Friday, January 23, 2015

Race Recap: The Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2015

I am an emotional runner. Here I am, near tears as I approach the finish of my first marathon.


This has never been uncommon for me. The above picture was just the first time my emotions were caught. Yet,the Walt Disney World Half Marathon defined a new form of emotional running for me. In fact, I think there were moments that as I choked back my emotions, I laughed at the same time.

So, without further ado, ere is my recap of one of the best/emotional races for me, The Walt Disney World Half Marathon!

Friday, January 9th.

Due to time constraints and my work schedule, Peter and I hopped on our flight on Florida around 10am on Friday morning. Upon arriving in Florida in the afternoon, we went straight to the expo without skipping a beat. The expo was held at ESPN's World Wide Sports Arena, right near all the Disney Parks.



It was mandatory that I got my picture with Donald.


I immediately obtained my bib and shirt from some very helpful volunteers. They answered questions for me that I hadn't even asked. I was already impressed!

Once I obtained my packet, we went to the expo itself. This place was PACKED with people.


We didn't stick around because we almost literally just stepped off the plane. We also hadn't had lunch just yet and had to hit the sheets early since I had an early wake up call.

Side note, our hotel had a SWEET view...and the bathroom wasn't too shabby either.



The following morning, my alarm went off at 2:30 am. I think the last time I saw 2:30am was when I was going to bed, not waking up!

Because I was not sure what the weather looked like for the day and we had already experienced chilly temps the day before, I settled on this outfit for the run.


Not gonna lie, the shorts didn't seem like enough once we got outside because it was FREEZING. Though my phone said it was in the 40s, the "real feel" was in the 30s. Not the Florida weather I was expecting at all.

Once we arrived to Epcot, Peter and I huddled in a merchandise tent with other cold runners. We stood by the pins that you could buy for the distance you ran. It's what I looked at for nearly an hour as I tried to ignore how cold I was. Once 5am rolled around, I had to journey back out, exposed to the cold once more.

The journey to the start line was much longer than I thought it would be. I imagined we would walk several yards and find our corrals. No, it was not that simple. It felt like a half mile, at least! In the freezing cold at that! It must have been some time walking because as soon as I got to where the corral were located, that's when the National Anthem began. That was my queue to run to my corral.

 It was crazy being that close to the front.


You were in the midst of all the firework action, which I was NOT expecting at all.

Anyway, when the fireworks went off for corral B runners, I instantly choked up. "Fireworks?! For me!? This...is...AMAZING!!!!" Though, I must say, that was the most action you got in the first leg of the race. There were some guys dancing on stilts, but I had my sights set on running through the Disney parks.

Enter the Magic Kingdom.

After passing various stops to get your picture taken, I had arrived at the center of all that is Disney. As Cinderella's castle came into view and I saw all the twinkling Christmas lights still decked on its towers, my heart leaped into my throat. I had not seen this castle in almost 10 years and never in my life had I seen it decorated like this. This is where "emotional runner Lindsey" comes in. Queue the quick tears and the biggest smile I think I have ever had.

Just above the entrance, there was Elisa and Anna. I wanted to shout to them the lyrics to "Let It Go" but ultimately, I held it in.

Really bad picture of me near the castle!
As I ran through the Magic Kingdom, the memories of previous visits flooded back. I found Splash Mountain (which was CLOSED for renovations on our trip! Whaa!?) and the Dwarf's Mine Cart Coaster. Unfortunately, I didn't pick out too much because it was still dark and also, I was just REALLY over-stimulated.

Through out the race, they had frequent water stops, which I actually avoided. I have been taught that it is OKAY to walk at a water stop. I would grab my drink and typically get as far off to the side as possible. In this race, I couldn't do that. I had one runner hit me and another yell at me for stopping. It was the only bad thing I could mention from this race. I have never been able to drink out of a swishing cup of water while running. I normally choke or end up pouring water all over myself. So after two failed water stops, I didn't use them.

Epcot was the last leg of the race. At this point, I really started to feel pooped. I know I wasn't performing my best, even without having my Garmin (which I forgot that morning). I started feeling really sluggish and hills were killing me. I think it boiled down to lack of sleep, the fact that I had only been in Florida for less than like...17 hours, and that I didn't have breakfast that morning.

I almost wished I had stopped at various picture points to catch my breath, but at this point, I had run past the majority. I did manage to get one in though...


And despite my sluggishness, I managed to keep a smile on until the end...



The medal was pretty awesome...



Second to my first marathon medal, this one follows as being one of my favorites.

So my stats...

Overall Place: 1309/22081
Division Place:  59/1697
Gender Place: 275/12379
Chip Time: 1:52:25

I will, without a doubt, be doing this race again. Maybe not next year, but I intend on going back 3 years from now. By then, I want to do the Dopey or the Goofy Challenge and I will have Peter do it with me!

Definitely a 10 and fully recommended by Freckles :)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Honeymoon is Over!

I am back from Florida and cannot wait to share with you the race recap from the Walt Disney World Half Marathon! But drinks, running, wreath orders, homework, and house cleaning has impaired me from getting it together! It's coming though! Expect it very soon!


Monday, January 5, 2015

Weekend Rewind

Today is day 10 of my No-Makeup Challenge. It's really not that much of a challenge. I am doing this by choice until my acne gets back in order. I am feeling a little better in my own skin and my face seems to be clearing up. I will probably go a few more days, but I intend on implementing a week of no-makeup once every month or so. I think it does a lot of your face when you give it a break!

Since I was feeling a tad unconfident due to the lack of makeup, I did at least fix my hair over the weekend.
On Saturday, I did a 10 mile run.

There was definitely some freezing rain going on. Though I felt decently warm, the wintery conditions made for a slick trail. There were plenty of slippery spots despite having rocks and other roughage on the ground! Luckily, I finished without falling on my butt!

On Sunday, Ginger decided she would ditch her water bowl for the toilet...


 ...and I started my healthy eating last week, but since I just went grocery shopping on Saturday, I was able to really go full-force!

I did begin my day with homemade GF waffles and pure maple syrup.


Sure, it may not be 100% healthy, but I am not one to restrict either. I believe that leads to bad decisions later.

Lunch was leftover spaghetti with a side of cooked zucchini, carrots and sugar snap peas. Snack was one of my all-time favs: 2 rice cakes topped with peanut butter and sliced bananas. Yet, what got the gold medal for the day was what I made for dinner.


Quinoa and Black Bean Casserole!

This was a new recipe I tried and I will definitely have to share it in a future post! Super good, super healthy, gluten-free, and vegetarian-friendly!

Aside from all the delicious food I chowed on, Peter and I finished an 8 mile road run. The canal was soaked with rain, so we changed scenery. Peter had never done a road run over a 10k distance, so this was good training for him prior to his first half in April. We accidentally over-dressed. The temperature began in the upper 30s/lower 40s. So we wore long sleeves, gloves and hats. The temperatures quickly rose to the upper 40s/lower 50s. It forced our pace to be much slower than anticipated.

A slow run is better than no run at all, right?

Anyway, this may be my last update until AFTER the honeymoon. I have to cram in some school work after work and running this week, so I will be MIA for a few days! Never fear though, I'll be back!

Ladies, what is the longest you have gone without makeup?

Do you run in wintery conditions? How do you stay safe from injury (slipping and falling in icy spots)?

What was something deliciously healthy you had today?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy 2015!

Don't forget! I am giving away a free race registration for a Spartan Race! Visit here to learn how you can enter!

Peter and I kept it simple this New Year's Eve.


We stayed in, chilled in our pajamas and watched movies.


It would appear I was more ecstatic about the new year than Peter. So ecstatic, I might add, that I thought it would be appropriate that I start the new year out with a 15 long run.


I couldn't tell you how this run was slower than my 20 miler finished on Saturday, but I finished! It was truly a challenge for me. Nearing the 10 mile mark, my stomach decided that it had enough. I had to periodically stop until the acid settled, but I pushed through to finish.

It didn't help that I was tossed around by the wind. It was as if I was running against it the entire time! It was exhausting! Yet, it wasn't such a bad looking day on the C&O.


Over the next week, I plan on taking it down a notch.  I will consider it a taper before the half marathon next Saturday in Walt Disney World. I don't feel that I truly need to taper as I don't think I will be entirely competitive in this race. This will be more of a fun run for me! I will be more concerned about getting pictures with Mickey or Ariel. Still, cutting back on mileage over the next week will ensure that I won't injure myself and ruin this entire experience.

Anyway, I hope you all had a safe and happy New Year celebration and are looking forward to the next 365 days of your life! Make the best of each day!

How did you bring in the New Year?

Did you run today? Did you do 15 for 2015 or something special for your run?

How do you push through a miserable run?