Running Disney 2

Last weekend my mom and I headed to Disney World for the Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend. This half marathon is the reason I started running. This year we did the 5k and 10k too, because if running 1 race is great then running 3 must be really, really great. And it was 🙂 Here are some more random pictures and thoughts from the weekend:

Sometimes shirts made for children are way better than ones made for adults. This was a good purchase :-)

Sometimes shirts made for children are way better than ones made for adults. This was a good purchase 🙂

Present for me! Yay/ouch!

Present for me! Yay/ouch!

All ready for the half

All ready for the half

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Race check bag. Normally I don’t check a bag at races, but for this one it’s worth it. The wait after the race can be really long

Pre-race wait. It did eventually get light during the half. For the 10k, the sun didn't come up until about 30min after I finished.

Pre-race wait. It did eventually get light during the half. For the 10k, the sun didn’t come up until about 30min after I finished.

Weather at the start line

Weather at the start line

Weather in Madison at the start time

Weather in Madison at that time

Weather in Sterling at that time

Weather in Sterling at that time

The weather really took a toll on us over the three races. Training outside in the Wisconsin (Or Massachusetts) winter does not prepare you well for Florida. This wasn’t the hottest Disney race we’ve run, but it was humid and foggy. This half was my second slowest ever…by a lot. I went into it planning to take it easy – I haven’t been feeling great lately and there was no way I was going to go very fast even if I tried. The 10k was my slowest ever. Somehow despite the fact that I purposefully ran slower than usual and had planned it that way, I am still really stressed about my times. Which is ridiculous.

The 5k was not our slowest ever, which was a little disappointing. During that we stop and take pictures and generally just goof around. It took us 45min to get from the one-mile marker to the two-mile marker. And somehow we still managed to finish faster than last year. I had been hoping to  take even longer this year, because it’s always good to have a goal.

So pretty! The fourth medal is for doing both the 10k and the half (Disney likes creating "challenges" by combining events)

So pretty! The fourth medal is for doing both the 10k and the half (Disney likes creating “challenges” by combining events)

We also got a lot of shirts (these are blurry, sorry):

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In addition to running, we also visited all four Disney World parks, Downtown Disney, ESPN WWOS, and a number of the Disney resorts. Some people rest between races…we are not those people. That may also have contributed to our relatively slow running. Totally worth it.

Post half breakfast for two! This picture does not do this sticky bun justice. It was amazing. Also it was about the size of my face.

Post half breakfast for two! This picture does not do this sticky bun justice. It was amazing. Also it was about the size of my face.

Lunch aka bacon cheeseburger macaroni and cheese. Because something called that just has to be tried.

Lunch aka bacon cheeseburger macaroni and cheese. Because something called that just has to be tried.

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Cake! Obviously, the way to recover from all that running was to eat about 4x more calories than we burned in all of the races combined.

Wine in plastic cups. I am continually amazed at just how much drinking you could do at Disney World.

Wine in plastic cups. I am continually amazed at just how much drinking you could do at Disney World.

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Animal Kingdom. I always take terrible pictures of animals, but this one is surprisingly not terrible.

Animal Kingdom. I always take terrible pictures of animals, but this one is surprisingly not terrible.

Overall the trip was a wonderful success. Lots of running, lots of eating, and lots of laughing 🙂

Current Goals

Setting goals is one way I maintain my motivation to run. On days when I just don’t feel like running, reminding myself of my goals helps me lace up my sneakers and get out the door. My current goals for running (and life) are:

1. Run a marathon.

It took me a while to come around to the idea of running 26.2 miles. In fact, it wasn’t until I finished my 5th half marathon in February of this year that I finally decided to take the plunge. So here I am…9 weeks out from my first full marathon. Training is in full swing and I am excited/terrified!

2. Run 1000 miles in 2013.

I had this goal in 2012 as well but, due to a series of injuries, ended up only  making it to 752 for the year. For 2013, I am on track to meet this goal with almost 700mi under my belt so far!

Current 2013 miles

Current 2013 miles

3. Run a sub 2:00 half marathon.

Breaking two hours in a half marathon has been on my mind for a while. In August, I came close with a new PR of 2:01:00 at the Madison Mini. The PR was exciting, but it was frustrating to be so close to the 2 hour mark! I don’t have another half on the calendar for 2013, but I look forward to trying again in 2014.

Madison Mini medal

Madison Mini medal

4. Propose my dissertation!

Despite what you may believe, I don’t spend all of my time running/thinking about running. In between runs, I am a graduate student working towards my PhD. This month marks the beginning of what will (hopefully) be my last year of graduate school. First step: propose my dissertation!

So what are you current goals?

Taking to the Hills

The Midwest is a pretty flat place and, if you are so inclined, it’s possible to run for miles and miles without ever meeting a hill.

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So flat!

Until recently, I avoided hills. I don’t enjoy huffing and puffing up to the top, so I let the voice in the back of my head talk me into taking the easy routes.

In May, this finally caught up with me. I ran a half marathon that was hillier than my previous races…and it was awful. I survived the rolling hills early in the course but when we hit a bigger one at mile 11, I wasn’t mentally or physically prepared. I ended the race feeling disappointed – not just with my finish time, but with myself.

To avoid future disappointment, I have begun to embrace the pain of hills and incorporate them into my training. It’s still not fun, but I can feel myself getting stronger with every run.

For tonight’s run I did a series of hill repeats. Basically I ran up the hill…and then back down…and then back up…and, well, you get the drift.

It looks bigger in real life...

It looks bigger in real life…

I made it up the hill 7 times over the course of my run and I couldn’t be prouder.

Elevation profile for tonight's run!

Elevation profile for tonight’s run!

This was the same hill that I battled in mile 11 of my May half marathon. This time, however, I came out on top.