Thursday, October 31, 2013

2014 runDisney Princess and Tinkerbell Half Marathon race weekend medals!

Holy excitement, batman!

RunDisney revealed the new medals for Princess and Tink half marathon weekends yesterday on the Disney Parks Blog and imagine my surprise when I went to the New York City Marathon expo today and there they were!

The Enchanted 10k
(No, the pumpkin does not spin.)

The Princess Half Marathon

The Glass Slipper Challenge

 The Princess Half Marathon weekend series

The Tinkerbell 10k

The Tinkerbell Half Marathon

The Tinkerbell Half Marathon medal series
And of course, the special edition Coast to Coast medal for doing both half marathons! 

I'm doing the Glass Slipper Challenge this year and hope one day in the near future to get out to Cali for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon for that awesome spinner! Honestly, I wasn't initially excited about any of them, but they're growing on me. The Enchanted 10k is not the runDisney medal style I'm used to, but I'm loving the sophisticated elegance of it. I'm also glad they didn't stray too far from the 5th anniversary Princess medal for the half marathon medal this year.

I'm glad they kept the thinner ribbons for these medals, too- FYI, they don't annoy your neck as much as the usual width ones for marathon weekend, etc. ;)

Which one is your favorite? Are you running any of these races?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WoW Wednesdays: Eat first, then shower.

I fully support this tip! I'm a big fan of a post-run brunch if I'm in the city.

I also like to map the end of my run close to a bodega/ convenient store to grab a chocolate milk for the subway ride home. The Duane Reade at Columbus Circle is usually my go-to if I'm running in Central Park- I wonder how crazy it's going to be on Sunday? :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

NYCM is next weekend!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Zumba and 2M

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 6M

Sunday: Rest

I spent the majority of this week recovering from the cold/ sinus thing, only to get sick all over again. It's been really annoying. But since I've decided to dowse everything I own in Lysol, I think it's getting better. Then, I went and fell asleep with my hair wet right as the weather was changing and I was back where I started. Not the brightest crayon in the box.

I'm blaming that and anything else I can on the taper. I'm trying to keep it in check, but it has a mind of it's own this time. I don't know if I can handle another week of this! I've diagnosed myself with every disease imaginable and all kinds of injuries. . . I feel like time is standing still! I just want it to be over with but at the same time I need to enjoy every moment. The military can learn a thing or two from a tapering marathoner. . it could be the best form of cruel and unusual punishment.

Plus, the nerves are about to be my undoing. It's been a minute since I've been genuinely nervous about finishing a race. Probably the last marathon I ran? I'm extremely comfortable with 13.1 miles. In fact, I'm so comfortable, I'm not improving (. . . which I should really work on that). But 26.2? Not so much. One foot in front of the other, right? and just keep swimming! 

What have I gotten myself into?! 

My 6 miler for the week went well. It was the first official cold morning and I forgot how hard it can be to get moving when it's cold. I think I've even forgotten how to dress for it! I am very excited that it's finally here, though. Running in the heat and humid is totally for the birds as far as I'm concerned. 

Don't mind the crazy runner in the reflection. 
She's just tapering.

It also made me think about what was going on last year at this time. I feel like I've spent the past 2 years in training limbo for this marathon and I'm just ready to move on. I just need to keep reminding myself to enjoy it and take it all in. 

Do you have any last minute advice? 

Friday, October 25, 2013

2014 NYRR updates

NYRR sent out an email last week that made me really excited for winter races! 


Good news: All races in the 5-borough series will be treated equally in 2014 as far as medals and tech tees are concerned! They're even considering changing the Bronx 10miler and the Queens 10k distances. Personally, I'm a fan of the different distances- it's easier to convince new running friends to run 10Ks with medals than a half marathon. 


A big change for 2015 is the NYC Half will replace the Manhattan Half in the borough series. I think is an awesome plan seeing as they're both run in Manhattan, but The NYC Half has the better course and better weather. A Half marathon in January consisting of 2 loops of a snow covered Central Park always sounded like punishment to me- and I LOVE winter races. But to each his own. Now, you can celebrate Manhattan with one loop of the park and a run through Times Square! 


But the Manhattan Half will not be going out without a bang. The 2014 race will be celebrating Fred Lebow- including his awesome signature bike hat instead of a tshirt for participants. I'm still jealous of everyone who got one for the Brooklyn Half last year. I just might have to register for this one. It's scheduled on the date my Glass Slipper Challenge training schedule has a 12.5 run- what's another .6miles with a medal and an awesome bike hat?! 

When I first started running and heard about the series (which at the time were all half marathons) I couldn't fathom running the half marathon distance and NOT getting a medal. Since then, I've trained for multiple marathons which included many longer than 13.1 miles that did not include a medal and I've even run multiple loops of the park! Although, I am not a fan of running up and down Harlem Hill more than once, I'm now considering races with the hill in them twice (hence, The Manhattan Half) See what happens when you progress as a runner?

And just in case you're not into the glitz and glamour, NYRR will also be offering no frills races, which will include $10 entry fee for members and no shirt. To be honest, I think this is an awesome plan. Yes, I like running for the swag, but how many white cotton tees do I need for 4 mile races? 

They also announced March 16 is the official date for the NYC Half. Thanks to volunteering for the NYC Half last year, I have guaranteed entry! If you'd like to join me for this awesome race, the lottery just opened. I'm not sure if they'll still be offering guaranteed entry to volunteers on race day, but they did mention that running 4 of the 6 borough races in 2014- The Manhattan/ Fred Lebow Half, The NYC Half, Brooklyn Half, Queens 10, Bronx 10miler and Staten Island Half - will get you guaranteed entry into 2015 race. Seeing as this is my anniversary half and all the awesome changes they've made to the series, I might just have to do them! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

(3things) winter coats, pecan pie Clifbars and an #awesomelyactive sweepstakes!

It's getting cold!! So cold, I almost wore my winter coat today. But then again, who am I kidding, I will try to find any excuse to wear it. It's a wonder I haven't tried to bust it out sooner. I never knew you could be so warm in a coat before this one! It's amazing. Although, it might be nice to not have to wear it for a couple of weeks. I am a fan of hoodie weather too. But it also means it's time to switch out my closet. I'm being super lazy about it, but it'll be a perfect distraction from the 2nd week of tapering. 

That, and I'm on a mission to find my favorite Gu flavor for the marathon. Last weekend, I took a trip to REI for the new Clifbar flavors and they were out of pretty much all Gu. Really? 

Speaking of Clifbars, I am super excited that it's special flavor time of year! Pecan Pie?! What? That's amazing. I was already a fan of Iced Gingerbread and I'm not sure how I feel about Pumpkin Pie yet. I just need them to release the Peppermint flavor and all will be well in the world. 

The fabulous ladies at Tampax have informed me they are partnering with three-time gold medalist and professional volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings for “The Kerri Walsh Jennings Active Experience” sweepstakes for a chance to play volleyball with Kerri in Manhattan Beach, California. The awesomely active grand prize includes a private training session with Kerri, two-night trip to Manhattan Beach for the lucky winner and three friends, lunch with Kerri, $1,000 in spending money and a year supply of Tampax Pearl Active. To enter, you can visit The sweepstake is from October 19 until November 3, 2013. So, you should enter! Full Disclosure: I am not being compensated to tell you about it. I just really love the #awesomelyactive campaign and wanted to pass along the information.

What's your favorite Clifbar flavor?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WoW Wednesdays: Help me build my marathon playlist!

I'm sure yall already knew that ;)

Coincidentally, I just went through my running playlist and decided I hate all but a handful of songs, which is fine, but I have a marathon to run next weekend.

Although, I will admit- I listened to Rock my run's Fist Pump Mix on repeat for my 20 miler so maybe I'm ok with listening to a handful of songs. But I digress.

According to the most influential interwebs- here and here-  (at least to me!) the new song is Pitbull/ Ke$sha Timber. Seeing as I live in New York and hardly have a chance to listen to the radio, I'm going to have to trust them-


what's new on your running playlist?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Chase Lounge at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival

If you're going to experience The Food and Wine festival at Epcot AND you're a Chase card holder, (including Disney Visa/Debit), I highly suggest you checking out the Chase Lounge at The American Adventure Pavilion while you're there. 

As I said in my post about our Food and Wine festival experience, I knew I wanted to check out the lounge and as luck would have it, we timed it perfect as a big rain storm started. I was a little nervous about the lounge being crowded (hey, it was a genius idea if I do say so myself and even though the lounge is exclusive to Chase Visa card holders, that's still a lot of people!). 

There was a wave of people when we first got there, but most were only there to get their tickets for the Eat to the Beat concert that night. FYI: there is a limited amount of reserved seating for Disney Visa card holders. I found out about it then and since we were leaving that day, we couldn't take advantage, but definitely good to know for next time! Sugar Ray was playing that week and it would've been fun.

The lounge itself was themed in the same colonial style as The American Adventure Pavilion.

There were tons of charging stations set up, but I didn't see any for the iphone5. Bummer.

There is adequate amount of space to sit
or a few standing tables. 
Which is where we chose to enjoy a funnel cake while we waited for the rain to stop.

The second room had one large round table. There was also complimentary unlimited coffee, tea, and soda with a cash barI don't drink soda anymore, but I did allow myself some Coke Zero, the one soda I really miss!

Even the bathroom was impressive. 

It's a great place to take a break from the festivities and hang out for a minute in air condition, or sit out a rain storm. I can definitely see this place getting more and more attention as the festival goes on. If you have a chance to visit, I highly suggest it! 

Do you have a Chase Disney Visa? What perks have you benefited from?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rock-n-Roll: Brooklyn, a race recap

It's been kind of fun seeing this race evolve each year. I've run it since it's inaugural and I can say it's leaps and bonds from what it started out to be. 

We can start with the non-existent expo the first year. I volunteered to give out bibs and it was literally in a running store in midtown Manhattan. No room for anything. Last year, they actually had a pretty decent pickup area upstairs at the 18th st. Pavilion. This year, they made the ground floor with a healthy amount of vendors AND. . . .wait for it. . . .


I was super excited, but I'm also a sucker for anything that says Brooklyn :) Sadly, I passed on those because my bank account was going to boycott me if I didn't- but I'm hoping they had left-overs and they pop up on the website soon. I was a little bummed they did not have the medal pins or magnets to add to my RNR collection, but maybe next year? 

Along with all the expo improvements, the course has changed each year. The original course was 2 loops of the park, this year's course took you out of the park longer which I thought was awesome.

As I've said previously, this was supposed to be my 20 mile week. I registered for the race thinking I wouldn't be training for the marathon again and it would be a nice 6.2 miles followed by a great post-race concert. That was definitely not the case. Since I already had a few races lined up before I finally settled on marathon training again, this weekend was the only weekend I could fit my 20 in again. Last year, I ran with someone which made it so much easier. This year? No one. Not gonna lie, the thought of running 20 miles solo AND with a race was extremely daunting. I wasn't sure I was going to do it until I actually woke up that morning and I was still praying for rain- it was the only thing I would allow myself to get out of it. 

Grand Army Plaza

I decided getting 4 miles in before the RNR Brooklyn would give me the push to do it- I figured I'd be half way through at the end of the race and that sounded a lot better than I have 14 more miles to run. That was a genius plan if I do say so myself. I was so proud of myself for getting those miles in and making it back to the corrals in time. 
The Brooklyn Public Library

Around mile 3 of the race, I noticed the ball of my foot was developing a hot spot, so I pulled over to the med tent and used the vaseline trick Pam taught me at Dumbo. I had too many miles to go to worry about stopping. The med volunteers were super great, too! Apparently, since it's such a short race, they hadn't had many visitors. 

The last 3 miles went by quickly. I will admit it was a great course, even if it did include that killer hill. But what's a prospect park run/ race without it?

I crossed the finish line, got my medal and some gatorade and chocolate milk and was on my way again. To finish the 2nd half of my long run, I did half of a loop inside the park (roughly 2 miles) and decided to do 2 loops of the exterior of the park (4 miles each). The path inside the park was too banked for my knee to handle. For not running in Prospect Park often, I was proud of myself for remembering where the landmarks were and even better- water fountains and bathrooms! 

The weather was perfect and the only complaint I had was my darn knee pain. It would come and go and I took way too many stretch breaks, but hey! Whatever it takes, right? I knew towards the end it was going to get pretty dark mentally, especially considering I was alone and didn't have anyone to take my mind off of all the pain. I decided to focus on the fact that I needed to enjoy the run for what it was: my last 20 mile run. That seemed to work well and even though the run didn't go as well as I would've like physically, I believe it was a success mentally. 

Next year, I'm sticking to just 6.2 miles! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

NYC Marathon- 2 weeks to go!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 2M

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 1.5 lower loops of Central Park

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 10M

Sunday: Massage

My weekly workouts sucked this week because of whatever this head congestion thing is (fingers crossed it's finally gone!) Trying again on Thursday to sweat it out didn't work and it only made me feel worse on Friday. That didn't stop me from enjoying the hell out of my long run though.

I started at 14th street and ran up to the park. Not sure if you're into street art or following along, but the well known artist, Banksy, has been throwing up pieces all over NYC lately as a month long tour around all the boroughs. I knew there was one in the area so I want to stop and see if it was still there, and seeing as it was 6:45AM, without mobs of people. It was there! But there was also a gate and some security guards (apparently other street artists have been vandalizing them as soon as they go up). I will say, it was pretty cool to see in person and my love for this city grew even more- where else can you see something like that on your long run?

Once I got to the park, I ran across town to run across the Queens borough Bridge. I conveniently forgot that the charity groups like to run the last 10 miles of the marathon at the exact same time I was getting there. . . and that's when I truly understood why other runners don't like charity groups. Single file people! BUT I will say TNT (the ones who usually get the most flack for it bc they are a really big organization) was the ONLY group running single-file. . .and I got to say hello to a bunch of my friends, which made me super happy :) until a girl in the group hit me and I went back to understanding everyone else's hatred. 

I also knew the marathon route flags were up and I decided to run the last couple of miles in the park and head over to the finish line area to see if anything was up yet. I will say, running the marathon in your own town brings a different kind of excitement. It might have just been me, but the energy in the park was amazing! Marathon season is definitely in the air! 

For the record, I did let myself get excited about all that. . .but I (hope) promise it won't happen again until I'm at the start line. I did print out my registration card (Orange Wave 4!! What what!) and I'm starting to decide what I want from this race. . so maybe it's getting a little more real?