Spring Training and the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure

Thursday was my Friday this week! At work, I moved to a new team so we took Friday to do a little team bonding. what a treat to sleep in a bit on Friday! Originally, we planned a boat day–I know, a boat in early March, the perks of Florida living! However, after a week of HOT, gorgeous weather temps dropped and the winds were going to be blowing! Not ideal conditions for a rather rickety rental pontoon boat. 

So what does one do in Fort Myers in March? Head to a Red Sox spring training game of course! My team was pretty evenly split in alliances between the Sox and the Braves so it made for some good heckling. Go Sox!

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Red Sox vs Braves

 

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I ended the day laying out a very pink outfit to wear for the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure. With my best friend’s mom’s recent breast cancer diagnosis and the fact that the course start was less than a quarter mile from my apartment made it a no brainer. Combining fitness and a great cause = awesome. Charlie was kind enough to join me which was VERY appreciated this morning when I didn’t want to get out of bed. Can every race be at the mall I live at? It was awesome to only have to wake up an hour before the race and not leave my apartment until it was about to start. It was a chilly 45 degrees this morning.

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As you know, I’m not in the best shape I’ve ever been in, so this race was more difficult than it should have been; I kept thinking of my friend’s mom to keep pushing me. But, wow, what a powerful event. Aaand, for the first time, I met my fitness goal on my new Polar Loop –more on this to come.

What motivates you during a race? Do you have special mantras or friends and family who you think about as you run?

 

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Wine and Dine Threepeat and other races

Holy cow! Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon filled up FAST. I don’t think I’ve seen it full up this fast before, but, quite frankly, I’m not surprised. Disney races have gained popularity and the Wine and Dine is hard to beat. Who doesn’t love a late night race (am I the only one who loves a good late night race?) that ends with all the food and beverages you can imagine. I know I like to celebrate with the Kalua Pork Bun from Hawaii and a glass of champs. Nommity noms. This will be my third running of the race and I’m pretty excited. 

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Flashback to Wine and Dine 2013

Luckily, I saw the RunDisney tweet about registration opening and I kept my eye on that quickly growing percentage. Last year, I signed up in May, this year I acted quickly to sign up at lunch today. The day after it opened! Wowzers. I’ve convinced Charlie to run it with me again. Maybe this year I can get him to train for it?

 

The other race I recently–several weeks ago–signed up for is the Lululemon Seawheeze in Vancouver! As I mentioned, this is the year of the half marathon for me, and Seawheeze will mark my first west coast half. I’ll be joined by my best friend, Chelsea, so we can have a reunion revolving around running, yoga, and seafood! I can’t wait to try Pacific salmon. You may have noticed that these races are both in the fall. Yes, I’ve set myself up for summer training again. While I’m not thrilled with the idea of getting up before the sun rises to get my miles in, I’m planning to build a solid base to help with that.

The temperatures are already starting to pick up here in Southwest Florida and Spring training has only just begun! Does anyone have suggestions for making hot, humid runs more enjoyable? I’d love to hear your tips. 

 

Why I decided not to run a marathon in 2014

I’ve been a little ashamed to admit that I’m not running a marathon this year. I’ve run a marathon each year since 2012. Okay, that’s only two, but the time spent training makes it feel longer. I was supposed to have run my third marathon in October in Chicago. But, after 6 months of a chronic tonsil infection, that was not possible. It’s the first race I’ve ever signed up for that I didn’t run. It’s the first marathon I trained for that I couldn’t complete. And it sucked.

It was mentally tough to have gone through all those double digit long runs and have nothing to show for it. I’m not a natural runner by any stretch of the imagination. It’s hard for me and I’m slow. I like to have goals and to meet those goals. I love getting the medal at the end to say, YES! You did it! Not even showing up for Chicago did a number on me mentally.

Since my surgery, I’ve taken a MUCH longer hiatus than I expected. I lost my motivation and desire to go for runs and quite frankly had lost a lot of my muscle, fitness, and strength. I also realized with so much fitness lost from the length of my illness and then the surgery, that I just didn’t want to stress myself out getting ready for a marathon. I’m also the type of runner who over thinks every run and have kind of psyched myself out of some runs. I’m starting to get back into it, but it’s been a process.

I love the half marathon distance; it’s challenging but not exhausting for me like the marathon. I was recently at a college alumni event and ran into Joan Benoit Samuelson. In telling her of my plans to just run half marathons this year, she said, “I hate when people say they are just running halfs. Halfs are hard, too.” And there I had it, I didn’t need to feel like I was being any less of a runner by not running a marathon in 2014.

My goal for this year is to get my fitness back, to run a sub 2 hour half marathon (I told you I am slow!), and to enjoy training again instead of dreading long, hot, humid runs. This year is going to be my year.

I’m excited to get faster, to get stronger, and to enjoy running.

It’s been awhile

I started this blog with the intention that it would help to be an outlet. I was unhappy with my job, unhappy with my health, and needed a change. So, while I’ve been gone, a couple things have changed.
First and foremost, my attitude and outlook has changed. I had always rolled my eyes when my friends would talk about The Secret but I was miserable and thought it worth it to at least give it a go. While there are still parts of it that make me roll my eyes, being positive is helping me with work, my relationships, and my outlook on me!

Second, I got a promotion! I’m switching roles with my current company and couldn’t be more excited.

Third, I gave myself 14 goals for 2014 and I’d like to start sharing some of them on here. This is a year where I take pressure off myself, work on my speed, and make sure I’m living life instead of rushing through it.

Please join me as I get back into shape, get healthy, and have fun!

The Week of Holiday Parties

I’ve had trouble getting into the holiday spirit this year. Does the weather definitely affect it? Absolutely, it still feels like summer to me. I miss the snow. Hey, I said the snow; I don’t miss the shoveling! My fall has also been filled with quite a few stresses and illness. With Thanksgiving falling so late this year and my surgery coinciding with it, it’s been tough to get into the mindset of the holidays. 

I’m hoping that when I go home on Saturday and embrace the cold and snow that a switch will flip and I will be ready for Christmas with my family before being back at the office for New Years. In the meantime, I’m making myself listen to Michael Buble’s and Bing Crosby’s Christmas albums. Do you hear that? Making myself… geez. Who invited the Grinch? 

At least I’ve had a few holiday parties to attend. The first being my Junior League Holiday Party! I just finished the provisional course and am about to be a full fledged member. It’s been a great way to meet so many amazing women and get involved in the community. If you have a Junior League near you… Join! You won’t regret it. 

 

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Junior League with Kathryn and Marissa!

Friday was my company’s Holiday Party. The group decided to stay at the hotel so we didn’t have to worry about getting home after. The Sanibel Harbour Resort was beautiful and definitely was a great location to let loose. I don’t have a lot of photos from the night, but rest assured that it was a blast. 

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Of course, since we were so close to Sanibel, we had to head over the causeway to go to the Island Cow. While I got a pretty simple but tasty egg dish for breakfast, the Island Cow is famous for their muffin basket. Lo and behold, they were confetti muffins! They were a bit sweet but it totally reminded me of confetti cake night at Thorne Dining Hall. YUMM!

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The rest of the day was spent Christmas shopping with Charlie to finish up the last of it! Don’t these ear muffs suit him?

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Sunday was rounded out by a trip to the local hockey arena for some skating.

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Tomorrow, I’m hosting a good ole fashioned graham gingerbread house making party! I can’t wait for the hot cocoa, decorating, Christmas music and time with friends! How do you get in the holiday spirit?

 

runDisney Wine and Dine Half

Let me start this post by saying I LOVE DISNEY. My family has gone to Disney countless times and fully supports my runDisney habit since they come down to cheer or make that chEAR me on! My first half marathon was during the Marathon weekend in 2011. It was truly a magical experience for me and I had an amazing time with my mom and sister chEARing me on from the side lines! And, as a Mainer, it was AMAZING to be out of the freezing cold for a few days!

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My First Half!

I moved to Florida later that year and began to run as many Disney races as possible! I ran the inaugural Tower of Terror 10 miler in 2012, the Wine and Dine Half 2o12 (my parents loved spectating this race and scoped out the food for when I finished!), and the Disney Marathon in Jan 2013! I signed up for Wine and Dine this summer because I knew I couldn’t miss out on this race! My boyfriend took the plunge and signed up for his first half!

Now as many of know, I’ve been sick a LOT the past few months and wasn’t allowed to run the Chicago Marathon. Needless to say, I got a total of two runs in during the two months leading up to the half. Right when I was starting to get some last minute runs in, I got sick again and was put back on antibiotics that I finished a couple days before the race. I didn’t have any PR hopes for this race. For me, it was going to be an accomplishment just to finish it!

Regardless, I was SO excited for this race. I got to Disney for the Meet Up and Charlie drove up on Saturday. We spent the day getting our race packets, carbo loading (can you tell we destroyed that bread basket), and hanging out in our PRINCESS room to rest our feet

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Looking excited! Or just in a food coma from the bread!

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Even though I had no expectations for the race, I was still very nervous! We took a nap until about 6 when I woke and bolted up and out of bed to start showering and eating a light snack of a Clif Bar and coffee! Clif Bars are my go to pre race food. The perfect size for me and doesn’t sit too heavily in my stomach. However, it turns out the coffee didn’t end up being strong enough… Oops! I, of course, had Charlie take some pre race pics!

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I actually didn’t wear the Minnie Mouse ears during the race because I tend to be particular about how things feel during a race. But I did like to pretend that my polka dot shorts were a play on Minnie Mouse… just in a different color scheme! At that point, it was time to head off to the buses and start the great wait. I love Disney races, but getting to the race so early and sitting around for so long always makes me nervous! But, as always, the DJ did a great job leading an awesome dance party and we even saw an engagement on the big screen! Such a great way to get pumped up and shake out a few nerves!

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Ready to run!

Time flew, and we were off to the corrals. Charlie was in the corral ahead of me, but stayed back in mine so we could at least start together. His original goal had been to just finish, but then his competitive nature took over and he wanted to race it. Yes, the kid who did one long run of 8 miles. We ran our own races which I think was such a good thing. I just decided to go by what felt okay and, for once, not stare at my watch. I had a few minor mishaps like having to use the porta potty at mile one (I knew I should have done one last bathroom break before getting into the corral), and my contact popped out 3 times!, and then a final restroom break at mile 11 in Hollywood Studios. Oh, well! This was not my best race, by far! But, I was actually really really satisfied with myself. When I started running, I never would have imagined being able to push my body 13.1 miles without walking  with no training! It’s amazing to see what my body is now capable of!

I met Charlie at the bag check and he watched my stuff while I changed. Note to readers: if you run this race, bring a pack of Wet Wipes! They are so helpful and the women in the tent around me l0ved me! While it wasn’t a real shower, it was the next best thing. We grabbed our wine as we left the finishing area.

Oh, by the way. Charlie ran his first half marathon with NO training in 1:48! I am SO proud and so excited for him! I think he’s caught the running bug. From there, we went to the after party first stopping for Champagne and the Hawaiian Kahlua Pork Bun–my FAVORITE! We made our way around the park and left the park once the party ended, carrying desserts back to the hotel. We were exhausted, our belly’s full, and had smiles on our faces! Yet another magical Disney race in the books!

Going into this race, I was so nervous about how I would do. Well, now I know I can do anything and am now really wishing I had signed up for the half marathon at Marathon weekend at Disney! I can’t believe I won’t be there this year to run through Cinderella’s castle. I guess this teaches me to go with my instinct and just sign up! I can’t recommend Disney races highly enough so go do one!

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RunDisney’s #WineDineHalfMeetUp Recap!

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Sorry for the delay in getting this up! I had my tonsillectomy this week, so I was running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off last week. The recovery hasn’t been much fun, but going through the pictures from the Meet Up was definitely fun!

When I saw my name on the list of people accepted to the Meet Up, I was ecstatic! When Chelsea and I did the Disney Marathon last year, we had tried to get into that Meet Up with no luck. Because I love Disney and am a HUGE RunDisney fan, I knew I was in for a treat at this event. A few extra hotel nights were added, and I was good to go! I ended up leaving work a little late so had a mad dash to my hotel, change, and head back over to Epcot.

Man oh man, was it worth it! I ended up meeting Kim and Jen in the parking lot and we ended up doing the Fast Pass to the Test Track together

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I have to say, runners, in general, are so friendly and welcoming, and when you add Disney to that mix, it is a fabulous time! After our Test Track experience, we were brought to a special viewing area for the Illuminations show. We were so close, you could feel the heat from the fireworks and flames!

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After our special viewing of Illuminations, we got to meet Chef Mickey!

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And we got to sample some goodies from the Food and Wine Festival! Yum! And that is a baby glass of vegan wine. It was my first time trying vegan wine and it was delicious!

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After some food, we sat down for some great talks by Jeff Galloway, Tara, the RunDisney Nutritionist, and the New Balance team! Apparently, they will be adding customizable race insoles for their RunDisney shoes this year. I can’t wait to pick up mine next year!

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We ended the night with an easy run around Epcot and a Champagne toast! I ended up speaking to Jeff Galloway about Bowdoin and Joanie! I had no idea he had stayed at Bowdoin before heading over to Munich for the Olympics!

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What an amazing first Meet Up experience! I can’t wait for more! 

Check back later for my race recap!