Sunday, January 29, 2017

Bike and Barre (WW # 78)

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I don't have much to talk about this week.  I'll keep it short (why, you're welcome).  It was another recovery week for me.  I did get out for two bike rides.  Thursday morning's short 12 miler was in the dark.  I just had to try these cool Activ Lites I received from my sister for Christmas.  I definitely think I need another set for my front wheel.  Blue?  Pink?  Multi-Colored?

Heading out my back gate

With my bright headlight and wheel lights, I felt plenty visible so I didn't use all of my extra flashers except the one red flashing LED band, which you can barely even in the above pic.  I wore my usual flashing belt to carry my phone, but this time under my jacket with the light turned off.  This ride was cold.  Brrrr...

Just before sunrise.

Saturday morning was cold and blustery but I really wanted to ride long.  I'm contemplating a century ride (or maybe metric century ride) this spring and need to increase my mileage.  The later I waited, the windier it would be and it was predicted to be even worse the next day.  So, I headed out around 10:30.  It was cold. It was windy.  I got it done.  30 Miles.  I only saw the sun very briefly.  I wore a forgotten-about Columbia wind breaker PoPo had given me a while back.  I adored the large interior pockets and it blocked the wind perfectly. 

Sunday afternoon, I attended a Pure Barre class.  I was curious to see what the hype was all about.  Other than water skiing in the summer, I do very little strength training.   I haven't attended a group exercise class since the early 80s when going to aerobics at Elaine Powers was all the rage.  So, this was way out of my comfort zone.  I can report I think I'm going to be sore for a few days...

One last thing.  One of our kids is celebrating a birthday tomorrow and he asked for a homemade cake.

Any cake topped with cream cheese frosting is a hit in our house.

And that's a wrap!

Have you tried a Pure Barre class?

If you ride, what's your temperature breaking point?

Sunday, January 22, 2017

It's Always Something (WW # 77)

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After running two marathons 13 weeks apart, my mission was (and still is) to make sure I took plenty of time for recovery.  I felt I owed it to my body.  It took care of it was my turn.  My left ankle was a little tender a few days after the race (too much Disney parks fun?) so I didn't want to do anything that would make it worse.  I ran 4 miles on it one week post marathon.  Although it felt better while running, it still bothered me walking around.  So I did not run nor do anything at all during the work week.  Total.Slug.

By Saturday, my ankle felt back to normal.  After a morning of torrential rain and storms, I went out midday for a slow five mile run.  The ankle held up great!  Whew!  But...I realized I have an issue on the top of my right foot.  So, yet another piece of paper to put in the IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING file.  I'm staying positive.  Hopefully I've caught it early enough to not be down for a lengthy amount of time.  But I am sad that I'll need to skip my beloved Callaway Gardens half marathon on Saturday. 

Before the storms started again, I found my Sanity on Sunday morning.  Yes, I admit that bike name will always apply!  I rode 20 thoroughly enjoyable miles.  {My training has started for our half century -- or dare we say century -- ride findingfabulousatfifty.}  It started raining in mile19 and by the time I cut through the woods on foot to get home, I was soaked.  But, anytime spent outside is a win in my book.  I did not use my new Garneau cycling shoes and Shimano pedals I received for Christmas for fear of falling and breaking something further aggravating my foot.  I hope to try them soon.

Tell me about your week!

What is your next event?

I'm also linking with Ilka and Angela this week.  
Be sure to check out this great link up!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Disney - The Race (WW # 76)

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Tricia and I are thrilled that new ladies continue to join us here on the Weekly Wrap.  If you link early, please make sure you come back later in the week.  You may just find a new friend for life!


Disney (Part Two)

When I left off (The Prequel), the fireworks had gone off and I was on my way.  My official start time was 5:52.  My feet and hands were completely numb.  The weather - with that cold stiff wind - was brutal.   I did not regret my decision to wear extra layers.  I saw runners in towels, blankets, bathrobes, garbage bags, and heat sheets. It took four miles for my hands and feet to wake up.  After being numb for so long, that was painful.

My strategy?  I'd just have to take it one step at a time. My lower back and hip had been hurting for weeks. It's an old water skiing injury but unusual to be pulling so much in the hip.  I gave serious consideration to DNS-ing.  I desperately clung to the hope that it normally doesn't hurt when I run (just doing everything else!).  But 26 miles?  I would be a fool to think it wouldn't hurt at some point.

The first miles were about jockeying for position.  I had to get away from the large 4:30 pace group whose run/walk method was causing extra weaving for me.  Later, they came up from behind during a very narrow section. Someone pushed on my back for a few seconds .  Was I supposed to move?  I'm biding my time to pass people.  They should do the same.  And do not touch me!  My blood boiled for a little while. They never passed as they slowed again to walk.  Thankfully I never saw them, or felt them, again.   

Disney is all about entertainment!  There were marching bands, cheerleaders, DJs, energizing music and those much-anticipated character scenes.  I have now run four Disney races and have never stopped for a picture {GASP!}.  I can't wrap my brain around standing in lines that deep.  I do find the character stops to be a delightful distraction.  I was disappointed not to see the hot air balloon this year and assumed it's absence was weather related.

First up, Magic Kingdom.  Running down Main Street is breathtaking.  The roaring crowds, the epic Disney music, Cinderella's Castle frosted against the predawn sky -- it's magical.   The conductor blew the train whistle as I crossed the tracks in Frontier Land.  That brought back a special memory from my first half!  I felt the race really started after exiting the park.  Back on open roads, it was easier to run and time to get to work.  There were several miles to zero in on pace before the next park.  The sun rose and it felt even colder for about an hour or so. I have to give major props to all the volunteers and spectators standing in the cold wind for hours on end!

For our arrival at Animal Kingdom, they had a variety of animals out to welcome us -- some in cute costumes!  This is the most challenging park with it's narrow, uneven, curvy pathways.  But, there is not a lot of time spent here.  When I crossed the timing plate at the halfway point, I saw 2:13:xx on my watch.  Could I negative split the race?   Wait!  Hold.The.Phone -- I'd be thrilled with an even split!  I can do this!  There was a sizeable crowd at the park exit and their cheering provided a great energy boost. 

My support crew!   PoPo's pre race help (aka: wind blocking) was invaluable.

After more highway miles, my least favorite section came next.   In my opinion, too much time is spent on the ESPN Wide World of Sports property.  Other than a quick lap around their super cool running track and Braves practice field, most of the running is on sidewalks.  Narrow. Winding. Concrete. Around and around.  The mile 20 marker was a beautiful sight as it signaled the end of this section.  It's here I start to think - I did it!  The worst part was over. 

Blessedly back on the highway and after a much appreciated uphill exit ramp (where my heart went out to a fallen runner), we entered Hollywood Studios.  Seeing my favorite Tower of Terror made me smile.  I knew they would be giving out candy and had been anticipating this for miles.  {It's the little things.}  I grabbed a pack of Crispy M&M's.  But...couldn't open it.  Whaaa?  After an eternity, I gave up and stuck it in my top.  I finally got a Tootsie Roll opened and popped that in my cheek.  Heaven. It stayed there through the finish line.  That trickle of sugar was exactly what I needed to get through the last few miles. 

Hollywood Studios is connected to Epcot by hotel properties so the highway miles were over.  Dig In.  Just Keep Running.  It doesn't matter how fast.  Just Keep Running.   Both of these parks were open and I appreciated the extra cheering from the park visitors coned off in their own lane.  Just Keep Running.

Mile 26.  Head Down.  Digging Deep.  Long past caring about wiping my face!

There it was.  The Ball.  Spaceship Earth.  One more turn, the choir in their golden robes singing We Are The Champions, and  --  the finish line.  I high-fived Donald.  {Where is Mickey when you need him?}  With a quick wave to a shouting PoPo, I kept moving through the long chute.  I stopped for an official photo and was handed a snack box and two bananas.  In the reunion area, I found PoPo who had my favorite Starbucks coffee waiting.  I gave him a tearful hug, guzzled that latte and finally ate those damned Crispy M&Ms.

Disney is big on fun and will never disappoint.  It was not easy.  In fact, I don't consider any race easy.  It's about pushing to your limits, accepting the things you can't control, and managing your own personal and unique struggles on any given day.  Each section had it's challenges.  The park paths are narrow, some hair-pinned and uneven. And all that ESPN concrete?  Quite the test.  The course flatness is also difficult.  The constant pounding using the same exact muscles in the same exact manner wears on you.  I missed the ability to push on an uphill and rest on a downhill.

As expected, I was aware of my back and hip after about an hour.  I made a conscious and continual effort to shorten my stride.  It was manageable and I never walked a step.  I appreciated the ability to be doing what I enjoy most.  Since it was cold, I only drank at half the water stops: mostly Gatorade, some water.  I ate my typical 4 peanut butter GUs and twice took an offered banana.  I find them easy to eat as they need little chewing, although I don't eat the whole thing.

I knew the course would measure long.  Last year, 26.7 miles.  This year, 26.6.  I think it's a combination of weaving, the inability to run tangents in crowds, and those extra curvy parts.  I was on track to run sub 4:30 for the entire race but worried about the extra distance.  It got me.  At 26.2?  4:26  {Boom! Yaasss!}  At race finish?  4:31  {Close! Agghhh!}

I was thrilled with a 13 minute PR.  You may remember, I fell during my last marathon.  I know without a doubt, I did not spend 13 minutes being bandaged at the aid station.  So, I feel very good about the progress I've made at this distance.  It got incredibly, deep-digging tough but I did not fall apart.  I was pleased with my endurance, even though my back and hip were uncomfortable for the majority of the race.  

I was grateful to be running.

And...wait for it...I loved each and every step!  Surely you knew that was coming!

What are your thoughts about the pace group pusher?

What is your favorite post race treat?

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Disney - The Prequel (WW # 75)

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This link was created to support active women.  
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Tricia and I are thrilled that new ladies continue to join us here each week.  If you link early, please make sure you come back later in the week.  You may just find a new friend for life!


Disney (Part One)

True to my word, I did a HoLottaNothing this week.  I even left my indoor Christmas decorations up. Who wants to crawl around in the attic before a big race?  Not me.  We (my kids, truth be told) did take down the outdoor stuff after the never ending rain finally ended.  I spent the week worrying about my achy lower back and hip and decided to err on the side of caution.  Other than two short and easy runs, I was a purposeful slug.  I went for bodywork on Monday and Carla the therapist gave me a good going over.  I felt much a new old woman...for a little while anyway. 

Our rainy arrival

We decided to make a late arrival at Disney World.  I didn't want to spend any time in the parks until after the race.  After last year's expo fiasco, I remembered the crowds would be light on Saturday afternoon and that's when I wanted to go.  However, with the half marathon getting cancelled due to weather, the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex was a sheer MADHOUSE.  The halfers were directed back to the expo on Saturday to take care of business.  It was the worst traffic jam you can imagine.  I survived.  And, I remembered my driver's license this year   

Tell me, is there someone right behind me?

On this trip, we opted to stay at a hotel we had not tried before.  It was not on the monorail system, which added a little stress to race morning.  That 3 am alarm (make that 2 am central time!) came soon enough.  PoPo sweetly went with me so I could wear a heavy coat to stay warm.  (He was then stuck at the race start for over two hours!  Oops).  We got on the bus and arrived at Epcot in plenty of time.   The temperature was around 36 degrees, but the wind was nothing short of brutal.  After what seemed like a frigid eternity, I started the loonnngggg trek over to the corral area.  I certainly was missing Tricia as we were shoulder to shoulder amid the throng of people last year.

I hopped into my corral and waited for our fireworks sendoff.   I think it's spectacular that every corral gets the same pomp and circumstance.  Finally -- it was go time!  This is where I'll save the remaining details for the race recap.   Spoiler alert:  I finished.  Like always, I enjoyed every freakin' step.  Oh, and I set a new PR by 13 minutes. 

And that's a wrap!

Have you visited Disney World?  If so, what's you favorite thing to experience?


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Coffee Talk (January)

Welcome to Coffee Talk!
Today, I am sharing a cup of coffee with you from the Happiest Place on Earth -- although not for some folks this morning. Sadly, Disney cancelled the half marathon scheduled for today.  My heart goes out to those people who trained hard and spent the money to travel here. Adding salt to their wounds, the weather currently is not hazardous.  The conditions are shaping up very nicely for tomorrow's race. 

Over Coffee...

I'd tell you I'll be at the Disney Marathon Expo today.  What an overload of people, sights, sounds, and too much retail for this non-shopper!  After last year's oops-I-forgot-my-drivers-license fiasco, I've spent more than my fair share of time here.   Yes -- after my pitiful begging to multiple race officials, I had to make the long trek back to my hotel on snail-paced race transport, back again to the expo, and back again to the hotel (including some tedious initial misdirection by hotel staff).  Race transportation only goes to the resorts and not the parks -- where the remainder of my family was waiting.  That was such a long day that I vow never to repeat.  Yep, there was a cocktail in there somewhere to calm my nerves. 

Over Coffee...

I'd admit I haven't set one goal or resolution for 2017.  I've never been a fan of making resolutions.  If something needs to be corrected -- if I need to start or to stop doing any activity -- why on earth would I wait until January 1st?  After I get this race out of the way, it will finally feel like the New Year.  I may pick some new states to run in or add some fun things to my bucket list.  Maybe this will be the year we travel to the Grand Canyon and ride those mules?   Or perhaps return to Colorado for some spectacular snow skiing and dog sledding? 

Over Coffee...

I'd tell you how very pleased I was to receive new Shimano cycling shoes and clipless pedal system from PoPo for Christmas.   I really wanted these during the summer when I was participating in my first sprint triathlons.  I had such an urge to give them a spin on Christmas Day.  But, my better judgment prevailed.  What if I fell off and couldn't run this marathon?   I'll need a lot of practice to get comfortable with these pedals and I hope injury isn't part of that process. 

Speaking of Coffee...  

Do you use the Starbucks app?  I've been a Starbucks lover for years but never downloaded the app.  My town is relatively small and I just didn't see the need to order ahead at any of our locations.   On my birthday last month, a barista convinced me to sign up right there at the counter so I'd get a free coffee that day (spoiler, didn't happen!).  But, where has this been all my life?  Stars?  Double Stars?  Prizes?  Cheer Locations?  Free Coffees?  I've been sucked in!

I'm a little busy today, so I've got to run (pun intended).

But first, what would you share over coffee? 

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

I'm linking with Coco and Deborah for The Ultimate Coffee Date.  
Please stop by and see what everyone is chatting about.  Or better yet...join in!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Marathon Involvement

It's marathon week!
And by now, you should all know what that means.


After falling in the last one
I had a random thought
Could I do another
To get The Race I sought

Would Disney be the right choice
I've raced there thrice before
Maybe familiar involvement
Perhaps would give me more

After a few weeks rest
I went right back to training
More running days this time
Endurance I should be gaining

A few half marathons
And other distances I ran
A girls beach weekend
All involvements in the plan

What will happen this time
I guess I soon shall see
There's always a surprise
But please, not injury

Mother Nature I beg of you
No humidity on this day
And make in the 50s
A perfect day to play

Things I can't control
I will have to put aside
Concentrate on feeling joy
An easy comfy stride

Each step I will appreciate
My involvement must be fun
If that does not happen
There should be no long runs

I'm linking with the lovely Deb from Deb Runs for Wednesday Word.

Please visit Deb and the other participating bloggers.  It's fun!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Almost! (WW # 74)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!
This link was created to support active women.  
JOIN IN!  Click HERE  to see complete rules.

Tricia and I are thrilled that new linkers continue to join here each week.  If you link early, please make sure you come back later in the week.  You may just find a new friend for life!

My Week At A Glance:

M    Ran 6 Easy
T     Ran 6 Easy
W    Rest
T     Ran 3 Easy
F     Rest 
S     Ran 8 (1 w/u 7 @ 9:41)
S     Rest  

Total = 23 Miles

I didn't set any goals for 2016 (I never really do) but I noticed about a month ago I was going to come very close to running 1200 miles.  So, I made sure to add an extra mile here and there in order to make it happen.  How exciting!  It would definitely be my largest mileage in one year.  On Thursday afternoon (December 29th) I decided to double check my figures and realized one of my short bike rides was mistakenly categorized as a run.  Wah...wah...waahhh [cue deflating balloon noise].  Could I squeeze in the necessary 16 miles in two days?  I'm pooped!  I gave up on the-dream-I-didn't-know-I-had and instead added an extra day of rest.  I'm over it.  I am.  Yes, I am.  Moving on...

Although 2016 started off very rocky with a lot of hard work ahead of me, I polished off 2 marathons, 8 half marathons, 4 sprint triathlons, 1 ten miler and 7 5ks.  I also had the wonderful opportunity to meet quite a few blogger friends in Chicago and Panama City Beach.  I came in at 1193 miles for the year and 161 for December, both of which are personal records.  Unfortunately, my cycling mileage was only 478 -- much lower than 2015.  There was dog-paddling swimming and my much adored water skiing too.  I'll spare you the tedious quantification of those activities. {You're most welcomed!}

2016 in Medals

This week was an attempt to return to a normal routine including normal eating.  I was delighted to get a day-after-Christmas calorie-busting 6 miler in with my sister as we only see each other a couple of times each year.  There was another 6 miles the following day -- still working on that 1200 mark!  {I swear, I'm over it!}

Silly mailbox greetings from UhOh and HoHo (it was very warm!)

Tuesday's dark, warm and foggy run.

Saturday, I ran my last "long" run of eight miles.  Because it was end of month and end of year, I had to work for a while.  Yuck.  We later watched our beloved Tide roll over Washington, went out for Mexican food and then watched a movie while snuggled up with the dogs.  New Years Eve has never been a big celebration at our house.  We ended the year in our typical preferred low key fashion.

Just hold it right there, New Year!

So many others are posting about 2017 goals and race plans.  I simply can't think beyond this marathon. I felt the same way last year.  Mentally, my new year can't start until after this race.  It's like my mind is in a fog.  I'm just six days and a few easy short runs away from running my third marathon {GULP}.  I will mostly be doing a HoLottaNothing this week.  I can only hope Mother Nature will be kind.  She was on an extreme humidity bender last year.  Perhaps this will be the one?   

And that's a wrap!

I wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy New Year.

How did you celebrate New Year's Eve?

What is your highest yearly mileage?  How about monthly?