Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 2013 - By the Numbers

Swim - 4.6 miles
Bike - 39.42 miles
Run/Walk - 79.49 miles

Yoga - 164 minutes (2 hours, 44 minutes)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I thought they missed my shot!

Since it was so dark I didn't recognize it! But here it is.... Running Through the Castle! (Or I just did anyway! LOL)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Race Report: Winter Runnerland 10K

This race was sponsored by Moms Run This Town, a free running club. It was offered as a virtual race and you could order a medal for only $10. There were 3 distances to choose from: 5K, 10K, or half marathon. Our local chapter decided to get together and do the race as a group at a local park. Since I had 6 miles on my training plan, I signed up for the 10K!

It was especially cold on Saturday morning so I appreciated the extra incentive to get up and hit the park! Also, this is a park I have never run at before so I was looking forward to seeing the trail! I was a little nervous, though, because I only knew the one friend who was going to be there, and I get so intimidated showing up to group events when I don't know many people.

We had such a great turn-out on this cold morning!

Our chapter leader had designed a course map and presented us with swag bags! She is awesome! She also took pictures of us running! :)

See my new bright blue hat! I got it so I'd be more visible in the winter! Guess it works! :)
It doesn't look that way from the picture, but this trail is very hilly (which is why I don't run at this park LOL). The first mile is especially bad, but after that it's mostly rolling hills. But still, to start off the first mile with some steep hills was a challenge. The first whole lap was pretty awful, but the second time around was actually really good. I felt much stronger and could get into a better groove.

I think I finished 3rd out of 6, which isn't too bad. I did the 3/1 interval that was on my training plan. I waited for the other 10Kers to finished and was hoping to wait for the 2 half marathoners, but I was too cold after being sweaty on the run. I should have brought something to change into. :(

Me with my bling!

It's hard to see just how adorable this medal is from the picture so here is a close-up version from the website:
I am such a sucker for adorable bling! LOL And $10 to get out and meet some new friends and get some bling is always a good investment! Had a great time and I hope they do this one again next year! :)

Reminder: Just a few weeks left to support my fundraising efforts for families affected by autism! Please click here to donate!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Race Report: 2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

I'm not sure how I'm ever going to remember all of the details of the race, especially since it's now 4 days later, but I'm going to do my best! This race was so incredible and amazing, I'm sure I will remember the feelings for a very long time!

My mom and I flew in on Thursday morning, leaving the east coast very early and getting to LA by mid-day. We didn't plan any Disney parks time for that day which was good, because I wanted to make sure I was well-rested. Too often in Disney races, I wear myself out at the parks in the days leading up to the race and end up with tired feet and legs before the race even starts. But this time, I planned smarter. So Thursday afternoon was spent with feet up on the bed watching TV! We went out to dinner with a friend on Thursday evening, during which time I set the restaurant on fire. I think it's far safer if I'm not allowed to roam free on race trips.

Friday morning was my planned shake-out run. I had been given a fairly simple area route from a ROTE friend, but the free wifi connection wasn't set up for tablets like the Kindle Fire, so I had to wing it. I ran between the two parks and into Downtown Disney. My idea was to run straight through and come out on a road on the other side. But instead I ran right into the Disneyland Hotel, passing the folks who were waiting for the Galloway Meet-up to start. I turned around, pretending that I knew what I was doing, and went back to find a road. And I found one. But I had no idea where I was! I kept running until I found a road name that was familiar and finally, I found my way back to the hotel. I was very close to calling my mom in the room and asking her for directions! LOL The shake-out run was done and everything felt pretty good!

We opened Disneyland Park that morning (benefits of being on East Coast body clocks) and enjoyed some attractions before the Expo opened. The Expo wasn't crowded and I had my bib is no time.

I didn't spend much time looking at the vendors, but I did get a chance to see Leah from Sparkle Skirts, and I ran into my friend, Cindy, from ROTE. I also spoke to a very nice lady who was running for Autism Speaks in honor of her daughter. I cannot remember her name, but we talked for awhile about autism and she was carrying a sign with her daughter's picture on it. If you happen to know her, could you direct her to my blog so I can get in touch with her! I had meant to bring a card with my name/email address to the race start to give to her but I forgot.

Saturday was spent in California Adventure where I ate my traditional pre-race dinner of cheese pizza!

Early night to bed, laying everything out for the morning!

I actually got a very good night's sleep! Probably the best night-before-a-big-race sleep that I've ever gotten! I'm not sure if it has to do with my frame of mind or the fact that I was on East Coast time or what, but it was fantastic! I was up by 2:30 to roll and stretch and have plenty of time to get myself ready. I met Cindy at 3:45 for the walk over to the start line. I really like the Disneyland races because you don't have to get on a bus and stand around for 2 hours before start time. In fact, I felt like our time with the other ROTErs at the H tent was over too quickly! By the time we took some pictures, it was time to hit the corrals!

I wasn't incredibly nervous. In the last few months, I have really come to terms with what racing is to me and what I hope to gain when I sign up for a race. I wanted to enjoy myself, and to do the best I could do, but in the end, it was all going to be OK whether or not I got all upset and worked up! So I chose not to get upset and worked up! And that worked (with God's help, of course! LOL)!

I was in Corral B, thanks to my still valid super-fast 10K time from 2011. I lined up at the very end of the corral so my walk intervals wouldn't mess up anyone's PR attempt. Sooner than I ever imagined, it was our turn to start! I was so excited to finally be on the side of the road where Mickey usually stands on a stage, only to find out it was Minnie and Daisy for this race! LOL Oh well, they are cool, too!

This race course was phenomenal! We had a ton of time in the parks... 6 whole miles, if my memory serves me correctly! It was dark, though, and some of the water stops were quite slippery. But I wasn't in a huge hurry so I did my 3/2 intervals as planned. I got a few really great pics on the course, even though it was dark.

Tower of Terror!
Paradise Pier
Ran through the new Cars Land!

Flo's Cafe in Cars Land
Another shot of Paradise Pier

Main Street, USA!
There's Tink!
Getting ready to "Run Through the Castle"! :D

I saw my mom 2 times on Disney property, and she took a few pictures of me! I didn't want to stop because I wasn't sure if I'd be able to start back up again!

From the parks we went out into Anaheim, but instead of going through the industrial parts, this course took us through neighborhoods and what appeared to be the downtown office area! It was really pretty and there was lots of crowd support! Of course, being in California, it also has the benefit of being completely flat! Woohoo!

My race plan was to do the first 8 miles at a 3/2 interval which is what my training plan called for. I had been adding 2 miles to each of my training runs at a 1/4 interval, but I decided to keep going with the 3/2 for as long as I could. Around mile 7, I started to feel like I my sleeve was rubbing. I hadn't really run too far in this new shirt, but I carry a tiny thing of Body Glide with me. I got it out, and promptly pushed it right out of the container where it felt to the ground. I shrugged it off and decided I could stop at a medical tent for vaseline if necessary (and it never was).

My toes also started to feel like the Body Glide was wearing off, but then it went away. I was still feeling really great! Around mile 11, my hips began to ache a bit, so I focused on maintaining proper form, and that really helped! I texted mom at mile 12 that I was going to run the rest of the way... 1.1 miles without stopping! I hadn't run a nonstop mile since the summer of 2011, before the full marathon training and my injury! But I was feeling so wonderful, and I just knew in my heart that I could do it! Mom was waiting around the finish, nearly Disneyland Drive and she snapped this picture.

Ponytail flying and feeling fine!

After a very wonky loop through the parking lot, I crossed the finish line and received my Spinning Bling that I had wanted so badly! I was sure I would cry, but I didn't. I was just filled with a sense of accomplishment and gratitude for having finished this race in such fine form, despite being completely undertrained! I couldn't thank God enough for seeing me through yet another crazy challenge! I don't deserve His many blessings and yet He keeps pouring them out on me!

I caught up with the ROTE folks at the H tent and enjoyed hearing how everyone's races went! There were many PRs and almost PRs among our little group. I didn't get a PR, but that didn't matter to me! I finished, after a year off from long distances. And that meant so much more to me than a PR ever could!

I am still feeling quite well all these days later and I'm ready to keep up my training for the Princess Half Marathon! I'm halfway to the Coast to Coast Medal with just a little bit over 4 weeks to get there! My fundraising has gone very well and I'm going to really give it a push in the next week or so! If you would like to donate, please click here! I really would like to make it to my $1000 goal if at all possible!!

Thanks to everyone for sharing this experience with me and for your good thoughts, prayers, and pixie dust!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Half Marathon Finisher - Again! :D

Just got back home late last night! Will post my race report this afternoon! :D

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Last long run done!

Sorry it's been nearly a week since my last post! We started back to school here and since we home school that means that my free time is diminished! ;) And since we were starting back after a 2 week break, it also means that nobody was really interested in getting their work done. With the Tinker Bell Half Marathon fast approaching, that includes me as well! I had such a hard time concentrating on things that needed to be done last week. This week will be no better I'm sure!

So today was the last long run... 5 miles of 3/1 intervals, plus around a mile of walking to warm up and cool down. I skipped the "Two Miles for Tink" this week because I think my legs need the rest/taper more than the practice.

The run went very well. It's quite warm here in Georgia right now, so I got to test out my Tink outfit. In fact, it's about 10 degrees warmer here this morning than it's supposed to be in CA on the morning of the race! But I got to test out the outfit and make sure it all feel good on, which it does. Here is a pic of the outfit from the day it came in:

The top is from Raw Threads and is the first shirt I have tried from them. The front says "Fly Thirteen Point One" and it has wings on the back  - matches the skirt beautifully. They say that their V-neck shirts run large and to size down. Since I was between the Small and Medium, I ordered a Small and it still has plenty of room.The skirt is a Sparkle Tech from Sparkle Skirts, my go-to running skirt these days! This one is called "You Can Fly" and it is a limited edition so if you think it's cute, you need to order ASAP before she runs out of the fabric!

Needless to say, I got lots of funny looks at the park this morning! LOL 

Packing starts today! I am going to try my best not to over-pack like I usually do but I'm so unsure about the CA weather that I will be bringing lots of layering clothes. I'm going to check a bag, but I may have to also bring a carry-on! Oh, well!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend of swim/bike/run/walk! Most everyone I know is at Disney World for marathon weekend right now, so if you're there, hope you're having a wonderful time!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Two weeks to Half Way!

Two weeks from now, Lord willing, I will be finished with the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and half way to my goal of completing the RunDisney Coast to Coast Challenge! I would love to be to the half way point of my fundraising as well, and I'm SO CLOSE! I am only $50 away from being there!

Would you like to help me get there?

Simply click on this link to donate: Jennifer's Fund Raising Page

This year, Spectrum has 7 weeks of summer day camps planned as well as a 6 week (one evening per week) drama club and a week-long sleepaway camp!! Each of the day camps has a weekly theme like Super Heroes, Dinosaurs, or Insects! Help me help Spectrum make these camps more affordable to families! 

For more information about this year's summer camps, click on this link: Spectrum Summer Camps

Train 4 Autism, the organization I am doing my fundraising through, gives 94.5% of all money raised directly to the charity!! That's amazing! 

Thank you in advance for your support! :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

10 miles - CHECK!

Today is my last long run before the Tinker Bell Half Marathon which is two weeks from tomorrow! I did the 7 miles that was on my training schedule for Princess (doing a 3/2 interval), then I added the 2 Miles for Tink (at a 1/4 interval), and then I did a total of 1 mile for a warm-up and cool down, for a total of:

10 miles!! 

That's the longest distance I have run/walked since this time last year when I completed the Goofy Challenge! I am so excited! In fact, I asked my husband to grill me a steak for dinner - just like he did when I completed 10 miles for the very first time back in 2010! LOL He was happy to oblige! ;)

I have to admit that I was very nervous last night in anticipation of this run. Double digits seemed to be unreachable last summer when I was trying to prepare for the Alien Half in August (that I dropped out of in favor of the triathlon). This time, so far, it seems like I have managed to complete it with no ill effects. My IT Bands felt great, there was no pain in my left shin/calf - the only problem at all was my right pinkie toe beating against the end/side of my cute new Mizuno shoes. I will send them back and exchange for a half size bigger, and plan to wear them at Princess in February!

I am feeling much more confident in my ability to finish Tink now. I know it won't be fast, but since I'm doing this one for the sake of enjoyment (and spinning bling), that doesn't matter!

Next week is a cut-back week, which is nice and convenient! And the week after that is the race - and lots of time with my mom in Disneyland! So exciting! Lord willing, I will stay healthy and strong and have a blast!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

In the saddle

My first workout of 2013 was a cycling workout... at the gym on the stationary bike, unfortunately, because we spent the entire day with a cold rain in the area. But the workout went extremely well. Either I'm getting more comfortable on the bike, more comfortable on the stationary bike, or getting to be a better cyclist - or maybe all 3! Regardless, I averaged just over 15mph over the entire bike ride, which is a first for me! I am absolutely thrilled!

2013 is the year for me to focus on the "bike" part of Swim-Bike-Run! I'd love any tips on gear and training that anyone can offer me!!

Happy New Year!