Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Girls On The Go 10K 2015 - Race Recap

On Sunday, I ran the Girls on the Go 10K at Bonelli in San Dimas. I ran it last year and it was pretty fun. I decided to run it again this year at the last minute. My coach had scheduled a 20-22 miler on Saturday and we decided to go ahead and do that. I ended up doing 20 miles on Saturday so that, plus a hilly course, and a heat wave meant that I went into it not expecting a PR. But my goal was to place in my age group.

Packet pick up was on Saturday and I was pretty proud of myself for not buying anything there! LOL. We got a nice shirt and our bib and that was it. No frills which is fine with me.

I set my alarm for my usual 4 am wake up, got up, ate breakfast, and got ready. I decided to wear my Brave tank & headband since they are teal so I could honor Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. It will be 2 years on Sept 30th that I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer.

My legs felt pretty good on Sunday morning and I didn't feel too tired so I thought I would do pretty well. It was warm already though (at 7 am) so I just did a short warm up. I didn't want to get overheated before we started! The kids race went off first, so I stopped to watch that and then continued my warm up.

The race went off promptly at 7:15. I had placed myself near the front so I didn't really have a crowd. We started off with an uphill and I may have gone out a little too fast. LOL! I always do. But I don't think I went too crazy. There were probably a dozen people in front of me. We made the turn to follow the lake and went up a little hill and onto some dirt. Then it was a smooth run along the lake until we crossed the stream. Another stretch of dirt here but it was cool under the trees. Right before the 3 mile marker, I was passed by a couple of women. Darn it! And then we had a short out (uphill) and back (yay for downhill). This was a nice section because you could see who was ahead of you and who was behind you. I felt like I was in a good place if I could keep going strong.

After mile 4, I heard footsteps coming up on me and I was passed again! This time by a guy. Doh! But after that, no one did. We had one a big climb, then a good downhill, then a smallish climb and then it was slightly rolling to the end. I feel like I finished strong. There was a woman up ahead of me that I tried to catch but never did. Then I finished! And got my pretty sparkly medal:
I cooled down and talked to one of my Fleet Feet friends for a bit and then saw them put up the results. So I ran over to check them out. Having seen who was in front of me, I thought there was a good chance I would place in my age group...and I did! Woo! Surprise, I was 1st in my age group! Woo hoo!

This is my Age Group medal and the results below. 
Not too bad considering I ran this on tired legs! I know that there are a lot of first timers and a lot of women doing it for fun but I'm still happy with this. Woo!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Dumbo Double Dare 2015 Recap Part 2

So... in yesterday's Part 1 post, I left off that I'd gone to sleep at 11:15 and had a 3:30 alarm set for Sunday's race. What I didn't tell you was that not only was I only going to get about 4 hours of sleep after spending all day on my feet at California Adventure, but I didn't eat dinner on Saturday night! D'oh!

Yeah, I know. It's just that time got away from us and by the time I realized I should eat, I felt like it was too late and didn't want it to come back to haunt me during the run. I grabbed a chocolate milk and some chips on the way to the hotel and that was my dinner. LOL. I do not recommend this!

But my alarm went off and I got up and got ready to leave. I forgot to mention that I also hadn't planned for breakfast so had nothing but a banana before the race. Seriously, I do not recommend this! But I was as ready as I could be!

I love that my hair is finally long enough to wear pony tails! I was able to make Minnie ears with them and just add the bow and I think it came out pretty well. I loved both outfits I wore this weekend but the Minnie one is definitely my favorite!

I walked over to Disneyland from the hotel (it was about a 20 min walk) and used the restroom in Downtown Disney before heading to the corrals. That's one very nice thing about races here - you don't have to use port-a-potties! I was in Corral A again so made my way over there and got in to wait.

Time flew by and before you know it, they were counting us down and the fireworks went off and we were off! I started out really well. Right on target and I was on target for the first 3 miles. And then I ran out of steam. Sigh. I tried to fight for it but kept getting slower and slower. So I just ran the rest of the race at a comfortable pace and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the race.

I didn't take any pics this time and I wish I had because it's so fun! The character stops while we were inside the parks were Heroes Vs Villains. Once we left the parks, there were ballet folklorico dancer, Hawaiian dancers, bands, cheerleaders, and lots of enthusiastic spectators. We run through the streets of Anaheim out to the Pond where the Ducks play and then over to Angel Stadium. I LOVE running through Angel Stadium! It's so fun! They fill it with boy scout and girl scout troops and you just feel like a rockstar going through there.

Once we leave there, it's just 4 miles back to Disneyland. I mostly tried not to lose any time through here though my right calf tried to cramp on me twice so I walked a little bit. Other than that, the time flew by and before you know it, I was done! I got my half marathon medal and then my Dumbo Double Dare Medal!
 Here's better views of the medals:
The half medal is a spinner and not only celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the Half Marathon but Disneyland's 60th Anniversary too. I love it!
And I think the Dumbo medal is very sweet!

Sadly, there was no time to linger after the race. I headed back to the hotel, showered and changed, we got a little something to eat and then headed back to the park for another fun filled day at Disneyland!

I was one tired runner girl at the end of the day! I was a little disappointed in my time and that I didn't get to stop and take pictures during the half but I had a blast so it is all good! I love runDisney races! I love that my family got to come spend the weekend with me there! Max hadn't been since he was 3 and this was the first time he got to ride all the good rides and the first time he went to California Adventure. After every ride, he would say "We have to do this again!". LOL!

You know what? That's exactly what I say after runDisney races!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Dumbo Double Dare 2015 Recap Part 1

This past weekend, I ran the Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland. I'd run the Disneyland Half Marathon in 2012 but had not done the Dumbo yet. I figured this would be a great year to do it since it was the 10th Anniversary of the Disneyland Half and also the 60th Anniversary of Disneyland. I had 4 jam packed days of fun! Maybe too much fun!

I took Thursday and Friday off so it was going to be a 5 day weekend for me. I planned to spend the whole day at the parks on Thursday and wanted Friday to rest a little. I was at the expo first thing and picked up my bib and shirts and do a tiny bit of shopping. Well, I may have done a little more shopping than I wanted but I also got some great stuff!

Here are the race shirts for the weekend:

And we also got the luggage tag below. I bought the 10th Anniversary pin for my pin collection and the 10th Anniversary bag was the gift for the 10th Anniversary party. Then I scored these 2 sweet pieces of jewelry from Endure Jewelry. I saw they were in the parks doing give-aways on Wednesday and they still had some for Thursday if you mentioned "Kevin" at their booth. I did and won the 19.3 necklace. Woo! I also treated myself to the bracelet and a couple of beads.

After the expo, I spent the day in both California Adventure and Disneyland, doing a little eating and hanging out with friends.
 I love Disney corn dogs!

After the park closed at 9, they had a special 10th Anniversary party for the runners. We were on the west side of the park and there were rides and special characters out. I'm wearing the Chesire Cat hoodie I bought at the expo.
There was also a special viewing of the Paint The Night parade. It was a lot of fun but a LONG day. I didn't get home til 1 am! Friday was a rest day but I did manage to have lunch with RIF #1 Joshua and visit with his family a little.
Carb loading and running talk! When I got home, I started getting packing for the weekend and getting everything ready. I had a hotel room for Saturday and Sunday so had to pack for the rest of the weekend.Then it was time to sleep because I had to get up at 2:45 for Saturday's race!

I didn't sleep very well that night. I never do before a Disney race because I'm so worried about sleeping through my alarm. But I woke up on time, got dressed and headed down to Disneyland. I made it there by 4:15 and finished getting ready.

Ta da! The Mad Hatter! I was ready to have fun!

The start of runDisney races is always fun and this one was no exception. Especially because the theme for this year's 10K was Villains and they took over the race! It was so fun.

There were villains all along the course so of course, I stopped to take pics!

It was such a blast! Before you know it, it was over. Boo! But yeah!

Check out my cool medal!
After that, I cheered a little bit and got something to eat. Then I went back to the car to clean up and change. And then it was park time! My family was meeting me at California Adventure for a day of fun! And it was a lot of fun! Probably too much fun!

I left California Adventure about 9 to go check into the hotel and my family had a little more fun before coming over. I went to sleep about 11:15. I fell asleep right away which was a good thing since I had to set my alarm for 3:30!

Day 1 of Disney fun was done. I was ready for day 2. Sort of...

Thanks for reading! Check back tomorrow for Part 2!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Leading Ladies Marathon 2015 Recap

On Sunday, August 16th, I ran my 3rd Leading Ladies race. It was the 2nd time I ran the marathon there. I ran it first in 2012 and then I ran the half marathon last year. It is a small, women's only race that goes through Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota and it is incredibly beautiful. It's usually cool for a summer race and it starts at 6am. That's my kind of race!

I had trained pretty hard going into this and I felt sure I had a PR in me...and not just a post cancer PR. So I was really excited about this trip. It was going to be a quick trip (when I first booked it, I hadn't planned to take time off of work) so I was flying up on Saturday and then flying home Sunday night. I did leave enough time for me to do a little exploring after the race though.

My flight on Saturday morning was at 6 am. I needed to get one last run in before I left so I was up at 3 to run an easy 5K and then get ready. My flight left on time and all was good. Until I landed in Denver. As I got off the plane, I received a text from United that my next plane was delayed 40 minutes. And then another text came through and it was going to be delayed another 2 hours. Since the airport in SD is an hour away from where the race expo was at and it closed at 5, I was starting to panic. There was no bib pickup on race morning so if I didn’t get it on Saturday, I was out of luck.

I tried emailing the RD and posted on their FB wall. In the meantime, I got another text that my flight was delayed another 20 minutes. For sure, I wouldn’t make it on time now. I called the host hotel where the expo was and asked them to get a message to the RD. Then YAY! She called me back and said she would leave my bib and chip at the front desk for me. Whew.

After another delay, we finally took off and we made it to Rapid City. I ran to the rental car desk and got my rental and then headed out for Spearfish. I scored a nice upgrade so that drive was fun at least!

I made it to the hotel at 5:30 and went to the front desk to ask for my packet…and they didn’t have it! After talking with them for a little bit, they thought the RD must still be cleaning up so they sent me back there and sure enough, that’s where my packet was. So I got my bib, chip, and shirt. I was so relieved!

After that, I was so tired I just grabbed a sandwich and went to check in at the hotel. I ate, got my stuff ready, and then read for awhile. The alarm was going off very early so I tried to go to sleep early too. I slept okay but 2:45 am came really fast! I got up, ate, and then got ready. I was out the door by 3:45 to make the 4:15 bus at the finish line.

Made it on the bus and we headed on the twisty drive to the start line. I was excited to go!

The race started promptly at 6. There were probably 150 or so women running the marathon. The first couple miles is on a dirt road and the first 3/4 mile is a slight uphill. But then it's down, down, downhill! This is seriously a fun marathon. I was ticking off the miles and enjoying the scenery for the first half. It was green and lush and we were running next to a river through a canyon so it was gorgeous. I stayed focused though and was on target with my pace. I am proud to say that I did not go crazy in the first couple of miles which I have a tendency to do.

During mile 12, we did a short out and back that again took us onto a dirt road and it was a slight uphill out and then a nice downhill back. On the downhill back, we passed the half mark and I was right on target - 2:02. I felt pretty good and was even calculating what I would need from there to get as close to 4 as possible. I think I was doing okay on the nutrition/fluid too. I was using tailwind and my stomach was feeling fine.

So yeah, it was all going great. And then in mile 16 & 17 my quads started getting very tight. Very tight. And by mile 18 they were screaming. I definitely should have done more downhill training for this. I started slowing after that and did do some walking to try and loosen the quads up. They never came back and I ended up bonking a little too. Mostly, I was trying to salvage the race. I was trying to remember what my time was the first time I ran it but I couldn't remember. So I just ran.

I finished in 4:25:25! My 15th marathon was in the books. Woo!

I was happy with that. I knew for sure I had a post cancer PR but had to wait for the results to see about the other. And guess what? It was a course PR! Only by 28 seconds but who cares! That made this marathon my 3rd fastest marathon. Woo! Here's my medal:

After I cleaned up in the bathroom, I headed out to get something to eat. I stopped at a Perkins and got a big breakfast with the works! It was soo good!

Then I got in my little red car and drove over to the Badlands to explore and do some sightseeing. I think the exploring helped keep me from getting to sore. And it was gorgeous! What an amazing place. I highly recommend seeing it if you get the chance.

It's one of the reasons I came back to do this race. I was sad I didn't get to see it the other 2 times so didn't want to miss it this time.

Then sadly, my short trip to SD was over and I had to fly back home. It was a quick trip but full of some good memories!

It's just 2 weeks until the Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland and I'm super excited about that too!
It's going to be a blast!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Fontana Days 5K Recap

On Saturday I ran the Fontana Days 5K. My old PR was 24:59 and I was hoping to beat that on Saturday. The plan was to run about an 8 min mile and pour it on at the end. I thought I could do it. My coach thought I could do it. But would I?

I had never really trained for the 5K before. I did them for fun and as speedwork while training for halfs and fulls. I knew this was a fast course - straight & downhill + smallish - so I felt like if I was going to PR, it would be there. I ran it last year in 31:11, my 2nd race post cancer but I had done it 25:15 in 2013 prior to finding out I had cancer. I told Justin that my goal was sub 25 and he gave me workouts to help get me there. My post cancer PR was 26:31 set back on 4/4 but it was on dirt and had more up than down. I felt like I had a sub 25 in me so we went for it.

There was one slight hitch! If you'll remember, I bought myself an Annual Pass to Disneyland & California Adventure for my birthday. I never got to go on my birthday because one of my staff was in India so I decided to go last Thursday. It was the last day for the So Cal pass before the summer block out period and also the only day that week with no grad night. I worried a tiny bit that I would tire myself out but no way was I missing my last chance to see the new parade and fireworks til August!

Anyway, I had a total blast! I got there at 8:30 in the morning and left at 10:30 that night. I rode a ton of rides, ate some yummy stuff, met a few friends, and saw the spectacular Paint The Night parade and Disneyland Forever fireworks!

On Friday, I got up and ran my last workout (easy 5 miler) before the race. I was tired but it was totally worth all the fun! I made sure I took it easy that day and rested. On Saturday, I got up at 4:15 and ate a breakfast burrito then got ready to go. I put on my new Skechers GoRun 4s...

and headed out. Yes, I know "no new things" on race day but this was only a 5K and they are so light and pretty! Checked in, got my bib & shirt, and waited for the bus to the start. The ride didn't take long and once I got there, I talked with a few runners for while and then did my warm-up (2.1 miles) and had a gel. It was a cool 60ish degrees, overcast, and no wind. Perfect PR conditions! I've said that so many times but this was the first time I felt like I was in a place to take advantage of it. the race started at 7:45. I was nervous but ready.

The mayor took us through a warm up routine and said a few words and then all of a sudden I realized they were counting down! We were off!

I'd gotten towards the front and to the side so I wouldn't have to dodge too many people in the beginning. It starts off downhill and we were flying! I looked at my watch and it said I was going sub 7 min and I backed off a little. I had this whole argument going on in my head about whether or not to slow down to 8 min or not. I finally decided I felt I could hold that effort for 3 miles so just went with how I felt. First mile was 7:25.

Not much to say about the 2nd mile. It didn't feel too painful. There was a water stop in this mile but I skipped it. I was still arguing in my head about pace but the side of me hoping for a huge PR urged me on! Second mile was 7:33.

Mile 3 was getting harder. I distracted myself with calculations. What will my time be if I continue at this pace. How much room is there between my new goal and my old goal, etc. Lol. I just ran as hard as I could but slowed down a bit. The course is a straight swoop to the finish so I could see the balloons and the finish line a ways back and just focused on that. There was also a girl running in front of me and I was trying to catch her to keep my pace up. Mile 3 was 7:40.

When we got to the .1 to go, I gave it all I had. I remember hearing someone say nice sprint. And then we were done! I looked at my watch and it said 23:47! PR! I was SO excited!

I got my medal (we also got the pin in our goody bags):
And then ran a one mile cool down. After that I looked at my Garmin and saw I had 2 new records! Fastest mile and fastest 5K! Which I pretty much knew because going into this, my fastest mile was 8 min at the Peter Cottontail 5K.
But...WOO! Then I waited for the results to be posted. And BAM! 2nd in my Age Group! Woo!

So I went over to the awards tent and picked up my AG medal! Yay!

I can't tell you how happy I am with this race! I ran this one smart and hard and beat my goal by a minute. I think I could have maybe...maybe run it a little harder because I didn't have to puke at the end. I remember when I ran that 25:15 and also the 24:59 at the Freedom 5000 that I felt sick after and had to sit down. But not on Saturday. And I ran 15 miles on Sunday and it wasn't too bad. My legs were a tiny bit sore but I didn't really feel tired. So maybe I could have gone a little faster? I don't know. Hmmm...

My next 5K will be the Freedom 5000 again on the 4th of July. I wonder what will happen there? :)

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Pixie Dust Challenge Weekend - Part 3: Tink Half Marathon

And now it's time for my final blog about all the fun I had at the Pixie Dust Challenge. Who's tired of all the pics? Sorry, there's going to be a few more!

I wasn't planning on racing the Tink Half either. Mostly. I did briefly think about trying for sub 2 again since I JUST missed it at the OC Half the week before. I even talked to my coach Justin about it. But he talked some sense into me. So I wasn't too worried about race prep but I did want to eat before so I would have energy and have fun. This time, since I was home, I had to get up at 2:30.

2:30 am is very early but I got up, ate, and got ready to be out the door by 3:30. I had all my costume packed in a bag hanging on the doorknob so I wouldn't forget it. I'd forgotten my wings for the LA Rock & Roll Half and didn't want that to happen again. I made it down to Disneyland just after 4 and then put my costume on. There is a lot of pinning of tutus and wings so they don't bounce too much or fall off. Who'd have thought I'd have a problem keeping a tutu on my hips? Ha!

After I was ready, I went down to use the rest room and there was already a long line. By the time that was done and I'd dropped off my drop bag it was getting close. So I ran to the corrals to get in corral A (they have a cut off time plus I wanted to see all the fun starting ceremony again).

I made it into the corral and found myself right by the 2 hour pacer. So even though I wasn't supposed to be going for 2 hours, I decided to stay close to her in the corral. Then the festivities started:

And we were off and running! I actually did stick with the 2 hour pacer for the first few miles but once I saw Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater, I let 2 Hours go like it was a hot potato!

I'd missed them during the 10K and no way was I missing them again! Tink wasn't on the course on Saturday, just at the finish, so I also made sure to get a pic with her since that was who I dressed as for Sunday. My tank says "I'm With The Fairies":

And then I auditioned to be a Storm Trooper:

And then saw these quacky characters:

I didn't stop as many times on Sunday since I'd already had my pic taken with all the other fairies. So my splits were actually faster on Sunday then Saturday with my trying to beat others to the photo stops. I did have to wait a bit more on Sunday but still not to bad. 2 or 3 people at the most. I love being in corral A! Being speedy pays off! But once we left the parks, I just ran easy. Still, I was happy when I got to the finish, especially since I got to high five Mickey!

Look! A finish pic where I don't look like I'm dying! LOL!

Then I got my medal for the half and then the medal for Pixie Dust Challenge. I had put my medal from the 10K in my drop bag so I would have all 3:

That's a lot of bling! And heavy! Here are the close-ups of the half and challenge medals:

Love the spinner Tink Half medal! And the challenge medal is pretty cool too.

One of the great things about the day was that my mom came to cheer me on. I think she loves runDisney races almost as much as I do because of the costumes.

My mom and I watched the award ceremony and listened to the band for a while but then we left to go meet my grandpa for brunch.

So that's the end of my weekend of fun. It was really a lot of fun and I really had fun dressing up. Running with wings for 13 miles wasn't annoying at all. I think the trick I learned about pinning them to the shoulders of my tank really helped. I get to do it all again for the Disneyland 10th Anniversary in September! I'm doing the Dumbo Double Dare! Woo!

Thanks for reading!