TBT: Gone But Not Forgotten (Part Something)

21 May

So, in my funk, I’d forgotten that today is Thursday!  Remember?  That day of the week ages ago where I used to reminisce about Disney days (rides/attractions) past…well, I’m doing it today!  I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaack (kinda).

I admittedly cannot am starting to lose track of things I miss and what I’ve posted already, so I apologize in advance.

Today’s gone but not forgotten?  MAGIC JOURNEYS

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Before Mickey’s Phil Harmagic (which I actually do like and enjoy), there was something else (Legend of Lion King I think).  But before that something else, there was MAGIC JOURNEYS (yes, technically this was in Epcot first, but I only remember it in the Magic Kingdom since it moved there in 1987).  There’s actually a 2 part reason for missing this attraction.  Similar to missing Cranium Command, I not only miss the attraction itself, but the pre-show.

If any of you have a Disney World soundtrack (an older one) on it is the song “Makin’ Memories.”  This song is from the Magic Journeys Pre-Show.  I dare you to listen to that and not have it in your head…”taking pictures is making memories…”  Anyway, I tried to find a clip of a soundbyte of it but lack the tech savy to somehow get it on here. So, just, look it up, listen to it, it’s good ol’ fashion fun!

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Now, Magic Journeys itself was a 3D movie from a child’s perspective and featured this big giant golden bird kite thingie.  Ok, maybe featured is a bit strong, but it’s definitely what I remember most.

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See? Big giant golden bird kite thingie!

You went from a meadow to a beach to a carousel, all with something from one scene “seamlessly” leading to the next location.  Not to mention, since this was created in 1983, it has all it’s 80s wonderfulness.  Seriously.  The 80s were awesome.  Bring back everything from the 80s!  Except for the hair.  Mullets are never ok.  Never.

In case my “lovely” description didn’t get you all nostalgic, guess who found the video of the entire thing on youtube!  Check it out.  Relive your youth…or at least my youth!  Happy Thursday folks!

A Happy Moment

20 May

I owe a recap of the shit storm that was the Airbn Brooklyn Half marathon, but that will come later.  I’ve kind of been distant on here.   Mostly because I’ve been distant in real life.  I’ve been in a funk for months now.  I’ve become a miserable person.  I get annoyed/aggravated/angered easily.  At first I thought it was the never ending winter and the nightmare commutes that went along with it, but now that the weather is warmer and the sun is out, I’m still like this.  I hate my job.  I’ve become completely frustrated with how I’m going no where with it and not challenged by it.  I’ve become extremely frustrated by multiple blogs and how somewhere along the lines they’ve stopped being relatable at all to an “average” runner and more often than not make me feel bad worse about myself.

All that fabulous negativity being said…for the first time in forever (feel free to start singing along to Frozen there), I actually had a moment enjoying myself.  And it had to do with running.  And it has nothing to do with me running, because I wasn’t.

One of my coworkers is doing the Nike Women’s Toronto 15K.  This is her first race in years.  She’s training for it and wants to get faster.  Her husband has the book “Run Less Run Faster”  and she wanted to follow that plan but she was having issues with following the intervals, not quite able to go from what was written on the page to converting it to treadmill application.  So she asked if I would go to the gym with her and help her out with it.

Sure.  Why not?  Last night, after work, we went to the gym.  She was supposed to do 8 x 400m with 400m recovery intervals.  Math is (apparently) not one of her strong suits so knowing when to start running when to stop, all question marks for her.  Basically, I took over the controls.  I channeled my inner personal trainer and would adjust the speed accordingly.  I knew what her latest 5K time was so I knew what she could handle each interval.  When I saw that it was “easy” for her, I would push her on the next one, and so forth.  Her last interval was significantly faster than her first.  She was able to finish strong, despite some “I can’ts” along the way.  Don’t get me wrong.  I know I’m not an expert.  I know I’m not a trained coach.  But I know how to recognize mental struggle and actual physical struggle.  And I applied that to an already existing training plan.  And she did great!  She felt great at the end!  Hearing “I couldn’t have done this without you” and “If you weren’t here, I would’ve quit” is an amazing feeling.  I’ve never actually helped anyone run before.  I usually just slow them down.

What to do with this new sensation of enjoyment for “coaching”?  I don’t know.  I’m not sure.  If fact, I’ve gone right back to being snarky and aggravated today.  But it’s good to know that I have that capability of enjoying something somewhere.

United Airlines NYC Half Marathon 2015 Recap

24 Apr

WARNING:  This recap will be pretty boring.  I didn’t really take a lot of pictures and by a lot I mean, I only took 1…because my stupid phone has a habit of telling me my memory is full EVEN WHEN IT ISN’T!  So, this will be pretty wordy.

I’m going to be honest.  I was not feeling this race.  The hassle of going to Central Park, the hassle of running in Central Park.  The exhaustion from having done Goofy (a half and a full marathon) and Glass Slipper Challenge (10k  and a half marathon…plus a 5K the day before for good measure) all within 2 months of this race had me feeling drained.  It was cold and dismal out and well, yeah, I just didn’t want to do it.

BUT, I had entered the lottery for this race.  And actually got into this race.  Since I never “win” anything, I couldn’t NOT do it.  So, i headed off to Central Park for the start of this race.  I had absolutely no goals in my mind other than survival.  I didn’t do a bag check because bag check closed about 30 minutes to an hour before I had to be there before the corrals closed.  I opted for extra sleep.

There were 3 waves, all with I want to say approximately 10 corrals each.  I, of course was in the 3rd wave (yay for later sleep time).  I was in talking with people in my corral to kill time until it started.  We were all discussing races, run strategies, etc.  When I told them I was going to run/walk because it makes me faster, I got some judgmental looks.  Whatever…I would have my revenge later!

We inched closer and closer to the start line and I’d say about 50-100m before the start line people started running, including all the “friends” I had made in the corral.  I kinda looked at them like, “ok, you want start you go right ahead, I’m not trying to run more than I have to”  which also worked out well because I was able to see Karla announcing runners at the start!  And totally geeking out over seeing her, I proceeded to yell and jump up and down.  Yup, I’m a dork.

Central Park sucks.  OK, that’s not entirely true.  But, when 90% of the races you do are in Central Park, Central Park sucks.  Plus, this time of year, nothing was blooming so it was kind of depressing on top of the HILLS OF DOOM!  I started off the first 2 miles way too fast (for me).  I skipped a couple of walk intervals because they came on a downhill and I wanted to take advantage of that.  After about 2.5 miles you briefly leave the park to run down and back on 110th street.  When you come back in, one of the HILLS OF DOOM happen.   I had another 3 miles to do in this park, my legs have been through a lot, and so I just said F it…I’m walking this sucker.  And I did.  I know that was the wrong attitude to have, but honestly, I didn’t care.  Another day, another time, I can motivate myself.  I saw a pace group run my me and the pace leader was saying all sorts of motivational things, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  That HILL OF DOOM was just not worth the cost of the rest of this race.  So I walked it.  I walked the WHOLE HILL OF DOOM.    And then I walked the other HILL OF DOOM.  And I’m ok with that.  Sometimes, you just gotta walk.

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My one and only picture from the race…BUT I LOVED THIS SIGN

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Clearly not on a HILL OF DOOM. I think I was smiling because I could see the exit from the park! *photo by marathonfoto

FINALLY it’s time to leave the park.  I was so glad to be out of there!

OK, another confession…running down 7th Avenue, into Times Square was kind of freaking cool.  That right there made the race worth it.  There was tons of people and crowd support!  It was almost like you were in a parade or something.  Basically, this stretch makes you feel like a big freaking deal and that’s something to enjoy.

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Look at me, I’m the King of New York! *photo by marathonfoto

You get about a mile on 7th Avenue, all of which you’re singing “King of New York” from Newsies because that’s how you feel.  After that, you head west on 42nd Street until you hit water.

I feel it important to mention the Germans at this point.  There was a large group of Germans running together and they were pretty much my motivation to keep going.  I saw them in Central Park.  They were all different speeds…the faster ones would stop and take pictures and then catch up while the slower runners kept on trucking.  Keeping them in my sights became my goal for the race.

Under normal circumstances, this stretch of the West Side Highway would be great.  Beautiful scenery…yes, even with New Jersey being on the other side.  You get to run by naval ships and other cool things.  The downside: the wind.  This stretch was so cold!  So I tried to focus on the entertainment of the Germans.

Around mile 10. one of the judgmental people from the corral spotted me when I was on a walk break and started walking with me (I thought you didn’t walk).   She had said something along the lines of “we started together (which we kinda didn’t) so let’s finish together”   I always prefer running with someone to no one, so I said sure.  We ran together, then it came time for my next walk interval and she said she was going to keep running.  OK.  (See, for the record, she left me first…again).  So I took my walk break, then caught up to her again on my run break.  Then she walked with me again.  Walk break over, she sent me ahead saying she wasn’t ready to start running again.  So I kept running.  I never saw her again the rest of the race.  She never caught up with me.  Considering her “predicted finish time” on her bib was listed as 15 minutes faster than mine, I took added pleasure that my method (she judged) made me faster than her.  I’m kind of a bitch, I know, but I told you, I wasn’t feeling this race.

About mile 11.5 we head into the World Trade Center, which was/is a bit overwhelming for me.  But it’s motivating.  It keeps you going.

Mile 12, we’re now in my part of town…office wise.  Somewhere around here I also lost the Germans.  They were behind me somewhere and again, never saw them pass me.  This is also where you enter a tunnel where you feel like death.  It’s dark and no air circulation.  So, it’s great in that it’s not freezing, but then you’re dying from heat.  And it’s a pretty long tunnel, which also makes it a pretty boring stretch.

Finally you exit and run along FDR Drive, almost up to South Street Seaport, but not quite.  You turn, make another turn and you see the finish line…which I don’t have a picture of.

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Almost done!

The finish line is on Wall Street and Water Street.  After you finish, you walk for what feels like another mile until you get out of the race tunnel.  No seriously, I was let out near my office which is some blocks away.  What I did enjoy/appreciate at the finish is that they had clear bags filled with a water bottle, a gatorade bottle and snacks for us.  I LOVED that they had it in a bag.  Makes life so much easier to carry the stuff.  Also great?  The volunteers handing out the blankets.  Besides them there handing out blankets, they saw me struggling to get my blanket on with the wind and my goody bag in hand and so they helped put it on me AND they were all equipped with tape so the blanket would stay on without holding it!  That was also great.  Take note people!

The subway is right there by the finish, which is convenient…I was almost tempted to go to CrossFit right there and use their foam roller but I was too cold and really wishing I had checked a bag so I had something warm to put on.

I don’t know if this race is worth the price tag.  Obviously weather is out of their control, but I think that if it was sunny and/or less windy, it definitely would have been a more enjoyable race.  Central Park still sucks but running down 7th Avenue is pretty cool.  Right now, I’m registered for other borough races that will guarantee me entry to next year’s race…so we’ll see how that goes.

I Need To Win Lotto

22 Apr

…preferably before next Tuesday.

As you all know I have a couple of healthy but financially burdensome addictions: CrossFit and (Run)Disney.  Registration for WDW Marathon weekend opens on April 28th and yet again the temptation to register is there.  I managed to resist the early registration round (although there are still sports for the half, full and Goofy).

I enjoyed my time during marathon weekend.  I really did.  Albeit it was a bit colder in the beginning that I would have liked, but the airfares were the right price, most of my Disney buddies were down there, they still have some of the Christmas stuff up (which was extra nice since they didn’t have it up during W&D like usual) and well, it’s the largest of the race weekends and it feels awesome to be a part of that.

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Even Goofy (you son of a bitch) thought I was crazy for doing his namesake challenge!

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Turns out Nicole and I can actually hand out without running being involved!

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Danielle can always be found in WDW during marathon weekend…

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oooooooooooooooooooooooo

Even when I was completely miserable and having panic attacks and meltdowns I was happy there!  Doug could hear it in my voice when I call the instant I got there!  Plus, having (hopefully) completed the Marine Corp Marathon, it would be more like maintenance than training for this one!

If I fly down Friday night and fly back Monday, the vacation time shouldn’t be an issue.

From a financial standpoint, I can kinda do it, but not really.  I can fly down for free with my Jet Blue miles and I already have an AP so that’s not an issue, BUT the staying somewhere and registration costs, that’s the killer.

So for all intents and purposes I CANNOT/SHOULD NOT REGISTER FOR WDW MARATHON WEEKEND!  Right?

Seriously, I need to win lotto.

Please everyone, register for WDW Marathon weekend so that by the time I get to my computer everything is all sold out!

Because I Used to Talk About Running

21 Apr

So, this blog was started to be about running and my training and then CrossFit took over my life and legit race training took a back seat (hard to argue with 2 PRs within less than 3 months with nothing but CrossFit)  BUT with registering for another marathon, I gotta get more runner focused.  I also need to recap the NYC Half Marathon, but that’s neither here nor there.

I’m currently on a hiatus from running (even during CrossFit) because I am accident prone and hurt my ankle stepping off the curb.  No seriously.  I was walking on the sidewalk, and a bad step later…

While I’m trying to be on the cautious side of recovery, accoutanbilibuddy Rachel tagged me in a Running favorites questionnaire and in  my typical late fashion, I’m going to answer the questions now!  Weeks later!  Because that’s how I roll.

1) Location: Trail, Road, or Indoors?

Depends on the run.  Certain days if it’s absolutely perfect weather out and I need/want to clear my head, the road.  However, I have had many of my better runs on the treadmill.  It allows me to catch up on my DVR  while forcing me to hit paces I didn’t know I was capable of.

2) Time of Day: Morning, Noon, or Evening?

I’m not a huge fan of getting up early.  And there’s something peaceful about running at night for me.  Scheduling wise, evening works out best with my job too, BUT if I was a morning person, I would definitely see the appeal to run early morning before the world wakes up.

3) Weather: Sunshine, Mild or Hot?

This is kind of a trick question for me.  When it’s sunny out, I usually have more of an impulse to run, but given the heat the sun creates, I run better in overcast.  Either way though I think low humidity should be a choice because that’s my preference, as is everyone else’s I’m sure.

4) Fuel: Before, After, and sometimes during?

Other than water, the only time I ever fueled during a run was during the long runs of marathon training…although I’ve started trying to fuel a little during half marathons.  Typically I like to fuel a little before hand (too much and I get cramps) and I’m not quite sure if stuffing my face because I’m hungry actually counts as fueling afterwards…

5) Accessories: Music, Watch & More?

If I’m running outside, I have my Garmin, my water bottle and my phone which also doubles as my music.  That’s usually pretty much it.  Treadmill, I have nothing but the TV.  Does TV count as an accessory?

6) Rewards: Food, Wine, or …?

I’m almost always rungry after a run which is why I usually try and plan my runs to be done right before I was going to eat a meal (speed work while dinner is cooking, finish up a long run in time for lunch).  Pretty much at the end of every race though I like a beer (or even during a race – best mile 25.5 beer ever at WDW marathon!).

7) Type of run: Long, tempo, intervals, hill repeats, progression, or recovery/easy?

I’d say it’s a tie between intervals and easy runs.  Intervals I enjoy much more because they’re easier to handle the run intervals that way.  I only have to survive this long and then I can “rest”.  Plus it allows me to push my pace more than I typically would.  The appeal of easy runs is just that.  They’re easy.  They allow for “enjoying” the run.  No worrying about time or distance, just getting out there and relaxing in the process.  You know, that is if I actually enjoyed running :P

And there you have it!  I’m supposed to nominate some people to answer these questions, but I’m going to take the lazy way out and nominate all of you!  No, seriously, you’re all nominated.  This better show up on someone’s blog or ELSE!  (what?  It’s my blog and I can make empty threats if I want to!)

Sooooooo Somehow THIS Happened…

15 Apr

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I know what you’re thinking: WHAT DID YOU DO?!?!  Or…”I told you so”

I had originally typed this long post to discuss my 180 on making this decision, but I deleted it.  Why?  Just because.

So the point of this post?  I’m doing another marathon.  Be prepared folks.  Marathon training is coming.

Chanukah Chalf Marathon Recap

26 Mar

Yes, this recap is happening about 4 months after the fact, but better late than never right?

I’m not really sure where to begin with this recap, so let’s start with logistics.  For starters, the race was technically called the Running of the Lights, not the Chanukah Chalf as there was also a 5K and 10K option (but Chanukah Chalf sounds way better).  It was put on by NYCRuns which I was pretty pleased with after the Queens half (although I am NOT pleased that they’ve moved the Queens Half to my Easter Sunday so I can’t do it this year…bastards).

Sorry, I was digressing.  NYCRuns is a good, inexpensive, we don’t have to run in Central Park all the time racing option.  I registered for this race as part of my Goofy training plan.  Figured I would run the 13.1 and then tack on the extra 5 miles I had to do get my 18 miles in for the day.

Little did I know, the walk to the start would be a mile from the subway (or just feel that long).  The weather was actually pretty great.  I know the previous year it was freezing and WINDY, but this year, there was hardly any wind (I know because I was wishing there was some at some points) and the temperature was fairly mild for that time of year.

I’d be lying if I said I wanted to do the race that day.  I really wasn’t feeling it.  I only mention this because this would end up being a pretty big factor in how the race went.

The course is both great AND horrible at the same time.  It’s flat, super flat with maybe a microscopic hill that’s pretty much not worth mentioning.  And the scenery.  The path takes you under the Verazzano Bridge and all along the water in Brooklyn, great scenery.  The part of the course that sucks is that it’s an out and back and then a longer out and back, so there’s a 2 mile stretch that you run 4 times.  As if that’s not bad enough, this means that if you are slow like me, not only will you see everyone pass you at least once on the way back, but you get to see them pass you a second time on the way back.  That REALLY sucks.

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Sorry, apparently my course map got saved as a pdf.  Oh well, click on the link and you can see what I’m talking about.

Since I was planning on using this as a training run, I was gonna do my 4:1 intervals, since that was my plan for the marathon.  It’s a smaller race so there are no corrals, just one big free for all.  I don’t remember any type of fanfare for the start, just the people in front of me started running so I knew it was time to go!

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Not a bad view near the start and finish…I can see my office!

I was frustrated early on because I thought I was experiencing a relapse of what happened in Wine & Dine where my legs just weren’t warming up and feeling stiff the entire time.  Plus I didn’t bring any water with me, which is bad when the race only has 5 water stops.

Eventually my legs started working and that’s when mentally I just started telling myself, the faster you run, the faster you’re done.  I also started spotting some other runners and deciding I had to pass them.  I admit it, I got a little competitive.  But a realistic competitive, not a let me try for a sub 2 hour competitive.  Before I hit the first water stop (about 2 miles in) I had decided I was going to PR this race.  Why?  I don’t know.  I mean, I definitely didn’t train to PR.  I guess because I wanted to be done running as soon as I could.  This actually meant a change in my strategy.  Normally I walk the water stops because, as you may have heard me mention, I cannot run and drink water at the same time.  Instead of doing this, I grabbed the cup of water and did my best to hold on to it and not spill it all and would drink it on my interval walk break.

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Not taken during the race, but same view…

I would watch the fast runners on the way back pass me, hate them for their speed, but keep on trucking.  I used my desire to be done and my competitiveness to keep picking off runners (not many, there were not a lot of back of the packers).  But I would see a runner, decide that within x number of running intervals I would pass them (see, I was still being smart and not trying to sprint to pass them right away!)  And this was working pretty well for me.  The mile markers weren’t really there (very confusing considering the multiple out and backs) and none of them had timers on them so I had no idea what my pace was.

At some point I caved and looked at my Garmin and saw that not only could I PR, I could FINALLY get a sub 2:30 (I told you I was slow).  By mile 10, I was dying, I was dehydrated and could feel all the salt I had lost from my sweat (sorry for the TMII).  BUT, I looked at the time and saw that unless I had an EPIC collapsed, I could pull off a PR and could still possibly get that sub 2:30.  At the last water stop though, I made an executive decision.  I walked it.  I was worried it would cost me time, but I was so dehydrated and I needed to every drop of that water and couldn’t risk spilling it running while waiting until my next walk break.

I was still “battling” with runners trying to pick them off if for no other reason than to just keep my pace going.  I finally saw the finish line and began to sprint…ok that’s not entirely true.  I tried to sprint.  But I couldn’t.  But I finished!  And I PRed!  AND…drum roll please….2:29:05!  That’s right!  I finally hit sub 2:30!   I will now never mention my finish times again so that you’ll all forget how slow I am :)

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I’m sweaty and dying and red but I PRed!

Would I do this race again?  Honestly, unless I lived in Brooklyn and it was super close and easy to get to…no.  I enjoyed their Queens race much better.  Although it was a 2 loop course, it had a more appropriate number of water stops, had photographers at the finish (I would have liked a finish line shot of my PR/sub 2:30 race) and had actual mile markers with timers.  But I’ll let you choose for yourself

Pros
-Super Flat
-Pretty Scenery
-Cheap Registration
-Decent Race Shirt (long sleeved)
-Chocolate Gelt at the Finish – all finish lines should include chocolate with the post-race snacks :)

Cons
-Out and Back 2x – for me this is just mentally tough
-Inconvenient To Get To – took me almost 2 hours to get there, and it’s a decent walk from the subway once you do
-Lack of Water Stops – I know not everyone hydrates as much as I do, but I’ve never had so few stops
-Eh Medals – I know medals don’t matter to a lot of people, and the design is actually really cute, but, the medal was the same whether you ran the 5K, 10K, or Half.  And it was cheaply made (the Queens Half one they did was not).
-No Photographers – disappointing if race pictures is your thing
-Had to Run Around People NOT Racing – this was not a closed course, it was on the path that was open to the public and since the weather was so nice, there were a lot of people out there walking and fishing (why you would fish in that water I don’t know) which caused issues, especially with runners in both directions.

I don’t know, perhaps my race standards are too high for this?  I could take or leave this race.

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