Thursday, January 31, 2013

Race Report: Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Thought I would end January with my race recap of the Disney Half Marathon!  An update on upcoming races will come soon!

The weekend was a blast - we had gorgeous weather and I had so much fun running half number 30.  Let's start at the beginning.


The expo was insanely packed.  In 6 years of Disney Half's I have never seen it so packed.  The parking lot was insane and inside it was ridiculous.  We picked up our packets (which is an a separate hall and was not as crowded) and then head to shirt pick up.  The shirts this year were a bright yellow.  I really liked them - it's a color I don't have a lot of, so I was glad to get it.  It's a Champion shirt, which I don't really love.  They place the seams on the arms in a weird spot (note to runDisney!).  Shortly before the race, runDisney announced a new partnership with New Balance so I am hoping they start using New Balance shirts moving forward.  
Race Shirt
See? Awkward seam placement
Following shirt pickup, we made a quick stop in the store, where they did not have my branded race wine glasses!  So instead I got a pint glass (note to runDisney - where were the wine glasses?).  Following the store, we headed over to the runDisney booth as they had early registration for the Disneyland Half and 10K available.  There was a pretty long line and it did not move super fast, and while we debating not waiting, we did.  After waiting, we both got registered for the Dumbo Double Dare - a new race during the Disneyland Half weekend which includes the 10K and Half.  And thank got we did - when registration opened it sold out in 2 hours!  Phew!

The rest of the expo was so insanely packed (and we had a dinner reservation to make) that we skipped the rest of the expo.

Race Day

Got a pretty good night of sleep and headed to the race nice and early.  The weather was warmer then usual and especially humid.  Was placed in Corral A and got there early and relaxed.  Joey Fatone from 'NSYNC was running the race and happened to be right next to me getting interviewed.  The 12 year old in my wanted to go talk to him, but the NYer in me did not.  
12 year old me is soooo jealous.
The race started promptly at 5:35am and off I went!  The humidity was brutal and by mile 2 I was sweating.  This being #30, I knew it was a special one for me.  I wanted to enjoy it so really tried not to focus on my pace and stopped for photo's with all the characters.  When I was actually running my pace was about a 9:50. but when factoring in my time waiting for photo's, it was much slower.  I took some on my phone too, but the professional ones turned out so cute that I am going to have to buy them!  Once I do, I'll post my favorites to the blog.  I've included some of my favorites from my phone (ones that the photographer didn't get) at the bottom of this post.

This race meant so much to me and I really enjoyed it.  I could not have imagined a better way to celebrate my upcoming 30th birthday and my 30th Half Marathon.  

Official race time:  13.1 miles, 2:22:14, 10:51 pace
Garmin time: 13.43 miles, 2:22:13, 10:35 pace

I particularly love mile 6!
And here are some of my favorite photo's!

Heading into Magic Kingdom!
Running down Main Street USA
With the mayor of Main Street!
In front of the castle
With the gang from Mary Poppins
Toy solider from Toy Story (he yells at you running up a hill!)
Dale doing Gangnam Style (I am not kidding)
Congratulations pack from my mom!

Up next - Disney's Princess Half Marathon on Feb. 24th!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Off to Disney...the end is here! (I mean my 30 by 30 challenge of course, not the end of the world)

Tomorrow morning (bright and early!) I will be on a plane heading to Disney for the last in my challenge to run 30 half marathons before my 30th birthday.  I can't believe it's finally here.  I feel like I started it so long ago (even though it was only like a year) and it really took a lot of planning and organization to get it in, but I am really excited.

While, it's pretty mild in NYC right now, it is going to be in the low 80's when we are there.  I am so excited for warm weather!  Just look at this weather report below:

Oh hey summer, I missed you

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  I'll be taking a blogger break while I am enjoying the sunshine and awesome-ness that is Disney for the next 5 days!  See you on Wednesday!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Paleo Update

One week into my challenge to go Paleo, so thought I would give a quick update.

I will have to admit - it is definitely a challenge.  I love carbs so it's hard not to immediately gravitate towards them.  And I've done pretty good - brunch on Saturday wasn't Paleo but the rest of my week and weekend was.  However... yesterday was not.  I had a lunch with work and I caved and got a burger (plus I munched on some spinach dip and tortilla chips before hand).  The burger was delicious so at least I caved on something good - but I have to admit, I was shocked at how crappy I felt afterwards.  And it wasn't because I ate to much or felt stuffed.  My body just felt sluggish and blah.  I could not believe the difference I felt yesterday (not eating Paleo) vs the previous days (eating Paleo).  Given how crappy I felt, I got right back on the wagon and had some Paleo friendly Bake Mustard Lime Chicken (from my day of freezer cooking) and carrots with lemon vinaigrette with some clean apple sauce (only apples in it) for dessert.  I felt so much better afterwards.

I am truly starting to believe it works.  And as much as the day of cooking was intense, knowing I have Paleo foods waiting for me at home has been helpful.  I'm still not sure I can do it 100% of the time, but knowing how I feel when I don't will probably help me stray less often.  This weekend I will be at Disney, so it will definitely be harder to do it - but I am going to do my best.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Two for Tuesday

Happy Tuesday everyone!  I am off to Disney this Friday for the Disney World Half Marathon and I could not be more excited!  The weather there is supposed to be 79-80 degrees the entire time and I am really looking forward to it.  My mind is already there; now I just need to actually be there!

When we were in Disney for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November, we discovered the above cups in the Canada pavilion on Epcot.  We had to purchase them because when we were in Montreal for the marathon, this was our motto for everything we experienced.  Don't get me wrong - we love Canada, but things are so different from NYC they often elicited an 'Oh Canada'.  Said lovingly of course.

Very quickly into our trip in November, we decided to purchase these ears and wear them around (mine are the green and red / Christmas themed one - there is even a sprig of holly on one of the ears).  We also purchased the black and white Mickey and he popped up in the background of our photo's throughout the trip (evidenced below from our photo in Norway).  We had so much fun with our own version of "Hidden Mickey" we are going to do it again - but with a different character this time.

Yes, we are huge nerds
PS - Two for Tuesday will (most likely) be taking a break next Tuesday as I'll still be in Disney!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Weekend Recap

How was everyone's weekend?  Mine was nice - not relaxing but super productive!  My weekend involved catching up with friends, lots of errands and cooking.

I started my weekend with a trip to Trader Joe's Friday after work.  I should have known better then to go there on a Friday afternoon - it was a mad house!  But I pushed on and got (almost) everything on my list.  The line to check out was crazy long (always is) but I bonded with the 2 girls in front of me so it went by pretty quickly.

Look at all the healthy food!
Saturday started with Team and Training practice leading the 10:00 pace group.  Since I am running the Disney Half next week (yay #30!) I dropped my run to 6.5 miles this week.  My run was followed with a nice long brunch with my friend Tess.  For our brunch we decided to try out the Guilty Goose (131 W 23rd St).  They do have a "boozy brunch" (2 hours of unlimited mimosas or draft beers) but since I was just recovering from being sick, we decided to pass on the drinking portion.  We did get a large pot of French press coffee and it was delicious!  For food, we decided to start with the Fried Pickles - which were spears not slices.  They were delicious, but could have easily been our whole meal - and we split them.  I followed the friend pickles with the Cheese Steak (while delicious not at all related to my beloved Philly cheesesteaks).  I was so full from the pickles, I only managed about half of my sandwich.  It was delicious though! 
Delicious, but definitely not Paleo
If you are wondering how I managed brunch on my Paleo diet.... well, I didn't.  You are allowed 3 cheat meals a week and this was one of mine. Following brunch, I went to Whole Foods to pick up a couple of additional ideas not found at Trader Joe's and then Target for more errands. 

Sunday was spent cooking.  And I mean that.  The whole day.  Let me explain.  A couple of months ago, another blog I read (sorry - can't remember which one now!) talked about doing once a month cooking.  As in you cook once a month and have a freezer worth of food.  I hate cooking when I come home from work so I liked the idea of doing that.  I tried several recipes from the website this fall and really enjoyed them all, so when they announced they were doing a Paleo menu for January, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a try.  It costs $8 a month to get the full recipe cards, grocery list and instructions.  And you can enter the number of people cooking so I knew I wasn't cooking for 4 or some crazy amounts.  Yesterday, I literally spent about 8+ hours cooking.  But I got it all done.  I did have a couple of problems (there were things listed on the grocery list not needed, some of the recipe cards weren't the clearest) but over all it wasn't as bad I thought.  The step by step instructions were really helpful.  I had the Strawberry Kale Coconut Smoothie for breakfast and the Sweet Potato Basil Soup for lunch.  Both were delicious, so I am hopeful the rest will be as good too!  

This will help me stick with my Paleo diet (I am hopeful) as well as keeping me stocked with food for the month!  I will keep you posted throughout the month on how the rest of the recipes go.  In case you are wondering, I am using Once A Month Mom (says the single gal) for my month of food.
My freezer is maxed out.  There is even stuff in the ice box.

Happy Monday everyone!  What do you all do this weekend? 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I have pages!

OMG - I have pages!  As you know, one of my resolutions for 2013 was to make some changes to the blog.  I've started by updating the theme (a little simplier and cleaner) and adding pages.  Don't have a ton right now, but am starting with Personal Bests, Race Schedule and 30 by 30 Challenge.

If you're reading this one a reader, you can't see the pages - so head over to the blog to check 'em out (or I made it even easier for you and you can click the links above to be taken to each page)!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Resolutions for 2013

So per my post yesterday, I have set some New Years Resolutions for myself.  I always have trouble with resolutions because I feel no one ever keeps them (January is always my least favorite time of the month at the gym since it's always so crowded and then by February it's back to normal).  I've thought pretty hard about my resolutions this year and tried to make them accomplish-able (is that even a word?  well, it is now!).

So without further ado, below are my resolutions for 2013.

1.  Eat better I feel like I am a broken horse on this one lately (I've mentioned it in several posts in the last couple of months), but I am more resolved then ever to do so.  The month of December was not good for me - lots of parties and eating rich foods and not in moderation.  I weighed myself this morning and I am the heaviest I've been in a long time.  I won't reveal the number because it's really not that bad, but for me, it's a lot.  In addition, I basically spent the entire time between Thanksgiving and Christmas sick.  In college, I used to avoid getting sick because once I did, I'd be sick for the entire winter and that stopped once I graduated.  I realize some of it comes from not eating healthy foods and some from being stressed and run down (see #3 for more on this).  I need to take care of myself as a priority.  So to do so, I spent some time the last week or 2 doing some research and I've made some decisions.

To start, I've downloaded the free app "Lose it" which helps you track calories and exercise based on how much weight you want to lose.  I am hoping this will help me make better choices.  For example, we went to brunch yesterday and after ordering (and eating) my eggs benedict, I realized they had over 1,000 calories.  In 1 meal.  Not. good. at. all.  See what I mean?  Just starting tracking yesterday, so only on Day 2.

Next up, I've decided to try and follow the Paleo diet.  Now, it might sound like I am jumping on the bandwagon (I know it's incredibly popular right now), but I did some serious research on it (like taking multiple books out of the library on the subject).  Given the info I learned, I am interested to see if / how it will work for me.  I'm not going to go into a ton of background on the diet (if you don't know about it), since there are a bunch of website that will explain it better (try to start), but basically it's all about eating what our ancestors ate in the Paleolithic age.  Lots of protein, fruits and vegetables, no grains or dairy.  I know I won't be able to follow it 100%, but going to do the best I can and see how it goes.

2. Follow my workout schedule better With everything going on this past year, I did not do very good about following my (or any) workout schedule.  I am making it a goal to stick to it this year.  I know I will feel better getting my runs in or some cross training so I am really going to make it work.  I got a new planner for 2013 and plan on entering in all my workouts each Sunday night for the week so I can stick to them.

3. Work life balance What I think is becoming a running theme on this blog (and certainly this post) is that work was crazy the last 6 months.  And it threw off my workout and eating schedule.  And being so busy made me run down, which I think in turn was part of the reason I was sick all December.  Now, I realize I can't control my job, but my goal is to have a better work life balance and make the effort to leave work at a reasonable hour each day and not stress about it when I am away from work.

4. Running goals I do have some running goals for 2013, number 1 being finish my 30 by 30 challenge (only 1 to go!).  I do have a goal for after I finish my 30 by 30 Challenge, but I am going to wait until that is done to announce it.  I had a low-key NYE this year - my friend Pam came over and we had dinner and planned our races.  We live quite the life, right?  So, I do have my race calendar (for the most part) planned for the year.  I'll share it later this month (along with my new goal after 30 by 30).  There is going to be no marathon this year (as of now, that could change) but given how rough training was in 2012, I think taking some time off of marathon training will be nice.  Still going to be doing Half's and running, but no marathon and trying not to over do it and get burnt out.  Crazy, I know!

5. Travel more I think this one could be my life mantra.  Travel more.  I love it and it makes me happy.  It doesn't always make my wallet happy so it's a tough one.  But I do want to make an effort to travel to new places and visit far away family and friends.

6. Be a better blogger I seemed to go in spurts with posting.  Sometimes I'm really good at it, sometimes I'm not.  Going to try and be more consistent throughout the year in posting.  I am also hoping to redesign my  blog and maybe add some pages (maybe 1 for the 30 by 30 challenge or for running records? Who knows yet).  I am also debating buying my own domain name, which then adds the problem of committing to a blog name.  I renamed this blog 'sarah in the city' a while back, but never changed the blogspot address.  I am leaning back towards 'sarah runs a lot' since it just feels like me.  Any opinions on this subject?

7. Save more This one is pretty simple.  Going to try and save more.  Which I think will help make #5 more feasible.

8. More time with friends Another simple one and ties in with #3 and #5.  Spend more time with friends.

In addition to resolutions for the new year, I have some other personal goals (both short and long term) that I am not ready to share publicly.  Not sure if I will ever share them, but I know them and have then written down so I am always working towards them.

What are your goals for 2013?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and a great new year!  I've been enjoying some time with family and friends and not online :)

I'll be back later with my own personal resolutions for 2013, but wanted to drop a quick note for the new year!