Monday, April 17, 2017

Star Wars Celebration

Another perk to living so close to Orlando, besides having Disney so close is when Star Wars Celebration chooses the Orlando Convention Center as their location. My husband and I visited back in 2010 a few months before I became pregnant. Things have definitely changed a lot since then! Back before Disney purchased Lucasfilm and before their was any talk of more movies it definitely wasn't as crazy. Back then, we just walked up and waited in a very short line to meet and take a picture with Peter Mayhew and then walked up and met Jake Lloyd with no wait. 

This year we had just purchased a one day pass for Saturday and brought our son with us as well. I had been following the days before and was a little nervous hearing about the horror stories of people waiting 2-3 hours just to get in the building! (3 hours with no bathroom and a 5 year old, um no thank you!) Over the next 2 days they opened more entrances and things seemed to move a little smoother, when it came to entering the building anyway. Some friends we were with had pre-purchased an autograph/photo time with Peter Mayhew and unfortunately ended up spending half their day waiting in line for it. 

We got there a little before it opened and were in about 30 minutes after opening. We swung by and picked up some wristbands for the Star Wars and Disney Parks panel later that day and then headed into the showroom floor.  


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Space Walk of Fame 8k

After missing out on several races I had planned on running this winter due to my bum knee, I was finally able to partake in one. Last Saturday I ran in the Space Walk of Fame 8k. This was comprised of an 8k run or walk and a 2 mile run or walk. 

This was a fun small run that had around 260 runners. It started and ended at Space View park in Titusville. This is a popular little park for rocket launch views located on the Indian River that is less than 15 miles directly across from the launch pads.




The course takes you down mostly shaded, old residential streets along the river. It is a 2 course loop, the first loop completes the 2 mile run and the second loop adds on a 3 mile loop to complete the 8k. It was really peaceful and quiet, I really enjoyed it and will probably sign up for it again next year.


After the race they had free bagels and water (any race that gives me a free bagel after is a winner in my book!) After the race they had a youth series run consisting of a 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile and 1 mile run for the kids, but I didn't stick around for that. 

There were a lot of elite runners in this group, so even though I was happy with my time, I still placed somewhere in the middle with my 10 minute mile average pace. After recovering from my knee injury I was happy to just finish without any pain! 



Friday, March 31, 2017

Running update

Last time I blogged, I wrote about my first running injury. Well I am happy to say that it finally has gotten better! I developed runner's knee back in the beginning of January during the WDW marathon. It took almost 2 months to start feeling better to the point I could start running on it again. I started building my miles back up again this month and am up to 6 miles as of last weekend. And so far no pain! I signed up for a half marathon in the beginning of June. The Echo Half Marathon in Osteen/Debary. So fingers crossed my long runs still continue to be pain free! I am also running an 8k next weekend in Titusville, the Space Walk of Fame 8k. This will be my first 8k distance for a race. I was signed up for a 10 mile race back on March 19th, but I unfortunately could not participate in it. I had just gotten back into running and there was no way I could complete 10 miles without risk of re-injury. So I signed up for the half in June as a way to make myself feel better about missing that one! It is basically the last chance to get a race in before the weather becomes unbearable here in Florida.

If anything I have definitely learned that I need to take better care of myself during training. Cross training, stretching, and strength training are a must! I'm not getting any younger, and if I want to continue to run well into my 40's an 50's I really need to be more careful. This whole experience has definitely confirmed my love of running. When I couldn't run, I really struggled thinking about a life without running. 

Other than the few races I have lined up we have a busy few months ahead of us. We are attending Star Wars Celebration in a few weeks here in Orlando. My husband and I attended back in 2010 shortly before I became pregnant. We had a blast and are looking forward to bringing our son this time around. He has become obsessed with Star wars over the past few months and are already planning a Star Wars themed birthday party including Jedi Training with Darth Vader. In May we will be camping out at Fort Wilderness at Disney with some friends who have a trailer. I have never been over there before and am really looking forward to experiencing a new part of Disney.


Monday, February 6, 2017

My First Running Injury...

Ugh... 

So as I mentioned during my post about the Marathon last month halfway through my knee started hurting me. It didn't hinder my performance that much, I did slow up some and had to take some walk breaks towards the end, but still finished around the time I was expecting. After the marathon I took a few days off and then went out for just a 2 mile run about 3 or 4 days later. My knee had been fine the day after the marathon. But during that 2 mile run it started hurting again. I thought huh this is strange. It was sore that day but then the next day was back to normal. The following week I completed my usual workouts and with each one my knee acted up again. So I gave in and took a few days off. After about 4 days I went back out for anther 2 mile run, and again it acted up. So I took a week off started doing some research and it sounded like I had developed runners knee (aka patellofemoral pain syndrome). This can usually result from weak muscles in the quads, hips, hamstrings... So in addition to icing I started some strengthening, stretching and rolling exercises that I had read about. I also looked into getting it checked out. Found a local Chiropractor and made an appointment. After 10+ years of running injury free this has been really tough forcing myself to take some time off. I am also beating myself up for not doing any leg strengthening exercises! Stupid me thought, I'm working those muscles when I run, so I focused on abs and arms during my cross training.... boy do I regret that now! 

So the Dr is pretty sure it is runners knee, but sent me for an xray today just to rule out anything more serious. I am so bummed that I am having to take this break and praying to the exercise/running gods that it isn't anything more serious! He had given me permission to participate in the 5k I had already signed up for this past Saturday. I ran this after a week off of running. My knee was feeling not too bad during the week but as soon as I got out there running on it the pain came right back. 

So here I am really struggling to stay positive. I have several races that I wanted to participate in over the next few months before the awful Florida summer heat hits again. Hoping I will see some improvement after these 3 sessions this week!  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2017

After 7 months of training the day was finally here. January 8th, 2017 the day I was finally going to run my first marathon. Since I only live an hour away from Disney I was only planning on spending Saturday night there. 

On Wednesday the first day of the expo I headed out to ESPN World Wide of Sports to join thousands of other people to shop and pick up my bib. I hadn't attended a Health & Fitness Expo for Marathon weekend since 2010, and I couldn't believe how many more people were there compared to Princess weekend and Wine & Dine! Lines were wrapped around the Jostens Center and down past the tracks just to get into the Expo! I did manage to actually get everything I went for, so that was a nice surprise. My past expo experiences with the runDisney booth had been a nightmare! It felt like Black Friday x1000 with all the people crammed into that small area all grabbing and reaching and shoving at the same time. This time they had queline and only allowed a certain amount of people in at a time. My mom and son joined me on this trip. After I picked up my bib and commemorative merchandise we headed over to the Beach Club resort for an early dinner at Beaches and Cream Soda Shop.

(Pre-order commemorative tumbler and ornament)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Training for my first marathon

After running a few half marathons I had been entertaining the idea of running a full marathon (I mean it only seemed like the next logical step?) I knew I wanted my first marathon to be at Disney since my first half had been there, so last year I finally pulled the plug and signed up. I chose to just register for the marathon and not any of the challenges. The Goofy challenge is the half and full, and the Dopey challenge is all 4 races (5k, 10k, half & full). I was already intimidated enough by the idea of running 26.2 miles I couldn't add 3 more races on top of that! I know a lot of people do go for all 4 for their first marathon, but I just couldn't do it! 

Unfortunately I did not keep up with my blog to journal about my training journey, so I will try to remember the highlights now. I started my training in June of last year. There are many different marathon training plans out there. The most popular for runDisney is Jeff Galloway. He uses interval based running based on the run walk run method. I have never been an interval runner. I know it works for a lot of people, but after running several half marathons continuously I wasn't sure I wanted to switch. The miles after 13 did make me nervous so I thought well I will take it week by week and if I start struggling when I get into the higher miles maybe I will try out some intervals. I did loosely follow the Galloway schedule. He has you run for 30 minutes twice a week and than run your long run on the weekend. The long run would increase every other week until the end and then it was every 3 weeks. I am also a member of Orange Theory Fitness. OTF is an interval based work out that is a 1 hour high intensity workout that incorporates treadmill work with rowing and weight training all while being monitoring while wearing a heart rate monitor. The workouts goal is to maintain a target heart rate zone that will stimulate your metabolism and increase energy so you will burn calories upto 36 hours post workout. Since the majority of the classes you spend 30 minutes on the treadmill, I used my OTF classes as my cross training days. My schedule was to attend OTF classes twice a week. Run fast 2-4 miles once a week, my long run on the weekend, and I also incorporated some weights and ab work. For the most part I stuck pretty closely to my schedule. I always made sure I hit my long runs, but life does get in the way sometimes.

The first big milestone was completing 14 miles, since my longest past runs had been 13.1 miles. 14 went pretty decent and I was definitely proud of the accomplishment but nervous about all those miles ahead! At this point the every other week long run was increasing 2 miles each time. Miles 16 and 18 went well, I was surprised that I was still able to continuously run. I think during my 16 mile run towards the end the dreaded wall was approaching and I did end up taking a few short walk breaks. My pace was still staying between 12-12:30 minute mile, which I was happy with for my first marathon. I remember 18 felt really good, the last half my time was even improving into the 11:30-12 minute pace! Experimenting with fuel and water was also incorporated with these training runs. I found that fueling early when I didn't even feel like I needed it worked best, so every 4 miles I started taking in some carbs. What ended up working for me was a Gu every other 4 miles and the other was a combination of pretzels, Honey Stinger Waffles, and sports bean. 

My biggest dreaded mileage was that 20 mile run. A lot of training plans only have you train until 20 miles. These plans have you running a lot more miles during the week. Galloway has you run to 26 because of the low weekly millage. Since I was running a little more than Galloway plans, but not as much as others I decided I would train to 24. I really wanted the first time I hit 26 miles to be at the actual marathon. So the day before my planned 20 mile run, my husband and I went to the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. We spent the early afternoon eating around the countries. I didn't really eat too much since I am a vegetarian and the pickings are slim! Then that night we went to a local fair and I never ate dinner, just munched on some fries. I also did not drink enough water at all! Needless to say the 20 mile run was not pretty... I did okay up until the 13 mile point, but after that I didn't just hit the wall I ran with that wall the rest of the time! I ended up walking a lot miles 16-20. I would run a portion of each mile, and walk the rest. But somehow I finished. After I felt awful, I got home collapsed, and almost passed out. I definitely learned my lesson about the importance of fueling the days before! 

Miles 22 and 24 went much better since I learned from my mistake and fueled and hydrated correctly the days leading up to the long run! It is amazing how a year ago the idea of running 26 miles seemed absolutely impossible and by the end of the year I had actually did it, I completed 24 miles and now had 3 weeks to taper and prepare for the race! I learned a lot about myself and my ability to complete something I set my mind too. I was scared about training for this alone, but the hours I spent out there training alone ended up not being that bad. Not only did I add quite a bit of songs to my collection, I learned how to rely on myself when things got bad and no one else was around. I had to fight off those negative thoughts and that little devil on my shoulder telling me to just stop and go home. I am really proud of myself for sticking to it even when getting up at 6am to go for a 3, 4, and 5 hour run was the last thing I wanted to do! I truly believe that if you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything!


Max's 5th Birthday Party: Calling all Superheroes!

This past August we celebrated Max's 5th birthday. He had finally moved on from his train obsession to a new one... superheroes! He especially loves the Marvel characters, with iron man being his favorite. But I decided to incorporate a mix of Marvel and DC comics in the decor along with Superhero word bursts.