my eyes peeled for Pooh or Tigger.  One of them is usually by the Winnie the Pooh ride and since I was dressed as Pooh... I was hoping to get that shot.  Unfortunately, they weren't out this year.  But, they did have out one of the Mimes from Tangled (who I've never seen on a course before) so I had to get a shot of that!

Usually right before the Castle, they have either Mickey and Minnie or Donald and Daisy out.  They had neither this year.  It almost always forms a huge line and causes a backup, so I get why they might not have them out; but I feel like they are pretty popular, so it still felt weird.

Similar to running through Main Street, I love running through the Castle.  There is just a feeling that cannot be described.  Continuing along, we headed into Liberty Square and Frontierland.  They had one of the bears from the Country Jamboree out so I stopped so I could at least get 1 photo with another bear.

After that, it was time to head out of the park and start the journey pack to Epcot.  This stretch is usually pretty full of characters/entertainment and this year was no different.  They had a DJ out, some men in tux's outside the wedding pavilion and lots of spectators.  Outside of the Grand Floridian was Bert and the Penguins from Mary Poppins.  No line again (seeing a trend here?), so I stopped for a photo!

Yes, Bert and I coordinated our color choices.

I don't know why (since I started in a similar corral as usual), but I remember finding it strange the sun wasn't even up yet.  I got to watch a very pretty sunrise during the trip back to Epcot.

Right near the Golf courses, they always have out either Golfer Mickey or Golfer Goofy.  And the line is always ridiculously long, so I never wait (even though I've always wanted that photo).  But this time around, the line was (relatively) short - about 10 people.  As you might have noticed, there were really very little lines this year.  I'm guessing given the low temps, people did not want to wait in lines and get cold.

Even though this line was "short", I almost didn't wait as I didn't want to get cold.  But I quickly realized it was BOTH Golfer Mickey and Golfer Goofy and I couldn't pass that photo up!

Bonus for the beautiful sunrise in the background
And immediately following that was the Genie with Abu.  I love Abu in the movie so I had to stop (again, no line!).

He must drink Alice's growing potion for the photo's...

After this section is one of my least favorite parts of the course (basically miles 9-12).  It's a long straightaway on a highway and you've past most of the character stops.  They do have entertainment on the course, but it's still tough.

I know there were a lot of corrals this year and they were really spaced out, but I was surprised to see the mass of runners just heading into Magic Kingdom.  Usually at this point, it's just the stragglers, but there were tons of people still heading in.

During these miles, I tried to zone out and just keep moving along.  I actually ended up joining a conversation with some fellow runners and ended up chatting with them for a while (and actually ran the rest of the race with one of them).  Just one reason, I love the running community - every one is so friendly!

Having someone to talk to the last couple of miles, made those miles go by really quickly.  Before I knew it, we were heading into Epcot for the last section.  After a quick jog around Spaceship Earth, we were heading back out and past the Gospel choir to the finish line!

My finishing time was 2:13:04 which is just over a 10 minute pace (10:09).  Considering I wanted to take it easy and when factoring in photo stops, I am happy with this time!

After collecting my medal, I was keeping my eyes peeled for Abby.  Similar to last year, she was volunteering.  I was very excited to see her and we walked for a bit - she couldn't go far from her zone, but walked me to the water area.  And helped me open it, which was good since stopping my hands were quickly getting cold again.  I do have to say, I am surprised they weren't handing out heatsheets as it was cold once you stopped running.

After taking a finishers photo and grabbing my snack box, I head to baggage.  After collecting my things, I said goodbye to my new friend (and good luck since he was doing Dopey!) and made my way to the character photo's.  They had out Chip and Dale, Daisy, Goofy and Dopey.  I wished they had had out Dopey last year, but I am glad they learned for those folks running this year.


I think it goes without saying that I love this race.  It was my first Disney race ever and I've come back every year (and will continue to do so).  I liked that they had some different characters out on the course and seem to be learning from past years (like having Dopey at the finish for photo's).  The new corral system seems to be helping with congestion (at least for me, can't speak for the corrals farther back).

Another great Disney Half in the books!  Can't wait to go back again... how many weeks until Princess?

Official: 13.1 miles, 2:13:04, 10:09 pace
Garmin: 13.41 miles, 2:13:02, 9:55 pace

And of course, no race is complete with out my customary medal + beer photo.

Who else out there ran the WDW Half?  How'd it go?  Share your recaps below!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

WDW Marathon Weekend: Expo Goodies!

Now that I'm finished with my 2014 recaps, I can get to 2015 things - and less then 2 weeks after it happened!

I am going to keep this post pretty short, as I honestly didn't spend a ton of time at the expo, but did want to share what I picked up... since we know I love my race merchandise.

In what has become a new tradition, I started my expo out with a beer in a runDisney cup.  I can't remember the exact name (it was one I hadn't had before), but I really liked it.  It was a nice and light wheat beer.

First, we headed in to get our numbers.  It wasn't too crowded and I was able to pick up my number with no wait time.  They did have a merchandise area set up in there, but it was completely empty and closed.  Even though I didn't want/need anything, I was curious to see what was left.

From there we headed into the main expo floor.  Again, since we really didn't need anything, we didn't really walk around much.  Just a quick stop at the Sweaty Bands booth to check out their stuff and then on to the race tee.  The Half race tee this year was red, which is nice, because I don't have ton of red tech shirts.  After trying it on to make sure it fit, we headed into the official race merchandise.

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by how much stuff was still available.  The most picked over sections were Dopey and Goofy.  No surprise with Dopey since those folks had to go on Wednesday to get there numbers.  I feel like most people for Goofy come on Friday so also not surprised it was more sold out (but there was still stuff left).  Still lots of stuff left for the Half and Full.  I'm really glad Disney has started ordering more stuff!

Half Merchandise
As I mentioned, I was really trying to be good.  I need more running clothing like I need a whole in my head (seriously, I did some cleaning over Christmas and the amount of running clothing I have is at a ridiculous level!).  I was good and didn't buy much.  Abby had gone to the expo on Wednesday (the perks of having a friend who lives locally!) and picked up the runDisney Sweaty Bands I wanted.  I also picked up a replica medal pin (apparently this is my new thing - last year it was magnets, now mini medal pins!).

I also picked up a Coast to Coast shirt as the Disneyland expo's tend to be a disaster.  I won't wear it until after Tinker Bell though!

There was no line to check out, so we managed to make it in and out of the merchandise area pretty quickly.  From there, it was a quick stop at the runDisney booth to look at the Frozen medals and then to the Sparkle Athletic booth as I needed to pick up my visor for my costume.  From there, we headed back to the hotel.  The rest of the expo was all stuff we've seen before and we had FastPasses for the Mine Train to make!

What did anyone else pick up at the expo?  Share your goodies with me so I can live vicariously through you!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Race Recap: Chester County Turkey Trot 5K 2014

Last recap of 2014!  Finally!

Chester Country Turkey Trot 5K
November 27, 2014

My 2014 race year ended with an unexpected bang - a new 5K PR!  I have been doing this race for several years now - you can read last years recap here.  It's such a good way to start the morning and burn some calories.

The race takes place at the local high school.  It is supposed to run on the roads around the school, but it had snowed on Wednesday night and the roads weren't in great continue.  They re-routed the course to be 100% on the high school property.  Ends up being a 2 loop course which isn't as great as the 1 loop course, but it works!

It was really cold that morning so I tried to stay in the car as long as possible and only headed to the start 5 minutes prior to the start time.  But then the start got pushed about 5 minutes, so ended up being more like 10 minutes.  By the time the race started, my feet were popsicles.

I wasn't sure what I would do with this race heading into it.  Would I race it?  Take it easy?  Philly had been the weekend before and my legs had felt like lead.  In the end, it literally was decided in the first mile. 

When they hit the start gun, I was cold and tight.  I figured I would take it easy... but as the mile went on, I started to loosen up and feel good.  My pace picked up and I decided in that moment I would race it.  I started to push my legs to see what they could do. 

The first mile was just about an 8 minute mile and it just dropped from there.  By the time I hit the last 0.1, my legs were burning.  But I just pushed through it.  I refused to give up. 

The end was tough, but I was so glad I pushed through the pain.  My finishing time was 22:57 - the first time I've ever gotten under 23 minutes!  Final pace was 7:23 - holy cow!

In the end, this race was a great way to end my 2014.  I closed the year out with new PR's in the 5K, Half Marathon and Marathon.  It was a great 2014!

Official: 3.10 mi, 22:57, 7:23 pace
Garmin: 3.09 mi, 22:57,  7:26 pace

Can't wait to continue my Thanksgiving tradition next year!

Even though it was freezing, I was proud to wear my Oiselle singlet!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2 on Tuesday


While at the WDW Expo, I stopped by the runDisney booth to check out the Princess medals in person.  I liked them when they were first shared and like them even more now that I've seen them in person!  I love the Enchanted 10K with the snowflake and of course the Princess one!  You couldn't tell in the original photo by runDisney, but the medals are actually silver, not gold.  I think that touch works well with the Frozen theme.  Just about 4 weeks until these are mine!

via runDisney Facebook page

This past weekend was the Star Wars Half Marathon weekend in Disneyland.  I have to admit, I didn't get too excited about this race when they announced it.  I liked the movies (and I've actually never seen the newest 3), but I didn't love them.  It's been a long time I last saw them and my taste in movies has changed a lot since then, so I should probably re-watch them all.  I think I'd like them more now... Anyway, I obviously didn't do the race, but I did have a little bit of FOMO watching everyone at the race this weekend.  Everyone seemed to love the race course and the characters out looked like so much fun.  Hopefully I'll be able to do this race one day!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Training recap week of 1/12 (Pixie Dust Challenge Week 2)

Another week of cold running.  I know I'll regret this during the summer when it's 90, but I am so over the cold weather.  I am just sick of being cold when I run.  Saturday's run was particularly cold!

Runs went okay this week, but I didn't do so great with my cross training.  I only got 2 days in, but I am happy I got any in.  After 6 months of doing nothing, it'll take some time to break that cycle of nothing.  But, I will do it and I will get stronger!

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 3 miles easy
Actual: Rest

Was still recovering from my weekend in Disney and got some rest instead of doing this run.

Scheduled: 5 miles easy
Actual:5.08 miles, 47:53, 9:26 pace

Scheduled: 3 miles easy
Actual: 3.0 miles, 29:28, 9:49 pace
Cross training: Love Your Body with Kettlebells (Tone It Up)

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 5 mile long run
Actual: 8.00 mi, 1:21:51, 10:10 pace

We got out of the city for this run and headed up to Tarrytown for our run.  It was a gorgeous run and great to get out of the city!  I added a couple of miles onto the run to make up for missing Tuesday run.

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest
Cross training: Love Your Abs, Flat Fit Sexy Abs and Bikini Abs (Tone It Up)

Total miles: 16.08
Total January miles: 43.67
Miles until goal (1,250): 1,206.33
Cross Training: 2/4

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Race Recap: Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Continuing on through my backlog of race recaps, up next is the Philadelphia Half!

Philadelphia Half Marathon
November 23, 2014

State: Repeat (Pennsylvania)
Lifetime: #50

After the success of the Baltimore Half, I debated racing this one.  It was in the back of my mind until race morning.  But waking up race morning, my legs just felt tight and no amount of warm up was loosening them.  Since I had just run Wine & Dine the weekend before (and did a ton of racing throughout the year), I decided to just take it easy.  Plus my friend Kasey was running the full so I wanted to be able to support her along the end of her race.

The weather was warmer then in previous years, which was nice since there is a lot of waiting around.  After arriving and checking our bags, we got into the bathroom time, which moved pretty slow and afterward just went right to the corrals. 

The corrals here are not quite as strict as with other races, so it was easy to get lined up.  I parted ways with Kasey and headed to my corral. 

The first part of this race is always my favorite - the first 7ish miles take you right through downtown Philly.  You run along the water, down South Street and past the most famous landmarks.  These miles went by pretty quickly as there is a lot to look.  My pace was averaging about 9:00 minute miles (except for a bathroom break!) so I was pleased. 

The second half is not quite as scenic but you still get some good sights.  You run through University City, past the Zoo (the Philly Zoo is one of my favorites!) and Fairmount Park before heading towards the Art Museum along the water.

I managed to pick the pace up a little (to about 8:50) during this section.  It wasn't quite super easy for me, but wasn't too tough. 

I love the finish of this race as it goes right past the Rocky stairs!  They even put a race shirt on the Rocky statue in front of the museum every year.  It always makes me smile!

After I finished, I collected my bag and got back out to the course to catch Kasey.  I saw her right around 13 as she headed towards the second half out and back.  I tried to catch her heading towards the finish but missed her!  She had a great race and set a new PR.

Overall, I continue to love this race.  The course is flat with some rolling hills and goes past some great sights.  It's well organized and the expo is manageable. 

Official: 13.1 mi, 1:59:13, 9:06 pace
Garmin: 13.24 mi, 1:59:14, 9:00 pace

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Training recap week of 1/5 (Disney Half Week 7 / Tink Week 1)

This week was not great running wise as the cold kept me inside and I ended up skipping two runs.  The temperature was just too cold!  I focused on cross training though, so that was good!

This week was also the first week of Tinkerbell training.  I am doing the 5K, 10K and Half so I want to make sure I am prepared.  I only have 2 other halves before then so those will be folded into my training schedule. 

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest
Cross training: Love Your Arms & Abs (Tone It Up)

Scheduled: 3 miles easy
Actual: 3.01 mi, 29:57, 9:58 pace
Cross training: Arms & Abs (Tone It Up)

Scheduled: 4 miles easy
Actual: Rest
Cross training: Love Your Arms and Love Your Abs (Tone It Up)

Scheduled: 3 miles easy
Actual: Rest
Cross training: Love Your Total Body (Tone It Up)

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: Disney World Half Marathon
Actual: 13.41 mi, 2:13:02, 9:55 pace

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Total miles: 16.42
Total January miles: 27.61
Miles until goal (1,250): 1,222.39
Cross Training: 4/4

Friday, January 9, 2015

Wine & Dine After Party

One of my favorite parts of the Wine & Dine race is the after party.  And, since it's included in your registration, this race feels like more bang for (your crazy expensive)  race fee!

This after party is always a great time, but this year it was a little emptier because of the rain.  It did stop for a little bit, but mostly, it rained the whole time.

After finishing, I bee-lined straight for the restrooms in Epcot.  I needed to get in some dry and warmer clothing.  Once that was done, I felt like a new person.

I was the first in our group to finish, so I took a walk around the countries and got some food and drink (and did some rides just to stay warm!).  The drinking also helped staying warm!

One of the best parts of this after party is that they have some unique characters out (just like the race!).  After meeting up with Michelle when she was done, we (of course) had to do a lap and get some photo's in!

I love the guys from Ratatouille!  They had some fun playing with my heatsheet!

Abu tried to steal my headband (as Aladdin said, it's the same color as a ruby)!

And of course some photo's with a jazz playing alligator, a wooden boy and Dopey!

Once we'd had all we could take of the cold and rain, we made our way back to the hotel!

Another successful Wine & Dine in the books!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Race Recap: Wine & Dine Half Marathon 2014

Wine & Dine Half Marathon
November 8, 2014

State: Repeat (Florida)
Lifetime: #49

Let's face it... this race should really have been called 'Do you know how to swim?'.  I am sure you heard, but it rained.  The entire time.  As this is one of my favorite races (don't worry, it still is!) and they usually have great characters out, I was bummed by the rain.

We knew it was going to rain all week.  But being an optimist (or delusional, take your pick), I was hoping it would hold out.  It did... for a teeny, tiny, little bit.

We had spend the morning at the expo and Downtown Disney before heading to the room to rest for a while before the race.  As is tradition for this race, I was running in my Wine O shirt.  I got that shirt made for the 1st Wine & Dine and have worn it every year since (and will continue to do so).

We headed to the buses around 7:45 and while there was a bit of a line, lots of buses where coming by and it went quickly.  There was definitely some traffic heading to WWOS, but since we'd just be sitting around once we got there, I didn't mind sitting in the (warm) bus instead.

Upon arrival, we met up with the group already there and of course had to take a group photo.  Loved everyone's costumes!

From there we did the normal pre-race things: check baggage, wait in line for bathrooms, head to corrals.  While waiting in the bathroom, it did start to rain.  Lightly at first.  I kept hoping it would just do this for the rest of the night.  No such luck.

While waiting at the corrals, it started to rain harder.  And it wouldn't relent at all for the night.  Fortunately, I was in Corral B and didn't have to wait around too long for the start, but I felt bad for everyone behind me waiting.  It's not great to run in the rain, it's even less fun to wait around to run in the rain.

This course is fun because you get 3 parks in it: Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot.  Usually, the course is lined with characters, some of which you rarely see.  However, because of the rain only a handful were out and not everyone had the same ones out (some that I saw, others didn't and vice versa).

On the way to Animal Kingdom, they had the bears from the Country Jamboree out (at least, I think that is what they are from - please correct me if I'm wrong!).  Since you hardly see them out, I stopped for a photo.

Night running = flash does weird things
From there we headed towards the front of the park.  They always have a character out front and I've always stopped for a photo.  I almost missed it this year as Rafiki was under the covering where they do security heading into the park.  But I saw him at the last minute and was able to continue my traditional picture!

The tradition continues!
Running through Animal Kingdom is always a favorite for me during this race.  It's so fun to be there at night and it is so pretty lite up.  However, due to the rain, I spent more time looking at the ground then taking in the scenery.  It can be uneven and with all the construction going on, I really needed to make sure I didn't trip.  I saw a couple of people stumble throughout the park.  Do the entire thing (just my personal opinion).  Sorry, mini-rant over.

I did catch Timon in Africa though!

From there we headed out of Animal Kingdom and started to head towards Hollywood Studios.  There weren't a lot of characters on this stretch so I just kept running.

While you are heading out of Animal Kingdom, you can see the people heading into Animal Kingdom in the later corrals.  I have to say, I saw a lot of people jumping the median and cutting the course.  I'm guessing it's because they were concerned about getting swept, but I (personally) don't think that's right.  If I pass you and you are walking with a bib from corral G or H, I know you cut the course.  Not cool, people, not cool.

By the time we headed into Hollywood Studios, I have to say, I was SO over the rain.  I was soaked to the bone and my skirt (while adorable) is layered and ruffly and it was so heavy from the water.  We headed into Hollywood Studios by Rock n Rollercoaster, down Hollywood Blvd and into Pixar Place.  This portion of the course seemed different to me.  I don't remember it going that way in different years, but I can't place my finger on what exactly changed.

They had some Toy Story characters out in Pixar Place (including Lotso who I am now sad I missed) but I was so not in the mood to stop and wait in line.  I was cold and just wanted to be done, honestly.

I stopped for a professional picture in the Osborne Spectacle of Lights, but of course it still hasn't shown up in Marathonfoto.  I searched for it and never found it.  Sadness, I was really looking forward to that one!

From there we start the trip to Epcot.  Once you leave Hollywood Studios, it's the same path as the marathon.  Definitely brought back some memories!

While on the path near Boardwalk, the girl running next to me was suddenly like, 'Is your name, Sarah'?  Caught me by surprise!  She did look familiar and she told me she remembered me from the TOT 10M corral.  A group of us had started talking to kill time and she was from there!  We ended up running the rest of the race together.  It was a nice reminder of how friendly runDisney racers are and a nice boost to the end!

After finishing, I got my medal, heatsheet and snack box, then headed to baggage.  I only had to wait a couple of minutes but I heard it got really backed up later!

I skipped the finish line beer they were handing out as I was freezing and made a beeline for the park to get changed in a real bathroom.  After that it was on to the after party!

I loved the medal this year and the fact that they brought the Spaceship Earth design back while still including Chef Mickey.  Fortunately, I didn't have one of the broken ones!

Overall, this is still one of my favorite races.  The course is great, I love that we get 3 parks and I love the after party (more on that later).  It's unfortunate the rain put a damper on things this year, but runDisney can't control that (although it is Disney so wouldn't be surprised if they could!).  I'll definitely be back again for this race!

Official: 13.1 miles, 2:06:09, 9:38 pace
Garmin: 13.36 miles, 2:06:07, 9:26 pace

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Expo

Wine and Dine is one of my favorite runDisney races and this year did not disappoint!

Race weekend started with a visit to the expo.  The expo was on par with most runDisney expo's.  They had some fun race weekend decorations out, which of course required a photo!

And because this weekend is all about the food and drink, we started the day off with a beer at the expo!  I don't know if they've done this at previous years, but they had colored cups for the beer.  I've gotten them at all the other races (except Everest) so had to get one this time.  Plus, beer!

After getting our beer, we went to packet pick-up.  The lines weren't bad and we got in and out pretty quickly.  The merchandise section at packet pick-up was already gone.  Like completely empty of all things.

We made our way into the main pavilion and got our race shirts.  They were maroon this year and I really liked the design.  

After that we made a quick trip through the merchandise.  Fortunately, Abby had already picked me up my Sweaty Bands, so I didn't have to worry about getting those!  She also got my mini medal pin.

Even so, I still couldn't resist myself.  I ended up with a new mug, a new magnet and the 'I Did It' shirt.  I seem to always get the 'I Did It' shirt from this race.  Can't let the tradition slide!

After the merchandise area, we made our way through the rest of the expo, mostly doing window shopping.  I was strong and didn't buy anything else!

Up next, my Wine and Dine recap (finally!).

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2 on Tuesday

First 2 on Tuesday of 2015!

I am lucky enough for my office to be closed the week between Christmas and New Years (I'm still checking email and doing work from home if needed, but doing it in your PJs is so much better!), so over the holiday I did some serious TV catching up.  My DVR is completely empty (miracle!) and I binged watched 'Call the Midwife'.  It's been on my Netflix list for a while and I am so glad I finally watched.  It's by the team who does Downton Abbey and is so well done.  I really enjoyed it and can't wait for it to come back in March.  If you like London-set or period pieces, I highly recommend it.  It's streaming on Netflix now and you have time to catch up before the next season starts on March 29.

Speaking of TV, is anyone else really excited that Downton Abbey is back?  It was like the highlight of my weekend watching the premiere.  Not to give anything way to those who haven't watched yet, but they packed a lot into the episode.  I feel like it was solid first episode to kick off the season and I am really interested in where it goes.  Thoughts?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Training recap week of 12/29 (Disney Half Week 6)

It's hard to believe that at this time last year, I was heading into my final week of Dopey training.  It feels like it was both a lifetime ago and yesterday.  I remember the feeling of running that marathon completely.  I also feel like it was FOR-EVER ago.  How is that possible?

I will say, I am very happy to just be running the half this Saturday.  I loved experiencing Dopey, but I also loved not having the stress of training for it over Christmas.

This past week was not a great week.  After being home for Christmas, I came back and got a horrible cold.  I know exactly who gave it to me - my youngest niece (love the girl but she is like a germ dispenser).  I got my runs in, but cut back on the mileage in order to allow myself to recover.  By Saturday, I was 95% back to my regular self!

And since one of my goals in 2015 was to do more cross training (aiming for 4x a week), I am going to be including those workouts in my recaps!

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 4 miles easy
Actual: 4.0 mi, 38:10, 9:33 pace

Scheduled: Speedwork - 6 x 0.5 mi @ 10K pace with 2 min jog recovery (7:50-8:00)
Actual: 2.37 mi, 23:53, 10:04 pace
Cross training: 2 x Quickie Workout (Tone It Up)

Scheduled: 4 miles easy
Actual: 3.0 mi, 28:35, 9:31 pace
Cross training: Love Your Body Yoga (Tone It Up)

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest
Cross training: Love Your Body, 2 (Tone It Up)

Scheduled: 8 miles long run
Actual: 8.17 mi, 1:19:26, 9:44 pace
Cross training: Love Your Abs (Tone It Up)

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Total miles: 17.54
Total December miles: 91.88
Total January miles: 11.17
Miles until goal (1,250): 1,238.83 (I almost just wrote 'a lot' because it does sound like so much right now!)

Anyone out there doing Dopey?  How are you feeling?

Good luck!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Goals!

Happy New Year everyone!  2014 turned out to be a pretty good year for me and I'm excited to see what 2015 brings.  Since it's the start of a new year, it's time to set some new goals.

So without further ado, here are my goals for 2015.  Some goals are aggressive (it helps to dream!) and some are realistic.  I think having a mix is a good start!

PR in the Half Marathon
This past year brought me a new half marathon PR (by almost 2 minutes) and I want to PR again.  My current half marathon PR is 1:50:04 and I'd really like to get under 1:50.  It's going to be a lot of work, but nothing worthwhile is easy.

Check 5 more states off my list
I am on track to complete this challenge but can't slack off!  I already have registered for races in two more states - North Carolina (Rock n Roll Raleigh) and Washington (Rock n Roll Seattle).  I signed up for the 3 pack Tour Pass so I have one Rock n Roll race to pick still.  Definitely plan on doing another state there.  I also have a 4th state in mind, so that just leaves 1 state let to plan.  Any suggestions?

Run a marathon
Honestly, I almost put race a marathon, but I have no idea how I am going to feel by the time my marathon comes around (I have an idea for one in the Fall).  2014 was full of lots of races and running and while I'm doing my best to take the off season easy, I can't be 100% sure I won't be burnt out by the fall.  I might decide to race it come fall, but I at least want to plan on running a marathon.

Run 1,250 total miles
Similar to last year, I want to set a mileage goal.  I am choosing the same number as last year as I think it's achievable, but still a challenge.

Cross train more often
Last year, I made some pretty lofty goals for core work and didn't do any of them.  This year, I also want to work on my cross training (including core work) as I know it will help my running in the long term.  Since I know it's not reasonable to say I am going to do it everyday (seriously, what was I thinking? I knew that wouldn't happen), I am going to try and do it 4x a week.  I'm going to be using the toning workouts from Tone It Up.  I've done some of their workouts before and they are really good.  I don't need the cardio as I get that from running, but really want to useful and easy to do at home.

Work on mental strength
This one is much harder to quantify when reviewing, but I this is something I want to work on.  I have trouble pushing through mentally when the run gets tough.  The only way to get faster is to push through the pain (not injury pain, just working hard pain - if that makes sense).  I have gotten a lot stronger in this area in the last 2 years (training for Dopey was a giant mental exercise!) but I know it's something that I can continue to work on.

Those are my fitness goals for 2015.  I also have some personal goals I am working on, but I am keeping those to me as they are quite personal.

What are your goals for 2015?