Race Recap: 2019 Disney Princess Half Marathon

At last, I am finally ready to share the post you have all been waiting for: The 2019 Disney Princess half marathon!

Ok, so maybe the one person who has really been on the edge of her seat waiting for this is Kasey, but I am here and ready to share either way, so I hope you’re on board for a RunDisney race recap!

On my third early morning of the weekend, I left my hotel room at the All Star Music resort at 3:25 in the morning, and caught one of the last “runner” buses to the start area - RunDisney requests that all runners be on the bus by 3:30 am the morning of the Princess Half marathon, and I was cutting it close with my departure time. They keep running buses after this cutoff, but they are considered to be spectator buses at that point, and their frequency decreases. They bus was in the process of loading when I got there, but I was able to find a seat near the front, so I would be able to get off quickly when we got to the start area. Kasey was staying at All-Star Sports, so we were planning to meet at the start area.

When I got to the start area, there were already thousands of runners making the walk from the bus to security, which had a short line to get through. Kasey messaged me that she was sitting near the first tent after the start area sign, and I quickly spotted her sitting in an area that just barely allowed her to not get stepped on by people who were walking by. She was about as sleepy as I was, and hated me more than ever for talking her into running - even if she had signed up for this race of her own accord. We relocated to another area that had more space for sitting, and ate our pre-race meals there. The start area was much more crowded than other RunDisney events that I have participated in. Once we were fed, I sorted through my bags, and separated the the things I needed for the race from the stuff that I would be leaving with bag check, and then we applied some KT tape to my knee and Kasey’s foot before heading towards the start corrals.

They had changed the bag check system from previous RunDisney weekends, and instead of checking your bags based on your last name, they allowed runners to pick any of the trucks stationed near the finish line, and we were given a sticker to put on the back of our bibs that showed which of the trucks our bags were in.

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I made a brief stop at the porter potty, while Kasey resigned herself to wetting her pants over using a porter potty, and then we were on our way to the corrals. It was almost a mile walk from the start area to the corrals. Kasey was assigned to corral D, so that was where we would be starting our race from. When we got into the corral the pre-race show had started, with the announcers speaking about the race charity, and quizzing runners in the corrals with disney trivia. Since we were in corral D we had a little bit of a wait as the race started, and we inched our way closer to the start line as they released waves of runners.

When we finally did make it through the start line, there was immediately course congestion, to a point that really prevented us from getting a full stride in as we ran. We tried to find a consistent pace as we made our way through the first mile, but we were stuck going at a slower pace than we had planned. Even going through the first water stop, it was too crowded for me to make my way from the middle of runners over to the side.

In the second mile they had Jack Sparrow out with his pirate ship, but as usual he had a long wait, so we didn’t stop for a photo. Once we hit the highway the congestion eased up a bit, and Kasey actually seemed to be having a good time. As we approached the Magic Kingdom sign during mile 3 we pulled over to take a selfie before continuing to the park. The announcements of “caution runners, speed bumps ahead” rang out as we went through the toll booths. The next part of our run took us through the parking lot at the ticket and transportation center, where we ran by a character stop that had an assortment of Disney Princes, and a winding line. We passed the third mile marker shortly after, and stopped to get some water at an aid station near by.

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They had fog machines our around the evil queen’s character stop, where she was in full witch form, and cooking up some poison apples. We finally got to the the ticket and transportation center, and were able to stop at a bathroom near where the monorail loads. It was surprisingly empty, considering that it was the first real bathroom on the course.

When we ran by mile marker 4 I tried serenading Kasey with a little number from frozen, but she was not amused. She was liking me less as less as we got deeper into this half marathon. The had the RunDisney logo in pink as we ran under an overpass, and towards the magic kingdom. It was the standard entrance into the park, where they loop runners through the bus stops, and then have big light up inflatable pillars guiding runners through the park entrance.

We passed the 5th mile marker just before entering the park. The lights were still on at the entrance when we got there, as the sun was just coming up as we made our way onto main street. Kasey was starting to die a little by this point in the race, and she even broke out her post run forward fold when we stopped to take a picture with the castle. There were pink lights projected onto the castle, very fitting for the princess half.

We made our way into tomorrow land, where runners seemed to be dipping and diving to get to a character… I couldn’t even tell you what character, I was too busy trying not to crash into people. Must have been a good one, I guess. After tomorrowland we ran by Alice’s teacups, then passed the storybook circus and ran through new fantasy land. We took a momentary breathing break there, as both Kasey and I were struggling with the humidity. Once we got moving again we ran by the carousel, then spotted Cinderella next to the castle, and hopped in line to get a photo with her, since we were dressed up as Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother - it was only fitting.

After we snapped our photo we ran through the castle, then pulled over again, this time for a photo in front of the castle. Sadly, our time in the magic kingdom was coming to a close, as we ran through frontier land, passed the 6th mile marker, and headed backstage to leave the park. The park exit lead us into the dreaded cone alley, which was actually less congested than the race start had been. We ran past the resorts that are in the area of the magic kingdom - the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian, and passed by mile marker number 7. They had a group of grooms our near the Grand Floridian, and as we approached mile marker 8 there were signs with various princess themed jokes.

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I tried serenading Kasey again during our 8th mile, when we heard some frozen playing, but she still rolled her eyes at me instead of joining in like Mike would have. There was an aid station during mile 8 that handed out sport beans, and it was around that point that Kasey started to let me know that her foot was broken - our walk breaks became a little more frequent, but we kept moving forward. Soon after her stomach went a little sour, but I talked her into eating some skratch gummies just after mile 9, since when I get nauseous during long runs it is usually because I am doing a bad job fueling. It seemed to help, and she was able to keep going.

During mile 8 we started to notice some fireworks going off in the distance, and at first thought it must be the first race finishers. But they kept going well into mile 9, and I never did figure out what they were for…. so I guess you all can just wonder with me forever now.

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Right after mile marker 10 they handed out cool sponges, and then it was time to climb the on ramp, and run by the green army man. With only a 5k left, we were nearing the end of the princess half marathon. It was hot on the highway now that the sun was totally up, but it was a manageable distance ahead of us. Being on the overpass meant that there was a bit of an uphill between miles 10 and 11, and the road had narrowed once again, so it had become more congested.

Mile 12 was placed right at the entrance of the Epcot bus area, and as the park was opening, there were plenty of people waiting to cross through runners and get into the park. We weaved through a backstage area as we headed into epcot, and Kasey spotted some characters from her favorite Disney movie - Mr and Mrs Incredible, in the flesh. She pulled right over to hop in line to get a photo with them, and I was totally on board with the move. After we struck a pose we hopped back onto the race course, and headed into Epcot.

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We entered the park near Figment’s Journey into the Imagination, and ran by the character spot, heading towards spaceship earth. We went through future world, passed spaceship earth, headed back stage, and then it was a quick turn and we could see the finish line.

We smiled as best we could as we crossed the finishline, got some pixie dust, and were handed our medals for completing the race. I liked that they had some glitter to them! The real reward was the cooling towel that they give you right after the medal though. We walked through the finisher chute, grabbed some poweraide, and I collected my fairy tale challenge medal. Kasey and I stopped to take a finishers photo together, enjoyed some treats from our snack boxes, and headed back to our hotel rooms for some well deserved naps.

At the end of the race I asked Kasey which of the three half marathons she had completed was her favorite - she at least seemed to enjoy this one more the the half we did together in D.C. last year, but she refused to answer and told me she was never running more than three miles again. I mean, I guess I’ll let her stick to that for a few more weeks, but she is signed up to run the Hot Chocolate 15k with me in Brooklyn at the end of April.

Race recap: 2019 Disney Princess 10k

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Early morning number two. The hardest part is waking up, and the majority of that was now behind me. I laid in bed for 10 minutes after my alarm went off, eventually mustering up the will to get moving. I had packed my bag the night before, so I really just had to get dressed and get out the door. It was cold in the hotel room, so just before leaving I decided to grab a sweatshirt- something I learned would not be necessary the second that I stepped outside.

The morning greeted me with a wall of humidity, and it was clear this race was going to be a hot one.

The bus was waiting when I got to the loading area, and I hopped on and snagged a seat next to another runner. We didn’t have a wait like the previous morning, and instead we were quickly on our way to the start area. I was so sleepy on the second morning that I was tempted to close my eyes on the bus. We got to the start area in about 15 minutes, and walked through the Epcot parking lot to get to the security check. No line again today, just a walk up to the table where they checked my bag.

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I was flying solo for this race, so I walked into the start area and found a space to go through my bag, sorting out the stuff I wanted to bring with me and the stuff that I would check during the race. They once again changed the bag check situation - this race instead of checking the bag based off the first letter of your last name, runners could go up to any truck and were given a sticker to put on the back of my race bib to remind me which truck I had used.

Once my bag was checked I headed right into the corrals, and found a spot to sit towards the front of corral A. We had waited almost 40 minutes to start the 5k the day before, and I was just ready to get moving on day 2. The humidity was already heavy on my lungs, and I wondered just how rough this run was gonna be.

Around 5:15 they started moving us toward the start line, and I was just a few rows of people back from the start of the corral, which was exciting. We watched as the announcers went through the pre race show, and I even got picked to answer a trivia question by one of the announcers (did you know that Mulan is the only Disney Princess who wasn’t born into royalty or married to a prince?).

Eventually it was time for the race to start. The wheelchair athletes went off first, then the elite runners, followed by all of us in corral A. I was able to settle into a sub-9 minute mile, which was all I was hoping for during this race. The first mile flew by, and the only character sighting in that stretch was Pocahontas, who was stationed on top of an overpass, posing above as the runners went by below. Shortly after the first mile marker there was a LONG line for a character - I wondered how a line could already be that long this early in the race, but then I saw it was belle and beast posing with a stained glass rose window, and understood the long line. I snapped a photo as I ran by, but didn’t want to wait in such a long line that early in the race.

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There was a slight uphill during the second mile, as we ran onto the next stretch of highway. I heard Hawaiian roller coaster ride playing as we approached the second character stop, and sure enough stitch was there taking photos with runners, all dressed up in his Elvis costume. The second mile marker featured belle, and it was still dark as night as I ran into the third mile.

There was a Donald Duck character stop that I believe was in mile 3 - he was just on the side of the highway without any backdrop, but I decided to run in for a photo as there was no line. I was starting to feel the effects of the heat by this point in the race, and was struggling to keep the pace I wanted at this point. It gets humid in NY in the summer, but I wasn’t accustomed to this kind of weather at this point in the year, so struggled as the race went on.

After passing the third mile marker we passed the waste treatment plant behind Epcot, which is easily identified by its smell, and ran under test track. Joy and Sadness were on the side of the rode, and I regretted not getting a photo with them during marathon weekend, so I stopped for one. Disgust would not have been pleased with how sweaty I looked in the photo.

Finally, we entered Epcot for the first time and started making our way around world showcase. I spotted Pinocchio hanging out in Italy, and ran right in for a photo. The countries were all lit up, and while I was struggling and feeling like I wanted the race to be over already, I tried to stay with a sub-9 pace while running, and reminded myself that if I was going to be running in weather that was hotter than preferred, I may as well be doing it in Disney.

As I approached the France pavilion I spotted Marie, who I had never managed to catch during a race before, and was super excited to get a chance photo with her. So excited in fact, that I forgot to pause my garmin, but it was a super quick stop, so it didn’t mess up my moving pace too much.

We exited Epcot after the France pavilion through the exit that leads to the board walk, and did a lap around the resorts before heading back into the park. The boardwalk loop was a huge struggle for me, knowing that I was going to have to deal with a few little hills within the next mile. The first was as soon as we left Epcot, and boy did I feel exhausted climbing that one. I had to back off the pace a little, as I started to feel nauseous as I climbed. Bleh. I do not miss summer running. As I made my way around the boardwalk Goofy was out, dressed as a baseball player. I thought about stopping since he had no line, but really just wanted to get to the finish line at that point. One more hill to leave the board walk, then into the construction area behind Epcot, where they are building the gondola system. It has been cool to see the construction progress over the last year, as many of the rundisney events have gone through that area. They had smart talking “construction workers” stationed in that area, joking around and rooting runners on.

We headed into Epcot a second time, and made our way towards future world. Mickey was stationed just before we turned towards spaceship earth with only 3-4 runners waiting, so I decided to do one more character stop. Our outfits did coordinate, after all, even if I was dressed as a villain.

I pushed hard to get back to a good pace after leaving Mickey, knowing that I had less than a half mile between me and the finish line. I ran towards spaceship earth, stopping for a jump shot along the way, then out of the park and towards the finish line. I didn’t make the same mistake I had during the wine and dine 10k and start sprinting towards the finish despite the heat, but instead just tried to hold a consistent pace. As I approached the finish line the runner next to me shouted “hi queen of hearts, this is good timing!” I turned to look, and she was dressed as Alice! Good timing indeed, as we did wind up in the same finish line photos.

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I was very relieved to be done running, and happily accepted my medal, which featured Mulan. Then it was on to snack boxes and bag check. As usual, I checked a drawstring backpack to carry all of the goodies they give you at the finish line. There weren’t too many runners in the post race area so I headed over to the characters to check out the lines. They had aurora, Princess Minnie, and Elena out. I decided to hop on line for princess Minnie, which took about five minutes. Then noticed that the line for aurora was also labelled for Mulan. The cast member at the end of the line told me Mulan was due out in about 15 minutes, so I decided to wait there, but the line moved quickly and I got a photo with aurora. So, I hopped on the back of the line again, and was able to get a photo with Mulan the second time around. It was her race after all!

When the character photos were complete I made my way over to the buses and back to the hotel. We had breakfast reservations at be our guest, so I had time for a decent nap before heading to the parks for a day of fun.

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Race recap: 2019 Disney Princess 5k

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I never did tell Mom what time the alarm was set for, but when it went off at 3:35 A.M. it scared the crap out of me. I dragged myself out of bed and into the bathroom to get dressed. Once I was ready I called out to mom, concerned that she had rolled over and fallen back asleep, but once I asked if she was awake she got up and began preparing for the morning’s race.

Twenty minutes later we were dressed as dalmatians and on our way out the door, headed to the bus stop at the all star music resort. We were at the bus stop just before 4 a.m. and as we climbed on board Kasey texted me saying that her, Aunt Karen, and Hallie had just arrived at the start area. We wound up waiting on the bus for about 15 minutes, but eventually we were on our way to the start to meet them.

We got to the start area a little later than planned, so lucky for us there was no line for the security check. Mom’s main goal at that point was to get a cup of coffee, and there hadn’t been any available at the hotel, so we got on the concession line to pick some up before heading to the corral.

We found the the rest of our group as soon as we entered the runners-only area, where the corrals are located. We hopped into our corral, and our next objective was to finish Kasey’s costume - she needed some white Cruella hair. I had brought white hair spray with me, and we moved to an empty area so I could spray one half of her ponytail.

We hung out in the back of the corral until they started to release runners, and when the crowd started to move we left the corral among the other participants. It was a slow crawl of a walk towards the start line, as they broke the corrals into mini-waves, so it took a long time for us to get to the start line, and we even got faked out just before the start, thinking we would get to go with the group ahead of us but the runners were cut off just before us. All in all it took a little more than a half hour for us to get to the start, and then we were on our way!

Mom, Aunt Karen, Kasey, Hallie and I all wanted to experience the race together, so we were all walking this one as a group. We took our time as we chatted on the road leading up to the backstage area of Epcot. I’m pretty sure Hallie almost puked when we walked by the waste treatment plant, but we powered through, passed under the backstage area of test track, and soon after entered Epcot. We passed some characters as we walked, but the lines were all very long so we just kept moving forward.

We first entered Epcot in the world showcase near the Mexico pavillion and when we got to Canada we spotted Daisy all dressed up in an adorable coat. We walked through the illuminated buildings in world showcase, and when we got to Germany it was time for a pit stop at the bathrooms.

There were plenty of photopass photographers on the course, and Kasey was never sure how to pose when we walked by them so we just had fun thinking of different poses as we went - this resulted in many awkward pictures that we got to laugh at later.

We left world showcase after the France pavilion, where we spotted prince Phillip. We walked towards the boardwalk resort area, but the course turned so we went through the gondola construction area. When we re-entered Epcot we were in England, and Rapunzel had a character stop. The sun was starting to come up as we moved through Epcot, and we eventually entered future world. We passed the fountain, and then headed towards test track.

As we were walking, Hallie saw a photographer snap of someone jumping, which lead to a series of attempted jump shots, and us learning just how bad Kasey is at jump shots, especially if that involves a heel click. Through many laughs we attempted our own jump shots, and failed miserably at coordinating our jumps, but at least we had fun with it.

The last part of the race took us by spaceship earth. As we left the park Kasey and Hallie started to get a little competitive, power walking ahead of each other. Soon enough there was a quick pass of Hallie’s phone to Aunt Karen, and then Hallie was sprinting towards the finish and Kasey chasing her down, as they raced to cross the finish line in the final stretch of the race. The rest of us laughed as they took off, and Kasey did win their showdown to the finish. Hallie stopped just before the finish line and ran back to us, so the four of us could cross the finish line together.

We collected our finisher medals, got our snack boxes, and took a finisher photo before heading onto the buses. We had a busy day ahead of us - starting with brunch at Chef Mickey’s to celebrate my Uncle’s birthday, and then a day in Magic Kingdom.

I carried my go pro along for the race to capture the fun, so here’s a video of our experience!

 

Princess Half Marathon Recap: The Half Marathon!

For the last post in my Princess half marathon weekend series, we are finally talking about the big event – the princess half marathon!

For those of you that are new to the blog, I will let you know that the princess half marathon holds a special place in my heart, as it was my first race EVER back in 2016. My cousin Ryan and I decided to sign up to run it, not being runners or having any idea how to train properly, but somehow managed to cross the finish line. The moment we were done, I knew that running was going to be a part of my life for a very long time, and have been chasing the feeling that I had at that finish line ever since.

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So, for the 2018 Princess half marathon the theme was “Snow White,” with a big apple shaped medal. I wanted a costume that would go with that theme, without hitting the nail on the head and just dressing up as the princess herself. Rachel and I spent some time brain-storming this one, and we decided to go as the mine train (Rachel) and the poison apple (me).

I had so much fun putting these costumes together, and even learned some new skills along the way. I decided to make the focal point of the costumes the skirts, and then build the shirts and accessories around it. For my skirt, I made it to look like the poison apple itself, with a red base and a sparkly white top, shaped like the poison dripping down the apple, complete with an eerie face. Then I used my mom’s Cricut machine to create iron on transfers for my shirt. I decided to go with a play on a line from snow white – changing “Just one bite and all of your dreams will come true” to “Just one RUN and all of your dreams will come true.” To complete my outfit, I ordered a poison apple hat and a pair of red ProCompression socks, and I was ready to run.

So, on race morning I rolled out of bed too early for the third day in a row, and got myself dressed for the day. It was basically a routine at this point, so I had everything laid out right where I needed it. As I left my room I texted Rachel to see how she was feeling and asked if she was going to run the half (the day before, she had nearly collapsed from dehydration). She said that she was feeling better and was going to give it a go, and we agreed to meet up in the start area like we had for the 10k. I hopped on the next bus that pulled up to the All-Star Music resort and was on my way to the start village.

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I found Rachel easily enough, and we hung out in the start area until it was time to begin the long walk to the corrals. For this race I was assigned corral B, while Rach was in F. We were originally planning to run the race together, but since Rachel hadn’t been feeling well the day before we decided to run separately, so that I wouldn’t wind up pushing her too hard. As I hopped in line for a porter potty she headed to her corral, hoping to get a spot near the front – for this race corral F had nearly 10,000 runners, about 30% of the race field.

I made my way to the corrals surrounded by thousands of other runners, some in costumes. Near-by was a man dressed as Ursula, joking about needing to brace himself for the calamari jokes he was likely to hear throughout the day, as the temperature rose. It was about a 15 minute walk to get to the corrals, and once I found corral B I headed in and tried to relax, feeling more nervous than I usually do before a race. As the start time grew nearer, I took some time to stretch, and eventually took my first Gu of the day. By that time, the announcers were on the stage and the pre-race show was underway. Jeff Galloaway remarked casually about the 90% humidity, as if it was an everyday activity. To get the race started, they brought out the Fairy Godmother and had her countdown to race start with a cry of “Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Boo!”

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The first wave of runners were released with a show of fireworks, and then corral B was moved right up to the start line, and a minute later, we were off into the morning. My plan for this race was to have fun, and soak in every bit of Disney magic that I would encounter over the next 13.1 miles.

The first mile was a little congested, with all of the runners trying to find their groove. There were volunteers lining the side of the course, cheering as we started our trek down the highway. Since I knew I wanted to make some stops for characters along the course, so I picked up my pace to make up for time i would loose in lines. My plan for characters was simple – if there was little or no line and I wanted a photo with the characters, I would stop. If it was the Evil Queen disguised as an old woman, I would stop – since it matched the theme of my skirt. But most of the time, I wound up snapping a quick photo or video as I ran by.

The first stop was at mile 1.7, where I saw that Jack Sparrow was set up with his pirate ship. The props made it a cool stop, so I pulled over and got in line for a photo… but then realized it was a slow moving line and decided to cut my losses and keep moving. It was still dark, but I was already feeling the heat of the morning. This was the day that I would learn how much I am capable of sweating.

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Soon after the pirate ship I came upon the entrance gate to magic kingdom, lit up and shining. This is one of my favorite parts of the race – even though the park is still miles away, I get so excited knowing that I am headed there. I stopped and took a selfie, mimicking one I took with my cousin in 2016.

The next stop that I came upon had an assortment of Disney princes and heroes, and I deemed it a necessary stop – after all, it is the princess half, and I felt like to post with the princes was a photo I had missed out on the first time around. It left a dent in my time for that mile, and I took off fast as soon as my photo was done. Of course, soon after came the one character stop that I “NEEDED” – The evil queen, and boy did she have a line waiting for her. I suppose since I was in an early corral and all it wasn’t the worst wait it could have been, but when I was moving I was running paces in the low 8’s, and my mile average still came in at almost a 14 min/mi for the two miles that I did these character stops.

On the upside of things, I was quickly approaching the Magic Kingdom, and over the next two or so miles it was all highway and no characters, so I was able to make up for some of the lost time. I wound up settling into a pace close to a 9 minute mile, but then slowing myself down as I approached the magic kingdom, not wanting to miss a second of time there. We passed mile marker 5 just before running though the bus bays outside of magic kingdom, then headed through the park’s main entrance and down main street USA – the smile on my face in the race photos says it all, and I found myself holding back excited tears as I made my way through the park. Have I been to magic kingdom before? Yes. But there is nothing quite like running down main street. Plus, this was the first time I was starting a RunDisney event in my designated corral rather than dropping back to run with someone, and I was in awe of how empty main street was.

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Once I made it down main street the course turned into tomorrow land, and I felt like it was a parade of character stops in magic kingdom – first up was Buzz Lightyear, before running passed the story book circus, then into new fantasy land, where I spotted Gaston near his tavern and the White rabbit, who was probably running late and shouldn’t have been doing a meet and greet. Just before the castle Cinderella’s evil step-sisters were stationed, with people pulling over for pictures, when I could hardly contain my excitement enough to even consider stopping.

Then one of my favorite moments of a Disney race: running through the castle! I had it nearly to myself, and stopped to get a picture in front of the castle before going onward into frontier land. I quickly spotted tiana and Louie, then Woody and Jesse, followed by Goofy. There was only one person on line to meet Goofy, and being a sucker for classic Disney characters, I stopped for a photo with him before continuing to run to the part of the course that would bring us backstage in the magic kingdom.

I only got to spend a quick minute backstage, as we just ran by a few buildings before leaving the park, but they had some festival of fantasy parade floats out, so I grabbed a quick photo with the giant dragon float, since there was no line and I couldn’t resist such a cool photo op. There were some princesses out with their floats as well, but I ran on by as I said goodbye to the Magic Kingdom. I made one last photo stop on my way out – they had the rail road car pulled right up to the course, so I threw myself in the path and posed dramatically, as one does. I was basically dying because of how much I was sweating at that point anyway, so I may as well get a good photo of it.

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The next few miles were all highway, as we made our way back to Epcot. We ran by the grand Floridian, where tinkerbell was hanging out with her fairy friends. As we approached mile 8, they had put up signs with cheesy jokes on them to amuse runners as they went by, all Disney themed of course. My favorite had to be “Who is the funniest Disney princess? – Ra-PUN-zel!” But I am a sucker for cheesy jokes. Just after mile 8 they had props and performers from the long closed Adventurer’s Club, which was once a restaurant in downtown Disney. Having read stories about it, I may always be a little bitter that I never got to visit myself, but I always enjoy when RunDisney brings out entertainment like that.

As I continued on the highway, miles 9 and 10 ticked off on my watch. The mile marker for mile 10 was a little special, as this was the 10th anniversary of the princess half. I slowed my pace a little at this point, as I was starting to feel the effects of the high humidity. Plus, my thigh was starting to chafe! I had run TWO marathons and countless training runs in the shorts I was wearing and never had any issues, but apparently the humidity was doing me in for this one. By the time I was finished with the race, I had a raw patch of skin on my leg. With mile 10 came the overpass, AKA the one “hill” of this Disney race. Once I was up the overpass, I could see runners on the highway for quite some distance.

With mile 12 I started to enter the Epcot resort area, and mile 13 brought me all through the parks. I was loving this race, but the heat was getting to me and I was more than ready to get to that finish line! I picked up the pace a little for the last mile, running passed spaceship earth, and to the final out and back of the course. Then one more trip passed spaceship earth, around the bend, and the finish line was in sight. There was still confetti on the ground from the winners crossing the finish line, and Prince Mickey and Princess Minnie were waiting by the finish line as runners approached. As I ran by Mickey I snagged a high-5, then threw my hands in the air as I crossed the finish line, full of joy.

Finish time: 2:13:37

A volunteer handed me my medal, and they had fairy godmothers in training on hand to sprinkle finishers with pixie dust. Then it was just a long walk down the finishers chute, where I collected Gatorade, water, and a snack box, then verification at the fairy tale challenge tent, where I collected my second medal of the day. The last thing to do was pick up my checked bag, and head for the bus back to the hotel.

I completed my second Disney princess half marathon, and my first glass slipper challenge. It was exactly the magic that I was hoping for, and that I have come to expect from RunDisney. I spent the rest of the day hanging out with my family at my aunt and uncle’s house, just taking it easy and celebrating a successful race.

As for Rachel – she finished too, and even snagged herself a new PR, crossing the finish line in just over 2 and a half hours.

Princess Half Marathon Recap: 5k

Before we talk about the race, let me tell you about the costume that I put together!

As a big fan of Tangled, I had planned to have a Rapunzel themed outfit since long before the theme was announced. My original plan was just to dress up as Rapunzel, but I figured that was going to be a bit overdone after the medal was released, so I decided to make a skirt that would resemble the lanterns that you see throughout the movie.  ......Click to keep reading!

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Princess Half Marathon Recap: Arrival to Florida and Expo day

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My journey to Florida for the princess half marathon began at MacArthur airport in NY, where I boarded a flight with my parents on Wednesday night. Dennis was supposed to be joining us for this trip, but he recently started a new job and had to cancel. Dad won the seat game, when he snagged the emergency exit row seat that had no seat in front of him – talk about leg room! I had recently gotten some free drink coupons from Southwest, so Mom had a celebratory vacation drink as we flew to Florida.

The flight was smooth sailing, and when we got to Florida Mom and I collected our luggage while Dad grabbed the rental car, then we were on the road to Disney. This first ride of the weekend through Florida began the saga of the tolls, where we scrambled for the millions of quarters that we would need to chuck into the provided bins. In retrospect, we probably should have invested in a SunPass, but at the time we didn’t realize just how many quarters we would have to dig for.

We pulled into the All-Star Music resort, and found our room in the country music section. I had completed the online check in that Disney offers, so I didn’t even need to stop by the front desk when we got there – we had received a text with our room number and our magic bands would open the door. The most complicated part was figuring out where to park! We started by following the numbers around the building, starting high and marking them off as they got lower… but the parking lot ended at building 6 and we were headed for building 5. So we doubled back and realized that we needed to be in the parking lot that All-Star Music and Sports shared.

Once we lugged all of the luggage into the hotel we settled in and called it a night, planning to get up early and meet up with my mom’s sister and her family, and all go to animal kingdom together.

In the morning my Aunt Liz and Uncle Keith met up with us at the hotel for breakfast. Since the best way to start a Disney day is with a Mickey Waffle (or a cinnamon bun, I’m not picky), Dad and I both got bounty platters, complete with Mickey waffles to start the trip off on the right foot.

We all piled into the minivan that Dad had rented and headed for animal kingdom, and were directed to the Dinosaur lot. We got there just a few minutes after opening, and once we were in the park headed to Pandora. The first ride of the day was “Na’vi river journey,” and since the park had just opened there was only a 20–minute stand by line.

After the ride we found my cousin Keith, his wife Kristen, and their baby, Ainsley. Or, more accurately, they found us! Kristen jumped right into a photo I was taking of my parents, and we all got a laugh out of her photo bomb. 

After a few minutes of catching up as we hung out in Pandora, we made our way to flight of passage. Just a week before our trip the park hours got changed, which released an extra hour of fastpasses, and I managed to snag us each one for flight of passage. I was happy that my mom agreed to come on the ride with us, as she isn’t always a “ride” person, but we all had a great time.

When we exited the ride we found Keith and Ainsley hanging out by the gift shop, and all headed to dino land so we could take Ainsley on tricera tops spin, then hung out there for a little bit. We made our way around animal kingdom throughout the rest of the day, taking in festival of the lion king, riding expedition Everest, and grabbing lunch at flame tree BBQ.

We all had a great time just hanging out and enjoying the park and each other’s company, but as the afternoon rolled into the evening I needed to head to the Expo to pick up my race bibs, so we all parted ways, and my mom left with my aunt and uncle, as she was planning on staying with them for the next few days as Dad and I hung out in Disney.

We headed to the expo around 5 pm, and hit a little bit of traffic heading into the ESPN sports complex. Once we were parked we went to the bib pickup area first, as bib pickup was obviously my priority. We headed into the arena, and the process was easy enough. Flash my ID, trade my signature for a bib, and then do it once more for a challenge bib. Since it was the 10th anniversary of the princess half, in addition to my bib I was given a luggage tag in the shape of the half medal, a set of bib boards featuring mickey, and a button featuring the race logo.

The next stop was the main expo hall, where the shirts were waiting to be picked up. There was no line to get into the building, so we were able to walk right in. I stopped for a few photos with some snow white props they had out, and then we walked to the back of the hall where the shirts were set up. I tried on one of my shirts and it seemed good. While we were in the Visa center we stopped at the pandora booth. I wanted to check out the charm they were selling for the race weekend. It was kind of pricey, as it had to be purchased with a bracelet, but my annual pass knocked 20% off the price, and we had a $50 gift card from waiving maid service in the hotel room, so I wound up getting the charm in the end. I walked around the vendors a little, but there was nothing that I really needed in terms of running supplies, so the only other thing I picked up was some applesauce and buy one get one free chipotle coupons. 

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Finally, we headed to the runDisney Merchandise area. I picked up the pre-order jacket that I was bought – there was no reminder that I had purchased one at any point in the bib pickup process, so if you pre-order merchandise, remember to retrieve it! It has the same logo on it that the annual passholder shirt bore, with each race distance and associated princess. Then we wandered around the merchandise, and I picked up a few things – a wine glass, a tervis water bottle, the pins of the race medals to add to my backpack, and a 13.1 magnet to add to the back of my car…. Yep, I’m THAT kind of runner. For the first time, the runDisney merchandise had its own building, which I really preferred over the usual arrangement. It meant that there was plenty of space for the merchandise to be spread out, so I was able to shop leisurely instead of being crammed into a small aisle with too many people. Before heading out, I waited in line to get a photo with princess Minnie, all ready for race weekend in her pink dress. 

With the expo complete, Dad and I headed back to the hotel and grabbed some pizza from the food court for dinner before calling it a night. I set up my outfit for the next morning and packed my bag with everything I would need, and headed to bed, excited for the weekend full of running that I had ahead of me.

 

2018 Fairy Tale Challenge Training Week 10: The Sunshine Returns to Morning Runs

Weekly Mileage: 28 mi

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Another Monday morning meant the usual debate: Orange Theory or Yoga after work? Usually this decision is simplified by Emily, who heads to yoga with me, but since she was unavailable I questioned my routine. After what was probably too much consideration, I decided to go to Yoga since my IT band was bothering me after the weekend's runs. The class focused on shoulder opening, but of course opened with a loooong knee pile, which is basically my arch nemesis. It was as if the instructor somehow knew I had complained about that pose to Em over the weekend.

The regular routine was back on Tuesday, and the day started with Kasey's arrival at my house. We griped about the return of cold weather after a mild weekend, but at least the sun is starting to rise earlier in the morning so we are less in the dark. Kasey and I got in about 2.5 miles together before her morning deadlines called, and then I kept running solo. I felt like i was dragging myself through mile 4, struggling to find joy in my run. My mental game was poor, and I started to question why I run - lately I feel slow, and like I have  lost so much work. But then a flip switched - why was I treating myself like this? I would never beat a friend up like that, when there were up early, running, and putting in work! So I challenged myself to pick up the pace for the last mile, fight when it got hard, and to finish my run strong. I looked at my watch - I was averaging a 10:07 pace. If I could drop the pace down to 9:30 for my last mile, I could bring the run down to a sub-10 pace. So I dug in and got going - that last mile was a challenge, but it was the breath of fresh air that I needed. I managed to run it in 8:27, bringing my average pace down to a 9:47, and it was just the pick me up that I needed. When I got home I squeezed in a quick Nike Training Club workout. I just set up a new program to follow in the app, so I got the "benchmark" workout done. I felt good going into the day ahead of me, and thank goodness I had that positive attitude because it was a busy day at work. So busy that I wound up leaving late, and just barely made it to swim on time.

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It was a big night of laps at swim, and after a quick warm-up we started with 6x50m repeats. Once we finished those, we started the main set of the night, and it was a big one: 5x300m repeats - 300 m in the pool that I swim in is 12 laps. Twelve! That is super far for me! Each repeat had about 30 seconds of rest between sets, but it was still a challenge for me, and I was proud that I got through it. We got to take it easy for the rest of the session, wearing fins as we worked on drills. 

The weather warmed up a little for our Wednesday morning run, and I even got to break out my light jacket - imagine that! Kasey wasn't feeling great, but managed to make it though two miles, and was only a little dramatic with her poses at the end of her run. I appreciated it. I had plans for another five-mile morning, and picked up the pace as I ran off from Kasey's house. The workout turned into an unintentional progressive run, which I was really pleased about, and I even managed to get that last mile into the 8s again, which made me happy. I had planned to get in a quick strength routine when I got home, but I somehow totally forgot that part of the plan, and didn't remember until I was already dressed and ready for the day... whoops. There was no workout for me on Wednesday night, as Dennis and I had big Valentines day plans: to watch a movie (Mulan) and eat nachos. If that's not love then I don't know what love is.

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There was some error on Thursday morning - as I waited in the kitchen watching for Kasey to arrive, the minutes ticked by. I had been texting Emily in a group chat that her, Kasey and I share, and there had been no answers from Kasey that morning - an uncommon occurrence. As it got later, I started to wonder if Kasey was awake. So, I texted her brother who I figured would be up and getting ready for school to see if she was up, and moments later got a text from Kasey - she had accidentally set her alarm for 6:55 instead of 5:55 - Whoops! By this time it was already around 6:40, and since Kasey needed to be home by 6:50, her run was lost for the morning. Lucky for me, it was above 40 degrees, so Dad agreed to come out on his bike for the first time this year. Since I knew it was going to be a shorter than usual run, and I had been feeling up to challenging myself this week, I decided my goal for this run was to finish it with an average below a 9 minute mile - and somehow pulled it off! I was pretty pleased with myself, and excited that I completed my self-imposed challenge. 

Thursday night did not go as well as Thursday morning - while I was at work my throat started bothering me. So I checked it out and after looking at it was concerned that I might have strep - it was not pretty. For fear of passing sickness on to other athletes at swim, I stayed home for the night and made a doctors appointment for Friday morning. It was a bummer, but now I will have the push to get to the Monday morning swim session that I keep telling myself I am going to get to, but have yet to attend. 

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I considered going for a run when I work up earlier than I needed to on Friday, but my IT band has felt tight lately so I decided not to push things. Instead, I did one of the longer workouts that Nike Training club offers – crunch and burn 2.0. The explosive movements in that one kill me, and I hate but love the side plank leg lifts.

After my workout was done I headed to the doctor’s office before work to get my sore throat checked out – I was relieved that it wasn’t anything serious, just Thrush, which is a common side effect from one of the inhalers I take, and can easily be cured with a prescribed mouthwash.

Saturday was my big mileage day for this week. Kasey and I had plans to run 10 miles, and it would be the first time that she ever hit double digits on a run! In addition to my run with Kasey I had agreed to meet up with a few friends from the tri team for some shared miles, so it was going to be a busy day. Before my run with Kasey, I started my packing list for the Princess half weekend, and extracted my suitcase from the closet, which was way harder than it sounds.

I had most of my race outfits together, but still needed to pack standard vacation Disney clothes (yes, this consists of things adorning mickey’s face). Piles of clothing were established, and I packed them all into my luggage cubes (yes, everything goes into a bag before it goes into my suitcase – it makes it much easier to find things in the hotel room! I use these bags). I made my list of what needed to be replenished in my first aid bag, and packed up everything that I could think of. By the time Kasey texted me that she was ready to run, I had most of my packing complete – I just needed to put some finishing touches on my race outfits.

It was a nice day considering it's February in New York, and I was able to head out for my run without having to swaddle myself first. I just wore a long sleeve running shirt and my light running jacket, along with some leggings and my momentum jewelry trucker hat – it was bright out! I pushed the pace a little in the first few miles, before thinking logically and realizing that I should be a little more conservative with the pace if I wanted Kasey to agree to join me on future long runs. About 4 miles in we stopped for water and sport beans before continuing onward. The weather was beautiful, and the miles just slipped away on the sunny afternoon. It was odd to see so many people out and about in the neighborhood, when I am so used to running in the morning when we see the same four people out walking their dogs every day. We made one more quick fuel stop at mile 7, then pushed through to the end. Guys, believe it or not, Kasey survived her first 10 mile run – hell, I would even say she was pretty damn successful at it, managing to keep an average pace of 10:07 min/mi. So yes, I will be continuing to rope her into long runs (**cough** Disney marathon 2019 **cough**).

After Kasey and I finished up I ate a quick snack (consisting of a tortilla shell with peanut butter smeared on it) and then started heading to Norman J. Levy Preserve – or “Garbage Mountain” as my dad likes to call it, since it was once an actual garbage dump. I somehow always manage to forget that running there makes for a hilly run, as you gain elevation as you go along the path. I added another layer to my running outfit, as the preserve is right on the water, and it was likely a few degrees colder there.

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I met up with Tara and Allison, and we got going. The miles always slip away too quickly when I run with these ladies, as we always have what feels like a million things to catch up on. When I was training for my first marathon Tara helped me through so many of my long runs, and then after the Long Island Marathon Alison helped me to find running inspiration again as we ran together as she trained for her first half iron man. We headed up and down the mountain, and looped around it a few times, went out and back on the dock, and even had to dodge a gender reveal photo shoot that was happening, as to not photo bomb them. We wound up logging just over 4 miles, and then decided to take a jumpshot before parting ways, which had us all cracking up.

I had planned to finish up the rest of my costumes on Saturday night, but I was just too tired after all the, literal, running around. Instead, I spent the night hanging out with Emily and my brother, Tommy, catching up on a new Netflix series.

Sunday somehow slipped through my fingers, with all of the errands that I had to get done. But on the upside, all of the dresses have now been picked out for the wedding in October, as we managed to find Jr. Bridesmaids dresses that everyone was happy with!

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Now, since this is the last recap before the Princess half marathon weekend, I’m going to bring you up to date through Wednesday, since that was when I left for Florida. Then, the next posts will be all about the race weekend!

I managed to get things back on track Monday morning, when I headed to swim at 6 A.M. to make up for the class I missed Thursday night. I had off from work for president’s day, so I felt a little crazy setting an alarm for 5:30 when I went to bed Sunday night. The class consisted entirely of laps, starting with alternating between sets of 25m repeats and 75m repeats, eventually bringing us to the big set of 4x250 m repeats, before a quick cooldown at the end of class. There was a hard end to the class at 7:30, as there was an event going on at the pool. After swim I got breakfast with my parents, and then finally found the time to finish up all of my race outfits and get them packed away. I even managed to put together a few pairs of mouse ears, following a tutorial that Laura Bowers, from Joyful Miles, put together.

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Emily and I still wanted to head to our usual Monday night yoga class, and I felt like that was a great idea, to take some time to slow down and stretch after the busy three-day weekend and before the traveling that would occur this week. Did I fall asleep in class? Yes. But can you really fault me for that - and I woke myself up before the class progressed too far without me!

We had a foggy morning on Tuesday, but Kasey and I didn’t let it get in the way of our run. I made sure that I was well-lit before heading out. I was more asleep than usual when the run started, but the mild temperature, despite the fog, had me in a good mood by the end of the run. Plus, Kasey felt that this run finally broke her streak of mediocre-to-bad runs that she’s had going lately! I only ran three miles, since race day is quickly approaching, and then did a few pop-pilates videos before heading to work.

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The evening was busy, starting with a session at the yoga studio that I almost forgot about. At Emerge, they offer some therapeutic services in addition to yoga classes, one of these being the “biomat.” Emily had raved to me about it, so when she offered me one of her sessions that would expire before she had the chance to use it, I jumped at the opportunity. I had to use the session before leaving for Florida, but naturally managed to forget about it all weekend. Luckily, when I asked about availability after Monday night’s yoga class, there was a time slot open Tuesday night, so I could squeeze in a session between work and swim. I headed right from work to the yoga studio, and they brought me into the room with the biomat, which is basically a squishy, body sized heating pad, paired with an essential oil diffusor. It was a 30-minute session, but I set an alarm on my Garmin for 6:09 incase they let me run over, because I needed to check into my flight at 6:10 – and thank goodness I did, or I would have missed it! But the experience itself was great, and very relaxing. Plus, the heat of the mat felt great on my sore hip.

I went right from Emerge to Swim, and it was another night of mostly laps. For the most part we alternated between 100 and 200m repeats, focusing on consistency and making sure that the pace for the 200m repeats was the same as the pace for the shorter repeats. The last 20 minutes or so of class we spent doing drills, and then I headed home to triple check that I had everything packed for my trip to Florida (I didn’t… it took me 30 minutes to find my headphones, which turned out to be in my knitting bag…. Which was of course, in my carry-on bag for the plane. So I guess technically they were packed?).

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I had one last run before vacation began, and it was again a foggy morning on Wednesday. Kasey wasn’t as happy with this run as she had been with Tuesdays, but we quickly ticked away the miles. After she finished her run I got another half mile or so in, and dropped my pace so that I could bring my average below a 10 min/mi. With the run done, my training for the princess half weekend was complete. All that was left to do was bring my luggage downstairs, so that my Dad could load it into the car- my parents were picking me up from work so we could head right to the airport, and begin our vacation.

All in all, I am happy with how training for this challenge went. I feel prepared to complete back to back races, and my biggest concern is the heat, which at the end of the day I have no control over. Training was derailed in January when I caught a nasty cold and dealt with asthma issues for almost a month, but now I'm back to 100%, and ready to hit the road in Disney!

2018 Fairy Tale Challenge Training Week 9: Training includes Running AND Sewing

Weekly Mileage: 27.2

After a quick weekend trip to Atlanta, GA and a not-too-late night flight home, I was back in NY on Monday morning, and taking a recovery day. Emily and I headed to our usual Monday night Yoga class, bend into bliss, and it was like Vanessa (the instructor) knew that I had run up one too many hills the day before. We spent the class really opening up our hamstrings, with a little bit of hip work as well. We left the class blissed out, and headed to my house to enjoy some pizza after – there’s a reason I don't blog about healthy eating - I suck at it.

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Looking at the mess that is my training plan, with so many of its track days neglected after getting sick, I decided Tuesday would be a good day to do a progression run, something that I used to do once a week, but hadn’t attempted in months. I probably should have warned Kasey of this plan, but she caught on quick enough. Kasey ran to me again to start the run, and my first mile came in at 10:01. After that I knocked about 15 seconds off each mile, with my splits coming in at [10:01, 9:42, 9:26, 9:13, 8:56]. Kasey ran about half of the run with me, but had to bail before I hit 5 miles so that she would get to school on time. I got home early enough that I was able to get a quick core workout in, and completed the Nike Training Club video called “Quick Hit Abs.”

Tuesday night I had swim, and it was an exhausting session! When we started warmups the lane coached warned us to take it truly easy warming up, because there would be a lot of laps ahead of us, and no drills. Honestly, I left this class so exhausted that I wondered if my arms would ever agree to move again, and the only interval I can remember is swimming three laps on 1:30, and I remember this because it was too fast for me – usually I swim in lane one or lane two, but tonight the coach moved me up to lane three tonight, and the struggle was real. I survived the primary laps in lane three, but when we got to the last 20 minutes of class I dropped back to lane two rather than putting on flippers to keep up, so that I could really focus on my form as I swam.

The early morning wake-up that occurred Wednesday was aboard the struggle bus, and Kasey and I were texting each other, evaluating our life choices before we even got out of bed. It was just one of those cold mornings that had us questioning why we get up so early, and considering just staying in bed… but complaining to each other got us moving, and despite sleepiness I got dressed and began my run towards Kasey’s house. We kept the pace easy, and as always were glad that we dragged ourselves out of bed to get our miles in. Plus, the weather was tolerable, despite an impending storm. 

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That night I worked on my outfit for the Disney Princess 5k, where I am hoping to pull together an outfit inspired by the floating lanterns in Tangled, since that is the theme for this year’s race. I purchased capris that have the lanterns going down the side, and am working on sewing and decorating a skirt to look like one of the lanterns – with any luck I will even be able to get it light up.

Thursday morning wasn’t so bad, and at least I got to lay in bed for an extra second since Kasey was running to my house. It was another morning that called for two pairs of leggings, and I was flip flopping between my medium weight and light weight coat. Dad pointed out that the “real feel” temp. was less than 20°, so I went with the heavier of the two. Despite it being cold out, I probably would have been ok with the lighter one, as there was no wind when I stepped outside. I even eventually wound up pulling my gloves off to cool myself down a little. The first mile of this run as a little difficult, and my legs just felt stiff and heavy. But eventually I settled into it, and managed to drop the pace down to a sub 10 minute mile. I kept waiting to see the sunrise, but instead just got a bright patch of sky under dark clouds. Kasey veered off at the usual time, but I kept going for another three miles, working some fartleks into my run. Fartlek is a Swedish word meaing “Speed play,” so this basically means that instead of keeping a consistent pace in my miles, I would spot a landmark and then pick up the pace until I got there. After completing some neighborhood loops I hit 5 miles, and headed home to once again and managed to get a quick core workout in. The tri team coach, Jackie, is always telling us to do more core work and to do more yoga, so I have really been trying to sneak in sessions of the two whenever possible. Today’s workout was a pop-Pilates video instead of Nike Training Club, and 10 minutes later I was moving forward with my day.

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Turns out the second night of swim class this week would be just as challenging as the first, which is unusual. Most weeks one night is laps and the other is drills, and since Tuesday had been all laps I expected Thursday to be an easy drill day, but boy was a wrong! Maybe it’s just that I was placed in lane three again, but I suppose only time will tell what I have gotten myself into. The class started with the usual warm-up laps, easy enough. But then we started doing 25m repeats, that were a little faster each set (they were all fast for me, if we are being honest here). After each set of 25m repeats, we would get 1-2 easy laps to recover, but they basically went like this – [3x25 on 60s; 4x25 on 50s; 5x25 on 45s; 3x25 on 40s]. It may not sound like much to some, but it was a challenge for me! After the speedwork was done, we did a little bit of drilling, and then moved on to 200m repeats. By the time class was over, I was starving and looking forward to meeting Kasey and Emily for dinner.

I brought my gym bag with me to work on Friday, and headed right to orange theory when I got out. It was an endurance day, and I managed to start the class on a treadmill. They called the class an “Olympic” workout challenge, and while we warmed up at our base pace the coach split us up into groups of 4, and three members of the group would run at a push pace while one person rowed, and when the rower hit a designated distance the next person would move to rowing. Every time we completed a round of the workout we would increase the incline on the treadmill, and the row distance would get a little longer. By the end of the block I had gotten through 2 miles and 900m of rowing. The weight room portion of the workout had a good amount of upper body work, and left my arms a little sore all weekend.

The weekend started on a confusing note, as plans to run had been discussed in the tri team group all week, but nothing really ever got finalized, so I wasn't too sure of who I would see when I got to the hilly loop that we frequent. Kasey and Rachel had both agreed to come running, and we were tenatively thinking that we would run like 8-10 miles..... That was up in the air too. 

The first change in plans came when Kasey texted me upon waking up - she wasn't feeling well and had to bail on the run. I was a little bummed but totally understood, in all the months of Kasey and I running together this was the first time she ever had to tap out, so I knew she must really be feeling rotten.

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I picked up Rachel and we headed to Old Westbury, and decided that we would only do one loop, and save longer mileage for Sunday that way Kasey would be able to join us if she was feeling better. When we got to the parking lot a few other people from the tri team were milling about, and we all headed out into the hills together. The weather wasn't too bad, and Rach and I stuck together uphill and downhill. When we finished the 4.5 mile loop we headed home, and met up with Emily to get some Saturday morning bagels. After we were showered Rachel and I headed to target to pick up shirts to use with our princess half outfits, and then her, Emily, and I hung out and worked on our outfits until eventually Dennis picked me up for our valentines date - he surprised me with tickets to see the Lion King on Broadway, and we headed into Manhattan for a great night out.

Since they were predicting rain from Saturday night to Sunday night, my hopes were not high for getting out to run a good distance on Sunday. So, when I got up and saw it was pouring, I headed to Orange Theory. It was a switch routine, so while I was on the treadmill multiple times, I only got about a mile and a half of running in. My IT band was bothering me when I was running on the treadmill, so I knew that I would be better off not attempting to get more miles in on the gym treadmill after class. So, after the hour was up at OTF I headed home to work some more on my outfits and hope that the rain would let up a little.

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The rain did not seem to relent, so around 2 pm I decided to go out and just get a few miles in. With race day quickly approaching I limited my time running in the cold rainy weather, since I had already tempted fate the week before when I ran the Hot Chocolate 15k in Atlanta in downpour conditions. I got in a little over 4 miles, then headed home and got ready for the rest of the nights plans. I beat myself up a little bit for not getting a long run in this weekend, but at the end of the day I know that I will still be able to get through the glass slipper challenge.

When I went into this training plan, I had hoped that I would be able to race the 10k part of race weekend, and possibly even set a new PR. But then I dealt with respiratory issues for most of January, and the more I think about it, the more I feel like this is not an event I want to “Race” – it is more an event I want to savor every minute of, regardless of my pace. Do I still want to run a sub 50 10k? Yes, that goal is still on the table for me. But I think for this particular race, I just want to have a good time and get the full runDisney experience… after all, there are plenty of 10k’s that I can race right here on Long Island.

 

 

2018 Fairy Tale Challenge Training week 7: Back on Track

Total Mileage: 27.4

I came into this week feeling good, after having a great race at the Fred Lebow manhattan Half. I finally felt like I could start putting more into my training again and was ready to dive into some quality workouts.

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As is often my plan, I took Monday for recovery and headed to a “bend into bliss” yoga class, which focused on easy movements, release, and ended with some restorative poses. It released a lot of the tension I had in my body from the weekends running and set me up for a solid week of training.

Tuesday came, and I was ready for a morning run. There was rain in the forecast, but Kasey and I managed to get out and all the way through our run before the sky started falling. The downside, it was very dark for the whole run. But we were decked out with blinking lights that my brother had gotten us for Christmas, and of course the usual reflective gear. My legs were heavy, but it was a good run. I did a Nike Training Club core workout when I got home, in an effort to work on a little strength training. Swim on Tuesday night was all about back stroke drills, building the foundation from the bottom up.

I wanted to start to get back into the habit of track workouts being a regular occurrence, as they haven’t happened consistently since I was training for NYC last fall. So Wednesday morning Kasey and I got up a little earlier than usual, and made our way to the local high school. Once we had a mile warmup done, we broke into 400m repeats. Normally I vary the distance of the repeats I do at the track, but I wanted to ease back into things. The sun slowly rose as we did our laps, and Kasey had to be home by 7:00 to get ready for work, so when it was time for her to go I ran her home and then headed to my house to try to get another quick core workout in. I pulled up the Nike Training club app and picked a workout I had never tried before called “core countdown,” and got that done before getting ready for work.

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After work I decided to head to orange theory for a class, as I have trouble fitting their classes into my schedule lately, but still want to get as much as possible out of the membership that I pay for. Since I had already done a challenging run that morning, when I got there I asked the coach if it was okay if I just did the weight room routine twice, and since there were empty slots in the class, she said that would be fine. It was a routine with a lot of rowing, and by the end of the class I had rowed over 4000 meters.

Thursday morning we were running outside again, and while the weather had been predicted to be in the low 30s, it was actually in the low 20s with a “real feel” of 13 degrees. Needless to say, it was a two layers of leggings kind of day, and I completed the look with a buff over my face. My legs were feeling the previous days workouts, but I am glad I got in my miles. Thursday night swim was a combo of laps and drills. The set of laps were 2 x [1x300, 2x150, 6x50], and then the rest of the class was once again, working on backstroke.

I took Friday as a rest day, and was ready to get moving Saturday morning. I had made plans with Kasey and a few ladies from the Merrick Bicycles Tri Team to head to a local college to get a run in, as the terrain is much more dynamic and has a lot of rolling hills. Got to vary up that training, right? I picked Kasey up just after 7 am, and we drove over to the college to meet Sami and Laura. The roads were a little bit slippery, so we were careful to watch our footing as we ran.

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We started with a warmup lap in the parking lot before moving onto the main loop of the campus, where we would encounter some hills that we would love to hate. I chatted with Sami and Laura as we went around, and Kasey only flipped me off one time for dragging her out to run hills – normally we run on the south shore of Long Island, which is flat as a pancake, so this was significantly more challenging. As we made our way around the campus we added a loop around one of the parking lots, and did a quick out and back before making our way into the lot we were all parked in to make sure we got a full 6 miles in. We all managed to avoid wiping out on the patches of ice that we encountered, although I had one close call as we did that last out and back. We were exhausted when we finished, but proud that we had pushed ourselves outside of normal comfort zones. After running I got breakfast with my parents at a diner, and then spent the rest of the day working on my skirt for the princess half marathon.

My original plan for the weekend was no miles on Saturday and then 10 miles on Sunday, but when I was invited to run hills Saturday I couldn’t resist. Since my training schedule has not exactly gone according to plan up to now, I figured another switch up wouldn’t really hurt me anyway, and decided I would just run 6 miles Saturday and 6 miles Sunday. Kasey agreed to run with me both days, but we didn’t make any solid plans for Sunday in terms of what time we would run, since it was supposed to rain all morning.

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When I got up Sunday it was indeed raining, and I decided to make my way to Emerge for a yin/restorative yoga class, and the hour and fifteen minutes spent relaxing with yoga props was glorious. After the class I was ready to get moving, but the rain had not lifted. Eventually the sky cleared up a bit, and Kasey and I headed outside to get a 6 mile run in. I got to try out my new hat from Momentum Jewelry, which I won through a giveaway hosted by Carlee McDot, and I loved it. It was not only cute, but a totally comfortable running hat. Our legs were a little tired from the hills on Saturday, but we easily enough got through 6 miles, and the weather was much warmer than we had been used to lately.

The weekend ended with a taco night, where Dennis hosted Kasey, Emily and me, and we watched the first thor movie as we each ate our own dinner creations. There were only four of us at dinner, yet we wound up with 3 different protein options for the tacos – ground beef for Dennis and me, Chicken for Kasey, and tofu for Emily. It was a great way to end a busy weekend, and I even got some time to work on another skirt for the princess half weekend while we watched the movie.

So, with my mileage coming back up, I am starting to get excited for the races on the horizons. 

2018 Fairy Tale Challenge Training Week 6: Racing and Running and Swim

Total Mileage: 33.4

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After an excellent long run with Kasey and Rachel on Sunday, we dedicated Monday to recovery. Rachel and I met up after work to get our legs moving with a few easy miles, and then met up with Emily at yoga. It was a chilly night, so we layered up and headed out. It was different from my usual runs in that we were outside at night, when most of my runs these days happen in the morning. But we both were decked out in reflective gear for safety, and chatted through the two miles that we got done. The yoga class that we headed to after was called "Bend into Bliss," which was a slow flow class with some restorative work. We left the class blissed out, and I was glad that I took time for recovery.

I had been house sitting for my Aunt through the weekend, and Tuesday was the final morning before I got to head home. Since I was too far away to get a morning run in with Kasey, I got a few miles in on their treadmill before taking the pup for a walk and heading to work. Tuesday night I had swim class, and we were going back to the basics with a night largely consisting of drills. It's still early in this session for swim, so we are foundation building to make sure that we are doing the strokes correctly, and this class focused mainly on back stroke, since we usually swim freestyle. 

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On Wednesday morning Kasey and I had tentative plans to run outside, but knowing that it was supposed to be near freezing and raining, we set alarms and decided to make a final call in the morning. When our alarms went off at 6 it was raining, so we decided to not run outside andinstead headed to Orange Theory Fitness when I got out of work. It was an endurance day, and while the treadmill block was super manageable, the weight room session involved a TON of squats, and by the end of class our legs were burnt out and we definitely had that post leg-day limp by the end of class.

Thankfully the weather was more on our side Thursday morning, and we were able to get outside to run. Both Kasey and I regretted not just sucking it up and running in the rain, but after having a cold that is lasting for weeks I am trying to play it a little safer. I was able to get in some solid pre-work mileage, running 3 with Kasey and three miles solo before heading home. As is the usual Thursday routine, I headed to swim after work, and again it was a night full of drills, focusing on kicking and backstroke. 

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On Friday morning, I woke up exhausted so decided to take a rest day. I'm still recovering from this never ending cold, with my voice being intermittent at best, so I listened to my body. 

Come Saturday I was feeling much better, so I was glad that I took it easy on Friday. I had plans to run a half marathon on Sunday, so Saturday's plan was to take it . Rachel needed to get 10 miles in since she is going to be out of town next weekend and unable to do a higher mileage run then, so I agreed to bike along with her after I had run 6 miles. Once she got to my house we headed out and got two miles done before running by Kasey's house so she could join us. The three of us then ran 4 shared miles, and I was struggling to talk through out the run as my voice is still not at 100%, so I played some music through my phone to break up the silence. Once I hit 6 miles we looped by my house, and I hopped on Dad's bike to chase Kasey and Rachel. A mile later, Kasey decided to join me on bikes, and we both cheered Rach on as she got closer to her goal of 10 miles - soon enough she hit her goal, and I was so proud of her for going strong through all of the mileage. Even though Rachel has finished marathons, this was the furthest that she had ever run continuously, and I am so excited to get to watch her grow as a runner. While on this run we used my house for the two fuel pit stops we made, and Dad was ready to check in and cheer us on as we got the workout done. 

Sunday was my big run-day for the week, as I was registered to run the Fred Lebow Manhattan Half Marathon. How did it go? Check back on Wednesday to read my race recap!

This week I finally felt like I was back on track with my running, after three weeks of missing mileage due to sickness. While my goals for the 10k portion of the fairy tale challenge may wind up being out of reach this go around, I am still going to give it my all, knowing that there will always be another race if I do not succeed this time. 

 

2018 Fairy Tale Challenge training week 2: In which I impulse sign up for a marathon

Mileage Complete: 42.1

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The second week of training went about as good as I could dream any week would go. High mileage, felt good, got in some great workouts. 

I started the week easy, heading to a yoga class on Monday night with Emily. We went to a "move and meditate" class at Emerge, our local yoga studio. It was a great class, with a lot of movement and core work. I left the class feeling recharged and ready to take on the week. 

Tuesday morning I had planned to run 5 miles, but since Kasey also wanted to run 5, I wound up running 6 since I run to her house before we run together. It was a little chilly, but the temps were warmer than the week before, so I was thankful for the brief reprieve from the cold. That night I headed to swim, and knowing that I was going to have to miss the Thursday class because of a family obligation, I put in as much effort as possible. It was a night consisting mostly of laps, with a 25m lane configuration. We did 3 sets of 50 m repeats, consisting of 50m easy and then 4x50m hard. The second set of the night was a long one, with two 800m sets. Each 800 m repeat had a 10s rest after the first 400m, so that we could check the time and make sure we match the time for the second 400m. It was a challenging class, but I was really happy that I got through it. After the class I met up with Kasey and Emily to grab dinner, and I was starving thanks to the days hard work!

Kasey and I headed to the local track before dawn on Wednesday, hoping to get a workout in. It was a windy morning, and there was a 100m strech of the track where the wind was blowing against us, but we powered through. The plan for the track session was:

1 mile warmup

3x400@1:46/200 recovery

2x600@2:39/400 recovery

2x400@1:46/200 recovery

2 mile cooldown

 

I ran to Kasey's house, so my warm-up wound up being a little longer than planned. When we got to the track we got to work, and I was really impressed with Kasey, who managed to keep pace with me for the first three 400m repeats. She has been improving so much as she continues to put in more miles. We took the 600m repeats at our own paces, and then Kasey had to head home so she could get to work on time. I finished up my workout, feeling good and hitting my numbers for the rest of the run. Jennie had come to the track as well to get her own run in, and I ran some of my cool-down with her, then headed home. Wednesday night I headed to Orange Theory to get in some strength training.

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The other big event of Wednesday: an opportunity presented itself to me to register for the Disney marathon... which was about two weeks away. Now, I have been considering signing up for this race for months, but because of the uncertainty of my fiancé's schedule I wasn't sure that I would have someone to travel with and had hesitated in signing up. This lead to the race selling out, much to my disappointment. But on Wednesday, I saw a post from a RunDisney travel agent in a facebook group, and after getting the travel priced out Dennis and I decided that we were going to make a weekend trip to Florida so that I could run the marathon. Since the NYC marathon I have been maintaining a weekly base of 20-30 miles, but my longest run was 10 miles. So, it won't be my best marathon, but I am just happy that I will get to participate in it!

So, I adjusted my training schedule for the coming two weeks, and made plans to do an 18 miler in place of the 12 miler that I had planned for Christmas eve. The week went on, with an easy day Thursday, with just a walk with Jennie to start the day - complete with a beautiful sunrise. 

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I had off from work on Friday for the holiday and spent the day hanging out with my cousin Jen, who was in town so she could spend Christmas with her parents - and of course, so she could run with me. We got super lucky with the weather on Friday, it was in the 50s, and a little overcast. Jen and I headed to Kasey's house, and we got the run underway. Jen and I chatted as we got moving, with Kasey occasionally chiming in. Seven miles would be a new distance milestone for Jen, and she was worried about getting through the whole distance without walking, but she rocked it! It was her first time running on Long Island since the fateful day we ran one mile together two days in a row over the summer, and I am so proud of how far she has come! The miles just slipped by, and before I knew it we were six miles in, with an average pace of 10:02 - so I did some quick math, and figured if we could get the pace down to a 9:45, we would average less than a 10 min/mi pace for the run. We successfully picked up the pace and pulled off a 9:26 for the last mile, and averaged just under a 10 min average.... well, at least Kasey and I did - Jen's Garmin insisted that she came in at exactly a 10 minute average, much to Jen's annoyance. 

Saturday Kasey and I headed out for an easy three miles in some rainy weather, keeping it easy and chatting throughout. I was worried that it would be too cold, but it was super refreshing. Plus, I love any excuse to break out my reflective jacket, which is water proof and perfect for rain. The rest of the day Saturday was spent with my bridesmaids, who were all together in one place for the first time! We went dress shopping for my wedding, which isn't until October, but because of everybody's complicated schedules it made more sense to dress shop early. We were successful, and chose two dresses for the bridesmaids to pick between to wear to the wedding. 

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Finally, Sunday came as the week's big mileage day. Like I said before, I upped the planned mileage to 18 miles. Kasey agreed to do the first six miles with me, and Kevin (my brother) agreed to do the last three miles with me - he picked the last three that way I couldn't trick him into running more than three miles. The weather was pretty good, a little chilly but no snow on the ground, so my shoes would stay dry at least. Kasey and I got a late start, since we didn't have much else we needed to get done today other than Christmas eve festivities. It was nice to not have to start our run in the dark for a change. We did our regular neighborhood loops, and parted ways after six miles. My next nine miles just flew by, and it was the kind of day where I comfortably and effortlessly settled in to a 9 min/mi pace, and the run just felt right. I looped by my house as was necessary for fueling needs, and then eventually when I hit 15 miles picked up Kevin and we headed out to finish up the long run. As I closed in on 18 miles, I was feeling good. Kevin and I chatted over the last three miles and just took it easy, slowing down as the run came to an end. This was my longest run since the NYC marathon, and it made me feel a little less ridiculous about impulse signing up for a marathon - I think I will be able to make it through. 

It wound up being a high mileage week, and a great holiday weekend spent with family and friends. I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas, and a Happy long run!

So, now I am packing in some last minute marathon miles, and as you will read in the week three recap, I of course will catch a cold. But no matter how things play out, I am excited to be heading to Florida for Marathon weekend! 

Are any of you heading to Disney for the marathon? Let me know on instagram or in the comments below!

 

 

2018 Fairy Tale Challenge Training: Week One

Mileage complete: 29.8

Welcome to week one of training for the upcoming glass slipper challenge! For those of you that haven’t heard of the glass slipper challenge, it is an event hosted by runDisney during their princess half marathon weekend. The challenge consists of running a 10k on Saturday, and a half marathon on Sunday. While I will be training to complete the half marathon distance, my main goal is to improve my 10k time, and hopefully bring it down to under 50 minutes during February’s race.

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This week started off with heading to orange theory fitness right from work on Monday, with my trusty NYPD running club gym bag in hand. The class was with coach Sebastian, and it was a power-strength day, with a lot of dumbbells. There were four treadmill blocks and four weight room blocks. The treadmill blocks alternated between standard OTF base/push/all out format and blocks that had us run at an "all out" pace for 30-60 seconds, and then complete an assigned number of weighted squats. For the weight room, we alternated between rowing blocks and weight training. The weight training featured a lot of lunges, and some work with a medicine ball. It was a good class, and I was happy that I made it to class on time – its always a little bit of a gamble when I head right from work to OTF, depending on the days traffic.

Tuesday morning I had planned to get in a few outdoor miles, but it was finals week for Kasey so I didn’t have a running buddy. During daylight hours this wouldn’t have bothered me, but as it is dark out when I leave to run I do not like to go by myself. After work I did get myself to swim class, and the focus was on  laps, rather than drills. The set looked like [warm up,  3 - (1x125; 2x75;3x25), 100 recovery (drill-swim-kick-swim), 3 x 200m, 2 x (100 m 15 s rest, 100 m faster), cooldown]. It was a rare night where I actually felt comfortable in the pool, although that seems to be happening more and more lately.

This time of year in New York, we tend to start to see the temperature drop – and Wednesday’s morning run was the first truly freezing run of the season. Kasey and I were both dreading this run as we looked at the weather the night before - the forecast said 20°F with a 20 mph wind. We would be running before sunrise, so we wouldn't even get any heat from the sun. Going out I layered up with two pairs of leggings (one of which was underarmor cold gear), a brooks half zip shell, and a running jacket. Plus, gloves with wind protection and ear warmers. Kasey got to my house right on time, and we got on our way with one goal - beat Jen's pace from the run she has posted to Strava the day before - 10:05 min/mi. Now that Jen is getting faster, it will be fun to compete with her from afar.

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The wind was cold, my nose ran the whole run, but we managed to keep a sub-10 pace. Kasey had to get to work earlier than me, so three miles into the run we ran by her house and parted ways. I went for a mile and a half solo before looping back to my house to meet up with Jennie, who wanted to get a little run in since she had the day off. We logged two miles together, with the sun finally coming up. By the time I was through 6.5 miles, my hands were frozen and my legs were raw despite the double layer of tights. It was cold, but I had a good run and am glad that I was able to get out before work. I logged a total of 6.5 miles that morning.

On Wednesday at work I found out that I would need to travel from NY to Philly for the day on Thursday, so I decided to take an OTF class Wednesday night since in knew there would be no time to get a run or workout of anytime in on Thursday – I had to be on a train at 5:18 into Manhattan, followed by a train to Philly, then a whole day working, and a car ride home. By the time I got home Thursday night I was exhausted, and happy that I had done a double Wednesday rather than shoving a run into Thursday.

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Friday morning was even colder than Tuesday had been, but with an added complication: it had snowed the day before, and there was ice and snow covering many of the sidewalks and streets in my neighborhood. So, I missed another morning run this week, and added getting a gym membership to my to-do list for the weekend. Originally, I figured I would head to an orange theory class Friday night… but then was able to snag last minute tickets to see “Star wars: the Last Jedi” with Dennis and Emily. I have no regrets.

The weekend was super busy, and flashed by in what felt like two seconds. Jennie and I were signed up for a race on Saturday morning, the NYCRuns “Hot chocolate Classic” 10k. My alarm went off at 6:20 Saturday morning, and I pulled up the NYC runs twitter account to confirm that the race was still happening – remember that snow I mentioned? It was still not melted by Saturday. They had sent out a tweet saying that they would announce the status of the race by 6:30, and at 6:27 they sent out a tweet saying that runners should expect slushy conditions, but that the race would still proceed as planned. Jennie picked me up at 6:50 and we headed to Roosevelt island, where the race was being held. We were both sleepy, but excited about the race – it was supposed to be Jennie’s first 10k, and the race that she would use as proof of time for the Star Wars Dark Side half marathon weekend.

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Maybe you noticed that I said this was supposed to be her first 10k. You see, after about 45 minutes of being in the car, I checked my email. In my inbox was an email from NYC runs, saying that the race was being changed into a “fun run,” there would be no race timing, and there would be no official start time – runners could just go as they pleased.

Now, I fully understand that sometimes raced need to be cancelled because of weather. Dangerous conditions are not good for anyone, and runner and volunteer safety should come first. The thing that made me mad here was that the race had cancelled so late, at a time when most runners would already be well on their way to the start line. Also, they had deleted their earlier tweet, apparently preferring to pretend that no such tweet had ever existed. I was super frustrated, and Jennie was super upset. This was supposed to be her first 10k, something that she had been working towards for months. We were only 10 minutes away from the race when we got the email, so Jennie dropped me off at the start area so I could confirm that there would be no timing mats, and collect our race swag. We were originally going to park in a garage, but there was no point in paying for parking if no race was happening. We had already lost out on the registration fees and didn’t want to throw away more money.

I spoke with someone from NYC runs to confirm that there would be no race timing, and then collected our cocoa mugs, race bibs, and bagels. I hopped back into Jennie’s car, and we headed back to Long Island. We decided that instead of running on Roosevelt island, were we were sure to wind up cold and with soggy shoes, we would head to the gym and complete our 6.2 miles on treadmills. When we got home, I changed into shorts and headed to planet fitness, where I signed up for a membership and then met Jennie on a treadmill. I ran a two mile warm-up at a 10 minute pace, and then did 8x400m, with the 400 m repeats at about a 7:50 pace. I was literally dripping with sweat by the time I finished 6.2 miles, as it was HOT in the gym! I headed home from the gym with the intent of getting some Christmas shopping done Saturday, but somehow found myself at Orange theory with Kasey an hour later. And of course, it was a strength day, with a million treadmill inclines. It was a challenging but overall great class, and I was glad that I got some lifting in with all of the days running.

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Sunday marked my first double digit run since the NYC Marathon, and I was joined by Kasey and Rachel for parts of the run. Kasey ran 9/10 miles with me, her longest run to date, and Rachel joined us for about 3.5 miles. The weather wasn’t too cold, but there was still some snow at houses that didn’t shovel, and occasional patches of ice. I ran to Kasey’s house to start the run, and we trotted along, looping back to my house at mile 5.5 to meet up with Rachel. As we continued to loop the neighborhood, Kasey almost wiped out as we went over a surprisingly icy driveway, and in perhaps her most graceful move ever, she managed not to wipe out and entirely regained her stride like nothing had even happened. This run was more in the street than most of out runs due to obstructed sidewalks, but I got 10 miles done, despite dad taunting me with warm waffles every time we looped by the house… and yes, I mean this literally. He had made waffles and would wave them out of the kitchen window anytime he saw us running by.

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After the run, I of course ate one of these waffles, and then Kasey, Rachel and I met up with Emily and Liz for brunch. It was a good Sunday, and I got some solid miles in this weekend, even though the week didn’t go exactly to plan.

I feel like I am starting to get back into the groove of having a training plan, and now that I have a gym membership setup the weather won’t be able to derail my morning runs so much. But of course, the next week’s weather wasn’t nearly as cold.

Sending warm holiday wishes to everyone, may your holiday runs be Merry and Bright!

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What comes next?

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So, the NYC marathon has come and gone. Now that I am over a month out from race day, I can look back on the race fondly, and am even coming around to the idea of doing it again in the future (spoiler alert: there is no doubt in my mind that I need to run it again). It was a hard race, but I feel so blessed that I was able to be a part of it, and got to run through the streets of NYC with over 50,000 other runners.

Perhaps you have noticed that I have not been posting weekly training updates since the race – Well, good news is whether you missed them or not, they will be coming back on 12/24! I have still been active despite the lack of updates, I just have not been following any sort of training schedule. My fitness over the last month has been a modge podge of running, swimming, yoga, and orange theory fitness classes. Plus, a few little races on the weekends, but always for fun with friends and family.

This time around, my goal is different. As I trained for NY, I focused on finish the race feeling a certain way – strong. Not something one can really classify with empirical data. This time around, I am focusing on shorter distances, and picking up the pace. Before we go into specifics, let me tell you about some of my race PRs:

  1. 10k – 51:08

This PR came at a New York Road Runners event – The UAE Healthy Kidney 10k. I ran this race in April of 2017, with no intention of setting a new PR. It just was a very good day for running, where every mile felt strong. When I realized a PR was attainable, I pushed the pace and was rewarded for doing so. 

         2. Half Marathon (13.1 miles) – 1:58:33

My half PR was set at the 2017 United Airlines NYC Half Marathon in March, which I ran with my friend Tara -We had a great time running together! But if you want to get technical my fastest half time was actually during the Long Island Marathon in May, which I ran in 1:56:59. The last time I really pushed myself to race a half was in October of 2016, at the rock ‘n’ roll Brooklyn half – so its been a while since I really raced this distance.

I haven’t really focused on shorter distances since I ran my first marathon in January of 2017, and this year really turned out to really be “The Year of the Marathon” for me, since I ran a total of three! For 2018, I hope to run at least one marathon, but plan to shift my focus to picking up the speed and race shorter races, and hope that it translates to a faster marathon time when I feel ready to commit to that distance again.

So, these weekly updates will be leading up to the Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend, where I will attempt to set a new 10k PR! I will also be running the half the day after the 10k, but want to focus on the 10k as my goal race for that weekend. The 10k will take place on February 24, 2018 and my goal is, dare I say it, to run it in

Less than 50 minutes!

 

This goal feels ambitious, but attainable. Knowing that it is close to my current PR, I feel that if I focus my workouts over the next two and a half months, with some longer weekend runs to make sure I’m prepared for the half as well, I will be able to improve my pace.

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Another goal for 2018? Run 12 Half marathons in 12 months! But, more on that later….

So I hope that you will stop by on Sundays to read about this new plan, and follow me on Instagram to keep up with my daily training antics! Plus, with all of the races that I have coming up, I will continue to publish race recaps in the coming weeks.