Recap: Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

In summary: this was one of the most physically challenging weekends of my life

  1. No sleep
  2. Humidity
  3. Two races + four theme parks in two days
  4. DisneyWorld churros are nowhere near as good (or easy to find) as DisneyLand

Last summer, we were planning a Caribbean Cruise that was leaving out of Orlando. Having never been to DisneyWorld, we chose to start the trip a few days early to visit the Happiest Place on Earth. Luck would have it, a few days later the dates for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend were announced and it fell on the same weekend as our visit. Being a runner, I knew I wouldn’t be able to pass up the opportunity to participate. Though I had intended to just do the half marathon, once registration opened, I got super eager and over zealous and clicked on the Fairy Tale Challenge option instead.

The Fairy Tale Challenge is two races; a 10K one day and a half marathon the next. “Hey, no problem,” I thought. I wish I knew how I was going to feel the few weeks prior to race weekend. The closer it got, the more anxiety I felt. I knew I could accomplish one race, but two? What in the actual fork was I thinking? Nonetheless, I had every intention of beasting through four DisneyWorld parks in two days – making the best of my first time there.

We conquered Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios the first day, but already my feet were in excruciating pain and swollen. I tried to distract myself from thoughts of wanting to drop out of the race with churros and other Disney goodies, but much to my displeasure, DW doesn’t have churro carts at every corner like Disneyland does.

Living in a much smaller race community, I can show up to the starting line 10 minutes before the start time and find a perfect corral spot, a port of potty and a space to stretch. Apparently at DisneyWorld races, if you’re not in the parking lot two hours before the firework start, you’re not getting in. In the days leading up to the races, I had numerous internal debates about taking an Uber (what if there weren’t any?!) or driving the rental car (what if someone needs to go somewhere at 6 a.m. before I’m done?!). I was still debating this hours before the first race (10K) and thus I got no more than four hours of sleep the night before. Given I was also in a totally different time zone, the lack of sleep meant I awoke with enough butterflies to fill the Animal Kingdom. Ultimately I chose to drive myself at 3:30 a.m.

image1-5Half dressed and following a fight with my hydration backpack in which I lost, I sleep-walked to the car and made my way to the Epcot parking lot. The closer I got, the more I anticipated rows and rows of vehicles to be in my way. Next thing I know, I’m in a spot only a few spaces from the race grounds. Was I too early? Better safe than sorry. I spent the next hour in the car, trying to stomach my usual pre-race sprouted bread, peanut butter and banana along with some Nuun Energy. Its rare for me to not finish a meal and as such, I knew I was in rare form.

With about 45 minutes to first corral release, I made my way to my starting spot. The battle with my hydration backpack continued and it wasn’t long before I discovered that the entire thing leaked out everywhere, leaving me with very little water for the course. I knew there’d be plenty of aid stations for both races, but I’m also used to running in very dry climate so I wanted to be prepared for the humidity in every way that I could be. As they started walking my corral closer to the starting line, I saw a b-line for the restroom and decided to go one more time out of nerves (and my pre-workout kicking in). Why is this part important? Well, because I’d like to apologize to the woman who opened what I thought was my locked porta potty door. Maybe that happened because we both needed a pre-race laugh, not horror.

For both races, it took about two miles before my breathing fully acclimated to the humidity. That was quite possibly one of the toughest parts of the whole weekend. If I decide to do another Florida race, I’m training on a treadmill in a sauna.

For the 10K, I told myself I’d do a lot of walking so that I wasn’t completely spent for the next day. But I couldn’t help it. Running is my calling and I was running in freaking DisneyWorld. I reached the center of Epcot right as the sun was rising. It was my first time ever being in Epcot and I couldn’t have seen it for the first time in a better fashion. Epcot recreated famous landmarks from all around the world so I was literally running across the globe with a glorious sight in tow.

I ended up finishing the 10K in just over an hour; I grabbed my snack box and raced home to prepare for another day of theme parking. I couldn’t wait to go back to Epcot and get a closer look at all the landmarks (and eat some food from around the world). My feet were still throbbing and standing in long lines didn’t help, but I kept reminding myself of where I was and did my best to enjoy every moment (even if it meant standing in lines for 1-2 hours at a time; the Frozen ride was SO worth it).

Luckily that night I was able to get some sleep and I felt a little less stressed about the pre-race situation. The half marathon was a little bit busier traffic-wise and I had no idea that you actually walk a mile to the starting line once you’re in the race area (someone needs to do something about that… or give us an extra medal for getting that far). image1-6

I started the half with so much doubt. I pictured myself catching one of the busses to the finish. Before I even reached the 5K mark, I had to start walking because my body was tired and sore. I just wanted a shower and food and a nap. But my heart knew I was better than that and soon my mind was wandering with all my typical mantras; I pictured later that day when I’d be on a cruise ship. I gave myself point to point goals. I started brainstorming for my blog and coordinating Instagram post (none of those thoughts will make it here because quite honestly I was full of delirium). I didn’t stop for any of the characters on the course because the lines were long and I just wanted to finish, but they were welcomed distractions. By mile seven, as I was leaving the part of the course that goes through the Magic Kingdom, I finally felt like I was going to make it. The negative thoughts finally turned positive. I struggled to the end but I did it – and in less than three hours nonetheless.

I’ve run two marathons. I’ve run multiple half marathons. I’ve done relay races. I crosstrain with some of the most skilled fitness coaches in my city. But none of that compares to how physically and emotionally challenging this race weekend was for me. But I am a better athlete and person for what I’ve accomplished and I’ll forever be full of pride for not quitting.

 

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The story of nuun

I’ll never forget how embarrassed I was on the drive home from my first half marathon. It was in San Francisco – about 3.5 hours away from home. My boyfriend came with me to be race support. We had been together for about a year. After I finished, we grabbed the shuttle bus back to our hotel. En route, my stomach was screaming to be let out of the bus. I did my best to maintain my composure (and avoid having anything other than sweat in the nether regions). Our post-race plans included brunch and football at a bar down the street from our hotel before we headed home. While I went to our room to shower, he headed for kick-off which turned out to be a blessing in disguise as what happened in that hotel room after, shall remain in the hotel room.

When I thought I was safe, I headed to the bar. One bite into my breakfast and …. nope.

I told him I wanted an entire bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for the drive home because I’d sure as hell deserve it. Screw the medal, I want the chocolate and so it was such. Stubborn me put the morning with the porcelain throne behind me. After a few, my stomach was revolting. I don’t know where exactly we were, but we weren’t near a bathroom and luck would have it, there was a shitload (no pun intended) of traffic. We finally made it to a Carl’s Jr. – which I will never step foot in again.

After that day, I thought my boyfriend would never find me attractive again. (Side note, we just celebrated our sixth anniversary).

I almost never wanted to run a half marathon again. Forget the chafing. Forget the amount of training. Forget the early mornings. Forget the distance. Forget the black toenails. Dealing with that amount of stomach issues from running was a deal breaker.

After I recovered and did some research, I found this miraculous Nuun Hydration product. As a kid, we were told to drink Gatorade for stomach flu and as a college student, Pedialyte for a hangover. The problem with both of those is the amount of sugars and unnatural ingredients weren’t worth it. Nuun is none of that. Nuun comes in delicious flavor tablets, is gluten, dairy and soy free and packed with electrolytes to keep you hydrated. Given my post-half marathon stomach pain was as bad as the stomach flu or a hangover, I was willing to give it a shot. Hands down, its one of the best products I’ve ever discovered and one I can truly say has kept my desire to distance run alive. I do not run a distance greater than 10K without a tablet the night before and the morning of.

This morning, I powered through a 5K at the gym and came home to an email that I had been selected as a 2019 Nuun Ambassador. And while it brought me flashbacks of this first half marathon, it was one of the most exciting things I had read in a long time. I’m super proud to represent something that has truly changed the way I think about preparing for a run.

For more information about Nuun, visit www.Nuunlife.com. Stay hydrated! 

A few of my favorite running things

I hate being all preachy, but I love preaching the things and people I truly believe in. As I spent much of 2018 expanding my running world and making hundreds of new running friends (i.e. you reading this), I latched on to the products you all promoted and even discovered a few on my own. Here are a few of my top running finds of 2018:

  • Goodr sunglasses – polarized lenses so the sun doesn’t blind you, that come in gorgeous colors and who’s ‘mission statement pretty much says what (they’re) about: We’re recklessly committed to fun…blah blah blah, sunglasses.”
  • Sparkle Athletic Skirts – So I literally own a tutu in every single color. Half of why I became a runner was so I could prance around in a tutu. But sometimes they aren’t all that practical unless you’re running the Ultra on the Playa at Burning Man. Fast forward to multiple, sequin-filled dreams later, I now have a bit more practicality and a bit more sass in my running attire.
  • Science in Sport energy gels – because chewing energy gels is out of style and absorbing melted-jello is in. That may not be the most appealing way to describe these, but that’s why you’ll try them for yourself. And that is – I appreciate their liquid form vs. chewy cubes that have to be chased with water (multi-tasking is hard).
  • Pro Compression Marathon Socks – I wish I had actually discovered these while training for a marathon, but now that I have them, I can’t run without them. I feel like I’m floating on pillows and recovery is 10x faster. Side note – as of late, I’ve had a terrible obsession with buying expensive and colorful running socks. Like, its almost out of control.

And a quick shout-out to some of my favorites that I’ve been using for years: vaseline for chafing, Cyclecast for active recovery, Powerbeats by Dre for … sweet beats …, foam rollers for masochism, Nuun for helping me avoid runner’s trots and Saucony shoes for supporting my passion.

What do you recommend I check out for 2019? 

 

A (running, curve-loving) place

Season’s Greetings and Chocolate Eatings! I love a good catchy rhyme.. and a good Toblerone. I write to you from a place I thought I wouldn’t be at. Of course this time of year, its natural to reflect on the last twelve months, what you sought to do at the beginning of the year and what you actually achieved. When I say I thought I wouldn’t be in the place I’d be at, I say it with multiple meanings.

I am no longer on a weight loss journey. Yes, I want to see the scale go down. Yes, I’d love to get smaller sizes at the store. But this year, I’ve really learned to fall in love with my body and all it has accomplished. I walked around Hawaii in my sports bra or swimsuit top for most of the trip, and I was comfortable doing so. I ran races in just a sports bra and learned to block out the gawkers. I posted photos of myself in these once vulnerable states so that all the world could see. And they were met with nothing but support and love from the world out there (much to my surprise, I’ve yet to be approached by a shamer – knock on wood). This is the year that I have learned to love my body more than ever. Through curves and rolls and stretch marks and muscles, it is mine to keep, mine to nurture and mine to love so I sure as hell am going to do that.

I’d be lying, though, if I didn’t say I’m bummed by how tight my pants are, how many times I’ve skipped the gym this month and how many nights I’ve opted for a big, cheesy plate of pasta delivered via DoorDash instead of the homemade chicken fajitas in my fridge. I told myself I would no longer let the holiday season get to me, but it did. I told myself I would never look at January 2 as the day to start over, because I would never stop, but its happening. Place #2 I thought I wouldn’t be in.

I’m as excited about running as ever. After my first marathon, I refused to put my Saucony shoes on. I couldn’t find it in me to wake up at 5 a.m. to go to the gym. There was no WAY I’d even look at signing up for another race. Thankfully, that didn’t happen after this year’s marathon (place #3 I thought I wouldn’t be in). I kept running throughout the year (logging 527 total miles in 2018!!) and I have multiple race prospects on the horizon for next year. I am super stoked to be heading to Walt Disney World for the first time and as luck would have it, our trip was coincidentally fell on the same weekend as the Princess Half Marathon. I’ll be doing Desert Sky Adventure’s Biggest Little Half Marathon shortly after and will hopefully make a triumphant return to the Reno Tahoe Odyssey relay race this summer. That gets me through June of next year and I’ve set a goal to complete four total half marathons in 2019 so there’s certainly more miles in my future.

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“The feeling of being different is really what makes us the same. We have our own struggles, yet we want the same things. We want human connection, a place to feel at home, and pizza.” ~Justin Timberlake, “Hindsight” 

 

How Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson got me through a run

Here’s to hoping this humors you and makes your week a little bit better. If it doesn’t, it will at the least make you realize that in addition to being a badass, I’m also a weirdo. Or super cool. Whichever. Whatever.

In a year where I’ve already run over 300 miles, including a marathon, I’ve also already lost my distance training. Ya know what they say – “use it or lose it.” It’s true. And it’s not like I’m disappointed by it, I mean… hello, I ran a marathon. But I definitely didn’t think I’d struggle to get back to a 10K just three months later. Again, use it or lose it. I didn’t use it, so I lost it. I mostly didn’t use it because I’m secretly a really hot ninety year old woman who was nursing both hip and back injuries, so again, not disappointed.

As I persist to get back into a routine, I chug along, huffing and puffing, especially in the latter half of whatever distance I’m doing. My heart wants four miles and a donut, my body just wants the donut. Except on yesterday’s run, my heart (okay and maybe my body too), wanted Dwayne Johnson. Yes, The Rock. The People’s Champ. The Brama Bull.

What?

Hear me out. Running is monotonous. Running is long. Running tests all of your strength, both physical and mental. Sometimes to get to your goals, you have to think of weird things, or do boy band dance moves while everyone’s watching, or train yourself to play Words With Friends while keeping pace. Yesterday’s run embodied weird things. Like, how cool would it be if, on this trek of mine, I just randomly ran into The Rock? How would that go? Knowing me, it would start with word vomit and end with a really cheesy selfie where I look terrible and he looks like he hates the girl in the photo with him.

No, no… that’s not what would happen. What would REALLY happen is I’d be like “Yo Dwayne, I know you’re not from Reno so let me show you the course!” I’d give him the preface that I average an 11:30-12/min mile but don’t worry, I’m a marathoner. He’d give me the People’s Eyebrow and I’d assure him that yes, this size 14 curvy fit woman has run not one, but TWO marathons. Feeling confident he wouldn’t have to give me the People’s Elbow, he’d agree to stroll along and we’d become best running pals for life. (Side note, even though I grew up as a huge WWE fan who was in love with The Rock, I still can’t do the People’s Eyebrow.)

Two miles done.

While trying to keep my cool, I’d get consent from DJ to do a Facebook Live because you know, if this was really happening, I would need to make sure the whole internet world knew. My intro would go something like this: “You guys, I was just minding my own runner business when I caught up  with a familiar (literally) figure. Meet my knew BFF who I assure is not going to lay the smackdown on my candy ass.” Then angels would sing and I’d probably drop my phone as I moved the camera upwards to catch his face.

Three miles done.

As we trail along, we’d bond over our love for Kailua and protein shakes and how jealous I am that he got to film a movie with Amy Pond.

Being the social media king he is, Big D would want to put me on his Instagram and tag my running profile and that’s how I’d finally reach 1,000 followers on my Insta.  At the end, we’d high five and I’d introduce him to Pawko who would get to take his first picture with a celebrity.

Voila, four miles — done!

The moral of this story is that I probably don’t need pre-workout.

Checking in from the pavement

Aloha! If you follow me on Instagram, you know I recently came back from an amazing family trip to Hawaii and I’m still living on that post-vacation high. From the beautiful scenery and refreshing waters to being adamant about leaving my work phone at home and eating poke at least once a day, everything about it was exactly what I wanted it to be and more. From an active point of view (because duh, that’s why you’re here…I think), highlights included running and hiking with just a sports bra, no top, in the sauna (okay, just the outdoors), swimming with a dolphin and actually not gaining any vacation weight (see: sauna).  We also went snorkling off of a catamaran, where the workout came in the form of holding on for dear life as we bounced up and down on the roller coaster waves.

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I also spent nearly the entire week without wearing any sort of foundation or concealer. This is a HUGE victory for me as I’ve always struggled with acne and being self conscious of it. It was liberating. My skin absolutely LOVED the humidity and the tan, which ultimately were the motivators in this. I’ve been home for (sadly) almost two weeks now and have yet to touch my Benefit compact. Guess I’ll just need to go to Hawaii every other month or so to rejuvenate the skin. Oh well.

I am extremely grateful to my parents for bringing me on the dream vacation and am so glad that I got to spend the entire week making new memories with my family.

A few days before I left, I gracefully fell in the bakery at work simply by moving my foot a step to the right. It was real cute, but I’ll blame it on the thought of trying to step away from eating all the delicious-smelling sugary carbs. Such a simple fall that could only happen to me, turned in to a sprained hip and a shot of Motrin in the butt to ease the pain. Because of vacation, I couldn’t make an appointment to see my chiropractor which made for a very uncomfortable plane ride and first night in Hawaii. Thankfully, it didn’t deter the rest of the trip.

It has, however, put me on modified exercise since I’ve been back. I recently joined a new gym that has a regular schedule of cross training classes and, while nobody else might notice it, I’ve been pouting on the elliptical in the corner as I watch others sweat like there’s no tomorrow.

To top all of that off, I have been living without a refrigerator/freezer for TWO MONTHS. Long story short, is a home warranty really worth it? I’ve had no less than six service appointments at my house and have rolled my eyes no less than a thousand times. I will say, future blog post: “Living out of a mini fridge,” will come soon.

So needless to say, I’ve hit some roadblocks and for once, its not lack of motivation. My heart is there, my body isn’t. My mind is there, my kitchen is not. Here’s to hoping that I can return to badassery (and normalness) soon.

OH WAIT. Before I hit publish, as I almost just did…

In the midst of planning a February vacation out to the East Coast, we realized our dates fell in line with the Disney World Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Of course, both my runner’s brain and child-like heart went a flurry when I figured this out. When registration opened yesterday, I anxiously got in the virtual line at 9 a.m. on the dot to sign up. Twenty minutes later, I got in, but silly me decided to forget my Run Disney password. It took me all of sixty seconds to reset it, but unfortunately I got put back in the virtual line. I spent the next 30 minutes kicking myself and believing that I wasn’t going to get in. With three minutes to spare before a meeting, I got in. I GOT IN! Can’t wait to Princess-it-up and I couldn’t think of a better way to complete my very first Disney World experience!

Marathon 2

On June 3, I became a two-time marathoner. It wasn’t without challenge, chafe or crisis, but it was with pride, power and pep. It wasn’t the race I wanted, but its a race that, at the end of the day, I am proud of.

Since I am a Rock n Blogger for the Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series, I decided to sign up for the Remix Challenge, which is a 5K one day in addition to the full or half the next day. I told myself I’d walk most of that so as to not put too much stress on my body or risk a freak accident that would stop me from being at my best the next day. But, in true me fashion, I ran the whole way and killed it with a 10 min/mile pace (I’m normally 11:30-12 min/mile). I spent the rest of the day in recovery and relaxation mode, fueling up on carbs, enjoying Porto Vista Hotel’s spool (spa jacuzzi pool) and straight up Netflix-and-chillin’ in my hotel room. I was determined to awake the next morning in a calm and motivated state.

Since I traveled to San Diego for the race, I purchased a VIP pass so I had somewhere to eat breakfast, get coffee, stretch and hydrate pre-Race. While shoving a bagel down my throat, I saw the one and only Boston Marathon winner Des Linden hanging out on the other side of the tent. I tried to finish scarfing down my meal so I could go take a selfie with her, but I sadly missed her by seconds. Still, being in her presence was one of the most motivating feelings I could have pre-race. “Run like Des,” I told myself.

I made my way to Corral 22 hydrated, fed and stretched. Normally I like to jam to some New Found Glory when I’m nervous, but I didn’t want to waste my headphone battery pre-race as I knew I’d need the power-through songs towards the end.  Instead, I made a few friends – some returning marathoners, some first-time marathoners. We shared our stories as we waited nearly an hour after the first corral started for our turn. At about 6:56 a.m., I was officially en route on marathon number two.

828418_278303175_XLargeI vastly underestimated the number of hills that were on the course and they started right from the beginning. What did blow me away was the amount of course support there was from the City of San Diego. Everything from costumed strangers with motivational signs to a full on stretch of bars set up outside of people’s houses. Around mile 4.5 I enjoyed myself a shot of tequila, a swig of beer and a few jolly ranchers (the whiskey leprechaun was sadly on the other side of the street). Little kids were high-fiving everyone who would accept and neighbors thankfully set up their hoses to help runners stay as cool as possible on a wicked hot day. I kept myself occupied just at the sheer curiosity of what would be around the corner on the next stretch of road.

At about mile 10, the crowd thinned as the marathoners and half marathoners split courses. I had spent the latter half of the race headphone-free so I could enjoy the conversations, cheers and live music, but as the course became more and more desolate, I knew it was time for my “26.2 songs to get me through” playlist to be cranked.

During my training, the half-way mark seemed to be where my downfall would begin, no matter what distance I was aiming for and that was no different for this race. My feet were so sore I could feel and count at least three blisters on each foot. It was hot. SO hot. I felt well-fueled, well-fed, well-hydrated, but the heat and hills still took a toll on me. I did everything I could to just enjoy the surroundings, what I was about to achieve and the thought of what was at the finish line. I had great friends and family cheering me on and coaching me as best they could from a distance, my favorite bands were blasting in my ears and I was in beautiful San Diego. Of the many messages replaying in my head throughout the long course, “only half marathons from now on” was definitely one of them.

As I approached mile 22, a police officer was moving a course barricade. He then proceeded to tell us the race was over and the course was being shut down. “What do you mean?? We have two hours left to finish!!” “There’s an active shooter downtown.”

In this day and age, that is my biggest fear. Every concert, festival, special event I go to, I am met with that fear. I blew up in water works and called my family and my boyfriend to let them know that I was in a safe spot. We were being re-routed to the mall and a shuttle would come pick us up. Despite safety, I was mortified by the thought of not finishing. I did not spend six months training for something to be destroyed by this god-forsaken society we are currently living in. By some stupid schmuck. By today’s new norm. Fellow runners saw how distraught I was and comforted me. Thank you, strangers.

Luckily enough, the situation was quickly controlled and unrelated to the Race with no injuries at play. About ten minutes later, we were back on the course and met with the amazing news that we would be able to finish. However, the break was my downfall. I spent so much energy crying and fearing that it completely killed any stride I had left. I knew the last 4-ish miles would be the biggest challenge, especially with the MASSIVE hill that was miles 23-24. Literally all up-hill, at the end of the race, on the freeway, with no shade. It was brutal. I feel like whoever conquered that that day, should get a medal just for beasting that portion. The brightside was that a good majority of the remaining miles was downhill – but at that point, I was so beat-up, blistered, chafed and burnt that mostly-walking was how I kept going and “just keep moving” is all I could tell myself. 828418_278213763_XLarge

As I turned the corner to see the finish line, a little over a quarter of a mile away, I got that final burst of energy and off I went. Six hours and twenty minutes later (including the potential active shooter lull), I was a two-time marathoner. And thanks to the Remix Challenge, I had three medals to celebrate it with. And some pizza, beer and uber-delivered ice cream sandwiches.

 

When You Know Something Will Suck and It Really Does Suck.

I have officially survived all of my extremely long training runs. An upcoming ten miles sounds like a breeze, but I am terrified of 26.2 of them. Over the weekend, I barely made it to my 20 miler. I cried. I struggled. I hurt. I doubted. I still finished.

On Saturday, I didn’t want to talk about it. On Sunday, I still tried to process it. Today, I am still recovering from it.

I did all the things I needed to do. From stretching, to hip strengthening exercises throughout the week, to good sleep and water, but still, I suffered. But secretly, I had a feeling it would be that way. All week, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to conquer it. And I let that thought in my mind win. My hips felt off balance, my hamstrings were tight, even my upper body felt like it was in suffering. If I didn’t have a friend by my side, I would’ve quit by mile 15. Goddamn the convenience of Uber. No pep talk I gave myself lasted more  than a half mile. No food or beer motivated me enough. But ultimately my heart was too stubborn to be damned not to finish.

Mile 20 was a few steps from my front door. As the door swung open, I fell to my knees. I crawled to my bedroom floor. And I cried. I wallowed. I pitied. I couldn’t even be proud that I finished it because I wasn’t proud of how I finished it. My lower back was on fire. The arches of my feet were numb.

I continued sulking in my sorrow by soaking in my bathtub. I cried when I couldn’t get the faucet to switch from the shower head. All I wanted was to lay in hot water and pity myself. There was a burning question in the back of my mind and as I finally set into the sea of epsom, I asked it – Am I going to be able to do this? What am I going to do on June 3? I don’t know if I’ll be able to do this. Up until now, I was so confident in myself as I knew if I did it once, I could do it again.

Though I didn’t want to talk about it, there were a few friends that forced me into it. Many helped me believe that I should be proud that I did the 20 miles and that they are now in the past. One told me that a bad dress rehearsal means a fantastic opening night. Others didn’t know how much I was hurting inside and out and instead just helped me celebrate.

While I’m not physically ready for the next run, mentally, I need it for my sanity. To prove to myself that I’ve got this. That a bad run is ok. That I’m a bad ass mother fucker who CAN and WILL get to that finish line.

One Month and Counting

Seriously? Al-fucking-ready? Training for marathon #1 seemed like it took a decade.  This one, is right around the corner. One more super long 20 mile distance training run stands between me and feeling done with the training. The test of all tests is already on the horizon. While I’m ready to have my weekends back, I don’t feel I gave up all that many. I’m ready to have a little less chafe on my inner thighs but given its getting warmer and I’m wearing shorts more, I’m probably bound to get that anyway. I’m ready to cut back on my carbs but we have yet to do our traditional sushi carb load. Marathon #2 is one month away. One more month.

Having connected with more people on Instagram this go-around has made this journey more excited and uplifting. I’ve loved the conversations that have transpired both on and off line from people following the journey. And seriously – it holds me more accountable than anything ever has before. Gotta do the damn workout do get the damn ‘gram pic! (I’m also slowly becoming a pro at selfies and timer pics).

I’ve been getting asked a lot about how running affects my body – everything from how my knees feel to weight loss to time consumption. My body aches – of course it does – there are days where I’m taking 30,000 steps before 10 a.m. There are days I forget to put vaseline on my boobies and they get chafed up from bouncing around for 45 minutes. There are Friday nights where I go to bed at 8 p.m. to be up at 4 a.m. to be out the door by 5:30 a.m. and to not return until 10:00 a.m… AND THEN …. I’m in bed the rest of the day because I don’t want to (see also: can’t) move another muscle. And no, I’m not losing any weight, I won’t lose any for the next month, and in fact, I’ve gained weight. My diet ranges from clean eating early on in the week, to heavy eating by the end, to recovery eating and celebratory eating. It’s hard to stay consistent because every day I’m preparing my body for something different. (PS; Check out the latest podcast from ‘300 Pounds and Running‘ titled “Why am I Gaining Weight While Training” for more perspective on this).

Hey, if you’re reading this – I’m in search of some new bottoms for my marathon – whether it be capris, shorts or a skirt – I want something with a rad print / color and high waist (because….gasp…. I think I’m going to do the run in my sports bra….hello first stomach tan since I was ….never).

What am I missing? The speed of my training just feels like it isn’t real yet. Will it ever?

What advice do you have for me and #2?

What do you want to know more about?

 

I Run and I Do Things

As the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon draws near, running is one of the only things on my mind. From planning training routes to buying new shoes and thinking of my race outfit, to ensuring my travel plans are all in order and thinking of my pre-race to-dos like a trip to the chiropractor, a pedicure and a trip to Reno Running Company to stock up on Honey Stinger Waffles and Sport Beans. (Side note: most of this equates to spending money which is my number one anxiety tick. Help me, I’m poor.) For the next six-ish weeks, when Facebook asks “What’s on your mind?” or an acquaintance wants to make small talk, the world will only hear me speak of running. Running to the store, running over the weekend, running through your mind, running to the toilet to vomit because marathon #2 draws near….

Which is why I sat down to write about the ‘other’ things. The other workouts that have made me stronger, the other goals I have for a better race day, the other things that will fill the next few weeks of my life… I don’t JUST run. I don’t run every day. Hell, some weeks I run twice, including my long distance run. See… even when I have intentions to do or write about other things they always equate back to running. Everything comes full circle during training but there are very, very few things in my life that I’ve worked as hard for and all these things show that. But still… I want you to know the ‘other’ things:

  • Cross-train. I’ve been doing a lot of leg presses because, quite frankly, they make me feel like such a BADASS! Just today I PR’d at 180# for 50 presses. After that, I did 5 rounds of 100 jump ropes and 20 bicep curls with 15#. Other favorites include rows, squats, shoulder presses and battle ropes. I’ve been really consistent about my 5 a.m. wakeup calls for things other than running and all of the different exercises have seriously aided my body – faster pace, less injuries and more stamina. I still shock myself every time I pace at a 10 minute mile (only on shorter distances…) but I know its because I’m really working hard to strengthen my entire body.
  • Sobriety. I’ve spent most of this year sober but birthdays, concerts and vacations have fallen back-to-back over the last two months and that affects my weekend productivity and even into Monday. I have one more fiesta on the books but after that, its a dry zone for me until race day. (Friends, don’t take it personally if you don’t see me the next few weeks).
  • Walk my dog. Cuddle my dog. Talk to my dog. Love my dog to pieces. Enough said.
  • Self care. I’ll be upping my chiropractor visits just to make sure I’m on my game. Epsom baths will become more frequent. A massage might be in my future. I’ve also been trying like hell to get my skin to clear but I’ve always struggled with adult acne and that shit is powerful right now. I’m trying out a few new things in hopes something will get it under control.
  • HEALTHY EATING. I was doing SO well with paleo at the beginning of the year but between carb loads and previously mentioned birthdays and vacations, I feel like I’ve fallen a bit off track. I’d really like to focus on upping my greens, curbing my chocolate cravings and seriously cutting down on weekend gluttony. I haven’t checked the scale in a few weeks (which is seriously liberating) but with a Hawaii trip post-marathon, I’d love to see it lower than it has been in years (and last I checked, I was almost there).

I truly did have other intentions for this post but sometimes the words just come out differently (and like the nerve vomit, word vomit is another nervous tick of mine).

SIX WEEKS…. AHHHHH.