Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Bobby Doyle Summer Classic & a Clam Bake

On Sunday I ran in the Bobby Doyle Summer Classic in Narragansett, RI. I participated in this run last year and really enjoyed it. Narragansett is about an hour and a half from me. Packet pick-up is the day of the race so you have to get there early enough to get your bib number and shirt. The run starts at 9 so we left at around 6:45 to get there in plenty of time. There were a ton of people there when we got there. They really love this race. After finding my bib number I headed into the school to get my bib and my shirt and use the bathroom before the run started.

I didn't discuss my goals for the race except in my own head. Last year I ended up getting sick during the run so that was something I didn't want to go through again. My goal was to beat my time from last year (1:00:18). I started out doing 3:1 intervals. Between mile 1 and mile 2 my right knee started to hurt. I knew I went out to fast and due to lack of training I was not prepared for that. I switched my timer to 2:1 intervals and just kept going. The sky was gray and it was windy this year which kept the temp down. I felt pretty good (besides my knee) the whole race. While I was running I kept going back and forth with this man. (His name was Al because a lot of people were yelling his name.) At one point he was ahead of me. I could always see him, but I told myself to finish in front of him. As we were just about to turn the corner to head to the finish back at the school I got ahead of him and really pushed to the finish. I finished in 56:36.

This years medal!

After the run we headed to Nate's parent's house in Falmouth for a clam bake. (I was having chicken as I don't eat clams or lobsters.) Nate & I ended up taking a nap for a little bit while we were there. I found a CSI: Miami marathon so I got caught up in that. We had a ton of food which was all good. Nate's sister made us all wear lobster hats, which we all just kept on and felt normal in by the end.
Thanks Jess!

And I can officially say that I will be going back to California in May to participate in the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend! 

I'll be participating in the 5k and the Pixie Dust Challenge (the 10k and the half).  I'm excited to head back to California! I want to explore Disneyland more and maybe even meet up with some friends out there. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Color Run

On Sunday I finally got to be part of The Color Run. I've wanted to do this run for years, but never had anyone else to do it with. A few girls at work were up to do it, so we formed a team. The run was at Patriot Place in Foxboro. The forecast was calling for rain so we were hoping that it would off until we were done. (Spoiler: it did!)

As you can see you start off really clean and by the end you are covered in colors. It was not super easy to get the color off, but not super hard either. This years theme was Shine, so there was a silver powder with sparkles in it. I'm still finding sparkles all over the place! That seemed to be the hardest to get off. I did bring baby wipes to clean what I could before the drive home. I'm so glad that we got to do this run and as a group! I don't think I would ever do this run alone, but with others absolutely! You have so much fun! I will definitely be doing this run again in the future.

Expedition Everest Challenge

This post is long overdue. Sorry for that.

Last month I was back in Disney for the Expedition Everest Challenge! I've always wanted to do this race and this was the last year that it was being offered. Leading up to the race we had very little communication from runDisney. (I actually only saw the race information on the website one day when I was looking for something else.)

Let's start with the expo. The only information about the expo that we received was that it was at the Animal Kingdom on Friday or Saturday. We went to the Animal Kingdom for breakfast at Tusker House on Friday which allowed us time to go get our stuff after that. On the bus there were other people who were running who were not sure where to go either. No one really seemed to know where to go, but we would figure it out. The expo was actually in the parking lot. Usually I take pictures of the expo, but this was so sad that I couldn't even bring myself to do that. The only good part was the quickness of the whole process. There was one tent where we picked up our bibs and shirts.

Then you could buy the I Did It! shirt, pin (same as the pre-order), a lanyard that said runDisney, and a runDisney hat. I picked up another pin and the I Did It! shirt. New Balance was there with the shoes that they released in January. Good Sense was also there handing out samples and coupons. That was it. There was nothing else.

The next day we took it easy until it was time to head back to Animal Kingdom for the race. We got there really quickly and had plenty of time to hang around and take pictures and sign the wall.

 Soon we were at the starting line ready to get our run on!

Along the course there were a few character stops including Chip and Dale and Timon. We didn't stop for anything, but kept going. The first obstacle was jumping over hay barrels. The next obstacle was the tires. This wasn't too bad. I hadn't been drinking enough water while on vacation so I was feeling the humidity really bad. I just kept going though. The final obstacle was going under a net. None of the obstacles were that bad and broke up the run nicely. Soon the 5k was over. (I'm not the only one I saw notice this, but the run was not even 3 miles.)

Once we finished the 5k we got a water, a cold towel, a sharpie with flashlight, and our first clue. 

This was not easy and everyone seemed to have issues. I still am slightly confused about it. As you can see I have lots of numbers on the card. 

The second clue was slightly easier. Or at least I thought so until I saw someone say the answer the carabineer. I'm not sure what happened with my answer, but the guy gave us clue 3 with my jumbled letters.

Carrick was really good at this clue. I just starred at it like it might come to me. Once he said "Mountaineers" it made a lot more sense. 

Clue 4 was also a little strange to me. I tried saying it out loud, but it wasn't exactly happening. I can understand how it becomes elevation, but not really speaking it too much.

Clue 5 was a little better for me! A crossword! Much better. We had to find the words a certain number of times before we could find the answer to this clue. (Keep in mind I had a wrong answer!) Luckily I could start seeing some words forming from the other letters that were not circled. 

I understood that there was a hidden yeti at the finish. In reality we got to the finish and figured out that we needed to hold up the hidden yeti. On the back of the second clue there was a yeti that we needed to hold up to get to the finish line.

Soon we had our medals and were heading to the after party. The medals are really cool. You can open the medal and it is a compass. I do wish there was something to show that it was the last Expedition Everest Challenge, but I love the medal regardless. 

We didn't stay super long at the after party. We did ride Expedition Everest. That ride is so much better at night. It was like riding it for the first time all over again. 

I hope that runDisney brings a similar run back one day. This was a great run for all ages.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Countdown to Disney

In two days I'll be back at Disney!

I feel like it's been forever since I've been, when in reality it was January.

As excited as I am to go back I'm not at the same time. I think I've just been so down for so long now I can't get that excitement back. I want this trip to be special for Carrick. (No one wants to remember having an awful time!) I also want it to be special for me. It's rare that I go somewhere that doesn't involve me running. Yes I will be participating in the last Expedition Everest Challenge a week from today, but I will also have a lot more "relaxation" time.

That changed last night! All over a silly breakfast reservation.

I had made breakfast reservations at Be Our Guest the day it opened. I've eaten lunch and dinner here before and wasn't planning on going back this time. Then they announced breakfast.
©Disney Food Blog

I'm excited to try out the breakfast here. I've never been let down by food here!

Back in January I noticed a restaurant in Epcot. I've probably noticed it in prior trips, but never gave it a thought. It's called The Garden Grill.


This is a restaurant that spins (very slowly) while looking into the ride Living with the Land. I'm excited to try this place for dinner. We will be joined by Chip & Dale along with a few friends dressed in their favorite overalls.

What reservation helped change my excitement back around? 

Tusker House breakfast! I went with Nate in January and have been talking about it ever since. This was a last minute plan and I'm excited to eat delicious breakfast with Donald and the gang! 

Now I will countdown until I get a Dole Whip in my hand!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

It's Been Longer Than Expected

I haven't written in almost 2 months. I guess a part of me just hasn't had much to say. Another part has a ton to say. Then there's the part that is scared to say anything.

The winter took it's toll on me. I've been super depressed and anxious for such a long time that I don't know how to go about living without it. I keep telling myself to go outside and enjoy the sun and the warmth that we've waited months for. The thought makes me so stressed that I stay inside.

When the Black Cat race got cancelled a huge part of me was relieved. I wasn't running...at all. It took away some stress and negative feelings by not having it.

A few weeks later I did go up to Salem to take on the Nutty Irish 5k Cocoa Run. I enjoyed myself even though it was snowing and had some harsh conditions to go through. The run was on a golf course. A golf course that was covered in snow. (Keep in mind as snow melts and it gets cold again it turns to ice.) There were some steep hills to go up and down, but we did it! I let Carrick finish ahead of me for his first 5k. He's been training a lot better than me so I was fine taking my time.

Our next step is the Expedition Everest Challenge next week! I'm in desperate need of a vacation. I'm excited to experience Carrick's first trip to Disney with him! It's going to be a great time.

Last week I went into Boston to participate in the run group She Runs Boston. I've never gone to any sort of group runs, but I gave it a shot. I was alone so it was a little weird because I didn't know anyone. I chose to do the 3-mile run. I haven't been training so I didn't choose the 4-mile group. They believe in a no one gets left behind mentality which is awesome. If you need to walk, you walk. If you want to run a 7 minute mile you go! I got to talking with a couple of girls about half way through as we did a run-walk. They were newer runners and none of us had a time limit on ourselves. I can't go back for 2 weeks, but this is something I want to try to go to consistently.

And yesterday was the Boston Marathon! I headed to the finish line so I could catch the elite runners finish. This is something I've set out to do, but always miss by minutes. The weather wasn't going to be so great and I didn't have any close friends running so I wasn't planning on staying there for long. It was great to see the wheelchair athletes and the elite runners finish. They are super speedy! It was a wonderful day in Boston regardless of the weather. I'm so proud of anyone who participated in the marathon! It is quite the accomplishment!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Cancelled Races Are All The Rage

Tuesday I received an email that the Black Cat 10- or 20-miler was going to be postponed. There is so much snow everywhere it is causing major safety concerns. A lot of races have been cancelled lately in the area so I almost expected this.

Yesterday we got word that the event is cancelled.

I can understand the reasoning why. I've wanted to do this run for awhile now so I'm slightly disappointed, but it's okay.

While refunds are not being provided, they are offering a discount code towards any of their other races. They are also allowing you to pick up your bibs, shirts, and extra merchandise that you paid for.

A part of me is really relieved. I haven't been training since completing the Dopey Challenge. The weather is not helping either.

The next thing up on my list is a 5k, happening in Salem at the end of March. I'm looking forward to doing that run. It will be the first run for Carrick and the first time that Nate will be with me running, not just watching.

I'm looking forward to getting outside and running. Hopefully some snow will melt away so that is more available for me.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

It's Still Snowing!

I haven't written in almost a month. It's snowing again. If I never see another snowflake I'd be happy.

The Black Cat 10-miler is coming up really quickly and I've barely run. The snow makes it next to impossible to run outside. I'm sorry it is way too cold and I don't plan on dying by getting hit by a car on the narrow roads. I've run a couple of times at the gym, but it hasn't been too consistent.

Hopefully I'll be able to get it more together soon.

Unless it's still snowing in April!

Everyday I'm getting more excited for Disney by the minute. I decided to buy an annual pass last night. Prices went up today (good lord!) so I went to my local Disney Store to get the pass. I'm planning on going down at least twice in the next year so it makes sense to have the pass.

I'll just continue to dream about Disney during this winter.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snow Day!

Snow days seemed more exciting when I was a kid. The snow isn't interrupting my work schedule. I left about 15 minutes early yesterday, I was already off today, and I don't go in until 1:30 tomorrow so a 12 pm opening isn't exactly inconvenient.

I've laid around all day. I'm not going to lie.

Then I decided to start the Commit to You Challenge on Gaiam TV. I did 1 hour of yoga tonight. It was challenging. (I could never do crow pose before. I can't do it now.) I am tight in my hip flexors (not a surprise). My knee is also still sore. Hopefully I get it together soon.

Hopefully this challenge will help with my anxiety lately. I can tell you my lacking of unpacking and putting things away is not helping. I'm taking this one day at a time.

I'm also going to try a Barre class again on Monday night. I was suppose to go last night, but the building had a gas leak or something. Plus the snow. It was probably better to just go home and stay there. I have done Barre once before and found it challenging, but good. I liked how I felt afterwards. (You know the pain that just feels good.)

I'll be going back to lounging around again. It'll be needed.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dopey Challenge Numbers

I don't want to go into how I felt about the whole challenge. Why? Because I felt great. It was awesome. I'm still excited about it. 

A few days after the challenge ended, Runner's World put out the results of the Dopey Challenge and ranked everyone. (You see the results here.) According to them I placed 5,160 out of 6,397 finishers. My times looked like this:

5k: 36:57
10k: 1:28:37
Half: 3:13:32
Full: 6:48:01
Total: 12:07:07

Cool. That took a lot of time for someone to do. Disney only put out the Dopey results alphabetically by last name. There were no gender places or division places or even total time.

Today I saw another post from RunKnitTravel. They also posted more broken down results. (You can view it here.) According to their information there was 7,500 people signed up for the Dopey Challenge. (This came from the volunteers at the races. I actually saw a paper with this number on it.) Here's how those numbers changed throughout the 4 days:

5k: 6,826 finishers
3,498 females
3,327 males

10k: 6,800 finishers
3,482 females
3,318 males

Half: 6,749 finishers
3,446 females
3,303 males

Full: 6,488 finishers
3,283 females
3,205 males

1,102 people started, but did not finish

There is a slight discrepancy on how many people did finish all together between both sources. There also may have been less than 7,500 people who were actually signed up. (I think that if it was not an even number it would be more confusing for volunteers to share the information.) I do find it interesting to see how many people finished on each day and to see how the numbers drop. People won't finish for all sorts of reasons. Maybe they just don't show up. Maybe there's an emergency that pulls them from the races. They may get hurt along the way. They may choose to drop out. They may get swept. 

Just a little insight into what the weekend looked like for people.

Walt Disney World Marathon

Day 4.

This is it.

The big one.

The Marathon!

I headed out to the race alone. Nate would come out later on, but there was no need for him to be there super early again. I was more awake surprisingly for this run. I checked a bag with my jacket in it, but I was wearing a tank top for the run. The day would be warmer than before. The news was reporting rain, but not until later on in the day.

Marathon Course!

I would be running through all 4 parks today along with Wide World of Sports and the Disney Speedway. The first half of the course is pretty similar to the half course. . I did get to run through the castle unlike during the half. I also stopped for a picture in front of the castle. 

Courtesy of Marathonfoto

I also got a picture with the White Rabbit. (I seem to get a picture with him a lot.)

Courtesy of Marathonfoto

The big difference with the half and full course is running along the speedway. A lot of people hate the speedway, but I like it. You can't run on a race track normally and I've grown up with cars so I think that it's cool. 

Courtesy of Marathonfoto

From Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom there is a lot of highway. It can be a little boring, but not too bad. This is where I took my second picture of the day, with the villains!

These are my people!

I feel like we entered the backroads to Animal Kingdom a lot earlier than I remember. I wish we ran through this park more, but most of the runners get there around park opening so it makes sense. I had no idea what my pace really was because I had made a bathroom stop and added a half mile onto my mileage. I knew that I wanted to ride Expedition Everest during the marathon. I didn't do it before and I don't plan on doing another marathon so this was my chance. I got into the single rider line and I was on there!

You don't get to ride a roller coaster during your marathon?

Woo hoo!

It gave me a boost. I was feeling amazing. This was probably my favorite time on this ride. I smiled and laughed the whole time. I did get cold, but warmed back up quickly. I wish there wasn't so much construction going on at this park, but I can get over it. They do have a lot of signs on the walls for people to take pictures with and upload.

Can you tell that those trees are fake behind me?
Courtesy of Marathonfoto

Remember the rain I had mentioned? On the highway to Wide World of Sports the rain came down. I knew that Nate was there somewhere, but I didn't want to ruin my phone so I had to hope I'd see him.The rain stopped, but started again. It was actually nice to get a cool down. It did get a little harder which made it harder to see with rain in your face, but nothing too bad. I walked a lot of Wide World of Sports until they gave out a banana which helped get my energy back up. Soon after, I saw Nate which was awesome. 

Soon I was heading towards Hollywood Studios. I was interested in seeing how the course would be now that the Backlot Tour is closed and you run through it. Through the costume tunnel they had fog and strobe lights. I hated it. I just pushed through the tunnel and was so excited to see light! There is construction going on here too including the Magic Hat. I'm glad I got a few pictures before the hat got the wall around it, but soon the parks will be redone and look great. 

Courtesy of Marathonfoto

After leaving Hollywood Studios we went along the Yacht and Beach Club. There are always a lot of people out and about here. It's nice to get the spectator support here too. 

Soon we were in Epcot. I honestly was ready to be done running, but was so excited that I was so close to finishing another marathon. I saw Nate again on the bridge heading into Future World. He asked if I wanted a doughnut. (Have you ever seen the doughnuts in this place? They are huge!!!) I said "No! I want to be finished!" In reality that is I want to finish and have a doughnut. (I did not get a doughnut.) Getting to mile 26 and seeing that choir, knowing that throughout the doors are people cheering you on as you make your way to the finish is a feeling that I can't fully describe. It is amazing! It is emotional! It is the moment you can just stop and be thankfully for everything. Finishing was amazing. I cried a little. I was so thankful to every single volunteer. I got my medal. I got my ice. I got a wet towel (which I hear are pricey). 

Courtesy of Marathonfoto
Courtesy of Marathonfoto

Remember when I said that no one knew what we were suppose to do without bracelets? Now was the first time the tent for Goofy/Dopey was being used for anything outside of herding us through! There was someone looking at our bibs and then a computer. (I'm guessing it was a picture from the expo and our times that we finished the previous 3 days? I should have turned around to see.) Hearing them say "Congratulations. You're all set." was the best. Next I got my Goofy and Dopey medals! There may have been a tear or two again.

Courtesy of Marathonfoto

And then food! Precious food! I got my gEAR bag for the final time and met up with Nate.

What nice volunteers!

5 mile: 1:14:34
10 mile: 2:36:17
Half: 3:28:49
20 mile: 5:10:48
Finish: 6:48:01
Clock Time: 7:28:24

Place: 17,024/19,970
Division: 1,433/1,731 (W25-29)
Gender: 8,325/10,285 (Women)

We went back to the hotel and grabbed some food. I took a little nap before showering and heading to my family's hotel. From there we went to Magic Kingdom to hang out for a little bit. Nate and I had dinner reservations for Be Our Guest later that night so we got in a few rides before hand.
Hey guys!

Dinner was delicious as always. We got to ride the Mine Train one last time on the way out of the park.  It was a great week. Running this challenge was amazing. Everything was great. I'm happy that I did this. 

Will I do this again? I've said no. Then again never say never right?

4 days of greatness.

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

All the sudden I was entering day 3 of the Dopey Challenge, the half marathon. I remember feeling super tired. (I also remember almost falling asleep standing in the corrals.) Nate got up early with me and came to the start. He was going to head to Magic Kingdom and then back to the finish to see me.

Half Marathon Route

After hanging around for a little while I headed over to the corrals. I was in corral L for the half and the marathon. All I can remember is closing my eyes and knowing that I wanted to sleep. I knew that I couldn't though. My game plan for the half was to take it easy and walk a lot of the course. I was also feeling a little sick. (Did I mention I was sick the night before? Yeah…awesome.) Soon we were at the start line and off we went.

Starting line!

We headed out of the parking lot towards Magic Kingdom. I think running through the parking gate towards Magic Kingdom is one of my favorite parts. We've all driven through the gates that say Magic Kingdom on top and this would be the first of two days that I would be running (or walking) through them. After you pass through these gates you head towards the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) and the Contemporary. Nate was at the TTC to see me which was great. It was a nice pick me up. After the TTC, you have to go under a water bridge which is pretty cool. They always have a DJ with huge Mickey gloves on to get you up (as one runner called it over the weekend) "Disney's Heartbreak Hill". (I've run Heartbreak Hill, this is nothing.)

One of the best parts of this course is coming in a side entrance to Magic Kingdom onto Main Street. The street is lined with spectators and this is your first glimpse of Cinderella's Castle. The castle is lit up, but it depends on when you get to Magic Kingdom if you see it lit up in the dark or in the light. Today was light when I arrived. Nate had said that he was by the Christmas tree, but I hadn't seen him. So he headed towards the castle to see me.

On the way to Tomorrowland!

From Main Street you head into Tomorrowland before heading back towards the castle. I had seen Buzz Lightyear in Tomorrowland and the Queen of Hearts by the Teacups. I wasn't stopping for any pictures today so I kept on trucking by. Soon we came up on the back part of the castle. Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff were out there with fake snow again saying hi to everyone.

They're trying to take over Cindy's castle!

Running through the castle is usually the coolest part of the route. Today I hated it. All the sudden everyone just stopped inside. They were taking pictures inside of the castle which I didn't expect until I almost stepped on a photographer. I didn't get to run out of the castle and get a fun photo like I have before because everyone was walking. They were taking photos in front of the castle as well, but I didn't head over there. I did see Nate and gave him my jacket now that I was warming up. I kept going and headed over to Liberty Square and towards Adventureland before heading out of the park. 

Now we were on our way back to Epcot.

Epcot this way!

We were half way through the half marathon. I was almost done with day 3 of the challenge. Whoa! I had read on a Facebook group that there was someone dressed as Richard Simmons doing the Dopey Challenge. I didn't really believe it until I saw him on the starting screen while waiting for the start. I ended up texting Carrick about it. (We send each other Richard Simmons memes for motivation.) All the sudden I heard something. I turned to my right. There he was! I laughed and it helped me move more! He was great. I wish I ran with him more! 

Soon we were back in Epcot and almost done! Nate was at the finish line waiting for me and I was thrilled to be done. I grabbed some ice on the way out and headed to the reunion area. I was done with day 3.

Courtesy of Marathonfoto

10k: 1:37:49
15k: 2:19:53
Finish: 3:13:32
Clock Time: 3:54:16

Place: 16,683/22,081
Division: 1,230/1,697 (W 25-29)
Gender: 8,605/12,379 (Women)

Only the toughest pose with ice!
We met with my family later that day for lunch and hung out at Magic Kingdom for a little bit. Nate and I headed back to our hotel early. I was ready for bed and head to get up one last time super early. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Walt Disney World 10k

Day two of the Dopey Challenge was the Walt Disney World 10k. I've never done the 10k in Disney before, mostly because it was just introduced last year during Marathon Weekend. The course was similar to the 5k with an out and back on the highway and running along the Boardwalk. I know that people don't necessarily love this course, but I didn't think too much about it. (A runDisney employee even told me the 10k route wasn't good.) Spoiler: Not my favorite route. The out and back was boring and going into Epcot (near the Test Track back entrance) was really dark. I wouldn't rule out running the 10k again, but I don't want to go out of my way to run it.
10k route in red
The morning of the 10k was warmer and less windy than the 5k, but a lot of us still huddle inside the tent like the previous morning. After waiting around before moving to the corrals I finally got to the start line. The time in between corrals was longer today. 

Start line!

There were different characters along the course today. The White Rabbit was at the turn around on the highway, but he was kind of far down the street still. It was kind of weird. Lilo and Stitch were out. I was going to stop, but there were long lines again everywhere. Anna and Elsa made their first appearance this weekend on the overpass. When you got close enough to them you could see snow falling! (It was actually really cool and the same snow you'd find on a mountain. It was cold when it landed on you!)

Anna & Elsa made it snow

I stopped for Mushu from Mulan.

Courtesy of Marathonfoto

I also saw football player Mickey, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb, Genie, baseball player Chip and Dale, a few dancers on stilts, and a couple large puppets (which were along the mile 20 during the 2013 marathon).

The finish line was at the same parking lot as the 5k. (Spoiler alert: its the same spot for the finish for the half and the full too.) After I got my medal and my snacks (did I mention these are the best snack boxes Disney has offered!?!) I headed to the bus back to the hotel. 

Finish Line
Courtesy of Marathonfoto

5k: 38:15
Finish: 1:28:37
Clock: 1:59:30

Place: 7,311/10,949
Division: 489/743 (W 25-29)
Gender: 3,710/6,309 (Women)

Look at that medal!

After the 10k we headed over to Animal Kingdom to have breakfast at Tusker House. I've never eaten here before and I'm so glad that we did. We got to meet Donald, Goofy, Daisy, and Minnie decked out in safari gear. It's a buffet, so you can eat as much as you want! This is also a great time to try something new. I'm a big fan of the juice that they offer you. I'm a bigger fan of the Krispy Kreme doughnut holes! I recommend this character breakfast to anyone and everyone! I'm already thinking when can I go back.

With Donald at Tusker House

Next up, the half marathon!