Dear 2014

Dear 2014,

You were... a doozy. I feel like you can sum up all the years in your 20's as "it is the best of times, it is the worst of times" and, well, 2014 you epitomized this phrase. You pushed me to the limit at work at the beginning of the year, to only get laid-off from my dream company in March. I then started an amazing job at a start up and well, I was met with the uncertainty of the start up life. I then started another job, and quit because well, life and it was not the right fit. To say I learned a lot about myself through this process would be a huge understatement. You also sent me the unforeseen sudden death of my mother, that was hard. It will continue to be hard. You also sent me a tree, a lovely old tree that fell on my apartment. Thanks for that.

However, life sent me just what I needed this year to be able to get through all this mayhem. It sent me great friends and a great boyfriend. Without them, I would've unraveled this year. It wouldn't have been pretty. I probably would've ended up back in Ohio, which wouldn't have been bad, but it definitely would've have been a move for comfort rather than for moving forward. So thank you 2014 for all the joy that they brought me and all the support they continue to give me. I really can't thank them enough.

Thank you 2014 for my health. I have gotten through it and become stronger both emotionally and physically. My running has been a lot of fun this year and I can't wait to see where it takes me next year as I start off the year with attempting my second Dopey challenge and then running all the Star Wars weekend races. Both races will also have lots of friends and family involved! It's going to be the best!

So 2014, you kind of sucked, but you had a few bright spots which I will carry with me into the new year. I learned A LOT but at the end of it all, I came out knowing myself better and getting in touch with what I really need from life.

See you later 2014, it's been real.

Regards,
Katherine

PS 2015, I look forward to all the adventure and learning that will come from living in a new state (Colorado), starting a new job (TBD), and living with my boyfriend (<3). I'm not going to jinx it and say you can't be worse that 2014, but I really hope you can give me, my friends, and my loved ones a break. Thanks!

Looking Forward - Finishing 2014

Hello all,

So as we look towards the end of the year and into our 2015 race calendar, it's always good to stop and reflect.

What went well this year?
What needs to be adjusted?
Is new gear worth trying?
What can make you a more confident runner in 2015?

My year, after setting a few new PRs, is unfortunately going out with a whimper. This year I ran 4 marathons, which is twice as many as I normally run and it has taken a toll on my body. My hip and knee have started hurting and I've started carrying a lot of tension in my shoulders because of it. With Avengers Half (yay!), then Dopey (yay! x4), and then Star Wars Weekend (yay! x3), taking time off completely, isn't in the cards since I'd like to finish all of these races upright.

So what's the plan? Basically, I'm going to just focus on endurance. These races will be run but not raced as I give my body time to recover a bit from the intense training I put it through this year. Also, I'm planning to work in more stretching and recovery into my routine more regularly. Recovery has always taken a backseat and again, it's showing in how my body is hurting more than usual after the training I put in this year.

Focus for the next 2 months: Put in the miles, don't worry about pace.

Once I get through January, I'll reevaluate but I'm hoping that building my endruace base will then set me up to start working in speedwork again and I can race another marathon in May of 2015.

So how is your year finishing up? What are your goals? What are your plans for 2015?

Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Tinker Bell Half Marathon

So at the end of the Dopey Challenge I was so roud that I had finished the series, but also walked away disappointed with my times. I know it’s crazy because the Dopey is certifiably insane as an event, but I’m competitive so it didn’t sit well with me. Around Tuesday my legs were feeling pretty good and so I started thinking, ‘What if I actually ran for a PR at Tink?”

It sounded like a fun challenge, plus other than leg fatigue, I was in the best condition since I had been training for the marathon. So since my Thursday run went well, it was time to test my legs and see what they could do.

Game plan, take the first 3 miles at an “easy” race pace. This way it wouldn’t completely kill my time but if at the end if those miles my legs weren’t feeling great, I could easily dial it in and get a “decent” half marathon time.

So at 3am, my alarm went off (I hit snooze until 3:20) got dressed, had some coffee, some peanut butter toast and was on my way to the start line. I started chatting with another woman who had the prettiest tutu I had ever seen. It matched her Tink wings perfectly! It was nice to have someone to pass the time with.

We made it to the start area, I dropped off my gear bag and then made my way to the corrals. Corral A baby! Of course after about 10 minutes of milling around the corral, I decided I needed an extra bathroom break. So I had to exit my corral and walk all the way back to corral C to find a port-o-potty. It would’ve been nice if they had provided a few outside of each corral but it was okay.

Made it back to the corral with about 10 min to spare and got to hear some of Rudy and Charissa’s famous morning banter. It was also Rudy’s birthday so we all sang Happy Birthday to him. The National Anthem was sung (I believe fireworks went off during the singing) and then we were off! Again, no fairies were there to see us off which seemed weird for a fairy inspired weekend!

We did a loop around the north side of property before we entered the parks. We took Disneyland Dr, to Ball Rd, and then to Harbor and then enter backstage and into DCA through the Carsland entrance. Down Route 66, around Paradise Pier (w/ World of Color running) and then around Grizzly River Run and out of the park. We ran across the esplanade and then into Disneyland. Up Main St, through the Castle and then we looped around all the lands. We ran behind Big Thunder, which was a very dark path way. We also did some backstage running and saw the horse stables! I stopped for 2 quick pics, one with Merida (my first pic with her ever) and another with Marie and Miss Chipmunk. Both were firsts and totally worth the couple of seconds but unfortunately I haven’t purchased them from MarathonPhoto. We then looped around, exited to Downtown Disney and then it was street running from there out.

Since the race had thinned out by the time we got into the parks only the first mile was slightly crowded. It was very fun running through Downtown Disney, lots of people cheering and the red hat ladies on Disneyland Dr were PHENOMENAL!!! There were so many of them. We then entered some neighborhoods, ran to downtown Anaheim, and then ran the street back to Disneyland. Nothing really to note on these streets. Very flat, lots of volunteers, and I was very in the zone during these miles. I was feeling great! I knew I was on pace to get close to a fast race pace for my half so I just kept going.

It wasn’t until mile 11 that I could feel the fatigue, but this is normally where I start to get tired in a half.

We then made the run in the backstage areas of DCA, made a turn, and then a few more, and we were finally at the finish line! About 100 yards ahead of the finish a girl decided to catch me, but I totally turned it up and ended up beating her in. Woot woot! I even heard Rudy say my name as I came in and announced that I ran last weekend. I’d like to say her remember my name after seeing it in 4 previous races but it was probably just the Coast to Coast wristband.

While this race wasn’t a new PR, with a time of 1:46:14 I did tie for my 3rd fastest half marathon time which considering the fatigue coming into the weekend from Dopey, felt pretty darn awesome. I felt great the whole race! I also made one bathroom stop and 2 characters photo ops (both no lines) so overall this was a great race. I was proud of my time and had a great time!

Since I was one of the early finishers, the finish area was very quiet. I grabbed my medals (Tinker Bell Half and my Coast to Coast) and some water. Got my picture made and then sat for a minute after grabbing my gear. It was a little chilly so I threw on a sweatshirt. After sitting for a while I figured I’d start making my way back to the hotel and grab some breakfast on the way. I decided that the Disneyland Hotel would be a good place for that.

I started walking up and then realized, people were still running back at mile 5 in Downtown Disney. Whoa! I did some cheering and thanked some of the people that cheered me and then it was time for the breakfast of champions.

Run run run!

Yum!

I also got a bagel but this was a super satisfying cookie. After 2 race weekends, this really hit the spot.

I then started to go back to the hotel to shower and rest. I was pooped. On the way though, I saw it happen, I saw the sweepers. At least I’m pretty sure that was what was going on. All of a sudden some people on bikes got in front around mile 6 and the people behind started walking and there were a few people crying. Again not 100% but I made sure my medals weren’t clanking so much. I felt so bad for them because I can imagine what getting stopped would feel like.

I then went back to the hotel and relaxed and prepared for another fun day at the parks!

Pros:

  • Great course! Loved running through downtown Anaheim (maybe more than the DL Half course)
  • Great volunteers and locals out cheering
  • Lots of space to run!
  • Great finisher area (even though when it filled up I’m sure it was the same as for the 10k)

Cons:

  • Earliest race start – 5am
  • A little crowded at the beginning
  • Not as much park time as other races (but this didn’t really matter to me because I had a blast)
  • Tinker Bell was out with some other Peter Pan characters, but no other fairies were out?!

Post WDW 10k



Post Walt Disney World 10k

After the 10k, I started to feel pretty crummy. The lack of sleep and all the excitement was getting to me. I also had a cold that started creeping up on me (runny nose and some sneezing) but it was starting to come on a bit stronger. I still was not really admitting to myself that I was starting to get sick because for me that meant defeat.  If I’m not sick I can still run, thus I’m not sick. I was also having some gastric distress and I was getting nervous about running a half marathon which is a distance I’ve run a dozen times and usually isn’t an issue. 

Friday was also the day of some meet ups which I wasn’t missing this year. So I went back to the hotel after the 10k, showered, and then napped to try to take care of myself a bit. Around noon, I started pulling myself together for a meet I thought started at 1pm. I set out to the Beach Club to meet up with the Mickey Miles Podcast crew but when I got there, no one was there. What’s going on? I checked my phone again for the FB event and the event was still set to PST so it actually started at 4pm EST.  Augh! Instead of being 20 min late to the meet, I was 2:40 early! Oh well, there are worse things in life.

I decided to just mosey around Crescent Lake. I stopped at Beach Club, checked out the gift shop and just relaxed for a bit and then continued to do this at each resort as I went around the lake. I stopped for lunch at the Boardwalk Bakery which was good, but nothing to write home about. I also met some very aggressive seagulls over on the Boardwalk side.



After wandering around for 2 hours I was back at the Beach Club and decided it was time to admit defeat to being sick and buy some medicine. With some decongestant and coffee in me, it was time to meet up with the Mickey Miles Podcast which was a lot of fun! Lots of great people and lots of inspiring runners. I got to me Michelle, one of the hosts, Eddie McCoy runner extraordinaire, and many other listeners. Lots of fun and so glad I went! I stayed and chatter for about 2 hours and at 6 it was time to go back to the hotel, make some dinner, and relax with some compression socks on.

I cooked up some ground turkey and pasta, ate to my heart’s content, and then decided it was time to get some meds to make sure I could get through the race. I grabbed some medicine and some seltzer water (I’m obsessed with seltzer water right now!) at the CVS down the road and then it was time to call it a night. I laid out my Anna costume for the next day and got into bed and tried to sleep around 10pm.


Why I'm Blogging? Well, I Might Be a Little Dopey!

Hello Fellow Runners/Disney Fans/runDisney fans!

I'm back to blogging. Why? Well read on and you'll see.

This past Tuesday registration opened for the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon weekend. I had been anticipating this event for a while, so much so, that I had convinced myself that actually Monday, not Tuesday was registration day and it wasn't until I woke up early (I'm on the west coast so registration opens at 9am here) to get to work to be sure that I was there before 9 (I work in a start-up environment so the day starts a little later) to make sure I was there to sign up.

I woke up, went to the runDisney website, and then saw April 9th, not 8th.... augh. Another day of waiting and hoping that the races won't sell out too fast.

Why was I so excited? Because I wanted to go Dopey in the inaugural race year! 2014 will be my 4th year running in the WDW Marathon weekend. In 2011 it was my first marathon ever, in 2012 I went back for the 5k with the parents and again finished the marathon, and in 2013 I went unofficially Dopey running all the events that weekend. So what's another morning and another 6.25 miles going to hurt, right? Time will only tell.

Well, I want to chronicle the road to the 48.6 happiest miles and those 6 blinged out medals, which I heard they are redesigning them all this year! (http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2013/04/rundisney-announces-enhancements-for-runners-as-registration-opens-for-the-2014-walt-disney-world-marathon-weekend-presented-by-cigna/ ) My inner, Disney feminist is excited too that Minnie is once again getting her own medal! There was a 15k where she was the leading lady but it was discontinued awhile ago.


Some other reasons you'll want to read:
-I'll participate in other races in California throughout the year (Right now I'm looking at completing 2-3 more halfs this year and a full in the fall) and you'll get to hear about the good, bad and ugly of those races, my personal performance and training.
-I'll go back and chronicle my experience last year at the WDW Marathon weekend and also give tips on how to manage crowds. I also might go WAY back and chronicle the other WDW race weekends since I've participated in all of them except the Everest Challenge.
-I'll let you know all about the inaugural Dumbo Double Dare which will be my first Disneyland race and my first attempt at the Coast to Coast medal!
-I'll also sprinkle in some information of what's going on at the parks since I am a Disney Parks Fan first!

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you real soon!

Faith, trust, and pixie dust!
Katherine


Follow me on twitter @MouseRuns!

The views expressed in this blog are my own and are in way related to runDisney or TWDC in any way.