Tag Archives: half marathon training

Week # 7 Review

Training Run # 1: 41:12, 3.01 miles, 13:42 min/mil, Galloway Method 1:1

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Training Run # 2: 40:02, 2.98 miles, 13:25 min/mil, Galloway Method 1:1

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Long Run: 38:26, 3.05 miles, 12:37 min/mil, Galloway Method 1:1

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Review:

Week 7 was all about lacking motivation. I feel like I had to bully myself to go out on each run this past week. I felt sluggish and my legs felt like they were made of lead. I definitely didn’t feel remotely “speedy” (if that term could be applied to me in the first place!) even in my training runs. My long run (which I cut short by a mile due to my treacherous calves!) was much faster than my training runs. The weather has been kind of dark and rainy here lately which has been contributing to a yucky humid atmosphere, even during the wee hours of the morning. I’m glad I got out to run for each of my scheduled runs (I very much subscribe to the belief that the only workout I’ll regret is a missed workout). I’m a little disappointed that I had to cut my long run short, but I definitely would rather get a hard three miles in over risking an injury with an extra mile. Luckily this week was one with a shorter “long run” so I don’t feel like I missed one of my major long-distance training runs. Hopefully next week will be better. I’m chalking this week up to a combination of being unmotivated, bad weather and legs that need a little more stretching post run (I’m always saying I’m bad at that and yet I’m never fixing it… sigh).

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Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon

The morning of the half dawned very, very early for both Wes and I. We went to Olive Garden the night before to “carb up” with lots of pasta and Italian dishes. We went to bed fairly early but woke up with only about 6 hours of sleep. Of course, I was way too excited to really feel too tired. I got dressed and we were ready to go out. It was a little nippy out but I knew it would warm up throughout the day (more on that later). My poor hubby accompanied me despite the fact that he was pretty bleary eyed from being tired! We boarded the bus at our hotel and were transported to the Epcot parking area. There were already a decent amount of people arriving but the crowds were still pretty thin so we had no issues getting a few pictures in.

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Hi There! I was dressed like belle — from my Belle inspired tech shirt to my gold calf compression sleeves!

MarathonFoto was already out enforce taking pictures of racers and their families. Of course, I was already planning on buying the full download, so Wes and I stopped to take a picture. He looks more than a little tired. I just look super excited!

My ChEAR squad member and I. Love!
My ChEAR squad member and I. Love! Photo Credit: MarathonFoto

They had plenty of entertainment in the area – including a DJ who was doing a pretty good job with his music and commentary. We drifted over to that area and took some more pictures in front of the Half Marathon back drop. We got into line to take pictures with Cinderella but while we were waiting she was replaced with Rapunzel and we decided to drift off towards the port-a-potty area (I wanted to make sure there was zero chance I would need to stop later on – of course, I failed in that endeavor!).

Wes and I talked for a little bit, killing time before I had to walk off toward Corral K. I went off to wait in one of the (long) port-a-potty lines again and when I came back, it was time for me to go. We snapped a quick selfie together and then I walked off. I wouldn’t see him again until after the half (but he would see me a couple of times!).

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My awesome supporter!

It felt like we walked a mile to get to our corrals (we probably walked close to it!) and it was VERY cold. My finger tips felt frozen and I was glad the temperature outside was much better for us than it had been for the 5K and 10K racers! They had people out on the course directing us where to go. There were A LOT of people around me (something that didn’t change during the whole race) and we split off a couple of times. They had giant traffic signs set up to direct us toward the appropriate corral locations – and to also give us a little bit of inspiration!

IMG_9584Finally, I arrived at the start line. Of course, there was entertainment here as well. From where I stood, I couldn’t really see the start line very well but they were showing the announcers up on big screens. They panned out onto the corrals every once and awhile and the time dwindled down to minutes left until the first corral raced off. The Fairy Godmother came out to say her famous magic words and then the first racers were off! They were pretty quick getting the rest of us out on the course – it seems like there was only a couple of minutes between each corral. Before I knew it, we were moving forward and waiting for them to say “Go!” to us. I readied my Garmin and waited to press “Go” on my iPhone fitness trackers (Runkeeper and Nike Plus). And then we were off!

Wes surprised me by getting a few shots of me running away from the start line!
Wes surprised me by getting a few shots of me running away from the start line!

I was too worried about losing my place at the start to run to the port-a-potties by the start line so of course about 3/4 of a mile in I had to stop at the first port-a-potty due to a bladder that was about to burst! That caused my first mile to be super slow and cost me time in the long run. But I felt much better after!

The weather was nice and cool – but I warmed up pretty quickly. People were tearing off sweatshirts and mylar blankets all around me. During the race, I ran over quite a few bits of trodden pieces of costume and clothing from where people had thrown them off later on as it warmed up as well!

Most of the race isn’t run through Magic Kingdom or Epcot – you’re actually running along World Dr/Floridian Way/Epcot Center Dr for the majority. You run through Magic Kingdom at about the half way point and through Epcot at the very last portion of the half. Here’s the Runkeeper map from my iPhone.

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Disney has several points along the race that they have various types of characters/entertainment set up. The first one you come upon is a pirate ship with some pirates (possibly Jack Sparrow, but I didn’t stop long enough to verify that). You can also stop to get pictures with the “Heroes” (the male figures from some of your favorite Disney movies such as Hercules, Prince Eric, etc), the “Villains”, Princess Sophia, Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip, with the bearers of the Glass Slipper (something I would have stopped for if I was running the Glass Slipper Challenge), etc. I didn’t really want to stop to take pictures so I bypassed all of them. Pretty cool if you aren’t running to run, though!

After some time, I came upon the entrance to the parking for Magic Kingdom. I was so excited and stopped to snap a quick selfie!

Magic Kingdom is my favorite Disney park!
Magic Kingdom is my favorite Disney park!

After snapping this shot, it was back to hitting the pavement for me. As we ran up, you could hear announcements warning of the small speed bump near the parking booths. I guess they really don’t want runners to stumble at that point!

At this point, we were running around the Parking and Transportation Lot. The monorails were shooting over our heads – transporting our ChEAR Squad fans from Epcot to Magic Kingdom to see us run through Magic Kingdom. I stopped to take a quick picture because I thought it looked neat!

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I thought it was cool to see the monorails shooting over head – especially knowing that the people inside were cheering for us (and that Wes was possibly one of them!).

Entering Magic Kingdom proper was a tad bit emotional for me. This was the part I had truly been looking forward to experiencing. I had seen a lot of pictures of people running through the castle and I knew that was coming! I also knew I might possibly catch a glimpse of Wes (I didn’t, unfortunately). Running up to Main Street just made my heart feel so light and my feet kept moving. I knew I wasn’t quite at the half way point yet, but seeing all of the people lined up and down Main Street just made me grin. They were cheering for us! We could do this! My first sight of Cinderella’s castle was wonderful.

Here I come!
Here I come!

I couldn’t spot Wes, but he saw me. He was able to catch a pretty good picture of me running by (if it had been in focus, it would have been awesome!).

Just blurry enough to hide the "oh my gosh I'm so tired" look on my face!
Just blurry enough to hide the “oh my gosh I’m so tired” look on my face!

I stopped to take a selfie in front of the castle (didn’t quite turn out) and Wes snapped a photo of me!

Picture of a selfie?
Picture of a selfie?

I had not seen very many MarathonFoto photographers up to this point… but now they were out enforce taking pictures of runners as they crossed into the castle. I tried my best to strike poses and smile so that I wouldn’t look too awful in my photos – and kind of achieved that. Here is the best one of me entering the castle:

PhotoCredit: MarathonFoto
PhotoCredit: MarathonFoto
I could not resist stopping to take a picture in front of the castle. Of course, the photographer took a shot angled up... not the best angle in the world! PhotoCredit: MarathonFoto
I could not resist stopping to take a picture in front of the castle.
Of course, the photographer took a shot angled up… not the best angle in the world!
PhotoCredit: MarathonFoto

Back to running. The next few miles were my hardest. It got hot. It got hot fast. It was long and while it wasn’t quite boring it was certainly hard to focus on the fact that I was having fun. The sun was beating down onto the black pavement which made it feel even more hot. I was starting to sweat and my feet were beginning to hurt. I was very thankful for the aid stations and was alternating between water and Powerade (closer toward the end I was drinking both). There was a Clifbar aid station but since I had never used one of their gels before, I stuffed the fuel into my pack for later. I didn’t want any tummy upsets so close to the end.

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Don’t believe the grin. I was tired. So tired. And so hot. I wish this photo was in focus – its a really good one of me!  PhotoCredit: MarathonFoto

For me, the absolute worst part of the race was mile 11-12. The weather was already warm, but I had persevered through that on the flat pavement of World Dr. But getting onto the overpass about killed me. It was steep and my legs were already tired. Looking back at my splits, you could see that this is where I struggled – climbing the overpass hills! The first one took you off of World Dr and onto Epcot Center Dr.

They're about to start their climb up toward the overpass!
They’re about to start their climb up toward the overpass!

The second overpass took you off of Epcot Center Dr and into Epcot. The end was in sight! I got my second wind here and ran my last mile much faster than I did miles eleven and twelve. Running through Epcot was amazing – everyone was cheering and you just knew you were almost done.

Almost there! I'm almost there!  PhotoCredit: MarathonFoto
Almost there! I’m almost there!
PhotoCredit: MarathonFoto
Finish line? Where is it at? Come on! PhotoCredit: MarathonFoto
Finish line? Where is it at? Come on!
PhotoCredit: MarathonFoto

My feet were flying and I was breathing hard. I was ready! I had already run “thirteen miles” (I had actually already hit a half marathon already according to my Garmin, Runkeeper and my Nike Plus) and I was ready to cross that finish line. Mentally, I was preparing myself. “Smile! Smile for the camera – try not to look like you just ran thirteen miles and are a hot, sweaty mess!” And then it was there – the most beautiful sight of the past few miles. The finish line!

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Quite obviously taken way before I even remotely got close to it!

I didn’t cry, but it was emotional. I did it. I really did it! All of those months really paid off and I giddily was telling myself, “Oh, what will you do with your time now?” (Train for the 2016 WDW Marathon, that is what)

Yes! Across the finish line! PhotoCredit: MarathonFoto
Yes! Across the finish line!
PhotoCredit: MarathonFoto
My darling hubby was there to see me cross the line. He was as proud of me as I was of myself!
My darling hubby was there to see me cross the line. He was as proud of me as I was of myself!
Official Finisher PhotoCredit: MarathonFoto
Official Finisher
PhotoCredit: MarathonFoto

The medal was gorgeous. The crowd was huge. The runner support was just… amazing. I never felt like I was alone and that alone can help bolster me when I am starting to lag. I felt like a million bucks despite the fact that I had just run 13.1 miles… in fact, I felt like a million bucks because I had run thirteen point one freaking miles! When I started to feel a little down about my “official” time, I reminded myself – you did it. This was your first. It doesn’t matter if you ran it in 3 hours or 2 hours. This was my first and after how I felt and how I still feel, it won’t be my last.

runDisney and the Children’s Miracle Network put on a spectacular event that I will not soon forget.

Officially "half" crazy!
Officially “half” crazy!

Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon: Expo

Wes and I arrived at the Walt Disney World Resort early Friday afternoon. Friday was spent visiting with friends while enroute to Disney and after we had checked in. We went to bed early-ish in the morning so that we could wake up early for the expo on Saturday.

We arrived at the ESPN Wide World of Sports early, anticipating a huge crowd. We didn’t need to worry about that – I guess the vast majority of people had beat us to the expo on Thursday and Friday prior to the 5K and 10K events. That did not quite concern me – I was quite alright with there being no crowds! We walked up and of course there were already picture opportunities.

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ESPN Wide World of Sports

I was very lucky to have my hubby with me to act as my own personal photographer. And trust me, I used and abused him being there to take as many photos as possible! We first came upon a backdrop to take a picture in front of the Princess Half logo.

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Cheesy, I know. But this was my first half marathon!

The expo was split up into two parts. When you came upon where it split off, you went left to pick up your packet and drop off your waiver. Wes was also able to pick up his “ChEAR Squad” gear. They had a little bit of runDisney merchandise there with a few booths set up in the area.

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Entrance into the Packet Pick Up Area – cue excitement
Squee!
Squee!

Once inside, I picked up my pre-ordered sweatshirt (I actually ended up having to come back to get this – I didn’t quite pay attention and thought you could pick it up at the actual expo area) and my bib. There were quite a few backdrops to take pictures at, as well! We walked around, I stopped to talk to the MarathonFoto reps about some questions and concerns and then we continued to the actual expo.

A couple of points about MarathonFoto for anyone considering a runDisney event in the future. Each download of their pictures costs about $29 or so. Before the race, they’ll let you buy a $100 one-time-use gift certificate for $65 (saving $35) which I thought was a pretty good deal. Just be sure you look for their photographers on the course (mainly in Epcot and in Magic Kingdom) so you get your money’s worth. Also realize that they are bent on taking pictures of as many people as possible – so making you look your best is not their top agenda. That falls on you!

Packet Pick Up Area
Packet Pick Up Area

The large expo area is where you get to pick up your official race shirt and where you get to shop around. There are lots of booths – to include a booth for the New Balance runDisney shoe line. I would have loved to have bought a pair of shoes this year but decided to go for a few shirts instead (pictured later). Children’s Miracle Network (the presenting sponsor) also has a nice big set up in the middle. Family members/friends there to support you can also make signs to cheer you on during your race. The runDisney merchandise area is expansive and they have tables set up so you can try on shirts (awesome!).

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Perhaps my absolute favorite part of the expo was meeting my running idol, Jeff Galloway. I always use the Galloway Method when I run and feel like I recover faster for it. Even today, only a few days after the half, my legs and feet feel great! I practically squealed when I saw him and snapped a few pictures with him. He was so sweet to me – and its awesome to know someone who is so inspiring to me is also an alumnus of Florida State University with me!

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Does that smile show just how excited I was to meet this man?

This post simply would not be complete without giving a shout out to an organization and to a person. First – the organization. Major props to the Children’s Miracle Network for putting on such an incredible event with runDisney. They do so many good things for sick children and I think their mission is so commendable. The best shout out is reserved for my darling husband. He always supports me through all of my running endeavors and I really feel like he helped me remain strong throughout my run, as well. I knew he was there cheering me on even though I could not see him! I love him dearly and I appreciate all that he does for me.

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My Prince Charming, my best friend, the love of my life.
Of course, this post just would not be complete with a photo of my "spoils".
Of course, this post just would not be complete with a photo of my “spoils”.

Four Miles Fierce

Today was my long run day. Typically I run immediately following my 12 hour work shift. However, last night I clocked out of work and it was around 30 degrees outside. I greatly admire those of you that run in cold temperatures – but it is definitely not even remotely close to my thing. So I went straigt home, fed my animals and climbed into my warm bed to sleep.

Instead, I got up a couple of hours early and went for a long run on campus prior to tonight’s shift. The weather was much more agreeable (it was in the mid 60s) and I really enjoyed getting to run in the sunlight for once! I’m not used to running immediately after I wake up so the first part was pretty slow going while my legs loosened up. The second half was much better and I found myself wishing I had more time and more mileage scheduled for my long run.

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It was a great run before work and I enjoyed it a little more than I thought I would. I tried out my new Nathan hand-held water bottle and found it to be a little awkward to hold. The hand-held has a thumb hole and is supposed to fit comfortably in my hand – something I think I will have to get used to. I definitely need to run with it more between now and my half marathon to get more accustomed to running with it.

I also got to debut one of my many adorable running tanks. I bought a tank with the popular “And though she be but little, she is fierce” Shakespeare quote quite awhile ago and got to wear it for the first time today. I love running in cute tanks – something about them just motivates me to get out and go! I guess that’s part of my super girly side! I really didn’t want to drag myself out of bed this afternoon but I’m glad I did. Just because I have cold mornings doesn’t mean I can’t get my runs in before work!

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5 Reasons Why I *Will* Run a Full Marathon

I read an article today that made my hackles raise a bit. I won’t post a link to the article here, and I won’t refer to the article’s name or publishing site, either. Suffice to say, the article was an author’s opinion on why she would not be running a marathon. She listed off five reasons.

I’m not one to take issue with another person’s opinion. I’m very “live and let live” when it comes to how people choose to live their lives. Opposing religions, political views and differing movie tastes have never bothered me (well, maybe the last one bothers me a little). As long as my own views are respected, I really don’t care.

But today I read an article that I found more than a little irritating. The author doesn’t want to run marathons. That’s fine. Long distance races are not for everyone. The fact that she doesn’t want to run a marathon doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Now, what she said in her article did bother me. She took issue with those who run marathons with the intent to finish rather than to be competitive. She doesn’t like that these same runners post about their training efforts and race day experiences on social media. Its fine for her to have her opinion – its okay that these things don’t sit right with her. The general tone and attitude of the article didn’t sit right with me, so I decided to write an article about why I will run a marathon (eventually).

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1. The challenge. I don’t see myself running 26.2 miles in any time frame that one would describe as amazing, but I will train and do my best.

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2. The support. I have heard so many wonderful things about the atmosphere of a marathon. The crowds are awesome and the atmosphere is electric. I feed off of the energy around me during race day and this sounds perfect for me.

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3. The motivation. I tend to be better at sticking to a running schedule when I have a race planned. Putting my money where my feet are helps me to stay motivated to stay on track with my running. (Even if that means getting onto a dreadmill when the weather is bad).

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4. The bling. Because I’m distracted by shiny things.

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5. Because at the end of the day, I love running. Running is the ultimate therapy for me. Every time my feet touch the ground, its like some of the sadness, strain and stress melt away. Even though training is tough and time-consuming, the structure really helps keep my depression in check. Running truly keeps me sane.

Another Year, Another Promise

Happy New Year!

2014 flew by and the past couple of months were a flurry of activity. The holidays were pretty hectic and I found myself unable to find time (or the motivation, really) to sit down to write for this blog.

So now I make another promise to be better about updating this blog.

I have less than three weeks left until the Hot Chocolate 15k Atlanta and less than TWO MONTHS until I run my very first half marathon at Disney (cue excited/nervous squeals).

I also made a new runspo/fitness inspired Instagram (follow me: @myfeethavewings).

This year is about accountability – accountability for this blog, for Instagram, and for my running!

2015 can bring it!! 🙂

Milestone: Double Digits!

On Monday morning at 4 am, I set out on my weekly “long run”. A quick check of the weather showed that it was 84 degrees… at 4 am. Thankfully I had already drank about 40 oz in the hours before the run!

I started with a little over a quarter of a mile for a warm-up. Once I felt good enough, I started my GPS and got to it! I ran 1:1 intervals throughout most of the run and felt great. My legs were a little tight for the first 2-3 miles but once I glided into mile 3 my legs felt wonderful. The first five miles were slightly hilly – but not enough to wear me out! I easily reached 5 miles and stopped for a brief water and leg break.

The next two miles were a breeze. They were mostly flat and I felt great. By the time I reached about 7.5 miles I felt dead but I kept moving on. The last 2.5 miles were miserable on my feet and legs. I took frequent walk breaks to spell myself.

Despite how worn out I felt, reaching 10 miles inspired an incredible feeling of accomplishment. I did the 10 miles in 2 hours, 17 minutes.

My goal for the Disney Princess Half Marathon is to do it in 2 hours, 30 minutes. I have 207 days to get to that point… completely doable!