Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Total

Even though it doesn't feel like it now, I got a lot done in 2012. I spent half the year so focused on the marathon that I almost forgot I started the year like a mad-crazy runner girl! I almost feel like the first half of the year was eons ago. Anyone else feel like that or is that what marathon training does to people?









1 (unofficial) Marathon
1 18M
6  Half marathons (1 virtual)
3  10M
1  15K
5  10K
1  5M
4  4M
3  5K
25 races total 

That's the exact number I ran in 2011. How weird is that? Adding up the miles, this year I raced 50 more miles than last. I don't even want to think about the training miles. Maybe next year I'll get even more advanced and actually track that stuff? 

I started the year by running 29.3 miles in 3 days. . .and continued doing insane things, including 5 weekends of nothing but half marathons and 10milers. Who does that and what was I thinking?! Can we say no wonder you're not getting any faster, smarty?

I really wanted 2012 to be the year of the Disney races (and it was!), but it looks like that's going to need to be extended another year so I can get my coast to coast! Just so I don't lose my insane status, I'll be starting 2013 by attempting to run the WDW Marathon (so I can get unofficial dropped off my title) and then The Dumbo Dare Challenge. Throw in a 5th anniversary Princess medal, another ToT10M and I am done!
 
After that? I want a break! 2 years of being in straight training has really done a number on me in so many ways. I think time off will be good for me. Who knows? Maybe I'll get faster! 

Of course I say this now. . . who knows what 2013 will bring?

How was your 2012?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

11 Miles and Degrees.

Any Sunday runners get jealous on Saturday when they see everyone's photos/ posts about their long run? Yesterday, I decided to put my long run on hold a day due to not feeling well (surprise, surprise. I traveled last week) and the gross weather and I totally did! When I didn't wake up to snow on the ground, I was pissed. Then when I saw the weather for today, I got even more upset.

YIKES!!!!

But I also knew I needed to rest. Once I got moving, the "feels like 16 degrees" didn't bother me. That much ;) Plus, this is the sight that greeted me once I got into the park:

SNOW!
This is the only place is seems to have stuck from yesterday's storm.

My legs were not really in the mood to be so cold, so I cut it short at 11 miles (instead of 12) and I'm totally ok with that. Honestly, I haven't been taking proper care of my legs, especially after last weekend, so I promised myself I would take time to roll and stretch. 

 Why we buy race swag: 
To dress us for training runs!

I am a little upset I didn't take advantage of a semi-full dress rehearsal in the warmer temps last weekend. Let's hope my mad hatter "jacket" doesn't chafe!

What weather is too cold to run in?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Out of town running (16M)

Hope everyone is enjoying their holidays!

Due to scheduling, I had to move my 16miler to yesterday and I still can't walk correctly. You probably shouldn't sit in a 2hr movie directly after an ice bath. But getting to see Rise of The Guardians with my mom and my niece? Pretty awesome.

Speaking of movies, did you know they sell hummus/ pretzels and even lunchables?! I was so excited when I saw that. Don't get me started on how hard it is to eat semi-healthy in this city.

Anyway. 16 miles. Yea. I also miss me some Central Park. Even if the water fountains are turned off in the winter, there are still bathrooms and faucets. I definitely realized how much of a blessing that big 6 mile loop and multiple 2-4 mile loops are. Kudos to those who still train for marathons without those luxuries. I will admit, I am spoiled (in so many ways) and should never complain about getting bored with the park ever again.

I did (8) 2 mile loops of the park closest to my sister's house. Yea. Ouch. I ran there last year, but last year 8 miles/ 4 loops didn't seem so daunting. No wonder this is considered a mental sport. But my mantra of the day was "it's not going to be easy; it's going to be worth it". That big spinning medal will be mine in 2 weeks!

Although, I don't know how worth almost getting attacked by roosters and chased by chickens would be. That red-headed one, totally chased me after I took that picture. And did you know they fly into trees?! One nearly fell on my head! Seriously. Nothing like the fear of wild animals to make you run faster! Thank goodness my running is done.

How do you get your training in during the holidays?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

So you wanna runDisney?


As race weekend gets closer, the more excited I become! (Don't get me started on news about The Disneyland Half weekend. . .more on that later!) The more I think about it and start planning for it, the less blood sweat and tears I remember going into preparing for it (just kidding, that's embedded in my brain forever!). I am by no means a runDisney expert, but I have picked up a few tips over the past year to make my weekend better and I thought I'd share. Luckily, Fred has run Goofy 3 times already, so he gets credit for a bunch of these, too. If you have any and would like to share, I'd be more than happy to update!

PRE-TRAVEL

Print everything and have it with you. I have a specific Note in my phone called "LIST" and I have everything I need for any out of town race. This includes:


- Race Registration- it will save you time. You'll want to get to the expo asap (or that might just be me!) and having to look up your bib number takes up valuable time I could be buying things.
- Plane tickets
- Hotel Reservation
- Course Map
- The Race Program

Things to pack:
- Dramamine (again, this might just be me ;)


- CAMERA!- If you ever run a race with a camera, make it this one. Most character stops have Brightroom photographers, but not all. 


- This is probably a given, but bring everything with you, you'll need for the race. Then double it just in case. Disney's Expo is HUGE but it doesn't guarantee they'll have your favorite Gu or specific vendor with that headband you wanted.
- If you haven't already, practice eating a breakfast you can travel with. I'm a Luna or Clif bar fan. Unless you're staying somewhere with a stove and a toaster. In that case, please bring me a bacon and egg on a roll, please? 
 
- Race Day attire and alternates. I had 4 different outfits and alternates depending on how cold or hot it is (i.e. arm warmers, capris and shorts, etc) 3 years ago it was snowing, last year it was hot. It's Florida, be prepared for anything.

-Body glide. I prefer Vaseline (works better and stays longer) because chafing still happens if it's cold. 


- Ziplock Bags in case it rains for your cell phone/ camera/ things you don't want to get wet. Even if it doesn't rain, it's a good place to put money, credit cards or room keys and not get them sweaty. 


- Sunblock!! Even though it's "winter" and you're starting in the dark, it will still get hot and sunny on the course and you will need it. Or you can just imagine what that bottle of Banana Boat is going to cost you in the gift shop.


- Speaking of gift shops items to avoid having to buy: Medicine. I have a ziplock bag with a sample of every medication I could possibly need. Just a few off-hand: Head Cold/Congestion Medicine - DAY & NIGHT, Gas X, Tums, Immodium, Advil, Tylenol, Claritin, Tampons/ Midol, EmergenC. You never know! 



- Want to stay hydrated but hate Florida water? Don't forget your Brita filtered water bottle. Saves my life every time I go.

ONCE YOU GET THERE:

SAVE YOUR LEGS! and your park tickets until after the race. It's going to be exciting and you're going to want to do a lot as soon as you get there. Try your hardest to chill out though. I promise the New Fantasyland will still be there the day after the race. I'm a fan of hanging out at my hotel the first day, especially if I've never stayed there before. Each hotel is an attraction in itself and there's tons to see! I'm also a HUGE fan of watching the nightly movie by the pool. 


RACE MORNING

- Leave early. Yes, you will be awake longer and spend a lot of time hanging out in the cold, but Disney does an amazing job of pre-race entertainment (shout out to the DJs! They're awesome!). You can get a good warm up in or just soak up more of the exciting energy. But seriously, this is the biggest race of the year and depending on how popular your hotel is, your bus line might be obnoxious. Better safe than sorry! 

- Have everything you need for breakfast with you. The food court of the hotels might not open in time for the races (I know for a fact they haven't for the 5k, I think they might have for the other races) I need coffee (even if it is the stuff Disney likes to pretend is coffee) and I know they sell it at the 5ks.

- On that note, I don't usually get the preferred rooms, so I usually have a hike to and from the lobby. I usually put my mug in my checked bag. That way when I get back to the hotel, I can grab something to drink on the way back to my room. 


- Layer! It's going to be way cold when you start, but when the sun comes out it's going to get hot. And there is going to be a lot of uncovered course (Oseola Parkway anyone? I don't even want to think about the added speedway this year) and lots of sun. It might feel silly to have sunglasses on your head in the dark at 3am, but you'll need them later. 


- There are portapotties by the corrals. Don't wait in the obnoxious line by bag check if you can help it. You have a 20-30 minute walk to the corrals from there and the ones by the corrals have always had little to no lines.

- On that long walk, remember to pay attention to your surroundings, just because you're in a huge crowd of humans traveling very slowly, doesn't mean you're safe to be dumb. I've heard of people tripping on cones and other randomness.

POST RACE:

- Don't sit right away. Wander around a bit. Stretch.

- I travel with a mini foam roller and stick everywhere I go. Invest. If you really don't have room, bring your stick. I've heard of people getting theirs taken away in carry-on luggage; So, if you have room, check it. No slacking on recovery efforts! It will help you walk around the parks the next day.

- Bag check bags can double as ice bath bags. I ice bathed both days last year- after the Half on Saturday and after the Relay on Sunday. Anything over 10 miles, I always ice bath- I swear by them. A lot of people say Epsom Salt baths help, too but ice is always better for me. 

- Bag check bags also double as dirty clothes bags. I highly recommend you separate your running clothes from the rest and seal the bag closed. 


- Make reservations for a buffet, seriously. If not that day, the next. Runger is a real condition. 

- Wear your medal for the rest of the trip! The ribbon will be annoying though. It will scratch the back of your neck. I don't have a solution for this. Fred says a collared shirt works for this. If it's cold enough, maybe a hoodie and put the ribbon under the hood? 


- Enjoy yourself! You just rocked a race many will never attempt. And you're in the happiest place on earth. What could be better?!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ted Corbitt Classic 15K (x2!)

Seeing as this was my longest run to date, it only makes sense that I figured out a system for managing my weekend training now.

The night before, I made enough food for the entire weekend. This way when I got home from my long run, all I had to do was ice bathe, shower eat then pass out. For some reason I was opposed to having food in the house on weekends all season long. It would waste valuable nap time trying to figure out what I wanted to eat, knowing I'd eat anything you put in front of me. Sometimes I'm such a genius, it frightens me.

I got to the park and did 4 miles pre-race. I was fine until about mile 1 of the actual race when I started having terrible stomach pains. I'm pretty sure it had a lot to do with the food hangover I put myself in from our office Christmas party on Thursday. That or the Margarita Chomps I decided were a good plan because I was afraid I wasn't hydrating well enough. Either way, I felt terrible and wasn't sure this 18 miler was going to happen, much less the 9.3 mile race I was currently in. I am not one to usually have stomach issues, so I fully sympathize for yall that do. It's not fun.

According to NYRR's site, This 15k was particularly brutal since the route takes you through all of the major hills of the park (minus Harlem) twice. That sounded awesome, let me tell ya, especially when you read about this the night before AND you haven't run at all that week. What was I thinking when I signed up for this?! Right: course support, which honestly, was totally worth it. Plus, it was my first 15k, so automatic PR! Fine.

To make matters worse, my favorite pet peeve was happening (walkers running as soon as I would reach them). Well, I don't know what happened around mile 6, but I finally felt better. Who gets into their groove at mile 7 (or mile 11 total) of a 9 mile race? This marathoner right here. I was not having it anymore. It took a few more times of cat and mouse, but I ended up smoking each and every last one of them (5 in total to be exact ;) with a mile to spare. Screw that. No one puts baby in a corner. I am training for a marathon and I will not let you ruin my race because you can't run your own. I am strong and amazing and you can't touch me. Talk about a confidence builder! It was super empowering.

Then I paid dearly for it for my last 5 miles. Not gonna lie, my hips and my knees were killing me. I even had a stop a few times to stretch, which has never happened to me during a long run. I decided if this happens in Disney, I can use a picture stop or 2 to stretch. I spent those miles concentrating on not concentrating on the pain and it worked! Either way, I'm pretty confident about it all. I know how to deal with the pain and I'm ready. One more 16 miler and then I'm tapering. Thank goodness.

Yes, I'm a dork and wore last year's Half marathon shirt for inspiration.

Last long run done!
How do you know when you're ready for your race?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Three Things Thursday: Dec

1. I did not get into the NWM DC lottery. I don't know why it upset me the way it did, especially because I'm not a fan of the company that's putting it on OR the city that it's going to be in. I wasn't fooling anyone in the universe with that one. I just really wanted the damn Tiffany's necklace and didn't want to fly across country and run up a lot of hills to get it. Oh well. If all I really want is a running related necklace, I should just buy one myself.

Did this rejection email piss anyone else off? "No, you didn't get in, but please still spend money with us!" Um? Seriously? A tshirt (for their virtual 10k) does not equal a Tiffany necklace for me. Thanks, you can F off now. Or maybe I'm just a really short fuse lately.

But the good news is, I can now consider running The Flying Pig the weekend after. I wasn't going to be able to swing back-to-back weekends (ps- how the hell did I do all those races last year?! Physically and financially, I shudder). It's an anniversary year and a bunch of friends are planning on it. It is on my list of races to do and if everyone runs it this year, how am I going to rope people to go with me another time? But then again, I also want to take break from running. Is that even possible?! Decisions, decisions.

2. I bought the fabric for my Mad Hatter Hat! No, it will not be that large. Now having time to actually make it?! Ugh. That's going to have to wait until after the holidays. I still have presents to make and buy. But I'm excited I have pretty much everything for my costume. Then, I need to test run my orange sweater and lime green compression socks.

Waivers came out today along with the program. That's motivation, right? I can't wait to read it but I really wish they would mail it. Printing 36 pages and then receiving it at the expo feels really wasteful to me. I'm a fan of the printed booklet, but I need the information in it before I get there.


3. I have an 18 miler on the books for this weekend and I haven't run a step all week. This week has been insane. But I did get a massage yesterday, so hopefully that will help with my hip and knee pain. Considering I wanted this week to be the last longest distance, I'm interested to see how it's going to go. I'm mentally exhausted!

How is your week going?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sweaters! Sweaters! and More (Old Navy) Sweaters!

I have a love affair with Old Navy. It's true. I think it happened in college, but it was solidified when after 2 years of hunting for the perfect skinny jean, I found them there (The Flirt). I also happen to be on Crowdtap, which if you're not yet, click here and start tapping! Thanks to them, I got the opportunity to check out the sweaters for the season.

A little bit about me: My body runs on the warmer side. So much so, I've been nicknamed the human furnace. I don't like to wear too much because I don't like to sweat unless I'm working out. With that being said, NYC winters get way too cold not to have a sweater or 2. I prefer mine to be cardigan style versus pullover so I can easily layer on and off as temperatures change. But I do like a traditional sweater for layering on cold days, turning a dress into a cute skirt for a wardrobe refresh or a plain ol warm hug all day
Sweaters! Sweaters! and More Sweaters!

I gave the traditional sweater a try, but I didn't think it was all that flattering.

Then I came across this one, which reminded me of South America (anyone going in the near future, please feel free to bring me back one!) and I've always wanted one! The style that I love plus the design? I was sold. Unfortunately, no size I tried looked quite right on me.

Winner winner chicken dinner!
I fell in love with this one as soon as I saw it. I've always admired this style; it always looks so comfie! But I wasn't sure it was for me. Sure enough, this was it!
I've worn it pretty much everyday.
Being that they were so awesome and sent me a coupon to share with a friend, I immediately sent it to my seester to get her take on the sweaters.

 She had a lot of fun
The bright colors for the season were definitely an appeal for her. She gets cold a lot easier and faster than me, so a pullover would be more convenient for her. She usually likes the blue hues but I was proud of her for branching out and trying on other colors.

 In the end, she went with the traditional sweater.

Can't wait to wear them together when I go home for Christmas! 

What's your favorite style of sweater? 

Crowdtap provided me with the coupon for the sweater. I provided my own opinion.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Life Insta'd: Date Night, Rockette Style



 It takes a lot to get me to be anywhere near 30 Rock during Christmas season. The 1st time seeing The Rockettes? I totally made an exception :) Even though we've both lived in the city for 5+ years, neither of us had ever seen the show (again, it's midtown in the middle of tourist season. 'Nuff said). We figured it would be a great date night adventure. Being that this year was the 85th anniversary, they had a few exhibits in the lobby showcasing year's past costumes with sketches and history (hence the photos above for your enjoyment!).

The show was worth seeing (I'd totally go back!). It reminded me of The Christmas Gala, NSU's theater department would put on every year (rockettes, toy soldiers and all, I might add! Not to brag, but our theater department was the best in the state ;). The show was geared to the tourist crowd, but sometimes it's nice. Even though I was thoroughly impressed with the athleticism of the fabulous high kicks, seeing live camels on stage totally made my night (just ask my date, who's leg I kept hitting when it's tail moved proving it was real. I thought it was 2 people in a costume). B was very excited to see the sheep. I thought she said sheik- which confused me for awhile and later we found quite hysterical. And speaking of, did you know the 3 wise men had names?! I swear I learned more about the nativity at this than I did in 13 years of Catholic school.

What's your favorite date night?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Jingle Bell Jog 4M (+12)

Saturday was The "A" Team's 2nd annual Jingle Bell Jog in Prospect Park. Lots of fun was had and it was a nice way to kick off the holiday season. I am not actually into the holiday spirit (surprisingly, surprising to many), but this 4 mile race with my PIC definitely lifted a bit of my bah humbug-ness. How could it not? I was wearing a tutu and an elf hat with bells, for the love of Christmas!

It was a nice little race around the park and completely relaxed. Although, I did discover another pet peeve of mine: when spectators tell you to run faster. Granted, we weren't racing, but how do you know I'm not going as fast as I can? Not Cool. I know it's meant as encouraging, but you don't know anything about that person or what battles they're fighting- just tell them they're doing a good job and be done with it. Then maybe, I won't want to punch you in your throat.

Aaaand moving back to the holiday cheer. . .

The red and green bagels with hot chocolate waiting for us at the finish line was a nice motivation to run a bit faster. YaY! for holiday themed races. I felt like there was a lot more costumes and festive gear this year and that always makes it more fun!

It would've been awesome to be able to say "I did 4 miles, let's go home and take a nap", but I still had 10 more miles to do (I did 2 before the race). The PIC and I took the long way out of the park so she could join me for 2 more, but then it was me and Prospect Park. I kept telling myself if I wanted to stop and just do whatever I had left the next day, it would be ok. I have to give myself an out just to get myself out the door, you know? But once I got in my groove, I just wanted to finish them. Smart, huh? You should try it, too ;)

My body is tired of being in permanent pain. I know that's why I've been struggling mentally during the week. Luckily, I figured this out and instead of focusing on the pain, I tried to let it go. That worked for awhile, as did focusing on my stride and form. It's going to take awhile to fix an entire training season's mistakes, but at least I'll have something to think about when I get bored. I also decided I'm not going up to 20 miles this time. If I can have a mentally kick ass 18 miler next week, I will be happy.

PS- I used one of my RnR drawstring bags to put my tutu in after the race. I safety-pinned the straps together so they wouldn't slide off and it worked like a charm! I even forgot I had it on. I don't know if anything heavier than tulle would work, but at least it's an option.

I was in more pain than I would've liked and thankful for the extra layers after (I was super overdressed for the 47 degree weather. In my defense, it was overcast and supposed to rain). The fact that the Q train took for.ev.er. and the commute back to my part of Brooklyn was long and crowded didn't help much either. I did jump in an ice bath and ate before I passed out for 5 hours. I woke up long enough to transfer from the couch to the bed and proceeded to sleep the whole night through. When B came home and I didn't stir (I'm a super light sleeper), she had to check to make sure I was still breathing. WoW, clearly I needed sleep.

That Disney medal better be worth it!


Are you a fan of this season? Do you dress up for themed races?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Three Things Thursday: Tutu time!

1. It's really hard to get back on the good carbs only wagon after falling off. Those things are whoah! addicting. Must work on that.

2. Just did a 5k on the treadmill in under 40 minutes and that included a warm up! What what?! I can't even tell you the last time I ran so fast.

3. To tutu or not tutu. This weekend is the Jingle Bell Jog. I have to add 12 miles to it and I'm not so sure doing them in a tutu is going to end well. Luckily, the PIC offered to be my traveling bag watch. But just in case, how much of a pain in the ass is it to run with a (light) bag? Anyone?

Are you running in a tutu this weekend?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wordy Wednesday: The Lion King Exhibit


Wednesday nights I usually decide if I want to cross train or chill out. Usually, chilling out wins. This week, I voted for checking out the Lion King exhibit next to Bryant park. This year happens to be its 15th year on Broadway. That makes it the 5th longest Broadway show ever. I remember when I saw the movie in theaters (yikes!). It's the one show I've been wanting to see for quite some time, but life has gotten in the way so far. When I heard about this, I was super excited!

All of the costumes and props that are on display have been used in actual productions. You were encouraged to take pictures and some props you could even touch. The hosts were full of fun facts that I'm going to try to remember and tell all of you. 

It takes 4 people to operate the elephant. 
He's also made out of the same stuff they use for Fedex envelopes.
So, that means he's super durable.

It took me awhile to realize Rafiki is just wax. 
What can I say? It's been a long day. 

Zaku is the hardest puppet to perform because there are so many features.
The I can't wait to be king area (right) is going to be shipped to the brand new Australia tour after the exhibit closes. I believe they also have another new tour going to Brazil. 

This was the design model that won the designer/director her job. 

After they explained how the Mufasa death scene works, I really cannot wait to see it! 

This was definitely an inspiring evening and just what I needed after the day I had. If you're in town and have a second, you should check it out. It's a free exhibit open daily from 10-8pm- and it wasn't too insanely crowded after work.

What do you do to get inspired? 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Inspire Your FitBehavior

Happy Monday, yall! Recently, I got the opportunity to read Inspire Your FitBehavior and I wanted to share what I thought.

According to the FitBehavior.org site, "[they] aim to inspire the “why” and “how” for fitness behavior change with real-life testimonials and messages of successful models. Story-telling is a powerful behavior-change tool that we utilize to inspire action."

Instead of the usual the regular "how to" formula of instructions, this book focuses on motivating through different relate-able people and their personalized journey into becoming active. Because honestly, there is no cookie cutter way on how to get active. What works for one person, won't necessarily work for you and vice versa. We generally know what needs to be done to get active, but somewhere in between all the good intentions get lost. With the help of this book, at least you'll be motivated enough to get over the fear of trying something and actually do it.

I read it via ebooks that also includes video from each person, which was comforting and helped bring home the idea that these are just regular people; if they can do it, so can you. Of the many stories, no two were alike and each person had their own favorite activity; anything from ping-pong to triathlons. It was an extremely universal way of motivating a wide-range of people. It doesn't matter what you love to do (or what you think you might love to do, in case you haven't tried it yet :); as long as you're doing something!
 
My favorite story was the triathlete grandparents who inspired their grandchildren to get active. Setting a good example is more powerful than you'd think and most active habits can be easily picked up through family members. I was also impressed by the closing remarks regarding the health of this country as a whole. I'm so glad this issue is being brought to light on so many levels instead of swept under the rug. Sadly, it is almost like preaching to the choir.

If you or someone you know is looking to get more active, need the extra push or just having low motivation, I highly recommend this book. It's a quick and easy read that will have you ready to pole vault or become a marathoner in no time! (The training, well, that's another story)

How do you get motivated?

Full disclosure: this book was given to me. All opinions and motivational tactics are my own.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Another half marathon (+3)

1st full week back training! Well. I took Wednesday off. I really wanted to get in some yoga, but instead I: 

Cooked dinner
cleaned the kitchen
sorted through my obnoxious pile of mail
cleaned off the randoms on the kitchen table
put away clothes from laundry last weekend
emptied all the small trash cans around the apartment
cleaned out 3 old purses to put back into storage
packed to go to the gym for the next day
got coffee ready for the morning
Stayed up to actually spend time with B
That's a lot of stuff and I felt really good about it, so I don't feel too bad putting Tara Stiles on hold. It  reminded me of all the things that get over looked during training. You know, the little things normal people have time to do? If it doesn't involve getting in miles, food or sleep, clearly, I can't be bothered

It also didn't help that I already wasn't looking forward to 15 very cold miles this weekend. When did it get so cold?! Oh, right. While I was recovering from the last marathon distance. Weather changes always give me anxiety about planning my outfits (I hate to be too hot, but I don't want to be uncomfortably cold 5 miles in). But looking at it positively, It's only 6 weeks. That's nothing compared to the previous 6 months and I've already covered the miles. It's just actually doing them, that's getting to me. 

Anyway, I got out there and did them. That's what runners do- we get it done. The best PIC ever joined me for my first 6 (who, btw, isn't training for anything at the moment, she's just awesome like that) and then I went on to run 9 more, for a total of 15, which was on the high end of my mileage for the day. Being honest with myself, I knew for the first weekend back, I'd probably only want to do 13. Not bad considering I didn't want to do any

PS- Ice Baths are completely different animals in the winter. Yikes!

While running I came to 2 conclusions: I am still very emotionally scared over the life interruption of Sandy; I feel like that's a big reason why I don't have that much motivation. And I spent the last part of training for the marathon so focused on making sure I got the mileage done, I left my form go to shit. Now that I know I can do a full marathon, I need to spend these weeks focusing on form and all the positivity that surrounds the Disney marathon and how awesome it's going to be.

What's your next big race?
Hope everyone who had a race this weekend rocked it!   

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Winter running is here!

Just got back from my first long run post-marathon. The idea of easing back into training was just too appealing. Technically, I was going to wait until next weekend to kickoff training again, but I was kind of bummed about not thinking to sign up for a Turkey Trot before Thanksgiving Eve. So, I ate cereal and watched Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade on the TV, like a normal American. Then, regretted not running. I was already feeling gross, add the one day a year you're supposed to overeat and let's just say it really wasn't pleasant. So, I decided to run this afternoon.

When did it turn into winter running?! I know I haven't done a long run in 3 weeks, but wow! I went out in capris, a shirt and a long sleeved shirt thinking I'd be too hot! The weather said windy and cloudy, hence why I came back with my entire body wind burned. In hindsight, running by the Brooklyn waterfront probably wasn't a good plan either. But it was all worth it. I went out planning on doing 6, but felt so good I did 7. YaY!

Time to start thinking like a winter runner.

What do you do differently for your winter long runs?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Things I learned on (training) hiatus.

Yesterday was my 1st day back to the gym. I felt amazing until about mile 2. Then my left hip and foot started annoying me, which is funny because it's usually my right. Today I feel a little too sore for only having done a 3 miler, but I can't blame it all on running. Trying to do advanced yoga while still recovering, probably wasn't the best plan ever. My . I will definitely be trying to ease back into it. During that time on the dreadmill, I thought about all the things I learned post- marathon. So, without further ado...

Things I learned on (training) hiatus!
View from the couch

Being on hiatus is kind of like being unemployed, you have the opportunity to do all the things you wanted to do when you couldn't, yet all you end up doing is sleeping a lot.

There are some pretty good shows on TV. During training, I barely had time to see the ones I do watch (Modern Family and The New Normal). Post marathon couch laying and Hulu Plus allowed me to explore 2 new favorites: Nashville and The Neighbors. Both are amazing. I needed a new drama and The Neighbors is so funny, you might fall off the couch (just ask B ;)

It's nice not being tired all the time. Although, I do feel a tad slothish, I'm ok with it. Clearly, my body knows this is temporary and hopefully, it won't be as hard to get back into the routine.

There is life outside your apartment! Ha. We saw Wreck It Ralph. If you haven't, I need you to run to the theater now. I don't really like going to the movie theater that often, but this movie I'd see over and over again in those little uncomfortable seats; it was that good. And score! I came up with our Halloween costumes for next year. If anyone sees red overalls, let me know!



I really really missed spending good quality time with the most supportive partner ever. I never could have gotten through it alone and appreciate everything B did to help make my life easier. It's going to take a long time to pay back all that support :) but I'm working on it! 

It's a lot harder to eat right. In training mode, all I did was work, go to the gym, and sleep. It's easy to eat right that way. I had time to go to dinner with friends, and that doesn't always mean ordering the healthiest thing on the menu. I can definitely tell the difference. My body feels absolutely disgusting and I paid dearly.

With that being said, miraculously I did not gain weight. In fact, I lost 3 pds from the week before the taper. That's a plus. 10 more pounds and I will be the weight I was a year ago. Funny, it was The RnR Savannah Half that really messed me up last year. Must remember not to repeat.

The marathon really was just about me and the city. I think we've come to terms with each other now that our emotions aren't so heightened. I'm sure it'll still throw things at me, but at least now I know without a doubt I am stronger.

I've decided I'm probably not going to stop for characters for the WDW Full, unless it's a seriously rare character or someone I want to see with no line. I noticed around mile 24, my legs didn't feel very steady under me and I knew there was no stopping for anything then. I wouldn't want to do anything to hurt myself and I feel like standing in character lines would. I'm sure I will change my mind on this a few times as the race gets closer.

What did you learn post-race?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

NYC 60K: Volunteering

If you ever want to be super inspired, volunteer for an Ultra.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of cheering on some badass runners for NYC's only official Ultra- The NYC 60K (formerly known as The Knickerbocker 60k). This race consists of 9 (!!!) loops of the middle loop of Central Park making up the roughly 37 mile race. What?! Yes. It's for real and it's pretty damn awesome. I was informed there was around 400 runners who showed up that morning. The race started at 8am, and when my shift started around 12:30pm, most runners were about 75% done. The winner had finished with around an 8 min mile pace; just to compare, marathon winners' paces are around 4 min miles. 

The energy was a lot different than the last time I was in the park. A whole lot of tourists and a small amount of runners. There weren't that many cheering stations, but that didn't matter. These runners were having a blast! They didn't need all that. They interacted with us and always always had a smile on their face. It was quite inspiring. I made sure to clap every time a runner came by (which of course got fewer and fewer as the time went on) because I know how much the encouragement means to me, so I was all about it! 


I love this super clever design! Can you see why?!
Being a slow runner, I could relate to these runners on the level of trying to weave through a crowded park with little to no support. It's annoying when random tourists get in your way, especially when you've already banked a good number of miles. When runners were coming sporadically and by themselves, I made sure to yell at people when they were getting in the way because honestly, I'd want someone to do it for me. I was stationed at a crosswalk so it happened a lot. I got a few looks for it, but hey! welcome to New York! Get it together and walk with a purpose or go back to [insert random state here]. It was super annoying to answer lost tourists questions, too. Really?! So, I made sure if I saw a runner coming, I'd stop talking and clap and cheer because that was my job- not to tell you how to get to the Met. UGH! And don't even get me started on the cyclists. Holy F-ing douchebags, Batman! WoW. Usually when I'm running, I ignore them or can't hear them. But standing in a crosswalk, they were totally asshats to people. Now don't get me wrong, tourists are definitely our common enemy, but it's not cool to zip through a crowded park on a Saturday afternoon like you're Lance Armstrong. Do that early in the morning when no one is around. Anyway. End rant.

I'm really glad this was the race I decided to volunteer for. I don't think it would've been the same at a run of the mill 4 miler, but that might just be me. Ultra runners just seemed so much happier and more grateful especially to volunteers. Besides always acknowledging me, they all made sure to thank me for the support on their last lap. How great was that?

In case you're in the market for winter volunteering: 

- Definitely layer. I wore my winter running gear under my clothes. In the beginning of the shift, I noticed I was a tad overdressed with my double pants, 3 shirts, a hoodie and a coat. And by tad, I mean I was sweating my ass off in the sun. But as the shift went on, I was very thankful for my layers and I even open my toe-warmers and stuck them in my shoes.

- Bring a bag. That definitely comes in handy. It can keep water, snacks and the shirt they will give you.

- Know where the bathrooms are! But if you run in the area (i.e. Central Park) you should already know where they are. I refuse to use a portapotty unless I'm running.

- Sunscreen! Even though it's cold, you'll still be outside for an extended period of time. Protect yourself!


What was your favorite volunteering experience?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Post-marathon blues.

Normally I would've been at the gym on a Tuesday. Instead, I had a much needed dinner date with my PIC. And thank goodness. We spent the majority of it talking about our week post-marathon. I have eaten donuts 7 out of the past 10 days, been on the verge of homicidal mania (R.I.P. my iPhone4. Don't ask) and more exhausted for doing nothing than I ever was during training- and that says alot! Her week wasn't any better. Little did we know, we were describing classic post-marathon blues, but it took us half way through dinner to realize that's what's been going on. I'm sure under normal circumstances, people's 1st marathon experiences aren't quite so eventful. Just the past 2 weeks weather patterns were enough to throw someone off balance, let alone tossing a marathon into the mix. What a relief! Thank goodness we figured it out before we quit our jobs and moved to Tahiti ;)

So all is well as well as it can be here. I'm going to try my damnedest not to drive everyone insane by taking full time to recover. 26 days is insane. My body is already ready to go. This past week, I've eaten terribly and not done a single extra physical activity. It feels so gross. It's ready to burn this stuff off. But I will be good. I can't mentally afford not to run The Disney Marathon in January.

And because The Universe is so awesome like that, this was waiting for me when I got home:

Tara Stiles Yoga DVDs
Perfect Solution to cure post-marathon blues!

Can't wait to tell yall all about it.
How do you cure post-race depression?

Friday, November 9, 2012

My first marathon

I have tried over a dozen times in the past week to figure out what I wanted to say on this and how to do it by properly expressing my feelings and I keep coming back to anger, hurt and heartbroken on so many different levels of each. Then, I read this article and I highly suggest you take a second to do the same. Mike Cassidy said it better than I ever could.

It's also taken me this long to grasp exactly how I feel about what Nov. 4 was supposed to be and what it turned into. My official stance? I am utterly mystified over the vilification of runners that happened surrounding the NYCM controversy; especially by other runners. 


In the short amount of time I've been apart of this amazing community, never has it ever been a bad thing to be a runner. A bat shit crazy thing? Sure! What sane person does what we do? It takes a special kind of strong to even imagine accomplishing something like that, let alone actually do it. Yet with all the crazy and all the masochism, I've never met a more supportive, positive, self giving group of people in my life. Even with some of the douchey elitist faster runners, at the end of the day we are a community of people who get it; who get me! I've never been apart of anything so accepting before and I highly suggest if you don't have your own community, find one. I would've never imagined in a million years anyone would say anything to any degree of what was said via social media in the past week. Not gonna lie, I got angry; really angry.

So, I did the only thing I could do (without getting arrested). I ran on Sunday anyway. I ran because life was so over whelming at that moment that that's the only thing I could do. Running has turned into my place to think, especially when life gives me something I need to work out. So, I had a nice long run to think about things. 26.2 miles, to be exact. I ran into Manhattan to meet the PIC and we set out to run out all of our frustrations (thank you, taper madness. You are a real thing and were not helping matters). There were lots of tears, lots of yelling and lots of cursing. PS- I'm pretty sure mad enough, anyone can run a marathon.

Then there was a beautiful moment as we started getting closer to the park. You could hear cheers and when you got even closer, you could see a completely jam packed Central Park (the best summer day had nothing on this). People were cheering harder than I've ever seen. There were make-shift water and aid stations everywhere. Runners were cheering each other on, high-fiving, and helping each other out. It truly was the 26 mile block party everyone claims the NYCM is, but even better. The positive energy wrapped itself around you, and carried you through your run. I've never experienced anything like it before. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.

As we joined the stream of runners (clockwise on the outside, counter on the inside. For being unofficial, it was quite organized), it was very apparent that these people weren't and could never be the evil that those sitting in the comforts that others had lost were trying to make them out to be. Everywhere you looked someone had on a charity singlet or a personalized shirt for the person they were running for. Charity or not, selfish or not we all have our own reasons for running and who the hell are you to judge? At that moment, I didn't care what anyone thought. This was a moment that would (hopefully) never have to happen again and I wasn't going to forget, so I made sure to soak up every inch of it.


The A team!
This race has always been about the battle between me and New York City. We were going to come to an understanding that day; mainly that no matter what it tried to throw at me, it would never beat me. And I proved to it that it didn't. It would've been nice to be the love letter I originally wanted it to be, but I'm ok with what it turned into. It almost felt fitting. I came to realize that a marathon is the ultimate metaphor for life and given the chance, there is always good. 
 
Even after those many many hours, I am still at a loss. I am not as angry, but I'm still heartbroken that this city had to go through this and I'm still hurt about the way the situation was escalated. It was such an unnecessary battle when there are still so many others vastly more important. I do know that there is no quick-fix to recover from this; any of this. 

I really hope time brings perspective. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordy Wednesday: Halloween

I'm going as a tapering (possibly) future marathoner with a bad case of cabin fever who has taken up spelunking much to her partner's chagrin.

Oh wait.

Life update: We were good for the storm, just missing Internet (thanks for all the sweet messages from so many awesome people!). Who'd a thunk I'd ride out 2 storms of this magnitude in 2 completely different cities?!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tapering in full effect!

Tapering reminds me of my life pre-marathon training, which I cannot wait to get back to!

 The fabulous PIC invited me to see one of the funniest movies I've seen in awhile (Lloyd the conqueror. Check it out!) I went out on a Friday night! What?! That's unheard of!

More bleachers!

The next morning only called for 6 miles, and I was home in time to have brunch with my love before work. What?! This is amazing! I very much miss life on the other side. January can't get here quick enough!

My amazing compression socks came in the mail and I got to practice with them. I swear compression is the only way I'm going to get through this thing. Thanks again, Becka, for an awesome virtual race!

So, not only did I go out Friday night, I went out last night, too. And drank alcohol! No wonder there is a storm coming (which I also plan to drink my way through)! Last night also made me realize Halloween in NYC is my favorite! It's been 2 years since I've been here for the festivities (both times I was in DC for the MCM. . . spectating then running the 10K) and I was a little bummed not to have a costume, but then I remembered I've already dressed up 3 times so I felt better.

If anyone is in Sandy's path, stay safe!
Is it wrong I'm super excited to get a chance to just hang out, even if it is in the dark?
Flashlight tag!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wordy Wednesday: Princess!

YaY!! I would like to 1st give massive Kudos to runDisney for making the reveal as painless as possible. Waiting a day to see it is nothing compared to what they put us through for the Full Marathon. Please keep this in mind for next year's Wine and Dine reveal- and while you're at it, please please don't stray too far from the original design, I want that Epcot ball medal!



Just in case you haven't had internet all day and my blog is the 1st thing you opened as soon as you got it back (yes, please allow me to be delusional, I'm blaming it on the taper):


(source)
Ta-Da!

Who else is super excited about this medal?


(source)
I fell in love with the design last year when they used it as the logo on the race program. Nothing makes my heart happier than seeing good design and beautiful typography. The designer in me really wanted to run that race and get that program just for it's cover (we do dumb things like that), but alas it wasn't in the cards. I'm also a big fan of subtly putting the anniversary on it; if you look very closely, it's on either side of the banner and below. I'm hoping runDisney has a booth at the NYCM Expo and I can see it in full detail then!



The only complaint I have is I wish they would've filled in the heart with a color so "Princess" would stand out more because, again, I love love love the typography! It's right up there with the clever use of the 2012 and 1/2 marathon in the Donald medal last year. (Yes, these designs are controversial in the running world, but I am here to tell you these are examples of extremely well executed design. I know you're not used to seeing that in the running design, but don't worry, it's safe to embrace!) I think the white glitter is a little clashy, but I'd like to see it in person before I finalize my opinion. Other than that, I'm pleasantly surprised and can't wait to get it in February! 

The interwebs seem to have questions regarding the correct color of the ribbon. The one revealed (above) and the one that was in the email sent by runDisney regarding their sweepstakes (right). My guess is that the purple one is for the "Perfect Princesses" (those who have run the race all 5 years) and the pink is the official ribbon. In years past, the ribbon has always matched the jewels on the medal, which would make sense seeing as the jewels are pink. The purple being for the Perfects could be concluded due to the 1st race having a purple ribbon and it being a nod to that. But who knows?! I clearly have spent too much time on this as it is. But I can't help it! This medal makes me extremely happy!



What's your favorite runDisney medal to date?