Monday, December 11, 2017

WDW Marathon Training - week 14

Well, this week didn't go as planned either.  I caught a cold and started feeling bad from Tuesday on.  I stayed home from work the rest of the week (we had Friday off for a holiday thing anyway) and tried to rest and get better.  I was able to run over the weekend but they did not go well.  Anyway, here's the summary.

Monday - rest day with recovery yoga

Tuesday to Friday - rest days due to being sick

I did at least use this time at home to get some Christmas shopping done.  It helps that pretty much all my Christmas shopping is done online so I don't have to leave the house and risk getting other people sick.  I did get in the Momentum Jewelry Box I got as a gift for my running partner, and the extra one I got for myself :)

Saturday - I knew it was going to snow and I was still getting over my cold but I wanted to try to get in a run before the snow hit.  I went out for an easy 60 minute run.  It was super slow and felt anything but easy.  I had a really hard time breathing but at least I got out there.  The snow started about halfway through the run but I got home before it started sticking.

We spent the rest of the day inside in the warmth watching Star Wars.  We have to prepare for seeing the new movie on Friday!

Perry enjoyed watching Star Wars with us too

Sunday - Thankfully it was a cut back week but I was still supposed to do 12 miles.  I decided to head to the gym since it was snowy and a bit icy out and I didn't want to risk falling again.  Given my luck the past couple weeks, better safe than sorry.

The street was fine but the sidewalks were a bit iffy in places

But I really struggled, even at the gym.  I had to use my inhaler, and I haven't had to use it for a long time.  The lingering cold just made it difficult for me to get my breathing under control.  I did part of it on the elliptical and part of it on the treadmill.  I'd say it was the equivalent of about 9 miles.

So that was it for my week.  It certainly did not go the way I wanted it to but fingers crossed that this week will be better.  I'm determined to get all my short runs in before the big 20 miler this weekend.  I hope that last week wasn't too much of a setback and the 20 miles will go ok.  I did 18 miles the week before so I think it should be fine.

Here's Coach Laura's plan for this upcoming week.

Monday - rest day with some recovery yoga
Tuesday - Speed work at the track (
15 minutes easy running, 4 x 5 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy, 15 minutes cool down)
Wednesday - Strength training
Thursday - 60-70 minute easy run
Friday - Strength training
Saturday - 60 minute easy run
Sunday - 20 mile long run (longest training run!)

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Avenger's Half Marathon

Ugh, I've been home sick for a couple days and it's beginning to grate on my nerves.  Fingers crossed that I'm better by tomorrow!  In the meantime, I figured I'd go ahead and get up my review of the Avenger's half marathon at Disneyland. 

As mentioned earlier, Disneyland has announced they won't be doing races for a while so I'm just concentrating on my own race experience.  I'm sure that if this race comes back, it will have significant differences.

I was nervous about this race because this was the first challenge experience I was doing.  I usually rest up the day before a race.  But I had just done the Thor 10k the day before as well as had a lot of walking around the parks.  I wasn't sure how things were going to go with my tired legs and feet.  But I also had no time goals and my plans for this race were solely to have a good time, and I was pretty committed to that goal.

Unlike the 10k, this wasn't all on Disney property.  It started out going through California Adventure, then through Disneyland, and then we were running through the streets of Anaheim by mile 4.  Just like the 10k, the parts through Disney property were great!  It was a lot of fun and there were a lot of photographers along the way.  I was also in Disneyland earlier then during the 10k so I got the see the lights on the castle better.

The backstage areas were also a little bit different and I loved the part where we ran by the stables and the horses were out for runners to see.  Sadly I didn't get a good picture but they were beautiful.  I did get some cool photo pass photos in the parks. I also loved the Avenger's theme they wove through this part, with cast members dressed up as Shield Agents.

But then we were out into the streets of Anaheim.  This area was a little bare.  I had heard in the past that Disney had worked with community groups to have more entertainment in this area such as cosplayers, antique cars, etc. but there wasn't any of that this year.  I heard it's because Disney used to offer a free park ticket to people for coming out but they didn't do that this year.  There were a couple DJs along the way but that seemed to be it.

But there were a couple spots with great crowd support!  There was a group dressed in pajamas and then another group dressed in costumes.  They both had fun signs and candy they were handing out.  It was definitely much appreciated.

 I did meet another runner during one of these spots.  We chatted with each other during miles 7 and 8 and that really helped out during this particular stretch of the race.  She was dressed as Ms. Marvel which was my 10k costume so we chatted about her and the importance of representation in comics, other races, cosplay, etc.

Then around mile 10, we hid Angels Stadium.  This was another fun part of the course since we got to run on the field and an announcer was calling out our names.  That part was also fun since it signified the last section of the course and heading back to the parks.

As you can see from my splits, I took it easy and had a good time during the race.  You can see that the slowest miles were 7 and 8 (where I was chatting with a new friend) and 10 (Angel Stadium).  I was happy to see that after mile 10, every mile was faster than the last! 

The lead up toward the finish was great.  There was a lot of cheering at this point.  There were various cheer leader groups from local schools, a DJ, a band, and crowds.  It was exciting and definitely pumped me up for the finish line.  I tried to jump at the finish line and got a super dorky photo :)

It was super organized afterwards.  We got our medals, the food box, water, a banana and there was a special diversion for people who were getting the challenge medal and coast to coast.  It was all very clear and well run.  There was also a separate line for people who wanted photos but the line seemed pretty long so I skipped that and went into the family area to meet up with Mike.

We hung out a bit while I ate some snacks from the box and then we went over to Downtown Disney for some breakfast.  After that, we went back to the hotel to clean up and nap.  We head back to the parks around noon or so I think.  And had a lot more fun!  I love that the two parks are close enough to each other that it's easy to go back and forth during the day. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

WDW Marathon Training - week 13

Hope everyone had a great week!  I can't believe it's already December and approximately just a month from my first marathon.  It's beginning to feel very real.  After yesterday's long run. I've only got one really long run left in training.  And of course, week 13 was a little unlucky but ok for the most part.  I skipped a run but it was definitely the right decision and the rest of the training went well.  Here are the details.

Monday - rest day

Our office was transformed into a Winter Wonderland for the holidays :)

Tuesday - pilates video

Wednesday - 65 minute easy run.  Well, this was the unlucky day.  I had my headlamp on for my morning pre-work run but unfortunately, I still tripped on a piece of uneven sidewalk and skinned up my knee.  I picked myself up and kept going.  To be honest, I didn't really realize in the moment what had happened.  But when I got back home, Mike pointed out that my leggings were ripped.  I had just bought them and this was the first run in them!  And then we took a look at my knee and it was pretty cut up.  Thankfully no other injuries.

Thursday - rest day - skipped my run in order to let the knee heal up a bit more.

Friday - moved Thursday's speed work here and it went pretty well. It was a 15 minute warm up, 4 x 5 minutes running and 2 minutes recovery, 15 minute cool down.

Saturday - Injury prevention strength training from Coach Laura.

We also went to see Coco in the theater Saturday evening.  It was so good!  I had some tears in my eyes at the end.  And carb loading afterwards with pizza from Mellow Mushroom.

Sunday - 18 mile long run!It says 17.59 but I forgot to restart my Garmin after a pause for a traffic light at one point.  I double checked on the map afterward and it was 18 miles :)


We celebrated with a delicious brunch after the long run, and I tried to keep moving with a trip to Target.  I definitely think a bit of walking during the day after a long run seems to help my muscles.  I also took an epsom salt soak and did some foam rolling in the evening.

Here's Coach Laura's plan for this upcoming week.

Monday - rest day with some recovery yoga
Tuesday - Long intervals at the track (20 minute warm up, 2 x 10 minutes comfortably hard and 3 minutes easy, 15 minute cool down)
Wednesday - Strength training
Thursday - 60-70 minute easy run
Friday - Strength training
Saturday - 50-60 minute easy run
Sunday - 15 mile long run (cut back week)

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Thor 10k

I figure I better start my posts about our vacation if I want to avoid forgetting things!  The vacation started out with a flight to California for the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge at Disneyland.  That included the Thor 10k and the Avenger's Half Marathon.  A quick note that RunDisney has announced that there will not be races at Disneyland for the next couple years.  I would usually include information on logistics in my review in case it would be helpful to people considering doing the race in the future.  But I assume that if/when the race comes back, there will be lots of changes.  So I'm just going to stick to my experience :)

The weekend started out with us taking an early flight to Los Angeles on Friday morning.  We got to LAX with no problem and called a Lyft to take us to Anaheim.  It was around a 45 minute drive until we got to our hotel.  The room wasn't ready so we dropped off our bags with the front desk and headed off to the expo. The expo was at the Disneyland Hotel so we had to walk through the Disneyland esplanade area to get there.  It took a really long time to get through security but we were finally in after 20 minutes or so.  We then decided to stop for lunch in Downtown Disney on the way to the hotel and when we got there, it was about an hour or so after the expo opened.  There were no lines for bib pick up and it went really smoothly.  There didn't seem to be a lot of vendors or a lot of energy at the expo so we headed out after a little bit of browsing and some photo fun.

After the expo, we had to wait in another long line to get through security to get into the parks.  I think this one took more like 30 minutes.  Finally, we were in and rode the monorail to Disneyland.  W had a great time with rides and just wandering around the park.  Initially, I had thought about trying to stay up for World of Color at 9pm but given the early morning flight and the fact that I had to wake up at 3am for the 10k the next morning, we called it an early evening and went back to the hotel around 7pm or so.

Saturday morning, my alarm went off at 3am and I got ready in my Ms. Marvel gear.  It's all tech wear but I just used fabric paint to paint the design on the shirt.  I left the hotel room around 3:30 and happened to run into another runner walking to the start as well.  We had a nice conversation on the way over and thankfully security just took a couple minutes this time.  The way was marked pretty clearly to get to the starting area and it didn't take too long.  I think I was there 15 minutes after leaving my hotel room.  There was a lot of pre-race excitement going on and I took the opportunity to take some photos and admire all the cool costumes I saw.  Lots of costumes based on Thor Ragnarok since that had come out just the week before the race.

I went over to the corrals around 4:30am.  That got me right at the front of my corral and I sat on the ground to relax a bit before the start.  Before I knew it, it was go time!


I loved the 10k course.  There was a lot of park time between the two parks and even the back stage sections were a lot of fun.  There were fun holiday decorations up in the parks as well as a lot of superhero theming for the race.


The official character lines were pretty crowded by the time I got through so I didn't stop for any of them but there were cast members in various places around park icons offering to take photos as well and I stopped for several of them.

We had opted to buy max pass, which was a way to get fast passes for the rides over our phones.  An added benefit of this is that it included photo pass photos for free.  So here are some of the photo pass photos from the race that I liked.

I knew that my plan was to take it easy and have fun during this race.  I took a lot of photos and just really enjoyed the atmosphere of the race.  They had great Thor elements.  A lot of the cast members were dressed like citizens of Azgard.  There were places where they had people dressed like Valkyrie or a fighter from Azgard encouraging us along.  And there was a lot of crowd support in Disneyland itself.

I'm happy to say I was successful with my goal of having fun!  It was a great race, a fun course, and I enjoyed taking it all in. And I felt pretty good after the race, which was important for purposes of heading to Disneyland for more rides!  The race started so early that I was finished in time for us to walk back through Downtown Disney (we did not have to go through security again) and get in line at Disneyland in time for their early opening.  Mike had brought me clothes to change into and we went forward for some more rides and characters.  I also ate some of the snacks from the post-race food box to tide me over until we got something more substantial.

So that's it for the first part of the challenge.  I'll be back soon to talk about the half marathon and our last day at the park.

Monday, November 27, 2017

WDW Marathon Training - week 12

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  It was a bit of a hectic whirlwind for us but it was also a great time with family and friends.  It was a bit of a mixed bag on workouts since I got in my 2 strength training days but only 2 runs.  However, I'm reasonably happy with how the week went given all the traveling.  And the 2 runs I got in were the long run and speed work, so I feel like they were the most important ones.  Here are the details.

Monday - Rest day - We got back from Hawaii at 1am Monday morning so we went straight to sleep and back to work when we woke up.  Therefore, we were pretty exhausted and no working out this day.

Tuesday- Strength training

Wednesday - Rest day and flying to Ohio

Thursday - Turkey Trot that I used for speed work.  The plan was to go easy for the first 15 minutes as a warm up, and then add in decreasing intervals starting with a 5 minute interval and ending with a 1 minute interval.  The race was super cold and the terrain was mixed since the last mile or so was on a gravel trail, but it was fun.  And the first 800 finishers got a pumpkin pie :)

Later in the day, we went to a friend's house for Thanksgiving and had a huge Thanksgiving gathering full of fun.  It was great being able to catch up with people over tons of food.  One of the friends there has trained for multiple triathalons and just ran his first full marathon in October so I enjoyed picking his brain about training.  I forgot to take any photos so grabbed from from a friend's instagram.

Friday - Runner's World power yoga.  We also had a chance to catch up with my brother and his fiancee and help them out with some wedding planning stuff.

Saturday - 16 mile long run.  Thankfully I had a good audio book to keep my attention!  This one was just winding around my parent's neighborhood going down as many roads as I could to get the mileage.  I stopped at home after 8 miles to re-fill my water bottle and then did some of the same route again to get the additional 8 miles.  I had one mile (around 14 I think) where I walked almost the whole mile because I had turned down a side street where the wind was blowing straight in my face and it was an effort to even move forward.  But at least the 16 miles got done :)

Sunday - rest day - fly back from Ohio.  I had meant to try to get in a recovery run during the afternoon but we just ended up resting and getting errands done instead.  I did get in a walk with a friend and that was nice.  I felt like I recovered pretty well from the 16 miles the day before so that was a plus as well.

So that was my week :) The last two weeks, while fairly active, were light on actual running with being on vacation in Hawaii and then going straight into Thanksgiving week.  I'm happy with how they went but definitely need to get back on track with the training schedule this week!

Here's Coach Laura's plan for this upcoming week.

Monday - rest day
Tuesday - 60-70 minute easy run
Wednesday - Strength training
Thursday - Speed work (15 minute warm up, 4 x 5 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy, 15 minute cool down)
Friday - Strength training
Saturday - 4 mile run
Sunday - 18 mile long run

I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

WDW Marathon Training - weeks 10 and 11

Hope everyone's been doing well!  I've missed a couple weeks in blogland and I look forward to catching up this week as I get some time to relax over the Thanksgiving break :)  The past 2 weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind with preparing for vacation, doing the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge races at Disneyland and then off to Hawaii for a wonderful vacation.  We got back late Sunday evening (Monday morning really) after a whole day spent in airports and on planes.  But it was worth it :)  I'll have separate posts for my races and the vacation, but here's a summary of my training for the past couple weeks.

Monday - 4 mile easy run

Tuesday - Rest day

Wednesday - Pilates video

Thursday - 4 mile progression run

Friday - Expo and a lot of walking at Disneyland for more than 19,000 steps.

Saturday - Thor 10k (Had some Garmin issues and had to restart)

Sunday - Avengers Half Marathon

Monday - Rest day and fly to Hawaii

Tuesday - Canoeing and snorkeling

Wednesday - Hiking on Mt. Haleakala

Thursday- 55 minute run plus 60 minute hike on lava fields

Friday - 90 minute run plus swimming in the ocean

Saturday - 60 minute walk by the beach before flying back to California

Sunday - rest day flying back to Baltimore.

So that was my week :)  I hope you all had a great week as well!

Here's Coach Laura's plan for this upcoming week.

Monday - rest day
Tuesday - strength training
Wednesday - Interval run
Thursday - Turkey Trot 5k
Friday - strength training
Saturday - 16 miles
Sunday - 4 mile run