Monday, March 12, 2012
My most recent running project was the 2012 Disney Princess half marathon on February 26. I didn't have extremely ambitious expectations for this race, given that I was less than two months out from the monstrous Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge. Buuuuut, there must have been pixie dust out on the course or something because I SHATTERED the goals I had for myself! (Yes, being a competitive spirit, I did have goals, even though the plan was for Princess to be an easier race.) It was a really awesome, awesome, awesome experience all around and I thought I'd drop in to share my recap here for those who are interested...even for those who may just want to peek at the many pictures I included :)
On Friday morning, I had the honor of attending the exclusive RunDisney meetup, which featured talks from Fitness magazine editor-in-chief Betty Wong, Disneyland half winner Rachel Booth, Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton, Disney mom's panel member Lori Lovell, and well known Run Disney ambassador Jeff Galloway. It was FABULOUS! Not only did we get to gain inspiration and wisdom from these wonderful people, but also ran with them around EPCOT before the park opened. Fun!
Sunday morning was the big show...and the big surprise was that I ended up with a surprise PR, by four and a half minutes! Princess 2010 (2:17:44) was my previous PR, and I hadn't managed to improve on it in almost two years. This time, I pulled out a 2:13:02, and it honestly felt GREAT! I'm super excited and can't wait to see what's up next for me.
I don't have too terribly long before I tackle my next Run Disney event. I'll be joining in the first Tower of Terror Ten Miler in September. Sadly, I won't be in on this year's Wine & Dine Half Marathon (even though I loooooove it) because my limited vacation time and money forced me to choose between RunDisney's two fall events. And since I love Tower of Terror and it's something new and different, that's the choice I made.
In the meantime, I have plenty of things going on locally. First up, the Madison Shamrock Shuffle 10K on March 17, this Saturday! The training plan I'm using for my next half actually calls for a 10K RACE right around this time, so it fits in perfectly. I ran the Shamrock two years ago and it was realllllly fun, and supported a great cause (Big Brothers & Big Sisters), so I'm back for more! Just have to dig out all my green running gear, haha. Next, the Wisconsin Half Marathon in May, where I hope to grab another sub 2:15 half and a big old CHEESE medal. And I've got a few more adventures planned for the rest of the year, but you can check my race calendar if you're interested so I don't bore you with all the details here.
And running, in general, has been going fantastically amazingly well lately! Since about Christmas, I have turned a serious corner with it. I don't know if it's because I finally recovered from the too crazy fall racing schedule (which I do not plan on repeating anytime soon, as I'm not a big fan of burnout) or some other mysterious reason, but lately it seems like I can go faster without as much effort. I've been seeing a lot of mile splits starting with 9:xx in my workouts, and I have a feeling if I keep going this way, 8:xx may not be too far in the future. I am using a training plan with a little speedwork in it, and slowly working on my nutrition and strength training. I'm just generally feeling excited about the possibilities and where 2012 is going to take me.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Now that Goofy's behind me, it's time to switch gears and move on to my next goals. The next couple of months, my main focus is to TAKE IT EASY and let my tired body rest. There's a rule of thumb that states for every mile you race, you should give yourself one day of recovery. So, if I'm doing my math right, that would leave me in recovery until somewhere around February 23. Got it?
I do have a half marathon on the radar, and it's the Disney Princess Half Marathon in late February. This is NOT going to be any kind of ambitious effort on my part - refer to above. No plans to try and PR, no plans to "race" this 13.1. I'm doing this one because many of my friends from various online communities I belong to, including SparkPeople, will be there, and it was honestly a social opportunity I couldn't pass up! Is the recovery time between Goofy and Princess ideal? Perhaps not, since I would generally hope to wait a little longer before my next long distance event, but it's one of those (potential) life experiences that I want to add to my history books, and IF I take it easy, I know it will be wonderful and 100% worthwhile. So I'll be there with the primary goal of having fun, fun, fun and just running at an easy, comfortable pace. I'm using a conservative, simple training plan, and will NOT be pressuring myself with pacing, speed, or any such thing along the way. The point of this journey is to RELAX! More hard-core running efforts will come later in the year, once I'm more rested.
My goals for 2012 are slowly solidifying, although I'm still putting the finishing touches on some of my plans. My plans include a similar running schedule to last year, although probably slightly LESS in volume and with the races more spread out across the year (they were clustered in early-to-mid fall in 2011, and that was maybe a little too tiring). Also among my goals are volunteering and fund-raising, i.e. using my love of running to give back, exploring and improving my relationship with food, and getting into a more solid strength training routine. I'm hoping for another great year!
Goofy's over. What's Next?
Princess 2012, Week 1, Day 1 Training Blog
Sunday, January 15, 2012
It's been a few days, and I was waiting in hopes that my brightroom photo downloads would be delivered to me before I posted. But since they're NOT - I guess the photographers are taking their sweet time getting them together, I'll go ahead and post my written blog with personal and photopass photos (but no race photos YET). The WDW Marathon was incredible, everything I hoped it would be and then some! And I got a wonderful surprise too...a marathon PR AND sub-five hour time! It was physically VERY difficult in the last 8 or so miles, but I pulled through and got it done, and I will remember this weekend forever! I had such a positive experience with GOOFY that I'm planning to repeat it all in 2013 :)
Yes, I know I'm crazy, LOL!
Here are the final two pieces to my race report, the marathon and the day after, which I spent in the parks. Check back later for the actual race photos!
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
My Goofy adventure continued on Saturday with the WDW Half Marathon (for 15th anniversary Donald bling) and the kids' races, which Timmy would be running. Honestly, I couldn't have asked for a better day! I was already familiar with the half course, since it was identical to the one used for Princess, although Disney packed it with some different characters and fun surprises and entertainment. My one complaint/criticism of the event was that the course was somewhat excessively crowded at points, and the finish area felt very congested and somewhat disorganized, but in spite of the crowding, I was in good spirits throughout and pulled off a 2:31 time. I rounded out the day by leading Timmy through his second kids' race, the 200 meter dash at the Wide World of Sports complex. My half marathon report isn't 100% complete, as I'm waiting on my downloads of the official race photos to become available, but the writing is done, so I'll go ahead and share it now. (Check back later if you want to see the photos!) I also did a quick write-up of the kids' races for the sake of thoroughness. The full marathon report is still coming, as soon as I can get it written up!
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Over the last several months, my running and training have been focused on my "ultimate" fitness goal: to complete Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge at Walt Disney World this January. For those who aren't familiar, Goofy's challenge involves running a half marathon on Saturday, followed by a full marathon on Sunday. 39.3 miles in two days...crazy! There was something alluring and exciting about taking on this challenge at my favorite place in the world, Disney World...so last March, I took the plunge and signed myself up on the day registration opened.
This past weekend, January 6-8, I'm pleased to say that I achieved this goal, and my experience was everything I had hoped and dreamed about, and then some. I had a blast with my friends, and not only finished the races, but blew away the time goals I had in mind. I got a million photos, enjoyed the Disney magic, and felt like a kid all over again. I'm still in Florida, but now back in Tampa, ready to return to Wisconsin tomorrow afternoon (just in time for some snow on Thursday - blech), so halfway back to reality. I'm starting to pull together all of my photos and write up race reports, so tonight I'll begin with the first chapter.
The fun all started on Thursday, when I arrived for the race expo, where I parted with some money, picked up a slew of race bibs, and started to soak in the festive atmosphere. My actual running began bright and early on Friday morning, when I ran the Family Fiesta 5K. Initially I hadn't planned on it, but when I heard the theme was going to be Tres Caballeros (!!) I could not help myself! I had an easy, relaxing run around EPCOT with 8000 other participants, got a few fun snapshots and an adorable medallion, and followed it up with a fun day at the parks - capped off with a viewing of the Osborne Dancing Lights on one of its last nights of the 2011-2012 holiday season! My report, with photos, is linked below. Half and full marathon reports to come, but it will take me a while to get those written and link up all the photos. Enjoy!
Get An Email Alert Each Time PHDMAMA06 Posts