Spring Fling 5K/10K

May 5, 2013

Thanks to my awesome friends who I totally want to be like, Cheryll and Paul, I’m a part of a group on Facebook that focuses on virtual runs. Most of these are put together by the group members and are fundraisers for various things.  Today I completed my first ever virtual 5K.  I choose to participate in Melissa’s Spring Fling 5K/10K Benefiting Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.  I choose this one in honor of Mom; I’ve seen what having Crohn’s has done to her and she has done so much for the National MS Society with me and Dad.  So this one was in her honor.

My back has been feeling a little pinchy lately making running a bit difficult.  So I instead of running I elected to walk the entire 5K today.  Ciera and Duncan enjoyed that; they got to go with for a nice long walk.  Something they haven’t really gotten to do a lot of lately since we got a ton of rain last week.  The 3.12 miles took us an hour and three minutes; some of that time was because I had to pick up after them and there were two stops to provide them with water.  It was a beautiful day to spend time outside.  There were no clouds in the sky, the humidity was very low and there was a very nice breeze.  Very non-May like.  I’m actually glad I didn’t do this last weekend; that would have meant I was doing it on the treadmill.  Next up, my second Miles for Moffit.

2013 Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon

February 25, 2013

Yesterday was my first ever half marathon and sadly I didn’t finish.  I managed 8 miles, but honestly I was ready to be done at about 6.  My feet were killing me and I was having to convince my legs to keep going because my quads were so tired.  So I didn’t finish, but I’m very proud of the eight miles I did manage to accomplish.  And I’m happy that I tried.  The Disney Princess was an event I’m definitely not going to forget.

My day started when I got up at 3am.  Yes, 3 in the freakin’ morning!!! I don’t have to get up that early for Bike MS (Thank you MS staff for making sure we don’t have to get up that early!).  My parents came along to cheer me on so they shared a hotel room with me and J and I’m pretty sure only Dad actually slept.  He says he didn’t, but considering the slight snoring and noisy tossing and turning we kept hearing from him, I don’t believe him.  Back to the race 🙂

I got up and got dressed pretty quickly.  After I was all put together, Mom and J had to take pictures.  Here I am, pre-race.

Ready to race I was all about the purple, if it’s not obvious 🙂  I made the skirt myself and for the record, three layers of fabric held together makes for a very very poufy skirt.  And long layers do not make it easy to work around when going to the bathroom.  So for future reference, shorter and less layers held together.  For sure.  The crown is a $1 special from Joann’s Fabrics on a headband.  I put it on over my hat and actually kept it on for my entire 8 miles.  I do confess to checking it every once in awhile to make sure it was still on.  After getting dressed I walked over to the main building of our Disney resort to catch the bus to the start.  I started with a nice 10 minute-ish walk, got on a bus for about 20 minutes and then had a nice mile or so walk to get to the race set up area.  To be honest, I’m not even sure what they called that area.  There were a bunch of tents, people taking pictures, music, bag check, race retreat.  I listened to some music and stretched before I had to go join my corral.  That was another short walk.  Seriously, I think we walked about 2-3 miles total BEFORE even starting the race.  And that counts my walk to get to the bus.  I didn’t take as many pictures as I should have before the race started.  Here’s some of the people and their costumes.

Costumes 2 Costumes 3 Costumes 4 Costumes If you look just to the left and behind the lady in pink, that rainbow tutu and pink ears set is being worn by a man.  Mary Poppins Men in tutu's Princess Leia I was impressed by all of the men present who actually did dress up.  Not only were there men in Prince outfits, but there were plenty who were obviously totally comfortable wearing tutu’s and tiara’s.  There was one man who was even wearing a full gown.  If I remember right, it was Princess Aurora.

The first corral got to go at 5:35 and as the corrals went, the next one moved forward. I was in G and we didn’t actually start our race until about 6:15.  This was the sight as we approached the start.  Princess Sign  Pretty cool sight huh?

Along the route there were a lot of characters and photo opportunities.  Knowing that I’m slower and there’s a 16 minute/mile pace requirement, I didn’t stop for any.  That’s not to say I didn’t get any pictures.  Most of them were taken while I was on the move and thankfully turned out pretty decent.

Genie  Lumiere  SebastianLightning McQueenPirate ShipEntering Magic Kingdom Entering the Magic Kingdom was pretty deceptive.  We still had about 2 miles to go until we actually entered the Magic Kingdom.  I can remember hitting the parking lot and looking for the castle and I kept thinking “Where is that damn castle!”  Because of the route and the direction of approach, I actually saw Space Mountain well before the Castle.  We actually entered Main Street USA before we saw the Castle.

Entering Main St Cinderella's CastleCinderella's Castle 2 We ran up Main Street, into Tomorrowland and into Fantasyland before entering the Castle.  Because the Castle now has a very narrow walk way we were forced to slowly walk through.  it did provide photo opportunities though.   Exiting the CastleExiting the Castle 2 These two were taken as I was exiting the castle and towards Main Street.  We then headed out through Frontierland and into another backstage area of the park.  This is where Sleeping Beauty and Prince Philip were set up.  Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip The building that the float is sitting in front of; that is where the floats are held for the parade.  The route took is right in front of it and those aren’t walls, they looked like a fabric of some kind and could be seen through.

After this there I managed about 2 1/2 more miles.  There really didn’t seem to be a whole lot more after this point.  We did see Lilo and Stitch and Mary Poppins.  The course itself was actually closed as I came up to the 8 mile mark.  Apparently everyone else was behind on the pace and there were a lot of unhappy people.  We were told that we would all get a medal anyway.  I can understand why some of the people were upset, however to be honest, we knew what the pace requirements were.  I knew I wasn’t keeping up and I was ok with that.  I can’t even blame heading through the Magic Kingdom because even though it had slowed down, after exiting and getting back onto actual roads there was more of a chance for people to speed up.  Granted that was a bit difficult anyway because the walkers didn’t seem to have a whole lot of consideration.  I did try to make sure I was out of the way of runners and when I slowed down to walk, I would check and make sure I wasn’t just stopping in front of someone.  Other walkers would be set up in such a way that it was difficult to get around them because of the way everyone was staggered.

The bus dropped us back off by where we started our trek to the corrals.  We were handed a medal as we got off of the bus and a box of snacks.  I had to go find my family as I wasn’t let off in an area that really made sense.  It took forever to get back through the pre race village area; I found my family by the monorail (another nice long walk!) and we got onto the monorail to head back to parking so we could get their car and go back to the hotel.  We had about a half an hour for me to shower, get packed and leave the hotel.  I guess staying a second night would have been so much easier.

Final pictures! Post Race Post race at Chili’s getting some much needed food!  And of course, the bling. The Bling  There’s a couple more pictures that Mom, Dad and J have.  Once I get those, I’ll add them here.

A man who wants something will find a way; a man who doesn’t will find an excuse

January 14, 2013

– Stephan Dolley Jr.

After yesterday’s training run, this is incredibly fitting.  I finally managed to do a six mile training run; something I’ve been planning on doing for a few weeks now.  And for various reasons, some of them excuses, it hasn’t happened.  I wanted to go Saturday, but my feet were really sore on Friday and still a bit sore on Saturday.  So I waited, and went yesterday instead.  At the end of my run, when my feet hurt and my back was a bit sore (I really need to start doing sit ups and more core work) I was doubting my ability to do the half marathon. I was even wondering if I could cancel.  But you know what?  I want that bling.  I want the crown shaped medal.  So I’ll find a way to earn it.  Even if it means I have to alternate miles; and by that I mean do interval runs for a mile, walk for a mile.  Some how, some way I’ll find a way to finish that run.  No excuses.

Frenchy’s Tiki 5K Beer Run And Phinley’s Holiday 10K At Brighthouse Field

December 1, 2012

I did this tonight!  And yes, it was a “night” run; technically afternoon.  The 10k started at 4 and the 5k at 4:30.  I love where it went, the trail we used is a part of the Pinellas trail system.  We crossed two roads and one of them was twice.  I didn’t do as well as I was hoping, I wanted to improve my time.  That didn’t happen.  I ended up with an official time of 44:57 and I was 11th in my age group of 30-34.  I’m not too excited about 11th, I don’t know how many there actually were.  I was hoping for a much better time, but I am happy with my splits.  They were:

Mile 1: 13:10

Mile 2: 14:15

Mile 3: 13:34

Pace: 13:38

Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.

November 19, 2012

– Margrart Lee Runbeck

This quote was from Saturday and, honestly, it seemed really fitting.  See I signed up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon.  I’ve only done 5k’s so far.  And until Saturday, that was the farthest I’ve ever run.  So needless to say, I’m a little panicked about actually doing a half marathon.  My goal is to not be swept and to finish upright 🙂  Sounds like a good goal to me.  But how is this quote fitting?  Pretty easy actually.  I will be very happy to finish, naturally, but it’s the sense of accomplishment I feel for each little step of the way that makes me happy.

Saturday I was technically supposed to run 5 miles, however since I’m about 3 weeks behind and last week was 3 miles, I split the difference and ran 4.  As I was going I kept telling myself I could do it, I can do 3 miles so the extra mile is cake.  I not only completed the 4 miles, but I did so in 56:17.  Not bad if I do say so myself 🙂  My station is the Half Marathon in February and I will be happy with each step I take to get there.

A great obstacle to happiness is expecting too much happiness

November 13, 2012

– Bernard de Fontanelle

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA for awhile.  I was actually sick last week so I spent a lot of time sleeping.  I worked from home so I wouldn’t share my germs and I spent lunch napping and went back to bed as soon as I logged off from work.  But I’m feeling a lot better, so I’m back!

Today’s quote is so amazingly apropo.  Yesterday I made a decision regarding the Disney Princess Half Marathon that is happening in February.  I decided to, gulp, go for it.  I’m not feeling as panicked today as I did when I signed up, but the feeling is still there.  I’ve never done a half marathon.  I’ve only done 5k’s so far.  But I’m not expecting too much from this; as long as I finish and I finish upright I’ll be happy.  That’s not expecting too much, right? 

RunDisney.com has training plans on their website, mostly associated with the Galloway training plan.  I’ve been loosely following that for awhile now.  I looked at the one for the Disney Princess though, and I should have started “training” three weeks ago.  Oops.  My biggest issue will be the long runs.  I didn’t look at how long they’ve been so far, but in theory I may be able to actually jump in on week 4 with no problems.  My goal for the half is to do intervals of 2 minutes running, 1 minute walking.  And if I really need to, I’ll do run/walk intervals for every other mile.  I’ll make that decision the closer I get though.  So for training, my Tuesday/Thursday lunch runs with my co-worker will be spent working on increasing my running intervals as right now we’re doing 1:1.  And on Saturday’s I’ll work on distance.  With that plan in place, I should succeed at finishing upright, I hope.

It is never too late to be what you might have been.

October 29, 2012

– George Elliot

If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.  – Ivan Turgenev

Today is a two-fer!  The first one is the Spark Quote from yesterday and the second is today’s.  I like them both, a lot.  And both seem to really be fitting.  Plus these two are so dang easy to put together, for me anyway. 

On Saturday I did the Bride of Frankenfooter 5K at Starkey Wilderness Park; an absolutely beautiful area to run in.  Heck that’s a great area for any kind of outdoor exercise.  We’ve been feeling the effects of Hurricane Sandy in the form of cooler temps (it was 54 when I left for work this morning!) and breezy conditions.  Saturday was very breezy and I was a little afraid that it would affect my running.  I didn’t even notice the wind!  Starkey Wilderness is an area that actually reminded me a lot of Northern MN, lots of trees and I really think they helped keep the breeze at bay. 

What does that have to do with today’s quotes?  Well, isn’t it obvious?  I was meant to be more active, to be a runner.  And I’m glad I haven’t waited for the “right” moment.  It would have been so easy to say that I would start when I lost so much weight, or had gotten down to a certain number.  But then I would have missed out on the fun on Saturday.  I wouldn’t have experienced a gorgeous location for running (or walking or bike riding) and I wouldn’t have had the fun I did; I wouldn’t have seen all the creative costumes.  Although I’m still a bit irked at myself for letting Hawkeye Pierce and BJ Hunicut beat me; I let two lushes beat me for cryin’ out loud! 

Nothing is ever going to be perfect and the exact right time to do something, to make positive changes in life, is when you make that decision to do something and follow through.  I’ve made the decision to be a runner; granted I will never be very fast and I will probably never win my category.  But I’m finishing, and that’s an accomplishment.  What about you?  What might you be now that you know it’s not too late?

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