Saturday, December 05, 2009

The OUC Half Marathon (updated with pics)

I was pretty excited about this race. My training this fall has gone really well, perhaps because I didn't run a fall marathon but have been focused on training for Disney. My training times have been getting better and better. It appeared that I could probably maintain a 10:30 min/mi pace for the race - which would land me a PR. My previous half marathon PR was 2:20:42, set in 2007 during this same race on the heels my marathon PR - the Marine Corps Marathon.

As for most races, I watched the weather report for the week leading up to the race. This race was scheduled to be run in some of the rainiest weather we have had all year. If it has only been a week ago, it would have been 48 degs F at the start and dry - perfect running weather! Rather than be disappointed, I took this as a challenge - a chance for a real running adventure. In my 3 years of marathon training and running, I have never raced in the rain.

I polled my Facebook friends and, of course, my running advisor Shirley , to figure out what I should wear for the race. The conclusion was long sleeve tech shirt, shorts, hat or visor and garbage bag for the start. I also decided to bring my iPod Shuffle with a few Podrunner mixes on it and set it up to play the 175 bpm mix.

Last night, a local Facebook / Twitter friend Kitzzy opened up her apartment for some of her running buddies to hang out in before the race since she lived just 2 blocks from the starting line. So about 6 of us showed up at Kitzzy's place just before 6 am to get geared up for the race. It was at this point I realized that I had done something I have NEVER done before a race....I forgot my race number (and also my D-tag). Since OUC offers race day registration, I figured I could get another one from registration. Fortunately it wasn't really raining so I headed over and found Shirley there at her usual station working on the computer - only she was supposed to be running the race. She was just helping out since she was there early. At the registration desk, I shared my dilemma but it was no big deal...I guess lots of folks have forgotten their number at one time or another. After getting my new number, I had time to go back to Kitzzy's place to pin my number on and head over to the race with the others.

Unlike most races, there was no national anthem played....we simply lined up, and at the appropriate time we started. There wasn't even a noisy starting air horn. I started up my Podrunner mix and we were off and running. Here is a recap of some of the miles the race:

Mile 1 - Got here at around 10:05, a bit fast going out so I determined I needed to slow down a bit.

Mile 2 - Hit mile 2 at around 20:15. I was still going a bit too fast, so I shortened up my stride. I decided to take my walking breaks with the water stops instead of at each mile - this improved my pace since the water stops were probably 1.5 miles or so apart.

Mile 3 - Mile 3 came at 30 min and change - I took an extra walking break to catch my breath. I wasn't quite into my rhythm but was getting there. At the next water stop I took my first Clif Shot.

Mile 4 - For the first few miles there was no was cloudy, warm and humid. Just as I was thinking I would like a little rain to cool things down a bit, it started to rain lightly. And it felt good!

Mile 6 - Maintaining pace - staying just under the 10:30 min/mi pace I was shooting for. Feeling kind of tired but pushing on and still walking just the water stops.

Mile 8 - Came at 1:24 - keeping pace. It was around this time that my heart rate strap started to bother me. It felt like I was chafing. Since I really didn't need the heart rate feedback, I decided to remove the strap and just hook it around my waist.

Mile 10 - This mile comes on Orange Avenue - a wide open area which, in past races, would be really hot and tough to run. Today, it was raining lightly and the wind was starting to blow a little. It felt really cool and nice! Just a 5K left. I don't recall where Jim was hiding, but it was great seeing a familiar face cheering everyone on!

Mile 11-12 - I was feeling pretty tired but I knew I needed to keep pushing if I was going to make that PR. Rather than walk I tried to shorten up my stride. My 175 bpm podrunner mix had ended (I played it twice) and I was now listening to a 177 bpm mix. At the mile 12 intersection there was car waiting for the runners. Smoke was coming out of it but just as I passed, runners started yelling at the guy to get out because his car was on fire. As I looked, small drips with flame were coming out underneath the engine of his car. I don't know what happened after that.

Mile 12-13 - I got a burst of speed early in this mile and started taking off and passing up a number of runners. However, about halfway through the mile, I was loosing energy. I slowed it down a bit and got one more walk break in before the final push.

Last 1/2 mile - I picked up my stride and really pushed it through the last half mile. I saw that the clock was 2:18 and change - good enough for a PR! When I finished, I was spent...and that is how it should end!

I stopped my Garmin at 2:18:26 - my unofficial time. As I walked out of the finish chute looking for food, Shirley ran up and met me. We chatted for a bit before I found a bagel and sports mix.

I stopped at the board to see what time posted for me but couldn't find my number. I just checked the online results and I don't show up. I sent the race organizers an email to see if they didn't get my number in the system. It isn't a big deal, but I like having the historical information there with the other runs I have done. And now that I think about it, I may pursue this because I may want to use this time for corral placement at Disney - so they don't place me in the 5:30 corral.


Officially, my time was 2:18:21

I placed 59/106 for my age group
Set a new PR by 2 min and 21 seconds. What a great race!

And now I will reward my efforts with a nap! 4:45 am came early today!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Adventures

This year for Thanksgiving our family decided to do our own kind of adventuring. Since it was going to be just the 4 of us at home, we decided to do some Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) adventuring through the world of Greyhawk.

Our merry band consisted of two elven Ranger/Druids, a Drow elf turned good Ranger/Thief and a Dwarven Fighter/Cleric (that would be mine). We traveled through the land of Grewhawk killing Hobgoblins, snakes, wolves, bears and Frost Giants.

As with anyone, adventurers need to eat, so for our Thanksgiving meal we had Rats on a Stick, Mini-Goblin Burgers, Bear Steak, and various veggies. The Pixie Bone snacks didn't turn out so well but we found some good Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Pie to feast on.

We had a great time....and no one died! :-)

On the running front, I wasn't able to get out on Wednesday because of late night homework on Tuesday night, however, on Thanksgiving morning I did my own kind of Turkey Trot and trotted 8 miles. Today I ran another 5 miles. This weekend I am scaling back to run 6/12 miles in preparation for next week's OUC Half Marathon where I am hoping to run a PR (current half marathon PR is 2:20). My training has been going really well and things are looking good for the half marathon. My 8 miler was completed at a 10:30 min/mi pace - which is all I need next week to run sub-2:20.

After next week's half, I ramp up one more time before tapering for the Dopey 42.1 mile weekend at Walt Disney World's Marathon Weekend (5K on Fri, half marathon Sat and full marathon on Sun). Even with the half marathon on Sat, I think I am ready to break the 5 hour barrier in the full marathon this year.

Hope you all had a marvelous Thanksgiving. I am thankful for the many running adventures I have experienced and that I get to share them with all of you!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

My Halloween Queen and Anniversary Return to Epcot

My Halloween Medieval Queen!

Halloween for our family was nearly a non-affair. Normally we decorate the yard and have a scary Halloween Knight greet the Trick-o-Treaters, but this year we were at a marching contest with our oldest daughter. So, to make sure my younger daughter didn't miss out completely, I took her to the mall where she competed in a costume contest. Although she didn't win, we had a great time!

Return to Epcot to Celebrate our 19th Anniversary at the International Food and Wine Festival

The following day, my husband and I (sans children), spent the day at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. It was our first visit back to Epcot since completing the Disney World Marathon back in January (such memories!!!). We had an incredible time walking around "the World" and enjoying food and wine from France, Japan, Ireland, South Africa....2 laps around the world and, well, you are one happy individual!!!

Life is an Adventure....Bring it on!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

At the mall waiting for the results of a costume contest - for my little Medieval Queen!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It's Almost November Already????

With my girls on my birthday!

Hard to believe that my last post was on my birthday back in September. Now here it is, just 1 week away from November. Where does the time go and and how is everyone doing out there????

I guess I will start from today and count backwards on what has been going on.

Running Bandit, Race for the Cure, and Running with Maddy

What a day it was today. After several days of low sleep (due to crazy kid schedules) and just recovering from illness over the past week, I wasn't sure how I would do meeting Maddy at 6 am to run Race for the Cure and then additional mileage to make a total of 16 miles. But I figured I would prepare for the run and see what happens.

It was a nice cool morning when Maddy pulled into my driveway at precisely 6 am. I was feeling okay for a run. Seems Maddy's schedule has been about as crazy as mine lately - and her training hasn't been as good as she likes, so she, too, was not sure about 16 miles. We headed over to UCF, got a good parking spot and headed over to the packet pick up area. It opened at 6:30 am and we were there just as they opened. There weren't many folks around yet, but the area was well organized - and ready for a really big crowd. The T-shirt table indicated that they only had shirts for the first 8000 people who picked up their registration. 8000???? Wow, what a big crowd was coming. We were glad we got there early.

Since the race didn't start until 7:45, we decided to make the 2.5 mile loop around UCF's campus as a warm up. It was a cool morning, almost chilly, and felt great for running. We did our 2.5 mile lap and by the time we were back near the packet pickup area, there was a huge crowd there. Now we were really glad we got there early.

Running bandit: The reason I was running "bandit" was I thought I could register for the race on race morning, but it turns out for the chip timed event, you had to pre-register by Wed. I could have registered for the "fun" run and not be timed, but I figured I would either run bandit with Maddy (who I sponsored for $25 so I had really contributed to the event) or watch Maddy run and then run with her afterwards. We decided to go bandit!

We didn't race it - we ran it pretty easy - and really enjoyed the race - chatting the entire way. We ran across the finish line together with our arms up in the air!

We then grabbed a snack and then headed out for the rest of our run. We had 6 miles down already, only 10 more miles to go. We took a nice slow long run pace and started running through the Central Florida Research Park. It was then (about 2-3 miles in) that we didn't think we had 16 miles in us - but 12 seemed ok, so we decided to do a tour of the Research Park where I showed Maddy everywhere I worked (I guess I have worked in 6 different buildings) and gave her the boring tour of the Modeling and Simulation industry there.

After running through Research Park we headed back around campus. By the time we got there we decided to start walking and walked the last 2 miles. Still our overall pace for the morning was under 13 min/mile. It was a enjoyable run! Thanks, Maddy.

Running the Mt Vernon Trail in Crystal City - Arlington, VA

Earlier this week (Mon - Wed) I was on a business trip to Crystal City, just across the water from Washington, DC. While there, I had a late afternoon with enough time to fit in a run. I was still recovering from my chest cold sinus thing so I wanted to take it easy. In fact, I left the Garmin home and only brought my running watch. I checked with the hotel desk for places to run and they told me how to get to the Mt. Vernon Trail, which was less than half a mile from the hotel. I headed for the trail and ran north around the airport, past Gravelly Point and just beyond the Navy and Marine Memorial before turning around to head back. After about 6 min I found a mile marker on the trail, and ran 2 miles before heading back - so I estimate my distance to be about 5.1 miles - in 56:42. Not too bad! The temperature was perfect as well - low 60s.

UCF 5 Miler and 2 Mile Races - the Distance Dare!
Last Sunday, I ran the UCF 5 miler (which I run every year) only this year
they created a "Distance Dare" where you run the 5 miler AND the 2 mile race which follows. I wasn't feeling that great, and was regretting signing up for the race - but I went with my husband and decided to take it nice and easy. The 5 miler went well and I ran it in 56:58. The 2 miler was timed but only clock time was recorded - I finished in 22:05. I had planned to run to the race, then run home - but since I wasn't feeling very well, my husband and I drove to the race (it's about 3 miles from my house).

Life in General....

School is going well...but homework ties me up for 10-20 hrs a week. My older daughter's marching season is in full swing. We were in Tarpon Springs for a marching competition yesterday and got home after midnight. She has two more the next two Saturdays. Jamie has soccer every Saturday and this week we were up at 6:30 am to get ready and get to the field by 8 am! Busy times! But I would not trade it for the world.

So that is the latest from Marathon Chris' world. I hope to catch up with everyone else's blogs this week. This week at work should be slowing down a bit so I may even have some time between homework assignments! Run strong everyone! Congrats to everyone who ran the Marine Corps Marathon today. Fond memories! Also a big congrats to Shirley who completed her first Ironman race in 15:01!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Rock n Run 5K Race Report (updated)

My first ever 5K was run right about the time of my birthday. My goal at that time was to complete a 5K for my 40th birthday. Such a long, long distance - and I was going to attempt to run the entire distance non-stop. The 2002 Autumn Run 5K (no longer held) is where I set my first 5K PR of 35:44.

My last 5K PR for a timed race was in Oct 2006 when I ran the Susan Komen Race for the Cure in memory of my mother-in-law. My time was 30:03.

My last unofficial 5K PR (timing by Garmin) was the Dec 2007 Reindeer run with a time of 29:28.

I have been looking forward to this particular 5K for a couple of months. Since the race fell on my birthday I was determined to make it extra special by going for a 5K PR. My goal was to bust 30 minutes chip time. I had a secret dream goal of beating 29 min.

My training for the past couple of months has been going pretty well - and my last 3 miler gave me hope for a good race. Still, it would have been nice to get a few more weeks of speed training in before this week's race. I feel like I am in good running form right now so I was pretty confident I could do this. The only down side leading into today is that I have not been getting the amount of sleep I should be - particularly this past week. That always has an impact.

I met up with Maddy just before 7 am in the parking lot. She wanted to surprise me by coming to watch me race...but sent me an email so we wouldn't miss each other. This was her first time as a race spectator! It is an odd feeling being at a 5K race early in the morning and not be pinning on a number - but it is pretty cool. The race event takes on an entirely different perspective.

We chatted for a while and Maddy took a few pictures until just before the race when Maddy took a spot just beyond the starting line to get pictures. After an electric guitar belted out the national anthem (it is, after all, a Rock n Run race) we were off. I felt pretty good at the start and was maneuvering my way in the crowd. It felt a little fast but not too bad. Mile 1 seemed to take a long time - and I was feeling tired enough to wonder if I could do this for 3 miles. I passed the 1 mile marker and my Garmin showed 9:05 min. I was a bit ahead, so I took a short walking break.

Shortly after the 1st mile, the leaders were already heading past us in the other direction. We pressed on and the running got harder. I was beginning to think that I may not have it in me to run a PR today. The air was warm, humid and not moving at all. It felt hot. Thank goodness it was cloudy and there was no sun beating down on us.

I only made it another half mile before taking another walking break. I then took another one before hitting mile 2. These breaks were short, 15 sec - 30 sec in length - just to catch my breath. When we came up on the water stop I decided to take a quick break for a little water. It tasted pretty good!

I don't recall the Garmin time at Mile 2, but I knew I was within pace so I took another walk after mile 2. At this point, I was beginning to think that I just didn't have a PR in me for today. I thought if I stopped much more any chance of that was gone. I tried to think about Elijah (who is battling neuroblastoma) and a co-worker's mom who just had half a lung removed with lung cancer. I tried to tell myself that I could run and they can't - that I should keep going. That trick didn't work for me this time.

I tried shortening my stride instead of walking - that worked okayish....still, I walked at least 2 more times before the end.

Finally I could see the area where we started the race and I picked up my pace. When the finish line was in sight and I was passing the 3 mile marker, I really pushed hard through the finish. The finish line clock was 30:11 but I knew I had more than 30 sec extra for crossing the start. I had done it! When I stopped the Garmin it read 29:36.

Maddy was taking pictures near the finish chute. We met up and headed over for water, banana and the posted results. My result - 29:31. Under 30 min and a new official PR. Even with all that walking and struggle I still made my birthday goal! I was quite happy!

My Garmin download told the story later. My average heart rate for the race was 173 bpm (high). My max was 189 bpm (highest I have seen it in a long time....only higher time was 190 bpm at the WPRR).

My splits:

Mile 1: 8:48 min AHR: 162 bpm (Garmin 1 mile mark vs the race mile marker)
Mile 2: 9:19 min AHR: 176 bpm (a bit slower)
Mile 3: 10:18 min AHR: 178 bpm (walking and walking stuff - HR is high)
Mile 3.17: .17 in 1:19 AHR: 184 bpm

Maddy and I chatted a bit longer as we made our way back to our cars. It was great having her there! Then I headed off to my daughter's soccer game.

Here is my 5K - the movie. Thanks to Maddy the video production queen!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Beware of Runners

Today was the Celebration of Running 5K - the first race in the Trackshack Grand Prix series. I won't be running the series but my husband is - so I will be attending a few races this year that I am not running in.

I love the atmosphere at a race before it begins. We got there about an hour before the start so we didn't get caught in the traffic coming in. That gave my husband plenty of time to stretch. I left him right before the start to get a video of the start of the race. I made sure I was on the other half of the road where the runners were not lined up - and thought I had found a good place to stand...

Ah well....

He ran an easy race...30:13 was his finish time.

Next up, the Rock n Run 5K on Sept 12th! I will be running that one :-)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

My Marathons - The Movie

This is my experiment in capturing the essence of the 5 marathons I have run using Windows Movie Maker.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Running Adventures Mini-Adventure #3 - Let's Run

This is a short, Mini-Adventure podcast which takes you with me on a run with my daughter and the "interesting" things we talk about when we run.

My mini-adventure music is Michael Mucklow’s Pipe’s Canyon Sunset.

Thanks for coming along!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Running Evolution

I think that my running is evolving over time. Kind of the way that our life evolves over time. It starts out fresh and new, matures, and evolves as life changes and adjusts. It is all good!

I was noticing that I am not posting as often as I used to here on the blog - life and it's many distractions causes me to change my focus. Change is a good thing. I saw a good quote this morning. It goes something like "I am not retreating, I am advancing in a different direction." I like that quote :-)

But I am running! I am not quite up to 20+ miles a week but should hit that in the coming week. My long run of 5 miles was long and slow - 12:30-ish pace of running 1 min and walking 1 minute. But the speed will come, and the ease of the run will come. On the one hand it is disappointing to see how small the number of miles are and how slow they can be - but on the other hand, I know one key thing:

I have done this before!!!

I have started out at this point and built up to those brutal 22 mile training runs. I have started here and built up to the 10:30 min/mi pace for a 5 miler. I have conquered this hill before, and I know I can do it again.

So, I am rejoicing, because I get out there, I run-walk-move, and I get it done!

And that is good enough for me!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Running Adventures Episode 18 - A Nice Day to Run

My daughter and I catching a sunset at Sunset Cliffs in San Diego

I wish I could be bringing you a podcast from our trip to San Diego - but we didn't run while we were there! We did see several beautiful sunsets and lots of animals at the San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park.

For this short Episode of RA, my daughter and I take you along on a 2 mile run in our neighborhood. No facts this time....but I have some for next time, so don't go away!

As always, music used on Running Adventures is from the Podsafe Music Network.

The music used during this show was by Tracy Jane Comer. The first piece was "Inside Passage" and the second one was "Rondo."

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Things You See When Running

With all the miles I have logged, I have seen a lot of interesting things. In my own neighborhood, things don't change much. But I did find this mailbox kind of interesting. Is this for short postal workers? I thought it was funny.

Running has been going much better over the past week or so. I was pretty burned out from life in general, and any attempt at running showed a starting heart rate of about 92 bpm. Tonight my heartrate was 78 bpm before my run with my daughter. That is the lowest starting heart rate I have seen in awhile. I know it may not seem like much, but I am excited.

We ran our 2 miles by running 1 min and walking 1 min. We finished in about 25 minutes and had a great talk along the way. We are training for her first 10K late this fall. I am looking forward to the miles ahead!

I hope to get a podcast out sometime this weekend - probably a mini-adventure. Next weekend my daughter is coming with me on a trip to San Diego. We will definitely have a podcast on that trip.

Congratulations to all the folks who ran San Diego last weekend!! You guys were AWESOME!!!! Makes me want to sign up for a marathon before Disney next January....but I must resist. Things are going to get busy when I start classes again in the fall. There will be plenty of training going on to prepare for the "Dopey" without introducing another marathon. Still, it is tempting... July's Runner's World features marathon training for fall races by 14 of their editorial staff. Great article.

Run Strong everyone!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Running Adventures Episode 17 - Catching Up

Picture at University of Texas at Austin on a recent business trip

I wasn't exactly planning on it, but on a whim I decided to produce a podcast episode. So almost a year after Episode 16 I now bring you Episode 17 of Running Adventures. During this episode, I take you on a run in March 09 where I talk about where I have been and what my running plans are for 2009. I have a small snippet from a car pool discussion with my younger daughter.

I am hoping to publish an episode or contribute to the Extra Mile podcast with a full run with my older daughter - complete with facts!

Music this week is from the Podsafe Music Network at and includes:

"Headlights" by Honeychuck

I missed running with you all....enjoy!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Jim Payne Blue Ribbon Run for the Kids 5K

Today was an event that was two years in the making - a 5K race to benefit Kids House of Seminole. Kids House is a local organization that provides services of all kinds for kids who are in abusive situations. It is sad that such an organization is needed - but the need is great - and Kids House provides a kid-friendly environment for counseling, medical exams and even county police services - all in one location. I have the privilege of serving on the board for this incredible organization.

We started talking about a 5K run back in 2007 - for a possible 2008 race. But we were unable to get things organized for a number of different reasons. Then in 2008, things came together and we were able to partner with Trackshack - the premier running store and organizer of most of the Orlando area running events, including the Walt Disney World Marathon. They were interested in having a race in downtown Sanford, FL.

We wanted this to be a different kind of race - so instead of an early morning event, we opted for an evening event down near the waterfront of Lake Monroe. A good portion of the race route would be along the waterfront area - recently rebuilt after devastating floods a few years ago.

At the finish line - pretzels and beer!

This was a great event! I ran it with my husband and daughter. My daughter and I just took it easy, running and walking - running in the last 0.1 miles hand in hand! My younger daughter ran the kids race and was the third girl to finish her race!

My husband: 32:31 (after running about the first .75 miles with my daughter and I)
My daughter and I: 39:48

Before and after the race I saw Maddy's friend and fellow Goofy runner Cheryl and also Kitzzy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Another Go 'Round at the University of Texas at Austin

Went for a morning run around campus again today. It was a much cooler 75 degrees and a bit on the breezy side - nice for a morning run.

I did the same route as Monday except this time I ran counter-clockwise.

I think it was more uphill this time....

Still, my speed has picked up. I ran the 3.08 miles in 32:12, at a 10:28 min/mi average pace (hills must be good for me). I even ran the first mile in 9:44 min.

I am toying with the idea of doing an easy 2-3 miler tomorrow morning if I don't stay up too late working tonight (sigh!).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Adventures in Austin - Take 2

This week's running adventure takes me to the University of Texas in Austin where I am attending a technical workshop. I have been to Austin once before - I was here to attend the Super Computing 2008 conference right after running Rock n Roll San Antonio Marathon last November. I didn't really get to enjoy Austin last time because I was so sick that week!

This time I was going to do Austin right! I arrived on Monday afternoon started the week off with a run late in the afternoon around 5:30 pm. The temperature was about 92 deg F and the humidity about 50%. It felt pretty much like it has been feeling at home - HOT! I did an easy loop around campus that the running map said was 3.1 miles. However, Garmin said it was under 3 miles so I added another small street loop to make it 3 miles even. Even though I took it easy, my heart rate got pretty high with the heat (maxed at 182 bpm) but it was a good run at an average pace of about 11:21 min/mi.

Oh, and did I mention it is HILLY here? Probably not as hilly as some of the places you all run, but way hillier than what I am used to (FL is basically flat, flat, flat). The hills didn't bother me - I embraced the hills and ran them nice and easy!

To beat the heat (and to work with my schedule) I will be running tomorrow in the morning. I am going to do the same route, but maybe in the opposite direction just for a change of pace. I will take the cell phone along and try to catch some video to include on the blog after I get home.

The Kids House 5K race is coming up on Saturday! I am actually part of the planning team for this inaugural event - so I will have a much longer report about the race and how it goes.

I hope your running is going well! Don't forget to enjoy your own running adventures! :-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

2009 Corporate 5K

The finish line around the time I finished - crowded the entire race!

As busy as life has been for me lately (Lately?? Always...but especially lately), I have a couple of running commitments in addition to the races I run. The first is something I have done for the past 6 years - I am captain of my corporate 5K team. In 2003 we started with a humble 8 runners. This year we had a very respectable team of 66 people.

As team captain - I work with a small committee of volunteers to order the tent, order and bring the food and drink, order and distribute team shirts as well as the race provided shirts and numbers. We also set up and tear down before and after the race. I collect the fastest runner scores and turn them in to the race organizers to see how we did against the other companies.

This year's event attracted over 11,000 runners. As you can imagine, the course was crowded for the entire 3.1 miles. Most of a runner's energy is spent dodging around other runners.

I had not been training well lately, so I didn't expect a PR - but I tried to get to 30 min anyway. My first clue that it wasn't going to be my race was my HR monitor reading over 90 bpm while waiting for the start. I pushed and finished in 31:25 with a max HR of 190 bpm. It was fun and my team placed 2nd in our division.

My daughter also ran and completed her 5K in under 40 minutes!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Beach With a View

I have been kicking back with the kids during this spring break week. I played hooky from work and went to a movie (Monsters vs Aliens in 3D) and bowling on Wednesday, a park and then another movie (Disney's Earth) on Thursday, and Cocoa Beach today. No running since Monday....running has been like that - catch as catch can. I hope to get a few miles in this weekend.

School is still a bit busy. I am behind on my final report. Just 2 more weeks of class. Although I love being in school again, I can use a break from the late night project sessions.

Happy Easter everyone!

Monday, March 30, 2009

My Friend Ken

My running has been getting pretty consistent lately...but the past week has been weak in the running department. I spent much of the weekend at the hospital with a friend of mine named Ken. One week ago tonight, Ken suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke. The good news is that he survived and has been awake in the ICU. He is still on a respirator - they are slowly working to wean him off. The not so good news is that he cannot move his right side. The MRI showed a rather large area of bleeding on the left side of his brain. We are talking to him and he is nodding his head and even smirking at some of our dumb he seems to be doing well - considering.

Ken has a long road ahead of him. He is single and 43 years old.

The doctors say it was high blood pressure that caused the stroke. Ken has had a lot of stress in his life and not a lot of time to exercise or eat right.

It gives me pause to consider the amount of activity in my life - and I am the kind of person who tries to do it ALL. Time to slow down a bit.

When I wake up in the morning, I realize how thankful I am that I can get up and move around normally. I am thankful that I have two beautiful, healthy children and a wonderful best friend and husband. I have a home, a job and the ability to run.

I am truly blessed.

Tonight I ran 4 miles in 43:25 - and when I got hot and out of breath, I thought of Ken.....and ran faster.

Peace to you, Ken. Looking forward to seeing you at the finish line at Disney again!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Winter Park Road Race 2009 - Race Report

"Finishing the WPRR"

Ok, before I begin let me get this off my chest.

This finish line picture makes me look fat! Next time the Amphipod belt goes UNDER the t-shirt.

Ok, now that I got that out of the way, I can continue to the race report...

Short version:
Goal: Under 1:10 - enjoy the race
Stretch goal: 1:05 (and still enjoy the race)
Actual: 1:05:10 with a negative split, no less! And - I did enjoy the race!

Longer version:

The WPRR is a favorite local race for a few reasons. It is a 10K distance (there aren't many local races at that distance) and it is held in beautiful Winter Park, Florida - where you run through some beautiful neighborhoods around some quaint lakes, by some very expensive homes, and thankfully, under lots of shade provided by the large oak trees that dominate the route. Since the race is held in March, the weather is usually ideal.

This is also the first race I try training for after running the Disney Marathon. At least, that has been the plan for the past 2 years - but this year, like last year, things didn't work out as hoped. Last year I couldn't get the workouts in for my 10K training. This year, in addition to working full time, I started graduate school. That, combined with moving the race up 2 weeks earlier, made it impossible to properly train for a PR. I decided to run the race for "fun" since my husband was running and my older daughter was signing up for the 2 mile race.

And this year, the t-shirts ROCK. Wicking t-shirts with different men and women styles!

First up, the 2 mile race. My 13 year old running partner and I had been running on and off for a few weeks. She was ready to run 2 miles! It was still a bit dark at 7 am when her race started.

Daughter finishing the Winter Park Road Race 2 Miler

She finished her race in 23:34. What a great job!!! After she finished, we had about 5 minutes to get set for the 10K start at 7:30 am.

My husband and I lined up behind the 10 min/mile area - toward the back. Finally, the familiar air horn sounded and we were off. My husband ran with me for about a half mile before he took off ahead of me at his pace. I then settled into my own rhythm for the race.

I passed mile 1 at 10:28, AHR = 144 bpm (according to my Garmin data) - I was happy with that pace. I wanted to stay under an 11 min/mi and I hadn't gone out too fast. I decided not to take walking breaks but would try to walk either at the mile marks or during the water stops. I felt pretty good after 1 mile so I just kept going.

Mile 2 was in 10:29, AHR = 160 bpm.. I was keeping a steady pace. And there was a water stop between mile 1 and 2 where I walked through just to drink the water - then continued on the run. I was still feeling pretty comfortable.

Mile 3 was in 10:20, AHR = 166 bpm - a tad faster than the first two miles. Probably because there were no water stops between mile 2 and 3. A few observations and thoughts while running: 1) I was passing people who seemed way out of breath for so early in the race. I was feeling their pain! I was still relaxed and running comfortably but on tempo. 2) It was pretty warm...and I was extremely thankful for the trees. 3) I had a good strategy for the "hills". There are a few areas where the course goes up and down hill, although nothing like my San Diego run. For the up hills I just shortened the stride and kept the turnover up. For the down hills I relaxed and let gravity take me down.

Mile 4 was in 10:26, AHR = 170 bpm. There was 1 water stop where I also took a Clif Shot. I was still maintaining my pace from the beginning. I was really enjoying the view along the route this year and checking out the homes along the way with amazement. The houses were older but large and very nicely done - but way beyond my means :-)

Mile 5 was in 10:27, AHR = 169 bpm. Consistency! I felt like I was slowing down so I spent time focusing on keeping my pace up. It was in the 4-5 mile time period where my heart rate began to get "up there". Since my Mile 4 AHR was 170 bpm during mile 5 I shortened my stride and took it easy... I realized during this race that I wasn't being passed the entire time...but that in the last couple of miles I was keeping up or passing other folks. As I ran along and passed one runner, I heard my name from was Cheryl, a running friend I knew through Maddy who I have met at a number of races including Disney's Goofy this past year. I ran with her and we chatted a bit. She told me that she had injured her hip doing Goofy and was just getting back into racing. I asked if she was running San Diego with Maddy and she told me she was training for the Seattle Marathon in June. She told me not to worry about waiting for her - so I said goodbye and pressed for a strong finish.

Mile 6 was in 10:01, AHR = 174 bpm. I sped up a bit since I knew I was in my last mile. I recognized the area and knew that we were close. As I made the last turn before running down Park Avenue on the final stretch, there were a couple of Track Shack folks cheering the runners on. As I was running by I heard one of them yell, "Hey, I know you, I know you, you are Christina!" I looked back and waved and she waved at me, then waved me to go on and finish.

I started to pick up my pace for the final part. I spotted my husband and girls about .1 from the finish - cheering me on. I looked at my watch and realized I was close to my 1:05 stretch goal so I used what gas I had left to go for a strong finish. I focused on relaxing and turnover...AHR = 182 bpm

And then, I was finished! I had run a good race. I set a steady pace, enjoyed the race, and even hit my goal time of 1:05:10, AHR = 165 bpm, MHR = 187 bpm.

And the biggest surprise? I had run a negative split! I ran the first 3 miles in 31:07 and the second 3 miles in 30:54 (with the last bit in 3 min per Garmin). I think I ran the best race I have ever run - going out just right, pacing just right and very consistently, and finishing well. I was spent at the end - but the right amount of "spent" for a race.

How did hubby do? He ran a 10K PR time of 59:06.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Running San Diego

Sunset at Del Mar Beach near Torrey Pines State Park, San Diego

Although it was just a short trip to San Diego, I fit a run in one afternoon after our meetings concluded. The hotel staff (Hilton Torrey Pines) told me I could run north and into the Torrey Pines State Park - the beach was about 2.5 miles away down hill.

Hmmmm, I would then have to run up hill to return.

The hotel people also told me that sunset was around 6:30 pm so if I got going around 5:30 or so, I could be back before it got dark.

It was a bit chilly for me to start and my Garmin seemed to take FOREVER to find satellite...but after a mile I was thankful that I was in short sleeves and shorts. It was a nice easy run down to the beach. The downward slope of the run wasn't so bad until I got to the last half mile where it got particularly steep. I could tell that it was NOT going to be a lot of fun coming back. But, I took it as a challenge for the trip back to try to run all the way up the hill without stopping.

The beach was just gorgeous and the sun set while I was starting my run back. Here is a short video is hard to hear but you can see the view I had while running near the beach.

I had 2.5 miles back to the hotel and with the sun setting, I needed to get moving so up the hill I went. I did a pretty good job running up hill - but my calves let me know that they were not going to let me forget this run for a few days! I took one short walking break on the way up shown in this next video.

I had enough light from dusk to run back to the hotel and arrive just as it was really getting dark. 5.07 miles in 59:57 - total elevation change over the 2.5 mile trek was 1120 ft. Most of the uphill run was in mile 4 which I ran in just over 14 minutes. Overall, another great San Diego run!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Running Again and Off to San Diego

My new wheels!

The good news is that I am back on the road again, albeit about 3 days a week. I got a 6 mile run in last Sun after running 3 last Sat! I have decided to run the Winter Park Road Race on March 14th - not for a PR, but just to finish and have fun. My husband will be running the event and my daughter will run the 2 miler.

It feels good to be out running again.

My one remaining grad school class is going well....maintaining a high A average.

And I am enjoying my new wheels. On the last day of January, I bought a 2009 Chevy Malibu LTZ. Coolest feature: Bluetooth phone connection to my cell. Next coolest: Remote start. And finally something you don't think a Floridian would appreciate - heated seats!

Tomorrow I am off on a 2 day trip to San Diego. I hope to sneak in a run while there!

Enjoy your running adventures!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Making Adjustments (or Making up for Biting Off More Than I Could Chew)

You know how when you run a marathon...and partway through things aren't working out as you you adjust your approach, expectations, etc.?

Welcome to the marathon called my life!

I had taken on too many things when I started my graduate school career. Two classes added another 20 or so hours to my week. Where were those hours going to come from? I was working full time, raising two active girls, volunteering for local charity events, and squeezing in running.

Things started to drop off.

First - blogging (podcasting ended a long time ago, unfortunately). As you can all see from my quiet blogging presence, things slowed down there.

Second - running. Since the Disney Marathon (on Jan 11th) I have logged about 18 miles - less than one run a week - with my greatest distance being 4 miles.

Third - general house upkeep. Let's just say I haven't been pulling my weight around the house.

Fourth - time for myself and with my family. I was studying every night and on weekends. I wasn't reading books, hanging out with my kids or husband except on rare occasions.

Fifth - sleep. Working all day and studying until 11 pm or 12 am didn't contribute to a good sleep situation. What sleep I did manage was chosen over running.

I couldn't go on. I was exhausted and falling behind in everything.

So I dropped one of my classes. This, after studying most of the weekend for an exam that was to take place yesterday. But this was a situation where I just needed to get a grip on reality and look forward to having a little more normalcy in my life. So Statistics will have to wait until next year. Initially I felt like a quitter...but I realized that this is one case where trying harder was not going to help me out.

I am still pretty busy....but I can focus more on one class and on life. I ran yesterday and will run tomorrow. Perhaps I WILL run the Winter Park Road Race!

So, I apologize for not visiting your blogs, or keeping up with everyone. But I need to go hug my girls and get to bed early so I can run tomorrow.

Adventuring on....

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Where Has Chris Been?

Since Goofy several things have kept me away from the blogosphere....

1. I started graduate school. 2 classes have turned out to be a LOT of work! I am barely keeping up.

2. My mom was in the hospital - so I went to PA to see her. She is out and doing better now - but I spent an exhausting week chasing doctors, nurses and taking care of mom. I haven't caught up around home.

3. We bought not 1, but 2 new cars this past weekend. I am happy to have a new vehicle (2009 Malibu LTZ - Red!! Hubby got a Silver one) but I lost most of my weekend to this activity.

Then there is just the normal everyday stuff like a full time job, keeping up with my girls, etc.

Running has been difficult to fit in. I ran 4 miles on Thursday evening while the girls were at karate class. I then ran another 3.2 miles today with the family at the UCF track (that was fun!). I have been staying up getting up early to run, well, hasn't been happening for me.

Hope everyone is running well out there....I haven't had time to read many blogs but I think of you all the time!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The 2009 Disney World Goofy Race and a Half Challenge

The weekend of Jan 10-11, 2009 represented a double three-peat for me. I ran my third Disney Half Marathon (2004, 2005, 2009) and my third Disney Full Marathon (2007, 2008, 2009). It was my best half marathon time and my second best marathon time. And if three times wasn't enough, I signed up for next year the minute they opened up registration - the day after the marathon.

But I digress...this is the story of this year, 2009, the year of the Goofy!

Last year, the day after the 2008 Disney Marathon, my husband and I signed up to run the 2009 Goofy. In case you don't know, the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge is when you run the Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday, the return on Sunday to run the Full Marathon. Two days of running through the most magical place on earth. Our primary goal was to finish both races and earn our Goofy medal. Our secondary goals were successfully met:

Half Marathon:
Goal: 2:30 - 2:45
Actual: 2:39

Full Marathon:
Goal: 5:30 - 5:45
Actual: 5:40

On marathon day, we got up (again) at 2 am to prepare for our race. Unlike the previous night, it was much easier to fall asleep early (around 7 pm) with a half marathon and little sleep behind you. I felt like I really slept well. After a good breakfast we headed out to Disney World's Epcot center, about a 45 min drive from our house.

We arrived around 3:45 am with a strange feeling of deja was much the same scene as the day before, except the crowd was a bit bigger. We set up over by the A-C bag check area and were able to hook up with Maddy and her friends Cheryl and Leana.

Missing our other blogging / Twitter friends, we all headed to the starting area. We were quite excited as we waited in our corral - this time in the same corral!

The start was classic Disney - I posted a video on RuncastTV at this link.

We decided to try to keep up with / or ahead of the 5:30 pace group and we did a great job keeping that pace. Our first park was Epcot. Around mile 3 of the race, you run around a portion of the World Showcase.

After exiting Epcot, we merged with the other starting group (the race starts on two sides of the road) and pass by the starting area again at mile 4. Then we begin the trek toward the Magic Kingdom - the same way we did just the previous morning. With 4 miles already behind us, we arrive at the Magic Kingdom between miles 10 and 11 (verse mile 5 the previous day). Just before entering the Magic Kingdom, Maddy and Cheryl come running up from behind. We run with them for a bit, but lost them on our walking break, wishing them luck. I loved Maddy's BGOR shirt.

Our run down mainstreet was magical! Check out the short video of that run down Main Street and the run up to the back side of the castle.

We then came through the castle for the all familiar castle shot:

Then proceeded on toward Animal Kingdom - encountering the usual "smells" and sights along the way. It is there we passed the halfway mark. We crossed the half marathon mat within 1 min of our finishing time for the half marathon on Sat! Just over 2:39. We were on track for a great finish time.

Somewhere between the halfway point and Animal Kingdom we passed Maddy and Cheryl, although I didn't see them. We did see them later...

Just after mile 16 we made our way through Animal Kingdom and we were still moving along at a good clip. I felt incredible! I could hardly believe we had run an entire half marathon the day before.

As we came through Animal Kingdom and started to look for a pit stop for my husband. We ended up stopping at the water stop at mile 19 where there were a number of porta potties. After our stop, we continued on. Just past mile 20, there is an out and back area - a portion of the race I never liked because I usually was pretty out of it by then, and it is pretty boring. This year, however, was different. I still felt great and the out and back seemed to go much faster this year.

As we were making our way back and about to head on down the road, we heard our names....Maddy and Cheryl were just starting to head down the out and back! It was cool to see them again.

It was shortly after this point that my husband started to struggle with his breathing. We think it was asthma - but he kept complaining that he was having trouble breathing - so we slowed our pace and finally ended up walking. We walked most of the way through Disney Hollywood Studios and into the Board Walk area. Then about 2 miles out, he was able to walk fast, which ends up being a slow jog for me.

We pressed on and headed back into Epcot for our last lap around the World Showcase. Then we both started running - with just one short walking break, we ran all the way through Epcot, toward the big ball and past the choir - and triumphantly to the finish line.

Right after crossing the finish line we stopped and gave each other a big kiss! Then headed off to get our Mickey and Goofy medals.

It was a magical day, a magical weekend. And next year we are doing it again.

Except we are also going to do the 5K on Friday....the "Dopey."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Disney Half Marathon Pics

The half marathon pictures have come out so I thought I would post some of the good ones.

Just coming through Cinderella's castle. It was still early morning (probably around 7:15 am).

Somewhere along the half marathon race course - on the way back from the Magic Kingdom to Epcot.

Almost finished just inside of Epcot.

And, of course, the finish line shot!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

We are Goofy!!!

We completed the final 26.2 magical miles in 5:40:48! I have to say that I felt better for this entire race than I have for any of the other 4 marathons I have done!

More details later....I didn't tweet during the race or record anything on my iRiver, but I took a bunch of short video clips of different sections of the race that I will post later!

Thanks for all the well wishes and for virtually "running" along!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

13.1 Down, 26.2 to go!

Taken after finishing the half marathon

After rising at 2 am (usually we go to bed then) we left the house at 3 am and arrived at the Epcot parking area just before 4 am. It was a tad on the chilly side but we had those paper jackets and pants you can buy at the expo to keep us warm. I had extra trash bags just in case, but we only used them for sitting on the ground.

We headed over to the bag check area to see if anyone running the half would come for a meet up at 4:15 am - but we missed Maddy and Leslie (aka Marathon Girl) was unable to make it this morning. At 4:30 am we headed over to the porta potties for a quick stop before heading over to the corrals.

As we walked to the corrals we were very excited that we had a spot near the front in Corral B until we realized that we were not placed in the same corral! My husband's race number had him in Corral F, 2 waves away. They will allow the person up front to line up in the back but not visa versa. As we walked all the way to the back, we were grumbling about the rule when we decided to try corral hopping....

We were able to sneak from F, to E, to D just fine. But to get to corral C it was a big step over the fence. My husband hopped it, so I decided to just walk around and enter in the normal way (since my corral B number would allow me). When I tried to find him in Corral C, I couldn't! I looked all through Corral B (in case he hopped another one), through B and C. I didn't know what to do or where to go. We had no way to contact one another.

Finally, I went up to Corral B and waited off to the side. The starting fireworks went off, and Corrals A and B were released in the first wave. I stood by the right side of the road hoping to see him but didn't see him in the first wave. I was starting to feel desperate.

The second wave, Corral C & D, moved up and the 2:45 pace leader came through. Should I go with them and hope he catches up? I didn't want to cross the starting line apart. I kept scanning the crowd. About 1 min before the second wave was released, I spotted him coming up the right side. I was so relieved to see him. While I had gone around the corral to meet him, he got caught by the Corral police who promptly sent him back to Corral F. Before the start, he managed to sneak up to Corral D with the second wave - then moved up when they moved up. We were all set to start together!

The race went really well. We ran our race - 5 min run 1 min walk - right from the start. We kept our eye out for the 2:45 pace group and eventually passed them. We made one pit stop just before the Magic Kingdom. Jim was pretty anxious to run faster but I had to keep telling him to hold back...many more miles tomorrow!

We finished in 2:39:42, a PR for hubby and a Disney Half course PR for me. We collected our medal, had our orange Goofy band removed and received our blue Goofy band. When we turn the Blue one in after completing the marathon, we will get our Goofy medal.

I have a few video clips I took during today's race which I will post in my next post. Time to massage and relax for tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A Disney Marathon Tour!!!

I have described the Disney Marathon course to a few people over the past year. I thought I would go ahead and take everyone on a tour of the Disney Marathon course. This year will be my third time around the "World" on the most magical marathon around! If this is your first time and you would rather be surprised, than consider this your "spoiler alert."

The marathon begins as it ends - in the parking lot outside of Epcot. It is dark and sometimes cold as everyone begins to gather for the race. Runners begin arriving around 3 or 3:30 am. The start area is well lit where you can find some pre-race refreshment, live music on stage, the baggage check area and rows and rows of porta-potties.

Many find a place to sit down on the asphalt in the parking lot. Garbage bags are good for covering up the ground. You relax until 4:45 am when the crowd begins to move to the starting corrals.

It is a 1/4 - 1/2 mile walk out to the roadway where the race starts. There are two start areas - the Red and the Blue. The corrals are arranged by expected finish times. There are more porta-potties by the corrals but not as many - so the lines tend to be long there. There are also lots of bushes and grass - which some believe also make good porta-potties.

The runners wait in the corrals for about another hour to race start. More sitting on the road - with some people jogging around to warm up before the race. Me - I rest my legs all I can. I use the first 2 miles for my warm up! :-)

At the starting line, there is a large platform above the runners where Minnie and Mickey are on hand to send the runners off. There are also large screens further back in the corals so you can see what is going on up near the front. The starting "gun" turns out to be a colorful array of fire works!!! It is a very cool start with Minnie, Mickey, Donald and Goofy waving you onto the course. This will not be the last time you will see Disney characters. They are located near the parks throughout the course - and available for pictures.

The two starting areas run separately for the first 3.5 miles or so and both enter Epcot about 2.5 - 3 miles into the race. They go through different parts of Epcot so it isn't so crowded. If you didn't get a porta-potty stop before the race, there are bathrooms in Epcot you can use!!! :-) I have had to use them both times! As you run through Epcot, it is lit up around the world showcase and there is inspirational music playing. They even have some of the laser lights on in the lagoon. It is very inspiring!

As you come out of Epcot, the two starting areas merge and it DOES get a bit crowded. The group then heads toward the Magic Kingdom. To get there, you run on a series of Disney World roads, parking lots and some back streets. Just before you get to the Magic Kingdom, you cross the 10 mile mark - then enter the Magic Kingdom near the entrance just to the right of Main Street. Main Street is lined on both sides with wall to wall people!!! If you have family coming to watch you, this is a great place to see them. I cry every time I run down this part...with the castle up ahead, the crowds around - you KNOW you are running the DISNEY marathon.

The course takes a right from Main Street across the bridge into Tomorrowland, then around toward Fantasyland and the back of Cinderella's castle. You go past the carousel and through the castle! There are Disney "cast members" up on the castle - trumpets that are announcing your arrival!!

You run through the castle and out the other side, heading toward Liberty Square, down the road past the Country Bears. Before you get to Thunder Mountain, you go straight and out of the Magic Kingdom - just before hitting mile 11.

Your next park will be Animal Kingdom, which comes just after mile 16. Before then you will go by a few hotels, then run some back roads outside of Animal Kingdom. I will warn you that you will also run by Disney's sewage treatment plant, and it can be a bit smelly if the wind is just right. There are Sharpie signs on the side of the road with funny sayings to help keep you distracted. You enter Animal Kingdom at the back of the park, run past Everest, by the big yellow dinosaur and out the entrance to the park. By now, the parks are open and so the runner's path is roped off and Disney staff help them cross the path when runners are clear. As you leave the park, you will be running down the parking lot and exit road. Traffic will move in one of the lanes near you.

Your next park will be Disney Studios around mile 22. The space between Animal Kingdom and Disney Studios is the toughest part of the race. You run out toward Wide World of Sports, but there isn't really anything to see out there. Just lots of access roads, no real tree coverage and to make it worse, an out and back segment at mile 20-21. They do have some entertainment out there (a band and others) to help make it more bearable - but it has been, for me, the "no man's land" before the final stretch.

Finally around mile 22, you enter Disney Studios from the back area - you run through some back lots and then run by the big hat. After exiting the studios, you run through the Disney Board Walk area near the Swan and Dolphin hotels. This is a really pretty area and makes you feel you are back in civilization once again. Part of this run takes you down the sidewalk along the waterway used to transport guest by boat from the Swan and Dolphin to Epcot and other places.

From the board walk you will enter Epcot at the World Showcase near France where you pass the 25 mile sign. Now, hours after beginning your your journey through this same place, you take one more lap around the lagoon. Like in Animal Kingdom and also Disney Studios, Epcot is open and cast members shuttle people across the runner's roped off pathway. Some of the guests will encourage you by telling you you are almost done, just around the corner. You can really begin to feel the excitement of the finish. You leave the World Showcase and run toward the "Ball", just to the right and out to the finish area.

Just before the finish right after mile 26, there is a huge choir singing praises! It really gets you pumped up to run that last .1 mile to the finish.

You make one last turn and there is the finish line, about .1 mile away! Last year Stitch was high fiving the finishers when I finished. There are bleachers on the left of the finish area where friends and family can sit and wait for you to finish.

You cross the finish have just completed the Disney World Marathon!!! :-) Time for your mylar blanket, cool medal, food and a massage!!! :-)

I am really psyched now!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Goofy Race and a Half Preparations

This is the week! After all the weeks of training - even through the busy holiday season, we are in the final countdown to the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. I am SO ready!

If you are brave enough to track me, my half marathon bib number is 34576. My marathon bib number is 10763. You sign up at the links below:

Half Marathon Tracking

Full Marathon Tracking

I should warn you...Disney tracking has not been very reliable in the past. I have seen the results come in hours later....or multiple copies of a result are sent. So subscribe at your own risk :-) You can bet I will blog and twitter results as soon as I can! I am going to try to use my Twitterfone connection... will test it this week.

Goals for the Race(s):

1 - Finish both races with my husband. Through thick or thin we will cross the finish line together! What has been great this year, vs last year, is that we have trained together. It has been an incredible experience.

2 - Finish the half marathon in around 2:45. We don't want to go out too fast - we want to go easy and safe our energy for the marathon the next day. My estimate, based on our training, is a 2:30 - 2:45 time.

3 - Finish the full marathon in around 5:30. This may be a bit of a stretch goal for us - but if we can run the race just a little faster than our last few long runs, we might make it. We would like a course PR better than last year's 5:35. My estimate is 5:30 - 5:45.

4 - Have fun with the race! Meet lots of interesting people! Enjoy the journey!

Race Strategies:

a. Go out SLOW! We are using a run-walk method - running 5 minutes and walking 1 minute - right from the beginning of the race. We may use the 5:30 pace group on marathon day to keep track of how we are doing - but that is not a requirement.

b. Bring supplementary fluids. I have been using water with some CoQ10 liquid and Vit B mixed. I am going to pack that in my fuel belt and use the course water for water.

c. Bring Clif Shots.

d. Bring camera - need to get pics of my blogging / twitter buddies!

e. Bring cell phone - try to Twitterfone during the race.

More items to bring depending on the weather. Looks like a garbage bag should get us through the wait until race start (cool morning - will warm up). I am planning on short sleeves and shorts for both days.

Race Week Strategies:

i. SLEEP!! I am so guilty of not getting to bed early. I am going to try to get 7-8 hrs sleep a night all week - and TRY to get to bed early enough on race days.... we will need to rise at 2:30 am, leave the house around 3 am, to get to Disney and park around 4 am.

ii. EAT well!!! No cheating on eating this week. No "evil" foods - stick with things that digest well. I plan to eat my special veggie - protein shake each morning this week. The night before will be a light rice & fish dinner. The day of each race will snack light since we will be leaving several hours before the race.

Race Weather Forecast:

Saturday morning: Sunny - 50 - 65 deg F
Sunday morning: Sunny 45 - 65 deg F (maybe breezy)

Here we come Goofy!!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hapy New Year!! A Look back at 2008

My mom and I

It's a new year - 2009. One can't help but reflect on the past year while looking forward to the new one ahead. Today, I am looking back.

For 2008 - it has been a great year of running and life adventures. I am thankful each day for all the blessings I continue to enjoy in my life.

On the running front, it wasn't a big year for races or PRs - not as much as 2007 was. My guess is that 2007 was my second year of consistent running and I had a lot of room to grow. 2008 proved to be a little less consistent with my training, less races - but still some accomplishments over the past two years since I have started tracking my training.

2008 Running Goals:

I looked but couldn't find my running goals for 2008. As it turns out, when the New Year comes, I am still just about to run a race - I kind of consider the Disney Marathon as part of my previous year's efforts since most of the training takes place in the year leading up to the marathon. In general, I was seeking an improved 10K time with the Winter Park Road Race (I did better - but training got trumped by my work schedule) and I have sought out the 5 hour marathon (secret hope for San Antonio but it was not to be). I ran less races to focus on my training.

2008 Running Achievements:

I ran a total of 1066 miles in 2008 - more than I have in any other year.
My average weekly miles = 20.6 (highest) and highest week = 48 (highest)
My average monthly miles = 89 (highest) and highest month = 177 in Sept (highest)
My average long run pace in the fall was about 12:25 min/mile (fastest)

I ran 5 races this year:

Race 1: 2008 Disney World Marathon - I ran this race with my husband and set a course PR of 5:35. The very next day we signed up for the 2009 Goofy.

Race 2: Winter Park Road Race (10K) - I started a Higdon 10K training plan to PR at this distance, but was knocked off my training plan by a tough work schedule. I still squeaked out a PR by 3 sec at 1:03:57.

(No pictures at the 15K this year. None last year)

Race 3: Miracle Mile 15K - I used this as a marathon training run - trying to maintain my target marathon pace. I ran the race comfortably (not trying to push) and ended up missing a PR by 1 min.

(last year's picture - they missed me this year) Race 4: UCF 5 Miler - I like to run this race because it is near my house and 5 miles is a cool race distance. I was scheduled to run 15-16 miles for a long run so I ran 8 miles before the race (I ran to the race), then ran the 5 mile race at a much slower than PR pace (more a fast long run pace), then ran the 3 miles home.

Race 5: Rock n Roll San Antonio Marathon - I signed up for this inaugural race to participate with a good Texas friend of mine who was running her very first marathon for TNT. I was SO ready for the distance, but 2 days before the race came down with a nasty chest cold. I still ran a respectable 5:37 - and got really sick for the rest of the week....but I accomplished a lot during my training including my biggest training month ever in Sept (177 miles) averaging 44 miles / week.

So it appears that 2008 was a great running year. Next - 2009 goals!