Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bike to Work Day!


Firday May 15th is Bike to Work Day! The name really says it all...bike to work this week to boost your health, and to ensure a totally eco-friendly commute!

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Picture...RUN!

Not the best, but here's a race day pic from last weekend...


I look pretty slow here...This just makes me want to run faster!

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

MORE & Fitness Magazine Half Marathon





Today was the More and Fitness Magazine Marathon and Half Marathon in Central Park. I registered with a few girls from my work (Organic Works) earlier this semester, and was so excited to run! 

This run was a lot different than my last because I actually got an amazing night's sleep last night. I went to bed at about 10:45, and slept soundly until my alarm work me up at 5am. I was so rested and ready! My friend Kristen (who lives in my building) had a friend in town, Lisa, running too. We met in the lobby and headed out around 7. I mention the time of day because it's quite remarkable how hot it was already. When we got to the starting area to check bags, I was already sweating. 


We were enjoying the usual pre-race excitement when they made a rather shocking announcement...Due to the heat, the full marathon had been cancelled! What? And furthermore, the half marathon was no longer going to be officially timed! WHAT? 

Apparently the race directors had a rather difficult decision to make. They wanted to avoid a potentially unsafe situation, remnant of the Chicago Marathon heat wave last year. Luckily I wasn't running the full, so it didn't matter much to me, but I can imagine a few people were pretty disappointed.

7, 700 women lined up at the starting line. It was possibly the most crowded race start I've ever been in. Because the full marathon (which had a separate starting line) was cancelled, everyone ran the half, and everyone lined up in the half starting area.


After picking my way through throngs of enthusiastic runners, all dressed in either pink or some other type of girl power gear, I settled into a comfortable pace with my new running buddy, Lisa. We ran 8:50 minute miles for the first two, and then I said good-bye and picked up the pace. I actually found one of my friends from Organic Works, Megan, while running. We hugged quickly mid-jog and I was off again. 

I picked up my pace to around 8:40 - 8:35 minute miles. Despite the heat I was feeling really great. The first 10 miles were awesome. I was actually surprising myself! I was on a roll! 8:40, 8:35, 8:30...really comfortable and fun.

Needless to say Central Park is beautiful, and it was a lovely run. But right after mile 10, the heat really hit me. My body was done. 10 miles! Time to stop before you pass out from the 90 degree weather!

I kept pushing and finished a few minutes slower than I had planned, but still PR'd and had a true runner's high when I was done.


After a bagel, banana and chocolate soy milk, we stretched out under a cherry tree. Way to beautiful. We sun-bathed, got a quick tan, treated myself to a mimosa and some frozen yogurt.

At the awards (which were based on clock times, no chip times) I saw USA Olympic marathon runner, Magdalena Lewy Boulet, which was pretty cool. She won with 1:08:10. (Jeez! In this heat?!)

It was an all-around beautiful day and a fairly successful race. Hopefully the actual professional running pictures will be in this week!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

I hope everyone is having a wonderfully eco-chic Earth Day! 


Here are a few of my ideas to celebrate all year round...

1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Run:
From Atayne's line of eco-chic clothing

Replace old running clothing with eco-friendly performance clothing from my new favorite company Atayne. The running tops are moisture wicking, UV protecting, odor controlling, and temperature regulating, as any good athletic top should be. However, they are made from recycled polyester (from plastic bottles) and activated carbon (from coconut shells) instead of from virgin polyester and harsh chemicals. Visit Atayne to lear more and buy a super-cool, eco-friendly running top.

2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Bike:

This isn't my picture, but I thought it illustrated the point well!

for transportation instead of just for fun! I just bought a basket for the back of my road bike, and now I find myself riding it to the grocery store, on errands, to work, and to school. Granted I live in a city, and my other means of transportation are usually walking (very eco-friendly) or public transportation (more eco-friendly, but busses still do emit harmful gasses that contribute to global warming). Replace just one trip you'd take in a car with a bike...to a nearby friend or relative's house, to the store for a small purchase, or to the gym for a warm up! Here's the bike basket I bought.

3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Swim:

Picture from Manhattan Island Foundation

Swimming in a pool is normal, but not very eco-friendly. If more people took advantage of the various natural bodies of water for swimming, maybe we'd be more inclined to take care of them, stop pollution, help the earth, and stay healthy ourselves. Visit NYC Swim to learn more about swimming around New York City, and the efforts to clean the waters for us and the earth.

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Beach Run



I spend the weekend in Florida (awesome) and took several day off of training (not so awesome). But I did get an absolutely beautiful beach run on my last day. I'm back in NYC, where it's spring-ish still, but for one wonderful run it was definitely summer...enjoy the pic ;)



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Monday, March 30, 2009

Keep Running and Triathlon Healthy: How Yoga Practice can Prevent Injury


Sunday night I attended a little mini discussion and workshop on how great yoga is for keeping triathletes and runners healthy and injury free. The talk (and following Power Vinyassa practice) was held at NYC's Upper East Side Lululemon store. Dr. Jordan Metzl, from the Hospital for Special Surgery and Erica Goss from Pure Yoga came and talked to a packed room of triathletes, yogis and novices alike. 


Dr. Metzl, who has completed 25 Marathons and 4 Iron Mans (what?!) spoke about common sports injuries, symptoms, prevention, and treatments. He made the distinction between acute injuries (like a freak accident: think Lance Armstrong's bike crash last week that resulted in a broken collar bone) and overuse injuries, which are much more common. 

He helped us better understand common injuries like runner's knee, shin splints, hamstring pulls, and Achilles tendinitis and what these injuries may really reveal. (He writes a regular column in Triathlete called "Doctor's Orders" which you may want to check out for way more detail). Both runner's knee and shin splints, for example, can manifest in two different ways and each means something different. Shin splints can be in the muscle or the bone, the bone being more serious because it can indicate a possible stress fracture.

He also mentioned two common mistakes he sees again and again. The first is people going too fast too soon with training. The normal athletic process is something like "athletic darwinism," where you start off running a mile, do a 5k, then a 10k or half marathon, and then one day train for a marathon. Today, he says, many people want to jump right into the marathon! Without the evolution! Next he says people commonly ignore injuries until they are at their worst and can't do their sport anymore. Early detection of symptoms can help prevent more complicated problems form forming.


Then Erica Goss led a fantastic Power Vinyassa series and we talked about the obvious ways yoga can build flexibility for triathletes and how it can also be an excellent part of strength training. Strength training, both Goss and Dr. Metzl stressed, is essential for triathletes and especially runners. Without it, the bones and muscles may not be able to support intense training necessary for competition. 

The discussion was very interesting and informative, and both Goss and Dr. Metzl were excellent! Thanks Lululemon, for hosting such great community events like this!

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

City Running Tours


So I have kinda of an exciting new gig. Today I shadowed a run for the tour company, City Running Tours...I'm going to be a running tour guide! The company is 4 years old and gives tours of difference distances and paces around six cities in the USA: New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, San Diego, Austin and Charlotte.


The President and CEO, Michael, started the company after a tourist stopped by the gym where his chiropractic office was located. He asked if any of the trainers would give him a running tour of the city. Since none of the trainers at the gym were really runners, Michael offered the tour the businessman. After the run he knew they were onto something and the company was born!

Today they run as many as 150 tours in New York City ever year. They're usually one-on-one or small group tours that can follow one of several different routes or a custom made route to see any of the city's specific sights.

This morning we headed west from Time Square to the Hudson River, past the High Line, through the Meat Packing District, the West Village, NYU, up 5th Ave through Union Square, Madison Square and finally back to Times Square. It was a chilly 32 degrees, but clear and crisp. The guide, the tour-ee and I talked about life in New York, the historical sights and legends of the areas we saw and of course about running.

So now that I've shadowed my first run I'll get to start leading tours sometime soon. It's a really great way to see the city: running allows you to pass lots of sights and sections of the city in a short time...and it also lets you, as a tourist, to keep up with your regular runs or training. Also, not to mention, it's very eco-chic! No carbon-emitting tour busses!

If you're traveling to any of the cities we run in, sign up for a tour! And if you come to NYC, I expect to see you!!!

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

One More Photo from Nationals


I thought this looked cool, all blurred and stuff...one of the girls on our team took it (she's a photo major). It's me diving in during one of the Freestyle Relays...Action Shot!

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Eco-Chic Dolls: For the Aspiring Environmental Activist


Ok so no, I'm not a 6-year-old and technically I shouldn't care about this, but If I were, I would want one of these dolls!

I saw these Planet Pixies on Tree Hugger and absolutely couldn't resist! They're soft dolls for children 3 and up (which should have been a clue that I'm not the target audience...) made with certified organic cotton, water-based, all-natural dyes. They're each named for a different part of our planet in peril: Anyu the Ice Pixie from the Artic, Kayla the Marsh Pixie from the Everglades, and Maya the Tree Pixie from the Amazon.

They also come complete with information about the region they represent and what the tiny tots can do to help protect the planet from an early age.

OMG so cute.

I may be ordering one...(Now back to relevant 21-year-old girl blogging...)

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

2009 National Swimming Championships

The team after the last day of competition
We finally made it back to Manhattan after what felt like a week of nonstop swimming in Buffalo. I'm absolutely exhausted, and I'm also one of the only people on the team not fighting off some kind of cold, flu or other ailment.

But what an amazing week it's been! 

Erie College's Natatorium 
We started every day with warm-ups around 9 am. Preliminaries began at 10 am and went through until about 12:30. Then we'd grab lunch and some days we'd rush back to the pool for diving at 1 pm. After diving came nap time, and then back to the pools at 4:45 for another warm up. Finals began at 6 pm and went until about 9 or so. I really haven't done that much consecutive swimming...ever...and my body now feels a little like overworked taffy.

Captain Kristen, Coach Mike, me and Gwen at the banquet on the first night.
In between our races and workouts, it was so exciting to watch the rest of the meet. There were some absolutely amazing swimmers and we saw quite a few record breaking times (a 19 second 50 free and a 54 second 100 breast....INSANE). It really inspired all of us to work even harder for next season and to make sure to stay in top shape. One of my favorite parts of meets of this size is the finals when the top 8 swimmers are paraded out to the blocks to music. It's so much fun to watch! 

I swam four events, three relays and one individual. The 100 backstroke, the 200 Medley Relay, the 200 Freestyle Relay and the 400 Freestyle relay. 

To be honest, I didn't really have a chance to place in the 100 back. I'm so happy to have qualified (I qualified for the 200 back as well...but decided not to swim), but right now I really don't compare to some of the girls on the other teams. I held my own though and had a really strong preliminary swim. Then, to my surprise I was moved on to the consolation finals! (The top 16 from the prelims go on to finals: top 8 to the real finals, and the rest to the "consolation" finals...this is cool but also meant I had to swim it again in a few hours!) I ended up dropping a second off my time in the finals which is great.

The 200 medley relay had some pretty fierce competition as well. I swam backstroke and had a pretty good split of 35 seconds. We didn't place but were happy with the results until we found out our team and two others had been disqualified! (Apparently someone left the blocks a millisecond too early...sucks, but oh well!)

The freestyle relays were another story. We had pretty good competition, but knew we could pull off some solid times. The 200 came first and to my surprise I swam a 29.5 second split! That's the fastest I've ever gone (in case you don't know swimming numbers: the guys that win do their split in 19 seconds or faster and the girls do it in 23 seconds or faster...so my 29.5 is relative, but pretty fast for me!) The other girls on our relay swam even faster and we won 6th place medals!


6th Place in the 200 Free Relay!
Then, the last night of competition, came the 400 freestyle relay. I think they save it to the very last second because it's pretty exciting and pretty competitive. We just wanted to place in the top 8 to get medals and more points, which meant winning our heat. Going into it we weren't sure it was possible because one of the girls from our rival team had posted a super fast time earlier in the 100 free individual event...faster than any of us swim. But the race came together well and we ended up winning our heat by a few seconds and securing 8th place medals! I swam a solid split even with water in my goggles!

My 8th place and 6th place medals from the 400 and 200 Free Relays
Overall FIT won 9th place in the meet (out of like 15? 17? something like that...) That may not sound super exciting, but we're a really small team and a first year team. I think we definitely proved ourselves and earned the respect of the other more established teams! We left the meet on a definite high and to be honest I'm really sad the season is over. I can always keep swimming on my own or with friends, but there really is nothing like competing with a team!

The essentials: cap, nose plug, goggles, and athlete credentials.

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

National Swimming Championships


So, our little first year team from FIT is way up in Buffalo, NY this week for the NJCAA National Swimming and Diving Championships. We've been here since early Tuesday morning (I was up at 3:40 that morning to catch a plane...) and leave on Sunday. 


There are at least 17 (maybe 19, I'll check and confirm) teams in the competition and all of them are amazing. The team that dominates is actually from near my hometown in Florida, and they are insane! I witnessed a guy swim a 19 second 50 free style this morning....!!!!! (That's actually why I wrote this post. I wanted to share the insanity of what we saw...he broke like three records!)

So, I swim this evening in the 200 free style relay, tomorrow in the 100 backstroke (yes, I qualified for this AND the 200 backstroke! How in the world did I miss that?!) and Saturday in the 200 Medley relay. I won't be breaking any national, state, regional or pool records, but I'm hoping to at least break some personal records now that I have all my season's times down on paper.

More posts and lots of pictures to come!

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Birthday!



This post really doesn't have anything to do with training, racing or the environment, but read on if you're interested!

I'm 21!

My best girlfriends from back home in Florida came to surprise me this weekend for my 21st birthday in NYC! What a treat! I've lived here for three years and they've never been to visit before this weekend. We had a blast visiting museums, shopping and mostly eating.

Wednesday night I had early birthday dinner plans with my friend and former roommate Lindsey at Cafe Spice, one of our favorite Indian places. She greeted me outside the restaurant and we sat down at a table for two.  I noticed three people at a table near us wearing huge sun hats that covered their faces and suddenly it all clicked! Those silly hats could only belong to my friends (Anna, Tayler and Jordan)! I was so surprised I couldn't even talk...or eat, really!

At midnight I ate a Billy's Bakery Cupcake (Cupcake # 1 of the weekend) in their hotel room and opened a few presents from my mom.

Thursday (my actual birthday) I had to work, so they met me for lunch in Union Square. The girls at my internship were so sweet and surprised me with beautiful cupcakes from Cupcake Cafe (cupcake #2, #3, #4 of the weekend). 


That night I took Anna to my favorite yoga studio, Yoga to the People for a Birthday yoga session. After that we all went out for a late dinner at Veselka, the best Ukrainian restaurant ever.
 
Friday we toured The Metropolitan Museum of Art. They have a contest going on now called "Have we Met" where visitors take pictures in and around the Met of their experience. Here are some of our brilliant entries:


That evening I gathered all of my friends from NYU, FIT and Florida for dinner at Cafetasia, a fantastic, chic, cheap Thai Restaurant. They lost my reservations and gave us horrible service, but the food was amazing as always and we had a wonderful time.


We ended the night with a little bar-hopping and celebrating at Crumbs Cupcakes (cupcake # 5 of the weekend...in case you're counting or wondering, that's too many cupcakes!) The next day, tired and out of it, I took the girls shopping in SoHo.



What a wonderful Birthday weekend! I'm so lucky to have such wonderful friends!

This week is Nationals for Swimming in Buffalo, NY - More posts to come!

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ocean College Swim Meet II



Yesterday the FIT swim team got up early to head out to the Jersey Shore for the second match with Ocean College's fantastic swim team. None of us were feeling particularly motivated that morning...it was cold outside and even a bit chilly on the pool deck. But I was excited to be swimming the first meet in our new swimsuits and caps (check it out above)!


I swam four events:
The 200 Medley Relay: Backstroke
The 50 Freestyle
The 100 Backstroke
The 200 Freestyle Relay

Since our team is only about 10 swimmers and Ocean's has, oh, at least 40 or so, we had no chance of "winning." But we did well and by the end I was feeling great in the pool. 

I actually cut about 5 seconds off my 100 Backstroke time, but was still 4 seconds too slow to qualify for Nationals. I figured I'd make it next year when my coach told me I had actually qualified for nationals in my 200 backstroke! What? When did this happen!? (Actually, I know when it happened since I've only competed in that event once...) Hmm, that should be interesting!

We finished the day with a trip to Panera Bread (a suburban treat for us Manhattanites). Now we're looking forward to Nationals in upstate NY in two weeks!

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Before, During, After

These are some of the greener, more natural things I'm trying to fuel and compliment my workouts.

Before a hard workout:
Organic Dried Dates


A running buddy told me she's been eating dried dates to fuel her before workouts, and so I looked into the nutrition information. She's right: the fruit has a lot of great carbs to help you get a pre-workout kick, plus they're delicious.

or

Pro Bar


My work used to represent Pro Bar, so we have a few samples in the back room. My superviser encouraged me to help myself and I'm totally hooked now. The bars come in tons of natural flavors and are totally unprocessed and organic (I love every flavor I've tried so far!) They have a good deal of calories, so I make sure to eat them before a workout. They're also chock-full of protein, omega 3's, carbs and potassium.

During a hard workout:

Liv Organic Sports Drink


I've mentioned this product before, but the more I drink I the more I love it! This is obviously formulated to be a sports drink, so it has a good ratio of carbs and sodium to re-hydrate.
or

Coconut Water


It's definitely an acquired taste, but coconut water is a wonderful natural re- hydrant. It too has the perfect mix of sodium and carbs to replenish the body. I've been squeezing hot yoga and swim workouts into the same evenings and I usually down one of these in between to make sure I'm hydrated. So far I've only tried the flavored variety (which are all tasty), but I have a plain coconut one in my bag for this evening.

After a hard workout:

Kiss My Face Active Athletic Body Wash


I think hard workouts should be rewarded and this is the way to do it. It's made with Birtch, which is an anit-inflamatory, arnica which soothes sore muscles, and ceder, which is supposed to be calming.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Back in the Game

I've been so busy since arriving back in New York: school, new internship, working out, and on and on and on! But this past weekend, I got back in the game. 


Friday night I spent time on the runway for my designer friend Kate Goldwater, at a fashion show for an animal charity...which meant there were dogs...in costumes... It was pretty adorable, I'm not going to lie...


Saturday morning I headed up to Central Park to meet two girls from my new internship at Organic Works Marketing for a nice 5 mile (plus 2 extra for me) run in preparation for the More and Fitness Magazine's Women's Half Marathon in April! (Somehow, between me and another runner in the office, we've gotten several girls signed up! How exciting! Watch out for Team Organic Works come April 26.) 


The day was a welcome break from our recently frigid weather. At 10 am, it was about 34 degrees, perfect for running if you ask me, and it warmed up wonderfully throughout the day. I dressed comfortably and brought some Pina Colada flavored Cliff Bar Shot Blocks to chew on in my great new running belt.

We chatted about family, friends, and mostly working out, (but not about work...that's not allowed.) The run was nice and easy for me, and I added a mile warm up and a little over a mile cool down after I parted way with my new found running buddies. It's so nice to have someone to keep you company on a chilly morning! 

Sunday I dragged myself onto my bike for the first time (since being back in the city) in the cold (no, it didn't stay warm for long) night air to get to swim team practice (also a first since being back). The ride was short, but I was surprised how difficult it was! I'm was worried that I wasn't in cycling shape AT ALL! My riding buddy Jack is great conversation and, as always, I was completely enamored. All of a sudden I realized the ride was so hard because my back tire wasn't inflated properly! How stupid and unacceptable of me not to check before running out the door! (But at least it wasn't me...;)

The two hour swim practice was the cherry to top the sundae of my weekend. In short: it kicked my ass.  We incorporated a lot of stretching into the practice, which felt great. The actual swimming was difficult and exhilarating, and I remember why I love swimming. It's really not like any other sport. I've been really active since being out of the pool, but swimming works my body in a completely different way. 

I've also managed to make it to yoga a few times (as per my goals for the year) Hot Yoga and a regular vinyassa flow session. 

It's nice to settle into a routine again! 

Check back later this week...I've been working on a new Athlete's Green Product Guide that's not to be missed.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Adventures in Advertising: PETA/Super Bowl Edition...

The only thing that intrigues me about the strange American tradition that is the Super Bowl, is this recently banned PETA advertisement.


Although I'm a vegetarian and have been for several years, I sometimes don't agree with PETA's tactics (graffiti, paint-throwing, etc).

This ad, however, is exactly why I love them - It showcases what they do best.  They really know how to be cutting edge and get an audience's attention.

Enjoy! (But just as a warning, it's a bit steamy!)

video

What do you think? Should the ad have been banned from the Super Bowl Broadcast? Is it too racy? Or is it clever and sexy?

Not enough to convince you to go Veg? 
Here are some interesting facts about vegetarianism and saving the environment:

1. Meat production contributes greatly to deforestation. Over 40% of the rain forests in Central and South America have been destroyed to create pastures for cattle being raised for beef. 

2.A U.N. report found that a full 18% of global warming emissions come from raising chickens, turkeys, pigs, and other animals for food. That's about 40 percent more than all the cars, trucks, airplanes, and all other forms of transport combined (13 percent). It's also more than all the homes and offices in the world put together (8 percent).

Still not convinced that a vegetarian diet can get you through triathlon training? 
Well, six-time Ironman World Champion Dave Scott was a longtime vegetarian through the 80's and 90's!

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Year, New Me


Technically the New Year began about 24 days ago, but since I've been on vacation in Florida, I decided to make my resolutions begin Monday January 26th, the day I go back to school (i.e. when the new year really begins for me. This may seem like a cop-out, but I assure you, it's not;) I'm sitting here in the Orlando International Airport, waiting to board my plane back to the cold, snowy north...So here they are, my goals and resolutions for 2009.


Environmental
1. Re-use more instead of buying new things
2. Have a positive impact on my community
3. Recycle, recycle, recycle and encourage others to do so
4. Make a conscious effort to buy sustainable, organic and low impact goods

Fitness
1. PR in the 5 and 10k running distances this year
2. Make it to yoga at least once a week (maybe more?)
3. Qualify for nationals in the 100 Backstroke (I have, like, one month to do this)
4. Complete my personal trainer certification and get a job at a gym

General
1. Keep my desk and dresser drawers organized
2. Don't play favorites with my clothes: wear all of them!
3. Save money
4. Make the best of my exciting spring internship and of my classes

I'll keep you all posted on my progress...We'll see how it goes!

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Disney Half Marathon!


It took me a few days, but here's the low-down on the Walt Disney World Half Marathon!


I've never really been a Disney fan - thankfully my parents didn't raise me on the movies or at the parks (although I grew up just 45 minutes away), but I have to admit, the Disney folks sure know how to organize an awesome race!

My Mom, Grandma (who is a Disney fan) and I left home at noon on Friday to drive to Orlando for Marathon Weekend. We picked up my race number and some goodies at the Expo and then checked into our hotel, The Pop Century.

The Expo had a few things of note. I finally bought a good running storage belt - I've tried the one you velcro to your shoe and I've tried tucking things into my shorts, but I'm pretty picky about comfort, so none of those seemed an ample solution. This belt is a perfect small size, and doesn't bounce! I love it. 

Also - I found the premiere issue of Women's Running Magazine! This is particularly interesting to me because in my magazine journalism class two semesters ago, I did my final project on a mock issue of a women's running magazine - because there wasn't one on the market! I haven't read the entire issue, but it's pretty exciting:)

After a pre-race dinner of brown rice, veggies and tofu, I set out my gear for the next day and we found ourselves in bed by 9pm. I needed to be awake race morning by 3am, so I wanted plenty of sleep...

I guess it was excitement or anticipation, but I didn't sleep AT ALL. I mean, ZERO hours of actual sleep...AWESOME.

Nevertheless, I was up and eating at 3 am, on a shuttle to the starting area at 3:45 and at the starting line by 5:30! 

The weather was PERFECT. The announcers even called it "No Excuses Weather," which I love, because it really describes it to a T. Florida gave us about 46 degrees at start time (5:50) and up to around 55-60 degrees at the finish. 

I was in wave one (of three), corral B (of A-F). 

My plan was to run 9 minute miles the whole way, to finish right under 2 hours. The first 10k went perfectly. I felt great. I stuck to my comfortable 9 minute miles and even felt good enough to speed up a little, to 8:45 miles. Miles 5 and 6 run through the Magic Kingdom theme park, which was super cool because it was still dark and the park was all lit up and, well, magical looking. (And since I've really only been there once, it was even more interesting.) All the characters are out in costume, and runners even stop to take pictures with them! Seriously! In a race! (I would never!) But it's all so much fun! (Note: the only time I was tempted to stop, if I'd had my camera, was for Mary Poppins and Bert in front of the Grand Floridian resort. I love Mary Poppins:)

I stopped to use the bathroom right before mile 7, and after that, I couldn't really get back on pace. I started to feel tired and hungry, so I ate two Organic CLIFF shots and felt a bit better. I figured I should just relax and not worry about pace any more, since it seemed to be giving me trouble, so I slowed down to 10, and a few 11 minute miles (yikes!) 

The sun came up around mile 10. Mile 12 lead us through EPCOT (which I actually have been to several times. I like the countries;) and then finally I saw the 13 mile marker! To tell you the truth I was feeling pretty spent by the time I crossed the finish line, but was really happy with the race overall! 



I finished in 2:10, 13 minutes slower than I planned, but very comfortably. In my next Half, with ample sleep and without a terrible cold the week before, I will definitely be able to finish under 2 hours, like I planned.

After the race, I went back to the hotel and slept for a few hours, and rewarded myself with a huge ice cream sundae that night! If anyone is looking for a super fun race, I would seriously recommend the Disney races. They are so festive!


The Overall Results:
Time: 2:10:15
Total Runners 12,434
Overall Finish 3,1086
AG Finish 95 out of 515 (Women, 18-24)

Maybe it's a good thing I didn't do my best on my first Half - now I have something to beat!

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