Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bad blogger and Tower of Terror 10 Miler Recap

Aye carumba, almost a month and a half since my last blog.
I don't know where the time went, the hours I work are long and to be honest by the time I get home I'm wiped.

However in between blog posts I did go to Disney World to take part in the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler and Mickey's Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run
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 My first order of business was to bling up my Magic Band, unfortunately when you book travel through a Canadian provider you can't log into My Disney and choose a colour so it's always grey but fitting for a Star Wars fan.
 The bib pick up and expo are always at ESPN when at Disney World.





 I was rather impressed with the size of the expo for this event, the last time I was there for a non Half weekend the expo was tiny.
After the expo I hit Magic Kingdom which is my favourite park and it was all dressed up for Halloween - my favourite holiday.

 I didn't spend to long in the park as the 5K was the next day so next up my Expo haul

 The official race shirts
 I had to get another pair of Oofos as I love these sandals, I tried to get a mini stick last time so it was on the list for this time. Showers were forecasted so the shirt I brought for the 10 miler wasn't ideal so it meant another RawThreads shirt joined the collection.
 Official merchandise, included the pins, the car magnets (which I put on my fridge), Run Disney light up bracelet and shoe add ons, a necklace for my RunDisney vinylmation and I really like the hat this run.
 I always get the I Did It shirt but won't wear it till post run.

 I'm also quite fond of the jacket, the writing glows in the dark.

 It was bright and early on the 5K morning, the thing that makes it worth it being there early - a picture with Mickey.
 The start area was in the middle of an astroturf field which was very different then usual so the start area was not the dance floor it usually was. Plus it was raining constantly during the wait for the start. It wasn't so bad as it felt warm so I actually didn't mind getting a bit soaked.
 The headless horseman started things off.

 Now I realize it said Trail Run but I seriously had no clue there were woods behind ESPN, the course was dirt, gravel, grass and astroturf so the runners took a beating. Glad I packed two pairs.

 Fast forward about 12 hours and it was time for the 10 miler which started at 10pm same day as the 5K.
 The RunDisney DJ
 Full moon made it interesting, course wise it's my least favourite. A whole lot of road and weird curves that were angled ramps. You started at Hollywood Studios ran towards Animal Kingdom through the parking stalls and then on your way to ESPN with one more dirt stretch and astroturf and then you make your way back to Hollywood Studios. I didn't spend too much time at the Villain After Party, for one thing not too much was open and the park was full of people sitting on the sidewalks eating their RunDisney boxes. I didn't see any characters so I headed back to the hotel.
 The medal is super cute and the elevator actually moves as there is a spring in the back. Don't think I'll ever repeat this race but glad I got this medal.
 Picked up few Disney items, I've been looking for a smallish Dumbo forever and found him in Animal Kingdom, plus I couldn't resist the Halloween tshirt.

 I was going to Mickey's not so scary Halloween Party dressed as R2D2, at one point I was walking through Tomorrowland and a Jedi fist pumped me for being part of the Rebel Alliance.



 I caught the Boo to You parade twice, the 2nd time by accident.


 Great light show on the Castle, I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

Came home with a cold so I've been pretty out of it but next run is next weekend with the Vancouver Rock N Roll Half Marathon.

I promise to be a better blogger, sorry for the long absence.


Saturday, September 06, 2014

Disneyland 2014 Race Recap and an Epiphany

 I should first warn you all that this might be a long post and picture heavy. The night before I left for Los Angeles I was feeling a wee nervous about the 3 races ahead of me. Conscious of my terrible training and then analyzing why I let it be so horrible. I arrived on Wednesday August 27th one day in advance of Expo opening is my new strategy.

 This year they introduced the Runner's World Welcome Event, I forked over the cash as the major draw for me was the hour early entry into the Race Expo. Overall I found the event meh. It started with my confusion at wristband pick up and seeing all these people dressed to run. The description had said the only workout part would be active stretching. There were two people from Runner's World that led you through some dynamic stretching and then there was a Q&A with Jeff Galloway, the RunDisney nutritionist, the Runner's World reps and Carissa (one of the race announcer hosts). Again I felt is was meh, didn't learn anything new.
 This was the swag bag from the event, a wrist sweat band....really. I did a fair amount of damage in the expo and picked up everything my little heart desired. There were some issues with the check out. When I got back to my hotel I realized they charged me for two jackets. The great thing it was very easily corrected.



 Friday morning came early and I headed over the Disneyland Family 5K, it was Lilo and Stitch themed this year so the music was beach boys and surfing tunes.
 This is the first time I saw entertainment off the stage, This is Surfer Sarah, she was a hoot, often jumping into people's photos and had a super cute limbo contest with all the kids.
 The 5K is untimed but you still need to maintain the 16 min pace. There are loads of kids and as the whole thing is inside the park there a loads of bottlenecks. I was walking it so didn't really care and just took in all the fun.
 After the 5K I hit the parks, I can't say I'm a huge fan of California Adventure but I ran into my good friend Donald.
 I picked up a Garmin Vivofit at the Expo as I've been on the look out for something wrist based to track my steps. I still love the FitBit One, but what I love about the Vivofit is a red band shows up when you've been sitting too long.
 New Balance was back with their RunDisney shoes, now at Expedition Everest I picked up the Cinderella version, it's a very minimalist shoe. On a whim I signed up for the virtural line on my phone, then I got an email when my time was up. I headed back to the expo and went to where you wait in line when you've been notified. I got a fellow Canadian New Balance person as a helper and soon the Minnie version was mine. These shoes have a bit more cushioning.
 Saturday morning came very early for the Stitch 10K.

 The Disneyland Half weekend by the numbers.


 I was in the last corral but made sure I was up at the front and couldn't believe the number of people behind me.
 My plan was to walk as much as possible saving energy for the half, there were again some super bottlenecky spots. I did it.
 I picked up a pair of Oofos sandals at the Expo, I've reading that they're great recover shoes. I have to agree. They felt super comfortable and like my feet where getting  a bit of a stretch.


Got the 10K wristband at the end of the 10K as I was doing the Dumbo Double Dare so this had to stay on my wrist until I completed the half.
 It was 30C and 90% humidity I was drinking water like it was going out of style to stay hydrated.
 Sunday morning came exceptionally early as being up so early 3 days previously was weighing on me but hey good practice for Dopey.
 The Hawaiian them was gone as it was now the 9th Disneyland Half Marathon.
 Again entertainment among the runner start area, this time those Green Army guys.
 The race itself was rough as it was hot, we had cloud cover at the beginning which was great but the heat arrived quickly. Again I was in the last corral but made sure I was up in the front by going into my corral just after 4 am. The race started at 5:30am, we didn't cross the start line till about 20 minutes later. Going through Angel's Stadium is always a magical experience. I was a wee worried about being swept this time as my chins were killing me so I was walking as fast as I could. At about mile 10 I saw people on bikes and someone yelled out and asked where we were. They said we were 10min ahead of pace. Whoo hoo at that point all thoughts of being swept were out of my head.
 I did it! This wasn't my retribution race after I did Dumbo Doubledare 2013 but that just means I plan to be back to do this one at least another time. Especially as next year is the 60th Anniversary of Disneyland and the 10th Anniversary of the Disneyland Half Marathon. I felt really good after the race and after a wee rest got cleaned up and hit the parks.
 After every RunDisney race I bring back ears and this time it was the Red Queen
So glad I stayed an extra day and didn't go home till Tuesday, normally I'd fly home the Monday after the Sunday Half. Landed back in Calgary and got home at 10:30pm but I was going back to work on Wednesday.

The last few days at work have been chaotic, which I expected as we have a mega project to deliver plus I have another project on top of that. I packed gym clothes and they stayed in my backpack for 3 days. Oh no, I'm not sliding back into bad habits.

It's 28 days to Tower of Terror 5K and 10 miler, 49 days to the Vancouver Rock n Roll Half, 63 days to Wine and Dine 5k and Half, 69 days to the Avengers 5K and Half. Now is the time for Beast Mode.

Dragged myself to weigh in today, I had thought of skipping it but gave myself a talking to. No more hiding my head in the sand. I was up 2 lbs, fine now get back on track.

We talked about small changes you made over the summer that were successful and not one person said anything. My leader asked at the end of the meeting if any of us had aha moments. I piped up and said we now have an opportunity to make those changes for a successful Fall.

The challenge this week is I need to spend a few days in Edmonton but this time I'll bring the gym clothes.

Beast mode is on.