Saturday, April 21, 2012

To Disney or Not To Disney

This is what happens - I get a chance to type and I put in lots of posts. 

It is time to sign up for Disney, and I need to post my thoughts.  It is the 20th anniversary, so there is a special Marathon Medal.

I loved doing the Goofy.  I really like the half, and the Goofy is not something everyone does.  But, I have yet to complete a marathon.  I should probably be smart and just sign up for the marathon and focus on finishing.  But, it may be my sister in laws first marathon, so I should probably just be her support system.  She has been mine so many times.  

I pretty much decided to sign up for the marathon.  It means I can fly in and out of Disney in a shorter time - fly in Friday and out on Monday instead of the Thursday and Tuesday that we have done in the past.  I can focus on being able to fly the day after the marathon.  But, then I want some way to support my sister...  Ideas?

Back to Work Outs

I really need to be motivated to work out I guess.  It's been three months since Disney and I have not done many work outs, and no runs.  It got busy at work, PTO, teaching, scouts, I was too tired... 

Well, this past week I have been getting to the gym, and I LOVE it.  I go when the gym opens at 5am and do 40 minutes, including some arm work.  And, the rest of the day I have had surprising energy.  I wasn't going to the gym because I was so stressed at work and felt tired, and figured I needed to get to work early and couldn't risk being tired from a work out.  Well, it turned out this week that I was able to focus better at work, and I was up as late or later every night.  Work is still really stressful, but the workout helps me deal with that stress. And, I get to eat more points!

Goofy Summary

It's amazing how fast time goes.  Since my last post I have done the All Women's and One Lucky Guy half-marathon in November, 2011, and the Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge in January, 2012.  I did the Nov race in the 3:35 I was hoping, and I loved the Goofy!!!  I didn't complete the Goofy though.

The half marathon on Saturday was great!  I finished in about 3:25, so just 5 minutes shy of the cut off time.  But, I had sooo much fun.  The Disney Races are great for entertainment, and I again had the thought - this is my hobby, so I am going to enjoy the long walk (with some running), and take as long as they let me.  Guess I don't have a super great COMPETETIVE attitude, but I sure do have fun in this life.

The morning of the marathon was very rewarding.  We had to get up by 3am for the 6am race.  We had to eat something and catch the bus to the start.  I have my favorite picture of my awesome brother and I getting ready to leave.  I have proof that I could lift my leg high.  The half marathon distance is so do-able.

I really enjoyed the first half of the marathon.  My brother and I kept catching up with each other.  We'd chat, then go separate, then meet up again.  We decided to be done at the half.  It was getting hot, we were miserable.  But, we did the half in the time limit.  We decided to keep walking until they kicked us off - as opposed to just stopping on our own.  Well, then we got close to Animal Kingdom, so we decided to speed up a little so we could at least go through the park.  As soon as we got into the park, I hit the restroom.  That definitely slowed us to the point that we were not going to make it to the end in time.  So, we were picked up at mile 18 - same place I made it the second time I tried to run the marathon.  But, we were smiling, and NOT broken!

So, this year I need to get some more marathons under my belt.  I love the half marathon distance though.  I know if I get in better shape and more marathony I can do a better job and enjoy the marathon distance as well.

My family rocks, too.  My sister in law H is so supportive.  I can't ever tell her how much it means to come around the bend at Polynesian Village and see her blonde hair and her willing to get a sweaty hug or give me whatever encouragement I need.  My cousins V and K gave me all the special encouragement I need too.  I do not have their competitive spirit, but they are willing to put up with me anyway.  And my brother is the most amazing person I know.  I didn't realize he signed up for Goofy just to encourage me.  He is such a great man.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Loose Running Shorts

My running outfit is running shorts (tight spanex) with loose running shorts over them.  With all the water, and the camera in my pocket, the lose shorts kept slipping down.  At one point, I thought i was going to be running with shorts around my ankles.  I was getting really annoyed.  I couldn't quite tuck it into my spandex, and the fanny pack was too loose to act as a belt.  Argh!  I said, "why the heck don't them come with a draw string?!"  Then, I checked, and there was a draw string.  I decided not to tie it just yet, because I was less then a half mile from the porta-potties (there were signs telling me the porta-potties were just up ahead).  I used the facilities, and went on my way.  Then, my shorts slipped down again and I cursed no draw strings. Duh, then I remembered - I do have a draw string.  I pulled it tight, and was fabulous until the end.  When I had to use the porta-potty at the finish and forgot AGAIN that there was a drawstring and got frustrated the I couldn't get my shorts down quickly.  Running brain!!!

Maine Half Marathon

Some great signs I saw along the way...

Pookie, on a scale of 1-10, you are a 13.1.
The faster you RUN the sooner you are DONE.  (I like, the more I talk, the slower I walk.)
Run like you stole something.
Half marathon turn around point ahead.
Porta potties just ahead, do not use the woods.
Run like a mom.
Run now, beer later.
Run faster, the zombies want your brains!
Because 26.3 would just be silly.

The race is done, and I am feeling pretty good.  Very mobile at the end of the race.  It was down pour, so very very wet.  I did run across the finish - and could have kept going for another 30, 40 seconds after that.  I did get a space blanket at the end.  The lady told me I was going to start losing heat quickly.  She was right.  At the end, I was glad it was over, but bummed that I didn't do the whole.  Of course, you could tell the ones doing the whole - they were still running the last mile.  Us halves, were walking.  It was 3:30 since the start, so I was taking my time for the half, and the runners going by me were making great time for the whole.

Lots of food still availalbe at the finish.  Not very many spectators on the course.  When my brother ran the whole, there were people on all the side streets and lining the road.  Today, there were a few people peeking heads out of their doors.  There were less then 50 spectators along the course that were not volunteers.  There were a lot of spectators at the finish line though.  Also, there were a lot of volunteers.  Very good for us.

I ran/walked on a 3min/3min pace for the first 4-5 miles.  Then, I noticed the view, and started to chat with people around me.  And, I realized, this is my hobby.  A nice long walk.  I was happy to talk to anyone.  I kept a fun attitude and made jokes as much as I could.  I did eat some gu's and a fruit/nut bar about half way.  I took Tylenol after mile 12 so I could get home, because I figured I would hurt after the race.  I drank a lot of Gatorade and water.  I felt great.  I am glad I am not driving home today, since I need to stand up and stretch every thirty minutes or I will cramp up.  But, if I had to, I could have.

I have a half in another month that I will drive to and from by myself.  My mom showed up slong the route at about mile 8, and it was wonderful to give her my soaking wet sweatshirt, and the gloves.  (My fingers were pruny inside the gloves, so it was time for them to go.)  Then, I met her again at the finish line.  It was so nice to see her - such a surprise to see her on the route.  I know she was really worried about me.  I will be ramping up my training, so I will finish the November half quicker.  And, hopefully she won't worry about me being out there alone.  It is another course that is near the ocean, and is supposed to be pretty flat.  It'll be nice to have a month to recover from this one before I do another.  :-)

I want to give a shout out to my cousin.  I was wearing V Couture this morning. A nice running outfit, covered by a trash bag.  I remember she bought a fabulous new running outfit, but it was so cold, she ended up running almost the whole race in a black garbage bag.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Marathon on Sunday.
Monday - 1 mile slow walk, helped move a sofa, needed energy drink to get through the day, lots of stretching.
Tuesday - purposely moving more, only coffee as energy drink.
Wednesday - easy going morning at the gym.  At first, I could feel some pull in my hamstrings, but they warmed up and overall it was a good workout.  I usually do 30 minutes at level 9 or 10.  Today it was 30 minutes, but I started at 7 and worked my way up to 9 by the half way point.  Not too bad.

Got a half marathon race in 11 days, so I have to get back into it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jimmy Fund Run Down

pun intended of course
The Jimmy Fund Walk in Boston is an annual fund raiser for cancer research.  It follows the Boston Marathon route.  It starts in Hopkinton and ends in Copley Square.  I did the entire route, and was a little nervous about completing in time - I parked in Hopkinton at the start and the last bus back there would be leaving at 7pm.  I crossed the start line at 5:35am.  I completed the walk in 9 and 1/2 hours, so I had a four hour cushion, but it was a long day.

Friday night and all day Saturday, I was out camping with my cub scouts.  It was cold and there were a lot of hills to navigate.  We got home just after 7:30pm.  Stuff was stored and I was to bed by 9:30.  I was excited for the walk, so I woke up just before the 4:15 alarm. 

When I left the house, I felt a special excitement - it was a clear morning, there were some stars out, and I was off to walk a marathon, and show folks that I believe in cancer research.  It was just like heading out to the Disney marathon start.  I was glad to be alone and enjoy the peace.  I found the parking, got on the bus and took deep breaths.  Registration was just opening when we got off the bus.  I grabbed a hat, and a pin that says, "I am Living Proof".  There were a number of men and women along the course wearing these pins.  Over and over it kept hitting me how many people have been touched by cancer.  When people see the pin, they ask, "How long?", or they say, "Me too, I'm XX years cancer free".  Noone asked, "what kind?"  Cancer is cancer and they all Suck!

The start of the Walk was so different from the Disney races.  There was a police man with lights on at the start line.  There was a sign to mark the start line.  You just cross that line and go.  It was still very dark out, and it was cool - in the low 40's.  The roads were not closed, so we walked in the breakdown area on the shoulder.  There were orange cones, but there were cars passing right next to us.  I could see maybe 10-15 people in front of me, single spaced, and there were a few behind me.

I did have my ipod, so it was just a nice stroll in the cool morning air in New England.  As the sun came up, more people joined.  I was trying to get to the 1/2 way point in 4 hours, which I probably shouldn't have bothered with.  The rest of the Genzyme team was starting at the 1/2 way point at 9:30 I thought.  Turns out they started at 9:15 and met up at the mile 16 lunch tent for team photos.  I made the 15 miles at 10:35, so I was behind them by a bit.  I am happier that I did the walk alone.  It was tough and I don't like to have people see me so stressed.

After mile 18, I started to hit a wall. My pace slowed and I was feeling so tired and stressed.  The walk was a lot more emotional then I expected (although I was not surprised to be crying - running does that to me).  I think I first got teary around mile 6 or 7 - I passed a church advertising a blood drive. I reacted strongly to not being able to donate blood as a cancer patient, and now survivor. 

Every mile marker is a photo of a child with cancer.  Every time I saw a 9 year old, or a kid who loved to play with legos, I would be crying.  I know part of it was that I was tired.  So, by mile 18 I was salt deprived.  I had been alternating a water and a gatorade at the refueling stations (approx. every 2 miles).  But, crying and sweating was doing me in.  I kept thinking, I need to sit down.  And then I won't be able to get back up. 

I was convinced I would go to the medic station at mile 21 and ask for salt packets and they would pull me for heat exhuastion (like my first Disney attempt).  First - I hit the porta potty line.  While there, my fabulous brother R sent a text that he had pledge me per mile.  So, I had to find a way to finish.  I drank a cup of water, grabbed a gator ade and sat on a chair - they had chairs at the refueling station.  I drank the gatorade.  I ate some gu with caffiene. I grabbed another water and drank.  Then, I found my salty jelly beans and stood up.  That few minutes sitting and the power snacks made all the difference!  I felt so much better, and I didn't have thoughts of being pulled any more. 

One reason I was doing the walk was to start figuring out my eating plan during the race.  The Jimmy Fund did have a lunch tent - they had sandwiches for everyone.  And fruit, chips, drinks...  I didn't go to the lunch tent because it was "just up that little hill" at mile 16.  I was starting to feel run down and didn't want to add any hills I didn't have to.  I should have refueled with a sandwich.  So, I have to remember for Disney - pack some turkey or ham.  The thought of a handful of salty lunch meat at mile 16 is GREAT!  I was craving the protien, but the lara bars at the refueling station weren't enough.

Heartbreak Hill
Everyone knows about heartbreak hill.  At the bottom there is a statue of someone who ran the Boston Marathon a number of years, and how won it twice, and last ran it at age 84.  The Jimmy Fund had a sign explaining all this at the bottom.  So, I just started to chug up the hill.  And up.  I don't want to jinx my future marathon chances, but it wasn't too bad.  I was already hurting.  Somewhere in the middle, there was a husband/wife team that were giving out cut oranges.  BEST ORANGE EVER!  At some point, I realized we were headed down again, and someone near me said last year there had been a sign to say, you are at the top of heartbreak hill, turn around and take a picture."  No sign, so I didn't realize it.  I did not go back to get a pic.

Heartbreak Hill. I get it.  It comes at the point in the race when many are hitting that marathon wall.  It is a definite incline, but there are steeper ones on the course. Someone said it is a mile long, but that is not true.  Wikipedia says it is 0.4 miles, and that seems right.  I did tell my scouts that we eat hills for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  (One scout said, he didn't mind them for breakfast and lunch, but by dinner, he didn't like them.)  I was able to just truck up the hill.  I was having a much harder time with the downhills at this point.  It hurt to go down - I could feel it in my knees.  The inside of my legs was feeling very taught and down hills were not fun.  It is a difference in walking vs. running. If I had the energy, I would have rather run down the hills.  After heartbreak hill, it is mostly down hill.  I was surprised how much down hill there is at the end (last 5 or so miles) of the route.  Of course, there is a small uphill about four blocks from the end.  Most folks were complaining, but I was happy - I liked the uphill because it didn't have to stretch as far.