May 31, 2013

The Little Blue Box.

In late April I saw all kinds of tweets about the Nike Woman’s Half Marathon in D.C. and the little blue box you get instead of a finishers medal. What?? A Tiffany necklace instead of a medal you say?? I think I might need to get in on that! I mean I always wish I could get away with wearing my medals a lot more and this way I totally can!

Lucky for me there just so happens to be another Nike Women’s race later this year in San Francisco and it will be the 10th anniversary of the race so there is speculation circulating around that the necklace will be even nicer for this race. That’s it! I’m in!! 

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Not so fast! After the initial excitement of adding some awesome new bling to my collection settled down the reality started to settle in. First of all I can’t just sign up and get in, like I’m use to, because they do a lottery system. This was bittersweet for me. I’m kind of big on fate so if I enter into the lottery and I get in it was meant to be, and if not maybe I just wasn’t ready yet. Simple, right?

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Well this is me we are talking about, so of course I’m going to over think it to death. I even made a nice list of pros and cons to obsess over.

Pros:

  • Little blue box
  • Bragging rights for tackling a tough course
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  • Another half under my belt
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  • Running from union station to the golden gate bridge!
  • Did I mention the little blue box?

Cons:

  • The hills!!
  • Expenses for the race
  • Expenses to travel for the race
  • It’s a month before Rock N Roll Las Vegas and I’m afraid I’ll lose interest in training between the two races and I have high hopes for Vegas

So what did I decide? Actually I haven’t yet. Part of me says sign up for the lottery and secretly hope I don’t get picked and at least I can say I tried, and another part of me says to pass on it this year and reconsider it next year. I honestly probably wont make a final decision until I either register or registration closes.

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Is there a little blue box in your future? Want to talk me into or out of it?

May 30, 2013

Stop the Presses!

After this year’s Princess I decided that I wasn’t going to run it next year and open myself up to other options, like the Wine & Dine half. Then I received an early morning text from Patty telling me I HAD to do Princess this year because the great folks at runDisney are going to give out a special PINK coast to coast medal for completing both Tinker Bell and Princess in the same year!! WHAT??? I already have two coast to coast medals, but those are the regular ones, now I neeeed a pink one. Really I do.

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After running the numbers, plotting and planning I decided I just couldn’t pull it off and planned to stick with my original plan of running Tinker Bell, Disneyland Half, and the Wine & Dine half. Done. That’s the plan. Well guess what, now runDisney is offering the option to get BOTH coast to coast medals if you go coast to coast twice!! Are you serious? Two coast to coast medals in the same year? Total game changer. I mean if I was already planning to run 3 of the 4 required races I might as well add the 4th and get even more bling, right?

Will I or wont I, that is the question.

Will you be taking the challenge and go coast to coast twice in 2014? 

May 28, 2013

Day 1 of Whole 30

Don’t worry I am not going to give you a day by day play, as I am just not that interesting, but since yesterday was day one I thought I would share what I ate and my first experiences and thoughts on the program.
I woke up feeling good, since I already wrote up a day by day menu plan I knew I would be having a banana *pancake* and a smoothie for breakfast. I’m normally a moody eater, but it was nice to not have to make a decision and just follow my menu. The pancake was simply 2 mashed bananas, 2 eggs, and about 1/3 cup chopped walnuts. The recipe asked for almond butter but I wasn’t able to find any that did not have sugar added to them, and I didn’t feel like making my own. I actually think I liked the walnuts better since it gave it some more texture. I used a bag of frozen organic fruit with almond milk for the smoothie and I wasn’t that impressed with it. It didn’t taste very fruity and more just watered down.

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Once lunch rolled around I was in a little bit of trouble. I didn’t really plan lunches that well and counted on mainly eating leftovers, and since it was day 1 there were no leftovers yet. Luckily I did buy some mahi mahi that I seasoned, covered in lemon slices and baked. It was okay but I am honestly not a big fish fan so I didn’t love it. Next time I think I will grill it and I am sure I will like it much better. I really should have had a vegetable as side, but I am not a huge raw vegetable fan and didn’t really have the time to roast any so I had some fresh pineapple and strawberries instead. I love fresh pineapple, but I have to be careful not to eat too much or the acid in it make the inside of my mouth raw!

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A couple hours after lunch I ran into a little problem. The program says to try to not snack, but around 3 I was so hungry so I had a handful of cashews and a few grapes. I’m not really a 3 meals a day kind of person because I don’t normally eat big meals. I seem to get full pretty fast, but then I get hungry again pretty quickly as well. Luckily my little snack got me through till dinner. For dinner we had a simple taco salad. I made the seasoning from various spices in my pantry, added it to my meat, put that on top of some baby spinach, top with guacamole and dinner is served. 

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Please don’t mind the mess. I started eating it before I took the pic.
After dinner I found myself hungry again, and I knew that there were some Mounds ice cream bars in the freezer in the garage. Luckily I had the will power to grab some apples from the fridge instead. So all in all I feel it was a successful day. I’m not sure I will be able to make it without snacks, and honestly I’m not sure I even want to, but other then that the program feels doable.

May 25, 2013

My Thoughts On and Concerns with Starting Whole 30

Monday is the day that I am starting on my Whole 30 journey. If you are not familiar with what Whole 30 is it is basically a very strict 30 day paleo eating program. The basics are no (added) sugar, no alcohol, no dairy, no grains, no soy and no legumes for a whole 30 days. If you are interested in the ins and outs of it you can read more about it on their website Whole9.com.
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I’ve been interested in the paleo lifestyle for several months now so when my friend Julie, from Run. Walk. FASTPASS. Repeat, mentioned that  she would be doing Whole 30 in early June I vowed to join her. As life would have it our schedules didn’t line up so I am starting a week before she does but I feel the support will still be there and maybe I will have some advice for her as she starts her journey.
I have spent several hours this week getting my very detailed menu plan ready and if I can stick to it 100% I will be golden. Where are my concerns you ask? Well,  here they come right now. My biggest concern is cost. I am a stay at home mom with a family of 6, and since moving to California our grocery bill has already almost DOUBLED! This is with some organic items, like fruit, veggies and eggs, and conventional meets. I am not sure I will be able to move to 100% grass fed, free range products like I would like to. A good thing about Whole30, though, is that they realize this can be an issue so they give you a list of best, better, and good options. I am hopeful I can work with my current budget and still stick with the program.
My next concern is finding products that are Whole30 compliant. I have done quite a bit of research and I have found that sugar is added to EVERYTHING! Luckily I have seen a couple bloggers report that they have been very successful purchasing from Target and Wholefoods and I happen to have both of them available to me so I am hopeful I can make it work, but it will take more work on my part to hunt the products down.
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My last concern is that I will actually be able to stick with it for the entire 30 days. Part of me feels that it isn’t that different than how I have been eating. Generally for dinner I have a lean protein source and a veggie. That will not change, so I am good there. Now giving up cheese, that will be the challenge.
I feel that in order to be successful I have to not over think it and just take it one day at a time. So that is what I plan to do and I am hoping that at the end of the 30 days  I can report that all these worries for nothing. 

May 21, 2013

Putting the Fun Back in My Run

I have been struggling lately. My runs have not been going well and I just can’t seem to get my heart back into it. I feel like I am stuck in a vicious cycle. I have a bad run, I feel down about it, I try to over analyze it and that makes me feel even worse about it. I don’t want to run because it went so bad so I don’t for about a week then I decide to just get out there and guess what?? Yep another bad run.
I felt the best way to cure this is to allow running to be fun again. I am not training for anything at the moment so I feel it is the perfect time to go naked. Yep drop my watch, forget the mileage, the pace and all the other things I keep track of and just head out the door, just me and the iPod. Run when I feel like running and walk when I feel like walking. Go as far or as little and as fast or slow as I feel like going, and be okay with it. Believe it or not this is how I started out running and here I am almost 4 years later still doing it so it couldn’t have been all that bad.
To add a little extra fun I have added a couple “novelty” 5ks to my summer lineup. On June 14th I’ll be in Irvine for the Neon Splash Dash with Officer P, his brother and his brother’s wife. Then the end of July I will be here in Fresno doing the Neon Night Run with a couple members of my Mom’s Run This Town Chapter!! I am hoping that by doing a few fun (non-timed) races I can remind myself why I liked to run in the first place. I am hoping this will be the refresh I need before starting half marathon training again the first part of September.   

May 18, 2013

If You Do What You Always Did . . .

Well, you all know the rest. When I came in with a 2:36 at the Tinker Bell Half in 2012 I set a goal for this year to make sub 2:30. It seemed very realistic considering that was a 21 minute PR for me so cutting off 6 more minutes shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Well, I have already completed three races this year and I am getting farther away from that goal instead of closer.
Sure my life has been turned upside down and my training lacking, so it shouldn’t be a surprise, and really isn’t, but that didn’t change that fact that my confidence has a been shaken. Now I find myself doubting my ability, my drive, and my determination to hit my goal, and honestly it’s kind of a lonely place to be. I have decided I really only have 2 choices here. Either I wallow in self-pity or I give myself a swift kick in the pants and shake things up a bit and I have decided to go with the latter.
Usually in the summer I try to do some strength training while still running 3 days a week, keeping the mileage pretty low (3-5 miles) due to the temps. Well that lasts for a little while and I end up dropping the strength training and just running and nothing really changes or improves, so this time I’m going for something kind of different.
A few months ago I read the book New Rules of Lifting for Women and was really intrigued by it, but at that time in my life it wasn’t practical for me. Now that things have changed I think I am ready to give it a try. In a nutshell it is lifting heavy, alternating 2 workouts, 3 days a week. Seems to be right up my ally. Although honestly the lifting heavy for me wont be that heavy, but it will give me something to work towards outside of running. For the first 5-6 weeks there is no cardio so I may or may not comply with that part of the program, but I am going to try real hard to stick with it and give it a fair chance. I plan to really back off on the running and limit it to one or two short speed work sessions a week, and maybe alternate spin in there, which I have never done before but am eager to try! I will be starting this program on May 27th, since that is when I will be added to Officer P’s gym membership and I’m pretty excited about it. One of my favorite parts? It’s about 45 minutes for a whole body workout. I can totally do that, even when I don’t want to.
Also in June I am going to attempt Whole30. I say attempt because I do not do well on overly restrictive plans and usually only make it a week or so, but lately I have not been feeling great and I do believe it is directly related to what I have been putting into my body. I am hoping that by making these changes I can regain my confidence, lose some of the weight I gained while we were “displaced” and get back on track to meeting my sub 2:30 goal in November.
So there you go. I have a plan. Now all I have to do is stick to it.
How do you rebuild your confidence after it has been shaken? How do you deal with disappointing races? How do you move on and come back even stronger?
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May 15, 2013

What I've Been Up To

As you can see I gave my blog a new look. When I first decided to bring it back I did a quick search for templates and I found that cute template on The Cutest Blog on the Block, but the more I looked at it the more I found things that I just didn't like about it so I decided to go ahead and design my own header and background so that it was just how I wanted it. I am sure I will revise it a few times, but for now I am pretty happy with it.



On the fitness front I took my traditional week off after the race and started TapouT XT on Monday. I forgot how hard the DVDs in this program are and I am still sore from Monday's "Combat Core" workout. I also decided to log back into My Fitness Pal and track my food again, for any of you who use it I am Summermom24. I hate counting calories and tracking what I eat, but sometimes it is a necessary evil. All of the hotel living and eating out everyday has me at about 16 pounds up from what I weighed in September, so I need to get back on track and the best way to do that is to make a solid plan so that is what I am doing. I am eating 3 small meals and 3 snack a day focusing on clean/ whole foods, drinking my water and trying to workout 4-5 days a week. At this time these are all obtainable goals for me. I am also joining my friend Julie from Run. Walk. Fastpass. Repeat in a 30 day squat, crunch and plank challenge. Today is day 1 and I am excited to get started. I think the accountability will be good for me, and if I don't do anything else you better believe I will get my squats, crunches and planks in, and after having 4 kids I sure do need them.

I am also officially in the off season so my next half isn't until Oct or Nov. I have my eye on a few novelty 5Ks that I would like to do over the summer, but I will be keeping the mileage pretty low so I am looking for other forms of cardio to supplement in there and this is where I turn to you. I would love to hear what your off season workouts look like! What do you focus on and how do you feel it helps your running when you look at the big picture?

May 8, 2013

I Ran Like a Diva . . . and I Liked It!!

I was a little apprehensive about doing this race and the number one reason for that was that it was NOT Disney. Up until this point I had only done Disney races. I knew what to expect at Disney races and more importantly I knew I fit in there. I was afraid that Diva would have more serious runners and I just wouldn’t be able to hack it. I was also afraid that I might get bored without all the bells and whistles a Disney race has to offer, but I am glad to say that none of this was the case.
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I woke up at 5:30, which was a great plus since Disney races usually start around that time, and walked down to the start with just about 20 minutes to spare. Another big plus since Disney usually has you waiting in the corrals for at least an hour before start time.  The whole corral system, or lack there of was quite a bit confusing to me. The corrals were not sectioned off at all, as in there were people stand and walking around every where, spectators and runners alike.  We had a moment of silence for Boston, the National Anthem played and off we went. They had photographers right at the start line and I thought was cool, but I only saw them at 3 spots along the whole course, the start and finish lines and one other place so I was a little disappointed by that.
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Since we ran down the street in front of our hotel my mom came down and took a couple of pics of me just before the mile 1 mark. I lined up with the 10:01-11 min/mil group and it seemed to be a good fit for the first few miles, in fact some of the people were quite a bit slower then me but I tried to stay behind them as much as I could to help slow me down those first few miles. I saw the mile 1 marker and tweetd my first #run3rd dedication. I had intended to tweet one at every mile marker but I didn’t see another one until mile 4 so I just tweeted the others going off my watch and/or hearsay.
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It was one of those out and back type courses so once I saw a steady stream of runners heading back towards us I was feeling pretty good. Miles 3-6 were very consistent for me, right at a 11:57 pace each, which would be really close to a PR for me. I was feeling pretty good and comfortable and then came mile 7 and I was starving!! I always have issues eating early in the morning and it always tends to haunt me around 6-7 miles in. I had purchased a pouch of apple and banana baby food the night before and sucked it down very quickly. It helped me for a bit but I wish I had had another at mile 10. It was also at this time that “Almost There” came on my iPod. It really seems to like the 9-10 mile mark because even though I have it on shuffle it always seems to come on around that time.
After mile 10 I was struggling quite a bit. I was tired and hungry. I knew my mom and #1 & #2 were waiting by the hotel for me to pass by again so I sent my mom a text telling her where I was and that I was trying to get there. I finally came up to the mile 12 mark and there was a man standing on the street telling me to finish strong and I am pretty sure I gave him a death stare as I went by. I turned the corner and there they were, waving at me!!
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I am not as happy as I look!
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I gave the girls a hug and on my way I went again. My mom yelled out to me to let me know that Officer P and #3 & #4 were waiting for me at the pier!! Since I was already past mile 12 it could be that far away so I started running again. It seemed farther then I remembered from the pervious days but finally there they were!! I went up and gave “Puppy Lover” (#3) and “the Boy” (#4) hugs as well and told them I was almost done and I’ll be right back!!. Next thing I knew “Puppy Lover” was running along side me!!. They then cut off and told me they were going to try and beat me to the finish line. I thought that was rude Winking smile. I came up to the feather boa and tiara station, quickly grabbed my goodies and to the finish line I went!! There is this crazy rumor that shirtless firefighters are at the finish line to give you your medal and I can confirm that the rumors are 100% true!!! Although I don’t think they were real firefighters, at least none of the ones I’ve seen.
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And waited in line to take a picture with him!!!!
I got my medal from him!!!
I went on to get my rose and glass of champagne and by the time I got done with all of that my family was texting me wondering where I was so I grabbed a bagel and cookie and met back up with them. It was really nice to see them all out there to support me and there is just something about witnessing a race that inspires people!! “Artsy Girl” has now declared that she wants to do another 5k and  #2 has decided she wants to join her!! All in all I would say it was a very fun and successful race! Regardless of what the clock said!
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Shhh, I wasn’t walking down the street with an open container!!
NOTE: If you would like to read my mile by mile #run3rd dedications you can do so here. I wanted to use that post to share their stories and this one to share mine. 

May 6, 2013

#Run3rd Diva Style

This was my very first official, unofficial #run3rd race. As I mentioned in my Princess Half recap I have done #run3rd dedications before, but this was the first time I asked for others to give me dedications and got them!! Each request was so personal and so inspirational so I really wanted to help share their stories and that is what I hope to do here.
I set my alarm for 5:35, which was a nice change from the 2:30 I usually set it for runDisney races, and woke up just before it went off. I got up and dressed and with my #run3rd post-it in hand I was ready to head out to the start line.
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As I was walking to the start line another runner, who was staying at the same hotel as me, had seen my #run3rd patch and asked me what the #run3rd was all about. I was so excited to explain it all to her and we ended up chatting the whole mile to the start line. She just so happened to be a runDisney enthusiast too and has a pretty impressive resume.
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As we came up to the start line I wished my new friend luck and lined up with the 10:01-11 min./mil group. It was a bit ambitious, but not out of the realm of possibility for me. The corral system was very different than what I was use to and it was really weird to see spectators walking around between the runners, but it was very nice to only have a 20 minute wait until the race started. We had a moment of silence for Boston, the National Anthem played and we were off. 
I ran mile 1 for Super Jake, my good friend Patty’s son who is “forever 4”. Mile 2 was ran for a fellow #run3rd runner’s Aunt Nadine who is battling cancer for a second time, and mile 3 was for the animals living in shelters in need of a forever home. Between mile 2 & mile 3 this was the beautiful view I had. You know what is even more amazing? We ran to the base of that bridge before we turned around and came back! Now that puts the mileage into perspective.
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Also right around this time I was thinking what is this life?? I mean I get to do this and with a back drop like that! How many people get to say that??
I had decided to dedicate mile 4 to all of those effected by the tragedy that happened in Boston, in honor of the 4 hours shown on the clock at the time that the bomb went off. Mile 5 was dedicated to fellow runDisney lover Julie’s friend Viv and all of those battling breast cancer. Mile 6 was dedicated to my friend Allison’s son, Cloudy, who was diagnosed semi-recently with  Muscular Dystrophy. This one really hit close to home for me since Cloudy is only a 3 months older than my own son and I remember us comparing notes as they both grew and developed.
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Mile 7 was ran for mental illness, for awareness, education and for treatment. Mile 8 was ran for another April ‘05 mom’s sister who recently underwent a mastectomy and has had some complications requiring additional surgeries.  Mile 9 was requested by another fellow #run3rder and was for Wendy and Nicole. Wendy was a former teacher of Nicole’s and she recently donated her kidney to her former student. You can read all about the amazing story here.
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Notice my #run3rd post-it note?
Mile 10 was ran at the request of  yet another April ‘05 moms. What can I say, they are a big part of my life. This request was for her oldest daughter’s high school boyfriend who is battling brain cancer. It happened to also be his 20th birthday so I felt so honored to dedicate a mile to him on this special day. 
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Mile 11 was my own dedication to my dad, who I lost 8 years ago in a motorcycle accident. I purposely put him at mile 11 because that has been my wall lately, and when I looked down to my post-it and saw it was for him I almost started crying, which isn’t good for your breathing in case you were wondering. I contributed my brief lack of composer to many factors including the fact that I am a super emotional person to begin with and that April 27th was 8th anniversary of his accident. That coupled with being so tired from running and Carrie Underwood singing “So Small” on the iPod I never stood a chance. 
Mile 12 was for my friend April’s son Chris, who she lost as a baby. Mile 13.1 was for Pixie, my 7 year old boxer who kicked cancer to the curb this March. Yes, you read that right there really is a Pixie and she does sometimes run with me! And just like that I found myself crossing the finish line!! It wasn’t my fastest race, in fact it was almost my slowest, but it was a very personal and inspirational race for me and I wouldn’t change a thing.
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Have you ever heard that shirtless men hand out the medals at the Diva half? Well it’s a true story!
What other race gives you a tiara, feather boa, red rose and a glass of champagne??

May 5, 2013

Diva San Francisco Boutique Fun!!

Since traveling for a race tends to amp me up a bit, if it is at all possible I try to travel and hit the expo on Friday leaving Saturday as a time to hang out and take it easy. That is exactly what I did this time as well. We got to our hotel, the Hilton, right about 4, which was the same time that the boutique (Diva’s name for their expo) started. We got all checked in and headed up to our rooms to find this as our 14th floor view!!
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After settling into our rooms we headed down to the path that follows along the bay and walked the 2 miles to the Marriot where the expo was being held. The kids were all troopers and made the long trip with few complaints. Officer P and “the Boy” decided it would be too girly for them so they went down by the water while us girls went up to get my bib and check out the [very] small boutique. I walked in and picked up my bib with no line!! Then headed straight over to find the Team Sparkle booth since I had promised, via Twitter, that I would stop by and look who I found there!
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It’s Kelly from According to Kelly and co-owner of Team Sparkle!!
Next stop was the Diva lounge to get my pic taken with none other than diva extraordinaire Honey Loquacious. He was a total blast and quite a bit chatty! !
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After that we browsed a few of the booths but nothing really caught my attention so we met back up with Officer P and “the Boy” and walked down a few buildings to have some dinner. Once again we had a beautiful view just outside our window.
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With my expo goodies in hand and a full belly we decided to take a sunset walk back to the hotel for the night.
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My bib, nylon drawstring bag, and race shirt!

May 2, 2013

The Race I Became a *Real* Runner Part III Princess Half Recap

I’ll be honest this race was rough for me. I trained in Houston all summer so I was use to humidity, but still the 95% humidity and 70 degree weather at the start line got to me a bit. I knew before I even started running that I would not be getting a PR.

I kept on trucking and I was doing okay. Not great, but also not as bad as I expected. The first part of the race was not all that eventful, but one of my favorite parts is when we head down Main Street around mile 5. I stopped here and had a volunteer take a picture for me in front of the castle, but unfortunately even though she took 3 they all came out blurry. Thankfully I checked them as I ran into Tomorrowland so I decided I would have to stop for a professional castle pic when I got there. This is where being in corral B comes in handy; I was able to run right up to one of the 4 photographers with no waiting and I was off on my way. Although as fate would have it, that one turned out horrible too. I looked really stiff and weird and it was too dark to see the castle so I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. Not long after leaving the Magic Kingdom we hit the half way mark where this sign was, and the theme song for this year was playing!

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Normally I don’t see anyone during a race. I really get tunnel vision and I have been known to miss most of the course entertainment, including things like characters and choirs! Yes I have missed that very large choir just before mile 13 in the past. Shameful, I know. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw Sarah in a character line around mile 7 or 8. She started in corral A but took advantage of the photo ops along the way. I tapped her as I went by and she cheered me on.

The mile 10 marker was right before an interchange ramp that lead to an overpass where there was a man who yelled down to us “anyone can run 10 miles, but only a princess can do the last 3.1!” I thought that was very sweet and it made me smile. Not long after that interchange I started to fall apart. My right knee started to ache a bit, which really threw me for a loop since it’s usually the left side that gives me problems. Right around mile 11 there was a medical tent and I thought about grabbing some Tylenol, but instead I pressed on. I ended up walking most of the rest of the way because it just bothered me too much to run. About halfway between mile 11 and 12 you make a sharp U-turn and this is where I saw Sarah pass by me. I thought about calling out to her and finishing up together, but I just didn’t feel like I had it in me. I will also be honest and the thought had crossed my mind to just hop the cones and not go all the way around but I was good and didn’t do it.

After I saw the mile 12 marker I decided to try and finish it up as quickly as I could to get it over with so I started running again. It wasn’t extremely painful, but it just didn’t feel right. I told myself I was going to run the whole last mile straight, but when I came around the corner and saw that the real Fairy Godmother was standing there, not that fake one that has been there the last couple of years when I went by, I decided what the heck I’m stopping for my first ever race character pic! Yes that’s right, I have ran 5 runDisney events and this was the very  first time I stopped for a character pic during a race! ! She told me she loved my outfit and that it was Cinderella blue. I didn’t have the heart to tell her it was suppose to be Jasmine.

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I wish I could say she waved her magic wand and I was able to finish strong, but that isn’t exactly how it happened. In fact, that stop kind of broke my momentum and I did a mix of walking and shuffling on to the finish line. I came in with my second worse time of 2:51, but I fulfilled my main goal and got my second Coast to Coast medal.

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Isn’t it beautiful?

Just for the heck of it here is my trio, which I have to say I like even better then last year’s with the addition of the 5th anniversary medal for Princess.

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Tinker Bell, C2C, and 5th anniversary Princess medals

May 1, 2013

The Race I Became a *Real* Runner Part II Princess Half Recap

This year’s Princess Half weekend was quite a bit different than all my previous races since I had the kiddos in tow this time. Since Officer P just recently switched duty locations he was unable to get the time off so it left just my mom and I with the 4 kids. We had decided that since my mom was not use to wrangling  watching after 4 kids, especially in a crowd, that they would all stay at the hotel while I ran. I still think this was the best choice, but I sure did miss seeing my mom out there cheering me on.

Since our recent relocation to California the 2 younger ones had become quite the night owls and the fact that Florida is 3 hours ahead of California did not help matters much. I usually try to go to bed between 10 and 10:30 the right before a race, but this time it ended up being closer to midnight, which was not great with my alarm set for 2:30 am. I laid out my “flat Summer” and headed off to get what little precious sleep I could.

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Flat Summer on her magic carpet ride.

It felt like I barely even closed my eyes and it was time to get up and get going. I woke surprisingly easy and started getting ready. At first I had a sweater on, but after stepping out of the hotel room door I turned right around and took it off. I was staying at Port Orleans Riverside in a Royal Guest Room booked through Leigh with Mousekeplanner (that I LOVED BTW) and headed to the North Depot bus stop at 3:15.

A little secret many Princesses don’t seem to know is that event transportation picks up at ALL bus stops at POR. When I got to the bus stop a bus had just left and there were only me and 2 other princesses sitting there waiting when another bus came by and picked us up; we went on to the East Depot and then to the South Depot (Front Lobby). I have stayed at POR all 3 years I have ran the PHM and the South depot always has the longest line by far! This year was no exception. Since this was our last stop we only had a handful of seats left so it really is so much easier to use one of the other bus stops. We picked up about 6 or 7 more princess and were on our way.

I chatted up the princess who I was sitting next to, who happened to be from the San Fernando Valley, the whole way to EPCOT. I have to say the ride over went very smoothly this year and we arrived at the EPCOT parking lot around 3:40. I headed straight over to the event merchandise area to meet up with Patty and found Sarah was there too! ! We took some pre-race pics and were ready to head off to the corrals.

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Sarah and I before the race.
Moms Run This Town (MRTT) Disney Group Pic (I’m back centerish)
When I went to take the MRTT pic I lost Patty again, I tell you she is slippery one, so I headed back alone. The walk back also went very smoothly so I had plenty of time to hit a port-o-potty and get into my corral ( B ) and still be toward the front. A little tip about the P-O-P is that at Disney there are always more so don’t use the first ones you come to, if you walk farther down there will be shorter lines, and cleaner potties. Trust me. 

As I was waiting in my corral I decided to tweet my very first #Run3rd dedication. I decided to “run for those who can’t, because I can.” Simple as that. After what felt like forever it was time to get the party started. We counted down and corral A was off. One thing that I love about WDW races, opposed to Disneyland, is that they send off each corral with their own set of fireworks! Corral B moved up, our fireworks went off and we were on our way . . .

 
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