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):


Who else is super excited about this medal?

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?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Queensborough Bridge to The Finish Line!

The PIC and I were finally reunited after so many long training months alone! Since she is running with TNT (If you have a couple of extra bucks, I'd send good vibes forever if you sent them her way. Please and Thank you!), I tagged along on their 10-12 Mile Queensborough Bridge and last part of the marathon run. What a smart plan for the 1st week of taper, right? I'm really glad we ran that and if you're in the area, it's a really good practice for Nov. 4. Even better? Our favorite, Coach Barb!, tagged along with us for most of it! This woman is a rockstar and a wealth of information and we were so lucky and blessed to have her for our 1st half marathon. I don't think we'd still be running without her!

It was really nice to get the chance to get a feel for it the course. Newsflash (to me!)? It's annoyingly hilly. Like the kind of inclines you don't really see; they just sneak up on you and then never end. I'm really glad we ran it but not super happy I'm going to have to mentally handle that crap at the end of our 26.2 mile journey. Everyone talks about Queensborough like it's the ONLY thing to worry about. . . well I can tell you, there are 5 more inclines that sucked just as much if not worse (5th ave, I'm looking at you!), and I didn't have 15 miles done already- those were fresh legs! (Sorry. This marathon has heightened my whining immensely. If you'd like to check back around Feb, that might be a good plan).

The marathon route flags were already up and once we got to the finish line, we saw the bleachers were already get set up. That was pretty inspiring. A ton of runners were also running the route, which was comforting. I'm really hoping the excitement will mask everything, mainly the pain. 

The Finish Line!

I have a nagging pain in my upper glute. It's been there since last Tuesday, so damn you again Jillian Michaels yoga! and I'm hoping it is just one of those new aches and pains you get while tapering. I'm trying every stretch and roll I can find, but nothing seems to help. It's almost like a nerve, it only hurts when I move it, but only when I'm not running. Weird? We'll see.

I'm actually really liking the taper! Yesterday, my day did not consist of me sidelined on the couch until Monday and I actually got stuff done, like laundry (sorry about my stinky running clothes, my love. You're amazing ;) It feels really nice NOT to be completely dead for days due to an obnoxiously long run. Again, you should either be single or unemployed if you're training for a marathon. Juggling all 3 is just too hard. That seems to be my favorite complaint as of late, so I will calmly tell myself "If it was easy, everyone would do it" and shut the hell up (even though, it is REALLLY HARD!!! like, really really fucking hard. ok. I'm done. For now.)

However, I'm not a fan of the Runger. I thought I overcame that by limiting my carb/ sugar intake. Recently, not so much. I pretty much had 2 dinners last night. That's obnoxious. I don't want to say goodbye to the 10+ pds I've lost during this training, so I'm trying extra hard not to give in.

I'm really glad I made PIC pinky swear we'd never do this again.

Whats your favorite part of tapering? 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rock-n-Roll: NY 10k +14 #RunAllTheRaces Virtual Race!

I found someone to run 18 of the 20 I wanted to run that day. Guys? A running partner is where it's at! How did I survive before?! No wonder I was having meltdowns! Clearly, just music wasn't working for me. No matter how loud it was or how awesome, I still ended up crying. Crying and freaking out in front of someone else? Not as easy. I was still in pain, lots of it, but I didn't focus on it and I felt better.

I got to Prospect Park early to get my 2 extra miles in and my right glut was giving me serious pains (Damn you Jillian Michaels yoga! 1. WTF was I thinking? NOT your normal yoga. and 2. I have never seen The Biggest Loser or any of her other videos, but I could tell within 5 minutes of this video. You know what I'm talking about. Just sayin.), so I cut it short and hoped for the best. Once the race started, the pain went away (weird).  It felt so good to run in 40 degree weather. Perfect. Now let's hope it's that beautiful for marathon day.

We finished our 6.2, got our medals, chugged a chocolate milk (FINALLY RNR starts giving them out at the end) and then continued on to finish up our 12. I was actually pretty excited and happy with the course change from last year. This time, we ran outside of the park and only doubled up on a part of the course. The post race party looked like fun (no insane lines to get your tshirts) but we didn't get into the thick of it because we weren't even half done.

Since Prospect Park is only a 3 miles loop, we circled the outside (which was about 6ish? and the concrete was so much better than CP) then came in to loop one more time. We wanted to see "20" on our watches, so we walked for 2 more miles (such a good plan! Totally made my legs feel better instead of abruptly stopping), giving me a total of 21.6 miles and a whole new confidence. Thank. God.

Wearing compression also made a world of difference. My Asperis compression shorts and compression knee socks? O.M.G. Total game changers. I was so spoiled with my lululemon capris, but I knew I needed to do a marathon dress rehearsal, so compression it was- even if trying to go to the bathroom requires an act of Congress. I also decided I want to get a new iFitness Belt, one without water bottles used solely for nutrition and carry my water. The more places to hold things, the better. Nov. 4 is going to be a long day.

Besides this being the last of my long runs, I also decided to make 13.1 of these miles apart of Becka's #Run All The Races Virtual Race to raise money for Suicide Awareness. This is an issue that hits home for me and honestly, if I ever joined a charity again, it would be along the lines of this. This is apart of her awesome journey to run a half marathon in every state, where this weekend she ran her 50th State! Congrats, Becka! You Rock!

This long run totally got me mentally ready. Bring on 26.2!
(after the taper. I am so damn excited about the taper).

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mickey's Not-So-Scary-Halloween Party!

I feel like I did tons of research on this party in order to get as much out of it as I could but WoW! I couldn't get in as much as I wanted to, so be prepared. If you can, you might want to hit it a couple of times. 

My personal mission was character hunting. The more rare, the better. That's just me and what I like to do when I'm in Disney. You might have other plans for the party, but personally I'm paying $60 for the unique experience of getting to meet characters. You can ride the rides anytime and buying candy from the store might be cheaper. Just my opinion. Although, I do think stopping at a candy station or two is fun- The one by Splash mountain has 3-4 stops in one!

Things from my experience:
They really do let you into the park before 7. I wanted to make it into the park for 4PM, but unfortunately I didn't wake up from the night before's excitement until 1PM and I was moving slowly. I made it there by 5PM and headed straight to It's a Small World to take pictures (I am making my cube at work into the ride). I should've ridden it again, but I wanted to get in line for the dwarfs.
People really do line up for the dwarfs early. Everywhere I read said people start lining up by 5:45ish. They were right. There was about 10 people in front of me. Waiting was a long time, but we had benches. I made friends with the people in front and behind me who were all runners so it was fun comparing notes on the ToT10miler the night before. If I could've done it over again, I might've waited until 6:15ish, but once they came out, it felt totally worth it. What a great moment!  

Never take the poncho out of your bag while visiting Florida. That's when there will be a sporadic shower and annoy the piss out of you for it. Luckily, there was an awesome guy (Shout out to Tim!) behind me in line for the Pooh characters (not a fan but who could pass up Eeyore as a clown?!) who offered me a poncho. I quickly decided he was going to be my friend since we were both on the same mission. 

 Dole Whip is a must, especially when it's a bazillion degrees. If you're special (like me) ask for a bigger cup to put it in. It started melting within seconds and I was screwed.

 Lotso isn't in the hub, he's actually in front of Crystal Palace. 

Don't continue to take your camera in the rain/ sweaty half marathons. It will die at the most opportune moments, i.e. right before you're supposed to meet Maleficent. I can't really complain that much, this trusty camera has lasted 5 years (at least 12 half marathons and goodness only knows how many rain storms), but it's still a sad moment. RIP lil purple kodak. You were really good.

 The Villains show meet and greets are a certified shitshow. Just because you do your research and know where the villain you want to meet will come down, doesn't mean 500 other people didn't do the same thing. From what I've read, you have time to meet up to 2 after 1 show, but after the mass mob to meet Maleficient, I said screw it and went to meet friends for the parade (which was also another annoyance, there were tons of people waiting for the parade there that had no idea what was going on and were just in the way).

 Watching Hallowishes from the train station was really fun but get there early to get a chair. I wasn't as impressed with it as I thought I should be. No worries, Illuminations. You're still the front runner for the only "firework" show I think worth watching.

If it rains there will be no headless horseman and no Creeper Crew dance party to entertain you. Boo.

I highly suggested attending a party if you're in town for the season. It's totally worth it.

What's a character you were stoked to get to meet?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

WDW Mom's Panel Meet and Greet Luncheon

The Disney Moms panel is a part of Disney's website that helps you find answers to anything and everything pertaining to planning a Disney related trip. The ladies and gentlemen (yes! They aren't all "Moms"- there are Aunts and Grandmas and Dads and Uncles, too!) that make up the panel each have a plethora of expertise, and I'm pretty sure any question you have can be found in their forum search. If not, just ask! That's what they're there for.

Apparently, the Moms like to have a meet and greet luncheon with all of their fans. Luckily, this event fell the weekend I would be in town and I was able to RSVP in time! It was held at the California Grill on the top level of the Contemporary Resort. This worked perfectly into my schedule of the busiest day on vacation ever. After we ran the 5K, we showered and headed over to the event. 

Once we checked on the 2nd floor, there was a lot of waiting. This was a little frustrating because I wasn't sure what to expect and I was on a tight schedule. Jess was convinced they were going to kidnap us and make us sell Amway (what?! I dont know. . ) Once we got up to the actual restaurant, there was a line to get in. Why?

Because Chip and Dale were there to greet us!

They served a delicious lunch that I was super excited to eat (you can only eat so many Disney meals before they all start to taste the same). As we ate and mingled, the Moms came around and introduced themselves. They were all super sweet and friendly, but what else would you have expected? Our favorite was Carolyn. She happens to be a Disneyland specialist and she was also running the 10 miler that night. (PS- I later saw she dressed up with a friend as Tweedledee and Tweedledum. I knew I liked her for a reason!)

Once we were finished eating- OMG did you see the size of those Strawberry lemonade cupcakes?! They were a-mazing- we ran around taking photos of the view. We were even allowed outside on the deck. It was beautiful! If you've never been, you really should go and see it sometime.

If you ever get a chance to attend one of the Mom's panel events, I highly suggest it. It's lots of fun mingling with like-minded people who probably will know more about Disney than you with more information that you ever thought imaginable!

What's your favorite part of planning a Disney vacay?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tower of Terror 10M

The Good:

I really liked that there were bathrooms and water tables set up inside the corrals. They walked the corrals to the start line and continued to have a dance party, which bummed me out a little that I didn't have anyone to dance with, but I got over than and danced by myself. Not gonna lie, that was awesome. 

The volunteers were amazing, especially the ones in the WWoS area. The fact that they were having fun and cheering totally lifted my spirits when all I wanted to do was stop and find AC.

My favorite part of the race was coming back towards Hollywood Studios. The DJ was playing WHAM! Wake me up before you go; this is about the point where I went delirious with heat and danced until I couldn't hear it anymore. Have you ever danced during a race? I highly recommend it. Made that half of a mile so much more enjoyable. Must add that song to my playlist.

Since I got to run the inaugural race, if I keep coming back every year, I can be a legacy! Do you think it's worth it? I'd really like to do Wine and Dine next year (Anniversary medal, what?!) and I will definitely be doing The Disneyland Half in Sept (Coast to Coast medal finally, what?!). That would be a Disney race-cation a month for 3 months. My bank account has just keeled over at the thought.

The Bad:

You know what would've made it better? More entertainment. Osceola Parkway was hot with little to do during the Marathon Relay; it was sort of deja vu. Also, it was a tad annoying that the 1st character stop was at least 10 minutes long. But I stopped anyway. I had to. How often do you see The Hyenas from The Lion King?! Right?! That was definitely a good call. 

 The Lion King Hyenas 

 Dr. Facilier

 Grave Digger


 The Big Bad Wolf

Running around Champion Stadium
(where the big 20th mile surprise will be for the marathon)

When we got into the park, I was sure that was where all the characters would be. . . but no. Not one. It was super depressing. Later, I found out they were in the parks, just not on the course.

I didn't really have an issue with the course. Even though I did get upset about running part of the 5k course (the dirt trail that was extremely narrow), mainly because I didn't want to walk that long but I couldn't get around everyone walking.

Once the finish line showed up, it was super dark and kind of anti-climatic.


The obvious? The humidity was a killer and unexpected. I researched this race weekend (which was formally Wine and Dine) and I specifically remembering someone saying to bring a jacket for the end, because you might get chilly. Um, no. I was sweating just standing in the corral. Surprisingly, once I got over the fact my cape was going to stay glued to my back with sweat and my crown was going to be the cause of my heat exhaustion and I refused to take off either, I was good.

Standing/Sitting on concrete for 2 hours before a race is not appealing. I was also having flashbacks from Everest (which was equally as hot and gross) and didn't want to get to the race too early, but runDisney didn't give you a choice. They said to get on a bus no later than 8pm (for a 10PM race). Luckily, there were picnic tables to sit so I could save my legs.

A 10PM start is a little late for a long race.

The hill that you had to climb in order to get out of the finisher's chute? 
SUPER not cool. 

After I got ice taped to my knees, I waddled towards the park to find a place to wait for The Wicked Witches, the amount of people I saw in wheelchairs was unnerving. I heard "Medic!" about 20 times. Not gonna lie, that's scary.


The Evil Snow Queen totally approved of my outfit.

The main goal of the after party? Meet Maleficent. Mission Accomplished! It took until about 3AM to happen, but that's ok. It happened. Thanks to Sarah and her super awesome cast member skills, we found out she would be outside the hat all night opposite of The Snow Queen. (PS- Not having the inside scoop on where characters were was not cool either, runDisney. There were villains all over the park but no one knew unless they walked passed them) Our first try to meet her, she switched out with The Snow Queen by the time we got to the front of the line. I was ok with that because it was fun to meet the inspiration for my costume. Have I mentioned how much fun it is to interact with face villains?! They are fabulous and it makes my heart so happy. She approved of my costume, thank goodness.

We decided to wait in the 35 minute line for Toy Story Mania because it was definitely a must-do; 35 min was nothing compared to the normal 60. I'm not sure that was a good plan, because my legs/ feet were killing me, but it was fun! There was no way I was in any condition to ride Tower of Terror or Rockin Rollercoaster. I heard RR kept going down all night and tons of people were getting sick on it (hence why the TSM wait was so long I'm sure). Glad we decided to by-pass. After, we parted ways; they went to ride Star Tours and I went to get in line for Maleficent.

Yall?! It happened and I'm still reeling over it. All I remember was telling her she was my favorite and I was really excited to meet her, to which she responded "Clearly". Love her. So she asked me what my favorite pose was and I had no idea, so we went with the "Pushing away the peasants". Made everything completely worth it.

Who's your favorite Disney character that you geek out about meeting?

Monday, October 8, 2012

[Officially] a New Yorker

So before I move on to the rest of the insanely fun filled weekend, I would like to tell you a story.

Friday night, I decided to go to Downtown Disney to grab something to eat (I just couldn't handle eating in the hotel food court, again). The bus line was a little long, but it was ok. 30 minutes later, a bus came and picked everyone up in front of me. I didn't get on it, because the driver promised there was one right behind him. . . again, another 30 minutes later, the bus finally shows up. I am seething. I live in New York after all, I rely on public transportation, and if anything like this happened there, a full out riot would've broken out by now. Not cool, Disney. Your transportation is already shaky at best, but this was unacceptable.

So, and hour and a half later, I finally get to Downtown Disney (which is about the time I wanted to leave and come back to my hotel room), I get to Earl of Sandwich and the line has wrapped around the store 3 times. You have got to be fucking kidding me, right?! I turn to the poor souls who got in line behind me to vent. They assured me the line goes quick, but I am already fully pissed off from the bus issue. Thank god, they were so sweet. I asked where they were from, which lead them to ask me. As the words "New York City" came out of my mouth my behavior for the past 2 hours flashed before my eyes and to my own horror, became every bit the stereotype. Holy crap. On top of that, when I turned to tell the cashier my order, I caught the man saying "She's from New York"- in that tone we all know when someone says that. about ME. ME! This totally took me off guard and let to some serious self realization.

Why am I telling you this story? Because besides all the Disney events, this weekend was also a personal milestone. It was my 5th anniversary of moving to New York City. Depending on who you talk to, it takes between 5-10 years to become an "official" New Yorker. Clearly, I hit that milestone right on the nose, according to those Tampa residents. And I believe the "She's from New York" comment totally got me my badge of honor.

That sprouted an entire different thought process, which has lead me to accept my status as a Yankee. Dammit. I have earned the right to be an asshole and that's ok with me. Not only have I survived everything this city has thrown at me, but I'm thriving as a human if I do say so myself. So, go ahead and use that tone when you describe me. I will accept it and probably even smugly give you an elitist smile.

But seriously, who else could see something like this and consider it just another Tuesday?
He? She?'s sign said "I'm Mitt Romney"

What do you think makes a New Yorker?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The 2nd Terrible 18M Long Run.

I can't believe fall race season is already here! Good luck/ congrats to all my Chicago and Portland Marathon running friends! Yall rock. Please survive so I know I can! 

Did you know that from 14th Street to Washington Heights (181st) is about 9.5 miles? Neither did I, but I found out this weekend. I had an 18/19 miler on the schedule and I could not handle another 3 loops of Central Park, race or not. I set out to take the West side running path from 14th Street and see where it would take me. Luckily, the path went all the way up the island and I didn't have to double back.

NYC Greenway Map
I really liked the west side path. It was a real path the entire way, even if it narrowed at parts. I noticed on the east side, it got kind of sketchy once you hit midtown. There were tons of water fountains and bathrooms, which were also scarce in the east side. The weather was cool and I didn't really notice the painful sun until I was on the way back. It was a little more crowded with pedestrians in midtown due to all the touristy things you can do over there (The Circle Line, The Intrepid and The Carnival Cruise ship docks there, too).

It was scenic, too. Tons of sculptures, boats in the water and places to sit and hang out. I'm definitely a fan, but then again I've always been a west side kinda girl :)

Pain started at mile 12 and I had a few meltdowns. Is that normal? I'm trying to compare full marathon training to half marathon and it's not equaling out, or it is and I'm conveniently forgetting. Should I be having serious pain in my legs and feet that early? I feel like I shouldn't be really hurting until mile 18, but that hasn't been the case. I even took it especially easy and slow. This makes me nervous. Plus, the arch of my foot likes to get muscle spasms and it usually takes a few hours after the run for them to go away. I know the marathon is going to be painful, but I wasn't planning on the training being so much. It's extremely discouraging. 

I really need my PIC for my long runs (even if I only have one more). I need someone there to be able to pull me out of my head so I don't get so freaked out I start crying. It's not a fun feeling. No one should ever do a long run alone. It's torture. The good news is I get to see her soon and our third running partner (The Incredible Megs!) has confirmed she will be running with us. I'm so excited about this amazing reunion, I might forget about all the negative. The more support, the better. I can't take much more of this.

I'm seriously tired of training. 
Anyone else feel this way about marathon training? Tips?

How did your long run go this weekend?

The Haunted 5k Trail Run

Race Day started 4AM early (...and didn't end until 24 hours later). I met up with Wayne and Garth at the fancy fountain at All Star Music, then we boarded the bus to run through the woods behind The Wide World of Sports, for fun.

We got there early enough to take pictures with Mickey, do the cupid shuffle
(which is becoming one of my favorite traditions) and make a potty stop. 

There were corrals set up! 
That made me super happy and I'm sure it did for all the people actually running the race. Even though this is an untimed fun run, organization is always a good thing.

The race started 20 minutes late to let the sun come up because apparently we were really running a trail run. Why that didn't connect for me until I was actually stepping in the dirt, I don't know. I am not a fan of trail runs, but we were walking so I made sure to keep an eye on the ground.

Grass, Dirt, Mud, Sand and Track; talk about ALL Terrain.

The announcers were talking about big bugs and scary critters out on the course, so I was excited to see what "big bugs" were there. Would it be Flik? Or Jiminy?

 No. They meant it literally.
By the time we got to the finish line, we were soaking wet with the humidity. Little did I know, it wouldn't go away by the time the 10M happened that night.

I loved the box of yummy food they gave us at the finish, it was a fabulous tide over to lunch at The California Grill.

Even though we weren't stopping, I was disappointed that there were only a few characters on course- The Big Bad Wolf (which I later got to see for the ToT10M) and some Brear characters. The grave diggers from The Haunted Mansion that are out for the marathon were also on the track that we ran around on our way back to the finish line.

Disney's 5Ks are always a fun warm up to the weekend's events.