Thursday, February 28, 2013

"The Jam" Thursday - What is blowing up my iPod

Oh Thursday, we meet again.  It feels like I haven't blogged in a week.  Oh wait, I haven't!  HA!  This past weekend was FULL to the brim with Princess Half weekend activities.  Meetups, expo, running and sleeping squeezed in there somewhere.  It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but wouldn't have changed a thing about it!  I got to meet some incredible women (and a couple of men!) and really got to enjoy the whole experience that is a runDisney race weekend.  I will be chronicling the weekend over next weeks posts so STAY TUNED!

Today is back to business though, it is "The Jam" day where I share songs that get my booty bumping and my legs pumping.  Today's "jam" is one of my favorite songs from this artist.  It has this innate ability to raise my spirits and get me focused on the moment I am in, whether it be running or just out and about.  This song came on during my run on Sunday and it couldn't have come at a better time.  I was running up the overpass, on the grass because everyone on the road was walking and I couldn't weave through the crowd anymore (more on that later), then this song came on.

Don't mind the video, it's pretty abstract, just close your eyes and listen to the beat and the lyrics.  It touches so many facets of life in its context that I can find a meaning for this song in just about any situation.  But this past time when the song came on, it was a life saver.  I got goose bumps all over and had this energy surging through me and I felt light, my strides effortless and the incline was almost non-existent to me.  I really needed that boost that good music can give you and this was perfect.  I hope you enjoy it and consider adding it to your playlist!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"The Jam" Thursday - What is blowing up my iPod

Welcome to Thursday! I am off work today because I'm in Disney World!!! YAY! Can you believe it? Race weekend is finally here and I'm so excited!

Todays "jam" is a know, a two for one?  Anyway.  I'm in the Disney mood (sorry to those of you that aren't or getting OD'd with all the Disney posts I'm making) so I wanted to post a song for getting into the "magical" mood and then one for the race weekend mojo.

So todays Disney "jam" is:

This is from my FAVORITE Disney movie "Cinderella".  I have loved this movie since I first saw it and is always my "go-to" movie when I want to watch Disney.  I love singing along and reciting the lines along with the movie.  Call it childish, call it escapism, call it what you want.  I just know I feel like a kid again and enjoy the simplicity of life when I watch this and most other Disney movies.
The second "jam" for today is for my half marathon mojo.  I am running my first half marathon and it just so happens to be with thousands of "Princesses".  I'm ecstatic and can't wait to get into that corral and have a good time.  So todays mojo "jam" is:
Sure, she's immature, has questionable morals and is rumored to have drunk her own urine (seriously?).  But this song always gets my booty moving when it's on my iPod.  The lyric about glitter all over the floor is pretty much how this weekend is probably going to be.  Women getting sweat and glitter all over the place.  That didn't quite sound right...hhmmmm. 
Anyway.  This song is just a booty bumper and leg pumper.  Try it out and enjoy. 
And to all you Princesses out there running with me this weekend, let's blow the roof off this race and have a great time!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

End of half marathon training

Well it's here.  The end of my training.  20 weeks ago I started this journey to get to 13.1 miles and run my way through the parks of Disney World.  20 weeks seemed like forever when I started, who knew it would go by so quickly.  It's crazy looking at my first week of half marathon training and reading the posts leading up to this one.  What an incredible journey and fantastic ride of self discovery this whole process has been!

I leave for Orlando tomorrow night and will be spending time in the Happiest Parks on Earth and finally be adorned with the Princess Half Marathon medal this weekend.  My first, ever.  It seems surreal to think that the race is in only a few days, not weeks.  That I can see the weather forecast for race weekend without having to look at the month or 10 day outlook.  It is surreal that all this preparation, weeks of logging miles, weeks of cross training, hundreds of hours planning is culminating to this weekend.  And this weekend will go by like the blink of an eye.  So fast and furious that I will most likely be suffering from a race hangover, or going through major training withdrawls. 

It's like planning a wedding.  You spend months planning and anticipating, coordinating with people, arranging plans and schedules.  Then the weekend comes and it's a flash and blur of events and faces.  Laughs and meet-ups.  Anticipation and the race.  Then the day after, everyone has left and gone their separate ways, the main event is over and you are saddened because the event you were planning and building up to is over.  You have an event hangover and start to look for something else to look forward to and start the planning process all over again.  It becomes a cycle, a vicious, vicious cycle.  But one that we just can't help feeding in to.

This past weeks training went as such:

Tuesday: 30 minutes run/walk
Thursday: 30 minutes run/walk
Saturday: Long run - 3 miles 6 miles 7 miles

Tuesdays run, like all the weeks before in my training, never happened.  I just don't know why that day is always so tough to get out on the road and run.  I need to start running during my lunch hour on that day, maybe a run earlier in the day will help.

Thursday I met with my friends Danielle and Erica for an easy three.  I was super sluggish and my legs were tired.  I stand at work so my legs tend to feel more tired in the afternoon because of that, so it doesn't help with my running in the evenings.  Even though I was feeling sluggish, my pace wasn't.  I was ahead of the group for almost the entire run, keeping an 11:30/mm pace.  I tried several times to slow down to run with the ladies, but I felt that if I slowed down I would be much slower than them and end up being behind them.  So I trudged on and knocked out the three miles in decent time.

Saturday's run had 3 miles scheduled, but going from 3 miles to 13.1 in one week seemed like too large of a jump for me, so I decided to run 6 miles.  However my friend Danielle, who is ramping up her mileage for a half in May, was running 7 miles.  I know how it feels to run those extra miles alone, so I scraped the plans to run just 6 joined her for the last mile. 

I also decided to wear most of my race costume for my run to test it out.  I haven't run in shorts for many months, so I wanted to see how I did with that and my Team Sparkle skirt.  I like to "run it before I race it" when it comes to costumes or a change in clothing for a race.  If you can't stand it during a regular run, it will just be worse during the race!

It was great, I was about two miles into the run when a guy running came around from behind us and remarked to me "nice skirt!", as he was running by.  It made me smile.  Then another girl along the lake said, "I like your skirt!".  It was just so much fun.  It's great to take my Team Sparkle skirts out on regular runs.  Everyone needs a little sparkle on their runs!

The day was overcast and breezy, but it was perfect for running, the rain held off too which was nice.

You can't see it in this picture, but my hair was in a bun, gotta try out my Princess hair style too.  The bun did not move the entire run, it was pretty awesome. 

It was a good run and I felt solid for the whole run.  It was nice to be able to knock off some miles and not feel completely drained or ridiculously sore afterward.  It's actually pretty cool to see my endurance build and be able to take on these longer miles without the ill effects afterwards that I experienced when I was first starting out. 

I felt then and feel now that I'm ready for this race.  I have run the 13 miles, I have wrapped my head around the distance and I know I can do it.  Now it is all about getting dressed up, taking character pictures and enjoying all 13.1 of those miles to the fullest!  I was nervous about the race and how I would perform, but now I'm just excited.  This will be a great race and I can't wait to run with the rest of the Princesses!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Momentum Monday: Run your own race

Well this morning started off with a bang!  As you know I will be running my first half marathon this weekend at the Princess Half Marathon weekend in Disney World.  Well, runDisney holds these amazing meet-ups where you can sign up to meet their official dream team consisting of trainer Jeff Galloway, dietician Tara Gidus, along with elite runners, celebrities and other special guests the Friday or Saturday of their race weekend.  It is a bloggers DREAM to be able to participate in one of these meet-ups, if not for the ability to meet AND run with this elite group of runners, but to also get tips and advice from them that you can pass on to others that maybe don't know and are just as curious as you are.  OH and also running through a theme park when it is completely empty and closed to the public sounds amazing too!
The reason today started off with a bang is, well there are two reasons, 1) I woke up at 3am (ugh) trying to get my body on east coast time so that waking up early all weekend long doesn't debilitate me and keep me from running my best. And 2) the coveted runDisney meet-up announcement posted on the Disney Parks Blog this morning.  EEEKKK!!!  The only way I found out is that I was reading my twitter feed and a fellow blogging friend tweeted that the meet-up info had posted.  I ran to my computer and sure enough, there it was!  So I sent my RSVP that very instant and I'm praying I get in, what an amazing opportunity it would be to be selected for the meet-up.
**UPDATE: Did not make the cut -off and was not invited to join the Princess Half Marathon Meet-up.  Bummer-sauce.**
I was one of the people constantly watching their blog page on Friday to get the info on the meet-up so I could sign up, but I believe they were having technical difficulties and the post wasn't able to be made.  I'm so glad that I'm plugged into social media the way I am, otherwise I might have missed my opportunity completely!
Now that I'm up and pretty alert this early on a Monday, that is also a holiday nonetheless, it is time for a little Momentum Monday love.

This one is tough and one I will battle with this weekend FOR SURE!  Being involved in any sort of sport creates competition within yourself to do better, but also with other people in hopes to improve yourself, and hopefully best someone else.  It may be conscious or unconscious, but it is there.  You could know the person really well or have never seen them before in your life, it doesn't matter, there is something that pushes and pulls us to be in competition. 

I have, since when I first started running, always said that I don't care who around me is faster or slower, I am always going to run my race.  Man, I have eaten my words so many times.  I will get into a race with blinders on and then at some point I either get pissed because I'm being passed or I gloat to myself because I was able to pick people off. 

It's tough, I'll be the first to admit it.  I'm not mean spirited in any way, but damn it if I'm not competitive.  I don't really compete with or get angry at other people, I get angry with myself on why I'm not better to be able to keep up with the persons who have passed me.  It is silly I know, because this person maybe fitter or have been an athlete all their lives and run miles and miles everyday, I can't possibly compare myself to them.  But I do, I guess it is human nature and I hate it.

So this weekend I am going to try and let it go.  To run and enjoy the moments during the race.  Take pictures with characters and not pay attention to the time clock.  Enjoy the miles as they pass by and run for the love of running and not because I'm trying to beat someone else to the finish line!

Question for you:  Do you find it difficult to be passed during a race?  Do you judge your performance based on your own past experience or how you perform against other runners?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

"The Jam" Thursday - What is blowing up my iPod

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone.  Hope you have great plans for today, whether it be with a loved one or friends, or even quality by yourself, I hope you have an enjoyable day!  My Valentine works late so I will be spending my evening running with some fabulous ladies!

It's the 14th and officially 10 days away from race day!  I'm actually in the single digit countdown for going to Disney World!  A week from today, 7 days, I will be in Disney World hopefully enjoying some sunshine and riding some rides.  EEEEHHHH!!!!  So excited!!!

Todays "jam" is a little more romantic based because of todays festivities.  It's not some sappy love song, but rather a classic song by an iconic singer and legend in his own right.  So I present todays "jam":

This is the song that played as my hubby and I walked down the aisle during the recessional at our wedding.  So this song holds a special place in my heart and makes me think of him and that day everytime I hear it.  So I wanted to share this with all of you and send this as a little Valentine to my wonderful husband.  I love you sweetie, Happy Valentine's Day!
Okay, enough of the mushiness for today...back to your regularly scheduled program.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

End of Week 19 Half Marathon training

It's kinda scary to see that title when my training schedule is only 21 weeks long!  That means next week my training officially ends and it's go time.  This end point is what I have been working towards, all the weeks of training, cross training, recovery, nutrition adjustment.  Yet I'm just as scared as I am excited.  I go from giddy, child-like excitement, to straight up terror that I'll get swept and not be able to finish the race.  I know that is crazy as I'm running a 12 minute mile, so I should be just fine, but still it is a concern of mine.
So as the race creeps ever so quickly into view, I just have to trust my training and my body to do what it needs and wants to do on race day, and leave the "what if's" in the dust.
So my training for this week was...just like every week before.  It was:
Tuesday: 30 min run/walk
Thursday: 30 min run/walk
Saturday: 13 mile long run  <----GASP!
My week went to crap.  Yeah, it wasn't good to say the least.  I was working late every night and even had to skip out on a spinning class last minute.  I felt horrible about it because I really wanted to go and I was meeting up with some great local blogging ladies.  Next time ladies, I'll make it happen!
So since my week had gone to the wayside as far as running, to say I was happy and nervous to get out on Saturday morning would be an understatement.  I was happy because I was finally able to get a run in, but nervous because I hadn't run in a while and I didn't know how my body would handle me trying to bust out 13 miles.  Well here goes nothing!
I decided to run around Lake Union since my running friends were going to do one lap a bit later that morning.  So one lap on my own (with some extra mileage) and a lap with them.  Perfect!  Except one thing.  I felt like I was running through molasses.  UGH!  My legs felt so slow and each step was so arduous, I really didn't know how I was going to get through all of these miles.

At least I had pretty scenery to look at while I was running.  Good Morning Seattle!!
I was able to get around the lake once and meet up with my other two running ladies.  We headed out and took the same route I had just been on.  They kept me motivated and distracted (THANK YOU!) for those miles.  Until I looked down and saw this.
D'OH!!!  I had forgotten to charge my Garmin the day before and I got a blank screen about 1.52 miles left in my run.  So I have no information to go by on how long it had taken me to run the miles, or my mileage to share. :(  Luckily the other two ladies had Garmins on and were able to help calculate how many more miles I needed to run.
Then these ladies did something great for me.  I was hurting...and slow towards the end of the run.  So much that they had left me in the dust, I saw them about 200ft ahead of me.  As we got to the end point, the ladies had calculated how much more mileage I needed to get to my 13 miles.  So when I found out, I mustered up the strength and headed out for the last .36 miles I had left.
Then to my pleasant surprise, I saw that ladies running alongside with me.  I began to tear up.  They didn't have to run, they were done with their mileage and didn't need to continue running.  But they ran with me to help encourage me and cheer me on as I made it through my first 13.  It still gets me misty-eyed when I think about it.
I was so done with the run, it wasn't even funny!  But...I DID IT!!!  I had run my first ever 13 miles.  It was a mix of elation and pain.  The pain kinda won out at the end.  But I was so excited and felt so proud of what I had accomplished.  The ladies and myself all agreed I was ready for the race.  I've now run the distance and now I can race the distance.  So crazy to look at that number and know that I did it.  I ran it and now I own that.  13 miles.  I did it.
This next week is more running but light amounts, it really is my taper week and all I want to do is run!!!!  People told me tapering would be tough, but I thought they were crazy.  Now I'm beginning to understand.  Short easy runs are on the horizon for me and getting me ready for my big run next weekend.  This weekend is a nice and slow 6 miles, just to shake the legs out.
9 days until I am in Disney World for the race weekend and 12 days until the race.  I'm so nervous and excited, I can barely stand it.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Momentum Monday: Support

Oh Monday...we meet again.  This weekend was blissful and far too short, how come you had to crash the party and arrive too soon?

This weekend was quite nice for me.  I got to spend a weekend day with my husband, which doesn't happen anymore and I ran my first ever 13 mile distance; my last long run before the race!

I wanted to have this Momentum Monday be about something we don't always talk about, support.  We always talk about the journey and how tough it is to put in the effort and do the work to get to your end goal.  So much focus is put on what you do, that sometimes we forget that there are those around us that do support our endeavors, however prominent or reserved it may be.

I talk very generally about support that I get, but sometimes I really do think it is important to highlight those who make the time and effort to give support during your personal endeavor.

The ladies I run with on the weekends have their own lives and their own training schedules and goals in mind.  We talk about what we are training for and give support and encouragement when we talk about our goals.
These ladies have been very instrumental in my last few long runs, by encouraging me when I'm getting to the last couple of miles of the run.  By offering up great advice and stories during our run to help distract my mind from the fatigue and pain.  These ladies also did me a great mental favor this past weekend.

When I was on my last bits of the last mile of my 13 mile run, even though they were done with their runs, they continued on with me.  Encouraging me and rooting me along the .3 miles I had left.  This made me tear up and feel so grateful.  They were helping me during my time of need, when I was hurting and needing to finish the mileage, they were there to help me along that last little bit.  It makes me smile thinking about it now.

The next big support I have in my running is my husband.  He must have thought I had lost my mind when I told him all the things I want to do and that I wanted to run a race.  Then one race turned into another, and another and another...until we are here at this point where I have a race almost every month.  I can't imagine what was going through his head when I told him I wanted to run a half marathon, but he told me that if I want to do it, that I should go out there and make it happen.  He said that I have all the ability that I need to do it, I just need to believe that I can actually do it.

He encourages me in all my endeavors, even when I think they may be slightly crazy.  He is at the races picking up swag gear and taking pictures of me while I'm pounding the pavement.  He is there to give me words of encouragement when I feel it is too much to handle.  He is also there to massage my sore and aching muscles after my long runs.  (I'm such a lucky girl with that last one!!)

He really as been the heart and soul of my support team and I love him dearly for all that he gives me and I just hope that I give him that same amount of love and support in another way to make him feel just as loved and cared for.

Question for you: Do you have someone(s) who support you that help you more than you probably realize?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

"The Jam" Thursday - What is blowing up my iPod

It's Thursday and I couldn't be more excited.  Tomorrow starts my three day weekend and I see sleeping in on my schedule.  ::happy dance::  I've been getting crap for sleep lately and it's driving me to drink...more coffee that is.  :) 

Today is "The Jam" Thursday where I share beats that get my legs pumping and my booty bumping.  Today's "jam" is on the airwaves now and would be considered a "club beat", but I don't care, those are usually the ones I like to listen to when I need a distraction during a run.  This is a collaboration between two artists that are big in their own right and just as controversial.   I'm going to fly my girly flag here with this admission, but I've been a fan of hers since before she made it big and I still, to this day, buy all her albums.  Don't hate, you do it too.  (Or you burn her music from your friends who do buy it and keep the discs hidden and listen in secret.)

Today's "jam" is:

It's a repetitious song I know, most club songs are, but it kinda gets stuck in your head then before you know it this song is playing in your head as you wake up in the morning.  Damn ear worms.  It's fun and good on your run or in the car.  Throw this on your music rotation, you can thank me later.
Also, today I have a deal to share with you from my favorite compression company, Pro Compression!  I am seriously addicted to their marathon socks!  I wear them when I do my long runs and then wear another pair later for recovery!  I also wear them when I travel to help combat swelling in my legs during flights and long car rides.  They are FANTASTIC!  They have just released their Sock of the Month deal and provided a discount code and I wanted to share it all with you!
FROM PRO COMPRESSION: For February's Sock of the Month, we gave our designers a selection of awesome yarn colors and let them go to work! We think you'll agree our Sock of the Month will absolutely brighten your winter workouts.

Best of all, you'll save 40% and get free shipping when you enter Coupon Code SOM213 at checkout.
So take a look and have some fun with these cute new socks from Pro Compression and if you haven't taken the leap into compression socks you should definitely try!  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

15 days and counting down to Run Disney!

It feels just like yesterday that I wrote this blog post counting down 5 weeks to my first half marathon, the Princess Half Marathon in Disney World. is 15 days until I am on property and 18 days until the day of the race.

I knew that time would go by quickly, just didn't realize how quickly it would go by!
I am now in my final training weeks and actually have my longest run to date planned for this weekend, the full 13.1 miles.  Yep, I'm going to run the distance before I race the distance.  Come to think of it, this is the first time I've actually ran the distance in training that I was going to run in racing.  I'm good at putting the cart before the horse, most times. :)
I'm nervous and excited about running this distance this weekend.  Knowing that I have gotten almost to this distance in previous runs and knowing that I will be racing this distance for real in a couple of weeks, has me buzzing with energy.  I'm so excited I'm antsy.
I am already making my packing list and putting stuff aside to put in my luggage.  I'm not going to break out my luggage until next weekend.  I don't think I could handle looking at my luggage for two weeks in anticipation.  I am such an organizer that I already have my schedule laid out on paper of meet-ups I'm going to, parks I want to visit and expo times.

I'm also gathering intel from other Run Disney runners on what to do about the expo.  I'm an expo rookie in general and I hear that Run Disney puts on one hell of an expo, so I want to know what to do first so I don't miss out on any good stuff.  I have a feeling I'm going to be going home with an overweight piece of luggage from all the goodies I'm going to be hopefully buying.  Sigh...runners problems.

The time is coming soon and I'm so excited for the weekend that I can barely stand it!  I know the time leading up to this race weekend has flown by, meaning that weekend will also follow suit and fly by as well; that I'm not looking forward to! :( 

All in all, there are 15 days left until my half marathon weekend begins.  I better buckle up because I think it's going to be a fast and furious ride!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Momentum Monday: Release

Hello everyone and welcome back to the work week.  Let's all have a collective groan. ::groan:: 
It's Monday and a time to look forward to all the opportunities we have this coming week to learn, grow and improve.  I know some people are working off the hangover from last nights Super Bowl.  (I wasn't rooting for any team in particular, I was doing all the cooking so I didn't even get to see the game.)  All of us are recovering from this weekend though, as it held lots of activities and events.
I find that as I get into the next week, that feelings or issues tend to carry over and interrupt the "newness" of the week; a fresh start of sorts.  The weekends activites or happenings tend to overshadow or cloud the excitement of achieving new goals or pursuing of long standing ones, if they were unsavory.
Without going into too much detail, I had a rollercoaster of a weekend.  Feelings of joy and happiness, down to sadness and downright depression.  It is tough to shake the funk off and meet the new day with optimism and look forward to a better week.
So today's Momentum Monday definitely strikes a cord with me, because I have never felt like this more than I do today.
I find that when I get really stressed out or I don't know how to understand what I'm thinking or feeling, I get the physical urge to run.  My body feels like it's humming with energy to hit the pavement.  My body vibrates like a tuning fork with the anticipation of running to release whatever energy I have wrapped up inside of me.  I try to sit and think about it, or maybe write about it in a journal, but none of that seems to relieve that anxious energy to run it out.

This is the time where I leave all my gadgets at home and I just throw on some running clothes, my sneakers and hit the road.  No Garmin.  No music.  Nothing but me and the road.  That freedom is, for lack of better terms, freeing.  I can process my thoughts and let go of any hurt or hate or betrayal or sadness that I have bottled up.  I let my body pick the pace and let it run it out.  I leave it all out on the pavement and come back with a clear mind and a better mood.  I've released everything I was holding onto consciously and subconsciously.  I may not be 100% better, but I know what direction to go in to make that happen.

Question for you:  Does running help you to release your pent up issues?  If not, what helps you to clear your mind?