Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

More Pictures from Expedition Everest Challenge

May 13, 2011

Just a couple more pictures from the race…


Expedition Everest Challenge at Animal Kingdom

May 12, 2011

Several months ago, Liz asked me to do the Expedition Everest Challenge with her at Animal Kingdom. EE is a 5K run with obstacles followed by a scavenger hunt in the park. They have an option for single runners, but most of the participants are 2-person teams. The race was this past Saturday (May 7).

I went to packet pick up on Friday and stayed for the “Course Talk.” Normally, I wouldn’t stick around for those kinds of things, but in this case I’m glad I did. They explained how the scavenger hunt clues would work and also explained some other pertinent race info. They also had a sample clue to give an idea of what the scavenger hunt would be like. That sample clue was impossible. I still don’t understand the alleged answer. It kind of worried us for the actual clues.

Saturday night Liz and I “carbed up” at Macaroni Grill and then got ready for the race. After much debate, we decided on yellow tank tops and black shorts as our team uniform. We headed over to Animal Kingdom and, after a bit of a scenic tour, found ourselves in the Butterfly Parking Lot with the 3,598 other participants. We checked a bag at the bag drop and then hung out until it was time to get lined up. We were in the last wave, but we got ourselves right at the front of the line for our section. There were seven waves total, each started five minutes after the one before. That meant our start was around 9:00pm. The time went by really fast. In true Disney fashion, there were fireworks at the start of each wave and great music playing for those of us left waiting to start.

When it was our turn to start, Liz and I decided to take off. This goes against my normal race strategy, but when you’re at the front of the pack it’s kind of exhilarating and adrenaline goes into overdrive it seems. Two other teams passed us after the first turn of the race, but that’s it (as far as we know). We were flying…setting ourselves up for an incredible personal best in a 5K race. The miles were clearly marked on the course, but there were no clocks (not that it would have done us any good since we started 30 minutes after the clock did). Right after the first mile, we found the first obstacle–hay bales set up kind of like hurdles. I think there were four total, but each was only one hay bale high. Shortly after that, we entered the park.

Because the waves were set up for team type (single runners, male teams, coed teams, women teams) rather than pace, there were walkers all along the route. Not to mention, when we entered the park, there were teams who’d finished the 5K and were now reentering the park for the scavenger hunt. Mixing runners, walkers and walkers trying to read clues with very little light is far from ideal. At that point, I had several “I’m-Never-Going-To-Do-This-Race-Again” thoughts. I just wish they’d split the waves by pace and also had the scavenger hunt enter at a different point than the race.

Right after mile 2 we found the next obstacle–tires. It was right after mile 2 that we also saw some folks we knew that were in wave 5. We kicked it into high gear and passed them–still on track for a VERY good personal best. Just around the corner from the third mile marker, we encountered the last obstacle. There was a choice to be made–either climb over a net or crawl under one in the sand. I asked Liz what she wanted to do and she said, “Over!” I saw the line to go over and knowing it would slow us down, I said, “No! Look at that line! We’re going under. Come on!” We made it through quickly, but then…Liz realized her phone was missing. We searched and searched for it in the sand pit (truthfully, Liz searched more than I did, but I did crawl through the sand one more time for her). After three minutes (according to RunKeeper), we gave up and went on to transition for the scavenger hunt. Our official finish time for the 5K was 29:12. Still a personal best for me in a 5K race, but you can do the math and figure out what it could have been. 🙂

Next up was the scavenger hunt. We were each given a little flashlight and sharpie marker. Each clue sent you to a section of the park where you showed your answer. If it was correct, you were given the next clue. I restarted my RunKeeper at the beginning of the scavenger hunt. We ended up traveling about a mile during the scavenger hunt. With the exception of one, the clues weren’t incredibly hard. Our second clue seemed impossible, but we finally got it. The rest did take some thinking, but we got them pretty quickly. We finished the scavenger hunt in 24:19.

Our overall time was 53:30 and we came in 9th place for the women’s team division. Our goal was top ten, so we certainly achieved that.

After the race, we got our medals and some refreshments (Powerade, water, bananas and Clif bars). We went to get our bag from bag check and then went on a hunt for Liz’s phone. We saw an employee with a “RunDisney” shirt on and asked her if we could go back to look for the phone. She made a couple of phone calls and actually found Liz’s phone! The second guy she called had the phone in his pocket! Unbelievable! Isn’t Disney the best?!

After Liz was reunited with her phone, we rode Expedition Everest (my first time) and then went to the after party. Disney had a DJ who led the crowd in dance moves. It was lots of fun! After the awards were given out, we decided to call it a night and head home.

We’ve already decided we want to do this race again next year. It really was fun…and we want to beat our time. Who wants to do it with us? Next year, only phones attached to your body will be allowed on our team. 😉

The Tank Top

April 27, 2011

Ok…here it is. This tank top is on page 9 of April’s (I lied…it’s May’s) Fitness Magazine and we want to know where to get it. We’ve googled it and we’ve searched online sites like: Nike, Reebok, Champion, American Apparel, Under Armor, Lululemon, Atletica, Nordstrom, Amazon, Gap, Old Navy, etc, etc, etc.

It’s a little hard to see in this picture, but it’s a little see through-ish which makes that hot pink sports bra underneath a fun contrast to the yellow.I guess it’s not quite “mesh” on the front there, but what else would you call it to search for it?

We’re running out of time…Any other thoughts on where to find it?

A Few More Pics from the Wine & Dine

October 15, 2010



Big Sledge






Crossing the Finish Line!



I did it!



So happy to have run into Justin!



Josh's new car accessory. He loves it.


My First Half Marathon

October 14, 2010

Disclaimer: I’m a slacker and should have posted this a heck of a long time before now. I started it, oh, probably at least 10 days ago.

Well…after too many weeks of training, my first half marathon has come and gone! Disney’s inaugural Wine & Dine Half Marathon was a lot of fun and I even surprised myself with how well I did. Being that the race wasn’t until Saturday night, we really made a weekend out of it. Josh, Kami, Chad and Liz came up from West Palm on Friday and we stretched the fun out until Sunday afternoon.


We're official!


On Saturday morning (October 2), we went to get our race packets and check out the Expo. Disney really is so organized and that made things move pretty quickly. We got our packets, submitted our 10K race times and browsed through the vendors. I even made a couple of purchases…more on that later. 🙂

Once we were finished at the Expo we headed back to the house for a big Pioneer Woman Chicken Parm lunch. If you haven’t had it, do yourself a favor and make it. You’ll thank me later. We obviously had several hours to kill between lunch and the race, so we all kind of went our separate ways for a little bit. Josh & gang went back to where they were staying for naps. Matt went to a movie with Kasey & Chad. And, I ran an errand for TFG and then worked on Cadence’s birthday cake. I think it was good that we had things going on during the day. Otherwise we would have been sitting around waiting for race time.

Around 7pm, we (Matt, Josh and I) headed over to Epcot. Although the race started at Wide World of Sports, all runners had to park at EPCOT and take a bus to the start of the race. Traffic was crazy and it was beginning to seem like a logistical nightmare, but in true Disney fashion, once we figured out the plan things seemed to flow right along. We hung out in a big field at Wide World of Sports for about an hour along with 9,000 of our closest running friends. About 9:15pm, they started getting everyone over to the corrals. We hung out in the field as long as we could. At one point, I turned around and noticed that the field was mostly empty. I then noticed a volunteer walking around picking up trash. I looked around and realized there was not any sign that 9,000 had just been sitting in this large grassy spot. It was incredible. Leave it to Disney to have things all cleaned up before the race even started. Impressive!


In the corral.


I hung out in Corral A with Matt and Josh, even though I was supposed to be in B. I had no intention of keeping up with them for the run, but I was getting a little anxious to be waiting in a corral by myself. The race started at 10pm with all kinds of fireworks. Matt took off right away, but I was able to keep up with Josh for a little bit. I knew I wouldn’t be able to run the entire race, so I had originally planned to alternate running 3 miles and then walking 0.5 miles. Right before the race started, I made a game time decision to just run until I felt I needed a break. When I hit the 3-mile marker, I was feeling great and we hadn’t even entered the first park yet. The first park we ran through was Animal Kingdom. Ironically, while AK is not my favorite park to visit, it was my favorite part of this race. The path was a little crowded because it was so narrow, but the atmosphere was so cool. Right before we exited Animal Kingdom (around 5 miles), I grabbed some water and walked long enough to drink it. Then, I kept right on going. After we left Animal Kingdom, we had a few miles outside of the parks again. At 7 miles, I decided I was ready for a break. So, I walked for half a mile, caught up on my encouraging texts from Rachel Kuhl and gave a quick update on my progess. The 9-mile marker came shortly before we entered Hollywood Studios. They had some gummy gel snacks there and since I was so hungry, I grabbed one. I walked for another half mile at that point, so that I could rest and eat my snack. The run through Hollywood Studios was pretty good. Even some of the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Lights were lit up!

I think it was around 10-11 miles when everything just started hurting. My lower back was killing me. My ankles hurt. I was tired. But I knew I was so close, so that kept me going. I took one last break around 11.75 miles and walked for a quarter of a mile. Although I was tired, when I saw the 12-mile marker, I knew I was almost there. Several times in that last leg of the race, I had to keep myself from crying. I was so overwhelmed that I was actually going to finish…and finish strong. I couldn’t believe it! The last part of the race went from Hollywood Studios through the Boardwalk Hotel, around to Epcot. There were so many people along the course cheering on the runners. It was so encouraging and I was so overwhelmed. When I saw the finish line, I took off! I couldn’t believe it! I heard Kami, Kasey, Chad and Liz screaming from the stands and I was SO happy. I finished in 2:23:31. While I didn’t have a time goal for myself, I was very pleased with that for my first half marathon. I think I would have been happy with anything under 2.5 hours.

After I finished, I got some snacks, water and my medal! Then, I set out to find everybody else. We met up and wandered around Epcot for the after party. Being that it was the kick off weekend for the Food & Wine Festival, the World Showcase stayed open until 3am. As part of our race ticket, we were given one free drink and one free food selection. Unfortunately, I never used mine because all of the lines were too long. Imagine 9,000 runners plus all their friends/family with nothing to do but eat/drink in the World Showcase. No rides were open and you couldn’t go into Future World unless you were leaving. It was pretty packed. After about an hour of roaming, we decided it was time to just head home.



We finished!


Overall, it was a very fun race. I think I’d definitely do it again. I am so proud of myself for finishing and I am thinking about doing another half. In the meantime, I’m putting together a relay team for the Palm Beach Marathon in December. That should be fun!

Over It

September 25, 2010

It’s official.

I’m so over it. [It = the half marathon training]

I’m ready for the race to just be here so it can stop taunting me.

I’m ready to go out and run 3 or 4 or 5 miles for the sake of running it. (Did I just say that?!)

This time next week I’ll probably be a nervous hot mess awaiting race time. (Albeit it a “hot size 2 mess” thanks to American Eagle. Random side note…so I got a new pair of shorts this week because all of my non-work shorts are too big for me. And…seriously?! I had to get a size 2 at AE. I thought maybe the number on the tag was a typo. But I digress…)

So…anyway…I’m ready to see that finish line EARLY next Sunday morning. Let’s do this.

The Goal.

[Almost] 9 Miles

September 20, 2010

So this time last year, my “long run” for the week was about 2.5 miles. And, trust me, that was pushing it. Well…what a difference a year can make. Yesterday, I did 8.85 miles!

I set out to go for a 9-mile run, but didn’t quite make it. I had mapped out a run beginning at church, weaving through downtown Windermere, passing the infamous neighborhood of Tiger Woods and finishing up at home. When I started the run, I was so determined to finish. The first three miles were on what seemed like a forever-long, mostly straight road. Fortunately, most of that portion was shaded and there was a nice breeze. The section of the run through downtown Windermere was nice, but around mile 5 I started to get pretty hungry. I decided to give myself a little walking break at 5.5 miles. After walking for three-quarters of a mile, I was ready to finish up and make it to my goal. What I didn’t realize was that the remainder of my run would be in direct sunlight. Around mile 7, I ran out of water. I tried really hard to push through, but the sun and heat was getting the best of me. At 8.4 miles I started walking again, and seeing that I was still almost 2 miles from home, I texted Matt to come pick me up (and bring water).

While I was a tad bit disappointed that I didn’t hit my goal, I am also proud of myself for trying and making it as far as I did. Yesterday’s run is also helping me mentally prepare for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. Being that it’s my first half marathon, I already know that I’m going to need to walk some. And, after yesterday’s experience, I’m more ok with that than I’ve been. I am not setting a time goal for the half marathon, but just the goal to finish. I’ll be happy with finishing. And, quite honestly, I’ll be happy it’s finished. I like the challenge of training, but I’m also ready to run without an upcoming race breathing down my neck.

So…this week’s long run? 10 miles. We’ll see how that goes. 🙂

My First Official 10K (and three personal bests!)

August 20, 2010

6am: Even too early for the sun.

On August 7, I ran my first official 10K. In order to not start at the back of the pack at October’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon, I needed an official timed finish from a 10K or higher. After quite a bit of searching, the Moss Park Forest Run was the only thing remotely close to us, so Matt, Josh, Mike and I signed up for the off road adventure.

This was an interesting race as it was mostly run through a wooded area with sand paths. I’d say about 80% of the course was sand with about 15% asphalt and 5% grass. While I was running, it felt like the longest 6.2 miles of my life. I think it’s because the course seemed to weave in and out a lot and there’s not much to see except trees and dirt. With all the turns in the course, there were often times that I couldn’t see anyone in front of me.

Even though the race seemed to take forever, I finished at 1:04:16. That is a personal best for me! I later found out that I finished 6 of 17 in my age group. That was quite a confidence booster for me (although having to scroll down to find yourself in the 30-34 age range is not as confidence boosting). 🙂

I’m not sure that I’d do this exact race again, simply because it’s early and it’s pretty far from our house. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the terrain, but that’s just me.

All ready to go!

After the race, I’ve continued my training for the Wine & Dine Half in October. At this point, I’ve got 7 weeks, and I’m kind of feeling the crunch. But I’ve been doing my best and it’s been paying off. In addition to my personal best at the 10K, I’ve had two other personal bests on runs…

August 7 :: 6.2 miles in 1:04:16
August 15 :: 3.0 miles in 29:29
August 16 :: 4.5 miles in 45:02

Why My Blog Feels Neglected

August 9, 2010

So it’s been 12 days since I last paid any attention to this poor excuse for a blog. It’s been for (semi-)good reasons though.

I’ve been crafting up a storm,
working like crazy,
baking an 18-layer cake and 12-layer cake,
celebrating birthdays,
organizing like a mad craft-show-girl,
paying visits to doctors like I’m a 63-year-old woman,
training regularly for the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon
and trying to stay sane in between everything else.

So…that gives you a little glimpse into why my blog feels neglected. And, really, I can’t blame her (or are you a “him”?!). Not that things are going to slow down anytime soon, I promise some posts this week.


Cross my heart. ♥

What Got Me Out of Bed This Morning

July 28, 2010

I needed to get up this morning and go for a 4.5 mile run. This always sounds like a good idea to me the night before, but when the alarm goes off at 6:30am I’m not as easily persuaded. Thank goodness that this morning I woke up to this quote a Facebook friend shared with me…

“Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to …do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

– George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

That sure did get me out of bed and onto my run. It wasn’t the prettiest of runs, but it felt good knowing I was done with my 4.5 miles by 7:45am. 🙂