Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thoughts on Boston

I've had a hard time finding the words to accompany the thoughts, feelings, and emotions I've had swirling since yesterday afternoon.  There are several things that give me peace of mind, running, cycling, swimming, yoga, reading and actually writing!

With that in mind, I could not find the words to adequately express myself and relieve all the feelings I was experiencing with what happened at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  There are several reasons for that.  I was recently (September) in Boston for a wedding and even more closely related we stayed in Copley.  I spent a long weekend walking around Copley and even walked across the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  Such an emotional weekend in a beautiful city with family and friends.

Fast forward to yesterday. I left work and called my sister to see is Shalane Flanagan had won the Marathon.  She told me no and then continued to tell me that there had been two explosions at the finish line.  I was a little panicked as I knew several social media friends were in Boston for the Marathon.  My initial thought was to verify the safety of all those I am connected to through social media.

These are my brothers and sisters!! When I train on the road or trail these are the people I run with.  They are my endurance family!  I pray for those injured and killed, I pray for their families and I pray for the City of Boston.

Please keep the City, the runners, their families and the first responders in your thoughts and prayers!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Princess again

Hello all, I can't believe it's been seven weeks since I posted.  I made it to Disney and back.  Even better I made it through 16.2 miles of running in a little over 21 hours.  HOLY CRAP!! 

So here it is in TWO Race Reports.  Up first is the 5k.

Mickey and Minnie Royal Family 5k -- February 23, 2013

Up early at 5:00 am in order to make it to Epcot and corrals on time to start with my nephew.  I was supposed to run with my sister as well, but due to sickness, she wasn't running because she wanted to concentrate on the half marathon on Sunday.  My nephew and I started together and due to his age, I wouldn't turn him loose until we were inside Epcot and knew my sister was at the finish line to catch him at the end.  I knew he would be faster than I would be, plus I wanted to save something for Sunday and not blow myself up.  I hadn't trained in the heat and humidity we were experiencing in Florida so it was safer to take it easy.  We finished the first mile in 12 minutes, which was awesome and then we got into the park and my nephew had been BEGGING me to let him go for quite a while.  Once I had receive the text from my sister that she was there.  I let him go.  I told him where his mom was sitting and that he wasn't to leave the safe area without his mom or me.  Once we hit Mexico, I counted him down, 3, 2, 1, GO!!  He smiled and took off.  That was the last I saw of him until my sister texted me about 30 minutes later that she had him at the finish and he had his medal.  I enjoyed my time through Epcot and came across some cute little runners, the youngest 5k'er being 4 years old.  (Seriously people.)  I understand physical fitness, but there is also a physical limit for kids and injury.  Register them for the kids races first.  (My personal opinion.)  I saw some high school kids who ran as Tigger and I did the Tigger hop as I passed them and just had fun with the 5k.  I know my nephew finished 5 minutes faster than me and I'm okay with that, he's 8 years old and I'm not.

I love this picture, him showing off his medal and his bib together.  I love that smile too. He is an awesome little man and I was very proud to run with him. 

Disney Princess Half Marathon -- February 24, 2013

This was my third half marathon in one year.  It wasn't originally a goal to do it that way, but wow.  So, I went into this one with the plan to stay with my sister as long as possible.  I wanted to help her get as far as possible.  Additionally, she had a friend to run with her from her online running group, the Running Mom's Mafia.  My goal was once her friend caught up, I'd leave, but I'd decided to stay with her. I wanted to see her get to the castle and get that picture of her in front of the castle.  I love my sister dearly and I'd give anything to see her meet this goal and succeed.  So here goes.  First of all, 2:15 am wake up calls bite the big one.  Holy crapola.  I can usually deal with weird hours being a parent, but darn, this one just bit me hard.  I finally got moving, up to the shuttle at 3am with my sister and away we went.  I had my oatmeal and banana, but no coffee.  For someone who works at a coffee shop for a living, no coffee is totally detrimental... I need my coffee.  I ate my oatmeal and met some friends in the parking lot party that is a Disney pre-race.  On the way to the corrals, I saw the following sign.

Have a Magical Race!!  I certainly will!  I continued towards the corrals and made a final stop at plastic potty land.  On to the corrals and found Krista.  As the official start crept ever closer, the anxiety started getting to me, I hadn't trained for it like I had last year, but I knew I could do the distance.  The heat and humidity had me seriously concerned.  I have had issues with heat in the past and been treated for heat exhaustion.  So heat was a BIG CONCERN for me.  I honestly didn't know whether to throw up, bag it before the start or just suck it up, start it up and go, or just see what would happen.  I did toss my banana and gatorade that I had saved for my last minute race snack because I knew there was no way in hades it was going to go down or stay down.  My stomach was in knots. 

The Wheelchairs start, Corrals A, B and C go.  Okay, now it's our turn.  Time to go.  We had already lined up on the right side of the corral so we could stay with Krista's pacing and walk when she needed to, but seriously, I know the flat out runners don't care for the interval people, but really, is there the need for rudeness, bumping and grinding.  I am glad that seemed to settle out quickly.  I really hate Green Rooms, but when you gotta go, you gotta go.  With 21,000 women and 1500 men, nobody cares.  I was actually overly hydrated.  I kept my intervals up by running ahead of Krista and then waiting for her so I could stay loose and not tighten up.  We really only got separated a couple of times where I lost her and one was right after mile 2 when she headed for a green room and I headed for a plastic potty.  I don't remember exactly where I found here, but I know it was sometime after the 5k mark.  I believe I was about 4 minutes behind her at that point.  Once I caught up with her, I settled back in with her and her friend that was pacing her and we kept going.  The next time I lost her was at the 4 mile water stop.  I didn't stop, but I grabbed powerade and turned to find her because I had jogged ahead and then couldn't find her, so I started my intervals and figured I would either find her or her next interval would pop on my phone after the castle.  I knew where she would run, but it would be hard in the sea of humanity that was running. 

Now, I saw quite a number of injuries at the race this year.  Last year I heard of one.  I saw several people bite it, one very hard off a curb right before the Magic Kingdom.  I pray that no one was seriously injured, but the one I saw off the curb, was bleeding badly from the face and I hope there wasn't teeth or mouth damage.  I believe she may have briefly knocked herself out.  The course was much tighter than I remember it being last year.  I found Krista and Denise shortly after seeing this woman fall/trip.  I am glad I did because seeing Krista make the turn onto Main Street from Backstage and see the castle is one I likely will never forget.  I hated that she didn't make it there last year.  We got pictures and kept going.  I ran ahead briefly to attempt to get a picture, but I bagged that option when I couldn't run through the castle, but had to walk chest-to-back and shoulder-to-shoulder and it took several minutes to do so.  It was TIGHT!!  I skipped the photo in front of the castle in order to save time.  Off to frontierland and out to backstage.  Mile 6.  After leaving the Magic Kingdom we hit the Halfway point and the motivational song with due to the vote was Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys.  I love the song, but for running, not quite the tempo I would choose. 

Shortly after this is what I call the family mile.  This picture was at Mile 6.5 and Family Mile is at Mile 7.  Our resort is at 7.7 miles and it was great last year to see the family, but the big mistake was when I saw them, I flat out sprinted to them and lost my intervals and spent too much on that sprint.  This year I didn't see them until I was almost on top of them and that's a good thing.  I got to them about a minute or two ahead of Krista and waited for her to get there.  From there, we left together and shortly after that was mile 8.  At the 8 mile mark, there were yellow Mears busses and police officers.  I knew from friends that had run previously and been swept that based on that the sweepers had to be close and that it wasn't a good sign.  At that point I knew for the sake of my race I had to move it.  Krista knew that if it got to the point it was close I would go, I knew that I still had a 16 minute gap, but additionally, I also knew that I was possibly going to slow down if I held true to last year.  I got to mile 10 and collapsed physically.  I knew I didn't stand a chance if I didn't move it. 

I made it to mile 10 and I still don't know where the last mile marker they will officially sweep is located.  Many people that have done the Princess half will tell you that the most brutal part is the ramp at mile 10 because of the angle and the distance.  This year RunDisney and ESPNW put some great motivational signs up.  This one is my favorite of the ones I saw. 

Very well said, unfortunately, not long after this and a couple more pictures, my phone died.  But my favorite part was crossing into Epcot.  It is actually two favorite parts.  One of my favorite parts from last year was this lady in a scooter holding a sign that said "Complete Stranger, I'm Proud of You Too" I hadn't seen her at the Magic Kingdom and was telling these two ladies I was running near about her and lo and behold, there she was.  I couldn't help but laugh and neither could they.  I told her that I was telling them about her and I thought I had missed her.  I lvoe that lady and she made my race last year and did again this year.  Right after that I was running through an Entrance to Epcot and I hear four kids yelling at me.  One yelling Go Mommy and the other three yelling Go KK.  My mom had made it to Epcot with the kids and had caught me.  YAY!! When I needed it most, there was my mom with my daughter and my nephew and nieces.  I was golden for the last little bit. 

I hated that my phone was dead because I didn't get a picture with the gospel choir at Mile 13 last year. I high fived the front row and kept right on going.  This year I had planned on a picture.  Well that plan got changed with no photographer and no phone camera to take the picture with it.  Thanks to the gospel choir, you know you are almost there when you can hear them. 

Last but not least.  While my sister did not make it to the finish, a piece of her did.  I carried her tutu across the finish line with me.  Her pace buddy caught me at mile 13, right after the choir and handed me her tutu and inhaler.  I can't wait to see my finish picture because I believe I am twirling my sister's tutu over my head at the finish.  Not sure.  If I get a picture of it, I'll post it.  Y'all have fun, I sure as heck did.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Down to business

49 days!!!!

Holy Canoli, did I really just type that.  We leave in just 7 weeks for Disney. 

It is time to get down to business and it's also time to take care of me.  I've had to send my orthotics back because when they made them originally, they were cut too short which means when I run they slide forward and back in my shoe and hit different spots on my arches causing blisters.  Not good.

I actually gave them to my PT on New Years Eve and they probably actually went back today.  It should be a relatively easy and painless process to add the additional material to my orthotics to make them longer.  My PT also made me a little substitute to go with my running store bought "orthotic" from last year.  Essentially a little something to get by until my actual orthotics get back. 

Where do I go from here??  TOmorrow a 30-45 minute run after dropping my daughter off at school.  Saturday or sunday is a 4-6 mile run before work.  Tuesday next week is my first day of classes, with a 30 minute run during a 2.5 hour break between classes.  It will work out great.  I have the same break every tuesday and thursday through MAY!!!  WOOHOO, built in training time!! Hot darn.  Now, let's see if I actually use it.  Hehehe. 

So let's get some mileage built up. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Why is it people on the outside can see things clearer than we can?

I have been having issues with motivation and getting my runs in for training.  I tend to be lazy and trying to get my runs and then sit on my arse and then time gets away from me and then my runs get left behind.  I decided that with my packed schedule today that the only way I would run would be first thing in the morning.  I had to be at the park by 9:30 or it wouldn't happen.  I didn't quite get there when I wanted to, but with only a 4-6 mile run planned, I knew I had 90 minutes max.  10am gave me until 11:30 to finish, noon to get to my mom's house for a shower and then work by one pm. 

I was working both jobs today, so planning was important.  If I didn't meet my time goal, it would throw a major wrench in the works.  At two miles, I was right on pace, but I knew I had a problem.  At Thanksgiving, I had a new set of CUSTOM ORTHOTICS and I did my first official training run.  I ended it with my first official blister and had a week of recovery because I can't run with a blister on the arch of my foot and have the new orthotics hititng it and creating more of a problem.  Come to find out, they cut my orthotics too short and when I run, they move.  NOT BUENO!!!

I've done very little running with them, but body glide on my arches is my friend.  What did I forget today??  The body glide on my arches.  Bad news.  2 miles into my run, this time it is the right orthotic and not the left and I have a decent blister on the arch of my foot... SHIT!!

Okay, screw the previous orthotic plan of making do through the Princess and having the fixed.  They are getting fixed NOW!!! I'll make do without for the time being and get to the Princess.  Tomorrow I am running a 30 minute run with my semi-custom orthotics from last year and we'll go from there.  I need to get better about my training. 

So, for perspective.  Following my crappy 2 mile run which was far shorter than I had planned, I was in quite a foul mood.  I went to work with a sour mood about my run and when asked about it, I groused about he fact that I wasn't happy about the shortened run when I have an event I am training for and pretty much got a wake up call from one of the guys I work with.  He told me that 2 miles are better than no miles.  ...... DUH!! 

Why couldn't I think about that.  Maybe I just couldn't see the forest for the trees at that moment... I don't know.  I have family members that have issues with walking sometimes, I should know this.  I guess sometimes I take this for granted.  I really enjoy my running and I guess sometimes I need to see the trees and realize that I am in the forest and enjoy everything around me.  Smell the roses per se.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Is it really 65 days to Princess?

Holy Cow!!  I was reading another blog and saw a countdown that read 65 days to the Princess Half Marathon.. WHAT???

On another note.  We never know what the weather is going to be at Disney and we can't guarantee that it's going to be Disney perfect.  Now, The Plastic Potty's will be perfect because if you read my post from the race in February everyone at Disney poops rainbows, but as we all know from the last three Princess runs, the weather can vary wildly. 

Ice 3 yrs ago, sun and 70-80 degrees two years ago, last year was overcast with sprinkles towards the end of the run for us turtles.  But still, only RunDisney can pull off this race in the fashion they do. 

So, for grins and giggles, this is what I ran in tonight. At least there isn't any white or purple on the map, but is that enough green for you?  I ran 2 miles in 36 minutes.  It was kind of slow, but it is what it is.  I ran 2 miles in the rain and did it even though the rain was crappy.  By the time I finished, I was feeling it.  I loved it.  I was standing at the top of the driveway looking up at the sky and the rain, letting God wash over me. 

I needed that more than I ever thought. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

First official training run

So I did my first official training run for the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World on February 24, 2013. 

I have done a couple of other runs in the past couple months since the official training plans were released, but with school and family stuff, it's hard to squeeze it in.  I have to start making it a priority in the coming weeks.  I have a month off from school and I can do it. 

Tonight I did a 1.76 mile run in 29.13 minutes.  I was trying to work out some kinks.  I have been having an orthotic issue and figured it out tonight.  I have to contact the PT tomorrow and have them remake them. 

I wear a 7 when I run, but typically wear a 6.5 for my regular shoes.  When they came in, we realized they were too short, but we decide to try them out and see if they would work, but no.  In my two runs, I've ended up with a blister on the arch of my left foot.  It is because the orthotic moves when I run because it is TOO SHORT for my shoe.  This is not good.  So tomorrow I call the PT and see if they will let me hang on to the pair I have so I can continue training until the new pair comes in, especially this close to Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Welcome back and more

Well, it has been a while.  I have been notoriously absent from the blog side and twitter for quite a while.  My first semester of college and some family issues have had me entirely too caught up in life. 

Between my daughter's activities, which include dance, swim team practice and meets, kidznpraize and dance recital.  Additionally, I did two amazing mission trips over the summer and lots of fun prior to returning to college for the first time in 20 years. 

In mid-August I returned to college to finally finish my Associates degree.  Actually, by the time I finish, I will have enough hours to complete two degrees.  My Associates in General Education and Associate in Pharmacy Technology.  Nothing like returning to college after a 20 year hiatus and double-majoring.  What was I thinking?

As if that weren't enough, a little over four weeks into the semester, following some concerns by my mom, sister and I, my dad was evaluated for what we thought were effects of a possible TIA or mild stroke.  WRONG!!! Early Alzheimer's or Cognitive Impairment.  WHAT?!?!?  I can't deal with this and a full course load.  Are you kidding me?  I guess not.  The good news is, I can at least have a sense of humor in all of it.  My mom has MS, my dad has Alzheimer's, which means I am essentially screwed in the Brain Department when I get older.  Thanks Mom and Dad. 

Going forward, not only will my blog be about my training for triathlon, 5k and half-marathons, it will be about my coping with my dad's degradation.  It's happening quicker than I'd like, even with the Aricept.  That's what is the most scary about this.  He is already on medication to slow the progression and I don't know that it is working.