Saturday, January 31, 2009

woot woot I ran today!

Finally... after 18+ days of rest, I was inspired to get my arse back in motion! It was great, felt good, all that good stuff! A quick 5 miles around Stone Mountain in 28 degree weather - amazing I can still break a sweat - darn sweaty head of mine... The plan for this weekend is to put together my training schedule for the next several months. Did I mention I registered for the Flying Pig Marathon in May?. YEP :) Several of my running friends from Disney are going. I am looking forward to it, heard it was a fun race.

In other random news... I recieved my first invite from the AARP today. Are you kidding me? Can't they give a girl a month to adjust to being 40? HA.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

and on the 18th day....

Today is officially the 18th day of rest post marathon. Sad and pathetic. I originally intended to take a week off. Legitimately, that is what the plans say to do. Something about avoiding injury and giving yourself time to rest. I bought that...and then some. I don't know what happened but here I am EIGHTEEN days later and still have not gotten back on the wagon. Alright, I might have a foothold on the tailgate but am still dragging a leg on the trail before I jump back on board. Well, all that ends tomorrow! (or as soon as I finish off the last piece of coconut cake!) Ha Ha. No really.

I actually have been to boot camp a time or three but haven't really felt like I was back on track if you know what I mean. Up until the 11th I had deadlines, I had things that HAD to be done or risk the perils of not finishing a marathon. Now I got nothing. Well, nothing on the immediate horizon anyhow.

I am part of this test group at Lifetime that I mentioned. The group kicks off Monday and I am uber excited! I still am not sure what all is involved. The premise is to prove that the whole thoery of training in certain heart rate zones which actually give you more endurance and help you reach your goals faster than trolling in zone 1 the whole time or killing yourself in zones 4 and 5. My favorite part is having some accountability for the nutrition part of this whole fitness puzzle. During the marathon training, I fell into the trap of thinking I could eat whatever and whenever and yeah I didn't gain weight but I didn't lose any either and certainly can't keep eating like that when I am not running 30 miles a week. So it is all about balance. Anyhow, I heard it takes 28 days to make a habit. This test group lasts eight weeks. I am hoping I come out the other end with better eating habits. Cross your fingers!

Today was something they call Riskpoint. I called it a nurse poking me with a needle and stealing three vials of blood then asking me to step on a scale WITH MY SHOES ON (that B!). I am knocking off 2 pounds from the number I saw for the shoes by the way.... It seems pretty cool. Yeah, OK, it is a bloodtest. Nothing special but they will give you results on cholesterol, HDL, LDL, c-reactive proteins, thyroid, etc... all good to know. So far so good! I will dazzle you with all that info when I get it!

Sunday the group is doing Caloriepoint and Cardiopoint testing. Basically, that will give you what your resting metabolism rate is so you can figure out calorie consumption and then your AT for the heart rate zones as well as VO2. (again, prepare to be dazzled with my knowledge when I have some numbers to discuss).

Wednesday.... pictures and measurements - WOO HOO! (or not - they did promise that we did not have to weigh in like those chicks on the biggest loser - thank goodness!).

All in all psyched to be a part of the program. (as soon as the cake is gone... ha)

So.... tomorrow boot camp and Saturday a group run and McDaniel Farm! Can't wait! Have a great Friday :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

weekend update

I don't know where the time is going lately, it seems as I have not updated in more than a few days... I guess I better put something out there before you think I have fallen off the face of the earth! Prepare for randomness...

It occured to me today that I have not done ANY running in the last 2 weeks. WOW. I intended to head out today but it is rainy (yes, I know I could still go but...). Monday I must get back on the program!

I got a copy of the Triathlete Magazine's Essential Week-by-Week Training Guide: Plans, Scheduling Tips, and Workout Goals for Triathletes of All Levels (how is that for a concise title?). I cracked it open yesterday to start planning my life between now and the end of September. They have levels 1 through 10 depending on your goals for each of the tri distances. Everything from just wanting to finish to trying to win your age group. All the plans seem very doable. There are a few days of "two-a-day" workouts in the plan but nothing that seems unmanageable. I will start giving it a go in the next week to get ready for my first Tri of the year in May. For the Oly, I am going with the level 5 workout and for the Half-iron I am sticking with level 1 or 2 which is the "I just want to finish this thing in one piece and not crawl across the finish line as a bloody, beaten mess" plan. I am pretty sure that is a direct quote from the book.

In other news, I captained my last tennis match week. Can I get a WOO HOO? Captaining is so much more work than anyone realizes. I have captained 12 (or more) seasons over the past four years and was more than ready to hand in my resignation. I will miss all the tennis but don't see how I can fit it in if I am going to focus on the half-iron this year.

What else... oh! I was chosen to participate in a fit-link study at Lifetime Fitness. I am pretty excited about it. The concept is teaching the test group how to utilize heart rate zone training to achieve your fitness goals. There is a nutrition component (which was my main draw to participating) as well as other educational opportunities throughout the 8 weeks. The idea is that by training in the proper heart rate zones you can improve your fitness and overall endurance more than if you just go out there and either just do what is comfortable or go all out more than is necessary. It all starts next weekend with measurements, VO2 testing, blood work, etc. Can't wait - hope I can stick with the nutrition end of the bargain. It is my achilles heel!

That's all for now... final weekend of studying before my re-certification test for HR. UGH. Must pry fingers away from blogger and facebook.... Ciao!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Race

The thing about Disney is that the race winds through each of the four parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and the Animal Kingdom). Since it winds through each of the parks, the races starts and finishes before the parks actually open which, as you might guess, is QUITE early. The start time itself is not all that much out of the norm for races (5:50 AM); however, you are warned of race day traffic more than a few times by the race directors meaning you leave the hotel early or miss the race. If you stay on property, the last bus to the race start leaves at 4:00 AM. Yes, 4:00 AM. As we were staying off property and had been given a healthy fear of the traffic we left the hotel at 3:30 AM. Yes, 3:30 AM. I did not come all this way to miss a race because of traffic.

Rewind to the night before...
We had the pre-requisite pasta dinner and birthday party at the Rainforest Cafe and got back to the hotel room by 8:00. By the time I assembled everything I needed for the morning it was probably 9:00. Too excited to sleep... Toss. Check to make sure both of the two alarm clocks are set. Turn. Toss. Turn. FINALLY, sleep! (not sure what time it finally was as I was asleep). Awoke at 1:15 AM for no apparent reason. There was no getting back to sleep. I am going to guess I got about 3 hours of sleep pre-race. I am pretty sure that is something that is recommended by all the good training plans. or not.

I get up at about 2:30 and start getting dressed. Eat a PB&J sandwich and drink more water (I believe I drank about 1,000 gallons over the course of the week). Wake RW up so he can get ready and we head to car at 3:30 AM. We arrive at the race start at 3:50 AM - TWO hours before the race. There was no traffic. Oh well. As a birthday treat, I had a ticket to the Race Retreat which is a tent with private bag check, port-o-lets, breakfast pre-race and brunch post-race. Easily the best $$ ever spent. No line for bag check (or retrieval), a changing tent so you don't have to try and manage all that in the port-o-let and almost no line for the port-o-let. oh and massages too! Anyhoo... spent some time in there then we decided to go sit in the car and listen to the radio. The time went really quickly. From the parking area, there is about a 1/2 mile walk to the start line so that killed some time too. Some pics taken in the race retreat:

Around 5:15 AM, I say goodbye to RW and leave him to entertain himself for the next 5-6 hours while I make the walk to the start. I easily found my corral and waited for the start. Little bit nervous. Trying not to think about the fact that I will be running continuously for 5 hours. That just seems crazy.

My view from the start:

The crowd presses forward and heads over the start line and we are off! I had 5 or 6 GU gels in my running belt and was immediately annoyed by the weight of them. In my training runs, I always left the gels in the car so never actually ran with them. I know, I broke the rule of preparedness... I make a quick adjustment to situate the weight on my hip and problem solved.

For the first part of the race I am just taking it all in and trying not to go to fast. I had been warned not to use it all up in the first half. It was dark but there was lots of music (I opted to leave the IPOD at home which was a good choice in retrospect). The first park we entered was EPCOT. You can't really make it out here but it was all lit up and lots of music played throughout.

In between the parks, there are all kinds of people cheering, bands, cheerleaders and the like. Here are a few of those scenes. I particularly like the big pink K sign. (it was not made for me but I'll claim it)... The spectators were GREAT! Everyone had their names on their race numbers so as you are running by they are shouting your name. It really helps in those later miles. :)

Note the blur of speed. ha.

so you get the idea... The next park we made our way through was the Magic Kingdom. This was around mile 10 or so. As you can see by the multitude of pictures this is where I REALLY get off pace by stopping for the photo ops.

Space Mountain leading up to the park entrance

turning the corner onto Main Street


Coming out of the castle

After leaving the Magic Kingdom we hit the halfway point. I was feeling good, trying to remember to take a GU gel every 4-5 miles. There were waterstops almost every mile and medical stops almost as often. They were handing out vaseline, tylenol and handfuls of biofreeze at the med station. The biofreeze was in the huge buckets and the volunteer just scooped it out to give runners a handful. I had never seen that before so all the vaseline application amused me...

There was quite a stretch between the Magic Kingdom and MGM (or so it seemed). A lot of backroads and scenery. The sponsor Sharpie and put up signs to entertain the runners. The signs had little sayings, kind of like the burma shave signs. Example, "if at first you don't succeed, maybe skydiving isn't your thing". HA.

Somewhere around mile 22ish, the wheels started to fall of the cart. I have several theories as to why, maybe too many stops for pictures, maybe not enough long runs in training (I had been playing catch up big time since the stress fracture and didn't get in as many long runs as I really needed), maybe just too much walking the previous days sightseeing. Whichever way it happened, around mile 22 I honestly thought I would not be able to finish the race. My knees were in agony and I could not run more than a step or two without pain. At that point I thought if I can make it to the med station someone is going to have to drive me back. It was that bad. After about a mile, I got to the med station took a handful of biofreeze and soldiered on. (there was no way I was going to come this far and not finish this thing!). The biofreeze seemed to help a tiny bit. Next stop was the Animal Kingdom. I continued my walk/run through the park.

When we first entered, they had a variety of animals out - I guess they were from the petting zoo?

Obviously my hobbling did not interfere with my picture taking :) From there we, headed to MGM a little more running than walking at this point but was not moving fast.

From there it was a walk through some of the resort area and then back to Epcot. Some scenes from mile 25. At this point, I had managed to start running again. Slowly. oh well.

Very appropriately, at mile 26 there was a church choir. All I could say was Hallelujuah!

One of the grandstands at the finish... the best sight!


Happy to be done. Not happy with the time but I didn't exactly focus on the race as evidenced by all the picture taking. :)

After a brief stop to have my knees wrapped in ice, I picked up my Mickey Medal.

Waiting in line, I met up with one of my friends (Wendy) who also ran the race. She was waiting for 2 of our other friends who had not crossed the line yet. We exchanged some quick congrats and I met up with RW who had been patiently waiting for me in the family reunion area for the last hour. We got in the car and managed to get back to the hotel without much traffic which was nice since my knees were DYING. Quick stop at BK for some food of course!

At the hotel, I took a quick shower then soaked in the whirlpool for a bit. Took a nap and was good as new a couple hours later. I only had the slightest knee pain but no muscle soreness after the race at all which was a little surprising. RW and I went out to Downtown Disney for a meal later that night to toast my accomplishment. I was surprised how many people go out and about afterwards wearing the medal.

Disney was such a great experience. There was just enough activity to keep you distracted for most of the 26.2 miles. It definitely did not feel like I was out on the course for 5+ hours. Such a great time - I would definitely do it again! If you do go, take your camera. They have official photographers but if you want a pic with the characters, you have to have your own camera. I have been back a week now and am back to normal. I felt like I could have gotten right back into my workout schedule the day I got back. I had no pain or soreness at all. I did force myself to rest for a week - finally got back to the gym today to start prepping for my next race :) What will I do when I turn 50???

Disney Pre-Race Report

Whew.... where to begin? I have seriously been neglecting this blog over the past couple of weeks so I had better get a report out there before I forget what happened!

I left on Wednesday before the race for Disney. I slept in then straightened up the house (I hate coming back to a mess and I figured if I died while running at least the house would be clean!). I finally got on the road to Orlando around 12:00. It is about a seven hour drive from Atlanta but went by quickly thanks to XM radio.

Thursday was the first day of the expo so I killed some time before it opened at noon and then headed over to pick up my race packet. Part of my killing time included eating a mickey mouse shaped waffle, of course. I love how everything in Orlando is in the shape of Mickey's head.

My race number...

Assorted race swag...

and.... a birthday card from the race directors was in my packet :)

the expo...

Of course I had to get 26.2 gear!

After the expo, I headed off to Disney to check out the parks. Over the course of the next two days, I hit the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios. On Friday night, RW drove down for the big event which was a surprise as we weren't sure if he could make it due to work. We went to Charley's steakhouse and had the most gi-normous steak known to man. Living on the edge right before a marathon but it sure was good!

The day before the race, I pretty much just hung out and rested. I met up with some friends at Rainforest Cafe for dinner and arrived back to my hotel to a cookie bouquet from my friend, Joan :)

Some pics from the day...

the birthday volcano...

My birthday cookies :)

paris in spring... or epcot in spring...

there were lots of seagulls. EVERYWHERE. This one sat like this and stared at me as I ate my lunch...

All of a sudden this is very lengthy... the actual RACE portion of the report to come. :)