It’s been awhile since I posted a Track Tuesday post. The week before Iron Girl Triathlon, I took a week off to rest. I seriously needed the break. I had so much going on in my personal life between deadlines for compensated blog posts, growing my Run DMT brand and timeline issues with developing the Tampa Bay Bloggers that I needed to redirect my focus which meant taking a break in training.
Funny little side note about taking breaks from training, I noticed a pattern with my much needed resting weeks that I opt to take. They often fall right around the time I’m due to start my period. Have any of you other lady runners noticed that? Maybe the men notice it with their lady running partners. I should start tracking this pattern to actually make it a scientific study.
Speaking of scientific study, Allana started planning her science project. For the past couple of years, she’s been obsessed with growing mold for science projects. It’s so gross. I was afraid to go near her mold investigations for fear of going into anaphylactic shock. Thankfully this year she has moved away from mold! Instead, she’s making paper airplanes using paper of different weight and performing multiple trials to see if the type of paper effects how far a plane flies. To avoid human error with the trials (the control), Allan purchased an electric paper airplane launcher. How cool is that?! I’d rather pick a ton of paper airplanes off the floor than deal with mold one more time! My asthma thanks her!
As for my marathon training plan, I’ve created my own hybrid plan using the best of all the plans out there and incorporated Yasso’s 800 to achieve my goal of a 4 hour marathon. If I can keep up the speedwork like I had last week, it’s totally doable.
1 mile warm-up Time 9:50
Lap 1 – 0.50 – Time 3:56 Ave Pace 7:53
Lap 2 – 0.50 – Time 4:11 Ave Pace 8:22
Lap 3 – 50 – Time 3:58 Ave Pace 7:58
Lap 4 – 0.50 – Time 3:48 Ave Pace 7:37
Lap 5 – 0.50 – Time 4:02 Ave Pace 8:06
Lap 6 – 0.50 – Time 3:57 Ave Pace 7:55
1 mile cool down, Time 9:50
Last Wednesday, I went to Body Pump and my triceps were killing me for 3 days after the class. I love it when my triceps scream and my bingo arms burn! They better firm up or there’s more coming where that came from and heavier too. ”Let that be a lesson to you, triceps. You better stop waving before my hand does or you are in for a world of hurt!”
On Thursday, I met the Striders for my weekly tempo torture run. Between Iron Girl Triathlon, some kick ass sprints and Body Pump my legs were toast. I could barely move or at least that’s how it felt.
Ave Pace 9:55
Max Pace 7:28
Friday, I rested and on Saturday, I participated in Race for the Cure 15K challenge (recap to follow). Sunday, I rested again but Monday I met Heather for an easy 4 miles. The run felt good but the humidity was horrible.
Ave Pace 10:30
Max Pace 8:39
Yesterday was Track Tuesday but unfortunately my Garmin was dead so I have no times to share, however, I can tell you that my 800s were all just under four minutes. I ran 1 warm-up mile, 4x800s, 2x400s and 1.5 miles cool down for a total 5 miles. Again, the humidity just killed us.
All my runner friends are complaining about the heat. Fall still hasn’t arrived here in Florida yet and it’s still so crazy hot and humid. Please let fall find us so our runs can be so much nicer and faster.
Honestly, before last Monday, I had no idea who Bethenny was, but my blogger friends were completely star struck. After a quick Google search, I learned Bethenny starred on the The Real Housewives of New York City, but is best known for her Skinnygirl cocktails, which were mounted on shelves like trophies throughout Grille One Sixteen. Glasses full of Skinnygirl wine and cocktails lined the bar like an open bar at a hot pink Italian wedding.
Obviously we had our choice of low calorie alcoholic beverages but unlike an Italian wedding, the food was scarce. It soon became evident how a Skinnygirl stays so skinny. Drink your calories, not eat them, silly!
Well, not this mother runner!
Even though we were hungry, my blogger girlfriends played nice and had a great time being silly and having fun only bloggers know how. ”Nobody puts a Bettheny cut-out in the corner!”
Cocktails and a lack of food did not make for a good Track Tuesday. Of course, in my drunken hungry stage, I forgot to set my alarm clock and woke up in a startle. I almost missed it! Since I started late, I only did a half mile warm up and rolled right into 6 x 400s with a half mile cool down.
Lap 1 – 0.25 – Time 1:42
Ave Pace 6:50
Lap 2 – 0.25 – Time 1:47
Ave Pace 7:11
Lap 3 – 0.25 – Time 1:46
Ave Pace 7:05
Lap 4 – 0.25 – Time 1:54
Ave Pace 7:39
Lap 5 – 0.25 – Time 1:48
Ave Pace 7:16
Lap 6 – Time 1:51
Ave Pace 7:25
My body was still pretty worn out from the Chaotic Coteeman tri sprint, so I skipped out on cycling on Wednesday. Thursday, I met the Striders for what’s becoming my weekly run my ass off tempo run. I’m really showing progress on my 10K time.
Ave Pace 9:27
Max Pace 6:30
On Friday, I planned to ride at Pura but I woke up with such horrible vertigo. I’m not sure if it’s related to my allergies or swimmer’s ear, but it was awful. It wasn’t quite as bad as a few months back, but I still felt dizzy and out of sorts. Still suffering from vertigo, I didn’t run on Saturday and I missed out on the really cool yoga event at Fit Life Foods because downward dog doesn’t mix well with dizziness. Sunday, I was still feeling dizzy and didn’t ride my bike.
Monday, I finally felt fine and I was able to run a quick 4 miles with the Monday Morning Running Ladies. It was just Sarah and I this week, because everyone was worried about a hectic back to school morning. After having a few days off due to dizziness, I needed to run. I wanted to run to help deal with some of my back to school anxiousness. Taking a few days off may have done my head some good, but my body didn’t want to run. Those were some sticky, humid miles!
Ave Pace 9:45
Max Pace 8:15
Today was Track Tuesday again and with it being the first week back at school, I decided to only do 400s again this week for time sake. This week, Chrissy joined our Eastside sTRIders track team. Our little Tuesday Track meets are growing in size! EASTSIDE, HOLLA!
Chrissy and I did a warm mile warm up, followed by 6x400s and then a mile and a half cool down. I wanted to finish over 4 miles instead of 3.5 miles. I’m such a geek.
1 mile warm-up – Time 9:42
1.58 mile cool down – Time 15:47, Ave Pace 9:54
Lap 1 – 0.25 – Time 1:38 Ave Pace 6:34
Lap 2 – 0.25 – Time 1:47 Ave Pace 7:11
Lap 3 – Time 1:56 Ave Pace 7:47
Lap 4 – Time 1:46 Ave Pace 7:06
Lap 5 – Time 1:55 Ave Pace – 7:43
Lap 6 – Time 1:49 Ave Pace 7:17
I love that my best sprint was 1:38! I just about died when I saw that! I’ve never hit a sprint at that pace. That’s a first for me! And I love that all my 400s were under two minutes. Such a proud mother runner moment for me! Since I finished in a reasonable amount of time, I’d like to start a bit earlier next week and go for 8x400s.
Speaking of proud mother runner moments, did you happen to read my Chaotic Coteeman recap? I shaved FIVE MINUTES off my finish time for that tri sprint and I placed fourth in my age group. Ryan Reynolds, my boyfriend and virtual running partner was pretty proud of me. Did you know Ryan and I are thing in my own mind?
Ryan is totally ready to train for A1A with me.
Ryan is also ready to run NYC with me next year.
As you can see, I’m having fun with this Ryan Reynolds marathon photo. I love Ryan Reynolds. He totally gets me. He’s my little Turbo and totally understands my desire to be fast.
The rest of the week will be less productive since hubby is traveling. Friday night I will be Pura for the Neon Midnight Ride. After the midnight glow sticks rave ride, the party will continue at Primebar. I will need to nap at some point on Friday to stay up that late. You should come join me! For the neon midnight ride, that is. Not the nap.
Speaking of drinks and partying, this Saturday is the Summer of Rum Fest and I’m really looking forward to it. With the promise of a Food Truck Rally and endless cocktails, this will be nothing like the Bethenny party. There won’t be anything light or low calorie about it. I’m good with that.
Although I’ve taken a break from Track Tuesday, I’ve not taken a break from running. Actually, I’ve been training like a mad woman. I may have flunked another Juneathon but at least my training has been top notch.
A couple of weeks ago, I watched the one night only screening of the Spirit of the Marathon II. This truly inspirational film follows the marathon journey of seven runners (from novice to veteran) as they compete in the Rome Marathon. Although you don’t have to be a runner to appreciate the drive, motivation and…well spirit of these runners, you will want to hug them, cheer for them and honestly, it will inspire you to get out there and achieve a goal, any goal. The Spirit of the Marathon II certainly inspired me to wake up and run the next day and commit to training harder and running faster. #IWill
Ave Pace 9:59
Max Pace 7:10
Two Saturdays ago, I attempted my first run/swim brick. I had been procrastinating because I kept forgetting to buy new swim goggles since my dog chewed my old ones. Once I finally remembered to buy a new pair, the swim was on!
Since I also need a new swimsuit, I decided to wear a tank and shorty short running shorts. You know the kind of shorts that are meant to go under a running skirt? They’re the shorts that should only be worn in public by size zero high school track stars.
My thunder thighs were flapping, jiggling and waving hello to everyone in my neighborhood in those ridiculously scary shorty shorts, but you know what? My milkshake and my thunder thighs are bringing me one step closer to my goal because after not swimming in months (since last September), I swam ¼ mile in about 8 minutes and I’m feeling pretty great about my performance at Iron Girl Clermont.
Ave Pace 10:04
Max Pace 7:11
Last week, we escaped to Captiva for a few days. We had such an amazing time at the South Seas Island Resort and I will blog all about it shortly (the food, the villa, the beach, etc.), but first I want to brag about share my gorgeous sunrise 3 mile runs.
The distance from our villa to the main pool was about 1.5 miles on the pedestrian path along the main road through the South Seas. As much as I love running along the beach, I decided to stay on the main road to avoid getting lost again. Plus, if I by some chance I happened to get lost again, I knew the South Seas trolley would take me back to my beach villa.
After trying to sneak onto the resort a few years back, I felt like I had finally arrived as I ran along the main road without being escorted off the property. The sun graciously welcomed me along the way while playing peek-a-boo through the mangroves.
To my surprise, there were actually quite a few runners on the road enjoying a sunrise run. Though I didn’t snap a photo of them, I did happen to catch myself in the mirror.
Once I reached the tip of North Captiva, I stopped briefly to take in the beautiful sunrise and capture the moment.
On the way back, I took another brief stop on Sunset Beach. I contemplated running along the beach back to our villa, but I was afraid of losing my way or the path narrowing. So, I headed back along the main road to finish my run.
Ave Pace 9:49
Max Pace 6:29
The next day, I missed the sunrise, but I still enjoyed another gorgeous scenic run along the main road.
I didn’t run quite as far as the day before but this time, I took a tiny detour through the mangrove canopied along the pedestrian path.
Ave Pace 10:12
Max Pace 7:00
We left paradise on Wednesday and I woke up back in reality with the Striders. I decided to start with the “A group” of runners or the group I like to call “Boston Strong”. The fastest runners in my running group were running an easy run, so I decided to try to stay with them for my tempo run. I hung onto an 8:25 mm for the first mile and then I about died slowed down to a 9:00 for the next mile and a half. I was really proud of myself for hanging onto that speed for the first 2.5 miles of my run. The next 3.5 miles weren’t quite as pretty, but I finished 6.35 miles pretty darn close to an hour.
Ave Pace 9:38
Max Pace 7:05
On Friday, I attended Body Pump at the YMCA. It had been a while since I joined a Pump class and my muscles craved the weight. I was truly amazed at how much weight I lifted! I felt so strong!
On Saturday, I decided to go for another swim/run brick. I busted out through the shorty shorts again. I swear they make me run and swim faster. I swam another ¼ mile swim in under ten minutes, but I was truly proud of my run. I was so thrilled about running a 10K in under an hour in the heat! I haven’t been able to pull that off in a really long time!
Ave Pace 9:31
Max Pace 6:42
On Sunday, I wanted to get back on the bike. Although I had attended the occasional spin class at Pura, it had been a while since I last rode. I guess the break from the bike did me good because I shaved off almost four minutes off my last ride.
Ave Speed 13.2
Max Speed 16.1
Yesterday, I ran with one of the two Jennifers and my friends, Mica, Faith and Sarah, who are trying to get back into running. We formed a Monday Morning Run Club (for lack of a better name). I had planned Mondays to be my easy run day, but Jennifer P. had other plans.
Ave Pace 10:16
Max Pace 7:58
Today, I attended another Body Pump class at a different YMCA and I really loved the instructor. She was fun, if you can believe Body Pump to be fun! Lana had a great sense of humor and made us laugh as we lifted. I’d really like to take her class again, if my schedule permits it. I enjoyed her so much that I stayed for her Body Attack class, but that class will take some getting used to! I’m not a fan grapevine and dance kicks. I prefer to kick, squat and punch the fat away, like in Body Combat.
Tomorrow, I’m meeting some fellow sTRIders (a sub group of Suncoast Striders triathletes) at the trail for a ride. They will be doing intervals but I will be just trying to keep up with them. I hate riding on the trail alone so hopefully, the pack mentality will make me ride faster.
Thursday, I will be meeting the Striders for another Boston Strong 6 mile tempo run. My plan is to hang onto to that 8:30 pace for as long as I can and increase the distance a little each week. After last’s week tempo run, I had so many fast running friends pat me on the back for my performance and offer me words of encouragement. Rachel and Melanie told me to hang onto it and eventually I’ll be faster. I would love that.
Speaking of words of encouragement, I participated in the Twitter #runchat this past Sunday evening. I tweeted Burt Yasso that I planned to train for A1A with the Yasso 800s to hit a 4:30 marathon. Check out the coaching advice he (THE Burt Yasso) tweeted back to me.
Oh. My. God. Burt Yasso tweeted me. He also tweeted this, which made me laugh.
Friday, I will be resting to save my strength, energy for the Xtreme Challenge on Saturday. I am so nervous about it! Hopefully, I won’t break anything! Wish me luck!
I celebrated National Running Day with my friend, Daffodil by running 5 miles on the 5th at 5:00 a.m. I liked all the fives, but it was a very sticky, humid run. It was great to spend time running with Daffodil and catching up with her. I would totally run five humid miles with her again. I miss running with her!
For the rest of the day and most of Thursday, we had to contend with Tropical Storm Andrea, so I couldn’t run or go anywhere due to the nasty tornadoes happening around our area. I really wanted to run a couple of miles with my kids for National Running Day, but TS Andrea had other plans.
Friday, I returned to Pura for a spin class with LuAnne and I brought Maribel along for the ride. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Pura. With our hectic school routine, I found it difficult to juggle the class with getting the kids out the door for school. Now that summer is here, I plan to spin at Pura again at least once a week. LuAnne made us sprint and pushed us over hills. It felt great and Maribel loved it too. Thankfully, my legs weren’t too sore for Rap River Run the next day. I guess that means I will have to push it harder next time!
Saturday, I ran the Rap River Run 5K. I’ll have a full recap tomorrow, but I’ll give you a sneak peek. I didn’t PR but I made the top ten for my age group. I felt pretty great about that!
But with heat and trying to push myself to PR, I was pretty shattered. I didn’t ride, swim or run for two days. I guess my body needed the break.
Speaking of breaks, I decided to take a break from intervals. My Boston Strong friend, Marcia, advised me not to give up on them but shorten them during the summer with 4 x 400 repeats. That’s pretty good advice, but I’m feeling a bit burned out with the sprints and I feel like I need a break. With everyone being so sick in May due to allergies and chest infections, I just fell out of routine and struggling to find a way to fit it back in, but I’m having fun with other sports and I really need to find a time to fit in my swim. I’m also really bored with my runs right now and I need to change things up a bit. Maybe I could sprint on the way to the pool?
I’ve also heard great things about a few track programs in the area, particularly Progressive Running. They meet at University of Tampa on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. and there is even a kids practice, which my girls need. Since school and running club ended, they’ve been slacking on the running. This will help and keep them on track for the Lutz Independence Day 5K. I think we all need something a little more to keep us motivated and moving.
As for the break from running this week, I made up for the two days of rest today with Jackie’s Body Combat class at the YMCA this morning. Since the kids and I are there for swim lessons, I decided to take advantage of the group fitness classes. That Body Combat was just what I needed! Nothing like a few undercuts and kicks to chase the summer runner blues away!
Tonight is the Dunedin DishCrawl and I’m so excited about it! Rumor has it we’ll visit the Dunedin Smokehouse and the Dunedin Brewery. Yum! If you want to join me, register here and use the coupon code 20percentoff for a last minute discount.
The NYC marathon lottery was held last week and for the third year in a row, I was not selected but that’s all right because next year I am guaranteed an entry. I encouraged my friend, Mica, to enter the lottery drawing. With all the Hurricane Sandy deferrals from last year’s marathon, we honestly thought the likely of anyone being selected was so slim. Ironically Mica was selected with only $11 and a dream. What is it with these first-time non-marathon runners being selected?! How does that happen?! Seriously, what are the odds?! With luck like that, I advised Mica to buy a lottery ticket.
After freaking out and wondering what I had roped her into, Mica deferred her application so we could run it together next year. After all, now we are both guaranteed a spot. I am so excited to share the experience and NYC with a good friend!
As a start to Mica’s marathon training and to mentally prepare her for the experience of a lifetime, we will see tomorrow’s screening of the Spirit of the Marathon II. The movie is showing for only one night in theaters around the country.
About the film: “From the producers of the award-winning documentary Spirit of the Marathon (2008), this highly-anticipated sequel follows seven runners from around the world as they journey to the starting line of the 2012 Rome Marathon. Spirit of the Marathon II weaves the compelling stories of each runner – the trials and the triumphs – that paved their road to Rome. The documentary also features insightful interviews with marathon greats such as Stefano Baldini, Paula Radcliffe, Frank Shorter, and many others, as they offer perspective and insight into this legendary race. In addition, immediately following the presentation, movie theater audiences will be treated to an exclusive featurette with never-before-seen interviews, deleted scenes and memorable outtakes from the filming of the documentary.”
I’ve never watched the Spirit of the Marathon but I suppose I should in preparation for the sequel and since the Chicago Marathon is on my race bucket list. As for Wednesday night’s screening of the Spirit of the Marathon II, I will be live tweeting and instagramming before the movie, so stay tuned on all the social media channels.
Have you ever seen Spirit of the Marathon? How are you battling the summertime training blues? What races are on your race bucket list?
Today, we celebrate Earth Day, but really every day should be treated like it’s Earth Day. Thinking about your carbon footprint shouldn’t just happen one day. Instead, do something every day to help keep the planet beautiful.
However, this Music Monday post is more than a friendly reminder to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Today is also one week after the Boston Marathon bombing. My friends, Andrea and Marcia, were only a half mile from the finish line when the explosion ignited last week. Their friends and family anxiously watched Facebook feeds for updates and prayed for their safety. As the world watched the events unfold, we learned that the Boston Marathon came to a halt as did their dream of crossing the finish. Our hearts ached for them, but we were grateful for the safety of our all-star athlete friends.
Marcia and Andrea have vowed to return to Boston next year and they have the entire running community behind them. Some of our other mutual running friends are determined to qualify for next year’s marathon. Others, like me, have made Boston Marathon a goal, even if it takes a lifetime to get there.
Several people have asked me if what happened in Boston changes things for me. Yes, it changes everything. I will run even harder. Prior to last Monday’s events, I would have never thought about trying to qualify for Boston, but now it’s on my running bucket list. What happened at Boston won’t stop me from applying for the New York City Marathon for the third year in a row this Thursday. I can’t live my life in fear.
And so, I dare you. I dare you to move for Boston. Don’t say, “I can’t run. I’m not a runner”. Just get out there and try. Start small. Run a block and then walk. Pick a loop in your neighborhood and run. Aim for 3 times a week and build up your endurance. Eventually, you will find yourself walking less and less. That’s exactly how I started 6 years ago.
Be strong. Be Boston Strong. Run Boston strong.
I dare you to move.
And pick up some litter while you’re at it.
For Music Mondays, I’m now teaming up with my good friend and fellow Marathon Mama, Chrissy.
When I wrote my Clearwater Marathon Recap, I had originally omitted this section of the story. It was a funny little anecdote, but not essential to the retelling of the events that helped me make it to the finish line.
During last Sunday’s Clearwater Marathon, a fellow lady marathoner continued to drop a clip-on pouch throughout the course. Along the way, random runners would pick it up and return it to her. When my running partners (Larisa, Chrissy, Marie) and I ran past it once more, I volunteered to be the one to return it to her this time. After all, I was just trying to do good in the ‘hood and put good runner karma out there in the universe, ya know. I clipped the pouch to my fuel belt and proceeded to carry it for about 15 miles throughout the race, but we never crossed paths again.
Once I crossed the finish line, received my medal, hugged my friends, cried and collected my thoughts, they noticed I still had the pouch clipped to my fuel belt. I scanned the post-race party to find the random runner missing her compact running pouch. Then, a cloud of guilt loomed over me during the post-race celebration moment. Sadly, I never found her. I would never be the hero heroine that saved the marathon by reuniting a fellow runner with her lost item.
I felt terrible that I never saw her again to return the pouch to her. Later that evening at home, I decided to find out what was in this woman’s pouch. What precious cargo did I carry for another runner? Lip balm? A driver’s license? Money? As I unzipped the little black pouch and peeked at its contents, I begin to laugh hysterically.
I carried FOUR TAMPONS for a total stranger.
On the upside, all four of us would have been protected had Aunt Flo arrived on the scene. That’s me. I’m ALWAYS trying to find the positive side to feminine products.
Simply striving to qualify for Bronze Level Marathon Maniacs, Chrissy, Larisa, Marie and I had no real strategy or finish time in mind for the Clearwater Marathon. After completing the Disney Marathon a week earlier, we anticipated taking many walking breaks throughout the course. With three large bridges in the first half of the course, we already planned to walk those.
At the start, the four of us all felt pretty good and no one was sore from last week’s marathon. We started out slow and around mile one, we began our trek across the Clearwater Causeway (the first bridge) into Clearwater Beach. We ran slowly over the incline and considered walking down, but we all felt as though we could run, so we kept a slow 10:30 pace down the bridge.
Around mile 3, we stopped for a stretching break since our legs were all nicely warmed up and then walked through the first water stop. After a few photos and a quick restroom break, everyone felt refreshed enough to continue running through Clearwater Beach.
Then, we reached the Sandy Key Bridge and it was time for another forced walking break.
View of Clearwater Causeway from Sand Key Bridge
Once we reached the bottom of the bridge, we started running again, especially since we knew our Suncoast Striders family would be cheering for us outside Sand Key Park. As we approached the 4.5 water station, Maribel and Daffodil cheered the loudest. Obviously, we stopped for drinks, orange slices and a few photos.
To our surprise, our friend, Carrie, ran with us through Sand Key Park. It was so much fun to catch up with her for that quick mile through the park.
Back at the entrance, the Striders cheered and hollered for us once more. With close to 60 people managing one water station, the Strider power and energy was invigorating. It was just what we needed for the next nine miles along Gulf Boulevard.
Those were the longest nine miles ever. Apart for the water stations, we didn’t see a soul for miles. No spectators. No cowbells (and I gotta have more cowbell). Nothing. Despite being surrounded by beautiful beach condos and gorgeous homes, not one beach dweller cheered for us. It was just the four of us and thank God we had each other to get through it.
Unfortunately, this was the point that my Achilles began to ache and I started to fall behind from my friends. I needed to stay right at 10:30 mm to avoid any pain.
At mile 10, we met the Largo United Soccer League. Next to the Striders, this was my favorite water stop. These girls lifted our spirits with an impromptu performance of You’re Gonna MissMe by Lulu and the Lampshades. I honestly wanted to hang out with them a little longer just to learn their cup rhythm. Instead, the tune played over and over in my head for the next 16.2 miles.
Eventually, we caught up with our Strider friends Cindy and Clark. Cindy.was running her first marathon at 60 years young.
Just past the halfway point, we turned onto Park Boulevard (the third bridge) for our return journey along the Pinellas Trail. We remembered this bridge all too well from the Holiday Halfathon. We walked it then too. Funny, it was gray and yucky that day too.
At mile 15, I took a quick potty break and realized my knees were beginning to hurt so I took three ibuprofen. Larisa waited for me outside the bathroom and we ran together for a bit until we caught up with Marie and Chrissy at the base of the first Pinellas Trail overpass, which we all walked.
See, although there are only 3 bridges along the said “flat” course, there also three trail overpass which as are just as difficult to run over as the previous bridges.
Mile 16 wound us through the same park we ran through for the Holiday Half. We were rewarded for our efforts with water posing as beer.
Around this point, I was really struggling with pain. Although I expected to experience Charley horses or issues with my heels, I was feeling pain in my knees. To avoid any further pain, I now needed to slow down my pace to around 11:00-12:00 which caused me to fall even further behind from my friends. As long as I could see them, I was fine.
Around mile 20, I caught up to my friends at the water station just as Daffodil phoned me to get a full race report and our anticipated finish time. “I’m in a lot of pain,” I reported. “But we should finish in about an hour.”
To everyone’s surprise, Chrissy and Marie informed us at mile 20 that they’d like to PR. “I can’t do it,” I reply. “But you should definitely go for it!” With that, Chrissy, Marie and Larisa take off to PR the marathon.
For the next two miles, I was in a really ugly place in my head. What was I thinking?! Why am I doing this?! We were supposed to stay together! I hate these stupid Clearwater races and their dumb ass bridges! Why is Land O Lakes so flat? Why am I the only in pain?
Those are some of the PG-rated thoughts that boomed through my head. I found myself walking more than before and I cussed every overpass. I really hated myself and my legs for hurting so much. I hated the long stretches along the trail. A few random cyclists passed me and I felt very alone for the next couple of miles. If it wasn’t for the water stations and the police manning the intersections, I don’t think I would have seen anyone. Flashbacks of Space Coast flooded my mind.
At the base of the third overpass, I reached mile 22. I stopped for another potty break. (I was drinking a lot of Gatorade and water throughout the race.) I took three more ibuprofen. It was time to focus. I needed to shake the horrible thoughts happening in my head and finish the race. “C’mon there’s only four more miles. That’s nothing. You got this!”
Although I ran around an 11:00 mm, those were probably my strongest miles. Somehow, I overcame the mental and physical hurdles and I felt great again. Maybe it was all the ibuprofen (I’m sure my liver is failing and I need dialysis.), but for whatever reason, my whole outlook changed. I then began to catch up to other runners.
At mile 25, I wouldn’t allow myself to hit that same wall I faced at Disney. I clicked through my MP3 player for the right tunes to help me finish the race. “Pitbull, take me home!” I hollered. “Don’t stop the paaaarrrty!”
The next mile led us through a gorgeous residential neighborhood. Thank goodness for the orange cones which I followed like breadcrumbs, because I’m sure I would have been lost with all the turns.
The last 0.25 mile of the race was the most ridiculous. As much as I wanted to be finished, I stopped to take a photo of this part of the course: a spiral pedestrian path leading back to Coachman Park. I thought my ankles would snap.
At the bottom of the spiral path, I was so disoriented and confused. I didn’t know which way to go. Once again, the orange cones showed me the way.
As I approached the finish line, my friends ran to my side and the Marathon Mamas ran across the finish line with me.
Of course, I cried.
I did it.
Division Place 24/31
Overall Place 244/282
Gun Time 5:35:25
Chip Time 5:34:42
Half Split 2:46:45
Ave Pace 12:48
We did it. These crazy-ass determined Marathon Mamas earned a spot in the Marathon Maniacs without crawling across the finish line and lived to tell about it.
As for Chrissy and Marie, they beat their Disney time by nine minutes. First-time marathoner, Cindy, finished strong too and we were all there to cheer for her.
At the post-race party in the park, we celebrated two marathons in one week and still walking with ice cold beer (not water posing as beer).
*Big THANK YOU to my friends, David, Aaron and Larisa, for sharing their wonderful photos with me!*
When you spend long hours together for eighteen Saturdays in a row, you learn a lot about your running partners; probably more than you care to know. (I’ll leave you to speculate on that.) In attempt to keep it classy, these are some of the valuable lessons I learned from my small running group.
Marie shared how to make a marriage last for over 26 years.
Larisa gave me the gift of regular ol’ gummy bears, which make FABULOUS running fuel.
Chrissy taught me how to find balance and to stay strong.
Maribel showed me how to find laughter in even the most mundane things, although that’s not really a stretch for me. Actually, I learned that there IS someone out there with the same sense of humor as me.
Daffodil taught me how to see the positive side to everything. Daffodil radiates beauty, much like her flower namesake. She demonstrated to us how to be better people and even better athletes.
Not only did Daffodil order our Sandy Hook bibs, but she went another step farther by making 26 hearts for each of Sand Hook victims and dropped one at each mile marker in the Disney Marathon. She shared that journey with a video of those “26.2 Magical Miles for 26 Courageous Lives” and I would love to share her creation with you.
The song is Hall of Fame by The Script. When we heard this song at the mile 7 water station, we knew Daffodil was sending her beautiful, positive energy our way.
Yes, Larisa, Marie, Chrissy and I went the distance. Although Chrissy and Marie PR’d, I wasn’t necessarily going for speed and a few times, I was alone, alone in my time of need, but I crossed the finish line with my running group by my side and by completing two marathons within 7 days, we earned a spot in the Marathon Maniacs.
Throughout this Marathon Maniac journey, these ladies taught me that anything is possible when you surround yourself with crazy, beautiful, funny, strong, life-loving women.
Stay tuned for a full race recap! In the meantime, link up and share the music that moves you. What tunes help you go the distance?
Honestly, I went into the Disney Marathon with no expectations other than just finishing it and trying to keep up with my running partners. I anticipated finishing somewhere around 6 hours like I did 4 years ago and if I could beat that time, than that would be just mouserific.
First, I had to change corrals. I’m not sure how or why but I was placed in Corral G when all my running partners (Marie, Daffodil, Chrissy, Larisa and Maribel) had been placed in Corral C. Rumor had it that participants could move corrals easily if they brought documentation with previous race times to make the change.
Even with a printout of my Gasparilla marathon, I was told that I needed a 4:15 or better or a half time of 2:06 for Corral C. In a bit of a panic, I searched my blog for race times, but I was instructed to visit the computer kiosk for an official printout. Not exactly the stress I wanted to deal with before a race, but I located a satisfactory time and printed it so that the corral correction could be made. Thank goodness! Now, I could start the race with my running partners!
The night before the race, we carb loaded with pasta at the cafeteria in the All Stars Music Resort. I also prepared for the race by wearing my Features! PF sleeves to bed and popping three ibuprofen to prevent any swelling. In the morning, I took three more ibuprofen.
As with any Disney race, the attire is critical. There are certain races you dress in costume for and costumes are a must for any Disney race. My girlfriends and I decided to wear the red mini dot athletic skirt form Running Skirts and black Zensah compression socks. The extra large pockets in my Running Skirt held my two mocha Cliff Shots, gummy bears, MP3 player and lip balm. My black Gracie Gear pocket tank held my phone. Our running partner, Daffodil, had also ordered bibs for us that benefited the victims of Sandy Hook.
Since Disney races are a first class operation, no fuel belt is ever necessary. There are water stations every couple of miles and first aid stations just as frequent. With the weather unusually and expectedly warm for January in Florida, we took advantage of every water station. I drank water and Powerade at every stop, though I rarely ever drink Powerade or Gatorade during my training runs. I also found myself needing more Vaseline than usual to prevent chaffing from all the sweat.
This year, the race officials changed the course. Instead of running the usual overpasses or “Disney hills” as I like to call them, we ran through the Walt Disney Speedway and Wide World of Sports. The slant of the race track added a bit of stress on my knees and ankles, so Chrissy and I slowed our pace, stopped for a few photos and even walked some of it.
The change of terrain in the Wide World of Sports challenged our tired legs. As we ran along sidewalks and loose gravel in the baseball field, we slowed our pace once again.
I actually liked the course changes, except that we entered the Magic Kingdom before sunrise. Of course, a gorgeous glowing castle is more aesthetically pleasing and the dark morning sky offered a beautiful backdrop to Cinderella’s twinkling castle, but it didn’t make for the best light for photographs.
Chrissy and I also stopped for our first potty break in Tomorrowland. The bathroom was hot, but at least there was running water and a mirror to check and adjust our Minnie attire.
Though our photos may say otherwise, Chrissy and I made very few stops for photos. In previous Disney races, I made numerous stops because I didn’t want miss any photo opportunities (Unofficial Goofy and Princess Half). This time, we agreed to just stop for the big things, like the landmarks in each park.
Around mile 15, I hit a small mental wall, but I managed to shake it off easily. During my Space Coast Marathon in 2011, my plantar fasciitis began to bother me at mile 15. This time, I wouldn’t allow my mind to start thinking about the pain that could happen because I felt great! Though, just as a precaution, I decided to take two Tylenol at the first aid station. I also popped a few more Tylenol at the next couple of stations.
Around mile 20, Chrissy and I spotted the 5:00 pace group and we felt pretty good about our progress. We even caught up with Marie a few times. Only another hour left to go! However, that last hour was definitely toughest and the hottest. My calves began to spasm with Charlie horses, but thankfully my Zensah compression sleeves kept me from collapsing.
Though most of the last miles are a blur, Chrissy and I kept trotting on along through the heat. The spectators’ signs kept our spirits up and we even chuckled at a few of them to forget about what we were doing. “Is that a Cliff Shot in your pocket or are you happy to see me?” “Go random, stranger! Go!”
Many of the spectators were guests waiting to start their Disney magic and park exploration. Instead, they happily cheered for us along the sidelines.
Throughout the course, other runners congratulated Chrissy and I on our efforts. At first, I thought everyone was being so kind and supportive, but I had forgotten about the Sandy Hook bibs on our backs. We were simply running “26.2 magical miles for 26 courageous lives”. I learned after the race that Daffodil dropped a heart labeled with a victim’s name at each mile marker.
Chrissy and I entered Epcot with only a mile left to go and then, I hit my wall. I couldn’t run anymore and pools of tears filled my eyes. Between the heat and the smell of coffee and funnel cake in Epcot, I lost my mojo and I thought I would vomit. I needed to pull it together to finish.
We walked most of the World Showcase and picked up the pace once we reached the bridge past Mexico. Then, we stopped for one last photo in front of Spaceship Earth and ran the last quarter mile as hard as we could. We were ready to be finished.
Chrissy and I crossed the finish line together (her first and my fourth).
Bib Number 12458
Overall Place 9917/20679
Div Place 700/1740
Gender Place 4146/10618
5 Mile Split 55:32
10 Mile Split 1:59:26
Half Split 2:36:14
20 Mile Split 4:09:00
Clock Time 5:48:44
Chip Time 5:31:46
Despite being my fourth, I’ve never crossed the finish line of a marathon with a friend by my side. I will always treasure sharing that moment with Chrissy. No matter the marathon, I often become emotional once crossing the finish line and this race was no exception. A wave of emotion overtook me, but I held back the tears until a Mickey medal was placed around my neck. Then, I cried five and half hours worth of tears.
We did it. Every step of the way, we have been there for each other and we finished the journey together.
But that journey could never have been completed without the wonderful support of our families and especially our cheerleaders, Tanya and Faith. Thank you for chaperoning us and driving our tired legs all over town! xox
I did it. I ran the Disney Marathon and I redeemed my Space Coast time. I even redeemed my original Disney Marathon time from 4 years ago. I didn’t expect to beat my previous Disney Marathon time, but I did. Had the weather been in my favor, I may have finished closer to my Gasparilla time, but there’s always another marathon, like this Sunday.
That’s right. I’m running another marathon a week later although running might not be the best term. I may be crawling through these 26.2 miles.
Since I am putting so much stress on body in such short amount of time, I will be mostly resting this week, except for walking the track while assisting at my kids’ running club. No cardio or anything high-impact for me, just lots of stretching and sporting my new compression sleeves.
I wore these Zensah sleeves during the marathon (which I purchased at Suncoast Running) and they ROCKED. Around mile 20 I experienced some charley horses. The sleeves prevented my calves from spasms which normally cause me to stumble or fall over. I will definitely wear them again this Sunday.
As for the rest of my attire, I’m not really sure what I’ll wear for Sunday’s marathon. The weather has been all over the thermometer this winter. It’s been a very warm winter so far and it looks like this Sunday will be another warm day.
And while we’re spreading the love, I have to give a big THANK YOU to Skirt Fairy of Running Skirts for holding a Mini Dot Athletic Skirt at the Disney Expo for me. Thanks to her accommodating me, I was able to save on shipping, try the skirt on for the right fit and have it for the race the next day.
I know what you’re thinking, “You’re not supposed to wear anything new for a race. That’s a beginner’s mistake.” Well, you’re not supposed to do marathon a week apart either, but that’s how I roll. I’m a mother runner living on the edge. I throw caution, running skirts and compression sleeves into the wind.
After a marathon, I always experience pain in the weirdest places. I mean, I have the usual pain in my quads, my Achilles and my knees, but now, I can add a pulled muscle in my neck to the unusual post-marathon pains. Amazingly enough, I have no plantar fasciitis pain! (Thanks to my Feetures! PF sleeves no doubt!) A friend recommended a massage. I think that is a great idea. Walking up and down the stairs is killing me, but today seems less painful than yesterday.
I know you are anxiously waiting for my recap and you can expect that tomorrow. So, stay tuned!
Did you race this weekend? What races are in your near future? Are you resting this week or are you sprinting? Link up and tell Meghan of runMeganrun and me all about your running adventures, speedwork and workouts.