Thursday, January 31, 2013

3 Things on a Thursday.

1-  Today is the first day I attempted to run since the marathon. As much as I hate to admit it, but being sick for 2 weeks straight really helped me rest (even though I don't feel like I have). On the bright side, food poisoning yourself post-marathon means those 5 stubborn pounds that wouldn't budge during training are now gone :)
The 3 treadmill miles weren't that bad. I was super slow, but hey! I was moving and it felt good. I know I don't plan on racing this half marathon, but it would be nice to have a bit of cushion. 
2- Having an "I miss NOLA" day. I don't know if it's all the Superbowl/ Mardi Gras stuff that has it in the news all the time. A co-worker forwarded me the NYT article about a certain famous bakery and my old roommate even posted on my facebook wall about king cakes, too. Earlier this week, Jaime was talking about doing the RNR NOLA in 2014. . I'll admit I'm super bummed I won't be running it this year (and did you see the medal?!) but I will be in Disney; if I couldn't go, this reason is kind of the best. So, yea. That's a lot of NOLA talk for this girl.
3- Speaking of Princess. . I decided on my costume! (If you follow me on twitter, pretend you haven't seen a post about it ;) I'm sure it's against some law, but I just couldn't stomach putting on a tiara/ tutu and being one of the masses (such is my life!) because let's be honest, how do you dress up as yourself? :) The next idea was villain; I already went down the villain road for ToT. So, the only thing left was to go with sidekick. And I'm pretty sure I decided to be the very best sidekick there is! 

I seriously need to learn to sew/ own a sewing machine if these running costumes are going to be a habit. Here's to the next round with my trusty dollar store glue gun! 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beware of the Yeti!

In honor of The Expedition Everest Challenge price going up at midnight, you should hop over to the Team #runDisney blog and check out my post on tips for running this race! You can also find my recaps from last year are here and here.

Let me know if you decide to do it, I'd love to hear about it! 

What's your favorite fun 5k? Which one would you like to do? 
The foam 5k sounds like fun and so does the Color Run. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

And the award goes to. .

To the person who nominated my blog for the eCollegeFinder's Top Health & Fitness Blog: Thank you :) I just received word that my blog was one of the winners! Even though, I wasn't as into Health and Fitness in college as I should have been, here are a few tips I've picked up along the way:

- Hydration is the key! Drinking enough water everyday can help you in so many different ways, it's almost too easy.

- Taking walks around campus with friends (done safely!) is a fun way to hang out but be doing something at the same time.

- Multi-vitamins. You'll thank me later.

I really appreciate this award and if you have a second, you should check out the other blogs, too. They all look amazing!

Thanks to Jaime, I had something to occupy my time while I get over being sick (is it ironic that it's food poisoning and I just got an award for health? Such is my life!). She has awarded me and my blog The Leibster Award. I also find this comical, because I wish I could've thought about some of these questions during our marathon, but somehow I blanked. I'm blaming the heat :)

So what is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award nomination goes to those bloggers who have a following of less than 200 to promote other bloggers to comment and share - even get to know each other! I think this is great, because it gives you the potential to gather a larger following! If you get nominated, you cannot nominate the person who nominated you (No tagbacks!).

The point of the Liebster Award is to answer questions, tell 11 secrets about yourself, and nominate 11 other bloggers who fit the criteria. Here it goes!"

Questions from Jaime:

1. If you could get on a plane and go anywhere, where would it be and why?
New Orleans to visit home. Today is my niece's birthday and it just kills me sometimes that I don't get to be there for stuff like that. Even though I don't ever see myself moving back there (or to the South for that matter), sometimes it would just be nice to be a tad closer.

2. What is one major thing you would like to accomplish in your life time?
Well, I just crossed "running a marathon" off my list (even though I didn't know it was there in the first place!) what more do you want from me?! Just kidding, but I am open to new ideas. Maybe a Ragnar is next? Outside of running, I think I'd like to be a Creative Director for something involving running (coughrunDisneycough- just kidding! They wouldn't pay me enough :)

3. What was your favorite class in high school or college and why?
Civics in High School, Political Science in college and Advanced Typography in college (2nd degree). Even though these were subjects I was interested in at the time, they were my favorite because of the teachers who taught them. Hands down.

4. What is one thing that always makes you smile?
When B does silly dances; gets me every time and she knows this. Or getting to talk to/ see my nieces.

5. If you were going to try a new hobby, what would you try?
How about old hobbies? I have so many, I can't keep up! I should probably crochet more, seeing as the amount of yarn in the apt is obnoxious.

6. What is your favorite kind of music?
The kind that makes me run faster? :)

7. What is your favorite race and why?
Rock-n-Roll Seattle. It was my 3rd Half marathon and where my PR lives. It was the first (and close to only) half I've ever finished where I felt amazing throughout the entire race. The weather was perfect and the course was beautiful. If only more races could be like that. 

8. If you could live anywhere for a year where would it be?
Canada, but then I don't think I'd ever come back. 
So, if it could only be a year, India.

9. What made you start blogging?
20-something narcissism? Who knows? When I was training for my 1st half marathon with TNT, I would blog about my progress on my fund-raising page. I decided I wanted to keep blogging about running, but my personal blog at the time wasn't really running/ healthy living appropriate, so I created this!

10. If you could meet a famous person, past or present, who would it be?
I've met enough famous people to know that if you want to meet them, they're usually not worth it. Not to say all famous people are d-bags, but I'd rather keep my idea of who they are and never know the truth, then to be completely let down (which has been the case for me).

11. What is something you have done that you are really proud of?

The biggest thing would have to be moving to New York and making it to 5 years (so far)! Running a marathon is pretty awesome, but if you think about it, it's just the ultimate metaphor for life. Living in New York can be extremely brutal, and just like what they say I truly believe if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. I don't think I would have been strong enough to run a marathon without New York and without the marathon, I don't think I would've ever truly appreciated New York. So, maybe they can go hand- in hand. 

And here are 11 things about me:

1. I judge races by their branding (and medals). I hate that running is filled with really bad branding and most runners either don't know the difference or praise it. Seriously, people, the stick runner went out in the 90s, please, for the love of all things holy, let it die already!

2. I absolutely love me some edamame and would eat it at every meal if I could.

3. I stopped wearing heels when I moved to the city and sometimes I miss them. Only sometimes.

4. I'm not really a big fan of pink, yet am always drawn to it for some reason. So much so, people think it's my favorite color and it's not.

5. I really like chain-food restaurants. I know I get a lot of slack for it, but it's something about the big open space and booths that's comforting. I would pick going there than a fancy New York tablessocloseyou'reeatingontopofeachother restaurant any day (and often do).

6. The only reality TV show I've ever watched was The Newlyweds. It's ok, you can judge (I totally judge people who watch reality TV, too). I don't think I've ever forgiven Jessica for the way she treated Nick.

7. I got my first pedicure at 22 and I'm not really a fan of them.

8. This was my first case of serious food poisoning and it super sucks! I have not be able to eat anything for the past 3 days and I as much as I would love to say otherwise, I hate that the only thing I can eat are carbs.

9. My favorite movie genre has gone from romantic comedies to documentaries (with a side of animation).

10. As cheesy as it sounds to a New Yorker, my favorite thing to do is ride the Staten Island Ferry and see the Lady in the Water (The Statue of Liberty). It's also where I was proposed to, so it will always have a special place in my heart.

11. I heart my iPad mini more than my iPhone. Don't tell.

With that, I nominate the following blogs (which some I do not know how many followers you have, but I just like reading your blog; even if I have become a lurker as of late):

Fred- NOLA Runner
and if you so chose to accept, here are my 11 questions:

1. What's your favorite self indulgence?
2. What's you definition of happiness?
3. 10 years ago, where did you see yourself being now?
4. What are your 3 must haves for a roadtrip?
5. If you could have a super power, which one would it be? Why?
6. What's your idea of a Perfect Saturday?
7. What made you start blogging? (Stolen from Victoria and Jaime, ha!)
8. Favorite storybook story/character as a child. Why?
9. If you had to wear a certain thing everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
10. Why did you start running?
11. If you could only run one race ever: which would it be and why?

If I left you off and you want to do it, email me and I'll add you to the list (because who doesn't want to find new hidden jem blogs?!)

Hope everyone's weekend is spectacular!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Post Marathon celebration!

How did I celebrate my first official marathon? By having the best BFF in the world surprise me with reservations to Be Our Guest for out celebratory dinner! Smart planner that he is was lucky enough to book them on the day reservations opened.

We ate in the grand ballroom that happens to look exactly how it does in the movie all the way down to the tiles on the floor; the host told us so. It was lovely atmosphere, but a tad loud. But it's a big ballroom; what do you expect? I heard that sitting in the west wing was more intimate and if you want to sit there, you should request when you arrive.
That's also where the rose is!

We got the grey stuff and it was delicious!

The master was receiving guests throughout the night, so once dinner was over, we got to get our picture with him. He would also walk around the grand ballroom and trumpets would announce his presence. It was all very fancy and grand (hence my fancy sparkle skirt and running shoes). Would you expect anything else? :)

Since we pretty much closed down the place, we sneaked in the hallway which is the entrance for the quick service lunch. Because we were the only ones in there, we could clearly hear the knights talking to each other, but I'm assuming during the hussle and bussle of lunch, you'd have to listen closely.

I was pleasantly surprised by the food; sometimes Disney food, no matter where, starts to taste the same after awhile. The french onion soup and pork chop with veggies really hit the spot! It was the perfect ending to an amazing day. After, we walked around The New Fantasyland for awhile and ended the night with a Dole Whip nightcap :)

What would your celebratory meal be after a big race?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

WDW Full Marathon

My marathon weekend started out amazing when I was upgraded to First class. What?!

Unfortunately, I did not get to take advantage of the free alcohol or the meal on glass plates. I slept the whole way and it was glorious! I did, however, totally geek out to the flight attendant about running my first official marathon. It had been awhile since I was that excited about a race and it felt nice. I missed that feeling of accomplishment and held onto it for a minute. You only get to be excited about your first marathon once (. . you know since technically 5 minutes after I got excited about NYCM they canceled it causing many months of emotional trauma. . .but I digress. This was a positive experience!)

Once I got to the hotel, I ate lunch with the 2 Goofys I was staying with and then went to the expo. From the tweets I saw the days before about how crowded it was, I was expecting it to be empty. And it was. . . 

Of Merch. 
Thank goodness I sent Fred in with a list! It was still crazy crowded. So, I didn't stay as long as I thought I would. I got my bib, my shirt and hightailed it out of there. 

Marathon morning, I woke up at 2am. Yes, I'm aware that's an insane time to be awake, but if you've skimmed my blog for more than a minute, you know that I'm a tad neurotic. And if you know anything about Disney races, sometimes transportation gets messed up. I couldn't chance it. This was my official marathon, and I needed to get to the start line. 

Besides that, I was oddly calm leading up to the race. The only person I could give credit to for that would be the fiancĂ©e. I honestly couldn't ask for a better non-running partner. Always supportive (even when I don't want to roll and stretch :) and extremely patient with me and my training. I don't know what I'd do without it and I'm extremely appreciative of it. Especially, my traditional race day text, which I got as I was getting off the bus to head to the staging area. 
My 2 Goofy roommates :)

I got there SUPER early (yet managed to miss all the group photos I was trying to get there for). I ran into Batgirl and that made me feel a tad better. I walked over and talked to some of the Team #RunDisney crew who were still there (so sorry about all the nervous chatter!) while I waited for Jaime and Tara to show up. I decided I was going to crash their marathon :) I wasn't really interested in doing this alone and because they were doing Goofy, they would be more my speed. It couldn't have worked out better! These 2 women rocked my socks and they made my experience that much more amazing! I can't thank them enough for sticking it out with me. 

Kudos to Disney for breaking up the highway running this year with adding the speedway and Wide World of Sports. It was so much easier to digest that you would only be running a 5k between "parks". Besides that INSANE downhill, the speedway was not that bad. There were tons of cars to keep you occupied and most of it was cool and in the shade. Wide World of Sports, on the other hand, could've used a character stop or two. Although, I will forgive that because 1. I wasn't stopping anyway and 2. THE SPONGES. That thing saved my life, I almost want to frame it (if I didn't leave it in the hotel room).

I clearly look the part.

Here's the thing, I am not a fan of running in hot weather and I absolutely lose. my. shit. when it's hot AND sunny. Unfortunately, that's what over 75% of this race was. As terrible as it could've been, it only got bad a few times (or maybe that's all I'm selectively remembering ;). I knew Osceola parkway was going to get me and I had a feeling so was Epcot. As much as I didn't want the memories of last year's relay to haunt me, they did.  Little did I know, I lost my mojo around the 20 mile and it was hard trying to get it back. Super underwhelmed by the "spectacular". . . anyone else expecting some sort of food?  Either way, at this point, I was ready to be done.

Jaime was a trooper and stuck by me, even though I knew she had more in her. I just couldn't get it back. As soon as we left The Studios, I had my meltdown. Frustrations about NYCM boiled up and overlapped with the heat and I just started bawling. This was also about the time that when anyone cheered I burst into tears. A spectator saw me and said "I was you a year ago, you totally got this!" and that made me cry even harder. I tried to tell him they were tears of joy. I already knew I was going to do it, I was just reflecting at that point. It was a really nice release. I knew I was holding onto a lot of stuff, but I didn't realize how much until that point. Again, I can't thank Jaime enough for being there. Nothing like cementing BFF status with marathon meltdowns! :)

Dear Internet: Thank you for my new friends!

Stolen from FruitFly (Thanks, MF!)
Things that made the day better: Running into friends! Being 5'9 with a Mad Hatter Hat on made it easy to spot. Fred and Karen spotted me on the walk to the corrals, which was so nice to see before the race! It was also such a great surprise to have FruitFly run passed us a few times on the course and it was even nicer to run into her in Epcot. Mrs. Jeanine was a great familiar face we picked up along the course. She was such a great help last year and this year we got to do it together! A TNT running friend was spectating close to the finish and that was a really great surprise, too; shout out to Pam! All these people (and my amazing virtual support crew- you know who you are!) made the experience more enjoyable and I am so thankful for them. 

Part of The 20 Mile "Spectacular"
Things I wish I would've known: You can't get swept once you make it into The Studios. I totally would've stopped to stretch. I kept moving because I thought if I didn't, I wouldn't have been able to start again. Once I crossed the finish line and stopped, I felt a million times better. I felt like I could go a few more miles. It would've been nice to have that feeling before it was over. Enjoying the last few miles of my marathon would've been better than trying not to focus on the pain that could've been avoided. Oh well! 

I can't thank the volunteers enough, especially the ones working the "B" Bag tent. That standing ovation as soon as I walked in really sent me over the edge. I should be clapping for you! That was a really special moment, I won't soon forget. 

I'm really glad this got to be my first official marathon. Granted, I'd never give up my first marathon experience, but there is nothing like crossing the finish line and having a volunteer put a medal around your neck to make you feel validated. I put in the work, I sacrificed, I deserve the title of marathoner. 

 I am a marathoner and I have no idea when that fact will sink in.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Post Marathon Funk (round 2)

Last week still feels like a dream. The only thing that's making me believe it actually happened is the obnoxiously large bling that is with me at all times (Seriously. It's in a ziploc bag in my purse right now) and the over 700 photos I just uploaded to my computer (so, yea. I'm working on that recap ;). I think it would be easier to believe if I was in pain or sore, but that went away surprisingly quickly (I'm sure the 5 miles we walked through the park the next day didn't hurt!). Don't get me wrong, I'm super grateful. Just sad it's over. It was good times.

Speaking of post marathon blues, this time around it's not really emotional. . . more of a physical funk. My face is broken out, I have a canker sore in my mouth (ps- just put chewable aspirin on it- holy crap that sucked but now the pain is gone!), and I'm trying desperately to ward off a cold. Not only that, but since I decided I could eat anything I want (i.e. carbs) my insides don't feel so great either. I'm just a mess. I can't wait to just sleep this fabulous long weekend away. . . and get my thoughts together about becoming an official marathoner :)

 What do you look forward to the weeks after a big race?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My African themed life

It started on Black Friday.

That's when I found out we were staying at The Animal Kingdom Lodge for marathon weekend.

My VP spent Christmas IN Africa, which I soon discovered is the new place to take vacations. Since finding that out, I heard from a few people who have taken trips there recently.

 My boss gave me a gorgeous ornament made in Africa, from a charity her mom works with.

Then I made dining reservations at Tusker House for the day after the marathon- I hear it's amazing! (Remember, Runger is a real thing. A Buffet is perfect AND I can take pictures with characters without being sweaty with my medal? Even better!) That's in Africa in The Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

This is also where I will be going on an African safari in the closest I ever plan on getting to the real thing.

I don't know if a trip to Africa is ever going to be high on my list of things to do, so why not the next best thing? The Disney version is more my speed anyway. Can't wait to share how it all goes!

Do you notice patterns in your life?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Marathon taper madness is back.

Next week (at the time of initially writing this), I will be hopefully be somewhere between Hollywood Studios and Epcot about to finish my 1st official marathon. That's a crazy scary thought, especially with the weather reports. That part of last year's Relay was where I decided it was too hot and walked the rest of it. I don't know if I can afford to do that this year. I also had someone jump in and walk with me to keep my mind off the fact I was in so much pain and it was super hot. Granted, I was injured last year and had no business doing what I did, but it's still haunting.

Who would've thought I'd be crossing my first marathon finish line as The Mad Hatter? Then again, who would've thought I'd ever cross a marathon finish line? Seems totally appropriate.

I did my last "long" run yesterday. It used to be I didn't fall into a groove until mile 3, now it's mile 6. I was just getting ready to settle in for the long mental road when it was time to stop. Funny how things change.
I much prefer cold weather.
I bought this last year for Expedition Everest training and never got to use it. 

I'm officially freaking out about everything and I can't really focus on much besides the heat issue. I don't remember this happening for NYCM (heat was never an issue there), but apparently I've been informed I was freaking out about other things then (Hurricane Sandy maybe?!). I also didn't have to pack last time. That's another thing taking over my brain. Again, how am I supposed to pack correctly when every day the forecast changes!?

Speaking of, the last marathon- I was also physically ready to run. On Friday, I could feel my muscles had accepted the fact they were going to be in immense pain and wanted to. I could actually feel them aching to run. Has this ever happened to you (or have I officially lost it)? I'm hoping that's a normal thing when you taper properly. It really helped me get through (tapering really does work!). And the insane amount of anger didn't hurt either ;) Honestly, I'm still holding onto that in case I hit a rough patch mentally. Or I'm just not completely over being villainized and I'm hoping this 26.2 will be the therapy I need to get over it. Either way, I'm also hoping this time around isn't much worse physically and mentally than last time.

PS- is it just me, or is the taper worse for full marathons vs. halfs? Have I asked this before? Again, I don't remember (and again, I might just be losing it).

I went to see Barney's Christmas window to get a little Disney magic early. I'm still not sure I'm ok with it (they changed it a tad from the initial controversial concepts. But kept the Disney characters transforming into runway models. Eh. Who am I to judge art?) but I was excited to see Minnie. Afterall, we do share a namesake; given to me by my Nanny, who I'm sure will be looking down on me that day saying "WTH is  my crazy Min doing now?".  It'll be nice to feel her presence and have another ace in my back pocket.

Since I've decided I'm rarely stopping for pictures, I will allow myself to stop for Minnie and Mickey at the finish line (if I remember and if they're still there). They can't sweep me if I'm that close to the finish line, right? Last year, I noticed a ton of people slowing down/ stopping (instead of speeding up) right before the finish line. I was so ready to be done and out of pain, I didn't realize they were just soaking it all in. I hope to be able to do that this year, if I can see through the tears.

And with all that, I believe the taper madness is here (ya think?!). I'm going to spend this week mentally preparing for the heat and hoping I won't have to endure it.

How do you pretend to be a normal person during the taper?