Saturday, January 30, 2016

Blogroll

Moving.

Star Wars stormtroopers telling us to run along.
The adventure of going somewhere new is great, but the physical act... I would not wish upon my worst enemy. 
Still unpacking and getting settled into our new home. Not much new to share here, other than I'm exhausted and really hoping I can get right back into running on Monday.

So I'll let others do the writing for me today. Here's a few things I've read over the past month or so that I find interesting and relevant.

Sleep Like an Athlete:


Think Like an Athlete:


Train Like an Athlete:

Eat Like an Athlete:


77 days left

Today's Exercise: More box moving.

Having trouble eating right while in the middle of chaos. Looking forward to getting my full kitchen back.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Musings

In an effort to satisfy my OCD urges with the blog, I've pre-written a few posts so that I wouldn't have to worry about getting to it while moving.

Star Wars Han Solo saying "Don't everybody thank me all at once"

Today's message is about failure. January is just about over, and I expected to be further along in my half marathon training at this point. April 17th crawls closer. Unless some Maffetone Method magic kicks in soon, I need to accept that it is possible my sub 2:00 half marathon is not going to happen.

And I need to learn to be ok with public failure.

So I really like this article right now: 5 Failures You Need to Experience if You Want to Succeed in Life.

The author writes: "Success and happiness come with noticing the progress you’ve made, and understanding that every lesson is a step forward."

Alright. Let's notice progress then, shall we? I've come to a point where running is not a chore. I like my runs - I don't torture myself on the treadmill anymore. I found a way to run where it doesn't feel like punishment, and where it's gentle enough for me that I've remained injury free for a few months now. 

If my sub 2:00 half marathon goal doesn't happen in April, then I feel ok about not "retiring" from running just yet.

But just like the author talks about not giving up, I'm also going to keep trying. If it isn't in April, then I've got my eyes on the Fall.

78 days left

Today's Exercise:  Rest, unless you count moving 8 million boxes into my new house.

Yeah, I'm not going to post my food log today. There might have been a severe sugar relapse, or maybe there wasn't. It shall remain a mystery.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Even Rocky had one...

I'm a home owner. Again.

After a three month delay, my husband and I finally closed on our house in Florida. 

There's so much to do.
  • Move out of our storage unit. 
  • Unpack five years of life from NJ... that's been sitting in storage for six months.
  • Furnish. We sold pretty much all of our stuff before moving out of our old cape cod home... what could possibly be left in all of these boxes?
  • Move in appliances. 
  • Find internet pronto. I need it to continue working remotely.
  • Pack and move two cats and a dog out of our temporary apartment.
  • Clean everything.
  • Landscaping. Pest Control.
  • Blog.
  • Figure out how to shave off 7 minutes per mile in less than 80 days for my Star Wars Half.


How am I gonna get it all done?



79 days left

Today's Exercise:  Treadmill run @ Globo Gym:

M1: 15:25
M2: 15:46
M3: 15:46
M4: 15:32

Breakfast
Lunch
Snack(s)
Dinner
3 eggs with spinach, coffeeSalmon salad, tea2 HB EggsChili, tea

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Rest, we must.

Moving is the worst. It doesn't get better the more you do it, either; I've moved to three out of four corners of the U.S. since I graduated college 14 years ago, with lots of scattered smaller moves in between those big three. What I've learned is that it doesn't really matter whether you are moving across the country or just down the street - it always sucks.

So - while I'm very eager to finally be living in our house after a three-month delay - I know this weekend is going to be incredibly stressful. Therefore, all running is canceled until further notice, effective tomorrow afternoon. 

In the past, taking a day off from running would have added to my mental stress. I'd tell myself I was being lazy, I'd restrict what I ate, and I'd make up for it with a harder workout the following day. I know a little bit more about how recovery works now. There's no magic number as to how much rest you need, but you do need it - muscles get stronger during periods of rest.

There's a reason why athletes gradually reduce training in advance of a race (a process known as tapering), and Dr. Maffetone suggests tapering during periods of high volume training too. Not that I'm 100% there yet, but at least it makes me feel less obsessive about missing a few days of running.

Star Wars Yoda saying "Rest, we must" from running around like crazy.


Speaking of being obsessive, it kills me to think I might have to go a day or two without posting something here on the blog, but I'm being honest with myself - there may just not be time to get to it. I've been taking any opportunity I have in my day to write a few pre-scheduled posts, but that's beginning to feel a little bit stressful too. So if you don't hear from me for a day, all is fine, I'm just focusing on getting my new house feeling like home.

But if you don't hear from me for a few days, it means I'm buried under boxes in my storage unit. Send help.

80 days left

Today's Exercise:  Treadmill Run and core work:

M1: 15:50
M2: 15:47
M3: 16:09

Breakfast
Lunch
Snack(s)
Dinner
Chili, coffeeSalmon salad, tea2 HB EggsChili, tea

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Worse than Donald Trump

There's a lot I don't mind writing about here, but I'm not going to touch politics with a ten foot poll. 

No, the analogy I'm making here is that I've done a lot of 'firing' as of late. The Apple Watch, the Garmin FR 235, and now my Saucony Hurricanes. It's a pretty big deal because I've been using this particular shoe model for years. But between getting blisters in a new pair a few weeks ago and reading up more on how I can improve my running form, I decided it was time to try something new. 

I had taken an interest in barefoot/minimalist running after reading Born to Run* in 2011. I joined the Vibram fad and tried to walk around as much as possible in them. It didn't last long - the shoes were such a pain to put on, and gave me blisters on my heels. So I never made the transition to minimal running. 

While I found my Hurricanes to be "comfortable," I became a chronic heel-striker. I also found myself with referrals to physical therapy and in the chiropractor's office for runner's knee and lower back pain. Not saying I know for sure my heel-strike was the cause, but I've certainly read enough as of late about running form to think it's time to try a different route.

Over the last two weeks, I've been transitioning to the Vivobarefoot Evo Pure:

My new pair of Vivobarefoot Running shoes
You know, it doesn't matter who makes 'em... but someone somewhere must have decreed that
running shoes have to be hideous

Looks aside, they feel like nothing on my feet. It's actually quite nice. I wish all my shoes felt that way. My calves are yelling at me right now, but it's a good thing - at least I know I'm activating the right muscles. I still know I have a lot of work to do on form because I'm creating too much friction on my forefoot. It starts to feel particularly painful when I'm running on the treadmill.   

Anyway, I figured if I'm making the switch, best transition now - the Star Wars half will be here before I know it.



*Amazon Affiliate Link. This means that if you click a link to Amazon through my site and buy something, I may earn a commission. Much obliged.

81 days left

Today's Exercise:  Rest

Breakfast
Lunch
Snack(s)
Dinner
3 eggs with spinach, coffeeSalmon salad, tea2 HB EggsChili, tea

Monday, January 25, 2016

Fired another droid

Continuing the discourse on running gear today. I have not mentioned yet that I fired my Garmin Forerunner 235 last week. 

Before I had the FR 235, I had the Apple Watch. Which I also fired

Listen, I do my due diligence before making investments in technology. Everything I had read online suggested these devices with optical heart rate monitors do just fine, which was exciting to me because I loathe heart rate chest straps. Didn't have a good experience with an old Polar HRM. Chafing issues.

But I'd rather give it another go with a consistently reliable HRM chest strap than continually get frustrated with optical HRM crap outs. With both the Apple Watch and the FR 235, I'd experience extended periods of time where I was either getting readings I knew were too low, too high, or getting no readings at all. Just a status that said "measuring."

Sweet Brown doesn't have time for a Garmin running watch fail.


I can't be the only one dealing with this, can I? Both products have good reviews.  Do I have weird wrists or something? 

So I sent back the FR 235 to Amazon and exchanged it for the Garmin FR 230 bundle*. It should arrive by the end of the week. The 230 is essentially the same as the 235, the ONLY difference is that it does not have the optical heart rate monitor. 

In the meantime, I'm not going HRM commando. I've gone back to using my Apple Watch as a running watch and pairing it with Map My Run to get at least some running data. 

*Amazon Affiliate Link. This means that if you click a link to Amazon through my site and buy something, I may earn a commission. Much obliged.

82 days left

Today's Exercise:  Bayshore Blvd Run -

M1: 15:37
M2: 15:44
M3: 16:31

Breakfast
Lunch
Snack(s)
Dinner
3 eggs with spinach, coffeeSalmon salad, tea2 HB EggsChili, tea

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hoth

I just need to put this out there:

Image of crazy snowstorm running towards the northeast U.S.
See that big chunk of red? That's where I used to live

This confirms that - even with everything I've been going through with our new house - moving to Florida was the best decision I ever made. No more of this:

Star Wars Han Solo and Luke Skywalker on a tauntaun running around Hoth
When the airports open, NJ friends, come on down, we'll go to Disney.
Alright, so it's still a little cold here - enough to make an outdoor run unenjoyable without the right gear. Since I last wrote about not being in our house yet, and not having access to any winter clothes, I bought compression arm sleeves from Running Skirts. They had a flash sale where they sent me three sets for cheap, I just had to be willing to take whatever colors and patterns they sent me. I find that they do provide some nice added warmth, but not enough to feel comfortable at 38 degrees. 

Sleeves from Running Skirts
I'm really digging that leopard print.


What's the deal with compression gear, anyway? This article provides a good overview, but to summarize, compression leads to improved blood flow leads to more oxygen getting to your muscles. So that *should* lead to improved performance, but results are inconclusive.

The last book I read on the topic (Primal Endurance by Mark Sisson*) suggested compression gear provides a lot of benefit for recovery, but wearing compression socks while running will minimize muscle vibrations that contribute to soreness. 

Here's my experience - I ran last year's Star Wars half marathon with Zensah compression leg sleeves* - and my legs felt so much better, happier, and less fatigued than any other half marathon I had run before. I had run 6 miles the day prior, and hopped a 5-hour red-eye across the country back home that very evening... and felt ready to run again the next day. 

So compression. I'm a fan.

*Amazon Affiliate Link. This means that if you click a link to Amazon through my site and buy something, I may earn a commission. Much obliged.

83 days left

Today's Exercise:  90 min Treadmill run @ Globo Gym. The treadmill display was broken and didn't give me my per mile time, but I didn't realize it until I was pretty for into my run. Average pace - 16:40

Breakfast
Lunch
Snack(s)
Dinner
3 eggs with spinach, onion, and cheddar, coffeeBreakfast was more like brunch...HC LatteChili, tea

Saturday, January 23, 2016

I can't keep the vision out of my head.

Despite waking up at 5 am this morning, I still think I'm making progress with my low carb insomnia. 5 am is not 3:30 am. It's not 4:30 am. 

I also actually remembered my from dream last night. It's been a while since I last had a dream I remembered. This time, I was really mad that my husband moved our two cats, Kirbi and Zelda, into our new house that we haven't closed on yet. Obviously, our housing drama weighs heavily on my mind. If we don't close this week, we're homeless. 

Star Wars Yoda can't foresee our future.
Even Yoda cannot see our fate.

Do our dreams have any meaning? These nine common dreams supposedly do. I have had a recurring "unprepared for a test" dream even though I've been out of college for 14 years. The way it always plays out is that it's the last day of the semester and I have a final exam for a class I never showed up for. I always assumed it meant college really stressed me out more than I thought it did, but I guess it actually has more to do with current anxiety levels. I could see that being pretty accurate for me.

I've also frequently had the falling dream, which startles me enough to wake up and grab my pillow. This one could have two meanings - either you are overwhelmed by something or you need to let go of something. Plausible.

Dreaming and sleeping a little bit later represent major changes in my sleep pattern that I haven't seen in almost two months now. I'll take the improvement. 

Hoping to start moving the needle on speed next.

84 days left

Today's Exercise:  Treadmill run and core work @ Globo Gym

M1: 16:24
M2: 16:13
M3: 16:13
M4: 16:09

Breakfast
Lunch
Snack(s)
Dinner
3 eggs, coffee3 eggs, teaHC LatteSalmon Salad

Friday, January 22, 2016

Who's the more foolish?

Our builder delayed our house closing AGAIN yesterday. It was supposed to happen on Monday. They're saying it will just be later in the week next week, but I have no trust in anything they tell me anymore.

Backing up a sec - this is the same builder who told us the day before our original closing at the end of October that we were going to be delayed two more months. Then, in mid December, they announced it was being pushed off again until mid to end of January.

If closing doesn't happen next week, my husband and I are - once again - screwed. Because it's the end of the month. Our lease is up. We'll be homeless.

Fool me once... 

Even Han Solo and Chewbacca got to go home in the latest Star Wars movie.
Don't rub it in, Han.
Gonna get a long run in this weekend and not "dwell" on it.

I've been dealing with some nausea, so I think today is my last day on the egg fast. I've read up on others' experiences doing an egg fast, and think this may just be a touch of low carb flu. 

Or maybe eating 45 eggs over a three day period is really too much.

I will mention this though - my low carb insomnia seems to be subsiding. I've been dealing with it for almost two months now. There's lots of tips and articles geared towards helping you fall asleep (this one is pretty good) but my problem was staying asleep. 

So imagine how excited I was when I actually overslept the other night - woke up at 6:25! I haven't done that in quite some time. We'll see where it goes from here. 

85 days left

Today's Exercise:  Rest

Breakfast
Lunch
Snack(s)
Dinner
3 eggs, coffee3 eggs, tea2 HB EggsMore eggs and tea

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Pirate Christmas

While running yesterday, I noticed that the homes of Tampa have all traded in their Christmas lights for pirate flags, and replaced wreaths made of holly with wreaths made of feathers, bandanas, and all kinds of scalawag things. You can't get your photo taken with Santa in the center of Hyde Park Village anymore, but any of the roving buccaneers will be happy to pose for a selfie with you.

A wreath perfect for a pirate.
It's all very shiver me timbers.

Which means one thing... it's time for the Gasparilla Pirate Festival! I really have no idea what this means since this is my first year as a Tampa Bay resident, but methinks it's going to involve a lot of booze. It could fit interestingly into my New Year's Resolution to have more fun. I have to give it some thought as to how I want to participate without necessarily getting wasted. That doesn't really fit into my goals so much this year. 

Speaking of new years, I learned that I was actually faster than the average female runner in 2015. Bully! 

Of course, my average pace in 2016 isn't what it was last year. Ah well. It's still early in the year, Anyway, you can check out how you stack up and see other interesting running statistics here. Apparently, Florida made the top three for flattest terrain, but the shocker was that it wasn't #1! To think, I'm actually missing the rolling hills of New Jersey.

In other running news, apparently you only need to run 6 miles a week to improve your health... at a pace of 10 min/mi though. I wonder what the target is for people like me running 16-minute miles.

I still wanted to do something to get my mood and overall well-being on track after recognizing that quitting coffee cold turkey wasn't going to work out, so I started an egg fast again. This time, I'm following the rules as written to see if there's a different outcome. 

Also, I've been nutritionally "off-roading" over the last week, so I'm thinking this is what I need to get me back on track.

86 days left

Today's Exercise:  Bayshore Blvd Run:

M1: 13:00* (Probably not quite right... using Map My Run instead of Garmin tonight)
M2: 16:36
M3: 16:59
M4: 16:06

Breakfast
Lunch
Snack(s)
Dinner
3 eggs, coffee3 eggs, tea2 HB EggsMore eggs and tea

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sacrifice

Day 1 of no coffee did not end as I envisioned. I made two cups of tea to get my day started, but my body protested.

Star Wars Darth Vader gets mad when there is no coffee.


I wasn't alert and couldn't focus at work. 

So I made myself some coffee. #Fail.

I'm thinking the quitting "cold turkey" approach isn't going to jive in the middle of a stressful work week. I'm going to have to try just slowly weaning off of it, I guess.

So why bother giving up coffee at all if I love it so much? Of all the ways caffeine affects your body, I'm most concerned about elevated cortisol levels. Excess cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body contributes to anxiety, sugar cravings, and insomnia - all of which have been problems for me recently. There are a few other benefits to giving up coffee (see 9 Things that Might Happen if you Give Up Coffee).

It will be easy to go back to more moderate amounts of coffee after I move into my house and get my Keurig back. There are definitely some benefits to drinking a little bit of coffee - for one, it's not the diuretic people claim it is. And it can also help me run faster.

Which we know is the ultimate goal here.

Unfortunately, I'm not having much luck with my running this week. Today was a perfect day to run - the weather cooperated and I had some extra time so I was really hoping to get a long run completed. But my Garmin was buggy today and I could not get a consistent heart rate reading. I really couldn't find a good pace at all either - I think today may have been my worst run to date.

I don't need the added stress of using equipment that doesn't work, so it may be back to the drawing board in finding a new heart rate monitor. 

87 days left

Today's Exercise:  Bayshore Blvd Run:

M1: 17:01
M2: 17:48
M3: 15:50
M4: 16:20

Breakfast
Lunch
Snack(s)
Dinner
3 eggs, tea3 eggs, tea2 HB EggsMore eggs and tea

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

You can't stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.

I feel mired down. Stagnant.

I mentioned this last week and thought maybe a Whole 30 would be in order. If you aren't familiar, the Whole 30 is a stringent elimination diet that can be fairly life changing. But when I think about my life over the next few months, I think I could be setting myself up for failure if I take this on.

I'm:
  • Finally moving into my house next week - three months after the original closing date. It's not all celebration and excitement, though, as I learned it might be some time before I have access to the internet. Long story... but for someone who works from home, likes to blog, and gets all her entertainment from Hulu/Netflix/HBOGo, it's problematic.
  • Having dinner with princesses at Cinderella's Royal Table on Valentine's Day. Not sure if the Magic Kingdom can accommodate the Whole 30 way of eating.
  • Taking a business trip in March.
  • Having company visit in April.

I can't find a good stretch of time where I can commit to this for a solid month before the half marathon, unless I can work it out with Disney on February 14th. 

So I've been thinking about where else I can make improvements in my daily feelings of well-being, and one area is my relationship with coffee. My single cup coffee brewer has been in storage since we moved in July, and I have been using drip coffee makers that come with the temporary apartments I've lived in. My husband doesn't drink coffee, so I'm on my own for drinking a pot.

Star Wars Princess Leia runs on coffee, too.


Alright, I'm exaggerating, I don't drink an entire pot. I definitely drink more than I should, though. 

Beginning tomorrow, I'm going to see if I can go without it until I move into my house and get my single cup brewer back. I think that's going to be about 10 days. I've got two flavors of Trader Joe's tea that I think will make a good substitute. 

Bring on the withdrawal symptoms.

88 days left

Today's Exercise:  Rest

Breakfast
Lunch
Snack(s)
Dinner
3 eggs w/ spinach, coffeeSalmon Salad, teaMore coffee (getting my goodbye in)More salmon salad and tea

Monday, January 18, 2016

Don't call me a mindless philosopher

I'm so grateful today is a holiday.

Because it's allowing me some time to catch up on work.

It's the same every year - January starts, everyone is back in the office, and there's a zillion new goals to achieve. It's always overwhelming, but I know things will return to a more manageable pace at some point. What I really need to do now to get me through this is bring back a daily mindfulness program - haven't used Calm or Headspace in a few weeks.

Or I should book some time with a hypnotherapist. I have hypothesized in the past that hypnosis works like guided meditation, and this article backs me up.

Han Solo gives Luke a skeptical look in one of the Star Wars movies.
I know you are giving me that look again.
Hear me out - I was a skeptic about hypnosis. I didn't think it was real. I figured people who participated in hypnotist shows were just looking for excuses to act silly in front of a crowd. I'm about as introverted as they come and have serious stage fright - my friends know I wouldn't willingly participate in anything that puts me in a spotlight.

My initial experience with hypnosis was actually at a university stage show in 2002. 

I wasn't even on stage. I was in the audience. Every time the hypnotist told the "performers" on stage to "sleep," I too went to "sleep." My colleagues sitting next to me had to flag the hypnotist down at the end of the show to snap me out of it because I was just too mesmerized to get out of my chair. Just like the author in the article above, I was fully aware of what was happening and remembered everything after. I remember feeling so relaxed, rested, and calm - like I just had the best night of sleep in my life.

Fast forward one year later when I was in Vegas and found myself in another hypnotist show - this time on stage, despite the objection from my introvert brain. I just craved that deeper relaxation again and was willing to do anything to get it. 20 minutes of hypnosis left me feeling mostly fantastic... mostly. The biggest rush I felt that night was when the hypnotist "suggested" I had won the lottery, and I crashed pretty hard after that when I realized that it didn't actually happen.

So yeah. Hypnosis is real. There are free apps and YouTube videos out there if you are interested in trying it out. I can say they do a decent job of putting me back into that hypnotic state, but it could be because I have worked with "professionals" in the past and know the feeling I'm seeking. Also, I have found that the "suggestion" I have looked for with these tools - eat healthier, enjoy workouts, sleep better - only lasts a short period of time. Then it seems ineffective, and I have to find a different app or video to get similar results.

Would love to hear from others who have gone through hypnotherapy. 

89 days left

Today's Exercise:  Track Run:

M1: 15:18
M2: 15:20 and then my run was frustratingly cut short yet again.

Breakfast
Lunch
Snack(s)
Dinner
3 eggs, coffeeSalmon Salad, teaHC Latte2 HB eggs, tea

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Run, Interrupted

The Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon was this morning. Just like I ran a 10k yesterday to celebrate the one year anniversary of my participation in the Rebel Challenge, I considered running a half marathon today to keep the "celebration" going. (Notably, I will also be running the Dark Side Half Marathon in exactly three months.)

But, at the pace I'm going now, running 13.1 miles will take me all day. And I really don't have all day to run.

Especially in a tornado.

Yes, a tornado touched down not too far from where I live well before I woke up this morning. I wouldn't have left my apartment had the weather been iffy, but it was pretty mild at 6 am. A little breezy. No rain in the forecast.

It's amazing how unpredictable the weather can be down here.

About three miles into my run, the sky became ominously dark. And the wind came out of nowhere, which gave me a nice bump in pace. So I didn't mind it.

Until a few electrical wires supporting a traffic light came down in a sea of sparks right across the street from me. As you can tell from my super consistent and even heart rate, I wasn't scared at all. #Sarcasm

My Garmin running watch shows where my heart rate jumped.
I said "No thanks" and peaced out.

I felt a bit unfulfilled having to cut my run short, so I made the quick drive over to Globo Gym to work in a few more miles on the dreadmill afterwards.

90 days left

Today's Exercise:  Tornado/Treadmill Run:

M1: 14:50
M2: 15:27
M3: 14:47
M4: 16:05
M5: 15:15
M6: 15:22


Breakfast
Lunch
Snack(s)
Dinner
Spinach and cheddar omelette, coffeeBeef StewHC Latte2 HB Eggs

Saturday, January 16, 2016

10k's

In honor of my fellow Star Wars/running enthusiasts out in California today beginning the first leg of the Rebel Challenge, I decided to run a 10k myself... with a little extra thrown in for good measure... and then went to Hollywood Studios for the new Star Wars Experience. 

I may not be doing runDisney today, but doing a run AND THEN Disney is just fine, too.

10ks are not a distance I race frequently. I noted yesterday the Star Wars 10k was not my personal best.

That honor goes to the "Run from Winter," a 10k I did at a park in NJ about a month before the American Odyssey Relay in 2013, in 54:07:

The Map My Run app shows the route from the "Run from Winter" 10k race

The thing I most remember about this race is that it was called "Run from Winter" and it was officially spring at this point - but it was about 23 degrees outside. 

My husband and me at the "Run from Winter" 10k
It probably holds my best time because I really was trying to run from winter. Did I mention how happy I am to live in Florida now?
Then there was the George Washington Bridge run in June 2014. At first, I thought it might be kind of a lame race when I found out we'd be running the lower level of the GW, but it actually turned out to be pretty awesome. The upper level kept the sun from scorching me, and it still provided some great views. Did that one in 59:31.

Map My Run shows the course from the George Washington Bridge run
Apparently, I also took a swim in the Hudson. Methinks Map My Run had a little trouble getting satellites on the bridge.

My husband, friend, and me at the George Washington Bridge run
My husband did the 5k, and my bestie did the 10k with me.
In October 2014, I did the Runner's World Five and Dime in Bethlehem, PA. It's a 5k immediately followed by a 10k, so I'm not sure I want to count it as a 10k. And Bethlehem... holy hills, batman. So yeah.. my time of 1:06:42 I'd rather forget. But still a cool race though.

My husband and me at the Runner's World 10k run
Apparently I did not use Map My Run for this, as I have no data on it. 

FYI - Runner's World also sponsors a half marathon the day after the Five and Dime, and doing all three races is called the 'hat trick.' I don't think I could ever do a half marathon there - the hills are killer.

Another bridge run I don't have data for is the inaugural "Race Across the Bay" Chesapeake Bay Bridge Run in Maryland. This was on November 9, 2014 - just a few weeks after the Five and Dime. Did much better there in 57:25.

So that brings us to my last 10k, last year's Star Wars 10k, 59:23, not awful for me considering I stopped for a picture and was trying to hold back a little knowing I had a half marathon the next day.

Map My Run shows the Star Wars runDisney 10k run


And here I am one year later running a 10k in like 90 minutes. 

And, more likely than not, I'll be running April's Dark Side 10k in about 90 minutes. 

The half is just too important to me.

91 days left

Today's Exercise:  Bayshore Blvd Run:

M1: 15:40
M2: 16:06
M3: 16:31
M4: 16:21
M5: 16:15
M6: 16:03
M7: 16:25


Breakfast
Lunch
Snack(s)
Dinner
Beef stew, coffeeHB EggN/ASomething at Hollywood and Vine

Friday, January 15, 2016

Rebel Challenge

My Twitter feed is crawling with posts and images from this year's runDisney Star Wars Weekend at Disneyland.

I'm only slightly envious. I own medals from the inaugural Rebel Challenge, thank you very much.

However, if - at the time of registration for this year's Rebel Challenge - I had known about the inaugural Dark Side Challenge, I would have signed up again. I'm sad to be missing out on the opportunity to get the Kessel Run medal for signing up for both challenges this year.

But I'd like to take a walk down memory lane today. Here's a race report that's a year overdue.

We left from Newark Thursday morning for Anaheim. Ben got an early start on being a rebel by taking a selfie and disobeying rules:

My husband disobeying rules before the runDisney Star Wars half marathon

Once we arrived at LAX, we waited for my sister-in-law's flight to arrive from Boston. Then we went directly to packet pick-up. We were stoked to get not one but three race t-shirts for our efforts:

My husband, sister-in-law, and me before the runDisney Star Wars half marathon
Only one bib to re-use for both races, though. My husband applied some fantastic forgery skills to his bib so that he could start in the same corral as Bridget and I. Don't tell Disney, please.

Friday, we hit up California Adventure since Bridget had never been. 

Riding the Tower of Terror at Disneyland before the runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon
The Tower of Terror is the best ride ever, both here and at Disney World. Did you know that every time you ride it, it drops you differently? Disney has figured out how to prevent people from taking photos of their ride photos since this was taken, but glad I've got this one for my memories.

Up early for the 10k Saturday. 5:30 am race start - not a big deal when you are still following Eastern Time. 

My husband, sister-in-law, and me getting up bright and early for the runDisney Star Wars 10k race

The 10k took us first through the Magic Kingdom and then through California Adventure. The thing about running at Disney is that it is so non-competitive, people just stop to take photos with random characters positioned along the race route. And there can be some very long lines...

I didn't stop for any photos during the Wine and Dine Half in 2013. I was really hoping for a sub 2:00:00 half back then and didn't even come close... and then regretted not taking any photos. So I had promised myself a stop during the Star Wars 10k. There was no line with these friendly looking Jedi.

Me posing with some Jedi during the runDisney Star Wars 10k race

The race ended - 59:23. Waited for the husband and the sister to finish, and then went back to the hotel for much needed hot tub time.

Showing off my runDisney Star Wars 10k race medal

Sunday morning - Return of the Jedi at 5:30 am:

My husband, sister-in-law, and me getting up bright and early for the runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon race
Deja vu. Almost identical to the one we took Saturday.

The first six miles of the half followed a similar route to the 10k the day prior. When I had been reviewing the course map at packet pick-up for the half, I was really disappointed to see that the "cool" part of the run was over early on - we'd be out of the Parks and into the not-so-exciting streets of Anaheim before we even hit the halfway part of the race.

I mean, seeing Chewbacca on Main Street can really keep you going, right?

Chewbacca running the runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon race

But I was SO WRONG about the best part of the race being in the parks. Anaheim may have one-upped Disney by having every single street lined with something fun and interesting to keep you going. There were:
  • High school bands playing mostly Star Wars music, with some football fight songs thrown in for good measure;
  • Members of the 501st - I'm pretty sure the REAL Obi-Wan Kenobi was among them; and
  • A coyote running the opposite direction at mile 9. Not sure if Anaheim really planned that, though.
I did not take photos during this race (above credit goes to my sister-in-law). I was so determined to do better than a 2:10 half and desperate to move my race time back in the right direction, I just didn't want to do anything to jeopardize that. 

runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon race course as captured by the Map My Run app



And I clocked in at 2:07:03.

Satisfied. Definitely not thrilled, just satisfied.

Getting that Rebel Challenge third medal though was pretty thrilling :)

My husband, sister-in-law, and me posing with our runDisney Star Wars Rebel Challenge medals


92 days left

Today's Exercise:  Treadmill Run:

M1: 16:04
M2: 16:35


Breakfast
Lunch
Snack(s)
Dinner
Beef stew, coffeeBeef Stew, teaAlmondsMore Beef stew