Sunday, October 26, 2014

New Beginnings & New Goals

After 8 yrs with my TNT training group (not Team in Training, but TNT Fitness), I've decided to branch out and do my "own thing". Jon will also be leaving TNT, after 3 years with them. We're going to start training with the TRX. We're both really looking forward to it!

At first, we'll be following a couple of their programs to get us started & really learning how to use the TRX properly. If I can find a class to become certified on them, I may do that at some point. It'll be a great change from what we've been doing.

Part of my 2015 goals is to get back to my 2011 weight & health. Another goal is to get faster. I've got 2 half marathons scheduled for next year, but that's the only "long distance" racing I'll be doing. Everything else will be 5/10k. I *might* throw in a 10 miler, but maybe not. We'll see how I'm feeling about it. I REALLY want to break 27 minutes on my 5k. I have a lot of work to do on that, so for now, it'll just be a good bit of speed work & shorter focused running.

In addition to the running, I'll still be biking. I'll probably do a couple of sprint tris, so I'll throw in some swimming from time to time as well.

Soon, I'll be writing a list of my goals (instead of just a spewing of the mind).

In other news, we went to the Marine Corps Marathon today to watch my lil bro run. He's done an amazing job over the last 5 years of improving his time. Today, he ran a 2:51 marathon. Speedy lil dude!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Walt Disney World's Tower of Terror 10 miler - October 4, 2014

After our 2 hr nap (I think I slept for an hour, Jon slept for 2), we got up & got ready for the race. It was early, around 5pm. We knew we needed to eat dinner before the race, so we gave ourselves plenty of time.

Around 5:45, we headed over to Artist's Palette for dinner. I had a GF turkey sandwich and chips. I picked up extra chips, knowing I'd likely need the salt later. By the time we finished eating (a relaxed dinner), going potty, and got everything from the car, we still had about 15 minutes before the busses started running. I was highly impressed that Disney had several busses already lined up, waiting to go, at SSR.

Once the bus was full, we headed to DHS. It was still VERY early, so we found a spot on the ground near bag check and sat for a while. While waiting, I was able to meet up with some Disney bride friends.
Disneymooners are the best!
After that, I met up with my clients who were running their very first race!

Adam, Annie, & I
I also hung out with my hubby & girlfriend.
Jon & I
Nadia & I
At some point, we wandered over to the corral area and all went our separate ways. Well, I went to find my corral. Several of the others were in the same corral, so they all got to hang out together some more.

Some time around 9:35 or so, they started moving us towards the start. It seemed like it was at least a half mile walk to the start. I have no idea how long it really was. I was in corral D & close enough to see/hear everything going on on the stage again. It was nice to see it all in both races for the day!

The fireworks went off & corral A was off! Then B & C followed. When it was time for D to go, we didn't get fireworks. Ah well.

Start line
Getting ready to go!
The first mile was a bit tough. The ramp that was about 1/2 mile in (I think?) was a bit rough. It wasn't that it was a straight up type of ramp, it was that it was a pretty big angle. I pulled my Achielles back in 2009 running on uneven surfaces, so I wasn't trying to aggravate that. Up to the top of the ramp I went, where the ground was more level.

We ran towards Animal Kingdom. It's always fun to watch the fast people run past on an out & back. After the 2nd water stop, I decided to go ahead & stop to use the bathroom. Apparently, I had an issue during these 2 races! I hardly ever stop & I stopped during both races that day. Anyhow... That mile took me FOREVER. The good thing about the line was that I got to admire the huge spider Disney put up on the overpass.

Back on the road, I started the trek back towards Wide World of Sports. On one of the overpasses, I saw Nadia & Annie, so I yelled to them after they yelled at me. I love seeing people I know on the race course!

I got to WWoS & started down the trail section of the race. The only thing I wasn't thrilled about with WWoS was that if there was a type of surface we could've run on, we did. There was packed dirt, asphalt, grass/turf, baseball diamond-style dirt, track, and concrete. It definitely kept my mind occupied, but I was a bit tired of switching surfaces after those couple of miles. There was a HUGE cheering section in the baseball stadium. It was just the lift I needed.

Somewhere around mile 6, I started to pick up pace a bit. It was like my body finally decided to let me run at pace; only took 9 miles of running for the day!

On the turn into DHS, I remember thinking we were pretty close. When I looked at my watch, I realized there was another mile left! Wow! It was during this mile that I experienced the only time I've ever wanted to throw up while running that wasn't Gu induced. They had a "party tunnel" at the costume area of the Backlot Tour. The disco lights were a little too much for those of us who get motion sick from those kinds of things.

Once through the tunnel, it wasn't too much longer before the finish line. Honestly, I was a little underwhelmed by the finish line.

Directly after the finish line there's a LONG walk back to bag check, I'd say it was close to a mile. I almost turned my Garmin back on to track it! Normally we don't check bags, but we were thinking about staying for the after party for a bit, so we checked a change of dry clothes. We also figured it'd be a good place for every one to meet up.

Nadia & Annie had fallen behind pace & were picked up somewhere around mile 4. The bus brought them back & they had already gotten to bag check before I was there, so I grabbed my bag & found them. I continued to track Jon & Adam (and a few others). I was SO HAPPY and PROUD when Adam finished. I knew Jon would likely struggle through (he was getting through a head cold), but wasn't too sure about Adam.

Jon & I after he finished. Not the best picture of either of us, but it had been a LONG day!
Once Jon & Adam joined us, we all sat around for a bit chillin out & getting rehydrated/fed. I think that at some point, everyone in the group said "screw it" to the after party and decided to head back to the room. It was about 2am when we left the park.

We got back to the room at 2:30am. By the time we showered, stretched, rolled out, etc, it was 3 and time for bed! It had been a very long day.

One of the absolute BEST decisions we made all day was to drive from our building to the building closest to the bus drop off at SSR. It allowed us to not have to walk the 15 min walk back to our building at 2:30 in the morning. We were all very happy with that after the race!

Overall, it was a great race. I used my Garmin for this race since my Bia doesn't like getting a signal in race corrals. I didn't stop for pictures, but enjoyed seeing the characters on the way. I ran the fastest 4 miles of the day at the end of the 10 miler. I consider that a win! I'd do the race again, I think, if it's ever offered again. We're taking a break from Disney races for a bit. The registration cost is more than most races + the travel costs basically equal my entire race budget for next year.

Now, to get focused on the last 2 races of the year!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Walt Disney World's Happy Haunted Trail 5k - October 4, 2014

The alarm went off around 5am. We had decided not to take the race transportation to the 5k since we had the car & it'd allow us to sleep a little longer if we didn't take it. So, I got ready, had some breakfast (Gluten Free Oatmeal), and we headed out.

We got lost on the way to WWoS, again. We arrived with plenty of time to go though. Once we were parked, we walked up to where the expo is. It started sprinkling and I needed to use the restroom, so we wandered into one of the buildings. After a pit stop, we grabbed some pavement & sat for a while.

I was texting with my friend, J, waiting for her to get there. I thought it had stopped raining, but it wasn't. Oops! By the time J got there, it had slowed to a sprinkle & was tapering off. We walked down to the field & towards the corrals.

Jon & Nadia wished me luck & found a place to cheer. J & I went to the corral area - where they were already loading corral A into start position. I hopped into the corral as they we walking by and wished J luck and a good race.

The guys on the stage were great for this race. I've never been close enough at a Disney race that I could actually see the stage, so that was worth it alone. We got a glimpse of the Headless Horseman (who usually only starts the Boo to You parade, in the dark), so that was really cool!

While all of that was going on, I was trying to get my Bia to connect to GPS. It found the GoStick no problem, but never did pick up the GPS. This is not the first time I've had this problem in a run-only race while I was in a corral. I started the race pretty annoyed that I now had to use the watch pretty much as a stop watch. I really wanted the map for this run!

During the run, I didn't take any pictures and I took this one S-L-O-W! I stopped at the port-a-potties at the first water stop, chatted with the biking medics for a hot second (thanking them for their volunteer time), and slowed to see the characters (without stopping or taking pictures). I wanted to conserve energy for that night's race and also not trip over anything - though there was only one root that I saw on the course. Also, just by the nature of not running on the road, my time was a bit slower. I ended up doing the race in 40:16. Not too bad for an un-timed race that was purely for fun.

This was a really fun race & the character to mile ratio was very high! After the race, I got my medal, went through the finish area, and got my snack box. I was actually pretty hungry, so I ate what I could (that was gluten free).

Nadia went back into the expo to get her feet taped up for the 10 miler later that night and we chilled where we were.

After resting for a bit, I got a text from J saying where she was on the course. Her corral was pretty clogged up when I passed them making the turn into/out of the woods, so I had expected it would be a bit.

Jon & I went to find a place to cheer and bring J in. I'm so glad we got to see her! After the race, she went to the medical tent to visit with the medical director, who is a friend of hers. J brought the medical director out & it was nice to meet her. I told her that it was great to meet her, but that I hope I never saw her at a race. She giggled about that.

We socialized for a few minutes and then all headed back to the hotels/home to get showers and do our thing for the day. Nadia, Jon, & I ended up in DHS for a couple of hours and then back to the hotel to try to nap & then get ready for the 10 miler.

Up next: 2 races in one day - what was I thinking?!

WDW Tower of Terror Expo - October 3, 2014

We got down to WDW on Oct 2 - plenty of time leading up to race day. The race expo opened up on Friday, so we headed over there as soon as it opened. Since we were meeting a couple of people, we waited for them before we went in to get our bibs.

Me with the 5k banner
Nadia & I with the 10 miler banner
I had to get my bib for both races (and somehow ended up in corral A for the 5k - still mind blown!), so it took a few minutes to get that done. The 5k lines were pretty short, but the 10 miler lines were somewhat larger.

This was the last runDisney race that people were allowed to pick up race bibs for other people. I saw at least 3 people who had the waiver of the other person, but not the "other" piece of paper. I think it was a release form or something similar to allow someone else to pick up their bib. That alone was causing some issues because those people were holding up lines trying to get more information about what they were missing.

Anyhow, after picking up our bibs, we meandered over to the actual expo - you know - the part where they sell way too much stuff. We picked up our shirts, bought a few things, and eventually left. About an hour after we were originally thinking we would. Oops.

Race shirts & "hidden" bibs for both races
I discovered both SparkleSkirts & RunningSkirts on this trip. I have to say, after wearing a few (new) skirts around the parks over the days after the races, I like them both for very different reasons.

I really like that SparkleSkirts has the pockets on the shorts, under the skirts. The one thing I was having "issue" with is that the pocket on top of the skirt seems like it should go in the back, but the tag for the skirt is on the opposite side of the skirt, making it seem like that's the back. I love the idea that the zipper goes in front (and that's what all of their pictures show, so I'm assuming that's right).

I like the RunningSkirts fit a little better (though SS has an awesome "hiker" fit that's perfect!) for every day wear. Can you tell I don't usually run in running skirts?! These did really well in the parks & were super cute.

After the expo, I changed from shorts to one of my new skirts & we headed to the parks for a couple of hours. We had dinner at Boatwrights at Port Orleans. It was really good! I'm glad we finally ate here. Up next, the 5k!

Team Tough Chik Registration is Open!

While I'm slacking on my Tower of Terror race reports, I thought I'd pop in and mention that Team Tough Chik registration for the 2015 team is open! I've really come to love this group of women. So many different background, sports, and amazing women who really do support each other. Looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dulles Day 5k on the Runway

Official Results
Overall time - 33:47
Pace per mile - 10:54

Overall place -  xx out of 1407 (not really sure since PR does male/female results)
Division place -  110 out of 248
Gender place -  301 out of 774

For not training at all, this race went ok. It was a little warmer & more humid than I would've liked. 

The morning of the race, we parked at the Udvar-Hazy Museum. Parking was better than last year's. We did packet pickup the morning of the race again this year. They ran out of bags for bag check, so we just put our numbers on tape & put that on our shirts. 

Jon & I before the race
The race started on time, sending us 5kers down the runway. They had a helicopter overhead taking pictures and video. That got kind of annoying after a while. The run was flat & pretty uneventful. I love a race that's pretty uneventful!

I passed a friend of ours on the course & then got to see the other people we were looking for as they all finished. It was a good time! Definitely a race I'd do again.